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Showing posts from 2018

WEP August - Change of Heart

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So I actually wrote this piece for April's WEP, but I was ill so didn't get to post it in the end. I'm quite glad, as it suits this month's theme so much more.



Change of Heart
‘Are you ready for this?’ Paul asked.
Brian nodded, trying to steady his shaking hands.
‘You’re the only one who can defeat him,’ Molly said. ‘We believe in you.’ She stepped back to join Paul.
Brian balled his fists as he looked at the huge stone doors before him. He took a deep breath and pushed them open.
Before the doors closed, Brian glimpsed Paul and Molly turn and begin to walk away.
It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness inside. With a whispered word he created light in the palm of his hand, raising it so it would light up the room. It was empty apart from another doorway, much smaller than the first, hidden away in the corner. Brian marched through it and found himself in a large chamber, lit by many flickering candles mounted along the walls. Someone stood at the end of…

Celebrate the Small Things

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop 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:
- We're due thunderstorms today, which I really hope come! At the time of writing (Thursday evening) I can hear the distant rumbles of thunder, but no rain as of yet. It's been far too hot for far too long - here in England we're just not equipped to deal with extreme heat (or extreme any kind of weather, really). Roll on winter! I've been glad to go to work just for the air conditioning! 
- I went to the gym on Monday and Wednesday this week, and will be going tonight as well - that's more in a week than I've gone all year. I will make it a habit!

Weekly Rundown -18th July 2018

Here's what I've been up to this week:

Listening to:
Music - I had my first listen through of Bullet for my Valentine's new album the other day - it sounded good.
Audiobook - Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I'm just over half way through, and enjoying it so far.

Reading: Less by Andrew Sean Greer - this book caught my eye in Waterstones the other day, and I'm enjoying it so far.
Writing: Besides this blog post? Not a whole lot at the moment, but I am looking at writing some short stories soon, and will definitely be making some headway on my WIP.

Cooking: I made spaghetti bolognese the other day, which was lovely, and we've also been eating salmon traybake, hot dogs and steak.

Baking: I'll be making rhubarb crumble today, one of my favourites.
Loving: The torrential rain we had on Monday night - Jamie and I were hanging out of the bedroom window to feel it; it's the first rain we've seen in about a month, which is very unusual for the UK! Back to glorious …

Weekly Rundown - 10th July 2018

It's been a while since I've done a weekly rundown post, but I do enjoy documenting what I'm up to every week, so here goes:

Listening to: 
Music - Five Finger Death Punch have a new album out, which I'm enjoying a lot. It's nice to have something new to listen to.
Audiobook Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I've wanted to try out Dan Brown for a while, and I'm finding it alright so far.

ReadingEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I'm loving this book so far, Eleanor is such an intriguing character and I can't wait to discover what actually happened to her in her past.

Watching: I'm still rewatching Lost with Jamie (we're on the last season now)and I've also been rewatching How I Met Your Mother (which I love except for the very last episode) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
As for new shows, I watched the first season of 13 Reasons Why with my mum over the last couple of weeks - I really enjoyed it, so much so that I went out…

IWSG - July 2018

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The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.

It's been a long time since I last posted, back in April. I really can't believe it's July already; this year so far seems like it's been both really short and really long.
There are a few reasons why I've been absent for so long; I've had a few health issues, nothing serious but it's been one illness after another this year. Then I was in a car accident in May, thankfully Jamie and I came out unhurt, but the car spent a month getting repaired. We've also been house hunting this year, we found two houses we really wanted but unfortunately both fell through. 
So, overall, it's been a bit of a rough year, and because of this I haven't got much writing done. However, I'm an optimistic person and I'm hopeful that the worst is over, so it's time to get back in the habit of …

Celebrate the Small Things - April 12th

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop 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've spent quite a lot of time working on my novel this week. I'm starting to get into the habit of writing every day, which is fantastic! I just need to get into the habit of blogging more often now.
- I found out a couple of weeks ago that I'm deficient in iron and vitamin B12, so I've been taking iron supplements and getting B12 injections. I'm starting to feel better, which is great; I didn't realise just how many problems it can cause if you're lacking in them!
- I made some banana muffins over the weekend which were lovely, and then cherry scones on Wednesday for a buffet at work - I haven't baked properly in so long, and it was lovely to do it again. There's nothing like the taste of something home-made.

IWSG - April 2018

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For anyone who doesn't know, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.

April 4th question - When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?
As I write this post, it's pouring with rain outside - how apt! 
Whenever the negative thoughts begin to creep in, I try to remind myself of the reason I began to write in the first place - because I love it. I love stories, whether I'm reading them, playing them, listening to them or writing them. 
If ever I have doubts about a story I'm writing, I remind myself of the first time that idea appeared in my mind; the excitement, the rush of feelings, thoughts and ideas as the story began to take shape in my head. I look through the notebook I used in the early days of the idea, at the pages and pages of notes hastily scribbled as I tried to get the wo…

Goals for April

Here's how I did on my March goals:
- Start edits on first draft - I really enjoyed working on my novel, far more than I thought I would back when I read it. I've managed to put all my scenes in order, and re-write my scene list, including additional scenes I needed to make the story flow better. Next stop, rewrites!

- 2 x blog posts a week - I still haven't managed to get back into the habit of blogging regularly. I've been mostly focusing on my novel this month; once again I'm guilty of giving myself too many goals. 
- Visit other blogs twice a week - Same as above.

- Visit the gym at least once a week - I haven't been feeling great lately, and just found out why last week. It's nothing serious, but it explains why I've been so tired over the last few months. Anyway, because of this I haven't been going to the gym regularly, but that will change from this week.

- Write a meal plan every Sunday - I've succeeded in writing a meal plan for every week …

Celebrate the Small Things - March 23rd

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop 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've started my edits properly this week, and I'm really enjoying them! I've updated my scene list, and figured out where I need to add/remove/change a scene, which is something I've needed to do for a long time. Next on the list is to update my character profiles. 
- It was officially the first day of spring on Wednesday! You can't really tell at the moment; we're still due some snow over Easter, but it's light for longer and the sun shines occasionally, so it shouldn't be too much longer before we get some warmer weather. Winter is my favourite season, but it does get to a point (usually around now) when I just want it to get warmer.

Weekly Rundown - March 22nd

Sorry for the lack of posts last week, it was my mum's birthday on Monday and mine on Tuesday, so 6 of us went away for the week to celebrate. 
Listening to:
Music
: I'm currently listening to the new Trivium album, since I'll be seeing them again in April. Can't wait!
Audiobook: On Writing by Stephen King - this has been on my 'to read' list ever since I started writing, and it's not disappointing me so far. It's really interesting hearing about his early forays into writing, and how he got where he is now.

Reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - this was a birthday gift, and I'm enjoying it so far. It's one of the classics that I've wanted to read for a long while now.

Watching: Jamie and I are still making our way through Lost, although over the weekend I was in the mood for a change so watched a few of my favourite movies - Get Over It and Bring It On were watched for the hundredth time, and Saved too. All guilty pleasures of mine!

Feeli…

IWSG - March 2018

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For anyone who doesn't know, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.

I finally managed to read through the first draft of my NaNo novel! I mentioned last month that I'd been struggling to read it since I wrote it last July, but this month I just made myself do it. 
Now that I've done that, I get to do the fun part - edits!
This month's optional question is: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?
I have a few ways that I celebrate achieving a goal, and they mostly involve just enjoying myself or giving myself a treat.
When I finished reading my first draft, for example, I spent a couple of hours playing on The Sims 4, which is a great way to have fun and relax. Reading a book and watching TV are other ways to celebrate - sometimes after working on my own stories it's nice to lose myself in someone else's! …

Goals for March

I didn't do very well at all on my February goals; I was a lot busier than I'd expected to be, so didn't have a whole lot of time to get things done. Here's how I did:
- Finish reading my NaNo draft - This was my main goal for February, and I did it! I finally finished reading through my first draft, which means I can now start edits.

- Write and publish WEP entry - I half completed this one - I wrote a story for the challenge, but I really didn't like what I'd come up with and didn't have a lot of time to edit it, so didn't end up posting.

- Read/listen to 4 books - I didn't manage this one either, I only finished two books in February.

- 2 x blog posts a week - I think I managed one blog post a week, which isn't as bad as it could have been.

- Visit blogs twice a week - 
I hardly visited any blogs this month, which really is terrible. I'm struggling to get back into the habit of visiting other blogs regularly, but I know that it's an import…

Souper Blog Hop

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As soon as I saw the theme for this blog hop, I knew exactly which soup I was going to use for it; my absolute favourite chicken noodle soup. I've been making it for a few years now, and it's still up there as one of my all time favourite meals. 
It's really simple to make, too; chopped carrot and celery, thyme, salt and pepper, chicken stock which you use to poach the chicken, then take it out, shred it and put it back, add some noodles then parsley to garnish and you're done. 
Of course, it's best served with a couple of warm buttered rolls, as shown in the picture below.












BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the r…

Weekly Rundown - February 14th

Listening to:
Music: I'm not getting too much music listened to at the moment - my mum started working where I do a few weeks ago, so we've been travelling to work together and that's when I got most of my music listened to. I haven't yet listened to the new Trivium album all the way through, which is terrible because they're one of my favourite bands, so that's next on my list.
Audiobook: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater - I've been listening to this for a couple of weeks now, more because I haven't had a lot of time to listen than because it's not good.

Reading: Mythos by Stephen Fry - Again, I've been reading this for a couple of weeks. I'm really enjoying it, it's Greek myths as I've never read them before!


Watching: Jamie and I have been watching Lost, which is one of those shows which is kind of overshadowed by its ending - you forget how good it is until you watch it again.


Feeling: Determined. I finally joined a gym last week (which w…

Celebrate the Small Things - February 8th

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop 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:
- Although I had a great week off last week, it was nice to go back to work on Monday - I like being in a routine. 
- I shared my insecurities regarding my WIP on Wednesday, and got some great feedback which should help me get through them. Thanks to everyone who visited and commented!
- Music! It really is fantastic inspiration. I can get lost on Youtube for so long just listening to random songs, going from one video to the next.

IWSG - February 2018

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For anyone who doesn't know, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.

Last July, I wrote a novel for Camp NaNoWriMo. I got the idea for the novel earlier in the year, and I absolutely loved it - I was more excited about it than I had ever been for any other idea.
So, over the course of one month I wrote the first draft. 
Besides printing it out and reading the first couple of chapters, I haven't touched it since.
I really hate reading my early drafts. I know that first drafts are pretty much always terrible but that doesn't make it any easier to read my terrible writing! I also know that in order to start edits on the story and therefore make it better, I need to read it.
This has always been my pitfall - I write the first draft, and then nothing. I'm determined to get this story finished, to make it the best it can be; I just have to read the …

Goals for February 2018

I had a fairly good month in January, considering I didn't actually make any goals for it.

Here are my goals for February:

- Finish reading my NaNo draft - This has been haunting me since I wrote the first draft back in July for Camp NaNo - I can't believe I still haven't read it. I'm determined to get it read this month so I can start edits.

- Write and publish WEP entry - This month's theme is "In Too Deep" and I'm looking forward to writing something. I missed the December challenge, so it's been a while.

- Read/listen to 4 books - I'm ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge at the moment, and I'd like to keep it that way.

- 2 x blog posts a week - there was only one week in January that I didn't put two blog posts up, which I think is pretty good.

- Visit blogs twice a week - A huge part of blogging is visiting other blogs, and that's the part where I'm failing at the moment. I say I don't have the time, but that's not t…

Celebrate the Small Things - 2nd February

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop 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:
- It's February! January really does seem to go on for so long; Christmas seems like it was ages ago!
- I've had this week off work, and it's been lovely - I haven't got much done, but that's OK because I wasn't really planning on doing much. It's been nice just having a break from work, not having to worry about what time I get up or go to bed. 
- Banana baked oats - this is my favourite breakfast at the moment, but it takes 40 minutes to cook so sometimes I don't have time to make it. I've had it every day this week since I've not been at work, and it's been lovely every day. 
- My mum, her partner and I took their dog to the beach at the weekend - my mum and I always take him on long walks at the weekend down a country track near her h…

Weekly Rundown - January 31st

Listening to:
Music:
My usual playlist on Spotify.
Audiobook:Linger by Maggie Stiefvater - I finally finished Shiver, which actually had a pretty good ending. I've just started Linger, which is the second in the series.
Reading:Mythos by Stephen Fry - My mum got me this for Christmas, and I'm really enjoying it. It's basically a modern retelling of the Greek myths, written in a way I can actually understand. I would recommend to anyone who loves the myths like I do.


Watching: I'm still working my way through Friends, and I'm also watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia with Jamie. We also started watching Lost again from the beginning last night, which was fun.


Feeling: Relaxed. I'm off work this week; it's so nice to have a break.


Cooking: Because I'm not at work this week, I've been able to have my favourite breakfast every day, which is banana baked oats. You mix a mashed banana, some oats, baking powder, yoghurt and an egg and bake it for 40 m…

Celebrate the Small Things - 19th January

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Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop 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:
- It's been a little less hectic at work this week, which has been nice. I've only got next week then I'm off for a week, and I can't wait; I might just sleep all week!
- Long winter walks - my mum has a dog, and I try to walk him with her every weekend. We take him down the old train line near her house, and he absolutely loves it. I just love wrapping myself up warm ready to brave the elements, and sometimes it's nice to get outside for a while, even if the weather isn't ideal.
- I had a movie day with my sister and some friends on Sunday, and we watched Inside Out and Zootropolis - I really enjoyed both films, and it was nice to spend time with my friends.

Weekly Rundown - January 17th

Listening to:Music: My usual rock/metal playlist in the car, and while doing housework.
Audiobook:Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I haven't got through much more of this, it still hasn't really gripped me.

Reading: I'm still reading my illustrated copy of Harry Potter: A History of Magic - it's taking me longer to get through than Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, purely because there's a lot more information in it. I'm enjoying it immensely, and learning a lot about history.

Watching:
I've got two more episodes of Dirk Gently Season 2 to get through - it's just as addictive as season 1 was, which is why I'm still baffled as to why it's been cancelled. It's on Netflix if anyone wants to give it a go!


Cooking: I made leek and potato soup in my soup maker last night, and took some into work with me for lunch today. It tasted lovely, and my co-workers kept commenting on how nice it smelled, so I'd say it was a success. Soups are my favourit…

Celebrate the Small Things

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

It's been such a long while since I participated in this blog hop! I've missed it; even the smallest things should be celebrated.
Here's what I'm celebrating this week:
- This is my third blog post this week! I'm determined to get back into the blogging habit, and so far it's going well. Not only have I written and posted three posts this week, I've also visited other blogs and left comments (something I've gotten very bad at lately)
- Apps! I've downloaded two new apps this week. The first is a health app called Lose it, which I'm using to monitor what I'm eating. It's really helpful, as it shows how many calories are in everything I eat, and how many calories I should be eating in a day. It also monitors my steps, which is always interesting to see. 
The other app is called aNot…

Weekly Rundown

I've wanted to do a regular blog post like this for a while, and what better time to start than in the new year? 
Basically every Wednesday I'll post what I'm up to that week. I've seen a few people post regular "Currently" posts, and this will be a lot like that. I'll update you on my writing, my reading, my goals (monthly and annual) and my life. 
This week I'm:
Listening to: Music: The Pitch Perfect 3 Soundtrack. I've seen the film twice in the cinema already (With a friend and my mum, and because it's awesome). The majority of music that I listen to falls into the rock/metal classification, so it's nice to listen to something a little lighter every once in a while. Audiobook:Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I've been listening to this for a couple of weeks now; it hasn't really gripped me yet.
Reading: My lovely new illustrated Harry Potter books; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which I finished yesterday) and A History of Ma…

New Year Goals

I know that New Year's Resolutions are a cliche, but I still love to have them. I think it's important to have something to aim for, even if you don't keep them up as well as you'd like.

So, here are my goals for the upcoming year:

- To get back into the habit of blogging regularly - I haven't blogged regularly in a very long time, and it makes me sad - it used to be such a big part of my life and now it's fallen by the wayside. I'm determined to get myself back into the habit of blogging regularly - maybe not every day, but every other day at least. I have plans already for the posts I want to do - I'd like to put up at least two posts a week, preferably three, and they'll be a combination of blog hops, lifestyle posts, posts about my writing, short stories and book reviews.

- To read 45 books - for the last few years I've set a Goodreads challenge to read 50 books a year, and for the last couple I haven't reached that goal. I've changed …

IWSG - January 2018

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For anyone who doesn't know, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.

So this month's question is: What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?
So, despite the fact that I was in a much better job last year, and had much more free time, I still didn't get a lot of writing done. I managed to do my 50,000 words for Camp NaNo, but it all kind of fell apart after that.
My blogging hasn't been much better - my only regular blog posts are the Celebrate the Small Things posts I take part in on a Friday, but even then I haven't done one of those in about a month.
But new year, new start! I know it's a cliché, but I really do think this is a good time of year for a fresh start, and to make new resolutions.
So that leads me back to the original question; the first step I'll be taking wi…