Finding Time Can Be Hard

If you love doing something, you’ll find the time to do it.

Of course you will, but that doesn’t mean you have to find the time everyday. Doesn’t even mean that you have to find the time every week. All it means is that you find time to do it somehow.

For me, lately, early morning and late evening work shifts have been zapping my energy completely! It started back in December, and next week, hopefully, I’ll be back to my early morning shifts and the evening shifts will be a past memory! Eventually, I’d like to change to the evening shift completely, but, that’s another story for another day!

Anyhow, although, I do write every day, whether it’s a little bit of story, it’s writing ideas or small bullet-pointed scenes in my notebook or on my phone, writing or bullet pointing blog posts, or writing emails reviewing and critiquing beta-reads! I’ve written, which I’m really proud off, but, more than not, all I can do is write down the ideas, and I can’t find the motivation to write anymore!

I have so many ideas for these blog posts, and I’ll start writing them, and by the end of it, I’m not even sure what I’m writing about anymore. Or my opinion changes because I write about it more, and then I feel like I need to look at in more detail and my brain just doesn’t want too!

I’ve only completed, maybe a chapter and a little since my last blog post for Tales of Monsters, but I have been doing a lot of beta-reading these first few weeks of the year, and I’ve really been enjoying it! It’s really helped me as a writer, as much as it’s helped the other person (hopefully), and the stories I have read, I think can really go places!

I’ve currently finished beta-reading two this year, one that was more of a novella, and the other which was a full-length part one of a novel which I can’t wait to continue reading because I need to know what happens! I also have one that I need to catch-up on!

Still, amidst that, I’m still trying to truck away at this rewrite of Tales of Monsters, and I’m really enjoying it! I’m enjoying what I’m writing and how it’s coming along, it’s just how slow it’s going that’s getting me.

At least I haven’t wanted to scrap it this week yet, although, I have decided to delete one of the characters completely, which means loads of fun for me that I really cannot be asked to deal with right now, and I’m sure I’ll change my mind when it’s all done and want to make his horrible face come back again.

Starting next week though, I’m really hoping that I can put a lot more in to my story writing, that I can get some blog posts done and scheduled, that I can read a bit more, and just finish up the rewrite so I can get it out to some beta-readers! It won’t be perfect, but I think the plot holes will all be fixed, at least.

I don’t know what I’m hoping for with it. I know there’s gonna be a load of flaws with it, I know there’s gonna be so many things people are going to be like, nope, nope, nope. But, I’m hoping it gives me that push to finish it. It’s such a big under-taking, and I’ve been stuck on this first book for so long now that I need to get on to the next ones. I’ll never give up on it, but, I know now, that, until I’ve drafted the whole lot of them, they won’t ever be ready, they won’t ever be fully plotted out until I’ve written the very last word.

Which I’ve come to terms with. I have other ideas I’m sure will make their appearance in the wider world much sooner than this one, but that’s fine, because I need to make sure this little baby is ready to go out into the big wide world, and, if that takes another few drafting and a numerous amount of beta-readers and opinions, that’s fine.

If it never get’s published, that’s still fine, because I started writing it for myself, and I’ll end writing it for myself too – if push comes to shove.

Diaries Of A Child Zombie Killer though, that’s something I think will be so much easier to get done, to get finished, and I’m hoping after this first round of edits (when TOM is out with betas), it’ll be readable enough that I can get it out to beta-readers before the end of the year! I already did it pretty good for NaNoWriMo, but, there’s just a chapter or two that I didn’t write in sequence that needs a quick fix before I’ll let other people read it!

I still swear that I will never write people as moany as Melanie and Al ever again! The word vomit, it worked so well for Nano, and it works so well for this book too.

Anyhow, this wasn’t much of anything really, was it… Just another little update I guess! I’m hoping though, on Friday/Saturday/Sunday (I’m not sure on the day just yet) will be a book review, what book, I’m not sure, but, it’s gonna be a review none the less!

Until next time,

Just Keep Writing (*even if it’s in your head as you slog away at that day-job*)

Jade x

The First Year Of My Happiness Jar

Friday post alert! I wonder how long I’ll keep them up for!

So, Im gonna take you back to my last blog post of 2016, where I decided that I was going to take up what’s known as a happiness jar.

Essentially, it’s a container in which you put small notes in that have something that made you happy written on it! Easy peasy!

Now, I wanted to put a note in every day, but, I slacked most of the time and probably missed out a load. But, still, it got about three quarters full!

My converted glass jar started off it’s life with curry inside of it – which took far too much time to get the smell out of. At first, it was top less – the top still smells of curry even now, but, in the later months, it was topped with some paper from a sweet bag from my friends wedding, with a little slit on the top so notes could get in, but they couldn’t get out.

So, let’s begin!

One of the earliest memories that I remember I put in to it, was seeing African wild dog puppies at YWP in February (and polar bears too, which was awesome)! Its been on my bucket list since I first saw them for real at Chester zoo in my first year of uni.

And now, Chester Zoo have just had a litter of puppies been born too! Which is amazing and means I have a reason (although you never need a reason to go visit Chester) to go back and see the zoo! I haven’t been to Chester for like two years!

The next big memory (and extreme moment of happiness) was becoming a member of the BookBoxClub! I joined during May, meaning I got the Wizards at War box, and so far, it’s still my favourite! It introduced me to one of my new favourite authors, and a new world of books I’m in love with!

Also, last year, I added a couple more to the fur family, which made me extremely happy!

First off, in May (after constructing a new hamster cage out of an old set of drawers that was just gonna go to waste), I adopted Dewi, the roborwoski hamster! I couldn’t have an empty cage, and I’d seen this poor little one sat in a tank for about three weeks, waiting for a home, and I couldn’t let him stay there any longer! It was surprising how easy it took to convince my dad too!

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The second fur child was one hell of a surprise, we knew before-hand that we were going to get him, but, until we knew that was a possibility, we’d convinced ourselves that we wouldn’t get another dog until our older one left, but, low and behold, around about June time, we heard of some not-yet-born little monsters, and, on August the 28th, we picked up Albert and took him home with us

Now, he’s almost six months old and continues to put a smile on my face everyday, so, if anything, he’s like a little happiness jar in himself.

The next big thing that happened last year, and needed a place in my happiness jar, was that one of my university friends got married on August 27th! And it was beautiful! They really are meant to be together, and the day was perfect! It was also awesome to reconnect and see everyone, especially as I hadn’t seen some since the November before, and, I realised, even more, that the best king of friendships are the ones that you can go back to at a moments notice, and it’s as if you’ve never been away.

Cue using the wooden benches as bottle openers…

Another thing, which sort of did deserve a place in my happiness jar, considering the outcome, was that, in October, in among a new job and all those things, my Russian dwarf hamster, Mouse (who had the benefit of moving in to that DIY cage me and my dad made) had an operation to remove an unsightly tumor from his ear, and although, it could have gone either way, he came out of it perfectly and recovered really well! (Then, he got a second lump on his stomach, but, it’s stayed relatively the same size since it came up and, so far, he’s still going strong!) We also celebrated his first pretend birthday/gotcha day!

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Another thing, which made me happy, but also a bit sad at the same time, was that I submitted ‘Tales of Monsters’ to agents! A bit prematurely perhaps, which meant I had three rejections (and some other no-shows). But still, I found the confidence to show complete strangers my work, which, I think, is most certainly enough!

I also bought a load of amazing books this year! And, I read some amazing books this year too! Some of the ones that really stood out were, obviously, Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (thank you BookBoxClub), HON’s Loved by P.C and Kristin Cast (because I can’t not read about the nerd herd), Wonder by R.J. Palacio which I’m so surprised I hadn’t picked up sooner, A Monster Calls, Six of Crows, Secret of Souls, One of us is lying, Traitors Blade, Shadowblack, 13 Reasons Why, Taste of Darkness… I could keep going, but I won’t.

Also, something huge that happened last year for me, was that I actually completed my first NaNoWriMo! I could of burst with happiness! I finished early too (19th) and I managed to write the first draft of a story I’ve been wanting to write for, forever!

I also learned the importance of deadlines, and because of that deadline, Mel and Als story is now out of my head, and has made room for even more. One of which I believe will by my next NaNoWriMo project if nothing else comes up!

Another big thing last year, and another first, that I got also got to beta read! The first was Melody by Penny Kearney, the second was the first 20k of A Whisper in the Wind by E.M. Redshaw , and the third was Hayley Soon by Andrew Henley! Melody and Hayley Soon are both scheduled for publication this year, and I can’t wait for you guys to read them!

And, to top 2017 off, I also got tickets to see both Ed Sheeran and Fall out Boy this year and I can’t wait, I’m so excited, it’s unreal!

There’s obviously so many more in that jar, but, if I wrote them all down, this post would never end!

I guess, this is sort of my personal run-down of 2017, and, considering the jar came from a blog post I found somewhere on the internet, I think it’s only right that I tell you guys how good it feels that you have something like that in your life! And, it’s so easy to put together that you can use almost anything to store them in! You don’t need a jar, you could have a tupperware box, or even a plastic bag if you’re desperate! This year, I have another jar, but that’s only because my family likes an easy curry every now and then!

But, still, I hope you enjoyed reading this!

So, until next time!

Jade

 

Letting Go Of That Sheep Faced Notebook

It’s mental health day, and prompted by the #IGWritersOct challenge, I just wanted to raise a hand to all the people out there suffering day-to-day with their problems, whether physically or emotionally and let you all know that you’re not alone!

And, this is just a little story of something I had to let go.

So, whenever I’m feeling down, whether it’s because of someone or something, I always try (and try is the word here, right) to sit down with my pen and paper and write about it. Sometimes, it’s almost like a diary entry, sometimes, it can be a persona that turns in to a story. It’s a good activity to do, and all I can say to you, is try it! Write about that event in your life and let it all out!

You can’t hurt the feelings of a piece of paper or a pen, you can rant as much as you want and it can’t hurt the people around you. That’s the best thing about it!

However, what I’ve learned, more lately than anything, is that once it’s written, I have to take the piece and decide what I want to do with it.

There’s a number of things you could do;

  • You can gain inspiration from it; you can gain this from almost everything in your life, written or not.
  • You can tuck it away in a notebook or under your bed, away from sight, away from mind, right?
  • You could even let it sit in plain view each day, you could torture yourself even more (I don’t recommend this option).
  • You could publish it, perhaps you’re experience with something, your’e feelings, could help someone else get through it, perhaps make them see that their not the only one going through something like this. You can make a terrible thing to you in to something positive for someone else.
  • You could show it to your family, to your friends, to the person that hurt you. Personally, for me, it’s easier to write the words than to say them (I wrote a letter to my boss once (long, long story), I don’t remember half the things I wrote in it, I just know that it hurt me more to write it than it hurt them to read it – FYI, if you ever read this, it really did).
  • Or, you can take that written piece and burn it, and say to yourself it won’t hurt you again (It’s obviously not that easy, but it’s a step in the right direction). In all honestly, it’s completely up to you what you do with it.

And this relates back to a little story of a notebook and a sad newly teenage girl. So, when I was younger, I had this little flipbook with wool plastered on the front, and a little sheep face made of cardboard or paper; and inside of it, I wrote about my life at the time. (Working it out, it was about ten years ago I think, so when I was twelve or thirteen – give or take). It had some good things in it, like my cats giving birth within days of each other (actually that’s the only nice thing I remember, and that I was going on holiday to either Salou or Tenerife that year), but mostly, it was bad stuff (and I don’t mean written badly). I’d needed something to let my frustration out on, and this little book (or diary, I guess) was my victim – and bless his little heart, he took it all.

So, I re-found it a while ago (maybe early last year, I’m not sure). I semi-knew where it was, in a shoe box in my cupboard with some other childhood things, but whenever I found it, I had this urge to read it again, to look at all the things that happened at that time in my life; how my moods changed, and how the writing got more scrawled as I sat and poured my heart and tears in to this little book. And, I was distraught every time I read it and would wonder why I kept it.

And then, one day, I thought, why did I need to keep it? Why do you keep this little book for Jade? The pages were full, and it was hidden in the bottom of my wardrobe among things that made me happy. I’d already made peace with what had happened, I’d got over it, I’d learned that keeping grudges against the people that hurt you is a waste of my time, and they don’t deserve that (I need it for finishing manuscripts and reading books).

And that’s one of the reason’s why I ripped it up and put it in the bin. I don’t need my memories written down on paper like that, I remember it enough not to be wanted to be reminded of them finer details. I remember that I looked at it for the last time, I remember my mum being in the room with me. I don’t know if she ever read it, maybe she had, I can’t remember (maybe I’ll ask her one day), but I said that I was going to get rid. I knew it wasn’t good for me, that I needed to let it go. That part of my life was over, and worrying about the past makes you miss the future.

I’ll be honest though, and say that I didn’t get rid of everything from that time. I had (or have, really) this story in me, a story I still think about today. It’s not ‘Tales from Aramoor’, it’s something else. I’ve wrote and changed it numerous times as I’ve grown up, and it’s still with me now, playing itself out in my head, patiently waiting for it’s time to be released in to the world. I think the dream I had, of a guy stood in a tree, in a church, holding an apple is what started my love for fantasy style writing, and ‘Tales’ owes it a lot, especially as I felt like its promised to stay with me until Tales is completed, so it can have it’s day, that we can finally reunite and I can get it written and show the world the story that kept me going in my darkest moments.

What I guess I’m trying to say, is that, writing can help you cope. Whether your’e writing about something you’ve been through or not, it allows you to escape, to give your heart to something that isn’t going to argue back and just listen (pets do this too, they just look at you as if you’re crazy most of the time though. A piece of paper or a pen won’t do that).

So, guys, I hope today is better, and that it continues to get better. Life isn’t meant to be easy, its meant to be trying and hard and something none of us survive in the end. So, whilst your heart is still beating, live your life and stop letting things get in your way. You might not have your biggest dreams come true, not many of us get that pleasure, but if you can find a little slice of happiness in something that you do, never let anyone take that away from you!

Keep going,

Keep living,

Keep dreaming,

And just keep writing!

Jade x

The Right Decision..

So, this is something I felt like I had to write. More because I think writing has always made me feel better, and I’m able to explain myself better and come to terms with things. This is a long post, and I think I may have rambled a bit, but I wrote this in the moment.

Maybe it can help someone else. You just gotta remember that not all people will think the decision your making is important, whilst to you it could be the most important.

For me, I’ve always had a problem making decisions. I’m so indecisive. I can go shopping, telling myself that I’m going to buy new clothes and come back with nothing ninety percent of the time. Or I can spend more time looking for a movie to watch than actually watching it. Little things like that just seem to scare me a little.

I think the problem is taking responsibility for the consequences or being judged for my tastes, even if it is just deciding on what to eat or what to watch. However, I think after living in halls and in my own house, I’ve got better at it. I’m not so sensitive anymore.

Very recently, I’ve had to make a really big decision. A decision I may not have been able to make three years ago. One that I honestly thought I couldn’t make, but if I hadn’t, I think I would have fallen in to a pit of despair. It is going to completely change my way of life, but I think it might be for the best.

So, I’ve been working and living in my job for the last three months. Before then, it was perfect. I had it all planned. A masters, driving, saving! As well as a few other things that never came to light, maybe things that could have made it easier.

But, alas, it didn’t go that way. Something happened and I think it just threw me off my track, even if I didn’t realise it at first. I’m not in the right frame of mind to carry on with my plans, I’m not ready to do that masters.

So, despite loving my job, the people and the dogs. I decided that it was time for me to go home. Things had changed and I feel like I needed to be there now more than ever. I haven’t lived at home for the last three years and I miss my family. My mum, dad, brother. It wasn’t easy to just jump in a car or on a train to go see them. I had to plan it in advance, the four hour journey isn’t always a pleasant one.

It wasn’t a rash decision. I bottled all of my emotions up because I thought things would get better, that somehow, magically, they’d change. I shouldn’t have. When I first talked about the opportunity of living and working in the same place, my life was so different to what it is now.

I got so caught up in everything that I didn’t think about me. I was honestly scared of letting others down. My friends, my family, my boss. I was given something that most people wouldn’t get, and I feel like crap throwing it all away, but I’m not in the right mind set anymore. It sounds so selfish, but sometimes, you can’t help but feel a certain way.

The most important thing to do in life is not lose sight of yourself, and I did, and hopefully, by going home, I’ll be able to find myself again and just be happy.

At the end of the day, you have to make the right choice for yourself. Even if you do hurt others because of it.

And I think that’s the worst bit. I never want anyone to feel used, because despite everything that happened, those sorts of things never even went through my mind. One night I just snapped, I just couldn’t stop crying. I feel terrible about it all, I feel like a horrible person, but what would I have gained by not saying anything? It would never have got better, the situation couldn’t. It would of only got worse, even with stolen moments of happiness.

So, when you do have to make that horrible decision in your life, whether it be about a partner, a job, a house, something that’s significant to you, you’ll know you made the right decision because you’ll feel happy, you’ll smile more; and the heaviness on your heart will go.

Even if you feel sad about it, about the people, or the place you might be leaving behind. You’ll just know in the bottom of your heart that you made the right decision. The right decision for you!

I’m expecting to make a load more decisions for myself, especially in the next couple of years, maybe months, but I think that now I’ll be ready for it. Life never seems to go to plan, but just take it on the chin and carry on…

The following is one of my favourite photos ever. This is little Tilly-mint on her walk in to the near-by village. She’s a lurcher puppy that stole my heart the day I saw her walk down the path. She found her home in six weeks on a red leather couch surrounded by love and most importantly for her, patience! She filled my heart with those little moments of happiness that I needed in my worse times! I’m happy she was homed with such lovely new parents and in a wonderful home!

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If your shadow stands tall, then so should you!