Bring on the memories:alberta’s week

ROW80LogocopyI have had a couple of life threatening scares in the past 4 years.  Makes one sit back and contemplate the insecurity of life.  Don’t get me wrong I have no intention of going, I want to be poking my nose into things when I’m 120 years old:) However.

Back in 1999 when encased in plaster I began to trace my family tree with a lot of help from my friend from forever/editor, who is so good at the detective work needed.  With the aid of an enormous volume of family papers (have I mentioned lately I come from a long line of pack rats?) she managed to get us back hundreds of years and one line to the gunpowder plot!

What made this more exciting is the wealth of written stuff – letters, journals etc I had inherited.  My ancestors really liked to write and record.  Then I somehow managed to be conned into running a Living History Group for our local U3A.  While my group was proceeding through our childhood, I had the idea this maybe would be a good thing to leave behind me.  It is has never been corrected or edited but my childhood is chronolicgaly written.  My sister’s, as well, hers is in Braille.

Nothing further was done as I discovered blog and novel writing in the meantime.  After the fears of last year I took myself to task; it was time to get that life in order.  The chorological account could remain as it is, but something more interesting, more creative, appealed.  Re-reading some of my blogs I realised quite a lot of my life was tied up in them, especially in the A-Z blogs.  Maybe I . . . anyway I have added memoirs to my goals this year.

To this end I signed up for a workshop with savvy authors and, almost immediately,  as if it was destined to my time to do this, I had letter from an Adult Ed college I hadn’t heard from for a couple of years, advertising a creative memoir writing workshop.  Being held in a town 30 mins drive from here, over the course of 6 weeks :) Both these workshops begin mid February so this next two weeks  I will be collecting all that I have done previously, in preparation, read them through and begin to take notes of the where, what and why of them.  As it is a month of memories I will endeavour also to edit that chronological account.  Neither one of these future works are intended for public consumption but I will get them printed with Lulu – a properly bound book will not be thrown away so easily when I’m gone!  Bring on the memories:)

ROW80 : This week I have managed:

The Ancestor’s Tale:   5749 words mostly on the section of the fight with despair and faith.  It was slowish but it had been blocked with lack of confidence for so long am really pleased I have finally been able to write it. Maybe another couple of thousand for that part and tis done – yay!

Blogs:  My word count goes up if the blogs are considered 2000 more on those –I am not known for short blogs I’m afraid:(  I did a piece on spice at Christmas and another on a new author I have fallen for, Blake Charlton.

The 7th    blog , in a series, an Oldie’s take on Indie authorship went up on the Indie Exchange this week. Another 1000 on that.

I have another two drafted, for next week, so if I’m good today and finish them off I’ll be ready for another non-writing week.

Workshop: Have managed another 750 words on two flash fictions I have been working on for savvy’s workshop of same name.

Networking: Am managing to keep up, except I keep forgetting the ones I only do occasionally, like IAN and Goodreads. Maybe I had better schedule them for non writing weeks.

Reading:   Not so many books, but I have read two indies on my reader – right outside my normal genre and comfort zone! which was an interesting experience.  Am still contemplating what I thought and will report back.  Maybe on the Wednesday post.

All in all not a bad week.

Next week:  It is a non writing week because I have a lace making, a craft and a reading group on.  However, on non writing weeks life is still writing orientated. I hope to research, collect stuff together for memoir courses(see above).  Keep up networking – more time for that.  Let imagination wander freely and see what occurs:)

Hope everyone’s week was good and this coming week will be also.

The good and the not so good:alberta’s week

ROW80Logocopy

Mixed week this week – bouncing between great ‘yays’ and sadness.  The beginning was creative and finally I managed to begin again on The Ancestors Tale after months of absence from the story.  A great relief and hope for the year. Then half way through the week my sister’s retired guide dog collapsed.

 Before Christmas we had been concerned that she was beginning kidney problems but at that time the levels of toxins building up were about average for an old dog. Her anorexia was a concern as the weight was falling off her, but her diet was changed and some dried liver added and she began to eat again, regain a little weight and then after Christmas her weight crashed again and it was seen the levels were creeping upwards.  They were surprised she was so well looking and not being sick.

 But then the night she collapsed she had been vomiting and was in one of her anorexic stages, we called the vet out who settled her and told us to take her to the surgery next day warning us it was now weeks not months.  My sister and I discussed it – the problem is my sister apart from not being able to see cannot hear well enough to follow all the vets say.  I explained as well as I could and told her what the vets were suggesting.  It is hard for her, these guide dogs are much, much, more than pets to their partners.  We have been there before, all owners of pets have to go through it but it is never easy.  The dog had to be put down the following day; to bring her home instead would have been an act for us not her.  To watch her becoming increasingly ill and disabled over days or a couple of weeks, in increasing distress as the poison inside built up  was not an option. So the end of the week we have done a dormouse act and stayed within our nest.

 The snow has helped our hibernation, as our tiny side street in the village becomes ice bound within a twinkle of an eye and we cannot venture far on our elderly pins:( As I cannot breathe in cold temperatures and it has remained relentlessly below freezing for a week now, fresh air is becoming a distant memory. I hate the snow, it makes me angry, it serves no useful purpose at all as far as I can see, but then I always have hated it. As a dyspraxic child – ‘clumsy is one’s middle name – I have always been able to trip over thin air so what snow and ice does for me has always been a hazard.  As a clumsy child and a slow learner to boot I was always a prime candidate for snowballs down the neck kind of ‘jokes’.  Nah, do not like snow.

 So ‘life’ is at it again at the beginning of the year, but ‘life’ in a natural form, I suppose.  Death is always with us after all.  Weather also. Many others have had worse weeks so this is not truly a complaint. Just a realization that good and not so good do always walk hand in hand.

 Okay how is my check in? ROW80

 Writing:

 I managed very respectable word counts the first half of the week, not just with the aid of the dragon either, I managed to use the keyboard for a good half so wrists behaving well:)

 The Ancestors Tale – 11,400

 And at long last 90,000 words in the story has its Chapter One – not just thought of but drafted, written yay, hay:)

 Blogs:

None – shame on me, but have three pencilled in and researched so next week should be good for them,

 Research:

 Yes on this front. When the dog died creativity fled for a while so this latter end I have finished (I hope) researching – War Crimes, Military Coups and Religion.

 Religion:  I was concentrating mainly on the Book of Job, although I have also been reading various Christian blogs to try to get the flavour of current debate and language.  Job was my focus as one of my ‘ancestors’ has to go through a difficult time in my trashed world and struggles to maintain (a newly found) faith through the disaster.  Although not the same as Job’s journey, and certainly without intervention by the devil, Job seemed to be a good place to start.  I confess I haven’t read the account since childhood and I don’t have enough fingers to count how many years ago that was! I read a modern version and turned before I was half way through to the King James Version, the rich words of my childhood.  Can the use of language be a comfort food?

Workshops:

Going well, Flash Fiction and Creating Tension.  The one on Memoirs begins in a couple of weeks in the meantime I have signed up for a Memoir one down here in the real world which runs over 6 weeks. 2 hours a week, so am thinking it would be good for me to travel to my writing:) (in my spare time of course:)

 Red Carpet

All those who requested Jan/Feb have confirmed. I will be sending dates out to those who have requested the future. Looking at triberr and the Red Carpets I have done since I joined the tribes- I am pleased to see the book spots and interviews have been sent out by 14/16 fellow tribe members – now I know not all their followers will see or even be interested – the twitter stream is fast and constant but the posts have been offered to thousands more eyes than I can offer from my blog.  So fingers crossed my guests have benefited.

 Others:

 Have managed – just – to keep up with networks – maybe I was late getting to comment Wed, Thurs, and Fri but have caught up.

 Have managed at least three hours every day when I just sit with feet up, relaxing with a book , I’m using this time, at the moment, to read e-books and Indies, or occasionally  watch TV.

 Next Week:

 Is another writing week. I’m not planning specifics just, as I promised myself, going with health’s flow but it will be WIP and blog orientated.

 I hope everyone’s week has been good and all the best for this coming week.