Photovember #12


So, why has this rather fuzzy photograph made the ‘Photo of the day’?

Well, for a couple of reasons.
I know the writing isn’t in English, but you might notice the name ‘Grahama Mastertona’ on the pen. Which, I am assuming, is Graham Masterton in polish? I was sent an email from the authors mailing list some time last week offering these pens for sale after they’d over ordered for their ‘Written in Prison’ Award.

Seeing as Graham Masterton is really the only author that I still manage to get excited about whenever I see a novel of his I’ve not read, and an author that I’ve ‘reviewed’ the most and talked about the most and recommend to everyone I talk to about reading/books. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to grab one of the pens. Maybe in  the hopes that some of his writing talent will magically flow out of it whenever I use it!

So, that’s why this pen is todays photovember picture.

I’m also now a day behind on photovember, due to the fact that Monday was a bit of a bad day with Marcus being unwell and as such pretty clingy. I doubt I’ll be able to catch up with it, but I think I’ve submitted a few ‘extras’ in previous posts that make up for it.




Words of Wisdom

“If you’re frightened of dying and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.”

The above is a quote from the film, Jacobs Ladder. And while, I actually had to look at the synopsis on IMDB to actually see what the film was about again – as its been a while since I saw it – I can always, always remember this quote from it.

And not because it’s been resampled in any industrial songs (That I know of) it’s because of the meaning behind it. It offers some sort of relative comfort that we shouldn’t actually be afraid of what will come to us once we die. We should relax and just let the angels take us, rather than be torn away from our mortal existences.

I find comfort in the quote. A comfort that I don’t find in many places. At times, I don’t even fear death.

And then I remember that I have someone to live for and the thought of not seeing him growing up fills me with utter dread! I am more scared of dying now than I ever have been in my life – despite feeling that fearing it will be worse in the long run. It’s a complicated run of emotions and something for the much more philosophical amongst us can debate until the cows come home.

For the sake of the writing challenge topic though, I wanted to share this quote with you. And honestly, I would love to know how it makes you feel too.

Something I struggle with

I didn’t want to write this post either – maybe next time I’ll look at what I have to write before accepting a challenge.

Mostly, because I find if I dwell on the things I struggle with they feel a little all consuming and it tends to get me feeling a bit overwhelmed and it’s a downward spiral.

There is one thing though that I think I really struggle with. Overthinking. I am always concerned with ‘Is this the right thing to do?’ or ‘What will be the consequences if I do X thing’ It’s pretty much a problem with everything that I take on. The fear of failure, rather than just trying something out. Rather than feeling free to parts of my ideas or creative adventures, I am more concerned with what’ll happen if I do the thing.

For example, I have a lot of story ideas and character concepts in my head – but rather than jut enjoy these ideas while they last, I tend to think, what happens if I only get into them for a few days and they fall flat on their backsides and I never pick them up again? Ultimately, who would really give two hoots if this is the case! I mean, as long as I enjoy what I am doing at the time and in the long run no one gets hurt, it’s all good right?

I feel this way with all my ventures really. The fear of failure or whatever that holds me back, when really I should just let go of it all and enjoy everything while it lasts. Rather than overthink and over complicate things.

10 things that make me really happy. 

This is he first in my 30 days writing challenge. I actually struggled coming up with this list, which is actually somewhat saddening in itself. Who else has trouble coming up with 10 thins that make them happy? Some of them are pretty obvious as well, but here we go.

Drawing – This is the most obvious thing on the list really, it’s something that I try and do every day and after a time of not doing it I can feel my mood shifting towards the horrible pit of dispair. I’m not the best artist out there, but drawing my character and for others is something that really lights me up. Sure, it has its frustrations like when you can’t capture what is in your head properly or when ingrates aren’t thankful for what you draw for them, but there we go. It is something that is a core part of myself.
Creativity – This sort of goes hand in hand with drawin, but I love seeing what other people create and talking about ideas. I guess roleplaying sort of goes here as well, but I’ve had a fair few issues with roleplaying over the years as well. Although I just started a new one with a friend so we will have to see how that all goes! But yeah, talk no about ideas, it just makes me happy.

Reading – Again this goes with the above. I love reading books and being taken away to another world on a fantastic journey. Or standing alongside a detective trying to solve a horrific murder. Or even falling in love with Mr. Tall dark and handsome! Books are magical things and I honestly wish I had more time to be transported away.

Fangirling – I am loathe to admit this one! I find there is nothing as fun as finding a fellow fan girl and gushing over favourite characters! I’ve not felt this part of me for a while, which makes me somewhat sad. I’ve not found anyone new anyway.

Rambo – Which brings me nicely to this guy. I know I still have a special place for Rambo in my fangirly heart because I walked passed a car while walking the dog the other day and it had a Rambo sticker across it and I felt a slight pang of guilt that I hadn’t visited the fictional husband in a while!

Video Games – I have always enjoyed video games. I think for the same reason I like reading. For me they are another form of telling a story. But they are more social. The family had an amiga when I was growing up and we would all gather together and play games like Lemmings and Monkey Island together, solving the puzzles and thinking about it all as a family. Even now the husband and I play games together, even if it’s just me watching. I think this is why I have some reservations about this Virtual Reality boom that seems to be hitting at the moment. I don’t see how it can work as a social, come together thing when you’re wearing a headset. Unless it all goes Demolition Man on us?

Exploring – This isn’t something that I enjoy doing by myself, but when I go away somewhere on a holiday I enjoy nothing more than seeing all the new sights around me. I don’t mean sightseeing as such (although this is fun too) but just finding out where I am in the world.

Learning – I didn’t think to put this in the post until I was writing it, which I guess is what all this is about. But one of my old lecturers told me that I ‘get off’ on learning. At the time I didn’t really agree or get what he meant by that, but looking back on it I totally do. I enjoy being shown how to do new things and reading new subjects. It’s why I enjoyed seeing demonstrations at Bury Art Society and going to talks. It’s something that I would really like to pick up again sometime soon.

Animals – I get nothing but pleasure when I see an animal. I love seeing them in the zoo, the wild and even domesticated animals. I love the company of my dog, who is currently falling asleep on my feet as I type this out. I once did a National Diploma in Animal Management, I got a bit downhearted with the course itself towards the end and wanted to quit, but was guided to stick it out til the end. While I discovered that working with animals isn’t something I wanted to do it’s because of this course that I started drawing again. I sometimes think that maybe I should pick it up again as a career, but honestly, have no idea of I would enjoy it or if I have the confidence to try it again.

Tea – I drink this daily, I like having a nice warm mug of tea with me in whatever introvert ventures I am undertaking, even if it goes cold while I day dream.

Marcus – I had to save the best thing until last! I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy spending time with this wonderful cheeky chappy. Sure being a full time mum is the hardest thing in the world to be, but when he has a giggle fit all the hardships are forgotten! At the moment he is growing his top teeth so having a few bad days. I say bad, it means it just wants more cuddles than normal. I have had days where I have thought to myself that I can’t cope anymore, but tell myself to keep on going for his sake. Happy baby, happy family really is where it’s at!

Of course, there are other things that make me happy too. Like, Music, walking, hobby stuff, but I was limited to just 10 things.

Snowflake Method

I have been trying to write some of my own personal projects for a good while now. Some of the stories I’ve been half-arsedly trying to write I have had in my head for years. I’ve only really dabbled with getting them down onto paper, as I feel like they have been mamothly epic novels that I didn’t even know how to attempt going about writing them – I always thought that my skills for the written verse were never really good enough and I should start with something a bit simpler.

Then I came across Randy Ingermanson’s snowflake method.

It’s a method of planning out stories by starting off really broadly and narrowing everything down in stages. (Which is a gross over-simplification of the method, but you can read more about it here)

I tried using the method a while ago with one of my stories, but never got all that far with it as I was writing it all down on paper and getting myself very confused.

Since then, I caved and brought the Snowflake Pro software.

Which has been an absolute God-Send. I know it’s not much, but since doing all the planning on the program I’ve written a good 2 chapters of my first novel with the aim of writing 500 words a day –  I know that this isn’t much but it’s a nice easy, manageable target that fits in with my current lifestyle and makes me feel acomplished.

I really do urge anyone who is stuck with their story planning to give the method a try as it really does help get everything out of your head and into some sort of organised state. I plan on readressing some of my other stories and ideas in this way so I can actually get them out there.

Have any of my readers had any experience with this method and has it worked for you? What method of planning and the likes do you all use? Would be interesting to know.


Prompt – Secret

I confess, I’ve been roleplaying online again.

I have had more than my fair share of gripes about this particular activity in the past. I’ve been put off that some of the worst people in a roleplaying community than you can think of.
Overly dramatic people that take everything to seriously.
People that don’t know how to keep their hands on their own characters and leave yours well alone.
Over powered original characters
Boring one liners

You get the picture.

So I was really reluctant to give everything yet another go. But I am glad I took the leap of faith. Firstly, I am writing as a character that I have connected with – which took me a long time to find, believe you me! They are a character that has featured on my blog before now. And I am getting a flood of storylines in which makes me very happy indeed. More so I have been complimented on roleplaying this character – which makes me feel wonderful.


I just didn’t want this aspect ofmy life to me this big secret thing – I’ve always shied away from telling people that I write storylines with other creative people, like it’s something to be really ashamed of.

Roleplaying as Thor reminds me a lot of roleplaying as my old Norse badger charcater, Frey. They are pretty similar in mentality, Thor just has a bit more to him to make him interesting to write. Only thing is you have to get pretty damned good at describing Thunderstorms! I think the other thing that has helped me overcome the whole worrying about roleplaying is that the Marvel community over on (Where I RP) is really friendly and welcoming to new people.
I don’t know how long I will be roleplaying like this for, considering my irritations mentioned above and in previous posts, but I hope it’ll last for a while yet.

And if I get any really juicy stories, I’ll share them with you!

A new voice

I’ve had a new voice lately. It has been wonderful!

I’ve not felt this energised and inspired since Nathaniel Greyson came my way, I can’t really put into words how good it has felt to have something to put all my creative energy into again.

I have been expanding his story using the ‘Snowflake‘ method and so far in the development and creation of the characters and his world. I know every writer has their own techniques for these things. Some just do the bare minimum of planning and ‘wing-it.’ I have thought about doing this myself but always worry about writing myself into incontinuities or something equally as daft. Yet I’ve struggled with the whole process of getting everything hammered out without guidance. So this method has really helped iron things out.
I am currently on the 9th stage of the process and laying out what is happening in each chapter. I’m really hoping to be able to write and finish this story as I’ve not completed anything in a long, long time it seems.

Generally speaking I am more of a visual artist. And my style doesn’t always reflect my interests.

I’ve drawn the main character of this particular nameless story a couple of times already

Design Gideon Ecbal Gideon2 GIdeonBust

I am rather fond of the bottom couple, mostly for pervy reasons!

His name is Gideon Ecbal. He is the Captain of the Guard/City Watch for the town of Westpool. (Until he is removed from the post by another via the framing of various crimes. Basically fooled by the oldest tricks in the book. Framed for the murder of the Lord of Westpools son (And his best friend) made to look exceptionally guilty due to being broken from prison by the remaining loyal guards under his name.

I wrote that little synopsis on the first day I created him, but I’ve a lot more written now. I am uncertain on where to publish his story, or even if I should. Maybe something on fictionpress? Depends how I feel about it all really when I’ve started writing.
I might even stick it on my dA seeing as that is where the artwork is hosted.

I’ve already asked a few other artists to draw him up as well, so hopefully I will have some better artwork to share with you all soon… when I say better I mean, more fitting for the style I suppose? Most of my stuff looks more cute than I intend~

Until next time