Technical Difficulties

This may be my last post for a while, I’m having some technical difficulties with upgrading my blog platform, and despite downloading everything I’ve been told to download, the screen just hangs when I try to upgrade. It is a little frustrating.

The platform is going to force an upgrade on December 31st but they have warned this could have disastrous consequences for my blog. Unfortunately I have no choice now but to wait and see if this fixes it or kills it.

If you come back here in 2015 and find no new posts, please go to my website where I’ll post an update about my new blog location (if it comes to that): www.nataliejepotts.com

Thank you for stopping by to check out my ramblings over the past year, your comments and support have meant a lot to me. I hope to be back here next year with more exciting publication news, and hopefully my new writing process will also mean I have some more finished pieces to talk about.

So have a safe and wonderful New Year, and I’ll see you again in 2015 – yikes that sounds so futuristic.

New Year

The New Year is nearly upon us and so, yet again, it is time to make up the list of what is to be done, goals to achieve, habits to change etc. The temptation is there just to roll over the stuff from this year and add a few new things.

I’m going to resist that temptation.

I cannot help but feel that there must be a reason for me not hitting those goals, especially the complete lack of progress in the latter part of the year. There is no doubt that life (and by that I mean WORK) got in the way a bit, but I wonder if my process is perhaps getting a little stale.

A little wobble of security on the work front saw me take away my rewards for achieving a number of goals for the week. For a couple of months it was fine, just getting the high numbers was enough, but I wonder if the rewards were more incentive than I realised. They were things I wanted but didn’t need, and I think I need to bring them back. Even if I get a bit creative to save on costs, like giving myself a whole Sunday of just reading a book, now that would be incentive!

The other thing I need to look at is my projects. I think I have too many and I spread myself too thin. I’ll sometimes have goals for three different writing projects in a week. Now that’s just silly. And who knows, maybe the appeal of working on something different will be enough motivation to get me through what my current focus is. I may actually get some stuff finished.

So good luck with your goal setting and remember; these are not set in stone, you can always re-jig them at any time if they aren’t working. New Year is just a good time to refresh your vision for the future, it isn’t about locking one in.

eReading

For the past month I’ve had an eReader which I borrowed from the library. I have previously borrowed an eReader from a friend, just to read one novel, but this time I could really sink my teeth into the experience with 4 weeks and 50 possible novels.

At first I thought I was becoming a convert. It was so nice and light, it even fit into my handbag! I looked on my bookshelf at my hardcover edition of Shantaram (which I could use to press flowers) and felt the lightness of the same book in the eReader. There were some very obvious benefits.

Then a funny thing happened; someone asked me who wrote the book I was currently reading. I had no idea. Each time I pick up the eReader it just had its little red leather cover and opened to my last page. I saw the cover only once fleetingly, and because it doesn’t have set pages, there is no heading with the book name and author on each page. For some reason this unnerved me. It seemed wrong.

The next negative came in the form of an out of the blue (literally) thunderstorm that caught everyone unaware. I had to do the dash home from the bus stop hunched over my bag in an attempt to protect the eReader from the rain. I later had a similar problem in a social situation being afraid to leave my bag on the pile in case anyone crushed it. eReaders are much more delicate than books.

The final decision maker for me was the late night dash to finish reading a book when the eReader was due back at the library. It is an exercise in organisation to skip ahead to find out when the next chapter break is without losing your place. I also couldn’t tell if 85% complete meant I had 15% more story to go, or if there was 5% of story to go and 10% of acknowledgements, photos and ‘also in the series’ pages. I like to know these things, it shapes if I’ll go to bed or if I’ll just stay up a bit longer to finish it off.

So despite the convenience, I’m actually looking forward to going back to a real book. A book which you can flip forward and back in, which you can shove violently back into your bag when you realise the bus has just pulled up to your stop, and where it doesn’t matter how many times you squash it, the story is still there.

Safe places

Many years ago, I discovered a pen that I loved. It was the perfect shade or purple, sat nicely in my hand, wrote smoothly without blotches and actually made me write more neatly. I know there are a bunch of you nodding right now knowing exactly what I mean.

I had been stung before, waiting for the pen to run out before I went to buy a new one, only to discover that pens were like skirt lengths, they went in and out of fashion on a regular a basis. This time I bought ten of them in one hit and carefully hid them away in a safe place.

My purple pen ran out this week. It is a very important pen, I use it to check off my weekly list of things to do, so I needed to get a new one quickly. I went to my stationery box, my stash was not there. My stationery drawer also proved fruitless. I know I’ve got at least eight of these things somewhere and I know I have changed pens since I moved to this house, so they are here somewhere, but I have no idea where I have put them.

This is what I worry about with story ideas or ‘bits to add’ to existing stories. I have those stored safely away in about ten different books. I’m sure that when I go to find them I’ll have no idea where they are. Worse still, I’ll probably forget they even exist.

I hope that one day in the future when I stumble across the little bag of pens I’ll instantly remember the aspects of them I love, but it is just as likely I’ll have to re-discover them, and I’m sure the way I think of them will be different. That is what has already happened with my rediscovered story ideas.

Perhaps the safest place to put something is right in front of you?