Coaxing Life

This morning I have briefly coaxed life into the old machine, one issue is that the machine haas not been used since last year therefore when I turn it on it wants to up date all the software which of course takes time which usually results in it over heating and shutting down before it gets turned on lol but  I am taking it one day at a time.  I was also reminded how usless the WordPress app on Blackberry is I approved several comments from my phone only to find them still pending today.  I have spent lots of time despite my back hurting painting and sticking with the monster this week he has had me drawing Doctor Who monsters 379729_10201389278881092_1400044733_n 941497_10201389748212825_1597642500_n

I am not the best artist in the world and am very much out of practise but they make him happy so I will accept his smiles while he is still young enough to think they are great lol but it also made me think about why we buy DVDs of TV series, it cn be argu much of it is available on Netflix or you tube so why bother?  It is partly the quality but I think mainly the extras, I want to share an amazing extra from one of the Doctor Who Dvds, well part of it, that I believe makes it not only worth the money but explains why the show continues to inspire generations for not only the visuals. (It is a little long but well worth a watch or a listen if you can find all the parts on Youtube)

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Sabotaged By the Dog

Just a really quick post to let you know that my posts over the next few weeks may be rather sporodic.  The lovely puppy decided to take my legs out from under me while I was carry the laptop. The laptop flew in the air then hit me in the nose before landing on the screen, I landed on my back and it is a close thing between which was the most serious injury.  While I should be okay after a few days the same cannot be said for the laptop which has been taken to the shop (thankfully it is insured) but it could be five weeks before I get it back or replaced.  Until then I have an old laptop with no cooling which occasionally works for a few minutes and am hoping to borrow a netbook to see me through but until I get it I shall do my best even if it means trying to post from my phone to keep  in touch,

Hypocrisy Drives Me Mad

I am determined to be very careful how I word this as I am not the sort of person who wants to deliberately hurt someone but there is a person out there in WordPress land who has wound me up beyond belief.

When I first joined WordPress this person visited my blog and followed me, I of course reciprocated.  Despite the initial visit never being followed up on I carried on visiting theirs, at first I turned a blind eye to their failings, believing them to be young and maybe a little naive but as time passed I witnessed things which annoyed me.  I saw writers I respect offer genuine advice and offers of assistance, people attempt to engage the blogger win debate or to illicit some form of response only to be ignored or worse still accused of bullying.  At first it was a little like watching a car crash you want to look away but can’t draw your eyes away, but finally I could no longer stand watching the way this person was treating people and I unfollowed her.

I still knew people who did follow her and would occasionally hear stories of had continued to ignore comments she did not like (her right of course it is her blog) but who she then also complained about people not following her on all her social media.  Now this may seem like me being a little bitter she does after all have over 14k followers even though her average likes is 70 per post and she averages around 8 comments per post, but the reason this has wound me up is that once again she has sought out my blog (my photo one this time) and when it tells me she has followed I see this as the title of one of her posts

It Is Not About The Quantity Of Friends, Its About The Quality

Now as you can imagine my initial thought was hypocrite you preach about the value of friends not numbers then you deliberately follow more blogs looking for follow backs.  I confess I left a message on her post expressing my thoughts and was of course duly ignored.

You may wonder why I am bothering to post about this other than to have a rant, but we live in an age where we have the opportunity to meet and interact with more people than ever before, it would be crazy to believe you will become best friends with everyone or that you can have hours of conversation on a daily basis with reach person but it is still possible to be honest and respectful to others, treat others as you wish to br treated yourself.  I do not always follow back now as much as I wish I could there are only so many hours in the day.  Many will have noticed that I tend to visit blogs in spurts having changed my notifications so that I can still get to as many of you as possible.

I have been blessed by having not huge numbers but people who I respect follow me, I have witty, intelligent people with whom I can discuss any and every topic, I have people who will not always agree with me but can put their point across articulately and appreciate different viewpoints.  I have never once had to ignore or block a comment , and I hope I never will.

I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you who make blogging such a positive experience for me, it is sad that some people will never open them selves up to really get to know others or learn about the rich tapestry of life which we can now access, the hardest thing to accept sometimes is that there is just no helping some people.

Awards to Accept

http://msfowle.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/site-expansion-the-versatile-blogger-award

http://joannegphillips.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

http://thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/the-sunshine-award/

http://mariwells.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/the-sunshine-award/

http://rendezvouswithrenee.com/2013/04/14/very-inspiring-blogger-award-why-i-write/

http://ariesgrlreview.com/2013/03/03/the-sunshine-award/

http://the-view-outside.com/2013/03/02/once-upon-a-time-there-was-an-award-or-two/

http://greenwalledtower.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/work-in-progress-challenge/

http://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/super-sweet-blogging-award/

http://jackiedinnis.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/the-wordpress-family-award-the-liebster-award/

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As you can see I have been rather slack in accepting awards lately and I apologise whole-heartedly to every who has nominated me it really does still mean lots to me.  I have provided links at the top of this post to all those who nominated me please check out their blogs.  As I am so far behind I am going to cheat slightly by answering the questions provided by Jackie Dennis with her award nomination, I should explain that her blog is a family tree blog so the questions relate to that but as I have done some research into my own family tree it is something which fascinates me.

1. Why do you blog?

I started blogging as a way of practising my writing and getting feed back to help me improve but it is the wonderful people I have met through blogging that keep me coming back every day.

2. When do you blog, are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am actually a night owl but tend to write my blog on a morning for the next day (though it doesn’t always work out that way) then I can spend the rest of the day and evening getting stuck into writing and not have to worry about breaking off to write a blog post.

3. Who is your most interesting ancestor?

Hmm this is tough I would guess my Great Grandad Michael Acton as there seemed to be so much mystery around him which actually turned out to just be something tragic rather than bad

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4. Have you learnt anything from looking back?

That very rarely do we know where we really come from,  I don’t mean just geographically but but that for every generation the choices they make changes who we will become, only a couple of generations ago half my family were Catholic if that had not changed then I might not be here.

5. Did your family move around a lot?

One side of the family were very much situated in one area but the rest moved around quite a lot a trait which continues to this day.

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6. Have you always written?

Always but I never kept it when I was younger probably from fear of my sister finding it and using it to embarrass me with

7. Is it more about the writing, or the researching your family for you?

The two are separate, my blog is about writing and the family research is something personal that I have undertaken with other family members, but the writing bears extra poignancy when I consider a couple of generations ago family like my Great Great Grandma Annie Sophia in this picture could neither read nor write, her whole life was dedicated to working in a factory then bring up children and grandchildren.

great great grandma callis

8. Do you have a filing system?

Errrmmm does stuffing things n box files count as a filing system?????????

9. Is it just you doing this, or do you involve the family?

I have other family members from different sides of the family who are also looking into things we were all actually already doing it and only discovered the joint interest when I approached them for information

10. Have you found new family members you didn’t know about?

I have though not living ones but there were children who passed away whose names had never been mentioned again which seems really strange to us today.

 

I am not going to nominate people if you do not have either of the two awards I have features please accept it from me and answer the same questions that Jackie gave me I would love to know more about your experiences with your ancestors.

 

11. How far back have you gone?

In terms of knowing real information about people the mid 1800’s but I can trace back in terms of names and dates to 1596

 

Give Away Time

Trying out Rafflecopter for a giveaway please feel free to click and put your name in and share away assuming I can get this to work properly lol there is a link also on my facebook page for people to join in that way.

okay so the embedding did not work instead I have got a link now in the sidebar to the giveaway or visit my fb page thankyou xx

Y is for Yachts

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Time to squeeze in one of my missing three letters…

When I was little I was lucky that my grandparents lived on the Isle of Wight, now as I grew up I did get a little annoyed that my friends always went to different laces during school holidays whereas I always went there.  But overall I have very fond memories of my visits including watching the Yachts as the raced around the island I remember being convinced that there would be a collision between yachts and the hovercraft as it crossed between Portsmouth and Ryde.

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I never actually got to be there for Cowes Week and the actual round the Island Race but during the summer there were always plenty of yachts to see and races to watch though of course being stationed further along the coast you never saw who won.

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The yachts always spoke to me not only of luxury but of freedom, the chance for adventure and a little bit of danger.

imagesAnd sometimes that danger could get quite up close and personal

ROUND THE ISLAND RACE, ISLE OF WIGHT-UK . 3  June 2006but always the call of the open sea appealed.  I would love to board a boat and set sail to see the world but I also know that I would be terrible at the practical side but that does not stop the dreamer in me drifting on the tide.

Prayers For Oklahoma

312144_391318930972432_67259919_nMother Nature can be a cruel mistress at times, while men argue over the actions of others and squabble over rules made by other men, she takes more direct action in her protests with tragic consequences.  She screams at the way her skin has been scarred by our drills and diggers, the wounds inflicted deep into her soul, we have even desecrated the very air she gave us to breathe with pollution, one might even at times think she is vengeful as she claims her sacrifices.

oklahoma-tornado-photo-damageBut when the fires have been quenched and the dust settles, it will not just be mourning for the dead that takes place…

400210-oklahoma-tornadoThere will be stories of miracles and heroism, of those who reached out to give when they themselves had lost it all…

130520234628-ap-23-oklahoma-city-tornado-0520-horizontal-galleryThere will be the reaffirmation of life which can only be appreciated when death has walked in the shadows…

400224-oklahoma-tornado And for a brief time people will remember that the material possessions in this world can be replaced, and that all that really matters is the health and safety of those we love, wealth and comfort are nice to have but it is only when you lose everything you realise what has true value.

New Page

298037_367858213319321_1925694945_nYou may have noticed yesterday a new page appeared at the top of this blog ‘Doctor Who Fan-girl’  don’t worry I am not turning into a TV review blog.

Doctor Who is 50 years old this year, its back catalogue include not only the TV Shows and a couple of dodgy movies but also books, comic, Radio plays, in fact for nearly a third of its existence it was absent from the screens.

Now there will of course be episode reviews but more than that I want to examine why it manages to keep going and gaining increasing popularity.  I will be looking at some of the ideas behind the storylines, looking at what has worked and what has been held up for scorn (oh yes Who fans are as scathing with their criticism as they are devoted to the show)  There will be some who will say but this is a writing blog why look at a TV series but lets be honest how many authors could write a series lasting this long without it getting tired and lets not forget writers such as Neil Gaiman have put pen to paper in its name.

From a personal viewpoint I will also be discussing how my young son reacts to stories as well after all this is a family show and examining the extra’s that come on DVD’s (though this will be as we get them as we only have a couple at the minute).

I decided to do the intro post today as I am still trying to work out how I discuss Saturdays show without spoilers (and sobbing into my computer) so I will share this for now which those on my Facebook will have seen already (sorry) I am just loving this song and the story but this ends with the end of series 6 so has no spoilers for this series….

Also a taster of one of the Extras from the DVD the monster got for his birthday

Book Review – A Big Hand for the Doctor By Eoin Colfer.

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First apologises for last weeks disappearance, for those of you on my personal Facebook you will know I was very poorly, I actually went down with Tonsillitis.  Let me state I like many others thought that it was just a sore throat, however three days in bed proved to me how wrong I was, I lost my voice totally, could not swallow to eat or drink, had cold sweats and generally wanted someone to put me out of my misery or freeze me until a cure was found.  The I discovered that sometime the cure is just as bad lol the anti-biotics I have been on took their own toll and though I still have a few days to get through am determined to get back on my feet.

The reason being today is little Monster’s birthday, we shall be busy this evening playing with his new Doctor Who toys, stuffing our faces with cake and having lots of cuddles.

Which leads me to a request I get to snuggle my boy on his birthday next month Fi and Joey will face the first of many hard times, Charlie’s birthday, it will be the first one where they cannot watch his face light up as he opens presents and blows out candles.  Too many parents seem to be left to this fate, it now seems everyone knows someone or is related to someone taken by this terrible disease, but today I would ask if you could to take a minute and visit a new blog – she is on Blogspot at the minute but am singing WordPress praises to her – so if you could just pop by and say hello you will recognise her from my first inspirational Angels post you can read here

Her blog can be found by following this link here.  Just stop by say hello and cheer her on. Right back to business which of course here is writing and books..

As this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who there are lots of special events going on, one of which is this series of kindle releases.

17225498Normally I would try to avoid spoilers however due to my feelings about this one that may not completely possible.

Each month a new story is launched written by a different author and featuring each of the Doctors in turn up to November and the current incarnation.  The books are aimed at young adult audiences so I am not the target audience but as a huge Doctor Who fan I see no reason I shouldn’t have a little read.

Now these are more Novellas than novels and I don’t want to give away too many spoilers so I shall keep my reviews as brief and spoiler free as possible.  It was well written and as a story thoroughly enjoyable but… and this is a big but it was not the First Doctor.

The author is a writer well-known for writing young adult/teenage fiction and of course he writes that brilliantly well but despite being old enough to have watched Classic Who this reads very much like it is written by someone who has only seen the most recent incarnations of the Doctor.  While he does grasp some of the speech mannerisms of the First his physicality is completely out of character with the older man who played him.

Could the writer have intended that this was a prequel coming before all the televised stories? That is completely possible but for the youngsters who read this then decide to look up the shoes featuring the First Doctor they are in for a shock, they will be looking for a guy who despite being a grandfather jumps into transport vortexes and instead they will find…

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Now, okay in a push I just he could still jump but it jars with my memories of how he would act, he was many things but the action hero was not one of them.

Overall I will give this a 3.5 out of 5 I hope that the series will improve with the other Doctors,

Right off to get ready for a tea party, its good to be back.

Freebie Trials

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As you all know a little while ago I had a trial run at getting some bookmarks done, I was really happy with the quality of them the only failing was design wise on my part which I will remedy with future orders when the time comes.  While I was trying out various sites I signed up to Vistaprint who subsequently sent me various email offers to try our their products.  So with future give-aways in mind that’s what I have done and I thought you might be interested to see a few of the products that I have received and my thoughts on them (I have also bought a couple of extra items as I felt guilty just bagging freebies).

So firstly lets look at the two pen types…

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Both pens write black the top one (the blue one) was a freebie I did just use their basic background because to try to put the picture on this would have resulted in eye strain. The front pen I actually paid for (technically I ordered it by accident but I could have changed it and didn’t) I actually like this pen it is simple script engraved into it I just chose my name and the title.  Would I buy these again? I actually would buy the engraved pen again but I would do it when they had a deal on them as they are quite pricey unless buying in real bulk but they are a nice weight and feel nice to write with.

Next up..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis has possibly been my favourite of the freebies.  You do have to pay for your designs to be uploaded initially but again it is worth a few visits as they have different offers going at different times sometimes free delivery, sometimes free design upload.  The mug is good quality and the image is clear and bright.  They are not exactly cheap to order and because of the design space it did mean chopping my name off.  Would I order more? I probably would for a prize if it was something people wanted otherwise I have one now hehehehe I might consider them if I could alter the design a bit to fit better.

And next up…

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The book bag…. I am going be honest when I first unwrapped this I was disappointed.

I included my I-pod in the shot to give you an idea of size.  The size is perfect, the quality of the bag is good but I was not thrilled with my image on it.  I felt the picture was to blurry and to hard to discern compared to the other products it arrived with.

It has however grown on me, I actually got two of these one free and a second at half price one of which my daughter grabbed straight away when she saw it.  I also paid extra to have Vistaprint’s advertising removed under the image though I am not sure if that applies if you are paying full price.  Would I order more?  Initially I would have said no but now maybe.

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The T-shirt this I am not thrilled with.  Unless you want to pay a lot more for the thicker material then I am pretty sure T-shirts can be sourced somewhere else for better quality.  I ordered one of the largest sizes as I figured if it was terrible could always wear it in bed as a night shirt, the image is not brilliant and as you can tell from the picture if you are in strong light you can see straight through it.  Would I buy more? Nope sorry this one was a big miss for me, if anyone wants T-shirts try Zazzle or shop around you can do better than these.

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Notecards

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Postcards

Notecards and postcards, I will deal with both of these together.  Both are single sided though the notecard does come with a message on the back whereas the postcard is blank unless you pay extra for the address lines.

The notecards come in nice glossy card rather than the matt finish of the postcards though of course if you pay more you can have them glossy.  I was not thrilled with the postcards they have grown on me a little but not much.  Would I order more? I would order the notecards again I might even consider buying the folding ones to match but I would not buy the postcards again from here I think I can probably get better quality cheaper elsewhere but then again the notecards do the same job so why bother.

Final item for now..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPosters, these are a little smaller than A2 size and again I got one free but aid extra for a second one, because of the design there is half a centimetre top and bottom that needs cropping off but overall the quality is very good and they were reasonably priced.  They are made of thick glossy paper and look great.  Would I buy more? Yes just as soon as I have somewhere to use them lol but for anyone doing book fairs definitely worth a look.

What have I learnt

Don’t feel guilty about grabbing freebies, if I had simply order postcards I would have been put off using the company again and felt aggrieved at paying for the image to be uploaded when I wasn’t going to use them again.

Do take into account when deciding on freebies how your image is going to translate on various media, the mug I could use one of the images I already had uploaded cropped down so I didn’t need to pay a third image upload fee.  Better still if you are paying for an image created as if they can create a package for you to use for various merchandise and social media.

Freebies are not always free remember there will be costs for images uploaded and postage, some freebies you pay extra to remove company advertising or for better quality products.

Have a play around, try out different things then leave them go back and look again another day before you decide, you never know in the meantime they may send you more offers.

If you like your freebies you are more likely to re-order they will make money from you in the long term if you are happy.