Monday, 31 March 2014

Motivational Mondays: Do Amazing Things!


When I sat down to write my B425 List it was because I felt I wasn't doing enough with my life. I didn't have the money for crazy adventures, I didn't have any great opportunities suddenly landing in my lap. I just decided that, rather than waiting for amazing things to happen, I could just try to do amazing things.
I made a list and I've started completing it. I give myself little goals to do within five years, the next year, the next month, the next week etc. It ensures that I'm not just wasting my time and I feel it enriches my overall experience of life. I'm reading more, I'm working more, I'm really planning ahead. I've been happier since doing all these things and my hopes are that things will just continue to get better over time. I assure you, this is something you can experience too.

You can do amazing things.
You should be doing amazing things.
You just have to figure out what you want to do and start working towards it.
Only you can truly motivate yourself to do this.

Where's The Time?

At the moment I have such a huge burst of inspiration and all I want to do is write. The sad thing is that I'm working like crazy at the moment. Next week I'm working somewhere between 40 to 45 hours or so, maybe up to 50 hours. I don't mind. I like the work and the staff. I need the money. But isn't that the way? Inspiration always hits when you can't get to actually sit down and write.

Tonight I'll be sitting down and getting a substantial slice of writing done. I've also got a few blog posts to get up tonight and tomorrow so I shall try to get blog stuff done. Busy, busy, busy...

Song of the Day: Look Me Over Closely by Marlene Dietrich

I used to play this on repeat in my apartment during my first year of university.
I absolutely adore the swagger of this song.
Enjoy,


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Review + Response

This is a book I'd seen so many other people talking about, particularly on Tumblr, and I just thought that I'd pick it up for myself. For ages I couldn't find it in stores but it recently popped up at my local bookstore and I could not resist picking it up along with Eleanor and Park. I swear, I'll go on a book buying ban... soon.

This is a beautiful contemporary coming of age story about two twin girls going their separate way when they go to college. One twin wants to be her own person, the other likes being part of a duo. It's a really true and interesting perspective on modern fandom culture whilst fitting itself neatly into the coming-of-age area of young adult fiction. It was a really enjoyable read. In fact, this was the sort of book that would make great holiday reading. I could imagine dipping into this by the pool side whilst on vacation. I may therefore save Eleanor & Park until the summer.

Buy this book if you've ever been called or considered a nerd.
Buy this book if you've ever read or written fanfiction.
Buy this book if you're a little bit socially awkward.
Buy this book if you ever went to university or summer camp or somewhere similar and felt a little out of place.
Buy this book if you liked The Fault In Our Stars or Looking For Alaska.
Buy this book if you're young.
Buy this book if you're a Potterhead because you will notice the subtle Harry Potter allusions.
Just buy this book. 

Song of the Day: My Love For Evermore by The Hillbilly Moon Explosion

"We stood on a cliff on a starless night
I held your hand in mine
So stand by me with all your heart
I need you by my side."


March DIY!

So I've done one of these before, it's a collection of DIY materials. Some are from blog posts or YouTube tutorial videos etc. Either way, the idea is to inspire you to to and make new things because DIY is fun and important.
Here are my picks for the month:


Friday, 28 March 2014

Review + Response: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

I finally got around to reading The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman and what a fantastic book it is! It's such an interesting fantasy tale. Sometimes writers can find it hard to write something within the fantasy genre that is both unique and interesting. Gaiman, as ever, has managed to pull it off. Gaiman has created quite a surreal yet strangely rooted tale.

The story follows an unnamed protagonist as he returns to the town he lived in during childhood to attend the funeral of his late father. Whilst there he begins to reminisce and remember certain fantastic events from his past. The books deals with themes like growing up, the childhood/adulthood divide, the search for courage and the battle to find your own identity. I was utterly captivated by the Hempstock family. I'm craving another book that explores them and their lives and history in greater detail. These are powerful, wise female characters who really shape the story. This book was peculiar yet pleasurable as it created a sense of wonder via some fairly surreal settings and imagery.

Song of the Day: True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

"You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small"


Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Book Launch

Hi guys!
I know I've been super quiet lately and have been terrible at actually writing blog posts which has left you with just song of the day updates each day.
I know, I know. I am so sorry. Between no electricity at my house, work and events there's not been much online time. It feels like forever since I last properly updated this blog.

I realised that, although I document everything to do with my writing, I haven't written anything about my recent book launch and wanted to discuss the experience with you.

It has now been two weeks since the book launch so I'm here to share my thoughts and to recount the experience.

So I left work around 4:30, returned some library books and grabbed lunch, and got on a train to London around 5:30. I got into London and got on my coach at 7:30. I was on that coach until almost 1:30AM the next morning. It was a long, gruelling trip. It was just  six hours of driving in the dark. I managed to chill out and listen to an audiobook whilst sending a ridiculous amount of Snapchats to pass the time. My partner collected me from Huddersfield station in the early hours of the morning and when we got back my head hit the pillow and I slept like a mad woman.

When I woke up later that morning, the day of the launch, I was filled with excitement and dread. The dread came from the knowledge that I would have to do a reading of my work later that evening. I hadn't even held a copy of my book yet. I was terrified of opening it and finding some terrible error that none of us had actually noticed until that point. I'm very good at thinking up new and utterly irrational worries at the last minute.

I had the day mostly to myself and so I tried to do all the things I'd missed about Huddersfield: I walked along the canal, visited my old university, had a pint in some of my favourite bars. I was heartbroken to find out that my favourite book store had closed down which took about half an hour of sad pining and then I moved on to the Huddersfield Art Gallery. It was a beautiful day. I even had to buy sunglasses because it was a rare day of warmth in Yorkshire.

Then the evening came. I was in a bar around the corner from the cafe that would host the book launch. I was waiting for a few friends to arrive. I had time to catch up with two of them before I had to dash off to rehearse. What came next was all a bit of a rush. I was introduced to the marvellous editing team who had overseen all the behind the scenes stuff for my book. I was re-united with my publisher and my university tutors. Not long afterwards a reporter came down needing photos of all the authors and a copy of my book was handed over to me so I could be photographed holding it. That was it. That was the moment I first held a tangible, real copy of my book. I'm sure the photographer has some photos of me looking really stupid holding that book. I was so utterly dumbstruck. It was a "dream come true" kind of moment. I turned to my author friend Simon Crump and asked "Is this what it's like to hold your first born child?"
He replied "No."
Safe to say neither of us have kids...

The readings went well. I started with a joke as I went up:
"I only got to see my copy of the book today so I don't even know which page the story is on."
People laughed at my jokes and when I read my stories they would "Ooh" and "aah" in all the right places. I feel the event was a success. The place was packed. I even spotted a few of my old university tutors from other modules. It meant so much to me that so many people turned up. I was supported by a small crowd of friends I'd met through university and I felt so blessed and so thankful for their presence there that night. I got to sign a few copies of my book and speak to fellow writers whilst watching my pile of books slowly decrease as the night went on.

In the end my editor, friends and university tutors all went out for dinner and drinks at my favourite bar and talked away until the early hours of the morning. It was magical. I had to call it a night at around 2am because I had to make a university appearance the next day.

That morning I went into my alma mater to speak to creative writing students about my student experience, getting published and my work. I then got to read from my book. It was pretty cool and probably the closest I've ever really felt to being a celebrity. Then I spent the day with my partner, drinking coffee and making bad puns, until I had to get a coach down south. It really was a whirlwind trip.

Since the release I've had so many kind, positive reviews and comments from people and it has truly warmed my heart. It may be a little while longer until the book is released onto the Kindle but that's kind of out of our hands. I'm not sure how to feel knowing that my grandparents and family members have all read my book. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity and am now working on my next project: a full novel. Expect it to be finished by 2015. Thanks go out to everyone who has bought my humble little book, you are helping to make my dream come true.

Click here to buy a copy of 'A Call In The Night'
Click here to read the first review of the short story collection.
ISBN Number:
  • ISBN-10: 095630995X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956309952

Oh, and if that didn't do it, click here for this blog post in vlog format.

Film Review + response: A Long Way Down

So this week I went to see A Long Way a Down, a black comedy drama of sorts (a tragicomedy) about an unlikely group of friends who all meet on New Years Eve on the roof of a building they all planned to commit suicide by jumping off of the roof. They all form a bond and make a pact to not commit suicide until Valentine's Day. It is not your average feel good film but if you've ever felt depressed or suicidal then this film will feel all too familiar. Each of the four protagonists is given a chance to lend their voice and show their story. It's poignant and a little abrasive in places but an interesting palette cleanser of a film. It was an OK movies. I'm glad I saw it even if my views are still a little unsettled. 
This film was sweet and sad with the overall message that life is hard, but it can get better. Suicide can never be undone. If you have been affected by things mentioned within this film or have ever experienced suicidal ideation then don't be afraid to call up your local suicide hotline for mediation and guidance. to find out your local suicide hotline, click here.

Song of the Day: Invindible Girl by Bad Pollyanna

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger so they say
And that's what I'm telling my reflection today
What doesn't kill you makes you colder it seems to me
And this is the price you pay if you want to be free."


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Recommended Reads

Hey guys, do you know what time it is?
It's time for recommended reads.
Recommended reads is a segment where I recommend a few things I've seen around the internet lately for you lovely people. It hopefully should stop you from playing Facebook games and annoying friends with game requests.
Here are my picks for the week:

Song of the Day: Sing To The Moon by Laura Mvula


"Sing to the moon
And the stars will shine
Over you
Lead you to the other side,"



Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow BREAKING UP?

So it looks like another famous couple are calling it quits. It would seem that actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin of Coldplay are separating. The pair have been married for just over ten years and have two children, Noah and Apple. The Oscar winning actress posted online saying that, although the couple had spent the past year trying to work on their relationship, they are separating even though they still have a great amount of love for each other. Is this a Hollywood break up that you saw coming or does it leave you feeling a little shocked?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gig Review+ Eric Whitacre, The Eric Whitacre Singes, Marius Beck, Laura Mvula...

So last night I went to an excellent gig at the Union Chapel in London. My mother had bought tickets and, until the day of the gig, I knew very little about the event or what to expect. I simply knew that Eric Whitacre was going to be conducting. I didn't know who or what he'd be conducting but conducting is what I expected. My mother is a huge fan of Eric Whitacre and his work after doing a workshop with him. Having sung in a choir I understood her interest and decided to tag along. The event, held in the beautiful Union Chapel, was stunning. Just up the road from Highbury and Islington station is this beautiful venue in a red brick church. In fact before the gig started I just marvelled at the scenery and architecture for a while.

Earlier in the day I received my first clue about the event when my mother said "There's going to be this singer there.... the surname starts with an M and a V... Mvu-something..."
"LAURA MVULA?" I exclaimed with excitement. I'd only needed the two letters. I was aware of Mvula's work. In fact my partner and I have played Mvula's "Sing To The Moon" album many times.

The gig boasted many guest performers and was titled "Re-Imagine" and was filled with things that Whitacre had, in some way, re-imagined.

Well Eric Whitacre and his talented troupe of singers came onto stage. Eric himself was filled with charisma and excellent stage presence. He makes a perfect host, joking with the audience and finding cool and quirky ways to introduce each piece. He starts with his own version of Lux Arumque with which I am familiar having sung it in a choir myself. It's a perfect starting piece. It's a piece that has a fragile quality that automatically makes the audience settle down. The night hosted such a wonderful blend of songs. My favourite had to be Whitacre's haunting arrangement of "Hurt" by Nina Inch Nails/Johnny Cash which created an unsettling dissonance in places and created the most agonising and beautiful performances of the song I've ever heard. I'm still not sure if if touched me on an emotional level more than Johnny Cash's version which is one of my favourite songs of all time. Another highlight was the choir taking on 'Radioactivity' by Kraftwerk whilst Joby Burgess, a talented percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, played a whole range of instruments. The coolest of these was probably the aluminium harp. I'm not the best with instruments but sign me up for that one, I want a go.

Laura Mvula was absolutely radiant as she came out to sing a few songs from her début album with the choir backing her. Later Mvula reappeared to conduct the choir in her own composition of 'Sing To The Moon' and, as Whitacre informed us, has studied musical composition at university. Mvula showed herself to be a talented and deeply passionate performer and, based on the roar of applause she received, will soon be a performer to really look out for in the contemporary music scene. She has a power to her voice that demands to be heard.

The entire night was paced so brilliantly from the range or performers to the repertoire: there was never a dull moment. Ksenija Sidorova came out to accompany the choir and perform a solo piece and managed to give a performance that was entertaining and also sensual. Never before has accordion playing been so rapturous and passionate and, well, cool. Marius Beck, a singer who flew in all the way from Norway, also provided his talents although the real highlight was his cover of 'Wrecking Ball' by Miley Cyrus. As Eric Whitacre said, Marius definitely 'saved' this song. The night ended with all the performers and the audience joining in song to sing a spiritual which left everyone involved humming their way back to the train station. It was a perfect night. Never before have I seen so many talented performers on one stage. It was a brilliant show and I'd gladly go see each and every performer again.

Song of the Day: Send Me An Angel by Real Life

"Do you believe in Heaven above?
Do you believe in love?
Don't tell a lie,
Don't be false or untrue
It all comes back to you."


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Song of the Day: Memories by Within Temptation

"In this world you tried

not leaving me alone behind.
There's no other way.
I prayed to the gods let him stay.
The memories ease the pain inside,

now I know why."


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Song of the Day: Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel

"you could have a steam train
if you'd just lay down your tracks
you could have an aeroplane flying
if you bring your blue sky back

all you do is call me
I'll be anything you need"


Friday, 21 March 2014

Song of the Day: 10th Man Down by Nightwish

"Today I killed, he was just a boy

Eight before him, I knew them all
In the fields a dying oath:

Id kill them all to save my own"


Darkness.

Hello, dear readers.
I know I've been quiet lately. This is due to the lack of internet and electricity at my house right now. It will hopefully be fixed soon but we shall have to see what the electrician can do. Until then I thank you for your patience and hope to be back soon... May sneak to the pub down the road later to steal their wifi. I write to you now from McDonalds whose wifi I am also stealing. I don't even eat McDonalds. I'm just here for internet connection.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Self Harm And Suicidal Thoughts: How To Quit, How To Cope, How To Help Friends Who Are Self Harming Or Suicidal

We all experience and cope with emotions differently. Unfortunately some of us get to a point where we simply can't cope with our emotions any longer and need to find new ways to release negative emotions. Self harm can very quickly become addictive as a coping mechanism or a method of punishment and self regulation. This, for some people, can often lead to self injury. Those who cause self harm often do so when they are experiencing severe depression or anxiety. Some people experiencing self harm may also be experiencing suicidal thoughts. There is a crazy amount of stigma surrounding mental health so people often feel they can't talk to people in their lives about it. Here are some important and helpful links if you or someone you know are/is dealing with these issues:


Remember: suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. It gets better. If you're in difficult circumstances, find some sort of safe exit plan. If you're homeless, look for shelters in your local area or someone willing to help. If you're depressed, speak to a doctor and your loved ones. Give yourself time. Let yourself heal. Change your surroundings in any way you can as long as it doesn't involve suicide. I can promise you, it gets better.



Recommended Reads.

Oh looky looky...
What do we have here?
Recommended reads?
Looks like it...
Obviously recommended reads is a weekly segment that I do on this blog each week to give you a few cool things that I've spotted lately on the internet. I do so in the hopes that you enjoy them.
Here are my picks of the week:

Recommended Reads

Hello there, reader person.
I bet you're wondering what this "recommended reads" post is all about.
Unless you read this blog often.
Because then you'd know that recommended reads is a blog segment where I recommend a few things I've seen around the internet lately so you can read something else rather than looking up cute kitten videos on YouTube.
Not that there's anything wrong with kitten videos.
Here we go:

Song of the Day: Down That Line by The Leopards

"Now, who will say
what's wrong and what's right?
Who will tell you why?
Who will stand by your side?

This repressed desire
Goes over my rational mind
In this cold trial of life
I lose myself down that line!"


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ich Bin Die Fesche Lola by Marlene Dietrich

"Ich bin die fesche Lola, der Liebling der Saison!
Ich hab' ein Pianola zu Haus' in mein' Salon
Ich bin die fesche Lola, mich liebt ein jeder Mann
doch an mein Pianola, da laß ich keinen ran!"


Monday, 17 March 2014

Song of the Day: Two Way Street by Kimbra

"But the moment you appear
You wake me, wake me, wake me
Out of the slumbers of my head
From the slums of loneliness"


Motivational Monday: Tea!

Before I went to university I didn't really drink tea. Now I drink the stuff every day. It's not just because I like tea, I feel that a warm drink in hand soothes the soul. A nice cup of green tea with lemon is just the ticket after a long day of work.

It's quite a calming drink and different teas have different health benefits. Here's a post I wrote on the health benefits of different kinds of tea, just click to read.

So whatever life throws you, try to give yourself five minutes to sit back and have a cup of tea and de-stress.

Depression: How To Cope, Deal With and Fight Depression

Feeling sad from time to time is perfectly normal and a very human experience. It's normal to feel depressed after the death of a loved one or during a break up. That said, some of us experience feelings of sadness or emptiness far more than we should and don't always know why. This is depression. If you're feeling melancholic more than usual, if it's taking over your life, then you are probably dealing with depression. Depression comes in different forms, some people experience more intense depression than others.




  • Click here for information on the signs and symptoms of depression. By knowing and acknowledging you have depression you've mentally highlighted the problem thus taking the first step to recovery.
  • If you're a parent and your teen is experiencing depression I urge you to be careful and thoughtful. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to belittle their emotions or to ridicule them for self harming. You've got to make yourself available and simply offer your support and try to help provide them with any additional help they may need. Don't just write it off as teenage hormones and mood swings. So many teens experience depression and don't get the correct support from their parents which just leaves the teen feeling more alone with their depression. For more info, read here. Similarly if you know a friend who is experiencing depression there is information for you here
  • Also check out To Write Love On Her Arms and become part of a community where you can find support and discuss your experiences. Be open with each other and be honest with yourself. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Yay! It's pay day! I have money again!

As per usual, I'm thinking of buying myself a few books with my money.
Have YOU read any good books lately?
Have any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments section below.

You Can't Tell The Difference After Dark by Alberta Hunter

"I may be as brown as a berry
But that's only secondary
And you can't tell the difference after dark."


Friday, 14 March 2014

Song of the Day: Empty With You by The Used


"You could be empty
and I can be right here empty with you
or you could be hollow
and I can be right here hollow with you
If you want to say goodbye to everything,
I could say goodbye too
I can be right here empty with you."



Thursday, 13 March 2014

How To Take A Good Author Photo

Your work is being published and you are over the moon. The work being published has been created so all the hard work is over, right? WRONG!

I was recently fortunate enough to have a chapbook published, a collection of short stories I'd written at university, and it is released today. During the publication process we had to turn our minds to marketing. Head shots and author photos had to be provided. The only problem was I didn't have any appropriate head shots or previous author photos.

Of course a lot of promotional work goes on when it comes to marketing your book afterwards and you want to showcase your work in the best possible light. Many of us authors have to, at one point or another, have an author photo taken to promote our work. I had to go out recently to take my own author photos. Here is some quick advice on the things you DO and DON'T when it comes to taking a good author photo and some tips on how to take a decent picture to promote yourself and your work.
  • Consider the setting. You probably don't want to use a photo you took whilst curled up in bed or in a public bathroom unless this gritty or personal feel suits the work you're submitting.
  • Trying to take an author photo on a grainy laptop webcam, I have found, only produces very low quality photos. Time to have someone else step in or buy yourself a decent camera to work with.
  • Make sure you have good lighting. You want to show yourself off, not hide in the darkness (no matter how dark and brooding you may think you are)
  • Try not to look too intense. This is when you can practice looking really deep and meaningful to trick your friends and family into thinking that being a published writer makes your thoughts slightly more profound than theirs. You just don't want to overdo it. That's when you stop being "cool author friend" and become "that douche."
  • It may sound obvious but you probably don't want photos where you're pulling silly faces or making gestures unless, perhaps, it suits the tone of the novel.
  • Onesies probably don't make the best impression no matter how snuggly and comfortable they are.
  • Try to relax. You don't want to be immortalised with a photo that makes you look like you're perpetually constipated.
  • If there are two of you make sure you and your co-author are in the photo rather than one being slightly out of frame as if to suggest their contribution was somehow less worthy. Or, you know, have separate photos.
  • Brushing your hair, teeth and making sure you look clean and decent is probably a good place to start too especially if you've written a horror novel. You don't want to be mistaken for the nocturnal monsters you've written about.
  • Try working your angles in a mirror first. Yes, darling. Vogue!
  • And finally... No mirror selfies. Ever. Unless your book is about MySpace trends from six years ago and it's purely contextual.
I suppose the general message here is that it's your book. You've worked hard and so I guess you can do whatever you want as long as it fits in with the general tone of what you've written.  All I'd say is that, if you really must provide author photos, put in a good deal of time, thought and effort to match the time, thought and effort that went into the book itself. Plan it out and workshop a few ideas before getting the final photo done. Maybe just make sure to have someone check it out and give it the thumbs up before you send it off. Remember, once it goes to the printers it's there forever...

If none of that works then here is how some other authors did it:


Book Launch.

Today is the book launch where I, along with the publishing team and two other authors, will be unveiling our work. The past 4 or 5 months have been really thrilling as an aspiring writer and I feel truly blessed to have been a part of this experience. If I'm a little quiet, that's okay because I'm really busy being overwhelmed right now.

I'm just looking forward to being able to change the bit in my Twitter bio from "soon to be published author" to "published author"

:D

Song of the Day: Never Gonna Wake Me Up (Mash Up) by Rick Astley/Avicii/Other Artists

Guys, check out this awesome mash up.
It is totally awesome and so infectious. 


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Travelling.

So right about now I should be on a bus leaving London and travelling up North on the way to Yorkshire. It'd be a bit more tolerable if the sun were up because I know it'll be killing me right now that I can't read on the bus (I've scheduled this post in advance, not writing it from the coach, but I know myself well enough to know this is pretty damn accurate). Perhaps I'll have to resort to audiobooks until the charge runs out. Darkness: the bane of all book lovers.

Recommended Reads? I guess so...

Hello you.
I missed you.
You're here for recommended reads aren't you?
See, I knew it!
Of course recommended reads is a blog segment where I share a few things with you that I've spotted about t'internet lately. In sharing them with you I hope you enjoy them too.
So here they are for this week:

WRITER PROBLEMS: Sorry-ish.

Like, I’m really happy that so many people have pre-ordered my short story collection but I’m also hella nervous because half my family have pre-ordered it and it’s full of death and nightmares and masturbation and I’m gonna have a lot of questions to answer when we all get together at Christmas or something…

Like, I'm almost anxious that my family will turn around and be like "What the Hell is this?"
I already feel that I am the black sheep of the family. I'm just slightly concerned that my Granny might now be questioning my choices in life...

Packing.

It's almost 3am and I think I've finally finished packing although I realise I find it to be a fairly stressful experience. Maybe that's why I always leave it til last. Maybe leaving it last is what makes it stressful. Even though I'll be gone less than three days I'm so worried about forgetting something monumentally important. I have to get people to suggest things I might need as it might remind me of a thing I've forgotten. I write out long lists, I walk through the entire journey in my mind, I question if I've really packed enough books...

I don't know why I used a picture of a horse with this post.
Oh wait, yes I do. It's a pack horse. Get it?
Get it? A pack horse. 
Hahahahahaha... I need to sleep now.

Song of the Day: Prove It On Me Blues by Ma Rainey

"They say I do it
Ain't nobody caught me
Y'all got to prove it on me."


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Late Night.

Another late night.
Of course, I'm up writing. I'm up writing an article which, if all goes well, will end up in the local newspaper which would be utterly marvellous. I want to get everything done and out of the way before tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll go to work, do a seven hour shift, meet up with an old school friend for coffee and then embark on an almost six hour journey. It's going to be a very long, tiring day tomorrow so I'm preparing for an insane amount of caffeine but the day after should be fun.

I'm looking forward to stopping off in all my favourite Yorkshire places, my old haunts. I'm looking forward to cheap pints of beer, pizzas in my favourite bar in all the world, maybe walking past our old apartment with my partner and buying books for £2. I've honestly missed Yorkshire so much. I'm not sure if I'll ever live there again but the memories I have are fond.

I still have to pack for tomorrow. I never like packing to go away. I never quite know what I need to pack and I can't say I enjoy it. I always manage to leave something behind. I also want to tidy up a little bit so I have a clean home to return to.

Song of the Day: Wings by Gustavo Santaolalla

"You give me the wings to fly
You are the clear blue sky.
I'm floating so free, so high
Falling with grace for you and I"


Which Mythical Creature Are You?

When bored I've really gotten into doing Buzzfeed quizzes.

Earlier I took the Which Mythical Creature Are You? quiz and got the answer I expected.

"You beautiful, aloof creature. You’re one of the most revered and honored creatures in the fantasy world, but you’re also very hard to pin down. You’re an interesting mix of empathetic politician and pragmatic dreamer. You believe in the power of justice, but you also believe in the power of protecting yourself. You’re always willing to lend a hand, but not to the point where it will negatively affect you."


This is by no means the first time I've been told I'd be an elf. In fact my supervisor at work said I'd be an elf. Hell, I don't eat meat. I live in the forest. I love languages. I'm interested in politics but tend to not get too heavily involved. My ears point out a little bit. I love nature.
I'm a big Tolkien fan so this pleases me greatly.

Why not click here to take the quiz yourself and let me know in the comments section which creature you are?

Late Night Horror.

Woah, I had about 168 blog views yesterday. I'm liking the attention that this blog is getting at the moment. We're back on track.

So, I've been up all night working on two different projects. Both are fiction. Both are horror fiction. I am now trying to stay awake a little longer so that I don't go to sleep too soon after writing about scary things because I may end up dreaming about scary things and, in all honesty, I really don't want to encounter the things I've written about in my dreams. I might go watch a little bit of something cheerful on Netflix and head to bed after. I've had a few really creative days ahead of the book launch. I hope it continues.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Anne Rice confirming Prince Lestat, a new Vampire Chronicles Book.

So after my excitement in the early hours of the morning I decided to share the video here with you. Here is Anne Rice officially announcing the book on the Dinner Party Show. The rapport between her and her son is utterly adorable. Anne Rice had posted a few things on her infamous Facebook page last year during her travels around Europe so I had really thought and hoped for another VC novel. I'm so glad that Lestat is making a comeback. As soon as the book is ready for pre-order you can bet I'll be buying it.

Anne Rice even hints at the potential for more Vampire Chronicles after this book. You've no idea how happy I am about this. I wrote to Anne Rice this time last year when finishing up my university dissertation saying that I'd been writing about the psychology of vampire literature and I'd been using Interview with the Vampire as one of my main texts and really just thanked her for writing it. She wrote back and was so nice and said she was pleased I'd liked her work so much over the years. Its so nice to think that as she wrote to me another Vampire Chronicle book was in the works. Here's the video:


Song of the Day: You Don't Know Me by Lizzy Caplan (from Masters of Sex)

"You give your hand to me
And then you say hello
And I can hardly speak
My heart is beating so
And anyone can tell
You think you know me well,
You don't know me..."


Motivational Monday: You're The Only You.

It is estimated that there are well over 7 billion people on Earth today, more people simultaneously existing in this space than ever before. This is amazing and it's also a little daunting. How do we fit into this big, crowded world? What do we contribute? 

Well, my friend, you have to remember the simple fact that there's only one you.

There will be something that only you can contribute to the world and only you can do it in your own specific way and once you work out what that is, give it. Be proud of who you are. You're the only you and you're the best you.

Anne Rice announces new book title: Prince Lestat

So Anne Rice has gone onto her son's dinner party show and announced the title of her next novel. The title is Prince Lestat. Oh, be still my beating fangirl heart!
I utterly adore her vampire chronicles and am so excited to think that more tales of the Brat Prince are on the way. I'm going to go do some more research - I just had to share my excitement with someone! Is Lestat coming out of the coffin once more?

Facebook has just been updated: the book is a sequel to Queen of the Damned.
Rice swore off writing about her beloved vampire characters when she returned to her faith but over the past year or so has dropped subtle hints of a vampiric return. I am so, so happy!


Sunday, 9 March 2014

TV Picks: First Dates

One of my favourite guilty pleasure shows at the moment is First Dates on Channel 4. In fact, this is hardly a guilty pleasure in contrast to some of the other shows I watch. First Dates is a reality show that puts together random strangers for a first date. All dates are real, organic experiences rather than some of the reality TV we see. My partner and I like to snuggle up on the sofa to watch this: it's nice to watch people fall in love. It's also fun to see some of the dates come to a terrible conclusion.

If you've not already checked this out look it up on TV or on 4oD. This is a great little show and I'm glad it's back for another season...

+30,000!

So I've just logged in and noticed that this blog has now had over 30,000 page views which is super, super exciting. It keeps going from strength to strength and pulling in new readers. As ever I'm thankful for all the people who stop by, even the overwhelming amount of you who Google weird things to do with skinny dipping and end up on my blog.
Peace and love. x

Song of the Day: Concerning Hobbits by Howard Shore


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Song of the Day: Teenage Queen by Aiden


"Oh tonight I'm a teenage queen.

(Dream so dark, I feel so beautiful now.)
Oh tonight I'm a teenage queen and it never stops.
The world we live won't laugh this hard.
The weight of the world won't seem so bad now."


Friday, 7 March 2014

Script Writing.

So I'm currently working on the first series of a TV show and working on the scripts. I'm aiming to write six episodes for season one. I'm really excited about this project. As soon as it's done I'll probably look into pitching it for TV or will look into some sort of funding to turn it into an online web series. I'm really positive about this process and hope that I can get it finished in the next few months. It'd be a dream come true to write a TV show of my own.

Song of the Day: These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) by Emmy Rossum


Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Book Thief. Review + Response

So, yesterday I gave my verdict on The Monuments Men and I was rather candid about how awful I thought it was. Now I'm here to tell you about another film set during WW2 - but this one was brilliant.

Based on the amazing novel by Markus Zusak, this was a stunning and poignant film about a young girl sent to live in a foster home during the Second World War. It's a wonderful tale about the powerful nature of love and the overpowering certainty of death. This film broke my feels. It captures a sense of what it must have been like to live in a Germany gripped by Hitler's reign and does so from the point of view of normal German families trying to cope with the changes in their town. Geoffrey Rush gave such a marvellous, heart warming performance. The brutal reality of the Holocaust itself isn't the focus here: it's focusing more on the changing attitudes of Germans in Hitler's Germany. I'd recommend this film to anyone, particularly young adult viewers.
Also if you see the film I urge you to also read the novel if you haven't already as it is so stunningly written. I personally really enjoyed this film.

Song of The Day: Lies by Anette Olzon


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Song of the Day: Weak And Powerless by A Perfect Circle

"Tilling my own grave to keep me level
Jam another dragon down the hole
Digging to the rhythm and the echo of a solitary siren
One that pushes me along and leaves me so

Desperate and Ravenous
I'm so weak and powerless over you"