Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Results - getting somewhere

Well, I saw the dr yesterday about my test results. He seems to think that my cortisol level is all stress-related, and I should think about reducing my stress levels. My mum said for me to give up work and I said I wish. Honestly though, at times I do wish I could give up work and concentrate properly on my writing. My cortisol level had actually gone down from last time so he seemed to think like the other dr that it wasn't the cause of my problems. He was going to contact the dr here I saw about Endocrine but decided to wait and see what my next test reveals - yes, I am to have yet another blood test. Thankfully it's during the holiday, New Year's Eve, so I don't have to worry about taking time off work for that and can relax at home as it's holiday. There is also another possibly for it. My thyroid. I haven't been tested for that, although I thought I had, so that's been put on the test form. We shall see. Watch this space. Following the news that the dr believes my high cortisol level is down to stress, I have already made one new year's resolution for next year. To not get stressed out so much, esp with family and at work. I know that I have been acting defensive and a bit aggressive towards my mum at times, which she has recently pointed out to me, and I want to try to fix that. Maybe if I relax a bit more and the body doesn't stress too much, my eczema will calm down and go. I might even do some relaxation exercises, perhaps yoga to help me stay calm. We shall see.

My work on Bug is progressing hard and nicely. I have now revised Chapter 11 and just need to read aloud Chapter 10 and 11. I managed to finish typing the rest of the first draft on Saturday and printed off Chapter 13, and will print Chapter 14 this weekend. Hopefully over the holiday I shall finish it entirely and get it ready to send to agents in the new year. I already have a draft query letter which I did as part of the Writing for Children course I did, and need to slightly adjust that for each agent I wish to write to. Sunday I typed up the animal story and think I just need to read that through and make some improvements. Once I've done that I shall start typing up the novella I want to target e-publishers with. I plan to be busy with writing projects over the break, so that in the new year I can start concentrating on my RS novel, Forgotten Memories, which now I know where I'm heading with that I'm looking forward to getting back with it.

I probably will be here again before Christmas, but would like to wish all readers here and my friends and acquaitances a Happy Christmas.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Still high

I was off sick on Wednesday due to being very tired and worn out - it was one of my bad days. While I was off at home, I phoned the clinic and got my last test results. My cortisol level is still raised and was told to see a dr, which I will be doing on Monday. Knowing now that it's still high, I am convinced that all this tiredness and getting up during the night is all down to the adrenal glands. Cortisol is the hormone that the adrenal glands produce to regulate water, mineral and stress balances, and I have 2 out of 3 not balanced. I just want to sort this out and hope that the dr can do so on Monday. I just hope that this isn't something that will lead to a longer illness such as ME (or chronic fatigue syndrome as it's called now). My aunt says that how I have been feeling this year with tiredness is how her daughter started with ME. Fingers crossed I don't have it. My aunt also said that she felt I should take some time off work to rest. I wish, I wish, I wish. At least I have the Christmas break in 2 weeks time so have time then to rest.

I am working hard on Bug. I have revised chapters 8 - 10 this week and will type those amendments up over the weekend. On Sunday I plan to type up an animal story for the animal small press magazine I subscribe to.

I am so longing for the weekend now. I am tired and just want to go home. Only 11 minutes to go before I can pack up and leave here. Not shopping tomorrow. Finished my Christmas shopping last weekend, and now have to wrap the presents up. My mum's presents should take the longest because I've got her lots of little presents and a couple of big ones, that's why I have left hers to last to do.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Goals for 2008

I have already made up some goals to reach for 2008, but I have changed one slightly. When I went to the RNA SE London Xmas lunch the other week I told one person my goals and this is what they are.
1. To finish Bug and send it to a critigue service. This is what has changed. I have been reading my home email loops on children's writing and read that people are sending their mss to agents. Also, my stars said yesterday to have more faith in myself, so instead of sending the book for critique I am going to send it to an agent or two. I have almlost finished typing up the first draft and am now revising Chapter 9 and probably 10 this week. I still have to print chapters 12-14 and will do that over the Xmas break and sort out the synopsis too.
2. While that's at an agent, I will type up a novella I have already written and started typing and will try to get that e-published. I have an e-publisher in mind for that.
3. Once I've done that I will work on Forgotten Memories and finish that and try to get that e-published by the same e-publisher I have in mind.

Watch this space.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Rosie's story continued

Hi, Rosie here again. I've been away because Julie has been making my story more entertaining and fun to read for you readers out there. But I'm back now and this is where I get excited.

Last time we spoke I said there's a plan afoot, and the plan was to have a combined team and family meeting to discuss how to defeat the enemy. First of all though my team and I went shopping and something one of the girls said the day before gave me an idea for lunch. To buy something new they hadn't tried yet. That was hard for me because I had tried most of the healthy stuff and then in the last shop something I hadn't tried appeared from nowhere. Someone's powers were at work. It turned out to be mum's although she denied it at first. Aunt Lucy met us from our shopping and took us home. We had lunch and then our meeting. We discussed what the team and I had decided and then dad tells me I have one more power to find, as if I haven't got enough. Everyone was partnered with a teacher whom I knew to be on my side and then we would discuss it with the teachers and Mrs Zabberwol on Monday. Now that we had a plan and strategy for the week ahead, we all said the same thing. Bring it on!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Birthday weekend celebrations

After a very busy week and a half and feeling tired out by the end of last week, I was pleased to have the weekend to celebrate my birthday (which was yesterday). As said before, Saturday morning I went to So Organic shop in Greenwich and stocked up with organic skin and beauty products for myself and spent a whole lot of money in the process. It was my birthday weekend was my excuse. I asked the lady in the shop, who founded the company, about something for stubborn eczema patches and she recommended a body cream which I'd already picked out to use as my second body cream to try. I have actually started to use calendula balm again and I thnnk it's working although early days. One thing about it is that it's got a gorgeous lemony citrusy smell to it. Another thing I bought was first aid lotion for a small lump on my arm which itches in the evening. Now that has got a strong smell, I think it's lavender I can smell. The other things that have strong lovely smells are the calm spritzer and night remedy roll-on I use in the morning before I go out and at night, both of those have lavender in and smell wonderful. I don't know if it's psychological or not but I think since I started to use the night roll-on I get to sleep easier. That was the morning and in afternoon I typed amendments to chapters 3 and 4 of Bug. In the evening my mum and I went out for a meal and enjoyed it.

Sunday, in the morning it was to Sainsbury's as usual, after I'd opened all my presents. I got a few small presents from my mum and dad, but the main present was money from my mum towards the Spa Treatment. In the afternoon I made and baked some eats to take to work tomorrow (Nigella's recipes). They didn't look much when I first made them but look great now and taste nice too. I had half of one of each thing I made earlier. Not very healthy but yummy. I rested the rest of the day.

Today my mum and I went to the Spa Hotel in the morning and had a facial and manicure each which was very nice and relaxing. After being very busy and stressed at work it was so nice to be pampered. The therapist said the same thing the Simple therapist did, that my skin is dehydrated and sensitive. She recommended that I use a gentle exfoliator every 2-3 weeks, so I might see what I can buy from So Organic. Then this afternoon I went to the dr's to get the results of the blood test I had done before. All results were fine except the cortisol one, which I was most anxious about. That was slightly raised but not enough for the dr to be convinced it was the cause of all my problems, so she has got me to book in for another test (aargh) next week to see if it's still raised, then they might do something about it if it is. I also have a verruca on my right foot so bought some gel for that. I am now relaxing and will read a bit later on.

I am back to work tomorrow to see what work has been left on my desk to sort out. The time off was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Stressful times

It is becoming very stressful here at work. One of my colleagues is off sick this week and has been since last Wednesday and this week we have dental student elections happening, as well as a forthcoming deadline for a year of medical students to apply for our twinned universities to go on their electives. As it's usually both my colleague and I who do the letters and she's off sick, it's only me doing letters at the moment and it's hard going. I am doing my best to keep on top of everything but yesterday I stressed out and had to walk out the room in tears. A couple of students got too demanding about why their letters weren't ready and it got to me. Thankfully today it has been quieter and less stressful. I am so looking forward to the weekend, my birthday weekend. I have plans and will say more later.

The other thing I'm grateful for is my writing. At least when I do it at lunch it can take my mind away from work and the stress of it whilst I am working on it. Although, I have been puzzling as to what I've done with Chapters 3 and 4. The second half of chapter 3 I've printed out is basically the same as the Chapter 4 I've printed out, so today I tried to merge the part from Chapter 3 into Chapter 4. I will sort it all out on Saturday and get it right by next week so I can hopefully start work revising Chapter 5 next week.

As I was saying I am so looking forward to the weekend. Saturday morning is Organic morning when I'm going to So Organic in Greenwich to stock up on skin products. In the evening my mum and I are going out for a meal, which I always enjoy. Sunday is my b'day and we'll probably do our usual weekly shop and in the afternoon I plan to make some eats to bring to work next Tuesday. Monday I have the day off work and in the morning my mum and I have booked a facial and manicure each in the spa hotel we went to last year. In the afternoon I've got a dr's appointment to get the results of the blood test I had done 3 weeks ago. I really hope that the results show something up that can explain everything that's been happening to me this year - the getting up during the night, the tiredness, the exhaustion, the stress from too much sugar. I will let you know what the dr says.

Well, almost time to go home now and thank goodness for that.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Writing Bug 2

Well, I am now revising Chapter 3 of Bug, which I will read to myself today at lunch time, then from tomorrow will work on Chapter 4. Yesterday at home I finished typing up Chapter 13 and started Chapter 14. I did a word count and so far I have done just over 40,000 words, which for a children's book is the ideal amount I believe. I am definitely aiming to finish it all by the end of the year so that in the new year I will print it all out and send it on to a critique service for feedback. Then I will start working on Forgotten Memories, which I have decided will try to get e-published. I have an e-publisher in mind. I think Iwill try to get all my RS books I write e-published because apart from the US it will be hard to get them published here in the UK. We shall see.

I am eventually getting there with being all organic on my skin. The weekend before last I chucked some more stuff out because I believed it aggravated my skin making it bright red, a couple of other things I brought here to work for the others to use up. I started using a new body wash last night but not sure about it because I don't know if it was the water or the stuff but my skin down below went red again but after a whie it calmed down, whether because I used some special organic repair lotion which I've read helps eczema I don't know. I will try it again next Sunday (my birthday) to see what happens. If it happens again then I will use it as hand wash. I am going to buy some other body washes next Saturday anyway when I go back to So Organic in Greenwich to stock up on all organic skin care products for my new healthy regime next year.

Well, this is all for now. Must get on with some work.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Bread, organic and writing

I started to fancy toast now and then, but because I didn't want to eat white bread which is refind carb's I decided to look for wholemeal breads. Could I find one that I could eat. No and why? Because all the breads I picked up this morning had soya flour in and I can't eat soya because it brings on my eczema and rhinitis. That idea went out the window. I just fancied something other than ryvitas. Oh well. I might have a look at other breads when I go to Greenwich next as there's a shop there that sells different breads.

I couldn't believe my eyes in Superdrug yesterday. I was doing some Christmas shopping for presents for my mum and dad and got to the aisle where the lip balms are, and what do I see. Balmbalm lipbalms. Just what I'd seen in my Natural Collection booklet and wanted to get my dad, and there it was in front of me. Of course, I bought one for dad. I applaud Superdrug for stocking something completely organic, and can see that a lot of the stores are now getting the message about organic products. I still like the So Organic (SoOrganic.com) shop at Greenwich. It's like a haven of organics for my eyes to feast on. Can't wait to go there again in 2 weeks time when I will be shopping mainly for myself this time. I will be stocking up on organic products for my new organic self in 2008. One other thing that I have to say I don't like is that on lots of household products such as washing-up liquid, it doesn't list all the ingredients and tells you you have to visit their website to get them. In my opinion that is wrong and companies should be made to list all ingredients on their products. Going organic with skin care products is so much easier than foods. Lots of the fruit that my mum and I bought this morning came from overseas, all except the strawberries. Radishes came from Holland. What sort of amuses me or rather annoys me is that the punnets that have the fruit from overseas in are usually recycleable but the punnets which have the UK fruits in aren't. Why?

That's enough on organics now about writing. I have now revised Chapter 2 of Bug and all I have to do now is to read through it one more time and make sure that the girls that fall ill in that chapter are in the right classes as Rosie my heroine. If they aren't then it will have to change. That I will do tomorrow then onto Chapter 3. Once I've finished it all then I will definitely send it on to a critique service for feedback, as it's my first children's book. I have decided that with my romantic suspense books I will write I might/probably try to submit to e-publishers cos I think it could be for me. We shall see. Watch this space.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Being brave and organic

Being brave for me is having another blood test when I hate needles. Last Friday I ended up being so worn out here at work that I went home early (after lunch) and decided that I couldn't carry on the way I have been, being so tired a lot of the time. So, on Monday I went to the dr's and she said to have a blood test. (I had a theory that it could all be down to my adrenal glands. I read in my Diet Doctors book that these glands are responsible for the balance of stress, water and minerals, and my stress and water levels aren't balanced, otherwise I wouldn't be getting so tired a lot and woudn't be having to get up during the night to wee most of the time. We shall see.) I usually have it done at my local clinic but I would've had to wait 2 weeks and as I hate needles, I wanted it done out of the way. I had it done the next day but at another clinic, where I have to get a bus to and from it. I was brave and managed to get a bus back home, whereas before we've got a mini-cab. My nerves managed to hold out until my mum left for shopping then they hit my stomach and I felt ill and had to rest. Once I was rested after that, I seemed to be fine apart from weak. Then in the afternoon I rested some more but when I got up I came over faint and sick and had to lie down again on my bed, where I stayed for most of the afternoon. I bucked up in the evening after dinner and watching tv. Thankfully I had booked the day off as leave and was back here working yesterday, despite feeling queasy. I had to miss the SCBWI talk last night because I didn't feel up to it.

This made me even more determined to go organic and last night I was emptying a few bottles of things down the sink, they only had a bit left in and I will use up what I have left of anything else until the end of the year. What is left in the new year will either be binned, recycled, or given away. So come 2008 I shall hopefully being going completely organic. I started using one of my new organic soaps this morning, a seaweed soap which seemed to be ok to use. Mum started using hers a couple of weeks ago and there's still a lot of it left, she says that it will last for ages as it's a solid bar.

Well, this is my news for today. Must get on with some work now.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Dancing Shocker

Well, who watched Strictly last night and got a shock at the results? I certainly did and still can't get over who was voted off the show. To me, it should've been Kate and Kenny in the dance off with Kate going but oh no, the viewers chose Penny and Gaby and Gaby got voted out. She was one of the best dancers on the show and look at what's happened. All I can say is that Kate must have so many followers or sympathisers out there for her. I want Aleesha to win it cos she is so good and Matt was very impressive too. He is totally the opposite to his character Deano in 'Enders. Well, that's enough about the dancing.

I bought a few clothes at the weekend including a pair of jog pants, which I couldn't believe. I have so much trouble with buying those sort of things cos I have short legs and most trousers/leisure pants are too wide, baggy and long for my legs, but these ones although are a bit long they are not too long and the waist is just fine for me at a size 12.

I typed up the amendments to Chapter 1 of Bug on Saturday and will hopefully get to read them aloud today, if not tomorrow. And start Chapter 2 this week too.

Well, must go now and start working.

Friday, 26 October 2007


It's gone. Got home last night to see the yellow notice flat on the ground and no tree stump. Hooray. Didn't think I'd see the day. I think they will be back to smooth the path where it was and remove the notice.

I didn't work on Bug yesterday because I was on my own again and feeling tired and didn't feel like writing. Don't think I will today but will start afresh on Monday with Chapter 2 revisions. Will type up Chapter 1 amendments tomorrow as said before, and probably do Chapter 3 revisions next week too.

Must get on with work now and seem busy.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Truly Stumped

Following on from the post called I'm stumped, I am relaying what is going on to happen. Last night when I got home from work, my mum asked me "Have you seen the notice on the tree?" I replied no, and went and had a look...and lo and behold there was a yellow council notice saying that major works will be happening on 25th October (tomorrow) and no one should park around the marked lines. Yes, I thought, hooray, they are going to remove the rest of the tree, something both my mum and I didn't think would happen. I shall believe it when I see it, or rather not see it in this case.

I am now busy revising Bug and have revised Chapter 1 and will do Chapter 2 tomorrow, then type up the amendments on Saturday and read them out to myself next week. Sunday I intend to type up Chapter 13 or some of it. I have quite a bit to revise due to new information from my colleague's daughter who has told me which classes she has with her tutor group, and this now changes things what I've already written.

Well, I'm on my own today and thankfully only half an hour to go before home time. Can't wait to get home and relax. Tomorrow night I am going to watch the Richard and Judy children's book programme which has Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz on. I am interested to know what interests children these days to know what to write myself.

Well, must go now. Be back soon with news on the stump and how my writing is going.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Going Organic

Well, I watched the second of the toxic programmes and must say it was still very interesting and pretty scary watching what children use these days. One girl, whom was 15, used to take up to 3 hours to get herself ready in the mornings and wouldn't go out without wearing her make up, but she had to in the end because she was put on a toxic detox and said afterwards that she felt a lot better. The toothpaste she was given was one that I'd already bought and I'm not too keen on the taste of it. I was shocked to see how much deodorants boys use to attract girls, and one was 8. I think what shocked me the most was to learn that all the products you use on your skin which can be harmful, can get into your bloodstream, and if you're a new mother and are breastfeeding, those toxics can then transfer into your baby's body.

A few week's ago I found out that So Organic (SoOrganic.com) Ltd have opened a shop in Greenwich and yesterday my mum and I went there and found it. And boy did we both have a happy, enjoyful and successful shopping spree in there. That shop is great. It has everything in it that you can think of. Toiletries for women, men and baby, and they have cosmetics and household stuff such as towels etc. They also have recycled stationery, which I am pleased about. My mum spent a lot of money and I spent a hell of a lot of money, and we both got free gifts. A free organic cotton bag and 2 little soaps. Needless to say we are definitely going back there. Most of the things we bought were Christmas presents, as well as a few niceties for ourselves. I have thought of a few more things for Christmas I can get there. The staff there were very friendly and I have discovered a balm that can be used for noses, bums and feet it's so good. I've tried it on my nose and it's fine and doesn't sting. I wanted it for both colds and piles. So that's good. One thing the woman staff said was that following the toxic programmes shown on tv recently they had had a surge of interest in the toothpaste.