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17 Dec 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.


I've been re-reading some late childhood/early adolescent favourites.  When I was eleven I discovered Spooksville by Christopher Pike.  I had a few books but I gave them up after thinking I was much too old for them.  But then I saw that they had made a TV series loosely based on the books.  While it takes out two of the main characters, my favourites too, and creates new stories for the characters it rekindled how much I loved the series.  The books are quite cheap online so I bought some for my kindle and some paperback.  They're very short so I've been getting through them quite quickly.  Definitely remembering why it was one of my favourite series.  It sparked so much inspiration for writing when I was younger.

I also finished reading The Neverending Story on Monday after trekking through. Overall I enjoyed it and I loved the concept.  Got me just as hooked as the film did.  That being said I can see why the film only took aspects of the first part of the book.  It really does feel like two plots in one.  Full review to come.WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL)

Fiction-wise, nothing.  Although with it being Christmas I'm hoping I can use the holidays to get a lot of work and planning done and maybe, hopefully, squeeze in a bit of writing.  Reading Spooksville has sparked inspiration for the NA WiP I started working on this year.  The characters were all taken from an old series I used to write in the style of Spooksville.  I'm not planning on getting it finished, just to work on it a bit more.  Even if I only have time to write one more chapter.  I think that can be my writing goal.  Write a new chapter.

When I've got lectures, I've taken to getting in quite early.  I try to get there for about seven and do some work because it's nice and quiet for a couple of hours in the campus library.  I went there to do one essay after spending the whole weekend trudging through it and not getting many words done.  In the two hours I was in the library I finished the whole thing.  So, I'm gonna try it one time for my WiP.  See how productive it makes me then.  I get way too distracted at home.  I really need to start considering going to Costa or the library when I have a home day just for writing sessions. 

I finish semester one tomorrow! *Throws confetti around* Can't believe we're nearly halfway done with the course already. Think everyone is in need of a rest.  The girls on my course, and myself, are currently a plagued bunch.  Good news is our afternoon lectures have been cancelled tomorrow so we get to finish at 1 O'clock and hopefully we'll all be well enough to have our course meal together at Nandos.  

And my tattoo is all healed up. =D  I haven't got a current picture of it but I've got one from when it was freshly done.  I ended up with a much bigger one than I had intended to go for and got it on my left upper back.  I've already got another in mind but I'm not rushing into it.  If I still like this other idea in a year's time I'll get it done. 

Now I'm going to look forward to Christmas because it's my favourite time of the year.  The flat is decorated, I've wrapped a couple of presents already because the tree just doesn't feel complete without presents underneath and the Christmas baking has started.  

So... what's up, doc? :)

13 Dec 2014

So, What Did You Bring Me 2014?
Photo credit

2014 has been a rollercoaster of a year.  It's started out with me being very productive in the writing sense until September came and that sometimes annoying thing called Real Life took absolute control of my time management.

I've ended up being completely absent in the blogosphere and while I'm studying I have no idea if I'm going to be around a lot until my course ends.  But I at least need to wrap up 2014 because it's been the most insane year I've ever experienced.

So... what has happened this year? A mix of good and bad really.  On the good side...
  • I was finally accepted onto a teacher training course.
  • I passed exams to start said teacher training course.
  • I got in touch again with old friends.
  • I met up with the best group of friends I've ever known.  Seriously, can't believe we've all known each other now for thirteen years.
  • I passed my driving test and got a car.
  • Got my first tattoo.
  • I got to experience beta reading and received some incredibly helpful feedback.
  • I passed my first teaching placement, getting 'good' overall with some outstanding aspects. 
On the bad side...
  • I didn't really read much this year because there was always something I had to give priority to. 
  • I had to stop writing once my course started.  So desperate to work on something.
  • My grandma passed away last month.  An experience I can only describe as upsetting and weird.
  • For my second teaching placement I've been given in a horrible school with poor behaviour management and a rude teacher.  So I've got to grin and bear it until mid-February.
Luckily more good than bad and I am seriously ready for the holidays just to sleep and rest.  Even though I've got a few assignments over the holidays and planning to do.  2015 will continue to be incredibly busy but I'm hoping I can deal with my time management better.  At least my bus journeys to uni are giving me a bit of reading time. And even if I can't blog as much, I should at least make sure I stay in touch with writing/blogging friends and comment on their blogs.

Hope everyone else's 2014 has been less chaotic! Let me know what 2014 has brought for you! Feel free to leave a link to your end-of-year posts! :)

31 Oct 2014

It's Halloween!

A very short, probably pointless post but I guess I should make it look like I haven't upped and abandoned this blog.  But saying that, I best point out that for the next nine months or so my posts are going to be incredibly sporadic.  I'm still writing and reading... ish... but I won't have a lot of updates on them.  Things are moving incredibly slowly at the moment while I take on the insane amount of work a PGCE requires you to do and there is so much to do.  Which bums me out a little because I have had to really put aside writing and reading and that's the whole point of this blog.  So bear with me... I will try and squeeze in random posts.

But anyhoo... it's Halloween! Wahey! One of my favourite nights of the year and while I'm too ill to properly celebrate... it doesn't mean I can't still fill the flat with spooky music. 

If you're writing horror or just want a spooky atmosphere... get these on your playlist. :)

24 Sep 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.

1) What I'm Reading
Getting further into The Neverending Story. I can see why the film ended up changing the story a bit.  It does feel like I've jumped straight into a sequel, with the story going in a new direction now.  But I am really enjoying reading it.

2) What I'm Writing
I'm imagining writing, if that counts. Seriously, no time. People were not kidding when they warned us that a PGCE is the most time-consuming experience you will ever have. Although let's see how I feel in a year's time when I'm, hopefully, in my NQT year.

3) What works for me
I'm glad I spent most of this year doing a lot of writing because now that summer is over and my course has started I've had no time. About the time I started, I was needing a writing break anyway so looking back, I'm glad I worked on things when I had the chance.

4) What else have I been up to?
I volunteered as a zombie for 2.8 Hours Later last Saturday and it was a fantatic experience. It was so much fun getting into the spirit of the game, snarling and screaming at the players. And the reactions were great! A group of lads in superhero costumes were our first group and it was hilarious to see the looks on their faces when I suddenly stopped shuffling around and sprinted right at them. I think that was definitely my favourite part. Watching people suddenly make a mad dash for it when I started to chase them.  Haven't come across any youtube videos yet but someone's posted one on facebook that I'm in which I wish I could share.  I'll have to keep a look out on youtube!

10 Sep 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.

1) What I'm Reading
Cracking on with The Neverending Story, using my travel time to read more. I never knew how different the film was from the book.  While I love the film, I do also really like the differences in the book but at the same time I wouldn't change anything in the adaptation. 

2) What I'm Writing
I never did reach my last goal for Ready Set Write, or wrote my last post on it.  Towards the end everything was complete chaos.  I didn't get much writing done during the stay in Darlington due to having an awful case of food poisoning, my first ever time and hopefully my last.  Then we got back to Leeds and I spent the last two days of my holiday wanting to chill out and get stuff all organised.  I still haven't done any writing but I'm not pushing myself to make time on purpose.  Need to turn my focus elsewhere.

3) What Else I've Been Up To
I started university on Monday.  It's been terrifying, exciting, stomach churning... there's a whole rollercoaster of emotions going on.  No-one was kidding around when they said the course was intense.  I have 9-5 lectures most days which I got away with when I did my undergraduate.  The travel is long because I decide to commute by bus (works out cheaper) so I'm leaving pretty early and getting home quite late.  That in itself has been tiring. We've already been given assignments, we start school placements in a couple of weeks and I've been sorting out all my folders and notes for the last few days.  It's mental! But I love it! =D

4) What Inspires Me Right Now
I started watching this television programme called Freak Encounters.  It's reality TV where people nominate a friend or relative to do some voluntary work with a few people.  What they don't know is that all these people are actors and their work has been set up to give them a freak encounter with a mythical monster.  Like werewolves, mothman, sasquatch etc.  It's absolutely cruel but I can't help but love it.  And it's inspiring more short stories.  With this and Halloween on the way I'm really feeling the spooky spirit!

18 Aug 2014

Ready. Set. Write! The Penultimate Edition

Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing intensive that is hosted during the months of June, July, and August by Jaime Morrow, Erin Funk, Alison Miller and Katy Upperman.  If you want to participate you come up with your own writing goals for those three months and check in with a short update every Monday.  This year RSW starts today until August 25th.

  • Get Chapter 8 finished. (Check)
  • Choose and start reading a new book. (Check) 
  • Chapter 9 of Inside the Broom Closet.
  • Read two chapters of The Neverending Story
I guess I had to squeeze in my goals for the last part of the week.  I was still in Kent Monday and Tuesday doing touristy things and travelling back up to Leeds most of Wednesday.  

 "It slowly glowed red and he blew at it. A trail of dancing grey smoke began to float around, parting in different directions and curling in the air."

I quite like writing the parts that show the spells and magick working.  It's supernatural but it's not horror like my usual stuff.

13 Aug 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.

1) What I'm Reading
I finished Cress! No, really, I did! Taking more time to read made me realise how much I've been missing sitting down and reading.  Overall, I really enjoyed Cress.  Everything is kicking off, secrets have been exposed, we have more awesome characters in Cress and an introduction to Winter and her love interest Jacin.  I am so excited for Winter next year!

2) What I'm Writing
Still trekking through Inside the Broom Closet, editing longhand. 

3) What Else I've Been Up To
Just back from the little holiday to Kent.  Thanks to horrible weather we didn't get to do most of the place we wanted to visit.  We went into London a couple of times, visited Howletts Wildlife Park and saw the most adorable baby monkey ever! I'm a complete softie for animals.  I absolutely love them.  When I was a kid I was desperate to be a presenter on The Really Wild Show just so I could meet animals.  We went to Leeds Castle for Go Ape, which does tree top climbing and zip lining.  So much fun! I'm still aching and covered in bruises but it was an amazing experience.  We were going to go into the castle but the prices were ridiculous and we'd already paid for Go Ape so we left that in the end.
Challenge a cinema employee to an arm wrestle for a free ticket.

I also took part in GISHWHES this year, which was the craziest thing I've ever got involved in.  Yes,
Suck blood from a doughnut. It's still jam!
even crazier than the zombie runs I take part in.  I met some incredible people who were absolutely legends getting tasks done.  I probably won't take part next year just because if things go to plan I'll be busy planning for my NQT year and getting my first ever classroom sorted.  But it was an experience and I've put up a couple of photos of the challenges I had to do.

 4) What Inspires Me Right Now
During my stay in Kent, Pete and I went into London to see a play.  Ghost Stories was truly terrifying! I can't reveal a lot of the plot because the creators want the audience to keep it secret for future viewing but it revolves around three spooky stories that all connect.  It had tension, jumpy moments, funny moments, audience interaction.  People actually screamed.  I screamed quite a few times! It was the best horror I've seen in a while and completely inspiring.  It reminded me how well horror actually fits in the short story.  I quite like spooky stories that are snappy and straight to the point.  It works well.  So after watching Ghost Stories, I'm itching to write some horror short stories.  I've done one before which got published in an anthology and had so much fun writing it.  I'm saving the review for Halloween so keep an eye out!