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An end of year Wordle: 2011 in words

I was thinking of doing a ‘review of the year’ type blog post but decided an end of year Wordle would be much more fun. I launched this blog (a Robyn’s Nest 2.0 if you will) in January 2011 so it’s practically 365 days of me and my thoughts of the year gone by… the fact it also resembles a Christmas tree (albeit lying on its side) is also a nice festive nod to the time of year.
So, no big surprises there but odd that the word ‘mulled’  should make an appearance as it’s not one I think I’ve used more than once or twice this year. Hey ho.

One word I could use to help describe the year gone by is ‘change’ and that doesn’t make an appearance because there have been some negative changes this past year and I tend to prefer to blog on a positive note when possible. There’s enough doom and gloom in this world, flick on the news if you don’t believe me. Don’t get me wrong, I usually relish change but this year has been akin to a rollercoaster losing it’s battle with gravity. And 2011 had a lot to live up to when 2010 was so utterly awesome.

But 2012, I have decided, will be awesome too. You know why? Because I’m going to grab it by the horns and make it so. I have a plan in my head – and it involves a few changes, mind – but they’re going to (hopefully) be controlled by me.

I mention this most years but it’s all about quality over quantity and many of us – me at the top of the list – are guilty of taking too much on; and therefore enjoying all the many things we do do a little less. In 2012 I’m making some cutbacks, listing everything I do – sport, hobbies, study, socialising, work etc – and prioritising. And there won’t be room for everything so some of it will have to go. And that’s okay. For example, is my writing more important to me than sport? Well, I’d usually say they’re equal but if I ever want to make a mark with writing, the sport may have to take a back seat, not forever, but for 2012 at least. We’ll see.

I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed my MA so far and if I want to make a success of that – and I do – then other things will have to shuffle off the ‘to do’ list.

So, while the plan for me currently sits inside my head, it’s certainly brewing and I’m hoping to make 2012 a quality year. The death of Steve Jobs this year and THAT speech, serves as a reminder to us all that life is for living. And I, for one, don’t want my headstone to read ‘Death by unexpressed creativity’.

So, on that note peeps, happy New Year to you all. And if you’re struggling to know what to do with 2012, and you’re a planner like I am, then get making a list. Here’s a start… some things for me to focus on in 2012

1) Journalism – get interviewing, get writing, get producing, get that MA

2) Writing – get blogging, get reviewing, get that work in progress novel finished

3) In the kitchen – I ain’t talking cleaning here, I’m talking baking!

4) Quality time – with my friends, with my family and with my doggy

5) Flower power – this is an easy one, fresh flowers are a great way to lift a room and your spirits and I’m planning on filling all those empty vases this year

6) Wardrobe wonders – out with the old, in with the unworn. I’ve had a major clear out and my wardrobe is still heaving with lovely things I never wear… 2012’s going to change that

Review of the year: 2011 in blog posts

It was a new year, new blog as I moved from Robyn’s Nest 1.0 to Robyn’s Nest 2.0 in January, plus a report on my December 2010 wedding and honeymoon in pictures (yeah, I know, snore zzzz) plus a quandary over real books versus eBooks.

February was less about romance and more about making a complete dick of myself with the After Eight Game. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

Stand out stories in March include THAT pen in the knickers story (funny) and Ralphie’s run in with a non-friendly Alsatian (not funny at all).

In April I attended and reported on the Journalism in a Social Media World Conference and get embroiled in the great cream tea debate following a glorious trip to Bude.

In May my lovely hubby celebrated one year as a freelancer – which is going well as we haven’t had to move out of home and into a shed – and in June I saw what a Saturday morning looks like at 7am, shock horor.

In July myself and my writer buddy Tracy Buchanan (please see pen in knickers story above) attended the Inspire and Mentor: how to get published evening, organised by Marie Claire magazine and I reflected on my mid-year resolution to expand my literary horizons. Who knew there was more than crime fiction out there?! Oh, and I also had a taste of Milton Keynes nightlife, aged 31, which gave me flashbacks from when I was 20. And that’s not a good thing.

In August I tried to split my personal self and professional self in two with different Twitter accounts, and failed. I’m all mixed up and can’t be two interesting people, just one semi (or possibly not) interesting person.

In September I rediscovered why I hate nightclubs, had this hair disaster and started a Masters when I don’t even have a degree. Busy month!

A spoon, a blow torch and a network of editors, the story of, was reported on in October after a trip oop north to Preston, as well as the lack of fiction in my diet.

In November I begged and pleaded for people to take a look at my MA work in progress project and fell off my chair in shock to discover my husband had spent £50 on eggnog lattes.

And in December I reported on my Tarzan and Jane anniversary experience with husband RPats and shared with you the best ever recipe for mulled wine. Ever.

*Note to self: need to have a more interesting 2012!*

Welcome to my new blog

Well hello there. Hello and welcome. So, this is it… my new blog. And it seems only fitting that now I have a new surname, my blog should have a new name too.

Last year was a big year for me – got engaged, moved house, supported my other half going freelance, adopted a cocker spaniel puppy, got married and had a wonderful honeymoon closely followed by Christmas. It’s going to be hard to top that.

So in planning for 2011 I haven’t made a list of exciting things to do – bungie jumping, move to India, shave my head or join the local choir. Oh no, my plans are much more hi-tech – So, in the spirit of starting 2011 on the right footing, here’s a new blog. A blog I hear you cry? Is that it? Well, not just any blog… er… well, actually it is just any blog so er… have I told you that it’s a new and improved one featuring posts from guest bloggers (not yet but it will) and a host of book reviews (started this one!)?

I slacked off on the blog front at the back end of last year – pre-marital mania consumed me – but this year the blog will keep me busy. And don’t worry, it won’t be serious. I’ll still be climbing up on my soapbox and ranting about things that matter and some that don’t, I’ll still do my Five for Friday posts, and I’ll still be, well, just me.

Aside from blogging bigger and better in 2011, I also have some other literary projects on the go… finishing my novel Resolution and sending it off to agents; and the Mistresses of Trope blog in which me and my three favourite writer buddies chart our journeys to become better writers. Also this year I want to spend lots of quality time with my gorgeous new hubby and intrepid doggy Ralphie, catch up with all the lovely friends I have and generally try to take pleasure in the simple things. So sorry in advance, you may have to hear about some of that in this blog.

Okay, that should do it for a hello and welcome blog post… feel free to comment on any of my posts – I actively encourage you to do so – or drop me a line if you want to suggest some books for me to review. Even better, if you want to buy me books, I’ll send you a link to my Amazon wish list. Laters!