Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo - putting a positive spin on an epic fail!

Wow! November sure went fast didn't it?

About a week before the start of November I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

National (though it's actually international) Novel Writing Month.

Setting myself the goal of writing a 50 000 word novel in 30 days.

What was I thinking?

Certainly not that I'd get called in to work in the library for 12 of those days.

Certainly not that I'd discover that working 9 am to 5 pm, even only 3 days a week, is hard work when you have a husband, two kids, a dog, a household to run and a part time job running a business from home!

Certainly not that my daughter would have end-of-year ballet concerts to get to, with all the extra rehearsals that entails. 

Certainly not that the closer and closer we got to December, the busier and busier life would get.

Now that I think about it, what was I thinking!?!

The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel quick and dirty.

Just get the words down on the page.

No deleting.

Just do it!

As of today, I have written 4 609 words.

So you could call my NaNoWriMo attempt an epic fail!

Or you could say that I gave it a go, made a great start, and can continue writing whenever I want to.

I don't have to limit myself to a November deadline.

Let's think positive, shall we?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Catching up

It's been two whole weeks since I last posted here.

I found myself feeling overwhelmed with life, so I made the conscious decision to step back and say "no" to things.

Even things that I really enjoy, like blogging, because I simply didn't have the extra energy for it.

I'd like to encourage you all to follow my example and take care of yourself.

There's no need to worry about me. I'm OK. But I'm only OK because I made sure that I said "no" when I needed to, and I didn't allow guilt to get me to say "yes" when it wasn't right for me.

And you don't need to worry that I've been struggling with difficult situations. I haven't. My life has been full of blessings. Just a little too full, if you know what I mean!


Alana and I went to see Breaking Dawn together.

We enjoyed it, and I thought that Kristin Stewart did a good job of portraying the range of emotions that Bella experiences. But I hate it when they split a book into two movies and you have to wait ages for the second half. Aaaaargh!

We had some nice weather and I got the chance to wear my new swimsuit to the beach.

Unfortunately, the weather has turned foul since then and we've had nothing but cold and rain.

In other news, I sent in two job applications and had an interview for a third. Fingers crossed!

How have you all been?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Did losing weight make me a happier person?

I had lunch with some old school friends last weekend.

The great thing is that we have about thirty years (or more!) of history behind us, and whenever we get together we can just pick up where we left off.

Even though we're all very different to each other, we somehow fit together. Even though we work in different industries, we live in different areas, and our partners and family circumstances are all unique, we genuinely like and respect one another. We don't agree on everything, but we're more than happy to allow each other to be true to ourselves.

(Here's a gratuitous shot of the cafe where we ate. A stunning location!)

The girls hadn't seen me since I lost all my weight. They were suitably impressed and happy that I looked so healthy. But what surprised me was that they all commented about how happy I looked.

They're not the first to comment on the fact that I seem happier since I lost weight.

I've been told several times by different people.

I've also been told that I am more confident, more affectionate and more outgoing.

Now you might think it's a no-brainer. Of course I'm happier slim and healthy rather than overweight. And I guess that's a reasonable expectation. But I'm not aware that I'm acting any differently. I still feel like the same person, so I'm surprised that I've made such an obvious transformation.

So, being me, I've been thinking about it.

And I think that I've come up with something.

See if it makes sense to you.

I believe that I am happier because I have reached a point in my life when I am loving myself and caring for myself. I believe that my weight loss is not the reason that I feel good but is the result of me feeling good.

Let's just hear that again.

I lost weight because I'm happy, rather than being happy because I lost weight.

Yeah. I think that's right.

What do you think?

I'm linking up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Cant' Say. Click on the button below to visit Shell and read some wonderful, heartfelt posts.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Confessional

It's time for our weekly confessions! Visit Mamarazzi to link up or just read some confessions.


I confess that...

...this NaNoWriMo caper is harder than it looks!

National Novel Writing Month happens every November. 

The goal: to write a 50000 word novel in 30 days.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't think it would be easy! I just didn't think it would be this hard.

The good news is that I have outlined my whole novel. And I think that I've got a good story to tell.

The bad news is that so far I've only written 1689 words. I'm falling behind!

I think that I've underestimated the number of hours that it takes to peck away at the keyboard and get the words out.

I know what you're thinking! GET OFF THE BLOG FIONA AND BACK TO YOUR NOVEL!

...I may have accidentally boarded the end of year silly season crazy train roller-coaster!

Last week I shared that I hadn't done any planning for Christmas yet. I still haven't. But I did make a positive decision about how I was going to deal with it.

I like to do one thing at a time. I like to make a list of what needs to be done and work through it one step at a time. I know that this is the way that I work. I know that I always manage to get everything done in the end. So I decided to just let myself do my thing and not worry about what everyone else is doing.

So what if Christmas planning hasn't made it to the top of my list yet? I'll get there.

But it's hard to keep calm and carry on, when every day someone is adding something to my list! Excuse me everyone, I have enough to do already. Please stop sending notes home from school, emails, or calling me with helpful suggestions of things I need to do. I have ENOUGH!

Want to know what the biggest problem is?

None of the things being added to my list are extraordinary or unreasonable. No-one's being demanding. It's all just completely normal day-to-day running-a-household-and-family stuff. There just seems to be an awful lot of it at the moment. And lots of these things have deadlines that fall before December 25th.

What does that mean?

Christmas is sliding lower and lower down my to-do list. It has almost fallen off the bottom! I'm worried that it will not make it to the top in time.

And so I'm getting tempted to jump right on the crazy train and start stressing. Somebody stop me!

What have you got to confess this week?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I'm Loving

Linking up with This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday.

I'm loving...

...Glee! is back <3

TV viewing has been pretty lousy lately. There haven't been a lot of choices. Glee! is reliably entertaining and I'm glad that it's back!

Blaine is my favourite...

...My new earrings

 I've been wanting earrings like this for forever. Mine are the yellow ones :)

...That I've got a day off tomorrow and I can take my doggy Lucy for a nice long walk and do some writing for NaNoWriMo

Working 9 - 5 is kicking my butt! It's going to be so lovely to have some hours at home to potter about. Not that I'm not loving having work, know what I mean.

Don't forget to visit This Kind of Love to either link up or read what everyone else is loving today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Has a book ever made you cry? Definitely yes.

Oh dear.

I'm working at the library this week, and while I'm loving the work, I'm finding it dreadfully difficult to fit in everything else I'd like to be doing. Like writing a wonderful blog post to link up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday.

Today's list is the Top Ten Books that I had strong emotions over. (Click the link to visit The Broke and the Bookish.)

I like it when a book makes me cry. Or laugh. Or feel gutted and emotionally exhausted.

I think that a book that elicits a strong emotional reaction from me has done its job. 

A good book should make me think deeply about an issue, or allow me to identify strongly with a character. A good book will make me laugh out loud, or will cause me to read excerpts of it aloud to anyone within earshot.

Books that don't effect me strongly are easily forgotten.

I started my list, but I've run out of time to finish it. So here are four books, and I'm looking forward to reading the other lists.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling.

I'm a tragic Harry Potter fan. I was one of the people that pre-ordered my copy of the book, picked it up on the day it was released, and then locked myself in my bedroom to read it undisturbed.

But. I got most of the way through the book and I had to stop. Tears streaming down my face, I closed the book and went to sleep. I knew I'd be able to face the rest of it in the morning, but I just couldn't face it at that moment.

I don't want to get into spoiler territory here, but I think nearly everyone in the world has either read the book, seen the movie, or both.

Let's just say that when Harry viewed Snape's memories in the pensieve, and knew the enormity of the courage that he would need to face his destiny, I came completely undone.

I read the book aloud to my children, and choked up big time when I got to that scene. My kids looked at me with disbelief as I struggled to get the words out.

2. The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper.

Click here to read my reviews.

Love these books. The narrator's voice is delightful! I must admit that I read many passages aloud to whoever was nearby because they were just so delicious! I love it when I am grinning from ear to ear as I read, so aware of how much I am enjoying the experience.

3. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

Click here to read my review.

This book was a revelation to me. 

It transported me so completely into Grace and Sam's world.

It was so divinely bittersweet.

4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Click here to read my review.

This book is a story of suffering that touched my heart and made me thankful for all the good in my life. I found the hardships described absolutely horrifying and harrowing. My respect for people living in oppressive regimes and war zones grew one thousand fold.

Don't forget to visit The Broke and the Bookish to read the other lists.