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This was [personal profile] complicatedlight  second suggestion of something different to do in London.
Sky Garden )
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 Because my goal setting year begins in the middle of April.  There is, like most things in my life, logic to it - just not anyone else's logic.

Goal No 1 - Write all the things

I'm up to 110,000 for the year, which, considering two years ago I was happy with an annual figure of 120,000 is good going.  It also means there's something in the bank if I slow down for any reason in the latter part of the year.

Apart from my regular writing, I've written for Not Prime Time (including a pinch hit and treats), and also written a pinch hit for the Rare Male Slash Exchange.  I've also finished my second Gen Prompt Bingo with the second part of Happy Families, my Hobbit AU.

I also wrote a ficlet for Fan Flashworks 'Glass' Challenge A Handful of Beads which again is The Hobbit.  It's now my second most kudos fic this year - not bad for 538 words.

And speaking of Fan Flashworks, I have earned three more badges:

  


Goal No 2 - Write a monthly pastoral assistant post

I am continuing with this, and still finding it helpful to reflect on the month.


Goal No 3 - Try twelve new things

I have done three so far, and the fourth is booked.  I've also been sent the material for number five by the lovely Debriswoman. And I will be starting that next month.  I was going to say when it was cooler, but we're not exactly mid-heatwave at the moment.
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Debriswoman recommended You have breath for no more than 99 words.  What would they be? collected by Liz Gray, and suggested this as a writing challenge.  So this month I have been writing 99 words for some of my characters.

It quickly became apparent the characters I would write had to be those for who I have written series, so that I could really get inside their heads.  I frequently write say, John Watson, both in BBC Sherlock and ACD Sherlock Holmes, but each time there may be subtle differences.  Whereas taking the Watson in Sussex Retirement I had a far greater idea of how he would think.  This also served to narrow down the characters I would choose.

I had decided to include the gang from the Marylebone Monthly Illustrated really as a bit of light relief.  Only when I came to write the first of them, the Ocelot, I came across the Editor with very strong views, and found myself writing one of the most dour of the entries.

None of the characters explicitely contradict my own views.  This might be a fault in a writer, but I think if I'm investing the time in a character to write a series then I want to be in agreement with them.  This is, after all, a hobby rather than a career.

The last chapter, which I have just posted, is my own 99 words, for I felt it was appropriate to leave a little bit of myself there too.

It's been a fascinating challenge, nothing like I expected when I started, and totally worthwhile doing, so thank you Debriswoman

99 words
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Two months since I set my goals for 2017/18 so time to see what progress has been made.

Goal No 1 - Write all the things

Wordage wise I remain on target, which is good.  I wrote slightly less in April, but picked up again in May.  And I've discovered AUs, of which up to now I've only written the occasional one.  Yes, I know the Ocelot Tales are AUs, but since Holmes and Watson remain more or less in character I don't class this as a pure AU.  Similarly Sussex Retirement, although not their actual retirement, is an extension of the characters' lives.  But since I've signed up to [community profile] whatif_au  apart from the inevitable Hobbit fic for 'Everyone Lives' AU, I've written a western AU (again for the Hobbit) and a soulmark AU (Spooks).

I have managed to add some more badges for [community profile] fan_flashworks  including the Unimaginable, which means I've written for every challenge for the past three years - yay!




Goal No 2 - A Monthly Pastoral Assitant Post

This I am doing, and there is another one scheduled to be written at the end of this month.  I'm pleased I'm committed to doing this, as it is keeping track of what and how much I'm involved in, otherwise I think I would assume I wasn't doing very much.


Goal No 3 - Try Twelve New Things

Two down, ten to go.  I've roughly sketched out what I shall try when, so the more craft based challenges will be spread out over the autumn/winter, rather than concentrated in three months.

I'm currently reading the book mentioned by DebrisWoman "You have breathe for no more than 99 words.  What would they be?"  My intention, as a writing exercise, is to take a number of the characters I write and let them write their 99 (or less) words.  If there's anyone you would particularly like to see, please let me know.
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This was suggested by [personal profile] complicatedlight  as something different to do when in London.

Initially, the opening times looked not to be promising for this one, but then I realised we were coming up to London, and because it was half term we would be leaving after midday, rather than late afternoon, so I suggested to SM that we go.  As an aside, I also got to travel on a tube line I'd never been on before: the Waterloo and City Line.  (It only shuttles between Waterloo and Bank, so not generally of any use).

Dennis Severs House is in Folgate Street, not far from Liverpool Street Station.  There are various rooms, which are set out as if the family who lived there have just left for a few minutes.  It was originally occupied by a family of Huguenot silk-weavers, who arrived there in 1724.  The visitor walks through the house in silence, moving from room to room, beginning in the basement.  As they move through the house time moves on, so that the top floor is set at the time of William IV's death, when Victoria came to the throne.

It's a very interesting concept.  Obviously the articles in the room cannot be handled, but for me there was a strong wish to do so.  I also felt drawn to sit on the chairs and therefore take part more fully in the scene.  The idea being the visitor experiences the scene as if they had just dropped into the house.

The average visit length is 45 minutes, we spent 75 there, taking our time, looking at everything.  SM was very taken with it.  I enjoyed it, but felt very much an observer, rather than a participant, one step outside what I think was the intention.  But it was well worth visiting, and if anyone is looking for something different to do in London, I can recommend it.
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For my first challenge, I decided to combine two suggestions.  [personal profile] nagi_schwarz  suggested I try painting, and debriswoman suggested sketching a diary for a week.  Now, painting was going to take more equipment than I wanted to buy to start with, and more space than we have available, but I thought I would go with the spirit of the challenge, bought myself a cheap sketch pad and some colouring pencils (and then found some more I'd been given) and decided to have a go.

artwork )
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So far, this is the list of challenges I have received:



  • Go dancing, have a dance lesson

  • Try painting

  • Meal from a new cuisine, like Japanese or Chilean

  • Go for a trip in a Canadian canoe

  • Crotchet, perhaps make film characters

  • Learn the basics of another language, relevant to my church work or sign language

  • Use a different hand for doing stuff for a day

  • Sketch a diary for a week

  • Sew something simple and cheery

  • A writing challenge based on "You have breath for no more than 99 words. What would they be?"

  • Visit Dennis Severs house in London

  • Go to the Sky Garden in London

  • Cross stitch

  • Hardanger

  • A poetry challenge

Once I got over the panic of 'what am I going to do when?' and stopped trying to schedule everything rigidly into a calendar, I realised there is sufficient there to keep me occupied for a year.  There's a wide variety of challenges which is really good, and very pleasing, thank you flist.  There were a few other suggestions which I've decided against, but this collection should keep me busy.

So, watch this space!

 

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My third goal for this year is to Try Twelve New Things.

Which means roughly one a month. But that doesn't mean each challenge needs to last a month, although it could. Equally it doesn't mean I wouldn't do two challenges one month and none another, because I might. I just thought it would be good to write about one challenge each month.

I am prepared to consider anything, given the following constraints. I don't have amazing amounts of free time, and what I do have varies considerably from day to day and week to week. I don't mind paying a little to try out something, but I'm not prepared to spend a lot of money on something I may or may not enjoy. (I have, after all smiled sweetly at my credit card as I booked some theatre tickets and accommodation.)

So, dearest flist, I am open to suggestions. What could I do which would be new?

I'm in London for a few days in August, and am going up for the occasional part-weekend at other times. [personal profile] complicatedlight   has given me a couple of suggestions, at least one of which I'm hoping to do. The timing of the other may prove more difficult, but just because I don't manage to do it within the next twelve months doesn't mean I won't do it at all.

Maybe there's something you think I should write, or read, or watch, or learn about. A craft I should try. Something I should visit (either specifically or in general).

I have the same problem we have when we ask the Brownies what they'd like to do. They suggest things they've done before, because they can't imagine anything else. It's the same for me now.
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Easter Monday, and time to select my goals for the year:

Goal No 1 - Write all the things

Because the emphasis continues to be on the 'all'.  Not just number of words, which really should be a secondary condition because crafting a decent drabble can take as long as writing 500 words, but at least attempting different things.  There are still a number of badges for [community profile] fan_flashworks  I want to earn.  One I'm struggling with in particular is the Prognosticator, which is for stories post canon.  This can be difficult when a good proportion of your main characters die in canon, even if you habitually write them otherwise.  And there's only so many ways I can kill Dr Watson (sorry [personal profile] scfrankles ).  So any suggestions gratefully received.

I've signed up for an AO3 'All In The Family' exchange, which is a new one for me.  And there are a couple of exchanges I did for the first time last year, so they will still be a challenge for me this time round.  I'll also probably pinch-hit for a couple of exchanges.  And I'm intending on writing the next part of Master Baggins the Baker's Son (Hobbit AU) for my new Gen Bingo card.


Goal No 2 - A Monthly Pastoral Assistant Report

A number of you were kind enough to say you enjoyed reading what I've written so far, and since we are supposed to reflect on matters, this would seem like a good way of encouraging myself to do so.  These will be friends locked - not that I will be sharing names - but the views I express will not be shared by everyone.  (Not that I object to friends having different views from my own, I fully expect some of you to do so, but I haven't got the time to wait for the sun to turn the trolls to stone.)


Goal No 3 - Try Twelve New Things

One of the dangers of finding a balance of life which works(ish), is that of stagnating.  I've therefore decided I shall try some new things this year.  And this is where you, dear flist, come in.  Because it requires outside input to find new thoughts.  I have some free time (but nothing regular), I have some money (for the odd little thing), and I have a curiousity and a wish to do different things (even briefly, before deciding it's not for me).

It could be to write something different, to read something different, to try a new (simple) craft, to see something different (I'm in London for a few days in August).  I'm prepared to consider most things.

I'm hoping some of you will have some ideas, and to that end, I'm planning on putting up a post in a couple of days to expand on this and further solicit your ideas.


Here's to the next year!

 

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