Quick update

I have been regular (until now) with posts on this blog and I have slowly moved forward a bit with writing. I have been watching a motivational video every day and it helps a bit.

I do need to start planning my time better so that I am making more time for actual writing. I have created meets for the writing group every 2 weeks now so even if not many people turn up I will be there.

I think Camp Nano is in July and I am going to check this as I missed April’s. This will be something that I can use to set my own goal.

#100bookschallenge – This isn’t moving very fast as I have a lot of reading ongoing and I need to make sure I am fitting this in.

Next two days I have grandkids and will be trying to get some writing done 🙂

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Hi, my name is Graham…

I’ve been told I have a problem, my family hasn’t gone as far as an intervention but I always feel they are on the verge. I am on course talking about my addiction to buying books.

I saw a meme a while ago that said book buying and book reading were two different hobbies and I think I have taken that as my mantra. I buy almost exclusively Fantasy and Sci-Fi with some exceptions. I have a nice collection of Agatha Christie novels and really enjoyed reading some of them.

I recently discovered Brandon Sanderson and he is quickly becoming my favorite author of all time. His world-building and characters are amazing. I get pulled into his books and find I can get through them very quickly. I am also trying to build up my collection of signed books from him. In the image above you can see the large hardbacks for his Stormlight Archive series, when I was introduced to his book I started buying the signed versions and have Oathbringer and Rythm of war signed. I then bought the first one Way of Kings from Waterstones. Words of Radiance were harder to get hold of. I must have called/emailed about 35 bookstores trying to find a copy of this book. eBay always had copied but they were priced £100+ and I didn’t want to spend that much on a £25 hardback. After a long fruitless search, I was resigned to knowing if I wanted it it was going to have to be eBay. In the end, there was one in my basket for £85, but I dithered and didn’t buy it, a few days later the seller messaged people watching the book offering it for £65. At that point, I realised this was as cheap as I was going to get it. Now I have all of them, if Brandon ever comes to the UK I will be going to try and get the first two signed as well.

I fully intend to read all of the books I own, I would say i am probably at about a third, but if the book-buying continues this may be fighting an uphill battle. A thoroughly enjoyable battle mind.

When my son moves out later this year my office will be moving back downstairs. At that point, I will have this room as a pure library. I will get about 3-4 more bookcases and a nice chair to have in here for reading. I can’t wait, my own library.

in the meantime the obsession (i mean hobby) continues. I have made this worse over the last couple of days. I sold a phone I was done with and flush with cash I popped along to my local Waterstones. I was casually browsing when the new illustrated edition of the Lord of the Rings jumped out from the shelves and into my hands. “buy me” it called out to me.

I was helpless and so popped down to the tills and paid £60 for this amazing book. “ahhh” I sighed, that should hold me for a while. The next day we were off to Whitby….. while there I frequented some bookshops, I was tricked cruelly by the cashiers to part with more money for more books. I tried to resist but it was useless. So, I ended up buying 3 more Gothic fiction books, a signed fantasy book by an author I haven’t read yet, and 2 more Terry Pratchet books.

The Terry Pratchet books were a surprise. I thought I had the whole collection of the hardback collection. Then there were two here, one I hadn’t seen and one I couldn’t find anywhere when I last looked. Then I noticed one that I also didn’t have in the hardback collection. I had to buy 4 of them in normal hardbacks. It would seem these have now been released.

This morning I bought the missing ones and pre-ordered Pratchets Biography. So much money spent in the last few days on books. But remember, I don’t have a problem!

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Sticker Bombing

I am generally not a person who gets rid of anything electronic, because of the price of second-hand electronics being low I just use things until they are broken. I would always put a load of stickers on laptops, I just liked the way it looked.

Since starting this I have gone a bit mad. I found some videos on youtube about sticker bombing, I had found a word for what I was doing, and it turned out you could do it to anything… so I did.

After seeing this I covered my new laptop and then my smaller one. I went around my office and did some of the drawers that I use. I just love the way they look and they make the office stand out. I think it is one of those things that you either love or hate from some of the comments I have gotten.

My latest one is a stand that I use in my office for many things. It is black glass and as such is a dust magnet, I covered the top layer a while ago and since then there hasn’t been much dust at all. this is something I liked very much 🙂

So I bought a whole load of stickers again and yesterday I got on the floor (much to the groaning of my bones) and sticker bombed it all. It looks very nice and I am glad I won’t have to wipe off dust every two minutes.

After buying so many I now have quite a few left so I am now looking around my office for the next thing I can cover in stickers 🙂

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#100bookschallenge – To Kill a Mockingjay

Just a quick update, I am 50 pages into this book, and although it is of a genre that I don’t read I am finding it easier to get through than I thought I would. It’s quite a small book and so if it was Fantasy or Sci-Fi I would probably have finished it by now. But, I am in the process of reading too many books so it doesn’t get all of my limited reading time.

That being said I should probably get a move on, otherwise, it will take me until I die to finish reading these 100 books. 🙂

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Psychology

I want to talk about psychology, don’t worry I am not going to go into some deep technical essay on the mind and how it works in this crazy world. I am more going to talk about my own mind and how frustrating it is. The enemy within, my procrastination!

It’s a hard one to work out. I have enjoyed writing since I was a child, but, I haven’t written a great deal. Instead, you will find notes and ideas scattered around that have come to nothing. At the same time, I will be professing that my dream is to be a published writer that can afford to write full time. I dream this and say I am working towards it but then the time that I have where I could further this dream is spent doing nothing of import.

I say I don’t have time, and yet my kids are grown and I work office hours for the most part. they are excuses, I want to change but I am not sure how to do it.

I could liken it to health and weight loss, I had some sessions talking to a phycologist once about weight loss, part of a scheme supposed to help people that need to lose weight. I could sit in those meetings and answer all of the questions on what I would need to do to lose weight. Exercise, eat more healthily, etc. Then I would leave the session and just continue on with my life as I had before. I know what I need to do, I just don’t have the will to do it.

This is the problem with my psychology, I know what I want to achieve, be it weight or writing dreams, but I plod on doing the bare minimum. while saying I am trying. I often wonder what will force me to change. With weight loss and fitness it could end up being something serious that kicks me into gear, even knowing that now it doesn’t push me to change. With writing it would be the realisation that I am not going to achieve anything if I don’t start putting in the work.

I love this video, I watch it and get inspired, then it fades. Maybe I should watch this for the first 12 minutes of my day. Keep that motivation alive. I may try that, see if it helps.

I also have my Kanban boards that I have set up, they are already helping. seeing the tasks I need to do and moving them through the process.

I am more optimistic than I have been in a while.

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2022 Goals

When I was looking at the year ahead in December I was, as usual, up for planning and making grand goals that I would achieve in this new year, new me, new life. Blah blah blah. my goal was:

Writing

  • 2 Weekly Blog
  • 12 Short Stories
  • Xmas Story
  • NaNo April/Nov
  • Shattered Worlds Novel

Fitness

  • Gym 3 times a week
  • Wunning (with a friend)
  • Badders weekly

Food – Allot less and plan meals better

As you can see I set myself some good goals to try and achieve. But, I haven’t managed to get anything near these started. I’m disappointed in myself.

To date, I have been keeping up with Badders, and that’s it! I bought an A6 diary to use as a writing diary and looking back through it, it just shows how disappointing I have been and why I haven’t managed to achieve anything for a long long time. My problem is I have no excuses, my children are grown, we do have time with Grandkids and I do things with my wife but if I really boiled down to it I don’t have any excuses.

We are starting to work Agile at work for product Development and this got me thinking back to Kanban Boards and how this could perhaps help me. If I was to split my tasks into smaller chunks and then work through them, there is a better chance of keeping the momentum going. As daft as it sounds I can already see it helping. In the past when left alone at home while Trace goes out I would potter around and achieve nothing, or go on the Xbox. This time I looked at the board and moved this blog task down to the “doing” part and sat down. This is good.

Next, I am going to set up a board for writing projects, from the list above I had already dropped a Sci-Fi idea in the shattered worlds universe and have been developing one for Fantasy, although still set in the shattered worlds universe. I am quite keen on this one and I have been doing some writing for it. One of today’s tasks is to finish setting up the KanBan and then sit down to create the tasks so I can start writing this story. i have even added the Xmas story to the board as this is something I have been trying to write for years and given it’s a short it shouldn’t be that hard to do. But, it just needs to be right given what I am writing it for. Maybe using the board will allow me to break it down and get it completed ready for this Xmas.

I am optimistic.

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and so it begins.

The book has arrived and I have started it. It’s very strange starting to read and book with the knowledge that I am not likely to be seeing Dragons or space flight. But this could be a good thing, reading books that are in genres that I would normally not read.

On with the challenge 🙂

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100 Books challenge

I have decided as I am a massive bookworm I would like to take on a new challenge. We are at Blackpool at the moment and while browsing I came across the below article.

https://www.businessinsider.com/100-books-everyone-should-read-amazon-goodreads-2015-3?amp=

now looking at this list there are some I have already read and a lot that is out of my wheelhouse. I almost exclusively read Fantasy/Sci-Fi. But it looks like a good list and there are a lot of “classics” on there that I haven’t read. This will give me the chance to do just that.

To help get something interesting on this blog and to help meet my goal of writing more on here I will track my progress on here, let you know what I am reading, and do a little book review as I finish each of them.

I am looking forward to this now, should be something good to do, I wonder how long it will take me to get through the list. I have a massive TBR pile and I am not going to stop reading them as I have many Sanderson books to read yet 🙂

The first one on the list is To Kill A Mockingbird, way out of my normal range. But I am willing to give it a go. Ordering now and then will update soon.

Good Reading 🙂

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Christmas has gone and the new year beckons.

That time of year has finished again. Our favorite holiday in this house. Our kids have grown up and had kids of their own but this doesn’t stop us from celebrating Christmas like we always have. For the last few months (or so) we have been watching Christmas movies. Decorations were up in November before my birthday. I don’t mind them being up early as it means we get to enjoy them longer.

Now it’s the 1st Jan 2022 and I am sitting planning my year. What I want to achieve in writing, health/fitness, and reading. I don’t want to do one of that new year I am going to conquer the world posts but I want to do something to chronicle this year to try and ensure I do something!

https://www.rd.com/article/new-year-wishes/
Image from rd.com

I have even got myself a smaller diary this year with the intention of logging what I am doing each day to further my writing aspirations. I know I am terrible for keeping up with something like this but we shall see how I get on.

Well it’s nearing the end of a long day, had dinner with the family and played with the grandkids. Allot of fun but I am tired now. Time to sit back with the wife and watch something.

See you in the funny papers!

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November Update

My last post was on Oct 9th and was full of plans and hope. that hasn’t come to pass as I am sure you are shocked to learn. Instead a combination of lack of planning (despite starting at a time that gave me plenty of time) not feeling 100% and other commitments I haven’t managed to keep up to date with Nano. But, mainly lack of planning.

I went to a writing meetup today and although I didn’t work on my NaNo project I worked on a short story that I want to get finished. It was a productive meeting.

I need to ensure i get this short done before xmas and time is slipping by!

There are 14 minutes left of my birthday, 44! I wonder when I can manage to slay this procrastination beast and get something done, it’s never too late but I really need to pull my finger out of my butt!

Let’s see what December brings?

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