Islands of Hope Update – 22/09/18

This week I have managed to write a whole chapter of Islands of Hope. OK, that sounds impressive, but it was only a short chapter, a little over 700 words. I intended it to be longer but the words did exactly what I wanted them to do in that space of time. Basically, show that Kira is in a situation she is going to find it hard to get out of. It also builds on the fact she is starting to control her anger and, although not explicitly shown, Du Puteron has helped her with this. As well as this it builds on Sylvian’s character, showing he will do anything to protect his village. I have, so far, only tackled one storyline per chapter so felt it important to keep this up, therefore the next few chapters may be short as story threads start to intertwine. For now you can read Chapter 26 on wattpad by going here, or start from the beginning here.


Islands of Hope Update – 15/09/2018

Told you I would finish Chapter 25! Actually I have no idea how I achieved it, I feel like I have not stopped this week, but did manage to push myself to finish editing last night. I hope this section is showing how much of a pain Kendra is and how invested Martha is in doing the right thing. Although, I am starting to worry that all my female characters are very similar. Had I not decided to challenge myself to be a pantster in this project I might have seen that earlier. Oh well, at least the story is moving along well. As usual the update is live on wattpad now, Chapter 25 is here, or you can start from the beginning here.

Pokémon Go updates I want to see

2000px-Pokémon_GO_logo.svgYes I am still playing Pokémon Go, I stopped for a short while but the spate of updates in the last six months to a year have really added longevity to the game. I love the way the gyms have changed and how they have added research tasks. There are, though, still some frustrations I have. I thought, therefore, that I would do a blog post about some future updates I would like to see…

Removing Pokémon from gyms

I live in a rural area. Recent updates have put a gym close to me. However, as not many people are near, if you pop a Pokémon in the gym it can be there for a week. It is really annoying when you go and put a Pokémon in another gym and that one gets knocked out earning you lots of coins then, after seven days of holding my local gym, my Pokémon is beaten on the same day. I don’t make my fifty coins but I’ve been there for ages! Could we have it that you can pull Pokémon from defending gyms? It’s not fair to take them then put them back in all healed, so could we have a feature where you can remove your Pokémon but not put a new one in until the gym has fallen? At present I have three Pokémon who have been in rural gyms for a week. I want to see my coins but can do nothing about it!

Shinys in 7km eggs

If you are like me then you have nearly all the Alolan variants that come from 7km eggs. I am now avoiding getting the 7km eggs, waiting till my egg stack is full before opening presents. To keep this part of the game exciting, could we have shiny Pokémon in 7km eggs as well? Maybe the likelihood of getting a shiny could be far less than getting an Alolan variant, to make it fairer.

Trading centres

Again, this is due to the fact I live in a rural area. All my friends are some way away therefore I don’t trade, only send presents. Could some gyms or pokéstops have, or be, trading centres? We could leave Pokémon there and then friends could pick up Pokémon left from their trading centre. Maybe it could be a trade request and when someone comes to that trading centre they could trade their Pokémon. Again, to make it fairer you could increase the stardust needed for trades this way, and, like gyms, you need to be close to the trading spot. So basically I would go to the trading centre spot, leave a Pokémon there and request one other (or a list of say three so the other player can choose which to trade) and pay my stardust. Someone else comes along and sees the trade and decides they want the Pokémon I left. They pay their stardust and the trade is complete. We both get notified and get our Pokémon. They could even make it so the likelihood of getting a lucky Pokémon was lowered when trading this way and that you can only leave one Pokémon at each trading centre at a time.

Candy converting

If, like me, you are catching every Rattata you can see to get the youngster award, then you will have lots of Rattata candy just sitting there. I think I have over 1,500. I don’t need it, I don’t want it. Could we therefore get a system to convert candy? Maybe different candy could cost different amounts i.e. if I wanted to convert my candy from Rattata to Growlithe it would cost 5 Rattata pieces for 1 Growlithe. Maybe if it was for Charmander candy it could be 10 pieces for 1. The rarer the Pokémon, the more their candy costs. It would get rid of a lot of unused candy.

Training in gyms

Ok, so they used to do this and I only have a bronze badge. I want a gold one please. The original idea was to raise the level of the gym by battling in a gym your team already held. The higher the level the more Pokémon could be added. Why not have it back but this time you could win prizes like coins, pokéballs or medicine. Maybe you could only train at each gym once per day, again to make it fairer. Just an idea, in fact I train without rewards just to get that achievement!

Event Pokémon in the Pokédex 

The Pokédex has updated for Alolan versions and Pokémon such as Unown and Spinda with multiple forms, as well as for shinys. Could we have the different version of Pikachu shown as well? I have all the event versions (Christmas hat, party hat, cap etc.), it would be nice to see them in the Pokédex. Obviously this goes for other Pokémon such as Squirtle squad! Can you tell I play Pokémon mainly for the collecting elements?

Generation 4

I don’t think I need to say anything about this. It is coming isn’t it? I have tons of Murkrow and Roselia candy just waiting!


So there we go. Some ideas for future updates. Hope Nintendo and Niantic read this and put some in place. Right, I’m off to hunt for Magikarp so I can finally get through task set six of the Mew special research!

Islands of Hope Update – 08/09/2018

The good news is you have an update, the bad news is that it is another smaller one. First weeks back at work are always crazy, I have been working long hours and have barely seen my family, let alone write. The fact Chapter 25 is set up for other parts of the story means that I have not found it easy to get into as well. I will complete Chapter 25 next week (you know I won’t!). So, yeah, not an exiting week in terms of Islands of Hope but you can read Chapter 25 on wattpad now by going here, or alternatively start from the beginning here.

Islands of Hope Update – 01/09/2018

Pinch punch first of the month, no returns! Right, now we have got that juvenile behaviour out the way I can get on to how little writing I have done this week. I have been back at work preparing for the year ahead, basically staring at a computer screen and organising students usernames and creating mark sheets. Anyway, enough about my job, back to the writing. I struggled with the sentence to open Chapter 25, which also makes the amount I got done smaller. Basically this chapter is Kendra setting out the vote, which we all know is rigged. She is a nasty piece of work! I was hoping for a short chapter in one update, but I’m afraid it is going to be running over next week (and possibly more) as well. As usual the update is live on wattpad, you can read Chapter 25 here, or start from the beginning here.

New Poem: An Ode to the Greatest Toy

Being a teacher has its benefits, although I don’t get to see my children much during term time I am with them lots in the holidays. On many a rain or lazy day my five year old son and myself like to play with Lego. This used to be a great experience of creating things and building  new sets together. We now have so many that I have had to organise our bricks by colour in a set of different coloured draws. What has now started happening is that my son wants to rebuild some of the older models we have, most recently a helicopter. In the past we would rifle through pieces and then build together. These days my son is quite the proficient builder and follower of instructions. I, therefore, have been relegated to ‘finder of pieces.’ Now this is not too hard a job and I can build a little whilst doing it. That is until he needs a grey piece, there are SO.MANY.GREY.BRICKS! I just sift and sift through them for hours, slowly loosing my mind!

As you may know I like to write poetry, and am often after inspiration. I’ve been so busy with other projects that I have not been thinking about poems. However, after this Lego experience, one jumped into my brain. For some reason I felt like writing it from the point of view of an Elizabethan dandy. Don’t ask me why, it just felt right. So you can read my frustrations about the toy I love so much in my poem ‘An Ode to the Greatest Toy.’ It is below, or, if you want a few extra clicks (and access to more of my terrible poetry), you can look at it on wattpad in my collection ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’


An Ode to the Greatest Toy

Oh woe is me

I cannot find the last brick

To make my beloved helicopter

Despite sorting into different colours

All I observe is a sea of grey

A myriad of pieces

Each engineered to perfection

But I don’t want the classic four by two

That I hath screamed in pain

When standing upon

Nor do I want clips or tubes or thin rows of dots

Oh how I used to love that sound

Plastic crashing against each other

As I rifle through my treasure

Now it is only an irritant

When I turned the page

I hoped for any colour

Except this dastardly grey

Blue, yellow, green or red

I seem to possess less of those

Making for a simpler search

Yet I hath stared for many an hour

Removed bits and placed them back

But alas, no joy

Maybe I shall make my own model

It will not be as good

Not such an aerodynamic design

But the system allows me such freedom

To veer from the intended direction

To create anything from deep within

Sometimes you need to fling the book aloft

Sometimes you just need to Lego

Islands of Hope Update – 25/08/2018

This week is a bit of a milestone, it marks a year since I started writing Islands of Hope. I have, amazingly, managed to keep up with my update schedule and placed up an update to the story every week. After one year the novel is now just shy of 37,000 words. I’m pretty impressed with that! Anyway, on to this week. After another late dash I have managed to complete Chapter 24 with another 700 odd words. The bad news (in the story that is) is that Johanna has not been chosen to become a slave so will stay locked away in Princips’ vaults until the next auction. Is this a good or bad thing? You will have to wait and see. For now you can read Chapter 24 on wattpad here, or start from the beginning here.