Friday, August 30, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 29

I would have really loved to post this from the computer,  but my netbook is just not agreeing with me at all tonight.

Today I rested a lot. Still not feeling 100% and even when I tried to edit the last project,  I just couldn't. It's in a pile now to be forgotten about.

We watched The Host tonight. It was boring and didn't really make much sense.  (Why do aliens need guns, chrome Lotuses,  and even Earth at all?) I don't recommend it, though I hear the book gets more interesting.

That's it for today. I had to choose my favourite things as the photo theme today. Finishing a good book is one of them. I may make a list later.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 28

You know, ladies, those emotional, hormonal days when you feel like you’re crazy? Those days when you think you want to either cry, or sit in a dark room and each 100 Kit Kat bars, or both? Yeah, that was me today. I haven’t slept as much either because of my Ginseng and determination kick, but tonight after dinner I finally took a nap. My brains thanked me.
I didn’t work at all today other than look up ideas of how I want my YA Horror/Mystery project to go. Tomorrow I want to take that bus ride and get out of the house for a while. I’m almost finished with Mockingjay, so I’d like to read that over a nice frappuccino.
My parents got the proof copy of The Cupcake Witches in the mail from CreateSpace today. I know they’re proud (they don’t care about self publishing vs small press). I figured it was easier to send it to their US address too. Very quick turn out rate, I might add. I only ordered that 3 days ago. We still haven’t gotten the cover right with the dimensions. If we do this for a second book, I’m sticking with a solid color background. The little cupcake emblem on the bottom is cut off and there was no color to put on the back that matched the orange in the image we did. *sigh*
Also, I tried to find some info on a new, local salon. I was calling places to ask if I need a silly patch test for allergies before I get anything done, but one place said just to come in for a consultation and one didn’t answer the phone. I can’t stand going through all this. If I didn’t know if would look like crap, I’d just guy some Avon color from my neighbor and do it myself.
I got a call today from one of the new teaching agencies, saying they may have something for me at an English Department being a permanent support teacher. Not sure what all the details are, but I guess they’re putting my CV forward for that one. Nice to know that work may be coming my way right at the beginning of the school term. Amazing that just having a driver’s license helped my employability that much.
The August Break 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 27

BBC’s The One Show is filming their Summer Festival at The Sage today and tomorrow. I really want to be nosey and check it out tomorrow, since I was over there too late this evening.

Today I finished my current project. I say finished as it was at the end, I saw the end, I sprinted to the end. It’s 40,000 words. So, it’s a Young Adult horror novella, I guess. My idea now is that I can take it and use it as a theme for a series since my main goal for starting the book in the first place was to make my own Fear Street.

Of course, once I was done, I felt yucky. Not good, not pleased with myself, just bad. Like depressed because I don’t know what to do with the stupid thing. I can edit and query, I guess, and just keep on as if I’m going to self publish. I know being a published author, traditionally, is the dream goal, but I want a readership. I want people to like what I write. One day I want some awesome hardcover novels with my name on them gracing the proud shelves of book bloggers.

But that doesn’t happen all at once, so I’ll just keep on keeping on. I wanted to get set on my next project anyway, so I think I’ll get out of the house tomorrow, do some research and some coffee drinking, and let my mind go free for a bit.

I don’t want to hate the horror book, but I know what problems I have to address. I’m still thinking it’s just not worth querying about. I’ve read too many “sorry, submissions are closed” on small press sites anyway, and the ones I can submit too don’t seem to do young adult fiction. *shrug* Looks like it’s just up to me anyway.

Anyway, I picked up Steve, came home, ate a bunch of cookies, and stopped worrying about said book. If it’s not a masterpiece, so what? It’s all part of the biggest process. The whole writer thing is a minefield anyway because everyone wants to be the next big thing.

I wonder if this is how athletes, actors, lawyers, and singers feel.

The August Break 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 26

Per the current discussion about small press vs self published: I am fairly sick of the smugness that comes from authors who are “traditionally” published. If their book was put online and on shelves of some indie bookstores by a small press that didn’t bother paying a decent artist to work on their cover, they have no real right to be condescending to anyone else. It’s even worse when their book is tips on writing or self publishing. And why tell us how to market when your blog looks crappy and out-dated? Get a decent, basic theme and run with it. It doesn’t take much, but if it isn’t living up to these grandiose claims you have for yourself, get lost.

If you’ve made money, fine. Have fun. But unless you have a bang on cover and a decent readership, and have really done an extraordinary job with your novel you can put the condescension away, kids.

And no, we won’t hire you to edit our book with that attitude. I don’t know why people complain about clients’ work, then expect people to go, “Wow, he/she is really honest, I’ll pay them hundreds of dollars to talk bad about me after I submit my work too!”

But the rest of you who are just happy to be keeping on and doing your thing; you’re cool.

This, of course, has come from days of researching the matter online, it’s to no on in particular and certainly not to anyone I communicate with regularly. You’re all cool too. Honestly, I have found the people in my “Peeps” list to be very willing to help and encourage. I appreciate that so much (especially since I can be a right pain with the questions some days.)

I am totally all for traditional publication. I will query when my work is ready. Maybe. I understand the “Who cares? I have a publisher!” attitude. I just don’t think that a lot of these books merit much “Anything you can do, I can do better” taunt.

Plus, I promise I’ll talk less about writing once I go back to school.

Per the picture above: We took a nice ride on our bikes around the park today. It’s only been my third bike ride in the UK, so I’m not doing as well on the hills. I’m also not too keen on going on the street just yet either (I’ve seen how people drive on them already. People wander over in the bike line without a care in the world.)

But the day was so nice and everyone was out due to the Bank Holiday. I’m so glad Steve encouraged me to get out to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. He bought me an ice cream again today but I kept a hold of it and none of it got on my clothes. A+ Day!

Next week I will be free to do my thing at home again. I have 25k words left to go and I’m not sure if it will end short of that. It very well may be a novella, which is fine by me. I just want it done and out of the way.

The August Break 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 25

My theme was “Sunday Morning” but since I don’t get up on Sunday mornings, I just chose to use the photo I took yesterday with St. Nicholas Cathedral in the background. I took this from on top of the Tyne Bridge on our walk yesterday. Such a cool street there.

To go along with the top of self vs traditional publishing, I went on #writechat tonight. Someone was saying that authors have gotten picked up by traditional publishers after their self published novel had done well for a couple of years. (Not any of the big names we hear about all the time, btw.) I’m not sure if it all has to do with the genre fiction that does better self published as well, but someone else was saying that they’d never self pub fiction, only non-fiction. I asked if their non-fiction had a smaller readership than their traditionally published fiction, but I didn’t get an answer on that one.

So, the idea of small press came up. The first person who was selling self-publishing to me, said that small press can get you publicity and promotion. Fair enough, but I will go ahead and put this out there: I’ve seen some crappy looking books on small press websites. I even spoke with an author in a bookstore in Newcastle once who said their book was picked up by a major publisher. The book looked terrible and I felt embarrassed for the guy. If I were accepted by a small print press, I would run the risk of having a horrible looking book with my name on it.

No. Thank. You.

I think it brings me back to the bottom line. While I’m working towards perfecting a novel, the ones that I’m sure would not be picked up by a decent publisher will be done by myself. I can hire an editor, fine, and thankfully I have my illustrator and cover artist at home. I would rather have control over what I was doing, rather than have something janky sitting around at sad, local book events, making me wish I’d never bothered.

And, yes, I’ve looked into publishers allowing you to use your own illustrators and cover designs. The answer is always, “No. We like to chose the artist for you.”

Again. No. Thank. You.

Of course, the whole self promotion is something I don’t get. Everyone on Twitter hates tweets with “Buy My Book!” Someone told me to go to Tumblr, but amidst the Doctor Who and Harry Potter animated GIFs, I don’t know how well that will work either.

But for the rest of Sunday we hung out at home. I got my word count quota in for today, and before dinner I played more Saints Row IV. I’m not digging the supernatural aspect of it. I like car games, so when I get through the initial quests, I’ll probably just mess around the world like I usually do. That’s always more fun.

We also just watched Wreck-It Ralph. What a cute movie! I’m so glad Steve got me into watching cartoon again and learning how they create the stories. They’re always such good examples of strong characters, worlds, and storylines.

Anyway, tomorrow is our Bank Holiday, so we may go out for a bike ride or a stroll. Who knows?

The August Break 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 24

Took a walk into City Centre to get exercise today. I’ve been in this computer chair a lot more than usual and my back gives me little signals that it’s had enough.

We were looking for one of the food festivals, but we found nothing going on except Match Day, so we stayed out of the rain in the Burger King. Afterwards, we bought Saints Row IV, which Steve and I have been playing for the evening. It was just going to be an add-on to Saints Row III, but they made a whole new game out of it. Pretty fun, but a lot like the last one. I missed the driving and shooting; I am not the greatest at aiming though, so I get frustrated really easily with missions.

That’s about all for today, honestly. I didn’t do a dang thing for writing, which is going to amp my daily word count goal considerably. I’m usually too tired to even read much at night, so tomorrow is going to have to be catch up time.

The August Break 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 23

I had to post my “sacred” picture straight from Instagram today because Flickr doesn’t seem to be working.

I got my reasonable word count done today, but I messed around on the computer as well and my back wasn’t happy about being in this chair for too long. I’ll need to walk around more this weekend.

I was talking to people on Twitter today about traditional versus self publishing. While I know everyone would like a book deal and the validation that they’re work is good, is it really necessary? I have only ever looked into submitting work as short stories before, so querying for a novel was something I’d only skimmed before. Today I was reading submission guidelines that wanted the query and first two chapters but not to send attachments unless invited to do so. I was told on Twitter that publishing companies are afraid of viruses, so they don’t accept them.

Um…NASA allows attachments in emails. You know how freaking high that security is?

I guess it’s easier for them to skim and not have emails just going straight to the junk folder but, really, if that’s one of the requirements, aren’t we already treading on out dated ground? As Vivian Tuffnell was saying, publishers aren’t necessary anymore. They’re old news because anyone can work hard, get their work ready for an audience, and make money from the sales without begging a publisher to so it for them. She also told me that not all agents are worth the time to even bother with.

What’s nice is the option. Yes, we all would love a publishing deal, a six figure income, a movie deal, etc. Or we can just write and produce the best quality work we can. That’s a huge relief.

Granted their is stigma, and I understand that. I come from a long tradition of literary snobbery and, frankly, some indies I’ve seen look awful. But some aren’t that bad. Plus, if you know for sure that publishers aren’t going to be into your “I’m not Twilight” novel, then is it really worth waiting around for months to get a rejection letter instead of just throwing your book up on Amazon and getting on with the next project? (Yes, I know you can work while waiting on a publisher, but, again, is it really worth it?)

If I really had something that I thought would dazzle an agent, I’d bother, but this project I’m trying to finish is just an odd story, so I’m guessing the first two chapters I cut and paste in my email will be quickly disregarded.

Anyway, it was a good conversation and I like Twitter when issues like this pop up. I like hearing other people’s experiences and viewpoints on the topic.

Lastly, movies:

City of Bones got 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Why can’t anyone make a decent movie from a young adult book?)

I tried to watch District Nine but it was way too gory for me. (Steve finally turned it off because it was freaking me out in parts.)

Ben Affleck is Batman and I don’t care. (People complained about Man of Steel already, so what’s the big deal?)

The August Break 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 21

This morning Steve was coughing a lot, as if he wasn’t completely over the cold that had kept him home one day last week. He decided to stay and work at home today, poor thing.

I had an appointment in Sunderland to sign up for another teaching agency. This will be probably the twelfth agency I’ve signed up with (and I only get work from two of them, mind you). I agreed to register with this place though because the guy working there had called me twice about trying to get my resume forward for two jobs already before even meeting with me.

Instead of driving today, I chose to take the bus and Metro. I like the option of it, especially when I’m going somewhere that has very convenient stops for public transportation. I left Steve at home and ventured out with my tote bag full of official documents, Mockingjay (I swear, that book is more disturbing than the first one in a lot of way), the AlphaSmart (which I didn’t get to use, but I like having it close by), and a newspaper announcing the birth of Prince George that I sent to my friend Kelly in Florida.

Since they’re doing construction on everything, including the Metro, here, I ended up getting to Sunderland right on time. I met with the agency guy who said he could pay me more and try to get me Primary School work. Both sound good, but, of course, I’m dubious because these places never seem to pan out. But, anyway, I gave it a go.

On the way back, I stopped off at the Monkwearmouth Station Museum out of curiosity. It was used as far back as Edwardian times but I only stayed long enough to nose around the main building; I didn’t go to the outside exhibit. It was still really cool because, again, things this old fascinate me since anything in Florida is old if it was built in the 1960s.

I turned back after that, sent my newspaper in the mail, and returned home to serve up some chicken noodle soup for Steve. I didn’t go to Weight Watchers tonight either because once I’m in the house I have a hard time leaving again. At least I have my new Points Plan book that I got when I signed back up last week.

Needless to say, I didn’t get any work done, but I have all day tomorrow, Friday, and the three day weekend to do things and get my project done on time.

The August Break 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 20

Stayed home today to get more things done. Didn’t work too much on the next project, as I know I’m not supposed to, and did my 1,300 words for current work in progress so it can meet its September something deadline.

I’m really at the “I hate this story and so will everyone else” point, but, I’ll get it done.

I also watched some of The White Queen and noticed that I don’t need naps as much as I did. I’ve been taking the Vitamin B as well as the Ginseng, Ginkgo and Guarana supplements. I swear, they’re doing better than coffee ever did.

The August Break 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 19

Another day of getting stuff done. I actually started the day off working on something that I hadn’t thought about for long (a glorious error to many, I’m sure) but it was so clear and nice in my head, I just had to get some notes down. When I worked a lot (too much) on that, I finally watched Ghost Adventures and got my 1,300 words done for the project that Will. Get. Done.

After picking Steve up from work, I hit a curb at a roundabout because taxi drivers are not to be trusted. I don’t know if they were or weren’t going to go in the lane I have to aim for when coming back from the Quayside, but I wasn’t about to swerve over until they were long gone.

It’s a dangerous world when it comes to roundabouts and taxis.

Tonight we had roast dinner again as we usually do on Sundays, but since we were out yesterday, we ate our mash and gravy tonight while watching Jimmy Fallon, as we do during dinner. Then for our movie night, Steve chose Chronicle which was really good and I highly recommend it. It’s short and has a nice, tight plot. The characters are teens who obtain superpowers and they learn what all they can do with them. It turns innocent until the troubled one of the trio has things to deal with at home and at school.

I’ll leave you with the trailer and bid you all good night!

The August Break 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 18

Steve and I took a walk down to the Quayside and met up with an old friend of his from work at The Baltic. We wandered around, looking at the art for a while, then we walked back through Ouseburn to The Cluny for a couple of pints and Sunday lunch. So good!

We chatted about American and English differences because Steve’s friend is going off to work in the U.S. soon. He knows all the problems with Visas and oversees qualifications that don’t transfer in other countries. I was asked if my chosen profession was writing (I admit, I was pleased to let him in on the little side project of illustrated young adult books.) I said that and supply teaching. That’s my thing. I guess I may as well admit it to people.

We also discussed how the Internet has caused people to have some kind of hindrance on their own creation. Someone has already created something you may have wanted to create on your own and naively carried it out until you were finished. Now you can find out quite easily how someone already had your idea and made something similar, hence defeating you before you can begin. It use to be that people could go about their lives without having to know everything about what everyone was doing. Now our world is much, much smaller. That’s good and bad.

After lunch we walked down on the Quayside and Steve bought us all ice creams. Of course my klutziness caused me to drop my cone as he handed it to me and I had the remnants of a 99 and raspberry sauce all over my jeans. Oh well. It all washed off.

Once we got back home, I had walked a ton, eaten a ton (minus the ice cream) and was so ready for a nap. Consequentially none of my word count was completed today, but it was “living my life” day, so that’s fine.

The August Break 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 17

I didn’t think I would do as well as I did today on my word count, but I got over 2,000 words down today. I used Write or Die this afternoon, then this evening, I sat on the couch and did the rest with my AlphaSmart. I’ll tell you why this works so well: no distractions. I don’t have any alerts on my spelling, and even if the sentence structure is a bit wonky, and I fix it up, it’s not the whole page, looking at me, waiting to be fixed. I can keep going. There’s less to muddle up the lines between imagination and typing. I really needed something like this.

We’re still getting through Season 3 of Walking Dead on Channel 5. Now, I’m a whiner when it comes to shows a lot of times, but I really like this one. I like the characters, and I like the shows ability to make me and Steve sit upright and scream at the television. I use to do that with Lost and I dearly miss being involved with a show like that.

So, that’s that for today. Steve did a lot of cleaning. I did some laundry and worked on said project. I’m really aiming for September for a 1st draft completed goal because I have three projects sitting there half done and I need this one done (even though I sat there today doing the same old, “But is this really a good story? Is this even the one I should be working on?” crap.) Ugh. I hate that second guessing stuff.

The August Break 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 16

Only got half of my word count down today. I’m at the point where I know stuff needs to get going, but I don’t want to rush anything. I think I’m going to have to re-plot the rest of it. At least I know how I want the thing to end, so I have a main goal.

I didn’t go swimming today. I was this afternoon before my chiropractor appointment, but that stupid nauseated feeling from not having enough food thing started up. While I was doing Weight Watchers last year, I slept in on Sunday and hadn’t eaten for 12 hours. I ended up collapsing in the shower; dizzy and trying to throw up. I had a bite of banana and it went away immediately. Scary stuff. I went to the doctor and had my blood tested but everything was fine. When you search online about being nauseated from not eating, it’s usually hypo glycaemia, but I don’t have that.

On Saturday I had porridge and a banana and ended up feeling sick to my stomach a few hours later. Today the same thing happened and, again, the moment I have food, it goes away and I’m fine again. When we did our grocery shopping tonight I made sure to get plenty of fruit and sandwich makings. When I first had the stupid acid reflux problems about five years ago, it helped to have a bunch of smaller meals. I think I’m going to have to go that route again.

Tomorrow we’re going to have a nice leisurely day and maybe head to the pool together again. I’ll have to get my word count and plot organization all fixed up too.

The August Break 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 15

So tired. I’m taking less naps, which is good, and I put some writing advice I read today to heart and started a timesheet with my deadlines and word count. Someone on Twitter tonight was saying I should write 10,000K a day as the book I was reading suggests but, man, I just don’t know if I could do that any time soon. I mean, if I did, I’d have a book done in a week. I can’t even wrap my head around that concept.

Anyway, I did work today and I also got a call from my doctor’s office (which scared the crap out of me), but they just said my test results indicate that whenever there are any future children, I have to advice the midwife that I carry a strep virus that could pass to a baby. Very weird. But it makes me more confident in the NHS because we’re no where near readying for children but already they’re being taken care of. Nice feeling.

Tomorrow is chiropractor day which should also be swimming day though I really, really don’t want to. Last time it was too busy and exercise is just a hassle. Granted, when I feel like going to the gym and jumping on an elliptical machine I feel better, but swimming makes me tired. It’s a tough exercise to keep up for 30 minutes; especially when you’re dodging children out on summer break who love to splash their friends in the pool.

And so, with the night at a close, it’s time for bed-readying. Hope tomorrow is a good, even more productive day.

The August Break 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 14

Super quick post because I played Sims before blogging and now I’m late for bed again.

Today I went to my Nurse to pick up a prescription, went home and did 1600 words in spurts on AlphaSmart 3000 while on the couch.

Signed up with Weight Watchers again, but that’s cool. It’s better than doing nothing. I haven’t been since this time last year, so it’s time to get back to the portion control and point counting. Yay. (Insert Sarcasm Sign.)

Tomorrow is another glorious day of staying at home and getting stuff done. Until then!

The August Break 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 13

Today’s theme was home, which worked fine for me because I’ve been here for two days (minus the times I go out to pick up Steve.) While I got 2000 words done yesterday, I was only at 1800 today. I know I should stick to the one project and get it done. I know I should just write notes at the bare minimum for any other project, then file it away for later, but I haven’t. I wrote on two things today. Bad. I know. I have to stop.

So, after I did my bit of wordage, I played Sims 3 (as seen above with my little teacher’s apple.) I feel bad even wanting to play games or do anything non-productive too, so I have to stay away from that stupid thing tomorrow as well. Sadly I have errands to run tomorrow, so I won’t be able to lock myself in the house to get stuff done.

I did collect some more links for today’s post as well:

I loved the second article because it does stress how, well, stressful the whole publishing process is. It’s a lot of work, just as anyone goes to work, it’s not just a fun day at home eating bonbons or writing in the Moleskin at Starbucks, as she points out. Plus, I always remember Anne Lamott saying that once you’re published, it’s not over. You aren’t done. It’s just a step in your career.

And now it's time for me to get the laundry dried, take a shower, and talk to my parents before settling down in bed with my book. Night, all!

The August Break 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 12

I just tried to take this photo out of the front window and it’s the best I can do. The sad thing about photography is that it never captures exactly what you’re seeing.

Today I did very well. Mondays are usually good for me because I’m rested and refreshed from the weekend, and I’m ready to work. I made myself stay in and get 2,023 words written of a middle grade project. I’m happy that I didn’t get distracted and I got a decent amount of work done (for me.)

I was thinking about Capote’s preface in Music for Chameleons where he talks about potential:

There were too many areas where I was not writing as well as I could, where I was not delivering the total potential. Slowly, but with accelerating alarm, I read every word I’d ever published, and decided that never, not once in my writing life, had I completely exploded all the energy and aesthetic excitements that material contained. Even when it was good, I could see that I was never working with more than half, sometimes only a third, of the powers at my command. Why?

I don’t think I’ve ever worked to my greatest potential on anything because I’m such a procrastinator by nature. I’ve tried to chalk it up to ADD or a perfectionist nature, or anything that would explain why I don’t give it my all, all the time; especially when I want to. I don’t know if it’s lack of belief in the work, or myself, or what it is, but it’s freaking annoying.

If only they really had a drug like on Limitless without the adverse side effects. Oddly enough, Bradley Cooper’s character wrote a book, then moved on to other, important things. I think I’d stick to the books. I at least take my vitamins each day to help stimulate my brains. I’m really not sure how much they help, or if it’s just the combination of rest, reading, and coffee consumption.

And because people love animated GIFs, I’m adding one.


I’ve also been looking for more middle grade books to read since I only have a few under my belt. Again, I’m not gung-ho on the fantasy genre, so I’m trying to find cute, girlie books for my Kindle. I’ll post my list to bookblogarama this Friday for Friday Finds.

The August Break 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 11

Today we went for Afternoon Tea aboard an old train at Tanfield Railway. We now can take adventures with the car and discover all the little gems that we have locally. Today was Teddy Bear Picnic Day, and we not only had our tea, but saw a quarry, and visited the old train yard. Pretty neat for photographs which I put in a set HERE.

“With an unparalleled history dating back to 1725, spectacular scenery and a truly unique atmosphere, it is no wonder that the Tanfield Railway is the North East's biggest and most popular steam railway.

An ideal day out for families and history fans alike, Europe's oldest working engine shed and the world's oldest railway bridge as well as riding on the world's oldest railway make a visit a must for anyone with an interest in our proud railway heritage.” – from Tanfield website

I’ve still been thinking about that Lauren Oliver article and how it’s absolutely necessary to just sit and get to work. Of course this week there are things I could and should be doing outside of the house. I know most people would say, “But surely you can get back to work after going out for a little bit.” I would think I could do that, but I need to get into this little groove where I’m not distracted. Ridiculously mental, I’m sure, but necessary.

And now, in the last 6 minutes I have of Day 11, I’ll post my update. Have a great week!

The August Break 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 10


Well, it’s still Saturday in Florida, so I’m technically not late.

Today we slept in, went to Newcastle on the bus (been forever since we’ve done that, now that we have the car), went to the library, returned books, and looked for new ones. No idea why, but every time I look for a book there it’s never in the place it should be. When I’ve asked a librarian either they can’t find it, or it’s in special collections and needs to be retrieved. I liked reading an old copy of  Fahrenheit 451, but finding a book in the “Quick Choice” section on my own and having the librarian say, “Hhmm. Shouldn’t have been there. It was returned six months ago,” isn’t a pleasant experience. Today I looked for any copy of Capote’s work that they had. I searched two floors and couldn’t find a thing, despite their online catalogue saying they had copies available. Oh well. This is why I have a Kindle.

We also ate sandwiches at Greggs, walked around the mall, returned video games (Steve’s getting ready for our purchase of Saints Row 4 this month), and I looked at books in Waterstones. I totally need to read The Ocean At the End of the Lane.

Tonight we ate pizza and watched the new Total Recall. (Steve said they should have named it “Total Nonsense.”) Having only seen the original a couple of times a while ago and just knowing the basic idea, the new one started off pretty promising. However, the plot holes just didn’t work and it wasn’t as good of a movie as it could have been. Personally, I would have liked it if Ethan Hawke was the lead because an older, rugged hero is much more convincing (except I still like Matt Smith as the Doctor.) I really liked The Fall and the dystopian look of the movie was great. Some of the dialogue wasn’t fantastic either, but if it were written as a novel now instead of the original short story where it was set on Mars, it could have worked (you know, if the novel had a tighter plot.)

Now I’m here, writing in the blog at 1:30AM. That is all.

The August Break 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 9

This morning I had to go see the Nurse for my check up (hooray), then I decided to treat myself to a breakfast. Sainsbury’s café was closed for upgrades until the end of the month and both McDonald’s and the M&S café were just ridiculous busy. I had to take my word processor, my book, my Kindle, and myself back home. No work done this morning.

After I ate way, way too much Chinese Take Away (they had a sale at M&S), I took my nap, then had to go out again for the chiropractor’s appointment. My back’s doing better but I’m still under the orders to swim more. I’m not recommended to jog, which I contemplated since the weather’s nice, but he didn’t recommend it. Don’t have to tell me twice.

When I was finished there, I only had about 30 minutes to enjoy my triple caramel frappuccino light and read the preface by Capote in Music for Chameleons. The intro discussed his writing, which is just cool because I forget how much I’ve liked reading Capote in the past. He’s definitely unique with a good perspective on the art.

“I will say only that all a writer has to work with is the material he has gathered as the result of his own endeavour and observations, and he cannot be denied the right to use it. Condemn, but not deny.”

“When God hands you a gift he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation.  ….It was a lot of fun [writing] at first.  It stopped being fun when I discovered the difference between good writing and bad, and then made an even more alarming discovery: the difference between very good writing and true art; it is subtle, but savage. And after that, the whip came down!”

Afterwards, I picked Steve up and we headed to Tesco for dinner and shopping. I love that place. We have a huge, new Tesco now and I can pretty much find everything I need there because they have a lot of American food and kosher food which I didn’t really think about before, but we do use the pickles and the noodles from those aisles in Florida. It’s really been a long time coming to be able to have the food items you don’t necessarily have to get straight away, but you know the option is there. Our Sainsbury's just got flavoured coffee last month (Tesco doesn’t even have that in all, oddly), so the limits are something you’re very, very aware of when you’ve lived in the land of “Get Everything You Ever Wanted 24 Hours A Day.”

Also, when the UK says their store is open 24 Hours, they mean except the weekend. *shakes head in dismay*

My links for today include:

The August Break 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 8

After hanging out this morning, I finally made myself go to the pool after lunch. As I’ve said before, the highway around here is blocked off on a lot of exits for road work, so I have to time my trips just right so I don’t get stuck in too much traffic.

I really didn’t feel like going to the pool today because it becomes really boring. Back and forth. Back and forth. No music. No audiobook. Back and forth.

However, today the pool was kind of busy and me and an elderly gentleman were trying to make our way back and forth around the kids who were swimming in the big lap pool. (There’s a medium sized pool for the little kids and their parents too.) In the big pool there were some teenaged kids who were pretty respectful of other people’s space, and I was able to get around them all right. However, this one couple and their middle school aged son just didn’t get it.

Usually I try to stay in the pool for 30 minutes. In that whole time, the couple (in their 30s, so they should have known better), kept splashing each other and floating and playing back and forth horizontally in the pool, across four lanes. Now, most people see where someone is trying to make a lane for themselves to swim in, but these people just didn’t care or understand. Two other elderly people came in to swim as well, and in that 20 minutes that we were all there, that couple with the kid apologized to each of us for getting in our way.

That didn’t stop them though. You’d go past them, and they’d just float, splash, wander right back through the lanes. At one point an elderly lady (who was going a heck of a lot faster than I was, bless her) ran smack into the mother. The father just grabbed a hold of the mother and stayed there, so the poor old dear had to try and squeeze past them. Even if they had just stayed in a general area, we could have all stayed away from them, but they did this through a quarter or the pool, so we couldn’t dodge them every time.

Anyway, I quit early, and stopped at the Angel of the North to take my self portrait (I don’t like the term “selfie”), per the theme for today. Ironically or not, the ice cream man, Mr. Whippy, drove off after I’d taken my picture and was thinking of getting a 99 ice cream cone. Blast!

I did, however, go on to Starbucks for my light triple caramel frappuccino. I tried out my AlphaSmart 3000, which was good, but I’ve discovered I’m very use to UK keyboards now, so I keep trying to add quotation marks by hitting Shift-2. I only wrote 560 some words today too but, alas, I did something, so I won’t beat myself up about it too much.

Tonight I finally tried to get rid of my bee situation. I found yet another unwelcomed intruder in the bathroom today as I was brushing my teeth (how are they getting in here?!) and I purchased some wasp, fly, ant spray at Homebase while I was out. I tried to shoot them from outside, but this isn’t that long, stream type stuff. I waited until it got dark and I didn’t see them hanging around outside the window. I discovered that they’ve built their little home in the window sill, so when I hear them moving around in there, they’re like right there in the window. *shudder*

I sprayed the little gap in the PVC frame and one little bugger got in and soon died from my wrath of spray. A second one was in there buzzing around (again, in the windowsill) but he finally stopped. No idea if I got any more of them, if I just made them mad, or if I convinced any of them to go away, but we’ll see tomorrow morning when twenty of them are dancing outside my computer room. *double shudder*

Finally, tonight I watched The Men Who Made Us Thin. It was all about how diets started as a business and they aren’t scientific or medically concocted with the consumer’s well being in mind. I always heard that diets were bad because you end up gaining more than you start off with, but I never knew the extent of it. Apparently, the weight-to-age-to-height charts that they first started using were just arbitrarily made up by some guy at MetLife who wanted to sell insurance, but doctors started using it as a guideline. Also, the University of Minnesota did a study in the 40s where they made men eat a 1500 calorie diet for six months and they went mad. Like chopped off their own fingers, tried to escape to eat grass, and tried to harm their roommates, because they were starving. Keep in mind that "The FDA recommends that women should consume 1500 to 2000 calories a day depending on whether they need to lose weight or maintain weight." Also, my beloved Weight Watchers confirmed that consumer failure is the reason they continue to stay in business. Consumers blame themselves, not the diet. Bottom line. Focus on health, not on weight.

And my link for today: Lauren Oliver Writes at Home (And On the Move). Before I Fall was written primarily on her Blackberry. I would type on my mobile if I had the patience. The article is great; she says she likes to just sit at home and write. Cafés mean getting dressed and going outside. Yup. Productivity and solitary confinement definitely go hand in hand.

The August Break 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 7

Okay, only 35 minutes left of Day 7, so I’ll write a quick list of things that happened today:

  • Found another bee in the house. He was flying around the living room. No idea if he’d been in there since the weekend’s fiasco when a bunch of them flew in from my computer room window, or if he figured out another way in. Regardless, all the windows are now shut and staying shut until it gets cooler and the bees who are making their nest or whatever in my windowsill get out of here.
  • Put Write or Die on my netbook, then went to Starbucks and wrote 998 words in 28 minutes. I really wish I could just sit and do that for hours a day like the 9 Weird Habits of Highly Effective Writers.
  • I also thought the 27 Problems only Introverts Will Understand was interesting too. I thought I was fairly extroverted, but apparently not.
  • My parents sent a care package to us. I now have a fresh supply of flavoured Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and the AlphaSmart 3000 that I bought on Ebay. I was really impressed with it. Now I don’t have to lug anything heavy around, or get distracted with signing into WiFi, or Tweeting. I can just get some writing done when I’m out. Plus, you just plug it into the PC, hit “Send”, and the text pops up on whatever word processing program you have pulled up. Just super cool.
  • I picked up Steve from work today and took this photo for the skyline theme of today. I’m so glad the weather isn’t monstrously hot anymore. It’s helped my mood 100%.
  • We say Sharknado tonight…well, what we could handle until we turned it off because it was just awful.
  • Someone on Facebook posted the awesome video of Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke & The Roots Singing "Blurred Lines" on classroom instruments.
  • And, finally, I’m on page 126 of Mockingjay.

The August Break 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 6

I have to get in a little post before Day 6 is over. Steve wasn’t feeling well today so he stayed home with me. We hung out, watched TV, and even took a little wander outside before dinner, hence my photo of our back garden.

I didn’t get anything written today, even though I really should do before bed. I realized that the minute I stop working, I second guess my whole project. Gotta keep my head down, and get on with it.

So, since this is a short post, I will share are some interesting links that I put on Twitter today:

Amen! Didn’t Stephen King say the same thing in On Writing?The August Break 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 5

It was raining this morning, so I took Steve into work today. I then went off to my local Next / Starbucks to get some work done. While it’s still summer, I found they had the Fall collection out. I know Brits poo-poo Next, but I always loved it in there. Granted I don’t really have the money or need to wear the cuteness, but I like to look anyway. I love the feeling that Autumn gives you, like when school starts again and there’s this hope for a whole new, exciting school year. This can only be accomplished, of course, with sweater sets and wool skirts. Sadly I just don’t need to buy such things anymore. Sort of makes me feel less girlie when I don’t shop, but my whole day consists of hanging out in a café, a swimming pool, a grocery store, or my house. Cuteness isn’t really required there.

There use to be a time though when I was a mad shopper. Now I do it in tiny, responsible sessions.

But the most important thing is that I started the week with over 800 words, so I’m still plugging away at the project, or WIP, as the writer blogs like to say. I’ve also decided to finally read Mockingjay even though I heard how much of a disappointment it is from the first book. I’ll have to update bookblogarama about that too. I was also trying to catch up with Downton Abbey last night on LoveFilm’s ITV Player. I know the big story events, but I’ve missed a lot of episodes from the middle of Season 2 and all of Season 3, pretty much. I know it’s hard to believe, but I lost interest after a while, but I was glad to watch again.

The August Break 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

#AugustBreak2013 Day 4

Sunday is a good day to discuss today’s theme of love. Saturday is the doing day – the day to go out and about and explore the great North East of England. Sunday is the doing nothing day. Sundays we set aside to just hang around the house and enjoy each other’s company. It’s our day. We get up at any hour we fancy, then Steve makes waffles for us while we watch Adventure Time or something equally as nerdy (today it was Ginx Videogaming TV.) The cat sleeps in various rooms of the house happy to have us both home. Steve plays games on the Xbox downstairs while I sometimes write, or play Sims 3, or blog.

We call both of our families back home, we eat (the best) roast dinner consisting of chicken, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, mash, carrots, and roasted potatoes. We watch Top Gear. We watch recorded episodes of The Soup. Steve takes a bath while listening to podcasts, I read a book on the couch. Then we go to bed to start the week.

Yup. Sunday is a day for love, that’s for sure.

The August Break 2013