I Miss Being 11 Years Old…

aged 11

I went out for a run this morning, and thought about what my 11 year old self would think about meeting the woman she’d grow up to be ten whole years later.

When I was 11, I started secondary school, going to the local special needs secondary school in the area. I had my first ever crush (who I’ve cropped out of the above image because privacy), and went on a medieval school trip in costume, where the above photograph was taken.

I was also the most avid reader.

Considering the childhood I had, it was better to escape into a little world of my own for a few hours rather than face the reality of my situation, that I was in foster care, autistic and being bullied both at home and school.

So I read a LOT of books.

And I’d get through at least five books a week. I read anything I could get my hands on, be it for children or for adults. I even read Shakesphere, Dickens. Breaktimes would be spent either in the school library reading Anne Frank’s diary, or in the playground tucked under a tree with The Butterfly Lion by Michel Morpurgo. I’d go to Hogwarts with Harry, Ron and Hermione, time travel through Horrible Histories, walking through the streets of Heaven with Mel Beebie and her angel friends.

So, it’s safe to say that I read an awful lot, so many I can’t remember them all.

I also wrote a lot of stories. I wrote about the ‘Rainbow Agents’, where each of my classmates and I were representing a colour of the rainbow and saving the world from all sorts of crazy things that I can’t really remember anymore. It was ten years ago!

But what about now, ten years later? Would 11 year old Heidi recognise herself in me?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think she would.

Since then, I’ve been studying, growing up, working, making friends and having relationships. I have a flat to care for, bills to pay, family to spend time with…

And I’m expected to write as well as look after my general health and well being.

Which doesn’t give me much time to sit down and read several books a week, or write a whole story in under ten minutes. Or the energy and motivation.

I spend too much time outside of studying, trying to manage my home and seeing other people dossing around on the internet and playing Sims 4 instead of reading and writing. It’s really not the best of habits, when I could be totally spending that time curled up with a book or jotting down a few lines of prose.

So, as of today, I’m going to start reading one book a week, and writing something daily, even if it’s something I end up scrunching up and throwing away. It also means actually blogging more often than I have been, and generally just being more focused on my goals.

I do miss being 11 years old. But I would like to think that she’d be proud of me ten years later, and starting to read again should help.

It’s Been a While…

It’s been ages since I wrote a post for this blog.

I’ve been terrible at keeping you all updated in everything I’ve been up to. Catching up with a load of backlogged coursework, running Pagan Society, writing a novel and general living. But I thought I’d give you a run-down on how it’s been.

I did get one book for Christmas, from M, an anthology of love poetry, which was cute! Other than that, I got some nice presents from my aunt and paternal family. It was amazing to spend Christmas with my own biological family, which I hadn’t really done since before I was put into care. But the past is in the past, and we move on.

So, things are progressing with my ADHD life. I’m now on maximum dose of my medication, and it is actually making the world of difference. I can now, once it has properly kicked in, sit down and blitz a load of words down. I’ve even been able to start a novel!

Tonight I’m off to help out to prepare with stuff for tomorrow, as I’m taking part in my first ever Reclaim the Night! Can’t wait! I’ll write more about it tomorrow, as it’s going to be amazing! I’ll write it from a neurodiverse point of view, so it should be informative!

I should be posting a lot more often than I have been, I’ve missed you all!

First Week Back!

So, I’ve finally finished my first week back in classes! I’m currently celebrating with a sneezing fit in the IT room as I type up this entry. Yes, I’ve heard a titter or two already coming from fellow inmates/students as I wonder why the hell it’s kicking off now. Maybe I’m allergic to studying?

All jokes aside, it has been great to be back doing what I love to do, that is, being in the academic environment, being in a routine once again.

Not to mention that there are some really interesting classes this year, compared to last year, with journals in Writer’s Workshop 2, in which I can get away with writing about the obcsene poems inspired by Ginsburg, and talk about not reading but screwing (sorry Matt!), reading picture books in Writing for Young People (Where The Wild Things Are, fabulous!), reading chick lit in Genre Fiction (even when a girl complains how deeply offended she is by the term ‘chick lit’, calling it highly mysoginistic, and that we should be banned from reffering to it as such, even though the industry itself refers to books as such. What do you lot think? I’m not overly fussed!), and writing poetry to be yelled at in Performance Poetry. I’ll admit that I did skive Sudden Prose to go to my Comedy Society session, but after an email from my professor asking me whether I’m still in the module or not guilt-tripping me, I’ll have to drop Comedy for a bit. It’s only for one semester though, so I can chillax.

So, it’s been a good week, other than realising that using a manual wheelchair to get around campus is an absolute nightmare, especially when your lecture/support session is at the top of a hill, or the postroom has been moved to a completley inaccessable spot on campus. In the next week, I’ll be writing an official blog post about my experiences as a person who is trying to get around in a wheelchair/crutches in and around Bath and Bath Spa University, and how I feel that things could change for the better in the way that people are being supported and assisted in these situations.

In the meantime, my laptop is back to normal now the malware’s off, I’ve got a journal to update, and Matt is over tomorrow, so I need to tidy up as much as I can! Woo?

Liebster Award!

So, the lovely Katie at Page by Page (http://katewrites2.wordpress.com/) nominated me for an award!

Image

Here’s the rules!

  1. Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
  2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

 

The 10 Questions…

  1. When and why did you decide to start blogging?

I started this blog last year, as I wanted to really start focusing on my future career as a writer, get an audience, and broadcast myself as a writer and general human. So far it’s been a wonderful experience!

2. Are you a structured writer (or reader) (do you set deadlines or goals for yourself, or do you just go with the flow)?

I kinda go with the flow, much to the annoyance of my university lecturers, who expect 2500 words of a portfolio by a certain date, but nothing I’ve written or wanted to write would be suitable for the task! Or, I just don’t feel like writing, that also annoys people! I find that my best work is done when I write of my own accord, rather than when someone is nagging at me to get to a deadline. I dread to think of my future editor/agent’s sanity!

 

3. What’s the number one book you’ve read that you wish you wrote and why?

I would say Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. It’s the kind of rebellious, satirical novel that really examines society and politics, and is a really clever book. Unfortunately it’s not my style, otherwise it would be amazing! I also wish I’d written the poem Howl by Allen Ginsburg, which ended up being the inspiration for Grey Hearts and Dancing Minds.

4. Is there a certain time of day you find writing (or reading) easier, or can you write (or read) day or night with pretty much the same ease (or difficulty 😉 )?

Night time tends to be my best time for blogging and recreational reading, and day time tends to be good for drafting/university reading and work. Even then, I need to be highly motivated to work, and recently that’s been pretty tricky with everything that’s been going on with my personal life. But now I’m coming out the other side, I think I’m picking back up again 😀

 

5. When and why did you start writing and/or reading?

I started reading properly when I was seven, as it was an escape. I could hide from the bullies who taunted me for being awkward, shy and quiet, and go on adventures that beat even my wildest dreams. Writing started when I was ten, and given a notebook as a diary. I also wrote a short story in English about the way I was born, all false, obviously, that I’d had a dramatic forceps birth, my mother had nearly bled out on the table, yada, yada. Turns out I was just a premature baby. Boo. But I got bitten by the writing bug, and haven’t really stopped since!

6. Have you ever written (or read) a character whose personality (or had a personality trait that) was similar to your own? If not, have you ever written (or read) one completely different and can you describe him or her?

Arthur Fitzwilliam, you are so bloody similar, we might as well be the same person! We’re both awkward, gangly and shy, although he is a lot quieter than I am. We want to prove ourselves to the world, but for different motives. Scarlett is the polar opposite to me, very outspoken, cheerful, confident in herself. It’s nice to write a character excited by life.

 

7. What is your favorite genre to write (or read) and why?

I enjoy reading historical fiction, but the research into writing it can be a pain in the neck! I’m branching out into comedy, which I’m enjoying a lot. Performance poetry is also something I enjoy working on!

 

8. What’s your least favorite book of all time and why?

I’ve had to read some pretty awful books in my lifetime… But I recon I’ll get lynched in a moment!

I couldn’t stand Of Mice and Men. I don’t get why a book about how a guy with severe learning difficulties getting killed because he’s too innocent in the mind to deal with the world is good! I’m sorry, but it actually really offended me as a person with mental disabilities! Rant over.

 

9. Where do you see yourself ten years from now reading or writing wise?

Ten years… I’ll be thirty! Gosh, that seems like forever away, but, like the past ten years, they’ll probably fly by, and I’ll be sat there, with ten hundred cats wondering where the heck that time went! In seriousness though, I would hope that I was published as a proper writer, with a couple of novels and poetry anthologies under my belt, as well as performing my poetry across the country/world. But, more likely, I’ll be sat at my laptop eating Doritos and screaming at misbehaving characters to do as they are blinking told!

10. Would you rather never be able to read or never be able to write again? [This one’s mean, I know, sorry ;)]

Yes, it is rather mean! You should be ashamed of yourself for asking that Katie! Would probably have to be never reading again. I couldn’t live without ink on my fingers, the constant need to buy notebooks… *sighs*

Technically this is where I’m meant to nominate 10 bloggers. But you’re all too blooming good for me to pick! I know, I’m copping out, but sleep…

So if you wanna answer my questions, go for it, just link to me at the bottom!

1. Choice of writing snack/drink?

2. What would be the soundtrack to your life?

3. Perfect weekend?

4. If you could go back, and change one part of your life, what would it be?

5. Best written piece?

6. Worst?

7. Who would play you in a movie of your life?

8. Classics or contemporary?

9. Where do you see yourself as a writer in 10 years time? (I liked this question, so it’s going in!)

10. What would you tell your 16 year old self?

 

So, this was fun!

 

Summer of a Lifetime

Because I’ve come out of a relationship, I’ve realised that there are a lot of things I wasn’t able to do because I had a partner.

So this summer, I’ve decided that I want to have A Summer of a Lifetime.

My best friend and I were talking about ideas, such as going to Cardiff to check out the Doctor Who Experience, taking a selfie with a sheep, etc. Then I had a wonderful idea.

How about I ask the Internet what I ought to do this summer? I could write a blog separate to this one, with the list, ticking them off as I do so, and have posts with pictures as evidence of my escapades.

So, where do you wonderful people come in?

Give me ideas of things to do! If I like it, I’ll add it to my list, credit you when I write the post, stuff like that!

I’m already excited!

The Joys of Insomnia

It’s 00:46 in Bath, England, as I sit at my laptop and write out this little post. 

Recently I’ve been put onto sleep medication, which sometimes gives the desired effect, and at other times, like tonight, where I might as well of not taken any medication at all. I missed watching a film with my friends as I came in from my monthly sushi trip with my friends from the other kitchen, and knew that I had to take my pill at 22:00 so that I’d wake up feeling refreshed at 08:30, ready to start tackling the day ahead. I popped on my audiobook, and lay back, pleased that I’d made a jolly good start with clearing all the crap out of my room to make it more suitable to live in. I can even type on my desk now, which has made my life considerably easier. 

Even so, this is a problem that has been with me since I started university. I think it’s all the stress that I’ve had, what with having to send my laptop to the hospital to be repaired, having it not repaired, and having to send it off again, so therefore unable to get the training for the software on the laptop that I’ll need in order to make my life a lot easier. I’ve had to hold back the deadlines for most of my coursework because of this, and I’m really beginning to panic about the workload. It hasn’t helped that the last two grades I got back were either the lowest pass, or one above that, which has been sitting on my mind for the past fortnight. On top of that I’ve got all the assessments for various things, like ADHD and the Irlen Glasses, as well as wondering who on earth is going to fund these things, that I as a careleaver with no one to rely on financially than the state cannot. 

I’ve always been a stressed out person, especially when I was a child who no one loved or cared about. I’d wear myself out by reading all the academic books that I could find in order to prove to everyone that I was smart, a clever kid worth spending time with me. I still remember having my books thrown into puddles by children who thought it was funny to pick on the bookish one. I stress myself out with trying to prove to others and to myself that I’m a good person that everyone wants in their lives. Yet every night I toss and turn, struggling to get a good night’s sleep.

So, it’s very nearly one o clock in the morning, and I know I have a lecture in twelve hours, followed by a two hour seminar. My sleep meds were supposed to kick in a good three hours ago. I wonder if I’ll ever have a good night’s sleep, not that I ever really have done.

Since I wrote that last part, I’ve written out my morning and evening routines, realised that they didn’t print out well, meaning that I have the job of replacing the ink cartridges (yay…) and I’ve also got a Wind Down Time list of activities, as approved by my doctor (you know, the one that put me on this medication in the first place), as you’re not supposed to have contact with a screen for two hours prior to going to bed.

So, I’m still feeling awake, but I’m really tired. Guess who isn’t going to have a good day of it tomorrow, despite all the plans that I had for the day, like finishing my room, cleaning my bathroom for the first time this year, actually making a start on some coursework. Not to mention that I have a lot of packing to do for when I leave Bath for a week. Oh, yes, I’m going home for Reading Week, and I’m rather thrilled! I do believe that a week away from university will do me a lot of good!

Or, it ought to, anyway… 

Back to Work!

It’s been a while since I last posted onto thi8s blog, I know.

I’ve been back at university for a fortnight now, and it’s been really manic. My laptop has been sent back to the manufacturer to be fixed or replaced, as the actual company who were supposed to get the laptop actually fixed didn’t bother to do so, meaning that I haven’t really been able to do much in the way of studying, blogging or writing. It really does wind me up that people have been messing me around, but there you go. 

I’ve also had my Irlen assessment done, as the university have discovered that I suffer from visual stress, especially when reading and working off of a computer screen and bright white paper. I’ve now got to wait for the report to see what recommendations the assessor would make to DSA and the university. I’m hoping for special glasses to help me to read better when working, but we’ll have to see. I’m just waiting on my ADHD assessment in order to see whether I’ll need medication and extra strategies in order to help me study properly. Not only that, I’ve got to see the doctor as I’m struggling to sleep properly, something I’ve had a problem with even when I was a girl.

But enough of the gloomy stuff, and onto my life.

I’ve got a big gig coming up with The Idle Playthings, and I’m really nervous as it’s such a massive gig! It’s at a big comedy club in Bath, where the likes of Russell Howard have played in the past. I’m in a sketch involving lots of swooning and ankle flashing, so it ought to be a rather awesome night. Not only that, but it’ll be the biggest audience I’ll have played to, so it’s very exciting!

Not only am I rising up in the Playthings, I’m also beginning the research process into a novel! Yes, a novel. I’ve been intrigued for a long time about the world of the geisha, and now I’m aiming to write a YA novel (50k words) set in 1920’s Kyoto, telling the story of a young girl who is sold to an okiya, and ends up changing her life forever. As I said, it’s not a polished plot yet, as I’m still trying to research on the subject, which is proving very difficult as there isn’t much good, wholesome information in the library, or the Internet. So it looks like I’ll be relying heavily on Memiors of a Geisha and Geisha of Gion to influence my work. I suppose that’s not a bad thing, although I’ve heard that the former isn’t the best interpretation of what it was like. I’ll reread it and make up my own mind.

Other than that, it’s all about my university work, which I’m behind on due to my laptop going to hospital again. I can write short stories and poems by hand, but I would like my laptop back so I can actually study properly, I need the software that has been installed on it so I can focus on my work and be a proper student again. I know tomorrow I’ll be helping to write a very strongly worded letter to the company providing the equipment to put in a formal complaint about everything that’s happened. Exciting stuff!