10 November 2012

British Gas Issue M*****

Okay, so your Gas meter is reading M***** (no i'm not swearing)
So what do you do?
Well we had this issue recently and after taking the card out, wiping the chip with a dry cloth and putting it back in we still got the same.
So we contacted British Gas, and the lady was extremely helpful, telling us we needed a replacement meter. Within at least four hours ours was replaced (on a Sunday) but that is because we fit a certain criteria putting us ahead of the list so don't expect your situation to be the same or just as quick but you should need a new meter definately. You'll also likely get a new card sent to you as well. Speaking of the card we were also told not to leave it in the meter as it drains the battery, apparently.

Hope this helps

9 September 2012

Now you see me, Now you dont

If the Orange motto is 'the futures bright the futures orange', and the motto for someone taking on the world would be colored green and blue, what colour would it be for someone taking on the web? I'm thinking blueish white, you know like in Tron Legacy.

As of now I am taking a course in Web Design online, thats over 900 hours of lessons across 23 modules in 12 months including modules in running an online business and internet marketing.
Again I found this course with a massive discount (92% to be exact) on the the same website I bought my DNA intolerances test.
This course will also be useful for my photography and bettering my self learnt experience online. I hope to gain a lot from this course but I wanted to let you all know that for a time my online presence might become almost non-existant as I work 114+ hours a month and will need to study approximately 50 hours a month  thats a whole week of my life every month eaten up hourswise. Damn that actually sounds like a lot doesnt it. Anyway I might just set one day a week aside to do the lessons.
I WILL still be writing when I can and I will still try to do my blogs but I think reviews may have to hold off until I am through with it.
A girl can only do so much, I really have to keep telling myself this.

14 July 2012

A Healthier Way of Thinking

Its strange but something in me has physically changed.
Having been raised on meals that practically filled my plate and the "you will clear your plate or have it cold for breakfast" threat from my parents, I am starting to wonder how much of the worlds obesity is down to parents over feeding their children as well as having a fear of wasting food...

Since having my tolerances and intolerances test results back and as well as it being spring (well supposedly but someone needs to let the Gods know) but spring being my switch for health and fitness etc since winter is usually humananities natural time to start piling up the plates with fattening foods to get us through the cold, I've realised something has really changed.

I've completely stopped eating anything with tomato, I have switched my dairy products to lactofree except for yogurts and icecream which i cant find any lactofree ones but I dont have those that often anyway, and my caffeine ... well I'm still eating chocolate and drinking hot chocolate and yesterday i bought my one and only bottle of cherry pepsi but i only have a small glass a day and once the bottle is empty that is it no more.
As for everything else the meals are healthier though relatively the same but smaller.
But thats not what has changed.

For some time I have stopped completely eating bread and potato but I eat wraps (wholemeal) I stopped the potato after discovering I seemed to have put weight on after the previous day eating a jacket potato, everything else I had that day was normal. So I stopped having them and for me this works helping me loose some weight, my body is actually now turning fat in muscle, slowly but surely the snail wins the race.
Here's the thing
Its my mind thats changed!
I cant look at a plate of roast anymore without thinking YUK! I ate that once for like almost 30 years and why because psychologically our parents are telling us food is our friend without actually educating us, and school well that barely taught us a thing about nutrition either.

Ok so over the years our knowledge has improved and increased but, and heres the but, for some people those born pre-naughties (2000) psychologically they cant change because they are stunted, they are literally stuck in a certain way of thinking because it is all they know.
The good thing is, is that this can be changed. If you are serious about losing weight then obviously the first and probably the most important thing you need to change is your way of thinking.

I'm not saying go out shopping one day and buy only healthy options.
What I am saying is look at what you eat and start learning about nutrients and vitamins, if need be have a tolerances and intolerances test, I was lucky enough to have one done cheap and got a vitamins/minerals book with my results so i know where I can find certain Vs/Ms.
Through education you really can change your way of thinking and in turn change your health for the better.
This isnt something a magic pill or crazy diet or even multiple pieces of equipment can do for you, its something you have to do for yourself. Dont be brainwashed, be who you want to be and get there how you want to, there is no easy option its all uphill but knowledge makes it a win win situation because you're making your mind healthier too and learning something in the process that will make your body healthier as well.

Good Luck

7 July 2012

As promised, its complete

Quite a few blogs back I mentioned author Diane Wright for whom I reviewed back in December 2009, I mentioned that I was helping Diane out and would be posting a link here soon. What I have done is this, created Diane a new email addresss not only that but a website, blog, Twitter account and LinkedIn account as well. I have started them all off for her with the info and such I have had available to me.

Diane has written two books The Alfar's Gift and a poetry book called Elan, she is currently working on a sequal to The Alfar's Gift.
You can find all of the links including her facebook link on the home page of her website, the blog is in the tabs at the top and all open in new windows.
If you wish to purchase her book from amazon click the 'books' tabs and click on the image, unfortunately however the book is quite expensive this is down to its publisher, one of which many of us know issues about, however I have this note from Diane herself "I have several copies on hand and if anyone wants a copy I can get it cheaper when they have a sale for the author which they do have periodically. I will be willing to do that until the year is up."
In one year when her contract is up Diane plans to rerelease The Alfar's Gift along with its sequal in the mean time if you are interested in a copy and donot wish to pay the price as seen on amazon then please contact her through the website or one of the social networks.

Please please please help this author out and make her feel welcome, she is a very kind and friendly person but a bit unsure of the whole internet craze and techno gumph. So lets make her feel at home shall we.

Here's the link to her website: http://www.dianewright.webs.com/

Thanks Everyone xxx

23 June 2012

Knowing Your Body

Remember I mentioned about oooh 3 months ago I was taking a Food tolerances and intolerances test? well I got my kit and sent it back.
What should have taken 21 days to recieve results sadly took 46 days excluding weekends. I contacted them twice and on the second go was informed they had posted the results at 21 days and they were having computer trouble but would post results again asap, anywho 2 days later they arrived!

Yes this morning the envelope came through the door and what I read both amazed and confused me apparantly I have to avoid one specific tree, metal, certain fungus and such the list goes on, there are a few foods I have to remove from my diet and I also got a list of vitamins I need to try and increase. Luckily they provide you with a book giving every food you can find these vitamins and minerals in.
So I got to work this morning in typing up and alphabetising one single list of all the foods that contain the vitmains and minerals I need to increase, if any appeared multiple times obviously I'd only add it once. The list came out at 6 pages long.

Not only is this useful in knowing what you can and cannot have but also has the possibility in helping with weightloss, one can only hope. So now we have to put it in progress.
Lately our weather has been see-sawing between hot and extremely wet, I am sure many of you have seen the news reports about the rainfall in England the past few weeks, anyway I've gone back to salads, its more warm where I am on the coast and especially at work - the office is like a sauna!
Today we went shopping, I bought soya milk as apparantly I must avoid lactose which is the sugar in milk, basically my body cannot break up and digest the sugars, so I thought I'd try soya and I have to say its a weird colour, with a weird smell and its going to take some getting used to.

We all have to make a sacrifice and I am starting on mine. You cant do anything without the right information and now I have the right information I can start doing something. I know I only just got the results this morning but this was one of the best things I've done in a while and to have gotten it at discount was a bonus. Was it fate or something I stumbled upon the website that day to see the offer which had only 4 hours remaining in which for me to make a decision and purchase, who knows its done now, perhaps something in the universe was giving me a little nudge in the right direction...

Free Books 2

Ok so this time what I have for you is a GOOD book, no, a GREAT book, one that WILL have you fearing water sources and bathrooms. I reviewed this book some time ago and except for putting the fear of God in me when it came to having to head for the bathroom, it is one book I would recommend again and again and right now it is FREE! But only for a limited time (this Saturday and Sunday) so you'll have to act fast.

The book is called HOSTS and is written by Dylan J. Morgan
You can get a free copy this Saturday and Sunday by visiting either amazon.com or amazon.co.uk and the kindle store.

Believe me this is a book you wont want to miss out on.

Here's my review back from 2008 : http://www.rnhadleybookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/hosts.html

19 June 2012

Mission Deli Wraps idea/tip

Ok so here's something I tried this evening and you know what it wasnt bad at all, and could be a good alternative to bread if you're on a diet.

We all know bread is filling and not good for you if you have too much because it turns to sugar especially if its white bread, well next time you have a soup or a cuppa soup how about this for an idea, switch out your bread for a Mission Deli Wrap! Just tear it up and dunk.

My own personal mix was an Ainsley Harriot Veg chowder cuppa soup and a Wholemeal deli wrap and i have to say it was so much better than having bread / bread and butter.

So next time you see you've got left over wraps and have no idea what to do with them besides the usual wrapping of salads and fruits, try this little idea for size.

18 June 2012

Blackberry 9360 email setup trouble

So you've gone and got yourself  a Blackberry, let me first extend my condolences, if there is one brand of phone I will avoid like the plague because of just how darned confusing they like to make things, it is this one.

For those of you having issues with adding your personal email account to the phone let me try to help, because of all the help my father recieved from both the place of purchase and Vodaphone which was of very little use, it was a 2-3 hour sit down at the computer by myself that actually got the thing working.

Lets get started!

During setup some of you will discover that the email setup is asking for your enterprise account details this is a business account email set up. You dont want this!

The first thing you need to do is set yourself up a log-in with your provider in our case Vodaphone on your computer/laptop.

Next you should inform them that you want the Blackberry Internet Service. Through Vodaphone this can be done on the website by going to Add-ons and simply clicking to add Blackberry Internet Service be warned however this will cost you £5.00 every 30 days!........
......... Unbelievable I know, isn't it enough you bought the phone and will be buying credit/paying a monthly bill!

If you havent already, set up your internet connection through the phone not forgetting to switch on the wireless connection.

When this is done you should do a hard reboot just so we know everything is set right, that means pull off the back and remove the battery without turning off the phone for about 30 seconds.

30 seconds later, put it all back together. And wait the 5 mins for it to reload. I suggest going to make a cuppa.

You should now notice (but it'll be very small) but at the top right hand corner you have a BB logo.

Go back into setup and email. You should now see a Blackberry log-in page.

You need to create a log in unless you have one, if so lucky you, if not its difficult it took me several attempts, your password will need to not have any numbers or letters that are the same AT ALL something like 'bracknell' just wont do you'd have to change it to 'bracknel1' or 'brackne1l'. see what I mean?

With a successuful set up you'll be prompted to enter your email details and given a few minutes a logo will appear on your home screen and shortly all your emails will load.

If none of the above worked I'd suggest checking your Host Routing which you can find by clicking options> device> advanced system settings> Host routing table
If there is nothing on the screen except a browser style box at the top then try clicking the BB menu button and registering. After this try the hard reboot and recheck, if the box is full of text you were successful if not you may want to contact Blackberry direct or whomever you purchased the phone from.

Purchaser, Vodaphone and even yes Blackberry themselves did not provide us with half this information. I hope if you've stumbled upon this blog that it has helped you in setting yours up.

16 June 2012

Free eBooks!

Who doesn't like a free book?
Well you'll be happy to know that Amazon has over 2,000 free ebooks available for download whether you've a kindle or not. You can get Kindle for pc you know, just as good, I've had mine a while and my library is growing.

Anyway my point is not just about this but also today I noticed there are a number of free books about writing. So if you're stuck, starting out, whatever stage you're at this is worth a gander.
There is also a book or two to do with Marketing by Smashwords.

Simply log in to amazon, download kindle / kindle for pc if you dont have it yet and search Free Books, with over 2,000 titles you're bound to find something.

Happy searching :)

24 May 2012


And so the holiday ends, I'm not actually back to work until Monday but I am back reviewing those in my list and back blogging on Sunday and Tuesday. Didn't get any editing done this month but did get a new story idea I am absolutely loving which I am actually going to write by hand instead of type based in 19th century Paris.

The issue with Matt's case is resolved it actually arrived at the house before he did, which was lucky at least he had a change of clothes etc in this heat we have. It is so hot I have burnt.
Saw some great and inspiring movies - Avengers, Dark Shadows, The Hunger Games.
Bought Sherlock Holmes 2 and Underworld Awakening.
All VERY good movies and want to watch again.

Matt should be landing in Phili shortly. I miss him already, my heart aches and if I could I would make it May 15th again.

Why is it, in a world that is always breaking the rules and breaking down barriers, some things still have to be so confusing/difficult?

I know I could just make a wish but you know what my theory is... with the number of people in this world and the number of wishes made on a daily basis, whether people realise they are making them or not, the cosmic inbox is just so over filled not all wishes can be granted. And that is why I don't make wishes there's just too many of them for the universal post office to sort.
Think I'll stick to cosmic ordering instead besides it's more specific, so someone toss me a shooting star already on the clear night I place my order.

I am also working through my gratitude diary from The Magic (book written by the authhor of The Secret) hopefully that'll add some positivity to the different areas of my life and turn certain things around that need it. I'll let you know if it works : )

15 May 2012

Airport Anarchy

Its that time of year again... its May a time when birds sing the sky is finally blue and there is a warmth in the air... or at least thats what it has been like the last few years while this year it dull, grey and at present cold and wet, this morning at about 3am I was woken by the heavens opening up and releasing all of its rain and hail it could in one fell down pour.

And as if things couldnt be anymore worse off today, today marks the start of my holiday, supposedly a good day, I get to see my guy who I've not seen since October last year. But because of the government, the olympics and a certain airports nack for cocking up I am yet again reminded why I choose to go via Gatwick instead.

So why am I peeved well, my guy landed at 09:45 GMT and hell it doesn't take 2 hours to get through customs but apparantly this airport does.
Add to that someone else took his case thinking it was theirs and we have no idea where it currently is.
Plus the phone I gave him to use here ran out of credit already, huh, I know there was plenty on that darn thing.
And not to mention our wonderful coach service has just placed him on a coach to London in order to get one to Fareham...hello... what is wrong with saying there's a direct bus in an hour or so which will get you there sooner, all you gotta do is wait rather than send someone gallivanting back and forth.


And this is why I refuse to go by any other airport than the one I know and love. All hail Gatwick and their sense of doing things properly, well as close to properly as can be for an international airport in a country the size of ours where we have few international airports. I do love their new additions from last year though. You know what, all hail Charlotte, that place has really got the nack of things and ours could learn a few tips from them granted many of Gatwicks new tips were taken from airports in the USA if only this airport could learn a thing or two instead of cutting the amount of staff in customs and on hand rather than sending them away to deal with the queue jumpers who spend £1800.00 extra to jump the queue and sip champagne.

I am fuming.
Do you think I can go to sleep and start today over better where everything goes right instead of wrong?

14 May 2012

Techno-babble - Samsung Galaxy Europa

It is not often that you will find me mentioning technology like this but I just couldn't help myself.
Being someone who loves Google and has been using them for a number of years I was extatic when the Samsung Galaxy Europa with Google was released.

If any of you, like me, are Google fanatics, this is one phone you'll want to get your hands on.
As soon as you link your google account, all of your contacts and images become available on the phone, but be aware you will if you want, have to tweak the contacts list so that only contacts with phone numbers appear else you end up with a massive list that takes forever to get through.
And because my blogger images are available I can use these images as my backgrounds (currently supermoon)

So what does it have that makes it so special:

Touchscreen - easy to handle
Wifi - always handy
Camera and Gallery - for photographing those moments you may never see again
Music - to block out the outside world
Write and Go - for updating your status on the go for facebook, myspace and twitter.
Voice dialler and search 
News and Weather
Social Hub
Google Maps
Plus settings, clock, navigation, messages, games etc etc etc

For such a small phone and one that isn't expensive I for one love it, now having my emails available on the go like this should free me up some time, I was starting to hate checking my email because of having so many newsletters and emails that simply get dumped immediately. Now I can do that throughout the day and just waste my time reading the important ones later when I have time. Thus freeing up my reading and writing time by checking my emails instead of when i get home from work, but on my way to work, from work and during my break.

Whether I have convinced you or not, doesn't worry me that is not what this blog is about, but I really think this phone deserves a good look especially if you're someone who has a google account (ie: gmail, youtube, blogger etc).
Even if you don't have a google account you can create one through it or use your own email address.
I won't lie, having a google account does make the set up quicker because all of your email contacts are added simply by you signing in when setting up your account through the phone.

So if you want a touchscreen phone but can't afford one of those over priced do-hickeys, don't snub them completely just yet, with the Samsung Galaxy Europa costing around £50.00 ($80.00 USA) this also makes for a good try it to see if you like it phone. Not everyone can handle touchscreen, my dad certainly can't, hence me ending up with his which I am absolutely in love with.

Believe it or not I've only been using this phone for one whole day : ) 

10 May 2012

The Closest Chicago deep dish this side of the Atlantic

Its true!
I had a wonderful idea, followed the yellow brick road and walla, the memories came flooding back.
For those of you who dont know, I live in England and visit the States once a year, and at least once during my time we order a Chicago deep dish pizza. yum. From my own experience we have nothing nowhere near it WHAT-SO-EVER here in the UK, which is a shame I really feel we're missing out on a yummalicious experience (yes i created a new word) Anywho after this little combo all my memories came flooding back and of the things I miss in the ol' US of A.
So here behold my recipe.

Shortcrust pastry block (I used ready made, its quicker)
Chicken (yep I cheated again and used ready cooked, cut and frozen)
Red Pesto approx half a small jar
Grated Mature Cheddar
Half beef tomato sliced
Half mozzarella sliced (I used light as never had it before)
Red / yellow pepper if wanted

Roll out your pastry and line your tin/silicon quiche pan.
If you have baking beans, line the pastry in the pan with baking paper and fill with beans then bake for about 10 minutes. Be careful the pastry will shrink back from where you made your cuts!
Remove from oven. Remove beans and baking paper.
Spread half the total amount of pesto over the pastry.
Add the sliced beef tomato.
Add some sliced  mozzarella.
Add some pepper if you wanted them.
Sprinkle on some chicken.
Add the other half the pesto over as much as possible.
Then sprinkle on grated cheddar.
Cook until pastry is golden and cheese melted.

Serve with side salad and enjoy!

*Be aware pastry may need longer to cook underneath, probably best to add an extra 5-10 minutes in oven after removing beans but before adding ingredients just to make sure.

Although mine didnt come out deepdish the pizza itself was deep in fillings, it was yummy and gave a similar taste to the Chicago Deepdish

24 April 2012

News about blogs

As of today I now have 4 blogs with blogger, while they do all stand individually I have managed to link them all as separate pages however if you wish to subscribe via email to any of them feedburner with whom you subscribe to my blogs through only does this individually. So by being linked as pages you can either subscribe to just one and check in regularly or subscribe to each.

These blogs are (as listed in the above tabs):

The Good, The Bad and The Downright Disturbing
-A blog for pretty much anything from life, art, articles and updates

Something Inspirational This Way Comes
-Inspirational Images found on the web every Sunday.

Literally Busy
-Writing based aimed at being informative and helpful to other writers. If you have something you'd like to post here let me know and we'll take a look. I'd like other writers to get involved in this one writing articles, posting tips/suggestions etc if possible. Hopefully on a Tuesday as I have a little more time but we'll see how that goes, if I need to change days I will let you all know.

Book Reviews
-self explanatory now with an added request a review page.


Rachel x

17 April 2012

My Rules/Methods of Reviewing

With communcation at a high and almost every home having a computer, online sales are growing so too with this is the requests for reviews be it for a book, cd, ipad or lawnmower. With everyone having the ability to post reviews to hand and with the introduction of social networks, one would think that people would grasp the intelligence to understand the importance of being careful about how they not only portray themselves but also what they say about others and objects. Of course objects don't have feeling or do they? we arent entirely sure, but the people behind the products do have feelings. A poor review is not only damaging for the products sales but also the company/people behind it and in turn you the reviewer. If you are incapable of giving an honest review then your opinion has no place in being heard and you should simply keep your mouth shut!
As the saying goes "honesty is the best policy" and it truly is, not only are you doing good for the product and its creators but by giving an honest review you are painting yourself in a good light that more people will in fact be willing to listen to you.
Lets not forget here however that an honest review does not neccessarily mean a good product. An honest review takes time and effort.

Having read a blog an hour ago also about reviewing where a poor review was given simply on book length, I felt myself compelled to reveal my own rules and methods for writing reviews.

1. When you first recieve a request, do not reply at least not yet.

2. Research the author then the book. Never do I accept a review without learning of the author first, one can't be too careful online these days especially with files to download, once happy someone is legit I'll read what I can about the book itself then decide.

3. Decide if the book is enough to your liking that you feel you can read it and review it. Do not accept unless you have read a description.

4. Request relevant information regarding number of chapters and pages, publisher and any other info you feel you want to include.

5. Put together a bio of the author, everyone likes to know something about authors that they can relate to.

6. Maintain an open mind, this cannot be stressed enough.

7. I am never without an open word doc on my laptop or a notepad close to hand whilst reading, you can never tell when something will spark a thought or emotion. As much as the saying "always carry a pad and pen" refers to authors and reporters, it is also just as relevant for reviwers.

8. Whatever comes to mind, always write it down. Whether these notes are used or not, translated or not is down to you when you finish the review.

9. When you have all your notes put together your description of the book.

10. Write your opinion of the book in as much detail as possible, you dont have to be perfect but a good opinion will give other potential readers something to bounce off.

11. Summarise. Age recommendation and grading be it stars, hearts or whatever symbol you choose.

12. Have fun and enjoy.

13. One of the most important rules is never give up. While a book can start off extremely bad, it doesn't mean the end will be. Perhaps something interesting will happen or there will be an unusual twist. If you aren't willing to find out, you have absolutely no right what-so-EVER to write a review for it.

14. If by some chance you get stuck on something, talk to the author, especially if it is about a subject you do not understand.

15. Be polite and professional and give reasonable deadlines.

16. When publishing the review, offer the author a digital copy and produce links to your blog and, let the author know where else you have published and when it is likely to become available (e.g. amazon = upto 48 hours)

17. Thank the author for the opportunity - not only are you doing something for them but they have done something for you.

18. Sometimes on occasion you may stumble upon a book which lacks a certain something, whilst this can be damaging, do not solely give a damning review for it, know your grading and let the author know why they lost the points.

19. As an added bonus I spell check as I read however I do not let this influence my reviewing but it is up to you whether you do or not. In my case I include this in the email sending the returned review, I understand how writing blends together when writing a novel and after many passes the writers mind fills in the missing words so some are missed; I also understand that those that manage to use an outsourced editor cannot afford a top notch one first time and so items are missed, of course this is down to the author to check but then I am sure they again have their minds fill the missing words. It happens more often than not.

Anyone can write but not everyone can produce an immaculate book and some reviewers tend to forget this and let it influence the outcome of their review.
One thing to remember is while you are a reviewer, so too are you being reviewed by your readers.

14 April 2012

Whats in a pen name?

There are a number of reasons for a writer to have a pen name be it protection for themselves or their family, a way of simply keeping the outside world out of their everyday life perhaps even to give a name to a separate voice used to write with, to escape a past or change who they are. There are a number of reasons and usually each writer will have a different reason for choosing one.

So how do you go about choosing a pen name? do you simply choose the name of something you like or that represents you? or do you pain-stakingly sit down and figure out every single word that you can make of the letters of your name?

In my case when I was in college I made the discovery that there were two of me.
As the story goes everyone has a doppleganger and well I guess the same can be said for names as well.
Turns out this girl lived less than a mile from where I grew up as well.

So in part because of this reason and because every time I search for RNHadley I get Radley which is some accessories designer in London and the name of a village here in the UK, I have looked into pen names a few times over the years. And while a few times I did think I had found a good name it turned out someone already had it and that person was a writer.

Although my method was to use the letters of my own name, none of them felt quite right. However with a slight adjustment I think that quite possibly I have found the perfect name one of which states that there are several layers to who I am and that I have red hair. Obviously for the moment I will keep looking researching each individual name but for the moment I really like this one, and from what I can see no-one else has used it.

So will you use a pen name? what will your method be? and what does your pen name say about you?

12 April 2012

For Authors Seeking Cover Art

As writers I am sure many of you can agree that when our lives aren't the one thing taking up all our time, it is also our writing and in this sometimes there are slip-ups be it editing, not creating an online presence, websites, or perhaps even our own cover art. Sometimes we are so focussed on actually writing the story we forget that the first thing to catch a readers eye before the title of a book is the cover art, and it is the cover art that gets overlooked until last minute and sometimes, just sometimes, we settle for something that is not quite right or befitting to our work because we were in such a rush to publish. But this doesn't have to be the case!

For some of us we accept that publishers provide for us covers for our work through their own artists, photographers etc. For others we just don't know where to start looking, artists, illustrators, photographers, graphic artists, the list is long but not as long as the list of names of the artists themselves.
So to clear the fog so to speak, let me introduce you to one man and his art.

Lampros Kalfuntzos aka 3ddream is a 3D graphic artist, and web designer born in Athens Greece and living in the UK. Self taught in photoshop and with a Master of Arts in 3D Digital Design and a BA (hons) Design: Multimedia Graphics, Lampros has made a name for himself across the United Kingdom with clients from IBM, Sage, Fujitsu, and Microsoft as well as actresses, models, individual businesses and yes, even writers! His work is fantasy based and is inspired by the likes of Final Fantasy and mythology and have featured in a number of online magazines (see personal website for complete resume).

Lampros is currently accepting freelance work whilst working on his own art projects for sale through a number of galleries including deviant art and zazzle. Please see the above youtube video with a selection of his work and below for links to a number of Lampros' online haunts.

If you would like Lampros to work with you on cover art for an upcoming book then please drop him an email through his website or one of his social networks.

Dreams really can come true
and you can have the cover
your book deserves!

Personal Website : http://www.3ddream.net/home.htm
Interview : http://www.creativeboom.co.uk/south-east/features/five-minutes-with-lampros-kalfuntzos/
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lampros-Kalfuntzos/16247260039
LinkedIn : http://uk.linkedin.com/in/3ddream
Youtube : http://www.youtube.com/3ddream
Zazzle : http://www.zazzle.co.uk/3ddream

10 April 2012

Short Cuts, I Think Not!

Ok tv is starting to annoy me. Or more specifically premiering movies here in the UK once they reach tv.
What is it with the need to cut things out?

This Friday just gone Thor premiered on sky for the first time. Now I saw Thor back last year when I was in the states and I saw it at least 3 maybe 4 times so I know there are at least two scenes missing from the movie.
1. Being Thor and Erik singing
2. Thor replacing a mug in the cafe

Sure these scenes aren't entirely important, but they are part of the whole story, one ties up a loose end with Thor's own character but it completely throws out the beginning of the scene that they left in there of him making breakfast, and the other is bonding/acceptance between characters.

So what if this were a book? This reminds me of the whole "it was Dobby not Neville!" instance in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book and movie, when Dobby was completely dropped as a character in the movies before returning at the very end of the series, what was the point in that other than to simply please the fans after annoying them for what 3 movies and then still have Dobby die. Was it to please fans? or simply to put Dobby to rest? Or because no-one else could get Harry out of that house? if it was the latter then I hope the makers were kicking themselves afterwards because Dobby was a mass loved character and should have been in those previous movies.

I hate these instances, they're annoying! If it is in the book and it is part of the story then it dont need changing! If we all took shortcuts nothing would be done properly. If we took shortcuts in writing, the stories would never be complete.
Is it really so difficult to just leave things be!?

2 April 2012

A Girls Gotta Do, What A Girls Gotta Do.

Today glancing at a few things on my computer I made a most shocking discovery, if you take into account that my series is planned to be nine books in length and add all the other stories I've thought up over the last few years, my total story count is 25 not all are full length novels though, at least 3 are short stories.
Also, this does not include much from my notebooks or anything from the box in the corner.
Some of these stories are simply a paragraph idea, others are a page long and some are a chapter or two started. Oh and yes thats including the couple I've completed.

Lets face it, I'm screwed! If I write one story a year its going to take 25 years, even if I write 2 a year its going to take me 12 and a half years and who knows how many other story idea's I'll gather over those years to add on top of the list. However long it is going to take I am screwed.

To get these written I'm going to have to up my game or at least treat every month or every other month like its Nanowrimo. Not only this but I think I may have to decrease my output of book reviews to at least one a month. I've loved doing my book reviews but if I am going to get my own writing in some sort of order I need to put it ahead of the reviews. Somewhere along the line it slipped to second place, I'm not sure where or when but it has and its taken an injury and me sitting back and looking at things to realise this and actually acknowledge it instead of pushing that idea to the side.

I currently have several book reviews taking me right up until the end of June/ beginning of July. I will continue to accept them but it will only be 12 a year so slots will need to be requested. So if you know your book is coming out in say April and its only November then you can let me know and if that months free you can have it.

This is a tough decision to make since I have read so many books I have loved and met some very nice authors but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do and this girl needs to silence the many voices in her head by actually getting these stories written and making room for many many more.

I will continue with my current reviews but from August the new plan starts.
I'm taking May as a break, I was going to do some writing while I have my holiday, probably still will but now with the new plan I think I'll work on some outlines in a bit more depth in prep for July.
I'll update my reviews blog and website this week with the new plan as soon as I can.

31 March 2012

Burn notice

As some of you are aware Thursday afternoon at my day job I injured myself. It was a 190 degree burn to palm side of my right hand. It only lasted a few seconds. I think I spent more time swearing. Immediately I put it under cold water several times and when I got home it went straight into a bowl of ice. Unfortunately this was my writing hand.
Now two days later after doing a simple pin test it seems the three fingers I burnt are only burnt by a layer or two however my thumb is a little worse off, I still cannot quite bend it and certainly cannot use it for opening bottles or using a pen, even pressing a button on the tv remote hurts. The thumb still throbs and will take time to heal properly. I'll probably end up with a scar by its just another one to add to the list I guess.

All this makes one thankful for computers. If I could have chosen I would have wished it had been my left hand because I can type one handed with only my right hand if need be.

My point today is this, if you cook something don't expect people to know it or the tray it was cooked in/on is hot especially if you arent supposed to be cooking. Leave a sign of some kind, for me at work its putting the gloves on top of the trolley that the hot trays are racked up on; at home I tell people. It doesn't take two seconds to think of safety and it doesn't take two seconds to get burnt. Think first! Think safe!

27 March 2012

Stamp me silly...

Today we Brits recieved some shocking news, the price of a stamp is due to go up by almost 50% to 60 pence per stamp. Granted 60p per stamp for a letter is not too bad but that depends on the number of letters you have to send. For companies this is going to be costly. Sure I hear you saying we live in a world with email and alternate means of communication. So lets look at this from a writers perspective shall we:

Not all publishers accept email queries and submissions, some still prefer the old snail mail.
With this in mind plus the number of submissions and queries writers send out this is going to be costly not to mention that each mailing would have to be weighed meaning use of more than one stamp sending the cost soaring sky high. This would quite possibly limit many writers in how many submissions/queries they can make each month when compared against the current price of living, the state of the economy and the fact that there are over 2 million people in the UK currently out of work.

Is this going to cause problems for writers? I would say quite possibly, though one would hope not. 

25 March 2012

Spring has sprung

Its that time of year again. Spring has sprung and winter seems like a distant memory. The birds are finally leaving their nests, the bee's are back and the blossom is just starting to bloom. The sun is out and the windows are open. That means its time for a clear out.
Yes its time to clean everything, to evaluate what we have and decide what we want to get rid of, whether it be to a charity shop, to sell, or simply toss in the bin. 

For me that also means it is time to turn rooms around, to go through the desk and the books... did I forget to mention that on my last count I had just over 300 books, oh yes I have 2 bookcases full of both fiction and non-fiction reference books and encyclopedias, plus ebooks in my email.
Usually I'll re-assign groupings to my books these are usually wicca/spiritualism, mythology/archaeology, writing/dictionaries, encyclopedias, ancient egypt, freemasonary and fiction.
This is also the time that I re-discover in old note books poems, articles and either story ideas or notes.
Anything to do with writing does not get thrown out, it gets carefully evaluated and either put back in the desk cupboard or on top to be used and worked.
Old photography magazines have been torn apart as I removed any images I liked or found interesting and inspiring. I'll put together a sort of scrap book of inspiration oneday.
Pens get checked...yes pens I do still also write by hand and I have a habit of collecting ones which write well. I'm sure many of you are the same.
Even the laptop gets a clear out too - saving many items to disc or stick and deleting those that are nothing important. And then finally the disc cleanup and defrag.

I'm almost done. Yesterday I cleared the desk and done some bits, re-discovered an article, a story idea and some notes. The laptop was sorted a few days ago. Today I cleaned, found some poetry, looked in some notebooks which made me smile and found a possible story idea and yes tore out the photo's I liked.
Next weekend its the bookcases turn to get raided, cleaned and put back correctly.
Then its back to full working mode.

They do say a clean and tidy room means a clean and tidy mind. I know this to be true, spring is always when I back in the flow of things and get large amounts of work done, but is it the same for you?

18 March 2012

Do I or Dont I...

I'm not sure if its the same for other writers but once in a while I get two or three voices in my head.
One voice says "you know what you've got over 100 poems, what are you afraid of? just publish them already... only you can do this!"
The second voice says "what the hell are you thinking!"
Then a third voice pops up questioning "do I do them as one book, 2 books, 3 books, split into genre, what?"
And then follows that sick feeling in your gut when you just can't decide what to do.
I already know what cover I want, it was a pic I took a couple of years back inside a cathedral of a statue of a scholar reading made of what looks like marble and is just absolutely amazing. I thought it fitted quite well. As for the title I chose, it was quite a long one, after one of the poems I wrote and because in my experience poetry comes from our emotions, from who we are, what we think and what we feel.

I'm sure this sickening feeling is the same thing thats holding me back from actually getting my photography out there and just going ahead and opening my cafepress / zazzle stores. Its not so much a feeling of getting my writing and images out there, because people have seen them back when I avidly posted on myspace, no, my fear has a name and a face, a job and is capable of making you feel like an ant going against a God. My fear is the taxman. In a sense its funny really of all the things to fear and not fear, of all the ones I have, I fear a man and some paperwork.
Its times like this I wish I knew some British authors who've taken the step in the last year or so.
Sometimes as stated above I think I should just go ahead and just do it, others not so much.

17 March 2012

Kitty Wants Fresh Water

Meet Tigger, rescue, approx 7 months old, he has a few quirks one of which is fresh water straight from the tap. This is also my first video and was filmed using my mobile phone.

15 March 2012

To Whom It May Concern

For those of you I have reviewed and those I am currently reviewing or even those just stopping by, here is what you already know about me reviewing:

I accept pdf and paperback copies, I do not own a kindle!

Now heres the update:

I now accept kindle but only on my pc!

I still have no intention of buying a kindle, yes I know you're going to say times are changing and all that, but my intentions eventually are to get a tablet and put kindle on that instead, at least then when I'm out and about or flying between the UK and USA I can still review and probably actually get one done in those 12 hrs of uncomfortable boredom.

A Gift or A Curse?

Hmmm I dont know if it is a gift or a curse. Some days it feels like a gift. Some days the curse. I'm not exactly complaining here though, I love what I do but it just seems like every time I post a review you can guarantee by days end I will have a request for a replacement. So whilst my list gets shorter in fact it doesnt. It stays exactly the same.

At the same time I am getting less of my own writing/editing done (curse) and yet I am still coming up with new story ideas at the drop of a hat (gift). I must have about a dozen ideas now with only two written and ready for editing.

My next review i started today, it reminded or rather the author did of a mental asylum that used to be here in my town, its gone now knocked down and turned into homes. But just being reminded of it has made me come up with an idea for a story that has an insane asylum in it. So I thank that author for her wonderfully macabre ways. I won't share any details about the story but I do have just over a page of 'this happens' then 'that happens' 'this is why' etc etc etc its the basics but it is a start none the less.

Now all I need to do is actually write those stories but first adjust my schedule again so I can actually be more productive. Here I go again...

13 March 2012

Oooo Handy...

Don't you just hate it, you've gone shopping and cannot for the life of you think what it was you needed to buy. What about, you're at work and you completely forget that dentist appointment, ok so thats no big loss unless you loose a tooth.

Scouring through one of my many daily writing newsletters I came across a link for something called Toodledo and having just registered myself (for free) I already love the idea of the site.
Basically this is an interactive calender / alarm / note keeper accessible from computers, mobile phones (cells if you're stateside) and tablets. You can even link to your facebook account and twitter account to update your status when you complete a goal.

As well as shopping lists and appointments this site allows you to set yourself goals, so any projects new / old you can use this site to set yourself goals and completion dates. A handy little tool in a busy world I know a few people who'll love this and find it very useful both in everyday life and writing.

If your life is hectic or you've a project that seems like the end is out of reach then take a look, its costs nothing and if you dont like it you can just delete your account with them and go the traditional route of pen and paper. Just remember, each note was once part of a tree and if you forgot your list / notes then what a waste, at least a mobile or device is with you pretty much all the time these days. Here's the link again incase you missed it the first time: Toodledo

11 March 2012

An interesting discovery, if you love 3d art

As many of us can appreciate software such as photoshop is very expensive and some time ago a friend introduced me to paint.net a free service from the makers of paint.

Two days ago, I discovered DAZ3d, amazing looking 3d software available FREE! yes for a short time this software is free, there are other add-ons and such available for purchasing but I believe this was a very intruguing find especially if you wish to use it for book covers, graphic novels and such.
If any of you are interested or just want to have a look then follow this link http://www.daz3d.com/i/0/0?

If like me you download the standard Daz3d studio4 then go into the store and search through the software freebies and you'll find that Horizon, Bryce 7 and Daz 3d studio pro is all free as well!

You may find that some content takes a few hours to download, mine took about 5 hours (4 hrs downloading and an hour install), make sure you've plenty of room on your computer as well, i need to have a look at mine as my free space is in the red now.

Wondering where your serial numbers are? dont worry they're in your account if you created one and activate automatically.

I wont be staying up until gone midnight downloading the pro version like i did the standard version yesterday, i'll do that tomorrow; i'm going to also hook out some discs and try to download these and other programmes to disc then i have them readily available both on the site and on disc.

Enjoy :)

5 March 2012

My Interview with Brian Feinblum

I am no huge risk taker, but over the years especially when writing is concerned I've taken a couple for instance my book reviews and how I started doing them, social networking, blogging etc I was a complete Newbie and for a shy person its certainly something.

So without any ado, without any blabbering and yabbering and tearing off of ears here it is my interview you'll need to scroll down a little to read it:

Sky + HD Updating System Software Issue

Today at 1pm we rang sky about an issue we had, the person on the other end of the line told us to press some buttons and the following screen would appear 'Updating System Software', this is supposed to take 10 minutes to fix.
3 hours later the message was still on the screen and we made several more phone calls which also did not fix the issue.
So whilst on the phone I hopped online and found the following which helped http://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Sky-HD/Updating-System-Software-Issue/td-p/256305

What I did was this:
On the top of the sky +HD box press and hold for 1 minute the power button until you get one red light.
Release the button for 1 minute.
Press the button again.
You'll get a green light and the screen will say no signal checking
Grab your remote and click tv listings
You're back in business and you've not even wiped your harddrive. Excellent huh.

This isn't the first issue we've had with sky that we were left feeling like we were gonna have to buy a new box and that i've gone online and fixed myself. Next time you have an issue search the net first, its cheaper than endless phonecalls to them that get you down a dead end.
hmmm maybe I should work for sky.

4 March 2012

Best of British...

This morning I caught the first debate on the BBCs The Big Question which discussed the idea of creating a united Britain through uniting identity amongst the people.
As a yearly visitor to the USA I have come to realise its people are independant and passionate.
Having lived in the United Kingdom all my life (almost 30 years) I used to believe England was proud, loyal and respectful. Over the years however I have come to learn our pride is wavering, our loyalty is only strong when we as a country are attacked as a whole. As for respect, that has pretty much died out.
Over the last 15 years or so my own experience has proven that the new generations have little respect for the country. I'm not saying this is everyone but with the state of things right now, the riots and such things seem to be slipping on the way side, far from what they used to be.
After a little thought I for one think we should celebrate one day a year what it is to be British, every other country gets to celebrate and we celebrate their holidays but what about us? Do we not deserve a holiday that could unite the country? I'm not talking a random day like St Georges Day or Valentines where you still have to go to work, hell no, the retail sector alone suffer the worst only allowed Christmas day off each year and no other. No, I'm talking a day when the whole country gets a day off to celebrate everything English no matter what their country of origin. Like the Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving on the forth Thursday of November, I think ours should be similar!
Sure we get to celebrate the Queens birthday but as stated in the programme, there are anti-monarchists and no-one gets the Queens birthday off, not even the Queen herself so come on whose with me in saying we need a Best of British Day!? or Great Britain Day?
So what would we celebrate? how about the English language, tea and scones, street parties. British bulldogs, Old English sheep dogs, canals, countryside, castles, the mini cooper, Shakespear, cadbury chocolate, jaffa cakes, literature, art, everything that says to you Great Britain.
With the riots, the recession and cuts in jobs and budgetting thanks to government proposals, we need something to raise our spirits in this darkened time and remind us why we love our country and what we love, even if we dont love our government.
A day dedicated to our country IS what we need! A day dedicated to the country in which all the cultures which make up England can share can unite the country better than simply trying to get these cultures to agree to get along or else. If we have a day dedicated to England we could see a drop in racist crime and sub-cultures but see a rise in the unity of what we all share and deep down love, being British. Not only this but every Britain throughout the world would have a day they can celebrate no matter where they live. Through all of this I believe pride, loyalty and respect would increase between the people of Great Britain.
As a country, as a people, as a multi-cultural society we need this to unite across all fields.
Proposals have been made by thinktanks and government bodies suggesting days in which to celebrate our national holiday, what all fail to do is actually take the people of Britain into account, every day proposed is already a holiday of some kind and most are either political or about the monarchy. This should be about the people afterall its for them!

28 February 2012

A Good Deed Indeed

I don't know about you but I'm someone who has to keep busy. If even for the smallest of moments I become bored or stop that is it and I am lost spiralling down a deep dark hole. This is why besides my day job I have so many projects that keep me busy. I hate being bored, I hate stopping, granted I am no where near someone who works in a big city running around to someone elses tune, but I am still busy enough that I get zero rest.
Which brings me to a new project. This one however is a little different.

Some time ago (December 2009) I reviewed for author Diane Wright and her book The Alfar's Gift. Unfortunately as is the case sometimes in this industry Diane is facing a drop in sales and does not know much about self publishing, websites and such, and is getting no help from her publisher.
So after a long discussion with Diane this afternoon I will be creating for her a website and blog while she creates herself a new page on facebook and continues on her next book.
It will be a little while until I have it all set up perfectly with some details and such like links to the book however I will post another blog once this is complete so you yourselves can go have a look, befriend Diane who by the way is one of the nicest people you could know and perhaps even purchase a copy of her book, The Alfar's Gift. If you would like to read the review you can find it here.

26 February 2012

Endorsements Vs Chocolate

I think we can all agree that endoresments are beautiful things. If I were to describe how one can make you feel I'd have to say it is like spring at the end of winter, like achieving something immeasureable, and the pride you feel for recieving one for work you've done... well, no amount of blackholes in the universe can swallow how happy they make you feel.

Endorsements aren't simply backing thank you's from people that you have helped out, it is a force that drives you onward in what you do, giving you both recognition and a name in your field.
Personally I love endorsements! Waking up in the morning and reading your email to find there amongst all the junk and newsletters a teeny ray of hope that has to capability of bursting into bloom and spreading. Its a wonderful feeling and if I could have one everyday I would certainly be a happy person. But we all know life is not like that so when I need a pick me up or a kick up the backside to get back writing I go read my endorsements.

Endorsements can do many things you can post them on your websites and other sites and places like Linkedin offer you to collect them. Its because of sites like Linkedin which offer this service that my reviewing has increased in the last year. So as well as raising spirits, endorsements are actually good for business and getting your name passed around between, in my case authors and publishers.

In turn I hope this will have done me some good when it comes to publishing my own novels and poems because, whose going to pay attention to the nobody without a name?..

Endorsements can change your world, how you behave and how you act. And if I had a choice between them and chocolate I'm afraid the endorsements would win hands down. While chocolate can give you that sugar high, it only lasts a short while. Endorsements are eau natural and they can last a life time and they are worth every moment of it.

And yes, today is one of those days it both looks and feels like spring at the end of winter and I awoke to another beautiful force that is an endorsement. Happy Days ;)  

25 February 2012

To Doggy Bag or Not to Doggy Bag ???

This year will be my forth trip to the United States to see my guy and as per usual many meals will be taken in restaurants. Though I was amazed at some of the sizes of the meals presented before me I was relieved and quite happy as well as shocked that practically ALL restaurants offered a take home service. It appears quite normal for waiters and waitresses to offer you a box for your leftovers no matter how much or how little.
Since we 'the eater' have purchased the food it only seems right that whatever is left is yours to take home. However here in the United Kingdom we do not have such a service, in fact it appears more so that restaurants in an aid to reduce wastage simply offer a nationwide standard size plate. Surely if this service were available more customers would be likely to attend said restaurants and therefore increase their sales enabling them to increase plate sizes and in turn do good for the suppliers of their fresh and frozen goods by creating more business for them.
I've said this ever since my first visit to the USA almost 4 years ago and finally today on BBC Breakfast a morning show on BBC 1 here in the UK the question has finally been brought up and gladly many people see as I do that this would be good all round.
So to doggy bag or not to doggy bag or rather box like our American friends. Let us in the UK hope this idea catches on and very soon.

24 February 2012

Hey Mr Taxman!

So its taken almost an entire month for me to recieve a reply to my letter I sent to HMRC back in January, granted apparantly or at least by the looks of things I sent my letter to the wrong office but then the website was not exactly clear on which office I should be sending enquiries.
So I explained my situation and got told exactly what I already knew that I would need to fill out a self assessment tax return every April along with the foreign income page. What I did not get told was whether I have to still pay NI as I'm paying it through my employer. Now to send off yet another letter.
This stuff should be made easier as should the website be easier to navigate, there is nothing much on it about online employment through POD sites its very daunting stuff enough to put people off and I've wasted the best part of a year researching this watching dozens of videos and reading at least 100 pages of information. I'm not giving up on this but it seems like no-one has any info that can help and the only info that can help is confusing and takes forever to decipher. Not to mention I still don't know whether I should do the returns alone or get an accountant or would be able to afford one in the first place. I guess I need to contact one also.

21 February 2012

The Pancake Day Massacre

Oh joyous, its my fave time of year again, Pancake Day.
I love pancakes, well scotch pancakes and american pancakes though I'm sure their nationality doesn't actually come into it, they're pancakes. The ones I love are spongy, I hate those crepe ones that are slimey looking things and I certainly don't buy mine ready made. I use a recipe.
Last weekends magazine in the paper had a recipe for pancakes which I thought I would follow. What a mistake! The mixture came out very liquidy that the flour and everything settled in the bottom of the jug and the first one I made came out all thin and crepe like. This batch went in the bin and the mixture poured away.
Batch 2 came out slightly similar and went out the same way too.
Batch 3, success, wonderful yummy pancakes with a good mixture and thickness that made them spongy.
Let me state I had to go dig out a recipe book for batch 3 which had a recipe for american pancakes, I did alter slightly by downing the salt as it seemed high and served with maple syrup and fresh strawberries.
They were YUM but only after the massacre that was the first two batches. Also I religously always throw out the first pancake because it always soaks up all the butter used in the pan and tastes horrid.
Last year I missed out on pancake day completely and I was disappointed on my visit to the States when I learned my pancakes I had the year before at Bob Evans were removed from the menu. I hope that later this year this is not the case but for now I am happy enough with my own pancakes.
Happy Pancake Day everyone.

16 February 2012


Ever since I was a child I have been somewhat quite or shy and my parents always described me as such and I always felt as if I were being made into a freakshow because people looked at me strangely.
Gladly things changed as I grew up, having a job which was customer focussed helped immensely though I must admit I still obtain a few of those tendancies from childhood, there are still things I refuse to share, conversations I will not enter into and such.
But, it was a few years ago that I actually understood this 'quietness', when a neighbour was round one day he described me as being a listener, that I am on the outside but I hear everything. Makes me feel like a spy lol
Anyway, it was this that got me thinking about my writing and helped in my decision to come back to writing. So what did I ask myself :
Do you prefer people or books? Books, they hurt much less than people.
Reading or speaking? Reading, the people you read aren't likely to abuse you back.
Writing or doing? Writing, I'm not a big risk taker and the risks I have taken took a lot of thought.

And so I decided to write.
It is rare for my mind to be quiet its always thinking of something and sometimes random subjects throw me and I'm off with an idea or theory. I think my muse the last year or so has been musical because I've been getting random songs in my head whilst at my day job and these can be songs I've not heard for years and yet I still know the lyrics and such. Unfortunately my muse apparantly likes music from the era of which I was born however I love rock, and for writing or reading I usually use meditation / classical music or Nightwish's Imaginaerum disc 2 instrumental since that is what I have on my laptop.

Currently I am editing 2 novels, reviewing 1 novel with 3 to do, I have 4 books to read to do with learning to drive and I have several story ideas started or in some form or another that I want to get round to. Lets hope my muse and my mind can agree on something to get all this done. Time for a new schedule me thinks.

14 February 2012


Its that time of year again, you know the one where cheap tat is sold in shops (just like the one I work in) and people are expected to go buy it for their loved ones. Let me also state that it is also the time of year to have our wallets ransacked, seriously the price of this tat is unbelieveable I could find something so much better for the same money if not cheaper; it is also the time for those without a partner to go seeking the ice cream tub for comfort. Yes its valentines day! A day dedicated to celebrate being together er hold on isnt that what anniversaries are for? and shouldn't couples be celebrating being together every day?
All valentines day has ever done is make people miserable and spend their money.
A recent survey I took showed results that out of 8,000 people at least a third would celebrate the day while almost two thirds would not celebrate at all.
I am all up for recieveing gifts but then who wouldnt be?...and quite frankly why does it have to be a specific day, you shouldnt have to hold off, everyday is special while you're together and you shouldnt let something like the card companies tell you to.
For those like me who live thosands of miles from the one they love valentines is not an easy holiday, sure things like skype help but its not the same and for those who've lost those they love it is even harder to watch everyone else celebrating.
Perhaps it is time a vote was taken whether to keep or be rid of this hallmark holiday... what would you vote for?

Another holiday I could do without is Easter, I mean come on I work in a shop there is temptation enough without bringing out the chocolate eggs!

11 February 2012

One thing that really annoys me (English language)

Ok what is it with people's need to abuse the English language?
It's not so bad those that do it by mistake, hell I have issues with grammar and I'm dyslexic but come on to do it purpose...
At least a third / maybe a half of the world are capable of speaking the English language but it's not the foreigners I'm annoyed about here, I get that say for example a Polish guy cannot decipher how something should be said in his language and ours.
But for those homegrown... that is a complete and utter, I can't even find the word to describe it, it should be treason!
I had this issue with my niece some time back and I've had it recently too elsewhere and quite frankly I refuse to learn this language. Damn it it's not even a language its a mismatch of letters to make it sound like a word and I cannot believe for the life of me how they are filtering some of this into the English dictionary, before we know it the English language will be obsolete.
Wherever you look now texting, email, social networks someone is doing exactly this and in my eyes it goes against everything English and for some reason everytime I see someone writing it, all I can think of is Essex, some parts of London, a few other locations and 'chavs'.
What is my country coming to?
Please note I will accept the 'lol' 'wtf' and 'omg' but that is it, nothing more.
We pride ourselves on our language and sure some foreign countries take the hm hm about the accent, obviously these people have never been to England but I don't care what people think, for me the English language is something that is ours, written or spoken, it's homegrown that is why it is called English, and is something that England should be fighting to keep especially here at home not allowing others to change it and as for being in the English dictionary, go create your own don't poison the one we have.
If anything everytime I read or see people writing like this I think, how immature are they?
Sometimes I really hate what my country is coming to and what is allowed to spread like a virus, but the English language is something that should not be touched, it should be saved!

10 February 2012

Strange Noises

Ever wonder why some things create weird and freaky noises? Me too! and right now the washing machine sounds exactly like a child playing a recorder, it sounds a little like this
- --- --- --- - --- --- --- - --- --- --- (your gonna have to think the dashes are the recorder here) and it just continues on and on.
I swear there is only washing in the washing machine! but it sounds soooo convincing lol  

9 February 2012

I'm going to my mind palace

Since first hearing those words a few weeks back in Sherlock : series 2 episode 3 Hound of the Baskervilles I really have to say I love that saying and totally get it. Everytime my mind wanders now as well as that vague look in my mind palace I see myself running round opening as many doors as possible looking for that hidden one hiding the secret that I'm looking for. It even reminds me of my copy of The Dictionary of Symbols which I absolutely love and use as often as possible one subject takes you to another and so on and so forth and before you know it your ten light years away from the first subject you picked up.
I loved the way they also showed it in the episode how one thought can lead to another and it just goes to show, I am not crazy! because that is how my mind works, just ask my sister or my guy and they will tell you I can be talking one minute or listening then I have a vague look and then I'm having to make a grab for a pen or laptop because some weird connection has been made in my head. My only issue is my head works too fast for my hands sometimes.

So for all writers and people with vague looks I have to say that I am not ashamed to say that I Love my Mind Palace. hmmm I wonder if there are Do Not Disturb signs I can put up... oh thats just given me an idea!

A creative mind needs...

Music! And I believe I have finally found THE music that inspires me most.
Give me anything for meditation and I can fly through a book review drowning out the rest of the world.

However I am highly impressed by the magnificence that is Nightwish's Imaginaerum special edition disc 2 instrumental, I can listen to it again and again and not get bored. No seriously its on my computer once all 13 songs have played I start again and again and again and I can go on like this for hours, days even but the really great thing is how much work I can get done by simply getting lost in the music. Its actually thanks to this one CD I managed to finish my 2009 Nanowrimo novel. Who'd of thought I had to wait just over 2 years to find the right piece of music to get my head to be in the right setting to finish but then they do say music is stimulating.

8 February 2012

I need a Gibbs!

Not too sure how many of you have watched NCIS but I definately need a Gibbs. My mind has a habit of wondering off for what seems like a split second but apparantly can be much longer. I get this vague look on my face and people either think I'm ill or something is wrong, but its not. I just need a Gibbs to walk up and slap me on the back of my head and get me back into the flow of things.
But to actually avoid headaches and possible lawsuits should someone actually do that to me I think I may have to mentally have this thing where should my mind wander, Gibbs pops up and slaps me on the back of my head in my head... I just hope he doesnt start doing it when I am actually thinking.

Past, Present and New Beginnings

Well this is it blog #1 or is it? actually no because I have blogged before on myspace and I also run a bookreviewing blog so I think I'm somewhat seasoned in this. In fact I just finished a book review yesterday which I absolutely loved called Painted Jezebel by Jolie Pethel you can read the review here.

So I suppose I had best share a little about myself before we delve into real blogging.

My name is Rachel and in two days I will be 29 years of age and I just realised that being 2012, if the world really does end this year as some believe I will not be 30 but my friend will. haha. I always like digging that she'll be in a zimmer frame before me but now, if the world does end I'll be the one still in my twenties. lol

Currently I am employed part-time for a well known company here in the UK, I enjoy my job especially on good days, on bad days it can be a challenge and sometimes I have to bite my tongue and just walk away. I have to get up very early for my job at 4am my shift starts at 5:30am so if I'm not there on time there is hell to pay because the place cannot open without me, when it does I am either off sick or on holiday, like I am now. I always take the week of my birthday as holiday just to get away and do me stuff.

So what is this me stuff you ask... as stated above I write book reviews but that is not all. I also write poems of which I have just over 100 most of which were written in a year and 3 of which were published in the October 2010 edition of Worlds Within Worlds Beyond Magazine.
As well as this I have just completed my first draft of a novel I started back in November 2009 when I took part in Nanowrimo and yes I did get to 50k words within a month. Not bad for a first attempt. This story is currently at around 72k word count and I am already working through editing it.
But this was not the first story I wrote, I've dibbled and dabbled as we all do, wrote down ideas and notes (I have quite a few note books, its a thing, like pens I kind of collect them for use).
Anyway, I also have another novel which I've completed the first draft this one is part of a series. Hopefully when I have tidied them up a bit more, I can tell you more. For now they are being edited and I still love them as much as when I wrote them.

I suppose by now you are wondering when the 'New Beginnings' part of this blog will start...
On top of all this I also enjoy photography, one of my quirks is taking a picture of something you normally would not even think taking a picture of and changing it until you come out with something quite pretty and or useful like a background for a website, sadly this one is not mine but I do hope to change it at a later date.
The New Beginnings part of this is more of a wish and hope, I shouldn't say wish because there are too many out there clogging up that universal postbox. Anywho, I hope to in the future, hopefully sometime soon, if I had my way it'd be right now, I hope to open a few shops through POD (print on demand) websites such as Zazzle and Cafepress. I have everything planned out, four shops in total and what will go into them, two of which if my writing goes anywhere * fingers crossed*. I do believe I have most of the info for Zazzle, I think Cafepress is going to start the confusion process all over again but it looks like my biggest fall is having to do tax returns. ARG tax, seriously this stuff could kill a person and how is it even possible that there is so many businesses and shops when its so confusing, and kids, how do kids get to open shops? surely they arent following things legally. I want this nightmare to end and just be posting stuff for sale and it sucks that I can't until I have everything in place. Maybe it's just me wanting to play things safe and not face the fury of the tax man plus a heafty fine. But surely there has to be a light at the end of this tunnel. Right?     

Rant over. This is quite probably the first of many though, so be warned!
Ok we've covered writing, reviews, poems, photography...I think thats probably enough for one blog I promise though these blogs will be varied anything from thoughts, articles, recipes and yes the odd rant. Whatever it is it will be posted right here because this is now my personal blog of me as I write, work and go slowly crazy.

Ok forget that last part, the craziness settled a long time ago.