Bye

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The title is pretty self explanatory to be honest.

I am taking a blogging break because I have lost my mojo for it.

And I have also been fairly motivated for The Thing recently which I want to focus on and not have to think about this blog.

I’m taking a break for the rest of the month because otherwise I might burn out and I have not got the time for that right now. Or ever really, but definitely not now.

Then when I come back it’s gonna be all things bookish for August, because I like books and well by that point I should have quite the backlog of books to review and so we’re just gonna theme the whole month around books somehow. Again.

For now though, I am going to recharge the blogging batteries and work on The Thing because I am finally feeling inspired for it again and that has not been the case for months now.

I’ll still be around on Twitter and Instagram and sharing some of the posts I’ve written this year that I am particularly fond of, but there will be no new content on here until the 1st August.

See you all then!

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The A-Z Challenge

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Now we all know how much I love me some kind of blog project and so here I am with another one. This is supposed to take place in April, but well, it’s gonna happen in June on here because I do nothing on time.

It’s pretty simple, I just gotta make my way through the alphabet. I’m hoping it will kind of help me to focus a bit more but also allow me some freedom. I dunno, it might be a nightmare where I just don’t even know where to start because a lot of things could fall under one letter and I don’t know how to then break it down even further and tackle it then. It could all go tits up and actually not be that helpful.

But I’m hoping it won’t be like that.

In fact there are some things that I already think that I have lined up so it’s not seeming too hard to contend with. Obviously there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and so this won’t last the whole of June, but it will get me almost to the end of it and then I imagine I will just come at you with a shed ton of book reviews as I am prone to do.

So, that’s what we are doing here on this blog.

An A-Z Challenge of sorts.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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The Unique Blogger Award

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We are out of the Red Queen saga briefly while I finish up King’s Cage and then there will be another wait before War Storm because you can’t review a book you haven’t read yet. So that will come in a few weeks (why that will be the case will be made apparent soon) and you can probably expect another batch of them when the time comes.

In the meantime however, I was nominated by the lovely Jess for this award.

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you
  • Answer the questions
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award
  • Ask them 3 questions

Jess’ questions were the following:

Starting with a hard one, what is your favourite book?

Ummmm, this is a hard one. I have so many. I am really bad with this question. I think it’s The Secret History. But then it might also be Neverwhere. There are a lot to be honest. I have read a lot of great books. My favourite from this year so far has been They Both Die in the End.

Do you listen to music whilst reading. If you do, what do you listen to?

I do for the most part. These days I tend to only read on my way to and from work on the train. I cannot do that journey in silence, it would drive me insane. As to what I listen to, it varies. Currently I am on a huge musicals thing and am going through a cycle of Mean Girls, Heathers and Bandstand.

Where is your favourite place to read?

I don’t actually have a favourite place to read to be honest with you. I currently do most of my reading on trains, does that count? That’s kind of all I’ve got to be honest.

And that the question section of this here award done.

Onto my questions:

1) Can you not finish a book?

2) What’s your favourite book series?

3) What is one book that you could re-read multiple times and never get bored of?

And I tag:

1) A Very Bookish Girl

2) Samantha the Reader

3) Quirky Lady Bookworm

4) The Infinite Bookcase

5) LF Books

6) The Wanderlust Reader

7) A Book. A Thought

8) Continue Reading Here

And there we have it!

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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Break Time

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This was originally going to happen in a couple of weeks but given the way that I’ve been feeling when it comes to putting together posts and the fact that for the most part I will literally do anything but click on the ‘write’ button, and the fact that this week I’ve only posted once and even that was late, I’m gonna call it now.

I’m taking a little break.

For the rest of the month. At least

Currently whenever I get hit with the urge to write it’s for The Thing and so I focus on that but then feel a little guilty because I am neglecting to write anything for the following day on here. And no one has the time for that kind of guilt. Especially because if you really think about there is nothing to be guilty for. And also sometimes what I really want more than anything is to just lie on the sofa and binge watch something (this Friday it was The Bold Type, which took the first episode for me to get into but once I was there I was hooked and now I’ve run out of episodes.

Also I have a lot of work to do on The Thing, like flesh out the characters and truly get the plot down because it’s mostly there but I still don’t really know where I want it go fully, I just have a vague idea and somewhere to go with it but I need to make it concrete and put it into my favourite things, which is words. I need to find my ass a pen and a notebook and get all the trail amount of information that likes to just sort of fly about in my head and see if I can get it to work in the way that I want it to. And if I don’t have to worry about writing up blog posts then I can get all this stuff done.

This time off from here will also allow me to bank up some posts again because I’ve let the queue run all the way dry (if that wasn’t completely obvious) when I was doing quite well and getting shit all the way done. Then I took some time off to just re-do certain aspects of the blog and with all that momentum I just sort of hit a wall. Which is whatever. And where we are at.

There is no content in my head to put on the page for this blog. At the moment. I mean there probably should be come Easter which is currently when I plan on coming back. Although I am still on holiday (in London, but not at work because I need some time off to recover from my holiday which is the previous week) for that week so it may be the second week of April. I don’t know I’m gonna play that by ear. Because I might also use that week to get some real solid writing done for The Thing because I am also planning on doing Camp Nano so that I can get this thing to at least 50,000 words by May. Maybe more, but I’m not gonna aim that damn high. And having a solid week to get some real groundwork done might actually be a better use of my time.

Like I said, I’m going to play it by ear.

What I am going to do though is go through the archives. I found a lot of old posts that I completely forgot about when I was having a little re-do. Which isn’t all that surprising because there are nearly 800 on here now (yeah, I deleted a bunch of posts and that really changed the number of posts that were on here) and once they are up after a couple of weeks I do kind of forget about them. So I’m going to go through all of my archives and share a couple each day. And actually use Tweetdeck so that I can get them organised and then forget about them again.

It’s a different level of organisation.

Overall I think that it will just make me feel less stretched out. Which is something that I currently need. I just need to swing the balance back into something that might actually be considered balance because right now it really is not.

Something’s gotta give and in this instance it’s the blog because that is the thing that I am currently feeling the least creative for.

So, that’s where we’re at with this now. I’m off for the next couple of weeks. I’ve got some planning and writing to do. Amsterdam to travel to and birthday for a brother to celebrate.

Parentheses count: 3. See you at some point in April!

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Things I’ve Learned

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As I have mentioned a couple of times over the past week (and hopefully have noticed) I have been having a little revamp on the blog. It’s been one of my goals for this year to invest more time in my blog and make it something a little better for me.

It was an investment. It took me pretty much all week and I only really truly appreciated just how much effort I have put into this blog as I was trawling through them all and making featured images with them all whilst making sure that the sign off was consistent (and was put back on) across all the posts.

This thing has been a damn investment, especially over the past 2 and a half years. It’s become my damn solace and a really great way for me to just put words on a page and  somewhere where a lot of the time I end up just putting all my thoughts onto the screen. And I’ve done it a lot.

There are some posts on here that I had totally forgotten about and some of them are super random.

Another thing I discovered, it’s been legit months since I posted something on here that was even remotely creative. For months most of my posts have been banging on about something and I’ve not used the ‘my writing’ category for yonks. That’s something that I kind of want to change. I don’t have any immediate plans to do that or anything just because I am currently focusing on The Thing (that is honestly what the document is currently called), but I am sure that I have something in a notebook somewhere that has not yet made it’s way onto here that I can tidy up and dust that category off for.

Something else I learned, there are some common themes that continue to crop out and have done for year. For example (and on some level I did know this) I have been talking about trying to be more organised for bloody years now. And it has always happened in bursts but then just nothing happens with it and the habit is never formed. It still hasn’t been formed. I’m still just as chaotically organised as I usually am. I haven’t opened that damn diary thing for weeks now, when I went through a stage of sitting down and plotting the week out vaguely on a Sunday. It’s just not something I do. I may just have to make my peace with the fact that it might never be a thing that come naturally to me and stop trying to make it happen. It’s like ‘Fetch’.

My attitude to exercise has been kind of interesting. Given that this year I literally felt the need to add a new category to put all my fitness shit into it was interesting to see how like 2/3 years ago I was pretty averse to it. I mean I also seemed to speak about it in a tone of voice that suggested that I knew I needed to start doing it but was also not actually doing anything about. I found most of that out yesterday afternoon which I found particularly amusing as I made the first steps to upping my weights for the session. I only went up for leg tracks because they are by far the strongest part of my body but it was actually at 15kg (so it went up by a whole 2.5kg…) but it didn’t feel impossible. So that personal journey was interesting to see.

Also the reading challenge thing. That has gotten progressively more ridiculous over the years. In 2015 I bunged a bunch of books together and kept them super short. The one I wrote yesterday was around 1,000 words and I wrote most of it on a train home which amounts to about 30 minutes. I’ve allowed myself to do more with them because there is a part of me that likes that I am vibing with the English graduate in me.

I’ve quite enjoyed it on some level, the whole going down memory lane thing, because there were a lot of posts that I’m quite proud of but had completely forgotten about just because of the sheer volume of posts on here.

I also deleted some posts, just because they didn’t really seem to serve a purpose anymore, although I kind of didn’t really think about the logistics of it. My milestone count is now out because 70 posts just cease to exist, which is no drama, I’ve mostly corrected them the best that I can so that they still make sense in a way without the mention of the milestone. I might also bring the playlists back, not on such a frequent basis but just every now and again. I’ve got one in my drafts actually that has been sitting there for months that I might finally switch to ‘schedule’…

The thing that I have mainly learned from this is that I am actually capable of buckling down when I get home from either work or the gym because I did it with this. I didn’t lost whole evenings somehow because I put some pressure on myself to get this done, and when the blogs started going back I had to super efficient and get them written whilst I was still doing maintenance. And I think I need to apply this more. I’m currently trying to get to 10,000 words on The Thing, which in theory I could have done yesterday but I eased off the accelerator slightly and caught up on some YouTube videos that were just sitting there waiting for me to watch them and I had been so go, go, go that it felt very much needed. But I want to get there by mid week at least if I can.

The ultimate lesson I have taken from this though is that I never want to do it again and so I need to keep on top of this and also, I’ve committed to this now, because there is no damn way that I am going to go through all of them and remove all the images (I’ve done that in the past, but the blog was smaller). It was a mammoth, somewhat crazy, task to take on and I am really looking forward to the fact that I now have the time to do other things. Like right The Thing and also get some more blog posts banked up.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

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Mini Revamp

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So, yeah, I’ve taken a little break from here because I randomly got inspired to kind of have a little bit of a revamp.

The one thing that I have always been really bad at when it comes to this is that there are minimal pictures and images involved. I went through a phase when I had cover images but I hated them and they didn’t look very good and one day I got both bored of doing them and of looking at them knowing that I hated them and so I deleted them.

And had always intended to revisit it but then it just fell very far down the list.

Until the weekend when I read an article about making cover images and then felt inspired to get back into it again. And then when I realised that I wanted to start doing that I kind of realised that I would like consistency across my whole blog and that meant cover images needed to make an appearance across all my posts. All 837 of them.

Which is about as time consuming as it sounds and so I had a shut down and tried to get as much of it done as possible.

I did it page by page but had completely forgotten that two of my pages housed so many posts and so at this moment in time they are not done. However I am getting around to it. Slowly but surely.

The hardest part was choosing a theme for each of the various things that I talk about on here. I wanted uniformity and styles/images and such that felt like they were in keeping with my overall vibe, but I also didn’t want them to all be the same. Then there was the choosing of the fonts, which reminded me that I am hella opinionated when it comes to fonts. It all became a bit of process and I got about halfway through before I started questioning my sanity and wondering why I couldn’t have just made things marginally easier for myself and just gone for uniformity. But as it is I didn’t.

And for the most part I kind of enjoyed it…I mean not really, but also I did.

One of my goals for this year was to invest more time and I guess energy into this blog because I’ve put so much effort into it already, and this felt like a good place to start.

So, the revamp is mostly done, but there is still some work to be done. However I missed writing and so the blog went up before it was fully done so that I could also continue to do the thing that I kind of love the most. Which is write.

Up next, I can sense it in my waters, there will be a layout change. But I’m doing one thing at a time and maybe am gonna do that at a time when I’ve built in a break from here and can actually really think about it…

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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Welcome Back

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Happy 2018! Hope you are all well.

It’s been a while.

And now we are in a new year and just like that I am back at work and back on the daily grind.

The thing about the Christmas period is that it warps time in this weird way. I’ve been off work a little bit over a week and yet it feels like I have been away for months. This happened as well with working out. I went to Pilates on Friday (which in itself feels like a lifetime ago) and while I was walking to the studio I was trying to remember when I last went because it felt like it had been ages, it had only been a week. My body had just adapted to that Christmas living real quick and my muscles had been given a chance to fully, fully recover and then I went and stretched them all out and worked them in the quietest way possible and my body thanked me for it.

It was a good workout to end the year with in one that for the past few months had included workouts that were pretty much all go, go, go. It wasn’t that that was bad, but my body did enjoy the slightly lower tempo, even though my lats on Saturday were not messing about. It was pleasant though.

Christmas was just spent with the family and we played Trivial Pursuit and I drank a lot of Baileys Chocolate Luxe and ate sooo much food. I pretty much did not stop eating for the whole week until Friday and then I started trying to balance it a little more. I didn’t balance it very much but I started to tip the scales to being balanced more than it had been. It was mainly because I am aware that over the next week I am going to get it back to normal and I didn’t want it to be a whole 180 shock for my body when it happens.

New Year’s was uneventful, mainly because Aunt Flo felt the need to wake me up and then wiped me out until about 4pm. I had a shower and then lay back in bed with my dressing gown and felt sorry for myself whilst watching La La Land (which I liked, but didn’t love, but I can get why there was hype around it). When I finally started feeling a little bit more human I took to tidying up a little. I decluttered my make up bag and organised it a little better. I threw out all old beauty products that I had stocked up before I then overhauled my entire skin care routine (I didn’t even know I had some of the stuff that I found which maybe shows that I have a hoarding problem) thus making them redundant. I cleaned my make up brushes. I felt like I accomplished something and it didn’t take as long as I had feared.

Actually I said it was uneventful mainly because of that, that’s a lie. I never do anything for New Year’s other than sit in my house and watch the fireworks on TV while drinking and for the past couple years eating a massive Indian. That’s it. The day is pretty much just the same as any other for me. Buying into the hype is just stress that I don’t need in my life.

I’ve also spent the last week trying to think about what I want to achieve this year and that post will come shortly as well as some other little reflective pieces about the year that has passed. There are also some books to finish reviewing from last year before I get into this year’s reading challenge, which I have already pretty much set…so that will be the next few days on this blog.

That is pretty much it from me now.

How was your festive period? Have you set any goals for the year yet?

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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