Posted in Catch Up, Writing

Catch Up

hawthorn blossom
Another week gone by. It’s been very productive for me as I swing into my new non-procrastinational ways. I have made the bed every day for a whole week now. I came back from walking the dog this morning and saw it – the blankets laid back to air – and I almost walked away to stoke up the computer. I actually ‘heard’ the thought in my head “leave it until after” but I squashed it flat! (As I remarked in a comment in the last ‘catch up’: one of the library books about breaking habits said that a person who makes the bed each morning is more likely to do their other daily tasks. I need all the prompts I can get.)

I’ve walked the dog each day but my treadmilling has been brief. Bit of discomfort in the hip joints and various other places. I think it’s from my increased activity.  So, I decided to give it a few more days, while I wonder if it’s procrastination.

My ‘school-work’ is all on target. I have four courses at the moment, with a quiz  and an assignment due before I go to bed on Wednesday. I’m really learning a lot on the Climate Change course, and it is great to have unbiased lectures, instead of turning my nose up at hysterical newspaper reports and the blogs that accuse people of being grandchild killers. While climate change is real, the outcome and timeframe isn’t certain.

Began today: Towards Scottish Independence?… (The University of Edinburgh);
and this one begins overnight: Introduction to Computational Arts (State University of New York).

The Learning How to Learn course is repeating on Coursera, and I highly recommend it to everyone. I have to do a project about it, and I’m taking the blogging format option, of course.  I’m doing the Effective Writing class again in a few weeks – the MOOC I flunked. It’ll be a breeze now, armed with all my new learning techniques.

Speaking of writing – I have outlined my novel. Only to the extent that I know what I need to do to finish it, structure wise and word count. I’m aiming for the 120,000 word target again. With what I have, it will take that to finish. I’ll write a fair few of the 89,000 words again, since I’m changing the story. I haven’t actually gone over the scenes yet with the changes, but I did mind-mapping yesterday and that was productive: the story a bit clearer in my head now. I’m giving myself to the 1st September to write-up the  changes on the printed scenes – then it’s head down and writing.

The deadline to finish the draft is 5th October, my sister’s birthday. My novel is dedicated to Carol, and comes from her advice to me a week or so before she died: follow your dream. Having that date as my deadline is really empowering. I have to write romance in it for her, too. She devoured Mills & Boon, I couldn’t stand them. I was more a Western girl, then, and even the bit of romance in those was too much.

Now, I’ll grab the phone and hope I have taken a decent photo of the hawthorn flowering, this morning. Yesterday, white blossom was everywhere. Astonished, I hadn’t noticed the day before. Must have happened overnight. (Did you notice the bee? One in the featured photo and the one below.)

Bee on Hawthorn Blossom
Bee on Hawthorn Blossom

Take care. Thanks for visiting my blog and being part of my community. You’re appreciated. ❤


I started blogging in an effort to keep the old brain cells alive. I'm writing a fantasy series, I take more MOOCs than I can handle, and am trying to get my Nikon D3000 off auto. I live in Victoria, Australia, with my husband and our dog, Vika.

32 thoughts on “Catch Up

  1. I read years ago that making your bed first up is a good habit to get into, as it starts you positively on your day to all your other chores etc. How beautiful that you have dedicated your novel to your sister. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, so far the bed making is working. I’ve also started jotting down things to do the next day on a day planner before going to bed – apparently your brain gets used to the idea while you are asleep! I must admit I do get satisfaction giving each chore a big green tick when done. It’s appropriate I dedicate to my sister, since her death a few years ago was the catalyst for getting started on writing. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We have a top sheet and two blankets AND a king size wool doona. And there is a third blanket just on Mr R’s side, Sue. Once the warmer weather comes I gradually take them off, one at a time. 😀


      1. Wow Christine, I think I would suffocate under all that weight. I just have a feather doona with 2 of those thin blankets, like baby blankets, one over the bottom sheet and one under the doona. When you get into bed there’s no cold shock. I don’t blame you for putting off making the bed. Beautiful day here today, just like spring. Supposed to be lovely for the next week then its cooling down again, 22 monday then 13 tuesday. Us humans have really stuffed the environment up, when I was a kid it was cold and rainy this time of year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I forgot to mention the electric blanket, Sue – no cold shocks for us! When it was -6C we turned them on during the night. We don’t have wall insulation, I think that is the problem – and ancient roof insulation in only part of the house. I haven’t missed a bed-making yet, going well there! I remember spring as onion grass, blue skies and furry caterpillers!


      3. The furry caterpillars are out in force. Young Julius loves them and picks them up to pat them (yuk). Just nicked a copy of your “Bee” picture,I keep coming back to have a look at it, didn’t think you’d mind. Really sunny and warm here today.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sue, could you email me a photo of the caterpillars, please? I haven’t seen one for YEARS! not since I left Hamilton as a teenager. I don’t mind you helping yourself, flattered you like the photo so much! ❤


      5. Emailed Caterpillar picture. Alec has been weeding so most have gone, only found 4 live ones and a few decapitated bodies. They’ll appear again and I will take a couple of better pics. One caterpillar was moving under a leaf so he is a bit blurry. Don’t know what kind of butterfly they become.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thanks Sue, it was a pity the cute things weren’t the ones I remember. I’m starting to think maybe they weren’t even furry! I know they were black and orange (or yellow). They were around the same time as the onion grass flowered – the little purply pink flowers.


  2. I did – right away ! I ALWAYS notice bees. 🙂
    120,000 is a fuckin big lot of words, you know: why do you want to write so much ?
    Why is the Learning How to Learn course so good ? “Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. Whether you are an outstanding or a struggling student, “Learning How to Learn” will give you powerful mental tools that will help you learn more effectively in tough-to-master subjects. You will discover practical, immediately useful insights that will help you to more deeply master your studies.”
    Doesn’t sound all that thrilling: need yer to persuade me …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantasy novels are usually on the long side, M-R, and I’ve rambled on for so long it will take that long to wrap things up. Hopefully giving people value for money. It’s not going to be 99 cents. I’m planning a series of novellas for the ‘back’ story which will be that price.

      Persuade you, M-R? First of all, you have to believe … 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cristine R, great post! I have a thing about making my bed and keeping my home reasonably tidy. I don’t want to die and have people come in my house and say what a slob I was! Ha Ha! However my work desk would never pass mustard. That’s called creativity right? When I went to college a course called “How to Succeed in College” was required. I learned so much in that class!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of learning how to master habits (from a Piers Steel book, I think) suggests hanging my procrastination cues on to a goal, or to imagine the worst case scenario. So I imagine unexpected visitors, having to call an ambulance in the middle of the night. Unfortunately my family already know I’m a slob. 😀 It’s one thing learning, another doing. And a tidy desk means no real work is getting done. That’s called ‘productive procrastination’ – you sharpen pencils and tidy the desk, instead of working. 🙂


  4. Hi Christine! Love the photo!! I did “not” notice the bee until you mentioned it. 🙂 Thank you for commenting on my blog. I will admit that I just now read the entire thing. I get alerts to my phone and always “intend” to go back and read them but failed to do so until just now.
    Yes, I still write to pen pals and love it. I have over a dozen now but I enjoy writing while home alone at night. (Husband works evenings.) It works out well for me.
    Thanks for keeping up with my weight loss journey. I am hoping to get back in the saddle so to speak and make it count!!
    Good luck with your novel. I should probably read more posts before asking this, but what is it about & have you written anything before this one? I love to read also so I’m naturally curious about writers. I dabble in poetry but nothing spectacular.
    I should run. Take care and sorry for the mini novel here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ginger, thanks for dropping by my blog and please don’t apologise for the length of your comment – not after the long one I left on yours! 25lbs is a big achievement and you needn’t worry about that ocscillating 3 – 5 lbs, that’s a normal sort of bodily range with fluid retention, depending on what you’ve been eating (and how much there is of the rest of you to hold it). That’s why it’s better to weigh weekly, not daily. Or use clothing to judge. Like you said, by now you know what you should or should not be eating. And you know, one junk day a week is okay as long you’re good the rest of the week.

      I don’t think I’ve really said what my novel is about on here, but there is the odd hint here and there – especially under the posts tagged ‘writing’ – see menu at top. It is a fantasy and I have wizards and dragons, because I love books like that. It is written in multi view points, and I swear it was like that before I ever laid eyes on a Game of Thrones novel! Thanks again for dropping by.


  5. Christine, would love to read more about your novel. It sounds interesting and you have carefully organized it with outline, and mind-mapping! I’ll check around your site for more of you writing. Your photos are awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL – I TRIED to outline, it was a dead loss, really. There isn’t all that much about my novel here yet. Like Stephen King suggests, I’m writing with the door closed. 😀 [sigh] When I write at all, that is. Too much blogging going on. I love your writing, as I said, and your memoir is coming along terrifically. Glad you like the photos,Christine, most are taken with the phone camera. Thanks for dropping by again.


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