January Review


So January shot past in less than the blink of an eye … scarily too fast! It’s been a heavy month, trying to re-establish a routine after the long break on everything through December for me and for the children. I only just feel that I’m starting to get the house back on an even footing, even if the playroom looks like someone detonated a box of playmobil right now.

Putting the daily/weekly/monthly monitoring in place feels like a good move … when I’m so head-down and ploughing through the daily to-do list, it gives me an invaluable breathing space to lift my head up and look at what I’ve done and where I’m going rather than just crashing on through and not feeling like I’m accomplishing anything.

Tiredness has been a big feature of the month, but as January’s go this has been the least-bad for some time, even with all the weather disruption. I think that the biggest learning point for me is that I need to have balanced weeks – at the moment, taking 2 evenings out a week to loaf about is keeping my batteries charged nicely, and the mix of exercise and other activity in with the physical demands of sewing and the mental challenges of writing is helping me to hold some sort of equilibrium. My wobbles have come from feeling that I should be paying more attention to one thing to the exclusion of all else … even though I know that doesn’t work for me, because I do *need* all the different outlets to keep me functioning properly. Last week was a bad week for me, because one element – the social element – dominated and everything went out of kilter very quickly. Going forward, I’m going to have to learn to say ‘no’ so that I don’t end up with some sort of external commitment every day of the week – it’s overload for me and I didn’t deal well with it. Retreating into the Robin Hobb novels was, I think, my way of dealing with it.

Anyhow, down to the nitty-gritty:


1) Finish SERE first draft by the end of Feb – on track with this. 15 chapters written in January, 18 left to go in February. This means I need to maintain a rate of 4-5 scenes per week to finish on time, but I think that’s manageable.

8) Complete and post 3 crits per month for Silver Griffin/Manic Medley – done

9) Submit 1 (new) short story to a paying market every month – I kind of feel I cheated on this one, but when I came to resub AN AFTERNOON OF THORNS, I realised I’d deleted it. Luckily, I had a hand-written first draft, so that got redrafted into a new version of the story and has been subbed. Currently I have 10 stories out on submission. Hopefully, at least one of them will stick (fingers crossed).

10) Post to my blog at least once every week – on track – it’s been much more frequent than that 😉

11) Read at least 12 books and post a review to my blog for each book read – after last weekend, I’m up to 6/12 read. I’ve decided, though to count series as a single read and review accordingly, so the actual count is 4/12. (Which is still *way* ahead of target). 1 review written and posted, and 1 to come. I’m writing off the first two I read, since they were library books and I can’t remember enough about them to review them retrospectively.

Textile Arts

a) Maintain and develop relationships with the galleries, and identify/approach/gain 2 new market openings – spoke to both existing galleries – it’s been a slow few months for all their artists, unfortunately. Still, one gallery has asked to switch up some stock for spring/summer 2010 (done last week) and I’ll go in and see the other next week when I’m down in Devon. Nothing done on identifying new markets as yet – with the focus on the Surrey Open Art, I don’t have time.

b) Submit a piece to the Surrey Open Art Competition (by end of Feb)  – in progress, and background should be completed by this week, which gives me 2 weeks to complete the foreground embroidery as I need to allow time for professional framing. I’m pleased with it, so far.

d) Update website, keep it and the blog up-to-date – just about. Website is updated, but I may need to re-do it in light of the Brain Alchemy marketing workshop I’m slogging through. Blog posting is averaging once a week, even though I missed a post last week. I need to make more time for photographing finished pieces, as far too much zooms out the door without a picture to commemorate it.


i) Keep working on reducing my BMI – sensible eating plus 4 exercise sessions per week to hit a BMI of 22 by the end of the year. – on track with this – my weight is overall unchanged from since before Christmas, but my fitness is coming along pretty well. I may need to drop my carbs down another level to keep the weight coming off. However, I’m hoping that keeping up the current regime (as of the last 2 weeks) of 2 runs, 1 resistance session and 2 ballet classes a week will build my fitness, strength and flexibility for the longer term.

ii) Reorganise and redecorate the loft space we use as an office/workspace/spare room by the end of Feb – underway. The place has been gutted, and we’ve organised removal of old furniture and worked out what new furniture we want/need. Just the (endless, tedious) painting to get out of the way first.

Plus some woolly stuff around spending time with the family and the associated rushing about … really enjoyed the first couple of weeks with the bonus snow-holiday and lack of after-school activities, and I kind of wish we were still like that, but the children want to do all their various bits and pieces, so rushing about has started again. Still feels like fun, as we have a couple of free days … and barring Rumpus’ insomnia, Honey’s adolescent dramas and Bella’s cute naughtiness, it feels like we’ve got a nice routine going with time for everyone …. the work in the loft has absented me over the weekends and I feel a bit guilty about that, but it’s only for the short term and we do have the spare tv & dvd set up there so I have had some nice chatty company off and on.

Not getting distracted by extraneous kipple … no big distractions other than last week’s socialising, though I would like to spend more time with my camera ….

It’s been a pretty good month, all in all, even if parts of it have been tough. Roll on February …


2 Responses to “January Review”

  1. Sounds like you have some busy weeks ahead of you. Wishing you luck in meeting your goals.

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