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Archive for December, 2011

Looking Backwards & Forwards


First off – happy Yule to you all!  I hope you each had a wonderful time with plenty of food and drink, cheer and laughter and a huge amount of love.

Rather like a lot of other bloggers at the moment, I’m saying goodbye to 2011 and hello shiny new 2012.  And like Janus, who presides over gateways, I’m looking back over 2011 and forward to 2012.

2011 was a turbulent year, with a lot of hard work towards a teacher training course, the messy business of finding a job (which, thankfully, I managed to do), doing two jobs for a while and then falling ill.  

It’s strange, but I keep thinking that I didn’t achieve anything this year, because I did little to no writing on my novel-in-progress and hardly any sewing, at all.  I kind of forget that I didn’t just scrape by on the bare minimum teaching qualification, I actually challenged myself to study for a higher level than the one I needed (I did a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with some modules at Master’s level, rather than the slightly lower level Professional Graduate Certificate in Education) and I didn’t just do enough to pass, I bloody passed with flying colours (if I do say so myself).  I worked really hard and that seems to have paid off, with getting a teaching job, despite cuts in funding, and receiving lots of glowing feedback on my teaching.  So to think I didn’t achieve anything is, I suppose, being rather harsh on myself!

Let’s gloss over the whole sorry business of being ill, because I feel that I’ve gone on about that more than enough.  I’ll just say that, again, I have to be a bit more gentle on myself because of this horrible bump in the road that has definitely affected my productivity.

As for 2012 … Well, we never really know what the future will hold, but I have plans for my sewing and writing, which should hopefully come to fruition.

I had such great intentions for writing over December and January, but then I came to and realised that I’ve (and this is very embarrassing) forgotten bits of my story!  How shameful!  But I suppose it’s to be expected, when I haven’t worked on it for a very.  Long.  Time.  Indeed.  So, first, I need to read back over the first 50,000 words of A Thief and a Gentlewoman and The Plan and get myself re-acquainted with Quin and her world.  That is the first order of the year, and after that, it’s write, write, WRITE!

Well, I have a lot to do, but first I’ve got some New Year’s Eve celebrating coming my way.

Wishing you all a fabulous and joyous New Year – love Clare. x

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Write Write WRITE!


As we wave goodbye to another November, we also wish adieu to Bonfire Night (a celebration of seeing people hung, drawn and quartered or a chance to channel V for Vendetta, depending on how you look at it), the dregs of Halloween, my birthday (complete with a most civilised tea party) and NaNoWriMo.

As you’ve probably guessed from my radio silence, I was far too busy this year to take part, despite planning to earlier in the year.  However, I do also have half a novel staring at me accusingly whenever I switch on my computer or go in my little workroom.

So, in a moment of what can only be described as absolute insanity (if you saw the pile of marking I’ve got to do over Yule, you’d think me bonkers, too), I’ve decided to have a go at my own NotAWriMo. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and happens every November.  It’s not about producing the next Booker Prize Winner, it’s about getting words down (even if that means having your characters discuss the finer points of tea-making because you’re out of ideas).  In the space of a month, lunatics participants all over the world write 50,000 words in order to ‘win’.  They’re not after a prestigious prize and nor are they out to ‘beat’ each other: they’re simply working towards being able to say ‘I did it’.  And when you consider that’s an average of 1,667 words per day in the lives of many people who work full-time, have children and/or social lives, being able to say ‘I did it’ is no mean feat.

What, then, you might ask, is NotAWriMo.  Well, it’s going to be about me ‘getting words down’ after a long hiatus from writing during which I’ve worked full-time (sometimes more than full-time), completed a PGCE, fallen ill and begun my first teaching job.  I need to get my head back in that writing zone and I need to get back into my rhythm of writing frequently and consistently, which served me well during my MA (40,000 words+ written and edited to a Master’s standard between April and August).

To that end, I’m planning to do the following:

  • Start on 17th December (the date the college breaks up for Yule).
  • Finish a month later on 16th January.
  • Write 20,000 words in that time (an average of around 650 words per day).

20,000 words as a target falls well short of the NaNoWriMo 50k, I know, but I’m more interested in quality, building up a sustainable rhythm that I can continue after 16th January, still getting my lecturing work done (planning lessons and marking) and – gasp! – socialising with family over Yule and New Year.

I’ll post on here from time-to-time about my progress and, my stitchy friends will be glad to hear that after the holidays, I’ll be working 4 days a week, so hopefully I’ll get some sewing done – huzzah!

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Privacy – now off and why it was on


Hello all!

A little apology – I’ve had my blog on invisible lately as I’ve started teaching and I didn’t want my learners to be able to find this blog by googling my name, particularly because of photos of me in my stays, etc.  I’ve spent a while deleting all mention of my surname, so now I should be safe!

More coming soon on my writing life!

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