Run for Your Life from Excuses

Running. It’s on today’s to-do list. Running.

You’re sleepy, Hannah, stay in bed.

Yes, I certainly am, Excuses. But I’m always sleepy in the morning…for a good 2-12 hours!

Ha. Is that a headache you’ve got? A little pain in your right temple. Don’t go. Running with a headache is a bad idea and you won’t want it to get worse…

Shh, I just need to stretch my neck.

Eww, that rain isn’t going to be nice to run in, Hannah. Listen to the pitter-patter on your skylight. There, you might be able to sit up and yawn, but I see those anxious eyes. Continue reading

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Healthy Diet: Lessons from Minimalism?

I was watching lifestyle videos the other day and I noticed parallels between minimalism and my attitude to food. There are two questions that minimalists often seem to ask when deciding whether to keep something: Does it serve a purpose? Does it spark joy? Items that don’t do either of these things don’t deserve a place in our homes. I’ve only just realised that I use a similar approach for a ‘healthy diet’.

Food that Continue reading

And Thus Endeth 2017

At this time two years ago, I started my blog. I had been thinking about it for a while, waiting for the ‘right’ time, and it basically came down to just do it. I’m so glad I did!

I started off not having a clue what I would write about, but I optimistically aimed to post twice a week. It quickly changed to once a week. Pretty soon, I struggled to do even that and went for the whole of June without posting anything. Still, I finished 2016 with forty blog posts, covering a variety of subjects.

I started 2017 knowing it would be a busy year. I didn’t want to make any goals for my blog schedule that would inevitably lead to failure. Instead, I decided to only post every two weeks. If I had the time or inclination to write more than that, then I would post them anyway, or hold them back for another time.

I surprised myself Continue reading

When She Wrote on a Whim…

Mon 23rd Oct: My MA Forum Moderator posted about an opportunity for young people: Electric Read’s Young Writers’ Fiction Anthology 2017. They feature twenty-five of ‘the best young writers in Britain’. I saw that it was a free, email-entry competition, and within five minutes I had submitted a story – the final assignment of my degree Creative Writing module.

I told no one; not even Mum, who I would normally consult and call on for editing advice! I’d only entered one short story competition previously, and didn’t get anywhere – the judge’s comments showed that they weren’t interested in realist fiction. I had no expectations this time.

Tue 14th Nov: I was Continue reading

The Psychology Thread

I have a broad range of interests. It used to bother me that I didn’t have time for them all and that I couldn’t settle on one for long. I discussed this in ‘Too Many Interests’. However, I’ve recently noticed that the ones I’ve stuck with have something in common: they have a strong psychological element.

At Crossfit, I often reflect on the thoughts behind a workout, the things we tell ourselves, the way we interact with each other, and the inextricable link between the physical and psychological parts of our being.

The musical side of band-conducting and one-to-one teaching is key (pun not intended!), and yet I’m probably more drawn-in by the Continue reading

Wrestling with Stories and Tissues

Tuesday 21.11.17

Things are difficult. I’ve fallen into the working week with less than my usual energy (which isn’t great at the best of times) and I’m coming down with a cold. Crossfit was out of the question today. Let’s focus on survival!

I had a great couple of days of brass-banding; conducting my Beginners to third place in the North Wales Competition, coming first with Seniors, and helping to support our local library with Intermediates on Sunday afternoon. Much as I loved it, it was draining to have a full-on weekend.

I’m lying in bed in my pyjamas, sipping coffee, and typing my assignment story; a story that is talking away at me constantly. Sometimes it’s in a good mood and gives me tingles up my back. Other times it yells and nags and complains Continue reading

Stop Being So Certain!

I’m tempted to trust people who don’t claim to know it all. I’m not encouraging people to be vague, or lack confidence, or sit on the fence, but isn’t there sometimes wisdom in uncertainty? How many creative activities and social issues are less certain than people pretend?

I’ve been reading a book called On Writing by A.L. Kennedy, which contains blogs and articles. One of the things that has struck me, aside from her often dark humour about the writing/publishing world, is her reluctance to tell young writers what to do. She does give advice, and is perfectly qualified to do so, but she seems to encourage distrust of her advice and everyone else’s. She suggests. It’s beautifully refreshing.

I love reading ‘how-to-write’ books. I have discovered several that have been incredibly helpful to me as a developing writer, and yet some make me nervous: the ones that lay down the law. They are professional, well-conceived, ‘true’ (or at least contain plausible information), heavily researched, backed by ‘names’ and titles and degrees…They scare the life out of me because they contain more than a sprinkling of ‘my way or the highway’. Last time I checked, Continue reading