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A lack of self-restraint

Today's the last day if you're interested in entering my Children's Fantasy ARC give-away.

I will be doing another give-away next weekend as those lovely peeps at Simon & Schuster UK held an author evening on Thursday that I wangled an invite to and award winning YA authors Michelle Harrisson and Sophie McKenzie very kindly signed books for me to give away.

In fact, it's the Simon & Schuster event that I'm referring to in the title for this entry because, you see, I went with the express resolution of not wanting to pick up a load of books (like I did last summer) because my To Read Pile was down to under 200 for the first time in about a year and I liked the fact that there was space on the shelves for a change. Alas, all this changed with the booty that S&S had laid on and I came back with a bag full. So my To Read Pile is now up to 210.

:sighs:

No self-restraint. No will power.

This is a double-shame as I'm currently engaged in another attempt at losing some weight. I didn't really have any resolutions for 2011, but one of my guidelines was to reduce my sugar intake by going cold turkey on fizzy drinks. The resolution was going swimmingly until last weekend when I ended up staying late in the office and a can of Coca-Cola batted its aluminium eyelashes at me. I ended up gorging on the stuff all weekend.

So to make amends I've gone cold turkey again and have added an intent to reduce my fat intake as well. All this means that I'm paying more attention to food labels than I generally do and I have to say that they are as confusing as hell. Why is it that in this day and age we don't have mandatory regulation for standardised food labels setting out things like calorie level, fat level, sugar etc as aganst RDAs?

Writing has been interrupted by work this week, although I have nearly finished a chapter that's been giving me grief for ages and which I will be very pleased to see the back of. One of the things I've been trying to do with KYBS is to create a villain who you don't like and whose methods you loathe but who you nevertheless can understand why they're acting the way they are. I completely failed to get that across at all in the first draft - the villain was a combination of pantomime and Eastenders villain, but I think it's going a lot better in the rewrites. The villain is a lot more restrained and sinister and I've tried to make them much more controlling.

Finally, I'm playing with the idea of going to the SCBWI's summer conference in LA this year. I'd really like to go because US conferences tend to be massive, highly organised things with good speakers who leave you feeling very motivated afterwards. But I don't know what my monetary situation is going to be like and flights are pretty expensive at the moment.

I'd originally planned (and saved) to go and do one of the Arvon Foundation courses or retreats but as is so often the way, the retreats are at the wrong time of the year for me and I don't think I'll have enough vacation time for one of the YA courses that did catch my eye. So I've decided to use the money to go to a couple of conferences instead. I'm also looking to cash in some Air Miles to do a long weekend somewhere - Prague or Berlin are taking my fantasy at the moment, although I did get an awesome hotel recommendation in Dusseldorf. Hmm ... decisions decisions.

Right, back to the grindstone.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ashfae
Feb. 6th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
I really want to do an Arvon course someday; I haven't given up on doing one at the same time as you, either. I keep looking at the Moniack Mhor ones especially. But then I look at the price tag. Argh.

Your long weekend away sounds pretty awesome though. Intriguing notion.

P.S. Go to Heidelberg.
dozydormouse
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
The best advice I'e been given about labels was at the asthma and alergy clinic at GUys. They said look at the ingrdients list. If you do not know what an ingredient is, it has letters and numbers or you cannot pronounce it you probably do not want to be ingesting it. With the sad exception of teh evil diet coke I have more or less stuck to this and my nastier symptoms have lessened. Sulphites are apparently the root of evil but virtually unavoidable as they hide in everything including wine and I am not giving that up!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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Caroline Hooton

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