2017

2017 has lately been feeling like kind of a nothing year for me. Or at least the last half of it was. Most of 2018 will most likely be about the same as I’m working hard to save money to visit friends on the other side of the world. It’s easy to forget how much I actually did last year, when the last half of it was so quiet. Still, there were adventures to be had in 2017, and I’d like to reflect on those.

For one, I finally got to visit Ireland, a place I’ve wanted to see for most of my life but never got around to until this point. It turned out to be a bad time, with a country-wide bus strike that left me stranded in Rosslare for the better part of a day until my cousin could drive halfway up the country to pick me up. I was only there for a few days, but I got to see a lot, the highlight of which was Killarney national park, with its lush, brooding mountains and winding rivers.

My housemate of three years moved out, and I started living with someone new, which was a daunting prospect at first but has turned out great. They may or may not be moving out this year, but another change is less worrying since it’s already worked out once, and I myself might well be moving out at the end of the year anyway.

I got a new tattoo, which didn’t heal quite right so I’ve just been in for a touch up (which was way more painful than the original, although thankfully did not take anywhere near as long). This was my first ‘big’ tattoo, and I sat for almost three hours for it. I know that’s actually no time at all compared to a lot of tattoos, but considering I’ve only had small pieces that have taken no more than half an hour, 3 hours was a lot! Hopefully 2018 brings a couple more, although most likely they’ll be small as I’ll be saving throughout the year.

I started going to yoga classes, and although I don’t do much of it at the moment, my posture has improved and I feel like I’m putting less pressure on my knees when I stand. It’s pretty hard to believe though that for 26 years I genuinely did not know how to stand up straight.

I also started driving lessons in October, which was absolutely not a fun new hobby, but incredibly stressful. I’m sort of okay with my lessons now and am not shitting myself every time I pass another car (although if everyone else could just take their cars off the road when I have a lesson, that’d be great). I’ve still a lot to learn when it comes to driving, but I’m really hoping to pass my test this summer. Fingers crossed!

In December, I saw an otter whilst out on a dog walk, in a Bristol lake. I’ve seen otters before in sanctuaries, but never in the wild, so this was a big deal for me. Considering they were once on the brink of extinction in this country, finding one in the middle of a busy city is pretty cool (:

I did, also, write a full length novel, although more and more now I’m thinking it will probably never see the light of day. Still, the actual writing of something that long is an achievement in itself, and I consider it a stepping stone for more to come. Though perhaps for 2018 I will just focus on writing shorts and novellas, things that cause me less anxiety that I might actually be able to send out into the world without too much agonising.

Having written all this down, maybe 2017 wasn’t quite so boring after all, and I’m sure 2018 will bring plenty of new experiences too. I’ve set myself up with a challenge for the year, to go plastic free. It’s pretty much impossible to be 100% plastic free, but I will be buying alternatives or just going without where ever possible, including and especially food packaging! This should have the added benefit of cutting most processed foods out of my diet, forcing me to eat healthier and to cook more often, and also mostly (if not totally) cutting out palm oil, which is something I should have done forever ago. It’s a bit of a daunting task, but as I’m in the hippy city of Bristol, I don’t think it’ll be as difficult as it would be in other places. And if I could go vegan and stick to it, I can probably do this too.

Let’s just hope the apocalypse doesn’t happen before the year is done.

Peace out.

2017

Happy (slightly early) 2014!

Now that we have finally emerged on the other side of Christmas, things are beginning to quieten down and I have time (and the internet at my mum’s house) to update this blog and wish you all a happy end of December and new year (:

This year has pretty much turned everything around for me. In January I was working a miserable job where no one talked to me and it was a good day if a customer said hello back when I greeted them. I had no money (something that I’m sure everyone who reads this blog or follows me on twitter knows by now, because I do like to whine about things :P), and next to no social life because of this. Then I finally plucked up the courage to cut my ties with what had become a dying town and suddenly I found myself with a job I don’t hate, enough money and, surprise surprise, a social life outside of my rats and my housemates. And now I have a flat I can actually call my own (sort of; I am still renting, but it feels like mine).

I’ve now finished moving house for the fourth and final time this year. All my stuff is now in the new flat I’m sharing with Jay Robin (she’s the mad woman pole-dancing in the attic). Now I just need to actually put it all away so she has room to move her stuff in. This is a very, very slow process, because I am incredibly lazy and mostly I’m just spending my time watching the kebab shop opposite (who needs TV and internet?) …Pretty sure we saw the British version of Heisenberg hanging around outside with a pot plant.

Now I feel like I am properly set up in this city and no longer just staying here. I’m out of temporary accommodation and now I actually live here and have made a home here. Probably the most exciting thing is we now have an office ^_^ Hopefully this means creativity shall thrive (although it’s quite likely I will find some excuse to never go up there unless I really need a pen).

Next year should be a bit quieter than this one, and I’m hoping for a rather chilled out January. I have an e-book out on the 8th of that month, The Lightning Moon (which you can now pre-order), about Arrow, a witch who uses his powers to help in his rather unethical job, and a lonely widower who happens to be the brother of one of the people Arrow is tracking down. Other than that, I have very little in my schedule, and that’s exactly how I want it (:

Happy (slightly early) 2014!

2013

Happy New Year!

This is the first new year that has actually meant something for me. My first year where I’m not living by academic time, where the year doesn’t begin with September and a boxful of new books.

If you’ve been following me on twitter, you may or may not know that this year has been a bit of a pain in the arse. It’s felt like one long year of trying to make the rent and have enough left over to eat every day. I think I’ve written so many covering letters that I could probably make them up in my sleep now.

The funny thing about money is that it doesn’t seem important until you don’t have enough, and then you realise just how much you rely on it to cement all the other aspects of your life.

But it’s been okay, as years go. I’m sure there’ll be worse in my future, and there’s probably been worse behind me that I’ve conveniently forgotten.

On the plus side, I got my rats this year, and they’re big and fat now and still chewing holes in what’s left of my curtains. I’ve been semi-productive and got some stories out there, and I’ve loved writing them even when they were a massive pain in the arse.

I feel like this last year has been a bit uneventful as years go, but I’m hoping that’s about to change. I got to see in the new year with some of my best friends, who over the last four years have become like family to me. And then today, even though I was working and hungover, and even though I missed my train in and had to walk (the station was under construction and all locked up and I couldn’t find the mock-up entrance), got to work over an hour late, stepped in dog shit on the way and didn’t realise for aages, and had to spend an hour and a half sat in a room with a self-important shoplifter waiting for the police, I actually enjoyed myself. There was no work to do, so I actually got to know some of my colleagues finally after eight months. We had a chance to mess about and actually talk, and it was nice. Today was eventful, and even though it wasn’t all good, I feel positive about the year to come.

So what have I learnt from this last year? Perseverance, budgeting, and that I usually write better in past tense than present.

I think this year I want to be more productive and more sociable (hopefully those aren’t mutually exclusive). I think at some point I’m going to need to make a decision about my life, do something, change something, go somewhere, but right now I’m happy to just wait and see, and I’m hopeful.

I hope you’ve all had a good start to the year, and that it continues to be a good one for you all (:

Many blessings,

Sylvia.

2013