Year of Change Challenge November Update

  1. What part of ‘We’re not talking about this’ wasn’t clear?
  2. I’m reasonably happy with the write more plan. I submitted the Alphabet Soup challenge on time, and it has received quite a few hits. I have written something ALMOST every day. The exception was 18th November, and I just couldn’t get in the zone for any writing. We put our 6 year old kitty, Pixie, to bed at 10.25pm on Thursday night, and she was fine. When David went to get her for breakfast at 7.10am Friday morning, she was dead. Completely out of the blue. We were devastated. We’ll never know why, or how, but David read that female cats who have been spayed can have a tendency to embolisms. This seems as likely an explanation as any. I think I can be let off that slip in the schedule given the circumstances. Unless there’s a miracle in the next four weeks, 2016 is NOT going to be the year I get published, but I’m not giving up yet. I read recently that Malorie Blackman was rejected 70 times before she got published. And she ended up as the Children’s Laureate! So, with only 11 rejections to my name so far, I can still hope.
  3. Amazingly, the read more plan is still on track. I’ve read 95 books, of which 93 count towards the challenge. It is going to be tight to manage 7 titles in the next month, but I’m determined to give it my best shot. It would be dreadful to fall at the last hurdle. Contrary to my report last month, I now don’t know if Chatterbooks will be operating in January or not. The situation is complex. I need to prepare a title just in case. Good job I enjoy reading junior fiction. Note to self: still haven’t requested the second Magnus Chase book.
  4. I’m updating the blog again. Yay me. Next year’s challenge probably ought to involve writing something that people actually want to read!

Year of Change Challenge October Update

  1. We’re not talking about this, remember?
  2. The write more plan is still doing okay. I seriously doubt now that I’ll finish my crossover story this year. However, this is because it is back on hold while I work on an Alphabet Soup challenge story. So it isn’t a failure, just a change of direction. It is still creative writing, and that was what I signed up to do.
  3. The read more plan is on track. I’m quite proud of myself for this one. I am reading a few shorter books to ensure I don’t fall behind again, but that is balanced by some 400-500 page books that I’m getting through as well. I think the overall page count will be more than acceptable. Not sure I’d go for a repeat next year, though, to be honest. Too much pressure takes some of the pleasure out of reading, which kind of defeats the object. I’d much rather set a target of about 50 books and exceed it if I can. Chatterbooks will be coming to an end in December, so the pressure to read a junior book a month will be gone next year. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading them, of course. There are some excellent children’s titles out there. Note to self: remember to request the second Magnus Chase book.
  4. The blog is a couple of days late this month, but real life has thrown us a major curve over the past week, so I forgive myself for that. My apologies to anyone who has been kept waiting. Who am I kidding? Nobody cares!

Year of Change Challenge September Update

  1. Not even bothering with the weight challenge anymore. The scales need a new battery and I just can’t seem to care. End of.
  2. The write more plan is ticking over. I’m doing some writing, and writing pitches. I need to pick up on trying to finish my crossover story by year’s end, but at this stage it is only difficult, not impossible. I know exactly what has to happen, just need to get the words in the right order. I remain sad that my wonderful SG expert is no longer in contact for me to bounce off. The story is certainly poorer for want of her input.
  3. The read more plan is more or less back on track. I’m technically one behind schedule, but catching up. The proofreading is finished, so I can concentrate on reading for the challenge. I’m still a little daunted. I need to read an average of one book every three days to make it comfortably, yet I don’t want to avoid the longer books I’m eager to read. I’ll just have to mix in a few short ones to balance them out. Not quitting till I either get there or get beaten. I’ve got a couple of hospital appointments coming up in October, so hopefully there will be waiting room reading time to help.
  4. The blog is still being updated, albeit with shorter entries than before. [It still counts towards the writing challenge though, right? :P]

Year of Change August Update


Another disappointing month on the challenge front.

  1. The weight loss plan. Officially a total failure. At the end of August I weighed in at 175.7 which is up on last month by almost a pound. I haven’t given up trying altogether, but the will really isn’t there any more. From here on in I think it is more a case of being aware and not having too much that is bad for me, for my health’s sake. As far as the weight is concerned, so long as I don’t balloon back to the 15 stone or so I was some time ago, then I’m not going to beat myself up. I deserve a treat now and then. I refuse to feel guilty about it.
  2. The write more plan. This one has picked up a little, but still not totally back on track. I’m not overly pleased with the progress, but neither am I disheartened. I’m writing most days. I’m doing okay. I’m preparing another pitch at the moment for Sweetpea. Fingers crossed.
  3. The read more plan. I’m still ticking over on this one. I’ve read 64 books, of which 60 count towards the challenge.  I currently have 6 part-read. Technically, I’m about 3 behind. But some of the books have been over 500 pages long, so I still think I’m doing fairly well. Also, I’m still proofing the 700 page book for a friend. I’m not going to feel guilty if I read a few shorter books to help me catch up. I do kinda feel like ‘so many books, so little time’ though at the moment. I could really use a time-turner so I can put in more quality reading time.
  4.  I’m still updating the blog.  We’re well into the second half of the year, and I’m still here. Never expected that, to be honest. Yay me.

JULY update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge


This is the month that prompted me to start the challenge in the first place. The month my beautiful Becky married her charming Chris. More of that later.

First, the regular stuff.

A very disappointing month on the challenge front.

  1. The weight loss plan. Officially a failure. On the wedding day I weighed in at 174.8. Not even 10lbs lighter than where I started. And I was trying. Yes, I could probably have tried harder, but for all the difference it made, I might as well have not bothered at all.  The exercise bike finally went back. The second attempt at collection failed when their van broke down. Third time lucky? Well, it went. At 6.55am when I wasn’t even dressed yet. At least Bob got his refund.  I finally got a dress I thought would be lovely – on my birthday. Looked okay when I tried it on in the shop, although it needed a couple of little darts and a tuck. Did the alterations, seemed fine. But on the day, I hated it. I’d wanted to look elegant. Just that. Not a big ask. But the dress just didn’t sit right. It showed my bra a little at the front underarm, and a lot at the back. The straps kept slipping down. It fidgeted me, and it doesn’t look right in the pictures. Very disappointed. I would have done better to stick with the evening dress for both. That was lovely. Still, Becky looked totally awesome, and that’s the main thing. She was the star, I was just supporting cast.
  2. The write more plan. This one slipped pretty badly. I’ve done some writing, but nothing like every day. Okay, so there were other priorities this month, but still not good. On the plus side, I have been doing some editing for a friend, so that is part of my excuse.
  3. The read more plan. I’ve been just about ticking over on this one. I’ve read 58 books, of which 54 count towards the challenge.  I currently have 4 part-read. Also, I’ve been reading the above mentioned work that I’m proofing for a friend. At nearly 700 pages, it ought to count for something! No shame on this one.
  4.  I’m still updating the blog. 


The wedding was wonderful!

Yes, there were a few tiny imperfections, like my dress.

The vicar forgot, despite us making a point of it at the rehearsal – so the couple didn’t use their full names when exchanging vows. A shame, but not the end of the world.

We had a ribbon malfunction on the car taking me and the bridesmaids to the church, which held us up. Not a biggie.

I ended up ‘rescuing’ Becky’s phone at the reception from a pile of used plates and napkins and forgetting to give it back to her when I left.

Bob sat in something on a bench outside, and the stain won’t come out of his pants.

I’m sure there were other minor negatives.

None of which take away from the fact that it was a beautiful day and not just in terms of the weather. The church looked lovely with the hearts strategically place at the ends of the pews and on the arches etc. Better than traditional flowers, because they were more personal and original. I can’t remember when I last saw the church so full. The ceremony was very moving, and just about the right length!

We were very moved that Dr Disher, Becky’s Godfather, made the long journey from his retirement home to attend.

The photographer was very well organized and professional. I’m looking forward to seeing her shots.

The bridesmaids all rocked their royal blue dresses. Despite being different sizes and skin tones, they all carried it off splendidly.

The reception hall looked wonderful. The little butterfly boxes were so pretty – I wish I’d nabbed one to keep.

The cake was adorned with edible butterflies and fitted so well with the color scheme, and it tasted great. My only regret there is that mum wasn’t here to make one for them.

I was really proud of David for giving the father-of-the-bride speech he’d been so nervous about. And of Bob, especially for sticking it out till I left at 10.45pm. I hadn’t expected that.

The speeches were all great. I got a bit teary eyed. Would have kinda liked to give one of my own, but Bex knows what I would have said, and that’s what matters most.

Oh and did I mention? Becky looked absolutely gloriously stunning in her gorgeous wedding dress. For a gal who rarely wears a dress, she really nailed the princess look. She positively radiated happiness. If smiles were pounds, they’d have amassed a fortune that day. God willing they’ll remain as happy and in love as they were that day.

JUNE update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge


A DISASTER of a month.

  1. The weight loss plan: VERY DISHEARTENED. I’m still the same weight as last month.  Not helped by the fact that Bob’s exercise bike broke. We’re waiting for them to come and take it back, which should have happened 2 weeks ago but they didn’t turn up. The thing is so busted we can’t get it apart to get it back in the box properly, so I’m betting there will be rows when the van finally comes to get it. And I STILL don’t have an outfit for the church, with only a little over 3 weeks to W day. What is even more upsetting is that I haven’t lapsed greatly in the ‘less food’ aspect, even if the exercise hasn’t increased as much as I’d like. So it isn’t like I’ve totally given up and reverted to all my bad habits. Yet I still managed to break my bed just by sitting on it. Very bad for the ego.
  2. The write more plan: Feeling way more positive on this front having learned I am one of the three winners in the QL Podcast fanfic contest. My prize of a signed copy of the QL novel ‘Foreknowledge’ just arrived. I’m still not writing EVERY day, but I’m doing okay-ish. And I’m getting ready for my next pitch.
  3. The read more plan: I’m still more or less on target here. I’ve read 51 books, of which 47 count toward the challenge. And I have 5 part-read. I’m reasonably confident I can keep up with this one.

Yes, I’m still updating the blog – but it is so boring I doubt anyone is bothering to read it.

MAY Update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge




It has NOT been a good month.

1. The weight loss plan. Definitely not going according to plan. For the first time I have slipped back. I tipped the scales at 177 exactly this morning. I am very disappointed in myself. I think I’m finding it hard to stay motivated given that finding the right Mother-of-the-Bride outfit is proving all but impossible. Either the length is wrong, or the color, or it isn’t in my size, or it costs more than Becky’s wedding dress. I’m still using the exercise bike, but not yet managing every single day. I am still trying to resist temptation and eat smaller portions too. It obviously isn’t enough. Must try harder.
2. The write more plan. This too is not good news. Another rejection email for my Sweetpea stories has put me on a downer and knocked my confidence. I’m at a standstill on the WiP I want to finish this year – awaiting help from a beta. I’m still doing some writing, but far less than I’d like.
3. The read more plan. I’m doing better here. I’ve read 44 books, of which 40 count towards the challenge. So, more or less on target here.


At least I’m still updating this blog on time.