Three books. Two books.

Apologies

First thing I need to do is apologise. This post is late due to another power cut to hit my area. That would make two in roughly a month. Everything from our kitchen utilities to the living room entertainment equipment. Off. Gone. Which interrupted my time scale and meant that I had no lights to continue finishing the book I was reading. But I have officially finished it today, and have already started a new one.

Book one.

Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe.
Image taken from Amazon.

This was a surprise for me. I didn’t know anything about it. It was given to me by a really good friend. She gave me two other books as well which I will eventually get to. However, for now this… This gorgeous book, comic, whatever you want to call it, was a magnificent read. I didn’t actually intend on reading it when I did. I had just picked it up from my friends home. I stepped into the house and I opened it. It was not a mistake. Actually, I loved it. It was brilliant. It was beautiful. And when it got its claws into me that was it. It sunk deeper and deeper into me that after I had promised myself to stop reading it after the first chapter, after the second, and third. I ignored myself until I finished this beautiful first volume and screamed for more.

I do have a warning for anyone that might be interested in reading this. It does have sensitive topics and themes in it. If you are someone that might be triggered, or particularly vulnerable to this kind of topic then just be careful or aware when you read it. I don’t think you shouldn’t read it. I think it would be a tragic shame. It is an exquisite piece of art. I won’t divulge the nature of the sensitive topics I am warning you all about because it would spoil the book. But please try and read passed it as it is a beautiful book the characters are all amazing. Except for one which you will all discover who I mean if you read this. Which you most definitely should because it is amazing. I am not even going to go into the blurb because it is just amazing. Go read it! I finished it in an hour. Go! Go now! Put the blog down and go buy it off amazon, read it!

Book two.

Once upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber.
Image taken from Amazon.

This led me down a wonderful rabbit hole of self doubt and many cases of speculation. Stephanie Garber is the author of the well established series Caravel. I have read the first book but I haven’t finished the whole series yet. But like all authors Stephanie Garber has a pattern. A writing pattern. Her last series was designed to redirect you. To make you believe the same illusion as the main character. It is a technique she is very successful at.

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in happily ever after. Until she learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, and her dreams are shattered.

Desperate to stop the wedding, and heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game – and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy . . .

My main aim is to keep this post as spoiler free as possible. So, I will be careful with what I say. This literally made me think a little bit like Alice in Wonderland. There were moments I felt as naïve as the main character. I was also craving a romance which I still think is there but I will have to wait until second book for that I think… I hope! There was a moment of sexiness which gives me the impression that there is still a chance. But as Stephanie Garber is so skilled at doing and proving… I could be wrong. The sneaking suspicion is still there though and I hope I’m right. I’m waiting with a bated breath for the second book.

Book three.

Midnight in Everwood by M. A. Kuzniar.
Image from Amazon.

This is a beautiful book. I believe it is based on the Nutcracker story. A good story to have read for Christmas time and also to be the first finished book of the year. I didn’t know anything about this book when I came to it. I had heard that it was a nice book to read for Christmas so I got it from my partner as a Christmas present.

Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.

After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.

It took me a little while to get to grips with this book. If I’m honest as well I am not overly sure about the ending either. It felt a little… empty for me. But I have an odd suspicion as to why. I won’t go into in depth detail because once again I am trying to not spill any spoilers. There were a lot of words in this book that threw me off because I had never seen them before and had no idea how to pronounce them or what they even meant so my brain spent an awful lot of time stopping and starting. Stalling at another word I was trying to work my brain around. Deeper into the story my brain got into the flow of just jumping an attempt at understanding what the fuck had just been said and moved on hoping the rest of the story would just help it roughly make sense. Otherwise, I enjoyed the story, there was romance with a character I fell in love with. (He was cute). I would have preferred a different ending to the story but that is just my opinion. The story was very good. Very enjoyable. A little difficult. But get passed that and it was a very good story.

What’s next…?

After finishing these books I have been feeling really good about myself. I have been enjoying my books more. And my to be read list is growing shorter. Thank goodness for that. Now, I have selected a book that is sort of making me quake in my boots at how huge it is. It is the Bargainer series in one. Four books in one. By Laura Thalassa. I worked it out as over a hundred chapters. If I have even the smallest hope in finishing this, I would need to get in as many chapters tonight as I possibly can.

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If you could check the links under the images that would help me out a lot. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Let’s do this 2022.

New year, new me.

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great holiday if that is what you celebrate. If not then I hope you had at least a good new year. Honestly, I can say I have had a nice Christmas and New Year. Not normal. But it was nice. I spent a night with my Mum, brother, and his partner playing the horror game – Man of Medan a week before Christmas. I then spent the day at the cinema with my Dad, brother, and his partner to see the new Spider Man film which by the way was excellent. (My partner was with me, I would never just abandon him during this excellent holiday season). And this was before Christmas Eve. This had all been planned to happen before Christmas because of my partner’s brother and wife. They live in Boston. They had originally decided to fly in on Christmas Eve. Which by all accounts wasn’t really the greatest idea given the current UK circumstances. They cancelled last minute. However, I didn’t change my plans with my family. It was a good thing I didn’t because otherwise I wouldn’t have seen either of them at all. My Dad went away on Holiday for three weeks, flying out on Christmas Eve. Lucky bugger. And my Mum tested positive for covid. She was not very well. She has recovered now, but her partner also tested positive just before new years. So, at least I got those days with my parents before anything. On Christmas day we went to go and spend a couple of hours with my partner’s mum which was really nice. I got to say thank you to my partner’s sister because she got us the best tasting meat for our Christmas dinner ever. Then on boxing day went to see my partner’s dad.

Then on new years eve and day we ate treats and take away food. Didn’t really do anything else though in regards to celebrating the event of the new year. The only thing I have done is make some target ideas for myself to self-improve. Now this doesn’t just include my weight, this will include my skills, my mental well-being when it comes to myself view. I have a very low image of myself. I consider myself to be close to worthless. Actually no, not close, I do think I am completely useless, with no value, and I don’t think I deserve anything particularly good for me or exciting when it comes to career or jobs. So, now I am going to make efforts, maybe not to change that point of view because… how would I change that?

Goals.

I don’t really want to call them new year resolutions. I could start these goals whenever I want. I didn’t necessarily need it to be the new year to start these changes. But the new year is a good point to measure when I started, wherever I get up to, and the results compared to when I started. So, I am calling these goals. Some of these goals are going to be recorded on here. Some of them are a little too private and I don’t want to share those moments with anyone else at all. Sorry guys. But most of my goals will be recorded on here.

  • Fitness

This is a general point that covers a few goals. I will have already spoken about this goal. Probably multiple times. Sadly, for you, I am going to briefly touch on this again. I want to improve my Pole and Aerial skills. The only difficult part of this for me is finding a place to practice. A place that I don’t have to consistently allocate at least two hours a day because of equipment set up and set down. As well as being weather dependant because I am training in my back garden. It is really frustrating. I don’t have a room to practice in. There are some things I can work on but the actual moves I need to do otherwise I will never get to the level I want. This is more being held back by circumstance. Which I will figure out before the end of this year. The other part to that is lose weight. The basic of any fitness is losing weight. I have decided not to go off the scales. Instead I am going to try and see the difference… it may take a little longer but this may be a healthier way to do it. With that I will be following a yogi on youtube. And Chloe Ting has updated her website and released a new workout program. Which I will be following.

  • Healthier eating.

Which leads into the next goal. Better eating. Healthier eating. This will depend solely on my cooking skills. Which if any of you reading this know me… are just not existent. This is probably because I am a fussy eater. However, I have promised my partner I am just going to force myself through it. To do this we are going to follow Slimming world meals, and once a week I am going to select a different Chloe Ting recipe. I am going to try and make it, and we are going to eat it. Once a week. I am going to do some proper cooking… Chopping onions (blurg).

  • Reading

We already know about my reading goal. One book a week for the year to try and improve my reading. I can tell you I am doing very well. I am still on that. I will talk about the two books this week.

  • Writing

Going to try and complete a chapter a day. This won’t include editing. This is just writing it. Getting that chapter down and done. Editing one chapter a day will come after I have completed the novel. I also want to work on a short story piece which I might allocate a day to on the weekend maybe.

All of this, of course, will have to work around my new job.

My new Job.

Yes, I did it. I believe I got the job. Which is exciting but also terrifying. I have never done this job before, however, I feel that this job is going to be so much better than all of my previous jobs. I also have a sense that I am going to stay in this job. I want to stay in this job, I don’t want to shuffle into another job again. The issues between jobs is just financially crippling.

I do need to do multiple bits of research, and thankfully there will be training. But they also are willing to pay for me to complete an NVQ qualification. I am very excited for this. I haven’t started yet but I believe that might be because the place was closed over Christmas and New Year.

The year 2022 is going to be a better year for me. The year 2022 is going to be a better me forever. Thank you so much for reading. I know this seems like a repeat of every year but I am making conscious efforts to be a better me. I’ll write again soon. Bye!

Chipping away.

Hello everyone. I have to be honest I have not made amazing ground breaking strides with my writing. In fact I have really only worked on it in the small moments I have between doing other things. I would like to blame it on Christmas but there are other things as well which have left me with not an awful lot of time to sit down and concentrate for hours on it.

That being said today I did have time, and I still do have time which I will be taking advantage of after dinner. But today I spent a great deal of it reading and getting my booster and writing something that I think I want to try out for later.

The Beginnings.

Whenever I come up with an idea I always take some time to write the beginnings of this idea to save it on my computer for me to come back to later. It will most definitely change. But I like to do this because on the day that I come back to it, and I will come back to it, it’ll help me remember what it was I was thinking or imagining. I haven’t got a title for it that will be the next step in my thought process.

Christmas.

Due to the fact that it will be Christmas in just a couple of hours I am going to leave this post here.

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Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Illusionary

Zoraida Cordova

Image found on Bing Images.

If by any chance you have clicked onto this post and haven’t read the first book but you are going to read them then please follow this link to my previous post so as not to spoil anything for yourself.

http://aerialwriter.com/2021/12/15/incendiary/

As this book is a second in a duology it may be difficult for me to avoid spoilers. So this is your opportunity to avoid that and return to the other post.

Spoiler Warning.

This is the second in a duology and it is a beautiful ending to Renata’s story. Betrayal, heartbreak, friendship, love, steamy scenes, and a voyage. Renata and Castian have teamed up. This book starts off right at the end of the first book. The war between Moria and the Puerto Leonese is still in full swing except this time the King is now personally enforcing the issue. While the pair go on a perilous adventure to find a divine weapon to help win the war.

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.

My thoughts.

If I’m honest I was definitely looking forward to this one after the first book. I enjoyed the first book, I did the story was good. I was emotionally invested even though there were times when I really wanted to know why on earth would the main character help any of these people. However, the first book didn’t really have the build up of juicy romance, no steamy scenes… not really. The love was already there when the story began and then it was quite abruptly lost. Well you find out later that it wasn’t lost in the way that main character had believed which is how Renata and Castian end up thrust together. In the second book there is the build up of romance! Enemies to lovers! Yes that sweet character change. There were in steamy scenes which were beautiful to read. They weren’t cringy or grim to read. They were classy and intimately romantic.

It was a lovely end to the story and I was well invested. There was a risk of losing everything although… let’s be honest typically young adult novels have nice endings. I wouldn’t have it any other way! But that is the predictable part of the story. The question was how they were going to get there. I was also thankfully so relieved and thankful to Renata for having some self-respect and sense. She was confronted by her ex and chose not to fall pathetically conflicted into his arms. She saw that he had betrayed her and realised the clear answer. Hallelujah! The amount of books with female characters that go through that stupid crisis of – Oh but I love him – boohoo! The guy is awful, betrayed you, and possibly is going to betray you again. Oh wait, look! they betrayed you again! and you’re surprised! I hate that, but Renata didn’t do that. Thank whatever writing deity is out there.

Next…

I managed to complete this book in a week. I was so impressed with myself. That is a whole book in a week. That isn’t a record for me, but it is pretty good. This week however I think I have shot myself in the foot a little bit. The next book I have chosen for this beautiful Christmas week is ‘Once upon a broken heart’ by Stephanie Garber. It is a gorgeous book given to me by a beautiful friend. A hardback, signed by the author edition. And it is gorgeous to look at. I don’t know much about this book and what is about to happen. What I do know is this one is bigger, and there are more chapters. Oh crap. This is going to be harder to nail in a week. Especially given that this is the Christmas week. Lots of running around going to see family. Well, not for me really one parent is going away on holiday and the other tested positive for covid… So… I’ll be seeing them after Christmas.

Affiliate.

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Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Multiple Applications.

Hello everyone. Since leaving my previous job and even before leaving it in fact, I had been applying for other jobs. Ones that I was hopeful to get once I had left. Or not long afterwards. However, as with most of the job applications that I complete I receive a notification that I unfortunately was not selected. Or indeed sends me a notification that lets me know that the employer has moved on to the next stage of the recruitment process and it looks like I was not selected this time… Or any time there after.

Rejection after rejection.

Whenever I apply for jobs that don’t look particularly dodgy I get rejected. Every time. The excuse has always been the same. They would apparently choose someone with more experience. More experience? Not to sound a little bit juvenile and whiny but is that the real reason? or is that just a generic message sent to every applicant on mass from a bot to save on time, energy, and money? I’m nearly thirty. I’m not old, but I’m not exactly at that peak prime of life. Also… again not to sound petulant but one of the jobs I had applied for was a trainee job. Experience in that respect should not really be a factor in a trainee application role.

Emotional State.

After a while I’m not going to lie the mental state starts to plop to levels below ground. Self-worth becomes sort of questioning. Especially when I consider that the only jobs that took me on were really dodgy customer service roles, and they only took me on because someone else wouldn’t take the job or I looked like someone who would show up. These are pretty crap reasons. I didn’t stand out like they tell you that you need to when searching for jobs. I just happen to be a last option. That stings, just a little bit to the self-esteem. Whatever little self-esteem I had.

Time for another change.

Well, I don’t want to fall into another awful job in which the employer takes advantage of their staff and honestly… there is no real benefit or worth to that job at all. On the other hand I need a job. So, as a result I have made another change. I have decided to apply to be a support worker for young people and children with autism (specially but not only). Terrifying isn’t the only word I would use for this. But, on the plus side, full training is crucial and is given, it is a job that is worth doing, and as awful as this sounds it pays relatively ok. I say ok, because it is over my minimum wage, but not much more. I’m nervous because I don’t have any real experience as a support worker at all. And these are young people that (if I get the job) require me to help them whenever possible. I would be responsible for that young person. I have only really been responsible for my own dogs. And dogs can be pretty basic once you’ve made sure that they won’t bite people. Feed them, walk them, give them cuddles, and then they sleep. This will be completely different. I am just more concerned with doing something wrong.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning is the interview day. I am actually quite nervous because most of the interviews have been quite informal. This one is going to be official. To prepare I’m doing and going to continue to do research on everything and anything that I can find for this job. Wish me luck?

Affiliate.

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I feel as if today’s post is not only late but quite short. I thought I had a little more to say about last week… I probably do but I am only concentrating on one aspect. The aspect that is currently at the forefront of my brain. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Music Mood Setting.

I’ve been slowly chipping away at a novel that I have been writing for roughly a year now. I decided during lockdown to really focus on just one project. This was an idea I spoke to with my brother when it originally sparked inside my head. It has changed a lot since then and I quite happy with where it has gone so far. There have been moments though when I have struggled getting through a scene because I just haven’t felt the mood. Well, this week I have found a song that has helped set me in a particular mood for the part that I am at with my writing.

Sting ft Ray Chen – What could have been. (Arcane League of Legends Soundtrack).

This has just hit the right spot for me this week and I feel like the writing is flowing in the right pace for what I’m seeing in my head. It is a beautifully orchestral piece. It is also from the Netflix series Arcane, which I haven’t watched yet so please, no spoilers, thank you.

While writing I think I struggled with finding the right emotion for that particular scene. As there are things that happen in my story that I have not been through. I always imagine myself in the characters shoes, based on what that character is like, if I was like that how I would imagine I would feel in those moments. This week apparently I feel like the character feels like a monster. Apparently, she feels like what has happened could have been different. Should be different. But it isn’t. And this song just hits the spot for me.

Sometimes, I will admit I just need that one song or a whole soundtrack, or even a film to just set me into a particular mood and the writing will flow. I find if I was to try and play another song at this moment I just wouldn’t feel right.

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They have plenty of offers for everyone this Christmas. If you do decide you’d like to buy a loved one, or yourself a book this year please click the link above. It would help me out a lot. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Incendiary

Zoraida Cordova

Image taken from Microsoft Bing Images.

The first book in a duology. And it is a spectacular start to a series. Love, grief, revenge, rebellion, and betrayal. Two kingdoms at war; Puerto Leones, and Memoria. Puerto Leones under the rule of a vicious King and Prince son. Memoria a scattered Kingdom in hiding with a small band of rebels called Whispers. The people of Memoria have gifts that concentrate on different aspects of mind manipulation. Persuari, as you can all probably guess, is a potent power of suggestion. Ventari, mind readers. Illusionari, creators of illusion. Robari, an ability to take memory for their own.

Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the crown. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, she was used to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the death of thousands of her own people. 

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, a rebel spy working against the crown. When Dez, her commander – and the boy she’s grown to love – is taken prisoner by the notorious Prince Dorado, Renata must return to the palace and complete his top-secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the royal court, she uncovers a secret that could change to fate of the entire kingdom – and end the war that has cost her everything

Spoiler Free Review

Well, I am going to try and keep this as spoiler free as I can. But there were parts of it I enjoyed and some of it I was sat screaming profanities at the pages. I enjoyed this book. Honestly, I did. I don’t think it filled the hole that was left in my reading heart by Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. But let’s be reasonable. Not every book is going to and that book was beyond words amazing to me. But this book was very enjoyable, I liked the main character even though sometimes I wanted to grab hold of her and shake her shouting ‘Open your fucking eyes!’ or ‘Put two and two together! Please!’.

This book is a young adult fiction, but it could fit into the adult fantasy section of any library or shop as well. I say this given that there are elements of torture, starvation, and practically world war two human cruelty style themes. A set type of people are hated and punished for existing. And the punishments are not limited. Heads left on display on spikes around the main city walls as a reminder to the ‘enemy’. Cages in which people are quite literally forgotten about and are left to starve or kill themselves or whatever other dark things happen in the dungeons. There are also cases of child abuse in this book. So, if you are someone that may find these sort of themes too much for you maybe don’t read this story.

It starts you, the reader, right in the thick of the action. Actually, you could almost think that it is nearing a tragic end given that there are implications that the rebels are losing. Losing badly. There are mentions of a home that they had already lost before we enter the book so naturally I think it would safe to assume that the rebels have either nearly all died or fled the country. But you don’t start with the main character, you start from the point of view of an older character who is a rebel. She is confronted by the Prince. Now the first chapter is usually the setting stone for how the rest of the book is going to play out or it provides you with information you need to move forward. It should also leave you with a question. What happens next? This definitely does. It paints a cruel image of a prince. But the author also leaves a tiny bit of doubt to this cruelness because the character we follow makes mention that he had been a sweet boy when he was tiny. In just the first chapter there is so much foreshadowing and suspicious implications for how the rest of the book will turn out and what these little implications mean that you want to find out.

Personally because I adore romance, and especially if it is an enemy to lover sort of story this book didn’t quite hit my favourites. It had action, intrigue and mystery, grief, and magic. Like any book with a royal family there are inner court gossips and betrayals. Underhanded strategic plays for the handsome prince’s attention. Even maids fancying him. However, because of the structure of the story and for aspects of it that I am not going to specifically mention because as I said trying to be spoiler free. There is no build up of lover relations, not really any romance, so it didn’t quite give me the curling my toes and kicking my feet squealing with delight. But it is still a worthwhile read. Well written, and I was absorbed into it that sometimes my partner would speak to me, and I would only register that he had spoken five minutes later and I would need to apologise that I didn’t quite take it in. He would laugh and forgive me.

Next…

I finished the book within the week I set myself. Next is now my big challenge so far. A whole book in a week. I think I can do it… I’d like to have some faith in myself. The only issue is of course something personal with family has come up for Christmas and I need to prepare for it. So amid all the preparation I will be trying to squeeze in a whole book in a week. I know to some of you that won’t sound like a lot. But for me, a particularly slow reader, this is going to be an actual challenge. The next step is to continue the story from where it left off. My next read is Illusionary by Zoraida Cordova. The second instalment to the duology. Reading the blurb after finishing the first book has left me actually quite excited. I won’t say more as again I mean this post to not spoil the book. But oh my goodness I hope this book has what is implied in the blurb.

Affiliate.

Before I close off this post I would like to include the affiliation that I have with Waterstones. A huge bookselling company which I adore going into every time I go into a city. If you would like to purchase the book I have spoken about above you can purchase the paperback for £8.99 or hardback for £14.99.

If the book above is of no interest to you then please check out the link below for some brand new releases at great prices. From leading author, Lee Childs, or even Will Smith’s own book.

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Even if you are not interested in buying anything, simply clicking the link to browse helps me out a lot. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

A New Challenge.

Hello everyone! I realise that I am probably doing this at an awkward time since everyone on the Northern side of the equator are all heading into the winter months. And typically for some people (not everyone, trying to be culturally aware) the winter months are for Christmas. The Merry season of Christmas. It is this time that most people will let themselves go. Freely run into all of their cheat meals and treats for the holidays. Now I know where you are all probably thinking this is going but I am going to tell you… You’re wrong. No this is not a challenge to remain good diet wise. Nope. I am going to limit my TV screen time!

Mindless Watching.

Now, I’m going to clarify what I mean. Recently, actually no, I’m lying to myself again. I noticed this a while ago. But I couldn’t sit at my laptop and trying to “write” without something happening in the background. Then my brain would phase out, my eyes would drift up above my laptop screen, and stare quite mindlessly at whatever I may have thrown onto Netflix at the time. I have watched a lot. A lot. I have watched the Equalizer multiple times because of my growing need to watch people who deserve to be punished actually get punished even though I know it only exists fictionally. I have finished watching Sex Life which I could have predicted how it was going to end and honestly… I found so many things dislikeable about it but I finished it anyway. I watched Little Women (2019) multiple times. Something I should probably read rather than watch but I have watched it a couple of times since. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society… What a name… The GL Triple P Society. So many times I could literally write an awful lot of the script beat for beat on here without having to look at it. I watched Jane Eyre which I’m not sure I like… Oh god I know Blasphemy!

Basically, long story short! I have watched so much Netflix, Prime, and Disney+ that I am now looking at all of these platform listings thinking – There is nothing left to watch… – Which isn’t true but I’m running out of the things that really catch my interest. Sadly though, this wasn’t what sparked this need to stop my weird watching addiction. It wasn’t even the fact that I was watching so mindlessly that all I wanted to do was just be mindless and I was finding that I was making the excuse of being tired when really I just didn’t want to think or make an effort for anything. Except pressing a button on my remote. It got so bad that I was even stalling until the last second to go the toilet. I would be practically bouncing until I eventually actually go. Then there is the eating. I have been microwaving two minute rice packets to eat. Just to have a quick meal… then get back to being nothing on the couch.

This is not to say that everyone who scrolls through Netflix, or Prime, or Disney+ is nothing. If this is a hobby you like to do with your family, your friends, or just for you that is fine. No judgement at all. But for me, I was starting to really dislike myself more so than I already do. I would sit on the couch with my laptop on my lap and maybe… MAYBE… write one or two sentences in the whole entire day. What? What the fuck me? I could have finished this project that I am working on ages ago, but me being possible a mix of just plain lazy or something else I haven’t finished it at all. And that isn’t ok. Not for me.

The Spark.

What first struck me to think about this weird none productive habit was when I was watching the Equalizer for the millionth time. The main character likes to say a particular line to the other characters that he is trying to help improve themselves. “Mind, Body, Spirit”. Now I know this isn’t something new, but when he was talking to other characters with that in mind it made me think about myself. Why did I feel like I couldn’t do something without that noise in the background? Or why did I turn on the TV as soon as I got home from the gym or from walking the dogs? How did I get to the point that I wasn’t even thinking about it, I was just turning it on without even considering what it was I wanted to watch?

Then I found that Netflix had added Little Women. Jo March was so dedicated to being a writer that that was all she did and she didn’t watch TV. They didn’t have a television back then. A thought occurred to me that I wanted to be like that. There was also Jane Eyre. I didn’t like Jane Eyre. But there are people who love it. Loved it when it was first published and still love it to this day. I am not vein enough to believe that I could be as good a writer as any of the Bronte Sisters. Or Jane Austen. But I realised that I had never read them. I had never read any of the classics. None. But I love reading. This is what has brought me to the conclusion that I really need to change the lifestyle I have all together, not just in my diet, or exercise regiment. But in how I choose to spend my time.

Limit, not cut out.

Now, because we are closing in on Christmas a lot of the time when my partner and I want to spend an evening together doing the same thing, eating food, and just being with each other. We spend quite a bit of time watching Christmas films leading up to Christmas day. That’s fine, I am prepared for that. It is why I stated that I would be limiting my TV time rather than just cutting it out completely. I would like to limit it to the times that I am eating or with my partner or when a friend visits. Otherwise, I’ll be reading, writing, or exercising in whatever way I happen to be trying out at the time. This will help with my challenge of reading a book a week.

Affiliate.

Before I close this post off I am going to leave this here. It is just my own affiliate link to Waterstones. If you’ve been thinking of buying any books please click the link below it would help me out a lot. Thank you.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

Anyway, that is my next challenge. I don’t really know if this will change my life all that much. But I am sure to find out later this week. Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon. Bye!

Getting back into Reading.

Recently, because I have been feeling a little bit low I have let go of practically everything. And although reading was only one of those things, probably not even the most important, but it is where I am going to start. I love sinking into another world and forgetting about the one that we are all actually in for a little bit. Now, I am going to try and do it even more I want to go into the year 2022 with a goal of the number of books I read. I could do with expanding my brain and films are just getting all the more awful.

The goal.

I know this isn’t going to be difficult for some of you. Unfortunately though I am a slow reader. I am nearly like Penny from the big bang theory. Hopefully not that slow, but I am still slow enough. To improve that I have set myself a goal to read one book a week. At least. I am practically sweating at the idea of that goal. My brain is thinking ‘Oh my god, do I have the brain power to even do that’. Short answer, probably not. But you never know for sure unless you try right?

Currently.

At the moment I am more than halfway through ‘Incendiary’ by Zoraida Cordova. I am enjoying it, but I would like to talk about it once I have finished it. I have eleven chapters left so if I read at least two a day for seven days I will finish it for next week. Then I will have the conundrum of selecting the next book to read from my shelf.

Zoraida Cordova

Affliate

Waterstones recently announced their book of the year award winner. And what a winner he is. Already hysterically famous, there won’t be anyone in the world who doesn’t have some idea of who this is. Or would have at least heard of him. ‘The Lyrics’ by Paul McCartney.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

From the moment booksellers heard about the imminent publication of The Lyrics we all recognised its enormous significance as a key piece of cultural history. When the stunningly designed two-volume slipcase edition arrived in shops, we realised it was even more special than that. Paul McCartney has stated that it is highly unlikely he will ever write a conventional autobiography. This, then, stands as the defining literary statement of Britain’s most influential living songwriter. From Yesterday to Hey Jude to Live and Let Die and beyond, The Lyrics – crafted in collaboration with celebrated poet Paul Muldoon – abounds in evocative, never-before-seen images from McCartney’s personal archive alongside fascinating commentary on 154 career-spanning songs that have soundtracked all of our lives. The Lyrics is undoubtedly, in the words of Waterstones CEO James Daunt, ‘a true joy for bibliophiles.’

They also announced the Winner for their Children’s Gift of the Year award. ‘Julia and the Shark’ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. A beautifully illustrated book for children, Tom de Freston, this book is a wonderful addition for your children’s mini home libraries.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

When we saw just how much bookseller love there was out there for the breathtaking children’s novel Julia and the Shark, we knew we had to crown it our Children’s Gift of the Year. A very special collaboration between the wife and husband team of Kiran Millwood Hargrave (former Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner for The Girl of Ink and Stars) and enormously talented artist Tom de Freston, this wonderfully realised tale of a summer spent seeking the mysterious great Greenland shark touches on universal themes of family, hope and the escalating climate crisis. With de Freston’s exquisite illustrations perfectly complementing Hargrave’s tender, timeless and compelling prose, Julia and the Shark is an irresistibly beautiful must-read that all junior bookworms – not to mention their parents – will fall head over heels in love with.

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047

Thank you so much for reading. If you could check out the link under the images that would be a great help to me and greatly appreciated. Write again soon. Bye!

Zero Hour Contract Jobs…

Cynical Outlook.

I appear to have developed a cynical outlook on most aspects of every day life. Of people. Of work. Of myself. The negativity doesn’t seem to be ending or getting any better. And I want to talk about it. I feel like I need to talk to all of you about it because I think this is what has led me to refresh my blog. I feel like a complete and total mess, and I appear to be getting worse. Bad things keep happening. Bad people keep happening.

Constant Tongue Biting.

I have had multiple jobs this year. And let me tell you. They have all been god awful. The government sold a horrendous idea to the UK, clapped their hands together to congratulate themselves on another successful trick pulled off, and now people are taking advantage of this idea. That horrendous idea has a name. Zero hour contracts. No worker/employee rights and the employers are loving it. Want to know how? They snap their fingers and if the employee or worker doesn’t jump to that snap of the fingers that’s it, no job. Oh no, but wait they do not directly fire you. Oh no, that is the legal part of it. They just simply keep you on the books and just cut your shifts until you have so little or none that you are forced to leave by yourself.

Now, I was working in a new shop in Leyland. It is roughly just under two months open. Tuesday was supposed to be my payday. When I messaged the group asking what time we were to expect it into our accounts, would you like to know what that employer’s response was? You can probably guess. Here it is –

Hopefully tonight or tomorrow. Thanks

My Employer.

That is all he said on it. Well I have two things in mind that I would like to say about this one sentence. “Hopefully” should never be in a sentence when talking about pay. And tomorrow is not payday. The second one I would like to reply to him with. I am angry and annoyed. He had a discussion with me about trust the other day because of a mistake I had made. I really want to spit in his face and tell him that trust goes both ways. However, because I know that this man is a nasty man and if he feels so inclined will withhold my pay if he deems it necessary that my tongue is bitten down so hard.

This isn’t the only time I have had to bite my tongue over in order to make sure that my pay doesn’t just disappear. But this is a pretty good fresh example. And I am exhausted. Right now, I am being careful not to outright mention the name of this particular business. Even though I could rip it to shreds right now with the practices of this employer.

I’m a nice person.

I’m a nice person. I consider other peoples feelings when I say something. Usually if I say something awful to or about someone or something it has to get to the point in which I just can’t deal with it anymore. I know from talking to my manager that some religions believe that when you do bad things that bad things will happen to you in return. I am unfortunately here to tell you that if you believe this… I’m sorry but that just isn’t right. Bad things happen to good people. Bad people take advantage of good people. And that is how the world is functioning because only bad people are in power right now. You want to know why?

Bad people, do anything and everything to get on top. So, when they come across a nice person, or a good person. They are probably standing there calculating their epic fortune because being good apparently means taking the high road. There is nothing on that high road. Nothing. Actually, they call it the high road and being the bigger person to help people like us to continue to be a good or nice person. Even when we have achieved absolutely nothing.

Sometimes I wish I was Denzel Washington from the Equalizer films Robert McCall. Only I would target employers who exploit the good graces of their employees. Because I have had enough.

Being laughed at or waved off.

I approached this very same employer regarding the contract that he brought in one day for us all to sign. Well at first glance I could tell that this was a bad contract if I ever saw one. There was nothing specific to the job role. There was nothing about how much we were going to be paid. For the job role it stated that we had all been hired as shop assistants and if necessary we were expected to take on extra responsibilities. No holiday pay. No sick pay. No pension. No benefits at all to this job. Actually, to add to that he didn’t even mention pay on that very contract. He wanted to claim ownership rights over all and anything we make while in his employment. Nothing specific, just all of it. There was no disciplinary policies, it was just a list of conditions that would get you fired without notice. One of them was ‘failure to follow an instruction given by your superior’. I don’t know about you, but I know if there was something horrendously dangerous and I decided I wasn’t going to do it. Like… Let’s say for example try and clean a machine that is over 200 degrees hot. I am fired without notice because I failed to follow an instruction…

I messaged this employer asking to talk about it. I had read it and wanted to discuss it on the Friday that I was next in. He had not expected me to read it. When the manager asked him what that meant he responded with ‘I don’t know, I have read it and it’s not bad I don’t know why she is making so much fuss over it’. I am making a fuss you arsehole because this is a working contract. This is him asking me to sign any rights I have as a worker away to him. Who in their right mind would do that without reading or discussing the contract if they don’t feel comfortable with it? Young people… that is who. He stated that the young girls in Lancaster had already signed it. He also stated to the manager after I brought up that I wanted to discuss it that he would fire anyone that didn’t sign it.

Late Payment outcome.

I am going to continue my story regarding the late payment because more happened after his reply ‘Hopefully tonight or tomorrow, thanks’ message. We weren’t paid on the Tuesday. He made no mention of it what so ever actually. I had to bring it up. Multiple times. The first was Wednesday morning. I had woken up, my phone had died Tuesday night before my shift had finished so I was greeted with multiple messages from the owner of the shop with requests for how many products there was left in the shop. I answered him, with a message of the list and a reminder that I had checked my account and we still had not been paid yet. He simply stated that it ‘should’ be in that day. Should? That is also a horrendous word to use with regards to pay. It should have been paid the previous day.

I was not about to trust his word on that.

So, I waited. I kept in contact with the other girls that work in the shop and they let me know if they had been paid or not as well. The same as me, they had not. The disgusting thing about this whole entire scenario is that he still expected and demanded that we continue to work as normal. Now, I had to open the shop that day, I was due to work on my own for the whole day, and then lock up at night once the shop was closed. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to take this treatment and continue as if I wasn’t angry, as if not being paid was acceptable. The owner called me when I was supposed to be at the shop asking if I was opening up. I told him I will go in, once the money is in my account. He was like it’ll be in by tonight. I told him his word was no guarantee. Obviously, he took offence to this, and he kept trying to sell me some excuse of a story as to why the payment was late. He also stated that he would make sure that I was sorted first. I held my ground and said I will go in, once that money is in my account. He turned after that – ‘I’ll just get someone else in then’. Fine, I told him fine, that wasn’t about to change my point.

Time is not free, and time is something that once gone is gone. You don’t get it back. He can make as many food products over and over, he can’t make time. And I wasn’t about to give him another minute of mine until I was paid for the time I had already given him. Would you believe me if I told you that after that declaration of finding someone else, he was messaging the girls asking them to come in, and messaging the manager that he was going to cut my hours and force me out so that I would leave on my own. The girls told him that they couldn’t go in. Would you now also believe me when I say that that money turned up in my account thirty minutes later?

Oh yes, he got that money into my account quite quickly when he realised that he didn’t have anyone to go in instead of me. The Only issue now was that he hadn’t paid me what we had agreed. I was assistant manager. I had a set of keys I was opening up, closing the shop, and I was doing complete shifts by myself. It wasn’t like that I was just a shop assistant asking for a raise, I was doing all of the same jobs as the manager was doing and yet I was getting my minimum wage. Excuse me?

The owner called me afterwards and asked me if I was going in. I told him yes, but I had still been paid minimum wage. This wasn’t what we had agreed. He goes… Oh, I know. Then he kept trying to throw excuses at me about it. While in my head there were two words bouncing around; Unreliable, Liar. Well, never mind, I had agreed that I would go in once the money was in my account. I went in.

Resigning.

This story ends as you could probably guess. And by the fact that I have labelled this section of this post as what happens. I resigned. I went in to do my last shift. Understanding full well that I was not going to be paid for this shift. When the owner called me for the last time I told him that once I closed up that was it, I’ll post the key through the door and I’m not coming back. He told me that I couldn’t do that, when I told him I disagreed, his later response after trying to make out that my reason for leaving were silly, that he wasn’t someone that was going to beg. Well… I shouldn’t have had to beg for my wages… Plus, I already knew at that point that he had been contacting the manager to begin cutting my hours until I am forced to leave anyway. He was only upset at this moment because he did not have control over when I was leaving. Which he denied by the way. But, of course he would. He likes to fool young girls under the age of eighteen that he is a nice employer. (Creepy, yes I know).

Building resentment.

This sort of thing is happening constantly. Not specifically just to me, but I could literally predict all of these scenarios whenever I get into a zero hour contract job like the ones I have had so far. Each time this kind of crappy treatment happens a little piece of me just grows darker and darker. Right now, I would love for that owner’s business to just fail. I think he deserves that much. However, I know that that thought has multiple things wrong with it. 1. Most people would tell me that that is not a very nice though to have. 2. It probably won’t happen anyway because bad things generally don’t happen to bad people. These are the two main points that are wrong with this thought and because of those two main points my mood becomes darker. Resentment is the result of all of this foulness. I don’t want to be that person.

I can’t help it though. I can’t control other people, like in the sims, and unfortunately these horrible people are everywhere. There is no escaping them.

Which is why the cynical outlook is starting to take over my life. Zero hour contracts are god awful and should have never graced the UK. However, they had graced us with their miserable presence and unfortunately are here to stay because as far as our government is concerned they did a great job. Both thumbs sarcastically thrown up with the most pissed off smile a human can produce. Yay!

A Fight.

I am hoping to fight this negative outlook. I am going to try to bring myself back to myself. I was never particularly positive about myself or my prospects but I was at least a little less like ‘people like that business owner should have been culled at birth’. I don’t really know how to fight this feeling. While the drama of the above story was happening what I really wanted to do was scream at the bastard and tell him how horrible of a scum he was. I wanted to do it so badly that it felt like it was bursting at the seams of my body. I couldn’t calm down. The only thing that stopped me from doing that was my partner, who was a very unwelcome voice of reason. But I am going to start with looking after myself. Maybe taking a five minute break every day to just sit in silence and breathe. Not really meditation, but just to give myself five minutes before I face the world. I don’t know. All I know is… it is going to be a hard fight, and a long healing process before I come back to my not so wishing for murder mindset.

Thank you so much for reading. I apologise that it became more of a rant about my crappy employer than it was anything particularly productive. As you can probably see, I have cleared my blog of all of my previous posts. I am in the middle of resetting it. New categories. New tags. New posts. More specific. Neater. I can’t promise that it will stay that way but it is a start. Hope you all have a lovely week. I will write again soon! Bye!

Affiliate

Before I go for the day I wanted to add this to my post. I haven’t really read anything lately, but I plan to get back into it tonight once I have returned from teaching my pole and aerial classes. At the moment, I am not reading anything particularly festive, I am reading ‘Incendiary’ by Zoraida Cordova which I am enjoying. However, if a festive read is what you are looking for then Waterstones has a large variety designed for all ages to enjoy. Following the link below would help me out greatly. Thank you!

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=839047