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Musings and ramblings

blogger event advice

How to go to a blogging event as a shy introvert. My Next Blogger Network event experience

I recently went to the Next Blogger Network event in Shoreditch in London, and I’ll be honest, it’s one of the most scary things for me I’ve ever done! The week leading up to the event was spent either putting it to the back of my mind and pretending it wasn’t happening, or feeling so worried I got a massive ulcer on the inside of my cheek! However, I knew once I’d forked out the money for the train fare, I would have to go, so I went ahead and did that first so I couldn’t change my mind! In the end, I feel it was a very successful day and I’ve come away from the event feeling very proud of myself and ready to go out and find another blogging event to go to! Here’s how I managed it…..

Musings and ramblings, Writing,
blogtober blogging advice

5 excuses not to do Blogtober this year – Blogging advice

Are you a blogger and feeling the pressure to take part in Blogtober? (ie publishing a blog post every day for the month of October.) Well worry no more; I have five good reasons why you shouldn’t do it!

  1. You don’t have the time. No seriously, you probably don’t. Unless you’re my friend Kathryn, who, in the space of twenty minutes at our village writers’ group, can write a well written, fully plotted short story of about two thousand words; or you’re that girl who put her hand up for seven extra sheets of paper during her GCSE English exam, really think about how long it takes you to write a blog post. Particularly if this isn’t your full-time gig and you’re also doing a ‘proper’ job and/or looking after a family. Unless you’ve been planning Blogtober for a while and have a stash of posts ready to go in advance; when exactly are you going to do all this extra work?…..
Musings and ramblings, Writing,
Oshun dress

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion. Should it really matter?

 

If you know me, then you’ll know I am a person who happily trundles on in life, getting on with things as pleasantly as I can, doing as much as possible to avoid drama or confrontation. However, I think someone linked to a blog post I wrote over year ago, as I’ve come back from holiday to a flurry of angry comments on the post called OSHUN – THE STORY OF MY CLOTHING BRAND, AND THE YELLOW DRESS INSPIRED BY BEYONCE’S IN LEMONADE. I thought I would respond to those comments in a blog post, rather than reply to them individually, as hopefully I will explain myself and my opinions in a more complete and thought-through way. So to understand what I’m about to talk about, you might want to have a look at that post first and have a read of the recent comments below it. In summary though, it was written at a time when Beyonce appeared to be channeling the ancient African deity, Oshun, so I wrote a bit about her for those who hadn’t heard of her before, and explained how I came to choose her to name my clothing business and a dress after. I wrote a brief message a couple of days ago addressing this on my Threads of a Fairytale website, and if you don’t mind, I’ll quote it now as an introduction:
“Hello! I’m back from holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Acropolis and other ancient remains and ruins around Greece and Albania and have come home full of inspiration. Three new goddess dresses influenced in design by ancient Greek attire will be appearing in the Threads of a Fairytale shop very soon – one in pink, one gold, and one in a mottled green and grey – all pure silk chiffon. I will continue to be inspired by religions and cultures from all around the world; ancient and modern, because that’s the way art grows, develops and nourishes one’s soul and interest. The term “cultural appropriation” seems to be more in fashion than fashion itself at the moment….If you’re a regular visitor to this page, you’ll know that I changed my clothing business name from Oshun to Threads of a Fairytale a couple of months ago and explained my reasons here. And no, the change had nothing to do with cultural appropriation because I’m sorry, I simply don’t agree that it’s a problem here. We have been influenced by our neighbours of all colours and heritage since time began and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Segregating oneself and not allowing this to happen comes from a place of ego, not from a place of good”.
If you are going to comment here or on facebook (or anywhere), I would appreciate it if you take the time to read this whole piece to fully understand where I’m coming from, and hopefully even take a minute to think about some of my points. I haven’t written this to try to get anyone to change their opinions – of course we’re not all going to agree, but I want to say at the beginning that I have listened to your comments; looked into them further, and really given it some thought from all points of view before writing this……

Fashion, Lifestyle, Musings and ramblings, Threads of a Fairytale - my handmade clothing label, Writing,
jealousy of bloggers

An admission of jealousy of other bloggers

Have you ever noticed how it’s generally successful people who advise you not to compare yourself with others? I hear it a lot lately and it’s really annoying me! When I hear someone with a hundred and seventy thousand Instagram followers and a blog with an income good enough to support their family, spout quotes on their popular podcast such as “Comparison is the thief of joy”, do I think, Oh yes, that’s really good advice, thank you for that? No I do not. I swear out loud and stick two fingers up at my computer.
I hesitated as to whether to share this horrible, ugly side of my personality here, but then I thought, Sod It, no-one’s reading this anyway(!)….

Musings and ramblings, Writing,
Dealing with the post

Adulting: A series of things I should’ve learned by now – Dealing with the post

This is my second blog post in my series about adulting. Just because I’m nearly forty; doesn’t mean I’m any good at it! This time I’m talking about the stuff that comes through the letter box. I dread it with a passion. Unless I’ve bought something from ebay, I am so happy when the post van drives on past! It’s not so bad if the post-person brings it round to the back porch, because that means there’s a parcel, which is quite exciting. However, apart from postcards from my parents, there really is nothing good about the letters that fall on the damp stone floor in our hallway. I’ll do everything in my power to pretend they’re not there….

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

How to write a novel – the practicalities of notes

In January, a lot people who feel they have a novel in them make it their resolution to get it written; so I thought now would be a good time to write this blog post at it might be helpful. I am currently writing my fourth book (only one published (so far!)) and I think I’ve finally worked out the best way to go about organising my work. This is what suits me the most, so will probably not be helpful to anyone who’s all modern and does everything on the computer, or even on your phone. I’m a long-hand kind-of gal and so notebooks have always featured rather heavily in my writing planning. However this time is slightly different….

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

Monthly Memoir – January ’17

We’ve done it! We’ve successfully reached the end of January! I hope it hasn’t been too bad for you all, and you have managed to stay warm enough through that cold snap! We’ve been piling on the logs in the Rayburn, but have been topping up the heat in the evenings with electric heaters and layering on the jumpers and blankets! I actually like the beginning of January; I allow myself a little time to get over Christmas and make plans for the year ahead. Planning is fun. It’s when the actual work begins things start feeling a bit crap. Don’t get me wrong – I love my work – well, I love 50% of my work. Unfortunately the other 50% is admin, advertising and accounts, which I don’t love. So it’s more important than ever that I look back on my highlights, favourites and things I’m grateful for this month……

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

10 ideas to help you get through the day

I’m writing this on the dreariest January day ever with rain pouring down and freezing cold hands; it’s barely surprising that we are likely to feel depressed at this time of year. Some are lucky enough to only feel low in spirits every now and then, while others suffer with melancholia so bad they lose hope of never feeling that way again. The best way to deal with those times is usually distraction. By all means, take a little time to yourself if you need it, but then I think the best thing to do is find something else to keep your mind occupied. Here are some ideas…..

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

5 Positive ways to make your resolutions and goals actually work this time!

This point of January is the most depressing time of year for me. Christmas is already a distant memory and it seems winter cold and rain endlessly stretches ahead of us. It’s easy to see why so many give up on our enthusiasm for changes and goals that we vowed we’d do at the new year. In the past I’ve failed miserably at the things I set out to achieve, but I think I’ve since worked out why they went wrong and what I need to do to fix it and make them happen….

Musings and ramblings, Writing,

Should I stop vlogging?

You might already know that I had a go at Vlogmas last year (It feels weird saying ‘last year’!) on my You Tube channel. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, ‘Vlogmas’ is a You Tube challenge to put up a vlog (video log) (Just in case my parents are reading this!) every day of December up until Christmas. I reached as far as day nineteen and sadly I had to give up. Even though I use an external hard-drive for the videos to free memory space; my old laptop just couldn’t keep up. Whenever I tried to edit my videos the mouse would freeze or go really slowly and the whole thing became impossible. Well Chris has been telling me for a while I needed to upgrade, and I have been coveting the pink macbook and I have finally bought one. Hooray! I can get back to video editing!
Anyway, the question is, now that Vlogmas is over and I’ve nearly caught up on editing the videos; should I carry on?

Musings and ramblings, Writing,