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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Slow Start To The Week!

Monday, 8th September 2014

I felt much more energised than I expected this morning. Usually on a Monday I head back to bed for an hour or so once my youngest has gone to school. I cooked a decent breakfast, hung some washing out and then braved a short run. I used to run at least three times a week and covered about three miles at a time, but since I was ill over December and January, I couldn’t get my mojo back. I tried to run, but every time I felt it was too much of a struggle, which resulted in me feeling demoralised and scared that I wasn’t as healthy and fit as I thought. I stopped running back in early April and in May my husband had the bright idea of buying bikes. I embraced cycling wholeheartedly and have been clocking up a few miles over the summer. This has boosted my fitness levels drastically without the pain. Cycling reminds me of being a child again. I love being outdoors, that sense of freedom, fun and feeling the wind in my hair. Anyway, today’s run went well and I didn’t feel as awful as I thought I would. This has given me much more confidence in my ability and I’m relieved that running is back on the agenda. Running makes me feel young, energised and vibrant in a way that cycling doesn’t. 
I had to do a quick Tesco shop (I seem to be shopping every day lately!), but after lunch I knuckled down to some writing-related activity. I didn’t actually write anything new, but I finally got to grips with a story I’ve been working on and felt confident enough in it to submit it to one of the womags. I found another couple of stories that would be suitable for a competition with a September closing date, but they both need more work (on the endings, as usual!). 
My copy of The Story: Love, Loss and The Lives of Women - 100 Great Short Stories Chosen by Victoria Hislop arrived today. It’s a huge hardback - a gorgeous book that I’ll keep forever. I’ve already started to dip into it and have read three of the stories. Even more pleasing is that I found this copy on amazon Marketplace for just over £5 including postage. Today I’ve read stories by Polly Samson, Anne Enright and Carrie Tiffany.

Tuesday, 9th September 2014
The day didn’t get off to the best of starts with an upset stomach. However, I was determined not to let this ruin my schedule. I had the bed linen out on the line by 10am, then went for a bike ride in the sunshine. By the time I got back it was almost lunchtime. I really wasn’t in the mood for housework, but felt obliged to put the vacuum round upstairs and down, as well as give the bathrooms a quick once-over and clean the kitchen floor and window. Before that, however, I wrote a review for Alex Marwood’s The Killer Next Door, which I’d read on holiday in August and thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, I wrote the review twice, as my computer did something strange before I managed to save the first version! In the end I didn’t finish the housework until 3pm and then my daughter was home from school. Then via Facebook I heard of the death of the wonderful writer, Graham Joyce. I first met him when he was one of the tutors on a workshop I attended in Milton Keynes in the late 1990s. He was incredibly inspiring and helpful. I remember having a wonderful conversation with him. He was also a very handsome guy! I met him again in Leicester at a writerly function of some sort a couple of years later. He was diagnosed with cancer a year or so ago and his Facebook posts during his treatment were humorous, positive and again, inspiring. Do read The Tooth Fairy, one of my favourite novels of his. Dark Sister is also excellent. A good friend of mine who also knew Graham says that his novel, The Facts of Life has had a huge influence on her. He will be sadly missed.

So.... no ‘real’ writing done today, apart from this blog entry and the review. I'm hoping for a more productive day tomorrow!

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