Very Inspiring Again?

Three days ago, in a maelstrom of emotions – more than a little ploughed under with work and the weather, which looks gorgeous but as we all know is utterly treacherous to drive in, I found a truly wonderful surprise waiting for me!

It really couldn’t have come at a better time, a little ray of sunshine in these wintry blustery days.

Tricia Drammeh, fellow fantasy writer, blogger extraordinaire, interviewer, reviewer, mother of four, hugely talented wordsmith and all round lovely person, nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!!!!!

http://blog.triciadrammeh.com/author/authortriciadrammeh/

If you haven’t already checked out her mindbogglingly wonderful blog, well, you’re really missing out! Get over there now folks you won’t regret it! ūüėÄ ¬†http://blog.triciadrammeh.com/

She also has the most fantastic website: http://www.triciadrammeh.com/

I’m truly¬†humbled and honoured to be nominated for this award by an author and blogger of such talents!¬†A HUGE thank you to Tricia¬†Drammeh!!! ūüėÄ xx

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The Rules of the Award are as follows:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Okay, so we go…

  1. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of weird facts, especially world geography, just don’t ask me where the counties of England are!
  2. As a child I wanted to be an astronaut, writer and mermaid (2001 Space Odyssey and…er…the Splash movie had a huge influence!). Well, one out of three is pretty good?
  3. I’m happiest when I’m¬†outside surrounded by nature, staring at the sky, horizon or the sea. It’s as important to me as breathing. Cities make me¬†quite¬†claustrophobic.
  4. As a young child, I started writing and drawing before I was even steady on my feet. I still have terrible balance. As I’m very bendy, I can do most of the yoga poses but cannot balance to save my life!
  5. I don’t drink at all – my taste buds are still as immature as they were when I first tried wine and I’m allergic to most of it. Yuk! But chocolate has an almost hypnotic effect on me!!!! ūüėõ
  6. I love animals and can’t stand cruelty of any kind. I’m a member of most of the animal charities and used to campaign against circus cruelty to elephants.
  7. In fact, I can’t stand cruelty of any kind…To me there’s nothing worse than bullying and aggressive behaviour, there’s just no excuse for it. Why be rude and horrible¬†when you can kind and tolerant? None of us are perfect but as my dear Granny used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all.” A simple lesson we could all learn from.

Now for the nominees! Wow, this is really hard. Firstly a lot of my choices were quite rightly chosen by Tricia. Secondly, it’s hard picking just 15 bloggers, there are SO many great ones out there!

So…in no order at all, I nominate the following blogs for the¬†Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Please DO check out all their amazing blogs!

  1. Ryan Holmes http://griffinsquill.com/
  2. Morgen Bailey http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/
  3. Lindsey J Parsons http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/
  4. Ashen Venema (Course of Mirrors) http://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/
  5. Andy Szpuk http://andyszpuk.wordpress.com/
  6. Lisa Scullard http://lisascullard.wordpress.com/
  7. Gretchen Steen http://gretchensteen.blogspot.co.uk/
  8. James Shortland http://fantasybastion.com/
  9. ashsilverlock http://ashsilverlock.wordpress.com/
  10. M T McGuire http://www.mtmcguire.co.uk/
  11. Dominick Swennen http://fantasticalimaginations.wordpress.com/
  12. Jane Dougherty http://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
  13. Freaky Folk Tales http://freakyfolktales.wordpress.com/
  14. Moment Matters http://momentmatters.wordpress.com/
  15. atoasttodragons http://atoasttodragons.wordpress.com/

Gosh…that WAS hard. I also need to mention Sheryl Browne¬†http://sheryls-ramblings.blogspot.com/¬†, Debbie Young http://youngbyname.wordpress.com/¬†, Mandy Ward ¬†http://welcometowherever.wordpress.com/¬†and the wonderful Lisa Wiedmeier http://lisawiedmeier.blogspot.co.uk/¬†ūüėÄ

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‘The Next Big Thing’ – I’ve been tagged!

Still chasing my tail here, but a¬†few weeks ago I was very kindly tagged in “The Next Big Thing” – a blog hop where you answer a series of questions about your work in progress or your NEXT BIG THING, before nominating others for the same award. http://youngbyname.me/2012/11/14/my-next-big-thing/

I was tagged by fellow indie author, Debbie Young, who had her first book, ‘Sell Your Books!’ published only two weeks after my own.

Product DetailsDebbie Young¬†also works for Readathon UK http://www.readathon.org¬†an amazing national organisation that promotes¬†children’s reading in schools and libraries across the country.¬†I was utterly thrilled when Debbie and Readathon¬†UK¬†approached me to do an interview, especially considering the literary giants such as Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Rosen and Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo)¬†who support them. Great company to be in! http://www.readathon.org/blog/2012/11/author-teacher-joins-forces-with-readathon/

Anyway, back to ‘The Next Big Thing’!

Ummm, right, my next project/work in progress…well, I have many (head stuffed with ideas thankfully), but I am currently writing the second book of my epic fantasy trilogy!

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The sequel to White Mountain and Book 2 of The Darkling Chronicles? Well to be honest that is a tricky question to answer. I had always envisioned and planned for the book to be called ‘Darkling Rise’, a title I love and an appropriate one for the story, as it revolves around the rise of a ‘darkling’ – a growing dark power. However, this may not be the final title…

2) Where did the idea come from for your book?

032Years ago, when I first had the genus for White Mountain, I knew the general direction the story was heading in. I actually have the ending for Book 3 in my head, though the journey to get there isn’t worked out yet! A lot of The Darkling Chronicles story was inspired by my four-month¬†odyssey around New Zealand back in 1997, an astounding country of epic¬†scenery and breathtaking views. This was truly an inspiring and life-changing experience and one I have written about in my series of travelogues on this blog. The other ideas for the story simply came from my own personal life and experiences, many of¬†which have been rather¬†traumatic and verging on the melodramatic to say the least. I am very pleased to say that those times are behind me and life is now a myriad of happy days…or should I say…a happy daze! ūüėÄ

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Chapter Twenty-One - Into The LightEpic fantasy! Sometimes referred to as ‘classic’ or ‘high’ fantasy. Having said that, it is also a contemporary fantasy as the story is set¬†now within our modern world. It is also¬†an adventure story, a mystery, a romance, an adrenaline fuelled action thriller, a children’s book, a Young Adult (YA) novel and a poetic saga!

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

To be honest, I do have a rough screenplay of White Mountain. It would make an¬†AMAZING film as¬†it is so epic and cinematic in scope, so who knows? Maybe one day…

But I do LOVE this game! Christopher Plummer or Patrick Stewart would be my first choice for Mr Marval¬†Agyk¬†due to his natural gravitas, similar appearance¬†and receding¬†hairline not to mention that wondrous voice! Besides the wonderful Sir Ian McKellen has¬†portrayed Gandalf¬†so well, that any other wizard part would draw too many comparisons. Rufus Sewell would be¬†stunning for the voice of Gralen, that lovely blend of age and sulkiness. Either Henry Cavill, James Purefoy¬†or Tom Hardy¬†as brooding Korrun¬†and new British actress, Felicity Jones or Gemma Arterton¬†or even Anne Hathaway as Wendya. Peter O’Toole would be simply perfect as eccentric and frail King Dorrol¬†and¬†maybe even Gary Oldman¬†as King Baillum? As for my arch-villain, Morreck, I always saw the character as a mixture¬†of Brad Pitt and Pol Pot! A character electrifying,¬†charismatic and handsome, described as ‘perilously fair’, a person you would be instantly attracted¬†and drawn to, but a figure who despite his beauty, is rotten to the core. I’m sure Brad Pitt is a lovely person, but as he is a great actor and is, let’s face it, gorgeous to look at – he would be PERFECT to play Morreck¬†The Corruptor! ūüėÄ

If I had my pick of directors…it would have to be Christopher Nolan or Ridley Scott, two real¬†visionaries!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

For White Mountain – Book 1 of The Darkling Chronicles:

Attacked and drained of most of his powers, a dying sorcerer must race against time to save himself and the fate of all, from an enemy intent on cleansing the planet and destroying humanity…

For ‘Darkling Rise’ – Book 2 of The Darkling Chronicles:

Darkness spreads as prophetic warnings come to pass¬†and a series of disturbing murders and disappearances multiply across the globe – the hunt is on and the war to end all wars is upon us…!

6) When will your book be published?

Book 2 will be published in September/October 2013, with Book 3 due for publication in 2014.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ahem…I’m still writing it! My first book had a gestation of over 10 years, yes, 10 years! – creating the back story, the world and universe that the story takes place in, not to mention my exhaustive research. My time frame for writing Book 2 is considerably shorter! ūüėÄ

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Wow! That’s hard. Certainly readers of Book 1 have compared it to J.R.R. Tolkien, David Gemmell, Terry Goodkind, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, C.S. Lewis, Rick Riordan even G.R.R.Martin in it’s epic scope. I would place my work somewhere in there, hopefully between the poetic nature of Tolkien and the dark gift for character of Pullman and George Martin.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Again, personal life experiences good and bad. Places I’ve been to, natural landscapes hold a real magic for me and of course, I had an epic story I wanted to tell. Book 1 is the beginning of that story and is an inspiration in itself, but now the story has a life of its own and it wants to come out!

Humanity beware –¬†you’re in for a nasty awakening!

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The fact that it is an epic fantasy in the classic sense but with a contemporary twist and that it is set within our modern world. Humans and millenia old magic are about to clash…head on! Can our technology save us from an ancient force determined to cleanse the planet of the plague of humanity?

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Now to highlight and ‘tag’ some other writers for “The Next Big Thing”! In no order…

Product DetailsAndrea Baker – A great writer of paranormal fantasy, Worlds Apart’ – Leah, from deepest darkest Warwickshire! Check out her wonderful¬†debut novel…

Leah knows that her mother died in a car accident when Leah was small and that her father, who used to be the gentlest dad in the world, has become increasingly controlling and occasionally violent. She also knows that her recurring dreams are telling her something more about how and why her mother died, and why her dad turned nasty, but they are becoming progressively more disturbing and confusing. When Leah meets Ben, she is excited to have a friend she can confide in and have fun with, but is he what he seems? The voice of Leah’s mother repeatedly tells her to rely on her instincts, but when Leah is run over in a freak accident and Ben’s family take over her welfare, are they protecting her or using her? And why would anyone, good or evil, bother with an ordinary girl just about to go to university? http://www.andreabakerauthor.com/
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Image of Lindsey J Parsons

Lindsey Parsons¬†– A fantastic¬†fantasy writer with a huge imagination! Check out her debut novel…

Product DetailsVortex¬†is a fantasy romance novel aimed at the upper teen/young adult market. It is the first book in a trilogy called The Return of The Effra. Back cover description: On a night when prophecies stir, an outraged dragon vents his anger, Damian is ripped from everything he knows and Sam’s nightmares become real… Sam isn’t enjoying university life, she’s disillusioned with her course and having second thoughts about her future. It doesn’t help that she keeps having a scary, recurring nightmare and when she thinks things couldn’t get worse a creepy man follows her back to her room. Damian is unique, he has silver eyes, horns and wings, he is also being visited by a ghost girl. She looks so sad and frightened he feels compelled to help her, but the night he reaches out to save her from a dragon’s fiery breath he gets ripped from his life, his world, from everything he knows. Now it’s Damian who’s lost in an unfamiliar world that’s devoid of magic and full of strange monsters. His only connection with home is Sam who he recognises as the ghost girl. Sam has to put aside her fear and disbelief in Damian’s explanations about himself to try and help him find his way home. But in a world without magic is this possible? http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/

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Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsWill Macmillan Jones¬†– A prolific razor-sharp wit and laugh a minute purveyor of comic fantasy. He makes Sir Terry Pratchett seem only mildly funny! Check out his latest novel, the third in his wildly¬†hilarious and anarchic,¬†The Banned Underground series…! http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/

The Vampire Mechanic, the third book in the Banned Underground series, is a unique mix of fantasy and Terry Pratchett-style humor for the rock generation and their kids. Different from other comedic fantasies, it parodies the touring music scene, bureaucracy, taxation and with its tongue-in-cheek slapstick humor, witty puns and word games.

*****

Katrina Jack – An excellent writer of gritty urban fantasy. Land of Midnight Days (The Silver Flute Trilogy) available in Kindle Edition and soon to be released as a hardback! Check out her first novel…Product Details

What would you do if your life was filled with fear: hide, run away – or would you fight back?

In a city at war with itself, Jeremiah Tully already knows how to survive, now he must learn how to live. Mute from birth, of mixed race heritage and his only possession a charmed flute, Jeremiah tries to
discover where his remarkable talent as a musician will take him. http://kateannejack.wordpress.com

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Many¬†thanks again to the lovely Debbie Young for tagging me! It’s been great fun and a real honour.

Please check out her websites: http://youngbyname.me/ & http://offtheshelfbookpromotions.wordpress.com/newsblog/

Techno-idiot gets another award – One Lovely Blog Award!

Okay… *hangs head in shame*¬†nearly two¬†months ago, 24th September in fact, I was nominated by my good friend, fellow fantasy writer and dragon lover, Lindsey J Parsons, for the One Lovely Blog Award.

I was utterly thrilled at the time¬†and thanked Lindsey, intending of course to pay the compliment on as soon as I could. Then, only a few days later my debut novel was published and all hell broke loose…well actually, a glorious, manic, wondrous, bewildering, overwhelming and amazing rollercoaster from which I am only now catching my breath!

But I would love to say a MASSIVE thank you to the lovely Lindsey J Parsons, for very kindly nominating me for this award. Lindsey Parsons is an extraordinary writer, a real visionary with a gift for characterisation, plot and that magical something that makes you fall in love with a story, and I’m very proud to call her my friend. If you haven’t already, please check out her wonderful blog:¬†http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com¬†AND please check out her astonishing debut novel, Vortex, available on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com in paperback, hardback and ebook:¬† http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vortex-Vol-1-Return-Effra/dp/0957283806/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1352656297&sr=8-2

Product Details

Here are the rules:

Include the blog award logo in your post.

Thank the person who nominated you.

Provide 7 random facts about yourself.

Nominate 7 other blogs and let them know you have done so.

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So,  7 random facts!

1. I am absolutely and irrationally PETRIFIED of spiders!!!!! Snakes don’t bother me, neither do sharks, heights (though I get a bit wobbly in the knees), mice, the dark, jellyfish¬†etc. But let me¬†come across¬†an eight legged freak of nature walking on the ceiling (ready to drop on my head), dangling from a web or scuttling across the floor at a startlingly demonic pace¬†and I FREAK OUT!!! Ughhhhh! What makes matters worse, is that I seem to be incredibly attractive to the horrible little blighter’s. Seriously, if there is a spider in a room or a seven mile radius, it WILL head straight for me – it’s even been noticed by others that I’m like cat-nip for the nasty things….ughhhh!

2. My beautiful gorgeous white wolves, Korrun¬†and Tolly¬†(Tollam),¬†are named after characters in my debut novel, White Mountain – Book 1 of The Darkling Chronicles…oh, and¬†my last house, Fendellin, was named after a hidden kingdom in the book! ūüėÄ

3. I have a profoundly deep connection to nature and natural landscapes that I can’t quite explain and which often brings me to tears (daft I know), but I’m never happier than when I’m ‘lost in a landscape’…preferably with no humans around, just silence and water and birdsong…ahhhh!

4. Despite my sensible exterior and very sensible job, I am completely immature and I LOVE the fact that I’ve never grown up and lost that childlike innocence and sense of wonder. I love showing my kids cool lightsabre moves, high-kicking in class, discussing Star Wars etc, I love go-karting, I love watching fantasy and sci-fi films and am obsessed by Marvel and DC comics and films! Really…I want to be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer or a comic book superhero!

5. I know I’ve said this before…but I LOVE Marmite! A very British phenomenon, but I grew up with it and still adore it! ūüėõ

6. I love Italy, the country, the people, the culture, the language, the food…everything about it!

7. If I were ever to emigrate, I’d definitely live in New Zealand. I spent four months travelling around that wondrous country, falling in love with every inch of it and letting the road take me where it wanted…a truly magical place! If you’re lucky enough to go…IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!!

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Now to nominate 7 other great bloggers for this lovely award…tricky to pick only 7!

Right, well I’ve got to mention the lovely Lindsey Parsons who so kindly nominated me and I’d also like to mention her list of wonderful bloggers too: Will Macmillan Jones http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/¬† Kay Kauffman¬†http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/¬† Katrina Jack¬†http://kateannejack.wordpress.com/¬† and Lisa Wiedmeier¬†http://lisawiedmeier.blogspot.co.uk/ .

Now for my 7 nominations (in no order)

Ryan Holmes (Griffin’s Quill) http://griffinsquill.com/

Tricia Drammeh http://theclaimingwords.com/

Ashen Venema http://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/

Morgen Bailey http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/

Debbie Young http://youngbyname.me/

Andrea Baker http://www.andreabakerauthor.com/

That Fantasy Blog http://thatfantasyblog.com/

I know it’s bending the rules, but I would also like to mention Mandy Ward’s great blog (Welcome To Wherever) http://welcometowherever.wordpress.com/¬†and Fantasy in Motion http://fantasyinmotion.wordpress.com/

Again¬†HUGE thanks to Lindsey J Parsons for her very kind nomination, thanks honey!¬†ūüėÄ xx

Inspired? Hell, yes!

Well after receiving the Sunshine Blogger Award from the lovely Kay Kauffman http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/ I’m utterly thrilled and humbled¬†to be nominated for another award! The very talented and dragon friendly, Lindsey J Parsons ¬†http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/, has nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Wow, wow and wow! I’m so touched!

A huge thank you to Lindsey J Parsons. Lindsey is a fellow fantasy writer, lover of dragons, breather of fire and inspiring blogger herself. Please check out her wonderful site: http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/ and be inspired yourself! Highly recommended!

The Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate other bloggers you think deserve the award, and post on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

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Right, ummm…seven things about me, eh? Here goes!

Seven Things:

1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I have nine lives, as in a cat with nine lives, not previous reincarnated versions of myself‚Ķscary thought! I have currently used at least 3 of them as I have nearly died¬†3 times! I drowned and was brought back to life, was¬†almost decapitated (a real close shave!) and was involved in a motorway pile up which wrecked my car and should have killed me, but left me with only scratches. I’d love to think I’m a superhero aka ‘Unbreakable’, but sadly no. That‚Äôs not counting all my mishaps as an adventurous Huckleberry Finn type tomboy, like falling twenty feet out of a tree while trying to build myself a tree house with some rusty nails and scrap pieces of wood I‚Äôd found!

I figure I‚Äôm doing alright as I still have¬†6 lives left! ūüėÄ

2.¬†¬†¬†¬† I used to play the piano and reached Stage 4 of my examinations before quitting, something I still regret to this day. I had absolutely no natural ability for it, it was hard slog all the way, but I did enjoy it and my elderly music teacher, Miss Allen was a delight. Although I can‚Äôt read music anymore, I still remember and play one piece by heart, called ‚ÄėBreakers‚Äô (C major so it‚Äôs easy!), which reminds me of the ocean and breaking waves‚Ķvery soporific! One day I will return to my piano playing days, though I doubt I will ever find a gentler soul than Miss Allen to teach me.

3.     I love art and thankfully, unlike my music, I do have natural talent for it. Before I could walk I was drawing and painting with amazing precision for a two and three year old. At four I was drawing complex designs from art books and the decorative china we had around the house, including a very ornate Japanese cheese dish with birds all over it…don’t know why I remember that! As a young child at school I used draw portraits of people, or anything they liked, for pennies, not sure if I was being a little entrepreneur or a kindergarten con-man!

The first time I went to London and saw Leonardo Da Vinci‚Äôs ‚ÄėMadonna of the Rocks‚Äô and Caravaggio‚Äôs ‚ÄėSupper at Emmaus‚Äô, at the National Gallery, I cried. It was so moving and inspirational to me. THAT was how I wanted to draw and paint!

I got a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, with a specialism in drawing, painting, sculptural ceramics and photography (studio & landscape), which I love! Dark rooms are wonderfully magical places!

Anyway, I‚Äôve been a particular fan of Caravaggio‚Äôs work my whole life, and though I can‚Äôt paint like him, it doesn‚Äôt stop me trying! ūüėõ

4.¬†¬†¬†¬† I once kissed Michael Foot on the cheek! For those of you who are too young to remember or for my overseas friends, Michael Foot was this archaic looking gentleman with a wild scruffy shock of white hair, who was the leader of the Labour Party back in the late 1970‚Äôs and early 80‚Äôs. Being a lefty myself, I‚Äôll always believe in helping those less fortunate than myself, but I must say, having a photograph of me kissing this old chap ‚Äď wasn‚Äôt my best move! Ewwwwww!

5.¬†¬†¬†¬† I do like my food, especially Italian, which is clearly visible on my hips! I adore Marmite – there, I‚Äôve said it. Love it, love it, love it! When I‚Äôm on my own, I always prefer to have my dessert first then my savoury. That way, you get the sweet stuff out of the way and then you can fully appreciate and savour your main course! ūüėÄ

Alcohol and me don’t mix though. Something about the fermentation process, but so much as a sip of wine or beer and I want to throw up. Of course, it could be that I just have immature taste buds like the rest of me!

6.¬†¬†¬†¬† I do have some strange quirks I admit. I am incredibly bendy, though you‚Äôd never guess it to look at me. Now, although I can no longer do the splits or get my feet behind my head, I can hoist them up to my shoulders and as all the children I have ever taught in my classes can attest, I do an amazing above the door high kick! That‚Äôs right‚ĶI‚Äôm a high kicking teacher! Damn, if only that was a usable skill in life. ūüėõ

7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Writing will always be my first love and passion. As a kid I was writing stories before I could really do anything else. Novel ideas, poetry, short stories and ideas for world building ‚Äď some of it in incredible detail. I literally have bags and bags, reams and reams of character bios, story plots, background material for worlds, sketches of planets, ships, dwellings, really mostly rubbish, but it has always just been a part of who I am. The stories that always inspired me the most¬†and fuelled my desire to be a writer, were always fantasy and science-fiction. When I wasn‚Äôt playing air guitar or climbing trees, I was buried in some sci-fi or fantasy book. If you cannot claw your way out of your reality, you can grow wings and soar instead!

Now, down to my nominees. There are many fabulous bloggers out there, but these are the ones I am most inspired by.

In no order at all, because they are all equally fabulous for different reasons…

Tricia Drammeh  http://theclaimingwords.com/

Ryan Holmes (Griffin’s Quill) ¬†http://griffinsquill.com/

Morgen Bailey  http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/

Rose Wall http://rosewall.weebly.com/

Hazel Butler http://aadenianink.com/

The Alliance of Worldbuilders http://theallianceofworldbuilders.weebly.com/

Mandy Ward (WelcomeTo Wherever)  http://welcometowherever.wordpress.com/

Ashen Venema  http://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/

Lesley Carter (Bucket List Publications)  http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/

Again, I would love to nominate Kate Jack http://kateannejack.wordpress.com/, ¬†Will MacMillan Jones http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/ , Kay Kauffman http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/¬†and of course Lindsey Parsons herself http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/, but Lindsey has already, quite rightfully, nominated their wonderful blogs, so I won’t repeat. But please do check them out folks, inspiring every single one of them!

…in yourself and you can achieve anything! ūüėÄ xx

Blog Awards! The techno-idiot gets two nominations!

Sunshine

Every time I think my IT skills are improving, something happens that reminds me of just what a techno-idiot I am.

I was very VERY kindly nominated by the lovely Kay Kauffman for the Sunshine Blogger Award. What a wonderfully kind and lovely thing to do! I was thrilled that Kay had been nominated and had then nominated me.

BUT, it was only today after being nominated for another blog award, Very Inspiring Blogger Award, by the equally lovely and kind Lindsey Parsons, that the penny finally dropped.

D’uh! You are supposed to answers questions and nominate fellow bloggers!

Firstly, a HUGE thank you to Kay Kauffman. I’m utterly thrilled and rather humbled!¬†ūüėÄ xx

Here is Kay’s blog http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/ – a wonderful mixture of poetry, short stories and musings on life. Highly recommended!

So, here are the rules for all those that get nominated:

Rules

  • Link the award to the person who gave it to me.
  • Answer questions about myself ‚Äď see below.
  • Nominate ten bloggers for the award.
  • Link my nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

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1.What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Although I¬†am a¬†complete film nut, I’m one of those people that loves obscure films and remembers things like directors, release dates, every actors’ name…ummm I’m really sounding like¬†a nut here, but I’m not big on Christmas films. I guess I don’t like anything ‘designed’ to illicit a certain response, which holiday films invariably do. It’s the freak in me that likes to push my own buttons rather than have someone else contrive to do it. So, my choices are remarkably narrow. I’d probably go for either Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, or something wonderfully daft like Trading Places and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (yes, I know it’s not a¬†Christmas movie, but it’s SUCH fun!). ūüėÄ

2.What is your favorite flower?
I love white flowers, the purity and simplicity of them. Daisies, lilies, tulips, anemones…but my favourite are poppies. Poppies are such delicate papery¬†flowers yet they have such a vivacity about them. They herald the coming of summer and warm hazy lazy¬†days. I love red poppies, but white and Himalayan blue poppies are my very favourite!

3.What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

I drink lots of milk. My favourite drink is a toss up¬†between Shloer, Elderflower cordial or my own kick-ass homemade lemonade. The secret is a squeeze of lime! ūüėČ Do love a good hot chocolate though.

4.What is your passion?
Writing, writing, writing. Other than that, my problem is that I have too many passions really. I love drawing, painting, sculpture and photography –¬†creating something special from a blank canvas, lump of clay or camera lens. For me, being creative is as important as eating and breathing…two things I’m rather fond of! ūüėČ

5.What is your favorite time of year?
Definitely summer…the promise of warmth. I love all the seasons, though Autumn has always meant ‘spider season’ and ‘school’ and another birthday coming round. Spring is a wondrously rejuvenating time of year but so often drenched in rain. I love the quiet peace and stillness of winter, but nothing compares to those precious few days of the year where you can lie on the grass under cerulean skies and feel the sun on your face! Bliss! Summer means adventure and possibilities…

6.What is your favorite time of day?

That’s easy to answer – night owl here! Daytime is for work, job, stresses of life. I love the night, when everyone is asleep and the world is quiet. Those magical few hours of stillness, with nothing but the soft night breeze and a halo of stars drifting above you…that’s when the magic truly happens!

7.What is your favorite physical activity?

Lol! Ummm…I could have been naughty there! I love walking especially in wild places. The wilder the better. The countryside, especially the remoter parts of it, hold such a mystery to me. There is nothing better than climbing a hill or mountain or tor and viewing nature at its best. Very humbling and deeply profound.

8.What is your favorite vacation?

I love Italy. The culture, the history, the people, the food, everything about it. I’ve been about four times now and it is such a special place. I love Rome but Tuscany, Umbria and Florence is my favourite. The art galleries alone are intoxicating. But, more than anywhere I’ve ever travelled to, New Zealand will still always be my favourite. If it is possible to have a¬†‘soul connection’ to a place, then New Zealand is it. Astounding, breathtaking, awe-inspiring, humbling, unforgettable. Back in the winter (their summer) of 1997/98 I spent four months travelling around the North and South Island having adventures and awakening my senses. A real odyssey and life-changing experience. They filmed Lord Of The Rings¬†there for a reason, the place is simply¬†magical! Ahhhh… ūüėÄ

*****

Right, very difficult to choose just ten, but here are my nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award  (in no order) :

1. Morgen Bailey http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/

2. Lindsey J Parsons http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/

3. Ryan Holmes (Griffin’s Quill) http://griffinsquill.com/

4. Ashen Venema (Course of Mirrors) http://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/

5. Will MacMillan Jones http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/

6. Mandy Ward (Welcome to Wherever) http://welcometowherever.wordpress.com/

7. Fantasy In Motion http://fantasyinmotion.wordpress.com/

8. Andy Szpuk http://andyszpuk.wordpress.com/

9.That Fantasy Blog http://thatfantasyblog.com/

10. Fabulous Realms http://ashsilverlock.com/

I would like to mention the wonderful blogs of Katrina Jack http://kateannejack.wordpress.com/¬†, Tricia Drammeh http://theclaimingwords.com/, A.F.E. Smith http://afesmith.com/ and Emily McKeon http://www.theabsenteeblogger.blogspot.com/ but I’m trying not to mention those which Kay already nominated. ūüėÄ xx

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Funny Friday…Darwin may not be amused, but we are!

Well, my ‘Daily Hello’ has decidedly taken a more weekly turn.

So, it’s Friday. The chocolate excesses of Easter are over, though a scary amount of it lingers in my cupboard!

Spring has certainly sprung. Glorious drifts of daffodils, grape hyacinth and bluebells remind us of what a magical time of year this is.

But, for those of us still struggling under April showers, towering petrol prices, broken New Year resolutions (i.e. ruined diets) and a general gloomy economic climate…here is something that can’t fail to lighten your mood and put the funny in Friday!

…Behold, the glory of ‘The Darwin Awards’!

The  Darwin Awards are out!!!!

Yes, it’s that magical time of year again¬† when the Darwin Awards are bestowed,
honouring the least evolved among  us.
Here  is the glorious winner:
1. When his 38 calibre  revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach ,  California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire  wonder.. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it  worked.
And now, the honourable  mentions:
2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland¬† lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around,¬† submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence¬† sent out one of its men to have a look for himself.. He tried the machine and he¬† also lost a finger.. The chef’s claim was approved.
3. A man who shovelled snow for an hour to  clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle  to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot  her.
4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal¬† bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed¬† to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his¬† incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting¬† there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital,¬† telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre¬† fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
5. An American teenager was in the  hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train.  When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply  trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was  hit.
6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K,¬† put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the¬† cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register,¬† which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and¬† fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from¬† the drawer… $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a¬† crime committed?]
7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some¬† beer pretty badly.. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a¬† liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and¬† heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the¬† would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window¬† was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on¬† videotape….
8. As a female shopper exited a New York¬† convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911¬† immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the¬† snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in¬† the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and¬† told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer,¬† that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”
9.. The Ann Arbor News crime column¬† reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan at 5 A.M.,¬† flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he¬† couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion¬† rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast… The man,¬† frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]
10. When a man attempted to siphon¬† gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he¬† got much more than he bargained for.. Police arrived at the scene to find a very¬† sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman¬† said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his¬† siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the¬† vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever¬† had.
In the interest of bettering mankind,¬† please share these with friends and family….
Unless of course one of these individuals¬† by chance is a distant relative or long lost friend…
In that case, be glad they are distant and  hope they remain lost.

*** Remember…. They walk among us, they can reproduce***

Just SOOOOO funny! A HUGE thank you to Will for forwarding this to me.

Have a great weekend everyone! ūüėÄ