29th August 2012

Third year in a row, let's see.

How Things Change

  • May. 10th, 2011 at 12:36 PM
I did this quiz just over a year ago - I'm doing it again to see how I've changed. The ones that aren't crossed out still apply - the ones that are struck through might still apply but there is an answer that is more prominent.

5 bands/musicians I’ve been listening to a lot lately:

1. Eastmountainsouth Birdy (Jasmine Van den Bogaerde)
2. Camera Obscura Delirious?
3. Regina Spektor Stereophonics
4. Michael Jackson Fleet Foxes Michael W. Smith
5. Joan Jett Hillsong Live/Jesus Culture/iBethel worship

5 things I’m currently addicted to:

1. Walking to new places Hot strawberry milkshake (the Nesquik sort is the best) Sleeping
2. Writing Listening
3. Photography Looking at old photographs and letting other people take new ones
4. Tuna sandwiches with garlic mayonnaise Dreaming that the empty office downstairs from where I work will be used for a small publishing company so I can a) get work experience there next year and b) persuade/bribe them to publish my writing. Sitting in Tettenhall and feeling at home
5. Writing, again Tumblr.com Wide open spaces and rooms painted white

5 Biggest celebrity crushes:

1. Taylor Lautner - He's hotter than jalapeno peppers.
2. Ethan Rodgers - He's not really a celebrity, but it counts for me. Cheryl Cole is in the naughty book for kicking him out when he could have entertained us for a while longer. (:
3. Colin Firth - He is just lovely.
4. Kristen Stewart - Certainly more of an admiration...she is SO gifted. And so sincere and honest.
5. Amanda Seyfried - She's just so pretty that it actually makes me sick.
I don't really have celebrity crushes this year. I still admire Kristen Stewart massively and I love her films, and Taylor Lautner is still way hot, but they're not so much crushes anymore.

Tom Ellis, when I think about Miranda. That's about it.

5 songs I can’t stop listening to at the moment:

I can't limit it to five, I'm changing the question. Sorry.

1. So You Are To Me: Eastmountainsouth
2. Mark's Song: Eastmountainsouth
3. Flightless Bird (American Mouth): Iron & Wine
4. Yo Me Rindo a El (I Surrender): Michael W. Smith with Caolo Zamarano
5. This Means War: Joan Jett
6. Any Other Name: Stan Whitmere
7. Black or White: Michael Jackson
8. Samson - Regina Spektor.
9. Waiting On the Sun - Barradepololaris
10. I'll Look Away - Barradepololaris
11.Claire de Lune - Beethoven
1. Skinny Love - Birdy
2. Pick A Part That's New - Stereophonics
3. The Skies and Seas Are Mine - Fields of Ypres
4. Welcome Home, Son - Radical Face
5. Breathe Me - Sia
1. Ships in the Night - Mat Kearney
2. Pick A Part That's New - Stereophonics
3. Eternal Light: A requiem (Lead Kindly Light) - Howard Goodall arrangement
4. Shout to the North - Delirious
5. I've Found Jesus - Delirious

Your dream future: 1 job/1 city/1 car/1 pet/1 husband or wife:
1. Job: Author. I will write books and sell them to whoever would like to read them.
2. City: Salinas, CA. (Or La Push, WA. I want to live in Slab City for a while, too.) Somewhere that has lakes.
3. Car: Aston Martin Vanquish. A dark green one. A 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible.
4. Pet: A little chipmunk called Stewart. A dog called Oscar.
5. Husband: Taylor Lautner (you can tell this a dream list). Whoever I choose to marry?


1. Job - primary school teacher
2. City - Wolverhampton, for now
3. Car - I'm not fussed
4. Pet - a dog called Oscar.
5. Husband - not yet.

5 things that always cheer me up:
1. Hugs. Reading Maggie Stiefvater's blog.
2. Friends and family.
3. A cup of tea and a good book.
4. Watching 'Into The Wild'.
5. Reading. Writing my WIP


1. Hugs
2. Friends and family
3. A cup of tea
4. Knowing that it's Sunday soon
5. Being outdoors even when it's not warm enough to be.

5 TV shows you’ve seen every episode of:

That's about it...I hardly ever watch TV anymore.
and Gilmore Girls, obviously, because I love that show.

(2012) Nothing's changed, except I got mad when they took Gilmore Girls off halfway through the season.

Favourite sports teams:

1. Wolverhampton Wanderers
2. I'll root for Stoke, because my Uncle and Grandparents support them...but I'd not be too sad if they lost. ^^

Teams I hate with a passion:

1. West Brom, just because, as a Wolves fan, that's the way I've been bought up. ^^
2. I don't hate Man United, I just think...well, been there, done that, got the trophy, really. Give someone else a chance. xD

Five things that you would say to FIVE different people

1. To Amy Smith: I miss you and you feel SO far away! Come home safely, when you can. Please.
2. To Christelle Meinier: I love you big sister. :)
3. To Sam Pye: I love you more than I love Frankie & Benny's Cinnamon Waffles and Happy Hippos put together (and that is an awful lot).
4. To Christopher Mattinson: If you don't come to the next picnic with me and Natalie, you are dead meat (y te quiero mucho).
5. To Andrew Wardrop: Thanks for writing the end of the song. It is super cool.
1. To Mum - Thank you for being our rock through all of this.
2. To Brother - Thank you for being you, and for always being my little brother who cheers me up.
3. To Dad - I miss you so much, and I wish you were still here.
4. To Best Friend - I love you. Thank you for everything.
5. To Other Best Friends - Thank you for all your support. Thank you for not giving up on me after all these years we've been friends.

2012: To God, thank you. Every day, thank you.

Ten things about myself:

1. Writing is almost as important as breathing.
2. I aspire to be everything I want to be, and not things I think I should be. That's different. I really, really, really want to go to the Lake District.
3. I really dislike even numbers. I seem to be constantly tired all the time no matter how early I go to bed.
4. I have to always walk on the left hand side of people. Always. I don't pray as often as I should.
5. Sometimes, I eat Nutella with a spoon. I like listening to Classic FM when I'm driving.
6. I love colour.
7. I nearly always have a pen and notebook on me.
8. I am really bad at answering my phone because it doesn't accompany me absolutely everywhere.
9. I could probably listen to music all day long and never get bored. I have composed a soundtrack to my latest novel.
10. I think that, despite what I've just said, there is so much to be found in silence.


1. Let me go my own way.

Four things I do before I sleep:

1. Check my alarm three times consecutively to see if it has set for the right time.
2. Toss and turn for about ten minutes before I get comfy.
3. Fluff up my pillow.
4. Make sure that Scampi is sitting up straight on the bedpost (he has a habit of slouching. This is not good for his posture).

Nothing. I just sleep.

Three things I want to do before I die:

1. Publish the books I've written/am writing/will write.
2. Go backpacking around America. See America.
3. Become fluent in as many languages as possible, then travel the world to test them out. As you do. (: Visit Maccu Pichu.

1. Be happy
2. Be loved
3. Love in return
  • Current Music
    O Magnum Mysterium Morten Lauridsen

I love being a writer,

especially when Amazon.com sends me presents. (This time is was WALDEN by Thoreau, last time it was CODE NAME VERITY, LIFEBOAT and JOE JONES. I love it. Love love love love love it. If I hadn’t been on a bear hunt at Shropshire Secret Hills today with 29 four and five year olds today I’d bake gingerbread just to celebrate.

  • Current Music
    Fleet Foxes and The Shins and every song they ever sung

Things one might wonder about me

Okay, so here are a few things about me, considering any reader/s I do have might not know anything more than I a am a person who sometimes bakes gingerbread and drinks coffee in celebration of completing chapters of her novel. Which is fine. Just thought I'd add a couple of extra details, namely:

1. Yes, I do sometimes act like a four year old, but only because I work in the reception class (ages four and five) in a primary school, so it's often a lot easier to see things from a small child's perspective by actually becoming one. 

2. I play piano as much as I drink coffee (which for anyone who reads will know is as often as I write, which for anyone who doesn't know, a lot).

3. I like Jessie the cowgirl from Toy Story, and yes. Yes I did dress up as her when I worked a New Year shift when I was still employed at the bar. It was fun. They even let me make my own hat and wear it all night. 

4. Most of my posts are about writing/gingerbread/books/music.

5. I quite regularly post things that are nothing to do with anything apart from my own interest.

6. Which doesn't bother me, seeing as I write this for me and not you.

7. I wish I spent more time reading and less time at work work (i.e. not school as I am technically a volunteer there and do not get paid) but unfortunately as I am not a full time writer yet I cannot earn a living of my books).

8. One day I will though, earn a living from writing. I'm determined, even if I don't manage to get published until I'm 70. 

9. I write for myself, and find it weird sharing my stories/letting people read them.

10. I'll get over that. It's just something I've always kept to myself because it's so private. Not the actual stories, just the process. 

  • Current Music
    Seascapes - Mason Jar Bells

(no subject)

s this wrong? I mean, creating facebook accounts for characters in my novel and then talking to them as if they're real people?

I don't know, but I created a facebook page for my music, so check it out if you're stopping by anyway.

  • Current Music
    Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto

re: frothy coffee and red velvet

Yesterday, after taking home Plantboy, I drove to the garage and put petrol in my car and came out the shop with the following items:

- one bottle of Charlie and Lola Pink Milk (I know it's for kinds but it tastes like little drops of sin and it's delicious, I'm not kidding)
- one small packet of Bacon Fries (I used to have them when I was younger and I was nostalgic)
- a bottle of peach flavour ice tea
- some cherry drops
- a mango

A weird combination, but it satisfied me. Today, after arriving at work an hour late due to my alarm being too quiet and my dizziniess from overtiredness, at lunchtime I bought the following items:

- The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
- Joe James by Anne Lamott
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- A coffee frother (say that fast, it's huge fun)

Whilst I appreciate I am supposed to be saving money (which I started back in September and it's going alright) so that Plantboy and I might move into a suitable yet small flat in Edinburgh (where he studies and I work) there is no denying that my reading list is looking, whilst not thin, a little dated and could do with some refreshing fiction. And one knows that fiction needs good, frothy coffee, and since I am the only one besides my brother who really drinks REAL coffee regularly, we do not own a coffee machine. Hence my buying the coffee frother, so I can make lattes when I don't fancy an americano.

When I get home, seeing as Plantboy is working at the farm with his friends, I shall make red velvet cupcakes using this recipe and then I shall take them to his house later after they've had dinner and we can share them. If there is one thing alone he loves me for, it's my cakes. I don't have any trouble admitting that might be the only reason he wants to marry me (one day, and don't tell him I said that, he might hunt you down and smash cake in your face).

Anyway, I have said enough. It's a beautiful day, the kind that makes one wish one was outdoors flying kinds and making dens instead of sat behind a computer working, but I took my break to write this and I'm feeling better about staying on until four now. 

Next time, I won't stay away so long. It only makes me unhappy.

(no subject)

I haven't had all that much time to blog recently about writing, but let me istead post this brilliant photograph I found on tumblr of Hunger Games cupcakes (which I will so make when I get chance):

Smooth transitions

I realise that 2012 is fast approaching, the muddy sediment of 2011 beginning to slip away from us. In many ways I'm going to sound old and say that year has flown by, yet in other ways I feel that for me, it has stretched out like those super-elastic bands we used to attach to sticks to make catapults from as kids.

Let me explain by use of oh-so-convenient bullet points.

The year has galloped on by because I have been busy with:
  •  work I got a job at an office as an administrator (yes they DO let me organise their stationary cupboard) and have been working there a year and two weeks almost to the day. I love it; whilst I have little responsibility in the way of financially advising (i.e. none whatsoever) I am good at preparing and organising and making things look neat, which happens to suit me. It is by no means a permanent job, merely something to aid me in gaining experience of 'the real world' and to occupy my time. Suffice to say that without this job (and my lovely colleagues, all three of them) my little Jella the Dinosaur Car would have to be rendered pedal-powered.
  • volunteering In January I started volunteering my general insanity at my old Primary School in the village. I love this more than my job (sorry, job) and have finally found my pathway. Yes, my mother and my grandparents have been telling me since I was eleven that she'd make a brilliant teacher someday, wouldn't she, Barb? Thus far I have helped with mundane classroom tasks, been on school trips (the other week we went to see Santa at a National Park. No kidding, it was awesome). It feels good to have my direction back again, even if my circumstances permitted it a little.
  • Also, I've been helping out a lot with SAY YES, a church-run organisation which provides Youth Clubs and Youth Cafés and phenomenal services for young people in my area. To make things even more exciting MESSY CHURCH has just started up; arts and crafts and yummy junk-food decorating for children and their families, followed by a short service in church and a homecooked meal to share.
  • frolicking By which I mean writing, doing arty-farty things, meeting and loving Plantboy, visiting/being silly with friends.

The year has dragged on like a pair of weary feet because:
  • I met Plantboy, and it feels as though I have loved him forever. (At this point my suspicions that Maggie Stiefvater was in fact telling the truth about love in her SHIVER series were correct.)#

So there we go. Another year almost gone, and I have to remind myself of how much I have actually achieved this year instead of concentrating on all the things I haven't yet completed. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and I feel like I'm not doing great, so when I feel like this I'll remember just how far I've come since the day the sky turned.

Oh, yeah. And I'm remind myself how many thousands of words closer I am to finishing all my writings. How much more confident and outgoing person I am than I ever have been in my life. 

Just a quick prayer to thank God for this beautiful, challenging, fruitful year and to ask for guidance, trust, friendship and love. For a smooth transition from one melting year into the next.



Mood and character POV

I've been meaning to post about mood and character POV for a few days now. I recently rewrote a scene I thought I'd completed months ago, but since then I haven't been able to write immediately past it and until now, haven't realised why.

It was something quite simple, something that could be easily, though carefully, changed. The answer? My character POV was wrong. Instead of writing from Girl's POV, once I'd taken the conversation and weaved it into Boy's POV, things started to flow a whole lot better.

Which leads me to believe that POV and mood are actually linked.

The particular scene I am talking about is when my main character and her best friend meet for the first time. Naturally, as they don't know each other from Adam (or Eve), the mood has to be right. I've been experimenting with writing from Boy's POV because I wanted to observe my main character, as everybody else in the story was developed and had arcs and shapes. Whilst her internal and external "journies" were very clear cut for me, how she achieved the development in its entirety wasn't something I'd quite finished figuring out. There were plot holes to fill in and her coping mechanisms to tweek. Suddenly, by switching to Boy as narrator in certain scenes, I get his take on how she reacts to things around her, his take on how she dresses, the tiny things she does when she's nervous or excited or angry or sad.

In this particular scene I wanted to highlight how first impressions, depending on how guarded or open a person is, aren't always accurate. This needed a mood, perhaps nervousness or confidence or a mixture of the two. Through simply altering my POV and hence the mood, I suddenly have a scene I can work with, can mould my protagonist from.

Tomorrow I might post an example of one scene written from Girls POV and the same written from Boy's, to highlight my meaning. Today I have, alas, steered away from my WIP to iron out a plot bunny on a couple of 100 word stories and two other 100 word stories that I am looking to turn into (longer) short stories. By Friday I aim to be done with plot bunnies, so I can divert my attention back to Boy, Girl and Ceilidh Dance Frivolities.