Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

So Christmas came and went so quickly, if you blinked you may have missed it. I was a very lucky girl and received an I-Pod Touch from Mr M, which has been loaded with all manner of things including a chess game, that I will be using to complete one of my tasks very shortly.
As 2009 brings itself to a close, it also gives me chance to say thanks to each and everyone of you that have travelled along with me, through this journey. Believe me when I tell you that 2010 is going to be a very productive year, task wise, so I hope that you will all continue with me and enjoy what I have planned.
I hope 2010 brings you everything that you wish for - Happy new year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas...



On this very cold but very festive Sunday afternoon I plan to:-
  • Finish off The Magus - one of my BBC Top 100 Reads
  • Plan what others I'm going to read in the New Year
  • See if the Learning French kit I bought from Oxfam does actually work on my PC
  • And put up my Christmas tree whilst watching Elf (a tradition!)

I hope whatever you plan to do keeps you safe and happy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Life

Regular readers of my blog, will note that I'm struggling at the moment to get motivated and complete any new tasks this side of Christmas. Well, although new tasks may be out of the question, there are certain tasks that are ongoing at the moment, the BBC Top 100 reads, being one of them. I'm constantly trying to complete at least another book off the 100 reads, which can be quite tedious, especially when it's a book I don't particularly like. I'm currently reading The Magus by John Fowles, which in fairness is not as bad as some of the books I've had to complete in the past, but I think I've got into a rut and had a long list of equally boring books that has almost suffocated my love of reading and made me resent picking up a book.
It hasn't helped that I've kicked my exercise routine into touch at the moment. I used to spend at least half an hour a day on my exercise bike, complete with book in hand to help me through it and I'm struggling at the moment to find any other time of the day to read. But I'm trying to push myself through this bleak period and I have promised myself a rest after I've completed The Magus. One of my work colleagues has given me all the Twilight books to read and as I'm a huge fan of the films then I can't wait to get my paws on them as well as the other books that I've purchased along the way. So no better time than the present to get another book ticked off the list - I'm off to watch the X Factor Final complete with a copy of The Magus to read between breaks.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reflections

Ah, another week has flown by and I would love to tell you that I've spent it doing my latest task (looks very sheepish). Unfortunately I haven't. Christmas shopping/work/tidying our house for the influx of viewers yes, but no new tasks to report I'm afraid! That's not to say I haven't been thinking about it and the whole year in general. This year has been a funny old year what with one thing and another. One of those years that you really can't wait to see the back of. In my past, especially when I lived on my own, I always looked forward to the thought of New Years Day; it was a chance to start afresh and reinvent myself for the forthcoming year.
So for me, New Years Day can't come quicker. I have lists galore and plans you wouldn't believe - 16 of my tasks to complete and hopefully a new house will beckon, as well as my writing of course, I've got great plans for that as well and you never know I may just manage to squeeze in another task before January 1st!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

High Flyer

Judging by the reaction I got from my friends when I posted a comment on Facebook, the next task that I've organised to do, may just provoke the same from yourselves. I've booked trapeze lessons! Not the most easiest thing to book on the Internet it has to be said. It took me a good hour of googling to find somewhere that was not based in London and didn't cost a small fortune to do. I eventually came across Yorkshire Dance, a company based in Leeds, approx. 1 hour car journey away from the land of the Nottingham and a very reasonable £18 for a 2 hour session. I don't go until March, which gives me plenty of time to get rid of the Christmas stomachs and get fit to do the session properly.
Which leaves me with the question ... now what else can I complete from now until March..?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Back!

Well it seems forever since I last wrote a proper blog post and even longer since I actually completed a blog task! I've had a few distractions in the past couple of weeks. Firstly NaNoWriMo, which is the write 50,000 words in a month task. This started off oh so well, but then I had the added complication of getting our house ready to sell and as my priority was on house things, I got slightly behind on the writing and then as the days went past, even further behind, to a point where I thought, oh bugger it and so I did!

The break away from my blog has done me some good though. I'm feeling all refreshed and raring to go again, to the point where I've even made a list of all tasks I'm hoping to do in 2010 and the ones I'm going to have a stab at doing as well.

Planned tasks are:-
1) Learn a foreign language
2) Go to an international football match at Wembley
3) Read all the BBC Top 100 reads
4) Make a film to go onto You Tube
5) Learn chess
Other tasks to have a go at are:-
1) Surfing
2) Watch Forest in an Executive box
3) Fly a trapeze
4) Go to the Grand Prix
5) Cook with a celebrity chef
6) Skinny dipping
7) Get my novel published
8) Save an animal from captivity
Plus there will also be my scheduled appearances on BBC Radio Nottingham - recent appearance on Friday went very well.
I've a feeling 2010 is going to be a good year, but a very busy one!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Return

Sorry, it's been a while I know. I will reveal all very shortly, but in the meantime, I'm on Radio Nottingham tomorrow if you care to join me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo

Things may be a little quiet on the old blog task list for a little while, whilst I get to grips with this http://www.nanowrimo.org/ I've just finished my first day at 2039 words, so I'm pretty chuffed that I'm ahead of my target and you never know, this may be the one that I get published. So in around about way, I may well be working on a blog task. I think I may be doing myself an injustice here!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

I was overjoyed when an email popped into my in box from my fellow blogger and very good friend Frenchy Phil asking if I wanted to catch 'Welcome To The Sticks' at the Broadway cinema on Sunday pm, but I confess, when I agreed, I did have ulterior motives. The last time we went to the cinema together was to see Le Donk, the Shane Meadows movie and I came away with the inspiration to make my own film, which fitted quite nicely into making a short film to go on You Tube task. Then an idea began to form, slow but sure at first, until I had the basis of a structure for a 10 minute short film. The subject matter? My friend Frenchy Phil. Phil is an ex actor and has had the most fascinating life that I think truly warrants capturing on film. So today at the Broadway, after plying him with lager and tempting him with a bag of minstrels, I plucked up courage to ask him and he has said yes. Now I just need to get grips with my camcorder and learn how to edit. I wonder if Shane is available for a master class?

Me & James

I have a confession to make, one that my husband won't be too pleased about. I have a secret crush. Not just any old crush you understand but one that's been there for a few years now, growing in strength, sometimes also dipping, but quite strong at this present moment in time. It's James Martin the celebrity chef. I have to admit I like to indulge whenever I can. There's the cook books, a couple of appearances at the Good Food show, Saturday morning kitchen (of course) and also his column in the Sunday Mail. There's just some thing about this straight talking Yorkshire man with the cheeky smile that I find hard to resist.
Now when I first put my list together nearly two and half years ago, I wasn't aware of the great man. The only chef that seemed to be at the top of everyone's list was Mr Ramsey. I have to say that I'm not a great fan of Mr Ramsey's at late. There's the consistent foul language, which has become too over powering and of course the headlines, which if you are made to believe are that things are not too rosy in the house of Ramsey. Needless to say, he is still one of the top chefs, for that you cannot take it away from him.
Now if Gordon were to offer me a few cookery lessons I definitely wouldn't say no, but since the emergence of James then I've decided to amend one of my tasks to 'cook with a celebrity chef', which will give me the chance to either cook with Gordon or James, should the opportunity arise.
I'm off now to buy a copy of the Sunday Mail and to write a letter to Saturday Kitchen, explaining why I would like to appear at the Chef's table - talk about stating the obvious! Have fun what ever you choose to do this Sunday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lazy Bones

Since my two x rejection letters from agents, I have to say that I've done nothing else with my novel, other parts of my life seem to be taking over. Did I tell you that I'm trying to move house? Oh and trying to lose weight. As well as trying to complete this list, appearing on the radio and holding down a full time job. Time is so precious at the moment, that I wish I could have a few twenty six hour days. I'm not complaining. Funnily enough the more busy I am in life, the more motivated I become to get things done. I do worry though that I'm trying to over compensate for all those years that I sat on my ass doing nothing with my life, but I don't want the next twenty years to pass me by in such a flash that I turn round and ask myself just what have I achieved.


Talking of achievements, I've been particularly inspired by Cally Taylor, who seems to be everywhere on the Internet at the moment, with the release of her first book 'Heaven Can Wait'. I had a very embarrassing moment in Borders in Leeds, where I couldn't for the life of me remember her last name or the name of the book and wondered around aimlessly hoping that if I just set eyes on the cover, then I would know instantly which one it was. I didn't unfortunately, but never fear it will be purchased next time I go into town (if all else fails I will write down the title prior to going!) Cally is someone that is completely dedicated to writing and even though she holds down a full time job, still finds enough time to write an impressive portfolio of short stories and obviously her first novel as well. She's certainly gave me a good needed kick up the ass and I'm definitely gong to enter her short story competition.
Which leads me back to writing, sort of and my novel and yes I need to get my finger out and get it posted to more agents. Life is much too short for it to just sit on my hard drive.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baby Steps

I think I spoke a little while back about how some of my tasks aren't as straight forward as they first appear and how sometimes I have to do a series of tasks within a task, just so I'm able to cross it off my list. I call it taking baby steps, each task being broken down into smaller sections in order to complete it. The BBC Top 100 is an obvious example - 100 things to do before I even get to strike my pen through that one. Another one that springs to mind is one of my new revised tasks 'rescue an animal from captivity'. No, I haven't got a clue how you rescue an animal from captivity either, but I gathered that 'Born Free' might, so I've joined their 'Activate' campaign , which means I get to write to some pretty important people to express concern over the welfare of wild animals within their country. Some campaigns are connected to the release of animals back into the wild, so I'm optimistic that my little steps, may just influence the release of an animal within captivity in the near future.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Large Slice Of Humble Pie

I made yet another radio appearance this morning, which was fab and went well. I really like Andy Whitaker as he always makes me feel relaxed whenever I go on his show and he's lovely and friendly. I updated the listeners on my blog and discussed what I was about to do next (a short film in case you wondered) and then ran through the paper review.
However, just before I went in, there was a rep from a Children's charity and also a young girl who spoke of her neglect, growing up with her parents. Anything to do with harming children or animals and I'm a complete wuss, I start to fill up and the girl's story of how she used to cook and care for her younger siblings from the age of 6, was truly heart rendering.
Talking about my oh so unimportant list straight after that made me feel very humble indeed and brought everything back into context. I don't think I've mentioned on this blog but I volunteered to be a mentor for teenagers in need and I was feeling a little disheartened that I'd not heard anything, so much so I nearly asked the guy from the children's charity if they ran a similar scheme that I could apply for. Tonight I went home after work and opened my emails and there in my inbox was an email from the charity apologising in the delay of getting back to me and how my email to them was inspirational. I guess today was a good omen after all.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Time For An Update

I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow anytime from approx. 8:15-8:30am, where I will be updating listeners on my blog and also doing the paper review. Hope you all get chance to tune in!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Julie/Julia

Although it's been out for ages, I finally got round to see Julie & Julia at the cinema last night. The film tells the true story of Julie Powell, who decided to cook her way through a french cookbook and record her story via a blog. Sounds familiar? Well it turns out we had more in common than I first thought. Julie turned to a challenge when she was feeling un fulfilled with her life and like me she was determined to record every step of her challenge and do it properly and not cheat, a girl after my own heart. One element that I loved about the film was where she hadn't got a clue if any one ever read her blog, besides her Mother, but it didn't bother her, as she just wrote the blog to record her achievements and disasters in the kitchen!
Without giving too much away, Julie eventually gains a book deal on the basis of her blog and unfortunately that's where the similarities ends. I'm not sure if the film works doing the whole split story thing, but it was good to see a blogger played in such a favourable light. Anyway, who knows, perhaps one day I'll get my own film too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh What A Circus!

Sunday's are pretty boring affairs usually, aren't they? I mean nothing really happens on a Sunday - right? Except this Sunday. This Sunday was soo different to all other Sundays. Fancy an evening with Shane Meadows? Yes, I did too, so there I was on a Sunday singing David Essex songs with my friend Frenchy Phil, outside the Broadway Media Centre in Nottingham, staring at a bloke, thinking, is it, isn't it and then by the time I finally decided it was actually Shane Meadows, he had gone inside.

Now I have to admit I do get a little giddy when I know I'm going to be in the presence of greatness and not only did I have to contend with Shane, there was also his mate from college days, one Paddy Considine, my favourite actor, who also happens to be in my favourite film, directed by Shane, 'Dead Man Shoes'. To top it all, the ticket price also included an exclusive screening of his new film 'Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee' - it was all too much really!

So there we sat on the front row, where a few late arrivals mistook us for VIP's (well you would, wouldn't you?!) whilst Shane introduced the cast and crew of the film, then sat back and watched the most funniest film I'd seen in a long time - my cheeks ached with laughing so much.

The film was followed by a Q & A session and then I got the chance to be a real groupie and get my boxed set signed and have a couple of photos with the chappies. I was totally calm throughout, behaved appropriately, until I got to the back of the cinema and then had a 'oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD!' moment.

So pray tell what does this have to do with my 40 things? Well, Shane Meadows happens to completely inspire me. How he depicts working class life in his films is how I want to write about such things. He described his work as having sat in the same room of the working classes, as apposed to looking through the window, like his peers. A good analogy, but on my part I certainly need to up my game to be anywhere near his brilliance.
He has inspired me to start working on my second novel. Something completely different from the first, a lot more gritty, a lot more 'real'. You never know, this may well be the one that's published...

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Write Way

Did you ever consider that sometimes in life you have to go backwards before you go forwards? My novel currently sits on my hard drive, feeling a little unloved after being rejected by two Agents and I kinda of figured that whilst I'm waiting for the motivation/inclination/time to submit it to further places, I shouldn't stop writing. After all, the more I can get my name out there, the more likely an Agent is to want to act for me. So whilst I was off work ill, I decided to tidy out the spare room, to keep my mind off feeling so ill (there is a logic there somewhere!) and I came across my writing box, crammed full of short stories, features and other writing related things, that I've done in the past. I had a quick look through some of the short stories I wrote and yes they definitely need work and my writing has hopefully improved since then, but there's a few possibilities there, that may just lead somewhere.
So my plan, whilst I decide what my next move is with the novel, is to get re writing these short stories and see if there is a place for them out there. After all there's nothing wrong in delving into your past, to help with your future.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Radio Appearance

It seems Radio Nottingham want me back for another paper review (I must be doing something right!) October 13th from 8:15-8:30am approx, if you are interested in listening.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Rejection

I came home from work yesterday feeling very poorly, to find a solitary brown envelope on my door mat. Another rejection from an Agent. I don't particularly like Wednesday's any more.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Feeling Rejected

I haven't felt entirely motivated in the last couple of weeks, which you have probably noticed with my lack of posting.
I'm struggling with the BBC 100 Reads at the moment, so I have no new tasks to report that are in progress, other than this.
In fact the only thing I have to report is the fact that I received my first letter of rejection from an Agent the other day. She feels that my work doesn't excite her enough to want to act for me. Oh well, it was to be expected, Rome wasn't built in a day and how many rejection letters did J K Rowling receive before she went to print? Hopefully I won't set a world record with that!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Write A Script/Story For Dr Who

I'm a pretty loyal person and once I like something I tend to stick to it for life. It probably won't be any surprise, therefore, if I told you that my love for Dr Who first started when I was three years old. I have an older brother, who watched it avidly week in, week out and as we had only one television in those days, then his viewing habits and those of my parents, become mine in a roundabout way. Not that I'm complaining of course. I loved the programme as much as he did, except for the Daleks and for some reason I still have a fear of those to this day.

Favourite Doctor? If you had asked me three years ago, I would have said Tom Baker without a shadow of a doubt, but then suddenly Mr Tennant took on the role and brought so much life and depth to the character, that he took over the mantle. Here was someone that for the first time, showed how alone the Doctor must feel, travelling through the universe with just his blue box for company. It will be a sad, sad day when he hangs up his key to the Tardis.

What do I love about the programme? I love it's unpredictability. You have the character of the Doctor and his Tardis and that's it. The world is your oyster in terms of plot and structure. He can go anywhere and meet anything, he is the Doctor after all, the last of his kind.
When it came to writing my story, I had a vague plot in mind. I could remember reading a ghost story set in a hotel many years ago, so without further ado I ordered the book from the Internet and once arrived, devoured the contents and began to plan my story around the basis of the tale.
The oddest feeling I found, once starting to write about it was that although you had the freedom
of writing any story line you wished, you still had this character of the Doctor that was set in stone and it felt quite restrictive in terms of what I could do with him. I'm used to building a character from scratch and making them my own, with the Doctor the formula was already there.
I had a long weekend over in Northumberland just recently and managed to have two full days of un interrupted writing. Two days full of landscapes and views of ruined castles, that would inspire anyone to write and so I did, finding such a back drop just the tonic to complete my Dr Who story.
I'm not going to share the story with you quite yet, as my first port of call is to try and get it published, but I will keep you updated on it's journey and hopefully pretty soon, you will be able to read it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Radio

I'm on Radio Nottingham from approx 8:15am tomorrow, just in case you were interested. I'm doing the paper review and updating listeners on my blog. Guess I'd better get on with completing one of my tasks then ...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two Down

I managed to get another submission pack out to an Agent yesterday and Forest beat Derby. Can't ask for a better Saturday than that!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One Down

So I've done it. One submission pack to a Literary Agent is now completed and ready to be posted tomorrow. There would have been more sent, but sadly as every Agent requires a slight deviation on what is required, I prepared the simplest one out of the three. So now I sit and wait and hope that someone, somewhere would like to act for me. Here's hoping.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I will, I will, I will

It's 7pm on a Sunday evening and my head is slowing getting back into work mode. We haven't done as much as I would have liked to do on our week off, there's still stuff to be done around the house. But and it's a big but, I'm not stressing about it, it will get done when it will get done. Just the fact that we've managed to do more than we have done in the last five years, is enough for me.
There is one thing that I need to get done though. I'm now sat with the Artists and Writers yearbook and need to send off my novel to Agents. You see I haven't written anything since I've finished this novel and I need to do this, before I can move on and do different things. So my task for the next hour is to find at least three Agents that I would like to represent me. It shouldn't be too hard, should it?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Motivated

I have another radio appearance coming up in in September. It seems they have a new system of whenever you make an appearance, they like to book your next one in the diary. Which suits me fine, at least I can plan my appearances around work stuff. It also keeps me focused on my list somewhat, as each appearance always opens with the immortal words 'so tell our listeners how many tasks you've completed since you were last in' or words to that effect. Can't really turn round and say 'well actually I couldn't be arsed to do any tasks since I was last in, so nothing to report', well I could but I don't think they would ask me in again.
So focused I am, mostly on two tasks, finishing my Dr Who story off and creating a film to go onto You Tube. If I manage to finish either one of those or even both by the beginning of September then I will be a happy bunny. In the meantime, back to the home improvements and no, I still haven't got round to sending my novel off to any agents yet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Sorted

I have a week off from work as of today. I couldn't be happier. So much has happened this year, that I just wanted to take a step away from everything and relax, rewind. Not that my days will be empty you understand, I have a whole host of stuff to keep me occupied. Mostly house related stuff, as we are trying desperately to get the house on the market asap and move. There is also the small matter of getting my novel out there and looking for representation, something I've been dragging my feet over for the past month.
So my first day off will be spent getting organised and planning - split days between house related stuff and writing. I'll let you know how I get on...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wildest Dreams

Just recently me and Mr M have become hooked on the new BBC wild life programme 'Wildest Dreams', where Nick Knowles and James Honeybourne take nine contestants and try and turn them into wildlife film makers. We love it. Not only is it filmed in Africa, which in itself has the most breath taking scenery you could ever wish to see, you also get to see the most amazing wildlife in their natural habitat.


Every week the contestants are split into groups and given a specific animal to film and then whoever fails to gain the correct footage/behave appropriately is eliminated (think of it like a wildlife apprentice!) This week's task was to film under water and one of my favourite animals - the Dolphin. Not only had the contestants have to capture footage of the dolphins, they were also coached on approaching them in the correct manner and learning to pull out of filming if the dolphins became threatened in any way (unfortunately the dolphins were also a major tourist trap and the contestants were having to compete with the many vessels full of tourists trying to capture footage as well).


Which brings me quite nicely to my list and the fact it has been amended some what. For the eagle eyed readers I have now dropped 'swimming with dolphins' and replaced it with 'rescuing an animal from captivity'. When I really stopped and thought about it and actually read what damage this could do to the dolphin and also watched on this week's show the amount of over zealous tourists that were potentially harming the dolphins, my decision was made. Born Free are currently running a campaign challenge the European Dolphinaria industry - please visit their website to add your support.


I believe in the Born Free concept of 'wild animals should live in the wild'. I don't visit zoos for the simple fact I can't abide the fact that an animal is living behind bars purely to entertain humans and don't even get me started on the amount of animals that are kept inhumanly. So my task has been amended to convey my feelings and I look forward to reporting back to you, when I've managed to complete it. I will climb back down off my soap box now.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Being 40

I broke the habit of a life time at the weekend and went out into Nottingham on a Saturday night. It's been a long time since I've been brave enough to venture out into the beautiful city, that becomes an oh so different one at night. The occasion was my cousin's 40th birthday.

Strange though it may seem, because I have only seen my cousins very rarely through adulthood (mainly funerals, weddings etc), I still have this image of them fixed as children and it felt immensely strange to think that one of us was reaching the big 4-0. Of course it made me consider my own big birthday, which is coming up in approx 2 years 3 months. Although I have the blog as a reminder, I do sometimes forget that I am getting close to quite a significant birthday, as in my mind, I'm still stuck at being mid-twenties.
Which makes me wonder, just what is going to befall me in the next couple of years? A lot can change in that time scale. Hopefully I will be very close to, if not finishing my list and then what? I guess I will have to wait and see!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Writing My Own Column

I have always wanted to write from a young age. A journalistic career even beckoned at one stage, until I realised that studying for a degree just wasn't my bag and writing fiction was more up my street. Now, a few years down the line, in the back of my mind, there was always that feeling of 'what if?', hence the fact that I added this task to my list. The fact that this particular task also came from my love of Sex and The City, also may have something to do with it as well! Who wouldn't want to be Carrie Bradshaw, living in her New York apartment with her fabulous shoe collection and getting paid to write a column about her life?


So where does a young (!!) Nottingham lass with a modest (but growing) shoe collection start in the land of the printed word? It seems the words start small, aim big is the motto of the day. On the recent Marie Claire 'How to get published' roadshow, a discussion began with regards for writing for magazines. Marie Claire very rarely print any articles from people who have not been published in any other publications, so working your way up from smaller publications seems to be the order of the day. Armed with that knowledge, I'm going to spend this weekend collecting various 'smaller' publications and submitting any article ideas that I may have and work from there.

Realistically my own column is not going to fall at my feet, I'm going to have to go out there and work for it. Although there is nothing to stop me from approaching larger organisations with my ideas, I think I have more chance starting off with the smaller ones. I have got an idea for a weekly blog column for a corporate company, so I'm still going to submit that (hopefully this weekend) and who knows, they may pick up the idea, they may not. I won't know until I try.

So consider this task, a work in progress at the moment and I'll update you of any progress along the way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Creating My Film

There are several hundred reasons, why I haven't got round to my 'making a film to go onto You Tube' task - here is one of them:-


'Washdays' is a short film written by Graham Lester George and has just won the Soho Rushes Festival. Out of all the films we saw in the media week at the Broadway cinema, this was our favourite. So thought provoking that we were still discussing it, after we left the cinema and all the way home.
So you may now understand my hesitation. After all, I strive for perfection, so how can I just make any old film, even if the target audience is just You Tube and no where near Cannes, or even Soho?
If you do get chance to see this film, then please do. My film (whenever I make it) will be miles away from this one (RIP sock puppets).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Leeds, Katy Regan and Me

Preparing to sell our house has seemed to take precedence over everything else at the moment, so much so that I almost forgot to blog about my road trip to Leeds.
I've never been to Leeds, well that's strictly not true. I have been to Elland Road and I once spent a rather horrible afternoon trying to find a training course in a building that no-one had seemed to have heard of, but never to Leeds city centre. So when I saw the 'How To Get Published' roadshow organised by Marie Claire, I saw the perfect way to indulge my two loves, shopping and writing.
Having survived driving through a monsoon to get there, I found the parking very reasonably, although asking someone if I could possibly have a 5p, as I was 5p short in order to buy a ticket, seemed to be the equivalent of asking someone in Nottingham to give me £10. I mean, come on it's only 5p for God's sake! The shops were also jolly nice, although the location of a Louis Vuitton near a Dorothy Perkins, seemed a little bizarre!
The road show started in the Malmaison Hotel, complete with a glass of champagne, which unfortunately I could only gaze at lovingly. There was about 40 people squeezed into a smallish room, which was scary, especially if you saw the person that I was sat next to. What was also scary was the fact that writing is such an isolated activity that you somehow forget that so many other people are also trying to get published as well and there in very close proximity were at least another 40 people chasing my dream.
The next hour was spent in the company of Carla Bevan, Claire Boyd and the lovely Katy Regan author of 'One Thing Led To Another', discussing different aspects of the writing process. It seemed quite weird, as I sat there, knowing that after attending so many of these events, I was actually one step nearer to getting published - the nearest I had ever been. The only down side of the night was the fact that Katy's Agent was a no show. Securing an Agent is my next step, so I was looking forward to gaining some much required knowledge on that process.
All in all, an enjoyable evening, one which left me feeling motivated and thinking, wouldn't it be fantastic if I could gain a publishing deal this year and cross another task off my list?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Library Part Two

After spending yesterday in a chocolate infused state, my trip to the library today consisting of me getting into the building and out again as quickly as possible, due to a bout of crippling stomach cramps. I hate being a woman, especially when it ruins those wonderful childhood memories that had come to the fore front, after yesterday's post.
I'm now sat with four more books off the BBC Top 100 list; David Copperfield, One Hundred Year's Of Solitude, The Pillars Of The Earth and a German version of A Prayer For Owen Meany. I have no idea why I ordered this. I don't speak German and have no intention of learning. I know I wanted to try and read different versions of the books that I had on list, but I would still prefer them being in English. Perhaps someone is trying to tell me to abandon my French and attempt German? I have no idea.
So technically I have three more books to take off my list, all of which are quite weighty in text. It may take me a little while to get through these. No time like the present, I guess, to start...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Confession

I came home tonight to find an answer machine message from the library, telling me that my books that I ordered are now in stock. I got excited. Quite excited in fact. I have no excuse other than it's been a very quiet week and anything book related tends to make me very happy.
I can still remember the day my Mum joined me to the local library. I thought all my Christmases and Birthdays had come at once. I suddenly had access to hundreds and hundreds of books, instead of begging and pleading with my Mum that yes I had been good that week and that buying the next Roald Dahl book/Famous Five book would indeed make me very happy.
I spent endless summers biking to the library to get my next batch of books, sometimes I would go first thing in the morning and then revisit at night, having sat all day long reading. The freedom of youth and all that.
Of course as I got older, the visits wained and as I began to work, I bought my own books as apposed to borrowing them and very rarely stepped foot into any library, which is where my list comes in. Purchasing 100 books seemed a massive financial commitment, in order to complete the BBC Top 100 list, so I decided to go back to my old haunt.
So when I go to collect my books, I'll open the door and smell that old familiar smell and feel happy and safe and all those wonderful childhood memories will come flooding back. My list is a wonderful thing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's Been A Long Time!

Hi! I know, I know it's been a while, two weeks in fact! The truth is I didn't think I had anything list related to say at the time, but looking back, perhaps I was mistaken. Updated tasks as follows:-
The Novel
Well this has had more editing than I care to disclose, but just as I've got it finally to a point where I feel it's ready to be sent out, I gave a copy to Mr M to read and he's come back with some further amendments. Nothing too drastic, so I just need to whip my ass into gear and get a synopsis together and then I can send it out. I'm planning, at this moment in time, to go to a Marie Claire event in Leeds this coming Wednesday, where an Agent will be present, so no better time than the present to start the process and crossing everything in sight!
Learning A Foreign Language
Any car journeys (and there has been a few at late) and I'm quite good at taking my i-pod and listing to my French phrase book. Two problems with this 1) My pronunciation is crap and 2) As soon as I say the token phrase I've forgotten it - I think I need to also look at something visually - I suppose this has been quite useful in discovering how I learn new things and also discovering what a prat I must look to other drivers as I randomly spurt out token French phrases.
BBC Radio Nottingham
I was booked in for another paper review last Wednesday and also booked in for a further one on the 3rd of September. Unfortunately it was the same day that the news broke of Sven coming to Notts County, so I had a very quick few minutes to update on tasks completed and run through the papers. Pretty chuffed that they keep asking me back though.
So that's what I've been getting up to, since I last updated yourselves, oh and a little matter of me and Mr M finally, finally getting the house sorted to put on the market and move out of our inner city dwelling (rumours that Sven is purchasing our property so he can 'hang with the kids' is completely unfounded at this present moment in time). We should be ready to market in approx 1 month's time, so looking forward to that, but not looking forward to the hoards of strange people trampling through our house.

I promise it won't be so long next time...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I don't Speak French

This week I spent 4 hours during 1 day travelling on the M1. When I got home, I could have kicked myself for wasting that amount of time. The next day I was prepared. My I-Pod travelled with me, complete with my French phrase book. Cue some very strange looks from people as I busily recite my French words out loud, but I don't care, at least I'm not spending 4 hours watching the traffic.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Week V My List

Well it's been a funny old week. Further announcements at work made for a very unsettling time, then I found out one of my friends was being made redundant for the second time in six months, so it brought it all in to context and I stopped feeling sorry for myself, well for a while any way!
My list as always has proved my saviour and has dragged me back into feeling motivated and just getting through the week. I loaded my French phrase book onto my ipod, which has brought me moments of laughter; there I am listening to dance music, when the next thing some random guy is telling me how to get to the train station.
Although I managed a smidgen of editing on my novel on Monday pm, before I hit the UK premiere of Coco Avant Chanel, the weather has been way too humid to even consider doing anything when I arrive home, after battling through the rush hour traffic in Nottingham. My novel is nearly there, but I'm just not happy with the last couple of chapters.
I managed to go to a few more events at the Broadway Literature and Media festival in Nottingham. One of which was a BBC Writers Room event. I still don't think I want to work in TV and that writing novels is the avenue I wish to choose. However, writing is writing at the end of the day, so I'm always game to listen to any advice that people wish to dish out, especially when it's free!
Then I had an email from BBC Radio Nottingham and I'm due for another appearance on 22nd July - doing the paper review once more.
Not a bad old week really!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Update

So I'm at that crossroads again. Just completed another task off my list and not sure which one to focus on next. Looking at my list, there are certain ones that won't be feasible this year for obvious reasons and there are a few which I hope to complete. I'm determined to complete the BBC reads one, as I can then have the freedom of choosing a book to read instead of from a list and I'm currently enjoying 'Gone With The Wind', but what next? Well I figured that some of the other tasks may not be done over night, so I'm currently loading French phrases into my ipod, have started on my script for Dr Who and have a new idea for my directing a video to go onto You Tube, that's better than the last one I had involving sock puppets (no, don't even go there!)
So even though I don't update this blog as often as I should (looks guilty) I am actually doing loads behind the scenes to try and complete more of my tasks, honest! I'll update you more pretty soon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

14) Go To Wimbledon

From a young age, I can always remember watching the Wimbledon championships. I remember adoring Bjorn Borg and then falling in love with the likes of Pat Cash and Andre Agassi. I haven't followed tennis all that closely for a few years, but one place I always wanted to go was the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

After applying to join the lottery, for tickets for the second year, luck was on my side, as I was granted two centre court tickets for the fourth day of play - now to get down there! If I was organised then I would have booked the train tickets weeks ago, but we will not go there and suffice to say they were booked by phone the day before and cost me just a tad more than the tickets to centre court did!
We left Nottingham on a dull and cool day, wondering if we were appropriately dressed as we drove to the tram stop, caught the tram into Nottingham train station and then caught the train to St Pancras. From there, we caught the tube to Earls Court and then changed to the Overground to Wimbledon Station. Only problem was when we hit Southfields (which was very nicely decked out like a tennis court) everyone and I mean everyone got off! So like sheep, we followed them and it seemed this was the station that you had to disembark to reach the tennis centre.
We then chose the walking route instead of taxi/bus, thinking that we at least could see some of Wimbledon. It was great! Yes you had to put up with people dragging their feet and getting in your way, but every few yards, you were given free stuff - mostly drinks, but you got the odd toy as well (a rather nice mars bouncy ball I was going to give to Mr M's nephew).
After about 10/15 mins when we reached the tennis centre, I was pleasantly surprised that the queues were not longer. We first had to present our tickets and then have our bags searched. Unfortunately I lost the Mars bouncy ball, as it wasn't an official sponsor of Wimbledon and the woman beside me lost her free drinks (Ribena) for the same reason (should have drunk them like me and Mr M did!)
Then we were in and boy was it hot! I mean seriously hot. We grabbed some food from the nearest vendor and sat on Henman Hill next to the big screen, but I could hardly eat it. We had some strawberries and cream between us, but I barely touched them. Being naturally fair, I don't cope well with such intense heat. We managed to have a steady walk round and visited the shop etc and then desperate for some shade we went into centre court and found our seats. Thankfully we were 4 rows from the top, so we were in shade. If we had been on the front, then I wouldn't have coped.
Then all too soon the players were on. First match was Lleyton Hewitt v Juan Martin Del Potro. Lleyton came exclusively with his own fan club, a rowdy bunch of Aussies dressed in yellow that kept us entertained through the match. It was fantastic to watch the velocity of the serves (one registered at 134mph) but on the other hand it was a tad weird. It felt like you were sitting in a library at times, as everyone is so silent when the match is in play. Then when the games ended, it felt like everyone was at a party and you weren't invited. People seemed to know when they could get up and wander round etc.
I think Lleyton is my new Agassi. He showed passion and commitment in wanting to win - poor Del Boy (as the crowd nicknamed him!) didn't stand a chance!
At the end of the match, I was seriously flagging and needed fuel! After we eventually got out of centre court, we headed for the food halls and boy was I hungry. One very nice pizza slice later with choc fudge cake for afterwards and I could feel my tanks refuelling and I was ready to go. We went back in to watch the next match (Caroline Wozniack v Maria Kirilenko) and found that they were already on the second set (I knew we went to get some food but I didn't think it had been that long!). It was interesting to compare the women's game against the men's. The average speed of the serve was 94mph. The women's game has improved over the years, but it's still slower compared to the men's.
Then it was the big one - Andy Murray v Ernests Gulbis. Now we had to leave at 6pm come what may to catch the train back to Nottingham, so we didn't think we would have chance to see him at all. We actually managed to see the first set and have to say, I found him an incredibly boring player. Yes he appears driven and focused, but he lacks any personality.
Then we were done! We scanned our tickets at the gate (they then get resold and the money raised goes to charity) and we started our mammoth journey to get back home. Still picking freebies on the way back to the tube station (more Ribena!)
I was really pleased that I'd gone, but I think the crowds and the heat would prevent me from visiting again. If it had just been a tad cooler than I would have been happier!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Race For Life


Well I managed it!


Thanks to everyone for sponsoring me!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blog Of The Week: 40 x 40

I'm not sure who started theirs first, but I came across this blog when the author contacted me. Willy The Prince (the author) is a younger, American version of myself and has the advantage of a few more years than I, to complete her list. I find her list uncannily similar to mine, both in the kind of tasks listed and the fact that it's such a diverse mixture of tasks. From taking a charity vacation to dying her hair red, WTP enters each task with enthusiasm and determination. I especially like the fact that I have someone to 'champion' me now. Whenever WTP completes a task off her list, it has the knock on effect of motivating me into completing one as well, so I have a lot to thank her for.
I also love the fact that by looking at lists such as the 40 things one, it gives you an insight into the personality of the author and I'm kicking myself to not including some of WTP's tasks on my own list (although her scanning old photos has inspired me to begin scanning all my family photos). All in all, whenever a new post pops up in my google reader, I look forward to reading about her adventures and I hope you will too!

http://40thingsby40.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mini Update

So I have the six or so tasks in mind that I need to do this year and I'm getting organised. Library books have been ordered off the BBC list, Wimbledon tickets have been received and I've even begun to write my Dr Who script. My book as those of you who read my blog regularly will know, has been written. However, I have decided to take one final look at it before it gets sent off. I've also decided to do more 'writer' orientated things this year, so if you're going to the Lowdham book festival you may see me there or the Marie Claire 'How to get published' roadshow in Leeds, then you may see me there too!
Wimbledon is in two weeks time, so I'm getting super excited about that, especially now I know that it can't be cancelled on Centre Court. So come what may, I will be there, eating my strawberries and cream and sipping my Pimms. It's not a bad old life really, is it?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time

Oh dear, has it really been nearly a week since I last posted anything? I really don't know where time goes at the moment. Work is so hectic, I've been busy flying around trying to get all the presents I need for the many birthdays that are coming up this month and have just come back from a couple of days in Buxton. Not that I've not been thinking about my blog, or becoming strangely motivated in order to complete other tasks, you understand. I say strangely, because for one reason or another, I don't feel I've been as focused as I could have been this year and my list hasn't been as high on my list of priorities as it should have been. So I've made myself a mini challenge - I want to reach at least 20 completed tasks off my list at the end of this year, so that means I have to complete another 6 before the end of December.
A rough guesstimate of what they will be:-
1) Go to Wimbledon
2) Write a Dr Who script
3) Read all of the BBC Top 100 books
4) Direct a video to go on to You Tube
5) Learn to play Chess
6) Go Surfing
I will, as always, stay open minded about what I complete, as I may have the opportunity to complete other tasks in the next six months, that don't feature on the above list - I just need to complete six!
So, I guess there is no time like the present to start.....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blog Of The Week: Dave Gorman

My token 'celeb' blog that I follow. I first came across this guy via Flickr, the photography website. I had seen Dave, a couple of times on the TV, so I knew roughly what he did (mostly stand up), loved his photos and was intrigued to find out more. I was amazed to find out that this guy thrived on a challenge, whether it be to find people with the same name or travelling across America without using any named facilities. I was hooked.

Then I found the blog and this encapsulated the comedic values, the photography and the story behind the challenges. There are very few people that can write good humour, but this blog constantly keeps me entertained with his witticisms and his observations on every day life. Who in fact could make me laugh by posting a photo of a set of keys and simply calling it 'Some keys re-enacting an alien autopsy'
A well deserved blog of the week - read it here http://gormano.blogspot.com/.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What I Received In The Post Today

I was a little worried. Third week of May they said that I would receive them. They came today on the fourth week of May. Not in a 'sign for me' envelope, but in an ordinary plain white envelope, that you could have quite happily thought was junk mail, but inside was something very special.
I felt like Charlie Bucket when I carefully slit open the envelope, half expecting a gold ticket to pop out. Instead I had two tickets for the Centre Court at Wimbledon. That will do nicely!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BBC Top 100 Reads Part 7?

I haven't blogged any reviews on the books that I've read for ages. Infact I've gone off the boil for a while on this task and have opted to choose books to read from my tbr pile, than off this list. However, I am determined to try and get this one completed this year - only another 31 books to go!
Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer - I read the graphic novel version of this and a very strange experience it was too. The story of a criminal mastermind boy and his adventures was enough to carry me through to the end, but I think I'll stick with proper books in the future.
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - was really disappointed with this. It's one of those books that is billed as the great American novel, but the background setting of life in the second world war and the rather strange characters wouldn't encourage me to read this again.
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks - In contrast to Catch 22, I loved this story of love lost within the back drop of World War 1.
Girls In Love - Jacqueline Wilson -I think this woman is magical and just wish she'd been around when I was younger. This book designed for older readers, tells the tale of a group of friends, all with typical teenage problems.
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck - I found this and The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists - Robert Tressell both quite disturbing in the fact that both deal with people struggle to cope in an economic climate where only the wealthy survive. Perhaps too much rang true to the society that we live in at the moment.
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - I'm not a big fan of Dickens and think his potrayal of Victorian life, is often too dreary for words. However, if you skip between the over indulgence, this is a truly wonderful story.
I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith - This is one of the few books, where I prefer the film version. Again this was one that I was quite disappointed in, I expected it to be so much better.
Of Mice And Men - John Steinbeck - I adore this book and have read it a few times and seen it numerous times on stage. The tale of two men trying to find their place in the world rings true and is so reminiscent of The Catcher In The Rye.
The Secret History - Donna Tartt - Another book that seems to be on everyone's list and I was quite surprised that I actually liked this one! Very reminiscent of 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' but without the fish hook!
The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher - Wonderful tale of one family and how you don't necessarily need to like someone even though you are related.
Vicky Angel - Jacqueline Wilson - Another wonderful tale that deals with friendship and breavement all in one book!
Winnie The Pooh - A A Milne - One of my all time favourite childrens books. Who could fail to love the tales of the bear with no brain and his amazing friends?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blog Of The Week: Holly Is Stopping Shopping

I have a habit of lurking on some blogs. A terrible habit I know and something that I am trying to rectify. However, one such blog, that I have lurked on for quite a while is this one http://hollyisstoppingshopping.blogspot.com/. Like most normal girls I adore shopping. Granted since I've had my own house, I haven't been able to indulge in it as much as I would have liked, but I still probably spend far too much on stuff that I don't really need. Holly was someone, who blew her wages within a matter of days on handbags, shoes, you name it, she bought it! Deciding that she really need to gain some control over this, she devised the idea of going 'cold turkey' for a year and stopped shopping. Guidelines were set in what she could and could not spend her money on i.e. food, bus fares etc and she even devised 'no spend days' where she couldn't spend money on anything. In the year that she ran this experiment, Holly managed to clear £700 off her credit cards, a £750 overdraft and put more than £5000 in savings, all because she stopped shopping. Along the way, Holly also gave us tips on what accounts were best to save your money in and how to make money from your unwanted items.
Holly's year has now ended and her new blog is at http://shopaholly.wordpress.com/. Although Holly has begun to shop once more, she's hoping to use the lessons learnt in the last year and continue to save more than she spends!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

6) Go In A Hot Balloon

I was a little concerned about doing this task, it has to be said. On the day, I would have been more than happy if it had been cancelled once more (this was originally booked for last year) and when I found out it was actually on, my heart was in my mouth.

However I turned up at 6pm at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, along with another 12 people, not quite sure how I was going to cope with doing this task, but with the attitude, well I'm here now, I might as well deal with it!


The whole preparation of getting the balloon ready for take off is quite laborious. The crew ask for volunteers and everyone dives in to help unfold the balloon ready for it to be filled. Did you know the balloon is first filled with cold air? No, neither did I. I didn't realise I had to jump in the basket and hang upside down either, whilst the balloon was filled and then the burner is switched on.


We had three attempts of trying to prepare the balloon to take off, because of the high winds, but thanks to an excellent Pilot and crew who refused to give in, we eventually went up around 7:45pm. The experience was amazing! The ride is so smooth, you barely feel you are moving and the air is so still and calm, it feels like paradise! The views of the city are unreal. The castle looks incredibly small from the air, as does Wollaton Hall and the formations of the houses, makes it feel like you are looking down on a model village and I was okay the whole journey. I didn't particularly like looking straight down from the basket, but I was okay looking across and the fact that Mr M couldn't stop smiling the whole time we were up there, was more than enough to keep my mind off things.
We eventually came down in Thurgaton, near Southwell in Nottingham, just past all the mansions with the swimming pools and tennis courts, in a seemingly smooth landing. Altogether we travelled 18 miles and ended a perfect night with a glass of champagne. This was a fantastic and brilliant experience and one I hope to do again some day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So in between sipping champagne (it is our wedding anniversary!) and scoffing Planets/M&M's on the sofa, the conversation went something like this...
Mr M - Can you remember when I went on the Skywalk over The Grand Canyon and freaked out?
Me - You're not going to do that on Friday, when we do the balloon trip are you?
Mr M - No, don't worry, I'll be fine!
Famous last words??

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stop Press: Wimbledon

Fresh from the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7907707.stm It now appears that rain will not stop play at Centre Court, Wimbledon, due to the retractable roof, as road tested at today's match. So that means that the weather should not prevent me from completing another task off my list - yipee!
Note to Graham, please do not let this put off from doing your sun dance - I look forward to seeing the pictures on Flickr

Blog Of The Week: One Man's Travels

I first came across this blog, when I was 'linked' to it via the blog directory, blog catalog. I wasn't sure why, other than the fact, that it was deemed as a similar blog to mine, but I'm glad it did! Like myself, the author of this blog, Graham, decided one day to do something with his life, but instead of a list, Graham decided to explore the world.
One of the things that encourages me to continue reading a blog is inspiration. Reading Graham's adventures inspires me to begin my own. His blog skillfully guides us through his many adventures and his every day passions. From the Amazon rain forest to the Sinai desert, Graham's breathtaking photography and vivid text, make me envious of his travels and of his thirst for life.
When he's not travelling, Graham entices us to share his love of the outdoors, cooking and photography, with a monthly photography competition to encourage readers to share their interpretations of a chosen theme.
I doubt that you would ever become bored from reading this blog, there are so many points of interest that would appeal to everyone. Graham's next adventure is NYC, so be sure to drop by to read all about that, pretty soon!

Up, Up And Away!

I thought I would sneak a little post in, before I did my Blog Of The Week. Next Friday is my hot air balloon ride (hopefully!). Unfortunately when you book these things, you are very much governed by the weather, hence the fact that this was booked last year and then subsequently cancelled. It's one of those 'tasks' that present a challenge to me. I'm not overly scared of heights, unless I don't feel safe, so I'm not sure how I'm going to cope in a little basket, above the skyline of Nottingham. Mr M is also coming with me, as it was a birthday present for him originally (just happened to tie in nicely with one of my tasks as well!), so I'm hoping that he doesn't freak out, 'cos then I will freak out and the whole basket could freak out....! Anyway, wish me luck and I will bore you senseless with it, next week (if the weather lets us!).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blog Of The Week: In Search Of Adam

I can't quite remember what came first; stumbling across Caroline Smailes' blog or reading an article in one of the woman's magazines on how she became a writer. All I know is when I read her first book 'In Search Of Adam', I was hooked. http://insearchofadam.blogspot.com/

There are very few funny people in this society, even fewer that can translate that humour into the written word, but Caroline's blog is so full of humorous anecdotes on her life as a writer, that I regularly laugh out loud. Caroline paints a very honest portrayal of how immensely hard it is to gain recognition as a writer in this celebrity infused world. Gone are the days of the huge advances on a book deal, unless you are the latest reality show star, but Caroline's determination to succeed and be heard, inspires a whole new breed of wannabe writers, including myself.

I have a lot to thank this lady for. Mainly the fact that I'm sat here with my first finished manuscript and about to start work on my second, something that I had only dreamed about, until I started to read her blog on a regular basis and her motivation and desire to write began to rub off.
So if you haven't done so already, then please visit Caroline Smailes' blog http://insearchofadam.blogspot.com/ and immerse yourself in the every day life of a writer. You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An Update

I've been out and about this week, catching up with friends, watching Wolverine at the flicks, so not had much chance to look at my list. However, I thought I'd update you on my next tasks coming up.
May - Balloon ride - if all goes to plan - last one was cancelled, due to bad weather.
June - Wimbledon - hubbie has agreed to come with me and we have centre court tickets for the first week of the championships
Which leaves a gaping hole really for me to begin a new task. Realistically, I can't see me doing what I wanted to achieve this year, due to financial restraints. However, I'm committed to completing all the tasks that are relatively cost free, which means learning Chess/learning a new language amongst other things and of course there's the book, but I feel I've been harping on about that too much just lately, so I promise I will get another new task in my sights pretty soon!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Race For Life

When I first started this list, I had an inkling that there may be one or two tasks that I would repeat more than once. This year's repeat performance is a slight adaption on the charity fund raising task. I will be doing the Race For Life on 21st June at 11am, over at the Victoria Embankment in Nottingham. For those of you that live locally, please come along and support this worthwhile event - all money raised is for Cancer Research UK and for those of you that would kindly like to sponsor me - just click on the 'Just Giving' link on the right hand side of this blog.
Thanking you all, in anticipation of your support!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Synopsis Saga

You would think logically, that the hardest part of actually preparing a novel for submission, is the actual writing of the novel itself, wouldn't you? I've managed to write a novel of just under 80,000 words, yet why am I struggling to grasp the concept of writing a synopsis, to prepare to market my book to an Agent? I've so far managed two sentances - hardly going to set an Agent's world alive with that, am I?
My brain states that logically I should bullet point the entire novel/characters and hopefully turn it, into something resembling a synopsis. If all else fails, then I may be visiting this lady http://www.bubblecow.co.uk/

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Radio Nottingham Take 7

Well, my Radio Nottingham appearance came and went, fairly quickly. It was another short and sweet appearance, but this time I managed to talk about my blog and also about my book, as well as the various news stories that I had picked out to discuss. If I can work out how to extract the recording off the BBC Website, then I will add it to the others.
It's quite handy to do my appearances first thing, as I'm done and dusted by 8:30am, which gives me chance to get into work for 9am and then I don't have to ask for time off, which is always a good thing, in the current state of play.
Thank you for all your recent comments about the OU courses. I've suddenly developed a whole new understanding about the OU over night and will endeavour to find out more about the courses, but it won't be tonight.... Tonight is date night, so I've got pizza and a movie waiting for me. If you're lucky, I might just save you a piece...!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bonjour

Still looking on line for French courses. The OC course that came recommended is a non starter at £430 (was thinking more about £40!).
Also currently writing my synopsis. I never realised there were different ways to write this, so I'm hoping I choose the right option! Had a look at Agents in my Writers & Artists Yearbook and have circled the chosen few. Question; is it wrong to want someone to act as your agent, just because you like the sound of their name?!
Don't forget I'm on Radio Nottingham tomorrow at around 8:15am. Will attempt to sound bright and cheery, but probably will be feeling tired and cranky, due to the fact that I won't have had my breakfast beforehand.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thanks

I took some advice yesterday and I'm currently looking on line for beginners French classes. There seems to be quite a lot of French tutors around, which offer one on one coaching but at £40 an hour, I don't think I will be exploring that route!
I also finished the second edit on my book today and my next step will be to surf the net for advice on a synopsis. Just when you think you have finished with everything, there's a whole new list of items you have to complete, before sending anything through to an Agent!
Did I mention anywhere that my novel has a back story of football? It now seems that, that particular theme is following me around at the moment. On Wednesday I went to see The Damned United and tonight there's a programme about George Best, both of which cover the aspect and times that I'm trying to emulate in my novel. I'm also starting to read a lot more information/articles on the whole writing process. Funny how some things just seem to take over your life.