NaNoWriMo 2018!

2018, lifestyle, writing

Hello!

I feel like I’ve spent the last three weeks explaining NaNoWriMo in every blog post and YouTube video but it means I’m good at summarising it quickly so here’s that – National Novel Writing Month is an online community website challenge thing where lots of writers try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Often they write novels, but some people write screenplays and poems and all sorts, it’s just a celebration of writing!

I first tried NaNoWriMo in 2011 but only managed about 15k but I do still really like the story idea and then in 2012 I was much more prepared – this was the novel that I finished and would one day like to get published but to be honest, I haven’t properly had time for NaNo since. Just because of exams and school and uni or whatever – I did give it a go last year just to try and get back into writing because I missed it but I was also drowning under millions of assignments and it was an awful time.

So here we are in 2018 trying again! I didn’t think of a novel idea and I’m not in the right mindset to work on my 2012 novel again (but I will definitely rewrite it at some point) so this year is just for writing whatever I want and getting back into the habit of writing every day.

I love writing – it’s part of the reason I went to study journalism because I couldn’t find any other courses that combined copywriting, video and photography in the same way. And since I started uni I fell out of the habit of creative writing so now that I’m home and I don’t have assignments or uni to worry about I want to get back into the habit of it because I miss having that creative outlet!

On Day 1, I only managed to write about 600 words while we were watching TV but then when I took my computer up to bed I wrote the last 1100 words to hit the target of 1667 words a day and I now know that if I don’t want to be writing till 11 o’clock at night I need to get the bulk of the word count done before I sit down to watch TV in the evening!

But also sometimes that’s just how it’s got to be – I think my goal is to be writing down notes and doing what I can on the go, whether it’s on the bus, while I’m volunteering, jotting down things on paper or whatever, so that it makes writing in the evening a little easier.

For some people, NaNoWriMo is the sole focus – I saw someone in a Facebook group talking about how they were aiming for 10k on the first day, but I think for most people it’s just squeezing it in around the everyday. Whether it’s being a student, being a parent, working full time, NaNoWriMo is an amazing community that just motivates and supports other writers and it’s so much fun!

Good luck if you’re participating! If you had no idea what it was, I hope you’ve learnt a little bit about NaNo!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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November Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

This is the penultimate goals post of 2018! And then we get onto all that good New Years content looking back on my goals for last year and making goals for next year, but even though that’s not many ‘goals’ blog posts away, it is two months in real time away so like the forbidden ‘C’ word, I won’t mention it again!

This month I’m kind of having to make some important decisions – nothing too drastic, but I need to figure out what I want the next year of my life to look like and what I need to do to get there. But, that’s on a broader to do list – here are my goals for November.

[ N o v e m b e r   G o a l s ]

  • workout once a week (‘gym’/running) – I was in a decent routine of using the treadmill and rowing machine in my mum’s garage a few times a week and I’ve completely fallen out of that routine. I have started up a new dance class (two even, in one day!) and I think once a week on the treadmill, building up my stamina and maybe getting a bit better at running is a good routine to get into.
  • NaNoWriMo! I feel like I’ve mentioned it approximately a hundred million times, but NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a website that brings together a community of writers to scribble 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1667 words a day and quite the challenge. I think I’ve mentioned before that writing is a huge passion of mine – I started creative writing when I was 12 and before I went to uni, every single night I would sit and tap away at my computer in front of the TV in the living room. I wrote a full length novel when I was 16 in NaNoWriMo so I’m going to try and emulate that success this year. It’s going to be a challenge but I’m so determined.
  • Balance work and making content – This month I’ve been pretty rubbish at working. I’m so lucky that I can work so flexibly for my mum’s business but I haven’t been very good at actually making the time for it. I need to set myself a stricter routine and in the end I get paid more when I do more work so it’s win win all round really.
  • Shorter to do lists – one of the things I hate the most is that I write myself a huge long list of things to do, and when I do them all it feels fantastic but when at the end of the day I’m staring at a list I’ve ticked one thing off of it’s both demotivating and daunting so to combat this, I’m only letting myself write 5 point to do lists each day. Hopefully this will maximise productivity all round and maybe even give me some spare time but mostly just keep me a bit more sane.
  • Plan December and 2019 videos – in terms of my blog, I’m pretty confident that I can write two posts a week and know what I want to write about and what I want to make. My YouTube channel however, takes a little more work and planning. I’m thinking about potentially doing Vlogmas on my main channel (you heard it here first lads) and I want to think about what projects I take on in 2019. 2016 was the year of the monthly vlog, 2017 I got back into making weekly videos and 2018 I’ve been weekly vlogging and making sit down vlogs (two videos a week!) for most of the year. I need to figure out whether I want to continue weekly vlogging, whether I want to try something new or maybe change it all up completely. If you’ve got any Christmas video requests do let me know!!

I’m feeling a bit more focused at the moment, there are certain aspects I’m trying not to think about but it’s all one step at a time, that can be part of next months goals.

Hope you all had a lovely October and are enjoying the colder temperatures – I’m loving having all my jumpers and blankets out again!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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September Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been doing these posts for about six months now and I find they really help me focus on specific tasks for the month, especially because I’ve integrated them into my bullet journal spreads.

However, in previous months I’ve done a review of the last months goals before setting my new goals for the month and I’ve decided not to do that this time – these reviews should be a personal reflection for me to adapt and respond to but I don’t think anyone else needs to know or cares about last months goals!

Last months goals went quite well, ironically, you can read that post here if you like!

September has always been my favourite month, whether it was because it was my birthday month, whether it was back to school I was excited for or just going into the Autumn/Winter season, September makes me happier and I’m excited for this month.

[ S E P T E M B E R   G O A L S ]

  • work 12 hours a week – I’m fortunate enough that my mum has let me work for her company as a kind of Office Assistant/PA/learning about business management person and she’s always been open to letting me help but I was so focused on graduate job hunting that I hadn’t accepted it till now. I want to dedicate specific time to working for her company and I’m starting with (minimum) 12 hours a week and I’m actually kind of excited about it.
  • write 20,000 words (667 a day) – last months writing challenge was a huge success so I wanted to up the stake a little bit – I wrote 15,000 words in August so I’m aiming for more this month! I’m basically training myself up before NaNoWriMo (50k in November) but I’m really enjoying the creative freedom that writing gives me and being in the mental position to write again, I just love it.
  • driving – guess who booked her theory test and her first lesson on a whim when she was tired one night? Yes, it was me. My theory test is towards the end of this month, my boyfriend will (hopefully) be taking his test soon and we’ve nearly got our own car too. Right now, I feel the same as I did when I was 17 – I don’t want to learn to drive, I just want to be able to drive but it’s not the simple so I’m biting the bullet and doing it. My first lesson is on the 7th so wish me luck!
  • maintain no pressure exercise – I’ve written a couple of posts now about exercise and I think it’s not a phase that I’ll get bored of? It’s been about four weeks now and I’m still integrating it into my routine? And I like it? I’m having to change it up quite a lot because I get bored or I feel like it’s not doing anything but I’m actually enjoying exercising and boy I need to lose weight so hopefully by this time next month I’ll actually be able to see some results!
  • positive job hunting – will she ever stop talking about job hunting? Probably not! Being an unemployed graduate (bar working for my mum) has really got to me mentally – I went for a job interview that I felt really good about and then I didn’t get it and I felt like giving up. So alongside feeling really mentally low, I just didn’t have the motivation to apply for anything else. However, I’m pulling myself out of it and I’m trying to get back into the habit of applying for jobs positively and not looking at it as a mindless chore that will never amount to anything because if that’s the attitude I have than it never will amount to anything! Even if it means taking it a bit slower, I want to maintain a positive relationship with applying for jobs.

I’ve tried to make these goals realistic and achievable – September is a time for new starts; going back to school, back to uni, back to work and I’m feeling that kind of motivation without having school, uni or a job to go into it but I’m making my situation right now work as best as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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August Mini Goals

2018, film, lifestyle, photography

Hello!

How July flew past – between trying to survive the heatwave and adjusting to life as a graduate, it’s been a bit of whirlwind. But let’s jump right in with reviewing my July goals.

[ J U L Y   G O A L S : R E V I E W ]

  1. Content – stick to the plan! I’m actually really proud of myself with this one, I’m feeling much more on top of this goal and I feel like I’m making stuff I’m actually really proud of!
  2. Portfolio – my portfolio on my blog is all done and ready for updating as and when I have something new to post (you can have a nosy here), my showreel was a much slower start but I knuckled down, made a list of everything I wanted to include, sourced all the footage and started cutting it down – so it’s not quite finished but it’s nearly there!
  3. Workout – I decided against making too much of an effort with this one because it was just too hot to workout and it wasn’t worth the hassle. But I have been making an effort to try and do lots of walking and just yesterday I started using my mum’s treadmill and I’m going to start working up from there – I did a whole rant on my Instagram stories which I saved to highlights (and I will write a full blog post on it soon!) if you want a sneak peak.
  4. Work experience – I was struggling a bit with this one because having finished my degree and in the midst of applying for career starting jobs, applying for work experience all felt a little backwards – I was unsure about what I wanted from each company I was looking into but I’ve done a bunch more research and sent a few emails off the other day.
  5. Applying for jobs – I actually, no joke, lost count of how many jobs I’ve applied for in the last couple of weeks. I lost my mojo a little bit at the end of June but by mid-July I’d pulled up my metaphorical socks and told myself I am worthy of a cool job in an industry I love, I just need to keep going to get there and that’s what I’ve done. Hopefully I’ll hear back from something soon but in the mean time, I will keep applying.

That was long, but let’s jump right into August!

[ A U G U S T   G O A L S : L O O K I N G   A H E A D ]

I wanted to shake things up a little this month – I felt like my goals had been basically the same for months I needed to adjust my focus a little bit.

  1. Write 15,000 words – in July I had a go at Camp NaNoWriMo and though I didn’t hit my target word goal, I did find the same kind of enjoyment out of writing that I used to when I was a teenager and I want to maintain that this month.
  2. Finish my passion project – I’ve had a video project for my YouTube channel on the backburner for a little while now and I’m determined to finish it this month. It’s a little out there but it’s something I really want to make and I can’t wait to share it!
  3. Focus on my Insta content / take more photos! I’ve been really enjoying Instagram at the moment and working on balancing a theme and pretty content with real life photos that match up to what I’m actually doing day in day out and I want to work on that even more. I want to take more photos and make my instagram the best it can be!
  4. Start budget tracking – I’ve not done any kind of budget tracking since I got my penultimate loan instalment in January but now I have no upcoming loans and I don’t have a lot of money, so I need to keep track of what I’m spending and where I’m spending it to make sure I have enough money to keep me going.
  5. Watch more films! I don’t necessarily mean go to the cinema more but there’s a lot of classic films that I haven’t seen, some because I know I won’t like them but a lot because I just never got round to seeing them! My mum has a pretty spectacular DVD collection (that I just databased and alphabetised) so I think we’re going to start working our way through that.

A little bit rambly this month, but I graduated in July so there’s been a fair bit of self-evaluation. I’m feeling productive and creative at the moment so hopefully that follows through!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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newcomer | creative writing

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

It had been a few days since she arrived and things had settled down a lot – she’d integrated well with the group and we were all going back to the work we’d done before her arrival without her really getting involved, so she wouldn’t find out about anything we hadn’t told her.

I can’t pretend that my main observation about her so far isn’t that she’s absolutely gorgeous and in an apocalyptic world where showers are sparse, that’s not always easy to find. I won’t lie – she appears to tick all my boxes, at least at face value, but I don’t know her and we don’t have time for anything like that right now; we have other priorities.

So basically, ignore it. Please.

“Do you read much then?” I asked. Jinx spun quickly to face me, her fists poised for a fight and the book she held aimed to damage.

After her immediate rush to combat and the consequent jump when she realised it was only me, she caught the book a fraction of a second later than it left her grip and put one hand over her chest, as if to steady her surprised heart.

Not that I’d tried to make her jump or anything.

“Jesus, Jack – you scared the living daylights out of me.” She breathed.

“Ooh, I’ve not been referred to as the Sun of the All-Mighty before. ‘Jesus Jack’ has a nice ring to it doesn’t it!” I teased. “So, reading?” I grabbed a book from the shelf and waved it around, reiterating my question.

“Yes, I like to read. Most people like to learn things that way and educate themselves.”

“Dickens or Brontë?”

“What?”

“Dickens or Brontë? Simple enough question.” I shrugged, I couldn’t help the teasing smile I wore – her reaction when I jump-scared her was priceless.

“Which Brontë?” She asked, returning the sarcasm.

“Take your pick!” I gestured my arms wide at the books we were surrounded by – how many Brontë books had seen their time inside these walls was astounding.

“Charlotte Brontë, easy.”

“What? No way! Oliver Twist is one of the best books in all of history.”

“No way, Jane Eyre is the book for women’s independency. It’s the first book I read on my own, it’s my favourite book of all time ever and you will not spoil that.” Jinx stood, putting her book back on the shelf and walking away. I think she was sulking.

Of course I had to follow.

“So what’s your second favourite book?” I asked trivially, partially because I think it was annoying her and partially because I didn’t want to stop talking to her.

“I don’t have one – I don’t rank books meticulously. What’s your favourite book?” She smirked, slinking round the corner and down another aisle of books.

She sounded really fed up of me but she asked me the question to continue the conversation, so I followed her.

“I don’t like to choose – the other books might get sad.”

“Oh, what a gentleman you are, Sir!” She put her hands on her cheeks in fake surprise, the sarcasm dripping from her every word.

“I like reading but it’s not as fun when you can remember every word of every book you’ve ever read and listened to, it does take the fun out of it a little bit.” I shrugged.

“Oh you’re the one with the memory. I figured I’d meet someone with a Hyper High Functioning Memory in whatever you want to call this world we have left. Zed’s the one with the incomparable brain power, you’re the memory, Neg’s the war veteran slash bomb psychopath, Chang’s the historian and XP’s the Future Generation and a bit of a game nerd – sound about right?”

“A bit generic to label us like that. But, essentially, yes.” I shrugged.

“So what does that make me?” She asked, that all too familiar smirk making its return.

“Right now, you’re a question mark. We’re still trying to figure you out.” I narrowed my eyes slightly, as if I was trying to figure her out visually but she just turned around again and continued to peruse the books.


Hello!

I’m actually unreasonably excited for this piece of creative writing because this is actually an excerpt of the third draft of the book I first wrote in 2012 when I was 16! I hope it makes even just a little bit of sense as an individual excerpt but also doesn’t give too much away from the book that I can only dream I will hold in hardback one day.

As I’ve said in previous creative writing posts, I’m really struggling to find time and motivation to write creatively – everything in my life feels like I’m just saying ‘everything will settle down after XYZ’ over and over again – it’s after Glastonbury (long story short my friends have all got work experience there and I have not and it hurts and they’re back on Monday), then after NASS, then after we move, then after my job at home, then after my mum’s visited and I know even more things will crop up, I just don’t know how to organise my life to include time to write and work on the book I love so dearly without sacrificing my blog or YouTube channel or work or anything else.

God forbid I have to make time for uni as well! (That’s not till late September)

But for now, I want to share an excerpt of my baby, the thing I’ve loved and cherished for five years – I want to put it into the world.

I’m going to stop doing creative writing posts on my blog I think, maybe encourage myself to write creatively outside of the internet instead.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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“One day, she’ll know” | creative writing

2017, lifestyle, student, travel

She was playing – she had her favourite dolls and Lego and she’d built a house for them all to live in. She was playing mummy’s and daddy’s and using all the words and phrases she’d heard her parents saying; ‘I love you more than the sun loves the moon’, ‘Let’s dance like we did when we were young’ and ‘I told you to put the bloody dishwasher on’.

Her mummy and daddy liked to go on holidays a lot. They told her that one day she would be able to come with them but for now she gets to spend lots of holidays with her grandparents.

So her dolls went on holiday too – they flew away from the house they loved and flew all around the house until they landed in her mummy and daddy’s bed. They were talking about how they want to have a little brother or sister for her to play with.

When building a pillow fort for her dolls to have a sleepover in that she found a little device – she pressed a button and a light blue screen popped up with different squares and words and more colours. She dropped her dolls and started clicking, until all of a sudden daddy rushed in.

“Hey there baby girl, what are you doing with that? That’s not one of your toys is it.” He laughed, scooping her into his arms and taking the device away.

“I didn’t mean to daddy I was just looking.” She was scared – she never wanted to upset her daddy; he was her hero.

“What are you doing up here anyways? It’s nearly bedtime, what story do you want tonight?” He asked, lifting her onto his hip and picking up her dolls as he carried her back to her bedroom.

“I want one of your stories, they’re the best.” She rest her head on his shoulder and cuddled into him.

He tucked her under the covers with her dolls in her arms, sitting on the edge of her bed and taking a deep breath before he started his story.

“Sometimes, when mummy and daddy go on holiday, bad people do bad things. We have to do what we can to save people! Mummy is very, very clever – she can move things with her mind and read peoples thoughts and daddy can fly and build robots and devices like this one,” He held up the little machine she’d found. “Last time we went on holiday, there was a man who wanted to make people part of his army with a bracelet that put them under his control. Mummy and daddy worked together so make sure he couldn’t take any more people and made sure that everyone made it home to their families.” He told the story, watching her eyes flutter slowly shut.

“Daddy, are you and mummy superheroes?” She asked, very nearly asleep.

“For you, always.” He whispered, leaning down to kiss her forehead and then switching out her bedside light.

He closed her door as quietly as he could to his wife, standing with a raise eyebrow in the hallway. “If you keep telling her those stories we’re going to have to tell her sooner rather than later.”

“It’ll be fine, one day she’ll know.” He smirked, throwing an arm around her shoulders and kissing her temple. “One day.”


Hello!

I just watched Ant Man for the first time and I was in the mood to write something whimsical and superhero related – I really do love superheroes.

Just something silly and fun a bit late on a Monday evening, hope you’re having a good day!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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the girl on the underground | creative writing

2017, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

He was dressed all smart, headphones in his ears like everyone else – he didn’t even need to think about his route to work and back anymore because he did it every day. But this time he was staring at the message on his phone – tears silently running down his face because the words he’d never wanted her to say were staring back at him from the screen, with no provocation whatsoever.

He didn’t know what to do – he nearly missed his stop to change to a different line on the underground and he felt like he was being pushed along by the crowd of people rushing to get home to dinner.

Another escalator, another flight of stairs, another train, another tear as he took another longing glance at the text he couldn’t reply to yet.

Part of him didn’t want to leave the underground – if his phone couldn’t reconnect to the outside world he’d never have to reply to that text or make the corresponding phone call or have that argument. He could just ride the train till the end of the line then ride it all the way back.

But he couldn’t – he had to walk his dog and make dinner and go to sleep so he could do all this again tomorrow. Hopefully without repeating the text.

He got off the underground at his stop, slowly meandering amongst the other commuters, staring at his phone.

“Excuse me! Sir! You dropped your ticket!” He heard, someone breathlessly tapping on his shoulder behind him.

He turned to see the short girl in the oversized coat, her poker straight hair falling out of the ponytail that secured it and a faded red lip smiling at him after a day of wear.

But her face dropped and instantly moulded into an expression of concern. “Are you okay?” She asked.

He was frozen, he realised he wasn’t saying anything – he was just loosely holding the ticket she’d handed him in his hand.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked – who’d tell a stranger why they were crying on the underground? Sorry, hope your day gets better.” She fumbled.

“No,” He instantly responded, grabbing her wrist as she tried to walk past him and she stopped without reluctance. “Sorry, just been dumped after four years by text.” He blurted. “Wow, that was pathetic.”

“No, it’s not, you’re allowed to be heartbroken.”

“I don’t know why I told you.”

“I have one of those faces; people trust me with stuff.” She shrugged; she exuded this positive, happy mood with her dishevelled, messy hair and her biker boots and that smile that just didn’t seem to stop nagging at the corner of her lips.

“That doesn’t mean you always want to hear it.” He replied after a few moments silence – his brain wasn’t quite processing a full capacity and he could stop noticing her little smile.

“It’s alright. Do you have a train to catch?” She asked.

“Yeah.” He sighed.

“Why are you still standing here then?” She seemed genuinely intrigued.

“I don’t know.”

“I think you should text her back.” She smiled again, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a card. “Give it a few weeks, maybe a month or two. Don’t rush anything. You’ll be okay.”

Four months later he found out her husband had left her that day.

They didn’t often travel by train.


Hello!

I started writing this post when I was commuting in and out of London every day, but then I was home handling a family emergency and I couldn’t even think about blogging, but I didn’t want the post to go to waste so I finished it off and uploaded it today!

I was doing another journey home anyway so it was fitting that I wrote the beginning of the story on a train and finished it there true. I’m pretty done with trains, but they’re the only way I can really get home so I haven’t got much of a choice.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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the world is not what you thought | creative writing

2017

She was lost. Running, fumbling, already so far from her team and pushing further.

She was being chased, by the kind that rendered humanity to despair – 15 feet tall and strong, mindless humanoid creatures with angry red skin, razor sharp teeth and no concern for human life.

Humanity had united – all those left alive were brought together on central mainland Europe and the community worked fast to protect itself from the invasion that nearly destroyed Earth. No one knew if it was a human disease or an alien invasion but they knew they had to survive.

But humanity couldn’t resist – surviving wasn’t enough, they wanted to dominate and have control of their planet back. So a new army formed.

And she was part of it. She swore she would fight for her life – fight until there was nothing left and she did. The rest of her team were together, she had been separated and she made the decision to lure the Colossal away from her team – she knew she was to die, she wanted to do what she could to make sure they lived.

But she was running out of energy – she knew she wasn’t fighting for her life so why was she still running? Why didn’t she just let herself die?

And then she tripped over and rolled to a stand still, hearing the Colossal’s heavy footsteps catching up. But there was lighter footsteps, fast and getting louder – she looked up in time to see a heavy boot plant in front of her and leap over her.

Suddenly this mysterious woman was taking on the Colossal by herself – she launched herself into the air again, using the tree as a lever to reach his full 15 feet of height and her poised sword cut effortlessly through it’s neck.

The body stopped dead in it’s tracks – the head continuing to roll forward, the body slowly dropping to it’s knees and falling flat on it’s chest.

She had rolled onto her back and the head came to rest at her feet – it’s deep, black, electric eyes still open and staring at her.

Her anonymous saviour sliced her sword up it’s spine and stabbed her sword through it’s head into the ground, as a secondary precaution.

“How? How did you… all of humanity is inside of the walls and no one is allowed outside of the walls unless they are part of the outside attack devision of the army. How are you alive?” The soldier fumbled, scrambling to her feet and matching this anonymous fighter.

The fighter just narrowed her eyes, looking the soldier up and down and smirking.

“Nice coat. Is that your uniform?” The fighter teased, turning to pluck her sword from it’s place in the ground, wiping it clean on the nearest tree’s bark and sliding it back in it’s sheath.

The soldier was taken aback. “Um, yes, it is. You didn’t answer my questions.”

“Because a stupid question from a naive soldier of the Community is irrelevant.”

“Stupi- what do you mean ‘The Community’?”

“What do you call yourselves, the last humans alive?”

“We are-”

“No, if you believe you gathered every human and build a wall around them you were childish and stupid.” The fighter snapped.

The soldier realised. “You were forgotten. You didn’t make the boats, did you?”

The fighter sighed. “There’s a group of us, we’re travelling the world trying to find the rest of the stragglers. We’re going to build another camp – in Australia, start making Earth what it was by actually destroying the Colossal’s.” She snapped.

“How much do you know about them?” The soldier asked.

The fighter scanned her surroundings and shook her head. “There isn’t time – I may fight them but that doesn’t mean I want the Colossal’s to pin point me. I can take you back to the Community wall but you’ll have to get yourself inside.” She promised.

“Come with me.” The soldier begged instantly. “Inside the walls we can talk – compare knowledge, help each other, we can find your friends and make them safe.”

“We don’t want to be part of the Community. We want to take action. I wouldn’t get out again anyway – you said yourself only the army can get out.”

“I can get you in and out, please, just tell us what you know?”


Oh I thoroughly enjoyed that one. Can you tell I binge watched Attack on Titan recently?

I really love writing these posts – I don’t know why I don’t let them inspire me to actually write creatively in my own time but for some reason I just don’t, I’m not sure why. I wish I did write more though, I’m slowly working on it but computer time is difficult when I have uni and work and online stuff to manage.

It means I appreciate ‘away-from-computer’ time a lot more though and that’s nice.

I think I need the pressure of a deadline to make me actually write something, I could give myself one but it wouldn’t mean anything because that deadline would come and go and it wouldn’t matter. I always see YouTubers talking about their publishers giving them deadlines and I feel like that’s what I need but I’m not a big enough YouTuber to get a book deal, y’know?

Either way – what were you thoughts on todays writing? Something a bit different, but I really enjoyed it so I hope you did too – feedback would be much appreciated if you wanted to leave a comment!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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‘if you had three wishes, what would they be?’ | creative writing

2017

It’s a common discussion – almost as much as what you’d do with the money if you won the lottery: if you had three wishes, what would they be?

Now, the obvious seems to be money, some sort of infinite riches to live a comfortable life, or perhaps a luxurious house that you didn’t need to take a mortgage out to afford. Physical possessions are what most would consider first.

Then there’s those things that always cause controversy in the movies – love, respect, bringing people back from the dead, infinite wishes; the kind of wish that removes free will and gets everyone talking about free will and control of others.

But then, what do you wish for?

My genie stayed with me for a long time – I didn’t believe it at first, I was only 8 and my mum had gone into some antique furniture shop to find a set of drawers and I was playing in the old dresser when I was looking through all the drawers and found this old oil lamp.

It was dusty and clearly hadn’t been touched in a very long time. I opened the lid, peering inside there was a little scroll – I thought it would have a price on it but it just said ‘Take me home’. So I did. I shoved it in my bag and took it home.

I started dusting it off and as soon as I started polishing it this gold mist poured out the spout and swirling around my room into this man. Just a human man, or who appeared to be a human man.

Of course, as an 8 year old, I wished for a secret stash of sweets that my mum couldn’t see (and so the invisible, never ending sweet jar came to be) but then I became surprisingly thoughtful and didn’t want to waste my last two wishes.

My genie went back into his lamp and I could summon him whenever I decided what I wanted to use my last two wishes on. And I didn’t see him for fifteen years.

It became a complex of mine – do I wish for the things that’ll make me happy immediately or do I go for long term happiness? I wanted to wait until I knew exactly what I wanted to wish for.

Then I met him – he was at the bar with his friends when I was on a girls night, I was buying a round of drinks and he stood next to me at the bar; no chat up lines, no cheesy compliments, just genuinely started chatting to me and we haven’t stopped since.

I’ve never cared about anyone more in my life – he was everything. We both quit our jobs and went travelling for a year and we lived more in those three years we spent together than I had in the rest of my life. He asked me to marry him and I did.

Then came the complications – we couldn’t conceive. We wanted children more than anything and in that instant I knew what my second wish was.

And it was granted, we had two gorgeous little boys and everything we perfect.

But I still had one wish.

What do you do with that last wish? What if I wasted it and regretted it in years to come? What if something happened to my family and I couldn’t change it?

And that’s when I realised. The oil lamp had taught me a lesson – having wishes of unlimited grandeur isn’t a blessing, it’s a curse that weighs down on you and makes you look at the world with too much of a negative eye.

If I had learnt anything it was that I wished to be present – all those years I spent learning about myself with him and with my children and I just wanted to experience it. I don’t need to spend the rest of my life worrying about what my last wish is.

So I got my oil lamp out again and saw the man I’d known for thirty years.

“What is your final wish, my child?”

“To not have any more wishes.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t want the last wish. You can be free, whether it be a genie or a man, be free.”

“You think I could be human?”

He looked so hopeful, years of serving and waiting and I knew exactly how to use this last wish.

“I wish you to have the life you desire.”

And the lamp evapourated into a pile of that same gold mist I saw so long ago – my genie was shrouded in this same mist and then suddenly it was gone. He no longer wore his ornate gold jewellery or his serving clothes but jeans and an old sweatshirt; he was his own man.

“I can’t thank you enough.”

“And neither can I.”


Hello!

That took a very different turn than I expected it to, but whenever I write creatively on this blog it always ends up reading like soppy fanfiction without the ‘fan’ aspect.

I love doing these little pieces every now and then and it reminds me how much I love creative writing but focusing on writing my book (alongside having time for it) isn’t something I’m very good at.

For one, creative writing used to be something that my best friend from secondary school and I would do together – it was our thing, it was one of the reasons we were so close and she was there throughout the entire process of writing the first draft of my book. So going back to it is difficult because I think of her and while the memories are fond, the fact that we don’t talk any more saddens me sometimes.

But then on the flip side, in terms of getting a book published and getting agents and publishers to be interested in your writing is something I just can’t find any information on – agents have to be paid and google will only give me information on self publishing which is not something I’m interested in doing.

Writing these little posts are really therapeutic, in a way, for me and from the amount of likes and views the last couple of posts have got, I think maybe there are people that like reading them too.

So do you mind if I keep doing it?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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‘She wrote him a long letter, but he didn’t read it’

2017

He couldn’t get the words out of his mind. The first line his eyes had glossed over before he balled the parchment paper in his hand and tossed it towards the waste paper basket.

I’m sorry, I never meant for it to end this way.’

The words made his eyes sting and his vision blur but he couldn’t face it, he couldn’t accept it. Yet, every time he emptied the waste paper basket he left it on the floor, just next to the trash. Deep down, he knew there was no way he could throw it out without knowing what it said but he wasn’t ready.

Days past – a cold winter turned into a warm spring and a surprisingly hot summer had passed. He’d nearly forgotten about the letter. He’d been so busy with work and family and friends that the letter found itself kicked under a jacket that he’d dropped in front of his wardrobe. His sister had told him his flat was a tip and they were having an intense cleaning day with the occasional break to run to the coffee house on the corner to get hot chocolates and Christmas songs were ringing around the apartment.

He’d picked up the jacket and saw the same, scrunched up piece of paper on the floor.

He smiled, almost fondly – maybe forgetting the letter existed at all was his way of knowing he was ready.

He dropped the jacket back where it was on the floor and flattened out the A4 paper, wondering towards his bed and sitting heavily.

‘I’m sorry, I never meant for it to end this way.

I was careful. Perhaps too careful, that you never suspected, but clearly not careful enough if it ended this way. I’ve had this letter written for a long time, originally it was addressed to my parents but as soon as I met you I thought about rewriting this letter.

I suppose at this point you know – I’m a spy. I go undercover on a regular basis and I’m shot at nearly every day. 

I don’t need to talk about that though, it’s irrelevant now – all I want to say is I’m sorry Charlie, I hope you’re safe and happy and I’m sorry I never told you about who I really was. I just want you to know I love you with all my heart – when I turn 35 I hope this letter has never been delivered and I can retire with you, I want that so much. 

I hope it’s all okay. I hope you still spend Christmas with your family and put that dorky singing dog in a Santa hat on the mantle piece at Christmas.

I love you Charlie, even now. I love you.’

“Charlie, what’s wrong?” The only thing that tore him away from the letter was his sister’s panicked words as she stood in the doorway to his room. He looked up and smiled, realising tears had been streaming down his cheeks.

“Nothing, I’m fine. Genuinely.” He smiled, folding the letter neatly in half and placing it on his desk, pulling his sister into a tight hug and getting back to their tidying.

He’d been so angry that she’d lied to him for so long when she first passed, he didn’t know how to not be angry with her. But a year later he understood – she was protecting him and she still loved him, in the same way he still loved her.


Hello!

Seems like this post is in the wrong order – it’s not, I just didn’t want the story to be prefaced with ‘hi I’m going to do some creative writing!’ and interrupt the flow.

I used to write posts like this fairly regularly – it was good for me to do a little bit of creative writing and I really enjoy writing these little posts so I might do them more regularly this year! I got a book last year called ‘642 things to write about’ so I might post a few of them here.

Finding time to write is something I really struggle with so being able to write here occasionally feels really refreshing and enjoyable – I miss how I used to write all the time and work on stories and characters and plot lines.

I will get back to it, I’m working on getting back to it, it’s just picking my battles and my priorities but I am working on it – I am!

Also bonus Sunday post to make up for my being ill last Monday and missing a post. Regular posts again next week!

Thank you for reading, I have a lot of love for this blog and being able to write these little posts if I feel like it!

Sophie xx

 

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