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Other hobbies

What do I do when I am not writing?

Quite a lot actually, because I don’t write much at all these days; I have lots of ideas for things to write but I think illness has made me lose focus and passion for it.  I was a lot more passionate about writing than I am nowadays.  It is simply because pain distracts me and makes me lose where I am heading – coughing fits and a severely runny nose are the biggest contributors for throwing me off course, yanking me out of the zone, as it were.  As I have said before in many posts, I live with a perpetual chronic cold, with ear, nose and throat infections thrown in.  It isn’t just a sniffle, I wish it were, but I can get through five hundred individual tissues on a bad day, two hundred being the norm for me.

Since the 21st December 2019 the only things I have written are what are on the blog and approximately 5000 words of non-posted works of other things, but nothing contributing to my novels.  Hand written notes of other ideas are not included in this, I am spending more and more time in bed these days as I can barely move.  All these problems are giving me severe insomnia and hypersomnia.  What do I mean by that?  Well I don’t sleep at night, I seem to sleep better during the day, for some reason my chest and sinus is worse at night.  When I do eventually sleep during the day I sleep between 7 and 16 hours in a stretch, to wake up for 2 hours in a choking fit with a dry crusted mouth.  Not a pretty visual I know.  I can go 30 to 40 hours without sleeping, purely because I am too busy clearing mucus from my system.

So it isn’t any wonder why I lack focus and concentration really.

Basically, everything I do when I am not writing, are things I can do at home, in the bedroom.  Primarily with my desktop computer, as I have recently had it moved to the bedroom due to the fact I am often too sick to get downstairs these days and I have moved my laptop downstairs for the rare occasion I am down there for more than an hour.  Because my legs swell a lot sitting at the computer desk, I can only sit here for an hour before I have to rest with legs up for thirty minutes, to get the swelling down, so even if I am on a roll, my ankles start burning and that throws me off course and I have to go and put my feet up.

I read approximately 30 to 80 pages of a book per day and about half a magazine too.  The types of things I read the most are fantasy, sci-fi and comedy fiction with a lot of non-fiction thrown in; the non-fiction I enjoy are self-help books, nutrition books, history books, theological research, mythology, folklore and cultural studies.  My current reading list is Time Song by Julia Blackburn, The Toll by Neal Shusterman and Roy Vickery’s folk flora. 

I do puzzles such as codebreakers, arrow words and gardening magazine crosswords – before my chest got too bad I used to love doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, but it is frustrating having a coughing fit and losing pieces across the room all the time!

If I am not too busy fighting mucus, I get to knit, crochet, sew or practise my recorder and keyboard. 

I watch TV only if there are documentaries I am interested in, I mostly watch Smithsonian and BBC four with some Drama channel thrown in.  I will watch anything with Lucy Worsley, anything about the history of jazz, soul and classical music, nature and wildlife documentaries, documentaries about farming and country life.  I like science too, so I will watch sky at night and space science programs as well as things in the past such as time commanders, gladiators and the occasional wrestling show.  I love comedies, I only watch the comedies on the Drama Channel, but I am picky about which ones to watch.  I like only connect and some quiz and puzzle shows like Countdown, but I don’t watch them all the time.  I have to be in the mood to watch TV and before I was sick I watched around three hours of TV a week, these days it’s about two hours a day.  We never miss Michael McIntyre’s Big Show if we can help it, nor do we tend to like missing gardeners world or shows such as the RHS show, cruft’s and BBC Proms.  I’m pretty old fashioned I suppose for someone who is thirty seven.  I dislike soap operas and drama llama stuff – yes I mentioned the drama channel, but there are three hours a day where it is strictly comedy and I tend to only watch that channel (at the comedy times) or food network when there is nothing else on.  Sometimes I put on a DVD and I will often choose vampires or family animations and comedies. 

The main things I do these days are play games online.  I don’t even socialise that much online anymore, because I lose concentration and people who know me are starting to think I have memory problems.  Because a coughing fit will make me forget what I have said or what I was on about.

The online games that grip me are… Roblox, yes Henry got me onto it and to be honest, Roblox has saved my relationship with my son!  Because I find his kind of games hard to do since becoming sick – Roblox has opened a whole new world for us and we play hide and seek and various other games together.  When Henry is at school, I still sneak onto the site and play bee swarm simulator, Ripull mini games and fairy simulator.  Bee Swarm simulator especially!

Other online games I play are ovipets it is a cute breeding game on facebook and I have been addicted to that for nearly 5yrs. 

Flightrising is another breeding game, but I go in and out of phases with that.  Primarily I have played this for a whole eight months without a break, purely because Henry wants to see what dragons I breed and he loves to name them and do what we call “Dragon Lottery”.  Dragon Lottery is where I look through the offspring possibilities scrying menu to see what will happen if I pair certain dragons up, sometimes I can’t decide, so I make a list of all the best ones that go with my chosen female that day and I number them, then Henry, Paul and I will choose a number from the list and put it through random.org and sometimes someone gets the number right, in which case that person must get a treat of some kind or get to choose to do something; I breed five pairs of dragons every five days, because that is how long it takes for the eggs to hatch and we have a limit of five breeding nests on this game. 

I used to play online scrabble but I have got accused of cheating because I know too many unusual words.  I don’t cheat on that game, I don’t see what purpose that serves other than the joy of creating misery on another person who loses and I am not a vindictive person like that.  I really do have a broad vocabulary, though I rarely use it outside of scrabble and I love doing anagrams for fun, so I see a lot of seven letter words and I am a dictionary and language addict, so I know words that are weird to normal people.  Here is a list of words I know for high scoring on scrabble, which have got me accused of cheating when used previously – plus, I have read books written by scrabble champions.

ZEBU – QAT –  QUARE – SEQUIN – AWK – EUOI – AIA – QI – KIMCHI – VEX – VAV – TAV – EAU – UVEA – AEON – OXIDE – POXY – QIN – QINTAR – FATWA – QABALA – QADI – SJOE – KHAKI – EUOUAE to name but a few.  I have to admit I was shocked when SEQUIN was considered a questionable word, the others I can understand, but I was sure almost everyone knew what sequins were?

I love words and word play so much I have considered about having a word of the week thing, but I am unreliable with keeping to things like that, as you can clearly see from past efforts or lack of.

Other than sketching with pencils or sharpies in bed and/or colouring in and story planning, I don’t do much else on a bad day.  On a good day I can add about an hour of light gardening to the list but not much else anymore.

I’m pretty boring I suppose, by my peers.  I can’t even cuddle the rabbit lately because I cough too much it terrifies the poor thing!  I suppose I sound like some big barking bear or something to the poor creature.

I have gone out to the doctors and walked past dogs when I am like this and the dogs think I am barking at them, they react accordingly, it is embarrassing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Considering non-fiction

A common piece of advice in the writing world is “write what you know” and although I do like to write a lot of things for research and so forth I have never really completely considered writing non-fiction before, but now I feel I would like to, for magazines eventually.  I have contemplated writing for a couple of specific hobby magazines because I have extensive knowledge on their main subjects.  I am going to list what I feel I know a lot about here and I may or may not share posts in the future of these subjects just to give you a taste of what I know.

Gardening

More specifically no dig, organic, permaculture, poly-culture style gardening.  This also includes wildlife gardening and creating mini-ecosystems, building a pond and dry stone walling.

I am also very knowledgeable in wild food foraging, where plants originated from and native British species, this also includes an interest in garden ornithology, and I wouldn’t say I am a bird watcher, but I pay too much attention to the wildlife and bird life within my own personal property that I have gotten to know their numbers as well as their habits.

I would also say that regarding garden pests and flora disease I am also a very knowledgeable biological warrior, using only nature against nature, nothing man-made, to benefit my plant-life, this means I will sometimes grow things I don’t specifically want, simply to provide my garden what I call “Sacrificial” plants.

Along with this I have had an avid interest in flora folklore/superstitions and ancient medical uses and my flora Latin is quite good, almost Carol Klein like.  I keep up to date with the gardening world as much as possible and before my health and benefit cuts happened I was a subscriber to four of Britain’s most renowned gardening magazines amongst other magazines I was interested in – bit of a magazine addict I was/am.

I have a huge amount of experience gardening a lot throughout my life (not professionally) but in the past three years specifically it has been only in dribs and drabs and the garden is looking a mess to put it lightly, namely because of health complications.

American professional wrestling between the years 1990 and 2003

I was an addict of watching wrestling when I was 10yrs old right up until I met an ex-boyfriend who didn’t approve of how much I loved wrestling.  I watched every kind of wrestling that was available to me, I bought every VHS and DVD I could afford at the time and I was even planning to go to America to learn how to wrestle – upon reflection it is a good thing I didn’t considering my career would have been over aged 30 because of these health problems!  I read a lot of wrestling magazines and body building magazines because I was so into it, then aged 21 I kind of grew up and loss contact with wrestling almost completely until last year.  I now sparsely watch TNA and AEW.

I am not sure I could write very much about what I knew from that long ago because it would be considered too ancient for anyone to care, I suppose?

Dogs, dog breed histories and dog training and grooming

I have been considered by people who know me as being the female British version of Cesar Milan as I seem to be a dog whisperer and have helped several people understand their dog’s behaviour!

I know it sounds absolutely awful but a few weeks ago on TV there was a show on it called train your baby like a dog and I have to say it is absolutely true – I see no difference whatsoever in training a dog than I do a baby and vice versa, it is very similar!  Every social creature has an innate desire to become dominant within its social circle and this usually is the worst during infancy, every social creature eventually learns through infancy and good guidance from its elders that it has to follow rules or there will be ramifications, it is not different to humans at all.  Humanity has to get over this silly idea that humans are different to animals.

You get a neglected child and they tend to grow up off the rails and they attack authority at all costs in many cases, you get a well nurtured child and they are more likely to fall in line and be a good citizen.  I know from personal experience not every child who is neglected grows up to become an anarchist, because not every child in the world has the desire to control others.  Children like I was simply wanted the world to be a lovely peaceful place and this in turn, made me quite a submissive and quiet individual.  My brother on the other hand was the type to go off the rails and fight authority all his life.  My other brother was nurtured pretty well because he was a love child and was wanted, unlike me and the other brother, consequently he is a neutral person who has a good relationship with his mother and is socially stable with very little emotional problems.

It is the same with dogs in my opinion.  You nurture that dog like it is your personal baby and depending on how much discipline you demand of it, it will either take advantage of you and become a nasty biting little dog, or it will grow up a stable individual who loves his mama and will obey at all costs.  By discipline I don’t mean shout and yell or kick and hit, that is disgusting behaviour which will eventually become a habitual behaviour in whatever creature you are nurturing as it will become a normality for them.

With a dog, like a baby and a toddler you command and teach with as few words as possible that you repeat regularly so not to confuse them, so it sinks in and you give them infinite patience no matter how you feel.

Superstitions and folklore around the world including cryptozoology

I have had a massive interest in all things supernatural and all things strange and unknown since I was around seven years of age.  I have studied extensively as many books on the subject as possible, particularly witchcraft and vampires, but there has been other creatures and situations I have been interested in hugely.  I have also been interested in peasant folklore and their beliefs, such as talking to the bees, bowing and saluting magpies and being aware of what colour and type of flower you bring to a person or a house.  I am interested in the Victorian art of the language of flowers, something I should have mentioned above in the gardening section.  I have been gifted beautiful bunches of flowers and often hide a laugh behind my polite thank you smile, when I notice I have been gifted red and white lilies as in some superstitions around the world red and white denotes death as well as lilies being the flower of death.  I don’t hold with the superstitions myself, but I love learning about them.  For example, I have bought lilacs and hawthorns into my home as part of my cut flower display for the dining table, many superstitious people would say that my health is my own fault then, because those plants bought into the house will make the head of the house sick and even kill them within a couple of months.

World History primarily European and Chinese history

This is another subject that I am interested in, particularly my own personal genetic history and the history of aristocrats, royalty and gypsies, also ancient warfare and combat.  The history I am interested in is vast, I also love reading about architecture too and fashion from the ages.  I have a lot of useless information in my head if I wasn’t a writer, but as I am a writer these so-called useless bits of information that seem to serve no purpose are actually polished gems which will help me create real feeling worlds in my novels.

Food is another interest of mine

I am knowledgeable in vegan and vegetarian dishes (but not a vegetarian or vegan myself), the paleo lifestyle and the diet known as The Wahl’s Protocol, Mediterranean diet, Indian and Chinese diet, as well as desserts and pies and so forth.  I love cooking and baking, sugar crafting and making homemade sweets, cakes etc. you name it, I love it.  Despite my allergies, which adds another skill to my list, all these things above I can do gluten and lactose free!  I don’t just research recipes and share them either, I am so interested in the world around me and how to keep healthy (because let’s face it I need to try and stop being ill) that I can tell you the sorts of vitamins and minerals you will find in each piece of food you eat as well as tell you the best way to grow it and it’s best companion plants in the garden to grow it next to and the type of soil it needs for the highest of nutritional benefit!

I make compotes, jams and chutneys, soups, pies, pastries, cakes, bread, I am just very versatile in the kitchen, but I must warn you… I am one of these strange people in life who can’t do anything simple like omelettes or frying sausages, without burning them or myself, the more complicated the recipe, the better I am!

Chickens too

Yes you heard it; I am knowledgeable about keeping chickens and how to keep them healthy, including any plants you must avoid around them and using their chicken manure as well as making excellent homemade chicken stock and soup.

Gemstone healing

I used to be into this big time, but lately I am so ill with so many things going on that unless I lay down for three hours a day I really don’t benefit much from these anymore, simply because I can’t lay down for more than 3 minutes on a bad day without choking.

But the stuff I know seems to work for others.

Religion and religious history from around the world

Despite being renowned as a person with humanist leanings and having no precise religion, I am actually quite obsessed about learning about religion in all its forms and researching intensively.  I don’t have a religion because I don’t like to commit to something which could actually be what I call a “deceivers religion”, I am paranoid about getting it wrong.  In a lot of my research material I have discovered amazing things that have surprised me so much I have been absolutely stupefied at how little so-called pious people know about their own faith and its origins.

I try not to preach to people when religion is bought up (only inform so they can make their own decisions about things) but I am shocked about how little they know of their own faith, it is hard, but I have made a point that as far as religion and politics are concerned, I can air my beliefs online on social media but I will not engage on any debate about it, because once you commit to something like that, it will become a never ending argument as neither side tends to relent.  For some religious people, when I simply state “each to their own and lets agree to disagree” they simply won’t leave it at that.  I have extensive knowledge of Judaism, Catholicism and Christianity in all its forms as well as Hinduism and Buddhism; I haven’t much knowledge just yet on Islam or Sikhism unfortunately.  But I also know a lot about ancient religions such as Norse, Greek, Roman, Egyptian and especially Sumerian beliefs.

It is interesting to read the origin of Christianity too; a lot of the original beliefs are not upheld in Christian communities of today, a Christian from the time of Christ’s death around the time it first started, would have a problem digesting a lot of what goes on in Christian communities of today.

For me personally God is gender-less, they do not have a name simply as being known as a creator or more specifically the creator, I cannot give them an image nor assume that they are in human form just because I am, I will not presume what he deems is good and evil, but I do believe he will give me the innate instinct of knowing what he thinks about certain things I am pondering before I do them.  If I think I would feel bad or remorseful after doing something, I generally consider that as a sign I must not do it and I have had this belief for nearly 18yrs.  It is naughty to presume anything about God or the creator, no one must think they can speak for him or make laws based on what they believe he wants – because I do also believe there is a deceiver who works against the truth and that is the evil in the world.  If anything hurts or kills or hates or does anything remotely negative, it has been influenced by the evil in the world or the deceiver as I call them.  I will also state that I do believe billions of people can be wrong, because billions of people can be duped, look at the concept of fake new for one thing – fake news is not new.  I must admit I have been planning a book on this, but I am scared I will become the new Salman Rushdie with death threats and so forth.  Paul believes he has never met a more pious person in his life, pious but without religion, pious but without an explanation to the world and he would never dare call me religious in a mainstream sense, because that would be very wrong, there is no religion in the world which is remotely pure enough that it cannot be tainted in some way and I believe I am by far from perfect, no one can be perfect in a world where evil resides so freely.

Some people in the past have considered me to be a Satanist, simply because I quoted something that Satan was reputed to have said once.  I am trying to remember the source where I read it from, but he was quoted in saying “I do not hate God, but I hate the God of man”, which in my opinion tells me a lot, it tells me that the God of man is what man has made for himself either by humanities own design or by the design of a great deceiver, which also shows me that Satan is not someone who is at war with God if I were to believe the Judo-Christian concept – it means there is a different devil at work, someone who has cleverly kept his name unknown and has spread bad media against those of the truth, whilst endeavouring over the centuries to conceal, hide and destroy the truth, to confuse humanity with false knowledge.

It is very deep stuff, but it is worth thinking about.

I believe wholeheartedly that there is a balance in the universe and at present the balance is tipping hither and tither good and evil, there is definitely a power struggle and I have no idea why humanity is key in it all nor whether or not humans are the only creatures on earth who have a religion, because I am not Dr Doolittle.  But we can’t presume that animals don’t have a religion no more than we can presume what the truth is.

You can find the truth in a lot of lies, because a liar can never remember their own lies and will often slip up.  If you read many conflicting religious ideas over the centuries you do begin to see a pattern of both inconsistencies and consistencies.

I know I am religious in my own way because five years ago a person in the street yelled next to me at some Jehovah Witnesses in Birmingham this “God is dead”! and for me, that was a knife through the heart and stomach and it made me feel quite ill, it affected me badly enough that Paul had to stop me ranting at them about how wrong and evil they were to state it.

I know some of my poetry seem to attack God directly, but you have never asked which God I am writing about.  Usually when I write about God so venomously I write about the God of man or the deceptive God and I will tell you something extraordinary and you may not be inclined to believe it.  But when I was 25yrs old I spoke a lot about my beliefs on four religious and spiritual forums and I was researching for the truth, I discovered many things, many so-called secret societies and secrecy in general, I was shocked to find in my private message box, a message from the Vatican telling me that what I say may or may not indeed be true, but I must stop talking about it, lest I have problems from them.  Thinking nothing of it, for a short while in my life I noticed I was stalked, primarily by priests and nuns which is unnerving and a strange coincidence.  When I decided to stop vocalising about it all, they stopped following me.

Now is this a coincidence?  I was never really sure.  But it is food for thought.  Coincidentally, seven people I knew from the forums that refused to be quiet on the same subjects, died in accidents in less than two years after my silence and a further two people were arrested for apparently nothing and was never released, weird enough their families and friends are unable to visit them which has caused big stirs with the authorities.

It is a strange world out there, stranger than you think and more secretive and deceptive than you think.

Arts and crafts

I have a  broad scope of knowledge regarding arts and crafts, from doing 1000 piece puzzles, to knitting, sewing, embroidery, decoupage, greeting card making, scrap-booking, felt making, making Christmas and Halloween decorations, you name it, I have probably done it for a time. 

Learning languages and having an interest in the origins of words and names

For some of my friends I can come across as a bit of a Susie Dent from Countdown to them, I will explain the name and origins of their chosen names for their babies and I will bring up words they’ve never heard of before because they have recently been removed from the English dictionary and I am vainly trying to popularise those words so that they can get back into the dictionary once again.  I had a huge debate three weeks ago with a bunch of online friends about the new username I have on a game site we use, the word was Eventide, a lot of people misunderstood this as being Eve as in Adam and Eve and some others thought what does ide mean?  Because they thought I meant event ide as some thought perhaps I loved fishing!  Well no, eventide is old English for evening and they can’t understand why I just didn’t name myself Evening instead.  How boring.  A lot of people are forgetting the use for the words dawn and dusk and even twilight, you say the word twilight now and they instantly think shitty teen vampire movie.  Twilight by the way is my most favourite time of the day, it is so beautiful sometimes and I have often thought about naming a daughter Twyla because of it, though the meaning of the name Twyla is old English for two or double, usually given to a twin daughter a lot like the name Thomas for boys, which also means twin.  I know quite a bit of Latin, I am currently a level 3 Italian students, fluent in French, tourist ability in Japanese and Spanish and I have learned excellent methods of learning languages at an incredible speed.  If I practise a language an hour a day I am usually fluent within the year at most, regarding languages I am a fast learner, astute, adroit, you name it!  It can be difficult to speak in all the words I know because I still have that working class way inbuilt into me, but I can shift the manner of which I speak very well to whomever I am talking to at the time.  I don’t mean my voice, I don’t mean my personal mannerisms or accent, I am simply talking about going from tabloid to broadsheet whenever the situation needs it!  I often sit there, with my semi-working-class accent talking to people of upper middle or high class talking to me, they think working class, OK, I use some big words here to make myself sound smarter and I sit there and grin because I can use big words too, it is a lovely feeling to have, smarm.

That’s about it really.   That and general literature, but that is mostly useful for quizzes or recommendations rather than being a piece of worthwhile knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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