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Happy New Year! Happy 2021! Wishing you Happiness And Success!

Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone had a good and safe time, and we move another year into the decade of 2020. I spent my evening with a close relative since we are in the same 'bubble' though I did do a bit of social distancing and took a few precautions to wear a mask etc. The whole thing is really confusing in the UK but I social distance, wear a mask and since last March 2020, I've not travelled by public transport or gone out of my immediate area. I went to work once because I needed to pack up some stuff but it's pretty much just staying around my area. This has had an effect on my family bonding because I still haven't spend time with another relative but I guess video calls will have to do. 

I've also started a new hobby, photography compositions or composting , and I'm going to start to look at creating composite fantasy pictures. It started because I wanted to learn to make my own romance covers but price of the course was prohibitive. Not only that, the course provider  has broken up one course into three levels. So there was a beginner course, intermediate course and advance course.  I understand people have to make money but the prices were ranging from £700 to £2,000 (without the Adobe subscription). 

I understand its a business and the course was specifically about making covers, like it was very thorough but the price was a little too steep for me. Plus the last course I went on was about £400 for a good introduction (I didn't follow up with practice so...). 

However now LinkedIn learning has self instructional videos so I've opted for that.  However with LinkedIn Learning it's still about looking for the right course so there is an element of trial and error.

 So I guess in terms of immediacy and specific training the book cover course was worth it but if you have time and it's only a curious interest then there are less expensive ways to learn. You could do youtube but I've learn after looking at forums that YouTube and magazines are only good for learning tricks rather than the basics of the trade. I guess that was what the cover course was covering. I know someone is who attending another one so I might ask them about that one. 

LinkedIn Learning still has an element of going down the rabbit hole so I guess with expensive targeted courses those are tailored specially to a need.   As I said with LinkedIn Learning it is still a matter of finding a good tutor or one that fits your needs. Different tutor presenters have different styles and different projects, also use different versions of Photoshop CS. 

I've done two and the most useful to date is a very old course - it's basic, LinkedIn Learning keeps telling me it's archived and there is a more recent one (by a different tutor), but that course hits all the spots. From doing the course, I realised what I was going was just picture compositions - they make it sound complicated and use a lot of technical terms but as I got into the course - which was about an hour and a half which means about ten hours or more if you are following it. So every five minute lesson took me about thirty minutes so it took me two weeks to complete. 

But the great thing about it was the tutor was repeating the same techniques so I'm slowing grasping the use of masks and blending modes. I'm not there yet, there are still lots of confusing things but I reckon as time goes on, if I keep doing a bit everyday, I will get there. 

So that is my new thing, compositions calling compositing. For now, I'm just learning but the next stage will be making up my now projects will I'll post here. Another interesting thing is I'm learning to break down covers into their components. The only thing is that I may not have the power or memory on my computer for powerful graphics but it's still fun! Something creative other than writing.

2021 Goals

 Normally I have a lot of goals but I'll confess nothing has really changed. I mean nothing changes until I achieve outstanding ones so I'm carrying forward the one. 

So it's pretty much the ones I had last year, and yes, I copied and pasted them. However I think this year I shall be reporting what I did under these goals. Yes, what I did...the steps taken, so it would be like tracking progress. Reviewing progress on a regular, maybe monthly basis.

But an important change which is not a goal, it about living the way I want to live in the present, rather than planning for the future. That's it, doing what I can now, enjoying what I can now, rather than making grand plans!


1. Complete my novel-in-progress

This is carried over from 2019, and I've completed a fair amount but writing has been slower for a number of ressons, however still steady!

Non writing 

2. Weight loss

This comes up every single year, but with lockdown, I've slowly got bored with eating lots of junk so maybe I can lose about ten pounds. Normally, I add fitness but I am doing lots of walking and surprising have got a lot fitter, to the point my problem knees - where I couldn't even bend and had to attend a lot of physio/physical therapy sessions has somehow nearly healed. I so I can bend my knees a little more.

Changes to what I eat

The biggest impact to what I eat. And, no it's about healthy foods though that helps it's really more basic than that. As a writer, I've always observed others and over the last few years, realised that most slimmer women  tended to drink soup or eat salads. Or sushi. I've never been a soup or salad person, though I do like sushi, however over the last few weeks, I've been having soups - the premium nice stuff like Yorkshire Provender, or the super market higher end. 

With soups because I'm a bit of a fussy eater so visually, I've found most of them look quite sickly, I think it's the cream and the consistency not very nice, but they taste delicious. I'm a bit wary of the environmental impact of the plastic but when I over come how they look they taste nice. But I also have it with bread so I may need to wean myself off the bread. 

However after breakfast and a bowl of hearty soup for lunch, I'm rarely hungry so let's see how it goes. I can also probably review my favourites. I do keep away from the creamy stuff, I just have the feeling of it clogging up my innards, don't ask why when I'm a professional junk food eater. It's just a feelings but that would be fun too!

Another thing is back to stir fries. 

Treats - I might do takeout/takeaway once a week.  Let's see how this goes. Maybe do a composite picture of what I eat.....

    3. Keep My CPD (Continuous Professional Development) up to date.

    That has taken a back row but I need to start to do something with it. It means keeping up to dates with developments in my trade as well as knowing what is going on. 

    Keep safe and Happy New Year!


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