Cornwall, Writing

Discovering the #5amWritersClub

Today I had a deadline. That deadline was for a local anthology celebrating Cornwall, written by Cornish writers.

When I was first asked to be involved with the project a few months ago, three emotions ran in loud succession through my head.

First, was joy. I was so happy I just got to be included! I’m always so excited to be a part of anything writing related – and the fact that it’s all about Cornwall? That was just a bonus on top of everything else.

Second, was inspired. Living in Cornwall, it’s hard not to be inspired by the landscape and the stories all around me. You only have to take a wrong turn or visit one of our busy little seaside towns, or have a picnic on our cliff trails to be struck by a story idea.

Third, however, was fear. With all that being said, what the hell was I going to write about?!

IMG_0178
Falmouth, Cornwall, at dawn

So, what’s this got to do with the #5amWritersClub, I hear you ask? Well, this morning I was pleased to discover that over on Twitter there is such a thing as the #5amWritersClub – a wonderful community of hardworking writers – usually working full-time, who communicate via Twitter about their current writing projects and cheer each other on simultaneously. The only thing you need to be a part of it? You must write at #5am, in order to join. It’s a great morning wake-up call!

So I got up at 4am (I know, even earlier, right?), silenced my beeping alarm, and got down to it. And you know what? It was actually so beautiful to watch the dawn break across the sky and hear the morning birdsong of feathered friends so early while the rest of the world was asleep – all the while tapping along on my keyboard until my short story draft was finally finished at 6am.

The #5amWritersClub is a great way to meet new people and communicate globally across the world with writers just like you – either with a deadline to catch, or an ongoing project they’re committed to. It’s friendly, it’s fun, and it’s free! What’s not to like?

Later on, (after I got sent home from work for being too poorly and grabbed some sleep), I snatched a chance to write out in the garden with the sunshine burning down on my back. It was blissful, aside from being full of flu and gross, gunky eyes.

Writing Space

I had my writing plants to spur me along and actually had a pretty productive afternoon, writing blog posts, editing manuscripts and writing an article piece for a local newspaper.

Who says you can’t write when you’re ill?

So if you’re an early riser, or want to dip your toe into a pool of new writer friends, why not try out the #5amWritersClub? They’re a happy bunch, I promise!

Cornwall, Writing

Finally Getting Somewhere!

I’ve been selected to write for two magazines! I cannot believe my luck! I’m bouncing off the walls right now and just want to tell everybody!

I got invited to an interview last week for a magazine based on Cornwall and, as I live in Cornwall, I have a huge passion for it. I think my enthusiasm showed through when I met the guy interviewing me. I’m usually terrible at interviews and never know what to say and spend a lot of time fiddling with my hands or chipping some old nail polish off my fingernails … but this time around I was all for it! I think I rather startled him to be honest. I’m never usually so charismatic and passionate about things, but if you want to talk to me about any aspects of writing – especially in a job sense – then I will be practically sitting on your lap and telling you all the things I know or that I’d like to contribute. I was pretty much like this at the interview, apart from I wasn’t sitting on the guy’s lap. I don’t know how he would’ve taken that but I don’t think he would’ve seen me as particularly professional!

They emailed me yesterday asking me to be involved, voluntarily at first but they said it could turn into something paid eventually if the organisation takes off and they get the right funding! I’m so pleased! I cannot wait to start doing my part!

As well as that, I emailed Eevee Life magazine which is a new up and coming online magazine – go check them out! – and they emailed me back saying they would love to have me involved too as a features writer to contribute regularly!

If you told my fifteen year old self that in roughly four years time I would be getting somewhere and making my mark within the writing/publishing/editorial industry I would never believe you. It always seemed so distant and a dream that I would never even dare try to accomplish! But, well, I’m doing it! And I honestly couldn’t be happier!

Fingers crossed my interview goes well for this Friday too as I have an appointment with the Eden Project to be a part of the digital team which would include writing blogs for them and whatnot! Who knows, if I ever get it – and that would be amazing, as I expect there are a LOT of applicants for that position – I might even get the chance to interview the acts that go onstage there for the festivals! Maybe even The Pixies?! 

But, hey, this is the Eden Project we’re talking about here so I am definitely not getting my hopes up. That would be amazing. 

Remember to applaud your progress and not worry so much about the end goal!

All in all, I am a very happy budding young writer!

Cornwall, Fashion

Vintage Fair at Killerton

This weekend I’m going to a Vintage Fair at Killerton in Devon.

I – can’t – wait! If you live anywhere near Devon and have access to transport I highly recommend you go! It looks like it’s going to be fantastic. I am missing a kind of belated house warming party for it (it’s actually my own house warming party but hey I live in a student house – I’m sure my roommates will tell me all the shenanigans I miss!) because as soon as I got told about it I WAS IN. As far as I was concerned, all other plans could be thrown out of the window!

Not only does it feature lots of vintage clothing and – wait for it – fashion shows! but also there will be beauty parlour workshops too where attendees can have their hair and/or makeup done inspired by vintage fashion trends! Of course you have to pay and book in advance for these kinds of treats but if vintage/retro is ‘your thing’ then you owe it to yourself to book in and get a proper professional makeover to show all your friends! There will also be a professional photographer there to take your photograph if you wanted to keep the memories even longer!

There’s so much going on and it’s happening right throughout the entire weekend 21st – 22nd June so you won’t be bored! There’ll be fairground rides, classic cars, workshops, dancing, a Jazz band, a wedding marquee and, even better, there’ll be lots of stalls with over 100 antique/vintage inspired items to choose from, including clothing, accessories, homeware and knickknack things to indulge yourself with. It looks fantastic and the line up makes me feel all kinds of giddy inside.

Seriously, what is not to love about this?

It’s a ticketed event so make sure you get yours here.
For adults tickets in advance cost just £6. For children just £4. If you decide to buy tickets on the day these are slightly more, with adults costing £10.60 and children £5.30.

To visit their Facebook page for more information click here.

I hope to see you there!!

Cornwall, university, Writing

Telltales & Such Things

Hey, everyone. Hope the sun is shining your way. It is currently down here in Cornwall!

Just an update to notify you of new features I’ve written recently. They’ve taken a while to air on the website so there’s a few all in one go! One is a feature on my best friend who recently completed her Duke of Edinburgh award and advice she has to give, so if you’re into doing the award or even just thinking about it then make sure you check it out!

Another is a feature on a course mate of mine who I met whilst working on the Lionel Shriver author workshops. I really wanted to document the experience and get another point of view on how exciting and precious the time we spent with Lionel was, so I decided to interview her on the experience we shared. Her feedback was brilliant!

The other is on a sweet little writing group I’ve recently discovered under the name of Telltales based in Cornwall, largely Falmouth which is my student home town. Details about the group can all be found via the link!

Please give them a read if you’re interested!

 

Telltales Writing Group: http://www.hercampus.com/school/falmouth/telltales-writers-group-based-falmouth

Campus Celebrity: http://www.hercampus.com/school/falmouth/campus-celebrity-aysha-bryant

Last week’s Campus Celebrity: http://www.hercampus.com/school/falmouth/campus-celebrity-ashleigh-fox

 

Cornwall

THANK YOU!

To whoever single-handedly donated a massive £20 to my Race For Life page that I am doing with my little sister:

You truly are amazing. We cannot thank you enough. With your donation and future ones to come we can make sure that the research and funding that goes into cancer research is really worthwhile!

To anyone who would like to sponsor us, please follow the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/star-spangled-girls

Let’s reach our now £40 target!!

Book Reviews, Cornwall, Hobbies

IT’S HERE!

I received this beauty in the post after ordering it from Waterstones. Can you believe that no book shop has it stocked in Cornwall?! None that I could find anyway. I even looked up its availability online, just so I could go and get it physically. But no such luck.

I hate buying books online because

1. What if they don’t look right?
2. What if there’s a crease on the front pages?
3. What if – God only knows how – the spine is already marked or slightly broken?

I’ve had this experience with brand new books bought online, so you can see why I’m a little shady at committing to that way of consuming. Books are a very huge part of my life, therefore I want them to look pretty sitting there on my shelves! Who wouldn’t?

But this came through in the post two days ago and I am ridiculously happy about it. I did expect it to be thicker but it is a trilogy after all so I let that slide. It’s so pretty. I keep picking it up, putting it back down, then picking it up again. I’ve vowed to get through my current Lionel Shriver book quickly so I can read this beauty as soon as possible!

Once I’m through, I’m going to buy the other two! Despite if it even has to be online!

Cornwall, education, Hobbies, university, Writing

Prose Before Hoes

I’ve come to realise that I’m actually really, really lucky. To be in university – and such a unique, inspiring, close-knit and FRIENDLY university too – has been a Godsend to me. Studying my course has led me to writing pathways that little young teenage me would only ever dream about. It sounds cliche but cliche’s exist for a reason. I am incredibly lucky, to have the opportunities to work with amazing lecturers who are so attentive, to have so many resources available at the university where I’m studying, and to basically have this kind of an education!

So I came across a phrase today – ‘prose before hoes’. I took it lightly, but it kind of has significance. Sometimes, you just have to put your writing first if you want to get anywhere in this industry.

I discovered today through a writing correspondent that students can actually attend the London Book Fair for FREE.
How incredible! To actually be able to be at an event with published authors and writers, book agents and people who work for real life publishing houses! It’s a dream, and I hope to go there next year – one year in the future at least! I’m so grateful to have a lot of things right now. I also have so much to look forward to recently it’s unbelievable!

  • I have recently been fortunate enough to work with award winning author Lionel Shriver, who is a pleasure to work with and have her read my work and give positive (and negative) feedback is something I still can’t quite believe I’m doing …
  • I am an official weekly features writer for an online magazine, Her Campus. I know I’ve mentioned this before but knowing I’m a part of it still a few weeks on after being asked to do it is still exciting to me! I love writing features and coming up with ideas every week, and some of the posts on there are actually really funny!
  • Lionel Shriver signed my book/writing ideas notepad at a book signing and actually recognised me! It was awesome.
  • I got to spend some time with another published author C.J Flood. I spoke to her about her books, how she finds writing and my own novel I’ve been writing for some time now. It was an experience I hope I am never, ever going to forget. She offered to sign her book for me and even wrote an inspirational message inside the front cover!
  • I’ve also spent some time with a really lovely second year student, who writes for Booked Magazine which is aimed towards 11-18 year olds on general pop culture topics, like films, music, book reviews etc. She opened up windows for me and made me realise I can actually do this. Hearing her speak about all the amazing things she has done was uplifting and so inspirational for me. It gives me hope!
  • On a non-writing note, I am going to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London at the end of May, leaving at 2am and spending the WHOLE DAY THERE!!! I am going to spend so much money in the gift shop. I just know it.
  • Also, I AM SEEING MCBUSTED AT THE END OF MAY as well!!!! I am perfectly accepting of the fact that if I spontaneously combust through lack of air or just pure excitement then that’s a good way to go. I kind of embrace that. Seeing them has been my dream for oh so many years, I was just always too scared to do it. But now, finally, at aged nineteen, I AM DOING IT.
  • Hopefully, I will go to the Fowey Festival of Words & Music this coming May as well. I am in the process of writing an article on the festival for Her Campus so will be sure to post it up here as a link once it’s up and running on the site!

I can’t believe how lucky I am. I am looking to get some writing or editorial work experience/internship this summer as my first year finishes late May so will have a lot of free time to keep busy in! If you know anyone or ARE anyone who would like to have me work for them this summer, let me know!

Lionel Shriver

Her Campus

C. J Flood

Booked Magazine

Harry Potter Studio Tour

McBusted!!!

If you know  anyone who would like to have me work for them this summer, let me know! I don’t even care if it’s unpaid!

Cornwall, Fashion, Hobbies, Music

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

Recently scouring the depths of eBay, I became hooked on searching through pages and pages of cowboy boots. Being an enthusiastic fan of Texas country music, I tend to do this every few months. Usually, I never buy any though, either because the ones available just don’t look right, or are too expensive. I love them, but I will not spend over £25 on cowboy boots online for the chance that they may not even fit me properly. I have tiny baby feet.

So, you can imagine my delight when I found some that:
a) weren’t too expensive
b) actually looked gorgeous!

I am proud to say I bid on them and am now the grateful and lucky owner of these fine, black leathers:

I have a brown pair, not dissimilar yet I’m sad to say these are slowly falling apart. In this dreadful weather, I’ve had to superglue them from falling apart when I came home with my feet soaking wet and little damp patches on my sad little cat socks!

I was happy, with this pair, yet the next day I got an email from eBay saying that I had also won a fabulous pair of PINK cowboy boots – new – and they were awaiting my payment.

Oops … I had gone a little crazy with the bidding on several items. I never thought I would win an item. I never thought I would win those black ones! I proceeded to the link the email had sent me and, well, fell in love with these pink ones too. I said yes to the payment and they arrived a couple days later. Now, they are sat beneath my desk, with all my other pairs of shoes (largely, yes, boots) and looking damn fine.

What beauties!

 

So far, I have acquired five pairs of cowboy boots:

One Vintage, one brown pair from a store in Plymouth that recently became friends with the superglue, two suede (one pink, one brown), and these fine black ones from this post just recently. I am waiting to be united with them soon by the postman. 

I cannot wait!

Cornwall, Hobbies, university, Writing

Walking with Inspiration

Earlier, I blogged telling you tall tales of how I was going to spend the afternoon walking around the lovely place where I live and see what inspiration struck me with. I planned to write, and walk, and indulge myself in the luxury sights that are contained at harbourside Cornwall. 
And you know what? I did!

Taking routes I’d never known before it was such a pleasant experience to walk without haste in an environment I was unaccustomed to, yet everything around me was still so familiar. It was my own little adventure.
I had quiet.
I had solitude.
I had grace.

I was so inspired I wrote a little something:

 

The house was languid and fine, with a little bit of wear and tear around the edges. It was a large house, with black iron railings and an archway standing boldly before the pathway to the garden. A balcony, on the second floor of the house which passers-by could look upon if they so desired from the boundaries of the outside. It was a grand house, one that distinctly belonged to another time. It was old, with a great brass knocker on the door with chipped paint, yet it still resonated beauty with its old age.

 

Inspiration struck me with joy when I was avidly scribbling this down in my notebook.
Writers see. Writers see, and then they write. And that is what I wrote. And I’m embarrassed to admit I’m a little proud. 

Who knows? Maybe one day that little passage will spark a novel, one day.

Have you ever been inspired by a certain place/landscape? I’d love to hear about it.

Cornwall, Writing

The Scarlet Spa

This is the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever seen and ever had the privilege to work for.
It’s located, buried away, in St Mawgan, a cute little village located in Cornwall. It’s right next to the sea, like almost everything on this coast. During the summer, I got to work one evening as co-housekeeper inside the beautiful modern-art like building. When I got inside, I was truly astounded. I had never seen anything like it. 

Staff: lovely and intricately perfect. It’s literally like they handpick them and polish them up to be like children of the hotel and its beauty.
Interiors: Stunning (even the bathrooms which I had to clean!)
Spa areas: Mind mesmerising?!
Pool area: Looked so good.

Take a look see!
Home-Reception-Lobby

Lobby Area

Home-Indoor-Pool

Pool Area

Home-Restaurant

Restaurant Area

It’s intricate hard earned beauty is astounding, and I cannot wait to go. 
Because I just booked a room to stay there for one night. It’ll be during the early bursts of summer so it should be lovely.
The rooms are even better, but I’ll let you go and look at them for yourself. http://www.scarlethotel.co.uk/ 
It’s worth it. Honest.

The prices may be steep. Celebrities dine there, after all. But I was just so enchanted I couldn’t resist.
If you’re interested in ‘escaping’ away to Cornwall like so many characters from Du Maurier’s novels, I plead with you to try this hotel. Unless you’re a camper. If you’re a camper, you can roam around anywhere. And it’s just as beautiful – (but make sure you go in the summer!)

Go on, go ahead and pry into its delicious possibilities, amplified by Ben Howard:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X28D55cshAg#t=25