Friendship For Free

According to Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson, ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’. I suppose it really depends on what you consider to be ‘the best things’.

*Some parks are free to visit.

*Breathing is free, unless you were planning on buying that bag of Kanye West gig air… I’m thinking not.

*Dreaming is free.

*Learning is free (if you aren’t forced to buy textbooks and the like. Also, I was informed the other day that youtube are working towards subscriptions, which will be a sad day for me indeed).

*Love is generally free. Getting love may not be (dates, gifts, time… whatever is the currency of choice these days).

In my experience, I feel more that I’d like the best things to be free, but often they’re not. Such as friendship. Friendships are an investment, of time and finances. They are a risky investment too, let’s not forget that.

money treeIn the beginning, we have no idea what the return of investment may be. We know what we’d like it to be, such as love, support, sharing of experiences, someone to throw ideas around with, someone to make us laugh, someone who’ll go along for the ride if you ask them to. Someone to laugh with.

We spend our time placing pebbles across a muddy path in the hopes that it will be the foundation of a stable route into each other’s lives, and one that will weather better with a solid base. But what if the other person places their pebbles elsewhere rather than on the path you chose? It may never get finished, or be patchy at best.

With little thought, you spend money on outings, believing you’re building memories that you can talk about for many years to come.

You may share your life experiences, the ups and downs, whilst they’re invested in someone else. They’re wanting someone, or something, else. You could just be passing the time.

I know what it is that I want, and I know the kind of friendships that will benefit me, but rarely do I encounter them. I meet the people who aren’t interested in who I am. I meet the people who just want someone to meet up with, because they’re short on other options. But, most often, I meet people I have very little in common with. The kind that talks over me because there’s nothing I say they want to hear. The kind that, when I suggest something to do, it’s disregarded because it’s not what they want.

I’m not without options or hope. I work towards sharing my ideals, and who I am, in the hope that I attract someone enough like me to share my time with. I put myself out into the world, experiencing whatever I can, to give myself the opportunity to meet new people.

Friendship rootsBut, most importantly, I do the things I want to do, even if that means doing them alone. I will not put my life on hold waiting for someone else to ‘fit’. I will continue to work towards the person I see myself as, and believe that the right people will come into my life when the time is right for them.

Until then, I will learn to eat comfortably alone. I will learn to join groups, without a known friend to laugh with. I will encourage others in those groups, because I would want someone to do that for me. I will be the friend that I want wherever I am able, because that is who I am, and I firmly believe we should lead by example.

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Splitting my head open

…to catch its content upon the page.

It doesn’t matter where I look, or what I read, I’m constantly reminded that I really do need to be keeping a writer’s journal. I have plenty of notepads, even leave a nice one with a pen by my bed always with the intention of writing in it as soon as I get up.

The problem is, as soon as my alarm clock goes off, my cat goes batshit crazy. If I wake before my alarm, my brain’s so fuzzy I forget what I thought I should be doing. In fact, I don’t even remember my intention to write at all until I’m awake, and on my way to work.

One of my course books refers to a writer’s notebook as a ‘creative compost heap’ that you write in ‘in a rapid, impulsive way’ (Creative Writing Handbook, p.33).

Things to explore in a notebook are listed, but not limited to:

*Observations

In summary, don’t focus too much on ‘correct’ sentences. Just quickly write out as much detail as you can, such as small details and moving outwards to the larger picture. Ref: Virginia Woolf’s diary.

*Daily Events

Ref: Maugham’s notebooks.

*Writing Practice

‘The habit of daily writing… and free-writing’, essentially can bring out some exciting ideas to play with later.

*Morning Pages

This is about free-writing first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. Ref: Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer

*Record of Reading

Can learn about good and bad writing, genres, ideas… and so on. Writer’s should be big lovers of reading.

These suggestions have all been taken from the Creative Writer’s Handbook.

I need to pledge this now: To write in my notebook every day. Ideally it’ll be a set time every day, so I establish the habit, but I think I’ll give myself permission to move the time slot around for now. Just so I get into the habit of actually writing.

I remember reading Pen on Fire which was great for ideas on how to get creative juices flowing, plus there is always an abundance of activities and prompts around. Finding something to write about isn’t the problem, it’s getting into the habit daily that is.

I do really enjoy working on freewrites, and have managed to extract some interesting ideas to work with for short stories on my degree. I just need consistent practice. I also want to mix things up a bit, and have the journal for exercises and musings on specific topics, as well as a brain dump.

Something I do want to try is to improve my vocabulary. To do this I thought I could select a random word each day (though a useful, usable one – does anyone have suggestions?) that I then use as a writing exercise, basing a passage around the use of this word. My thinking being I will most likely remember it then too, if I manage to apply it in this way.

I know there are sites out there somewhere with what I need, but I’m open to pointers to ones you’d recommend.

Helpful links:

Life Hacker: Writing Exercises

A Scenic Route: Love Fear Writing

Kim Evans Writes: Journal Story and Character Ideas

Finally Raining: Writing Journal

Young Unknown Author: New 2015 Journal

A special shout out to a super supportive blogger 🙂

Lita Doolan: Any Old World Uncovered By New Writing

Blog Necromancy

I imagine I’m dragging the battered booted feet along the ground, my failing limbs objecting to the motion. And yet, that’s not true. I miss the process of writing for writing’s sake. I also miss chatting to fellow writers from all over the world, just because I can.

This is essentially an update along the lines of ‘where am I now?’ and ‘what are your goals this year?’

I reverted to the habit of list making in notepads and on scraps of paper. I’ve found they don’t make me anymore accountable for my actions (or inactions) than writing them on a blog does. It’s important I acknowledge this point, because that seemed to be my reason for disappearing for long periods. I become disheartened by the stale life I sometimes feel I’m in, or embarrassed. Embarrassed about big plans that don’t happen as quickly as I’d like. Especially when you know there are people out there who are all too happy to say they knew you couldn’t do it. That they only ask where you’re up to because they want to know you fail too, regardless of how big you dream.

Yet, the dream never leaves. It’s not really a dream at all.You is really me. Or maybe it’s both of us… I won’t really know that, unless you tell me. But I find the dream is more of an impulse; an urge; a feeling that I need more. I hope that if I hold its tail, it’ll lead me to where I need to be. That doesn’t happen though. I get shaken loose and find I’m not on that path anymore.

This is my reminder. I’m not really so far away as I once was, and yet there are still processes I have to go through. I’m still not where I feel I should be, but I’m making progress.

I’ve spoken before about work places not being what I want or need. That’s changed now. I’m now working for a PR agency. I’m mostly doing admin, but I also work on their social media. That’s more adhoc at the moment because I’ve only been there 3 months but, as I learn more about the industry, I can then pick up more projects. My aim is to develop a content plan that’s industry driven to engage with their target audience, but that relies heavily on me being able to carry those discussions. I will get there!

I am in my 3rd year of an English degree currently doing a module on reading and studying literature (A230), and advanced creative writing (A363) through Open University. Only one more module (The Art of English) and I’ll be graduating my BA (hons) summer of 2016. My grades aren’t too shabby, but they would have been better if I gave it more time (which I don’t have).

My aim last year was to pick up more classes or activities that I found challenging, physically, but were fun. I did about 3 months of aerial swing (think: Cirque de Soliel) before I had to put it on pause for the workplace change. I’m now back driving and booked onto the next course at the end of this month. Still very much a beginner!

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I have also started Ashtanga yoga this year (3 lessons so far). I’m really enjoying this! My main aims are to improve flexibility and strength, to support my aerial training. The de-stress and health benefits of Ashtanga are a bonus. Such a lovely environment to train in!

So… where do I go from here?

Writing

My writing still needs a lot of work. I have to be honest about that. Idea generation isn’t a problem, but my dialogue needs work. Plot holes and the like can also be a bit of a problem, but I’m getting there. There’s a fab group of students on my course forum who offer some awesome advice, not to mention the invaluable feedback from my tutor.

My plan for the next few months is to engage with the learning material as much as possible, with my end of module assignment being a novel (due 19 May).

I also have a list of books I need to work my way through for both creative writing, development, and the literature module. [I will add this as a separate list and link to it when done]

I will be exploring online resources for content creation, article writing, and story development to cover the areas I feel are weakest.

I’ve already joined Writing Magazine’s membership (it’s been many years) and Mslexia. Hopefully they’ll help to get me more familiar with the ever changing world of writing. I seem to spend most of my time paying very little attention!

There was also a site http://rockingselfpublishing.com/episode-34-traditional-publishing-self-pub-holly-lisle/#listen which was super helpful when I used to listen to it and found it in my blog drafts for me to explore in more detail – so I’ll have to investigate!

Networking

Socialising needs to be up there on the list too. I certainly don’t meet that many people, especially not those I can share my interests with, so I’ll be working finding activities or groups that do expand my social ‘circle’.

I could do with looking at public speaking, or something of that nature, as I know confidence can be an issue. Especially if I want to be more involved with workshops.

To swing by ROW80 and ISWG to see if they’re still relevant to my journey, which I’m sure they are!

Health and Fitness

I would like to take pictures or videos of my progress on flexibility and sequences. I know that’s fine for aerial, but I’ll have to work something out for yoga.

To continue to make minor adjustments to diet to accommodate shifts in mindset towards health and well-being.

To also plan in extra training when we decide at work what charity fundraising we’re doing (the talk is a 10k run, an open water swim, and a team relay bike ride, so we’ll see).

Today’s Plan

To eat lunch

Go for a walk

Do a little grocery shop

Cook up a batch or two of food stuffs

Finish the short story draft for TMA05 (next creative writing assignment)

Read ‘Beach of Falesa’ for TMA04 for literature assignment.

That’s all for now folks. 🙂

“Chug, chug” – tis the sound of my motor, yo.

I have an intention coin made by my good friend Rebecca at FreeHippie which reads: “Live by intuition and inspiration” which is an extract from a quote I love by Eileen Caddy. The full version is:

Cease trying to work everything out with your minds.
It will get you nowhere.
Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation.

I used to wear this on a chain until the chain broke when I was rather enthusiastically waving about and managed to catch the necklace. I have no idea how I managed to as the chain was pretty sturdy, but it broke none the less. Since then it has remained in my purse for the last couple of years – and that sufficed. Not anymore.

I was thinking about my coin earlier and have decided to pull it out and attach it to a necklace or cord to replace my totem necklace I’ve worn for the last couple of years. It’s not necessarily that I feel I need it, but I think it’ll help. This week’s actually been a pretty good week for deflecting any negativity in my life. The work situation hasn’t changed, but my attitude seems to have and I want to stick with this. By wearing the intention coin I want to be able to remind myself regularly what it is that’s important in my life.

I know I don’t want to remain there, and something will come up that’s better suited to me. But I need to accept that it’s a necessary evil and, whilst I am there, I should do my best to not let it knock me off my game. It’s not important, so I shouldn’t give it more energy or time than it truly warrants. Especially since it’s been affecting my sleep and that’s never a good thing for clarity and a positive attitude. Which reminds me of the quote:

When you know what’s important, it’s a lot easier to ignore what’s not.

I believe that was a quote that came from the Flylady.net articles, in case you wondered.

But, what is important?

Well, I am. My dreams and aspirations are most definitely the things that I should hold onto and cherish. I have left toxic relationships (friendships and otherwise) because I felt they wouldn’t allow me the freedom to pursue the dreams I have, so why should I tolerate it from myself?

This may also go towards explaining my love of Marie Forleo. She is a big believer in loving yourself, your vision and working towards a better future both for yourself and for the community too. And she really makes me believe I can achieve that, which is why it makes me sad that I’m not in the position financially to take her business course this year. I’m going to try to whip up a scholarship application but I know that I won’t be able to get the money together before the registration closes on the 5 March if I don’t get the scholarship – and there are so many great candidates who really deserve it, who have their businesses up and running and are doing some great work.

What inspires you? Do share!

ROW80LogocopyIn terms of my writer’s plans, I set up Scrivener again after a very long break and transferred my Lost in the Dark script to it. Added a whole bunch of scene outlines and sorted out the story arc and sub-plot. I’ve added 8 pages (which brings me up to 24/100) before realising I don’t like Scrivener for this. I like that I can move things around, scene wise, but it isn’t easy for seeing how much work I’ve done. It doesn’t seem to format things properly, and the damn cursor won’t do as it’s told. So I transferred back to Word and I’m currently just using Scrivener for the plan (kind of like a story board), as well as storing notes and such for later. I’m just having to split my Word document up in such a way that it’s easy enough to see when I need to move things around if I change the ordering on Scrivener.

I’m not going to worry too much about format at the moment though, I’m just thinking about what’s easier for draft purposes. Can’t believe the script workshop is only 2 weeks and 3 days away! I also received an email from BBC Writer’s Room:

Scriptroom 5 will open for online submissions from 9am on Monday 17th March until midnight on Monday 31st March inclusive.

This year we are accepting submissions by genre. For Scriptroom 5, we will only be accepting TV & Film Drama scripts.

If you would like to submit a comedy, radio, children’s or stage script later in the year, the submission windows can be found on our blog.

Best of luck – we look forward to receiving your scripts!

How perfect is that timing? It just so happens to be that Lost in the Dark is a drama script. Whoop! I know there aren’t any guarantees but it certainly fits nicely into the writer lifestyle as quoted from Holly Lisle:

The definition of a writing career is: write a book, write another book, write another book

Once I finish this script, I send it off and move on to the next project. Thereby getting myself into the habit of not thinking too much about the whys and wherefores. I know I have lots to learn but I’d rather be learning on the job. If it’s rejected, it’s rejected. But at least I sent it out and learn from that process. I can only get better with practice and perseverance, right? “Yay” to forward momentum!

Until next time, folks. Go visit ROWERs!

Callie.

Information addict

The safest thing to ensure I actually stay faithful to my writer ‘muse’ is to be blasted into outer space with something to write with and on. Implements designed not to float away. Having a space suit and a sufficient supply of food, drink and a way to dispose of waste would also be super handy. Ok… this is getting rather complicated now. I’m sure you get the picture though.

I get distracted so easily, especially by learning something new. It has this way of making me feel productive even if I haven’t planned it in. Rather than going through my list of things to do that day, I read a helpful article, piece of advice, explore a website… and so on. Oh well, I’ll get there.

In doing so though, I came across a few really great bits of information. I found some fantastic information which is essentially a dummy’s guide to building a website (perfect!), listened to Holly Lisle critique some of her student’s work to show how to improve when developing a novel, and I’ve just found an article which directed me to where I can create an editorial calender really easily. See why I feel I’m being productive?

So, I’m now the proud owner of my own domain name, but I’m yet to set up the website. I’m also in the process of building my editorial calendar which will include set days for blogging (such as the ROW80 and Insecure Writer Support Group updates) and I’ll be adding my own projects to that too so it’s all in one place. I do like feeling productive.

Oh! And I’ve also managed to install Scrivener as I bought a laptop ages ago but never got around to switching my membership to this laptop. Now my script is all set up on there, and I’ve even managed to sort out the story arc by moving and adding scenes, essentially planning right there and then! The only bug bear I have though is that, although I’m in the script template, there doesn’t appear to be any guidance on the format. The font was really cursive, which didn’t look right so I changed that. I’ll have to spend some time working that one out at a later stage, but for now it does the job. I can worry about working the kinks out once the draft is done and dusted.

Can’t wait to start building new and better novel drafts in there too! It’s been a while since I used it so I totally forget how beautifully simple it was.

I hope everyone’s week has started out great!

All the best,

Callie.

Forging friendships and learning: help me pitch?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/prompt-money-for-nothing/ – Thinking about my “dream job”…

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on what it is I want to achieve in my life – where I see it going. The main visions I have revolve around having a creative input by developing content people connect with, such as scripts or novels. I also want to be involved in the community through providing free workshops and learning experiences, especially for adults who are otherwise unable to access opportunities to develop new skills, in person. I know there is so much information available on the internet, to which I’m very grateful, but I feel our society would benefit from workshops in person where groups can share their  knowledge, experience and form networks within their own community. Workshops that are essentially dictated by the needs of the community but could be anything from learning how to use Microsoft packages, to dress making, drama, art, basic car maintenance, idea development, project management… and so on.

I believe this as I’m repeatedly looking for groups where I can meet people, learn and share but rarely find them within my price range.

What I’ve been trying to do is create a sustainable business model or plan, both for my brand ‘Callie Weylin’ (the writer) and for the bigger project of bringing individuals together to forge a community of learners. I’m actually reaching out to you guys as I’m currently trying to develop a 90-second pitch for a scholarship to B-school. I don’t have any fancy technology and I’ll be filming it on my mobile phone. I’m not even entirely sure how to even edit and upload a video to youtube since I haven’t had experience doing so (something else to add to the list of free workshops?).

What I’d like to know is, do you have any tips on developing this video pitch as I only have a few days to do it? Any advice is welcome on how to edit a video which will be shot on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and my laptop which is Windows 8 (which I’m no good with – it hates me).

I’ll be keeping the visual fairly simple since I’m not at the point of being able to experiment too much.

In the event of not being fortunate enough to obtain a B-school scholarship (I can’t afford to pay the subscription this year), do you have any advice or links to resources for business/charity development including website design, marketing and creating an income that ensures the business/charity continues to grow?

Thank you for your time in reading this!

Regards,

Callie.

Is that a vortex I see, or is the universe just pleased to see me?

There is definitely some vacuum-like action going on in the world around me. The kill-me-now workplace has sucked me in and is refusing to spit me back out, much to my disapproval. Will I stand for it? Hell, no! I will endeavour to spit, scratch and kick my way out (if it comes to that). However, I would much rather a more civil approach like bowing out and moving on to better pastures in a non-confrontational/low-drama kind of fashion. At present, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time job searching but I contacted a temping agency to see about my options for switching sectors and gaining experience through temping. They seemed really positive and requested my CV, so we shall see how it goes.  Watch this space…

In terms of self-improvement, still watching those Marie Forleo videos. Only wish I had a spare £1,500 for B-school! The good thing is that a lot of the advice for getting started thinking like a modern, creative entrepreneur is totally free. I guess it’s worth looking at for next year’s intake if I’m any closer to honing in on what I want to develop, business-wise. For anyone wanting to learn more about Marie Forleo and her advice on marketing with a heart, her videos are here. I know I talk about her a lot in these blogs at the moment but I’m only just beginning to focus on an interest in business development and I really love her life-coach approach to money, business and personal development as well as the sources she draws upon. “Yay” for strong, female role models!

I’ve also been mulling over this whole website shenanigans. What benefits are there to having your own domain name? Is it possible to add things like tracking codes and coloured text if you don’t have your own domain (like a free wordpress package, for example)?

ROW80LogocopyI’ve been spending quite a bit of time reaching out and trying to build a network of fellow creatives for me to draw upon, which I think is working quite well. I love reading the posts I’ve been coming across, as well as finding lots of invaluable advice on how to approach creative projects (and even life!). I particularly love shanjeniah‘s idea of a ‘Play Jar‘! I can’t wait to start making one of my own – though it may be a Play Box or a Play Tub – but still with the same intention of enjoying life through creativity and exploration of the world around me. In fact, I’ve found lots of thought-provoking insights peppered throughout her posts, but that’s for you to discover.

Guess what I watched yesterday? ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘! Oh my. What a beautiful film! Yes, I did indeed cry. I also made notes – it ran to about 89 minutes (89 pages) as well as my own guess on what I feel matches up to the beat sheet according to the story arc I observed. I quite enjoy this ‘excuse’ to watch a movie. I’ve not watched a film at home in about 6 months prior to starting this exercise of analysing films! The last film I watched for fun was at the cinema and it was called ‘Nebraska‘ but that was about a month ago, I think. What I loved most about ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ was actually the closing statement: That we’re “little pieces of a big universe”. It doesn’t really matter where you’re from, what your culture is, what experiences you’ve had… I think anyone can identify with that.

In terms of writing, I’ve been making notes on ideas but there’s been no ‘serious’ writing yet, though I know I’ll get to it. Just trying to get caught up on my studies so I don’t fall behind. I have started sketching out the bare bones of a new project though, entirely different to my normal stuff and something I’m aware will probably take a couple of years to flesh out (mostly because I’m the guinea pig). It essentially falls within the genre of a self-improvement though I’m not so sure if that’s where it’ll stay. It’s a long way from now though, and it may end up essentially a guidebook to the workshops I’d like to develop but, for the purposes of these blog updates, I shall refer to it as a novel. I know it’s going to flit between friendships, life and business (work-life balance?) but no idea what the end result will be yet. I may just refer to it as Down To Business (DTB) so I can separate it from other projects.

So, whilst I haven’t yet achieved what I hoped to this week, I still have a few days yet to pull it back. I’ve managed to rid myself of one post-it’s worth of tasks and activities on sustainability (FutureLearn), with just two post-it’s remaining for that. Once I’m caught up there, I can then move onto outlining my next assignment for my English degree, bang out some pages on the LITD script (currently at 16/100) then there’s time to play on research/exploration of the new project and/or other interests. Such as reading or learning something new.

I hope everyone’s having a great week filled with adventure!

BLOGHOP.

Regards,

Callie.

Dreams, psychos and zombies: a ROW80 update

Do you remember the band Fleetwood Mac? I keep getting their songs in my head recently. Both their songs ‘Go Your Own Way‘ and ‘Dreams‘ particularly.

I do love these songs. They remind me of long drives on the motorway with the sun streaming through the windows and a book in my lap whilst the rest of the family chattered away amongst themselves. Sometimes there were sweets or chocolate too! The joys of family trips…

I was thinking of the song ‘Dreams’ earlier as I mulled over my week. This verse in particular:

Now here I go again, I see, the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself
It’s only me
Who wants to wrap around your dreams and
Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness…
Like a heartbeat drives you mad…
In the stillness of remembering

It’s been an odd week. I never heard back from the job interview I went for, so I’ve been sulking over that for a start. I’ve been in a bit of a funk over a bunch of things really as work’s been driving me nuts with so many people with bad attitudes being there. Not being able to make time to see a friend or develop new friendships due to the crappy hours I do work. And then there’s my odd sleeping patterns… I don’t seem to be able to sleep right through at the moment, and I’ve been having some really weird dreams. Not the kind of dreams that normally leads to a good little story outline, but there’s most definitely been an interesting character that’s come out of the latest one: baby-faced psychos are totally the way forward. Right? Right.

That aside… Let’s get down to business.

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Firstly I wanted to say a big “Thank You” to the fabulous people from ROW80, IWSG and other creatives who have stopped by and posted words of wisdom and encouragement. I really appreciate it! Also, thank you to Shanjeniah for the link-back on her latest update.

You know, I’m actually quite impressed with myself overall this week. I haven’t checked off everything on my to-do lists but there has definitely been a marked improvement.

I’m now up to 16 / 100 pages on my script WIP ‘Lost in the Dark‘. Given that I only started working on this on Wednesday, I’m really happy with this progress and definitely feel the 25 page goal per week is achievable. I was watching one of my favourite films the other day called ‘Hocus Pocus’ with a critical eye. I wanted to see if I could fit the bits and pieces to the beat sheet I’m working with and roughly at what points they come in. Happy to say I think I’m getting the hang of it. The film ran to 88 minutes (each film minute equates to roughly one page of script), so I definitely have some wiggle room if I’m aiming for 100 pages of draft.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, I’m booked onto an all-day script writing workshop on the 8 March 2014! I really can’t wait. I’m definitely picking things up as I go along, as well as reading guides and advice around writing which is really helping to see what I need to come back to, but it’ll be great to get some real feedback and see how things can be improved with having some tuition on development, dialogue, format and so on… If anyone’s from or around Manchester (UK), let me know if you plan on attending ‘Script Writing North‘ (formerly ‘Primary Creations’) too!

I also received my grade from my latest English assignment on transcription conventions – 84%! I’m so happy! I received lots of positive feedback and ways to improve to push to a pass 1 on the next assignment, as my tutor’s confident I can do it. I really am surprised I did that well though as I was not so confident at the point of submission.

I’ve not really been keeping up with the ‘free’ learning courses through FutureLearn at the moment, but I’m going to crack on with those today. My aim is to get a bunch of articles read and contribute to a couple of discussions on the #FLsustain course, particularly since we moved onto sustainable learning which should be interesting. And then I can move onto a chunk of the activities on #FLHamlet. I just want to pull things back to a manageable point as I don’t want to fall so far behind that I give up on it. I don’t like giving up – doesn’t sit well with me at all.

The plans to be more active, even if only for short periods each day, are hit and miss since I don’t include work in that. Some days I stick to it, other days I don’t. It’s getting better though as the days I do stick with it are more frequent than the ‘not’ days. We’re getting there! At least I’m maintaining my current weight, rather than gaining as usually happens when I’m in a bit of a funk…

As mentioned in a previous post, I received some books I ordered that I want to start working on. I don’t want to set time frames for them yet as I still have the Ibsen book ‘A Doll’s House, and other plays‘ to finish (I did plan on reading that by the end of Jan, so I have to catch up there!) and a fiction book called ‘I, Zombie’ by Jo Michaels to finish on my Kindle and review. The books I bought are self-help type books though, so I can probably fit little chunks in here and there. One being ‘Money: A love story‘ by Kate Northrup, and the other being ‘Blink‘ by Malcolm Gladwell. I want to work on Kate’s first as I believe that will be most useful to help me feel more ‘in control’ and organised. I also picked up one of Kait Nolan’s ‘Meet Cute’ stories called ‘Once Upon a Snow Day‘ to read through. I haven’t actually read any of her published works yet, as embarrassing as that is to say, so we’re going to change that!

Visit other ROWers here!

Well, that’s all for now folks…

Regards,

Callie.

So excited! Workshops and curry.

I have officially parted with some hard-earned cash to pay for the script writing workshop on 8 March 2014 with Script Writing North/Primary Creations in Manchester. Good thing I don’t mind living frugally – slow cookers are such a wonderful invention, particularly when partnered with some fantastic, low budget recipes!

I’ve been a big fan of a curry recipe I found (with a few tweaks) so that all I ever need to buy are 2 carrots, 1 large potato, 550ml light coconut milk and meat (if it’s a meat curry I’m going for). The other ingredients are:

1 clove of garlic (or powder), 2 tbs medium curry powder, 2 tsps cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp pepper, 1 tbsp ginger (or ground), 250 ml water, cayenne pepper to taste (or 1 chilli, if you prefer).

Leave in the slow cooker for a minimum of 4 hours on high (adjust if on a low setting). I tend to add more water to ensure all ingredients are covered, but then you have to reduce fluid so it’s the right consistency. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try it. The original recipe was from allrecipes by ‘Frida’ (‘Slow Cooker Chicken Curry’).