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Showing posts from 2012

Merry Christmas!

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I'm so glad it's Christmas Eve, four days off work, thank goodness! I just did over 50 hours in 5 days, ouch! I could barely move last night, I was much better after a lovely hot bath though.
I've spent today doing last minute things with my mum; picking up parcels, last minute shopping, wrapping presents. We've also made a trifle, some Angel Delight for my brother because he doesn't like trifle, and we're going to find time to make a flan tomorrow. I love Christmas desserts!
We're about to head out to my mum's boyfriend's house, as he's invited us over for a Christmas Eve takeaway, which should be nice. I can't wait for Christmas tomorrow, I love everything about it, from present opening to Christmas dinner to silly boardgames!
I hope you all get everything you want tomorrow, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Express Yourself - Christmas songs!

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Time for this week's Express Yourself question, which is What are a few of your Favourite Holiday Songs?

My favourite songs to listen to at Christmas are the ones I never hear; Christmas Carols. I love Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Oh Christmas Tree, We Three Kings, etc. I think carols just remind me of being a kid again, and singing them in assembly.

As for Christmas songs, I love Walking in the Air, because it's just so Christmassy! I like All I want for Christmas is You, mostly because of Love Actually. White Christmas, because I always wish for a white Christmas.

I pretty much love most Christmas songs, because I love Christmas. There are a few I dislike, but most get me into the festive spirit :)

Bruges!

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I’ve finally gotten around to writing my post about Bruges! I went with my mum and sister and a few people from work, as it was someone from work who organised it, and my mum and I work at the same place. 

We set off on the Tuesday night on an overnight ferry, which was fun, although the sea was quite rough! Only one person from our group got seasick, so it wasn’t too bad. When we arrived the next morning we took a coach into Bruges and went to find our hotel, which was elegant and welcoming. I think our hotel room was about 10 times bigger than the tiny cabin the three of us had to share on the ferry!  Once we’d all gotten settled, we headed out to find the Christmas market, and found out that you can go on horse and carriage rides through the city, so of course we went on one! It lasted about half an hour, and was a great way to see the parts of the city that we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. 
The Christmas market was really good; there were lots of stalls selling lovely things…

Musing Mondays!

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This week's Musing Mondays question is: Is there a particular book that is your nemesis–the book you’re determined to one day finish?

Nothing really comes to mind; if I don't finish a book for some reason it's unlikely that I'll pick it up again. There are a couple of series that I would like to tackle again, though, the first being Lord of the Rings; I've already read them all once, but didn't really enjoy them that much. Probably because I was in the midst of university at the time and rushed to finish them. I'd like to re-read them one day when I have more time, so I can take my time and enjoy them a little more.
Another series is A Song of Ice and Fire; I've read the first book, but it took me so long to get through it that I didn't even start the second one. I'd like to read the rest of the books in this series at some point, when I have more time.

Express Yourself: Dream Winter Getaway!

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It's a little late, but here's my answer to this week's Express Yourself Meme. 

What would your dream winter getaway be?

Well, I absolutely love winter and all it brings, so it would have to be somewhere with lots of snow! Somewhere in the mountains, where there are little villages, like the Alps. I’d also love to try skiing, and I love the idea of going to a nice cosy cabin for a few days, with a lovely fire to keep me warm. My sister and I have made it one of our lifetime goals to go on a ski vacation together, so hopefully it’ll happen someday! I prefer cold weather over hot (yes, I am a little strange!) so this would be the ideal holiday for me.


Liebster Award!

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The liebster award:

Nikki over at the little Nordic cabin has given me the Liebster Award, thanks Nikki!
"The Liebster Blog Award is an award given from bloggers to bloggers that are small to medium in size or

up and coming in the blogsphere. Liebster is German for "favorite." The award is a way to give beginning

bloggers some worthy attention, make connections and let readers learn a little more about you."


So here are the rules:

1. Answer the 11 questions

2. Give 11 facts about yourself

3. Nominate 11 other lovely bloggers

4. Post 11 new questions for your new nominees


Questions for me:

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At one point, for about a week, I wanted to be a Greetings Card Designer. I quickly became aware that this wouldn't be possible, since I am not artistic in the slightest.
For the majority of my childhood I wanted to be a teacher, more because it was the only thing I could think of rather than thinking I'd be goo…

December Goals!

I managed to get my car going yesterday, which I'm incredibly happy about; I thought I'd have to get it taken in and repaired. It's been fine since yesterday morning, so hopefully it'll hold out until it's due a service in January.  Anyway, my December goal post is a little late, but better late than never!

Here were my goals for November, and how I got on with them:

1. Do my first assignment well – I managed to finish my first assignment, and I got the results back the other day. I got a 68, which I’m incredibly proud of because it’s a better mark than I got for the majority of my assignments during my undergraduate course! I’m a little foggy on the difference between the undergraduate grading system and the Masters one, but I think a 68 is a Merit, which is fine by me! Hopefully I’ll do just as well or better in the rest of my assignments.

2. Work on my Portfolio – I’ve done a fair bit of work on my portfolio this month, and I’ve realised that I have a lot of thin…

Musing Mondays!

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Here I am, sat at my computer at 5:46 am because my car wouldn't start, so I can't get to work until my mum gets up to take me. The same thing happened to my car last winter, I can't believe it's happened again, I need my car! So I thought I'd use the extra time to do a little blogging.

First of all, sorry I haven't posted in a while! Things have been pretty hectic for me over the last couple of week; first I went to Bruges, and when I got back I had to go straight back at work. Then I got a migraine that lasted for two days, so I fell even more behind with everything. I then had university work to do, and then back to work again. Finally I'm back on track and have a few posts planned for this week, including one where I tell you all about Bruges!

Today's post is a Musing Mondays post.


The question for today is:
What was the last book you could not finish and why?
My answer is Dark Angel by Eden Maguire.  It’s very rare that I’ll start a book and not fin…

Musing Mondays!

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Time for another Musing Monday, this week’s question is:
Have you ever read a book after watching the movie/television version only to find that you don’t like the book as much as the adaptation?

Most of the time when I watch a book adaptation, I prefer the book. this is the case for Harry Potter (the films really do not do the books justice), Twilight (the films are absolute rubbish compared to the books, although I admit I went to see Breaking Dawn Part Two the other day and enjoyed it quite a lot) and The Hunger Games (I loved this movie, but the book is still better).

However, there is one exception: Lord of the Rings. It could be because I read the books after watching the movies. I absolutely love the Lord of the Rings movies, they’re some of my favourites, I’ve seen each of them at least 5 times. I asked for the books for Christmas one year, and was really excited to read them because I loved the movies so much, but I found them a bit hard to get through.

I think I’m going to g…

Express Yourself: Quotes!

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For this week's Express Yourself meme, the question was: What are a few inspirational quotes you'd like to pass along to others?
My first few quotes are from Harry Potter, all said by Dumbledore, of course:

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.
Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. 
After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
A couple of writing inspiration quotes:
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.  - George Bernard Shaw 
"If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."  - Toni Morrison
And my last quote is one f…

Musing Mondays!

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Musing Mondays is a weekly event held over at Should Be Reading, which I've decided to start participating in. (I'll be posting for the Express Yourself Meme on Thursdays now). The idea is, each Monday a question will be put up over there which we have to answer. This week's question is:

Do you read the ending before you start a book? Do you ever skip ahead to read the ending?
I used to do this when I was a teenager, but I would always find out something crucial that spoilt the book for me! I don't do it anymore for that reason; I want to be surprised when I get to the end of a book, I don't want to know what happens until it actually happens. I'm a fairly patient person, so unless it's a book I'm really excited about I don't feel the urge to skip to the end.  However, if I'm reading a book and I just can't get into it for whatever reason, I sometimes skip through just to find out if it's going to get any better, or even if it's wort…

Flash Fiction Friday!

One of the additions to my new schedule is Flash Fiction Friday, since I hardly put writing up on here anymore. I'll find a prompt from a website, and use it to write a short flash fiction. This week's prompt is from this website, and is the first line; They were never happier than when they were arguing.
I wrote it fairly quickly and it's not brilliant, but here it is:


They were never happier than when they were arguing. Whether a tiny dispute over what channel to watch on TV, or a full blown fight, they were in their element. They rarely agreed on anything, and if they did they would lie, just to have something to argue about.

It didn’t make any sense to me; why would anyone in their right mind rather argue than have a civil conversation? But then, I’m not the confrontational type; I’d much rather hide away in a corner somewhere than have to exchange harsh words with someone. I’d spent my whole life watching my parents rip each other to shreds during arguments, and it had…

Why I Love My Kindle Fire!

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I used to say I would never, ever get a kindle - I like my books too much! But over the past few months, the idea of owning a kindle has been growing in my mind. A lot of bloggers I know have self-published books that are only available on the kindle, so this was one of the reasons I wanted to get one. Also, my bookshelf is pretty overcrowded so I could do with buying less paperback books!
Originally I was just going to get the basic £69 kindle, as I only really wanted it for reading and didn't really want to spend too much money on it. However, my mum's a bad influence and persuaded me that I might as well pay the extra £50 and get one that I can do a lot more on. I'm glad she did, because I love my new Kindle Fire.
Here are some good things about it:
- It's much lighter than most of the books I tend to read
- It has a backlight, so I'll never struggle to read it
- You can download free books for it from Amazon
- You can buy books for your Kindle at the click of a…

Express Yourself - Post a Picture!

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This week for the Express Yourself Meme, we are asked to "Post a picture of your work area; cubicle, craft area, writing area, etc. Then explain what it is you do." Now, my actual job involves working in a supermarket, and I'm fairly certain most of you will have seen one of those before, so I decided to post a picture of my writing area instead.

By the way, this picture was taken after I tidied up; imagine what it was like before! This is where I spend the majority of my time when I'm not at work, writing and blogging and occasionally playing The Sims 3. If I need to hand-write something, I move the keyboard out of the way and put my notebook on the desk.  As you can see in the picture, I always have a cup of tea next to me, as well as whatever book I'm currently reading (The Casual Vacancy in this case) with my notebook and my recently acquired Kindle Fire on top of it (I'm doing a post about this on Thursday).  I could do with a bigger desk really, and mo…

Remembrance Day

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To commemorate Remembrance day, I thought I'd put a war poem up on each of my blogs. I picked poems that I remember studying at college, my favourites. Someone on my facebook posted the poem "In Flanders Fields" which is what gave me the idea in the first place, and reminded me how much I love that poem, so I decided to put it up on my other blog here.
For this blog, I found another poem which I love, having studied it in college as well; The Soldier by Rupert Brooke.

If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England’s, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dr…

"U Got the Look" Meme!

Heather from Random Interruptions has tagged me in "U Got the Look", thanks Heather! To take part in this I have to go to my current manuscript and find the word "look" and post the surrounding paragraphs, and then tag 5 other writers.
I'm using my Camp Nano novel, which I haven't touched since I finished the first draft on the 31st August, so it's very rough! My first "look" is in the first few paragraphs, which I'll be changing dramatically when I edit, but I'll post them up anyway.


As soon as the sun rose, Alexia got out of bed. She usually stayed in bed as long as she could get away with it, but not today. She’d hardly slept last night because of her excitement and nervousness, and now that it was actually morning, she could finally start getting ready for the most important day of her life so far. Alexia knew she was up far too early, but at least that meant she had a long while to prepare.

Taking advantage of all the extra time s…

Express Yourself Meme - Playlist!

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Time for the weekly Express Yourself Meme. This week’s theme is playlists, whether for writing or non-writing. I don't have a specific playlist for a WIP, I have a playlist on you-tube that I use, which I entitled “Writing” because I listen to it when I write – original, I know!

My playlist is quite geeky – it’s mostly music from animes! I love anime music, and it helps me to concentrate when I need to write as the majority of it doesn't have lyrics and they really capture emotion very well. The songs are very helpful for getting me into the right frame of mind for a scene. Here is the link for the playlist – it really is mostly anime music:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3B2BCE55157ADBDC&feature=mh_lolz

I also have a lot of piano music in the playlist, for the same reasons; I love piano music and I find it really brings out a lot of emotions in me. This playlist is great for sad scenes, or hopeful scenes, or just emotional scenes! It also relaxes me, which is alway…

Goals for November and Award!

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I know I say this every month, but I can't believe another month has flown by! It's crazy how fast time flies when you're busy. So, time for my monthly goals!

Last month my goals were:
1. Start planning my assignments - I haven't got as far as I'd like in planning my assignments, but I'm hoping to get a lot done this weekend while I'm off work. I only have one assignment due in before Christmas, so I don't have to start panicking too much.

2. Try to find time to read - I finally managed to start A Casual Vacancy yesterday, so hopefully I'll get that finished soon, and put a review up.

3. Set aside one day a week for piano practise - Yet again, I haven't spent any time practising. At the minute this is my lowest priority, but I'm hoping I'll get some time to practise soon!
Here are this months goals: 1. Do my first assignment well - it's due on the 14th of November, and I want to get it planned and written plenty of time before it's d…

Halloween Bloghop!

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So I just decided on the spur of the moment that I wanted to participate in the bloghop by Jeremy Bates. I love Halloween so I figured this would be fun.
For this bloghop I have to mention my favourite monster movie or book and my Halloween costume this year.
My favourite monster books (I couldn't only choose one) are the classics, Dracula and Frankenstein. I read them both for the gothic module in my English Literature degree, and enjoyed them a lot. I prefer the books to the movie adaptations, but of course this is the same in most cases for me!
As for my Halloween costume this year, I'm really excited because usually I don't do anything for Halloween, and therefore don't dress up, but this year I'm going to two different Halloween parties, so I get to dress up twice! I'm going as a Witch to both parties, which I'm excited about. I went and bought a Witches hat and broomstick the other day, and I'm going to use clothes I already have; a lace skirt and…

Spooktoberfest!

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What a weekend! I had hoped to have a lot of free time this weekend to get this entry written, but that just didn't happen. I did a 13 hour shift at work on Friday, an 11 hour shift on Saturday, a 7 hour shift on Sunday and a 6 hour shift today, I'm shattered! Getting up at 3.30 doesn't help matters, either. I have 10 days off now, and I think I'll need them to recover!
Because of my work-filled weekend, I've had to quickly write my entry for Spooktoberfest today, so it's not as good as I had hoped it would be. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun writing it, and reading everyone else's entries, which are awesome, by the way!

Here is my entry:

The old woman stood in what used to be her living room, disgusted by the sights in front of her. What a pathetic excuse for a haunted house. She watched the people milling around the room, curling her lip at their “scary” costumes. A girl as a ghost with a sheet over her head, a man with a skeleton costume, another man wear…

50 word horror story!

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Just a short post today, I really need to start planning my posts properly again! It's almost time for Spooktoberfest, I'll probably be posting my entry on Monday. I'm really loving all these Halloween themed blogfests and competitions, they're a lot of fun. :)

I entered a competition the other day which involved writing a horror story in 50 words. It was very hard, it took me a long time because I had to make sure that every word was absolutely necessary. I rushed it a little so it's not brilliant, but here it is:
The seatbelt clicked as the engine roared to life. “It’s time,” growled a voice, and my eyes snapped to the rear-view mirror. Blood red eyes stared back as numbness spread, my limbs beginning to move without my consent. As the car crawled forward the scarlet eyes gleamed, hungry for torment.

Express Yourself Meme: Favourite Monsters!

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This week, I have to choose my 5 favourite monsters in history, and I think I'm going to go with some mythological monsters, because they always fascinate me more than vampires and werewolves and things, which are a little overdone at the minute!

It's going to be hard to condense the list to just 5, as there are so many interesting mythological monsters!

So, here are my 5 favourite mythological monsters:

1. The Basilisk - obviously mostly known from Harry Potter, the Basilisk is known as the King of serpents, able to kill with only a single glance. One of my favourite monsters, because not only can it kill you just by looking at you, it's also super poisonous, so you have no chance, really!

2. Gorgon - a gorgon is a female creature whose gaze had the power to turn men to stone. The most famous gorgon is Medusa, who had snakes for hair, and was the only one who was mortal, and could therefore be killed.

3. Cerberus - Cerberus is known as the three-headed dog who guards the Un…

Loan, Old Friends and Old Writing!

I found out yesterday that my application for a Career Development Loan for my Masters was successful, yay! I'm so relieved, I would have had to drop out of the course if it failed, and I'm enjoying it so much. This means that my course fees are covered, and I'll also have a little extra for living expenses, which means I can work less and write more! This is really good, because I've been working so much lately it's been hard to find time to write, so hopefully I can rectify that now. I'm really motivated because of the good news, so I'm going to work twice as hard.

I also found out on Wednesday that a new Creative Writing Society has been started at uni, so I'm definitely going to join that. There's a meeting next Wednesday, so I'm really looking forward to that, it should be a lot of fun. It'll be nice to know people outside the blogosphere that I can talk to about my writing (although you guys really are awesome!)

I get 5 days off work f…

Express Yourself Meme - Language!

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It's that time of week again, time for the Express Yourself Meme!


This week's question is:
What language would you like to speak and why?
My answer to this question is slightly geeky! I would absolutely love to learn Japanese  for a few reasons. The main one is that I absolutely love watching Japanese anime, and it would be nice to be able to understand the characters without having to read the subtitles. I also really like the language, I think it sounds beautiful and I love speaking the few words that I have learnt. If I ever did learn it, I would make my sister learn it too so we could have conversations with each other without anyone else understanding us; I've always wanted to be able to do that!

Thanks, and an award!

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To everyone who commented on my post on Tuesday, thank you very much for the advice, it helped out a lot! I read my piece out yesterday and didn't get any negative criticism, probably thanks to your help, so thanks again!

Yesterday in class, we were all asked to set up a blog specifically for writing, that we could use during the course of our degree. On the one hand, I was quite pleased about this because obviously I have experience in blogging, so it's not like it's something new for me to get used to, but on the other hand it's going to be so hard to run two blogs at once! But, I'm looking forward to the challenge and I definitely won't let this blog fall behind, because I love it and all my followers too much to!
Here's the link to my new blog, if anyone wanted to stop by, but there's not much there yet! http://lauraclipson.blogspot.co.uk/
Basically I've decided I'll use my new blog for all things uni related, so any writing assignments that…

Need some Advice!

So today I'm going to ask for a little advice. Last week, we were asked to do a piece of writing, and we have to read it out tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm very nervous about this, so I thought I would see what you all think of it. Any constructive criticism you may have is greatly appreciated!
The task was to rewrite an extract from Charles Dickens' biography, about a train crash he was in. We had to 'make it interesting' and move it away from realism.
Here's my rewrite, let me know what you think!

She watched the train meandering through the countryside, the sense of anticipation building inside her. She would never tire of the feelings of excitement she experienced before every incident. After all, the disasters she created inspired her name; Chaos.
She moved further up the track, finally locating the flagman who was supposed to be signalling any trains that came along. She used her powers to confuse him, moving him along the track so that it would be too lat…

Express Yourself Meme - 5 Scary Movies/Books!

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Week #2 (Oct 8-12) - List 5 movies/books that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
1. Jeepers Creepers (movie) - I watched this when I was younger (early teens, I think) and it scared the life out of me. I hadn't gone to school that day, and my mum happened to put it on - I think it was punishment for my skipping school! It absolutely terrified me - I never saw the second one, the first one was bad enough, thank you!
2. The Ring (movie) - I think this is the scariest movie I remember seeing so far. I watched it at a sleepover, so there were quite a few of us watching it, but it was still scary as hell! This was made worse by the fact that mid-way through, a fly landed on the screen just like in the movie, so we were all convinced it would be us next! Such a scary film. 
3. Paranormal Activity (movie) - I watched this with my mum and sister in a dark room lit only with candles - bad idea! When it ended none of us dared get up off the settee, and we all had to go to the to…

My Goals for October!

I can't believe it's October already, where does the time go?

Last month my goals were:
1. Pursue a Masters degree in Creative Writing - A lot of you already know that I did indeed get onto a Creative Writing Masters, so this goal was very successful! I'm still waiting on funding, but I've started the course and I'm loving it so far.

2. Get more overtime in - I did a lot of overtime in September, and have carried on doing a lot - I definitely need the money, especially if my funding falls through!

3. Practise my keyboard - yet again, I didn't even touch my keyboard in September. It was a busy month!

4. Get back into my blogging schedule - I think I've managed to do this quite well, apart from my Saturday posts, which I'm dropping for the moment.

5. Have an awesome time at Centerparcs! - I definitely achieved this goal - I had an amazing time and can't wait to go back next year, I think we're going to make it an annual thing. 
Ok, so here are my goals…

Express Yourself Meme!

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First of all, sorry for not posting yesterday, or Saturday for that matter! I think I'm going to give up posting on Saturdays, that always seems to be the post I miss, since I work all weekend. Yesterday I was just super busy all day, and didn't get around to posting, so I'm posting today instead.
Dani at Entertaining Interests and Jackie at Bouquet of Books have started up a weekly meme together, and it seems like fun so I'm signing up! It involves writing about a different topic every week (the topic list can be found on both Dani and Jackie's blogs) to help bloggers get to know each other.


This week's topic is: Pick a name in your current wip; what was your process of acquiring it?

Most of the name's in my Camp NaNo novel were chosen from a name generator; I basically chose the names I most liked the sound of, or that suited the story the most.
My main character's name, however, was chosen because I really like the name Alex and all of its variations…

Reader Appreciation Award!

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A big thank you to L. G. Keltner over at Writing Off the Edge for bestowing me with the Reader Appreciation Award! Her blog is one of my favourites, so it's nice to receive awards from her :)

Here are the rules:
- Identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you.
- Add the reward logo to your blog.
- Tell your readers seven things about yourself.
- Nominate 5-10 of your favorite bloggers for this award.
- Inform your nominees you nominated them.
It's getting harder and harder to find things about myself to share with you, but I'll try my best! Here goes:
1. I played badminton last week at Centerparcs, and found to my surprise that I'm actually quite good at it. I'm usually terrible at most sports, so it was nice to succeed in something for a change! I might play it more often. 
2. There's a possibility that I have an ingrown toenail, and I'm freaking out about it quite a lot. It doesn't help that I&…

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake!

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Back to business with my blog schedule, and I'm starting the week off with a review of the book I finished last week, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958:…

I'm Back!

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I got back from Centerparcs yesterday, and I had such a great time! It would have been a little nicer if the weather was better; it was really cold right from the first day, and we (my mum, sister and I) didn't really pack for cold weather! I think we were hoping it would be warm. Still, it was a lovely holiday regardless, and there was plenty to do to warm us up. It was also nice to get to our villa on an evening, put the heating on and have a hot chocolate, with lots of cream and marshmallows!
We spent the majority of our time in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, going down the slides and the river rapids, and trying not to drown when the waves came on; they were huge!
We hired bikes, which was a lot of fun since none of us had ridden one in years! It was very hard going up all of the many hills and slopes of Centerparcs on them, but much easier whizzing back down them, I had forgotten how much fun bike riding could be.
We saw a lot of wildlife; there were squirrels everywhere!…