Tag Archives: reading

TBR this fortnight

TBR (to be read) this fortnight list includes only fiction books, not the non-fiction that I am also reading;

I, Lucifer By Glen Duncan

Goth girl and the ghost of a mouse By Chris Riddell

Goth girl and the fete worse than death By Chris Riddell

I endeavour to try and read four books per month from now onwards that are fiction and read less non-fiction, because I feel I am getting out of touch with the fiction world a little bit.

I think this has something to do with the fact that I am making more contacts with people who are avid readers and they tend to read a lot of the newly published stuff whereas I don’t. I am feeling outdated and I don’t particularly like it. I know the books I have chosen to read this fortnight are considered old stuff, but they have been on my TBR for ages.

I don’t have access to very modern books unless the library gets them in for me, because I don’t have any spare money per month to buy non-second hand books. So this will always be a problem for me anyway, because quite a few of my reader friends are able to spend an average of £50 a month on new books that they get to keep. But then saying that, they are also able to consume more books than I can too, they tend to read a novel in less than two days, I can’t do that generally, a 300 page tome will usually take me three or four days if its good.

Before I got sick and therefore financially insecure, I was just like them, in fact probably worse as I would spend £25 a week on books. I don’t like to buy second hand books for two reasons, one is that usually the author doesn’t get the money for it, and two, I am fastidious about the care of my books, most of my read books look untouched. But having to resort to second hand books because I have been in a ten year financial slump, my books are irritatingly shoddy with cracked spines and torn sheets and stains because I get them from charity shops on good months.

I, Lucifer was bought from a charity shop around eight years ago and only just got around to reading it now. That’s not unusual for me because I have nearly two thousand books in the house and at least 60% are unread. I think its primarily because I am a paranoid supporter of libraries – scared that if I neglect the library that I will inadvertently add towards their demise. I cant afford to buy new books, but I do at least have a budget of £3 a week to pre-order things from my local library and I do so religiously.

Happy reading all!

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My brain takes me here…

They say that the books you love to read, the movies you love to watch and the things that stick with you the most can be seen in your own writing. 

What you love is often reflected in your writing and once you know yourself well enough you write better.  Once you throw yourself into all of your passions and are writing things based on your passions or similar to your passions unashamedly, you will develop your style and you will therefore come across as unique and fresh in the genres you write.

As long as you stay true only to yourself, do not write for the market, write for you!

I hope this is true.  If it is, then you can more or less guess from my likes and dislikes what could end up being in my novels.

I don’t like to be predictable though, but it is true that there is a little of what I love in everything that I do

Below is a list of stories, books or movies in which I mentally visit and live in a lot, for some reason or another, I am dragged back there to relive scenes or add new ones in my mind.  However, I never write those reimagining’s down through fear of becoming a fraud!  Though I have sometimes thought about doing fanfiction!

1922 By Stephen king – this story in particular has actually influenced a horror I am writing, which is based around a well in a garden too, funnily enough.  But the story concept is poles apart besides the setting of a well. 

Spider By Hanns Heinz Ewers – Every time I see a spider I remember the story.  Every time I see a woman working at a loom or spinning yarn, I think of this story.  You would think that wouldn’t be very often then, but I know a lot of prepper, homesteading type ladies who do this regularly.  I have wanted to do this myself; I have always wanted to make my own felt too. 

The complete collection of The Wizard of Oz By Frank L Baum – So many imaginative things in all the stories, living china dolls, servant monkeys, it’s absolute joy!  The landscape descriptions, oh my word, they are divine, I just can’t help but bring myself back to those scenes. 

Smoke and Mirrors By Neil Gaiman – So many lovely stories and poems in this book, I presume they are poems in any case?  I see them as such, I love the prose, I just love the way he writes!  It is very soulful writing. 

The man in the picture By Susan Hill – This is the only book in my entire reading history, of such length, that I have read and could not put down even for a toilet break!  It is just so gripping and I loved it, it had a similar air to Dorian Grey, but in my opinion much better executed.  I love Venice, never been, but still, always wanted to, love with a passion masquerades and carnival life. 

Matilda By Roald Dahl – Ever since I was little, since Victoria Wood read this on TV I have loved this story and nagged my mum in buying me the book, but she never did.  I must have borrowed this book a hundred times from the library before I became an adult and bought it as part of a trilogy compilation.  How I wished that my soul got angry enough with the people in my life that I could play with the supernatural like she did!  It may have solved a lot of my childhood problems, or created worse ones, who knows? 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – Very alike to Wizard of Oz, the scenes are great, but I also like crazy characters, madness or at least the descent into it ideas.  I love kooky takes on animal and plant life and this was such a joy to behold.  The artwork etc, I love everything about Alice in Wonderland and I have an addiction to collecting Alice in Wonderland novelties.  There were times I pranced around in life hoping I fell down a hole where things were very different too. 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – If you can actually manage to read the whole book and get past the awful main scene, you will actually find this book very deep on an emotional level that is not just traumatic, but beautiful too.  If you read deeply, push past the horrible stuff, it is very meaningful.  How the dead view the living, how the living cannot move on until the dead does, what dead children do in the heavens.  Living out their wildest imaginations; yes, a lot of it is weird and sickening, but I urge you to try and edit those horrible bits out of your mind and read it without those bits.  It takes strong stuff to do that, I know!  But honestly, it is a lovely book besides. Try to skim the nasties.   

Confessions of an ugly step-sister by Gregory Maguire – I love Cinderella anyway, but this plot was good and more to the way that I thought it was behind the scenes.  I love how I learned real history in this book too, the bit about the tulips in Holland.  By the way, that’s another addiction I have – tulips.

I.T By Stephen King – I used to be scared of clowns, big time, before I even learned about Pennywise, but it is funny to actually say that I loved the character Pennywise so much it lessened my fear of them.  Weird I know!  In the past two years in particular, I have lost my fear of clowns entirely and now enjoy them, in fact, they are becoming the main projects for my art!  I just hate the scene of little Georgie.

The Mad Max Movies – I have a thing for life on the road, roguish living, post-apocalyptic tribal societies and the general chaos of survival as whole societies descend into madness.  For this reason too, I think I like the next movie;

Reign of fire movie – I love subterranean settings and when you throw in dragons in a post-apocalyptic world I am in my element. 

Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins is another subterranean setting I love, full of gothic elements such as bats, rats, roaches and gore with an edge of the apocalypse feel to it. 

The Blue Bird starring Shirley Temple – this has been in my mind since I was a very small child, a lot of things about this movie can be seen in small snippets of some of my work.  I have mentioned Old father time and I have cats and dogs which can take on a human form, children trapped in dream time in a couple of my stories to date so far.  No Spoilers, because they were just passing things in the plot, not the actual plot at all.

The Karnstein Trilogy – I love this much more than Dracula, I love the movies and the books they were based on.  I loved it so much that I had been heavily influenced by this trilogy my whole life; I have had to be careful when writing my vampires in fear of coming off as a plagiarist.  You may see what I mean with what I mentioned in “The Blue Bird” paragraph.  I have had to learn to chop up everything I love and move them around genres and different stories, like some experimental stir fries. 

I shall write about the tropes and scenes and types of characters I like in future posts – keep eye out for those!

Happy reading! 

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Favourite genres to read

Reading is something I do often, but in more recent years I have noticed a decrease in reading fiction for non-fiction and I am starting to miss reading fiction as a whole.  I am trying to increase the fiction that I read, but a lust for research usually gets in the way of it.

I miss fiction a lot and I want to share with you the genres or types of books that I enjoy the most;

I obviously enjoy vampires, but they seem to have a broad genre rather than just slotted into one and ironically they don’t often get found where you expect at libraries and bookshops.  I expect to find them at the horror section, but oftentimes they are found in the YA section or even romance!

My favourite genres are fantasy, horror, YA, dystopia and graphic novels.  I love anthologies too and tend to read more short stories than full length novels and I love novellas too.

I dislike romance or having too much romance in the stories that I do read, I tend to skim past scenes like this a lot, and I am not at all a romantic person!  I think it has something to do with the fact that my mother consumed fifteen mills and boon a week as I was growing up!  If there is one thing I can say about my mother, is that she read faster than I ever could!

For a small time during my youth I did kind of get into some of her romance books, but the naughtier ones which made her laugh a bit but also side glanced me in concern as I was becoming more and more an adult; the silhouette, blaze and historical/regency ones I liked best.  But there are only so many gooey eyes and passionate forays in the bedroom you can read before you need to get a grip on your hormones and stop reading that sort of thing for sanities sake!

So for mental health reasons I avoid romance, not because I am a prude, far from it, but there comes a time when one gets tired of a constant sense of nonfulfillment, as it were.

Right anyway, enough of that!

Bitter about a misspent youth of being such a good girl and obeying her mother and never dating anyone until she was twenty purely because of the fear of the scene that would unfold just because I suggested that maybe I am old enough to go out on my own now mum?  Is it obvious?  Well… of course… it wasn’t normal back then and it isn’t normal now… well… Covid19 might have made that sort of thing normal now, but generally it isn’t normal is it?

But yes, I love horror and fantasy and I love humour too!  Those are my genres I love to read and even write.  Christopher Moore, Susan Hill, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Ransom Riggs, Roald Dhal, David Walliams, Frank L Baum, George McDonald, Edgar Allen Poe, Max Brook, Anne Rice, Brian Froud to name but a few of my favourites.

There will be more in depth posts in future about what I like and even why.

Happy reading all!

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Update 12th October 2021

Another wham to my immune system is slowing me down, no end. So sleepy today and my lymph glands are up again. This means I am in for a rough ride for a month at least, as all of my glands are playing up!

To top it all I have found out that a couple of relatives, a child included has been diagnosed with Covid19. Do not worry however, I have not had any contact with them for ages!

What I am concerned about is that, despite the precautions me and Paul have done because of his shingles, I might not have missed the boat there. Because I am getting tremendous back pain with my warning system – lymph swellings.

I hate whatever is wrong with me, because when the swellings happen, my face kind of gets fat and misshapen for a while.

The hearing loss is starting to come back too, just as I was getting used to having good hearing in my left ear, it is starting to go again.

Spending a lot more time reading books, because there is nothing much else I can do. I have been adding some snippets to my file for the ideas I have for other ideas, because it is what I call ideas season. Ideas come in fluxes and flows, sometimes they come for days or weeks at a time, but only come like three or four times a year. Its one of those times and so far, my ideas book has six new ideas in them since the 24th September.

Last night alone, I had two new ideas, which means it is picking up right now, so this wave of ideas might die out in about two weeks time.

Happy reading!

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What is a trope please?

I am not au fait with the majority of the vocabulary of the writing community as such, primarily because I have more or less isolated myself in recent years from the community due to a mistrust of old friends I once had in the community.

Therefore I have been trying to learn some of the technical speech other writers now use.  I only learned the other day what DNF truly meant “did not finish” in regards to the book reading community.

I should really make a DNF shelf on Goodreads, didn’t know that was accountable until now.  Up until now, any books I read partially on Goodreads but did not finish was either said as such in the review or just removed from the currently reading list.

The word trope confuses me slightly too.  I thought I understood what the word trope meant until I started to speak to a friend about tropes the other day who seemed confused by what I was saying.  She then said, those are not tropes, they are themes or settings; they are not the same thing.  So, what exactly is a trope?

I watched about eight YouTube videos last night trying to figure it out, hence why todays post is late.  To me, I did seem to understand what a trope is, my friends are never really ones to explain themselves or correct someone fully, sometimes I feel that they are just critics for the sake of criticising and yes, some friends, this one included already knows I think that about them, because I am very open and say what’s on my mind!  But still, it never prompts them to educate – some will feel that saying “Google it” is justifiable, but as a friend surely the idea of friendship is a sharing of ideas and opinions and to educate one another?  Isn’t that what socialising means?

To me it does mean that – but to people I know socialising seems to mean to them a complaining of their lives, a competitive stance on their life with each other, a woe is me and sympathy chasing, gossiping about others, usually venomously or merely grumping about the state of the world.

So what I believe a trope is based on YouTube research is in fact based on themes and events that happen in the novel – such as found family, a bunch of friends get together with a communal task, or the story has a circus, or a vampire, or the scene is set in snowy Alaska, or it is autumn in the book, or there is a love/hate relationship.  I think those are tropes, because some tropes are also themed.

But forgive me if I am wrong, can anyone help me?

If you can tell me what you think a trope is let me know in the comments below.

I was having a conversation with my friend about what I liked as tropes and apparently I am wrong, most of what I said was not considered a trope.

If I can find out the difference between tropes, a scene, an event and what have you, then I will make a post about what tropes I enjoy in the books I read and the kind of tropes that are in my stories that I write!

Happy reading!

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Schedules & personal butt kickers

Reading as much as I used to have taken a back bencher in the past couple of years, my Goodreads.com account is evidence of this; but I have a plan which seems to be keeping me on track with my library rentals.

Before this downturn in how much I read, I used to borrow ten books a week from the library and read them all, then it lessened to just three per week, now it is around four to six per month and I haven’t been able to read them all by the end of the three week period either.

At the moment I have six books out from the library and some of those I have re-borrowed the maximum amount of times, one such book has only nineteen days left for me to read it and it is only halfway and I have already re-borrowed this book three times in the past and I can have it no more after that!  So, noticing that I have just nineteen days left to read this book, I panicked, because there are approximately two hundred pages to read of this enormous essay about “The History of Judaism”.  Why am I reading such a book?  I will explain later in another post…

So how do I solve the problem of reading things in time?  I have only just started this idea from yesterday, so who knows how well it will work for more long term!  The plan is this… I calculate with a calculator as I have dyscalculia, the number of pages per book I have and divide that by twenty one, which represents twenty one days, the average length of time to keep a book without re-borrowing.  So, I did this will all the books I am currently reading on Goodreads that are borrowed from the library currently.  This breaks down each book into littler bites and gets every book picked up daily! 

To a lot of people who love reading this sounds like a nightmare plan, because I know a lot of readers can’t put a book down until it’s completely read for another book.  But for me this works a treat because I lack focus and have a very shoddy attention span.  Paul believes I may have undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, because I can’t stick to one thing solidly and concentrate on it for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

So for me, the idea of skipping through books one after the other in the same day works well. 

So my current list is broken down like this;

History of Judaism by Martin Goodman 11 pages per day for the next 19 days

Fermentation on wheels by Tara Whitsitt 9 pages per day

Preservation book 17 pages per day

Abundance by Aly Fowler 10 pages per day

Burning the books by Richard Ovenden 11 pages per day

The last book from the library is actually currently completed, so I shan’t add that here.

To me, each from the above would take around twenty minutes to accomplish when not having a bad sinus day, which in comparison to how fast I used to read, is very, very, slow.

But it is doable if I break it down throughout the day, rather than sit back with sixty two pages a night in bed in around ninety minutes.

It is not a maximum requirement, it is a minimum requirement, if my attention span is enjoying the book naturally I will read more if I feel I can and have the time.

Yesterday, so far, I have read more in a day, than I would have otherwise, if I had not had given myself a schedule and deadline.  I think I have mentioned before I am a person who thrives on deadlines? 

Yes I am one of these weirdos who literally rot away in a corner without some kind of schedule or motivational person hounding me to do things all the while.  Unfortunately Paul is rather passive on this matter and so, Henry, my doting eleven year old son, has taken it upon himself to be my butt kicker and I thank him tremendously for it!

So, any future postings, writings and art and even YouTube videos and podcasts, will really be, to the thanks of my son who is prodding me to accomplish things.  He too, has made a sort of pact with me that I should do the same for him and we will together, become a successful family.  Totally Henry’s idea and isn’t it brilliant?   I am so proud of him!

Happy reading!

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Hyper-thoughts a mental illness?

I think one of the biggest reasons why I dislike reading novels are because they feed my imagination and make me think of new stories and I am not in any shortage of story ideas as it is.  I think reading fiction can add to my insanity at times, overflowing me with too many ideas that sometimes it literally does feel like my creativity really is driving me insane!

I am the same if I am overloaded with looking at other people’s art, new movies and playing new games.

I do all these things with caution but not matter how cautious I am in doing these things, reading, watching movies and looking at art etc, I can’t help but become over exposed to stimulus that feeds my imagination at least three new story plots at a time!

There are times I have actually bought on strained wrists or my carpal tunnel syndrome to just write the ideas down fast, I can never do so fast enough and I have even had people buy me Dictaphones to try and help me but again, I can never speak fast enough!  It is actually quite horrible, people say it sounds like you are blessed, but in my head it is utter chaos, I can’t focus at times and this is a huge part of my procrastination in general, because I can’t seem to focus on one idea, my brain thinks about multiple things at once.  I am sure this is actually a mental illness, but I don’t think there is a known mental illness out there for people who can literally think about several subjects and problems all at once and then get confused when they have to try and focus to explain to others what those ideas and thoughts are!

I wish telepathy was a thing, it would solve a lot, I could have a room filled with people who would be writing separately all of my ideas for me and help me organise the chaos and bring it into reality as fiction or art.

I have been suffering from this strange mental problem even more in the past few weeks; I am inspired by almost everything I have access to lately.

 I suffer from migraines frequently and it could be my auto-immune inner ear disease doing it some of the time, but most of the time I think it’s the hyper-thoughts as I like to call them. 

I have been told I can’t be a very good writer unless I read a lot of fiction and I don’t generally.  I read more non-fiction than fiction, so I feel lately I have to throw myself into some more novels by other people.  I am finding it hard to fit into creative circles because of two major flaws I have, the lack of fiction reading and the lack of social media I indulge in.

Ugh, I don’t know what to do.

But I do know this; it is affecting productivity lately at a major scale.  Whenever I sit down to write stories these days I don’t enjoy them as much as I used to, I sit there sometimes and cry, because my thoughts can’t seem to align themselves.  I am confused and often confounded by the goings on in my head that I stare at my previous words in awe that I finished those at least, but I can’t seem to move on and I can be like this for over an hour before giving up.

I am trying to do what other people recommend that I do, that is focus on one to three novels and finish those before doing others.  This is not working for me and I am so out of focus these days I find it hard to go back to my old way of writing – which is to literally write towards one idea until the others call me and so on.    This has meant in the past I once had as many as 27 separate novels on the go at once and the average time it took to complete just one of those stories was around 5yrs.

What has put the pressure on me the most I think is the notion that I have been told that some of my words in progress will be of out of date or over used themes by the time I get it to publishers that they won’t be interested in it when I get around to it.  That is so very demotivating.

I don’t really know what to do right now because of it.

Happy reading

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Stephen King’s Dark Tower Multiverse?

I am planning a long reading project specifically focusing on Stephen King’s Dark Tower series; however, there is more to the Dark Tower series than meets the eye, so it seems.

When it comes to Stephen King I am a slow reader, because I find his books very long most of the time, it takes me an average of 3 to 6 weeks to finish a King novel, yet here I am, planning to read approximately 19, could be more!

Because I know my attention span is almost non-existent in almost every context of my life, I know that this reading project will probably span over 5yrs for me – that is realistic, because knowing me, as I do, I know that I will not just focus 100% on these books, there will be other books thrown into it as well as I have a heavy penchant for non-fiction and anthologies and my goodreads current reading list has 13 books in it, some are non-fiction reference books I started two years ago.

There is a YouTube video I watched the other day which tells you in order to better understand the Dark Tower series you should really do further reading between books of the series to understand the novel more; why?  Because a lot of the characters and things within the Dark Tower books can be found in other non-Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  What I find strange is in my opinion this is not a comprehensive list, because according to the YouTuber they mention that “The Shining” is mentioned in these books as well as Carrie White, yet these books are not part of the list he gave.

Here is the video if you are interested… https://youtu.be/4pmxpfPfzOw

Now before I jump in and read his recommended list I will be researching other people’s suggestions as well before making my decision where I will start.  No doubts at the end of this project I will have created my own list of recommendations because personally I think I know Stephen King novels like the back of my hand, I have been watching most of his movies and reading his stuff since I was 8yrs old, I have just got slow with reading altogether since 2006.

Also I was extremely hasty in 2009 when I wanted to run away from my parents’ house, I gave away half of my unread Stephen King collection to charity, because I was downsizing to the point I could take almost everything with me if needed.  However, I never had to do that and if I had known that before I gave away the 200 books I had from other people as well, I would never have truly given them up willingly and the DVDs too for that matter!

This memory makes me extremely sad because I had almost completed the collection for the Green Mile at the time too!

Anyway the above list was shown as this, to be read in this order;

  1. Salem’s Lot (seen the movie)
  2. The Stand (owned read to page 40 on average before weirdly getting the flu, this happened on 4 separate occasions I read the book – spooky!)
  3. Dark Tower – gunslinger (owned never read)
  4. Dark Tower – Drawing of the 3 (owned never read)
  5. Eyes of the dragon
  6. The Talisman
  7. Black House
  8. Everything’s eventual (not the title story yet but everything else)
  9. Dark Tower Wastelands
  10. The Dark Tower Wizard of Glass (owned never read)
  11. Insomnia (owned never read)
  12. Bag of bones
  13. Dark Tower wind through the keyhole
  14. Dark Tower the wolves of calla
  15. Dark Tower song of Susannah
  16. Everything’s eventual (the title story)
  17. Hearts in Atlantis (the 1st story)
  18. I.t (owned, read halfway before mastoid surgery made me forger to finish it, seen the movie too)
  19. Dark Tower

As you can see there are at least three books missing from this list if we were to include other mentioned characters from the Dark Tower.  There is no recommendation to read Carrie, The Shining or Doctor Sleep.  So those who are not au fait with Stephen King but want to read this epic fantasy series, really would not get the idea behind the mention of “The Shining” or Carrie White, how much more has this YouTuber left out I wonder?

So until I have watched a few more videos and viewed a few more blogs based on other reader recommendations, I will have to keep this project on hold, because I don’t like to miss a trick wherever possible and no, I don’t like spoilers!

Happy Reading!

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Learn to improvise tried and tested themes

There is one thing I dislike about reading stories and that is, I get confused about whether it was a movie or a book years later.  Sometimes there is a movie and a book out and I get confused because the actors are different to when I visualised it when reading. 

I also have the same problem about my own novels I write; were those my ideas or did I see the movie somewhere before?   Sometimes I have to actually make notes about where I have seen other things that I am imagining for my own stories, because I am paranoid about coming across as a copycat, I often google even characters and fantasy creatures, just to be sure.

Funnily enough, doing this has shown me how unoriginal many seemingly original stories are by other people.  At least I have learned how not to be cliché.  For example, I had an idea about a giant spider in a forest for one of my dragon novels, but then this has been done many times before, not just Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings! 

Let me tell you the others;

Conan the barbarian – the tower of the elephant

Arachne in Greek mythology

Arachnos from Dr Who

The Cthulu mythos

The wonderful wizard of Oz

Arachnophobia

There is a whole lot more – in fact giant spiders are overdone in three genres, horror, fantasy and sci-fi.

It is reasonable to think that it would be a popular choice along with rats, wasps, snakes, being buried alive because all of these are mankind’s greatest fears, so it can be a useful if overdone tool for creative writing.

But does that mean that you can’t include these overworked themes in your own writing?  Maybe not, but no one is going to write it like you, you can put a unique stance to the story, something that certainly hasn’t been done.  Maybe instead your spiders are friendly, vegan, mages, aquatic, who knows the options are many!

For your information, there is such a thing as aquatic arachnids, spiders that can live both on the land and in water, they can breathe under water, now your nightmares can really begin to grow!  What will you do with it?

So, although it is good for me to be paranoid about originality, originality in fact does not exist.  Only your stance of what already exists can feel unique to those who may never have come across something like that before and the likelihood of finding people like that is at least 33%, well I am not mathematician, so I wouldn’t really know, but the chances are, people will like your perspective on the subject or theme.  So get at it, but always be aware that you are not as original as you think – this shouldn’t stunt you, in fact, it should help teach you to think outside the box, improvise or innovate, you know?

Happy reading!

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Gardening & writing plans & books – oh my!

I have only written about one page towards a novel this week, because of sickness, but also because I am reading a little more than normal – mainly magazines based on gardening and permaculture.  I have no energy to garden yet and it is actually quite unlikely I will do much in the garden this year, but I am learning as much as I can whilst I am out of sorts.  I have reinjured my leg twice in the past two weeks and so mobility is now getting affected, I have an old break that never healed properly and the two separate injuries were heavily on this old break.

I have written approximately 5 pages towards the plans of a new novel for April’s NaNoWriMo as I do intend to participate this year.

I have also started writing a non-fiction book based on my current knowledge of gardening and self-sufficiency, hence the extra research too, I want to be thorough as I realised there is not enough of the kinds of information I want out there readily available and I wanted to make it easier for others like me to find.  So far I have written approximately 10 pages towards that.

All of this whilst sick with a chest infection, injured leg, ear infection and the extreme depression caused by the harassment I am getting from my neighbour, which is actually making me scared to go into my own back garden these days.

I am planning to start selling my artwork around the end of the year; there is a local opportunity for me to take up positions in the local art gallery and I am going to snap those up.  I won’t be ready until autumn.

I have also done four half done pieces of artwork this week, there are plans for 6 more, I am trying to do them fast, but they require a lot of layers and drying time so that can be frustrating!

I am also starting a junk journal for the first time.

Whilst I am updating you all, I may as well tell you about some of the books I have read this month.  I have read “Conversations with God” as a non-believer in mainstream religions; I found it refreshing, because to me, it proves all the instincts I had about God growing up are true and valid.  But I had all those ideas beaten out of me because my family can be quite radical about this sort of thing.

I have also read “The library of the dead by T.L Huchu” which I absolutely loved, it was about ghosts and it is a mystery, a sort of detective for the dead sort of supernatural thriller/fantasy.  I found some parts of the story very gory, but it was a fun read and I look forward to reading more from this series – as I think I heard it is a series now?

I read “The Spooks Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney, which I felt was not really suitable for children under the age of 14.  I found it too disturbing in some parts and my son and his entire classroom had this read to him during school lockdown online and most of the children were asking the teacher not to read it to them because of nightmares!  So there you go!  I enjoyed it, but I found it too quick paced.

I am currently reading two other books I got from the library, so I will update you all on those soon.  The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor!

So this is a condensed down and short as possible update for you all, hope you all are well and I will hope to post again in a few days’ time.

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