First Organized Run

Because I don’t have enough on my plate (*cue crazy laughter*), I’ve gone and signed up for my very first organized run, the Aberystwyth Charity 10k. I have never done something like this before, and I’m not sure if it’s a brilliant idea or an insane one (maybe both?). Now, I know people do stuff like this all the time, and marathon runners are doing more than 4 times the distance, so 10k (a little over 6 miles) isn’t that massive of an undertaking…in theory.

But, you know, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Since this is a charity race, I’ve decided to do this in hopes of raising some money for the British Heart Foundation, a wonderful organization that undertakes important research into heart conditions, in memory of my grandmother.

It’s a big goal (for me), and I’ve got about 6 weeks to go. Bring on December!

Londontown

This past week, I took a trip to London for my PhD. As a social scientist, I have to do fieldwork aka data collection. My chosen method is interviews, so I’ve been meeting people out in the field at festivals, conferences and other events.

While I was there, I got to do a bit of sightseeing and visit Big Ben, which is even more gorgeous in person than in photos.

1379224_10201739161312534_2004744_n (1)

 

I also got to visit Platform 9 3/4 (again). And I’m glad I went again because this time it was different! They’d moved it inside by the Waterstones bookstore and had a whole thing set up where a guy handed you the House scarf of your choice and held it out behind you to make it appear as if you were running.

1375040_10201726827524197_486000390_n

 

So. Much. Fun.

I also went to a Neil Gaiman reading in Westminster Hall. He read the entirety of his new book, Fortunately the Milk, for an audience of 2.5 thousand, with the artist drawing sketches behind him and several actors and comedians and musicians joining in. It was funny and inspiring, and I loved every minute of it.

557217_10201739201793546_1759801045_n

 

And then to top it all off, on the long train journey to Aberystwyth, I pulled out my Macbook and wrote the entire way back. There’s just something about trains that both relaxes me and gets my creativity going.

All in all, it was a great trip. I hit a few snags with the fieldwork, but still managed to get some great interviews, saw a literary hero, saw some sights, ate some great food and made progress on my WIP.

Fresh (school) year, fresh start

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – The Great Gatsby

Here in Wales, the university school year starts fairly late, and it was only a couple weeks ago that I arrived back for the academic year and moved into my student accommodation. Since I’ve been in education in one form or another almost my entire life, a new school year always feels like the start of something new, much more so than New Years Day.

So, on that note, I decided to start my blog over, all fresh and shiny and new. I’d had a complicated, expensive website hosting plan for several years, but I’m not doing much other than posting blog updates here and there, so I decided to keep my domain and move to this simple WordPress blog. It’s all I really need.

And as with every “new year” there comes some resolutions, or goals. Here are mine:

1. Write Every Day

This is for fiction, specifically, because I’ve got plenty of academic writing to keep me busy forever. It doesn’t have to be a massive amount, just get something down every day. 100 words is better than zero.

2. Treat my PhD like a full-time job

This is important and something I’ve already started doing. I have no more traditional classes to attend. I don’t have a “schedule” at all. It’s just me and my thesis, stumbling around trying to make progress. In order to avoid the pitfalls of just staying in my pajamas in my room all day, I’ve made a goal to go into my department’s PhD office Monday through Friday and sit at my desk during regular working hours.

3. Exercise at least three times a week

Again, something I was doing already (until recently). It’s something I need to make a conscious effort to maintain.

4. Travel

I want to see the entire world, and while I’m over here, I want to see more of this part of it. I already have a trip planned to London next week for data collection, and hopefully Dublin in November, and possibly Scotland. Next year, I’m hoping to finally, finally, finally go to Paris. Maybe Rome.

5. Make the most of every day

This is a really general goal, but it’s probably the most important. What I want more than to specifically write every day and exercise at least three times a week is to look back in a year on the twelve months that have passed and know that I lived life to the fullest.