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Gritty Glitter

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I first of all want to thank those of you who reached out to me after you’d read my last blog post Despair. Some of you had such kind words and shared your own struggles with me. It is great to know that none of us are truly alone even though we may feel it.

I usually only write a blog post once a month, but I wanted to share something with you guys who read my blog. A couple of months ago I began a podcast with a very good friend of mine. It is called Gritty Glitter and you can find and subscribe to it on iTunes. I did mention it briefly in a blog post a few months back, but I wanted to bring it up again as it is something I have really enjoyed doing.

I love writing but find that not everybody likes to take the time to read and because of this I thought I’d start a podcast.  I should mention that it does contain explicit language, so for those that aren’t keen on swearing you may want to avoid. I won’t apologise for it though. I am an adult and I swear in conversation. I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t say the odd swear word or two. It isn’t full of obscenities though, but just a warning that we do swear.

My co host is my oldest friend Cassandra and the content of our episodes is basically just the two of us talking about things we love and adventures we get up to. We’ll discus everything from geek to glam. So far we’ve discussed Halloween, Stephen King’s IT, A Sci-Fi Con, The Spice Girls, The Bat Out Of Hell Musical, and more.

We aim to have new episodes every Monday, however the last couple of weeks our schedules haven’t made it possible for us to get together to record. Gritty Glitter is still a baby and myself and Cass are still getting finding our feet with it. Never the less we enjoy making the content and putting it out there for you to listen to.

Having said that a new short episode was released today where we discuss the new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. Click here to listen to it now.

We have a Gritty Glitter account on Twitter too, which we both manage, and we love to connect with people. So please feel free to comment and  interact with us. Follow our Gritty Glitter Twitter account by searching @Glitter_Pod or by clicking here.

It would be even more amazing if you subscribed to our podcast on iTunes.

Once again, thanks to those who enjoyed my previous blog post.

I’m aiming to upload one more blog post before the new year. Until then Merry Christmas, guys and if you want to keep in touch or see what I’m up to follow my personal Twitter account.

 

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Despair

To anyone who thinks depression isn’t a real condition and it is just a made up thing I’m here to tell them “Fuck you”. I dare you to come to my home now and challenge me on it, because I will destroy you.

I am, right now, having a particularly bad moment and the only words I can use to describe how I feel are very down, upset, angry, but most of all I hate myself. Depression brings out all these awful emotions and thoughts and it is absolute hell to live with. It’s not just being down or in a bad mood, it’s so much worse than just being a bit upset. It is the feeling that you are worthless. You really feel despair and you’ve toyed with the idea of suicide more than once.  Bit of a taboo subject I guess, but if we keep such topics behind closed doors how are we supposed to help or understand people who suffer in these ways?

Before I carry on I want to say that I am not in that dark of a place right now and have no intention of harming myself. However, I have thought about it in the past and it is awful to think that, at any moment, someone who is suffering alone, wearing a fake smile, will take their life, often with little to no signs that they intended to do it.

I don’t believe it is a selfish act to kill yourself and those that say suicide is selfish have absolutely no idea the pain that person must be feeling to actually go through with it. Yes you will hurt others around you who love you, but I can imagine how easy it must be for a depression sufferer to get to the point where they just want it to stop. You want to stop hating yourself. You want to stop being in pain and the only way out is to end it all. It is the only way you can end your suffering.

To those that don’t suffer form a mental illness such as depression, you’ve no idea how lucky you are. Can you imagine hating yourself and feeling that shit about yourself so often and there is no escape? You can never get away from it because it is you. it is inside of you and you’ll never be able to run away from it.

If you were with a person you hated and they made you really angry, you can choose to walk away from them, ignore them and go about your business and before long that feeling of hate has gone because you don’t have to deal with that person any longer. Well, you can’t walk away from yourself. It is always there and there is fuck all you can do to escape. So when I say you’re lucky if you don’t suffer from thesis things I really mean it.

One of my favourite celebrities, as many of my friends and family know, is RuPaul. RuPaul has a famous saying which he says in every episode of his reality show. “If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else”. It sounds great but in reality I disagree with what he is saying. I love people. Loving people is easy. Loving yourself is hard when you’re dealing with a mental illness. I can love other people without loving myself. In fact I hate myself more when I make loved ones feel worse about themselves because they do not understand why I feel like I do. They then feel like they are doing a bad job or you must be down or angry because of them, so they apologise. That only makes me hate myself even more. Not only am I already feeling shit bout myself, I’ve now made my loved one feel she about themselves.

If I’m having a particularly dark moment I don’t want to talk about it. There usually is nothing to talk about. I can’t explain why I feel like I do, I just do. I can try and talk to a person about how I feel but it never comes out quite right and usually end up feeling misunderstood, which only makes the issue worse.

Yes this is raw and honest because I feel very down right now and a way I am trying to combat it is to get it out of my head and share it. A problem shared is a problem halved, right? I’m happy to share this part of my life with you. It creates awareness. When I do feel like this I rarely want to be around people or talk to anyone how I feel, but writing it down and sharing it is far easier.

I do not expect or want sympathy. Sympathy doesn’t actually help me. It makes me feel even worse. I really am only sharing this because I feel like it is a good way to help me feel better, and not only that but it helps create awareness, as I mentioned. People do not talk about these things enough. Sufferers tend to keep it bottled upend suffer behind closed doors in silence.  This is my way of not suffering in silence. I’m putting it out there for the world and his wife to see and I don’t have to physically tell another person.

If you have taken the time to read all of this you’ll be pleased to hear that writing this out has helped my mood a tremendous amount. I could just now close my laptop and carry on with my day without posting it to any social media. But I’m not going to do that. I am going to share it with the world because hopefully another person who feels like this may read it and know they are not alone, even though it may feel like it.

If you need help with depression or suicidal thoughts and want someone to talk to then call the samaritans free helpline -116 123 or visit their website www.samaritans.orgwho-needs-enemies-when-youve-got-yourself-quote-1.jpg

Transformation Tuesday? How about transform your damn life!

Transformation Tuesday is a very popular hashtag that people use all over social media, surprisingly on a Tuesday.

 

I googled what the term meant just to be sure I knew it’s definition for sure. Google told me:

Transformation Tuesday is a popular trend and hashtag (#TransformationTuesday) that people use on Instagram and other social networks. … Basically, if you can communicate the message that something or someone in the photo has changed over time, it qualifies as a potential post for Transformation Tuesday.

I also clicked on the Urban Dictionary and this is what it had to say:

Yet another dumb ass excuse to post random stupid bull shit on Facebook.

I have nothing to do on a Tuesday so lets make every Tuesday a Transformation Tuesday and do something to change today.

So as you can see, it is a hashtag you are meant to use when posting about something or someone that has had a transformation. Well this week I am taking this hashtag and using it to promote myself.  I genuinely have gone through a transformation and today is Tuesday so it is the perfect time to use the hashtag.

From the 26th July 17 to 27th October 17 I went from weighing 13 stone to 10.5 stone. I lost 7 inches from around my tummy and I gained my confidence back! I’ve had a true transformation. I can fit into all of my old clothes again which is great because it’s like I have a new wardrobe!

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How have I managed to to do this in only 3 months? It’s really quite simple. Diet and exercise. Many people ask what my secret is and the truth is there is no secret. Everybody knows that changing your diet and making better food choices will help you lose weight. Introduce exercise into the mix and you’ll hit your goal in no time.

It sounds simple, right? Well it’s not. You have to commit 100% to it and I think that is where many people fail. They think they want to lose weight, but when it comes down to it they aren’t actually willing to make the changes to achieve their goal. I was one of those people and one day I just woke up and thought “fuck this, I’m not being fat anymore” and I did something about it.

Over the past couple of years I virtually did no exercise and made terrible choices when it came to food. I wouldn’t just eat one chocolate bar, I’d eat eight of them. Rather than eat one McDonalds meal I’d order two large meals and probably some chicken nuggets too. That pack of 5 donuts? Yep, I’d eat all of them.

As mentioned, I got to a place in my life where I wasn’t going to be fat anymore and I began to make changes. I contacted a PT that day (It was a Monday) and arranged to meet him the next day to have a chat about my goals. I had my first training session with him by the Wednesday.

Now I know that some goals aren’t achievable instantly. The famous saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is a great way to remind yourself that some things in life take time to achieve. But just because something won’t happen over night doesn’t mean you can’t do something today to get you closer to that goal.

For me, I knew I wouldn’t be skinny overnight. I looked what action I could take in the moment to get me closer to my goal. So I sent an email to a personal trainer. That email was my first step on my fitness journey and it got me closer to my goal. Once that email had been sent I was closer to my goal than I was before I sent it. Such a tiny step, but it started my journey.

Whatever your goal is in life you can achieve it, no matter how big or small it may be, as long as you understand you have to put in the work. The problem with today’s world is so many things can be done instantly and usually at the click of a button. Because of this everyone wants everything now. Like right now. But when it comes to important things in life such as creating a relationship with people, becoming successful with your work, or a fitness goal, you cannot click a button and have the results you want instantly.

You want a proper human connection, I guarantee you will not get it over snapchat or Facebook. You want to look sexier? Adding a filter to a photo is no help in the real world, sweetie. You want to be famous? Getting another 100 followers on your Instagram means very little in the real world. At least for now.

This post is about me showing off my transformation, but I feel something I have learnt, which I already knew but it was just reinforced, is that when it comes to important things in life nothing happens instantly. But just because your goal won’t happen over night doesn’t mean you can’t start getting closer to it right now!

If your dream is run your own business, don’t be negative and list all the reasons why you can’t or it might be difficult. Say to yourself ‘what can I do today’ and then do it. Look at the things you can do right now that will get you closer to where you want to be.

If you want to lose weight, take that first step by changing something a small as having no sugar in your tea or coffee. If you really want it you will do whatever is necessary to get you there. No excuses! Don’t look at problems, look at solutions.

Hopefully I can be a bit of inspiration to anyone who is looking to lose weight and feels like they are a million miles from achieving it. Loo at me! An overeater who uses food to cope with depression managed to lose 2.5 stone in 3 months. That’s insane! Now I committed 100% to my goal which is why I achieved it so quickly. You don’t have to be as full on with cutting out foods as I was, but you can still make changes right now that will help you.

I have to give a huge thanks to my personal trainer Nathan who kept me motivated and helped me through my fitness journey. Look what we achieved in three months, Nath! I wonder where I’ll be by the summer?!

If you want to know more about my transformation then please click here to see my video testimonial I made with Nathan. 

I’ll just finish off by saying, if you really do want something in life then go get it. No excuses.

Just a Catch Up.

A whole month has passed already since my last blog post, and what a busy month I have had. Things aren’t looking like they’re going to slow down anytime soon either. In fact I’m only going to be busier! I’ll tell you about my future plans when they happen, but for now let me tell you about my life over the last few weeks.

The biggest news to share with you all is my fitness update. I’m about 1lb away from losing a total of two stone. I am very proud of myself. My hard work and determination is paying off and I’m seeing great results. Friends and family have noticed how much weight I’ve lost, especially from my face, and it is so nice to feel good about myself again. I can fit in small clothes again. Clothes I haven’t been able to wear for over a year, if not longer, I can now fit in again.

I’ve had some people ask me what my secret is. There is no secret. Eat clean and exercise. This is knowledge everyone knows, but very few actually put it into practice and would rather find quick fix alternatives or try fad diets.  Why bother , guys? Waste of money and you get crap results.

My PT really is awesome. I know I mentioned him briefly in last month’s blog post so I don’t need to repeat myself too much, but he does an awesome thing for all of his clients and holds social events for us all. I went to my first one at the weekend. We went bowling and then had a meal at a new restaurant in Northampton. There were a few issues with the restaurant but apart from that it was a fun evening. I even won a game of bowling! And no I didn’t cheat by having  sides up.

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The coaching group after bowling.
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Proof that I won a game!

 

I haven’t hit my fitness goal yet so it is an ongoing journey but I’m really loving the whole process. I intend to discuss this more on a podcast episode, which brings me nicely onto something else I want to share with you.

I am now host of my own podcast show. It is called Gritty Glitter and my co-host is my oldest friend, Cassandra. I wanted to use the word gritty in the title because we’ll probably have quite gritty conversations with our honest opinions and won’t hold back. Cass wanted to use glitter because she lovely anything sparkly and glam. Thee is no real set topic for the podcast either. We will just be discussing anything from geeky stuff such as computer games and movies to more glam things such hair nights at the theatre, make up etc. 170x170bb

Having said all that we’re currently having some audio issues and I refuse to record anything else until it is resolved. I have no idea when this will be but I’m working on it. I want to get recording again asap. We have managed to get one podcast recorded and released, so please check it out on iTunes or but clicking here.

I recently just spent a week at my parents place whilst they were away on holiday. They have such a lovely house and it is in a nice quiet village. Perfect surroundings for me to get some writing done. However, I did very little writing this time as I was working on setting up the podcast.  I did manage to get some work done on my book though which is really my priority, but sometimes if I’m in the wrong mood then I find it very challenging to get words down on to paper.

You think I’d be finished the damn thing by now, but I keep finding myself going back over previous work and changing it. Sometimes I’ll write something and it just doesn’t feel right so I spend an hour or two trying to come up with the perfect sentence or find the right word. Really I should just move on and get more writing done, then come back to that sentence later to rework it. But for whatever reason I can’t move on until I am happy with it. So it continues to develop slowly, but at least progress is being made.

One last thing before I sign off. Halloween in coming! Now anyone that knows me is aware that Halloween is a huge deal for me and I have a busy few weeks ahead me. As soon as September is over it is Halloween season and I could be happier. I have plans, props and even my costume ready so it is just a matter of putting everything together over the next few weeks so I am ready for my party on the 28th.

My next blog post should be around the week before the party so I will be well into Halloween mode by then. Until then guys keep an eye out on my twitter for info about what I’m up to or even check out the Gritty Glitter twitter account by clicking here to see how we’re getting on with the audio trouble and see when episode 2 is finally released.

 

 

 

The New Me?

So it has been a little while since you guys last heard from me. I briefly did a few posts to celebrate pride season over on my Pride Page, but as for this blog it had been a couple of months since I uploaded any new content.

Why is that? I’ll tell you. I have been busy sorting out my life. I have done things I have put off forever. I have got back into the book and it is going beyond great. I have had a
million and one new project ideas and have slowly started dedicating time to each of them. Halloween is weeks away and, of course, I am busy getting the party prep ready and sorting out costumes. I have even been catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while and some of them are having a tough time at the minute, so I’m being a good friend and spending time with them.

But the biggest thing I want to tell you about, and I’m most excited about, is I have been hitting then gym again. If any of you have read my previous blog post about my relationship with food, then you will know the horrible struggle I have with trying to eat healthy. I decided enough was enough and woke up one day with the mind set that I was done. I was done with bad food. I felt unhealthy, fat, and most of all it made me feel ugly.

 

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I’m 31 and for almost 10 years I have lived on takeaway and fast food, because I despise cooking and it is convenient to eat ready made food. Health wise I know this is absolutely appalling. I suffer from IBS and have even been told by a couple of doctors I have Fibromyalgia. Some have even said I suffer from depression, which I agree with but I have never wanted to go on medication for it. I have watched family members suffer with depression who were on medication, and being an observer, I don’t think it looks like it did them any good. I may be totally wrong, but it has always put me off.

Anyway, my point is having IBS or/and Fibromyalgia means I really should watch what I’m eating as some food can be triggers which bring on aches and pains. I mention the depression because food is my coping mechanism and gives me a high to make me feel better. However, it is only a temporary fix and I actually feel worse after eating it. I cover this subject more in my previous blog post.

For me, breaking away from this bad food pattern I’d become stuck in was a huge task. I guess it is the same for anybody trying to give up drinking, smoking, or any other drug. Day one was tough, day two was tougher, but after a few days it became easier and now I am not tempted by bad food at all. The real test which shows how well I’m doing is that I have a bar of chocolate at home. Usually it would’ve been gone in minutes. I haven’t been tempted once. It’s just sat there, gathering dust for almost a month now.

I cannot stress enough how much of a challenge this was for me to break the bad food habit. Especially when I feel a low mood coming on, which could potentially turn into an evening of hating myself, the world and feeling like I am in the deepest darkest hole ever. Luckily this has only happened twice in the last month, and I have managed to control myself better and not rely on food. My poor boyfriend though. Don’t know how he puts up with me!

I have been back to the gym too, but the majority of the work when losing weight is diet. I could live in the gym, but if I kept eating the way I was I wouldn’t achieve anything. I would just be wasting my time. I have got myself a new personal trainer and he is beyond amazing. Organised, motivational, always happy, he’s there anytime I need to ask him a question and he works me hard in the gym. I could not have asked for a better PT. If you’re in or close to Northampton and are looking for a PT, I cannot recommend him enough, seriously. You can contact him by clicking here.

Today I am proud to say I am 1lb away from losing a stone, and it has only taken me three weeks. I would be lying if I said it was easy. The gym stuff is easy because I just do as I’m told. It’s the diet that is the hard part and it is all on me. Nobody is there to take a donut out of my hand or stop me ordering a takeaway. It is my dedication to improving myself that has got me through it. Seeing the number on the scales go down is so satisfying because I know that what I’m doing is working. I still have a long way to go to achieve my goal, but I am three weeks closer to it than I would’ve been if I hadn’t put the work in.

Some people who know me always tell me that I’m not that big and they don’t see why I want to lose weight. However, I have photos of myself that I hate and haven’t shared on Facebook etc. because I am so embarrassed about how big I look. I am saving these pictures to share with you all when I have got to a place when I am happy with how I look so you can see the difference. I am happy I have these photos because I would hate to be putting myself through all this hard work, only for people to not really notice the difference when I have changed. I want to be able to show people the difference so they can see how much I have worked my ass off to get from where I was to where I am.

Hiding Behind Food

This is a subject I have touched on before, on a blog in a previous life, and I’m bringing it up once again because it is an issue I still have in my life. I have a terrible relationship with food.

I use food as a tool to make me happy. If I’m ever feeling down or something bad happens, which then sends me spiralling into a dark mood where I hate myself and everything around me, I nearly always turn to food. Chocolate, junk food, cake, anything that is bad for me health wise works wonders on my mood. It instantly gives me a high and I feel really good again. However, this is short-lived. It is a temporary fix and only provides short term happiness because not long after the food has gone I begin to feel dreadful about myself once again.  And how do I cope with this? By eating snacks. They help put me in a better mood, so why wouldn’t I grab that extra bar of chocolate if I know it will help my mood? Some people turn to alcohol or drugs to make themselves feel better. Food is my drug.

If I’ve had a particularly bad day I know it will all be better if I have something really delicious for dinner. So the bad mood doesn’t always happen because I have the happy feeling of food to look forward to later. Whereas if I’m trying to eat healthily and something happens in the day to put me in a dark mood, it is made worse by knowing that I can’t rely on my go-to food of choice to help me feel better. These moods can get very dark and anyone who has suffered a similar battle against themselves will know how it feels. You hate yourself and see no way out of this life you are stuck in. It feels as the world is against you and you’re not strong enough to cope with it.

They say eating healthy makes you feel better, but how do you cope when bad food is your drug? The feeling healthy eating gives me isn’t enough to combat those bad moods where I need junk to get me out of it. So it seems I’m currently in an endless cycle of trying to eat better, something starts my depressing mood off and bad food helps me get out of it.  Bang, straight off the healthy bandwagon and back to doing the same. Hating myself and masking it with food.

My favourite thing to do to completely get out of a bad mood is eat whilst watching YouTube videos, TV shows or even playing video games to get lost in. All whilst eating crap food. This completely cuts me out of my reality as I don’t have to think or feel anything because I’m being fed nonsense from ‘entertainment’ just by looking at a screen. I don’t have to try because it’s right there in front of me and adding food with this experience makes it even more enjoyable. I can get lost and live in the moment of the video I’m watching or game I am playing.

As soon as it’s over though I’m back in my reality and have to face my problems again. So what do I do instead? Get snacks and surf social media of course! Social media is a great way to black out all that is going on around me and I can fill up (or waste) time by pissing around on my phone for a few hours. Scrolling through social media such as Instagram or Facebook and losing myself in pictures and videos is another tool I use to help me feel better. But social media doesn’t make me feel better. At best it makes me feel numb to what is going on around me. Add food to the mix once again and bam!  Temporary numbing happiness.

My war against food will continue for now. I know that I will conquer it someday, but when it happens does that mean I’ll be in a happier place and have no need for a coping device or will I have replaced food for something else to fight against my gloomy moments? I do know one thing. When I finally beat this war against food I’ll still have the biggest battle in the world to deal with, and that is the battle against myself. But that is a blog post for another day.

 

Creative Costume King

It’s been a little over month since my last post, but that is because I’ve been busy getting back into writing the book as well as doing some writing exercises. I’ve even taken one of these exercises and created a whole new page on my website. It’s called Creative Corner and it is a page dedicated to short stories I have written with inspiration taken from a book called Creative Writing by Eva Glettner. I thought it would be a nice way of experimenting writing with different genres. Please head over to my Creative Corner to check it out. I have my first short story inspired by one of the pages in the book available for you all to read now. It’s titled Mary Flies. Please have a read if you have some spare time and feel free to give me feedback.

Another big reason why I haven’t written a blog post sooner is because I had been planning a costume for a party I went to recently. One of my friends held a masquerade birthday ball where guests were encouraged to wear gowns, suits and venetian style dress. When I received the invite I immediately knew what I wanted to wear. I wanted to be Jareth, the Goblin King from the masquerade ball dream sequence scene in the movie, Labyrinth. I’d imagine almost everybody knows exactly who I am talking about so I won’t waste time explaining who he is. If you don’t know, he is a character from a Jim Henson film played by the late great David Bowie. Google it.

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Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) and Jareth (David Bowie) in the Labyrinth masquerade ball scene. Click here to view the scene from the movie.

 

I thought that look would go down well because it is from a masquerade ball and everybody knows who he is. Who doesn’t love a bit of Bowie!

I got straight to work, searching through images of the ball room scene to look at every detail of the costume. Hair, makeup, props. Everything. I even took into account that Bowie’s eyes are slightly different so I found my self a dark contact lens that was my own prescription, and it was harder find than you think!  I found a wig on eBay I could use, which I also cut some more myself when it arrived and added the blue tips. Most of the items I needed were easy enough to find online or in shops except for the two most important items. Jareth’s tailcoat and mask.

David Bowie.jpgAs you can see from the images here of Bowie the tailcoat is blue and full of jewels. I searched for a long time online to find a jacket like it, or similar. The only ones I found were on etsy  for around £250+ and were from abroad which meant postage would be expensive too. The other item I found was a steampunk style blue tailcoat on eBay and other sites for around £70-£100. It wasn’t quite right though. I would need to attach jewels on it myself and the image of the coat was only an illustration. It
wasn’t an actual photo of the item.

I decided to scrap that idea and make the coat myself. Now I don’t sew but I’m shit hot with a glue gun. I ended up going around nearly all the shops and charity shops in my town to find a suitable coat. I’d just about given up hope of finding one when I found one on a sale rack in my local Debenhams which was almost perfect! I say
almost because I would’ve lied the jacket to be longer like the one Jareth wears in the movie, but apart from that it was just what I’d been looking for. I just needed to buy a few things. Spray paint, sequins, jewels, some shiny fabric, and lots and lots of hot glue sticks.

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The jacket I bought from Debenhams before I started working my magic on it.
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Plain plastic gems before.
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Plastics gems after I’d covered them in acrylic paint and different coloured glitter.
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I bought these from a pound shop and removed the gems to attach to the jacket.

As for the mask, I couldn’t find one to buy online, or anything similar. So once again I had to buy some materials and make my own one. I ended up using an old halloween mask, cutting it to the right shape. Making horns from pipe cleaner, tin foil and masking tape. Glueing a small skeleton hand to the end of a stick. Add some liquid latex, acrylic paint and gold spray paint and voila! Mask done.

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Jareth’s mask in the movie.

 

 

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The cut up halloween mask I used for the base of the mask.
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The horns and hand on the stick before being painted and attached to the mask.
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The finished mask.

I make it sound like these two items were easy to make, but trust me they were both very time consuming. I have to say I was very proud of what I had created though. Once the whole look was put together I think I looked great and I received some great comments from other party guests.

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I was very happy with the final look, except for that damn contour!

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Click here to view more photos from the night on my Instagram.

I’m a little sad the party has come and gone now because I wish I could wear the jacket again. I did consider selling it but I’m in love with it too much and perhaps there will come a time when I need to transform into the Goblin King again. It has however inspired me to start making costume items for other people. So if you need a costume or item for a party you cant seem to find online, drop me a message. I’m sure I can work my magic and create something amazing for you.

 

 

 

Some Uncomfortable Truths

It has been over two years since I last published a blog post on this site. I would like to say I have been working extremely hard on my book series and putting all of my energies into that. Unfortunately that is no the case. Instead I have been struggling to keep focus on my goals and completely lost my way. Not just with the writing but with everything. I no longer recognise the person I have become. When I looking the mirror I no longer see who I want to see.

For the longest time now I have felt like a failure and that is because I haven’t finished my book. The only person to blame is myself. I’ve struggled to get motivated and I feel judged by others, who know I was planning on writing a book, because they probably would’ve expected me to have finished it by now. I think it has become a little bit of a joke that Neal is working on a book. “Haha, yeah right. Have you written any lately?” I get those kind of remarks and rather than prove them wrong and sit down to write, I live up to their expectation that I’m never going to finish it and it’s a pipe dream.I used to get people genuinely ask me how my writing was going , and I still do now and then, however I brush over the subject very quickly because I am ashamed I haven’t finished it. I feel a failure in others eyes and most importantly in my own.

For months now I have been battling with my inner monster, who tells me constantly I’m no good, and it’s his voice that is telling me I am a failure. I know I am not the only person who has that voice. Many of my friends are creative people and I think we all have that voice. The trick is to not listen and push forward. My problem has been that I’ve been too weak to fight back and I’m not quite sure why. The monster has dominated my personality for a while now but it is finally time to shut it down. Baby steps though. Where I want to be in life and what I want to do can’t be done in a day or even a week. That is something I must remind myself of because if I don’t then the monster will surely tell me I’m useless once again and I will believe it because I haven’t achieved my goal.

Maybe if my inner monster had a name it might make it easier to fight back and disregard its comments. As it stands the voice is myself telling me I’m no good and it makes it easier to accept that it must be true. Whereas if it had a name, like Margaret or Bill it would be easier for me to ignore. I could say to myself, “It’s just Bill being an ass again and having a stupid opinion, don’t listen to him”. Perhaps I should try that. You guys reading this could even help me decide on a name for it. Why not leave a comment on my Facebook page or Twitter.

I am not a writer. I am not the greatest at grammar, spelling or punctuation. I don’t know how to lay out a page correctly when writing. These are all things which I can learn, even just by asking google. But because I am not a writer I see that as a huge obstacle to tackle, and instead of trying to overcome the obstacle, I give up before I’ve even begun.

Another factor which made me spiral downhill was the fact I turned thirty in 2016. Hitting thirty isn’t really a big deal in todays world, but to me it was huge. I never thought I’d be bothered about my age, after all it is just a number. Another label society wants you to wear so you can be put into one of their boxes. That is another blog for another day though. My point was turning thirty devastated me and that is when I really began to feel like a failure. It is a bit of a milestone in life, which once again is a pressure from society, and I guess I felt I had to have achieved something by that age. I had been working on the book for a while by that point and the fact that I’d reached my thirties and hadn’t completed it made me feel dreadful. By writing this I’ve actually only just realised that was the trigger which began my self doubt in a major way.

I’m not writing this for sympathy or attention either. I’m doing it because writing it down is letting it out. It is almost like I am sharing my problem with others and as they say ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. So by doing this it is already taking a lot of the guilt and stress and feeling of failure away.

I’m useless when it comes to talking face to face with another person about how I’ve been feeling. I open up slightly but then bottle up again very quickly. I did try and get my feelings out a while ago with a friend but I don’t feel I did a very good job at explaining myself. I have some pressure from other people in life too. To be there for them and support them but it is hard to do that when I am myself going through a dark time. If I bump into anyone who has read this tomorrow or in the near future I am likely to not open up or want to talk about it. As I mentioned I bottle up. It is probably because I don’t like to show vulnerability. I see it as weakness and not a good thing. But in fact it is probably the opposite. Exposing your weakness with others is a very strong thing to do. It is brave to let people see such a personal side to you.

I suppose the truth is I haven’t failed because I haven’t finished or given up. The dream and the book are still there, just waiting for me to do it. I haven’t let anyone down, only myself. I have to stop being so angry and disappointed at myself and begin to love me again. I need to forgive myself and that is my first step.

I have a bit of a plan in mind to help get me to who I want to be. I’m going to do more writing exercises, which I will probably share with you on this blog.  I want to spend more time with creative and happy people. I think that is a very important part. I do have good friends in my life who are creative but that doesn’t mean I don’t need more people like that!

I am a long way off being who I want to be, but I know for sure that I will get there, and I guess that is half the battle won.01ca2abe33a6318fdbff19a5c0ae0108.jpg

Dictionary

A little while ago I decided I was going to make a kind of dictionary which would contain an explanation of everything I had created in the world of Hydryth. However, like everything else it got put aside and I didnt think about it again, that was until recently. I was in a book shop, not really looking for anything in particular, when something caught my eye. It was a book by David Day titled ‘Tolkien  – A Dictionary.

I should imagine many of you Tolkien fans out there would’ve heard of this book, and if you haven’t you need it in your life! It is quite literally what the title says. A dictionary of all things created in the Tolkien universe, and it is a beautiful book! The cover alone made me want to buy it, and I think you will agree from the photo below.

tolkien

The book contains not only in depth explanation of all things Middle Earth and the Undying Lands, but has some amazing artwork too.  I immediately purchased it as it was only £10, a bargain in my eyes.

After only reading a few pages it made me really want to continue with my own dictionary for Hydryth. So, on that evening I poured myself a large glass of red wine, put on a ‘Legend of Zelda’ soundtrack, dug out all of the notes and writing I had previously done for the dictionary, and settled for the night surrounded by paper and prepared to work.

It wasn’t long until I realised I had set my self a huge task, so I decided to keep it simple to start. I included, people/characters, locations such as towns, cities, villages and landmarks, and different races of creatures.

Obviously this is something I will not reveal to anyone else yet. It is purely for my eyes only as it contains ‘spoilers’ for my books and I don’t want to to ruin it for anyone. You may think what is the point if nobody else but myself is going to see it. Surely I have all the information in my head, so why would I need to create a book which is just going to tell me the things I already know. Well, even though I have it all stored in my head, it is actually quite nice to get everything down on paper, and have it some some kind of order. At the moment most if my work is random scribbling in notebooks and pieces of paper, there is no order to it. I thought it would be nice to have it all cataloged just for reference if I need it, rather than trying to find that one piece of paper I wrote something important on and have no idea whereabouts it is. Does that make sense?

So currently anything in the dictionary is just for me. Having said that, I do think I will occasionally upload information about Hydryth which doesn’t contain spoilers. It will be nice to introduce you to aspects of my world now and then. So do not worry people, I will try and keep you in the loop.

Thanks for taking the time to read this guys! As always, please share with your friends and follow me.

If you really want to keep up to date with me the go check out my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Lets get me some followers!!

I’m Back!

So for those of you that have been wondering where I have been, I have been away working on myself. Figuring out what I want from life and how I intend to get it. I believe you can have anything you want in this life as long as you get out there and go for it!

My book ‘Hydryth’ (which I have now decided to call ‘The Legends of Hydryth’. Thoughts on the title would be appreciated) is still very much happening. I just needed some time (quite a lot of time it would seem) to sort myself out. Having said that, I didn’t spend all my time away focusing on me. I did lots of reading, research and planning for my book. I feel that I am now on the road back to my former positive self and cannot wait to get stuck back into writing.

I am very lucky to have lots of support from so many people, and they have helped me get back on track, so a big thank you to all who continue to love and support me.

Another reason you my notice that my ‘Author Page’ is up and running again, is that the layout and design have completely changed. I intend to keep things up to date on this page. I will be uploading blog posts every Monday. I am even looking into getting a YouTube channel started as that seems to be they way the world is going these days. Nobody wants to read anymore, it seems to be all about videos. I joke obviously. People do still love to read and enjoy it, however, I find most internet users become lazy and would rather watch a video than read content. When I do start posting videos (or vlogging as it’s called) you guys will be the first to know. I do not intend vlogging to take over my blogging, but we shall see what happens.

My short story ‘The Reconciliation of the Shri’ which is available free to read on Wattpad will soon have its next chapter (finally!). I must admit I stopped working on it to concentrate more on my actual book, but I do feel I owe it to my short story and to those of you that have already read the first chapter to finish it. I am hoping new chapters will be added every Thursday, and you can check it out by clicking on the ‘Wattpad’ icon on the right. Please follow me on Wattpad too! It will encourage me to write more, and write quicker if I know there are people out there who actually enjoy the story.

One final thing. Thank you to all my followers who have stuck by me in my time away. I promise to load regular content from this day forward! Also, if you want to catch up with me daily then check out my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You are most likely to catch my attention on Twitter and I love to interact with people.

See you all next Monday!