So today should be about journal prompts but I’ve decided to go with the 30 Day Challenge by Kent Wildlife Trust. It’s something I do every year and get a lot out of it so I thought you might like to join me?
It’s as simple as it sounds, you do something to benefit or increase your knowledge/enjoyment of your local wildlife every day for 30 days.
This could be something like feeding the birds, which is how I’ve kicked my challenge off, or learning to spot 5 new species of wildlife (including insects, let’s be all inclusive people!), going for a walk in the woods, feeding the ducks or planting some new flowers. As long as it’s about nature and wildlife you can do anything!
I would love to see your progress so stay in touch!
I’m super excited to be reviewing this book for you today. I have no connection with the author, I simply chose this book because it sounded fun. All views are my own and I receive no compensation for my review.
I stumbled across this book on Amazon while looking for something to read, I had never heard of the author (Danielle Banas) before, finding it was her debut novel made me want to try it out. I love reading debut novels because I always feel like I’m on the precipice of something special. The cover immediately caught my eye, I’m going through a superhero stage at the moment but I have a real soft spot for supervillains too. It is a young adult, science fiction book full of humour and romance.
The storyline follows Abigail Hamilton, teenager and drama fanatic on a journey of self discovery as she and her ‘supers’ battle against an evil threatening the town of Morriston. It’s not particularly fast paced but it has action throughout which I enjoyed, along with a bit of teenage angst! I found that I became rather attached to the characters, I wanted Abigail and her supervillain to have a happy ending, I was rooting for them throughout, I even found myself getting attached to Fish boy!
There are a few things that I felt could have been improved, but as previously stated this is only my humble opinion. I have a thing about book covers, I’ve always been the same, I wont buy a book with a movie cover and I expect the picture to tie in with the story (if there is a picture as opposed to a pattern on the cover). I love the cover of this book, I love that you can’t see their faces, it adds to the mystery of the secret identity, very clever. However, in the picture there is someone in a green suit but in the story there is no such character with that colour. Minor detail though overall.
I found the ending slightly frustrating, everything was tied up which was fantastic, kudos for that, but it felt a little rushed. I don’t want to give anything away but I felt that the fathers final part came out of nowhere and felt a little bit like it was just convenient to have this occur. But, that did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying the book.
I loved that the language used was reminiscent of high school but without being too cliché, it made me remember what it was like to be 16 and having the school play as my main focus in life. The characters were well developed, even the minor side characters were well thought out and described (Mrs Miller I’m looking at you) and those we saw slightly more of but were still not the focus were relevant to the plot rather than just randomly put in there for effect (Shout out to super fangirl Sarah!).
I laughed in places and I felt a lump in my throat in others, I loved that the character interaction was sarcastic and bashful, as every teenager should be. The plot was very good, I enjoyed the twist at the end, I wont tell you what it is, you will have to read it and find out for yourselves!
Overall I am super happy to have discovered Danielle Banas and have pre-ordered her second book and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves superhero’s/villains, someone looking for a simple read or someone buying it as a gift. Books make great gifts as it allows the recipient to discover a new author or genre they may not have previously tried. The book is available at all leading book stores or you can purchase it from Amazon here.
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Angus, thongs and full frontal snogging – Louise Rennison
One of the most important processes in writing a novel, novella or short story is knowing your characters. Make them real. You don’t have to give all the information to the readers but the more you know about them the more rounded they will become.
I find that one of the easiest ways to create a character is to interview them. Yes, I’m aware that sounds mental, but lets face it, you’re a writer so this is by far not the maddest thing you do! For me, asking them lots of questions gives me an insight into who they are but also stops me from making the characters too similar, or worse still, too boring.
My advice to you is to sit down with them (outside if you like, go mad, why not!) and get to know them in depth. It will make a difference to your writing, I’m sure.
Here is a rather handy questionnaire for you to use as you please.
Remember when you were a kid and you pretended to be a wizard or a magician and the magic word was usually ‘Abracadabra’? Well, it turns out that it actually has relevance, it’s not just a made up word.
Abracadabra is actually a Hebrew phrase that means ‘I create what I speak’, so you can see that saying that particular magic work is not just gobbledegook but an actual relevant term. Pretty cool huh?
Today’s wonderful Wednesday is all about stray dogs. The Netherlands, land of wooden clogs and tulips has become the first country ever to tackle and win their stray dog population.
So how did they do it? There are several ways actually, like raising the tax on buying new puppies to the point of ridiculous, embracing the ‘adopt not shop’ mindset and ensuring that all neutering is free. Yes, you read that right, FREE! That will eradicate a huge number of stray dogs as there will be so few unwanted pregnancies. Here in England it’s hard to believe that they are neutering for free when it makes up such a high percentage of a Veterinary practices income.
They also have a darn good animal control system, so when you call them they actually turn up! Like, for real, they go and rescue the dog and bring it to a shelter or a foster home. They take this very seriously, even giving those who are abusing or mistreating their animals a hefty fine or even prison time, which they actually enforce!
Their final tool in the fight against strays is education. Yes, it’s a cliché, but their children are taught from a young age how to appropriately care for animals and what the laws are surrounding them. Education is the key to a lot of things in the world and when used properly it has astounding results.
This year for my birthday I decided to ask for something a little different, I asked for people to get me their favourite book.
Why? Because not only do I get to read cool books I may not have thought about before but also you get to know the person giving you the book a little better.
Maybe you didn’t know they like horror? Or maybe you were surprised that they like romcoms? It gives you a little insight to that person and helps you to get to know them better.
This was my book haul!
I got ‘The Glass Castle’ from my friend Lindsay, ‘The Railway Children’ from my friend Tilly and the rest from my friend Hannah who wanted to give me her favourites from several genres. I felt both spoilt and utterly blessed to have such lovely friends.
You like this idea? Here is a handy dandy graphic for you to use on any social media platform you wish.
Did you know there is a medical condition called Sulfhemoglobinemia that turns your blood green? I know!! It sounds like something from a good scifi book but its not, it’s an actual condition!
Can you imagine having your blood taken and the vial filling up with green blood? It would be both cool and scary! It’s actually a problem with hydrogen sulfide being absorbed into the gut causing issues with circulation and a blueish tinge to the skin, especially the lips (cyanosis). At least, this is what it is thought to be, there is no firm diagnosis as to why this occurs. But you will be pleased to know its incredibly rare.
So if you do happen to bleed green the chances are you are not an alien, you are just a little poorly and go and get yourself checked out……….then contact me, because I want to see it! Haha!
The world is an odd place during a pandemic, everyone seems a little sadder and a little more fragile. It got me thinking, I realised that it’s not the big things I’ve been missing, it’s the small things. Smiling at people on the street. Telling random strangers that they look nice (I am a nightmare for this, if someone looks nice I HAVE to tell them). Hugging my friends. Lots of little things.
So I challenge you dear friends to find something small that you are grateful for, or something you are looking forward to doing each day, and record it in whatever fashion you like, even if it’s just in your head. For the next 30 days we are going to play ‘All the small things’. I’ve even set up a handy dandy sheet for you to fill in if you are so inclined, you can find that below.
Have you ever tried embroidery? It’s really fun, not as easy as it looks but still fun. This isn’t my first run in with embroidery, we have crossed paths before.
You will need –
You can draw out your design on the tshirt or item you have chosen. Now, I did draw my design on, but, I went rogue. It was like the spirit of the embroidery overtook me and I had to follow it!
I didn’t use any of the fancy pants stitches, I literally just started in the centre and worked my way out. Below you can see the progression of the flowers. There really isn’t any reason to give a full detailed tutorial, there isn’t much to say, its more of a visual thing.
It’s a simple little flower design, I didn’t want to be jazzy and show off (mainly because this is the extent of my mad embroidery skills!).
It might be a nice hobby to take up during lockdown (does anyone else say that in a dramatic voice? Just me?), simple and supposedly calming, except for when you get a stupid knot in the stupid thread and you cant get it through the stupid hole! Just saying…..
Dear internet, it really doesn’t get any cuter than this!
Captain Tom Moore of Yorkshire, UK , is a World War 2 Veteran that decided to support the National Health Service during the Covid-19 pandemic by walking 100 laps of his garden. He is 99 years old (100 tomorrow, I have sent him a birthday card), has had both cancer and a broken hip, he walks with a frame and completed his challenge in 10 lap chunks.
The whole nation has got behind Captain Tom, he set up a just giving page, which you can find here, in order to raise £1000 for the National Health Service during this crisis. Captain Tom exceeded his target and the last time I checked it stood at over £25million!
Captain Tom is a true gentleman, he has old fashioned values and manners that the Queen will be proud of. Both Prince William and PM Boris Johnson have given him video messages thanking him for both his service in the war and also his fundraising for the NHS. There is a push from the British public to get him a knighthood and I back this all the way. Knight Captain Tom!
A lovely uplifting story in the midst of a lockdown, thank you Captain Tom!