Friday, 25 February 2011

Top 5: Books By 5 Family/Friends

When I came up with the idea for this Fridays blog post a week and a half ago I had a feeling there was going to be a wide range of different books. I'm glad to see my friends and family did not disappoint. Some of these books may be unheard of to you. Some of you may have the same favourite book as one of my family/friends.

(Photo Credit:

So where to start.

No 5.) Under the Dome – Stephen King

“My favourite book is the fairly recent " Under the Dome " by Stephen King. Gripping from the first page ~ a classic " I'll read just one more chapter " book.
Taking 25 yrs to create, at 870+ pages, this is King's best epic novel.
It explores many modern topics, including ~ ecological, political & fascism.
King's use of characters leaves you feeling their experiences first hand.”

Recommended by Steve Billington

No 4.) A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

“Absolutely love it. It is by no means a happy book but I really enjoyed it. If that makes sense! About a girls life growing up in Afghanistan, marriage etc. It is the only book that I can think of that ever brought a tear to my eye. The complex relationships especially between the female characters is brought out so well and you really do empathise and sincerely care about what happens to the characters. Highly recommend it.”

Recommended by Jen Bland

No 3.) Past Reason Hated – Peter Robinson

“Its all about Caroline Haryley but everything people know and think she is but she's not. She is found brutally murdered lying on the couch and its down to CI Alan Banks to search for the truth and there is more secrets in her life which keeps you waiting to find out if his has found out the end to all the secrecy and who would of killed her.”

Recommended by Kelly Glennon

No 2.) Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

“It normally takes me a while to read a book but this was an exception. In under a week I read this book. What I liked about this book was the way she described things in such detail it was easy to visualise in your mind. What I found interesting was the different religions and way people live that described in the book.”

Recommended by Christine Miller (mum)

No 1.) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

“Deciding which is my favourite book is rather difficult, but if I had to decide which one, it would probably be 'Great Expectations' by the one and only Charles Dickens.

I like the novel for its ambitious elements, as Philip Pirrip or 'Pip' terminates his apprenticeship as a blacksmith in order to be a 'Gentleman' in the high society of London.
Dickens allows us to speculate the rise and fall of a protagonist in his pursuit of love, wealth, power and freedom to escape from his poor background, only to return to his normal way of living at the end of the novel. The way that the novel has a complex plot highlights how great this book is; that weaves together various interconnected stories with each character having a pivotal role in Pip's life; young and old.
I love how ambiguous the conclusion of the story is when Pip meets Estella at Satis House; does he remain to be an honest friend of Estella? or does finally win her heart and marry her?
But most interestingly enough, the novel is a social critique of High Society of London, exposing the devious elements of greed, power and the feeling of superiority.
Dickens suggested that a person cannot escape from his/ her past or from themselves, which is the lesson that Pip learns at the end of the story. The author also exposes the common belief that a gentleman can be made by money alone, however poor and unprivileged characters like Joe Gargery and Magwitch appear to have moral qualities and appear to be more moral than the characters who are privileged and well educated, showing a high level of irony.
I strongly recommend anyone to read this book - 'Great romance, great thrills, great suspense, great adventure... Great Expectations!!”

This book was recommended by Mark Miller (my youngest brother).

I'd love to hear what some of your favourite books are and if you have read any on this list. I hope everyone is having a good Friday so far and hope everyone has a good weekend.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

As a writer how do you prefer to do it?

Over the years my family and friends have often wondered why I need music on while I'm writing. The simple answer to this simple question is because it just helps. Music can really help you mentally get your head into a certain mood. That's why when I'm writing a certain part of my stories the mood that is called for, I will listen to the type of music that will help me write it.

I can't think of anything worse than writing in complete and utter silence. Even my blog I have to write with music or the tv on. 'Cos really there is nothing worse than struggling with what to write and being in silence. That just makes matters so much worse.

I need noise around me even if its simply people talking around me, music playing or some random advert on the tv.

So how do you guys like to write? Does music help? Hope everyone is having a happy Wednesday :)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Top 5: Books I still have to read on my bookshelf!

Its Friday so that means one thing. Its Top 5... Friday. So here are 5 books on my bookshelf I still have to read.

5.) Breakfast At Tiffanys

4.) Yes Man – Danny Wallace

3.) A Married Man – Catherine Alliott

2.) The Beach House – James Patterson

1.)Club Dead – Chalaine Harris

Do any of you guys have a pile of books you have still not got to reading?

Hope everyone is having a good Friday. Sorry for the short post but been super busy :) I do have a special Top 5... blog post with a little help from my friends :)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Do you tell people you have wrote/blogged about them?

(Photo credit: photosearch)

Carrying on from last week. 'Writing Wednesday' is here again and how quickly a week comes round. I was thinking this week (I know a dangerous thought) about how to answer this weeks question. It came down to how much did I want to reveal. About my friends and family. But more importantly myself. I came to the conclusion that the whole point of this blog is for me to be truthful. Like 100% so otherwise what's the point.


I have been writing stories (mainly for myself) for the best part of 17 years (and that fact has just shocked the hell out of me). I still have every story I have ever wrote since I was at school (though not for school). Needless to say that in my earlier writing the characters I was writing were on the whole from my imagination. It was as I got older that people I met and events around me started to have an influence both good and bad. There are certain people who have had a huge influence on my life and will always have a special place there. I feel that by putting a characteristic of there's in one of my characters is my own little shout-out to them. (Even if they don't know it.) With some friends and family it can be a tiny and probably unrecognisable characteristic. With some it's a hell of a lot more obvious. As a rule I don't like telling friends and family that I have based someone on them. I've had some friends who have asked and I have lied. Mainly because I don't want them to get person x and themselves mixed up. They are not the same entire person. Sometime it might just be a name I use.

As far as my blog goes friends and family can usually tell if it's about them or not. My friends know I have a blog, but I would never ask them if they had read it. If they have liked or not liked something they are more than happy to tell me. But its not something I expect. One ex wasn't happy that I had blogged a rather negative post about him (his name wasn't even mentioned FYI) and the truth is I didn't really care what he said 'cos at the end of the day he was a terrible boyfriend in hindsight. There are one or two men I feel very fond of and protective of and it's rare that you will ever hear me mention them by name. Namely because I respect there right some degree of privacy.

So my question to you guys is would you ever tell a friend or family member you have wrote/blogged about them or would you like to keep it to yourself?

Happy Wednesday everyone :)

Monday, 14 February 2011

February 14th – My Valentines Day Rant

(Photo credit: Photobucket)

I'm so glad valentines day has fallen on a work day. As anyone has read my blog knows I'm a sucker for romance, but even when I've been with someone at valentines I've still hated this day. Its such a money making 'holiday'. Its a day that makes guys feel guilty if they don't do something special for there girlfriend. Companies are able to charge more money for chocolates and wines etc than they would do normally.

I was in work with a male colleague and he made such a valid point. That everything being sold for valentines is aimed at women. All the chocolate hearts, pink wines, candles, stuffed bears are all presents you'd get your special lady friend. Do guys really want any of this shit? I doubt it. You shouldn't need a 'special' day to tell the person you love that you love them.

Any way so rant over. See you Wednesday for my new writers Wednesday post :)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Top 5: Songs I've Listened To This Week

Top 5... Friday's is back this week. This weeks Top 5... blog post is the most played songs on my i-Pod and i-Tunes. 

5.) Dirty – Bodyrockers – Bodyrockers
I lost this album a while ago. It has always been one of my favourites. There are so many great tracks that I love listening to. I love singing along to it and whenever I hear the song I cant help but moving to the beat.

4.) When We Collide – Matt Cardle
The winners song from this years X-Factor. This song couldn't be any more different than the previous song.

3.) Love The Way You Lie – Eminem & Rihanna - Recovery
This song has been one of my favourites since I first heard it. I've never been a huge Rihanna fan but this song I do like.

2.) Rolling In the Deep – Adele – 21
This song is being played everywhere at the moment. Adele has a great voice and this album and song is one of my favourites.

1.) Someone Like You – Adele - 21

This album has been played so many times this week on my i-Pod which is probably why there are two songs from the same album in the top places. This song is so beautiful.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What Inspires you?

Its a new year and some new ideas for my blog. Over the coming weeks etc Wednesday's will become writing Wednesday. So to kick off this weeks writing Wednesday I've been asking myself this very important question. What inspires me?

You can look at this for many different ways. I was inspired for this blog series on a coach trip home from visiting my youngest brother at Uni. As a blogger. Life in general is my biggest inspiration. Things going on in my surroundings.

As a writer (in my stories I like to write) my biggest inspiration is my friends. Not so much for stories as events, but definitely for the characters in my stories. Over the years different parts of many of my friends (an enemies lol) have shared character traits with the people in my stories. Its probably why I get so attached to some of the characters in my stories.

So my question to you is this. Who inspires you? Be it as a creative outlet (blogging, writing, drawing etc) or just life in general. I hope you all have a happy Wednesday. I'm off to the pub soon for my Wednesday night pub quiz with the girls.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Bad Friend/Bad Blogger

Ok so happy belated new year. Since my last blog post Christmas has come and gone. New Year was celebrated with two of my favourite girls. And worse thing ever my laptop had failed on me not once but twice in January. With the help of my lovely friend P I am now a hell of a lot happier.

So in one week two friends both needed me. Normally I am a very good friend and will drop things the minute the people closest to me need my help. I on the other hand this week feel I have let both of my friends down, and even more so, myself. One of my great qualities is my ability to listen to my friends when they need to vent. I was not without my reasons though. The problem with being that person to everyone is that when you need to be the 'venter' as well, is finding that other person to go to. So while the problems I have been going through, for the best part of 2 weeks, are nothing compared to other peoples, these are things that are getting to me.

As if being a bad friend wasn't bad enough. I also feel like I have been a a bad blogger too. When I saw that I have not posted a new blog post since 12 December I was shocked to say the least. I mean that was LAST YEAR. Anyway I am now back, with a fully functioning laptop. I will be back with my (semi-regular) and fave series on Friday. My Top 5... series.

So see you soon! ( Hopefully before Friday :) )