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Are you doing the challenge?A-Z ChallengeThis April will be my fifth go at the A-Z Challenge. It’s fun but hard work. I didn’t think I’d do it again this year, but then I had an exciting idea for a theme.

In 2011, I didn’t have a theme. I posted mainly on the themes of this blog: writing and social anxiety.

In 2012, I wrote about places in Jerusalem.

In 2013, my theme was memoir writing. I learned a lot that year. One day, I might put that knowledge to use.

In 2014, I highlighted authors, including some of my new friends all published by Crooked Cat.

In 2015, ….

Yes, I have a theme and I’m excited about it, but it’s not quite time to reveal it. However, as well as signing up for the challenge itself, I have also signed up for the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal on 23rd March. That’s in just two weeks.

atoz-theme-reveal-2015As it happens, 23rd March is also a birthday. Six years ago, this blog published its first post. A lot has happened since then!

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In other news, I have another interview hosted by the lovely Nancy Jardine. Her questions have been giving me ideas.

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I wasn’t going to do it. I didn’t have time. I don’t have time. But I had a brilliant idea for a theme and so I did it. Yes, I signed up again for:

Starting on 1st April with A, I will post about a topic beginning with the next letter in the alphabet. A lot of other bloggers will be doing the same. I am currently number 595 out of 604. By April, there will probably be thousands of bloggers signed up for this. Most have a theme; some choose topics at random. All my posts will be on the theme of…

Sorry, I’ll tell you that nearer the time. I’m excited about it. See you in April! And before.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who commented in 2014, especially the winner: Angela Brown. I… don’t know what she’s won apart from my gratitude and hope that she and all the other commenters will continue to comment in 2015. Do let me know if there’s anything you want to read about on this blog. And most of all, have a great 2015!

Happy New Year

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November, for my third year running, means: NaNoWriMo, that month when crazy people around the world, together or alone, type out a lot of words, hopefully 50,000 of them. So if you don’t see me around so much, you’ll know what I’m doing. As usual, I haven’t planned enough of the novel in advance, but I have a provisional title and a cover that I rather like.

Cover2

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Last night, at my Toastmasters Club, I gave a speech called: A Novel Approach. I’m sure you can guess what that was about. It was my second speech there. I didn’t think my first one was good enough to publicise. This one wasn’t perfect either, but it’s an improvement:

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Today, I discovered a new, comprehensive map of the Machane Yehuda market, which features in my novel: Neither Here Nor There. It’s designed by Joel Haber and includes a complete list of all the stalls, shops, bank and whatnot in the area. I used the map to rewrite part of the novel:

So, Esty is at number 7 when she spies Mrs G and her accomplice marching towards her. She has to get away from them. Along 16 and back along 3 and 4? No, she’d be too visible there. So she goes along 6 and 5, then turns along 12 and hops on a train at 29. But the two women are just behind. Will they catch her?

but I think  prefer the original!

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The other day, I read a blog post that made me angry. I was so angry that I decided to write a blog post about it, even though it wasn’t about anything this blog is about. When I’d finished writing it, I felt less angry and decided it really wasn’t suitable here. So it remains in my draft posts. Perhaps I’ll put the sentiments into a novel one day. Perhaps I’ll put them into the novel I’m about to write. We’ll see.

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Whether you’re doing NaNo or not, I wish you lots of success and will be back on the other side, if not before.

BackInApril

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No, that’s from a different break.

This time it’s December.

Some of the things we think of as bad can also be good.

Cholesterol isn’t all bad. There’s bad cholesterol and good cholesterol.

And traffic isn’t all bad. There’s bad traffic.

Bad TrafficAnd there’s good traffic.

Blog StatsAccording to Totsy, traffic comes to your blog if you write about politics and sex. Hmm. How many times have I written about politics on this blog? Well, I did mention voting once. You can see me posting my ballot. And I wrote an ode to the PM’s wife. As far as I remember, that’s as far as it went.

And sex? Nothing. Zilch. But I can put that right, right now. Are you ready? Don’t you dare scroll down if you’re under eighteen or feeling squirmish….

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Yes, I know squirmish isn’t a word. That’s why you’re still here, isn’t it? So, about sex…. I’ve never written a sex scene. But in the novel I’m reading, The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine, the sex scenes are written beautifully. Just the right amount of detail, shown with passion and sensitivity. I will write more about this novel when I’ve finished it.

Sending good traffic your way….

Yesterday was my blog birthday.

Five

Five years of blogging. When I started, I never expected to last that long. It’s been hard but fun and fulfilling. I wouldn’t have done it without your help and encouragement.

24 March, 2014

Hey! They remembered.

HappyAnniversary

Thank you, WordPress.

I realised what I want from 2014 when I commented on Annalisa’s blog: “I had fun in 2013. I want 2014 to be fun, too, but more productive and fulfilling. I want to push myself more.”

Last night I had more fun when we welcomed 2014 with a little celebration at folk dancing. The January New Year in Israel is always a bit subdued compared to many other parts of the world. Although we know it’s not religious, there’s a feeling that this holiday isn’t really ours. “Happy New Year” refers to a different time and today is a normal working day.

Before that I made a decision about the 100k in 100 days challenge. I’m going to do it. I’m going to write lots of blog posts and stories and more and hope to reach the target. I succeeded at NaNoWriMo in November, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do this.

The only problem is that I haven’t done enough planning and will have to decide what to write as I go along. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

One of the ways I think I should push myself is by blogging more about social anxiety and how it comes into play in everything I do. Because not mentioning it is like trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, which I did for much too long. I started writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety and I need to carry on doing that.

So that’s what my ‘Fourteen will be about: Fun, Fulfilment and Forcing myself to cross new boundaries.

What will your 2014 be about?

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