Week 32 | My inspiration to blog

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


It feels a bit strange to be writing this post when my blog has been so quiet for the last few months. Acres of Ink’s silence hasn’t been very inspiring, has it? Of course, now that I’ve kicked myself into gear again, hopefully that will change because… my primary goal in blogging is to help and inspire other writers.

lionsI’ve been writing fiction since I was seven. The first story I can remember was written at age seven, about two warring lion prides in the suburbs of Kent. When I was twelve, I completed my first book – a historical novel that is better off remaining in the past. I like to think I’ve learned a lot since those early days. Although I’ve definitely written more terrible stories than good ones, I’ve won a few awards, completed a literature degree, worked in a few publishing houses and currently work in a marketing / editing role in London. I’m still learning and the idea is to keep learning.

writingishardI habitually gather snippets of information I learn from both my own experience and industry advice I’ve been given. Recently I went to a course about ‘How to Hook an Agent’, which gave me invaluable advice about the querying process. I’ll be sharing this at some point, along with other ‘How-To’s, over in the Writing Is Hard section. The idea is to help other writers with questions I didn’t know the answer to and now do, as well as document my own publishing journey. This section is going through a bit of a revamp at the moment, so if you do happen to mosey on over there, I apologise if some of the links are lost. If it’s something that interests you, watch this space, as I’ll be launching a regular WIH Monday blog from October.

Obviously I don’t always write about writing. My blog is also my personal space, where I talk about my own work, review books I’ve enjoyed, share anecdotes about my life or folktales I particularly love. Sometimes I’ll get it in my head to do something crazy like a 52 Week Blog Challenge, with mixed results. Other times, I’ll talk about charity work or surprise Victoria Sponges.

And, sometimes, I just feel the need to share pictures of baby badgers.

Week 27 | My favourite quotes

I’m not typically into motivational posters and photos of cats saying “hang in there!”, but I do have two quotations that spoke to me as soon as I heard them.


flowers in the rain

The first is from a poet called Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī), which is:

“Raise your words, not your voice.
It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

I find this quote is so evocative and uplifting. Coming from a household which admittedly shouts its way through conflict, Rumi’s words filled me with a sense of peace when I heard them; that it was better to convince than to verbally batter. In order to break the cycle of my very loud family, it is a quote I try to live by (although not always successfully).


The second is a quotation from Virgil that, if I were to have anything scrawled on the walls of my study, it would be this:

“Come what may, all bad fortune is to
be conquered by endurance.”

The last couple of years have been up and down. There’s been illness, death, work difficulties, personal difficulties… but nothing more than anyone else in the world has experienced too. This is the quote that gets me up in the morning, that convinces me to have another crack at my novel-in-progress, that no matter what’s happening in my life, there is something I’m aiming for and will achieve.

It is also my go-to ‘Hufflepuff’ quote, because I feel it embodies the ‘hardworking’ and ‘patience’ aspects of that particular Hogwarts house (of which I am a member – Go Hufflepuff!).


What are your favourite quotes?

Week 25 & 26 | My favourite recipe and the best parts of each season

Cc3gQI3WoAAGuNMI’ve been horribly remiss with my blog. I can’t even claim I was doing anything constructive in my absence because I was binge-watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix and sending short story snippets to my writing partner, S.E. Berrow, which have no bearing on my WIP novel whatsoever.

Alas, my impromptu holiday had to come to an end eventually, so I decided to play catch-up in the most efficient way. For this reason, I’m answering a fortnight of posts in one fell swoop.

 

 

Continue reading

Week #23 | What I spend my money on

The answer to this is pretty easy: BOOKS.

books

It’s no secret that I’m a book addict – in fact, it’s in my site’s tagline. I try to read at least 30-40 books a year and I honestly wish I could manage to read more. I’m happy to switch between genres: I read classics, sci-fi, fantasy, children’s books, horrors, crime, historical novels, romances, young adult contemporary… you name it, I’ll try it.

Obviously, such a huge reading habit requires money… on top of reading the words, I’m also a bit of a collector. I like libraries and have always wanted my very own since I saw Beauty and the Beast. I have a love of fine, leatherbound books and beautiful regular covers too… and I try to keep all of my purchases as pristine as I can even whilst re-reading them to death.

I allocate about £30 a month specifically towards buying books (Waterstones loyalist), but occasionally I will find a must-have that costs substantially more than that. This usually happens if I spend any length of time on the Easton Press website.


My library of books is constantly increasing, so much so that I have had to double-line my downstairs bookcase and get my partner to build me a modular bookcase upstairs so that I can add shelves to it whenever necessary. I even have a collection of Discworld books in the downstairs bathroom (safely away from any water, don’t worry!). There have been talks of getting a bookcase in the bedroom as my partner understands this is a sickness that is not going away! For instance, I currently have 141 books on my TBR list… I long ago accepted the fact that I will never be wealthy, except in terms of paperbacks.

I’m still in the process of moving some of my books from my parents’ house to my new home, but here is what I have managed to transfer so far:


Obviously books aren’t the only thing I spend my money on. Food is a big part of my paycheque, along with a mortgage, household bills, pet insurance for my various fluffies and travel. I also enjoy gigs, theatre tickets, treating my nephew and nieces to days out, going to the cinema with the Boy or with friends and buying materials to make craft like pillows and blankets for my family:

… but it’s mostly books.

Week #22 | Workin’ on my fitness

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


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This is a sore point! I had such good intentions in January. I joined a gym, I attended several classes (every week) that I really enjoyed… and then I got Norovirus and skipped a few whilst I recovered. Ever since, I’ve been struggling to get back into my energetic routine.

These past two weeks, I’ve truly endeavoured to ‘get back to it’. My day-job is intensely desk-bound and my hobby / primary career goal of being a writer means that most of my free time is spent sitting too, either writing, editing or reading. Unless I want to wheeze every time I run for the bus, I need to do something about my fitness.

Here are the classes / exercises that I try to partake in once a week. Continue reading

Week #21 | If I could eat ONE last meal…

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


This week is an easy one. (Click the picture for the recipe)

Slow-cooked BBQ Ribs

bbq ribs

Although additions to this ‘last meal’, if allowed, would be honey dew melon as an appetiser, a cashew-nut salad as a side, with a dessert of yellow-lemon icecream (not sorbet).

Honeydew-Melon Yum-Cashew-nuts-12 Scoops-of-yellow-ice-cream-with-mint

Mmmmmmmm.

What would your “last meal” be?

 

Week #20 | Top 10 favourite films

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


I don’t have particularly eclectic taste in films. Usually I like things that will make me laugh or help me relax after a long day. I’m particularly fond of beloved childhood films but occasionally I will find an off-the-wall piece of cinema that really appeals to me. With special mentions to: Moon Child, Disney’s Hercules and Mulan, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Santa Claus: The Movie (not the Tim Allen one), Les Diaboliques and The Mummy (Fraser, not 2017 Cruise)…

moonchild Hercules mulan ace ventura santa claus the movie diaboliques mummy

…here are my current Top 10 Favourite Films… Continue reading