Feeling Craft-y: Journaling Ideas

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I never realised until recently, but I’ve been journaling my whole life. Even before I knew what journaling was, or before I could write, my mum has been keeping chronicles of pictures I’ve drawn and notes I’ve written throughout my years.

I then kept diaries when I was an angst-y teenager, which I eventually ended up throwing away or ripping up because I was too embarrassed about my feelings and thoughts. But now I’m older, and have developed a love of writing, and have gained confidence in owning my own feelings and thoughts, I have found a beloved hobby in journaling.

I love nothing more than putting on some music, or a film, sitting back with a pen or pencil, and letting my hand roam freely across the page. Sometimes when I’m on a train, I’ll put my headphones in and write down my thoughts and ideas, or how I’m feeling today. It’s great to look back on, especially when the pages are linked to significant life events, or strong memories.

So what do you journal about? I agree that there is nothing more daunting than a blank page, but that shouldn’t be what restricts you, it should be what frees you. You can put anything you want to on that page. But just in case you get a bit stuck, here are some ideas for pages in your journal to get you started.

About Me

What’s your name? When is your birthday? Where were you born? Are you left handed or right handed? What colour are your eyes? What colour is your hair?

Journaling is all about YOU and everything connected to your identity, what you think, what you feel, how you see the world and more. Don’t be afraid to be selfish with your journal.

Bucket List

Before you die, what do you want to have achieved? Do you want to donate blood? Sky dive? Milk a cow? Learn a language? Ride an elephant?

Journals are a great way of keeping focused on an idea or thought. You can dedicate a whole page to the idea that someday you want volunteer or own your own house. You could even fill your page with wallpaper samples!

Wish List

If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?

Journaling is also about escaping reality and letting your imagination roam free. If you wanted, you could buy a quad bike to ride around your mansion. The possibilities are endless and your responsibilities don’t exist inside your journal.

Things to Learn

Knitting? Photography? The Off-Side Rule? Perhaps you just want to write down the definition of a difficult word that you keep forgetting.

Things to Buy

The latest season of your favourite TV show, or the dress you’ve had your eye on the past few weeks? Even if you can’t afford it, money knows no boundaries in your journal.

Road Trips to Make and Countries to Visit

Do you fancy trailing along Route 66, or driving across Europe and back again? Where in the world would you go if you could go anywhere?

Job Titles I Want

Professional bed tester? Professional tea and coffee taster? Professional Netflix watcher? I know these are three jobs I would jump at the chance to do.

Those are just a handful of the pages I have in my journal, along with lots of free writing, strands of poetry, novel ideas, character names, narratives, letters to various people, list of books I want to read, films I want to see, notes, plans, ideas, favourite foods, my favourite types of coffee, celebrities I love, wishes, hopes and dreams, and much more.

Ultimately, journals are all about having fun. Let me know down in the comments if you love to journal, and what is your favourite page?

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25 Facts About Me

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Want to get to know me better? Want to know the facts behind the display picture? Here are twenty five facts about me.

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  1. In 2015, I read roughly 80 books.
  2. I’m left-handed.
  3. I can fold my tongue in half width ways. 1458657629148
  4. I am a Virgo, as are my mother and grandmother. (But I have a Cancer ascendant and a Pisces Midhaven.)
  5. I’m the opposite to Harry Potter. I look exactly like my mother but I have my father’s eyes.
  6. I have double jointed arms. 1458657247989.jpg
  7. My favourite authors are John Green, JK Rowling, Dorothy Koomson, Laurie Halse Anderson and E Lockhart.
  8. I have a record player, and I love to listen to my parent’s old LPs.
  9. My favourite era of history is the Tudor dynasty.
  10. I love scented candles, some of my favourites are cinnamon and caramel.
  11. I queued up at midnight to get my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  12. I am an avid fan of musicals. Favourites include, Billy Elliot, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, RENT, Sweeney Todd, and more.
  13. I am a published poet, and have been published in print and online.
  14. I love a band called The Maine and I am a huge fan of Paramore and Fleetwood Mac.
  15. I have a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Winchester.
  16. I wear glasses full time.
  17. I have written a novel titled The Last Four Years.
  18. I have two tattoos.
  19. I have visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL and the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford.
  20. I love journaling and scrapbooking.
  21. I have three piercings. My nose, my ear lobes and my labret.
  22. I am a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw. A Huffleclaw.
  23. I am a stationary fiend!
  24. I can play the drums and the piano to a basic level.
  25. I love to highlight, write in, deface and dog-ear my books. I say they’re well loved.

Hope you enjoyed these facts about me and let me know down in the comments if you want to see more.

Top 5 Ways to Organise Your Bookshelves

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As I’ve established before, I’m a Virgo. I am a Virgo how loves to organise, or faff, as I call it. I faff with my books mostly, and because I have so many it usually takes a lot of time, but still I’ve faffed with my books every which way. So here are my top ways to organise your bookshelves.

1

A-Z

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So this seems relatively straightforward, but if you’re constantly looking through your bookshelves then this may be the most effective way to catalogue them.

2

By Spine Colour

rainbow 2

Whether you decide on a book rainbow, black and white alternating or an explosion of colour, this is a great way to use your books as art.

3

By Genre

genre

The genres I tend to use when shelving this way are: classics, YA series (which usually are fantasy or dystopian), YA standalones, plays, poetry, non-fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, gothic fiction (which sometimes crosses over to the classic genre), letters and journals, special/collectors editions, and many more!

4

By Themes or Other

theme

Fairy tale re-tellings are a firm favourite with me, along with Tudor era books, magic realism, time travel, dystopian worlds, road trips, multiple POV narrative, first person narration, stories in verse, stories in journal form, and many more!

5

Favorites First

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Sometimes the best way to show off your books is to put your favourites up front. I love to show off my Harry Potter books as well as my little Chronicles of Narnia paperbacks. I also love showing off my cool Divergent: Special Edition copy and my Looking for Alaska first edition copy, too. This really gives your bookshelf a unique twist, and shows just what you love in the world of reading!

Let me know in the comments how you like to shelve your books. At the moment, I’ve gone for rainbow theme, but to be honest, with all of these options, I’ll be forever changing them!

blue butterfly – the story of us

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The first day I met him, he was

in my coffee shop on the corner

of St. George’s street.

 

It was Friday, at just gone 4pm

and I was drying latte glasses

putting them back on the shelf.

 

He could have gone

to McDonalds across the road for

‘Caution: Extra Hot’ coffee,

but he didn’t seem like the kind of

extra this or that guy.

 

The rain came down

like shards of fine, broken up,

smooth by the time it hit the ground.

Rain always made me want to dance,

but I had other glass to clean.

 

It spotted his grey zip up,

with a hood he never took shelter in.

The ends of his long hair,

rat like and straight

down his back.

 

Hands dug deeply

into his pockets, he ordered a

‘Coffee’

I asked, ‘what kind?’

And he shrugged.

Most people ask for

A skinny shot extra hot combination

lock to unlock their tired eyes

and mac computers sitting hunched,

so over, hung, over,

one by one like single strands of unnumbered days,

wired up to their life support

with spaghetti strap beat makers.

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But he just looked at me

With his brown eyes

Like he just needed something,

And so I poured him a coffee.

 

I made him my favourite.

A caramel macchiato,

Sweet and to the point.

He paid in silvers and sat

at the window

counting the droplets on

the smeared window pane.

 

He even took out a notebook

and pen, a walking cliché

except for his hair.

His hair, I liked.

 

I served a trickle of other

non-people, and eventually forgot

all about him

sitting in the corner of my coffee shop, half hidden by

A peace lily

until just before closing when I had finished cleaning

the glass. He got up and returned his cup.

‘Thank you.’

And I watched him go, reaching

for the handle.

‘Hey,’ I called after him.

He turned, biting his lip gently.

‘Got time for another?’

He shuffled, momentarily.

‘On the house.’

With a smile, he sat

at the bar, I placed down the last glass

on my shelf, fresh and warm from the dishwasher.

 

We laughed and talked

about our pasts, our backgrounds

in music. I thought about how I would find

the words to write all of this down.

‘Aren’t we just a pair of clichés?’ I laughed.

He shook his head, sliding over a piece

of paper

of his heart

with his name and number

tattooed onto: our fingertips touched.

‘Stories always have to begin somewhere.’

 

He showed me the West End.

We walked, arms linked, side by side, together, smiling

up at the lights, darting between

the dark clouds spitting

into our eyes.

‘Somehow, it’s always raining,’ I mused,

thinking about other places

he might take me.

 

We hop-scotched

shots of single malt

our expensive taste

of what was not

us,

smoke and mirrors,

fake names, dinner and a show.

We skipped the show

to walk along the thames,

dropping pencil to paper scratched

dreams and fears

into: the current.

 

We watched them float

away, holding the idea

of them in our mouths, the same warm taste

of the day we’d had. And even then

I missed him. I missed the way he didn’t

even need to look at me before

his hand held mine. I knew then.

I knew I wanted to tell him

what was written on my

float away dream.

How I’d found the words

to write and tell, how all of this began.

 

In the sea air, I breathe

him in, and feel

the weight clasping against my back

bone. The shore whispers,

“he’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone,”

and I throw stones to silence

them, until my arm aches.

 

First was his throat,

sore, and with the occasional tissue,

covered in blood. His light,

The second, when he could not express

his need for solace

in the dim darkness

of his bedroom,

where the curtains hung limp

like peeled skin.

 

I just lay beside him,

my arms wrapped around

and entwined my fingers in his silky hair.

But that was just. It.

The third.

I knew then, the moment

the first strand came apart, still laced

through my fingertips.

I knew then how he would leave me.

And how the day I met him

could never be described as a tragedy

and how it could never be a loss,

because from him, I had gained more

than a life, more

than his heart, more

than just another cup of coffee.

This time I didn’t need to find the words.

And neither could he.

‘Our lives in turn will always become great stories; it’s just finding the person to pass it on that matters.’

 

The sea never gave me any comfort.

Not before today.

But somehow it tells me,

with the gentle to and fro of the tide,

that nothing in this world will ever really leave us,

and if it does, it will always come back,

one way or another.

#NaNoWriMo – Week 3

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We are on the home stretch, WriMos! And what a week it’s been. Let’s look at the stats to see how we did:

week3

My goal was to reach forty thousand words by the end of this week which I’m happy to say that I achieved. At the end of last week, I got through to the end of part two of my story, and so this week I embarked on writing part three which I also finished.

Although I’ve come to the end of my story, linear speaking, I’ve been aiming to write the bare bones of my story for far, and so have spent the last two or three days going back through my story and fleshing out areas with extra description and characterisation that I skimmed over in my first draft. Once again, this took me up to the end of part two once again, and so for the last week of NaNoWriMo, I’ll look at polishing off part three.

I’m so proud of everyone who has reached their winning stage of NaNoWriMo. Everyone who has been taking part has done so well, but even if you haven’t reached your personal writing goals, know that you wrote more this month than you would have, had you not been participating. In my eyes, everyone is a winner!

#NaNoWriMo – Week 1

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As a NaNoWriMo newbie, the fact I have survived my first week and lived to tell the tale is an accomplishment in itself! But just to give you an idea of what my progress has been like, here are the stats.

week 1

My personal goal has been to try to write two thousand words per day, just because overall I would like to have sixty thousand words at the end of the month than fifty. The reason for this being that my novel is clearly split into three parts and I would like each part to be roughly twenty thousand each. At the moment, my first week took me to the end of part one, which as you can see is around fourteen thousand words, so it’s likely my first draft will take me up to around fifty, with another ten thousand left to elaborate on areas that have not been explored.

I’ve really enjoyed engaging with everyone on twitter using the hashtags and watching YouTube videos on the progress of other participants. Being able to write along with everyone else has been such a positive aspect of NaNoWriMo and I would definitely give this as a reason to take part again.

As for the next coming week, if I can write roughly another fifteen thousand then I would be halfway through my sixty thousand word goal, and halfway through NaNoWriMo itself.

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So proud to announce that my poem “Leap Year (after Ulysses)” has been published in the first edition of “Think Pink”