Hitting restart

Hello, in the past, I wrote, edited and published 3 short stories and a novel. However since the beginning of the year I have been feeling, for lack of a better word, ‘lost’.

Lost because I’m doubting my own writing abilities, I’m doubting how good the published works are because of a lack of sales. Just a lot of doubt in general and I figure if I’m doubting my abilities and the books then they’re likely not good enough right now. I’m still going to be writing, but, for now, I have unpublished all the books in favour of doing some more studying and trying to improve my skills as a writer.

I want to be better and I will be. I want to give people something exciting to read that will have them telling their friends about it and right now I don’t feel like my work is there.

This is where this site comes into play, it allows my rambles to be shown the world. The ups and downs of being a writer and the creative flow it encourages. Follow my rambles with me!

Why I don’t have a schedule and why you shouldn’t work to one either.

This is something that I see a lot of bloggers get asked about, as a reader and a follower if you enjoy someone’s content it often becomes a thought in your mind that you wish they posted more often. You wish there was more to read and more to explore but some bloggers, YouTubers etc don’t have a schedule and I’m one of them.

Quality VS Quantity
If I write what I want, when I want then it’s going to be better quality. I can work on a blog post and get it to the level I want, do more research etc sometimes over the course of a couple of weeks. Whereas if I have a schedule I am more forced to try and think of something to write about which means it won’t be at the level I want it to be because it will be just that, forced. I find it a lot better to write about things as they’re fresh in my mind, as they approach my life and they give me something amazing to write about whether that’s a recipe, mental health, writing or my everyday life.

Recently I wrote a post about being in Solitary confinement because I watched a video about it on youtube. I wrote what I would say is a good insight into me and my life and it’s exactly what I wanted, I  had the motivation to write and was in the correct frame of mind to give it my all when I did which means it’s a great article over a good article.

Transfer this lesson
Not having a schedule isn’t just something I follow with the website. It’s something I follow through life. I spent many years having a plan and telling myself what I was going to do. It doesn’t always happen like that. I tried food plans, schedules for the day to help anxiety. Everything made me feel constrained and forced to do things which turned my favourite hobbies into chores.

On the other hand what I see as me being positive and motivated is allowing myself the freedom to do what I feel like doing. Not to the extent of wasting my day but in terms of writing for example. Some days I will work on my book, other days I will write varying topics on my website because it solely affected by how I’m feeling on that day.

This doesn’t work for everyone but it works perfectly for me. It allows my creativity to flow without hindrance which only increases my productivity and motivation, therefore allowing me to write more awesome content for you guys.

Would you agree?

Solitude – What if?

This morning, I popped on YouTube to watch something whilst I was working through my work on the laptop. I happened to come across a documentary done on Solitary Confinement. 5 People were placed in complete solitary confinement for 5 days.

Here’s the link if you would like to watch it

It was baffling and very interesting. Everyone struggled, it makes you strip back everything that you’re and what is important to you. For some, this was good and others not so much. I have always had a huge interest in psychology, experimentation (the voluntary kind, not animals) and many things along the line of mental health. As you know if you follow me, mental health is somewhat of a challenge for me and I’ve had my fair share of mental health issues over the years.

So, what’s my point of this post?

Well, watching this video this morning got me thinking about how I feel I would cope or maybe not cope being completely alone. Let’s pretend for a second that there’s been a zombie outbreak and the only thing I have the ability to do is write this post not knowing if it will even be read.

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Onto the fun stuff.

In the beginning. I’ve just found out I’m the only one left on the planet…that I know of. Either way, I’m on my own.  Firstly, I would panic. Queue the panic attacks, anxiety attacks and sugar attacks from consuming all the junk food in comfort. I would totally freak out and certainly wouldn’t look after myself. I would eat, sleep and repeat for quite some time before I dealt with my inner turmoil and the idea of being completely alone and never seeing people I care about again.

Then I would focus on gettings things I needed, the essentials for survival. By this time I will probably be a stone heavier and would need food, water and books for both reading and research on tips for survival, making fires that kind of thing. There would also be blankets, weapons and learning to avoid Zombies if that was the case and I haven’t already been turned into one.

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Once I’ve got the essentials, avoided being bitten, killed a few zombies, pooped a few times and most of all stuffed my face some more. I would enjoy being ok for a brief moment. My anxiety would deal with me and I would wear the clothes I want to wear, go shopping without paying, eat all the chocolate bars before they go off and just do all the things you worry about people seeing. But then I would remember that no one would ever see it. I would see no point in clothes, pretty things and step back into that deep rabbit hole. Maybe at this point, I would take my anger out on a few chairs on Zombie’s heads. Either way, I would be very hateful at this point.

I would be resentful, feel hatred towards myself and question why I’m the only one left.

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However, then I would calm down again. Maybe enjoy it for a little while, lot’s of thoughts feelings and apprehension. But then a reality check would hit me. Full fear factor. Sometimes I’m afraid of the dark, I don’t like surprises so I like to see what’s in front of me, something I can’t do in the dark. So, it scares me and this would likely be the biggest issue for me but not in the beginning. In the beginning, I would be distracted with thoughts of survival and zombies and missing people and items I loved. This would be the deepest hole to crawl out of. Knowing that I’m alone forever and if I’m ever in danger there will be no one to help. I will become petrified of the dark and the zombies. Heck, any noise in the night and I would jump out of my skin and hover over my body in the safety of the clouds for a while. With no chocolate left this would be a very tough time to get through.

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After this dark, dark time which would be the most long-lasting… I would try and just get through every day and block out thoughts of family, friends, pets, and all the little things I used to enjoy. I would adapt and just maybe survive. I would learn to make my own chocolate. I would write my own books, create my own art. Heck, I would paint a frigging house pink unless zombies were attracted to that.

Coping Strategies

Food. All the food. I would get fat a lot. Then cry when I run out of food, starve for a while and then figure out how to make my own and get fat again. I would eat my own feelings. No doubt. This is not me making fun of people with these issues. This is what I would do. I would learn to hopefully grow some healthy food along the way…

Lot’s of killing time this could mean killing zombies but generally, it would be more finding hobbies and things to do with all the time left in the world.  I would read a lot of books, when I get bored of them I would hopelessly try and figure out how to get Electricity and fail miserably before weeping and going back to the books. Imagine the Smartypants I would become!

Oh, I would also make some loud noise as long as it was safe to do so. Maybe I would set a trap for zombies using this method. I would play the drums really loud and then run hell for leather or I would find all the batteries for stereos and play the same song on all of them at the same time….well maybe a little out of sync by the time I run around all of them and push play.

Cleaning would be another magical thing. I would handwash my clothes, dust and generally make things look pretty if I find a permanent safe house. Failing that, maybe carry family photos and a few plants with me to…sleep next to? Who am I kidding, a plant wouldn’t survive that long with me.

Anything I could find that would bide my time. Maybe I would finally dye my hair ginger or blonde, or both, like a human version of a weird ass cat.

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Can you imagine these colours as a hairdo and how bad it would look when I failed?

Emotions & Mental Health – Dealing? 

Now, with my bad hairdo and dealing with being on my own all the time it would also become a big hobby of mine to pretend to be ok. I would deal with my emotions and state of mind by not dealing at all in this situation. With no therapist to hand other than books, I would fail many times at meditating and instead would move from area to area a lot whilst exploring and learning about who people were from there pictures, journals, possessions.

There would be lot’s of walking, lot’s of exploring and lots of crying. There’s not really much to say about my emotions. Then would go through an aggressive, unrelenting cycle that I would likely repeat until I turn into a Zombie.

I would regularly have thoughts running through my mind, sad thoughts that I would keep busy to avoid paying too much attention to.

Feeling safe would be a huge aspect of my mental health as mentioned above with the darkness. A few weapons would aid in this. When I mean a few I more mean I would actually live in a gun shop…or a knife shop. Maybe it would be good for my clumsy self not to touch a gun for the first time in a zombie apocalypse. Avoiding danger, in general, would be my thing so no walking under any ladders either.

Maybe I could find a pet dog, that would be my child, therapist, teacher and parent all in one.

So would I cope?

Nope, I think at the beginning I would be anxious and cry a lot. Honestly I think my mental health would be a challenge but generally, I think I would either die from some kind of virus or disease or from my own darn clumsiness or lack of thinking things through. What might seem like a good plan may not be when I find myself hurtling down a hill in a car that won’t turn on at 70 miles an hour into a tree.

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You know, I’m just not the most thought out person at times and that combined with my clumsiness would probably get me killed and eaten within hours of the outbreak so no fun shopping trips for me.

Final thoughts

Now, obviously this is all ‘theory’ because honestly I can only guess how I would cope and if I would survive and no matter how more ‘preparation’ you do, unless you’re in that situation you really don’t know what you are capable of, you don’t know how strong you can be and how riveting the will to survive is.

To end. Referring back to the Original Study that inspired this. They were told they could take any 3 items in with them. My question to you is, what would be the three things you would take in with you? Whether it’s from running out of a house in a fire, running for your life from zombies or volunteering for a social experiment.

What would be the three items? For you

Let me know below. I’m intrigued.

What would be mine I hear you ask? Ah, you tell me yours and I will tell you mine.

Reviews – The good and the bad over recent years

I thought I would discuss some of my favourite books and authors and some that just didn’t hit the mark. It’s something I will be keeping up with in future posts. Due to this being the first, some of these books I’ve not read for a long time, never the less, they still deserve a place on the list.

WARNING, there may be spoilers. I have done my best to keep my opinions and comments about each book quite vague in terms of the nitty-gritty details of the stories but some spoilers are unavoidable as a part of the context.

Christina Henry
If you enjoy dark storylines, gruesome discoveries and stories that delve into the rabbit hole of mentality and the perspectives of the ‘villains’ then you will love Christina Henry’s works.

Alice–  Alice in Wonderland is my all time favourite story which started in childhood. My obsession hasn’t lifted and I even now have a tattoo so when I spotted Christina’s Henry’s Dark Version of the childhood story I didn’t hesitate in buying and delving into the pages and I’m so pleased to say that it went above and beyond my expectations.

The dark themes within grasped me from the first page. Alice’s struggle with her mentality and the cruel darkness of the world and the people in it make this an amazingly addictive read. I have read this one and the second and loved both dearly but the first book definitely left more of a mark.

It certainly gives a very real insight into what it’s like dealing with mental health issues and how strong-willed people can be in the direst situations. Christina Henry’s writing style is creative, diverse and addictive.

Lost Boy – Another wonderful read by Christina Henry is the ‘Lost Boy’ another dark tale but this time of Peter Pan and the disturbed mind of a child who wants young boys to stay on his island and play with him. This kid is less young and innocent and more sadistic and memorable which makes the twists and turns all the more satisfying.

I love the calm, strong and loving nature of the main character and his connection to Charlie and the need to look after him. As the story progresses you really get a good feel for what it would be like on the island and how doubtful the boys can be of Peter. It’s interesting to see the roles played and makes for a wonderful character development and a surprisingly sad ending.

I’m very excited to get hold of some of Christina Henry’s other books. I love her dark side and she is a big inspiration for me as a writer.

Veronica Roth – The Divergent Series
So, by now you probably know about the Divergent films and may have read them yourself so it’s probably no surprise to see it on the list and because of that, I’m not going into too much detail as you probably already know everything I have to say. Unfortunately ‘Divergent’ got a little hidden by the prevalence of ‘The Hunger Games’ which I also like greatly but I’ve honestly always preferred Divergent in comparison. I watched the films before reading the books and in a way, I’m pleased I did it this way round.

It was nice to read about the things the films missed out, all the little extras that make you love the story and the characters all the more. The storyline is explained well which makes it a great book for the younger generation but its still a great read for the old folk. It’s gripping, romantic and an overall action-packed series that only gets better the more times you read it.  It’s a good go-to book when you’re struggling for something to read.

Carole Mathews
Carole Mathews is a well known, successful author with plenty of books under her belt now. Generally, they have a romantic comedy theme that she is so good at writing and makes it seem so easy. They make a great, fun and stress relieving read that is easy to get into and enjoy throughout.

The Only Way Is Up – Carole Mathews has a huge range of lovingly crafted reads full of humour, heartbreak, and romance. ‘The Only Way Is Up’ is one of those stories that snippets of has stuck in my head and I will randomly think about when going about my everyday life. The storyline follows a woman who hits rock bottom and loses everything. They had money, a house, anything you could ever wish but then they lose it all and have to move into a derelict house in a rough area.

It will make you think a lot. It will make you question your own life but gives you a lot of positive vibes in the process. Its fun loving and a great uplifting book. The power of seeing someone pulling themselves up from rock bottom makes for a very impressive read that will make you consider what’s important.I love the character developments, their habits, flaws, inner turmoils and all the fun-loving comedy in their lives.

A Compromising Position – This is the first book by ‘Carole Mathews’ that I read. It’s the one that made me love her writing and books for a good go-to heartthrob. It’s not as strong of a storyline as ‘The Only Way Is Up’ but it’s an older book so her style as a writer has likely adapted, changed and developed over the years. No matter though, it’s still a book I find myself reaching for every now and then.

Emily’s story about her boyfriend posting pictures of her in the nude online is one of both shock and believability. You feel sympathy for her character from the beginning and with the help of her friend you get to see how amazing her strength is. It’s an amazing character development that often has me laughing out loud.

Ransom Riggs – Tales of the peculiar
This book was bought for me as a gift and I’m so glad it was. It’s become a book I’m very fond of and will go back to again and again. This book takes the form of Riggs giving his versions of Fairytales he’s created. The format is wonderful and very creative. They’re such easy, yet addictive reads.

Whether it’s Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars or the story of A fork-tongued princess. Each story is completely different to the other but many hold dark elements that can be gruesome, scary and mysterious all in the space of a paragraph. His writing style is invoking of your worst nightmares. Fun, inspirational, creative. Its all most like reading a book version of Black Mirror with all of the darkness and unexpected twists. It’s amazing and worth picking up if not just for the amazing style of the front cover itself.

Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl
The first book is by far my favourite in the series but they’re all amazing. A criminal mastermind named Artemis, Butler his companion and bodyguard, Holly the Elf they kidnap for gold. The storyline is amazing and each book offers something unexpected.

The descriptive nature of technology, the mysterious nature of the ‘Fairy Police’ and the characters natures make this an adorning read that you will want to share with others.

There are touching elements throughout that remind you that Artemis is indeed a child such as the story behind his mother’s wary sanity and his missing father which only adds to his development and just loyalty to his character and the plot entwined in the pages.

Meg Cabot – Avalon High
Now, this book is definitely aimed at teens but I think its one of the few books I read as a teen and have continued to read again and again through my life. I know what happens in each story and much like my love for Shrek or Friends, I can probably spout off many phrases and sentences from the pages. But do I love it any less? Nope.

It’s a romantic teen fantasy that follows the life of Elle Harrison after her move with her parents to Annapolis. There she meets a boy and his friends and soon things start to go wrong and take a somewhat darker turn. From the romantic scene in the Park to the heroic nature of Will and demonic nature of his brother. There are plenty of characters to love, some to hate and others to loathe and wish you were more like. It’s definitely a feel good, happy book that is a quick and pleasant read.

Sarah Morgan – Angels in the Snow
I loved the romantic scenes, the not so shiny hero in armour and the harrowing lady in need of help. I loved all those vibes. Unfortunately, I just lost love for it whenever the roles were changed and the first person camera was switched from Stella to Daniel consistently throughout. I kept getting a little lost and found less commitment from the Author in Daniel’s role. It was never as in-depth or as descriptive in my mind. I thought it would have been perfect without the Daniel side of things as I was so in love with Stella’s viewpoint and her character development as a whole.

Fay Keenan – The Second Chance Tea ShopHeartbreak at the beginning with Anna losing her husband, I felt for her character straight away and really wanted her to be happy. Equally so I loved the development of her relationship with Matthew and the snippets of there children, the dog, a handsome brother and committed friend throughout. I loved it until the ending. *Spoilers* So, he cheats and she forgives him. I understand why it was part of the story and it was very gripping, what I don’t like is that it felt a bit rushed at the end, between Anna finding out and then her making up with Mathew with a Kiss. Again, I understand why it would happen this way but I just didn’t agree that her character would have so easily forgiven a cheating man when she lost her husband.  She found out about the cheating, struggled to forgive and then forgave him and wandered off into the sunset all within 3 chapters. A little too unforgiving compared to the rest of the book in my opinion.

Lucy Diamond – The Beach Cafe – This was a generally a good book. I enjoyed reading it but never felt like it was a strong contender for some of my favourites in the first place so maybe it never had a good chance at winning my heart. I would recommend it but in my opinion, it was a little dragged out and predictable. As soon as she saw the child in need of help or met the guy you knew how it was going to end up which meant the rest of the book was just the middleman that you had to push out the way to get to the ending which you already knew about. It was just a bit meh.

It could have been so much better and much more enticing so it was a real shame.

It’s strange how I’ve reviewed and recommended quite a few romantic comedies. Unlike my love for reading this genre, I have no passion for writing the genre. I love writing things that dig into your bones and makes you question life whilst hiding behind a cushion. Since becoming a writer I have definitely started reading a lot more thrillers, horrors and books with an overall dark theme. Next, on the list are a few Stephen King novels so keep an eye out in the future for another post. 

Of course, these reviews and recommendations are only my opinions so you may not agree with me. What do you agree with and what don’t you? Is there anything I need to read? Let me know in the comments below.

Roe’s Indulgence

Roe’s Indulgence
Watching the falling snowflakes forming mounds of white on the street. Roe takes a moment to reflect on her mood. Peaceful, in it’s simplest form. With nothing on her mind to distract and no tentacles of stress to entangle her. She felt free. A calming sense of tranquillity that only heightens her senses and gives her the push she needs to leave.

Roe takes a moment to look down at the body below. Bruises adorn her arms like a Dalmatian’s spot’s and her swollen eye reflects a dark shade of pain. Blood trickles from the wound, spilling out quite quickly onto the cold concrete. The sparkles on the floor are very pretty though. She looks all most like an art piece. Ready to be presented to the world. It’s only a shame that people won’t find her for a while. By the time they do she’s going to smell quite funny and have a few friends with her, making their home on her skin. A lesson to be learnt for next time.

Her mum always told her not to walk the streets at night alone. She was stupid to follow that shadow. She probably should have listened, or maybe her mum should have been more specific on the size of the shadows to watch out for. Maybe then it wouldn’t have given her that final push she needed over the old building.

Excited glee forms on Roes reddened lips. It’s such a beautiful snowy night. It always makes it so easy and yet, even more satisfying on nights like these. She gazes down at the deformed figure. Shattered glass surrounding her from the fall through the window, her blood spilling out like a river under the moon’s light. Stepping back away from the edge. Roe smiles.

‘It’s a nice night for another’ She tells herself as she steps away from the edge and heads into the night, leaving the girl below in search of another.

Roe loved being the shadow.

Copyright © 2018 Charlie Wright. All right reserved

What terrifies you?

Hello, in light of recent Halloween celebrations and the end of October, I decided now would be a good time to post this entry. As a writer, my main focus is Horror/Thriller with a little Dystopia thrown in the mix. I enjoy horror films and psychological thrillers. Books of this genre scare the heck out of me.

So what I would like to know is what are you most afraid of? I really want to improve on the scare factor in my writing. Have you ever read anything that has embedded in your brain? Ever seen anything that you have nightmares about? Or even nightmares themselves, do you have a recurring one you can’t forget?

Racing heart, sweaty palms, hairs on the back of your neck. I want to know…..

For me personally, I can’t stand watching supernatural horrors, they freak me out. I’m also quite afraid of spiders. I also once had a nightmare about being chased by a pack of dogs, I ran down an alleyway and got stuck at a fence. When I tried to climb that fence, out of nowhere, hands grabbed me so tight around my waist that I couldn’t breathe. It terrified me so much that I actually woke up screaming and freaked my parents out 🙂

Comment below. Let me know what scares you! No matter how big or small.