Saturday, 29 March 2014

A drop of heavy

 It’s been a full fortnight, which prevented me writing last week. Last week, I found myself back home in Britain, visiting for my father’s birthday. Subsequently my well laid-out plans to study were ruined when I fell ill. After a day in agony, and a quick visit to A&E, I had to spend the week recuperating at home. Thank the heavens for televised documentaries and light revision.
So, what did I do during this time you might wonder; well I found myself watching about an hour of daytime television, mostly the Kyle show. After this I would usually follow it up by a program I think was called, the treasures of Ancient Egypt, a three part documentary featuring the story of ancient Egypt from the origins of its art to the Roman and Greek conquests. I feel like I took a lot from the program, but perhaps nothing that I see myself writing about in the near future.
            I also indulged in things that I enjoy most of all, Japanese cuisine and culture. I watched many programs including ones like travels in Japan, and Japan cool. I picked up a lot of things I never knew about, such as washoku and umami; the idea of traditional Japanese cuisine, which reflects both a good diet and the seasons, and another sense of taste, in addition to sweet, sour, salty, sweet and bitter. It made me yearn to visit the country where I could try shaved ice from a generation’s old family run shop. I was sorry to leave home, especially since I knew the work that I was coming back to, not to mention I did not feel like I had much of a holiday, spending most of it ill.

         This week has been pretty standard, I went to my last Français Langue Etrangère class, this Monday coming is the exam. I went to Jitsu where I managed to beat myself up, Taekwondo finished off my arm, putting me off training again this week. A positive note to add to the week, I finally got around to doing some Spanish revision, and tonight I will be babysitting a couple of lively French kids.
            Life really does take over everything, for those of you who still have not noticed, for me, I only realised this fact here. I find myself incapable of doing all the things I want to do and all the things I need to do without compromise. Even writing a blog post means I’m not doing something else, or I’m multi-tasking.
            But that’s me digressing, this week I would like to bring your attention to a writer whose ability certainly highlights my inexperience, that’s Louisa Mullerworth. Her book and facebook page, can be found here: it’s well worth stopping by if only for a look. Her latest work, ‘Dying to Help’ releases June 18th, so pre-order your copy! My own book has finally reached Amazon, (link will be below), I hope we all go and check it out.
            For this week, I am out of time; I have too many things to do which prevent me filling pages for you to read. I hope next time to target something a little more technical, as we’ve just been following me around for the month. If we have any literary topics that anyone would be interested in hearing my thoughts on, or would like to talk more about topics I’ve already mentioned, leave me a comment or send me a message from the links below. Until next time, read, write, live.

My usual hideaways

My book is now available to order at

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Kicking back with the books

Half term ending today with exams to come Monday morning – because there’s no better day to have one of what will feel like an endless number of trails; and I can’t say I have much to show for all my ‘well-spent’ free time, other than many, many completed series of anime. Not all the time was wasted – which eases the welling guilt. I have made a good start into editing my next book, which I hope to approach publishers with soon, and I’ve taken a few bites out of revision, namely French and Japanese grammar; once again Spanish fights to get a look-in.
            It’s my father’s 50th next week, and I’ve had to devote a lot of time into choosing the right gift for him, especially as he’s a modest person who insists only a card is necessary. I’ll be flying back for the sole purpose of spending the day with him, (because I’m nice once in a while), I’m sure there will be plenty I can accomplish while away from my studies for a week too.
            On to business, I must say I’ve fallen out of the loop in reading since I finished Madam Bovary all those weeks ago, I’ve been buying manga in French and Japanese to improve my linguistic skills, but I will start on something a little more challenging in the next few weeks I suppose. I have however, started skimming through blogs for inspiration such as, probably my favourite poet around, Katy Evans-Bush at . After meeting her in Bangor last year (or so) I’ve enjoyed stopping by when I’ve had the time to keep up to date with her going’s on – which I do more frequently than watching the news, to put into context how isolated I can be. Every time I look at an experienced blog though, I see how it’s certainly a good thing to look to your seniors for advice and example.

Naturally being on Erasmus has given me the opportunity to do everything I’ve not had time to do over the last decade, being in full-time education; however as people tell me, I can’t do ‘everything’ whatever that means, thought I would agree I can’t do ‘everything’ as well as I’d like, but I could say the same for French. Research time is on its way as well as exams and martial arts tests; as it all builds up, this should really be the proverbial kick up the behind I need to get things moving.

I am proud to say though, that I have not followed the stereotype of moving to a foreign land to eat, drink and party, though my sins do cover the first two. I found time to watch some television last night, something I do not do too often in France, due to the frustration factor, what I found was I have a taste for late night TV in France 4, discovering the singer GiedRé, who I imagine no one who reads me would know about. I found her songs and on stage comedy hilarious, to say the least, her sense of dark humour was enough to keep me glued to the screen to the end before watching the French adaption of Pirates of the Caribbean.
            The latest book, which I have the intention of getting my hands on when back in the UK is Zoë Skoulding’s ‘The Museum of Disappearing Sounds’, which can be bought at . As anyone who’s familiar with my work and life knows, I adore poetry, it’s what started me on this journey all those years ago, it’s also the first literary form that offered me a warm place to curl up and grow into the writer I am today; I particularly enjoy sound poetry, and those which carry a good rhythm. This is why this new collection sounds perfect for me. In fact, it’s through this poet (and lecturer’s) events that I’ve met a lot of international poets, most of which have really impressed me and inspired me not to give up on publishing my own collection one day. Though as in ‘Waiting for Godot’:
Vladimir. You should have been a poet.
Estragon. I was. (Gesture towards his rags.) Isn’t that obvious?

Yes, I’m a student and a writer, needless to say money isn’t abundant, but the work sure is.

            There are plenty of other things I’d like to do, like to read and of course write, but I have to sit down and take my studies and sales seriously at some point. I’ll be appearing in my local newspaper any day now the ‘Wrexham Leader’, okay it’s not a big bit of media but I think it suits me well really, the size and scope being modest but known. I do add in a shameless plea to support this new author (so I can release my second book) by buying a copy, or spreading the word.
            Right now, it’s gorgeous, at least for the Brits, in the south of France or Lyon, in between mid and North to some. And the last thing I want to do is stay indoors and study, but I can at least take comfort that I can tan while I work as I sit down to a cup of tea and some miso soup.

For this week, that’s me done and I hope to have another on time update next week, providing I have time. It has been my pleasure to update you all this week on an inside look at my world and interests. So until next time, Read, write, live.

My usual hideaways

My book is now available to order at

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Book is Done, So What’s Next?

So now that painful experience of writing, editing, rewriting, more writing, more editing, researching and submitting to publishers is all done, what is the next step to becoming a successful writer. At this juncture, I have to admit, without shame, that I have no idea, whatsoever. I do however, have a plan.
            Once back in Great Britain I hope to learn how to arrange some ‘meet an author’ nights. I would also like to work on getting some retailers to stock my books and to even get some media coverage for my finished masterpiece. I am however both stuck in a foreign country, with no one who specialises in arranging those things for me to do. I would like to point out, I write books, I don’t manage people who write them otherwise; I would have studied Business, not English.
            It perhaps is not so cool for someone who aims to be a future best seller to announce to the world that he (or she) is as lost as everyone else, but I would feel bad if I lied about it. Yes, writers too find themselves on the throne without bog roll sometimes too. However, while I’m worrying and planning on this side of the unknown; I’m working on things that I am good at too, that is, my next book.
            It should not be long now until I begin launching it through the virtual rocket (that is the internet) into the battered, paper encrusted walls, belonging to the editors (i.e. their inboxes) hoping that with the success of my first book, they will be more apt to receive my second. So, I leave you all at the end of another short update (as I’m hungry and have editing to get on with (unusually); I wonder what marketing strategies all the new writers have out there in getting the word out.

Until next time, Read, Write, Live

My usual hideaways

My book is now available to order at