Wednesday 29 January 2014

Do what you love?

It's still January - just - so there is plenty of advice still knocking around about sticking to your New Year resolutions. And heaps of uplifting encouragement about work/life balance and doing what you love. I'm lucky, I have the choice of how I spend my time - mostly. Even so, the kitchen floor does not wash itself, the rubbish won't bag itself into Recycling and Other and the refrigerator persists in becoming empty and requiring refilling, particularly when I have been at home, working and eating things. 

Time to sit in the garden
 would be nice too
but not in this weather.

All this excitement aside, I have a different problem -I think it might be classed as a life/life one. How do you balance doing two things you love? Six months before I was offered my first book contract I had one of those now or never moments and signed on to study for my PhD - something that had been on the Bucket List, for decades. It's hard work, but I love it. Then, of course, my writing career finally happened and now I am a published author. And that's the balance. I have research and all that entails for my studies, but I also have all these stories buzzing around in my head. In my head is fine, but getting them out, writing them down, going through the process of edits and publication. Hah!

But I really love them both. So - I have to find a way of making time to do both. I'm working on it. I know what I need. I need a plan ...

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Not quite blue ...

Actually I seem to have two moons here. I blame the camera. 

Apparently a blue moon is when there are two full moons in a month. It's not supposed to happen often, hence the expression 'Once in a blue moon.' January 2014 doesn't have a blue moon, but it does have two new moons.

 (I think March does too.)

The new moon is supposed to be a good time to make a start on things. So we get two chances to start over for the opening of 2014.

If you look closely, you might just spot the evening star.

I'm making a note of the stars, seasons and traditional festivals at the moment for a work that is not yet in progress but is hanging about in  my brain and generally making a nuisance of itself. I'm also making notes on the weather, and there is certainly a bit of that about lately. Part of the 'research' is taking pictures, so I'll remember what the moon, stars and sky looked like.

Today I thought I'd share a couple.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Drive my car?

I don't drive. I know how to drive. I've had lessons, just never passed my test. As I am ludicrously short sighted, this may be A Good Thing. Writing books, as I do, my characters occasionally need to use an automobile to make a journey from A to B. I know enough to get them there and I understand that a sat nav is now involved, rather than an old style map, and my delightful editors help out if the need arises. But don't ask me anything more about what my characters might be driving. It's got five wheels and it makes a noise. What more do I need to know?

Except ... for the WIP I decided that as the hero is seriously rich, he ought to have a Posh Car. Of course I've looked on the Internet for a few ideas. (What would we do without  it?)

But then I got to thinking - do I really need to see them in the flesh, as it were? So next I looked up local luxury car dealers.  I think a field trip is in the offing. Be afraid,  dear dealers, be very afraid. A writer of romantic suspense is about to descend on you.

I hope not to be apprehended as a suspicious character, hanging around luxury car dealerships in the Cardiff area. But if I am, all of you can vouch for me.

You know what to say.

It's research.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

And now it's 2014.

I'm not actually sure where parts of 2013 went. Some of it was a bit of a blur. Yes - I can hear you sniggering, but that's not down to alcohol, or any other interesting substances - just life stuff.  And here we are, with a new calendar and all. Plus some glossy new hopes and good intentions for the brand new year. Yes, well, maybe.

Do I really need to tidy this one?
New Year is the traditional time for resolutions. You know the drill - more exercise, healthy eating, more sleep, three new novels with the publishers. Well, your list possibly doesn't have the novels in it, but you get the idea. And so many of them broken by January 31st ...

I've been down that road so many times I don't do resolutions any more. But I am planning, very quietly, throughout January, to try and make 'A Plan'. This will involve mostly the way I use my time. I hope those novels will be in it, but I can't be sure. Life happens, and it doesn't half mess up your schedules. And that way guilt, and madness, lies. But I am going to include some small things that I hope are achievable. Like shredding the junk mail when it comes in, instead of waiting until it's teetering mountain that takes a day and a half to shift. I'd like to include 20 minutes a week to tackle tidying a drawer or a shelf to throw out accumulated junk. Surely 20 minutes a week isn't too much to ask? Hmmm. we shall see.

Here's to The Plan.

And if you have stuck to tradition and made a few resolutions for this year, I wish you every success with them.