Friday, 28 December 2012

The Best Year of my Life (so far)

The title says it all really. Though this may be slightly premature, I feel like I should share this stuff, because this year has changed me in ways I can never fathom. I've grown as a person and learned a lot. My comprehension of the world has blurred and focused, drifting from sense to madness, which is how the world works I guess. I've done my fair amount of crying and swearing and screaming, but the good will always outweigh the bad. Always.

So, let the beautifully unorganised (can a list be unorganised? It sounds like an oxymoron...) lists begin.

The Glittering Highlights of this Year

Immersing myself in Nerdfighteria and discovering what it is like to be surrounded with people just like you.

Reading all the John Green books

Meeting up with Rose more times than I can count

Finishing Wolfbane

Starting Arwyn, and consequently finishing Arwyn (I do have proper plans for Arwyn, which I will divulge with you at a later date)

Learning Classical Greek/two poems/a very long, complicated song

Discovering Figment and its amazing community of writers

Watching BBC Sherlock and reading all the canon books and stories, teaching me that knowledge is useless when you have no friends or loved ones

Going to see Elbow (the band, not the joint)

Discovering Tumblr, which is a biggie

The world not ending

Talking to new people (both internet and real life) and making new friends, which I needed... desperately needed

Doing work experience in Voltaire and Rousseau

Spending time with my sister/cats

Realising my dreams of becoming a author

Getting good marks in my exams

And above all, discovering myself. It sounds pointlessly cliché, but this is year where I stopped and thought about the world and where I stood in it. This was year that has made me read everything and watch fireworks in wonder, wondering how they work, the year that has made me discard fashion on the basis that I don't care about other people's opinions any more. I know I'm selfish sometimes and that I can be patronising but now I know, and now I can change. I've learned more and read more and done more in this one year than the rest of my life, and finally, I have seen a tiny glimpse of myself in the mist, just enough to give me closure. I'm still lost and confused and scared of the world around me, but the beauty is shining brighter than ever before, and for that, I am grateful.  


Of course, there are more, but those will do just now. I won't post the list of bad things just now - it is considerably shorter, but it will no doubt make me depressed/make you depressed.

It's been another year and I want to thank you. The bad things have made me neglect this blog a bit - I've been so drained and stressed the creative side of me simply gave up and died for a while - but I promise 2013 will be better. Thank you for staying with me. The support has made everything I written and done possible, and without you, I never would have the confidence I do now.

Thank you.


Friday, 14 December 2012

I'm Officially Published!

Hi! This is big news, for me at least. I am published! Properly published, in a e-book, that you can buy and hold and read and read again. Aasdfghjkl. Scuse the excitement, but this is BIG (for me)

Let me explain. A few months ago, I found a short story competition organised by a nerdfighter, for nerdfighter (If that means nothing to you, I suggest you click this and do some research!) The theme was "An Act of Charity" and so, like any sane writer would do, I decided to enter, writing a short story called Blind Hope.

A few weeks ago, the results of the comp came out. I didn't win, but I was one of the fifteen writers chosen to be published in an anthology! Needless to say, I was bouncing around the place like a rabbit on drugs. Twas fun ^-^ And, as of Wednesday, the book was published for you to buy online/on your kindle. Yey!


The anthology costs $2.99 and it's filled with awesome, creative, funny, beautiful (I'm running out of adjectives to describe the amazingness) stories. And the best part is, every cent raised goes to charity!

If you want to buy it click here or here! I'll be posting my story up here later, but I doubt the other authors will do that ^-^


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Oh.

Long time no see! I apologise for the absence, but I've had exams and various personal problems that needed taking care of, and as a result I've no time to write. But still, here's a new story for you! I wrote this as part of a timed writing practice for my English exam, so it's not very long/very good. It made my Dad chuckle though, so hopefully you'll enjoy it too.

It's called, quite simply, 'Oh'.



The plane journey was always the most relaxing part of the holiday, Nicola thought. You could kick your feet up, read a book, watch a movie, and, if you were in first class, be fed peanuts  and pretzels by grovelling staff with plastic smiles - much nicer than biting mosquitoes and scorching sun. However, today, Nicola was finding it hard to get comfortable. She fluffed up her pillow, leaned back in her chair and snapped down an eyemask, only to pull it back up a few seconds later to rearrange her bed socks. The in-flight movie - an angry hum in the background - made her strangely uneasy and not even her iPod could calm her jittery nerves. She guessed it was natural under the circumstances.

It’s not very often a homicidal maniac sits next to you on a plane.

The man was tall with hollow eyes and beautiful brown hair that shone slightly in the artificial light.  To any ordinary person, he looked like a respectable businessman, but Nicola knew better. She recognised him from the Russian newspapers. Alexi Ivanovatch was his name and he had murdered three people a few years ago. He had grown his hair out, acquired a tight goatee and swapped his blood stained machete for a thick of wad of papers and a black leather briefcase, but there was no mistaking him. Nicola would recognise that smile anywhere. It had first hit her when she was reading the newspaper, and now, sitting beside him, Nicola could feel her heart racing in her chest and her stomach folding in on itself.

The man’s head tilted towards her and Nicola glanced away, crimson flowers blossoming on her cheeks. She really shouldn’t have been attracted to a mass murderer but she had always had a thing for people with power, for people who were dangerous. It made her eyes twinkle like stars and the tips of her fingers drum nervously off her thigh.

With an almost feline grace, the man stood up from his seat and sauntered down the aisle, slipping past a hostess with a well placed pivot and a leap to the side. He bent down beside another man and smiling, started talking, his silky voice reverberating down the plane and into Nicola’s ears. The man, who was beefy and thick, a tree trunk with slightly more belly than was aesthetically pleasing, whispered back, his face straight and calm. The conversation passed back and forth for a few more minutes, dull of quiet murmurs and silent nods, and then, touching his thigh, Alexi stared walking back to his seat. His eyes locked onto Nicola’s for a moment before glancing away and leaving Nicola to stutter.

There was no doubt in her mind as to what had just happened. The beefy guy, whose convex stomach could seen sticking out into the aisle, was obviously a henchman, being given instructions. There was a gun concealed on Alexi’s thigh - she knew this because bad guys always had a gun strapped to their legs in films - and he had touched it subconsciously. Was it a warning? A signal? Was he going to kill her? Nicola stifled a strangled squeak and pushed her small body backwards into the chair, trying to make her body crumple, to fold in on itself until nothing existed, just an empty seat and an open book. Alexi seemed much less attractive now that he was planning to kill her, and she shrunk back as he approached.

Hours of terrified, awkward silence seemed to pass before anyone spoke.

“Would you like a peanut?”

Nicola shook her head and slowly, carefully, picked up the pair of headphones by her chair and slipped them over her ears. She tried to remember the nature programme she had watched few weeks ago. No sudden movements. Remain still. She had the vague notion that the animal following these guidelines had been mauled by a grizzly bear.

There was a tap on her shoulder and Nicola jumped, every muscle in her body tensing and relaxing at the same time. Alexi’s deep eyes, the colour of the sea, and flecked with the crests of white waves, looked imploringly into hers. “You forgot to turn the television on.”

Nicola froze. Was it some sort of Russian code for “You die now?” He didn’t sound very Russian - in fact, he had a Manchester accent - but Nicola knew better than to be fooled. They had teachers for that sort of thing.

Opening her mouth to ask for a quick, painless death, Alexi reached over and clicked a button on the seat in front of her. The television screen lit up and gunshots ricocheted through Nicola’s brain, the guns being fired in time with the beating of her panicked heart.

“There you are.” There was a moment of silence, a gap in the air and, glancing at a gleaming watch, Alexi said, “The film ends in half an hour.”

Now that had to be code. But for what? A thought struck Nicola and she let out a terrified whimper. He was going to hijack the plane.  Why else would he need a henchman and a gun?

She had to do something.

In retrospect, she should have thought about the other possibilities. Like the fact he wasn’t actually Russian. Or the fact that the beefy guy was not his partner in crime, but his partner in life. Or the fact that the ordinary statement was not code, but was, in fact, an ordinary statement.

In retrospect, he shouldn’t have punched him.

It was al over in a second. The sickening crunch of bone against bone and the dull thud as his shocked, limp body, hit the floor. There was blood coming from his nose and his head slipped to his thigh. Nicola stamped on it with her heels, the sharp stiletto point slicing through flesh and snapping bone. He screamed and Nicola was suddenly aware of two large hands forcing her backwards into the seat. The beefy man was running towards his partner’s crumpled, moaning body, which was now being hoisted onto two empty seats. It was then Nicola noticed the flat line of his trousers.

“Oh.”

Two metal claws snapped round her wrists.

 “Oh.”

Two hands lifted her upwards and leading her to small, dark room.

“Oh.”

The door closed and everything was silent.

“Oh.”