Week #24 | My biggest dream in life

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


My biggest dream – or ambition – in life is the same now as it was when I was seven: to make a living by writing and publishing novels. This blog post is actually slightly very delayed because I was busy taking steps to fulfil this dream by attending a course on how best to write an attention-grabbing query letter and submission pack.


lives a thousandThe desire to become an author is the first decision I remember making about my life. My Year 3 teacher, Mrs. Goode, told me I had a talent for writing and pointed out that, behind all of the books I was reading, there was an author who wrote them – who did it as a job. I loved reading; I can’t explain how much books have influenced the way I see the world, how much they’ve shaped the person I am today. Growing up in a socially conservative family, I consider books at least half the reason I’m an unabashed liberal.

Books open your mind to concepts you might not experience in real life; some can teach tolerance, shape your views on taboo subjects before you even experience them. They test your mettle, your values, the way you think and feel, and they never stop teaching you how to look at life from someone else’s perspective. To quote George R. R. Martin: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Well, I’ve lived a thousand lives and I’ll live a thousand more, but I want to contribute to the ocean of worlds that live inside books. That’s my dream, to just reach one reader and open their minds (whilst having fun at the same time, of course).


The problem comes in realising this dream. 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


tumblr_mgkxp19BGe1rhj9tso1_500

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

Week #19 | My quirky habits

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


This title from the blog challenge was originally ‘My OCD habits’, but I changed it as I don’t actually have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD is a real condition and you can find out more about it here.

In the spirit of the question, I’ve listed a couple of my ‘charming quirks’… you know the type of thing; the ones that really annoy the people around you when they experience them every day.


Knives and forks

I’m aware imageit’s stupid, but I like to eat dinner with a particular knife and fork set. This is purely because they fit comfortably in my hands and the knife cuts better than the others in the drawer. Yet it has become a habit everyone in my family knows about and has indulged over the years. It’s entirely possible for me to eat with other sets, but even my partner knows the ‘skinny fork, fat knife’ rule. The pictured pair belong to my parents, who were completely unsurprised to find I’d commandeered a few sets of them when I moved out. Continue reading