Captain, my Captain

So this is the first post in a while that isn’t going to be droning on about writing or relearning teach. I know crazy right…

Instead, I felt the need to post an unpaid advertisement for a new drink I purchased tonight. Captain Morgans Tiki, it’s a Mango and Pineapple drink. I don’t usually do the flavored drink thing as I like Whiskey and Bourbon, but I am partial to Captain morgan and I love pineapple, I can definitely say this one is worth the money. Paired with lemonade it’s the perfect blend of the Rum and fruits. 3 glasses down, i will have to be careful with this one.

Drink safe 🙂

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Working on updates

It’s been a while again, I haven’t gone very far with my writing as usual. I have been working more on updating my tech knowledge, I also had an interview for a data-related IT job. I am still waiting to hear about this but getting ready for that rekindled my interest in code and Linux.

I was planning on still doing both but not doing writing much, part of the reason will be the online meetups for the writing group are just not working. most people that would regularly come to the meets just don’t do online meetings. The couple of members that would be there have just had kids so they cannot. So what this means for me is I don’t have that structure. I know it sounds like an excuse but I always write more when I am attending the groups.

Had a long weekend of this weekend and I had a list of things I wanted to do. but none of it has been done, I have been unwell for a few days now and so not had the energy to do what I wanted to do. I am off today and I have a job to apply for this morning and then I can bum around some more.

For the tech learning I have started working through some Udemy courses, for SQL and Linux to re-skill and up-skill. I also got one of their courses on building sites in WordPress as that is something I would like to do more of, using less templates.

Sat on the laptop now as the main machine is updating, always makes me nervous when it takes this much time as it could be Winsux bricking my machine again and making me have to reinstall. Once Linux Mint 20 is released I am going to try that on my main 6 screen system, I am hoping it will work well so I can use this as a min OS and only boot windows when I want to play games.

Anyway, time to get sorted to try having a productive day, also need to make a docs appointment… fun fun.

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Writing Meets and Covid

Motivation can be a strange thing, especially with me. I am lucky that I have an understanding wife and I have an office in which to work. Many people have to write anywhere they can but I have my Batcave, Sanctuary, Den. Whatever you want to call it, but, for me it can be both a boon and a curse, there are a lot of distractions in there and sometimes I can lose hours in there and have nothing to show for it. So I am glad when I can go to my writing group meets as it means I have some dedicated writing time, and it works quite well usually, we catch up which takes some of the time but then we get some words down and the atmosphere is great.

As we are in a lockdown (however relaxed as it is) we obviously cannot meet up so we thought it would be a good idea to get some online meets down. It seemed like a good idea, but in reality, it hasn’t worked as well as we had hoped. it seems harder to get people to want to meet up “online” between other commitments and getting the technology to work, we just haven’t had much luck. So sometimes it can only be two of us, a couple of the regulars have just had babies so this occupies most of their time as well, but they try as much as they can, sometimes getting more writing then me done, and I have no excuse.

This has meant that sometimes I am online supposed to be writing but I find I am pottering about on the internet waiting for someone else. I know what you are going to say, there is no reason I couldn’t be writing in those times. But, I am someone that works better when I am held to account. Hopefully, this virus will do one soon and I can get back to normal meets. In the meantime, it would be good if I could get my ass into gear regardless of who else is there.

Also, I was looking back through my posts and notice I seem to post that picture of a baby showing a fist waaaay too much, need to keep a check on that.

Anyway stay safe and keep writing, or working, or whatever 🙂

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Life, the universe and everything

Isolation…. not as bad for me as other people, I still need to go into the office sometimes to sort deliveries of PPE to our staff. That and I need to do the odd thing for the daughter and grandson. On the days when I don’t do that I am it he house all day, it’s a strange thing but before all this, I would think nothing of staying in all day or weekend. Now, however, I find I want to go out. It doesn’t help that the weather is very nice at the moment.

So instead I would love to say I have been using my time to the best of my ability, but that would be a lie. I still spend hours in the office and don’t seem to achieve anything. Today for instance, I had all the intentions of spending the day on my writing, it is supposed to be Camp Nano but I haven’t done the planning and so don’t want to start as I will fail due to lack of planning.

I have my bullet journal and I am supposed to be using that to track my habits and set my goals, but as it’s just sat in the office I am not doing much with it, I will need to either pick it up and take it with me or I need to set some habits. Pick it up first thing and plan my day and then at the end of the day, mark off my tasks or move on to the next day. That was it may be more of an achievement when I complete things or more of a push when I am seeing the same task move on day today.

It really is strange to live in times like these, I see the lockdown continuing and perhaps being made worse by the people that won’t stay in. Some fo them actually going to the bloody beach… idiocy! We shall see, it’s reviewed next week and we can see where we stand. It definitely is something that will be talked about for a long long time.

Anyway, back to the grind, work tomorrow although its a bank holiday weekend coming up and I am hoping that I can achieve much by good planning, I need to relax given how busy and stressful it is at work but at the same time I want to use this time to start and move my dreams closer.

“Don’t let your dreams be dreams”

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The end of the world

Sometimes I write this blog and I think maybe someone will stumble upon it one day, but given we are in the throes of a pandemic may be the apocalypse I have been reading about for so long is with us and before long we will all be wandering through a dystopian world trying to survive… or maybe I am just being overly dramatic. 🙂

My Dog Ghost
My Ghost

To keep things calm while I go into the outbreak, here is a pic of my doggo isn’t he awesome 🙂
So, I haven’t blogged or even written anything about this until now but boredom and a want to write has given me the push to chuck some words on to (digital) paper. It’s strange to think just a few weeks ago I could go to the shop and buy something without it being a piss on. Now we need to have a good reason, wait in massive queues due to limited people allowed in at a time and then there is the social distancing, the buzzword of 2020. Don’t get me wrong I am not moaning about the precautions, I am just in disbelief at how something like this is now affecting so many lives.

In December when China was on the news I don’t think anyone realised what it was going to turn into, Jan we had the couple in York and people started to make jokes and nervous comments and then into Feb the social distancing comes in. Mid March the warning for vulnerable people started ramping up and then we had the warnings for non-essential travel. 20th he shuts pubs etc, we can all see the writing on the wall and then a few days later the dreaded lockdown started.

25th a new law was passed (Coronavirus Act 2020) giving the government and authorities powers to do what they need to slow the spread of this virus. and here we are on the 29th sat inside wondering what to do and facing potential several months of this and even if things are loosened at that point it will be a long time before the country is back to normal. It’s a strange time to be living.

I hope this will soon be over and we can look back and be glad we got through it but unfortunately that won’t be true for everyone.

Much love to those struggling with the isolation and to those dealing with bereavements at this difficult time. Look forward, to a brighter future.

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Dick Turpin goes into publishing

I know I am not currently published, but I plan to be. So it’s quite worrying to read all of the news articles talking about how some publishers and magazines are demanding all rights when writers submit work to them. As much as I want to be published if I was to see something like this in an agreement or contract, whoever the publisher is they can kiss my ass! I would rather remain unpublished than let a greedy company “own” my intellectual property. I had a friend who was recently in a situation like this although for him the company was lazy and didn’t get the contract to him until after the work was published and available to purchase. He, of course, refused to sign it and they should have removed his work from the book. A blow to him but good on him for refusing to bow to the greedy unscrupulous publisher, it’s just not worth it to let go of all rights to a piece of work he has worked hard on.

How do you avoid this kind of situation? Always read the contract! I can’t say this enough. In this day and age of the internet and the many devices and different ways to make money from your creative work, you need to ensure you are protected. Writers are paid little enough these days so there is the need to ensure you can get the most from each piece of work.

This is a situation where I really hope the creative industry get behind each other and stop submitting to any magazine or publisher that tries to do this. That is the only way they will learn enough to revert back to the older and much better system.

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Leap year

Well, the new plan is going ok. starting to achieve some things now slowly. Not quite formed habits yet but who knows, I may be on the way 🙂

Sneezed today and caused an intercostal muscle strain… so now the ribs hurt and when I sneeze/cough it hurts allot!

Just been doing some worldbuilding again for te Aviel story. fleshing out the Jewelcasting ability. How it works and what it is used for.

Anyway, the leap year is nearly over and it’s been a long day. Time for bed. I am going to try and have a productive day. I have one more exercise session and a Brandon Sanderson lecture to watch and a proper post on here. then I will have met my weekly targets.

Just realised I wrote this with the title Leap year and then didn’t comment on the fact it was a leap year 🙂 So yes, it was a leap year day. 🙂

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I can’t quite believe how fast the year is going. Something I have managed to do regularly is read which is something that I love and had started to really get back into it. If I keep going as I am then I will meet my Goodreads goal of 20 books. Onto book 3 of the Mistborn series now. Really enjoying it.

Writing isn’t going as well, I have been doing some work on the book and after spending some idea time with a friend I have decided to change the Aviel story a bit, so I am currently re-planning this. I am on the fantasy track now so I am hoping I can keep this up and start to do some writing to go along with it. When I look at the habit tracker in the journal it isn’t looking too good but I have been doing things. I just need to work out the best structure to achieve all of my goals.

I have decided now that re-learning and doing the tech stuff is something that I need to do, not only for my own enjoyment as that is one of the best times from my past, playing with computers and coding, I would really like to get back to being able to do this properly. Also, my home network is need of some TLC, from sorting backups to building a plex server and several other things I would like to do. I am planning on blogging some of it as it will then kill two birds as I will be re-learning and writing at the same time. I would love to be at a comfortable place so that I can change jobs and go back into a tech-related role. That was the last job that I really enjoyed. I will see how I get on.

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February update

I have started moving in the right direction. But, not as fast as I expected. Not just because of laziness this time though. My mother in law was in the hospital for a few weeks and then the daughter was having a baby, they have been with us for a couple of weeks so this has taken up quite a bit of time.

But, I am still planning on starting this properly I should be able to get back into a routine as life has returned to relative normality and I will have more time. I will need to tack my time outside of work to see what I am doing and how long it is taking. This is because I want to plan in my goals and time to complete them but to do that I think I need to try and get some structure in there. So I can form new habits that will carry me on through the year.

As part of my journey, I asked a friend to help me by being an accountability partner and although this is a good idea and has been documented to work I don’t seem to be keeping it up. I set up a system to use WhatsApp with a weekly message but we are just not doing it properly. I may need to look at this and see if I can improve something to work better. I need to keep my journal with me and use it more, otherwise whats the point.

The other problem I have is that I’m easily distracted, I pick up a tech magazine or have a conversation with a friend and then all I’m thinking about is that I want to relearn how to code as that is something I used to really enjoy (and hate sometimes) but again when I have too many goals on the go at once I tend to get none of them done.

I’m not sure what the answer is for me, I’m a work in progress. Let’s hope the next update I have a more positive message to give.

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Update and beyond 2020

It’s been a while since I have given an update and a bit has changed. This post is not going to be a new year new me post…. but it will share some similarities. 🙂

So NaNo was a bust for me, I just didn’t plan enough and like I have most years I got about half way through and then came to a halt. Lack of planning tends to do this to me. The way I write is to have an outline and then for each chapter I start as I have planned and then “pants” it through to the end and the next chapter, this works most of the time although I have to add a bit in. So I didn’t plan and didn’t end up completing it because of this. There was quite a bit of personal stuff that happened which also contributed.

So.. before new year, beginning of December I started thinking about my life and my goals. Mainly that I have had them for a long long time. Being a writer has been a thing since I was a child although I have tried for over a decade now and not got very far. I do plenty of world building and come up with basic ideas that I never flesh out. My writing output ends up being very low. the other if my health and fitness, not only for my kids and grandkids but for myself as well. I am 42 now and although I am getting older I am tired of the feeling and being tired all of the time. I have a hernia and it seems to be getting more and more uncomfortable, I have been trying to lose weight for years so that I can get the op to get rid of it. I seem to lack motivation. So that is the other goal.

To try and help with achieving these goals I started to write down what I wanted to achieve and what I thought I would need to do to help achieve this. I am not going to go into detail in this post but I may in a further update one. Suffice to say I have a few goals to achieve from now (2020) and beyond. I am hoping the things I have out in place this time that I have never done before will help me to achieve these goals.

The goals I have been planning for are:

  • Losing at least 4 stone so that I can have my hernia op. (This will also I create health and wellbeing)
  • Achieve my writing dream. This means being published and also down the road writing a series that people cannot wait to get the next chapter in. Seeing my books in Waterstones in my town would just be fantastic.
  • That’s the basic of it. To help with these goals I have planned out some things that can help me achieve. Exercise plans, Journaling, time planning and one of the things I believe will help me more this time is the accountability. I have written this all down and I have read that writing for increases the chance of achieving goals to about 36% the other thing is I have asked a friend of mine to help me by being an accountability partner. Following an article I read we are setting goals on a Sunday night and then updating each other. Explaining why we haven’t met a goal or completing them and then setting new goals. Each goal needs to further one of the targets I have set for myself.
  • So.. here I am in the hospital (my eldest daughter is in labour) it’s nearly 23:00 and I am getting psyched with my progress.

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