Sunday, 31 July 2016

Holiday Reading

I've realised I've fallen behind on my reading target I posted on Goodreads way back in January when I got off to a really good start!!  I thought 40 books would be a doddle.  I LOVE reading but there just isn't as much time these days to curl up with a good book so I am looking forward to my holiday to Portugal coming up soon where I hope to be able to catch up and read about 4 books in a week.
I'm currently reading -
which is certainly rather different!!!  I think Ms Morton might have been sniffing a bit too much catnip but once you've followed her down the rabbit-hole and let go of any pre-conceived notions it's quite entertaining :)
I'm hoping that I'll have finished it before I go away so this is where I thought I could ask around and come up with four good holiday books that are NOT too weighty that I could try to take with me in my suitcase so any comments below with a good book are most welcome :)  Tell me what you're reading at the moment?

Friday, 29 July 2016

Celebrate #20

I've got that Friday feeling so I'm joining in with the gang led by Lexa Cain over at

This week I am celebrating -

Friends Meet Up - a small group of our friends from university try to meet up once a year with our families and catch up on what's been happening in our lives.  Last year, everyone came to us rather than booking a holiday home in Wales (which is what we normally do) and it was very successful so we did the same again this year.
It was lovely to see those that could make it particularly some of the adult children who came along - one of our brood even got married this year!!  How's that for making you feel old???  I also got to try out Pokemon Go with one of the younger ones
- so a lot of fun was had and we were blessed with wonderful weather so we could sit out beneath the stars to eat and drink into the wee small hours :)

Ordering Extra Nordic Poles -yes my project has been so successful in getting more people wanting to try Nordic walking that I realised that next week I will have more people than poles of a certain size so have put through a rush order.
I still need to attract more people from a specific area but as word is getting out others from further afield are willing to travel in to have a go and I don't want to put anyone off.  I attended a meeting this week where I could give some feedback and I have three upcoming new Nordic projects for September so they will come in very useful I'm sure.

New Tenants - our old house which we were unable to sell has had to be rented out and because we initially thought we'd be trying to sell in six months had a low rent put on it (most renters want a longer time scale). However, with one thing and another our tenant has finally moved out 18 months later (end of June) and going back to find that our agents had not made a note of any damage done to the property or had informed us of the state of the bathroom I have been spending a lot of days deep cleaning, and repairing and painting during July. The housing market is still not good so we decided to put up the rent and see if anyone wanted a year and they do and so a new family will be moving in on the 1st of August who seem very nice and now that I've learnt so much about renting out the house hopefully this time it will go a little better and I won't have so much to do at the end of the next rental year!

Lastly -
I did it!!
30, 014 words meant my goal of 30,000 was achieved!  As I've said in previous posts about doing this camp, I've learned so much about trying to write an actual book and honestly I don't now how you writers do it??  I've really accomplished writing 30,000 words down that have shown some semblance towards a common theme but is nowhere near an actual story someone could pick up and read - it's all over the place.  I am now toying with the idea that I could use what I have written and the intervening months before November to do the research and think of how it will all fit together to then be in with a shout for entering for the real NaNoWriMo in November but I don't know whether this is allowed or does it all have to be a new writing project?  If anyone knows I'd love you to leave a comment about it :)

Now I'm off to read what others have written.  Here's to everyone having a lovely and restful weekend :)

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo Update

Well I've been doggedly continuing my labours here at
and I'm pleased to say that I am still on track for finishing my 30,000 words this week but boy is it getting harder!  How on earth do you do this time and time again all of you novel writers out there? My story has been bouncing all over the place and I can see now the holes appearing that will need to be filled.  I have not written to a fixed time-line so that would need to be fitted into place and the various "chapters" put in order.  I also need time to re-read and fill out certain sections and at this moment in time I don't have that luxury either so my writing is certainly haphazard and not at all how I imagine true authors do it.  But this is all part of my learning process and if I hadn't joined the camp and set this word goal I certainly wouldn't have experienced these problems and realisations so I'm once again so glad I did.

Now its your turn to tell me about anything you've done that made you realise something totally new - it could have happened in your work or through your hobbies so leave me a comment below you know I'd love to know :)

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Weight Loss Wed #21

Well I thought about crying off this week and then I thought - No this is a journey and all journeys have their ups and downs and frequent rest stops!  And I think that's what I've come to at the moment - a bit of a rest stop.  I don't seem to be motivated enough to be sticking to sensible eating - maybe it's the heat, maybe it's because I keep not feeling so well, maybe because there's a lot of everything else going on at the moment so I don't feel that focused?  Whatever it is, until I engage my brain in to making those sensible choices again with my eating habits, I know my weight isn't going to be going down.  The Nordic walking is still toning me and once again I received some really nice comments about my changing body shape this week so I am happy about that aspect.  Due to the heat, I am drinking more water so hopefully this will get me back into this good habit for this coming week.

Here's to everyone else who is currently trying to lose weight - hope your week has been more successful than mine and here's to me finding my mojo in the coming weeks and continuing on with the trek :)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Celebrate #19

Yet again better late than never so I'm joining in with Lexa Cain and the crew over at

This week there were some wonderful things to celebrate such as -

1 - Surprise visit from our DD back for her birthday - stayed a couple of nights so we could actually go out and celebrate in style it TGI Fridays - it's been so long since we went there.  This used to be where we went for special treats when the children were young.  I like it because it does cocktails - so not designated driver on this trip out!!!

photo - TGI Fridays

2 - Found two replacement buttons for my husband's suit (sifting through a charity shop tin full!) - this is so much harder than it sounds - so many almost but not quite right ones found that you have to put to one side not to keep picking them up time and time again!!!!  Suit now back in action and much money saved not having to buy a new one :)

3 - LOADS of DIY done this week - I have worked like a trooper on our old house as tenants have moved out along with all furniture and boy does it make your house look kind of scratty - you see every blemish - so lots of scrubbing clean and painting has taken place with holes filled in walls, lining paper replaced where necessary, gluing and hammering all over the place.  So much better now and new prospective tenants looking round this week.

4 - Have managed to keep to my daily word goal for my
project throughout this week without resorting to research notes as fillers which I am really pleased with having been away so much.

5 - this week I posted my 100th blog post of the year - yipee I am certainly on target to surpass 2015 and 2014 on my blog post yearly totals!!

Now to go see what everyone else has been up to :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Weight Loss Wednesday #20

That was the week that was!  

Surprise visits led to eating out, party cake, more bad food and simply put I don't actually want to get on those scales and neither do I want to share a food diary this week.  I know I am back over that stone marker and all that I can do now is to draw a line under last week and move forward and work on eating more salads and cutting out the sugar and fat!

I hope everyone else who is trying to lose weight out there has had a much better week than I but then again I have only myself to blame and I am the one who can turn it around - so here's to me doing just that!!

Joining in with

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

New Cabin Mates

I'm still going strong over at -

my word average per day (considering I didn't start on the 1st of July) is still just over 1000 words per day - although I do realise that this might be MUCH harder to achieve as the days go by and I run out of my immediate story/plot lines.  However, I decided to bite the bullet and be re-assigned to a new cabin as many of my original cabin mates had a word goal of 50,000 but very few seemed to have written anything at all up to now so it was a bit lonely being the only one to be posting a word total each day. I decided rather than ask to be assigned to another totally random cabin I would ask to bunk in with those with similar word goals and today I got my new cabin mates and they seem to be much more committed to their writing.  They have also been using the message board facility so I might introduce myself later on today once I've written my daily goal of 1000 words.  It would be nice to read on my stats page that my finishing date would be 31st July - at the moment it reads 2nd August so I am in with a chance.

I am happy to report that I am still enjoying my writing experience and would still recommend it to anyone who wants to unleash their creativity.  I have no idea how successful this method is for "actual" writers.  My research is scanty, I am writing bits of the story all over the place - certainly NOT in chapter order and I have no overall plan and my only goal is to put words down on the page and I'm NOT editing as I go although any glaring errors I notice I do a quick rewrite.  However, the way my characters are forming before my very eyes and I am realising I need to explain how this happened or set the stage for something that will happen is all lovely to experience and I am beginning to understand some of what other true writers mean when they talk about their work.  So all in all it is a good learning experience for me :)

Now I'm off to finish writing my 1000 + words for today (I'm SO BUSY) over Thursday & Friday as well as being away from home this weekend that I'm not too sure whether I'll be able to write much of anything from Wednesday on-wards so I need to get a little ahead of myself or I'll have to "fluff out" my word count with pages of my research notes (that stand at about 2000 words) rather than my actual story!

I'd love to know if anyone else is currently engaged in a project - could be gardening or doing up the house and how that's coming along during this July?  So drop me a comment below :)

Sunday, 10 July 2016

New Era ?

A lovely surprise as our DD announced she would be coming to see us on her birthday.  A quick dash to M&S (luckily they stay open to 5 p.m. on a Sunday) for the cake and candles but as you can see in this photo -
those candles proclaim that now we have to say that we have two children both in their twenties!!! This ushers in a new era for us and to be honest made us feel really quite OLD!!!

Anyway to brighten the situation I had previously bought a sparkler candle which as you can see in this photo -
shot into life and this assured us, as it almost set the room alight, that we might be old but we certainly haven't got any wiser!  "Thank goodness you didn't make me stand behind the cake for the photo," was what our beloved DD had to say about the situation :)

Did you get any sudden bursts of excitement in your life this weekend?  Has anything happened recently that made you feel - how have I got to THIS age?? Are you expecting a visit from family members soon? You know I'd love to know :)

Friday, 8 July 2016

Celebrate #18

Friday has rolled around again so it's time to -
This is a super linky party where you can look back on your week and think about those special moments (we all have something to be grateful for however small - or take the opportunity to really shout about something wonderful that has happened in your life this week) - so why not head over to Lexa Cain's blog and join in?  Just click on the button above.

This week I am celebrating having the good fortune to take part not only in a jewellery workshop but also in one on glass fusing, both organised by the Keep Fit group I attend as part of their birthday bash celebrations.  It was lovely being able to lose myself in creativity as well as be surrounded by great people you can have a good laugh with.  Never having done glass fusing before was a real treat and certainly something I'd like to be doing again - maybe have a workshop organised as part of my birthday treat this year???  When I get my piece back I'll post a photo!  It was also nice to be told by others that the reason they'd decided to come along was because I'd persuaded them with my upbeat talks on how everyone can be creative and it's all about having a go whenever I talk about craft :)  I think this is my primary school teacher coming out again - I believe everyone should feel good about arts and craft whatever their skill level!!

Two long Nordic walks in the sunshine this week has also put a smile on my face despite the many rain showers we are still having.

Finally - I'm also celebrating achieving my goal of writing 1000 words per day during my first week of Camp NaNoWriMo - this for me is a BIGee and I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  If anyone with any true knowledge of this event wants to give me a few pointers about what I should be actually doing during the month of July leading up to November's event I'd be very grateful for the advice as I'm muddling my way through and I'm not sure if I've signed up for the right things!!

Here's to hoping everyone else had a good week and now I'm off to read what others have been up to.
Have you been making anything this week and how have you spent time in the sun (if you've had any)?  Or are you taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo and how's it going? Leave a comment below because you know I'd love to know :)

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The First Week of Writing

Well I've revised my word goal mainly because I realise there is NO WAY at the present time I will be able to make 50,000 words.  However, I DO stand a slight chance of getting 30,000 words done as prose, notes, ideas etc if I really push myself this month.  That for me would be a remarkable achievement and I would like to be awarded a "winner" badge if I can accomplish this goal.  I also think it will allow me the time to do a little more research which is what I am realising I really need to do as I go along although in no way as much detail as I will have to BEFORE November if I stand a chance of actually writing a decent book that anyone would want to read a draft of.  Therefore if anyone has any good websites relating to alpaca farming (anywhere in the world!!) I'd be delighted to hear and add them to my growing list.
I've been receiving e-mails from the Camp organisers which include a dare of the day which have really helped to make me think of some more interesting twists to my plot and fill in some details I hadn't really thought of before.  I do have to say a big thank you as I would never have kept this up for a week if it hadn't been for these creative people beavering away to help others out there unleash their inner creative!

So far I have written 1000 words a day since I actually started six days ago which I am pretty pleased about and if I continue to do so will ensure I reach my word count so fingers crossed the ideas keep flowing and my characters start leading me through the next three weeks!  I really can't recommend it enough as a way to challenge yourself and have some fun - whatever you feel like writing!

What's the last writing challenge you took part in?  Which writing blogs do you find useful as a writer and why?  You know I'd love to know so leave a comment below!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Weight Loss Wednesday #19

Back for a quick update and posting my food diary as I said I would.
I began it on the first of July so not a full week and with visitors, dinner parties and church fetes thrown into the mix this week I don't think it was as bad as it could have been although it could also be a lot better!!

I certainly need to up my water intake again and eat a decent breakfast to start each day.  My main aim for this week is to do more exercise as the weather has limited this recently.  I have a few longer and more energetic Nordic walks planned so fingers crossed they will be going ahead.

Linkng up with -

What's been working for you this week and what are your goals for July.  Leave me a comment below :)

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Update from Camp

I have been truly amazed at what Camp NaNoWriMo has unlocked in me!

I don't plan anything I write - I just let it flow but in doing so for this project and becoming more focused on the amount of words I am trying for each day (over 1000) I am making jottings and writing bits all over the story and sort of weaving it together like that.  I also like the fact that I am thinking about it as I get on with other things and sorting some of the problems I am encountering in my story without too much angst.  Of course I realise it's going to get much harder to maintain my word production as I run out of the easier parts to write and have to really think more about the plot?? What plot??  But so far I am enjoying writing and having produced just over 3600 words in the last three days and have exceeded my own expectations which is rather nice.

As I said in my last post I have no true idea about what I should actually be doing on this camp - should I be communicating with others in my cabin?  Should I be attending "seminars" about writing plots?  Should I be thinking ahead and planning things in detail rather than trying to write actual chapters (or parts of chapters which is what I am doing)?  In reality if I was truly thinking that I would like to see this as an actual book one day then maybe I would be trying to follow a proper tried and tested process but as I am really experimenting with whether I can come up with a half decent story and write it down then I'm probably doing OK.  I think whatever I do now will be good for if I want to take part in the real event in November and who knows where this writing journey will take me but certainly at the moment I'm having lots of fun.  So for anyone out there who wants to have a go at writing, write a little bit more than they normally would or really push the boat out and publish a brand new novel this year then joining in on the camp might be a really good idea for you too!  So why not give it a go??

If you wrote a book what genre would it be - horror, sci-fi, crime, thriller, romance etc?  What would be the name of your leading character? Where would it be set?

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Postcard from Camp NANOWRIMO

Hello Mother, Hello Father O,
Here I am at Camp NANOWRIMO!
(Doesn't exactly scan but you get the drift, don't you?)

All this happened due to me dropping by Kate Larkindale's blog, Fiction and Film, whilst on my Celebrate Friday blog hop, and seeing her Camp NANOWRIMO side bar button.  I then discovered Camp began that day and is really a place of preparation (kick up the backside!) for those writers who want to start getting ready for the big NANOWRIMO that takes place in November.  Well I think that's what it is - it's all very new to me and as I have not participated in it ever before either in November or these April and July camps so I might be wrong - but that's what I'm using it as!!

Now I am not classing myself as a writer, never having had anything published, but I do want to take part in more cerebral activities and knowing a lot more writers now - want to experience a little more of the writing process which absolutely terrifies as well as amazes me!  So I signed up over the weekend, filled in my bio and a brief description of my novel and have already been put in a cabin and so have started my writing adventure.  My 1,214 words so far is a small step along the path to 50,000 but it is a step and so far I have really enjoyed the writing experience.  Let's see where it will take me?  Although I've signed up for the Camp I haven't signed into the main page because I thought that was only for November but should I be doing that too if I want to be getting badges and official participant sidebar buttons? If anyone out there has done this before and can let me know what I should be doing rather than me just fumbling about please feel free to drop me a comment below :)  

Friday, 1 July 2016

Celebrate #17

Another Friday!

So linking up with the 

crew led by the amazing Lexa Cain again :)

These are the things I am celebrating this week - 

1) A visit from my parents which despite me being ill and in bed for one day of it - they seemed to enjoy very much :)

2)  Feeling MUCH better - headaches and being sick is no picnic!!

3) Having happy texts from my DD who is traveling around Europe at the moment - it's always such a relief to know everything is going well and that they're safe :)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and let me know what you are celebrating or being thankful for this week - you know I'd love to know!