Changes are afoot!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Well, here you have it. I've gone and changed my blog.  Even the name!! Before you figure I've flipped my lid, I do have a good reason for all of these changes.

Just as January brought me the desire to change the path I was on, February has inspired me to take my writing seriously and strive for publication. And I read on an author blog (someone who is published and even teaches writing) that anyone attempting to build a reader following (and, yes, she says it is a good idea to do so even before being published) should make sure that all of their social media matches.

I did buy '', but honestly I have no idea when I'll get around to setting it up. And I tweet as ChristyKateSays (ChristyMcKenzie was taken and my full name is too long), so this was really the last piece of the puzzle.

There you have it. I'm sorry if this confuses anyone, but I must say I like the new look. Since I'm so damn homesick, anyway, this theme makes me feel a little bit closer.

4 Things

I'm going to make this quick today. I have another post swirling around in my mind and I also need to get to work on Chapter 3 of my current WIP. So, off I go with the 4 things making me happy RIGHT NOW...

1. My best friend, although awaiting surgery and experiencing a serious lack of patient care in hospital (I have actually witnessed a 30 min wait for the call bell to be answer-- thank God she wasn't dying!), is doing much better. Her lung is fine, arm is casted, and she's due to have her pelvis operation tomorrow.

2. I love my Kindle. I resisted getting a kindle for ages. In the end, I only downloaded the app on my iPhone out of curiosity. Now it has become an addiction. Now, don't get me wrong, it will never replace my 'real' books. I love the feel and smell of the pages, especially old editions. I still have bookshelves lining the walls of my tiny study. And I have read a few books on my kindle which I intend to buy in print to go on my keeper shelf. The kindle gives me something a traditional bookstore or online store can not-- instant gratification, much to the downfall of my bank account. I can lay in bed at 3 am, finish a book, and buy a new one without ever leaving my warm, snuggly bed! That to me is amazing! Now I need to find a way to fund this addiction.

3. Free eBooks!! At first I only downloaded the free books. Of course, these days I buy them, too. But probably one of the greatest things the kindle did for me was provide me with almost all of my set books for one of my my university courses for free (or ridiculously cheap). Of 15 set books, I was able to find 10 free on kindle and 2 for less than £1. That's major since the cost of university itself has me walking the poverty line like a tight rope.

4. Time to be superficial and girly (trust me, right now its the little things keeping me going). The last thing making me happy RIGHT NOW is my fingernails. Let me start by saying my nails flake and peel-- I never actually have nails. Add to that that I type a lot, wield a scalpel, and coach cheerleading and not only do I not normally grow pretty nails, but I always figured they'd be a hazard, so I never even tried. Last year I decided to get acrylic nails for the Christmas party season. I loved the look of them so much I continued to get them filled in each month. It was a real treat and made me feel so good. I just went in to have them done the other day and now that they have grown out, the nail tech removed the acrylic and used a type of UV gel on them to keep them strong. They look so pretty!  And they're mine! It's silly, I know, but I don't really care.

The good news, for me at least, is that I haven't blogged as much lately because I've used any and all spare time to write! I've gone back to my first love as a starting point for my writing and it feels good, like coming home. I've also found a way to reward myself for meeting my writing targets and so far my discipline has been improved. I won't keep it a secret for long. I'm working on a post about the new direction my writing has taken over the last month. Sorry this post has been a bit 'fluffy' my next post will have more meat on it than this one. I promise.

1 Thing

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The past week was a roller coaster ride of emotions and illness, so I didn't even consider writing on Sunday. In all honesty, I don't even remember Sunday. Yep! It's been that bad. But I will always endeavor to find something that makes me happy. Today there is one thing. Sure there's more to smile about, but only one thing matters RIGHT NOW.

1. I am happy that my best friend is alive.

On Wednesday night just after 11:30 I got a call to say that my best friend had been in a car accident. She isn't just any friend, but the only one who I really talk to, the only one who knows my secrets, and the only one I can turn to for emotional support. On Wednesday night all we knew was that she had flipped her Mini 5 times and had a broken arm and very small pneumothorax.

By Thursday morning it was worse. The little pneumothorax had become a full-blown collapsed lung and she had to have a chest drain inserted. They had also discovered she had 3 broken ribs, a badly broken pelvis, and a bruised left lung in addition to the collapsed right lung and arm. I hopped a train first thing Friday morning to go sit with her in ICU. She has been moved to a regular ward, but only pending transfer. Her lung still isn't resolving (it should've within 48 hours and its been 5 days) and she may need surgery. They may also need to operate on her pelvis.

It has certainly been a rough five days, but one thing has kept me going. The police officer at the scene said after seeing the car, and the fact that it took 2 hours to cut her out of it, he is amazed that she is alive. The fact that she made it, even though there is a long road ahead, is the one thing that is making me happy RIGHT NOW.

4 Things (a little late)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I had kind of unofficially decided to write '4 Things' (at the very least) every Sunday. I never said as such here, because that would obviously damn the whole thing (I swear, I will come back to '7 Days in the South' at some point).

I missed Sunday. Surprised? No, I didn't think so.

Better late than never...

4 things making me happy RIGHT NOW:

1. I got my beloved boots!!  Well, not yet, but they should be here tomorrow or Thursday.  The point is I won them, so I am getting them.  I've already put them on my heroine's feet in the opening scene to my new project!

2. I went to my first tutorial for my literature class and LOVED it! Seriously- love. Even though it was early on a grey, rainy, horrible Saturday morning and I got lost 3 times trying to find the damn place. I think it's safe to say that I've made the right decision changing majors.

3. I have received my final assignment (the short story) back from marking. I'll post it here later.

I am happy with the result, but I have noticed that American writing doesn't fit well here. The comments I received while majorly good, include some about the narrator's age and maturity. I am certain my narrator was misunderstood thanks to a very different upbringing than what is experienced here. My best friend advised that I either need to accept that such comments will be the norm for my assignments here or adjust my writing to be more 'British' and not be marked down through misunderstanding.

I think in the next course I will have a talk with the tutor before submitting any assignments and make sure she understands that I am an American writer. I will never write like a British writer, because that would mean turning my back on who I truly am.

4. Thanks to a couple of contests (one I entered today and one I'm working on the entry for) I have a renewed spark for my writing. 

As always, I am multi-tasking (listening to Doctor Faustus while I write this) because there will never be enough time in the day for me. No matter, once I finish this I'm going to plan out the schedule I will follow for the 2 WIP's I'll concentrate on for the next few months. I'll have to schedule, since I also have assignments for 2 courses- the first TMA's for each are due early next month.

Oh well, I always have worked best under pressure and to deadlines.  Wish me luck!

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