New Vlog: Just a bit off

As per usual, I have recorded a new vlog about the latest poem I have written. This one is ‘Just a bit off’ which is a poem about being ill with a cold but not having it so bad you can stop and curl up in bed. I hope it resonates with a lot of you. As usual, if you want to read this, and other of my poems, you can get them in my collection on wattpad entitled ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’ For now though, you can enjoy the video…

New Poem: Just a bit off

Now the first draft of ‘Islands of Hope’ is finished, I have envisaged doing different projects. Most of them editing previously completed novels. However, I got bitten around ten times on my legs a few weeks ago by pesky flies. Since then I have been feeling itchy all over my body at random points. I don’t feel terrible, just a bit off. Whilst doing the washing up the other day, and trying not to stop and scratch, I thought about other times I have felt a bit ill, usually with a cold, but not been bad enough to be off work or stuck in bed all day. Then parts of a poem came to me and ‘Just a bit off’ was born. I based it around having a cold rather than my current itchy situation as I thought that would resonate with more people. So, here is my poem. As usual, you can read it below, or head to my poetry collection on wattpad entitled ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’ Enjoy…

Just a bit off

I feel a bit off

Just not quite right

My throat’s a bit sore

And chest’s a bit tight

My skins feels funny

But not really bad

Not enough to miss work

So I’m feeling quite sad

I’ve got a stuffy nose

My head has an ache

I’ve got work to do

But I can’t concentrate

My ears have a ring

My eyes are all sore

This little cold

Is becoming a bore

I feel quite drowsy

I worry to drive

But I know I’m alright

And I will survive

I’m not holding my breath

I’m trying not to cough

Don’t ask me to talk

As my voice sounds all gruff

My nose is now sore

From all of the blowing

My body can’t decide

If it’s coming or going

I’ve taken some aspirin

Drank warm milk and honey

My headache is going

But my nose is still runny

I know it’s not an excuse

To shirk the house chores

But whenever I move

I feel like I’ve been in the wars

I’m not going to die

I just a fell a bit rough

You just need some sympathy

When your just a bit off

New Vlog: Islands of Hope is Finished!

Sorry, but you are going to get quite a few post like this in the next few weeks. Ones that remind you that I finished (the first draft at least) ‘Islands of Hope,’ my serial novel that took almost four years to write. It is available on wattpad if you want to read it, you can do that by clicking here. Anyway, my latest vlog is me showing my excitement for completing it, and letting you know that it will rest for a while then I will re-edit for release on Smashwords, hope you enjoy my waffling!

Islands of Hope Update – 03/04/2021

Yes, Yes, YES! I’ve done it, I have finished ‘Islands of Hope’ at last. Well, I say finished, I mean this is the last update on wattpad. I will now let the novel rest for a while then I will re-edit it, in preperation for it going on to Smashwords. Yes I have edited as I have gone, but I need an overall edit to make sure the structure is OK and that I have not missed any typos or badly written scenes. Also, I need to look to see if there are any plot holes. If you spot any of these then please let me know. So, onto this week’s final update as a serial novel. We are at Johanna’s final task. What is it? Nope, not going to give it away! You’ll just have to read the update. You can get to it by going here, or if you have not ready any yet, where have you been for the last three and a half years?! I mean, you can start from the beginning here.

New Vlog: Shower Poem

You all know that a few days after I release a new poem, I read it for my latest vlog. Well you will not be disappointed again (actually maybe you will be!). Here is my latest vlog, me reading ‘Shower Poem.’ Sorry that I cut my chin off at points, I was trying out a new background. Also this video has a title screen and everything. I’m getting right pro at this YouTube lark! Anyway, hope you enjoy the poem…

New Poem: Shower Poem

I have not written a poem for a while now, largely due to working at home during the pandemic and every part of my life merging into one a.k.a. having very little time. Then, whilst in the shower, an amazing poem came to me, or at least part of it. And guess what? Yep, I forgot it by the time I got out of shower. Yes, it was one of those classic moments of having inspiration when you have no paper or technology to note it down on. So, instead, I turned that experience into a poem. So this one is for all the writers out there, all the ones who have had great ideas in the wrong places and by the time they get to a point where they can write it down, it is gone. As usual, you can either read the poem below, or get it on my poetry collection on wattpad entitled, ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’ In fact, the only reason to click that link is if you want to read some more of my terrible but highly relatable poetry! Anyway, here is ‘Shower Poem’…

Shower Poem

I stood in the shower

And there it came

The most amazing poem

With no way to record

Words swirled in my head

Like the mists around me

My body filled with joy

As I recited every line

Inspiration flowed over me

Like the suds running down my body

I did not need to think

As the sweet song escaped my lips

The heat brought true vision

And for once, I could see clearly

The mirror may be clouded

But my mind was free

Every word in its place

Turning lyrically through the air

I rushed to turn off the shower

Nearly falling on the slick bath surface

I stepped over the precipice

Grabbing the nearest towel

Not worried if it was my own

I dried frantically, like a dog

Shaking dirty pond water after a dip

And when I stepped off the mat

Like the droplets or water

That surrounded me

My mind evaporated

I forget the poem

Every

Single

Word

So I am afraid, you will have to have this instead

From Myths to Monsters, Supernatural Beings Anthology 2 – Review

From Myths to Monsters was created by Mikki Noble and contains eleven stories from eleven different authors

I was given a digital Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of ‘From Myths to Monsters’ by Mikki Noble, who put together the anthology. Whilst being fantasy in nature, it focuses on people and monsters from myth and, therefore, is slightly different to my usual reading. I have also never read an anthology with stories by different authors before.

As I have followed one of the authors (Ari Meghlen) on twitter for a few years now, I was excited to read the eleven short stories in the anthology. I was not disappointed with the quality of prose and slick putting together of each story. Whilst I preferred some to others, all held my attention and made me want to read on. I did find stories set in the modern day a little less exciting compared to those that were set in the past or alternate dimensions, but that says more about my preferences than the actual stories themselves. What I did really enjoy was the endings. I have read too many books that are pulled together with a happy ending that almost destroys the realism of the piece (I know I am writing about fantasy here and not much of is it real life, but I like a sense of realism within the world the characters are in), but here there is barely a happy ending in sight. After the first few stories I knew that I need not be wary and could fully indulge myself in the setting, knowing that the twist at the end would not have me saying, “really, it was getting interesting and now they have somehow snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat!” There were lighter points, but nothing that jarred with the overall tone of the stories.

In many short stories, I find they are rushed and would benefit from being a novella or full novel. But, whilst I would welcome more detail or events in many of the stories, none felt like they had to tie up loose ends quickly and all sat as nice complete stories. Only one story in the book could maybe have done with a little more pace, or a scene or two added to make it more exciting.

I generally found the stories about pre-existing myths the most exciting. Often stopping to find more background detail so I could pick out all those little Easter Eggs the authors had put in. Yes it slowed my reading down, but I think a great story based on real life events/beliefs is made all the more stronger when it makes you want to find out more. That said, those which appeared more loosely based on belief systems were intriguing too.

The only real question left is, how could the anthology be improved? Whilst the stories were good and told from different perspectives, there was a general theme of following a heroine battling with some sort of emotional issue. I would have liked to have seen more from the side of darkness, maybe following someone you thought was good but turned out to be the antagonist. One story kind of did this, but could have gone in deeper. Again I think some of the protagonists came across very similarly, maybe some more diversity in this would help.

These are, however, very minor issues, but I do feel they are enough to make the anthology feel great but not quite unputdownable. For this reason, ‘From Myths to Monsters’ just misses out on five stars. Definitely worth reading though. I enjoyed it so much I am even thinking of submitting a story for a future Supernatural Beings anthology. I suppose I should finish by naming my favourite story. For me it was ‘A Lonely Death’ by Jessaca Willi, the Victorian style setting made it feel more macabre and the style of writing really fit the main character, making the story a really extension of the character’s inner voice. I also like the way that Isadora Blackmore spent the whole time fulfilling her duty, even if that mean suffering to help others.

Final Verdict – 4 Stars

You can buy ‘From Myths to Monsters’ from many of the best e-book sites, just click the link below to see which ones…

Buy From Myths to Monsters

Islands of Hope Update – 27/03/2021

Well….this could be the penultimate ‘Islands of Hope’ update blog post. I mean, there will be other blog posts about the story as I polish it up and get it on Smashwords. But as far as writing the story goes, I have managed to get to the end of a section between Kira and Johanna, and there is now only one more section to go. It is a lot more dialogue this week, tying up loose ends and transferring information between the main protagonist and her mother. Johanna has revealed the truth about her husband (Kira’s father) but has also agreed to move to Guernsey and use the power Du Puteron holds to help free him. You won’t see any of that in this book I’m afraid, but it will appear if I ever write a sequel. Johanna also mentions that there is one thing left to do. What is it? You’ll have to wait till next week to find out. For now, you can read Chapter 55 so far on wattpad by going here, or start from the beginning here.

Islands of Hope Update – 20/03/2021

I found this week’s update hard to write. I feel like I have a bit of a dialogue dump, but there are things that need to be said to tie up the story. After last weeks update, I wanted Johanna and Kira’s conversation to move on to the next section, but needed some lines to link the two. It took a few days to get my head around them, then the rest of the conversation flowed. Once more, life got in the way, and the update, which I hoped would be longer, has not quite got us to the point I wanted it to. That said, the light at the end of the tunnel is blinding, just a few more steps! I am so, so close to finishing, so much so that I am planning what I am going to do next! For now, you can read the update on wattpad by going here, or start from the beginning here.

Islands of Hope Update – 13/03/2021

It has been a crazy week being back at work. But I have loved being out the house and having a routine. Despite being full on, I seem to have written a bit more this week. I think it is because, when I do take a break, I do not have my own kids running around me, so I can switch off and get a few lines down. It means we are edging ever closer to the end of the story, and I now think we might only be three or four weeks off concluding it. So, this week it is Kira and Johanna explaining their journeys to each other. I did not really intend to have a, “so remember what happened?” section, but it fits the story and I have tried not to go into too much detail and bore anyone. I don’t want people thinking, “I know that, I just read the book.” So, hopefully, it is just a quick recap as mother and daughter catch up. Next week we will have some more interesting conversation between the two. For now, you can read Chapter 55 on wattpad by going here, or start from the beginning here.