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Showing posts from 2016

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.


This week I'm celebrating: 
- I had a fantastic Christmas! The week leading up to it was pretty hectic; I had three Christmas cakes to decorate and all my presents to wrap all while I was working every night. I was glad when Christmas Day arrived just for the rest! Here are the cakes I made:
My cake
My Mum's cake
My Dad's cake
I'm pretty proud of them, considering I didn't have as much time as I'd have liked to decorate them! 
- I had my last night at work last night! I start my new job next Thursday, and I can't wait! 
- I'm visiting friends for New Year, which I'm really looking forward to.

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- It's my sister's birthday today, and I stayed over at hers on Wednesday night to celebrate, since she has to work today. We made a chocolate cake, which she insisted on decorating with a smiley face, then I took her shopping and bought her two pairs of boots. Here's the cake:

- I started watching something called Izombie on netflix last week, and I've finished it already; it's so good! I really wasn't expecting very much from it, I don't know if it was the name or the fact that it's yet another programme about zombies, but I was pleasantly surprised. I'd recommend it to anyone, it's a fantastic show and I can't wait for the next season in April! 
- I've got most of my Christmas shopping done now; just a couple more bits to get, then I can get s…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- I put two of my Christmas trees up this week (still got one more to do) so the house is looking super christmassy, which I love! This is my absolute favourite time of year. Here's my main Christmas tree in the living room, with a few presents already waiting underneath it!


 - It's the Christmas market in Beverley on Sunday, so I'm looking forward to going and getting even more in the Christmas spirit! 

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- I went to the cinema with Jamie yesterday, we went to see an anime film called "Your Name". It was really good, it was only showing once, so I'm glad we booked seats! 
- I'm on nights now until I start my new job, so this week I'm celebrating sleep! I'm struggling to sleep during the day, and I'm so tired. Hopefully I'll get used to it soon!

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating something big; I got a new job! I applied for it about a month ago, when I was in the midst of my 60 hour weeks at work, and about two hours after applying I heard back. I went to a group interview, then an individual interview, and I found out on Wednesday that I got the job! I really didn't think I would get it, because a lot of people applied, so I'm ecstatic. 
The job is at a newspaper office in my city, and it's for a company that owns over 200 publications in the UK. I start in January, and I can't wait! 
What are you celebrating this week?

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- I got my new contract at work, and it's great! 37 hours spread across 4 days, which is perfect. I'll probably pick up an extra day as overtime, too. 
- I went to Meadowhall (a large shopping centre in Sheffield) on Wednesday, and actually started my Christmas shopping. I've still got a lot to do, but it's nice to have it started. 
- I had a Gingerbread Frappuccino from Starbucks when I went to Meadowhall, and it was amazing! I definitely need to have more of those before the season ends.

Goals for November

So I only had three goals for October, and here's what they were:

- Write a story for WEP- Write an entry for Spooktoberfest - Write an entry for the IWSG anthology contest
I had a much better month in October than I did in November! I did all my planning and even an outline for my IWSG story, I just ran out of time to write it! It's a shame, but I'm still glad that I managed to get the other two stories written and up on my blog. 

Here are my goals for November:
- Read 4 books - I'm getting behind in my Goodreads challenge, and I can't let that happen - I'm only 11 books away from completing it! Since my hours at work have now dropped down (from 50+ to 32!) I should get plenty of reading time. I've also started taking my book to work and reading on my breaks, so I should definitely get there. 
- Write the IWSG story - Even though I'm too late to participate, I still want to write my story. It's a prequel to the novel that I'm working on, showing t…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.


- I'm celebrating something huge this week; I've finally stepped down at work! I was a section leader but I've stepped down to just a normal colleague, which means less hours, actually knowing when I'm going to finish my shifts, and much much less stress. I've done three shifts as a normal colleague so far and I'm loving it; I can just go in, do my job and leave. It's great not having to worry about work all of the time.  - My Halloween stories did well; my Spooktoberfest entry was one of the winners, and my WEP piece got an Encouragement award. I'm very happy with that; these are the first pieces of writing I've done in a long time. There'll be a lot more to come now that I've stepped down!

IWSG - November

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Today's question is: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

This is a difficult question, there are so many things I love about being a writer! One of the best things is when you read something that you've written, and you can't quite believe that you wrote it. That's when it all becomes worth it; all the time and effort that you put into it.

Another great thing is when you get positive feedback from people who have read your writing; it's all very well and good when you like your own writing, but when other people like it, there's no other feeling like it in the world.


I'm feeling pretty good about my writing at the moment; I got two Halloween stories written and up on my blog in the last couple of weeks, and I got great feedback on both. I didn't manage to get my story written for the IWSG anthology, which I'm really disappointed about, but I just didn't have the time. I'm still going to write the story though; it's a prequel…

Spooktoberfest 2016

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It's time for the 5th annual Spooktoberfest, hosted once again by Dani and Jax from Cover Girls. There's still time to enter - the bloghop is open until Friday.


Here's my submission, coming in at 336 words. 
Arise
The moonlight shone on the smooth black of the coffin, laid open by the side of the grave. The body, a mere skeleton now, lay on the long grass next to the weathered stump of a tombstone, the skull grinning up at the cluster of men gathered around it. A broken machete lay next to the bones, dusty and worn from it’s long incarceration under the ground.

The only sounds were the whispering of cloaks as they slithered along the forest floor, as the men encircled the lone grave. They began to chant in a language long forgotten, known only to those who passed it down, generation to generation, waiting for this day to come.

For the rise of their god.

A wind blew through the clearing, tearing through the grass, blowing down the hoods of the chanting men, but they ignored …

Self-help 101 blog tour: L.G. Keltner Guest Post

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I've got L. G. Keltner on my blog today, as a part of the blog tour for her most recent release, the third book in her 'Self-help 101' series.

Reasons Why I, As a Writer, Love Halloween
Writers are an odd bunch.  There’s no denying it.  We throw ourselves whole-heartedly into new worlds and new lives when we set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  We spend vast chunks of time coming up with combinations of words that we hope will enthrall readers by pulling them into these worlds we struggled so hard to create.
Halloween is an odd holiday.  It’s filled with costumes and spooky tales and infinite possibilities.  This is a time when we have the excuse to let our inner child out to play.  There are no creative limits.  
It only makes sense that odd people and odd occasions go together beautifully.  As a writer, I revel in Halloween and all it has to offer.  Here are only a few reasons why I, like many writers, love Halloween.
1.  Halloween is one of the only times where the wo…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.


This week I'm celebrating:
- I finished my entry for the WEP Blog-hop and put it up on my blog yesterday. I didn't get to spend a lot of time working on it, certainly not as much as I would have liked, but I think it turned out OK. Click here to take a look!
- Porridge with nutella stirred into it - divine! Perfect for cold autumn mornings. 
- Hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows - another thing that's perfect for colder weather. 
- I dug out all of my Halloween decorations on Sunday - they're mostly candle holders and things, but they look great and they've helped get me into the Halloween spirit!

WEP Halloween

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I haven't taken part in WEP for ages, but I just had to take part this month; I love writing scary stories for Halloween! I haven't had as much time to work on this story as I would have liked, but it's turned out OK, I think.



Unrest in Peace
I wake to a loud bang above my head. I open my eyes to darkness; squinting, my eyes adjust, and I see thin slivers of light shining through small gaps in the surface directly above me. It’s so close I can touch it. I reach up with my arms, and press my palms against the rough surface; wood. My heart begins to pound; where am I?

I lean up on my elbows and press my eye to one of the gaps in the wood, but all I see is light. I lie back down and feel around me; I’m in a wooden box, not much larger than my body. I press my palms against the lid and push; it doesn’t budge. My breath comes in short bursts as I scratch at the lid, ignoring the stabs of pain from splinters burrowing under my fingernails. I start banging on the wood, my heart p…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- I had a great weekend off, I spent the Saturday just chilling out with my mum, then on Sunday we went to spend the day with my sister. 
- I had a lot of family time this week; my dad came over on Wednesday and we went out for lunch to a Caribbean restaurant, and it was lovely. I don't get to see my dad very often, so it was nice. 
- I've done a lot of planning this week for my Halloween stories, and I can't wait to write them! It's been great actually planning new stories again.

Goals for October

I wanted to post this up last week, but work was crazy so I decided on this week instead.

Here's how I did on my September goals:

- Spend half an hour a day blogging - Nope, definitely not. I'm working on cutting down my hours at work, but until that happens this goal will be impossible to achieve!

- Finish my outline - Another definite nope - I doubt very much that I'll be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, which is disappointing! Hopefully I'll be able to take part next year.

- Read 4 books - The easiest goal to achieve, and I still didn't manage it. Work has been super crazy the last few weeks, and I'm happily anticipating the day that my hours get cut down. I'm not sure when this is going to be, but it should be soon. 

Here's hoping I do better on my goals for October! Here they are:
- Write stories for WEP, Spooktoberfest and the IWSG anthology contest! 
That's it for this month, since it'll be a major achievement to churn out three storie…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.


This week I'm celebrating:
- It was Jamie's birthday on Monday, so we celebrated by having a takeaway and watching the latest Captain America movie. I made him a red velvet cake, too, which was lovely. 
- Yesterday I handed my notice in at work to step down from the role I'm currently in. The 50-60 hour weeks are just getting too much for me to handle, so it looks like I'll be going back down to being contracted just 25 hours a week. It'll be a struggle financially, and I'll have to pick up overtime to combat that, but it'll give me more time to do the things I love, like blogging and writing, that I just don't get time for at the moment. It'll also be better for my health and well-being; doing that amount of hours for so long has left me so exhausted.

IWSG - October

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So this month's question is: When do you know your story is ready?

This isn't a brilliant question for me, because I've never finished a novel. I've been working on one for a good couple of years now, but because of my hectic work schedule it's still in the early stages.

Still, I've written plenty of short stories and pieces of flash fiction, and I suppose I know when one of my stories are ready when I can't do anything else to it to make it better. It's hard to explain; I just kind of know, and that's when it's done. However, there are plenty of pieces that I've thought were finished, then gone back to months later and done more work on. It's a difficult question!


So this month I'm quite insecure because I want to take part in three separate things (WEP's Halloween blog hop, Spooktoberfest and the IWSG anthology contest) and so far I haven't done much work on the stories I want to write. I've done a lot of planning for …

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- I made some soda bread on Sunday, and it was delicious! I've wanted to branch out into bread-making for a long time, and I'm glad I've finally made something, even if it is an easy bread to make (it uses buttermilk and baking powder instead of yeast).
- I spent my day off yesterday just watching TV with my mum, and it was lovely. Sometimes it's nice to just stay at home! 

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

Here's what I'm celebrating this week: 
- I had a great time celebrating my Dad's birthday last weekend. My sister and I took him for a meal, and it was lovely. 
- I came up with an idea for the IWSG anthology contest - I had a little spare time on Sunday, so I sat down to plan and got quite a lot done in the hour or so that I was writing. I can't wait to start writing it! 
- I made some banana bread on Wednesday, and it was lovely. I like to spread Nutella on it, yum!

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.


This week I'm celebrating:
- I spent the day with my friends from university on Tuesday; it was really hot weather, so we spent the day in the park. It was a lot of fun.
- I bought two new recipe books on Tuesday, too; a bread baking one, and a cake baking one. I've got so many cake recipe books already, but I couldn't resist! As for the bread one, I've been wanting to branch out to bread-making for the longest time, so hopefully now I will! 
- It's my weekend off, thank goodness; work has been crazy lately. I'm going to my hometown tomorrow to spend some time with my Dad, since it was his birthday yesterday, so that should be fun.

Cover reveal: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People by L. G. Keltner

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Today I'm helping out L. G. Keltner with the cover reveal for her new release, Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People. I just started reading the first book in the series, and I'm really enjoying it.

Here's the cover:


Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.
Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time. She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world. Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.
Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her. Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong. Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.
Dani’s …

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating: 
- Being a part of the IWSG again! 
- I've put three blog posts up this week, for the first time in about a year! It feels great to be blogging properly again. I've blogged every day this week after work, and I've loved every minute of it. I feel like part of the community again. 
- My mum's coming round today, and we're going to have a relaxing day baking and watching Orange is the New Black - I need it, work has been awful this week!

IWSG - September

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It's been ages since I wrote an IWSG post, but it's one of the things I miss most about blogging!

I love that there's now a question every month; I always felt like I was writing the same thing every time.

So, this month's question is:

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?
My honest answer to this is, at the moment I don't. This is one of my major insecurities right now; I'm working 50-60 hours a week, and when I get home I'm so exhausted all I want to do is watch TV. However, I'm determined to change this; I need to get back into the habit of writing in any spare moment I have. If I keep pushing it back, and waiting until I actually want to write, or have a lot of spare time to do so, I'll never get myself back into the habit. 
So, my plan is this; I need to manage my time better. I'll set aside time every single day, whether it's half an hour or an hour, purely to write. Anything counts, as long as I'm writing; blog pos…

Goals for September

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Not such a good month in August! I was away in Greece for the start of it, and I've been super busy at work since I got back. I haven't actually completed any of my goals for August! However, I'm hoping to move onto a different department at work, where I should be working less hours; I should find out about this some time this week. If this happens, I'll have a lot more time for blogging, writing and reading.

So, these were my goals for August:

- Spend half an hour each day blogging - Although I didn't quite manage half an hour every day, I have been blogging more. I've visited other people's blogs more this month than I have for a long time, so I'm working my way up to half an hour a day.

- Finish my outline - This one I haven't done simply because the outline needs quite a lot of work; I've reached a point where I need to completely change part of it, and I need a large block of time in which to do it.

- Spend two hours a week writing - Once aga…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:
- Pinterest! I just discovered it this week, and I can't believe it's taken me so long! It's already given me so much inspiration, I would recommend it to anyone, no matter what your hobby is. Here is the link to my profile, it's a bit jumbled at the minute because I'm literally pinning everything in sight! 
- I had a fantastic time with my friends at the weekend; the city we usually meet at (Lincoln) was holding a Steampunk festival. I didn't even know those existed! We've all decided that next year we'll attend again, but we're going to dress up! 
- I'm steadily making my way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for about the 10th time) and I read one of my favourite chapters this week; Godric's Hollow. I just think the part with Harry in…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating: 
- I found my Star Wars box set, so I've watched episodes 4, 5 and 6 this week. I love those films! I've been looking for the box set since I moved house in March. Going to watch The Force Awakens again sometime this weekend. 
- I have this weekend off, and I'm going to spend Saturday with my friends from uni; it should be a lot of fun! 
- The Great British Bake Off is back on TV! It's one of my favourite things to watch, and it makes me want to bake so much!

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.


This week I'm celebrating:
- I went out with Jamie on Wednesday; we don't get too many days off together, so I thought we'd take advantage of this one. We went for a carvery (do you have those in America? You get a choice of meat, like roast beef, turkey, gammon or pork, and then you serve yourself whatever veggies you want, and of course stuffing, yorkshire puddings and gravy). I've wanted one ever since I came back from Greece, so I'm glad we finally got around to it! Plus, I got an awesome dessert:

A Strawberry Shortcake Sundae; it was delicious! 
- I had a productive day off yesterday; I finally put up my Greece post, with lots of pictures (click here to take a peek), then I got another couple of pages done on the outline for my 2013 NaNo novel. I've hit a tricky part with it now; there's a w…

Rhodes 2016

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So as most of you know, I recently spent a couple of weeks in Rhodes, Greece. I had an absolutely fantastic time; I can't wait to go again next year. I thought I'd share some pictures of my time there.

The bay of Lindos, seen from the Acropolis, a 5 minute drive from where we stayed in Pefkos.
The Acropolis

The hot, hot sun shining on me at the Acropolis

We saw a snake, right outside our hotel - the first wild one any of us had seen in person (they're not so common here in England)
We couldn't let the trip go by without a visit to the Crepe House! That's my lovely sister Katie in the picture.
Rhodes Old Town





My sister (right) and I in front of a fountain in Rhodes Old Town
Here are a couple of pictures taken from a boat off the coast of Rhodes Town.




Here are a few photos taken from our day trip to the other side of the island, where we visited Butterfly Valley and the ancient city of Kamiros:

It's much greener on the other side of Rhodes island, and a little c…