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BG’s Book Party! Days 1 and 2

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Woohoo! As most of you know, my dear friend has just had her book published! Woohoo! Go and check it out on her other blog, buy a copy if you fancy it.

But even if you don’t want to buy a copy, isn’t it okay to    C E L E B R A T E    her anyway?
I THINK SO!!

So, join in the book party by posting.

4th November (which I missed) was what have you written that you are really proud of? Now, as I’ve said before, it’s very difficult to admit to being proud of ANYTHING AT ALL when you’re British. But, I’ll go for it anyway. Say it loud and clear. I AM PROUD OF…

The first ever novel I completed when I was fourteen. Yeah, yeah, it’s probably pretty shit, but I am so damn proud that I completed it. I thought it was good at the time, but I’ve never quite had the guts to read it again, so we’ll never know what it’s like

 

5th November is what’s your favourite book/author? Let me let that sink in for a minute.

Are you kidding?? How on earth am I meant to choose? I’m going to change it to the best book I’ve read in the last six months. How about that? That means I only have (let me count on GoodReads)… 51 books to choose between. That’s a lot easier than all the books in the world, but still pretty damn hard! Okay, I loved ‘The Art of Being Normal’, ‘A Knowledge of Our Better Angels’, ‘The Shiralee’, and ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing.’ I know that’s more than one and they’re all different authors, but still. That was damn hard for me.

Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN. WOOHOO! Everyone come join the party!

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Write Every Day: Things I’m Proud Of

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Apparently it’s a very British thing, but it just feels so wrong to say that you’re proud of something. You have to be like: ‘it’s okay’, or ‘I’m quite pleased’, or ‘well, but I was lucky’ etc etc. So, this is surprisingly difficult.

What am I proud of?

I’m proud of my brother. He was bullied badly from a very young age. After a few days at reception my parents were bathing him and he had bruises all over. They didn’t understand why and he didn’t either. He didn’t know anything else; didn’t know it was wrong. Another parent told ours’ that he was being beaten up. We moved house and schools when we had enough money, and the bullying continued. Less physical, more psychological. Up to Secondary School, and it continued. Eventually our grandparents kindly partly with a lot of their savings and he went to a private school. He was still a ‘misfit’ and bullied to some extent, but it was so much better. We all suffered. He was so angry all the time that he would physically attack me and my mother; he bit her quite badly once.

But now they (they’re gender neutral) are amazing. Brilliant exam results for GCSEs, AS and A levels. (No surprises there). Ended up going to a terrible university on clearance because it was the only one he could go to that would accept him and his girlfriend. Everyone told him it was an awful idea; they wouldn’t stay together; look at the amazing uni’s he was throwing away. He did what he wanted.

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Then, a 2 year MA at Oxford. Then Oxford and Cambridge both offered him spaces for PhDs. He went for Cambridge (why not, just so you can you’ve been to both the top uni’s in the country) and came out as they to us earlier this year.

They’re a new person. Not since becoming ‘they’, from a long while back. They’re sociable. They go to parties. They get involved. They are STILL with that girlfriend (screw that all you oldies who said they’d split up within a year). 12 years. And they have grown up to be such a generous, easy to be with, wonderful person.

There’s no one else on worth who I am prouder of.

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Write Every Day: Fond Childhood Places

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Well, I was born in a city and didn’t move out to the country ’til I was five. Let me tell you I am a REAL country bumpkin. Put me in a city on my own, and I’m lost (often panicky), but on my own in the middle of nowhere – bliss. So, fond places from my very young childhood aren’t that many.

I loved the zoo (I wish I could still love the zoo, but now it’s too complicated with animal welfare and I just couldn’t enjoy it). My favourite animal’s an elephant and they had a lovely elephant, who I adored. She’s passed away now, but she was a famous girl in her time! This is her 40th birthday.

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In retrospect, she was probably kept very poorly. I didn’t know that as an innocent kid though. Zoos are hard. The worst are the big cats: cats have huge territories, and you see them pacing up and down and up and down. The cruelty breaks my heart. I agree with preserving endangered species, but there are ways and means. Lions are not endangered. They do not need to be kept in a cage.

There were also some wonderful outdoor places: a folly (I won’t name it, everyone will look up where I live!) with huge grounds for playing, a place we nicknamed ‘poo park’ because of the amount of dog poo (but when you’re little it doesn’t matter as much), I adored the city farm.

Indoor wise, I loved the RUMPUS ROOM! I didn’t realise that it was also a posh bar in London. MY rumpus room was fantastic: like a big bouncy place, with soft walls and balls and lots to play on. Something like this:

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I was pretty much caught up in my own head as a kid, so I didn’t play with anyone else, but I made up wonderful games for myself: trekking through the jungle, having to save my parents, that sort of thing.

But now, the fields and the rivers and the streams are my love. I’d never give them up. After spending 4 (out of 6) of my years in my hospital stays being in London, I realise I could never be a city girl.This is me.

 a37e9d02dbdcbb2c807777aebcea858d   (before anyone asks, I didn’t draw this!)

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! Join in with me if you like. Gettingthroughanxiety is joining me too 🙂

Posted in Award, Challenges

Mystery Blogger Award!

I can’t believe I’ve received this award! I’ve never got any kind of reward in my life (apart from exams certificates and stuff), and I actually cried when I was tagged!

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This is an award (!!)originally created by  Okoto Enigma. I don’t know her, but it’s always interesting finding new blogs.
This was from my dear friend gettingthroughanxiety who is helping me to really get into this blogging malarkey – I’ve been skimping! I used to keep an everyday diary, but got out of the habit; I want this to be a combination of current affairs, books, musings… everything! And she’s supporting me through it, which is absolutely fantastic! I was gobsmacked when she said she would do it with me, and eternally thankfully
She’s a wonderful woman, and please all check out her blog. Her generosity know no bounds. She’s just published a book which I’m certainly planning to read due to the calibre of her writing, and I think other people should take a look too! It’s pretty exciting. UNDERSTATEMENT! Can’t wait to read it (my TBR list is huuuuuuge, but this one might get bumped up a bit. Her blog is so varied, and her last post is really thought-provoking. Please take a look at her, she deserves it for putting up with me!

Okay, my first award. I have to list The Rules. (sounds very ominous :S) Here we go:

  • Display the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to the nominator’s blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominator
  • Nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by leaving the nomination link in the “comment” of their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share the link(s) to your best post(s)

 

Does that make sense? I’m slightly scared about finding 10-20 people to nominate, but I’ll give it a good go!

Three things about myself:

  1. I have a beautiful cat called Popoki who is sitting on my lap making it very hard to type right now
  2. We have a small (ish) field, and a sheep of 17 sheep!
  3. I moved back in with my parents about 18 months ago (boooo!)

Answer three questions from the nominator: (she’s done more than three!)
(little confused because she said these were her questions and her nominees, but you’re meant to come up with new ones! Go with the flow, E, go with the flow)

Have you had a crush on your teacher as a teenager?
Boringly, no. I wish I could say that I had but none of that were really that hot.

If you had the power to change one thing in your past, what would that be?
Easy. Go back in time and do something to stop me having an eating disorder. Sometimes I think it was just inevitable, but there must have been something I could’ve done.

Which country is your next dream vacation, and what made you want to go there?
Amsterdam! (Well, I’d really like to go to Ecuador but I’m keeping it vaguely reasonable due to my health). It’s easy for to get around and there are those mobility scooters which would make things easier (and funner!). There’s so many things I want to see there: Anne Frank’s House (top of my list), go to the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh, I’d love to hike in Jordaan but I know I can’t realistically. Then there’s Dam Square, the Science Centre, cycling along the canals and ice-skating at Leidseplein (I can dream, okay?), the Joods museum, the De Gooyer windmill, visit the flower market, and go to the Red Light District and some cafes for some ‘people watching.’ I wouldn’t do anything in the RLD, but I’d definitely like a go at, ahem, sampling the delicacy.

Do you think it is okay to keep secrets even between best friends?
Yes, as long as they’re not harmful.

If you could be transformed into something else, what would be your preference, and why?
A cat. They sleep all day, and their minds aren’t constantly torturing them with awful thoughts. And when they’re not sleeping, they’re playing (or eating). I can’t think of anything better. I’ve lost the ability to just have fun. And, of course, I love cats.

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So, the nominations. Do I know 10-20 people well enough online that I can ask (god, I’m glad I’m not doing this in real life – I’d manage about three!) Here we go, I shall try: (warning: if you don’t recognise me, don’t dismiss as spam. I have commented on your blog or just liked if I’m feeling like a coward, and it might be a while ago. I am a very very amateur blogger, which makes this award so strange!)

I think that’s about as many as I can do. I would be so grateful if you’d participate; it’d mean the world to me. Link back to me – I’d love to see your answers (Just realised I don’t know how to tag you. I’ll have to find out.)

So, here are my 5 questions (I’ll try and make them interesting):
1. What was the scariest thing that happened to you?
2. Did you dress up this Halloween?
3. Would you rather be a bird that couldn’t fly, but not a proper walking bird, or a fish that couldn’t swim, so you just bobbed around?
4. What’s the latest book you’ve read that you’d recommend to someone?
5. What music are you listening to right now/what music did you last listen?

Hope they’re okay! Anyway much love to BG; this means such a lot.

Have a fab Friday everyone!

 

 

 

Posted in Challenges, Uncategorized

Write Every Day: Favourite Picture Books as a Child

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Hello! Feeling very nervous today, but I don’t know why. You’d think I’d never written before but I actually I’ve written three novels and one is being published by the new year fingers crossed(by a publisher, not self selfpublished). I’m written since I know what writing is. I can remember what on my first day of school, I got upset because the words I was using (‘therefore’) just wouldn’t fit one line. My Teacher (Mrs ‘P’ – that was what she told us to her call her; I think her surname was pretty complicated) taught me about using an en dash to go onto the next line. I was reading at 3, chapter books at 4-5, and always writing.

I  write every day anyway, or at least do some editing. But I want a journal. I want somewhere I can talk about my feelings, and I can’t do it. This is what I want this to be.

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I also want to write about politics and current affairs and book reviews, but. I’ve never mixed the too. I’m so nervous doing this. I kept an every-day-diary for three years, and then another six with a bit of a gap. I should be okay, at the very least!

But I just don’t know what to say. I’m hoping this challenge will cure me of it. Obviously, it’s not the natural flow that I want, but if I just GET WRITING, that’ a start.

(After talking my writing experiences, I’ve just written a terribly waffling entry that could be edited down an awful lot. But I’ve decided to silence my inner-critic for the time-being. I guess most of you writers will know what I’m talking about 😛 )

So, it seems apt favourite books as a child. God, how to pick? I’ll go for three, and choose them in ascending age order (little baby book, small chapter book, proper chapter book)

Baby Picture Book. There are so many! But it’s gotta be:

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My dad read it to us so well, like an actor, making use of all the onomatopoeia (swish, swish, swish) and we joined in because we knew it so well. I love it still. (So what? It’s my inner child, okay?

Short Chapter Book. This is getting harder. I’m gonna choose two. (because I’m cheating!)

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What (young) reader doesn’t love this? Of course, I liked Lucy best as well as Mr Timnus. The films were okay, but not a patch on the books of course. I guess I was about 5 when I read this, though I’d read it had to myself numerous times before that.

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I wanted to be Lucy in this book (maybe I just wanted to be called be Lucy?), and I enrolled RYA sailing courses purely because of this book. Of the whole series, my favourite is probably ‘We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea’ but I was bit older until I read it on my own. I think I was about 6 for this, but again I’d had it read it to me before.

 

Bigger Children’s (?) Book. Gotta be this one. Arguable if it’s for children really.

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What reader doesn’t love these books? I had these first read to me when I was four by my dad, but the questions as to how much I understood remains a mystery. I remember enjoying it, so I must’ve understood some of it! I read if for the first time myself when I was about nine, and an innumerable number of times this since. And, luckily, this is one of those books where the films are also awesome. Who’s with me? There’s so much packed into these books. I could talk for hours! But this is starting me writing; I I write loads, then I won’t write anything because it won’t be as much as this… My mind is very screwed up (officially!) and complicated.

Anyway, a little bit about me.

Please leave comments! What were you favourite kid’s books? There are some many more: The Naughtiest Girl, Roald Dahl, Shirley Hughes, Dick King Smith, Heidi, Dr Doolittle, Jacqueline Wilson, Beth Webb…. I’ll stop there.

What were/are your favourite children’s books? Please answer in the comments below!

 

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November Challenge

Well, me being my typical self, I’ve left it too late to start my ‘challenge’ of a post a day for a month. Usually, I’d totally give up, but I’m giving it a go. I’ve got a list of 28 prompts, starting from tomorrow and I’ll give it my best shot and try not to be too hard on myself if I fail.

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No. Wrong attitude: if I miss a day or so.

So here is my grand list of prompts. If anyone wants to join me, I would welcome it so much, I find motivation from others one of the most helpful things ever. But I understand that other people have lots of other things that they blog about. Anyway: you’re welcome to join in, even if only for one prompt. Let me know and I’ll link you up!

So, here are the prompts:

  1. Favourite picture book as a child?
  2. Fond childhood places?
  3. Thing(s) you are most proud of?
  4. Have you been through any official rites of passage? How about unofficial?
  5. What is your role in your family?
  6. Define family.
  7. Do you get on with your siblings?
  8. What’s the story behind how you got your name?
  9. What assumptions people make about you?
  10. What small things have you seen or taken note of today?
  11. What makes you happy?
  12. Do you have good self control?
  13. Are you good at making decisions?
  14. How often do you cry?
  15. Have you ever had any altercations with the police?
  16. How do your relieve stress?
  17. What did you once love, but now hate?
  18. Is doing nothing a waste of time?
  19. What is cluttering your life?
  20. How do you help people, in small ways, in large ways, however?
  21. When’s the last time you did something nice for a stranger?
  22. Who inspires you the most?
  23. Do Apps help or waste your time?
  24. Does FaceBook make you feel bad?
  25. What music are you listening to right now?
  26. What TV shows have mattered to you?
  27. What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
  28. When did you last have a really good conversation?

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Anyone want to join in? I’d appreciate it so much! I’m so scared setting myself this, because I know how much I’ll beat myself up if I don’t manage it, but I really want to get back to writing every day. I used to write an everyday diary for years but I lost it. Please cheer me on!