Category: Life

New Year Review 2019
January 1st, 2019 by C. M. Harald

A Happy New Year to all my readers. It’s that time of year when everyone reflects back and plans for the future. I’ve not written one of these new year review posts before, but now seems as good a time as any to begin. The goal is not to plan New Year resolutions, but rather to outline realistic goals that can be achieved.

Review of 2018

So, 2018 was a year in which I was not able to focus much on my writing. What with moving house, to a small village on the edge of London, there were plenty of logistic demands. Not content with one major upheaval, I also got married, overseas. Then there was also a temporary promotion in my day job. So there was little time for writing.

I had intended to write approximately 100,000 words during 2018. However, once I took the promotion at work, it was clear this would not be attainable, as I had undertaken very little writing up to that point of the year, focused as I was on the many things going on. I therefore massively reduced my target in the summer, which I managed to achieve by the end of the year. This revised target was a mere 36,500 words. This was mainly achieved during August, November and December.

During 2018 I completed only one book, a sequel to the novel ‘The Butcher’s Funeral‘. This is provisionally titled ‘The Butcher’s Knife’. I first started working on this book in early 2017. I had a solid outline, but not enough space to concentrate on getting it written.

New Year Review 2019

I have a number of ambitious goals for 2019:

  • Completing 110,000 (I can say that I’m already on schedule having achieved my quota on the first day of the year)
  • Publishing ‘The Butcher’s Knife’
  • Complete book 5 of the Royal Zombie Corps series
  • Write books 6 and 7 of the Royal Zombie Corps series
  • Review, and complete a deeper grammar check, all completed books
  • Re-cover all my currently published books
  • Publish more blogs

The most challenging goal of my New Year Review is the increased writing quota. It’s a struggle to get the time to complete any really sustained written work as my job easily overflows from a sane 60-hour week. Even though I do have good holidays, it is mentally and emotionally draining, often hampering creativity. Yet, over the last two months I’ve re-established some good habits based on Chris Fox’s ‘5,000 Words Per Hour’ book. This has brought my writing back up to a better pace, without compromising my day job. I’m also thinking of trading in the car commute for bike and train, freeing up 60 minutes per day – although some of that will be taken by the needs of the day job.

So here’s to a great and productive New Year!

Posted in Life, Writing

Finally given in and got reading glasses.
August 19th, 2018 by C. M. Harald

The signs of getting old

Well, it’s finally happening, one of the critical signs of getting old.  I can ignore all the grey hair.  The expanding waistline is apparently too much food and not enough exercise.  The creaking joints can even be explained away by being overweight, or too much standing on my feet at work.  However, what couldn’t be ignored was my left eye struggling to focus on books when they’re close to my face.

Of course, the Kindle has managed to hide this for a while.  Most of my leisure reading is on the Kindle or in magazines.  My reading for work is usually relatively large print or sizeable handwriting.  With the Kindle, just making the text a little bigger and the problem goes away.  However, the tiny print in Harry Turtledove’s ‘Bomb’s Away’ really made it clear that I needed to get an eye test done.

Off for the inevitable eye test

To be fair, I’d been considering an eye test this summer holiday.  I’ve been aware that getting old, specifically anyone over 40, can lead to presbyopia.  It’s been a while since I had an eye test and I’ve been putting it off for a while.  I’ve always been proud of my 20/20 vision, happy to tease the nearsighted by standing on the beach and spotting the ships travelling the English Channel on, and slightly beyond, the horizon.  So I steeled myself for a visit to Specsavers, ready for evidence (more) that I’m getting old.

Fortunately, the consultant was much subtle than ‘you’re old now’.  I pretty much said, going in, that I’d be needing reading glasses and that’s exactly what was prescribed.  Nothing too strong, but enough to make the difference.  However, this led to the new dilemma of working out what frames to order.  Nearly an hour later, I’d settled on a couple of pairs having tried everything from bright ‘extraverted’ glasses to ones that made me look like I was in the Stazi in a dodgy 1970s spy movie.

Making a difference

A week later and I’d picked up the new glasses.  What a difference.  My eyes are now getting quicker at combining the two images – one eye is weaker than the other, but both have got old.  The constant fingerprints are getting tedious though.

So, yes, I’m getting old.  It’s official.  I’m at the age when our eyes begin to fail us.  I’m not actually writing this with glasses on right now as I’m touch typing while watching the Channel 4 news.  I’ll be wearing them when I proof-read this blog.  Perhaps I’ll spot, and correct, a few more mistakes than I’d usually pick up?  I won’t be checking them until after I’ve planned some vegetables in my garden while wearing my comfy slippers, smoking an old pipe.  Ah, I feel the need for a mug of Horlicks and an early night.

Horlicks to that!  It’s just middle age.  Getting old doesn’t happen until your 80’s these days.

Posted in Life, Writing Tagged with: ,