Shoot for the Moon 2017 Challenge – April Roundup

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How have I got on with my writing, reading and blogging targets now that we are a third of the way into 2017?
• Rewrite Miranda’s Tempest
Complete my rewrite of Miranda’s Tempest in response to some very detailed advice on how to improve it by an agent during the submission process. I had intended to have it completed by now, but got seriously stalled halfway through December…
My schedule regarding Miranda’s Tempest got completely chewed up due to my illness after Easter. I wasn’t able to attend my Writing Group, so didn’t get to touch base with my two main beta-readers.

• Write at least 100 reviews for my blog during 2017
I hope to continue to read and review at least 100 books, with at least 24 being by women authors previously unknown to me as part of the Discovery Challenge, thanks to Joanne Hall’s post. I also would very much like to get more of my To Be Read pile read and reviewed, so will have another go at the Tackling my TBR Pile this year with the aim of reading at least 30 books during the year from this teetering stack.
During April, I read and reviewed 22 books, writing just under 22,500 words. The reason for this high number was my sojourn in bed for nearly a week doing little other than reading and sleeping. It was another month of wonderful books – the bar just keeps getting higher in terms of overall quality, it seems to me. As for book of the month – I can’t decide between Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys, A Tyranny of Queens by Roz Meadows and Scavenger Alliance by Janet Edwards.

• Creative Writing courses
The new term is under way.
We had a bit of a glitch at the start of the Tuesday group when I had to cancel the first session because I was feeling so ill, which is only the second time in 8 years that I’ve gone sick. Fortunately, I am able to add the missing session to the end of the course so the students are not short-changed.

• Continue teaching TW
Continue delivering the customised syllabus we have managed to find and devise in order to meet Tim’s specific learning requirements.
Tim continues to progress and develop – this term he is flying, which is wonderful to watch. I’m hoping he can continue to sustain his progress throughout the summer as he has a series of major challenges in the coming few months.

• Continue to improve my fitness
To continue to attend Fitstep and Pilates classes to improve my fitness and regain the strength and stamina I lost after a decade of chronic lower back pain.
Nope. I missed a chunk of my classes and so far, while I’ve felt well enough to resume Fitstep, my lack of energy has meant that by the time I get to Wednesday, I cannot face my Pilates class. I am taking some vitamin supplements which hopefully will boost my stamina and general well-being so that I can resume my normal level of activity.

Frankly, April was a frustrating month. I simply haven’t had sufficient energy to sustain any area of my life to the standard I like to generally achieve. I’m not keeping up with comments on my blog and for three days during the month didn’t post anything at all. Neither am I fully up to date with my teaching admin and as for writing anything worth the name – that is a distant memory. The only thing I seem to be fit for is reading and writing reviews, which would be great if I was hankering after a life as a book reviewer, but that is my hobby activity… Let’s hope the second half of May is a vast improvement.

I wrote just under 28,000 words during April, mostly on my blog, which brings my yearly total to just over 142,000 words so far.

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12 responses »

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, Jean. Mostly, I can put my head down and push on through, so I’ve found it really frustrating that since Easter, I simply run out of steam and have to stop whether I’ve completed the task or not. Grrr… it’s very annoying!

  1. :/ I know the feeling when it seems impossible to keep up with things. May has been an incredibly busy month for me, and I got a late start on creating my online photo album of Iceland for the GoFundMe donors. So between those bits, I haven’t had as much time for writing or blogging lately. (And social media, too – I’m actually on a Twitter hiatus until I finish the photo album.) In your case, I hope that you’re able to regain your energy soon so that you can get back to everything you love and want to do.

    Keep your chin up. This will pass. *hugs*

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, Sara:)xx And I’m not surprised you’re flat out. Returning from your writing retreat, I expect there were 1,001 things waiting for your attention – and that isn’t including all the extra editing and photos for the GoFundMe donors… A good idea to withdraw from social media until you have got through it all – but I KNOW it was worthwhile after reading your inspired article:)).

      • Sort of, yeah. And yet life keep marching forward regardless. The fact that Easter was just a few days after coming home was weird, too. I’d spent so much time focusing on the trip that when I remembered Easter, my first thought was, “Are you sure Easter is this weekend, and not two weeks from now?”

        Did you see my DIY MFA post about Iceland, btw? Maybe it went live while you were feeling unwell… If you didn’t, let me know, and I can share the link with you here.

      • If I haven’t liked or commented, then I must have missed it. My interaction has certainly been spotty for a while – but during that particular week I pretty much spent all my time in bed… Please send me the link, I’d love to read it!

      • No problem! My regular column posted around that time, too (a post which, thankfully, I wrote and submitted before my trip), and I think you might appreciate its topic given how things have been for you lately.

        Here’s the Iceland post: https://diymfa.com/community/5onfri-five-reasons-attend-iceland-writers-retreat

        And for my regular column, I took a break from themes to talk about the idea of “honoring your reality”: https://diymfa.com/writing/seven-steps-to-honoring-your-reality

      • Thank you so much for going to the trouble of sending me the links, Sara – I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to visit both articles. I do love your words of wisdom!

  2. This post concerns going into the second half of May, and here I am on the 19th–might as well say the 20th, just getting around to reading it. My bad. I saved it because I wanted to answer it in some detail, so get a cuppa’ and relax while you read this. I am hoping that the rewrite on Miranda’s Tempest will soon get underway again, that you will become newly inspired to dig in, and that it will gain impetus on its own and write itself, “fix” itself. Your Creative Writing Course getting underway is inspiring to me, and I am teaming up with a math instructor husband of a friend who wants to do a “boot camp” for students facing ACT’s and SAT’s–older teens. At the same time, and at the facility I have access to, I want to re-invent my reading improvement class for 4th,5th and 6th graders as a Bookworm Club, focusing on motivation to read and fun activities rather than skills as such. Both classes will meet at the same time, hopefully with the teens younger brothers and sisters driven there by the teens, for only four times, two hours at a time. It’s not enough time to teach a reading “course” but enough time to provide some fun books, do some vocabulary games and activities and get kids hooked on reading for pleasure. Surely that’ll do as much good as a remedial course. (and be a lot more fun for me!) I am glad to hear about Tim that “…he is flying..” and will keep him and his challenges ahead in my prayers. I PROMISE you, you WILL come out of your temporary doldrums and you will find yourself encouraged to make good things happen–I did! Think of June 1st as a new start. Tell yourself things ARE going to get better and better, and they WILL. I will be praying toward that happening daily. Take care of yourself.
    Rae

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, as always. Please don’t think you’ve been remiss – I’m the tardy one by only releasing this post yesterday about my halting progress during April. Fortunately, things are starting to come right – I’m beginning to catch up and my energy levels are starting to return. Thank goodness!
      Your course with the Maths tutor sounds inspirational – what a clever stroke to accommodate both age ranges! I’m a huge fan of using games to teach – children learn so effectively when having fun. All the best – I look forward to hearing how you get on:). Have a lovely week-end, Rae:)

      • I’m so glad you’re feeling better! I am excited about the Bookworm Club. Depending on the ability of the students, I will probably have as much fun as they do. If I can just get them to stretch their vocabularies and realize reading is FUN!

      • Yes – that’s always the point, isn’t it? To make them see reading isn’t a chore, but something to do for pleasure:)

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