Tag Archive: blogging


On blogs and blogging

So, as I said over the summer, I got onto the masters degree that I applied to. We’re now in Week 4 for teaching, and I am exceedingly busy with all the learning, and my normal working hours, and trying to maintain a social life (and when November finally rolls around, NaNoWriMo. Because I never make sensible decisions with my time).

The thing about life in general, is that it is, occasionally funny.

Right now? It’s funny because I’ve got my first assignment in my Information Literacy module. What is it? It’s an annotated bibliography. What’s the title? Well I took the broad subject “Use of Web 2.0 in marketing” and narrowed it down to “How can blogs be used as a marketing tool for books (and other printed material)?”.

So yeah, I’m learning about blogs at the moment. With particular focus on authors. Oh look, I have a blog here, about writing, and I follow a bunch of blogs from authors and writers.

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Yeah, when you give me a choice of what I can do for my own title, I’m going to do something that I like. I like technology, hence writing about web 2.0 is fun, and then I had to think about what you can market on the web. And since I am part of a community of authors, the choice seemed obvious.

Of course, now I have the difficult bit of finding books and research papers relevant to research in this area, but that’s the academia bit for you.

I just think it’s funny, how you can turn what you love into many things, from a career, to an essay. And by doing lots of reading around the subject (so far I’ve picked up a whole bunch of books on marketing and blogging) I’m teaching myself a lot about blogging, including things I didn’t know. And by coming online, writing here, and then going out and reading all the lovely blogs that you have, I also remind myself of how awesome the blogging community is. Really, you guys are awesome, and books can never quite convey that. The sense of community, swapping tips and tricks, and just getting to know what happens in your lives.

I’m rambling a bit, I realise. I guess I’m just trying to say that I’m doing well with the masters, and this first assignment has made me re-realise how awesome blogging is, and how awesome you, my readers and fellow bloggers, are.

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Turtles!

Thank you so much for visiting whilst I was away. I am very pleased to report success!

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I saw two turtles! Both in the middle of laying nests:

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So fantastic to see them in the wild, being all natural and stuff. And getting to touch them, however briefly.

And I also saw a hatchling!

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Just one, but I saw a baby!

I struggled through the heat and humidity and was rewarded with live turtles around me. Maybe not as many as I had hoped for, I certainly didn’t waste my time over there.

Regular updates will resume soon 🙂

Fly, fly, fly away

I am always startled by how many views I get even when I don’t publish something.

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I mean, look at that. In the last week I have published a grand total of two posts (one about dragons and one length one about writing) and yet I still have three days where I have 40 plus views. And yes I am aware that views and visitors are different, but this still means a whole bunch to me. To know that people are out there, and they are coming along to this little blog of mine.

So thank you.

The reason I haven’t been posting anything lately is because I’m going on holiday, and I’ve been panicking slightly. Okay, more than I realise. I think I’ve got everything I need, the last few bits are drying on the rack, I’ve packed an excess of books and printed off all the bits of paper I might need to wave at people.

But I am nervous. It probably isn’t going to go wrong, but there’s always the possibility. Lost luggage, missed connections, and since this is a solo holiday, I’m leaving behind the partner and friends.

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Of course, I reckon as soon as I get out there and see some turtles in real life, I’ll be fine. That’s what I’m doing by the way, going out to Costa Rica to volunteer with a turtle sanctuary. But between now and turtles I have to get to the airport, catch two planes and between them cross 5,340 miles. I’ve done a lot of travelling in my life, so I know what I’m doing. I can’t quite explain why I am so nervy, but I’m just going to roll with it. In all probability the worst thing that is probably going to happen is misplaced luggage, but the airline I’m with is pretty good.

So, I catch my coach to the airport rather late tonight, my flight is at stupid o’clock in the morning tomorrow, and by the end of Wednesday, I should be in Central America. Long flights across the Atlantic are long.

What this does mean for the blog is that I am going to be in a place where internet is, at best, patchy. I’m going to try and schedule a couple of posts during today (all hail the technological marvel that is scheduling) so that the blog doesn’t just go dead for a couple of weeks, but you’ll next here from real time me when I come back and want to share a lot of photos with you all.

Until then, I hope that whatever you are doing for your summer, you’re having a good time.

Cymru

Croeso i Gymru!

Cymru

And in English – Welcome to Wales!

My posting schedule is going to go a bit off this week.

I spent all day today (7 whole hours) travelling to Wales today, to do a thing tomorrow, and then I get to travel all the way back. Yeah, fun times.

And then this weekend I have Empire, so if interesting things happen (and they usual do) you’ll get a lovely long post about that next week.

But this week, I might be lucky and get some time on Thursday for a post on something, but for now, you’ll just have to have this lovely green picture of Wales.

Hwyl Fawr.

Creative Blogger Award

It’s a lovely thing to log on to first thing in the week – a nomination for a Creative Blogger Award. Mine comes to be from Danica over at Living a Beautiful Life. Check her out, she writes about life, whether in creative writing or other formats, and tries to liven ups people’s days. She certainly has done with my day today!

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The Rules:

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (done!)
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Pass these rules onto them

Wow, okay. So that’s a lot of people to nominate. I always have the very small worry in the back of my head that people don’t want to be nominated for things like this. Although, the last time that happened, the person just said “thanks very much, but I shan’t take up the nomination” which is one of the reasons that I continue to blog – people on the blogosphere are cool people.

Okay, so I’m going to nominate some people. I’ll see how many I end up doing, and feel free to not take up the nominations if you don’t want to! These are blogs that I feel are creative in some way, whether that’s with a creative pursuit (writing, drawing, crafting) or just creative in how they post. It is, after all, called the Creative Blogger Award.

  • Zen and Pi – Love her “If we were having coffee” posts. A very imaginative way to catch up with her week on week. I know it’s not unique, other blogs do it, but I enjoys hers. (Laso loved her theme of choice for A to Z this year)
  • Stephanie Ingram – I was very much enjoying her post back in April for the AtoZ blogging challenge – The Ghosts in my Attic. I do hope the ghosts haven’t taken her away!
  • I Read Encyclopaedias For Fun – Okay, so being a science person myself, I love the science diversion that occasionally crop up, but the project of his that I think is really creative is Authors Answers, where he asks a bunch of different authors questions and they answer. Properly fascinating stuff.
  • Alex Hurst – Fairytale connoisseur. Who doesn’t love a collection of fairy tales from all over the world?
  • Disregard the Prologue – a fellow fantasy writer, it’s doesn’t hurt that she includes a bunch of dragons in and around the blog (but her writing is pretty ace too). She’s currently doing an out of season A to Z to do with her books.
  • Maugryph – An incredibly talented artist, he’s got skill and I love the content of his art (fantasy monsters, dragons and pokemon all feature!)
  • Brainstorm – She doodles, she writes, she crafts, she a bit of everything rolled into one very random blog.
  • Somber Scribbler – Documenting her experiences with life and mental health, she doodles a lot on different subjects and I love her style.
  • Rachel Carrera – A novelist who talks a lot about her life, past and present. There’s just something about the way she writes I really take to.

And that’s all the people I want to nominated. How many…nine. Eh, it could have been worse. I’ll notify all these people once I have posted this post. These people can feel free to ignore or continue on with the award as they see fit.

Of course, this isn’t to say these are the only creative bloggers out there. Oh no, there are thousands upon thousands of them out there. These are just the people that I have, for whatever reason, remembered today for their creative endeavours.

Thanks and link to the person who nominated me, was done at the start, but thank you again to Danica at Living a Beautiful Life for the nomination 🙂

5 facts about myself. Well shoot, I’ve just done a whole challenge with stuff about myself. Uhh, this might be harder than usual, at least it’s only five…

  1. I am in the process of buying a new car, since my is 15 years old and falling apart.
  2. The book I am currently reading is ‘Here Be Dragons’, part of the Imaginarium Geographica series by James Owen. (I am re-reading How to Train Your Dragon ahead of the new series coming out on Friday!).
  3. I still don’t own a pet. I want to get a tortoise, but it’s not happened. Perhaps after I have come back from Costa Rica and want to be back among the wild turtles.
  4. The hobby I am spending the most time on at the moment is colouring in. There’s a bit of a craze for it right now and I have very much joined it.
  5. I had breakfast this morning, which is rare. It was a pain au chocolate and a hot chocolate from the on campus Starbucks. We’re getting a Subway for next year. This is a very dangerous thing.

There, five titbits about me and my current life goings on. I love the word titbits. Tit…bits. Hehe.

Pass the rules on. Well, if the people want to join in, they can find the rules right on this post here, which I will link to them when I poke them about the award. I just need to hit Publish, and I’ll get right on that 🙂

Today has been a good morning.

One Picture

Ow, ow, ow, ow.

So, went to kickboxing last night, and I took a fair beating. I mean, yeah, there’s always a chance of something happening, it is a martial art after all, and we do spar a lot. But I have a Velcro rash up my arm, bruised ribs, and worst of all, a sprained finger after it got bent back on itself. Typing is actually surprisingly painful right now (but I never let doing silly things stop me). Thankfully it’s my pinky finger, so it’s not as bad as it could be, but ouch!

End of the week! Or it will be when I finished work, but I like my work, and it is a Friday, so you know it’s going to be super quiet. Also end of term, so even more quiet. In for a very quiet day I think, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

And today is the last blogging challenge! I’ve quite liked doing this 10 day challenge. It’s really helped me get back into the swing of blogging, I’ve done a dragon post and two themes as well as this challenge, and I might give you guys another dragon post tomorrow (kickstarter things arrived!). But I have enjoyed this challenge, and it’s short enough that it hasn’t detracted from other things like 30 day challenges do. Might do another one of these in the future, who knows!

But, for today, I have to find one picture (of yourself).

544901_10151653236005794_908811104_nSo this is probably the best photo of me that exists.

Quite a lot of LARP photos have a lot of other people in them, so getting a shot like this only happens infrequently. There’s lots of photos of me from the latest event, but the all a) have other people in them b)I’m in the background of a lot of them and c) for some reason I often seem to have my back to the camera for the action scenes. There’s a lovely one of a bunch of physicks surgeoning on a guy, and I’m the one with the back to the camera.

Photo’s I take at home are on my tablet, which isn’t a very good camera, hence why I didn’t pick any of those, even those there’s some nice poses in there.

Hopefully I can get some good one whilst out in Costa Rica, since my mum is lending me her camera for that trip 🙂

And there we have it, the last day of this short challenge. Hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Two Songs

So our fridge is broken, but my letting agency is super cool and is delivering a brand new one tomorrow. And this is after I reported it not working on Monday. They really are great.

Apart from that, I’ve had a rather nice day off. Didn’t get around to watching studio ghibli films, been on Netflix instead. But I have hoovered and tidied the entire flat, dropped some stuff down at the charity shop. Been nice and relaxing. Going to kickboxing in a little. Did some colouring in. Relaxing is pretty much the word of the day over here in my little flat.

Songs. I have a weird relationship with songs that is best described as phases. I like a song, it goes on my shuffle, I listen to it in a small playlist of current songs I like, it goes off when I get bored of it. I then rediscover it some time later and it comes back on again.

So today, you get the two songs on the top of my current playlist.

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  1. Fall Out Boy, Uma Thurman: Downloaded this one very recently, but I have had it on repeat for most of the time. Another thing I do with some songs is link them to the stories I write, think I’ve mentioned that before. This one is linked into the re-write of Black Dawn. The lyrics aren’t really appropriate (another song is also currently linked to it with appropriate lyrics, Taylor Swift, Bad Blood) but the beat is hella catchy and great for imagining the scenes I’ve got going on in some parts of the book.
  2. Fall Out Boy, Immortals: Yeah, Fall Out Boy is big with me at the moment. I’ve not linked this song with any story in particular, but I really do love it. It’s been on the shuffle since I went to see Big Hero Six (this is the version of the song I love, the original doesn’t get me so much) and I just love it really. Super catchy, good lyrics, great song.

Of course I have other songs on there as well. Linkin Park, Evanescence, Avicii, Paramore, Taylor Swift, Florence + Machine. Bit of a mix. But those two are top at the moment. Music is great.

Three Films

Ah Wednesday. I like this half of the week. And this week it’s even better than normal, because I’m on a later on Friday as well. Extra half hour in bed for me! Being on the late today also meant that I got to be in for the parcel that arrived at my door this morning. More dragons! I got the latest in the dragon field guides that I’ve been kickstarting. This time – Earth Dragons and Creatures! And the next one, Clockwork, should be going live today! Noon over in Arizona means…*quickly googles time zones*…8pm over in the UK. Awesome.

I have now pre-registered and paid my tuition fees, so I officially have my place on the Masters course!

My cough is still hanging around, annoyingly. I keep on seeing things that make me laugh and just end up coughing instead. Hope it goes away soon.

And now, onto the topic of today – films! You get to know my three favourite films in the world.

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  1. How to Train Your Dragon. So I even need to go on? I’ve talked about it here, here and here. I also recently did a blog post about How to Train Your Dragon for the library blog where I work. find that here. I’ve been making dragon themed blog posts for the library blog to tie into the GoGoDragons which is starting THIS SUNDAY!!!! Eh hem. I can be calm about this, I swear.
  2. Spirited Away. Actually, talking about the library blog, I also did a review of some of the DVDs we have that contain dragons. But I haven’t talked about this one here, so I will. I love Studio Ghibli films, the animations and the stories are fantastic. I’ve started building up my collection, and I’ve borrowed several from the library, but my favourite is Spirited Away, and not just because there’s a dragon in it. The main character, Chihiro, is a slightly bored and definitely unimpressed child who is not happy at moving houses, away from all her friends. She is then thrust into the spirit realm where she has to toughen up fast, so that she can saved her parents, herself, and get back to her own world. The cast is large and intricate, the story is fantastically well told, the animation is outstanding, and I love this film a lot. I’m planning to have a bit of a Ghibli marathon tomorrow on my day off, and this is definitely on the list to watch.
  3. Avengers. I am a big fan of the currently ongoing series of Marvel films. And I have to say, even though it’s not perfect, this film is pretty darn close for me. You have all of the avengers that you have been introduced to over the course of their own films (except Hulk, because of the casting change) teaming up to take on a big bad. It’s a huge clash of personalities, egos, priorities, and yet it all works very well together. And Avenger’s 2 was awesome as well. Saw that at the cinema recently and I was impressed. Probably getting that as soon as it comes out on DVD. But I love super heroes and the genre, I love most of the films that have come out in the Marvel line, and I really love seeing how all the little bits in each film add up to the overarching plot line. You know, if I had a superpower, I’d want teleportation. Or to shapeshift into a dragon, either one.

Hmm, picking only three was actually easier than I thought. Of course, there are several more films that I really like (I saw Mad Max: Fury Road in the cinema, and I was VERY impressed) but at the moment these are my top three.

Four Books

So far, so good. I’ve posted every weekday, done a dragon post, and a theme post. Hopefully I’ll do another theme post later this week, and I’ll finish off this ten day challenge. So far, I’m liking what I’ve been doing over the past week and a bit.

I’ve got a section about reading over here, where there are certainly more than four books I like. And I have talked about some of the books that I’ve read as and when I’ve read them: Six Book Challenge, Reading Continues, 2015. Actually, I should remember that last one more. I’ve read romance and slice of life, and Stephen Fry’s biography has been sitting on my to read pile for a while, but there’s still other genres I want to hit up this year.

Right, because I already have a place for my favourite books, I’ll list four books I’ve read this year that I enjoyed.

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  1. Tooth and Claw. I read this one very recently, only a couple of weeks ago, after a recommendation from a friend. She described it as “pride and prejudice with dragons”, and I have to say, that’s pretty accurate. The patriarch of a family of dragons dies right at the start of the book, some complications happen, and it’s all about the politics of trying to deal with that. I loved the world that the author had created, the social structures felt really immersive, and even the characters that you thought of as secondary or minor had their own stories and roles. I borrowed this one from the library, but I’m considering getting my own copy. Politics I though I might not like, combined with dragons which I love, made for a story I really enjoyed.
  2. The Library Book. I mentioned this little book very briefly back when I had just read it. It’s a collection of short stories or tales from famous/recognised people about their experiences with libraries. Originally I borrowed this book to read from the library, but I was so impressed that I ordered my own copy, and the fact that it’s produced by the reading agency, so all profits go towards their charity was a bonus. There is something about being a librarian that makes me appreciate these types of stories, where people talk about their fond memories and how libraries and librarians helped them, that makes me feel good. Recently appointed Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell has this charming little book about his experiences of a library as well, give it a read.
  3. Terry Prachett. Sadly, we lost this great author earlier this year. Since then, I have been buying his books in The Library Collector’s Edition, with fantastic covers, and re-reading the discworld series. There’s not much to say about it that hasn’t already been said, I talk about him in A – Authors, my A to Z first post this year. The next book on my list is Guards, Guards, so I get to visit the City Watch, Carrot and Vimes. It’ll be good. (And the special edition has an embossed dragon on the cover).
  4. The Humans. Picked up this book from the library after I failed to get anything from the World Book Night to give out. This was actually a selection from 2014’s run, but I’d heard good things about it, it looked interesting, and when I went into the library it was on the display, so I picked it up and I read it. I liked it more than I thought I would, actually. The sense of alienation was very, very strong, and you could really empathise with the alien in human’s clothing who had come down to complete a mission and gets completely sidetracked by earth and all it’s strangeness. And from his viewpoint, we really are a strange bunch. The relationship with the dog is also a nice touch, I feel. World Book Night books are often a good starting point for me to find new books that I might not pick up on my own I find, they have some really good choices.

And there you have four books I have read this year. See, I really am trying to broaden my horizons! Next I think I have to get through my overly large (at least 25 books) to read pile, which includes stuff on librarianship, study skills, science, fantasy and dragons. Although, considering I would in a library, I’m probably going to pick up another book before I do. Let’s see, I still need a sci-fi, mystery, comedy and literary in my books this year. Time to get to the reading!

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My local public library – Norwich & Norfolk Millennium Library

Five Foods

Of course weekends don’t count as days. It’s not that me and the partner got very lazy and decided that leaving the house or doing anything remotely active was not for us this weekend. Of course not.

Okay, I left the house to go to the corner shop. And I made a coat. But apart from that it was the laziest weekend I’ve had in a long time. We were planning to go look at buying a new car, but we both decided that we hadn’t had a free weekend in such a long time, that all we wanted to do was stay in. Played video games, I did a sewing project (nearly finished, I just need to go and buy some more eyelets – I mangled the ones I had) and I watched a lot of Netflix whilst doing so. It was a good weekend, making Monday all the more harsh.

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Today, we shall be talking about food, and considering I am writing this before lunch, it’s going to make me very hungry.

  1. Sushi. Yeah, this is what, the third time this has come up? I love it, it is super tasty, I want to go pretty much daily, actually do have it weekly, and my favourite restaurant for it is Yo!Sushi (although I do admit that there are other sushi restaurants, and they can also be tasty).
  2. IMG_3138Panini’s. There are two in particular I love. One comes from my workplace – the staff cafe does this gorgeous bacon, brie and cranberry one. And the other comes from a small independent bakery just down the road from where I live – chicken and bacon (although the tuna melt one isn’t half bad either). Again, I tend to have one a week. Tuesday’s I stop past the bakery on the way home from work, and Friday’s I treat myself to the staff cafe one. I’m trying to eat healthier, which means cutting down on the amount of bread I eat.
  3. bacon-brie-cranberryFish and Chips. Classically British, I occasionally substitute out the fish for fish cakes, depending on my mood, but there’s nothing like layering salt and vinegar over chips, squeezing the lemon on the fish, and then taking in filling mouthfuls of the lot.
  4. FishChips_Poster_720x430px_1Cheesecake. There are so many different cheesecakes out there, it’s a huge variety in one little word. A particular favourite of mine is a white and dark chocolate marble one that Waitrose sell. I haven’t had a slice in ages (but that’s because the Norwich Waitrose is completely out of my way, I still love the cake). The cafe at work had a nice vanilla one the other week, and I can make a mean chocolate orange one. I love a slice with berry compote as well. So many different types!
  5. IPLM023Apples. Apple fruit, apple juice, apple pie, apple crumble. Apple juice is my go to drink of choice (although at the moment I’m drinking orange juice because my fridge is broken and orange tastes better at room temp). Apples are one of the few fruits I will actually eat (I’m more of a vegetable girl) and I love apple based deserts like crumbles and pie, especially with a dollop of ice cream. Very good memories of my Dad baking some up of a Sunday afternoon for after the roast dinner.Bramley-apple-crumble-01_5

Photorific post today, but you kind of have to when talking about food. Only forty minutes to go until lunch. I can probably hold on that long, but my stomach is certainly rumbling after talking about my favourite foods!

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