Wrapping Up The Week (4th Dec – 10th Dec)

This week has felt like the longest one in a while. If you didn’t know, I took a week off from blogging due to my boyfriend being admitted to hospital for an operation on Tuesday and I’ve been helping him recover since (you can read more about it here). For that reason I haven’t really got a lot to show on this weeks wrap up.

My brain has been all over the place and the stress I’ve been feeling hasn’t helped at all. I even took a couple days off from writing because I literally couldn’t form a sentence in my head. I needed it though and I am feeling a lot better. So fingers crossed I can get back to blogging more from now on, even if it’s just 3 posts a week until things get back to normal.

Some good news though is that I start my new job tomorrow, which I am super excited about. Now that my boyfriend is able to move around on his own, I can safely go to work knowing he won’t hurt himself. Starting the new job will also offer me a distraction from all the anxiety I’ve been feeling lately (although I know I’ll still worry about him).

As I haven’t done a lot of reading there are no reviews to show, so I’ll go straight onto the next section…

I am currently reading…

For the first time in a while I am actually reading 3 books at once. This is due to the fact that I am still reading Glass Sword and Angelfall, but I also got accepted for a book on Netgalley that I couldn’t wait to read. And the book is…

Everless

I can’t put this book down, I am absolutely loving it and whenever I get a chance I am switching to the kindle app on my phone (until I buy a kindle at Christmas) and I am reading as much as I can. I’m over halfway now and should probably finish it tomorrow if I’m lucky. It is due to come out on January 2nd and is being published by HarperTeen. Also, look how gorgeous that cover is!

Other Fun Stuff…

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a lot of fun stuff going on for me this week. It’s mainly been filled with trips to the hospital and doctors, giving medication to my boyfriend and generally running around for him like a headless chicken. Not that I’m complaining, it makes a change me looking after him, and I definitely feel that it’s brought us closer.

My writing is getting back on track and so far I have 42,000 words, something I am so proud of. I worked out that I’m about halfway through the story I want to tell and the next few chapters that I’ve planned have me excited. Fingers crossed I can have a first draft done before my birthday (which is in March, so quite a while away).

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I hope that your week has been going well and you got lots of reading done! Hopefully you’ll be seeing a little more of me over the next week (as long as work doesn’t take up all my time).

Sorry For Being MIA Lately

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So, I haven’t written a blog post in the last 4 days and I have a very good reason. If you follow me on twitter you might have seen a few of my tweets about the situation.

The last week or so, my boyfriend has been in a lot of pain with an abscess and we knew he would need surgery on it. He could barely walk and finally the doctors said he needed it removing (it should have been done days before, but it wasn’t). On Monday we had to rush him up to the hospital for an emergency operation, so he was kept in overnight and the operation was a success yesterday. He is now home and doing a lot better (I am currently playing nurse with all his medication and making sure he’s okay).

Due to all of this I haven’t been able to have any time to blog, read or even write. I’ve been too stressed to think about those things and even though it shouldn’t, it makes me feel guilty. Now that he is home and I know he’s on the mend I can get back to normal (or as close as possible), but it still may be a little quite on my blog for the rest of the week.

Sometimes unexpected things happen in life and it all grinds to a halt. It’s a part of life. I’m just extremely happy that everything is okay now and he isn’t in as much pain anymore (still a bit of pain from the large hole in his back though). I’ve have realised from this experience that I no longer feel faint from blood, which is great considering I have to look after him and do clean-up when things get a little messy.

I am sorry for the rambling in this post, but it’s also therapeutic in a way. I’ve been feeling a lot of stress and anxiety over the last few days, especially when it came to him staying overnight in the hospital. You always worry if they’re going to be okay and looked after well. Of course, all the doctors and nurses did a great job, especially making sure he was comfortable. And fingers crossed, we don’t need to make any more trips to the hospital.

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I hope the first half of your week has been going a lot better than mine!

Wrapping Up November & Getting Excited For Christmas!

We can officially get excited for Christmas now!

I have no idea where the last four weeks went, how is it the last month of 2017 already?! It seems that I filled my November with so many different activities that I didn’t notice it passing by at all. Not only was I searching for a new job (which I will be starting next month), my dad also came to visit and I decided to really knuckle down with my writing efforts.

While I didn’t take part of NaNoWriMo, I was writing throughout the whole month and the last week or so is when I really started churning out my novel at a rapid pace. I started the month with rewriting my first 15,000 words, as it was in first person POV and I wanted it to be third person (btw, so glad I made the change) and at this moment I am nearing 33,000 words. I am very happy with that and worked out that I am about a third of the way through writing (I have an ending in mind, it’s just filling in the gaps). So November has been a very successful month.

I also went ahead and deleted my old twitter account to set up a new one, which you can find here. It would be great if I could connect with more people, especially on different platforms. Also, I reached over 100 followers on my blog in less than two months which is great. While the numbers don’t matter too much, it is great to see that people enjoy what I am putting out there into the world.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done a lot of reading this month (but I am currently reading two books that should have reviews up next week if I’m lucky). So, here are the books I reviewed this November.

Books I Read…

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass

It was so easy to give this book 5 stars after I read it. I cannot believe it took me so long to pick up this series and now I am waiting on the second one to be delivered to me. You can check out my review here.

A Darker Shade Of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade Of Magic

Again, another series I had heard so much about and finally picked up. Once again, I gave a book five stars because this was a perfect read and made me fall even more in love with the fantasy genre. If you want to read my thoughts, you can see my review here.

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Like I said, I didn’t read a lot this month and if I hadn’t hit a reading slump I’m sure I could have managed more (or at least finished Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard). Sometimes life gets in the way and I’m learning to accept that it’s okay. I’m just glad that I haven’t had a writer’s block on my novel in a while (I hope I haven’t jinxed myself).

Now that the holidays are coming up (and I’m away at the end of December in Ireland) I should have some more time to get reading when work finishes for the year.

How has your month been? Let me know in the comments below!

Wrapping Up The Week (20th Nov – 26th Nov)

Why do the weekends always go by so quickly? I cannot wait for the Christmas holidays to come around so we can lounge about doing very little and eating as much as we want (food coma anyone?).

Once again I had a very busy week. I heard back from a couple of jobs who offered me the positions, but I am still holding out on one that I’m hoping will contact me within the next few days. Fingers crossed, because that is the job I want (and it pays really well, too, which always helps).

As well as that I have been getting stuck into my writing and I couldn’t be happier. All of a sudden I have these great ideas pouring into my head, I have come up with the ending of my first book (dramatic twist lined up that no one will see coming…check) and I am so excited. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until half 1 because I was typing away and managed to write 3,300 words, way more than the 1,000 I set myself to write each day. My brain is a little tired today so I’m not expecting to write nearly as much as that.

Books I read and reviewed…

If you are looking for a book review…I don’t have any to offer this week and I can only apologise for that. I am still making my way through Glass Sword and for some reason I am struggling. The book isn’t bad by any means, but I’m just not in the right frame of mind to read it at the moment. I might take a pause with it and start something a little lighter.

I am currently reading…

Glass Sword

Like I said in the above section, I am still reading this, but I am going to take a break from it. Maybe letting my own writing takeover isn’t the best thing, but you gotta go with the flow sometimes. I’m sure I will get back into it eventually as I do want to finish these books for when the final instalment is released next year.

Posts from the week…

Having A Huge Book Clear Out

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

What Are You Reading Wednesday And Getting My Writing Mojo Back

First Lines Fridays

Writing And Pinterest: An Epic Love Story

I feel that even though I’ve not read a lot this week, I have still stayed quite productive with my blog. Five blog posts isn’t too bad and I enjoyed writing all of them.

Other Fun Stuff…

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Now that it is less than a week until we can begin to open our advent calendars (mine is a Thornton’s Continental one) and I figured it was time to get my little fibre-optic Christmas tree out. I even bought brand new red and gold baubles, and I still have to head out and buy some tinsel for my bookshelf and mirror. Who else is getting excited? I even changed the background of my laptop to become more festive and I love it!

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I am a self-declared foodie and will try anything as long as it is tasty! Indian is one of my favourite cuisines (nothing beats Italian though) and my boyfriend decided to treat us to my favourite Indian takeaway from MaCh. It is a little out of town, but it is definitely worth the trek! We will often eat at the restaurant itself, but as we were a little tired from our late night we settled for eating in. My favourite dish is Sag Aloo, a mixture of spinach and potatoes which is just divine!

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I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been getting up to and that you are getting into the festive spirit as well!

Writing And Pinterest: An Epic Love Story

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I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far. Personally, the weekend is the best time for me to really get to work on my novel as I am not up to much else (apart from doing a bit of shopping here and there). Last night I was up late typing away at my keyboard and I was so deep into it that I didn’t want to stop. In fact, I ended up writing a total of 2,700 ish words in total, which is way more than the 1,000 that I set myself to reach every time I sit down at my laptop. So you can say I was ecstatic, especially after feeling weighed down with writer’s block for the week beforehand.

Me and writers block don’t get along. Whenever it sets in I can find it very difficult to escape and let the creativity flow again, something I have mention in my previous posts. I don’t have a lot of ways to get around it, that is, until I watched a video by Sasha Alsberg on her YouTube channel abookutopia and she mentioned that Pinterest really helps her when it comes to receiving inspiration.

I created a Pinterest account a while ago, but it was mainly to look for images that I could use to draw from or even some workout ideas (I do a lot of at home workouts), but I had never thought to use it for my story. So, the other day I set up a secret board that only I could see and I got to work searching for images that reminded me of what I had created in my mind.

In the screenshot above you can see a few of the images that relate to the town that my main characters lives in and the type of landscape that surrounds it. It’s very rural, with a giant forest and mountains, lots of cobbled stones and beautiful scenery. Of course, I have multiple boards for different places that will be in my story (but they would give away some key details so I’ll keep them to myself.)

When it comes to actually writing the descriptive scenes, Pinterest and these images, have been particularly helpful. While I am not writing exactly what I see in the pictures, there are elements of all in my story. And it is obviously working because I have been on a role!

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Inspiration is all around us and we only have to look to find it. So for me, writing and Pinterest work together perfectly and I can’t wait to explore it some more!

Do you like to use Pinterest as well? Let me know in the comments below.

What Are You Reading Wednesday And Getting My Writing Mojo Back

We are halfway through the week already and I hope you are all having a great one so far. I know that I definitely am, as I’ve had a couple of job offers. Before I make a decision on which one I want to accept, I have to wait to hear from one more (the one I actually want). Fingers crossed that it is before Friday as that is my deadline for telling the others my choice.

My other good news is that I have my mojo back! For a little while my writing was struggling. I was rewriting my story, changing it from first person POV to third person and it was draining me. Then, the other night, all these light bulbs went off in my head and the ideas just kept coming. I managed to write a full document detailing the beginning, middle and end of my novel with a total of 2,000 words. I have to say, I felt very productive afterwards and now that I have finished the rewriting part, I can get to the fun bit.

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What Are You Reading Wednesday was created by RhiannaMarissa, and Kendall. The idea of What Are You Reading Wednesday is to create an online space for bookworms to chat, discuss and recommend their current reads. All you have to do is answer a few questions and link up with one of the host’s sites. So easy!

THE NITTY-GRITTY

Share the book/s you are reading with their author, maybe even the cover, and then answer these questions for at least one of them

  1. Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content?
  2. Who is your favourite character so far, and why?
  3. Will you finish this one?
  4. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…)
  5. What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

My Current Read

Glass Sword

This is the second instalment in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

1. Why did you decide to pick up this book – cover or content? 

Definitely the content, as I read the first book not that long ago. Although, the covers of this series do look beautiful as well (especially the fourth book, War Storm).

2. Who is your favourite character so far, and why? 

After having read the first novel, I still think that Mare is my favourite character for lots of reasons. She is stubborn and witty, getting stronger every day even when others would have crumbled.

3. Will you finish this one?

I wasn’t so sure in the beginning because I was struggling to get into the story again. But I’m only 100 pages in and I have to give it a chance to get better. After the last chapter I read, I will definitely be trying to finish it (I have the third one of my shelf, one that a lot of people liked).

4. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…)

In a way it reminds me of lots of dystopian books (The Hunger Games and Divergent for example) with the different factions, how people are separated and the war stricken world. They have a lot of the same features, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

5. What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

I am finding the second book a little slower than the first and it definitely seems more serious to me. I don’t want to give away too much in case someone hasn’t read it, but I am hoping that there will be more action later on as it started with a couple great chapters.

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What book are you currently reading at the moment? #whatareyoureadingwednesday

Wrapping Up The Week (13th Nov – 19th Nov)

Sometimes a week can go by at lightning speed and at other times it barely seems to move. This week was definitely the latter for me. It was jam-packed with job applications, meetings and interviews (sometimes multiple ones on the same day) and it involved a lot of waiting around. It wasn’t fun in the slightest. I feel like that has been reflected in the creative aspects of my life, with my writing at a standstill and feeling uninspired to pick up the book on my nightstand.

That’s the negatives, the positives of my week are that the interviews went relatively well and I have a feeling that one of them will want to hire me. It’s not everyday you have someone say “That was a really good interview” when you’re all done! I also managed to post quite a bit, finding a little spare time to draft up some posts and schedule them in.

Books I read and reviewed…

A Darker Shade Of Magic

I finally managed to post my review for A Darker Shade Of Magic, which you can check out here. This was a fantastic read and worthy of 5 stars. I’m already itching to go out and buy the rest, but I might just wait and ask for them at Christmas.

I am currently reading…

Glass Sword

I am still making my way through this, but I’m not into it. So I am very close to starting another, possibly Talon by Julie Kagawa, which I’ve heard some great things about. Plus, it’s the first in a season which means that if I like it, it’s an excuse to buy more books.

Talon

Posts from the week…

Sherwood Forest: The Home Of Robin Hood

Being Nominated For The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Writer’s Tag

When Life Gets Stressful And The Writing Halts

I had a lot of fun writing these blog posts, especially The Writer’s Tag, and I even managed to get a little personal in the last one. Whenever I manage to pour my thoughts out it acts as therapy and hopefully it can help me in the long run. Don’t worry though, I’m not a fan of writing ranty posts, unless of course, you like that sort of thing.

Other Fun Stuff…

I am still making my way through Outlander, which I started a couple of weeks ago and I am still loving it. Not going to lie, I am definitely planning a trip to Scotland in the future, possibly next summer if possible! And the Scottish accent is growing on me too and is fairly easy to understand (but I am half Irish so I find it easy to understand accents).

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Fun fact about me is that I do enjoy a bit of gaming as well. It is actually something that my boyfriend got me into a while ago and with the release of Call Of Duty: WWII we have been playing it quite a bit. I wouldn’t say I’m the best but I do have good aim (according to him at least). I’m actually about to go and play a bit after I have finished writing this blog post.

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So, that was my week, but how has yours been? Hopefully it was full of some incredible books and creativity!

When Life Gets Stressful And The Writing Halts

 

This is a visual representation of how I am feeling.

You know that feeling when life is so crazy and stressful that you just wish you could sleep and have everything be okay when you wake up? That’s me at the moment.

The last week has been so busy that my brain feels fried. I’m currently looking for a new job which involves attending a lot of job interviews (I had 4 in a week), researching the companies and registering with recruitment agencies (which means filling out lots of paperwork). I feel that all my spare time is being taken up by those activities and I have no energy left for my writing.

Somehow I have managed to keep writing blog posts over the last week (how, I don’t know, but I won’t question it). Unfortunately, my novel has fallen to the wayside because I simply don’t have the energy. My brain doesn’t want to work and it’s frustrating. I have all these ideas that I keep writing down on little notepads and the story is coming together perfectly in my head. Just not on my open Word document. Which is constantly open.

I’m sure a lot of you have felt this way at some point when it comes to your own writing. Last night I managed to write a little, but as I was forcing the words out I felt that they weren’t working for me. So for the next couple of days I’m going to try and rest my brain. I will plonk myself down to watch some Outlander, exercise to get my blood pumping and pray that my motivation returns.

I wish I could say it was just my writing that was suffering, but I haven’t wanted to pick up a book to read either. It could be that I’m just not that into the one I currently have so I may be changing it soon. Either way, it’s not a great situation.

This may have been a little bit ranty (something I wasn’t sure I should post, but maybe you all have some advice for me), however I feel so much better talking about it. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into a slump, but I am determined to get myself out of it.

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How has your week been going? I would love to know so leave me a little comment down below so we can chat!

The Writer’s Tag

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I love seeing new tags pop up and when I saw this over on The Orangutan Librarian I just knew I had to take part. And if you like the look of the questions and want to give it a go, you can always take part as well!

While I am not taking part in NaNoWriMo (I’m unable to commit to something like that at this moment in time) I am currently writing a novel, one that I hope to be able to publish one day.

WHAT GENRES, STYLES, AND TOPICS DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?

All the books that I’ve written and completed (a total of 3) have been Young Adult and all had elements that were supernatural to some degree.

The first novel I ever wrote was about Angels and Demons (and a girl stuck between the worlds) although if I read it back now I would probably cringe myself to death. My second novel was about ghosts and the afterlife, with a girl dying and being able to see the other side (I even had a sequel in the works). The last one I finished was partly dystopian as well, with the main character being able to control the elements and being whisked off to a secret site to train with the best to fight the evil in the world.

So as you can see, there’s a mixture. My current novel will be Fantasy as that is what I am loving at the moment and I cannot wait to get more into it.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?

I first started writing when I was 14, as I was 15 when I finished my first novel. Before then I had written short stories, until one day my mum challenged me during the summer holidays to write my own novel (she even wrote her own so you could say it runs in the family). I’ve always been a fan of the make believe when I would play dress up with my sister and pretend we were witches in a special school (like Hogwarts but better in our opinion).

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?

For some reason I always get the urge to write at night, which isn’t the best as I get tired quickly. Coffee is my best companion at that point. I’m trying to train myself to write when it’s still light outside but it’s not really working for me.

WHAT PARTS OF WRITING DO YOU LOVE AND HATE?

I love…

  • The beginning. When I’ve just started to create the world that I am picturing in my head and introducing my characters, putting a little bit of my soul into each. While they are never a true reflection of myself there are always elements in them, making them unique to me.
  • When I can clearly see where the story is going to go, the growth of the characters, the twists and turns that they will encounter. It makes writing so much easier when it’s clear.
  • The feeling I get when I write, like I’m doing something that matters. I’m not saying that I’m going to change the world, but I want people to one day read my work and love it as much as I do. I want to see my name on a bookshelf in Waterstones or on the Book Depository and know that I made it.
  • When I don’t have to think too much and by that, I mean the words just flow and they sound right. When I get to that point I can write for hours.

I dislike (because hate is a strong word)…

  • Writer’s block. And for some reason it always happens to me and it is so difficult to get out of.
  • When I can’t get it perfect the first time round. I know that the first draft you write is never the one that gets published, but I am a perfectionist and it’s the worst.
  • Never being able to commit to one novel. I am trying to break the habit of me writing a finished novel, forgetting about editing it and moving on to another because I got a brand new idea. That way of thinking won’t make me a published author.
  • When I get embarrassed. I don’t know why I do because I am proud of my work but whenever my boyfriend reads it over my shoulder I can’t help but try and hide it. I need to work on my confidence.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK?

I can’t. I just have to wait it out or read over what I’ve already written, hoping for a light bulb to go off in my head and the ideas to spring forth. I need a better way of dealing with it and if anyone has any suggestions I will be eternally grateful!

ARE YOU WORKING ON SOMETHING AT THE MOMENT?

Yes, my new fantasy novel (with a twist). And it isn’t actually Young Adult. I’m having a go at the New Adult genre and my reason for this is that I am the age of my characters. I don’t want them to be 16 and having their first kiss or first boyfriend. My female protagonist is living her life, going out for drinks with her best friend, having one night stands and making mistakes. I want her to be strong, independent, imperfect and fearless. Something she will have to be to survive in a strange world. I hope I’ve piqued your interests.

WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING GOALS THIS YEAR?

Considering 2017 is almost over (how has it gone by so quickly?) I’m going to do them for 2018. I want to finish my current novel, edit it, send it off to an editor and get it published. While that last one may not be accomplished within a year (stranger things have happened though) I have the drive to do the rest. I am feeling motivated like I never have before. This is my dream and I want it.

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I’m not sure who to tag really, but if you are a writer and want to take part then make sure to link back to me and comment your answers for me to see. I love reading what other people put so have fun!