Tag: monthly update

Monthly Update

Apparently, this is the only thing I post recently. I won’t pretend that I was a prolific poster before lockdown, but I was doing marginally better than now. So, I apologise. Or something.

Lockdown

The UK is still partially in lockdown, even though they’re easing us out of it. Cases are starting to pick back up again though, so we’ll see what happens. Still not allowed to properly hang out with family. We’re allowed indoors, but keeping 2m distance. I think this is the same as last month. They opened up pubs and restaurants. I personally think pubs maybe wasn’t the best idea, because once you’ve had a few beers, social distancing might not be the first thing you think of. Hopefully, it won’t backfire.

I think everyone has lockdown fatigue by now. I can’t wait until the Imp is allowed to spend a few hours alone with her grandparents. Both for her sake, theirs and mine. (Definitely mine. Love the tiny tyrant, but I think after 4+ months we could do with a few hours break from each other!)

Writing

So, I did Camp NaNo in July, so my numbers are pretty good this month. (For me, I know there are writers out there who can write a lot more.)

Total words/work for July
Damask & Deception: Chapters 2-6 (7437 words) ongoing
WIP: Chapters 1-14 (21 160 words) ongoing, not published anywhere
A Midsummer Night’s Kiss: Revised and published chapters 6-8 (12 491 words) ongoing

It’s been a busy month, but I got a fair bit done. I’m hoping to keep some semblance of this pace. We’ll see.

I might slow down in August since I’m debating getting back to and revising Bowstrings & Velvet. I’m debating between getting a few more first drafts of Spellbound stories done and then revise them. Or get a couple of them sorted now. I currently have two finished ones that need expanding/editing and I’m working on two more. I have ideas for at least a handful more.

Other Stuff

Still no luck on the brownie baking. I think I’m just not cut out to be a brownie baker.

Life is still fairly slow in the half-lockdown world. I don’t want to go anywhere too exposed to masses of people so we’re hanging out at home and in our garden a lot. There are a few places I’m happy to go where I know we have large spaces to move around. I might be extra cautious, but I’m rather safe than sorry at this point.

I finished watching Community. I breezed through the second season of Dead to Me and am working on the latest season on Working Moms. I watched the movie Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga and probably found it funnier than it deserves. The music is quite catchy as well.

What’s everyone else been up to? Watched anything good?

Monthly Update

Despite the year being one of the strangest I’ve ever experienced, we’re suddenly halfway through it. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Lockdown

The UK is still in partial lockdown. In June they’ve tentatively opened up non-essential shops, some children have gone back to school, and they allow up to 6 people to meet outside as long as they stay 2m from anyone not in their household. We’re all waiting with bated breath to see if the easing of the lockdown will result in cases rising again.

On Saturday they will re-open pubs and restaurants, as long as people still social distance inside. You will also be allowed to visit another household indoors, as long as you stay 2m apart from each other. Not always easy in someone’s home, so I’m not sure how reasonable this is. We’re continuing to be cautious, so I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the indoor visits yet. I’m definitely staying away from pubs and restaurants for now.

Socially distanced play-date.

Writing

Total work/words for June
Bowstrings & Velvet: Chapter 18 (2110 words) complete
Damask & Deception: Published Chapter 1 (1521 words) ongoing
A Midsummer Night’s Kiss: Revised and published chapters 4-5 (7854 words) ongoing

It’s not my best month, but I admittedly took some time off after finishing Bowstrings at the beginning of the month. I still need to go back to edit and flesh out both Bowstrings and Shadows. However, that will have to wait until the end of the summer as I decided to join Camp NaNo for July, meaning I’ll need to spend my free time writing. I set myself an achievable goal of 20k words in a month, but it’s still more than I’ve done in a single month before! According to my calculations, I should manage if I average 1k words a day 5 days a week. It should be possible.

Other Stuff

I can’t say that I have any other news. Our lives are pretty slow with most of our time spent at home these days. I’m slowly watching Community on Netflix as I never watched it back in the day. We also enjoyed the second season of After Life. When I have a little longer to sit down I try to watch an episode of the third season of The Sinner.

Other than that I’ve been trying – and failing – to bake brownies several times during lockdown. I can bake a lot of things, but apparently not brownies. I will give it one last try this weekend, and if I still can’t get them to become the nice, fudgy kind I want – I will truly give up.

Are you watching anything good at the moment? How are you passing the time in lockdown? Or has it been eased where you live?

Monthly Update

So, the world sort of stopped for all of us, and now it’s suddenly June. I completely lost the plot there for a while, and to be honest with you I’m still kind of floundering. Motivation to do anything is low, and I’m feeling pretty down.

Lockdown

About a week or two after my last post the UK went into full lockdown. We were only allowed outside once a day for exercise (1-hour max), and for essential food and medication shopping. That was pretty much it. No seeing other family members not in your household. Everything was shut other than grocery stores pretty much.

As I’m writing this, we’re just starting to ease lockdown, but it’s still fairly strict. As of today (1 June) some children – not all – are going back to school. We’re allowed to visit the beach or park (no playgrounds) or see family (max 6 people total) outside in a park or garden – but only if we keep 2 metres apart. I personally can’t wait until we’re allowed to leave the Imp with her grandparents for an afternoon.

Entertaining a toddler at home is not easy. I don’t envy people with multiple children, I’ve struggled with just the one!

I worry about what the future holds, but I’m hoping things will improve. I just hope there’s not a second spike after lockdown starts easing (feels like it will be difficult to avoid though). My trip to visit family in Sweden is postponed indefinitely for now until it feels safe to travel, which makes me sad.

I’ve resorted to buying things to entertain the Imp at home.

Writing

My writing has been up and down during the last three months, partly because of my mood in lockdown, partly because the Imp’s sleep varies greatly, and partly because I’m honestly just lazy and want to watch Netflix some evenings.

I finished my novella for the ONC, and made it through three rounds and onto the Longlist – but didn’t then make it onto the Shortlist. However, I’m quite pleased having made it that far as I never thought I’d make it to the Longlist even.

In actual words written, this will now be for the last three months. Let’s have a look!

Total work/words for March-April-May
Bowstrings & Velvet: Chapters 9-17 (16 697 words) ongoing
Shadows & Lace: Chapters 5-20 (27 883 words) complete
A Midsummer Night’s Kiss: Revised and published chapter 2+3 (4633 words) ongoing
One-shot scene for Bowstrings & Velvet: 3039 words

While Shadows & Lace is technically finished – I do want to go back and flesh it out a bit more since it was rushed to hit the contest deadline. When I do that, I will probably also do the editing.

I also made a collection book for the whole Spellbound universe where I’ve added the one-shot scene, character lists, world history etc. I’ve not bothered adding the words for that, since most of it is just lists and such anyway, so not exactly fiction writing.

Cover for The Spellbound Codex

Website

So in a moment of stupidity, I managed to delete the blog for a while. Fortunately, my host was able to retrieve it from a backup – but I did lose a lot of links to old photos. I don’t think a lot of people look back at old posts, so shouldn’t be too bad. Still frustrating though.

When I got it back, I decided to change the colour scheme slightly. If you can’t remember, this was the old one – compared to what you see now. Minor changes, but it feels a bit happier and cheerier which is what I need.

I also updated the Writing section slightly, mainly with images – which I hope won’t load too slowly! But it now has all of the most recent covers and blurbs for the stories.

The website in general is giving me some weird problems where it locks me out for a few days now and then. Not as in, I can’t login, but rather that I can’t even access it. Almost as if the host is blacklisting my ip from time to time. Very strange. (This is also the reason this post is a few days late, as I’ve only just now been able to get back on after the last lockout.)

What has everyone else been up to the last three months?

Monthly Update

And suddenly it’s March… Honestly, time does go much too fast at times. So, what have I been up to in February? Really, I’m asking, because I honestly can’t remember right now. I think I will have to look at my phone to figure it out…

Writing

I’ve managed to keep up my schedule on Wattpad of publishing one new chapter every week of Bowstrings & Velvet. I’ve also entered a little writing contest (Open Novella Contest), and I’m slowly slogging through my entry for that (not as quickly as I would have liked). Last week I also ended up publishing the first chapter of my historical romance (regency). I figured that if I can get any feedback there for now, it can help me with the revisions before releasing it on Kindle fully edited (and by then probably removing it from WP). But I’ll see, I haven’t decided on that one.

Total work/words for February:
Bowstrings & Velvet: Chapters 4-8 (7389 words) ongoing
Shadows & Lace: Chapters 1-4 (5128 words) ongoing
A Midsummer Night’s Kiss: Revised and published chapter 1 (3158 words) ongoing

General/The Imp

Another month of rubbish weather. I swear we had a storm here every single weekend. So a lot of indoor time again. Even at the farm we go to we ended up mainly indoors. Valentine’s happened. We didn’t do much, to be honest. I cooked a nice dinner and the Boyfriend brought home flowers and chocolate. With a toddler there’s not much romance, I’ll be honest.

Right now, I just feel like I’m waiting for the weather to turn so we can go outside and enjoy this beautiful part of the country where we live. I’d like to go to the seaside with the Imp and the dog. I’d like to visit a playground without having to bundle us up in ridiculous amounts of layers.

A rare day with relatively decent weather. We brought regular Ted to the playground.

I haven’t even been watching much Netflix, there’s just no time. The boyfriend and I are re-watching Friends while eating dinner, and other than that all I’m watching is Picard (on Prime).

What’s everyone else been up to in February?

Monthly Update

With a new year, I thought I’d get back into the habit of writing a monthly update with what I’ve been doing lately. For myself, if nothing else.

Writing

I signed up to Wattpad in 2017 but did absolutely nothing with it. Since I’ve decided that this year is the year I stop procrastinating (as much), I’ve started publishing some of my shorter things there. Some are ongoing, some are now done. I had a lot of old fantasy romance stories I wrote when young, and I had the idea to combine them all into the same universe (which is a merger of the old ones) and loosely link them all. So far I’ve updated an old one called A White Rose, and I’m writing a new one called Bowstrings & Velvet which I update every week.

Total work/words for January

Bowstrings & Velvet: Prologue + 4 chapter (7756 words) ongoing
A White Rose: 4 chapters (10 159 words) complete
Day of Farewell: Flash fiction (933 words) complete

If you want to read any of them you can do it on my Wattpad profile.

The Imp

The weather has been absolutely rubbish in January. We’ve managed two visits to a playground, and one visit to the farm that we go to a lot, other than that it’s all been indoor activities. A lot of soft play areas! Swimming once. A couple of times to mini gym/mini movers. Then we’ve hung out with our friends and tried to keep ourselves entertained at home. I really hope the weather will improve soon!

She’s starting to talk more, even if more than half of it still sounds like gibberish. I suspect that she knows what she’s saying, only we can’t make it out. I think she’s a tiny bit behind on speech, but it’s supposedly common in bilingual children. That said, she speaks a lot more English than Swedish, but I guess that was unavoidable considering that we live in England. However, she fully understands either from what I can tell. (It’s not like she will do what I say if she doesn’t want to…)

When you’re an only child…
LOL Yellow Ted

General

I’ve finished (and really enjoyed!) The Good Place on Netflix. It was such a good show. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. I’ve also started watching the new Picard show on Amazon Prime, and while it’s not quite like the old Star Trek shows, I’m quite enjoying it. Another good show I’ve seen lately is Sex Education on Netflix. There’s a Swedish guy in it, which always cracks me up. His accent is very Swedish!

Oh, and The Witcher. I had mixed feelings about it initially, but I have to admit that the show grew on me. Henry Cavill as Geralt didn’t hurt… Since then I’ve been listening to metal versions of “Toss a Coin to your Witcher” on YouTube. Someone, send help…

I mean, the plot is fine, but come on…

Nothing else interesting has happened really. Between the imp and writing, there is little to no spare time left (and as you can tell, I spend it binge-watching Netflix!). I’m trying a new approach to keeping on top of housework, which is always difficult for me with CFS and fibromyalgia causing lack of energy and pain to steal my momentum. Still, even while I’m not managing to follow the program fully, I feel like I’m a lot more on top of the cleaning than I was in 2019. Fingers crossed that I can keep it up.

What has everyone else been up to in January?

Monthly Update (August)

August went by with a swish, and I can’t believe it’s already September. Where has this year gone? Wasn’t it just Christmas?

I spent half of August in Sweden visiting family, which was absolutely lovely, but means that I’ve done pretty much nothing else. The time before and after I was working my busiest weeks, which means I was either sleeping or working.

Still, while this summer has been difficult due to me having had nearly zero energy, it’s been really nice having family visiting, and then going back home to Sweden to see everyone who couldn’t visit. I did give myself July and August off from writing due to the energy issues mentioned, but it is now September which means that I need to find some energy somewhere and get going. I want this book revised and ready!

I hope everyone else has had a lovely summer, and I will try to get back to more regular updates again.

Monthly Update

A day late since I usually post these on the last day of the month, but yesterday I didn’t spend any time at all behind the PC due to not feeling well, so today is the day!

Writing

I decided about halfway through July to give myself the summer off. Between work, family visits and my CFS/fibro acting up – I’m just not getting anywhere. And the more I push myself the worse I feel about failing. So I’m having July and August off, with my sights set on a fresh start in September.

#WIPjoy

I participated in the #WIPjoy hashtag on Twitter, my first ever Twitter event like that – and it was a lot of fun. It allowed me to find a lot of new people to follow and blogs to read. Always a good thing! If you want to see my answers, I posted them here on the blog as well.

Family Visit #2

Last month my sister and her family visited, in July it was my dad with his wife and my littlest brother. We had bad luck with the weather (again! It seems to be a trend with family visits this year), but still had a good time. We took a trip to Swanage, went shopping, and went out to dinner at a very tasty restaurant. I also took my dad’s wife to the cinema, and we saw the new Planet of the Apes movie.

Monthly Update (June)

It’s the last day of June, so let’s have a look at what’s been going on this month.

Writing

June has been terrible for writing, as I suspected it might. I’ve basically had no time to spare for writing. I started the month with working a 72 hour work week, followed by going straight on holiday to Spain for a week. After that I went straight back to working three nights, followed by my sister and her family coming to visit the same day I came off my last shift. They left today, on the 30th, so writing has pretty much not been happening.

The one thing I’ve done is the prologue and first chapter (very short ones) for a Fantasy Romance novella to go on Wattpad. Hopefully to start publishing in July, but I might postpone to August to make sure I have a bit more ready.

Spain

The boyfriend and I went on our very first holiday together this month. We spent a week in Spain, in a house with a private pool. Despite us dating for nearly six years, we never had a holiday away together since up until October 2015 we were living in separate countries, and any holiday was just spent visiting each other.

Going away just the two of us was absolutely lovely. There was a heatwave happening when we were there, and we were very lucky to have our own pool to cool us down a bit.

The beach in Spain. The sand was so hot it burned our feet!

“Swedish Midsummer”-inspired BBQ

In Sweden we celebrate Midsummer every year in June, and it’s quite possibly the biggest holiday after Christmas. This year I wanted to bring a little of that to England, and so I invited our friends and treated them to a Midsummer inspired BBQ. I offered Swedish crisps, meatballs, candy, cakes and some condiments to go with the burgers that were Swedish. For the brave, we also offered some pickled herring, which is a Swedish tradition at Midsummer.

Some of the things from the BBQ table.

Family Visit

As I mentioned earlier, my sister visited with her partner and one year old daughter. It was their first visit since I moved, and despite them being allergic to animals I think that they had a good time. I know I did. It was great seeing my little niece again since I hadn’t seen her since Christmas!

The weather was absolutely miserable this week, but we did manage to do a few things. We went shopping, of course, but we also had time for a trip to Swanage and the beach, and afternoon tea.

Niece’s first time having her bare feet in the sand.

We had afternoon tea at the Steam Vintage Tea Rooms.

View of Swanage, Photo stolen from my sister’s instagram since I was too busy playing with niece to take any myself.

Monthly Update (May)

It’s that time of the month again, so let’s have a look at what I’ve accomplished (or not) in May.

Writing

I will be honest, May has been a terrible month for me in regards to writing. Which is a shame, because I had such great plans. I’ve not revised more than a chapter or two, instead I’ve been plotting and planning for a couple of other books. There’s also some prep work that I’ve been doing in preparation for a more long term thing, but there’s nothing to show for it yet – so it doesn’t necessarily count. It took a lot longer than I had thought, and so May has been a bad month for writing.

Blog

The blog has had a face-lift, in that I have a new design with a new colour scheme and new icons etc. Tags is something that a lot of people use, but I haven’t – so I’ve also added a Tag cloud and I’m slowly (very slowly) going to go through all of the old posts and add tags to them. At least anything new will have tags on them.

Personal

We got a kitten! I’ve been missing having a cat since I left my precious girl back in Sweden when I moved. As much as I would have loved to bring her with me, it just wouldn’t have been fair to do that to her. She’s an outdoor cat used to the countryside, and I now live in a city with busy roads.

We adopted a little British Shorthair silver blue tabby a couple of weeks ago, and his name is Macallan. He’s very cuddly and has a lovely temperament. We’re very happy with him, and Bailey (the dog) loves him too!

Little Mac.

In fairness, the dog may love him a little too much at times. Macallan is no longer wary of the dog, as he was the first few days, but Bailey can still be a little too overzealous with his wanting to love him. This gif pretty much sums up their relationship…

This. So much this.

Oh, and something I did get done during May was step one in Project Flat Overhaul. When I moved to England we bought a flat, and while it was in a good enough condition to just move in and start living, I’m now at the point where I want to start making it ours. For now, all I can do due to money and time restraints is paint all the rooms (and even that will take a bit of time). So this month, I painted our second bedroom.

Like the dummy I am, of course I forgot to take a proper “before” photo, so here’s an old, crappy one when we still had moving boxes everywhere. The walls were a beige-ish colour.

Taking a photo of a wall for colour is not something I’m good at (as apparent above). The new colour is called Mint Macaroon and turned out really well, albeit not as we first thought. The paint sample was quite green, but the end result is actually a lot more blue than it might appear. Still, we really love the colour, so it’s still a win! And the room feels so much brighter!

This is Mint Macaroon. I swear the sample was green!

Monthly Update (April)

We’re going to start doing monthly updates. Yay! Mainly for me to feel accountable for how much writing/revising I’ve done during the month, but also to see what I’ve been up to in general. Honestly, I think I forget myself if I don’t write it down.

Writing

Currently revised chapters: 14

I didn’t get as much done this month as I had hoped, but I have great excuses reasons. I spent┬ájust over a week on holiday, during which I didn’t do a single thing related to writing. Also, while it might look like a measly number, I stopped after chapter 14 when I realised that after ten years this novel needed a lot more work than just editing. Meaning that I’ve gone back to chapter one and started heavily revising.

Since then I’ve been revising, spending sometimes upwards of four hours per chapter, rewriting and trying to make it better. I’m nearly back up to where I finished (14), so if I can keep up a steady pace, I should be done revising before June rolls around. Then commences editing and proofreads.

My biggest problem, which I’m sure I’m not alone in, is lack of time. Every other week I have a few days off, but the other week I have several days in a row where my spare time is all of two hours between waking up after a night shift and then having to be back at work. During those two hours I generally have to shower, walk the dog and eat some dinner. Some of those days I’ve managed to revise half a chapter, but that’s rare.

I sometimes worry that I’m spending all my time revising rather than starting to write something new, but I think it’s best to focus on getting this novel ready first. I’ll worry about the next one later. The positive thing with all this revising is that I’m suddenly finding myself with lots of story inspiration again, something I’ve been lacking for a long time. So hooray!

Other stuff

I spent just over a week back in Sweden over Easter, and it was great. I loved seeing my family again. Below will be a spam of photos from the holiday, so feel free to ignore. The holiday was great, even if I got no writing or revising done.

Mom made a cheesecake decorated with Malteaster bunnies. Yummy!

When the egg is nearly as big as the kid, we might need to think about this…

The favourite thing the nephew received.

Mom made Easter egg cakes. It’s actually a cream and half a peach.

It snowed… SNOWED! Come on Sweden!

The one scenery photo I took, and it’s not even good!

A wild sprite appears!

Nephew happy out on a walk.

Niece rocking the tutu and sunglasses look.