The 1 to 4 of (20)14

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Last week, I posted about how the goals for 2013 fell apart, alongside my eating, sleeping and crying habits. Yesterday I posted about my word of the year, settle. So I made some simpler, brief goals for 2014, named my “one to four” of fourteen.

Today I wanted to go into those in a little more detail; with specific outcomes and measurable stuff.

1 . De-cluttering ~ Remove items and minimise bringing new ones into my life.

This is one I set every year – but this time it has to be serious. I have seven months to halve my belongings as I’ll be moving.

Essentially, I want remove: clothing I don’t wear, trinkets I don’t enjoy/use, appliances I don’t use. I want to be able to pack up my flat in a whole day if need be. That should allow me to move in with O.H. even though he’s already cluttered up his place.

2 . Spirit ~ Chat to the Gods.

I want to show gratitude, to seek guidance more spontaneously, and to be connected with spirit again. This will be a kind of feeling, rather than a measurable goal with a deadline.

2 . Spirit ~ Complete more of OBOD.

I’d like to get at least six more Gwersi completed in 2014.

2 . Spirit ~ Meditate where possible.

A thirty second burst of mindfulness, or a minute of grove visualisation would count. Once a week.

3 . Routine ~ Wake at 7am each morning. No later than 8am on weekends, at least when living alone.

That’s pretty explanatory.

The exceptions are – I’m out very late the night before / that night, or am ill, or I’m with O.H.

4 . Writing ~ Meet writing goals for 2014.

I have specific deadlines for these, so just “to meet those deadlines” would be good.

4 . Writing ~ Continue to strive for the annual “Read 26 books” challenge.

I’m currently at 21 out of 26. In 2012, I only finished 21. In 2011, I only managed 12. So it’s all kind of close.

And then for 2014, maybe I’ll even reach 26. I will at least be able to count my own novel as one, too, as by then I’ll have read a full draft all the way through.

How have you broken down your goals for 2014?

Word of the Year: Settle

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I’ve got a couple of drafts here about what I did in 2013, and what I plan for in 2014. But actually, I don’t fancy sharing that right now.

Essentially, I had all these goals for 2012, and then again in 2013. After the success of 2011, I was so excited to continue the winning streak. But for some reason, I was pushing well beyond my comfort zone far too early on, and I’m now flailing for air.

For the last year, I had “star seeking”, but after March, I forgot all about them.

In 2.0.1.3 I aimed to -

~ Reduce excess: food & ‘stuff’  –  Not met. Junk food became my only food. Minimalism didn’t come into it.

~ Create: relaxation & exercise  –  I got myself to dance again by the end of the year, but otherwise, I missed out on this.

~ Bury myself in learning – I read a few books; but still haven’t reached my goal of 26 books. Four of the books I’m counting as read were novellas / half a book.

 

2014 is now on the horizon, so I picked another word; wondering if maybe I can keep it simple this time.

- I wanted a word to mean “fixed” because I spend about 40% of my life feeling that my experiences have broken me.

- A word to mean “not anxious”.

- A word to mean secure; in my home, myself, and my beliefs.

- A word not too physical this year – more spiritual.

- A word to be the antonym of “overwhelm”, which defined 2013 for me. Something comforting. Thought I’ve spent a lot of 2013 attempting to comfort myself. I’ve given up healthy eating, exercise and taken up tears.

~

Settle

~

I’m generally happy with my life, and know that I’m about to make many moves this year – house, from alone to a couple, possibly job, friendship circles and even possibly career change entirely. So I don’t feel at risk of “settling” in my ruts, or getting too stuck in my job, home etc.

So that’s the word for my next year.

I want to feel settled. As a co-habitee, in a new place, with a new job and planning a new future. Settled in the possibility of finally having a real family: just the two of us (for now).

Have you picked a word for the next year?

Conversation: Compassion and Politeness

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When did it become more important to be polite than compassionate?

Things were simple as a washer woman with a falcon flying past...I’ve spent the first 18 years of my life in an unsafe state; switching between anxiety, panic attacks and depression. At university and through this blog, I found supportive places.

I joined an online Native American Spirituality group who confirmed to me “no, that isn’t okay.” I made friends with people who believed in the power of positive thinking and even had a lovely card and bright magnet saying I was part of something good. I sought out yoga and meditation, took my vows of attempting pacifism through druidry and began a gratitude practise.

I offered my home and my listening ear to those who needed it, including people I didn’t like – because they deserve to be listened to – no matter what my feelings were for them.

~

Now I’m an adult. I have a job and a flat. I’m meant to have “more control” of my life. I’m meant to be polite and kind, to balance me-time with social-time and having been told for 18 years to SAY NO and Don’t Give In To Peer Pressure – suddenly I’m supposed to go to this party and you must eat that last cake and well they’re family so you have to.

People are different, and it’s about time this world actually thought about that.

How is it fair to put me through anxiety, anger and a sleepless night just because you enjoy something? When did it become unacceptable to politely decline? When did it become okay for people to make snide remarks about things that have always been so? They are some things I have never liked. To say I “suddenly” don’t like it now after 20-odd years of not liking it is not appropriate. And rude. And shows you’ve not cared enough to listen before.

I’m so tired of trying to dodge the “don’t be so politically correct” comments as if being equal and compassionate is something negative.

I’m sick of not being listened to because they’re already speaking over me. There’s that phrase from Fight Club about people who: “actually listen to you instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.” But I’m noticing more and more that they don’t even bother with that courtesy.

They talk over me. And they do it as if it’s not incredibly rude and demoralising. As if I’m not an adult with the same rights as them. 

It saddens me to think that even the people who can be understanding and talk about being caring don’t take the time to listen or think about why someone is saying no.

And it worries me that you can’t just say “no, thank you” any more.

If you ask me to JUSTIFY why I’m saying no, you need to find a new friend. Because it’s not necessary and not always appropriate. Especially if I then trust you with the answer and you then try to change my mind – pressure me into it. So just don’t ask.

Is this just me? Or is this actually something important we need to be addressing? What’s more important – compassion or social-acceptability? 

I know which I value more.

2013: The Year I Became a Writer First

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newflat 004In March, I had the sudden idea that of these seven attempted novels, I kind of love three of them, and maybe I should begin looking at this whole… writing thing… in more detail.

I ended up with a website, new blog, and creating a 120,000-word edited draft. I also stopped blogging here, in order to blog twice a week over at that one. If you haven’t seen my writing ramblings and want to, here’s the link: K R Green

~

Now it’s December. I moved into a new flat two days ago, and I’m evaluating my year.

It looks like a year ago, I decided to focus on the same things I’ve been focusing on for about 4 years, just using different words:

Food, clutter, strength and learning.

But in the last year I also had to work out how to be an adult. I started driving five days a week.  I now had a 9-5 job, five days a week. I have no close friends or family even living in the same county. Around April-May time, I accidentally stopped eating. I couldn’t meditate. By September, I stopped attending my social and spiritual groups, including writing groups.

Writing has been my only constant in a world of uncertainty.

But next year I want to bring a little bit of my real life back into my world; not just the fantasy ones I create.

~

2014 is just around the corner. 

I’m not sure yet what I want to do with this coming year. However, what I do know is that there are a lot of changes ahead.

Did I mention that I got engaged in July? If not, then that happened, and planning for moving house, possibly jobs and then wedding/hand-fasting planning is all on the cards for 2014.

1 . De-cluttering

So ~ if you’ve been following my previous blogs, you’ll not be surprised to learn that de-cluttering is back up to the top of my list. I moved into a new flat two days ago, and it took 4 car-loads on Saturday, and then around 7 car-loads including the furniture on Sunday. My parents, who arrived around 8:30am Sunday, didn’t leave until 9:30pm.

Moving in with the O.H. sometime around August, therefore, means I need to probably get rid of about 50% of what I have currently. And I need to try to persuade him to de-clutter at his end, which will be interesting…

2 . Spirit

This year, I’ve completely shut off from my spiritual practises. The closest I’ve come to any connection with my beliefs is that I finally bought a lovely little Buddha statue for my altar; having spent around four years looking for one that spoke to me. It actually made me laugh that after that wait, I found one that is close to perfect for how I visualise Buddha – and ended up finding it in Evolution for £2 with it’s own “gift bag” complete with stereotypical images of pebbles and sand…

But he’s lovely and serene.

I really want to get back into my OBOD course and to get at least a vague once-a-week meditation practise back. Or even just re-connect with the Gods again by chatting to them every now and again. When I found Paganism, the first thing I did was balance out prayers asking for things with prayers of thanks. But one of the key aspects of Paganism that fit for me was the imminent/manifest aspects of deity. This isn’t a lofty God watching from a cloud; it’s a man stood beside me offering me a pint as I moan about things.

And I miss that cautious friendship I began to foster with my deities.

3 . Routine

My job enables me to build my own diary to some extent. If I book to see a family at 9am in Crawley, I leave early to get there. If a family wants to wait until 10am because they need to clean the house and eat breakfast after the school run, and they live nearby, I leave a bit later.

But this means I’ve lost my morning routine, which impacts my bedtime routine. And a sleep-deprived Rose is a grumpy Rose.

4 . Writing

Finally, I want to officially set myself some goals for writing. I’ll outline these in detail on my writing blog in January, but essentially, I want to be seeking agent representation by August, in time for FantasyCon 2014.

So that’s my goal list for 2014, now named the “1-4″:

1 – Remove items and minimise bringing new ones into my life.

2 – Chat to the Gods.

2 – Complete more of OBOD.

2 – Meditate where possible.

3 – Wake at 7am each morning. Maybe 7:30 at weekends.

4 – Meet writing goals for 2014.

4 – Continue to strive for the annual “Read 26 books” challenge.

What sort of goals do you have for 2014?

My Writing Website

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It’s officially launch day.

KRGBusinessCard

I have my own writing website, where I’ll be posting updates on my journey from an idea to a finished piece, being shared with the world.

K. R. Green writes literary and fantasy novels, specialising in dragons, faeries, magic, mythology and necromancy. She writes at krgreen.co.uk about her journey through writing, editing and the journey toward publication  When she isn’t painting pictures with words, she is works for Children’s Social Care services in Sussex.

Welcome to K. R. Green’s Writing Website.

In Motion

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I’m nearly finished creating a website purely for my writing updates.

It’ll contain a list of my submissions, rejections, acceptances and various posts about my progress. I even have sections for each novel – with a brief synopsis and wordcount.

I’m hoping it’ll be ready by the end of April, and that I can transfer some of these posts across.

 

Things are moving forward, I just need to keep up the momentum. I’ll post here when it’s all up and running.

Work in Progress: TMOS

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writtenword 001This morning, I had another lull at work. No one else was in the office, and I had two hours to kill.

I opened up Wings of Skell to edit it, but before I’d even found my place again, I was opening a new document, and typing out the details of an idea that I’d had Monday night.

I was originally tagged by Cheyenne in one of these “Work in Progress” Blog Hops and having done one for my other pieces, here’s one on this new project.

This is my final set of answers for now – focusing on the novel I began in 2010, and am working on into 2013 (mainly to stop me editing the previous two). It’s not as detailed as the previous two, but as it’s actually my work in progress, I thought I should post about it.

 

1) What is the working title of your book?

It’s currently called The Mists of Shade.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Watching Pocahontas on Monday night reminded me of an idea I’d had a few months or years again. It wasn’t new, but this new idea then blossomed over the last three days as I tried to write it down and then ignore it.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

I’ve only written one chapter, but I’d say fantasy as a loose category for now.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I only have two characters so far, and one of them’s an animal.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Kayla is a social worker in the county of Sussex, and looks from the outside as normal as anyone. But she has a gift that she cannot ignore. When she begins working on a case at work that stumps her colleagues, she discovers the war that’s going on under every person’s feet.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

At this point, neither. Both are possible though.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I began this morning… It’s less than 3,000 words so far.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’ll let you know when I know what this one’s about.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

One scene of Pocahontas, loosely.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I already know what I want the cover to look like, and it’s EPIC.

Once again, I tag anyone who writes :) Leave a link in the comments so I can read about your work and connect with you.

In Light,
Rose

The Written Word: A Love Affair

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Rejection1This morning, I got my first official rejection. This led to me buying a kindle and a load of new books to read, as well as increasing my motivation to edit my novels.

 

~

 

I grew up with books.
In a way, I grew up inside books.

And most of my core beliefs now stem from some of the books I read as a child.

Having beliefs that your parents disagree with, and don’t understand, was always a real problem in my house – but when I look back on those series, I realise the true importance of the written word on who I am today.

The first set of books that taught me about life were by Kenneth Oppel: Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing. This was the first set of books I’d read where a creature died, and it’s spirit was free to continue flying through the trees (it was a bat), and I began to question the aspects of life and death as experiences.

Next, I discovered the strong female figures – Lyra from His Dark Materials Trilogy, Myrina from Troy and the Warrior Women Series, Magda in the Forestwife Series, Sabriel in the Old Kingdom Trilogy and Renn in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.

Then, the ideas of family and honour arose as I read The Sight and Fell by David Clement-Davies.

 

Moving Forward

Today, I bought a second-hand Kindle on eBay. I place all blame on my sister of the written word, and her bad influence. She too, is an avid reader and writer, though our favoured genres are often very different.

This led to me spending a lot of time in the Kindle online store today, and, unfortunately, to buying a lot of paperbacks.

The idea of paying more for a Kindle book than a new paperback, let alone a second hand paperback, doesn’t sit well with my beliefs, nor my wallet.

But I bought some books.

 

The Importance of Reading

As far as my reading habit goes, this is a brilliant step forward. I’ve not been reading much over the past couple of years, nor even in the past two months, even without a TV in my flat. Finding new authors and series to trial has re-sparked that love of reading and I’m already back on track to reaching this year’s goal of completing 26 books minimum, and ideally aiming for 35-40.

Through university, my reading list considered a lot of books on quantum physics, spiritual exploration and psychology or writer non-fictions…

As a writer now editing my books, I feel that now is the time to keep myself immersed in good writing – now I’m less afraid of accidentally stealing ideas as the plot is already laid out – so I can focus on making sure my tone and style really expresses the places and people I’ve created.

So, as a fan of books, who loves hearing about other books, here are the purchases I’ve made this weekend:

“Fire” – Cashore, Kristin
“Graceling” – Cashore, Kristin
“Geist (Book of the Order)” – Philippa Ballantine
“2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love”  – Rachel Aaron [Kindle Edition]
“Runemarks” – Harris, Joanne
“Gardens of the Moon (Book 1 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen)” – Erikson, Steven
“The Spirit Thief (Legend of Eli Monpress)” – Aaron, Rachel;
“The Agency: Volume 2″ – Dianne Sylvan [Kindle Edition]

I will of course be rating these on my reading list.

 

Writing

Also, March is my month of novel-editing, and here is the latest update:

Day: 3
Pages Edited: 17/314 and 0/310
Scenes Edited: 3/71 and 0/80

Don’t forget to find out more about my books from the my writing page.

Story Editing ~ March 2013

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92kEach November, I take part in NaNoWriMo.

This year, I wrote a sequel to a book I finished 2 weeks before hand.

Throughout February, I’ve dipped in and out of reading, re-writing and whining over the first instalment. But today, it’s March, and I feel like I’ve made no progress.

I was whining about it last night, when Ellie Di commented on my frustrations.

“Sounds to me like you might actually have one book spread across two. Have you thought about what you can cut and combine?”

Oh Shit.
I hadn’t even considered that my two books might actually be one.

80,000 words is an okay novel-length. 92,000 is almost perfect.

Combining them will surely involve a lot of cutting, and I’m not sure how to re-write the information I still need to include.

I asked my friend Sorcha, who read my first book, and she seemed unsure.

“I suppose you could, but you’d have to be really careful because there’s a lot of important backstory on the antagonists etc… and the assassins that you need to keep in otherwise people might get confused.”

So this month of March, I’m editing: be that re-writing, cutting, merging or beginning bits again.

I’ll be updating my progress here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums/novel-draft-aftercare/threads/107884 and measuring it according to pages:

Current Score: 
Day: 1
Pages Edited: 5/314 and 0/310
Scenes Edited: 1/71 and 0/80

Are you editing a piece of work? How do you measure the process?

- Rose -

2012 in Review

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This year, my word was CONNECTION. As I love planning and list-making, I ended up with four categories of connection, and one sub-category per lunar month:

Connecting to Space:

-          Streamline & minimise

-          Set up a proper altar I can use for my pagan practise

-          Connect with the land every fortnight

-          Cut down on the processed foods; and get a good exercise routine going, and to keep my sleep and brain as healthy and effective as possible

Connecting to Legacy:

-          Understand my family tree and the heritage this land; and in exploring Celtic spirituality, reach out to the Germanic and Saxon paths which have influenced it

-          Explore and redefine my labels

-          Read 26 books this year

Connecting to Emotion:

-          Explore my feelings of non-violence and compassion toward others

-          Explore why I feel the need to express everything, spend more time in quiet and see where this fear of really stems from

Connecting to Practise:

-          Reconnect with spiritual energy (Reiki, meditation)

-          Practise redefinition by default, practising what I preach

-          Practise Paganism more often – prayer, meditation, ritual and OBOD study

-          Discover why I’ve chosen Druidry, and what I want to pass on to my children

As you may be able to tell from the lack of posts about this challenge, I didn’t do as well as I’d have hoped…

The Breakdown

Connecting to Space ~ I did make a lot of minimalism progress, moving into a flat and removing extraneous items. However, this needs to continue.

~ I did not set up a working altar for the whole year, but I did a lot of work in terms of ritual with others and I’m still working through the Gwers. I also completed Dianne Sylvan’s Spiritual Nomad course, which included work on my altar.

~ I did connect with the land often for the first six months, but by July, that faded. Now I have a car, I’ve noticed it’s even less likely to happen.

~ Processed foods dropped a couple of times in the year, but I need to get serious about this again. I lost motivation for exercising too, so I need to work out what made this ‘not matter’ before I try again.

Connecting to Legacy ~ The Gwers talk a bit about the legacy of this land, and the family tree is in progress.

~ I’ve done a LOT of work on labels and redefinition this year. From starting new placements, completing an MSc and driving to moving out to live alone and starting a new job.

~ I used to be an avid reader, but that slipped. So I planned to read one book per fortnight (26). At this rate, I’ll be at 24 by New Year’s Day. I might even consider that a success, as last year I only managed 12.

Connecting to Emotion ~ I’ve spent a lot of this year coming to terms with the fact I’m not naturally non-violent, but actually do seem to be naturally compassionate. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling “overly-sensitive” since trying to find my innate care for others.

~ The fear of silence is less of a fear now, though I haven’t yet found the stem of it.

Connecting to Practise ~ I reduced my meditation, but did more Reiki this year

~ I’ve been quite good in terms of practising what I preach; even releasing the Alchemy of Redefinition course.

~ The final two items about paganism and how I practise are still in progress. Studying for an MSc meant I didn’t study the Gwers as much as planned, and the travel meant missing group ritual and moots.

So the way I count that, I’d say that’s 7/13 partially done, but only 4 fully completed.

Extras

Despite these failing, I did loads of things that I didn’t expect to!

* I finished a novel and submitted it to a publisher
* I wrote the sequel to that novel, ready in case the publisher was interested
* I watched 68 educational television programmes
* I visited Brighton Buddhist Centre
* I spoke as part of group ritual
* I saw the Dalai Lama speak
* I read 24 books, which is double last year’s number!
* I created an e-course and a couple of freebies in the library
* I connected with two old friends for the first time in years

Two Thousand and Thirteen

So, where to?

This is difficult one. I’ve spent exactly six days in my flat, and just five days at my job. The idea of planning goals when I’m in a state of finding-my-feet feels counter-intuitive.

Also, having made such progress in 2011, I’m disappointed by missing out on so much.

So, I’m keeping it simple.

2.0.1.3

Two Words ~ Seeking Stars  (or Star-Seeking)

Zero Expectations

One Theme ~ Improvement

Three Goals ~

  1. Reduce excess: food & ‘stuff’

i.      Cut down on junk food
ii.      Head for minimalism to the point where I’m content

  1. Create: relaxation & exercise

i.      Meditate, dance & put systems in place to deal with work
ii.      Get healthy/fit so that I feel happy in my own strength again

  1. Bury myself in learning

i.      Read books and watch educational programs
ii.      Continue home-study courses

How was your 2012?

In light,

Rose

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