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My Fictional Bucket List

Have you ever read a book and thought that it would be fun to do one thing that was the characters hobby. To jump into the book and follow your favourite literary characters around for one day as if they were your best friends. What would you do?
Unfortunately, I have so many, but here are a few to get your bookish minds racing.

  1. An ultimate dream of mine is to go to Middle Earth and hand around in some of the choice places, The Shire and Rivendell being just two of them. I would love to meet some hobbits and elves, how incredible would that be.
  2. The next would probably be to attend a ball with the popular Bennett sisters from Jane Austins novel. They seem to be like women in the know of where the best parties are and who are the most eligible bachelors at all of them.
  3. Recently, I have been reading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, and I just love the connection between the protagonist Celeana Sardothien and the Captain of the Guard Chaol Westfall, to join them on one of their training days I think would be fun… (I would be soooo far behind them and dead in the first five minutes.)
  4. When I was 12 I watched as a young girl from my favourite children’s book walked into a wardrobe and my entire childhood came to life. I would love to be able to walk through the wardrobe, through the fur coats and come out in Narnia. What an absolute dream.
  5. I have been called many things in my life… Mad being one of them, and where do the mad people go… Well the Hatters Tea Party that’s where. I have a little secret… I always wanted to stumble on a rabbit and follow him down a hole into Wonderland. Even though, it did get a little weird, I like weird.
  6. What a treat would it be to have a writing session with literature’s favourite authoress, Jo March from Little Women would have a thing or two to say about my writing and I would love to hear every single one.
  7. Having a shopping trip with the fashionista of the modern fiction world. Lou Clarke would help me make my wardrobe go from plain and simple clothes to colourful, budgeted and different pieces of art. That would be quite something.
  8. Any person who grew up reading Harry Potter would most likely have this down on their fictional bucket list. I would love to go to Hogwarts, even for one day and attend classes with the brightest witch of their age… Hermionie Granger.
  9. F. Scott Fitzgerald brought us the colourful and exciting world of J. Gatsby, to be at just one of the extravagant parties that he would throw to catch the eye of the one he loves would just be an experience beyond them all.
  10. My inner child would feel completed if the boy who never grows up turned up at my window… Neverland is my ultimate travel destination. Sadly, Peter Pan would probably think i’m a little old at the moment to share his adventures.
  11. Lastly, (because I could go on forever) I would love to have a different type of magic lesson, this time with the amazing Merlin and his student Wart. To even be included in the legend would be incredible.

11 items on my fictional bucket list, and all of them I would do in a heartbeat if I had the option. I love that books can do this to us, they can take us away from our seemingly mundane life and give us a purpose even if it is only for a couple of hours a day. That’s why I read. To experience the impossible.

What would be on your fictional bucket list?

TTFN

M
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My Favourite Book Covers

We all know the saying… Don’t judge a book by it’s cover! But how can we help it. It’s in our brain pattern to immediately judge something or someone by first glance. So, I embrace it. I do look at the cover, but I also look at the title and then the blurb on the back. They all help me to decide which one I would like to pick up and read next.

There are several things that you should consider when doing this;
– You cannot be too judgmental at all, that is not the right thing at all.
– Always look at the genre as well. It could be an amazing cover, but it could be a horror book, and if you don’t like horror then you’re screwed.
Here are some of my favourite covers:

Elijah’s Mermaid & The Somnambulist – Essie Fox

It wouldn’t be right to judge these covers seperately because they are both incredible. I first heard of Essie Fox in one of my lectures in my MA first year. The speaker was talking to us about online presence, and how important it is for a writer. It is one of the reasons that I wanted to start my blog and write a bit more. The speaker used Essie Fox as an example. You can find her blog HERE. I love these covers which were designed by her very talented daughter. It immediately draws you in and you are intrigued by what it could be about. All I wanted to do for days was to get my hands on just a copy of one of her books. The design just resembles the story so well. I love, I love, I love.

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Falling Leaves –  Stefan Mohammed

Stefans fourth novel Falling Leaves has a beautiful cover. It is so different from is other novels. The beautiful watercolour style background of the sky gives me all of the arty vibes, you also notice the hoard of birds flying away, genuinely reminds me of a Hitchcock film, just the right amount of suspense. I love Stefan’s writing and the cover just adds the colour to my Kindle.

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Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

I must say I am loving this cover of the first in the series of Adarlin’s Assassin. As with the others in the set we can see the protagonist on the cover in a badass pose, but if you flip the book over you can see the same pose but when she is in finer clothing. I love what it says about the character straight away before you even open the book. No matter how she dresses she will always be the same person. Of course I could have interpreted it differently as to what the publisher and cover artist intended, but wow I just love how awesome it makes the character look.

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Penguin Classics – Cloth-bound Collection

Many of you, i’m sure will have  seen the leather and cloth-bound classic collection that brightens up the shelves of Waterstones. I adore them, they make me feel as if I am in the classic novel with them, with the old hardback covers and the thin tissue like paper pages. However, these pages are nice and thick, so, not even I (a very clumsy person) can’t rip or damage. You can find on instagram some photos of all of the cloth-bound classics all together. It really is a thing of beauty.
The books are beautiful gifts for any book lover, a keepsake of their favourite classic novel. It’s also a perfect cover to allow readers not to judge by the usual inviting and colourful pictures, these books don’t have that and I just want them all.

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Why my Bullet Journal is SO important to me!

Every writer is sure to have a Notebook… or many if you are a stationary hoarder like myself. A notebook to take with us everywhere, so you are able to write down everything that comes into our head that would be good in a book, or a short story, or for some writers, poems (I am beyond useless at poetry.)

Just over a year ago, one of my best friends Holly introduced me to Bullet Journals. Now for those who don’t know what that is, it is basically a notebook, that becomes EVERYTHING! You can do anything with it and make it personal to just yourself. A blank page can be many things and you can create it. This is great for creative and non creative people, as it is a way to let your mind run wild. It can completely reflect your personality and that is why I love it.
It is essentially, a place for you to keep absolutely everything in your life in one place. It is a diary, a health tracker, a work tracker, a target tracker. Anything you can think of.

For me, it is The Notebook. The place I can keep all of my ideas, brainstorms, character profiles all of it, all in a small compact manner, that I can take with me anywhere and everywhere. It’s not something I update very often, most of the pages are in pencil rather than beautiful colours bursting from the pages like some that I see on Instagram or Pinterest. The most important thing though, is that it suits me.

So, in my Bullet Journal, I have pages dedicated to things such as; words I hear while out and about, quotes from favourite authors, (there are a lot of Lord of the Rings quotes) books and films that I have read and want to read, and descriptions of characters and scenes that I wish to involve in my stories. It is the best way for me to arrange everything and to organise myself, in a way that benefits me and that can help me focus properly. I never seem to be able to when I have diaries that I forget I have. Organiser’s in themselves are quite expensive for printed pieces of paper that reflect someone who you want to be. Whereas, a Bullet Journal reflects who you are right now. I love it.

Some of the pages that you can include in your own Writers Bullet Journal are:

  • Books that you want to read.
  • Names for your characters.
  • Words to express different emotions.
  • Synonyms.
  • Interesting words that you don’t usually use.
  • How to write a review (I have this one to help me remember)
  • Important grammar points to remember.
  • Character profiles.
  • Places that you could use for scenes.
  • Chapter Tracker (How many chapters are in your novel and how many have you finished)
  • Brainstorms.
  • Basically anything that you find in books to help you write.

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There are many other pages that you can add to your journal, some that I have just haven’t created. It is important that you don’t feel bad for not writing in it everyday or keeping up with the filling it out in detail. As long as everything is all together you can’t go wrong.

Thank you Holly for introducing me to this godsend.
Do you have a Bullet Journal… or a very special Writers Notebook? What do you include in it?

TTFN

M
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Writing in Whose POV

The Point of View of a novel, will set the tone for the entire book, so it’s very important that the right one is picked.
One of the things that I struggle with the most, as a writer beginning a new story, is from which point of view I would like to tell it from. I am bombarded with questions that I ask myself regarding the plot, the characters, the setting. Would it be better being told by a narrator? therefore many points of view would be included…
OR
Do I go for just one characters point of view?
Only the writer can answer these questions. (Unfortunately for me, as I cannot make a decision at all.)  I like to go through the story and just try a few different ways of writing to see which direction is better for me to go in, and that will tell the story better.
I tend to write in the 1st person, as I find it easier to talk as if I am the character, rather than telling the reader what the characters are doing. Therefore, I can act it out myself as I am planning the scene/chapter. (Puts my drama degree to good use.)
However, I know that for some authors it is better to tell it as if they are narrating the story, or even a character is narrating.
I cannot stress how much it is all for the writers preference.

Several authors do mix it up, they write from different points of view in each they book they write, whereas some tend to stick with what they know. For me, it depends on how easier it is for me to make sure the reader feels involved in the plot. It can make all of the difference. For example, I am working on several novels – One is a story about loss and focuses on the emotions and thoughts of one character, so I am writing that in the 1st person. – Another, is about four friends who we see grow up together and face different challenges, for this one I have chosen to write it in 1st person Narrative, from one of the main characters point of views, as if he is writing the story in his later years, reminiscing his younger years.
Readers want to be dragged out of reality for an hour or two, and for me the less characters to focus on the better. That way, it is fewer voices that need to be heard and understood by the reader. It is why I find some of the classic novels difficult to get through just because there are a lot of filler characters that distract me and then I don’t know what is happening to who. It distracts me from the main plot. (Then again I am easily distracted)

The long and short of it is, there are a lot of different points of view that you can write in, it just all depends on what type of writer you are and the type of writer you are. It all makes a huge difference to help create the story you want.

If you would like to read more on this subject, might I suggest Writers Digest, it helped me understand many of these aspects myself.

To all of those reading who are writers, I would love to know which point of view you like to write from.

TTFN

M
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Christmas Eve Books!!

How sad are we that Christmas is actually officially over!!! I mean literally they are already stocking Easter eggs and it isn’t even the end of January. How was everyone’s Christmas? I hope everyone got everything they asked for and more.

This year, I did not go home for a Christmas with my family, which is what I usually do around the 23rd of December. Instead I spent this year with my partner Mikey in our cosy little flat next to the seaside. It was a lovely day of relaxation. It was also a time for us to try new things, to hopefully create traditions of our own that we can carry on over the years. Last year, like a few people, I read about a custom in Iceland, that came around in 1944, which I absolutely fell I fell in love with, and poor Mikey had to hear about it for several months at least.

So, in Iceland, their is a tradition that on Christmas eve, people gift books to each other. Then for the rest of the evening, they get all cosied up next to a fire (I am imagining that there is a fire as it must be quite cold in Iceland) and spend the night reading.

WHAT A FANTASTIC TRADITION!

This tradition is called Jolabokaflod, it can be roughly into English as ‘The Christmas Flood.’ After trying to find out how to pronounce this word it seems that it is very similar to how it reads except the J sounds more like a Y.
It all started, like I said, in 1944 when everything was in short supply and necessities are being rationed out. Paper was one of the substances that were not in demand. So the government sent out a book bulletin, so that people could order books for their loved ones to exchange on Christmas Eve.

This has been carried on ever since that year. How lovely! I am in love with this tradition.

So, this year after multiple no’s, Mikey sneakily got me The Nutcracker written by E. A Hoffman. Now, I have loved the story of The Nutcracker ever since I saw the ballet when I was a little girl, and now I can read it every year around Christmas. It took one or two visits to the bookshop hinting towards this one… Boy can take a hint!
It was a good thing that he had bought me a book, probably because he knew that I had already done the same and bought him a copy of The Last Shot written by Daniel Jose Older, it is a spin off from the Star Wars franchise, centering around Han Solo and Captain Lando.

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I absolutely can’t wait for next year to exchange books once again. Jolabokaflod has integrated itself into our lives as one of our first traditions that we can carry on,

Got to love a good tradition!
Do you have any Christmas Traditions?

TTFN

M
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