Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

Yes, it's here again.

November  = NaNoWriMo = new novel.

Have I got the slightest clue as to what I will write this year? Not one bit.
Well, actually, that's not quite true. I wrote this 'introduction' chapter to a story four years ago, simply because it just came to me one day. But there never was anything linked to it, no particular plot or plot points or anything!!! I'd been sitting on it since, always wondering what to do with it, where to take it.

I've decided to attempt a full novel based on that introduction this year - for lack of any other ideas!

Doesn't exactly sound like a path to success, does it? Then again, I've had other ideas over the past 6 years (can you believe it, I wrote my first NaNo novel in 2005??????) which, with all the plot lines and ideas still came to nothing.

I suppose that's part of what's so cool about NaNoWriMo. You just don't know WHERE this month will take you. And I'm totally ready to embrace the craziness, write late into the night, fret about the 'daily' 1667 words necessary to finish and attend write-ins at the pub around the corner.

If nothing else, I will meet new characters - no matter what I write, they always show up and surprise the hell outta me. Because much as I think I control the story, the truth is, these characters control ME.

Writing ROCKS! :) Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Liberation

Ever since I started the redecoration of my flat last year (yes, it's been over a year now, can you believe it???), I've slowly started letting go of things. When I mean letting go, I mean throw away/give away. And when I say things, I mean TONS of stuff I had amassed over the years that I never used!

The list is neverending... last year I went through my clothes ruthlessly. I now have very few clothes that I actually DO wear. Sure, there are some that simply have emotional value but those are just t-shirts which I have decided to turn into carrier bags. This way, I don't throw the t-shirt away and it gives me pleasure when I use it on my weekly shops!

I went through my books and have also ruthlessly donated all those that I knew I'd never read again. I still have a pile of books I haven't yet read and unless I actually LOVE them, once I've read them, they will go also.

I went through paperwork that had amassed over the years as well and simply shredded everything that's older than 3 years. Bills from my last place of residence seem rather ridiculous to keep!

I even went as far as sorting through my audio cassette tapes... yes, believe it or not, I had a box full of cassette tapes, probably around 100 of them. Going through them was (and still is) a LOT of work and involved listening to most of them to decide whether it's worth keeping them or not. And if they ARE worth keeping, I bought a little gizmo that plugs into my PC's USB port and into my walkman's headphones (yes, I STILL had my walkman and it works just as well as it did when I bought it in 1998! LOL) and I've started transforming them all into mp3 format. Each time I finish moving something from tape to mp3 I throw the tape away. All annoyance for having to go through this aside, it's a great walk down memory lane... when else do you really make time to go through old music you used to listen to???

The bathroom had to be sorted through as well and I kicked so many samples and old creams and gels and products and heaven knows what else!

The kitchen is what has been occupying me for the last few weeks. On a whim I decided to go through some of the cupboards where I kept my pots and pans and eliminated a good part of what I knew was stuff I'd never used/never will use.

Today, I'm back in the kitchen and attacking the gadgets. I love kitchen gadgets. I have a steamer, a slow cooker (never used, bought about two years ago), a wok, a bread maker, an ice cream machine, a food sealer (google if you don't know what that is), a George Foreman grill... well, the list goes on and on.
Today the wok goes, as does the George Foreman grill - I haven't used these in ages. And the slow cooker goes as well. It's still packed in its box, never having been used... how pathetic is that??? But the truth is, I know I will never use it so what's the point? Thankfully I remember buying it and it wasn't very expensive so that makes me feel a bit better!

Overall, this purging of things is extremely liberating... there is nothing like the feeling of going into an area of your home that isn't stuffed full of crap that is weighing you down. More and more I feel like I can breathe freely in this space. I try to follow the new rule: If you buy one thing, throw another one out.

Whether this is achievable long term is another question, of course ;) But I shall keep you updated!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My way or the Segway!

Today was a balancing act... literally!!!
For my birthday, Ally and Julian got me a ''Go Ape Forest Segway' experience for an hour! I'd heard of the Segways from friends and colleagues who'd ridden them in California (along the beach... *sigh*) but never realized they could be driven on uneven terrain!

Just so you can see what this looks like, check out this video:



Let me tell you... it looks a LOT easier than it is! To start with, you have to find your balance on that thing which has NOTHING that grounds you. So the only way to make the Segway stop still is to be balanced and relaxed. Of course when you start, you're anything but!!!

Still, over the course of the next hour, I learned to relax and totally enjoy it. Little hills and tight curves just became a cool challenge! :) And when the hour was over, I was utterly disappointed and was left wanting more!!!

A nice pub lunch finished off a lovely day - thanks Ally and Julian for such a cool present! :)

P.S. I took my video camera to film along the way but you can't ride the Segway with one hand so no footage is available :(

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OK, let's see...

Well, I have been absent from this blog for quite a while, I know!
I always, constantly, pledge to be better at updating this but never manage to - well, let's see if this time it may actually happen! You'll ask: why should this be different than any of the other times she's promised to update this more often?

Well, as of Saturday, I have completely deleted my Facebook account. I could go into details and explain exactly why but the simple truth is, their new 'features' freaked the hell out of my privacy-protecting mind plus I realized that maybe being ever-connected isn't exactly the best part about life.
So, with plenty more time on my hands now, I suppose instead of writing status updates on Facebook, I shall try to keep this blog going more frequently. And with that, also, less wordy! You know how I love me some good ole, loooooong posts, but sometimes they're just not necessary.

So here goes... to a new bloglife! If all goes well, we'll be talking again soon! :)