Tag Archives: scrabble

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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Ovipets and health update

Today has been very exciting on Ovipets.com because yesterday they bought out a new species, a bear species the ursa!
I have wanted a bear, dinosaur, crocodile and cow species for a long time. I am so glad it’s the bear.
Unlike most times when they’ve bought out new species, I was actually active on ovipets.com and not on vacation mode and not too sick to play and I actually had 800 credits to generate the new pets, finally and I was one of the first to generate the ursa, in the first 20! So I made 16 pairs, not for a project, because I don’t approve of these rule infested projects, but to have a pair of every available colour except for grey.
Because I am ill a lot, on the days where I am not too bad, I love playing ovipets.com and flight rising as well as online scrabble to pass the time away, because I am often too sick to do anything else than sit down, especially with the dizzy spells I get a lot of when infections are starting up again.
It is games that inspire me to write too, some games give me a sense of mixing up animals to create new species for stories that have never been done before – almost chimera like beings. Others have already been done, like the other day I accidentally went into the fish tab to breed my stallion – oops, but actually in Scottish mythology that exists! The Kelpie, that’s like a mermaid for horses!
Playing ovipets.com in particular has also helped me understand art and colour mixing. I am very popular with people who play ovipets, for the bright colours and rare genes. I rarely sell anything for credits because it’s hard to get your money back once you’ve bought credits. So really, Ovipets is just a hobby for me. I am very generous, but in regards to these new species that come out once in a while, I am not that generous. I don’t randomly give up new species to an unpaid just to be nice. I generate lots and lots of the new species to breed, so in a few days’ time I can then give them out to the AC (Adoption Centre) for the unpaid.
Unlike some members of ovipets too, I don’t ditch the so-called mud coloured pets, because to me, I can work with them, did you know that when you choose the right colours to breed with, you can make a brown pets offspring, orange or even pink? Be more adventurous and don’t ditch the muds and find out for yourselves!
Talking of mud, I am a little disconcerted with the egg of the bear in this game – it’s a beehive shape and when you have black and red it looks bad enough, but two various shades of brown to get that stereotypical grizzly look, looks like something you find on the street by a lazy dog walker!
I mass breed on ovipets.com and I can breed over 300 pets on an average day. My main chosen species are, Equus, Lepus, Lotor, and piscium. I no longer breed Cebidae or Cetacean, because I simply don’t like them on this game. There is nothing against monkeys and sea animals in real life however.
Because I breed a lot, Paul helps me feed the pets whilst we talk in the evenings. He can be there for two hours just clicking feed for me, primarily because our internet is slow lately. But, whereas he would like to do this every day to cut down time, he can only do this really every 3 to 4 days.
He encourages me to breed whatever I want and how much I want, because he sees that lately, it’s the only thing that really perks me up, when they hatch and they are beautiful it makes me happy. Something that is rare lately.
I used to be a very positive and happy person, but four years of constant pain gets to you and wears you down. I didn’t realise that I had a cholesteatoma in both ears until our last consultant discussion; I could be heading towards surgery very soon, though how soon I don’t know. I had a mastoidectomy when I was 17, I can’t have it again in the right ear and because it was completely removed, apparently that’s almost an unheard of practise.
If I end up having the same operation on the left side, I will be unable to bend over and properly care for myself for up to two years, I remember from last time. I have no idea how Paul will cope around the house then, because I will be unable to do the smallest of things for the first year in particular.
I know a lot of people say they’ve had this surgery and I’ve exaggerated, but my consultant has told me that my condition for some unknown reason is the worst his seen in his 30yr career. This new consultant is amazed that I’ve had a total mastoid removal and isn’t too happy to allow that to happen again. He wants to give me a bone-anchored hearing aid and sew the ears up to prevent infections, but personally I don’t see how that’s going to help.
He is also confused about why my mum never allowed me to have my adenoids removed when I had my tonsils out aged 5. I am not too thrilled when he told me that he will remove the cholesteatoma and adenoids at the same time if surgery becomes the option. Which he did hint will more than likely be the case, I won’t know until approximately 8 weeks from now.
Anyway, I hope that I won’t have a bad recovery like I did before, whatever happens.
Since I went back to ovipets last month, I’ve neglected my flight rising a bit. I am finding flight rising boring lately.

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Rozzy 2009 – 2016

My rabbit died today. His name was Rozzy, a masculine version of his original name Rosehip because Pets@Home thought he was a girl and I took him home thinking OK girl name it is then, well my husband and I at the time was obsessed with herbal teas particularly rosehip so we figured that would suit him; it didn’t occur to us to call him anything else even though he was snowy white with tiny pale flecks of grey and big floppy ears, he was a dwarf rabbit they said.
Well anyway, this was in October 2009 and I was two months pregnant with my soon to be son Henry. Around Christmas time I decided that Rosehip was in fact male, because I had rabbits before and they were usually male and chosen by accident not design and he showed he had the stuff down there for being male – I double checked, yes, he was male alright, so Rosehip became Rozzy. Rozzy means fuzzy hair, which suited him a lot as his hair between his ears stuck up like some Mohican.
He also didn’t turn out to be a dwarf rabbit either; he was as big as a cat when he died.
He hadn’t had a good life in comparison to my other pets in my life, in my personal opinion.
His first few months was excellent, he was a house rabbit and I didn’t want anything else to happen to him, I wanted him indoors with us all the time, being that it was impossible to have a dog at that point in time. He was well trained, let loose in the lounge most of the day and locked in his (recommended by the pet shop) 80cm cage!
When I was 7 months pregnant the pregnancy didn’t go too well for me, in fact I became almost physically disabled, I couldn’t bend or crouch down, particularly when I got to 32 weeks, an old lady out walked me with her Zimmer frame and asked if I was alright! That’s how bad I got, I was so embarrassed! I was 27 and outwalked by a granny with a zimmer! The baby kept lying in difficult positions. My mother was coming to stay, I thought, to help me because I am having a bad time with the pregnancy and was warned that the baby might be premature – well little did I know but she had planned to turn my whole world upside-down, she insisted the rabbit be moved into the utility room, so we did this, because she bought her dog with her and he is a terrier breed.
I could barely get out there to visit my rabbit. Eventually when the baby was born, mother left the day after I went home from hospital – she had no intention of keeping her promise to me and teaching me how to bathe the baby, change the nappy, etc, I had to learn all of this from midwives!
I could never understand why she lived with me for seven weeks during my pregnancy and then went back to London the day after the baby comes home! What was the point in coming at all?
To top it all, the baby was in hospital for the first 5 days of his life with an infection, so I was at my wits end and I was calmed at the idea my mother had nursing experience. She didn’t look at it that way and went anyway. She redecorated my house when I was in hospital without permission, things were moved from places they should have been kept and it took us ages to find them all again.
I was wrapped up with the baby for the first 2 months and then I started to go and see my rabbit in the utility again; Paul looked after him for me. I decided that I would like him moved back into the lounge but the midwives and other people said it would be unhygienic for the baby and that the baby might develop allergies or asthma because of the straw.
I wasn’t happy.
I said to my husband that I was about to play bingo online and that if I won anything over £50 I would get a hutch and have the rabbit outside as I would take it as a sign. I won £150! So out he went, reluctantly, to live in the garden, just before autumn of 2010.
Pauls family, my dad, and Paul himself did a lot to try and make the garden decent for my rabbit. But then I got ill and Paul got tied up with all of my chores as well as his own, raising the baby, caring for the pets (as I have more than just a rabbit, I have guinea pigs too), so the garden wasn’t kept good, the utility room became a hoarders haven and because of that, I couldn’t get out into the garden myself unless Paul was there for support as I have chronic vertigo and other disabilities. So I personally only got to see the rabbit to touch him about four times a year.
I promised the rabbit that if I came into any more money, I would buy a large cage on wheels and bring him back in with me, but that didn’t happen until last week. I won £300 last week and I found that a cage 120cm was being sold on ebay for £40. I got it and it was delivered Monday – unfortunately the whole household has flu, I still have it, but I needed to write about this today. I feel so guilty about his life and I feel this is the biggest example of SODS LAW I’ve ever known. My husband had promised that even though he had flu, he would have tried today if it wasn’t raining to get the rabbit moved into the new cage – well it rained today, but the rabbit died this morning and I am so sad, angry at myself, angry at sods law and I just wished he knew I kept my promise to him!
Poor Rozzy. He is buried under the ash tree in the garden with his 5 siblings. 3 guinea pigs and 2 hamsters. Scrabble, Checkers, Autumn, Donald and Bella. His sister Rowan was told and I don’t believe any scientist that tells me that animals don’t understand people, because she shed a tear! She knew him, she was put into a play pen in front of his hutch in the summers with her sister Autumn, Ruby never knew Rozzy her big brother (Ruby is another guinea pig that is companion to Rowan, she is tiny and Rowan became her mum when she moved in as I believe the seller sold Ruby too young, because Ruby had toilet trouble when she first moved in and Rowan helped lick her to help her).
My little boy wants another rabbit. But his dad says no, not yet, he also asked me if I would like to get the girls (my guinea pig duo) another one to two girls to live with them or a boar? Paul used to be a guinea pig breeder (hobbyist) he once had 50 guinea pigs all to himself, he said he misses it.
I only ever had the 5 guinea pigs since I lived here with him. I would love to see baby guinea pigs. They live indoors and they are not the sinus problem, because I had them moved out for a few weeks and it made no difference to me whatsoever.
I love pets. I don’t have much money right now to have more than just 2 cages of guinea pigs, approximately 6 guinea pigs. But if I had more money, I would be like my godmother, Gina. She is like the female equivalent of Ace Ventura! In her glory days (as I call it) she had this amounts of pets = 9 cats, 6 dogs, 6 rabbits, 2 ducks, 6 terrapins, 2 guinea pigs, 6 cockatiels, an aquarium of fish, 3 rats and 3 budgies, she also whilst having all of these to herself, had a donkey for 2 months but had to give it up due to expense and unruly behaviour! Her eldest daughter would also get her mum to babysit her pets for her from time to time, two more dogs.
I would never keep birds though, but chickens or ducks are OK. Cats don’t like me generally and Paul don’t like cats – I am loved by most dogs though, the bigger the dog I’ve noticed, the more likely it chooses me for its pal! I don’t know if it’s because I look like I can handle them and they think, PERFECT the mama is big! I am 5ft 7 and large and prone to gaining muscle when I exercise too easily!
I can see me having 12 chickens, 3 dogs, 30 guinea pigs, 4 rabbits and 6 hamsters, maybe if I had room goats or pigs and always a large aquarium. Well, that’s my dream.
I would like lizards and snakes, but my husband can’t do them, or rats. I don’t mind any animal, as long as it isn’t spiders. I would even love a fruit bat!
People cringe at me, because I will kiss any animal. Trained my guinea pigs to kiss me, kissed a rat, kissed a snake, and kissed a camel. I am very kissable!
I don’t have parrots sitting on my shoulders, I have Irish Wolfhounds. That was typical when I visited Gina, her Irish wolfhound Amy loved me so much she would use me as a chair. Some fete for a huge dog! A lot of pain for my shoulders! I had to sit back on the sofa, rigid so the dog wouldn’t lose its balance!
I nearly worked with animals on 4 occasions, when I lived with my mum. Every occasion she made me forget the idea. I even had job interviews with vets to train as an auxiliary nurse. I had been accepted to become a police dog trainer, as I am very good at training dogs to do almost anything I want them to, I have a knack with them. I also applied to work for the dog kennels but mum wasn’t happy about that either as I would only be earning £100 a week. The other job was to train to be a dog groomer.
Anyway, I should wrap this up and stop the trips down memory lane of all the animals I ever knew, as the list would be astronomical! Seriously, had too many pets in my experience, too many animal friends instead of people friends. So, I hope you enjoyed this post.
Rest in peace my little bunny xxx

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2.5 hours sleep

Having only 2.5 hours sleep last night, I am quite surprised at how my brain is on top form this morning; something that’s been a struggle for over eighteen months now.   I scored 821 points in online scrabble and I’ve written over one thousand words before noon that’s going to be published on my blog, this is a record for me as I tend to linger over one thousand words in a whole day that’s usually utter rubbish and will never be published anywhere.

The post I wrote for my blog will be published on the 8th August so keep an eye out for it as there is something in this post that will be the main theme for that day.

That is…

As a writer I procrastinate profusely because I am overloaded with more ideas that actually knuckling down to work. I get an average of two novel or short story ideas a day and I have over seven large files containing just ideas, some of these ideas have been with me since I was ten years old and they are so vast (as in an epic series) that I can’t actually believe that anyone would actually want to publish all that drivel without severely abridging my work (insert pained expression here).

One of the main reasons why I have been afraid of professional success has been that an editor will come along and say to me; “cut this out and this and this and this” and I will be standing there agape and aghast that they dare think that they are gods of my worlds! Demons of apocalypse, back away from my creations you heinous, cruel, heartless reapers of my poor innocent imaginary friends, BACK AWAY NOW! (Holds up baseball bat in defence of my many worlds). Oh, OK, maybe I can kill a few darlings as Stephen King would suggest in his book “On Writing”, but it will be painful and they will be mourned by no one else except for me. Damn being a writer is depressing.

Anyway, focusing back onto this subject – I’ve tried to force myself to concentrate on one main story for the last few years and you know what? I don’t think my brain can work that way. I think I need to have many stories on the go at once, I know when I used to be like that I was more productive as a whole and I was told by a college lecturer (of GCSE English Literature) that if I want to be a writer I should focus on one story at a time or else I will become confused and so will my readers. Actually thinking back I think this is bullshit because as a writer I do more than just write my work, I actually read my own work too and edit to the best of my ability – so what utter tosh.

Since 2002 I’ve been working on a fantasy comedy based around some drunk leprechauns, I have the beginning, middle and end, but I have got bored with it seven chapters on because of computer faults deleting most of it with corrupt files etc., after four occasions where this happens and you have no hard copies you get a little disheartened with the story and start to wonder if the story is bad luck, don’t you? Well I do.

Anyway, between writing the leprechaun comedy, I’ve been writing snippets for an epic vampire series – something I’ve been working on since I was ten years old, god I love vampires.

The vampire stories will never be neglected, they are always added to at least once a week, even if it’s just a sentence, they will never be forgotten, because to me, they are my family and I will defend these stories the most if I ever feel brave enough to trust them with a publisher.

Over the years, before I started to concentrate on just one or two, I had started two dystopian stories, a comedy about a female wrestler, a comic about a cat, a comic about a sex crazed astronaut nun, a comic about dominant women invading a planet for mates, a crazy millionaire woman who kills herself after committing murder, a novel about a plague survivor, cowboy vampires, and a console addict sucked into a computer world – to name but a few.

Some of those ideas I gave up because I found similar books or movies during the writing of them by accident and was concerned of plagiarism, but having original ideas is difficult – so therefore I may start some of them up again and do them anyway soon.

No matter what genre I write, I don’t think I can help but have some humour in my stories – I would not be at all surprised if I eventually get coined as a crossover author for horror, fantasy and comedy.

I am starting a horror novel today, based on the advice of my husband and the fact that I am enthusiastic about it and it’s fresh in my mind – so, here I go…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Droid Pox

In a previous post last year, I mentioned that I play scrabble to rev up my brain for writing each day and also to assist me in writers block; some games take on a life of their own and bring about themes or stories unwittingly.
This happened to me again on my last game.

The theme seemed to be robots, technology and disease; it gave me a wonderful idea for a story that I don’t think I can pull off because it’s too technical and I am not a very technologically minded person.

The words played were “Droid”, “Pox”, “Robot”, “Death”, “Fail” and the idea these words gave me were…

A futuristic tale based on robotic advancements that are so great, robots take on a life of their own and a new computer virus is designed by outcast Eco-warrior type people who live rurally around the cities, specifically designed to kill off the new robotic race; quite similar to the idea behind the cyber-men in doctor who; this made me think of a droid pox that affects metals, electric and robots irreparably as it sort of corrodes the metal, this will also affect the infrastructure of the world – basically things that aren’t robot specific.

Obviously such a thing will cause a collapse of buildings, bridges, transportation, trade, importation, and society, as humans will have to start relying on their own manual labor as they did centuries before the collapse and they can’t cope – some can’t cope emotionally because some of the droids affected were disabled relatives that were given lifesaving or life enhancing robotic organs and limbs etc.

I really have no idea how to pull this off as I am not scientific or technologically minded at all and I really want to write this, but I think this will be an abandoned idea.

Shame really.

I am willing to discuss this with people who are science/technology savvy on this subject and perhaps we can work together on this story?

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Scrabble helps writer’s block!

I know I’ve already touched on this subject before, but there are other ways I stop myself from coming up against a brick wall when it comes to writing.  It’s a method of which involves what I call “constructive procrastination”.

What I do is I sit back and I enjoy a good game of online scrabble or words with friends, any word game really, and any words my opponent gets, I write them down on a list and I use them for poems or ideas for short stories.  For those who don’t play many word games, I sometimes notice there are themes that occur in games of scrabble unwittingly, you can sometimes see whole stories with what crops up, it can be amazing brain-storming.

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