alicia_h: (Pilot)
I've had a good day. I went across to the doctor's at 10 to book an appointment, primarily for my bruised elbow and back combo from tumbling down the stone steps in the woods whilst carrying a box of books, but also the doc I'm seeing is the one who referred me to therapy/counselling/whatever you call it for depression. He had asked me to book an appointment for after I started my counselling but between searching for jobs, searching for somewhere to live, moving my copious amounts of stuff and being a bit useless at making appointments, this was my first proper chance to actually do that. Well, I tried yesterday and the lady on reception said that they were only booking urgent appointments. It was a different lady today and she did what you're actually meant to do when booking an appointment and look for the next available time, which is next Monday evening. This actually works well for me because the elbow and back will have either healed or not but on the counselling front I've got an appointment for that earlier on the same day, so it'll be on the surface of my mind when I update my doc about life, the universe and counselling.

After I'd sorted that out, getting rid of a huge weight of worry while I was at it, I wandered down to the canal (taking care on the evil steps!) and up to Milnsbridge to have a gander at the charity shops. I bought a few books from the second of the two I found. When they're going at 30p each, I'm not going to argue. One of them was actually 50p but another one was knocked down to 10p because it's short and looks a bit scruffy, apparently. They've put a Star Trek DS9 episode guide/companion book (along the same lines as the Buffy Watcher's Guides) to one side for Friday because I didn't have enough money in change to buy it then and the one cash machine in Milnsbridge was broken. It really is a teeny tiny place.

When I got home I spent a couple of hours finishing off "I Capture the Castle". I fell absolutely in love with the book while I was reading it and I'm lending it to one of my friends next week. I need to stick the first three pages back in first since they randomly fluttered out when I was about halfway through.

I waited until I'd finished reading it before going outside. We share the same communal back yard area as my old place, just further down and with a picnic bench in the bit outside ours which earns this house definite brownie points. One of my housemates has the back door in her room. It'd be lovely to be able to step from my room to the garden but the room I'm really coveting is the one in the house next door, slap bang in the middle of the old house and new house. It has a double garden door set in an archway and the little stretch of garden outside is shaded by tall bushes and it has an overall feeling of a fairytale grotto. I know my housemate has her eye on it so I might see what happens with that and ask about going in it whenever she's ready to move on, which would certainly be at least as far into the future as my current lease running out and hopefully give me time to get a job that would cover the higher rent for a larger room with a back door. It's worth asking the landlord when I get him round to move one of the bookcases up from the empty room downstairs (the one without a back door). I want to be able to dream and plan and save up for my little fairytale grotto.

I started reading one of my new books outside in the glorious sunshine. This one is called "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and it is not one of the books I'd decided I was definitely going to read next. It's told through letters and one of the letter writers shares tales of German occupied Guernsey, so it should be both quick going and relevant to my alleged novel.

I did get some writing done, somewhere between it going cold and the sun setting and the stars coming out, and writing by lamplight and starlight until it was too cold to stay outside even with coffee and a blanket. I've definitely been influenced by my reading today because my first bit of writing had Erica writing a letter to Hauptmann Haber that she knows she has no way of delivering before she sees him again in person. In my second piece Erica's writing had a bit of a feel of Cassandra from "I Capture the Castle" but, from what I've read of my November writing, she's always been a bit like that anyway.

I'm typing those up tonight after I've taken a long enough break from looking at my notebook. Hence the journal update. The second piece, which is for the "bus stop", "traditional values" and "shout" random prompts and is due to be submitted before five in the morning, definitely needs to go up before I go to sleep and I might as well do the letter at the same time and work out if I've unconsciously fulfilled the requirements for another challenge. I'll share the part of my nano writing I've been reading as well, but that can't count towards any of the challenges as I'm only making tiny edits where it desperately needs it.
alicia_h: (1940s)
I am looking forward to seeing November out and coming into December. I'm carrying on with this first disconnected and discombobulated draft of my novel until I reach 50 000 words but my realistic view of this is to aim to get there before the end of December. And even then I want to have better handle on plot matters and take a break from it before I tackle rewrites.

There are also other things (shock horror!) to do in December. I want, nay need, to direct the obsessive and motivated spirit I've felt during nano into finding myself a job. I want to throw myself into more research for my novel, research that I can again pick up and expand on during continuation, edits and rewrites next year. I want to tidy my room, hoover the stairs, blitz the bathroom and clean the kitchen before my mother comes up to stay at the weekend.

I also want to get myself back into reading for fun. Yes, the research I've had time for this month has been fun but I think most will understand that I mean specifically novels. The problem with me is that I'll want to read a dozen different novels at once and find it difficult to stick with the book I'm on and see them through to the end when I'm in a particularly down state of mind. It's understandable then that I've fallen out of reading during my uni struggles.

What I want to do for myself in December is to get myself reading and focus on finishing the book in a decent amount of time before I drift onto the next. I'm giving myself a five book limit for the list of books I want to read and get through them before I let my mind wander over to others.

Here's my list, with the three WWII related books first, though this is not necessarily the order I'll end up reading them:

- Spitfire Girl by Lily Baxter
- Muddy Boots and Silk Stockings by Julia Stoneham
- A Game with Sharpened Knives by Neil Belton
+ this one is about Schrodinger in Ireland during the war. You may just about be able to picture my excitement when I spotted this on the charity shop shelf!
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
+ I've listened to the abridged audiobook (on cassette tape, no less) countless times and stayed in Whitby a good deal of times too but I've never yet got myself round to reading the full book
- Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

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Alicia

September 2017

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