Thursday, 28 November 2013
This year, I've decided to publish another blog post about what I'm thankful for, despite the fact that we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe, as I think it's important to be thankful for things in life.
Firstly, I am thankful for just being alive after all the struggles I had coming into the world back in 1981.
I am thankful for my intelligence and eagerness to study and learn them as without that I would not have got a degree learnt Spanish, or written my recent book as part of the National novel writing month.
I am also thankful for having the patience and being disciplined enough to be able to work on it and meet the target as it was my first time doing the competition. Words cannot express how proud I am of myself!
I am also thankful to those who love me and who care about me, and for having Alfredo by my side through thick and thin no matter what.
I am thankful for my friends and family and to have been born in a country where doctors and nurses in the N ICU and later an operation to fit me with a shunt for hydrocephalus was able to save my life.
I am thankful for having known about Natalie my twin sister even though it was in the sad circumstances of knowing she had come into the world only to pass away a short time later.
I am thankful for being engaged to Alfredo and for him having the commitment to make future plans with me for children and a future together.
I am also thankful to have the imagination I have and to be able to think of future book or disability awareness projects are not all life projects in general that I would like to fulfil.
I am thankful , as we get nearer to Christmas , to have someone to spend Christmas as I often think of the people who have nobody and it makes me feel sad.
I am thankful for the fact I'll soon have my new electric wheelchair.
I'm thankful to have food to eat and clothes to wear and somewhere to live as there are so many people in the world who don't have that .
HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Shevi the Storyteller's Storyteller: My Top Ten Sci-Fi Movies: There are two problems when it comes to compiling a list of my 10 favorite sci-fi movies: first, not everyone would agree that every movie ...
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Sunday, 24 November 2013
Also as part of NaNoWriMo. Writers can upload a cover photo. Which is your favourite? I'd like to involve you as fans of my Katherine Hayward my life with cerebral palsy blog and Facebook page, and to invite those of you who aren't fans yet to join and spread the word for CP and hydrocephalus !
Here are the choices . Please comment here on my blog or on my Facebook oage .
Thanks for your support !
Saturday, 23 November 2013
As part if this year's National Novel Writing Month, I had to provide a synopsis for my book, here it is . I wanted to share it with YOU, the fans of my page Katherine Hayward, my life with cerebral palsy .
Casey Ford and Rachel Brown have a lot in common: they are best friends, they are both nine years old , and they both have Cerebral Palsy. They also want to be popular .
It's the the last day of school before the summer holidays. They both love reading and horses. They are looking forward to a nice fun, relaxing summer, without Angela and her friends from school teasing them and Casey's brother Nick being a nuisance . The summer starts off great, with trips to the swimming pool and shopping centre , but then the girls ' parents book them into Primrose Fresh Air Home , a summer camp. Clearly, their idea of fun is very different ! Reluctantly , they both go, and in some ways it's not so bad, they ride, swim, do crafts and go on day trips.
One day trip is to Swallowdale , a town where they visit a fortune teller with a crystal ball who tells of a magical land called Spellbrooke, where Faries, Humans and animals live. If only they could find the way there.......
A scandal forces their days at the camp to be over, but it's not all bad news as Casey's tenth birthday arrives, and she's given what she always wanted: a horse she names Noah. They make a promise that they will visit Spellbrooke again, and one day they do. This time, they're set a Quest by Queen Tobenia and King Oliver II: find the missing Popularity Potion.
Together with an unlikely group of friends and animals, they battle through Spellbrooke completing mini Quests, and searching for the missing Popularity Potion , but will they complete it ? Will the Potion work? Was Spellbrooke real or just a dream
Join Casey and Rachel as they discover a new land, make new friends, and discover a true friendship can never be broken.
Today, we woke up late and had a late breakfast. Then , we saw The Americans, and I kept working on my book. I was trying to verify the word count but went goes wrong, I hope that I can check my word count in time to submit it on Monday.
Monday is the first day to start to submit your book to be able to be a winner if you have passed the minimum amount of 50,000 words. Now I am relaxing, I'll maybe see a film on the internet or read a book. The competition ends on the 30th at midnight. Hope you have a good weekend
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Today was a more relaxing day in relation to my book. I went on Facebook for while and I received an email from my NaNoWriMo writing partner. She has encouraged me alot during the challenge, and in I am still dictating as I'm editing my book. My word counts is in 52.013, and I have to edit more of the book. I'm not getting overwhelmed , and I'm treating editing my book as if I were reading it, but seeing if something is missing, or if something can be improved.
I read interesting tips on www.ehow.com about things that I don't know about , and I'm learning more about the process of editing or publishing a book.
Monday, 18 November 2013
Today has been a great day, and another prediction of mine was right- that I'd finish my book today!! I did!!! This month so far has been very busy, since it started , I planned my book for 3 days and started dictating in the 4th , and finished today. The final word count was over 50,000 by a couple of hundred words, and it needs a little editing until I submit it, but it's done.
As I went through my book, I researched things in the Internet I wasn't sure about, and made notes to help me with the story. I was focused a lot of the time and when I couldn't concentrate I did something else until I had more ideas. It's taken a lot if planning, thinking, concentrating , and imagination, but I've dine it, and I'm so proud, I'm already thinking about a possible sequel, and have a book series in mind . I just think it'll be so great if I can get it published somewhere , and start selling it. It's not all about the money, I know, but I have huge satisfaction from this , and I hope someone out there will be interested enough to buy it if I can get it on the Mass Market .
Today was a great day for two reasons: one was I dictated my 100th page, and more for my book. I've now done about 47, 690 words and I'm so proud. I've worked so hard for this, sometimes staying up late, and have sometimes felt Ill from the effort , with a headache and dizziness, but that happens often due to my Cerebral Palsy. I watched a film today , and I watched Avatar yesterday, but I have a little more time now as I don't have so much to dictate.
Today is World Prematurity Day. I'm remembering my sister Natalie , who was born with me on 22 December 1981 . We were born 3 months early . I had a grade 4 brain hemorrhage on both sides of my brain which caused spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy , hydrocephalus ( too much cerebrospinal fluid on my brain causing it to swell) , and severe eyesight difficulties . I'm in an electric wheelchair. I'm remembering other Preemies too, and especially Natalie who passed away at 9 days old due to heart and kidney problems as well as effects of prematurity .
Please share awareness for Preemies!
I'll update tomorrow
Saturday, 16 November 2013
Today , although I felt tired, and still do while I'm writing this, I managed to dictate more , and am now almost up to 45,000 words. I've done the preparation I need to do for tomorrow's part of my story , so I feel great about that. From the pace I've been going, my NaNoWriMo account says I'll be finished at 50,000 on Tuesday 19 November- I am so pleased ! I'm unsure if I'll write over 50,000 words yet, but I'll see when I'm there , at the moment, all I want to do is reach that milestone, just over 5,000 words til I get there! :) I'm going to sleep now so I'll be fresh and ready to do more tomorrow, and hopefully this headache from all the effort I've been to will be gone. I found time to watch Avatar today though.
Goodnight everyone , and more tomorrow :)
Friday, 15 November 2013
Today, I wanted to reach the 40 ,000 words milestone , and I did! In fact, I'm at 41, 115 words, which is 87 pages at the moment but maybe more once I edit and modify the spacing and paragraphs. I am so proud of what I have done . Today I read my latest email from the NaNoWriMo team, which suggested everyone printing off what they'd done so far, to motivate themselves more. I think I will when I'm finished . Only a little more than 8,000 words left to go and then I will be! I have more of my story to tell though, so I'll see how it goes tomorrow.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Since yesterday, I've made a lot of progress, I'm now on more than 36,00
Words , and 77 pages . Now I've got this far, I'm determined to finish. Today, after waking up and all the usual morning routine, I decided to read www.nanawrimo.org again, to see what I'd missed reading . I read some Pep Talks from various authors , which were useful, and posted in the 50 000 words forum, as I know that's the word limit, but I'm not sure how much I can go over that . I also posted on NaNoWriMo's Facebook and twitter pages about this .I found an email message from a Writing Buddy, basically , someone who cheers you on during the challenge-she told me I was doing great , which made me feel great , too. I sent one back cheering her on.
I've developed some strategies to help: I won't look at the word count or page number, just dictate , and, at Midnight, I'll dictate some words before going to bed, to up my word count for the next day, as after all after Midnight. Is another day , then , I'll sleep. I'll be doing that again in about ten minutes, so I'll say goodnight and update again tomorrow.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Today , I promised myself I'd pass the 30,000 word milestone for NaNoWriMo - and I did! I have now dictated 68 pages of my book, and still enjoying it as much as ever. Alfredo is still being really supportive, and encouraging, and tells me I can do it, although the effort is giving me headaches, dizziness, and muscle spasms, but also making me feel happy, and exited but sometimes at a loss for the best way to put my point across. When my mind goes blank, I'll go and do something else for awhile . Then, I'll put myself in the character's position , and start again, to try and move forward with my story. Every day, I go forward, not back, and make sure I get enough rest , and eat healthily as always . Whenever I doubt myself, I'll think back to the 'big ' writing projects I've done so far in my 31, almost 32 years of life, my dissertation for my degree in Human Geography at the university of Reading , which I've kept since graduating in 2004 . and , way before that, in secondary school, when I was about 14 or 15, I wrote a Creative Writing piece about my memories of a holiday to the USA with my family , and staying at my aunty's mother's Summer redsidence, Great Oaks Camp in Oxford, Maine . I got a grade A for this from my English Language and English Literature teacher Mrs Pollock , who was also my Form Tutor, at Didcot Girls' School in Oxfordshire . As soon as she read it , she told me I had a vivid imagination , and my parents said I have the "best memory in the family" . I like to think I'm observant beyond my visual difficulties . So , all the way through the National Novel Writing Month challenge so far, I have tried to make use of all these skills.
I can't wait until tomorrow to do more .
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
I had a good rest last night , and did a lot of dictating today , over 4,000 words. I have now done 57 pages out of the 175 , and I'm really pleased with what I've done so far. I'm going to do a little more and then get some sleep .
Monday, 11 November 2013
Today, I spent the day working on my book and dictated a couple more thousand words , so now my word count is up to 22, 690 which is 48 pages. I think that's good considering I didn't start dictating my book til day 4 of NaNoWriMo, as I was behind in planning . I'll make a mental note to plan in September and October next year , as the NaNoWriMo team recommends.
I got a little stuck on some parts today, so just made some notes and I'm back on track. I won't let this challenge beat me! :)
I'm feeling tired tonight so I'll read before bed . Goodnight! More updates tomorrow.
Sunday, 10 November 2013
I started dictating at about 12 noon today , and have doing so off and on until 10 PM this evening. We watched some TV today and I'm now about 900 words away from 20,000 words, and am on the 40th page of my book. I'm amazed at my progress and so happy with the way this project is going.
More tomorrow !
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Today, I reached my daily target early in the day again. Today is the Writing Marathon, but I feel I've done enough for today. I've dictated over 3,000 words. Alfredo and I watched some tv, I updated my Goodreads account, and was thinking about what music I could listen to whilst writing, although I get distracted if the songs have lyrics, as I'm tempted to sing along! My songs to listen to when writing will be in another blog post . I'm really proud of being within 900 words of reaching the 15,000 word milestone , and still enjoying this challenge!!!
Friday, 8 November 2013
Today was a great day. I slept earlier last night, got up earlier this morning, and that idea worked. I started dictating my story again after we'd had breakfast and Alfredo had showered me , then I turned my iPad on (which we charge while I'm dictating) loaded my Dragon dictation app and began. I didn't quite reach the word target for yesterday, but I did manage to today - and quite early on in the day. The difference was , today I continued dictating AFTER the status bar turned green, and , aside from various other things we've had to do today! that's what I've been doing, working on my book, noting things down every now and then when I wasn't sure of an idea for the book. My notebook is far from being filled up yet. I have a plot line, but am adding to , and changing it , as I go along, and it seems to be working.
It's 9..22 PM , and I've just updated my last word count of the day : 4.222 words just today. This is the most I've done since NaNoWriMo began. I am feeling really proud of myself and can't wait for the NaNoWriMo Word Count Marathon- which is tomorrow. I've already reached , and gone beyond , the 10,000 word milestone - I'm at 10, 103 words, and I'm hoping to reach the 15,000 word target if not then, over the weekend.
The other really good thing is Alfredo is being really supportive , and encouraging , not like he ever wouldn't be, but at least he is, and that helps.
We talked a lot today about whether or not I'll publish the book or not , and I've decided, whatever the reault of my NaNoWriMO is , whether I actually finish the book or not (although, according to my statistics it's likely as there are still 23 days left). Last night, I even dreamt I saw my book on the shelf of a well- known bookshop , and I daydream about book signings- it'd just be amazing if one day I go into Waterstones, or look online , and my book is there.
Since starting NaNoWriMo, and even before that I really felt I've found something I love to do , write , (although I've loved that all my life) , but NaNoWriMo is showing me that I can really do it- write for a deadline, and try and write a book .
I'm so excited about tomorrow. :)
I'm off to read for awhile and then to bed.
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Today started off with Alfredo and I not wanting to get up , but we did at 10AM. I was determined to continue with my dictation but we had computer problems we had to sort out. I'm using my iPad and an app I found called Textilus for my book. I'm liking the app so far , and it's good as it has a word count, lots of different fonts, font sizes and folder covers. After we sorted the computer problems, It was time to eat, but I managed to grab some dictation time before eating , and then have been working on my book for a few hours this evening, since the challenge started, I've been constantly looking at my word count , but today I decided not to , and just dictated, next thing I knew, bingo! the bar next to my daily word count was green :) I felt a real rush at this and am actually now really into the story . So now I know it's true what authors say, and advise, the best way to write is just WRITE , and edit later. Sometimes, I'll edit a little as I go along , but Textilus also goes with the "write first , edit later" approach, so I'll stick with that.
For now, I'm going to say goodnight as it's almost Midnight, and I'll finish by saying today was my most productive day, as I dictated over 3,000 words, and have dictated 5,207 since the beginning of November. I'm really trying not to think of the 44,000 and a bit more words I still have left to go, but the important thing is that 50,000 word target that was there at the beginning is counting down, and I'm doing my best.
Back again tomorrow
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
You may be wondering why I didn't write an update on my novel here today , I was out trying powerchairs (electric wheelchairs) . After many emails to the wheelchair technician, I finally managed to try out three: the Salsa M and Jive M by Sunrise Medical and the TDX SP by Invacare . They are all mid- wheel drives , and on having the larger wheel in the centre they have a smaller, tighter turning radius. This was the first advantage I noticed when comparing it to my rear - wheel- drive Quickie Rumba , also by Sunrise Medical. The TDX SP and the Salsa M came as demo versions with solid tyres- something I don't like, as I find the solid tyres make for a bumpy ride, despite the suspension. The Invacare TDX demo had 50° Tilt in-Space , which makes the whole wheelchair tilt back to relieve pressure and relax muscles, where the Salsa M had 30, and the Jive had 50 too. The standard seating on the salsa M wasn't supportive enough for me as I need a higher back . I'll transfer the Jay 3 seating system to whichever chair I get . The TDX had the largest battery at 73 amp , followed by the Jive (70 amp) and Salsa M (50 amp) . The Jive came as 10km/h as standard, and the Salsa M and TDX SP come as 6km/h. I'm not sure what they're like at getting under tables yet as there wasn't a table to park the chair under.
Trialling the chairs went ok until the battery on the Jive was about to go flat as the chair hadn't been charged. There followed an anxious 10 minutes where the technician was driving the chair for me (as my hands , arms and fingers were tired ) until we got back to the shop. It wouldn't go up a curb for the same reason.
I saw the personalised gel filling I have yet to try inside my cushion , as the standard gel I've had for the past 2 years has deformed and I did think of getting an air cushion, but was told by the technician that that wouldn't help my posture and comfort. I also still have to try the harness to help my trunk control
So, I'll be seeing the technician again soon I hope.
When we got back, I updated my Facebook pages and we ate . I'm now going to read before bed as I'm very tired from today , and the tiredness is making me spasm a lot, and my whole body aches .
Monday, 4 November 2013
Since the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge started on 1 November, I've been planning , but today I decided I'd get my book going . I was very nervous at the start and couldn't get into it , but then just took a do breath, looked through my notes and started dictating using my Dragon Dictation. ipad app. I also have it on my computer, who knows maybe I'll use that one tomorrow. I have now devised a system, I dictate what I want into Dragon , then copy it to Textilus, an iPad word-processing app I downloaded. I paste it there and it has a word count tool. It took me awhile today , between breaks and reading my notes, and I didn't think I'd do it, but ..,, I have now reached my word limit for today. I was very pleased when the status bar turned green ! - I can't tell you how much !!!! .
My NaNoWriMo account states that if I want to meet the deadline on November 30, I have to write just over 1,700 words per day . I'm so into the story and proud of what I've done so far that I feel like doing more today :)
I also have to prepare for tomorrow as I'll be out at the wheelchair shop.
You must be thinking : what do I do to stay focused? Well, I remember how I felt when I was at University and had finished my dissertation (thesis). I remember feeling really stuck at the beginning, but spoke to a lecturer I trusted who gave me a topic to focus on. I felt much better once I started planning , and I thought of finishing it , and I did. That was a struggle, I used Dragon Dictation then too, and my dad helped me , but I finished it.
At the moment, I'm imagining finishing this , and I'll work as hard as I can until I do. It'll be great if it actually gets published . I'm not thinking about winning NaNoWriMo, along with others, just participating at the moment.
Sunday, 3 November 2013
Today, I woke up with the conviction I'd work as hard as I could on my novel, and I did do what I could. The day has been filled with planning , and in glad I have my notebook. Out of all the plot lines, I decided I'm going to write a fantasy story about a girl called Casey who has Cerebral Palsy and wished one day to own a horse. She gets a horse for her birthday. The horse, it turns out, has magic powers and leads her on a whirlwind adventure in a magical land in her quest to get what she has always wanted: to be accepted .
That's just a rough synopsis. In between thinking of, and planning, my story, I found free word processor software on my iPad , watched a film and had a pizza for dinner. Now, I'll be reading a little before doing more work on my book tomorrow. I have written a few words so far, not the ideal, but I wanted to get a good plan sorted first. I know I should have planned this maybe last month , but I feel like I'm on track now and almost ready to start writing properly.
I'm VERY excited about this project .
More tomorrow :)
So far, this year has been quite a year for me in relation to books, what with the GoodReads Reading Challenge (which , luckily lasts all year) going on since January, and the Dewey's Read--A-Thons in April and October.
Yesterday, it was the first of November , which means the first of the month, - not long til my birthday now - and .....the start of National Novel Writing Month- also known as NaNoWriMo - which I had heard of , but never participated in. I Googled it and immediately found the website. I signed up straightaway. I'm glad I saw the mention of it in a friend's status on Facebook or else I've never have known. The goal is to basically write a total of 50,000 words, and about 175 pages, throughout November.
As I only signed up yesterday, I've spent a lot of today reading the NaNoWriMo website , and familiarising myself with the challenge , as well as dipping into articles on www.ehow.com (some of which were promptly pinned to my "Writing" board on Pinterest as I think they'll come in handy. I've found some word- processing apps on the AppStore which have now been downloaded to my iPad. I've always wanted to write a novel and feel like this challenge may be the kick- start I need . My absolute dream would be to get one published . I've begun planning , and I'm using my leopard-print notebook I was given last Christmas . That reminds me- I'll have to ask for more notebooks this Christmas/ birthday. I'm aware that the childhood hobby of writing I had has always stayed with me , and I want to make real use of it.
As I write this, I'm aware of how tired I feel- it's been a busy day . I did get to see some movies on TV though, one of which was The Invisible , as Halloween film season continues.
I'm off to bed now .
I feel very excited about this challenge!
Here's the website and sign-up link http://nanowrimo.org/