2012 in review – Bonus Post as I am just Humbled by the Stats

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

300 Posts and the Start of a New Year

Okay so technically as a pagan the new year began for me just over a week ago with the Solstice but as I had no computer it passed by rather quietly.  I have to say in some ways I believe the Mayans had it right for me personally as the dates for their end of the world and the pagan year end were in time with each other but I think we misinterpreted their meaning.  I say this because this new year I really do feel like it is the end of one way of life and the beginning of a new one which I am really excited about.

In 2012 with the help of friends around the world who I have never met in person I found the self belief and confidence to actually believe in my own ability as a writer. I have written a specific writing resolutions post to be published tomorrow so I won’t go into that too much here but let me say I am very excited about the projects and aims I have set for the next year.

One area which has suffered this year is reading anything other than blogs, I really do need to remedy that in the future and although I hate reading by numbers I think setting a target of reading 20 pages a day of which ever book I have on the go is realistic, if all else fails I will read them while laying in the bath.

My blog which I envisioned as a sort of online journal which I only expected myself and a few friends to be interested in has become so much more.  You have provided a sounding board for my ideas, an audience for my stories, I have met people who have become not only friends but teachers showing me ways to improve my own work.  There is a preconception about the writer as a lonely, hermit locked away with a typewriter isolated in their own world, well maybe that applies to those for whom financial success has altered their way of life but I think the blogosphere shows in full technicolour glory the bonds of friendship, respect and comradeship is alive and well within this community.

In real life I am lucky that I will start this new year in many ways far healthier than I have the last few, my surgery has been a success (touch wood) though I am still in recovery stages as I work on getting the muscles working again, I have stopped smoking even though I still really really want one which is weird considering the smell now makes me feel sick.  But also I cannot help but think about those for whom the past year has not been so considerate of, poor little Charlie whose trial treatment failed to deliver the miracle we all hoped for, now the family are left facing a very bleak new year unless the power of prayer can provide a miracle.  It would be easy to lose faith at a time like this but it is the very time when one must draw strength from them Charlie as you know was given weeks to live a couple of months ago yet he is still here and fighting, there is an amazing young lady named Alice Payne who has been fighting off this disease and refusing to let it beat her for over twelve months now.  It is the most we can do to hold on to each day as it passes and pray it brings these children closer to a cure which surely must be found to combat this terrible disease.  Children teach us what it really means to appreciate life, they do not know that they should be defeated by this thing which has invaded their bodies, they do not know they should fear it and this gives them the very strength to keep fighting unlike adults they have not learned to give up.

I am determined to make the most of every day and to raise some funds for both the Charlie fund and for the other charity close to my heart The Joseph Salmon Trust which helps families who are struck by the terrible tragedy of losing a child.  Will I make thousands for either probably not but I do believe every penny counts and if I make a hundred pounds or so for each then I will be contented.

I know this has ended up as a far more serious post than I ever intended it to be so if you have read down this far may I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year and hope your wildest dreams may come to fruition.

My highlight of 2012….all of you guys coming into my life.

Tomorrow will be Post Number 300

Just a quick post today mainly as I have been busy catching up with my friends on Facebook and changing the background for my twitter feed ( it only took three hours to persuade it to change.)

I have my post planned and just need to persuade my darling little monster to stay in bed long enough for me to write it, I actually started this one this morning but got distracted lol.  I have been working on my new blogging schedule I shall share with you in a couple of days once I work the new headers out if all else fails I will have to install the other software I had that I actually understood how to use.

Tomorrow I will finish off the year in a much better place than I started it now I am going to raid the fridge to finish some more of the christmas goodies ready for the healthy eating as I have put on around a stone since stopping smoking. Right off to start the proper post just as soon as I turn the tv off as The Big Quiz of the Year is on and I will get nothing done with that on.

Guess Who Got a New Toy

Finally I am back my christmas present from the other half arrived yesterday and after a few hours pressing buttons, swearing just a little and making oaths that I will never let a computer die on me again the new one is just about set up.  I say just about as there is always at least one hitch in my case it is Word I cannot find the disc anywhere much less the code that is attached to it therefore I have got a 60 free trial while I tear the house to bits searching for it before admitting defeat and shelling out money for the new one.  I have got Corel office but I have no idea if that is compatible with amazon or whether I can download straight from scrivener bypassing word altogether if anyone know the answers please let me know.

I hope you all had a good christmas I did as I think this picture sums up…

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The one thing I actually quite like about Christmas is the table, I love the excuse to get out all the tableware and the best dinner service, and if I lived in a different age and had servants to do the washing up I may be tempted to do it far more often.

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I was lucky though I did have a little help making the starter and dessert this year…(for the foodies out there it was roasted butternut squash and sweet potato soup for starter and triple chocolate cheesecake for dessert)

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I am working out a new blogging schedule for the new year which I hope to share with you over the next few days as I get back into the swing of things plus I need to work out how to use the photo software on this computer to make new headers for the categories.

Eeekkk Here We Go The Cover Reveal

Well you have been teased with storylines and extracts so I suppose the next tease is to show you the amazing cover the wonderful Mel over at Melchelle Designs created for me.  So without further ado here it is….

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I know it has been a long time coming but it shall be out next month hopefully both as an ebook and in print through createspace…watch this space for details.

50 Things before 50 – 24) Stop Smoking

I am not sure technically how long I am supposed to wait before I can officially say I stopped smoking.  It is christmas day and for the first time in forever I will not be smoking in fact it has been nearly two months now.

It is still hard and there are times I really want one still but I recognise that it is want rather than need and then it comes down to self-control.  I have put on a little weight since stopping, no point pretending otherwise but with my back healing now is the time I can start working on that aswell.

This is only a short post as I have a turkey to stuff (okay we all know I scheduled this but you know I had to check it posted) and most of you have to do the same.  So if you are reading this on the day have a lovely time with those you love and if you are reading it after I hope you had a wonderful day.  Merry christmas, happy holidays, or yule blessings take your pick but which ever you choose take it with love.

Quick Explanation

Hi as you all kno my laptop has not been very well for  while now and it has finally just about died, literally by the time it starts up unless I have it hnging halfay out the window it is overheating and dying upon me.  Santa in the shape of my other half is bringing me a new one which will be here towards the end of the week so until then there are a couple of posts scheduled but once the new year comes I shall start back blogging properly.  I just wanted to share this which arrived by post yesterday..

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I have been reading some posts but hitting like when reading them via the phone is a nightmare but please know I miss you all and wish you all a very merry christmas.

Interview with Tilly G

Today I want to share an interview with a remarkable young lady. Despite being only 18 years old she is about to publish her second work venturing forward into a second career which like her first as a model can be harsh and requires determination to succeed.  Her book The Anthology is due to be released tomorrow over on Lulu and her face book links can be found at the bottom of the page.

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I had the chance to ask tilly a few questions so here we go…

1) You began your career as an alternative model before branching out into writing, what inspired you to write?
I have always enjoyed writing, all the way through my school life. I finally decided to put it all into a book so that I could share my work with the world. My mom has also written a book and I think her writing gave me that bit more of a push to write more too. It’s a great way to put your personality on paper.

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Tilly modelling

2) Which writers have influenced you as a writer and who are your favourite authors to read?
I have to admit, I don’t like modern authors as much as I like the old ones, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde being a few. Simply because they are original.

3) The Anthology is your second publication can you tell us a little about it?
Its basically all the stories and poems I could find that weren’t too personal from my high school work books, I loved reading them out in front of the class, so it only made sense to put them all into a book. A few of the stories I have written recently. There is about 4 years worth of creativity in this book.

4) You have, so far, self published your work, have you considered trying the traditional route?
I have but unfortunately being 18 I don’t have that much money in my back pocket yet, but it is something I would love to do in the future.

5) Now to let peope get to know you little better the silly questions, if you were stranded on a deserted island and you were allowed two items one practical one luxury what would they be?
Hmm, well that’s a difficult one. I think for practical reasons I would take a mobile phone (not for angry birds… honest. For phone calls of course!) and for luxury I think I would have to take a photo album, just so I could look at it and remind myself of fond memories.

6) who would you want to play you in a film story of your life?

Maybe Kate Winslet or Nicole Kidman, or possibly Scarlett Johansson. I can’t really give any reasons as to why, I just find them remarkable to watch and I see them as such powerful women.
But Y’know if they aren’t available I could give it a go! Hehe!

Tilly can be found on facebook here at Tilly Greensmith Alternative Model and The Anthology – Tilly.G

Writing Exercise #1

This is taken from above posted book, now obviously I cannot post the chapter which goes along with the exercise nor am I going to print every exercise in the book am pretty sure the author would not be happy with that.   The idea here is every other week opposite my vlog post I shall look at an exercise in this or one of the other books I seem to be accumulating and give you my thoughts on how that particular book is helping me so for todays exercise I have chosen this one as with the new year approaching I quite like the idea of this…

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Now I confess I haven’t actually done this one but it ties in with a blog post a read recently over at One Handed Writers, they were discussing how they had a scent for each of their characters in their minds as they wrote about them and I think that is part of what I get from this idea.

To me this is not so much a five minute exercise as an on going project so what I intend to do is grab a nice new clean notebook and divide it up into the senses then actually make notes of various sensations.  I guess it will be a little like saying something tastes like chicken then trying to explain to someone who has never eaten it what chicken tastes like.  I think something I am guilty of at times is assuming that people share my experience of things a prime example is if I were to talk about the smell of a fire burning, my fires when I burn them tend to have a lot of rose wood in them where I have hacked back the wild rose that grows in my garden yet I know if I were burning pine boughs it would smell differently.  I can really see how this one will help me create more layers to my writing and especially my poetry and the idea of starting a sensory journal is quite exciting.  So what do you think is this something that could work for you?