If We Were Having Coffee…


Good afternoon wonderful readers. Now I did quite a chatty blog post yesterday when I talked about NaPoWriMo Day One, but since I’m trying to have a super productive blogging day today and I do love this weekly feature, I see no reason why not to write another one.

So, if we were have coffee tea, I’d let you know that while things are moving on as productively as I like, they are moving!

I’m in the middle of redrafting what was chapter ten and is now chapter sixteen. Most of the redraft so far has been me writing chapters from scratch again, which I find a lot easier than sitting down and going through an older chapter to try and rework it. However, chapter ten has pretty much stayed the same and it would be silly for me to start again from scratch. Instead I’m trying to cut out all the major points that don’t fit with the new draft, bash some order into the chapter and then I’ll go through it start to finish and rework what is left over. That way I’m not bouncing between writing and slicing and finding the paragraph I just added completely changes the way in which the chapter was heading. This chapter will also take me past the 50,000 word mark which is halfway to my target wordcount for the novel but if I’m honest I might go above that if the first 50,000 words are anything to go on. I’m still not 100% sure where I want to end the book. I know it’s going to be one of a series so I’ve got some flexibility in it but I don’t want to leave things too incomplete, but I also don’t want to make it too long. For those of you wondering how long 50,000 words is in pages, it’s about 140 A4 pages double spaced. I always print double spaced because it makes editing easier in the long run.

This week I have also managed to get some more studying done. I’m working my way through module two of my AAT Accounting Technicians course. I did want to spend most of today on it as well but instead I ended up blogging and reading. I don’t want to call today a wasted day because it wasn’t, but I certainly don’t feel like it was as productive as it should have been.

I am also now the proud owner of two shrimp. Someone I know wanted to get rid of their fish tank after a run of bad luck with goldfish so now we have a fourth tank and two shrimp. I’m planning on popping out in the morning to buy a couple of goldfish to keep them company. For those of you who follow this blog regularly, you might have seen me post about the six koi carp that live in the sitting room. [Monsieur, Doubloon, Carrot, Shadow, Noir & ‘one that Sean named and can never remember’] The fourth tank, which is about the same size as the koi one is out in the shed at the moment. Our little house literally doesn’t have enough room at the moment.

Lastly, this week saw the beginning of NaPoWriMo. For anyone who enjoys writing poetry, NaPoWriMo is a great way of getting a month’s worth of practice in. No need to follow the prompts if you don’t want to, all you need to do is write a poem a day for April. Day One’s challenge was to write a lune, day two a family portrait and so far so good. I wrote a poem for both days and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s less pressure than taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo so I don’t feel like I’m going to be over-stretching myself by taking part.

So that’s me all rambled out for the week. How are the rest of you?

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee:

Well this week has been a productive one so I’d invite you to join in with the take-away that I’ve deemed to be the perfect reward for what has been a very grown-up and busy few days.

I’ve finally got the go ahead to start my AAT Accounting Technicians Level Two Qualifications and I’ll be picking the pack up on Monday night so that’s the first bit of accomplishment for the week. As well as that I’ve managed to switch my gas and electric supplier to someone cheaper, enter a poetry competition, had a meeting with a mortgage consultant and hit 30,000 words for my novel!

On the writing front things are going fairly well. I’ve got 30,000 words of the re-draft written which equals the first ten chapters and about a third of the story. The re-draft is actually turning out a lot longer than the first draft and the plot line has also developed quite a bit. I’m happier with the characters this time as well, they seem more real and more developed. Unfortunately, the book will probably have to wait for a few months after Monday as I want to spend my time focusing on passing my AAT qualification first so this weekend will be last one that I really get to focus on it.

I also managed to pluck up the courage and enter another poetry competition. I don’t hold much hope for it, but I thought it was about time that got on and entered a few more. The deadline is midnight tonight, which I forgot about until ten o’clock this morning… I may have panicked slightly.

Overall I’ve managed to get quite a bit of stuff done this week that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’ve not written as much as I wanted to but I’ve got other stuff done and I’m managing to stick to my ‘need to be more productive’ 2016 resolutions. This year I wanted to:

  1. Complete Darkened Daughter      [30,000/100,000]
  2. Complete Doodle-A-Day
  3. Post each day
  4. Stay on track for my Goodreads
  5. Complete an AAT accountancy qualification
  6. Go to the gym at least twice a week

So far, I’ve only failed at number six and since it’s only January I’d say I’ve got time to turn that around.


If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee tea then I’d have to apologise for turning up in my gym clothes. After four weeks of laziness, I’ve finally managed to drag my butt back to the gym and the Saturday morning pilates class that I’d been getting into before Christmas. It hurt more than I remember it doing, but that could be because I’ve spent the Christmas in a sort of lazy slumber. That isn’t the only reason I’ve pushing myself back to the gym again however, I’ve signed up for Race For Life’s 10k this summer a Tatton Park. It will be my third year running the race and I’m hoping to raise a little more than last year for the cause. It’s always a great day with lots of ladies in pink who help to push you along when you feel yourself flagging. My best time was one hour and eight minutes so I’m hoping to managed it in just under an hour this year.

If we were having coffee tea I’d let you know that last week’s wobbly over the novel seems to have worked itself out. I’m motivated again and while I haven’t actually sat down to write this week I’m hoping this afternoon and tomorrow will be productive days. I’ve part way through chapter nine and by tomorrow night I wanted to be at the end of chapter twelve or further. I’m going to have to plan my time out carefully soon as I’m about to take on an AAT qualification in Accounting. Alongside full time work and study, writing might find itself falling along the wayside somewhat, but I’m hoping that if I cut out TV and similar distractions I should be able to get everything I want to do done. One thing I want to do this week is to write a schedule of all the blogging events I want to do in the week and have it above my desk so I can see it. I think it might help me stay focused. [Or it might not. I’m weird that way.]


If we were having coffee tea I’d also want to let you know that this week I published my 500th post on this site! I didn’t realise that I was even anywhere near 500 posts and the 500th ended up being a little doodle of a bottle that I’d only posted because I’d forced myself to sit down and IMG_1055completed my doodle-a-day challenge. It lifted my mood quite a lot though to see that little blue badge flash up and I’ve been thinking about how much this blog has grown over the last three years. It now has over a thousand followers and while my first posts were lucky to get a single like, the ones so far this year have often got between fifteen and thirty likes. I’ve also managed to engage with the blogging community on a scale that I’ve never managed before, thanks to events like the Weekend Coffee Share and DVerse Poets.


If we were having coffee tea, I’d say thank you for all your wonderfully, kind, motivating comments from last week. I was feeling a little lost and a little down and so many of you came back with fantastic words of encouragement. Each one of you made me smile and I’m so grateful for you taking the time.


Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how I’ve spent the last four hours trying to write a chapter and I’ve managed 1,500 words in that time. It’s not my best and right now I’m stuck, really stuck and part of me worries that nothing I’ve written before this point makes a whole lot of sense. I’ve got just over 20,000 words of the second draft written and more keeps coming, but I don’t know if it’s all the same story…

If we were having coffee I’d also let you in on the fact that I’m trying to write a few pieces for competition entries but having just as much luck on that as I am with the novel. It feels weird taking time off from one to work on the other and when I do I spend more time staring at blank screens then I do actually putting words down on paper. I feel like I’m plateauing and I’m note entirely sure what to do about it. I can’t work out if I should do more competitions, try writing for another blog or dive all my energies into the book. I suppose that’s what happens when your mid-write for a novel.

If we were having coffee I’d also bring out this week’s doodles to show you. I haven’t started today’s but I’ve managed one a day since January 1st and I’m proud of myself for that. Two weeks of daily drawing. I’m not sure if I’m getting any better but I’m achieving something which is what matters.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you about how I’m trying to connect with other bloggers outside the circles of my own. I worry sometimes that I’m tying myself too tightly into a niche and that I’ve hit the limit for what I can achieve with this blog. I’m trying to work out a way that I can take it to the next level but I’m unsure what that even is.

If we were having coffee I think you’d quickly realise that I’m rambling. A lot. So thank you for listening.


If We Were Having Coffee…

If we were having coffee I would tell you all about my new jumper. I’ve never owned a Christmas jumper before and to be honest I’ve never really had the desire to buy one. But work has a Christmas jumper day and hey ho I found myself in the Next knitwear section perusing all the holiday themed woolly garments thinking about how I really wanted the sheep one but apparently that wasn’t Christmassy enough. So instead I go the one with a reindeer and snowflakes because that said Christmas without being utterly in your face about it. I have also not taken it off since I bought it because lo and behold! I have discovered that I love jumpers! It has opened up a whole new world of snugly and that sheep jumper is now on it’s way to me and tomorrow I will be the proud owner of two Christmas jumpers! It’s like wearing a dressing gown that’s socially acceptable to have on in public places like the supermarket. What’s not to love about that.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that I’m fine. Really, I am. I’m sad yes and every time I think about her I can feel the ache, but  I don’t feel like anything has been taken from me. I had more time with her than I probably should have in the grand scheme of things and I’m not going to poo-poo that with tears.

If we were having coffee I’d say that Nanowrimo went out the window but the novel is still moving forward. Granted, it’s at the pace of a wounded snail but progress is progress and my skull only slightly aches from bouncing off the wall repeatedly as I tell myself over and over ‘I can do this! Just keep writing!’

If we were having coffee I’d apologies for the mass of posts one week and my utter absence the next. Consistency has never been my strongest suit and recently my juggling skills have become a little haphazard. The balls tend to go out the window and around the garden before coming back to me. I’ll get it together eventually I hope, but for now I’m going to cut myself some slack and focus on one task at a time. Let’s see how far I can get with that before diving back into everything.

If we were having coffee I’d thank you for listening. Sometimes I just need someone to ramble at.

me in a jumper