Looking forward to 2017

Phew, well that’s 2016 over. There’s plenty to look forward to in 2017, here are some of the things I’m looking forward to – except, as always, sometimes the unexpected things are the best things and create the best memories. So we’ll see what 2017 brings – here’s to another productive and creative year.

Continue reading

2016 in Review: TV, Film, and Music (2)

Second in my roundup of 2016 is TV, film, and music.

TV Shows

The Great British Bakeoff

  • The world seemed to come crashing down when it was announced that the Bakeoff would be moving from the BBC after this series, provoking outrage across the nation. This series was another fantastic one, with a great group of bakers!

Poldark

  • Gorgeous Cornish landscapes, what could be better? Perfect Sunday night TV.

Call The Midwife 

  • This is always an enjoyable distraction from the harshness of winter and this series didn’t disappoint. Already looking forward to next year’s series!

Class 

  • A brand new Doctor Who spin off written by YA author Patrick Ness was extremely welcome this year, and I adored this series, with it’s fantastic, talented cast.

The Crown

  • I love the Royal family and twentieth-century history, so this was a perfect combination – a lush production, and addictive.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life 

  • Another Netflix series and this one was long anticipated! Four addictive episodes that I couldn’t stop watching.

Olympics, Wimbledon, and the Davis Cup

  • This was a super year for sport and there are too many highlights to name! Of course, Murray ending the year as Number One, winning Wimbledon and Olympic Gold are up there – as well as many other wonderful Team GB moments.

Films

Captain America: Civil War

  • Always love a bit of Captain America – this didn’t disappoint. Team Cap all the way…

Bridget Jones’s Baby

  • A great and very funny follow-up to Bridget Jones.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • One of the most anticipated things of the year for me and it didn’t disappoint. For more on Fantastic Beasts, head over to SpeakBeasty and MuggleNet!

I’m not very good at going to the cinema, especially in the summer so here are some of the things i missed that I’ll have to catch up on sometime.

What I missed: Doctor Strange, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Swallows and Amazons

Music

Busted

  • A new Busted album after twelve years? Who would have thought!

James Bay

  • One I missed before, but fell in love with Chaos and the Calm this year.

Hamilton

  • Yes, I missed this one too, but I finally caught up and now get all the references (also it’s awesome).

Amanda Palmer

  • Finally became a Patreon subscriber this year and fell in love with Amanda’s solo music. She recently released a piano version of Theater is Evil.

Tom Chaplin

  • Tom’s first solo album was released this year, and it’s beautiful!

Phew – that’s it. What are your film, TV, and music highlights of the year?

 

coffee, notebook, writing

“Ten Years Have Gone By…”

2006. Mcfly had just released their third studio album, Motion in the Ocean.The release of the last Harry Potter book was less than a year away.

And in November 2006, I signed up to do my first ever NaNoWriMo.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo takes place every November and encourages writers to write 50,000 words in a month – if you’re being precise, 1667 words a day.

Before signing up for NaNo (prompted by a school friend who’d found out about it) I’d written lots of fanfiction and short stories. I knew I wanted to write. I loved writing, I’d always been writing, but I hadn’t yet written my first novel – I didn’t think I could.

And so I did my first NaNo. It was a game changer in many ways. This was 50,000 words of original characters and story. It sucked – of course it did and I daren’t open it and look back at it now. But it taught me a lot – about pacing and character and plot and completing a draft. There is nothing like the sheer thrill of completing a draft and realising that you can do it. 

There were more NaNo’s following that – seven in total, but I also started to write properly outside of November (to the extent where I stopped needing NaNo and it stopped working so well for me, but that’s another story – I wrote about why I don’t do NaNo anymore here).  Writing these drafts taught me so many things and despite the fact that I barely looked back at the drafts again, and honed my editing skills on other projects. Looking back now, I see that my first NaNo novels share many themes with my current work.

It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since those first tentative steps. I’m still working on my writing, and get that step closer, I hope, to seeing my work on a bookshelf one day…

*

Good luck to everyone taking their first tentative steps with NaNo this year – or diving in once again for the second, third, fourth time… or whatever it may be! 

*

Title quoted from ‘Mcfly: The Musical’, by Tom Fletcher.

I am on Patreon!

If you’re been enjoying my writing so far on this blog, then thank you! I’ve been going with this blog for just over a year and a bit, and it’s been a wonderful journey which I’m still really enjoying and am definitely planning on keeping going for a long time yet to come! I’ve really enjoyed sharing my writing with you and would love to continue this journey and develop a great, supportive community.

That’s where the Patreon page comes in. Click the picture below to take you there and find out more about why I’ve set this page up and what it all means.

patreon

I’ve just posted my first blog over there, so become a patreon supporter and find out more about the story behind this project!

Thanks for your support!

Part Three: Fowey

And then onto Fowey. Arriving in Fowey was like coming home. It’s wonderful to have that familiar feeling of coming back to a place you know and love, and where you’ve been happy.

It was a wonderful contrast to St Ives too and such a different landscape! It made me appreciate it all the more. I was glad to finally arrive, and to have my own space again after hostels and new adventures. It was nice to return to something that I knew.

Of course, it was Festival Week and so there were plenty of people about. It was great to catch up with all the Stewards again (I was stewarding for the third time!) and see many other familiar faces around the town! There’s a great atmosphere about, especially during festival week, with so many people returning specifically for the week – and to celebrate du Maurier.

I enjoyed a range of different events. Highlights included The Bookshop Band and Dr Laura Varnam’s discussion group on Julius. There was also a great How to Get Published event that I stewarded – as well as plenty of other interesting events! I’m already looking forward to next year… (although of course I hope to get back to Fowey before then…).

As always, it was near impossible to leave after a wonderful week, and I was sad to leave a very sunny Fowey behind. Until next time!

2016-04-29 12.58.00

On a side note, on my way down to Cornwall, I finally managed to stop off at Jamaica Inn and check out the du Maurier museum there. It was suitably eerie -with grey overcast skies and rain (although this picture was taken as the rain cleared!). I was glad to have finally visited that iconic part of du Maurier history – it’s well worth a visit if you’re passing by.

 

 

 

Part Two: St Ives

I then headed down to St Ives for a few days. It was my first visit to the town and I’d been wanting to visit for a long time. So I headed on down the coast to the town (in pouring rain!). I stayed in this wonderful surf friendly hostel in the centre of town, and minutes walk from the high street and the beaches.

Continue reading

A Trip to Cornwall (Part One)

Recently, I headed to Cornwall for a couple of weeks. I needed the break – my head felt stale and I felt like I was just doing the same thing and not getting anywhere. So I thought I’d head to my favourite place – and some new places – to get re-inspired. Funnily enough, just before I left, perhaps because I knew I was going away, I became entrenched in my newest novel writing project, obsessively creating backstory and family history – but more on that another time.

Continue reading