Change

Change can be terrible, but you need it to live!

Another life post monday! This week and in the months before, my friends and I have been faced with a lot of change and as it happens to everyone, I thought I woulf give my little insight to everyone.

Change – Make or become different. Oxford dictionary

Change can be good, bad and god-damn scary!

Some people can’t deal with it at all, buts it an inevitable part of life and the world around us.

Every second of the day, something is changing. From the anatomy of a fly to a change in law somewhere around the world. Everything evolves, bettering themselves.

For me, I’ve had a lot of change the last tew months, some for the best and some not. My friends have too, one of them became a teacher and had to move out of her parents to live on her own, another is getting married and moving in with her fiance, another has just been promoted to manager at her job and another has had the heartache of being told she couldnt have her dream job.

If I’ve learned anything in life, its that change is inevitable. Its one of the things we all have in common, and is one of the things that most people fear.

My friend recently became a managrr at her job, and with that comes a change in responsibilities, which she obviously knew about, but what she wasnt prepared for was being moved to a different site, to one thats not having a good time at the moment. She had her last shift at her old site today and has been feeling sick at the thoungt of changing sites.

Its natural to be afraid of new things, but with it comes new possibiliyies, new oppurtunities and the chance to meeg new people. It might not be the change you want, but sometimes you just have to tun with it and see where it takes you, as long as it doesnt kill you, youll be fine.

I say these things, I know these things, but I can preach it, but not practice it. My dilemma at the moment also tegards jobs, those things that help make our worlds go round, i have an oppurtunity to go for a full time job (cutrebtly in a part time one) but i enjoy the job im in now and im scared if ai vhange it, i wont be happy in my another job. The oeople now are nice and easy to work with, they have their ups and downs but we mostly get along and have a laugh and i think even after only four months or so of being there, I would really niss them.

Really, I wanted to stay in one job until one that involved animals (i am not picky at this point, I just wanna touch a furry thing that isnt mine everyday) came up, but even with a degree and experience in the sector, both paid and voluntary, your still left in the lurch. Some times I think I know why people regret going to university and get in so much debt, but then I remember rverthing i did, everyone i met, all the new loves i made! I wouldnt change that for the world and if i could go redo it again, it woulf stay exactly the same, perhaps minus a few tears though.

Hopefully I’ll decide soon. Maybe some more change is what I need, but other than wanting spend free days hugging greyhounfd, I think I might be okay with my life as it is now.

Change is inevitable, just make sure that if theres no way you can change something thats been decided, dont make yourself sick over it. Its wasted time and life has so many more things you can be worried sick over, so let your life change, its going to happen anyway.

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The Greyhound (The 30mph Couch Potatoe)

April is National Adopt-A-Greyhound Month!

This is dedicated to all the lovely greys and lurchers who already have homes and the ones still looking for their sofa!

Greyhounds, nowadays, are generally bred for the racing industry, although some are still used in coursing, howevee, lurchers are taking on that role more and more now.

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Greyhound racing was tried on a straight track in England, in 1876, but it never caught on, but then it was re-tried by an American in 1912 on a curved track leading to the first greyhound racing stadium opened in 1919.

These dogs are bred to be fast, and despite their appearance, healthy. Their long gangley legs do mean that leg injuries can occur, but they don’t usually suffer from all the problems that most other pedigree dogs do.

The only problem with a greyhound is that their not very good at sitting, and do prefer to lounge about.

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They are also one of the breeds of dog that can be traced back to 3000, B.C. The Egyptians loved them and they are often found in scriptures with ridiculously large ears and pointed noses. They were closely related to the Jackal God, Anubis and were said to pass over in to an afterlife known as the Field of Reeds and therefor live forever! Cleopatra and Tutankhamen were even said to have owned one.

In Roman mythology, Diana, the goddess of wildlife is regularly depicted with a greyhound and is said to have used them as a hunting partner as well as for companionship.

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Diana, Goddess of wildlife surrounded by her servants (c) Louis Devedeux

In the middle ages, only the nobles were able to own Greyhounds, and they were in such decline that if you were responsible for ones death, you’d be executed!

I think the history of the breed just proves how these lovely dogs can take you by the hand and leave a paw print on your heart.

Charlie

I still remember the day when I met my first Greyhound up close and personal. I was in the pet shop with my friend and her boyfriend, and we were buying goldfish for our uni house (RIP Platty). There was a volunteer from the ‘Retired Greyhound Trust’ and a lovely brindle boy called Kev!

Kev (who got renamed Charlie down the road) was the one to start off a love-affair I don’t think will ever end.

It started off with me and a couple friends walking some lovely retired greyhounds for the RGT maybe once or twice a week, but when they moved over to new kennels, we met even more, along with some lovely lurchers.

From here on, Delamere Forest became our second home and Shropshire and Borders Greyhound Rescue, Erin Hounds, Whippet Rescue UK, Lancashire & Belle Vue RGT and finally, the Mr. Cedric Trust are the rescues that I was lucky to volunteer with.

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After volunteering for a while, I got to work at the kennels a few days a week. It meant that I got to know the dogs in a different sort of way, and fell even more in love.

Every one of them have their own personality and some have their problems, but each of them have something about them that make them special, and so deserving of a home.

There were some especially that took a piece of my heart with them. The first was a brindle boy called Dave. He had his quirks and his problems, but he was always lovely to walk and one of my first favourites. He went in to foster and was so good, his foster mom decided that she couldn’t let him go.

The next would be another brindle, but this was a girl named Whisper. The sweetest

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girl you will ever meet. She has everything going for her, from the way she looks to the way she looks at you. She is absolutely perfect in every way, except for that she suffers from epilepsy. Without a doubt, if she didn’t, she would have been in her forever home in no time. No one would be able to resist her.

But due to the seizures, it meant that she was put on various medication and despite her being her, it put people off. It meant that she had to wait a bit longer to find the type of people she needed, but it turned out, she’d known them from the very beginning. Two of the volunteers that came every week to walk Whisper and the other Mr.C dogs turned out to be the perfect long-term foster parents for the beautiful girl, and is now enjoying her life with a new brother.

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Whilst at the kennels, a whole litter of lurcher puppies graced us with their presence. Six boys and a lovely little girl. They were always full of mischief, and not surprisingly went quite quickly. In the end, we had three lovely boys left. Dylan, Monty and Oscar. Dylan was a lovely, cheeky little puppy with a white tip on his tail, Monty was the loving baby of the group and Oscar was the clown. The one that everyone was sure would go first.

They all went off to lovely homes, Dylan with one of the volunteers sister, Monty to a mansion and finally, Oscar to a lovely couple who were ready to take on our beautifully lazy, but a little monstrous eight month old lurcher pup.

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Another dog that pulled on my heart strings was a beautiful blue brindle called Mac. He
has more than a few flaws, but he gets better every day. He’s such a lovely boy, and one of the dogs that is still waiting for his forever home.

He still needs some work, but he will be the best dog for the right person. If I didn’t have my own, or if I was sure my dogs would get on with him, I would have taken him myself!

I may have had to fight a certain couple of volunteers for him though. But can you blame them?

There was also another little dog that I had the pleasure to meet and help ready for a home of her own. It only took six weeks for the excited little puppy to find a home, but I fell in love with her the moment she walked down the path, and the adventures we had, whether it was exploring Delamere forest or walking an hour to the post box were times I’ll never forget. Lovely, beautiful Tilly-Mint now has her own leather sofa to lie on and a holiday home with a lovely couple who fell in love with her at first sight!

These guys, as well as so many more found themselves in rescue kennels through no fault of their own. Some were ex-racers, others coursers and some family pets that found themselves with no place to go.
There are loads all over the world waiting to find their own home, and can make the perfect family pet!

April is a great month to adopt or foster a greyhound, and if you can’t do that, donating or volunteering for your local charity will be just as good.

Here are a couple of communities (UK based) looking to rehome these lovely hounds! There’s definitely one out there to suit every family! A quick type in to google will find you a greyhound or lurcher rescue near you.

National Proofreading Day!

Profeading is a writers most useful tool!

And it has its very own day! Business trainer for business writing, grammar, and proofreading Judy Beaver is the founder. Her mum, Flo, loved correcting people so Judy decided that her birthday would be the ideal day to correct errors! You can find more details at:

www.nationalproofreadingday.com

When writing a novel or anything of great importance, proofreading is a must. (Although, nowadays, its even more important that you proofread a message before sending it online, because once its on there it can never be taken back)

Here I have gathered a number of tips you can use to help proofread your latest master piece or your next academic essay! (I wish I’d done this whilst I was at uni)

First though, before anything, you have to know  the differences between proofreading and editing. Editing focuses on the content, on the plots, the dialogue, the setting, the consistency of what your trying to write, whilst Proofreading focuses on correcting the superficial errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting; so for example, it will look at that extra space you put in, or that quotation mark that’s not where it’s supposed to be. It is usually the last part to completing a work piece.

I’ve gathered these from a range of sources over the web and have used most myself:

  1. Take a break! Don’t go straight in to proofreading your work once you’ve finished it. Give yourself a break and mistakes will be easier to spot when you go back to it.
  2. Find a comfortable, quiet place! Make sure there’s no distractions or interruptions.
  3. Use printouts! It’s so much easier to read off a piece of paper than off a computer screen. It also lets you highlight and pen anything you find.
  4. Proofread when your brain is most awake! You need a clear head to proofread so make sure you don’t do it all in one sitting.  Too many words inside your brain at once won’t do anything for your concentration.
  5. Read it out loud! This is the best way to know if all your sentences are clear and easy to understand. It will also give you an insight in to whether or not the punctuation works.
  6. Read it backwards! Many people have said that reading your words backwards from end to start can make the mistakes jump out at you.
  7. Look out for the dreaded they’re and theirs, your and you’re.
  8. Get someone else to proofread it for you! Ask someone you trust; it could be a friend, a family member or a work colleague to look over it. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes will find the mistakes your overlooking.
  9. Don’t rely on your computer spell check! Make sure it’s formatted to the correct language when writing (English and American’s have different ways of spelling certain words).
  10. Proofread it at least twice! Once for the technical part, and once for sense!

Hopefully, this’ll help you finish your work and get you that one step closer to what your trying to achieve!

 

Twenty Writing tips

I’m no expert, but one of my favourite things is to write stories and create my own little worlds!

But, alas, like everyone, I suffer from writers block. It can last days… months… Sometimes, I just feel too busy to be inspired, and other times, I sit down and just can’t put anything to paper. But I’ve found ways to beat it. Here are some tips that I’ve gathered on my journey as a writer, and hopefully, they can help you write the story you always wanted too:

  1. Make sure you do your research! For example, if your story is set in Tudor times; look up the clothing; what they ate; what roles they had. If a character is ill or murdered, research the symptoms, the causes; the way someone would die if they had their heart ripped our by a werewolf! Research, research, research! It may make your history look terrible, even questionable, but as a writer, you need to know what your writing about before you can write it! It can make a story more believable if you know how much blood your hero can lose before dying!
  2. Try and write everyday! It doesn’t need to be a story. It could be a blog post, an essay, an idea; even writing about your day in a journal will help.
  3. Use prompts! You can find numerous challenges on the internet, and you can even use prompts to help you complete the piece your working on. Just relate the prompt to your story and you may come up with a new scene all together!
  4. Write first, edit later! Remember that you can’t edit a blank page! (I am the worse for this, especially if there’s a complicated scene). If you write something your not happy with, use the highlighter tool so you can go back to it later. Usually, when I go back this way, the stories more developed and I have a better idea of how I want it to read.
  5. When writing, use what’s best for you! Some people prefer the old pen and paper, and some prefer to sit at their laptop. Some may even use a typewriter! It’s all about what makes you comfortable.
  6. Have a little notebook where you can jot down all your ideas! Some may find that a jotter pad or a reporters notebook is good enough for them, but don’t be afraid to get something a little more expensive! I found that after going to WHSmiths and getting an A5 moderno notebook, I’ve been inspired to write more! It gives you a space to create characters, scenes and brain storm to your hearts content!
  7. Said! Laura said, Robert said, I said! It may sound repetitive at first, but it makes a story flow so much easier if you write Aran said instead of Aran questioned, asked, replied, etc! When you think about it, it makes so much more sense!
  8. Let others read it! You may think that your story has lost that excitement and feeling it had in the beginning, but remember that you’ve looked over it hundreds of times and know every spoiler, every loop hole! Having another set of eyes on your work could inspire you to write more, to write better! It doesn’t need to be an agent, or a publisher, it could be a friend, a parent! Just ask them to be honest!
  9. Have an app on your phone or your notebook handy at all times! You’ll never know when inspiration will strike! I find that whenever I have a spare moment, whether I’m sat on the train or waiting for something, I’ll sit on my phone and write a scene for something that hasn’t even been mentioned yet!
  10. Have somewhere to write! It could be your bedroom, your office, your front room, maybe even a coffee shop! Just have somewhere you feel you can concentrate! It won’t be the same place for everyone. Some people need quiet, others might like a bit of background noise.
  11. When writing, you don’t have to start at the beginning. If a scene or an idea strikes you that would be better suited to the middle or end of your story, just write it! You can put it all together later! Sometimes, people find it easier to start writing from the middle and going outwards.
  12. Join writing communities! It could just be a page on Facebook that gives out some helpful tips and tricks, or maybe a forum where you can ask questions! Even following other writers and publishers on twitter can help inspire you! For me, I liked ‘The Writers Circle’ on Facebook and enjoy seeing the handy tips and prompts that they put up every once in a while.
  13. Have a thesaurus handy! Some say its better to have a hard copy next to you, but thesaurus.com is just as good and will help you block out all those repetitive words you see sprawled across your text!
  14. Read books! I think this is the most obvious! Reading, whether its the same genre that your working on or a completely different one will help to inspire you! It can give you different outlooks on how to write, and make your writing better in the long run! I’ve found that being a reader also helps you spell so much better!
  15. Explore! It doesn’t need to be a mysterious path in a forest, or a climb up a mountain! It could just be a stroll down the street, up the park or maybe a road trip! Just open yourself up to your surroundings. The world is full of inspiration in every single nuke and cranny, it’s just waiting to be discovered by you!
  16. Read it out loud! This will help with anything you write! It’ll let you know how well it all flows and whether or not your dialogues make sense.
  17. Make sure that when you do sit down to write that you keep yourself hydrated! Whether it’s a coffee (yuck), a tea or a bottle of water, staying hydrated will keep your mind more focused.
  18. Open yourself up to other types of inspirations! Watch a movie, a TV show, play a videogame, listen to some music, go to a museum! Just because it’s already been done doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Nowadays, every idea has been explored by one person or another, but it’s not been done by you!
  19. Be passionate about what your writing! Don’t write because you want to become a famous author, write because you want to know what happens in your story from the beginning to the end! If your passionate about what you write, the people who read it will be too!
  20. Believe in yourself! That’s the best advice that anyone could give you.