Monday, 30 June 2014

Belle: Review + Response

I recently went to see the film Belle and I must say that I was immediately captured by the brilliance and glamour of this film. This film was the perfect blend of personal woes and politics as it followed Dido Lindsay and her life as a mixed race woman

It explored themes like racism and wealth/woman's worth. One little running theme I loved was the portrayal of race in paintings and how afraid Dido is to sit for a portrait because she is afraid of how she will be portrayed. I think that we definitely need more films that explore race and female agency. This was a real delight and one of the best films I've seen in some time. It was a pleasing, substantial costume drama that Pride and Prejudice fans should flock to see. It is always good to see a film about a woman made by a woman. Tom Felton reprised a Draco Malfoy-esque role as a ridiculous racist. Gugu Mbatha Raw gives a charming performance with real moments of human clarity that illustrate what it must have felt like to have lived in such a politically tumultuous time as she struggles with her identity and societal place. Asante as a director harnesses plenty of skill, grace and charm to make a crowd-pleasing film with plenty of personality. As much as this was a story about Dido, it was also a stpry about her cousin Elizabeth and it drew some wonderfully stark contrasts between the two women. This is a perfectly paced film, beautifully presented from start to finished, poignant to the end of the credits.

The Return of Song Of The Day!

As of tomorrow, you'll see the song of the day posts returning to this blog.

I took a break because they take a lot of time to post up. In fact, I often do all the songs for a month in one evening otherwise you just forget to post them up. I hope you like the music that I share with you. I'd like you to share music with me. Got a song recommendation? Let me know in the comments section or tweet me a song suggestion and I'll gladly look into it.

I hope you enjoy the music and the little bits of extra effort that go into this blog. Thank you for your continuous support.

Camp NaNoWriMo!

Shout out to all of my fellow scribblers out there.
Are you hoping to finish a novel this year?
Always wanted to write that story you've had stewing in your head?
Got a project you want to write but need some support?

Tomorrow is the start of Camp NaNoWriMo - the summery cousin of NaNoWriMo. The idea of Camp NaNoWriMo is to set you up in a team of other writers to support each other as you set your own writing goals and try to work on a written project through the month of July. I will be taking part and have already been set up with some lovely cabin mates. I tried NaNoWriMo last year and got about 20,000 words in so perhaps this could be what gets me to the finish line? Who knows! I'm really looking forward to take part - if you're interested too then click here to sign up before it all kicks off tomorrow!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

100 Happy Days

So I recently have seen a trend going about via the hashtag #100HappyDays and decided to look into it.
I found that the premise is just that simple: the idea is to try and be happy for 100 days. Sort of.
It's not easy to just be happy especially if you're living with depression or anxiety or living through difficult circumstances. I suppose the idea is to try and find something in the day that you're grateful for or something small that makes you happy. It's basically the same thing that I've been doing all year with my Silver Linings Search challenge.

The idea is to find things in your day that make you happy, take a photograph that represents that happiness and post it onto social media. It seems like a pretty nice idea if you're willing to commit to 100 days of social networking. Do you think it's something you could do?

Some may see this as just another excuse to take selfies. So what? If someone is trying to tap into their own happiness and positivity, let it be.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A Call In The Night Merchandise

Since the publication of my book a few months ago, many have asked me where to find it and one of the best places to find copies is through InPress Books, via Grist Books directly OR through Amazon. Below I have links for where you can get it on Amazon so please, please pick up copies of my books because it supports me and the wonderful publishers of my book. Indie publishers like mine need more support and it'd be really awesome if you could buy a copy of my book - you can often find cheap copies on Amazon.

Click here for the Amazon link to find copies of my book. 
Click here to get the book on Kindle.

You can also now get A Call In The Night Merchandise!
Click here and you'll be redirected to the Call in the Night merchandise where you can get the book cover printed onto a variety of shirts to suit your style. It would be an honour to have my name scribbled across your belly. We may have new merch up soon: we're hoping for Call in the Night keyrings!

Love and thanks,


Friday, 27 June 2014

DIY Time!

Hello Summer!
So I've done a few 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:

Thursday, 26 June 2014

10 reasons to adopt pets from shelters rather than buying them from stores and breeders

1) There are loads of lovely dogs there that need a good home that probably didn't have a good start in life and therefore need to be shown some love and kindness. They'll have a second chance at living a happy, normal life.

2) Do you really know where that dog or cat came from? Many dogs and kittens sold in stores or by individuals online have been cruelly bred in puppy farms or kitten farms, their mothers utterly abused in the process. By getting your pet from a shelter you are choosing to not fund animal cruelty. You're saying no to pets bred at the expense of their mother and exploited, sold off for money, without proper veterinary care or socialisation.

3) Many animal shelters are locally run by people from their own pocket or a small amount of charitable funding. Support your local shelter today.

4) You could adopt and older cat/dog after meeting it which gives you the chance to really assess their personality. Sometimes a kitten or puppy acts completely differently once they've reached adulthood. It also means there will be someone to care for their own independent needs as older cats and dogs may require certain care.

5) Adoption fees are usually lower and cheaper than what you'd pay for a puppy or kitten - especially if they're pedigree. In fact many pedigree dogs end up in shelters later on because people bought them for their aesthetics without considering the responsibilities and realities of pet ownership.

6) Many pets from shelters are already spayed/neutered/micro-chipped before they come to you. They've often had all the appropriate vet checks and injections and so you don't have to pay for them later on.

7) Your home will be more lively with a little cat or dog scampering around.

8) It prevents strays from being put down.

9) You can really suit the situation around your needs. Do you live in an apartment? There are cats that specifically need to be kept indoors. You have young children? The dogs are almost always tested to see if they are compatible to a home with children. So much care and examination goes into the adoption process.

10) You'll know in your heart that you've done something good in the world. It may seem like a small thing, a tiny contribution, but you will totally transform the life of that animal for the better if you can provide it with a loving, supportive home.

Don't overlook a pet because they're older or perhaps disabled. Many cats and dogs in shelters have to deal with missing eyes or legs. This doesn't mean that they have any less love to give, it just means they've endured more before meeting you. My family and I took in a rescue kitten not long ago. She and her siblings had been carelessly dumped in a wheelie bin on a hot day. She's still very much affected by her troubled youth but she has made a wonderful addition to the family. In fact black cats are often less likely to get adopted. Perhaps this is due to superstitions about black cats or maybe people are more in favour of colourful felines. I simply ask that you do not overlook black cats simply due to their colour as it has no impact on their personality or suitability as a pet.

'Looking For Alaska' to be made into a film.

John Green is currently at a wonderful point in his career. The first film adaptation of his New York Times Best Selling Novel is #1 and the book is still selling well. Shortly after production wrapped on #TFIOS, it was announced that another of his books, Paper Towns, was set to be made into a film.

John Green has just announced that his book Looking For Alaska has been picked up by a director too.  Sarah Polley is set to direct the coming-of-age tale about a young man moving to another state to go to boarding school. I'm looking forward to scenes with Takumi in the same humour style as the Night of the Broken Trophies scene from The Fault in our Stars. I always thought that Looking For Alaska would make a good film so let's see and hope that it's as successful as The Fault in our Stars.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Goodnight Chelsea

I've not mentioned anything so far here on the blog, but last week one of my beautiful feline friends had to be put down. Chelsea, our ten year old black and white mog, became very ill and by the time we got her to a doctor there was nothing that could have been done. I suppose I didn't write anything because I was in shock. After losing Hamish earlier this year I couldn't quite believe it was happening.

I'm deeply saddened by the loss of my feline sidekick and late night writing companion. She would so often join me, curling up in my bed, or bothering me for attention whenever I was near. I will miss her larger than life personality. She was a wonderful companion.

Goodnight Chelsea.

Recommended Reads

So, once again, it's time for recommended reads.
if you don't know what that is then clearly you're new here, but welcome anyway. Here we essentially share a few things we've spotted around the internet lately and share them with YOU, the reader, in the hopes you'll enjoy them too.
Hey - it beats playing Candy Crush for hours on end...
Here are our picks for the week:

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Congratulations, soon-to-be-graduates!

Today has been lovely: all final year students at my old university got their final grades back and found out what kind of degree they were getting. Some are getting thirds, some seconds, some 2:1s and some have pulled a first. Some will graduate later this year. I'm proud of everyone at my alma mater and wish the best of luck to anyone still waiting on results. It's so strange to think that a year ago, that was me. I was receiving my results and coming home to surprise my parents with the news of my 2:1 degree. It's kind of been a rocky road from there but I have faith. In fact within six months of getting a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing I landed a publishing deal so, although I may not have landed the perfect graduate job, there's a silver lining as per usual. Life after graduation can seem confusing and frustrating but hopefully there's a silver lining for everyone.

The Fault In Our Stars: Review + Response (Movie)

Alrighty: this is a review and I am warning you. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
If you have NOT seen the film and do not want spoilers then please do not read anything beyond this sentence.

I always get anxious when a big hype is created around a film because sometimes the hype sets up far too many expectations. I therefore entered this film with that sense of hype. I began to worry: will I be disappointed by a film I've looked forward to for so long? I was such a fan of the book. In fact, at one point, I had four (yes, four) copies of the book in my tiny apartment... and a signed poster... and a TFIOS shirt. I can happily say that I was very pleased with how the film turned out.

 This film got to me; in fact I first cried within thirty seconds of the film starting as a single tear peeked through my eye as I realised I'd just signed up for a rollercoaster that only goes up... before plummeting down. Some scenes were cut out and other scenes didn't translate well to screen in the same way they translated on paper. What must be said, though, is that it was very faithful to the book. It's refreshing to see film-makers respecting the original source material. The eulogy scene was utterly heart breaking. If I had any say, I'd want to see Ansel Elgort get an Oscar nomination for his performance. The gas station scene was so utterly heart breaking and, yes, I started crying then too. It was perfect in the aim of depicting cancer not as a graceful struggle, but as a painful, awful disease that ruins lives. The night of the broken trophies scene managed to make the entire audience laugh. It was pitched and performed so perfectly. What I love about the book is that it's a romance, yes, but it reminds us that love happens regardless of circumstance. It reminds us that even the young get sick and have to live through something as horrible as cancer. The film will hopefully reach so many that haven't read the book and hopefully it will really raise cancer awareness and support. I know that a lot of people living with cancer have appreciated some sort of on screen representation. This film is powerful stuff and a real amuse bouche before all of the traditional summer blockbusters roll in. This is a feel-good/feel-sad indie flick that is not to be missed.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Motivational Mondays: Love Is Lovely

Lately I've realised just how lucky I am for my partner. She really cares for me. The other day when I got in from work, she'd taken the time to run me a bath with a glass of chilled cava and a slice of pizza waiting for me. She'll rub my back if I'm sore from work and always has my corner.

Sometimes I think it's easy to forget the ones we love when we have so many other commitments but it's really important to carve out time for the people you love: to care for them, to make them feel special.  It's important to show people you love them when they go to great lengths to show their love to you.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Why Millionaire Matchmaker is AWFUL.

I watch this show from time to time on the basis that it's awful. It is car crash television and you watch because of how awful it is. I've wanted to write a post about this for some time because I find this show to be rather problematic and wanted to discuss some things that I really don't like about Patti Stanger's show and methods.

Patti Stanger has used transphobic slurs, often dismisses redheads and is pretty darn sexist. She's incredibly judgemental. She seems to think that gender is solely a binary experience and criticises women for having 'masculine energy' whilst telling them to be feminine. Stanger has told women to 'dumb it down' to appear more appealing to men. She criticises their clothes: too conservative and too racy are both apparently to be shamed. She has said some pretty offensive things about gay men, mainly that they're all sexually licentious and unable to settle down with one person. She has made comments that suggest that she doesn't think that bisexuality exists. She has made fun of clients because of their weight or personal appearance. Stanger often loses her cool and yells at her clients, digging down into word-slinging matches.

I think she, as a television personality, likes to advertise herself as a tough-love giving, hard-talking business owner however it simply exposes her to be an incredibly offensive, marginalizing person with very narrow and regressive world views. It's a shocker that anyone even uses her agency at all. Some of her views about gender are pretty old fashioned. She feels that the man should always be masculine and should take charge of planing the date even when the millionaire is female and has the cash to spend arranging a wonderful date.

Also, Patti Stanger on her show talks about how she's a third generation match maker and boasts about how great she is at her job however after almost every show almost 90% of the couples she's matched never end up together. Some never meet up again. This isn't the best advertisement for her agency as it looks like her success rate is shockingly low. From what we know of her, she can't even make a match for herself.

Here is a further list of Patti Stanger's dating theories debunked and it discusses why some of the shitty things she says simply aren't true. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Recommended Reads

Hello my little peaches!It's time for recommended reads.
You know what recommended reads is, right?
What do you mean you don't know what it is?
We do this every week.

Well, it's basically a weekly post where I share a few things I've spotted around t'internet lately and, in sharing them with you, I hope that you enjoy or experience them too.
So, here are my picks for the week:

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

This is a no football zone.

Wherever you turn there's football madness everywhere.
It cannot be escaped, it seems.

That said, I can promise you all that this blog will remain a no football zone over the World Cup season so if you're tired of Facebook statuses about matches and goal updates then please stop by here, have a read of all of the non-sport related content and enjoy!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Motivational Monday: Love Who You Love

So I know the theme of our last Motivational Monday was all about loving yourself but today it is about the importance of loving others. Today we need to remember the importance of our love for others.

Other people add colour and variety into our lives. They bring excitement, adventure and comfort. We establish bonds with them. It's important to find at least one person in this world whom you love. This can be in a romantic way or a platonic way. Maybe it's a family member of a pet. Find someone who makes you happy and remember to make them happy too. Do something nice for them to remind them that they are loved. Go out and spread some love and positivity. Who knows: maybe the love and positivity will come back to you somehow.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Grace of Monaco: A Royal Bore.

Today I went to see Grace of Monaco starring the ever stunning Nicole Kidman along with Parker Posey, Milo Ventimiglia, Tim Roth and Frank Langella. With a star studded cast and the tragic tale of a starlet-gone-princess this could have been a promising film and I'd anticipated it with excitement. Sadly I was hugely let down by this snooze fest of a film. No wonder this film is bombing at the UK box office.

Filled with arbitrarily long moments of silence and extended close ups of Nicole Kidman's facial features, the film made for uncomfortable and dull viewing. It starts and ends with moments of silence which leaves the audience sitting there, awkwardly waiting in silence. Not even the lovely Nicole Kidman could save this flop. It skips so much of Grace's life to focus on the conflict between Monaco and France which, apparently, is all brushed over with an overly cliché and American speech you'd expect to find from a Miss America pageant contestant. It fails to deliver a dramatic crescendo or even to create any real sense of plot tension or character sympathy. No character feels relatable, characters are without chemistry and the film rushes by, glazing over an entire life to use Grace Kelly's character to narrate political difficulty rather than exploring her life properly.

As it ended I was left thinking 'Was that it?"

Nicole Kidman managed to portray more charm, higher class and a better story in her Chanel No 5 commercial.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Summer Bag Packing Tips

Are you going on a summer holiday/vacation later this year?
This summer there are going to be many people heading off on their first holiday away without their parents or any supervisors. This is an exciting time but it can also be stressful as you begin to plan things on your own for the first time.

For many there's the panic: Do I have everything I need for this holiday? Have I packed everything that I need?

I thought I'd help out so here is a basic idea of what to pack for your holiday before jetting off. When you're young and new to travel we sometimes end up packing way more than we need so these are just suggestions, you may not need every item. Travelling and packing light will make the trip easier (and maybe even cheaper) so try to balance having enough AND not having too much.


  • Going somewhere warm? Consider packing beach wear and lots of light clothing with a few thinner cardigans/shawls in case the evenings are cold
  • Going somewhere cold? Make sure to bring layers to keep warm - include scarves and hats
  • Don't forget underwear and socks. Let me tell you that's a holiday ruiner right there.
  • Shoes - try to have a few different sets of shoes to suit your various needs. Maybe you'll want heels for a night out, flip flops for the beach, trainers for hiking etc.

Beach Holiday?

  • Make sure to pack towels and swim wear. Also anything you or your family need to swim - goggles, floatation devices
  • Sunglasses and consider a sun hat to shade your eyes and face
  • Sun cream/sun tan lotion/burn lotion
  • Hair ties - if you have long hair, a simple hair tie can keep hair out of your face when you swim and minimise tangles.
  • Beach bag to carry your essentials
  • A good book
Bathroom items:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Face-wash
  • Moisturiser
  • Conditioner
  • Shaving gel/razor
  • Insect repellant/insect bite cream
  • Body wash
  • Perfume/cologne/body spray
  • Any of your usual hair care/styling products
  • Make up
  • Sun tan lotion/burn lotion/heat cooling spray
Other good items?
  • A camera to document your trip. 
  • Currency for your destination
  • Guide book if your destination is new to you
  • A phrasebook or a list of good local phrases for the holiday
  • Hairbrush 
  • Passport - obviously.
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Your travel insurance/travel details.  A good thing to do is create a little folder of all the information that you need for the trip to stay organised. Perhaps even create a schedule of the trip to keep yourself on track.
  • Plasters
  • Travel adaptors to be able to use and charge your appliances
  • A plastic bag or two to put dirty laundry into so you can clean the dirty clothes once you return home
  • Paracetamol
  • Hair dryer or straighteners

Just think: what do you need every day? What can you afford to leave behind? What troubles could you run into and what could help or prevent them?
Have fun on your travels - stay safe too.

Friday, 13 June 2014


So at the start of the year I did a post detailing some of the interesting things that Google Analytics show me, specifically what people manage to Google to find my blog. Some of them are an absolute mystery and I have no idea how they find my blog via such bizarre Google terms but they certainly do make me chuckle.
Here are some since the beginning of 2014:

  • desolation of smaug pugs
  • girls insult
  • Peter Jackson's pug
  • World's best sexual movie
  • pieces of 1982 photos
  • tumblr bio ideas
  • lesbian birdcage
  • really scary alien pictures 
  • owl eyes great gatsby
  • be my god, armand to marius
  • Amazon just got more expensive
  • every thing has a silver lining
  • who is the writer of Game of Thrones?
  • Kavos nude
  • nerds like us
  • nerd pic insults
  • pictures of zayn malik now
  • dying the tips of your hair only
  • Adrian Barnes Fox Nod
  • was david wenham in flight of the concords? 
  • control gamer girl
  • family skinny dip
  • who is the best female call girl?
  • In what movie does that song by Desireless play?
  • nerdy goth girls
  • gay bars in Kavos
  • gamer girl love poems
  • سوبر كي سكس (roughly translated: super ki sex/super gay sex)

A lot of them involved skinny dipping. I'm guessing there are a lot of skinny dipping fetishists out there who are disappointed when they Google something to do with skinny dipping only to click on my blog post where I simply mention I'd like to skinny dip again before the age of 25 (psst... I've already crossed that off the list)
Seriously though, I've no idea how some of these searches link up to my blog but it proves to be a fun, ongoing mystery.

Monday, 9 June 2014

No Song Of The Day?!

Some of you may be wondering why I've not done song of the day lately.
In fact I've hardly done any for weeks. The reason for this is because I usually sit down and do a month of music in one day. I've just not had the time to sit down and plan out a playlist for that month. I'll probably take a break from song of the day posts until next month so, for now, you'll just have to find your own music.

Until then I've been posting things again including writing snippets and reviews so keep your eyes peeled and keep comin' back.

Motivational Monday: Love Yourself

When searching for happiness and motivation there is often one person at the centre of such attention: you. I think it's important not to simply accept the person that we are, but to love that person also. If you're not the kind of person that you can love, why not? What can you change to make yourself more worthy of that love? How can you show yourself love? Is it in little acts of care or ways in which you treat yourself? Is it in the respect you show your body or the routine you follow?

Make sure to make time for yourself to do the things you want to do so you can get what you want. Make time to go on quiet walks or have long bubble baths or write your novel. Make sure to wear what makes you feel comfy or do things that make you feel good. Re-evaluate how you view yourself and remember that you're worthy of love from others and from yourself.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Review + Response: Godzilla (2014)

This is one of the summer movies I've been rooting for ever since I saw the first trailer. I never, ever thought I'd find myself excited for a Godzilla movie. Ever. I was wrong.

The performance Bryan Cranston gave in the trailer alone sold me this movie. I love Bryan Cranston as an actor. Cranston really set the film for me. I found myself literally in tears within the first half hour of the film. Did I expect to cry over Godzilla? No, I did not.

Godzilla films in the past have varied from serious attempts to wacky, weird tales. The music and sound editing in this film were amazing. There were great effects and well sustained moments of suspense and tension. There are truly awe inspiring moments of peril and some really great effects. This was an awesome creature feature flick and I feel it's a great introduction to the Godzilla franchise for anyone who has never seen a Godzilla movie. If you've never seen a Godzills film start here, enter with little to no expectations, and don't watch any other Godzilla movie ever.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Lost in Lyon: A Taste of Travel Writing.

At the age of fifteen I travelled over to Lyon to take part in an educational exchange programme at the very same time in which my cousin was working in the area. The coincidence perfectly allowed for us to meet up and explore the area freely. I’ll never forget the day we hopped into her rental car and went on an adventure leaving behind the large art deco style tower buildings and metropolitan buzz to a smaller and more rural area nearby.

First we decided to indulge in a little shopping. The Villeurbanne Flea Market throws together all that is quintessentially French: beautiful antiques, shabby chic style and the colourfully entertaining people who work the stalls. On sale were little live quails skittering about in metal cages, mahogany furniture, hand woven baskets and so many otherworldly treasures. We then found ourselves wandering down in the older part of the town. As we sauntered by the perfectly cerulean canal we took in the archaic buildings and the scent of freshly baked bread from a nearby bakery. That’s what I came to love about France: everything is cooked fresh based on what is in season. At a nearby fruit stall we purchased a bag of cherries, swollen little red treasures, and ate them greedily out of their brown paper bag as we passed the waterfront. Extravagant boats and yachts jutted out upon the water ahead. Behind lay the charming but rugged patchwork of buildings, each one a slightly different hue as if we were the subjects of a bold and colourful painting.

We found a restaurant in a small, cobbled alleyway that offered outdoor seats and a view of the sun setting over the watery horizon. It was in this evening that we transformed from awkward tourists picking at foreign menus to full blown gourmands. I treated myself to a supper of quenelles de brochet, a dish served in a cheese and wine sauce and with a side of goose liver pâté. Does it get more French than that?

Heaving our gluttonously full bellies from the restaurant we wandered past tram stop buskers and late night florists selling single red roses to amorous youngsters walking side by side. We took in the essence of the town as flaneurs experiencing little fragments of French culture that seemed both foreign and familiar. We drove back to the noisy Villeurbanne commune, once more amidst towering buildings and never-ending hustle, and said our goodbyes. Ten years on, I've not forgotten a cherry-stained stroll by the canal and the starlit meal that nourished me to my very soul.

Review + Response: Maleficent (2014)

After the success of hit musical 'Wicked' we've become hugely interested in hearing the villain's side of the story that sheds light on their actions. We like our villains motivated and well rounded. We try to find some sympathy for them. This is true with Disney's latest effort, Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in the titular role and Elle Fanning as a young Princess Aurora. It's a dark family film and felt like something Tim Burton wishes he could have pulled off. It's colourful and vibrant with darker scenes to contrast as Maleficent develops as a character. The film acts as a sort of feminist/revisionist back story that somewhat corrects the original Sleeping Beauty film that Disney had previously released to create a new narrative that steps aside from the cocoon of the previous movie.

My main criticism would be that it felt a little too short. I wanted more. I wanted to see The Moors. I wanted to see more of Maleficent as she grew from child to darker, wingless adult. I'm not sure if she was given as much of a voice as I'd have liked. Basically more Angelina Jolie please. Jolie gave a truly stunning performance, even using some of the original character dialogue, and executed a perfect performance. I loved the costumes and some of the changes from the original Sleeping Beauty tale. I'll keep this spoiler free but I can tell you there's a moment where queer women everywhere will want to cheer a little bit in the movie theater. The brevity of the film was their only downfall. otherwise this was an enchanting film.

The Great Contiki Challenge!

So as this blog goes up my team and I should be in London registering for the Great Contiki Challenge 2014! It's basically a massive scavenger hunt around the city with plenty of potential prizes and a big party at the end of the day. I'm so excited. I'm hoping it'll be a fun but crazy day.

My team mates and I are participating under the most ridiculous team name. I've no idea why they let us keep it. Expect a full review of the experience and maybe even a vlog. It should be really good.

You can follow the events via the hashtag #TGCC14 - I hope you're rooting for us!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Shopping Spree

So pay day is almost here again and, since I've lost a few pounds and summer is on the way, I'm thinking of doing a little bit of a shopping spree soon. I've got quite a bit of money left over from my last pay check and I'm thinking of just spending some money on me. So much of my money each month automatically enters my savings account so I'd really like to take some of my cash and just celebrate my slimmer, healthier body with a spot of retail therapy.

I've been looking at new clothes online and dreaming about what I'm buying in advance and I can tell you guys, I'm so excited. I don't really do shopping sprees so this is kind of a big deal for me...

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Call In The Night by Gabrielle Leimon

Since the publication of my book a few months ago, many have asked me where to find it and one of the best places to find copies is through InPress Books, via Grist Books directly OR through Amazon.

Below I have links for where you can get it on Amazon so please, please pick up copies of my books because it supports me and the wonderful publishers of my book. Indie publishers like mine need more support and it'd be really awesome if you could buy a copy of my book - you can often find cheap copies on Amazon.

Click here for the Amazon link to find copies of my book. 
Click here to get the book on Kindle.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Recommended Reads!

Hello sweetie pie darling...
Yes, that's what we're going with today.
So I'm sure you know what today is.
It's Wednesday.
Why did I put that in all caps?
It's a segment where I share with you some things from the internet so that you'll experience them too. Maybe you'll even enjoy them. It's all very exciting, isn't it?

OK, so here are my picks for this week:

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Travel Writing Scholarship

On Friday I'll find out whether or not I was accepted for a travel writing scholarship that I applied to. If I won then I'd have the opportunity to spend almost three weeks in August travelling with all expenses paid and learning about the art of travel writing. It's that form of creative non fiction that I feel I could really get into. I cannot wait to hear who won though I'm sure I've not won. There were probably so many applicants from all over the world so the odds aren't really in my favour. All I can do is hope that they noticed and appreciated my application. I tried to put myself out there with a real sense of enthusiasm and interest in a less popular destination.

If I did get it then that would be an absolute dream. It would be an amazing opportunity.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, guys...

Writer Problem#8: Inspiration

One of the biggest problems that a writer will face is that crippling lack of inspiration. For me, I find it hard because when I am inspired, I'm not able to write. When I am able to write, I'm not inspired. I always think of great things to write when I'm at work or on a bus or away from any means of writing. I find that carrying a notepad or somewhere to document creative thoughts is hugely important. Some of us find ways to get inspired. Some say surrounding yourself with the colour blue or having breaks and going outside boost creativity.

How do you get inspired?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Job Interview

Right now I should be just going in for a job interview and, if you ask me, that's a pretty scary prospect. I'm the sort of person who gets really anxious about job interviews. I hate having to talk about myself. I hate the uncertainty of the situation. Maybe it's a dreadful self sabotage thing. I get so anxious that it lessens my chances and I enter the next job interview with that same anxiety. The job I'm being interviewed for today had a pretty vague ad but I know it's probably much better in terms of pay than my current job, it has specific hours which means I'd have evenings with my family and I get free refreshments throughout the day. Sounds good to me! Wish me luck, guys.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Silver Linings Search: May

I've been doing this for a few months now so if you're a regular reader then you'll be familiar with this. Essentially I just note down good things that happened through the month to remind myself that good things do happen, even if they're little. It's always important to not let the good be overshadowed by the bad. It's so strange to think we're almost half way through the year. The month was quite stressful but I've tried to find silver linings amongst the stress.

So here goes, some good things from the month of May:
  • I went to Thorpe Park with my colleagues from work. We earned this day out from our superb sales over Christmas so technically it was our work day out. The company paid for everything and it was a really fun day out. I think that my favourite rides were probably Colossus and Tidal Wave. We got absolutely soaked. 
  • One morning I woke up, went downstairs and found a cat in my kitchen. It was not one of our cats. It was a cat belonging to a neighbour. Whenever I've seen this cat before it has run away. When the cat was in my house it was calm and affectionate so I got lots of cuddles and a nice surprise kitty friend. 
  • I worked a lot of hours. In fact I worked until I was sore from being up on my feet. I worked until I was tired and void of any remaining energy. That said, I earned a lot of money and boosted the company sales numbers.
  • I finally spoke to one of my managers about some of the shit that goes on at work. I don't think that the management team realised what was even going on. I was the only person to speak up and break the silence and soon, others began to follow. Everyone had been to anxious to speak up so hopefully this will bring about some positive change.
  • I landed a job interview. It's the first interview since I got my current job so I'm a little rusty. I've only really just started looking for a new job. I'll miss the perks of my current job when I leave but I really need something with better pay and more sociable hours.
  • Sorry to be crude but... I earned a lot of money this month, even after taxes. Sure, most of that money goes straight into a savings account for the future but still, I earned more than I'd estimated. That's mostly money that has been put away into my savings account for the future. That money could go towards something big one day like a mortgage down payment. I's rather exciting.
  • I won another little competition at work. First, I won a prize, a pretty notebook. Then I got to choose a forfeit for my colleagues and made them speak in bad American accents for the rest of the day. Safe to say it was hilarious. 
  • I got quite a bit of writing done on a new novel.
  • I finally dyed my roots. I'd put it off for ages and ages and man did my hair look good all blonde again.
  • My partner and I went on some nice dates. On one, we went back to this nice field/outdoor area where we used to hang out before we started dating. It's where we shared our first kiss. It was really nice and we had the opportunity to just relax in the sunshine, reading books and sunbathing. I feel like our relationship this month grew and became stronger than ever.
  • I explained the plot of the novel I'm working on to my partner. I'm usually very, very secretive about what I am writing until it's completed but I opened up, explained the plot and my partner was honestly excited and full of praise which made me feel very comfortable and excited about my project.
  • I met up with old friends to catch up and have fun in the sun.
  • Just the sun... in general. The sun makes me happier. The sun is what makes a silver lining. 
  • I got tan lines! I mean, I went to Greece last year and didn't get a tan because I was so scared of getting sun burn. One weekend in my back garden and I had strap lines on my back from my little tan glow. 
  • The little pepper plants that I potted are growing strong. I can't wait to eat something I've grown from just a seed.
  • I started writing poetry again. By 2015 I want to have a poetry book completed. I'm making good progress. 
  • I thought of a new script writing project I'd like to do in the future and took the first step towards actually achieving it. 
  • In recent competitions at work I won a whole bunch of vouchers and this month I had a lot of fun going out and spending those vouchers. I took £20 worth of vouchers this month and bought three awesome books. I liked taking home books that I didn't have to spend a penny for. I earned those books through hard work and hard sales.