Happy New Year!

Happy New YearWhat a horrible, rainy, windy day it’s been around here – have you had the same?

We had to venture out though. Mainly to walk the dog (although, to be honest, even she wasn’t that keen) but also to keep up our tradition of having a New Year’s Day walk, complete with mini bottle of champagne and 2 glasses stuffed into our rucksack.

Normally, we find a nice cosy bench to sit on to toast the New Year but today we had to do it in the car, gazing out through what looked like fog, at Broadway Tower in the distance.

Some stats for you:

• Number of equally-crazy people that we saw on the walk today: 10
• Number of people who fell over in the mud: 2 (not us. We did not laugh).
• Percentage of my jeans that were sodden by the end: 50% (the wind made my coat blow up)
• Deliciousness of champagne consumed in the car afterwards: 100% (if, indeed, you can measure flavour in that way).
• Apparently, on a clear day, you can see 14 counties from the top of Broadway Tower. Today was not clear. And the tower was not open. Today was not that day.

As far as writing stats go, I submitted 134,000 words in 2013 (to publications and competitions) and a third of that was brand new work (the rest was work submitted that had already had an outing somewhere else). Which is OK, but I need to come up with more new work – and that’s my resolution for this year. More work and more submissions, which will, hopefully, lead to more successes!

That 134,000 doesn’t include blog posts (of which there were 82!) or the novel ‘work in progress’ stuff. I’m still waiting to hear the ‘results’ of 26,000 submitted words and I had 40 ‘successes’ – ie: stories, articles and letters printed, plus ‘shortlistings’ in competitions.

WordPress kindly issued me with a ‘blog report’ at the end of the year (which is how I know about the 82 blog posts) and my 5 ‘most active commenters’, who I think deserve a mention are, in order of ‘most active’:

Wendy Clarke; Tracy Fells; Linda Daunter; PhilippaB, who lives in France and makes me very jealous with her lovely weather and who doesn’t have a blog (pourquoi pas?), so I can’t link to it and Susan Jones, who asked me to do her bloglinky thing before Christmas and because I was feeling a bit stressed, I said no (politely!) and now I feel very guilty – and like I’ve missed out. Serves me right. Sorry, Susan!

Thank you, ladies, especially Wendy, my ‘top commenter’ who is the most productive and successful blogger that I currently follow but who STILL has time to check out other blogs and write nice things!

Thank you to everyone else who reads the blog – even if you’ve just stumbled across it today, by accident, when you were looking for something more interesting – and Happy New Year to everyone.

Let’s hope it’s a good one for us all. xx

Champers 001

This entry was posted in Blogging, Short Stories, Successes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Happy New Year!

  1. Angela Greenwood says:

    Hi Helen, I’m one of the regular readers but I don’t often comment (but you already know that!) Happy New year to you and all your followers and please keep on blogging!

  2. ann harrison says:

    Happy New Year Helen.

  3. swanview says:

    This sounds like a lovely New Year tradition. I have only just started my blog, nine posts as of today so I’m hopeful for more posts and comments for the New Year. Oh yes, and now all the blogs I have followed for a while don’t recognise me as I have a different user name (Rachel turned into Swanview).

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    Can you see me blush, Helen? You are too kind! Your word count this year is impressive… You must feel chuffed about that. Look forward to reading more of your posts this coming year (and of course your published work). Happy 2014!

  5. Broadway Tower looks nice, and the view looks good too; what a pity that somebody decided to put an advert across the bottom of that link you sent, and spoil it in the process. You will have to post some pictures that you have taken.
    Happy New Year

  6. hjmusk says:

    Happy New Year! I love your tradition of going for a walk and celebrating the New Year with a glass of champagne somewhere.
    I’m a regular reader but a bit rubbish at commenting, something I hope to improve upon this year. This is a good start!

    • Hi and thanks for commenting! We have been doing the walk with champagne (plus, usually, a flask of coffee with Baileys in it!!) for a few years now. This time was the first time we’ve ever had to do it in the car due to the bad weather! The secret is, to buy one of those diddy bottles of champagne, that you see in supermarkets for about £10 just before Christmas. Obviously you don’t want to be lugging a huge bottle (or a magnum!?) around on a walk and the little bottles are just enough for one glass each!

  7. Linda says:

    That was a very successful year – especially if you compare it with mine …
    Onwards and upwards! Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year, Linda. It’s all relative, isn’t it? If I took out the ‘letters published’ and ‘shortlists’, my list would, believe me, be a lot shorter than 40 but I thought, what the heck.. and just counted them all!

  8. Happy New Year Helen, and thanks for the mention. I decided not to rope anyone in after all. Too busy, and I would have had you, Rosemary, and Teresa. Well, Rosemary mentioned that she didn’t want to do chain blogs, and Teresa has lost her beautiful Indy, so just posted my answers in the end. Keep on blogging…. Just off to read your article in the Writing Magazine now.

  9. Tracy Fells says:

    Happy New Year, Helen. Love your champagne tradition – very civilised. And I’ve been to Broadway Tower (quite some years ago). I was a bit mad and went for my first run of the year on New Year’s Day – got drenched!
    Thanks for your quotes for the WM feature – it’s a 2 page spread in this month’s issue. And well done on the successes for 2013 – 40 publications is a significant achievement.

    • Happy New Year to you too, Tracy. Let’s not get too carried away with the ’40’ number – it does also include shortlists and letters published in magazines as well as the ‘biggies’ (I’m being very generous with my own ‘successes’ in an attempt to be kind to myself!). I’m sure you’ve got that kind of number too! Well done on your first run of the year. I have never got into running and I suspect that now, at my .. ahem.. advanced age, I never will! Good luck with your writing for 2014. x

  10. traceyglasspool says:

    Happy New Year Helen – what a lovely tradition. Look forward to more of your blog this year and well done on the successes.

  11. KH says:

    All the best for the New Year, Helen! Thanks for a great blog. Good wishes, KH

  12. philippabowe says:

    Happy New Year Helen and all your followers! And well done for such a productive 2013 – leading onto an even more productive 2014 I’m sure!
    I won’t make you even more jealous by telling you about the weather down here right now – suffice to say that I’ve been wearing less layers recently…and no blog (yet?) because, although I am tempted, it represents another big commitment in terms of time and energy, and I am currently trying to find parts of my life where I can cut things out to give myself more creative time – doing Nano made me realise that it is just not possible to write as much as I want without jettisoning some other stuff from my life, so I’m not sure adding a blog would help….do you (and other bloggers) find it helps with the writing process?
    Anyway, here’s to a beautifully creative 2014 to one and all!

    • Philippa You are probably wise to give the blogging a miss for a while .. although I still really enjoy it and I’ve made some great cyber-friends (you included!), it IS very time-consuming and sometimes I know I should be doing ‘proper’ writing instead of blogging.. so there’s a bit of guilt involved too! But one day, I reckon, I’m going to reap the rewards.. (*dreams* having 20,000 followers who instantly buy anything I publish..! Yes, I know, dream on..)


      • philippabowe says:

        Yes, the time consuming side of it does put me off – my writing discipline is so bad already, I feel I musn’t to anything to drive it even further down the list of priorities…But I’m selfishly glad you have taken the plunge! And you’re on course for your 20,000 followers… 🙂

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