Thursday, 24 December 2015

Xmas Awakens


This is my third Xmas blog written on the day before Xmas and I've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  No spoilers from me.  All I'll say is that I enjoyed the film for what it was and reveled in the nostalgia of seeing old friends having adventures again.

Work wise I've been distracted from working on Ghost Dog by Xmas, Beta reader feedback on Strike Dog, and editorial questions about Bad Dog.  The latter being the quite discombobulating as my mind is currently focused on the necessary revisions to Strike Dog.

But as I said it's the Xmas thing that has taken most of my time.

That and reading up all the Star Wars: The Force Awakens threads on the internet.  Called me Miss No Mates, I know that's sad.  Currently Susan is slaving in the kitchen, I've helped by preparing the Brussels Sprouts, and I'm about to pop into the bath to soak away the pains from last minute Xmas shopping: Taylor's 10 year old Tawny port, and a bottle of Penfold's Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, along with chestnuts and dried apricots for making stuffing.

So, all is right here at home as I listen to John Williams music from Star Wars.  Tomorrow we'll unwrap our presents and watch the Dr Who Xmas special.  That just leaves me to say thank you all for reading my blog, and I wish you all a Very Merry Xmas – and may the Port or drink of choice be with you.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Busy Bee

Before and after loosing – fly free arrow and wiggle your feathers at me.

And the week has just flown by with us going to two Xmas parties, a barbecue, and a friend coming around for dinner which is my excuse for posting this so late.  However, to my surprise, I managed to edit 8,938 words in between all the fun activities which includes my archery beginners course.

This week I was shooting at 30 yards and not hitting the target reliably.  I therefore failed to score the required 200 points in 36 arrows to progress to 40 yards which is a relief.  I'm doing this primarily for fun but the club obviously wants people to shoot at events and is therefore quite competitive.  I have neither the inclination (will/strength of mind) nor the competitive spirit (winning is not important to me) to take my archery seriously enough to enter matches.

Still, as a learning experience it's great.

Also, it will encourage to work on my fitness (mostly flexibility and posture) and, arguably it's research for when I need to include archery in story, because it gives me a much more realistic understanding of the reality of loosing arrows and the kind of distances that one can realistically shoot at given the lead one needs to hit a moving target.

Since the last blog we've watched Terminator Genisys which I thought was probably the best sequel to the first two movies so far.  However, it's not quite as good as the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.   As usual, I'm perplexed by the inability of reviewers to cope with SF ideas like time travel which seems to confuse them (I speak of the mainstream news website in general).

After that we watched The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions.  A series, along with the John Williams scores that I enjoy listening to, which in my mind largely redeems the prequel movies.  Then we watched season one of Star Wars Rebels, I guess you're sensing a theme here (the force is strong with you) and last night Star Wars: A New Hope.  I'm sure you can guess what we're watching this evening and tomorrow night.

Wednesday we're going to go and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and have booked our tickets at our local Vue Cinema, so we're all set.

Finally, I finished reading the third of the Diana Rowland White Trash Zombie books – White Trash Zombie Apocalypse.  While this series may not be hardcore zombie fare, I found the central protagonist engaging and the developments and themes within the story satisfying with good pacing and exciting plot reversals and try/fail cycles.  In short well crafted stories.

So that's it for another week.  I'll be posting a Xmas blog on Thursday, see you on the bounce.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

December Flying By


Time is flying by with a plaintiff wail of where has it all gone?  This is mostly down to Xmas parties which cut into my writing time, but are a necessary part of being sociable, and not becoming a boring old recluse.

Like last time I'm in full on archery geek mode after my third lesson this week.  They put the targets out to twenty yards and after calibrating our sights we shot five dozen arrows and I managed to only miss the butt once.  The downside of doing so well is that next week the target is moved out another ten yards but it's fun.

I've been reading Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series sequel Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues.  I enjoyed the second book so much that I immediately picked up the third book to continue reading.  What can I say?  They're a fun read.  Brains!

Writing wise I've managed to revise a further 14,408 words of Ghost Dog this week.  This means I'm 29,945 words into my 98,360 third novel which is not that good in terms of speed but hopefully I'm catching the common typos that I usually miss this time round, because practice makes perfect.  Really that's one of my biggest concerns as an aspiring author is how to write clean text?

That's it.  Catch you all on the bounce.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Fractured Time and the Dichotomous Mind

Been dreaming about Archery all week because I've started a beginners course.

This week has been a tad chaotic, having flown by so quick I wonder what happened during the time I was awake.

Monday and Tuesday were fine, as in I was finishing off the out loud read through of Bad Dog and applying salve in the form of missing particles (a, an, of etc.) and the occasional additional comma or deletion depending on how the words sounded prior to sending it off.  Then, my partner had some sad news to deal with.  Her half-sister emailed her that their father had died after a heart attack.  So that was a bit of a downer.

Next I had to deal with the NHS.  Not as a patient this time but as a potential employee enrolled for bank work – the NHS equivalent of a zero hour contract.

So a lot of my time this week was spent filling in forms, online questionnaires, getting references, background checks, and occupation health clearance too.  This also involved me having to travel across London on Wednesday to visit the Trusts HR department where I had to fill in more forms, because the electronic copy I sent them had to be be printed out by me (don't ask me why they couldn't have printed it out, I'm sure there's a reasonable answer somewhere but not one that I'm privy too).

Of course this doesn't mean I've started work or anything, only that I might work at some future time as yet unspecified.  Not something I imagined I would be doing, but working one or two days a week would get me out the flat, and be good for me.

Anyway, we'd finished watching Agents of SHIELD season two which we both really enjoyed and need something else to watch that wasn't too hard and would be a distraction from the bad news.  Susan had bought Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and we sat down and, much to my surprise, we were sucked in.  So we've been mainlining the first season and hear that there's a second in the making.

Anyway by Friday I was shattered and didn't get anything done and I'm writing this blog entry late.  Still, I did restart work on Ghost Dog, but only managed to read through and revise 15,895 words, after having to go back and start from the beginning again because I'd lost track of the story.

Finished the week by having a quiet weekend by ourselves.