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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Blogger and Blogspot

OK, so I've been looking at plenty of different blogs and getting ideas for how I'd like to change mine.  I use Blogger and am not sure how this is different to Blogspot.  I'm still finding my feet with all this social media stuff.

I would really like to have tabs across the top of my blog for different things instead of having them all over the front page like they are at the moment, and I'm pretty sure that Blogspot may somehow be needed for this.

So I'm asking for some help please.  If anyone knows what I need to do and can help me reformat my blog I would be very grateful.  It's getting frustrating going around in circles!

Cheers!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Worry, worry, worry ...


I’ve been trying to work on a short story for a competition this week but I’m struggling to transfer the words to screen.  My mind feels like it’s filled with a fog and it’s hard to break through.  I can feel the story is there at the back of my mind, forming slowly and waiting to be released.  I just need to find some way of freeing my mind.  I think there are so many other worries that I’m carrying around in my head at the moment there is no room for these ideas to take centre stage.
I can feel a venting session coming on this evening.  I usually have a separate piece of notepaper for each aspect that I’m trying to keep in my head.  I write down everything I don’t want to forget about each one and then I can completely focus on them without worrying that I’ll push out the others.
Does any of this make sense?  I feel this is turning into a bit of a ramble, which is kind of what the inside of my head is like right now.
Anyhoo, the sun is shining so that’s one less thing to worry about ...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Doing my homework ...

I've decided that I'm going to write a story to submit to a popular women's weekly magazine, so this week I've begun doing some research reading the short stories they print.  It's quite handy that my mum buys the magazine regularly so she's very kindly passing them on to me when she's read them.

My plan is to read through a few of them to get a feel for just what they're after and then write something that I think will suit.  I'm nervous and excited all at the same time, I'm actually taking my writing a bit more seriously and trying to get it accepted.  This is a huge step for me, especially in the confidence stakes.

I'll let you know how my progress goes.  Step one, story idea ...

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Getting motivated ... again.

I seem to have come round to that time again when I'm losing some heart with my writing.  I have doubts about what I'm writing and if it's actually worth it.
The main reason for this of course is because it's been a few days since I last did any proper writing.  After having everyone ill for a bit and subsequently having to de-germ the entire house, I haven't had much time to sit and focus.

I can tonight though!  Everything else is done, there is nothing on the television (as usual!) so I can sit down for at least an hour and try and focus on something.  I'm so excited my mind is racing with what to choose.  Shall I work on some of my novel?  Start a new short story?  Try and rework an old short story?  The possibilities are endless.  And herein lies another problem.  Whatever I choose to do I'll probably worry that I should have done one of the others.  I'm too impatient and I just want to finish everything now!

So here's a little therapy session for me.  I'm going to pick one thing to work on and focus entirely on that.  At least I'll be making a little progress somewhere then ...

Friday, 11 May 2012

Finally, time for a proper catch up!

So, here we are at the end of another week and I'm trying to reflect a little on just what I've achieved.  In short, not much.

At the end of last week my daughter was very poorly so I spent the weekend looking after her.  She then gave said bug to me, and I've been ill most of this week.  I've glanced once or twice at my blogs but not very well.  I now have over 100 to read.

But now she is better and I am better.  She is fast asleep in bed and the other half is happy watching the cricket, so I have a bit of time to catch up properly.
It's very tempting just to mark most of them as read, but I love reading through them all.  What if I miss that crucial blog that gives me a hint of a story? Or there's some crucial bit of advice from a fellow writer?  It's just not worth the risk.

I also need to catch up with replies to all those who have commented on my own posts, and visit those new visitors that have stopped by.  I'll be heading over to you shortly!

It has also been a week since I posted my first story.  The nervousness of that has finally started to die down.  Any feedback, good or bad, is greatly welcomed!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I survived the A-Z Blogging Challenge - just!

So I managed to just about survive this years A-Z Blogging Challenge.  There were a few moments where I was on the verge of failing, but with a bit of perseverance I made it.  Usually when I take on a challenge such as this I'm all enthusiastic for the first week but then I flag a bit before giving up altogether.  This happened with the NaNoWriMo challenge last year.  I had my ideas but I hadn't done enough planning beforehand, which meant I got more and more behind and gave up after a week and a half.  I was more than a little disappointed with myself.  This being at the back of my mind gave me more of a push to make sure I succeeded this time.

I did fall behind a couple of times and posted more than one post on some days.  I even did a two-in-one post as a quick-fix catch-up.  Overall though the whole experience was brilliant.  It's helped me get into a habit of blogging more regularly and I'm thinking more about what to blog about.  I keep a running list when something pops into my head so I've got a few posts in the pipeline.  It has been a few days since my last post, mostly due to illness, but my mind has still been bubbling with ideas.

The challenge has also increased my number of followers, for which I am very grateful, and I have discovered some other blogs to which I am still following with interest.  I'm making more efforts to comment on other blogs and make contact now. 

The thing I have taken away the most from this challenge is definitely having more confidence in my blog.  So watch this space, for more posts and probably more improvements too along the way.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Hiding Away


Rosemary sat back heavily, trying to work out exactly when she'd lost her grip on reality. She stared blankly at the computer screen, which not so long ago had been her world. Now all it represented was a huge waste of her life.
She stared into the empty box, seemingly mocking her, daring her to switch it off. She could sense its wrath even as she thought about the power switch.
She stood up wearily and shuffled into the bathroom, the computer forgotten for now. She could afford to prolong its life for another few minutes. Looking in the mirror, contemplating her reflection, it was no longer a face that she recognised. Her hair was a complete mess, hanging limply either side of her pasty face. Her eyes were sunken and black around the edges, a stark contrast to the rest of her complexion. Months of hiding away in her bedroom with the curtains drawn had drained all the colour away. She'd been expecting to have such a pale complexion, but was totally unprepared for seeing just how gaunt she was. She still hadn't got over the shock of seeing herself amongst all the confusion.
She'd been eating, of course. Just not quite as often as mother would've liked, who still insisted on cooking all the old family favourites even though it was only the two of them now. Her dad had died years ago and her brothers had their own places. At first she didn't mind but the smells drifting up from the kitchen had held less appeal to her. Food became a necessity rather than a pleasure.
When she'd stopped going down for meals, mother would bring food up now and again, but it turned into something of a battle between them. In an attempt to encourage Rosemary downstairs, mother would refuse to bring her anything, but that didn't bother Rosemary. She knew it would always be mother that caved in first, leaving a plate of something outside the door. A few knocks would signal its arrival before shuffling feet went off down the stairs again in defeat.
Rosemary never did see the pain that she caused her mother. The worry that built up, not knowing what to do to coax her daughter from her self-imposed prison. Not understanding just how someone could spend their entire lives chained to a virtual world, when the real world outside held so much more.
She had no idea when the pain that mother felt was more than just emotional. No idea that the pain was far worse, something she would never recover from.
Rosemary didn't even notice when she no longer heard mother coming up and down the stairs. Night came and went three times before she even realised that she hadn't eaten for awhile, her stomach protesting its neglect. Just once, prompted by this plea from within, did she open the door of her bedroom to peer down the stairs. She was so overcome with fear of stepping out onto her own landing she had to withdraw, closing the door firmly and hiding under her covers. It took an age to calm herself down again.
This wasn't anything like the shock that awaited her though. She didn't know what was happening when she heard the noise of someone shouting and bounding up the stairs. She'd been so scared she'd hidden under the bed. She was trembling all over when her door was thrown open and in her terror she didn't recognise the voice of her own brother calling for her. The look on his face when she crawled out from her hiding place was of confusion and disbelief. He was talking at her but she was barely registering anything he said. The odd word broke through, something about '...mother....how long.....dead....' The last word hung in her ears while she tried to comprehend.
She followed reluctantly down the stairs on shaky legs. Her brother was on the telephone, frantically talking to someone or other, Rosemary had no idea who. She only had to go halfway down though to see her mother lying on the kitchen floor. How long she had been there like that she'll never know. Grief consumed her as she collapsed on the stairs and she gasped as she saw herself in the mirror at the bottom. Unable to articulate her emotional confusion she barely registered people coming in and out.
That was three days ago and now, staring in the mirror, she still couldn't make sense of it all. She had so many feelings buzzing around inside and knew that guilt played a major part. There was no room for feeling the loss of her mother just yet.
She went back into her bedroom, the fortress she had built around herself. She sat down with her hand poised over the off switch. She knew she should turn it off and be done with it forever ...

Wednesday, 2 May 2012