Tag Archive: reading

I’m am mildly ashamed to look at how long it has been since I’ve posted on here, but this blog has not been alone in the neglect. It all started about the time I had to knuckle down and really get into the meat of my dissertation. It took a lot of my time and effort, and there’s been things since then that have just piled up, and I was really bad about picking up all the pieces that I’d left strewn behind me in the wake. I didn’t go to taekwondo for six months, I failed NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, and my eating habits spiralled in a slightly uncontrollable fashion. But that’s the good thing about life – you can always come back and pick things up. So new(ish) year and I’m really making an effort to do things.

First big and good news is that I got a new job. I started that in October and I’m now pretty settled in it. I’m an Information Analyst for the NHS now (a mental health trust) so I get to look at figures and numbers to do with mental health services and provide information to people so that we can show we’re meeting our targets and improve the service. I love it, it’s data and number crunching and SQL and excel all the time. I do miss the library, I like books and information and the people there were great, although weirdly the biggest thing I miss is how much I moved around – I’m very sedentary in this job, and I have to drive to and from work, so no more walking, and I do notice the lack of it (I try to walk during lunch time). But the job is overall more satisfying and much more my pace of working, so it’s a huge step up.

Since started my master’s degree I’ve not done much, if any reading for pleasure, so something I aim to do this year is pick up a book or three again. Not signing up to any challenges or anything, just realising the I enjoy reading and encouraging myself to take it up again. The new job is full time so I find I have less time to do, well, everything else really, so I’m really working on doing what I want to do and cutting out the other stuff that I don’t want to do. It’s sort of like refocusing. Writing comes in here as well – as mentioned above, I failed NaNoWriMo for the first time since I started, oh, what, seven years ago? And you know what? I’m rather okay with it. I decided that with everything that was going on (new job, anxious about results, some mental health stuff, other bits and pieces) I could push to try and get it done, but then I’d probably hate the story at the end of it, and liking what I’m writing was more important to me than completing the challenge. It was a good realisation and I’m still okay with that decision and I look forward to getting back into that story. Again, I’m not going to push this immensely, but I will remind myself to open up a file and put some words on the screen, because I am looking forward to getting back to writing that book I didn’t – Quiet Poison, it’s very fun to write about assassins and underground stuff.

One thing I am looking to do more of is play video games. I’ve had Ori and the Blind Forest sitting on my computer for ages, and I’ve just picked up a recent release called Rime for my switch which looks right up my street. I’ve also got Persona 4 to finish off so I can finally move onto 5 (but nothing will ever match the feels I had for 3 (playing as the girl, it’s much better)). I do like playing video games and I feel that I don’t do enough of it. I get distracted. And as I said above, working full time cuts down on my spare time, as I still have all the house and other chores to do.

Oh! Speaking of house – me and my partner are going to try and buy our first house this year! If we can get the right mortgage lender, we’ve not had the best luck so far finding one, but we will! Eventually!

In more good news last weekend I went to the first LARP player event (smaller than the main events, often run by players rather than the main crew) that I have ever enjoyed, and considering it was my third, I was almost put off them forever. I’m grateful to my friends for pulling me along to it, because I did have a wonderful time, and I’m actually looking forward to trying to go back next year. I got to heal the people from the fighting tournament, enter some contests, coming third in the crafting one, talk to people, and had a delicious nap on a huge pile of bean bags. It was a very fun and relaxed day and just what I needed to get me excited about LARP again.

What have I missed. Life. Writing. Gaming…of course. Dragons.

You know I mentioned that I won third prize in the crafting competition? I did it with this beautiful cuddly thing – my wood dragon. I’m super proud of him, even though he took forever to make (entirely hand sewn. Worth it, but sooooo much time). And guess what? People have already asked me if I take commissions – pretty damn high praise in my opinion ^_^

2016 Accountability Post

So, another year come and gone. In wider world news, not a particularly good year considering. Close to home in my own little world bubble, things look much better. But, the new year is a good time for reflection, and I did have some goals for last year, so let’s see how I got on with those.


Reading Resolution #1 – Read a book a week, or rather 52 in a year. How far did I get? 11/52.

Reading Resolution #2 – A 12 item reading challenge. Of the 11 books I did read, I hit four of the challenges I would say. After deciding that one book can only count for one challenge. (If you’re interested, the four I managed were: A book published this year; A book I can finish in a day; A book chosen by my BFF; and A book I’ve read once before)

Yeah, I realise that it’s not many considering what I set out to do. Honestly, it sort of all came to a stop pretty early on in the year. I set out to do the Reading Ahead Challenge (rainbow style), but only got about halfway through the green book before things petered out and I never finished that book, let alone the challenges I had set myself.

Why? Busy year. I’ve got a job, a masters, a social/gaming life, but most of all, I think I didn’t read so much because I was concentrating on writing. Quite a lot actually. Which leads on to the other resolution/challenge I was trying to accomplish in 2016.


I joined a 365K club, which meant writing 1,000 words every day, or rather 365,000 in the year. How did I end up doing on that? 356,000 words.

Yeah, I know. Considering how little away from the goal I was, and the fact that I didn’t actually do much writing over the Christmas break, it is a tiny bit disappointing. Entirely my own fault, but, actually, I did learn a lot from doing it.


I managed to write every day from January 1st to June 4th. June 5th was the first day I didn’t write a word, and that’s pretty good going. But as you can see from the summary, I was a bit up and down after April (and April was largely boosted by taking part in the A to Z challenge). NaNoWriMo in November also helped, but about halfway through the year I sort of lost the steam a little bit.

Half of the point of the challenge is to write every day, and I’ve sort of learnt, that although I write a lot more now than I did at the start of the year, it’s not always writing itself that I do. I mean, of course that’s the aim, but I often do a lot of re-reading, thinking up new plots, re-imagining chapters and sections, and of course editing. All of which I think are part of the writing process, but don’t exactly lend themselves to a word count. (For instance, right now I’m trying to work out whether an alternate idea I had for Archmage is better than the one I’ve got currently. Major edits are so much fun to play around with, this one could change the entire third part/book.)

I’m also bad at habit forming. I wrote every day for 5 months, yet come the end of the year, I certainly think about my writing everyday. Opening up the document and putting the words down? Not so much. Especially when most of my free time is being devoted to the master’s degree, and that’s a heck of a lot of work.

But, focusing on writing so much was fun. And I certainly have a lot more words now that I did at the start of the year. It was good, even if it was challenging. But I have learnt a bit more about myself, and how I write, and that’s very useful information I can use going forward.


So, what challenges am I doing this year? None. I’m not promising to read a certain amount of books, or write a certain amount each day. I am officially divesting myself of any and all obligations/challenges.

Why? The masters degree. This year I have to do a dissertation. We’ve already started thinking about it (and the initial proposal is due in the next couple of weeks) so there’s already a fair amount of internal screaming going on. That is only going to get more stressful, and since I want to do well in the degree, I’m prioritising that over everything else this year.

I would like to read more than I did last year, and I certainly plan to keep on writing, if not daily then certainly multiple times a week. What I’m not doing is setting any goals to do with those hobbies, because then I won’t feel obligated to spend time on them when I should be doing my masters work (if I end up doing them instead of the masters work then that’s procrastination and is an entirely different problem).

Hopefully by cooling off everything else, all the stress that comes from the masters will be somewhat balanced out, and I can look forward to a really free end of the year, since I hand in my dissertation in September, get the results back in October, just in time for NaNoWriMo in November! I’ll probably have calmed down by then. Maybe.

So that’s my 2017 – the year of the degree. I hope that whatever you are planning for the next year is off to a good start. Mine could be better, I managed to leave the book I need to read round a friend’s house!


Yearly Challenges

So, generally this year I am undertaking two challenges. And now that it’s coming up to halfway through the year, or at least, it will be after this month, I thought I’d take a moment to see where I am with those.

Reading Challenge

Book shelfThe challenge – Read a book a week aka read 52 books in the year.

The last time I updated you on this progress was early March. Since then, there has been barely and reading done. So, this is going worse than poorly. I have read six books this year, and I should be on twenty two. That’s sixteen books difference, which is a lot.

So what’s going wrong? Time mostly. I seem to have a heck of a lot going on, between work, masters, writing, and social/gaming schedules, making time for reading is hard, especially when I do have downtime, I prioritise other things. Like a nap (because anaemia means I want to nap all the time) or writing, and reading is an effort to accomplish some of the time.

So, am I giving up? Of course not. What I plan to do is to read some graphic novels I’ve got on the side, because those take less time than a pure words novel, and hopefully if I just get a couple more books added onto the challenge, then I’ll start picking it up again. It’s not like I don’t have books to read, just haven’t been finding the time.

Writing Challenge

The challenge – Write 1,000 a day aka write 365,000 words in the year.

This is going better. January, February and March were basically on track. April was an immense month of epic words. May…not so good. I wrote about half of what I should have been, only 16,600 words. However, because of all the words I wrote in April, this does mean that overall for the year I’m at 168,000 words and I should be at 157,000. So in the grand scheme of things, I am ahead, however, the last month I only hit 1,000 words on five days, in the first half of the month.

So what went wrong? Scening. In one of the games that I am playing, my character has started a relationship with another character, and we are emailing each other in a back and forth to scene out their dates. It’s awesome, I’m loving it BUT it doesn’t count towards my word count total for the year, because it’s just for the two of it, and it’s connected to a game rather than writing. Which is a shame, because between the two of us, the scenes came to 133,000 words in the month. Yeah, we wrote a lot.

Hence, that’s taken up a lot of my time and energy. I wouldn’t have changed it, because it made me very happy and was awesome character development, however, this month we plan to be a little more relaxed about it, and I’ll be looking at my time management a little more, trying to find the delicate balance between everything I want to do.

It also helps that I have rediscovered enthusiasm for a couple of stories, it does come and go. I backed a kickstarter that will print custom text on a scarf for you (up to 40,000 words) so I’m going to be finished up a short version of Quiet Poison and get that printed up, so I’ve got to write a few more scenes, then tidy it up and send it off. Hopefully, if I get everything back on track, I can do that by the end of the month.


So the general gist of the last couple of months is keep going, don’t give up even if you fall off the rails a little bit. So I hope to come back to you all in another month or so with better reports. That, and I will be examining what I post on this blog and trying to come up with a semi-regular schedule, because I should be posting here more. Hope your projects are going well!

So, at the beginning of last month I talked about the Reading Ahead Challenge, and how I was planning to read six books in a relaxed time frame of a month.

How’s that going? Poorly.

I mentioned about halfway through the month that February was proving tough for reading and I had only read the red book. Two weeks on from that, and I’ve only read the orange book in addition. True, the yellow book is sitting in my bag, but sitting in my bag is not reading it. So, in the month of Feb, which admittedly is the short month, although not this year because leap year, I have read two books.

Needless to say, this is mildly disappointing to me.

Of course, it’s not because I haven’t been doing things. In fact, I think it is the things that are possibly preventing me from reading. Writing every day, enough to average out at 1,000 words, actually takes up a lot of my time. Then there’s my master’s coursework, which takes a number of hours out of evenings here and there, and most of my Thursdays. I of course, work most days and I can’t read whilst on the job (Sadly the job of the librarian is not sitting around all day reading books, otherwise this challenge would be really easy) and in the evenings I often have a tabletop game, social events, or something. This week my dad also happens to be in town, so I’m going out for dinner and catching up with him a couple of times.

My point is, that finding the time to read is really hard. When I actually sit down to read, it never takes me long to finish a book. I had to take a two hour train over the weekend, and it was glorious, because I could sit down, with my book, and I got 2/3rds of the way through by the end of the train journey. So my reading speed is still as fast as it ever was.

But actually finding that hour or two to sit down and read? That’s hard. But I do want to make myself. I know a lot of people make fifteen minutes at the end of the day, which probably won’t work for me because my partner tends to already be in the bed by the time I amble along, and I prefer to sit down in large chunks rather than ten minutes here or there. For reading anyway, everything else follows the other way around.

rainbow books

So, still going with the rainbow. I’ve got a lunch hour with not much else going on that’s earmarked for starting the yellow book today. And I’ve got the rest of the year to play catch up since I’m a bit behind on my 52 books in the year as well. Well on track with my writing so, which is very pleasing (64K on day 61).

How are the rest of you doing? What’s 2016 shaping up like for you?

So, with the posting of theme 100, that’s the end of that challenge.

It’s been good for writing, I think, and I have certainly liked getting to know some of my less known characters a little better. Have I enjoyed it? Yes and no. As with much of writing, some days the words fly off your fingers, other times it’s torture to get a sentence out. Unfortunately, I seem to have hit a run of torture days, so I’m struggling with my word-smithery at the moment, and it’s dampening other things.

Looking back to the original post I made about the challenge, I had a goal of doing it within a year, and looking back I’ve managed it in 20 months or so. So, you know, not precisely on time, but I have stuck at it and sometimes that’s all you really want.

Month 1 BadgeSpeaking of which, the 365K club is going well. I’m basically on target for my words, although my brain is doing the very helpful thing where a new project will jump in front of other stuff and shout ‘Pick me, pick me’ so I keep chopping and changing what I am working on. This isn’t an entirely bad thing I feel, as long as I am working on something. But as I mentioned above, this week is not going so well at the moment.

Reading wise I have the six book challenge I talked about completing in February. Despite having a week off, I did absolutely no reading, which is a little shocking. I have finished off the badger book, and I read the first of my rainbow books last night, so I can check Red off the list, but really I am surprised by the lack of reading going on at the moment. Hard to put a finger on why, but I’ve just not had the urge to pick up the books. Maybe I’ve been concentrating on writing a little too much.

You can tell from the title, February isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. I mean, it’s by no means a disaster, and I did just have a very lazy week off work. But still, productivity feels low and enthusiasm is down there with it.


Plans for the rest of February include reading the other five books I have pegged, continue with a new story I’ve been developing, and treating myself to something nice this lunchtime, because some days you just need a nice thing. It might even be stationary.

Reading Ahead Challenge

I keep forgetting that this comes early in the year. Reading Ahead (formally known at the six book challenge) is all about getting those people who don’t normally read to get into reading. Being in a library, and a college where we have student of all sorts of reading levels, we get rather involved in this.

Reading_Ahead_posterI talked about it last year, and this year is much the same, between now and June read six things. Newspapers, magazines, books, poem collections, short stories, most things count as long as it gets you reading.

Of course I still have the problem that I did last year, that I am an avid reader and this challenge is not really aimed at me. However, as a librarian, we like to get involved with these things, and it’s good to get my numbers up for the 52 challenge (one book a week, and I’m kind of behind), so I am once again joining in.

Last year I tried to do it in a week, and managed six books in eight days. This year I have a lot more on my plate, and I’m trying not to stress, so I think a month is a pretty good time frame. I’m halfway through a book right now, so if I finish that up by the end of the month, then I can spend February doing this.

What I have set myself, as a sort of little extra on top, is a rainbow reading challenge. Six books, one of each of the prominent colours of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple (Because splitting purple into indigo and violet is a chore for this sort of thing).


So I’m going to read these six, in the order of the rainbow, top to bottom. There are two library books, and the other four are ones that have all been on my shelves for a little while. I’m going to try and read through all those books that I bought but never read last year, and try to not buy so many new books until I do that. Keyword: try.

I’ll be back with an update on how this has gone at the end of February. Hope your 2016 is going well! Any of my lovely readers reading anything good at the moment?

Reading Transition

So, that’s 2015 over with, and 2016 is well underway!

At the start of 2015, I made a few reading resolutions, because I felt like I wasn’t reading enough and I should be doing more. I’m both and a writer and a librarian, so books are kind of a really big thing in my life, and I need to enjoy them as well!


Resolution #1: Read a book every week, or 52 in the year. Predictably, this was more 52 books in the year than one a week, but I am pleased to say, I managed it! If you want to see which books I ended up reading, visit my Goodreads 2015 Challenge page.

Resolution #2: Read a mixture of Fiction and Non-Fiction. Out of the 52 books I read, 7 of those were non-fiction. So I don’t think that’s too bad a number. I’m actually reading two non-fiction books at the moment, but I’m only a couple of chapters in on each, hence they do not count towards the 2015 challenge.

Resolution #3: Read outside of my genre, including romance, mystery, science fiction, literary, comedy and biography. This is probably the one I did worst with. Romance, check (Water for Elephants, also a historic novel, but also romance). Mystery, eh, no (The Night Circus has some elements, but is definitely fantasy). Science Fiction, ah ha! Yes! (The Humans and Robot in the Garden. I also have on one my to read pile). Literary, no. Not unless books about literature count, and they don’t. Comedy, I don’t think so. Again, some books did make me laugh, but nothing counts as comedy. Biography, check (A Street Cat Named Bob, and I’ve found out he has follow up books!). So I hit half of those, which was quite good. I also managed to read some poetry, and some books which I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own, both through a reading scheme and by listening to friend recommendations, so I didn’t do all too badly on this.

All in all, a pretty good year for reading.

But, as soon as the clocks turned midnight, it was a new year, and lots more potential for reading! So, once again, using the very handy challenge tracker that Goodreads provides, I have signed up to read 52 books in 2016! Check out my progress here, although, you know, as of now, January 4th, there really isn’t any progress.

Well, that’s a bit of a lie, I have several books I am currently reading, and more on the to read pile. Two non-fiction books (Badgerlands and From Here to Eternity), a fantasy (Dreamwalker), a science fiction (Seven Eves) and something that I think is alternate history (Conversion).

So reading resolution #1 for 2016 is to once again get to 52 books by the end of the year.

Reading resolution #2 comes from a friend who discovered this and passed it along to me.


It’s a fairly short list, only 12 items, but it’s designed to be very doable, and it means that those who might read less have access to it as well, and you can tick it off an item per month. I of course plan to read more than that, but I will try to incorporate these challenges into what I choose to read this year as well. Just to inject a bit of variety, and I do like a challenge.

Only two resolutions this year, as I do want to keep to them, and it feels good to achieve rather than overshoot and fail. I learnt this year that I have to prioritise activities or run the risk of taking on too much and not being able to do any of it.

Anyone else made reading resolutions for this year? Or any other resolutions for that matter. My New Year resolution for 2016 is to spend more time with friends, trying to see the people I might not see all that often, because I have awesome friends.

December Recovery

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to recover after November. There was probably some minor burning out going on, I did have a lot going on. But now I have dropped some responsibilities, I’ve got two assignments for my Master’s degree handed in, and I’m not pressuring myself into writing extraordinary amounts every day.

Admittedly, today is the first day I’ve written since November, hence why I suspect that there was some minor burnout going on. And there was a tiny bit of neglecting the blog, but as evidenced by these posts, that is over, and I am slowly hacking away at those words. Eidetic isn’t finished, so I am still going to be working on that, but I am not limiting myself to it either. Archmage and Mechanica Awakening are in editing, and I am not making as much progress on them as I should be. I also have a couple of ideas that didn’t make it as my NaNoWriMo novel this year, so I’ll probably have several projects on the go at the same time.

So, in an effort to help with this, I’ve signed up to a 365K club in one of my writing groups. Write 1,000 words every day, or 365,000 over the course of a year. Although since next year is a leap year, we get an extra day. Perhaps this is a bad idea, but I do like goals, and I work better with stuff like this, and 1,000 words a day is very doable for me. Sustainability? Well I’m hoping that it is. Even if I don’t get 1,000K every single day, I hope that I write something each day, even just a bit. Because I have a seeming inability to develop consistent habits, and I do need to write more.

Christmas is fast approaching, and although there’s social stuff going on, I’ve managed to get a week and a half off work between Christmas Eve and 4th Jan. I’m probably going to devote that time to reading, since I have a large to read pile, and haven’t managed to find a lot of time for it recently. Of course, that will be interspersed with other activities, such as gaming and writing and coursework. But you should get an update on my reading for the year before the New Year.


The only other news is that I went to see a midnight (well, half past midnight) screening of Star Wars: the Force Awakens. By the dragons it was a good film. And you should definitely go see it.

So I’m catching up with myself, definitely happier than I was in November, and I’ll be pecking away with all my projects, and I will keep you lovely readers informed about them both in the final weeks of this year and the new one.

Brave New Reads

This year, I’ve been making occasional posts about my reading. After all, what is a writer without a little reading? Or, in most cases, a lot of reading. I had a few goals for reading this year. Number one, to read a book a week (or 52 in the year). Number two and three were to do with expanding my reading out from my usual fantasy genre into other genres and non fiction as well.

To help with this, and because one of my librarian colleagues and friends pointed me at it, I joined up to be one of the readers circle for the Brave New Reads of 2016.

brave new reads arrows

Brave New Reads is where readers choose six books from a long list to recommend to other readers, book clubs and literary events that go on in and around Norfolk. The Reader’s Circle is the process by which we choose these books.

So I signed up, gave they my preferences (which they seem to have ignored, and I consider this a good thing for expanding my horizons) and recommendation for books came in from all around, with the only criteria being that a book had to be published less than two years ago and an enjoyable read!

We have a long list of 109 books at the moment. Yeah, I know, it’s huge. The fact that each group was only supposed to get 6 titles to review from the long list tells you how many suggestions there were. Thankfully, we also have a huge group of volunteers from Norwich and the surrounding boroughs, as well as Cambridge and Suffolk I believe. I am in Norwich Group 6, with a few other people, and we have been given 13 books to review in stage one.

robot in gardenThe titles I have been given are:

  • A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install (Fiction)
  • Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes (Fiction)
  • Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrara (Translation)
  • Threads by Julia Blackburn (Non-fiction)
  • The Offering by Grace McCleen (Fiction)
  • Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey (Fiction)
  • Forget Me Not by Carol McKee Jones (Fiction)
  • The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill (Fiction)
  • Shingle Street by Blake Morrison (Poetry)
  • Due North by Peter Riley (Poetry)
  • Hereward: Wolves of New Rome by James Wilde (Fiction)
  • The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes (Fiction)
  • Man V Nature by Diane Cook (Short Stories)

It’s an interesting mix. Especially the poetry books. I mean, I read poetry for my English classes back in secondary school, and I’ve read a couple of poems for pleasure (actually I found an epic poem that I’d love to get my hands on and read the other day, Evangeline by Henry Longfellow) but never a book of them. I’m probably most looking forward to the short stories Man V Nature collection and Robot in the Garden.

I have managed to read one so far, The Amber Fury. This s because it was online from the digital library since copies of all the books are available from the writers centre, but I have yet to go into town with free time to pick some up. I’ve done a review of it here on Goodreads if you particularly want to read it.

So I’ve got quite a bit ahead of me, since I’m meant to try and read this list before the end of October. I feel some weekends being set aside in the near future.

At the end of October, we narrow down the list to roughly 50-60 books. Then we get to read pretty much whatever we want from that list, and in December whittle it down to 25 books. Then, at the end of January, we make the final selections of 6 books which will then become the Brave New Reads of 2016.

How_to_Read_a_Pile_of_BooksThis means that I am going to do a lot of reading, and a lot more reading of books that I would not normally encounter, and that is pretty much exactly what I wanted from this year or my reading. Of course, I still have a huge pile of books from the fantasy genre sitting on my desk is a messy ‘to read’ pile because I know what I like.

Also, this is going to be challenging, because I start my Master’s course at the end of the month, I fully intend to complete NaNoWriMo this year (attempting to choose my project at the moment) and I want to keep up with all my weekly commitments as well. But life’s not fun if you’re not busy, right?

Anyone else doing any marathon reading events at the moment? Or just reading in general? If you’ve got a book that you read recently that you would recommend, let’s hear about it 🙂

Why I Write

Apologies for the lack of posting! I have been super busy in the last week – we’re having to go out to the academy libraries and manually import every book in their collections onto the new library management systems. It’s frying my brain and the hour commute there and another hour back has left me exhausted most evenings.

It also meant that I sort of missed the time frame on this post, but I like the idea of it so much that I’m going to continue with it anyway. We’re all a little late at one point or another.

Every Friday over at his blog TerribleMinds, Chuck Wendig sets a flash fiction challenge. Last week he didn’t ask for a flash fiction, but has instead asked for a 1,000 word essay on ‘Why I Write’.

Writing always starts with reading. I doubt that there is any author in the world who decided that they wanted to write a book without reading quite a few first. And this of course includes myself.

I love reading. I love escaping into a different world, following different characters into places that are different to my world and my reality, whether that reality is an alternative reality, recognisably earth, or something completely different to our own world. There’s just something about a good book, where it gives you the tools to fire up your own imagination, and you can be right there along with the main character, diving from waterfalls, exploring tombs, or casting magic – whatever it is they get up to, the author of the book sets the scene, and you give it the details.

c95b4052bdb8eef91e30bf073149e025That sense of escapism, that love of being in other places whilst still being curled up in a nest on the sofa, is what lead me to writing.

I first started writing just after I moved house. I know this, because the first ever story I wrote was in a notebook that a friend gave me as a leaving present. It was a Pokemon fan fiction, and as an twelve year olds first story, it wasn’t very good. I still have that notebook, I know exactly where it is, although I don’t tend to go and read that story much. It’s only about 20 pages, but it is rather cringe worthy.

But we all have to start somewhere, don’t we?

The next thing I wrote was a novel. A whole eighty pages of hand written prose. Me and best friend of the time wrote novels together. Hers centred around twins linked with a prophecy, and mine was about a group of ten teens with powers over the elements. Sharing an activity, taking in our folders with our writing and reading them to each other, it was such a fun hobby to share.

And again, I still have that folder. In it is the actual novel (it was going to be the first of eight, I had it all planned out), all the notes about the characters, plot guides, extracts, novel synopsis (of course I didn’t know all these posh words back then), I even had my own little language I’d work out for the spirits that showed up at one point.

The main point of this, is that I was absorbed. I was building this world, this setting, these characters, and I surrounded myself with them.

And I loved it.

Unfortunately after that, there was a bit of a break. School, mutating friendships, and other bits and pieces got in the way of me putting pen to paper. Novel wise anyway, Around this time I read a lot of fan fiction, and another friend I had at the time would roleplay with me – we’d each pick a character and write out a little paragraph of a scene. Not classically writing, but it certainly got me started with my love of roleplaying.

But that didn’t stop me imagining.

19fdd9ee91af6a9c43f0a06349776000I’m a daydreamer, always have been, always will be if I have any say in it. Just because I wasn’t putting my pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as is the mostly the case these days) didn’t mean that my brain wasn’t active. There’s a list of the novels in my head here and some of those have been around for ages. Supernatural? That’s the name I gave the above novel, the one I wrote aged fourteen. It’s still around (although it doesn’t really have a story line, the characters are still very much in my head and getting developed). Black Dawn – an idea I got after reading a fan fiction.

I started writing again when I got to university. At UEA, my friends told me about this challenge, National Novel Writing Month, where you try to get 50,000 words in a month. That was my second year, 2011. I wrote Black Dawn (badly, it’s currently getting a plot revision before a re-write) and ever since then, I’ve been hooked on writing again. My imagination is as wild as it’s ever been, and now I am actually developing my craft and getting good at this whole words onto paper thing.

What I am trying to explain is that I write because I love imagination. My imagination is decidedly over-active, and in there I have all these worlds, and characters, and plots jumping out at me, saying ‘look at me, look at what I could be, please write me!’ and it is impossible to ignore it sometimes. I need to get them out of my head and onto paper.

800fcee2fdaf4a79b3019fd559281e59I write because I love losing myself in worlds that don’t quite exist. My imagination allows me to create all sorts of wonderful things, and writing allows me to get them out of my head. I can build them up around me, and then most importantly of all, I can share them with other people.

I love losing myself in a good book, and I want to impart that to other people. If I can write a book that someone else can lose themselves in whilst reading, and explore a brand new world, then that for me is a win. Giving someone else the joy of reading and losing themselves in a good book, that’s what it’s about.

And that, is why I write.

C'est La Vee

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I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.