CampNaNoWriMo: Lets do this!

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It’s that time again, yes CampNaNoWriMo is here again, and this time I’m determined not to fall behind even on those days where I really don’t feel like writing. I just need that little kick to keep me going.

*sets daily alarm to add a nudge

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This also means if you see me hanging about on Twitter for a lengthy period of time then feel free to give me a poke and tell me to stop procrastinating as I will just be there avoiding the writing.

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It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing because I do, I just lack discipline to do it daily and tend to drift to it only at times that I feel the need to. I (like everyone else) get a little preoccupied with all the other things going on and Twitter is really a rabbit hole for me, I think it’s actually even worse than WoW. At least with WoW I have to be at my PC but Twitter can even catch me which on my notebook or phone.

I have tried handwriting and keeping away from the electronics but let’s be honest once you get out the habit of handwriting it becomes almost alien to do so and it’s slower. In my case it is often illegible afterwards too or gets lost, so a word document is definitely the best way to go for me.

So that’s my warm up exercise complete, let’s get stuck into the storytelling and see where it takes me.

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Reading news is bad for your health!

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There is a very good reason that I try and stay away from the news and often shy away from talking about politics: this is mostly because it just makes me very, very angry.

Sometimes I have to just try and turn away from the world because it doesn’t really make any sense and I feel like such an insignificant part of it that I know that it doesn’t matter what I feel. So if I get angry about the general state of affairs, and all the horrific ways humans treat one another then I only really hurt myself in the process.

We can all rally against our annoyances or take up our picket boards to the streets but all that really seems to do is give the overworked, underpaid police force even more hassle to contend with.

So what has got me rattled enough this morning to vent about?

Result from the Commons

Nose, and eyes to the what now??

This outdated, antiquated, ridiculous way of governing a country: making all politicians appear to be a childish rabble, with their squabbles and taunts. There are children that behave better and have calmer debates. Perhaps we should introduce a ‘talking object’ into the house of commons so that they can finally converse like socially functioning adults!

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The basic line being that Tories and DUP voted not to give our public sector a pay rise: after all of their heroism and hard work in the recent events. After firemen putting their lives at risk because some idiots wanted to save some money to make a building more aesthetic for richer neighbours. After hundreds of casualties and deaths in the UK; after the bravery of the police in the face of terrorism. After the horrendous fallout from all of these events that staff from our NHS dealt with: even though their budgets and workforce are stretched to the limits.

Even after having to waste police time to use as protection for visits into public areas so a prime minister wasn’t set upon by understandably angry mobs; after the public commendations and acknowledgement of all this hard work.

Even after all of this – our government do not believe that any of these people deserve a small scrap of a pay rise.

And worse than this they cheer about it!

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A Biased View

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Something I wrote for a creative writing course while practising writing a Villanelle

Through Your Eyes

 

The knife slices slowly through

His eyes flash wildly in fear

It’s all about your point of view

Cloth over mouth: helps to subdue

A lingering scent of beer

The knife slices slowly through

A bray of pain, his legs askew

Skin glazed with scarlet smear

It’s all about your point of view

With rope pulled taut, mouth turning blue

Nothing to do but persevere

The knife sliding slowly through

A snap, a gasp, a clear breakthrough

Relief begets a cheer

Now, what about your point of view?

The last strand for this rescue

Soon to be a free deer

The knife slices slowly through

It’s all about your point of view

A-Z Challenge – A

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Running slightly late but better than never for the A-Z blog Challenge  , and I thought that I would embrace the whole underlying theme of the challenge: interacting with others, by making my posts about others rather than my own blog.

So get ready for some unshameless promotion for some lovely bloggers & Twitter folk.

To begin with I thought that I should be posting up people in alphabetical order but for this one it only seems fitting that I should make the exception and start at my actual blog beginning. When I started up on Twitter it was intially to complain and view Warcraft stuff but then I found that the community on there was actually much nicer and more sensible than the warcraft forums had become; from there I found people with blogs to read. The very first person that followed me that was unknown and not an egg was Alternative Chat: who was also responsible for me starting up a blog so it’s only fair I name her as my first A-Z person to follow.

Alternative Chat  – Sarah is a passionate writer with interests in Warcraft and James Bond among many other interests. She has seperate blogs to cover her different subjects which is great for people who like to just follow a certain topic but I like the fact that her Twitter is so varied and recommend you follow all three blogs and twitter to keep track of this witty writer.
Links –
https://laughing-geek.com/
https://alternativechat.net/
https://alternative-chat.com/

(ok back to sensible alphabetical)

Abigail Rayner – Abigail is a creative individual who specialises in felting / wall art. Highland cows and sheep are big influences and her website and Twitter are both filled with beautiful felted creations. She also accepts commisions so if you have a beloved dog you want to see felted then this is the place to go. – http://www.abigailrayner.co.uk

Alterna Comics – Keeping the love of comics alive is Alterna Comics who publish extremely affordable and awesome comics such as The Chair, Lilith Dark (my favourite), FUBAR, Mother Russia and many more. Their comics are available in both US and UK or digital if you prefer instant gratification. To check out more follow the link. – https://www.alternacomics.com/

Allison McMoogle – An artist who goes by the name of Ammo’s Art. I originally found her artwork on Twitter while looking at Warcraft artwork and fell in love with the linework on one of her paladin WIP. Allison creates a whole range of beautiful artwork/ commissions / fan art, in her own distinctive style and her artwork definitely deserves promoting. Go check it out here – http://www.ammosart.com/

 Angela Knapp – A textile artist who has a great love and talent for capturing the beauty of birds. Her twitter is filled with artwork, crafts, birds and inspiration. I love to see the work in progress photos and see how her drawings transform into material artwork.
Follow links to her website & blog
https://www.carymade.co.uk/
https://carymade.me/

Arcane Ratsel – A mage gnome who hates warlocks! Oh, ok then maybe some know her as Hannah Straw, the awesome graphic designer from Orange county. Her Twitter is a must for Warcraft fans or people who love puns and there always seems to be a new cheeky dig at a warlock to bring a smile to the day, perfect gnomish behaviour. Hannah is also lovely enough to allow followers to use her cool Overwatch banners which are shared on Behance and often creates artwork around the Warcraft seasonal events. All aboard the gnome train –
http://www.arcaneratsel.com/
https://www.behance.net/HannahStraw

Avaltor – Lovely artist/gamer who has a strong love of rats, dragons, Warcraft and Pokemon among others. Avaltor aka Starnob aka Carrie carries out commissions for character designs and Blizzcon badges and her gallery on deviant art shows a great array of wonderful art concepts. You can also check out some awesome creations in the making over at Twitch and enjoy a friendly text chat.

http://starnob.deviantart.com/
https://www.twitch.tv/avaltor5

Artists Resource  – AKA , is an artist/educator/coach based in London but hosts a you tube channel so you can see some of her craft tutorials. Artists Resource twitter page is filled with motivational tweets and inspiration for art projects for both adults and children. Perfect if you want to find something artistic  to do as a family. Follow her links for more inspiration – 

You tube – Artists Resource
http://artistsresource.co.uk/

Avi Snow – Guitarist for City of the Sun, Avi’s Twitter. Producing chilled out acoustics that are a great to relax and write to (in my opinion). Avi’s twitter is filled with video clips and snippets of music that you will want to check out more of.
https://wearecityofthesun.com/
You Tube – City of the Sun

Bzz Agent Review: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Core Restore

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After receiving my free samples of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Core Restore from Bzzagent, I have to say, I was really looking forward to testing it out.

Freebies from Bzz Agent

Freebies from Bzz Agent

For a start it has been years since I have actually spent any serious money on hair care products and though I used to use John Frieda products in my clubbing days and liked them, for some reason I just don’t really splash out anymore. I guess this is what happens when you stop going out and start living on a budget, darn getting older!

Upon first investigation of the freebies, I found that I had a shampoo and conditioner which I would usually use but they had also given me a volumiser treatment, so I put that to one side as I had no idea where my hairdryer was packed away: I always feel it wastes time, so I tend to leave it to dry naturally.

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First impressions: The packaging is sleek and modern, and something that I can imagine on the shelves of an expensive hair salon. For me personally, it actually reminded me of some men’s shaving gel we had hanging around, and I was hoping that I wouldn’t get confused since the conditioner is actually a clear gel too (looking at them now, I would consider myself an idiot if I did). The shampoo smelt fresh with that almost cucumber type smell (not my favourite) which most people like, but the conditioner smells a little more chemically, like you would expect from a salon product. The smells do lessen after applying to the hair and drying though. The most important thing for me was that it’s usable on coloured hair: so a big thumbs up for that.

 

I first tried using the shampoo and conditioner as I would normally; leaving my hair to dry naturally. I found after this, my hair felt sticky: as though I’d used lots of hair product which I didn’t like at all.
Next time I tried them, I used less product as they do seem to lather up very well and I thought that maybe I wouldn’t need so much as other conditioners: usually my hair is quite dry and I seem to use more conditioner than shampoo. After using less of the conditioner I found this did seem better but still my hair didn’t feel natural. On the plus side, it did actually add more volume: my usually flat hair definitely had more of a bounce to it which was a nice change.

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I continued to test using differing amounts of the shampoo and conditioner and found that I could even go without using the conditioner which seemed unusual for my hair type. Using only the shampoo, my hair still felt moisturised and soft with added volume. If I used a little of the conditioner afterwards it did work out a lot nicer for my hair and added extra boost but I was getting a little concerned that it didn’t smell as nice or feel as natural as my normal brands.

I should point out that it was only me who felt this though and both my boyfriend and mother didn’t see any difference, so maybe it was just a personal preference. My mother did notice the difference in the volume added: as usually my hair is very fine, so any bit of extra body is quite visible. Then I decided I should be trying all three of the core restore collection toiAkfd2Nu.jpggether for maximum results.

After finding out my hairdryer, I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed by the results.  The volumiser treatment was nice and easy to use, and I liked that it was a pump action gel rather than a spray type which seem to produce more waste and mess. I also liked that the bottle was a good size to handle and seemed a good fit to put in an overnight travel bag (unlike the shampoo/conditioner).

For me personally, I don’t think I would use the core restore shampoo/conditioner instead of a usual brand, however I might put them into the rota (I tend to swap around brands). I think it’s something I might want to use for a night out to look good, but not to use all the time: I prefer a more natural feel to my hair. Also the price does not really fall within my weekly budget (unless it was on offer), so using it infrequently would suit me better on both levels.

Overall the Core restore set were good products. They did give my hair extra volume and bounce as promised and I like the fact that a little goes a long way. My original good opinion of John Frieda has been reaffirmed: it is still a good brand which does what it says on the tin.

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Now I just have to go and try separate this into three reviews grr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing in action: February

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Where the hell did February go?

Apparently I blinked and missed and missed a month, or at least this is what it feels like. There were definitely some good intentions there, and perhaps a little early Spring cleaning, yet overall, I can’t say that I really remember much of February at all.

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Well all I can do now is roll up my sleeves and get stuck into March before that gets away from me too. Now where did I put those cute looking ‘To do’ pads from Ooh Deer.

 

One thing can be encouraged is the return of the light mornings and everything around us growing. I hate the whole changing of the clocks though: all this really does is make me grouchier. But I do so enjoy the month of March, everything is just that little bit more open to hope and change for the better. If nothing else then it’s just a great excuse to aww at all the cute baby animals that are born.

 

 

January Good Reads – Jericho Sims begins

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Since this year I had to have a jumpstart for reading which began with the discovery of the New to Me challenge , I’m glad to inform you all that I did indeed find my booster pack in the form of Jericho Sims: so a big thank you to T. Mike McCurley for providing the catnip for reading.

After crossing paths during CampNaNoWriMo, T. Mike McCurley’s books  were always sitting on my radar to read yet I never got around to it and now I’m on the second book and eagerly wondering what happens next yet trying to pace myself to enjoy things more (slightly masochistic I know) but I don’t want another Game of Thrones type thing to deal with.

I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone and the first introduction to this mighty likeable character is a very reasonable buy from Amazon (or free to read if you have the prime unlimited thing which I hope gives something to the authors). I even managed to kick myself into leaving a review on Goodread which I should do for books but am often too lazy – sorry authors but I’m trying now.

Anyhow this was just a quick update and I’ll leave the links for you to peruse below:

GoodReads

Amazon

Amazon UK

 

 

Colour Your World: Apricot Appreciation

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Any excuse to pin up some underused photos!

When is apricot not an apricot?

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When it’s a tomato!

My beautiful picture

Ain’t life a beach

My beautiful picture

The light at the end of the tunnel.

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Ok I’ll get my coat..

 

See here for extra info if you want to join in with the #coloryourworld challenge  BY JENNIFER NICHOLE WELLS

Sunshine Award – Q&A

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A special thank you to MJ Cobra for tagging me in for this little Q&A and making sure that I have been writing rather than staring at a blank screen. Check out her great blog  HERE

Hope you enjoy the answers:

1. What’s number 1 on your bucket list?
Erm maybe to start a bucket list? I actually don’t have one, I prefer to just take the opportunities as they come rather than sigh at a list every time another year goes by without the accomplishment.

2. What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
Watching really cheesy films (especially Christmas ones), I don’t just mean bad chick flicks, I mean full on Hallmark type romance ones. Sometimes it’s just nice to get that heartwarming ending that is expected of that type of film.

3. How do you envision your handwriting if it were a person? Would you be friends?
My handwriting is a little bit unstable and tends to change depending on circumstances and moods. As a person I imagine it would be pretty much the same a little whirlwind of emotional baggage that changes every hour of every day…wait did I just describe myself? I think we could be friends, well some days.

4. If you could bring someone back from the dead, who would you choose?
Eww this just sounds gross, I’ve seen some of those zombie movies and they ain’t pretty. Although if we are talking in a nice clean skelatal form like Scraps from Corpse Bride then I will opt for my cat so he can once again stroll around thinking he is a dog.

5. What is your kryptonite?
Cute helpless animals – No matter how angry I am a cute baby otter can sway my attention – Anyone seen finding Dory?

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6. If you owned a restaurant, what would be the best selling dish?
Surprise stew! Sometimes it works out spicy, sometimes bbq style and sometimes just plain with dumplings. I don’t really start out with a plan but it always seems to work out in the end.

7. What is your favourite part about blogging?
The random interactions. In the real world we are all so stuck in our own little bubbles, and penned in by our status in life that we often don’t interact with people that we would always choose but by those people our surroundings choose for us. Through blogging you are able to find interesting people that might not be within your usual sphere.

8. Do you have a crush on any fictional characters?
*thinks*
I’m guessing the obvious one would be Mr Darcy but if I’m being honest I’ve always had more of a thing for Brontë’s Heathcliff anyway. But if I’m steering away from the classic then I think I would opt for the odd choice of Geralt of Rivia – yes this is me crushing on the Witcher. He has just about the right amount of passion, fight and oddness to make it work for him, and if you haven’t read the books then these come recommended. He has, shall we say complex relationships yet there are definitely some heart racing moments in there.

9. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received or heard?
I can’t remember the exact words but it was a pep talk email from NaNoWriMo and it said something like –

Even if you think it’s crap then just keep writing, even perfect roses need fertilser

10.Which of your blog posts is your favourite?
I think perhaps this one – Creativity meets Warcraft
A combination between two great loves and something I wrote after discovering a really friendly twitter community among Warcraft players.

The rules for this award are as follows:

Rules

  • Show the award on your blog.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the given questions.
  • Nominate a blog(s) and give them questions to answer.
  • Link your nominee(s) and let them know of your nomination.

 

However being a rule breaker and not wanting to try and being unsure of who would appreciate a nomination and who would not need the extra writing then I am not going to choose but I encourage anyone to take up the mantle and if you are so inclined then here are my questions.

  1. If you could be a comic book hero/villain then who would it be and why?
  2. What was the last film you saw in the cinema and did you enjoy it?
  3. If you could only eat only thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  4. Do you enjoy reading and if so which genre do you enjoy most?
  5. Would you rather be in a life like an old Western film or a Sci-fi one?
  6. If your characteristics were an animal what would it be?
  7. When you were a child what did you wish you could be/do?
  8. Given the choice would you want to be cryogenically frozen?
  9. What landmark have you always wanted to see?
  10. Is there any advice you would give to your younger self if it were possible?

If anyone does use these questions for a blog post then please drop a note in the comments and I would love to pay a visit and read them.

Also

Have fun 🙂

 

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I wish I were a Raccoon

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I wish I were a raccoon with tiny grabby hands
To know exactly what I want and openly demand
I’d sport a nice snug tail and roll instead of walk
to get me places faster and I’d never have to talk
Instead I’d have cute glassy eyes
that no one could resist
and people would just give me cake
because I would persist.

A little snuggly raccoon, full of tenacity
I’d be a chubby, fuzzy ball of voracity.

 

Thanks for the Inspiration call over at