2012

As the year draws to a close I would like to reflect on the last twelve months and look to the future.

It’s been an eventful year for me. I got a job, moved out of my parents house, started this website and then, thanks to a Christmas present, was able to buy my own domain.

In terms of writing, it’s been a bit up and down. I’ve had a few ideas. One in particular stuck around for a while before I abandoned it on the 1st of November, and with it my attempt at NaNoWriMo for this year. Finally I realised the stagnation with writing was due to not doing enough reading – how often have I read and at times given the advice to aspiring new writers that it is very important to read? But I’d failed to listen to it myself. I am now definitely reading a lot more – fiction, non-fiction, traditionally published, self-published, unpublished, long or short. Having received a Kindle from my parents for Christmas, I’m finding reading easier than ever, especially since it fits into my handbag a lot more easily than a book.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of advice and adhering to it as far as writing is concerned. I now dedicate some time every day to writing. I’m finding freewriting very useful, very accessible and productive, as discussed in my post on the topic last week. I’m starting to feel a world, and a story, coming together. And I can see myriad further stories set in that world too. At some point soon I’ll need to break out the pencils and paper and draw a map to get it all straight in my head.

As for the future, I’m planning on writing this story I’m working on soon. I don’t think it will be long. After reading The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth (which I reviewed on Christmas Day) and a few threads on various writing forums I’ve come to realise that there’s nothing wrong with a story that’s not a full length novel, and plenty to recommend a shorter format, so this story that’s taking shape may well be in a similar wordcount range. Taking into account continued planning, writing, rewriting, getting feedback and editing, I hope to publish by the end of 2013.

As well as writing a story, I will of course be continuing to post here. I’ve got an article in the works looking at common grammatical errors and confusions that I intend to put up before I return to work on Wednesday, but after that the posts will necessarily slow down a bit because I’ll be back working full time. I’ve got a few ideas for articles, and as interesting fantasy books, films and TV shows come along I’ll continue to review them as I have done so far with The Hobbit, Merlin, The Legend of Korra and as mentioned above The Swordman of Carn Nebeth. If anyone has a fantasy ebook available they’d like me to review, let me know, though I’ve got a couple of books on the list already so it won’t be straight away.

I’m also planning on losing some weight in 2013 (yes, yes, I know) with a target of size 12 (British) by the end of the year. I plan on doing this by changing my diet (cutting out chocolate, bacon and cheese for a start), walking more instead of taking the car for things like grocery shopping, and going to the gym at least once a week. By the second half of the year, home-grown vegetables will certainly help with this. The hardest bit will be cutting out brie, my favourite cheese, but it’s terribly fattening and too delicious to say no to once paid for.

So to sign off, here’s a picture of me with Charles Darwin at the London Natural History Museum, one of the high points of my year (that place is utterly amazing, I can’t believe I’d never been there until November this year) which also shows where I’m starting for the weight loss.

Alice Leiper and CHarles Darwin's statue at the Natural History Museum, London

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