Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Has Fallen...(Giveaway)

 Christmas has well and truly set in at home, the family's presents are being wrapped (I cannot wait to see my nieces and nephews faces), my friend's Secret Santas have been drawn, the list for the Blogger's Secret Santa I'm participating in are out, and carols are being sung around Christmas trees at work. (Well they will start again (the first carol show was back in September) now Tennis is over and once Gary Barlow has done his thang.)
 And a special gift arrived from the lovelies at Big Book Little Book Blog :D :

Such a gamer.
 This has to be the best month of the year, when do the games begin?

 So it has been one of those years, but I'm here to dwell on happier things. Way back in October something rather amazing happened.
  On Wednesday 26th I was lucky enough to get the chance to meet one of my favourite authors Cassandra Clare.

 Now in celebration of the release of Clockwork Prince this week (who else is excited? Jealous of others who've read it already?) and because Christmas is coming soon, I am going to give-away a paperback copy of City of Fallen Angels. And it's SIGNED, I carried this book with me to the signing (along with all my others) and the wonderful Ms Clare signed every single thing for me. Look:

  It is a second hand copy, I've only read it once. (That was after it arrived late through my letter box and I had to devour it to see what everyone else was talking about.)
  This is going to be international, since it's Christmas I wanted anyone to be able to enter, and this is open until midnight (GMT) Monday 12th December.

 Now all you have to do is post a comment with an email address. Because this is my first giveway, maybe my last, (and I haven't had luck with form thingys) I will be putting everyone's name in a hat (actually it will be a mixing bowl) and my Mum will be drawing the winner.

I think that's all, any questions just ask and I'll reply in the comments.

Now let us sing a song, Last Christmas anyone?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My Stage...

  I always wanted to perform, I can't remember a time when I wasn't forcing my cousins to dress up and put on shows for our parents, where we would put on a play I wrote or pretend to be the Spice Girls and give a concert (And because I was the youngest, I was Baby Spice).
  Sometimes I would even cook dinner for my parents, set up the front room like it was our own restaurant, then pick out fancy clothes for them to wear at dinner while I ate mine in the kitchen. I used to love doing that, designing the menus and setting up the table.
 One year me and my brother made my Mum roses for Mother's day; I'm pretty sure she still has them saved in a box somewhere.
 I even wrote a musical about Hercules when I was about 8 or 9, I read out what I wrote while my brother and Mum took turns to type it up on our typewriter. Then I gave my lyrics to my piano teacher who wrote the score. Then my Dad took me to see my headteacher, it turns out he had asked her to read the script! It never was performed, but the script still waits patiently somewhere in my room (I'm sure if I re-read it, it would seem awful, but I'm proud of it none-the-less).

  When I left Primary School my ambition was to be a actor/singer/writer/dancer. I wanted to do anything and everything creative. I took Drama and Music GCSE, and when we had to write a short story for English Literature it reminded me how much I loved writing. 
 Then I found out I got into the school of my dreams, the performing arts school I had been dreaming of going to since I was 13, and I was going to study theatre, learn the craft of acting from professionals.
  Those two years I spent there, from the ages of 16 – 18, were honestly some of the best of my life. I had my greatest friends from school still in touch with me, and I made lots of new ones, and we had the best experiences we could possibly have. I can't even recall exactly how many times we performed.
 One of my highlights had to be when myself and a friend created our own show and had it performed; we were the writers/directors/producers/set designers/costume makers – everything. We got together a group of our friends and put on an amazing show, using multimedia. We even were allowed to paint the walls in our performance room (which I had to be in at 8am one morning to do).
  I don't regret anything from those two years, going to that school was the best decision I have ever made.
  Then, a few weeks before I got my final results, my Dad sadly passed away.

  And over time, words have become my performance outlet. Now every day I remind myself how good it feels to express my stories and characters through the words on the page, and to see people enjoy what I've written is the greatest buzz of all.
  I would like to go back to acting one day, but for now I'm loving this journey I'm on.
  At the start of this I was completely unprepared for how hard I would have to work. How difficult world building can be, how tough you have to be during revisions, how straining and frustrating querying can be – but do I give up? No. I can't give up, not when I've found something I believe myself to be good at, something I think I really have a chance at.
  That's why I keep going, taking rejection and criticism on the chin and work harder to improve. This year has taught me a lot about writing, and a lot of it has come from the fantastic bloggers I've found. And as much as this years been tough in so many ways, I realise there is so much to be thankful for.

  And on one last note, if anyone wants to check out a favourite blog of mine: Big Book Little Book, they are a great tips and reviewer site who are running competitions in the run up to Christmas.
 Check them out if you can, and I'll be back soon with some special Christmasy posts. 
 For now I hope you're all doing well, and looking forward for this special month that is December.