So, What is Up With My Phone?

I used  to think following a blog schedule was the most accessible way for me to keep blogging, but lately it has been a hindrance rather than a help, as the mind strays not only to uni and essay style posts. Not to mention the absence of inspiration for posts to share, or anything more than ordinary in my work.

Or an adequate camera for my plans.

Alas, this is becoming a regular occurrence for me. My phone is getting up to its fouth year of life now, and the life-force it demands is more than what is worth it for me to maintain. Furthermore, if the camera of the camera-phone was a highly pixelled device in the first place, it no longer is. Because technology advances so swiftly nowadays, what was a good camera is no longer satisfactory in my mind.

Basically, my phone is feeling its age, which, coupled with a problematic sim in the first place, has impeded the way I have worked with it; and it is becoming something with which I am less keen now to work. For instance, all photo quality aside, I’ve also had trouble actually taking the photos when my phone memory – despite my settings being geared towards save on the external SD card – is getting filled up From what I have experienced, there is no way to rid myself of this. My temporary data will not be removed, and that leaves me with space that is rapidly filling, no matter what I remove from my SD card.

So, no photos. Little data when I have the wifi. And barely any access to my own phone-dependent messages. My phone…has reached its little limit to its life.

To be honest, I won’t shed a tear when I don’t have to use it again. It will always be good to have a change before finding myself in a new normal.

So, for now I’ll keep pootling along, but I cannot guarantee a photo of the week like I used to. It’s no fun when the quality is not there.

Life Update

So, I’ve been doing a lot lately – not exactly extra curricula stuff like last year, but in terms of uni/school – and, as such, I’ve not been blogging as much. I’ll keep up with the Photo of the Week segment and the Weds/Thurs reblog, but posts that require a lot of thought and writing I might have to push onto a back burner for the sake of my work. And, I don’t mind that. This evening, for instance, I’ve been spending time working on my dissertation, and trying to piece together my introduction. I have a lot of background research and it’s fallen together without order. So, that takes daily pulling apart. But I don’t mind. Research is research. And fascinating. I can’t say much about my dissertation research project, but the working title is Increasing Cognitive Load Reduces Interference from Masked Stimuli in Working Memory Tasks.

My writing focus for the moment is just working on The Novel, editing and polishing it. I am currently spending about four or five hours a week going through new notes from a Critique Partner. I am also aiming to run through H for another friend/CP.

The thing is, to be able to do everything I want to, I do have to give up some things. The eternal uni juggling act, as some might say. Blogging isn’t last on my priority list, but it’s not high. I have my editing to concentrate on.

As such, I’ll see you when I see you!

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7 Quick Takes – Essays, Time-Management and God

Let’s pop over to This Ain’t the Lyceum to see how everybody’s been doing this week.

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~1~

Firstly, it is this little blog’s fourth birthday! I’ll admit that it’s been a less-impressive run than the last couple of years in terms of blogging, but on the other hand, I have got things done and my life has been rolling along as steadily as it is able.

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It almost matches my blog layout…

~2~

Unfortunately for the blog, this has meant that even the best well-meant of posts have got lost at the wayside. Nowadays, I have an idea, and it barely gets further than halfway before I have to transfer my efforts to another activity. I meant to post yesterday, I swear. I’ve even moved reblog Thursday to a Reblog Weds to accommodate my hectic Wednesday timetable this year. These things just haven’t happened, though.

~3~

It’s the weekend! And it truly has been a “thank goodness it’s Friday!” day for me. One of my research participants cancelled last minute yesterday for this afternoon, which meant I was able to actually get some of my – shock horror! – dissertation done in the time of their absence. The thing is that, with (so far) 600 words a day, I’m getting there, but I have more to do than I can afford to have a dissertation report and its progress on my back, too.

~4~

I was going to go to a dance class tomorrow, but that too has been cancelled. The good thing about Lindyhop is that it covers so many different styles of dance, and my group in Reading have recently become more interested in getting together a chorus line. The video below is a chorus girls group performing a piece they choreographed – Greece’s premiere chorus girl group, actually, A Bowl of Cherries.

~5~

Life is about balance. And there is no truer person who knows this than the [current] university student. At the moment, I’m pretty sure I’m out of balance – but that’s okay. I live with that. See my point #3 – I definitely have to make my time. Who-ever says that time has to found in a day? One has to dig it from the ruins of the hours.

Nevertheless, we must take heart – for God knows His plans and handles our plans. This Isaiah quote is encouraging for anyone in the midst of working and striving, those who feel as if their hopes and wills are fading. God has the strength. Do not be faint in His palm!

(Found on Nurse-buff)

~6~

I’m hoping to get to you some writing tomorrow, just something small I decided to do without giving it much thought. It’s set in the world of WTCB and features a couple of characters from LSOT, but apart from that, it was just me playing with dynamics.

~7~

She’d written three times in as many days.

Gabiee twisted the letter between her finger and thumb until it had rolled into a tube she’d easily hide up her sleeve.

As if on cue – and an ominous cue at that – the grandfather clock in the atrium struck. She unearthed the chain from around her neck – from it dangled a pocket-watch, battered but carefully strung. A gift from her husband, and from his father to him.

Seven. Home-coming, for the best of words.

Beautiful People: The Resolutions Edition

Hello, blogosphere. 🙂 Today, I’m linking up with Cait and Sky’s beautiful monthly linkup Beautiful People. And this month it’s about the authors – new year, new goals (supposedly). So I guess that makes me a Beautiful Person.

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  1. What were your writing achievements last year?

I culled and rewrote so many darhlings… I got some industry interest in my novel. I gave two talks to my creative writing group: one about blogging – the other about tradition publishing and querying. I wrote a 16,000-word short contemporary romance. I wrote about 6,000 words of a Steampunk novella. I wrote about 45,000 words and completed a Steampunk novella for Camp NaNo July, then edited some of it.

I did a lot of research.

  1. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year.

Editing, I think. Editing my novel. Editing my novella. Doing some subbing. Tell you? Okay, the premise of my novella, codenamed ASB303:

It’s 1870 and Lady Summer is two months away from completing her MA dissertation study of a brain, kept animated by a jar of its neural fluid. When she stumbles upon an activating tesla MRI machine during some of her night-research, however, Summer is shocked to find her brain hooked up to it. And worse—the monster that forms from it, threatening to destroy the Psychobiology department’s reputation, the lives of the many university students in campus over autumn, and Summer’s precious brain dissertation.

  1. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

Spend more focused editing time. Listen to more science TED talks/podcasts instead of watching YouTube. Stick to, and be inspired by, a motivational star-chart. Work on more compelling character motivations in scenes, chapters, and arcs. Work on improving first- and early-draft pacing.

  1. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

I’ll do Camp NaNoWriMo in July like I do every year, but I don’t have a specific plan just yet. I have several book ideas, but I’m not pushing them out into the open until I actually have time to write. So I’m not sure which yet I’m going to focus on, whether novel or novella, fantasy or contemporary.

  1. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

I always have plans to expand, but, when it comes to Critique Partners, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. That is, I took on two new Critique Partners last year and managed to crit some of their stuff without editing my own to send to them; and vice versa. Adding to that, that I neglected my first CP (who got a two-book deal last year!), I’ve decided that I can’t take on any others without neglecting one (or more) arm of what I already have.

  1. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

No, I don’t yet have any plans to read any writing/skill books. I’ve got a couple of Linguistics books and articles to read for uni research, as I will have expectantly for the next three months alongside my textbooks.

  1. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

I’d love to learn more about the MC of my novel’s family, Mr. and Mrs. Masters and their two elder daughters and son. I’ve extensively explored the family history of my other MC/the love interest, but this is because the Costellos’ money makes them more inclined to scandal and foul behaviour. Their morals are twisted by societal success and boasting. Plus, they are more crooked by nature than the Masters who are only seeking to elevate their daughters into better society. The irony!

How do I plan to go about it? Vignettes and scenes. And quite a bit of daydreaming. That always works.

  1. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

I am currently editing my main novel and going through the rounds with it already, and, although I don’t expect to get my quota in every month with my uni expectations, I hope to continue working on it with similar rhythm. On the other hand, I have a little pile of books waiting to be edited – my YA contemporary murder mystery; my Steampunk novella (which is chapter-by-chapter slowly going through my Beta).

  1. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

Ooh, difficult question. Love that quote, though. I guess I’d like to see more unusual/fantasy university-set fiction. I mean, I’m biased because the aforementioned Steampunk novella is a fantasy set in a fictitious English university town, cogs and all. I have no objection to the boarding school novel, but we always see those, with their narrow halls and fixed staff-set, and we rarely see the insides of universities, where it takes one 30 minutes to get from lecture to lecture and one gets lost in a single building. Or only for contemporary romance.

  1. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

It’s really difficult to say at this stage. Well, no, it’s not, but few of my current wishlist achievements are writing/work related: graduate with a good grade, get healthy, spend a good summer with my darling partner, start post-graduate plans – whatever they end up being. Oh, and write something, read more, and get an agent.

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A motivational star-chart (example from November).

That’s me done, then. Now I’m off to read some others in the linky. *waves and skips off*

2015 in review

Last year and the year before, I published these automatic review WordPress generates. I thought it would be quite fun to see how this hectic year has shaped up. I can’t say it’s been a particularly prolific or purposeful year for me in terms of blogging, but I have made some progress editing and with my uni work.

Ironically enough, I am still getting the best hits on prior-2014 posts, on things that were hardly-researched bits of psychological wonder. This is ironic, as I produce a lot better quality and more focused posts now, yet my old pop-culture ones are still more popular.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

10 Reasons I’m Thankful For Blogging

In which Engie explains why she is thankful for blogging. I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, but I have a lot of American friends and love this fun holiday.

Musings From Neville's Navel

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Instead of my usual “I’m thankful for my family and my health and my cat” post on this day, I thought I’d try something different! I thought I’d make a list of ten books I’m thankful for, but… apparently I did that last year! SO I’M MAKING A TOP TEN LIST OF REASONS I’M THANKFUL FOR BLOGGING.

1. It’s an easy, comfortable form of expressing myself 

I’m introverted and shy – I don’t have much to say to anyone IRL until I get to know them well. I stumble over my words, or get embarrassed and forget what I was going to say. But online my thoughts just come POURING out and I’m not nearly as awkward! (I hope!)

2. More specifically, I can fangirl! 

Blogging has given me a way to discuss my interests – especially those related to books, movies, and TV shows – that I…

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Barely an Hour to Write‏

You may have noticed that I haven’t been on the blog lately – and sporadically at best – but I have barely had any time lately to write, let alone conjure up as blog post from somewhere. I’m in my final year of my undergrad, and I’ve been busy with study reading. Factor in the hours of sport and dance I am dong for my health, and I’m normally exhausted by the time I get back at 10pm. My mind refuses to write at that time unless I have to, and relaxation takes over where I haven’t during the day.

So, here’s hoping I’ll be able to sort something where I’ll get to write more, but I’m not even seeing Christmas as the opportunity. We will just have to take one day as it comes.