Day 8: When it Snowed Really Good That One Time (12DaysOfBlogmas)

So, Facebook likes to remind me every year of the awesome snow we had in years past around this time, and also, how it, always, dissipated right before Christmas!

I was also, obviously, going through my photography phase – with my small little digital camera – and taking photos of it everywhere! Also featured is my dog, who enjoyed it a lot more then, than I’m sure she ever would now!

And, it’s also a little mad how I can see Arans journey in my WIP ‘Tales of Monsters’ fit in to the setting perfectly! When, all this place really is, is a football field surrounded by some thick brush and some tree’s acting as a border to the farming fields around it.

I think nature can give you such inspiration anyway, but add the white and the whole landscape changes. I found so many little ‘caverns’ of sorts that I couldn’t ever find without the snow, and, it always made me think of fairies and little hobbits that could fit in quite easily without trying to duck and dive like I had to.

So, the rest of this post is just a load of photos from 2010 and 2013, when the snow came to Wales wicked and fast, and then left almost as soon as it had arrived!


To end of this post, today’s promptmas focuses on the beauty that is the office Christmas party!

I would pick Dan from Rilarth, and Ivon from Brydon. They never meet in Tales of Monster, they might never meet ever, but these two would be the most likely to crash an office Christmas party!

All the food would be eaten, and all the drinks drunk. Ivon would be the instigator, and drunk Daniel would be the one who carries it all on! There would also be a lot of womanising with these two hunks and a lot of hearts broken!

But, they are also the sort of people that would help you clean up afterwards!

Until tomorrow!

Jade x

Day 2: The Season For Giving (12DaysOfBlogmas)

Today #12DaysOfPromptmas prompt focused on what your characters would have on their Christmas list’s, and, as I believe that giving is far better than receiving, and makes me feel all happy inside, I thought I’d research some things and find out whether or not the statement rings true!

Obviously, it should prove itself – that is if it wasn’t so good to receive. But, I’ve found that, as I’ve got older, I’m more interested in what my gifts can do than the gifts given to me. I’m always grateful, and my friends and family are great at getting me stuff I’d wanted, but couldn’t afford myself, but, I understand now what my parents means by the fact that they don’t want anything (even though you still get them something anyway) and that seeing how happy I was with my own is enough for them.

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I’m sure you’ve experienced it at one point in your life. That feeling when you’ve worked hard on a present and that person finally opens it, and their smiling from ear to ear, and you feel that warm fuzzy feeling inside! I think, if anything, that just makes it more worth it, right? And, even if it’s just something small that you’ve given them, it can make you feel the exact same way because it doesn’t matter whether you’ve spent months planning it or moments, it’s the love we put in to the giving that counts.

It’s one of those selfless acts, even if it does benefit us in some way or another.

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So, what I found interesting was the first thing I found when I wrote in the phrase ‘giving is better than receiving’ in to google, and that was that scientists are actually attemptin to find biological evidence that it is better to give, than receive. Some even believe that it can help to relieve stress!

There’s even an interesting journal (if you’re that way inclined) that you can check out by Harvard here (it’s a link straight to a free pdf of the harvard.edu website) that says that people who spend their money on giving to others are happier than people who spend more on themselves. I guess it even shows that money can’t buy you happiness (although, it can buy you a lot of books, right?)’

But, let’s just see about all the other reasons why giving is better than receiving (other than that warm fuzzy feeling you have inside).

  1. The number one thing about giving, I think, is that it’s contagious. That ‘pay it forward’ thing isn’t a myth! Giving inspires more giving!
  2. Giving can help give your life meaning. It can define you, and perhaps that’s why we’re here for, to give a little bit of ourselves to the world before we leave it.
  3. According to a paper by the american psychological association, volunteering (for unselfish reasons) actually makes you live longer! You can check it out here on the APA website
  4. We get a rush from giving, which, in turns, makes us give more! It’s actually like having chocolate when you feel a bit down! (Just without all the extra calories)
  5. Giving makes a difference. It only takes one word to change a persons life, one act of kindness to stop someone from going over the edge.
  6. The smile and the gratitude in that other persons face makes it all worth while.
  7. Giving makes you believe in yourself. There’s no shame in the way that giving makes you feel, because the feeling makes you want to give more. It’s a great way to build your confidence, and start to believe in yourself.
  8. It’s easy! Anyone can do it if they have the want to.
  9. Most of the time, it’s free. A shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, the words you say, the things you do. Some time here and there to volunteer with your local animal shelter or homeless shelter.
  10. Giving promotes human communication, which is so important in this day and age!

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Right, and this is today’s prompt which helped inspire this post!

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So, for this one, I wrote out a list of some of my main characters from both my NaNoWriMo project, Diary Of A Child Zombie Killer and my NA Fantasy Tales of Monsters!

So, first of DOAZK

Mel – Chocolate Pizza. It’s a combination of her two favourite things!

Al – Vintage books. He’s always been a collector!

Rhys – Tie’s! If there was anything he used to collect in his bachelor days before the apocalypse, it was ties!

Heather – Make-up! Preferably stuff that isn’t out of date, but, as the years go on, it’s getting increasingly difficult to cover up the acne she feels so inclined to hide even though there’s far more people who look much more worse than she does!

And, for Tales of Monsters, a bunch of characters who would find the thought of writing a Christmas list to a fat man in a red suit very odd would ask for the following!

Lauryn – Scribe set! She loves to write, even though she doesn’t do it enough any more!

Aran – Art set! He’d want one of those cases you get when you’re a kid with all the paints and the markers!

Harry – Lute! He’s always wanted one, but he was so terrible at playing that no one even considered giving him one ever again!

Ryan – Crossbow! He’d be the Daryl Dixon of the zombie world with one of those!

Sam – Alchemy set! He fancies himself a potion maker, and finds the whole chemical reaction entrancing!

Gren – Dragon bone! The armor and weapons he could make with that would make his wildest dreams come true!

What would your characters have on their Christmas list? And what would you be willing to give them if you had the chance?

Finding Inspiration in Disaster

They always say to find inspiration in the things around us, and, as of late, there’s not been much of anything inspirational in the world other than destruction (although, the Invictus games, and the veterans and people who lost arms, legs and the ability to do what most take for granted in that destruction, can inspire a whole generation)

So, as most of you will know, this year – much like any other – we’ve been thrown in to pits of depression, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, war and even self-destruction. Not to mention all the other disasters, man made or natural, we’ve faced; but, as people, we need to find something good in that destructiion, and most of the time, it’s the victims and the heroes who came out at the end of it.

The destruction of our world, which is happens with every second that goes by, whether we like it or not, until a major change is made, does something it’s not supposed too. It’s there to tear people apart, to rip them them in to something that’s not human – some fall foul to it, don’t get me wrong – but, more than less, it brings people together.

This is not to say that the ones who caused it, whether they had good intentions or not (most do, they have a belief and they believe their right. You can argue with that, but, although some do show a tendency for madness, ‘a madman see’s what he see’s’ Eddard Stark) can not give inspiration as well. So, instead of inspiring us to follow them, it inspires us to not be like them, to not sink in to that sort of place those men and women find themselves in.

Destruction motivates people to work as one, to unite in a world that feels as if it’s there to tear you down, to kill you quicker, and, in all of that, inspiration is found. It’s always there, every moment of your day could inspire you, every word spoken or every action taken could inspire a story or a poem or a speech, or a life. It’s so easy to see, and destruction, that kills, and torments and destroys the good in the world, can not be forgotten, but, not because of what we lost, but because of the people we came out of it as.

Everyone, whether you’ve suffered first hand or watched from the sidelines, from the comfort of your own home whilst the news tells you something terrible again, are the victims of destruction. Man-made or natural, that’s irrelevant. Everything is out to kill us, and it’s our purpose to stay alive, to survive, to inspire the next generation and hope to God they don’t make the same mistakes.

Stories of heroism, story of cowardliness, stories of finding friends in the midst of a bombing, or underneath a collapsed building inspires you even without you knowing, it forms a story in your head, and a belief that despite all the bad in the world, there’s good too…

So keep going, keep inspiring and,

Just keep writing – the destruction you write about can inspire the good in the people who read it.

Jade

The Joys Of A Charity Shop Book Haul

With only ten pound in your pocket, and a charity shop or two, you can delve in to worlds you never knew existed!

Before now, I haven’t really bought books from charity shops. I bought one once whilst in uni – because it was a book on meerkats and my mum loves meerkats – but, recently,, I wanted to find a Charles Dickens Great Expectations hardback edition, and after seeing one once and not picking it up, I’ve been delving in to charity shops and hoping for the best.

I’ve still not found it, but I’ve found a whole host of other worlds I hadn’t known about, or wanted so desperately to delve in to.

It broadens your mind, and supports charities (Best of both worlds right?), and its such a good way to find older books that could cost you a fiver or so in a book shop, whilst in a charity shop, they have paperbacks four for a quid! Even the hardbacks don’t usually go over two pound, even the older leather ones!

Obviously, they aren’t always in the best of conditions. The pages are yellowed, some are dog eared and paper-backs bend and tear easily, but doesn’t that just add to the charm of it all? A books not meant to sit on your shelf and never be read, right? And you may even find yourself something pristine and new if your lucky. (You might get even luckier and find its signed inside)

Below are my four most recent hauls!

The first haul was a single book. Its one of those old hardback paper editions and I remember that I had really enjoyed the movies and some of the TV show when I was younger, and with it only being 99p, I decided to take it home with me!

This next one was a proper haul! I found Eragon in one shop, and due to the whole four for a quid offer, I ended up getting three more. This sort of offer continued, and somehow ten more books were bought!

Judith Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit surprised me, and I wrote a review about this wonderful book here!

This is the third haul. It was a little bit of a surprise, but I was inspired so much by the hardback that I found that it just happened!

Ive been wanting to read Peter V Bretts Demon Cycle for a little while now, and how better to start but with a Voyager First Edition hardback! It was up on the top shelf and it was almost like I was pulled to it! It’s in great condition and it’s just so beautiful!

The fourth hall wasn’t planned either, but it happened anyway!

Its significantly smaller, and the hardbacks was on offer three for ÂŁ2, and after wanting the Michael Morpurgo book, I had to find two more that I liked the look off!

In another shop, I bought the Long Road Home for the reason that its one of the books that is forever there in the back of my head. I had it years ago, but moving got it lost or sent to a charity shop so I wanted a copy back. And obviously, who ever has had it before has loved it too!

I think I might re-read it and pop it back to a charity shop one day. Obviously its a book that needs to travel and keep inspiring other people.

And that’s the best thing about charity shop books, if I don’t read it, or change my mind, I don’t have to worry that I’ve spent the retail price on a book that I haven’t read, or didn’t like. It also makes it easier to give away, or to give back to the charity shop! Especially if you feel like it needs to go out and motivate more people.

These hauls also allowed me to get books from the world of John Green. Although I’ve heard of him, I’ve never read his books, and now I have Paper Towns, The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska all in my TBR jar!

And it also gives you the chance to find local authors too! I picked these three up because I liked the concept of them, and it turned out the authors are from South Wales!

With a charity shop, you can go and look for something specific, or you can just walk in and see where it takes you – that’s definitely the best thing about it.

I hope the rest of your week is full of inspiration, books, writing and getting all those thing you need done, done! And get yourself to your closest charity shop! You might just find your next big adventure!

A Wedding, a Puppy and Revitalising Old Ideas

As of when I’m writing this. I have just walked in from a magical ceremony which joined two beautiful people together in the best way possible. This weekend has been a highly anticipated event for at least three, nearly four years and we were finally able to witness these two love birds take the next big step in to their journey together.

And it makes me want to write about a wedding, about love and all that sort of thing. My current WIP has no interest in these sorts of marriages, perhaps no marriages at all, not really, and not in this depth that I want to write about.

Its really amazing the feelings you get when a beautiful bride, and your friend, walks down the isle to ‘tale as old as time’, and how your chin trembles and you just want to cry!

So, right now, it is the day before this blog post is due, and it’s replacing one that I already had scheduled! But, it can easily go up next week, and I think I need a few more days to look over it anyway, so I’m glad I got hit with this one!

This weekend, I also got a new little writing companion called Albert! He is absolutely adorable, even when he pees on the carpet and drinks boiling hot tea… But yeah, he is gorgeous and is turning out to be such a good puppy already!

Both of these things have taken me away from my writing (and the reading) I really wanted to do! I’m hoping now it’s all finished though, I’ll be able to get back in to the swing of things, but if anything, this weekend and the coming of Albert has revitalised ideas and a completely new one too!

When I was younger, I hand-wrote a story about a German Shepherd called Taffy (based on my old dog) and the magical adventures he went on with all his friends! And just seeing Albert and having him home has made me want to write about it again. It would only ever be a children’s book, but I think it would be a neat, simple little side project that I could work on every now and then when I’m in a slump.

This weekend has also given me an idea for another story, a contemporary romance sort of novel that probably won’t be written any time soon, but I’m sure that in the years to come, it will piece itself together as I experience the events needed to inspire it all. It’s a genre I haven’t really delved in to, and I’m hoping it turns in to this happy-go lucky kind of novel with love and romance and problems and stuff like that, but maybe it won’t, maybe it’ll be something completely different when I sit down and write the first sentence.

That’s the joy of writing a novel! You never know what’s going to happen at the end of it, and also my favourite part. It’s the reason I don’t bother planning in detail.

This post was perhaps another sort of update, like the last one, but this weekend has sort of been momentous to me, and so inspiring that I had to write about it. I do have some proper writing posts ‘written’ and another planned which I actually just came up with whilst writing this one, and some others that I’m sure will get me back in to my groove for real!

I hope you’re all having a good week for your art, and that all your projects are going smoothly!

Jusy keep writing

Jade

20 Years Ago, Harry Potter Graced Our Book Shelves!

On 26th June 1997, J.K Rowling and Bloomsbury published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! Followed by six more years of school antics with the golden trio!

What house do you belong to?

This was then followed by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright, and the brilliant Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie series! A sure sign that the magic isn’t on the verge of ending anytime soon!

Do you have a favourite?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone introduced us to a boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs on number 4, Privet Drive! Adopted by his uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, harrassed by his cousin Diddlykins, Harry Potter is the boy who lived.

Which book is an essential in your house?

Emersed in to a world of magic by a giant who rides a motorbike, Harry Potter experiences the world his parents lived in; featuring talking hats, secret passages, poly-juice potion, hippogriffs, dragons and house elfs!

With the help and love of their newly found family and friends, Harry, Ron and Hermoine go on a journey that shows us that love conquers all things!

This post is dedicated to the woman who created this world, the womaN who never stopped trying! You are my inspiration and the worlds inspiration (probably even the universes inspiration too)!

Thank you J.K!

To Fly… Would It Not Be Wonderful

Short story inspired by writing.prompt.s


So, in our world, half of the people born in a year can fly, and the other half can’t. It’s as simple as that.

And, the only way you can find out; is if you jump from a height that will surely kill you!

It sounds a bit macabre, I know, but my people know what their doing. They know if your that half that can fly. I promise.

My father can fly; my mother, maybe she can, but she never tried; my older sister can fly too, but my younger brother has no interest in it, not yet anyway. He likes having his two feet on the ground at all times, whilst I… I love to be in the air.

Whether I’m sitting on a plane, jumping in to a pool or doing the high jump in school, I just love the air brushing against me.

I’m sixteen years old now, the youngest you can be to find out your fait in this world; and about to jump off the white cliff of Dolin. It’s the cliff both my father and my sister jumped off, the one they glided from, unwilling from that day on to keep their feet on the ground.

I’ve never wanted to keep my feet on the ground. The wind has always given me a thrill, the feeling of it in my hair and brushing past my finger tips have always excited me. I knew from the day I jumped in to a diving pool that the air was built for me, to glide and fly…

I remember I sky dived once… The closest I’d come to flying before my time. I felt myself float, just as my father said he did. It had felt amazing. I can still remember the wind blowing in my face. I’d stretched my arms out and screamed in to the air in delight. I’d felt the air pick me up.

I’d begged the man behind me not to pull the chute, to let us glide down on to the ground, but such things are not allowed. The man had laughed, and in my ear, he’d said ‘Not today’.

The parachute would open as planned and we would fall to the ground slowly. I was mesmerised by that which surrounded us, by the endless land that some witnessed every day.

That moment is what I will imagine now as I step over the cliff.

My father is at the bottom, cheering for me to jump. My mother is stood behind him.

She won’t look at me, refusing until my feet have touched the ground, but I have already decided that she would never never see me again, because from this moment on, my feet will never touch solid ground.

I will fly to dinner, I will fly to school, I will keep myself in the air where I am meant to be. It is what I am made for…

I close my eyes, take a deep breath in as my father taught me, open my arms out to the world and jump. I feel the wind instantly, pushing in to me, easing it’s way through my splayed fingers, my lungs breathing in the purest of airs, filling my chest with the urges to glide, to do as my father does.

My father is still cheering, I can hear him in the wind, I think my mother has joined him. I smile, perhaps I am gliding already.

My eyes flicker, but the wind keeps them shut. There’s no worry. My father said this would happen, that I had to breath and picture myself in the air, to picture myself flying.

The moment I feel like an open parachute, for the moment I will begin to glide, to fly…

But the moment does not come…

My mothers not cheering…

She’s screaming…


This was fun to write, I hope it’s fun to read too! It seems the poor sixteen year old will fly, but not the way she expected!

Prompts can be a writers most important resource, and get you out of the writing slumps you find yourself in!

It helps you develop different types of writing styles, helps you try out different tenses and even lets you explore genres you perhaps wouldn’t think of writing in.

It also inspires you. It can lead to a paragraph, a short story, a chapter or even a full-blown novel! You can make a prompt your own. You could have a hero, a villain or a by-stander as your star, it doesn’t matter, as long as you write it the way you want to…

Just Keep Writing guys 🙂