I don’t particularly like the month of February. It is the blah month of the year. The weather is dismal, leaving the cold days behind and entering the long days of rain. Myself and my boyfriend were walking through town the other day in a thunderstorm. We both agreed that we do like the rain itself if we didn’t have to feel the cold that seeps its way through all the layers of clothing.
I have always loved the thunderstorms of France. I remember when we (my family) use to go to a campsite, one year it was boiling hot during the day, and every single night there was a thunderstorm. We were at the bottom of a valley, you could see the village laid out, winding its way all the way up to the cemetery at the top of the hill. The drops of water were so big I would be saturated in seconds. There is rain like that in Ireland also, but normally it is that drizzly misty kind. I could smell the heat from the day interacting with the wetness from the thunderstorms. I remember, a few people would go swimming in the swimming pool. It fascinated me. It terrified me, what if lightning were to strike?
When I moved to Toulouse, one of the first few days I was in the city, I got stuck out in a thunderstorm. It lasted fifteen minutes. I was soaked through, didn’t have enough time to find shelter before it stopped. I watched in awe as the water were baked away. I was heading back to my hostel, to change clothes, but by the time I arrived there, I was dry again. That never happens in Ireland.
The thunderstorm the other day was a short one. We had thunder and lightning and about ten minutes of rain. Myself and my boyfriend had a big discussion on rain. We are both looking forward to the summer heat.
I received the Moth magazine today, this morning. I am delighted and excited to read it. I will be picking apart each story and poem to teach myself. Already I have a competition to enter in March. I am hoping that by studying this magazine I will lose some of the fear and trepidation I feel about putting my writing out there. I have given myself the goal to try and enter one competition per month or per two months. It’s not a lot I know, but it’s all I can afford. That’s 10 to 12 euro per competition, 120 to 144 euro for the whole year. Yes, that is all I can afford. I am aware that there are plenty of free competitions. What I find happens when I am searching for one of those is that I have fifty tabs open and nowhere near making a choice or knowing what to write.
The next few days I will be reading the magazine from cover to cover and after that, I will begin dissecting it.
To help with my motivation and general dislike for the month of February I have joined a Twitter game. The game’s creator is J.M. Sullivan, she asks questions that have to do with your writing processes and your WIP, there is a question every day. The tag she uses is #authorconfessions. I love writing things down in my logbook (bullet journal), and this falls into that perfectly. Each day I get to write that I did it. Each day I have to answer a question in 140 characters, which is a challenge in itself. And then, I have to go write to prove to myself that I am an author and I belong in this writing community that she has created! I am also getting to network more on twitter, find writers to follow and talk with them.
I am up to the eight chapter in the Well of Ascension and I am delighted to say that I understand what is happening. I am reading the French version because first of all it is the only version of the book in the library, and second of all because it improves my French immensely. I read two or three pages per night. I will get through this book, it is going to take a very long time, though.
I ran for the first time ever outside this week. I am so proud of myself. I never would have thought that I would voluntarily run outside. On Friday, I went down to the University where there is a running track. It was much easier than I thought it would be. Yesterday, I went for my second run, however, the University was closed. I went to our local park, not two minutes away from my apartment. It is a nice park, but a little bit dodgy as a lot of the fellows who hang out there are selling drugs. Thankfully, I had the place to myself. And before going there, I texted my boyfriend to let him know where I was. The park has two different loops to run around. One loop has a stairway in the middle, I ignored this loop. The other loop has a very steep uphill part, and I must say I am happy with this. Sunday is my challenge day, and this run will be more challenging because of the hill.
When I came back I searched the web for a template for Excel. I want to track my progress. I found this template, and downloaded it, filling out the details. Wednesday is my next running day, and it is when I will be logging in my runs.
I hopefully will be rewriting chapter 1 of Death’s Valley in a week or two. I am looking forward to getting stuck into the writing again. The research part is fun and interesting in its own way, but it is the writing that makes me truly happy.