Thursday, 16 July 2015

Gentle nudge - 50 things that make me happy...

Totals...Twitter 2 so far this morning - obviously only because I am avoiding doing anything actually status update but many comments on friends threads once again a ploy to avoid any actual work!...Actual productive writing...nothing (hangs head in shame) studying and wedding planning eating all of my time.
Cups of coffee...2...cupcake...1 (home made gluten free with mini dinosaurs on it!!)
Mostly on Spotify this morning...Birdie, James Bay, John Mayer.

So in an attempt to once again re-kindle my motivation for blogging I have been sent a proverbial kick up the rear by a friend , thank you so much! But here goes with my list...
Archie invasion
Milo rocking his bow tie
1. I am going to steal this one! (sorry Peach!) but my pets no matter what the day brings they can make you smile in an instant! Archie (the tabby) thinks that my writing cave is his own and that when I enter it gives him licence to lay across everything ensuring that nothing actually gets done. The fact that he is currently asleep gives me chance to do this!

My Dad
Me and my fiancée!
2. My family, friends  and my husband to be!
I don't have many family members that live close by apart from 
My Mum and Milo
an aunt, uncle and cousin the remainder of my family live
in Devon. Since moving here I have made some amazing friends and they fulfil the role of surrogate family and I truly value the friendships made.  But I don't think I have really appreciated how far away my family live, that is until recently on one of my many  'Bridezilla' mega meltdowns! The fact that by default I get to become part of another amazing family very soon makes me feel really happy.

3. PENGUINS!!! obviously! I can't help it and think as the years pass I may actually love these little creatures even more, and besides my pets they also have the ability to make me smile even on the most rubbish of days!

4. Baking.
There is nothing better than coming home from a stressful day than baking, at the moment I am trying to perfect my decorating skills in readiness for tackling our wedding cake for October. I guess I am basically a feeder, but people seem to like my cakes and I get the practice - what's not to love?!

 5. The Water, growing up almost a stones throw away from some of the most amazing beaches in the UK I think I was spoilt, so nothing makes me happier than being next to the sea or any body of water. I could sit for hours and am sad that
I haven't done that as much as I would have liked recently. Definitely something I intend to change.

6. Norwich, my new (or not so new) town. I have been reliably informed that you do not become a native until you have lived in Norfolk for 30 years + so having been here for a little over five years I guess I have a way to go yet!

7. My paid  job, I guess I am in a lucky position in that I really enjoy the job I do and like Peach this is in the NHS and I feel privileged that I get to play a small part in our patients recovery.

8. My unpaid (at the moment!) job, as much as I hate to admit my writing has really taken a back seat to studying and wedding planning at the moment. My first novel has been completed for some time I am just waiting to finalise the cover then make the decision on self publishing or not. There is no doubt in my mind that I am a happier person when I make time to write so I am going to have to make a conscious effort to fit more in.

9. Making things, many of the things I have been making recently I can't post on here yet as they are top secret until the wedding, but making things remind me of my Nan who is sadly no longer with us. I always remember her making something!
Hummus & avocado waffle  
10. Books/reading, I can't believe I have not put this earlier but books make me really happy, I have a kindle ap - I don't have an actual kindle. I love books too much and guess it come down to wanting to see  my book in a physical form.
Chocolate mousse waffleyloviness

11. My writing cave, it's kind of my little sanctuary, no boys allowed!

12. New York - my favourite holiday ever, and hoping to go back in the new year.
13. Dinosaurs! I haver n no idea about the why or the origin of this but I am the proud owner of a triceratops called Trevor who sits on my bookshelf in my cave.

14. Fairy lights, not just at Christmas!

15. Tea, I drink lots.

16. Noodles made from courgettes my new favourite thing.

17. The Waffle House in Norwich.

18. Music, I can totally be without a television but would be miserable without music or a radio.

19. Wagamama's enough said!

20. Spin classes (needed to balance out the food!!) is it wrong to enjoy 45 minutes of being beasted by a fitness instructor?21. Walking home in the rain.

22. Snow.

23. The fact that I graduated completing a foundation degree while working full time and actually enjoyed studying!

24. Plymouth Hoe, one of my favourite places when I go home.

25.  Ice cream.

26. Getting my nails done.

27. Lazy days off with nothing planned.

28. Being spontaneous.

29. Crazy golf (my new favourite thing!)

30. My pj's!

31. Meeting and making new friends - took me a while when moving to a new place.

32. Old friends and the fact you may not speak often but when you do it's like nothing has changed.

33. Train rides.

34. Things that are spotty and meant to be that way!

35. Crazy cousins.

36. Unexpected gifts.

37. My Dad on Facebook.

38. Knitting - when its all going to plan.

39. My obsession with Ryan Reynolds (sorry David).

40. My obsession with Sandra  Bullock (not sorry!)

41. Not having to work nightshifts anymore.

42. Brussel sprouts

43. Yoga.

44. New notebooks and my fountain pen (normally means I have found some time to write).

45. Purple.

46. My bath tub its huge!

47. Laughing so much it makes you cry.

48. Covering my grey hair (thanks to my Dad's faulty genes)

49. Cinema trips.

50. Peach Jones the  person who nominated me  for this!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Epic fail!

I have to admit the title of this blog entry is largely based on my failure to keep my blog updated, I am almost tempted to delete the whole blog and start again to hide my embarrassment, however at least for now I will take a deep breath, shake my head ever so slightly and endeavour to turn over a new leaf - well in my blogging habits at least!

So the story since I last blogged...

New addition, in the form of Wilbur the hamster, new job moved house, moved in with a boy, more new additions - this time in the form of brothers Archie and Milo.
Milo steals Archie's food

Me and Deborah Harkness!
Got to meet the very lovely Deborah Harkness author of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of life an amazing trilogy. Not going to lie I loved the books so much that I was a little awestruck and Deborah couldn't have been more lovely. Even got a picture!  

Completed studies and graduated! Yay :)  Having not actually studied for a long time (writing fiction does not even compare!)  I am not going to lie this was challenging but we did it, and am actually proud of all of us and made some amazing friends on the way.

Graduation day was made even more special...
 ...and obviously it goes without saying there has been baking...

So the year ahead promises to be equally as busy, wedding planning, the cover for my first novel now underway and fingers crossed publication is not going to be too far away! Lets just hope I manage to blog a bit more!


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Real life...stranger than fiction.

Totals...Twitter 5 Tweets (even got a re-tweet!)... Facebook...two status in progress...actual productive writing of my novel... 1500 words after uni...Emails/text messages from mad cousin...none today (not sure she could keep up the pace!!)
Cups of coffee...2 Cupcakes ...0  (unless a raspberry muffin counts?!)
Music mostly on spotify today ...Aqualung, Tyrone Wells, U2.

To be honest it has taken me so long to actually get into my blog this evening due to computer gremlins I have kind of lost the plot! So lets start with some pretty pictures!!
One day a week at the moment I get to have away from my day job for the purpose of attending university, due to stupidness earlier in the year I have only attended twice before and both times it was grey and miserable and cold. Today however it was lovely and not raining and actually nice and warm (yes I was shocked too!). It made a nice change to be able to get out an about in the sunshine, even if we did have to sit in a classroom and learn about research for a bit! If this continues I think I may like being a student for a while.
The added bonus being that today when I got home, feeling inspired by the happy weather - instead of sitting in a quiet corner trying to digest the latest lesson I was actually able to spend a couple of hours writing book 3. It was also nice to sit down for a while having walked about 9 miles today!

It was from events that have happened recently that I decided on my title for today's blog. I like most of the world I can only imagine, have been gripped by events happening around the globe. Obviously the 
tragic events that have recently happened in Boston, as well as the all that is happening in Syria seem to be dominating the news. I have to admit I was pretty much glued to the news watching the events unfold in Boston and I suppose not having any direct connection it felt like watching a movie or TV programme, obviously I know it is real. It's just sad to think that there are people out there that think actions such as these are justified. It's not just events far away that have an unbelievable quality to them.                                                                 

A friend currently having a tough time informed me today about a situation they have found themselves in, they find it so incomprehensible (I hope they don't mind me quoting) that they stated "this could be a storyline from one of your books." Once they had finished I had to agree, not that I would use it - that would be mean but still sometimes things happening on our own doorstep can often be much more scary, upsetting or unbelievable than anything we can write in a book. Perhaps that is why there are so many genre's available, everyone needs to escape sometime and although there is a need for the serious literary works - the humorous or mystical can sometimes provide the light relief or escapism that we all need?
Providing my light relief today that I can actually put in print is my disastrous performance in the World Book Night quiz! I really need to hang my head in shame, especially at the James Bond round. The fact that I was practically dragged up on James Bond films (thanks Dad!) seems to mean that I have blocked any learnt James Bond trivia completely from my brain. I guess I was traumatised having to watch the films over and over, the funny thing is that I actually choose to watch the most recent ones and to my surprise really enjoy them. Perhaps this has more to do with Daniel Craig? It's certainly possible. In my team of two (apart from one other team of two who did come last, all the other teams had at least four and in some cases seven people in them) I am proud we to last by 2 points and that we only scored 2 points on the James Bond round - I even attempted to text my Dad (yes I am aware this is cheating) but he didn't answer so it wasn't much use to me tonight.
So I guess I have a year to expand my team, and I suppose my knowledge! The highlight of the evening was the book stash (see above) I came away with, I had to limit myself I couldn't carry anymore. But they may keep me going for a while and I even have my very own first James Bond book and I promise I will read it and a full book report!!

Monday, 8 April 2013


Totals...Twitter 0 Tweets (shocking!)... Facebook...none since 05/04! in progress...actual productive writing of my novel... 500 words before work (yes I am feeling very proud!)  Emails/text messages from mad just arrived (not read it yet but she's bound to be nagging me in there somewhere about blogging)
Cups of coffee...3 Cupcakes ...0
Music mostly on spotify today ...Lykke Li

Back to reality with a huge bump today, and I have to say am feeling a little grumpy for no reason. After weeks of being in limbo and pain and trying to get all of my holiday in before I lose it I finally went back to work properly today! I will be fine once I am in a routine I am sure but I kind of feel out of the loop, however one achievement to be proud of is the fact I managed 500 words before work this morning.
Perhaps my grumpiness is down to the lack of sugar - no cupcakes, obviously I need to bake!!!

Turns out I'm even angry at the kettle for not boiling quickly enough, perhaps a cheese and pickled onion sandwich will help?!

The past week has been interesting and challenging for many reasons, too numerous to talk about them all here. One of the more memorable my birthday and introduction to cherry beer! Amazing I had never tried this before and I don't especially like beer but this was great.  Having been disappointed that my first choice for birthday meal venue didn't actually let you book tables we went here to The Belgian Monk in Norwich instead. The beer menu fills a wall, so there is a few to chose from! Had an amazing time and the food was excellent - even as a vegetarian I had difficulty as there was so much to chose from, that definitely makes a change! I got totally spoilt and bought lots of books and got loads of fab presents to make so it was a great day.

On the writing front I decided that it was high time to book in the last section of my first book to be edited, it feels like I have been working on this forever and the stall is all my own doing I'm afraid. Its going to be a good feeling to have it completed whatever I decide to do with it afterwards. As well as this I got tonnes of writing done during my holiday so I think it may be time to think about a self imposed deadline perhaps I will think about that for a few days before I commit...who knows I may even be more cheerful then?!!

Monday, 1 April 2013


Totals...Twitter 0 Tweets (shocking!)... Facebook...1 status update in progress...actual productive writing of my novel... nothing today but I am thinking about it!  Emails/text messages from mad yesterday (think she's slipping!)
Cups of coffee...0 Cupcakes ...0 ( I am drinking red wine as I blog - I figure that along with the Easter Egg cancels out my lack of coffee and cupcakes?)
Music mostly on spotify today ...much randomness...Goldfrapp, Rita Ora, Over the Rhine, Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones.

So having saved my bed from the evil clutches of text books, yes this is really what my bed looks like most of the time when I am trying to study.
I am certain that things will only get worse as I continue my studies - to be fair when I am writing and editing it probably looks so much worse but I fear I may need a trolley to cart this lot back to the library.
Having been nagged (somewhat) and bullied (as much as I will let her get away with) I have returned to blog. I am not entirely convinced that my life is all that interesting to make excessive amounts of posts but I have promised to keep at it so I shall try.
From the picture above it is quite evident that for the last few weeks the majority of my reading materials have been somewhat dry, so it was time for some light relief. I was so pleased to get hold of my copy of  'Good Husband Material' by Trisha Ashley on Friday.
I came home that evening and didn't just start reading I can say hand on heart that I pretty much devoured it in one sitting - ignoring the phone, the pull of emails and everything else that easily manages to distract me and finished it all except a few pages - which I finished on Saturday.
Talking to a colleague about books we were attempting to recommend books to each other and got talking about Trisha Ashley's books which she described as the book equivalent of a cuddle! I love that - I think I may have to steal it. Certainly this book didn't disappoint and made me feel pretty good, so well done! The characters for the most part were very likable although I did want to get hold of James and give him a good shake - what an idiot ( I know that was kind of the point!) but it was a good mix of humour and moments that make you shake your head in disbelief and really what was needed after reading one too many text books. I only hope that as my writing progresses I am able to draw people in just as easily.

Once finished with the book I had to find something else to challenge my creativity as I just wasn't in the mood to write - so decided that my life would not be complete without cupcakes topped with penguins (obviously). I have yet to make the cakes or cake - its my birthday on Thursday so may just make myself a cake so
currently these little guys are living in my fridge. I need to make some more to add to the collection. I have a few days I am sure I still have plenty enough time to reenact the March of the Penguins. Not that I am obsessed (much).

The wine has clearly taken effect already and the title of today's blog so far bares no relevance to the content - just for a change. As I blogged last week about the challenges of 'pressing the button' and sending my writing off to be judged. In a moment of bravery I did it again this week and sent bood 2 off on its merry little way. I can only conclude that it means I am either feeling more confident about my writing or less precious - I am not entirely sure which is more true. I am sure other writers are the same, filled with self doubt, worried about being judged. But ultimately I am not too sure my aspiration of becoming a writer would be too successful it all I did on completion of my novels was to hide them under my bed, although it is a little tempting.

For the rest of this week I am now on leave from work (who wants to work on their birthday?) and work on my current project in between dragging my reluctant wobbly bits to the gym to get beasted. My next challenge to set a deadline for said project which is yet the untitled sequel to book 2 and over halfway written. I may have to ponder that for a while, perhaps after the wine has worn off.

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Push the button...

Totals...Twitter 1 Tweets (shocking!)... Facebook...1 status update in progress...actual productive writing of my novel... nothing today but 1500 words at the weekend! Did write 2000 word essay today does that count? Emails/text messages from mad cousin...1
Cups of coffee...2 Cupcakes ...0 (but I had some birthday cake see below...not my birthday but I made the cake)
Music mostly on spotify today ...James Morrison tonight.

So I guess I should start tonight with an apology to mad cousin that featured in previous blog. It seams she was a little perturbed at the picture of her stating 'it was a very flattering picture of me, NOT!' In my defence I am also in the picture and look just as good...NOT. It was cold and snowing and a few minutes after it was taken we couldn't actually see much more than a metre in front of us. I have also been reliably informed that unless I blog regularly I will receive regular emails nagging me until I do. I'm not entirely sure that my life is interesting enough to blog every day so I will have to wait and see if the emails arrive - incidentally I did receive one today. I'm not convinced she can keep it up.

So yesterday I did something very brave after I thought I'd done something very I guess I will start with the stupid.
Looking for book two to tweak a few more bits before I was as happy as I could be HUGE panic when I opened the file and the page was blank...Now I have done this before so I now save my writing in a few different places just in case, however on this occasion I had been editing said book and had not re-saved it in my usual places. Not good, I thought it was probably karma - the book is about a girl who is a little accident prone and to whom ridiculous things happening to her is a daily occurrence. Perhaps she was seeking revenge? I have to admit apart from tweeting about my stupidity (because obviously it seemed important at that moment in time to share my pain!) I did remain pretty calm. I even went and made a cup of tea!
The good news for whatever reason I did a few things with the computer - pretending I actually knew what I was doing...I didn't. But regardless I found it - my only conclusion that my computer had in fact eaten it just to mess with my head.
On finding it you could say I was a little happy, I have also now re-saved it in all of the various locations. I am sure that I have learnt my lesson now...until the next time.

So onto the brave...I am a relatively new writer so I am still very precious about letting my work go. It's very hard giving it over to someone to be judged, of course I am aware that this is a ridiculous notion when I am actually wanting to publish, have lots of people read my writing and can't wait for the day when I hold an actual published book with my name on the cover in my hand.
So why is it so hard to send it on its merry little way to try and raise some interest from a publisher?

I have no idea (answers on a postcard?) but I did it and pushed the send button then felt sick, excited, a bit more sick, nervous and a bit more excited.
The important thing is that I have done it and alongside I am sure hundreds if not thousands of others it awaits its fate, so I guess it is now a waiting game. I am sure I am not the only person to feel this way - its just hard to describe to people who have never done it!

I am sure that's enough rambling for tonight so I am going to leave you with something that made me laugh this evening.

I would just like to think that if my computer was a cat (just go with me on this for a moment) that this is how guilty it would look for causing me to panic about my lost book.

Bye for now!

Friday, 15 March 2013

...back to reality...again

Totals...Twitter 4 Tweets ... Facebook...1 status update in progress...actual productive writing of my novel (s)...possibly minus a few as am editing!
Cups of coffee...1 Cupcakes ...0 (but I am going to make some tomorrow!)
Music mostly on spotify today ...Neil Finn, Blondie, Nelly, and up next Freemasons, Kelly Clarkson, Natasha Bedingfield and Ellie Goulding (bit of a mixture!).

Wow two posts in a month that's not happened for a while!
So the past week or so have seen visits from the parents and one mad cousin who stayed with me for a few days. It was great fun and very welcome after feeling sorry for myself for weeks due to the stupidness of a trapped nerve in my neck! I am not sure I had laughed so much for a very long time.

This was helped a lot no doubt at my cousins enthusiasm for the snow that continued to fall - thank goodness as I had been on the receiving end of many texts earlier in the year with the ridiculous amount of snow that we had here when they had none in the south west, I think I was also accused at one point of 'stealing all the snow.'

There wasn't a huge amount of snow but it was enough to keep her happy for a while, and the picture to the right I have been reliably informed is a snow frog (!) this from someone with an art degree!!! I can confirm that her sculptures are much better than her snowy creation.
For some reason the whole visit she was obsessed with frogs to the point she had told me that I should write my next book about ghost frogs, not entirely sure where that would fit but I promised to keep it in mind. Who knows if a scene needs livening up I could always use a few ghost frogs (!).

Needless to say I had a great time and was sad to see her go home only to be followed a few days later by my parents, its great when they come to visit its just horrible when they go home again I am sure it feels worse every time.

In any case I didn't have too much time to think about it as I finally got the all clear to go back to work. Six weeks is a long time to be off and bored and to have to do as you are told (I'm really not very good at that) especially when your job is hectic it's hard to do nothing - I was on the verge of throwing my television out of the window, if ever there was a reason to go to work daytime television is it.

I am very happy that now it is easier and not so painful to sit at my computer I can write more than I have for a long time, most of my time at the moment seems to be spent editing and I have to say I am being more brutal than I ever was with my first novel. I am just wondering if it is because my writing is worse or if I have learnt more - I am hoping it is the latter. That's it for now as I am off to have a Friday night editing session...yes it is true I know how to live!