Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

NaNoWriMo week 3

November 24, 2015


Apologies, this is a day late, I know. In week three, I hit 50,000 words! My aim really is to finish my first draft by the end of November now.

Read on for my little diary about my thoughts on my novel and the amount of writing I got done each day in week three.

Day 16 – 40,619 words

I struggled towards the end of week 2, and ended up not writing very much at all over the weekend. I got my mojo back a little bit and managed to get back on top of my word count.


Day 17 – 42,576 words

I think I’m officially over the mini episode of writer’s block I had over the weekend. I could have written more today but had so much else to do, so hopefully the words will come out just as easily tomorrow. We’ll see.


Day 18 – 44, 349 words

Definitely feeling like I’m entirely over my writers block, the only problem is that I have so many other things to do that I don’t have time to have a beast of a writing session.


Day 19 – 47,082 words

I’m so close to reaching 50,000 words!


Day 20 – 50,404 words

50,000 words! Yes! So, I’ve ‘won’ NaNoWriMo, but I would really like to try and finish my first draft entirely by the end of November. It’s ambitious, but if I can write 50,000 words in three weeks, it’s not exactly insurmountable.


Day 21 – 50,582 words

Tom is working away in the week at the moment, so it’s really hard for me to feel ok about sitting down for an hour and writing on the weekend, which is why my word count was so bad today.


Day 22 – 52,407 words

Ok, so I feel a little less bad about sitting down and writing for an hour. Tom brought an Xbox One yesterday, which means I can write while he’s playing that, and not feel bad about it.

Today was one of those days where you start writing and all of a sudden you’ve written almost 2,000 words. I had to recheck my word count a few times because it really didn’t feel like I’d written that much.

How’s NaNoWriMo going for you?

Cleanser, Soap and Glory

Soap & Glory 3-in-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash

November 20, 2015

Soap and Glory 3-in-1 daily detox vitamin c facial wash

Soap and Glory Vitamin C Face Wash

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to skin care, so if I can find a product that will do the job of three, I am all over it.

I’ve used a few of Soap & Glory’s show products, but after hearing so many good things about their skin care range I decided to give this a go. I was also a little curious; I’ve pretty much exclusively only used LUSH face products for the past couple of years, so I was interested to see what differences I might notice between LUSH and something like this.

Soap & Glory’s Face Soap and Clarity, 3-in-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash (what a mouthful) aims to cleanse and purify, remove makeup, and act as a gentle exfoliator. And you know what? It does all of those things.

It’s brilliant at removing makeup (though I wouldn’t recommend getting it in your eyes…), my skin looks clearer and brighter, and it feels nice and soft. I have combination skin, so this is where I’d like to mention that it leaves my skin feeling matte, which is what I’m all about.

Soap & Glory Vitamin C facial wash

As well as working really well, it looks super cool on your bathroom shelf. It’s a light blue / green gel consistency, with small, pink exfoliating beads with it. I’m going to be honest and tell you that about 50% of the reason I brought this was because it looks like a science experience, and I like that.

Talking of the exfoliating beads – they’re small and gentle on your skin, which is great for daily use.

While this won’t replace LUSH products for me, it’s perfect for when I’m coming home late from work. If you work late / long shifts, you’ll know that products that are easy and less messy are exactly what you need at 2am in the morning. For that reason, I’m sure this is something I will repurchase.

What multi-use products do you like?


Adventure, Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian – Rick Riordan

November 18, 2015

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

Oft, that was a tiring, adventure-filled, and excellent end to a series.

I put off reading the Percy Jackson series for years because I wasn’t sure whether or not it would live up to all the hype I’ve seen about it, but after finishing the final book in the series, I’m happy to say that it absolutely did.

The Last Olympian is just action after action after action, right from the get go. By the time I finished reading it, I felt in need of a nap and a rest. It just did not let up, and that was a little detrimental at points. Action is good, but it felt like there was a bit too much action. At times it was a little hard to keep up with what was happening, who is who, and I would have liked a bit more slower-paced stuff.

And, bizarrely, the final battle takes place over the course of a handful of paragraphs and seemed a little sudden, which was a little anti-climatic.

That said, I was happy with the ending and I think Rick Riordan did a good job of tying everything up, and he didn’t shy away from killing off some likeable characters.

Percy, Annabeth, and Grover underwent quite a lot of character development throughout the series, and that was evident at the end, especially concerning the decision Percy makes.

One of the reasons I love this series so much is the banter and friendship between the characters, and it felt a little lacking in this book. Though to be fair, they were battling throughout the whole book so maybe the bants wouldn’t be entirely realistic.

All in all, I really enjoyed The Last Olympian and the Percy Jackson series as a whole. I’m clearly older than the target market, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable, and I actually learned some things about Greek mythology as well, which I can’t complain about.

Percy Jackson has been a really fun, and easy series to read that’s perfect for when you’re feeling a bit burnt out and just want something you can read without thinking about too much.

I’m glad I finally got around to reading this series, and I’m eager to make a start on another one of Rick Riordan’s series. I don’t know where to start though. The Heroes of Olympus seems like the logical choice, but I do really like Norse mythology so Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is looking like the one I’ll go for next.

Have you read the Percy Jackson series?

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian book rating


Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) Book Cover Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Rick Riordan
Adventure, mythology, middle grade,

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

NaNoWriMo: week 2

November 17, 2015

NaNoWriMo week 2

After the success of week one, week two was a little trickier and I started to struggle with parts that I hadn’t planned so well.

Here’s my NaNoWriMo diary on how week two of writing went, and my plans for week three.


Day 9 – 28,263 words

Monday is my day off from university, and I also had it off from work, so I decided to get a lot of reading and university work done. During a break from reading and making notes, I beat my word count and had to force myself to stop writing and get back to doing other things.


Day 10 – 30,076 words

Today is the first day where I feel like I’ve come anywhere close to struggling to reach my daily word count. I wrote a rough plan in preparation, and the characters have deviated a little, but the part I’ve come to now is probably the least planned part and that’s caught me out.

Nevertheless, I still beat my daily word count, so I can’t complain. Though, I realise my struggle may also be due to discovering The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. Oops. Hooked.


Day 11 – 32,198 words

I’m making progress, but not finding it as easy going as everything else so far due to the lack of planning around this bit.


Day 12 – 34,009 words

I started writing some Christmas scenes today, which was nice as I love the build up to Christmas and imagining winter wonderlands.


Day 13 –  36,125 words

Much the same as the rest of the week, progress has been slower than last week because I’ve not really planned this part out.


Day 14 – 37,222 words

This is the first day that I haven’t met my daily word goal of 1,667. Of course, it’s not too bad as I’m ahead, but I was hoping to beat the word goal every day nonetheless. I had a pretty busy day, and just didn’t have chance to write much.


Day 15 – 37,462 words

Well, this was my worst day of NaNoWriMo so far. I just couldn’t get anything decent out, so I decided not to push it.
I’m hoping things will pick up in week three, and my aim is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the week.


How is NaNoWriMo going for you?

Life, University

University as an adult & blog update

November 13, 2015

University books and notepads

I’ve been back at university for a month now, and it simultaneously feels like it’s been more and less time than that. It’s funny how fast you slip into a routine and how easily you forget that your life was ever any different.

As you were so supportive when I said I was going back to university, I wanted to share an update, plus get this stuff out of my head. There’s also a blog update, related to being back at university too.

What’s university like as an adult?

That was the main question I had when I made the decision to go back. I’d done a year and a half at the age you’re “supposed” to go to university at, but I was really curious at how it might feel as an adult. Especially, when you’re going into the second year and people have already made friends.

I was also worried about how I would feel taking the leap from a full-time job, to a part-time job and how that would leave me financially.

Since I still live at home, and don’t have huge outgoings, financially things are pretty much the same. The only real difference is I’m much more careful and don’t waste as much money as I used to.

In terms of going back to university as a “mature” student, it doesn’t really feel any different for being an “immature” (Is that the right word? It’s definitely the opposite of mature) student.

The biggest difference I’ve noticed are the difference between the two universities I’ve been to. The one I’m at now has a lot of required / assigned reading, which I didn’t have at my first university. So in that respect, I feel like that’s a lot more support and encouragement to do your own guided learning. I think I could probably count on one hand the amount of times we had to do reading for the next class at my first university. I’m happy with that change, but boy does it take up a lot of time.

Honestly, the photo at the top of this blog post pretty much represents my life at the moment; caffeine, text books, notepads, and pens.

A month in, and I’m still trying to get to grips with how best to manage my time so that I don’t always feel like I’m chasing my own tail.

Which brings me to the blog update. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting less frequently, and ultimately that’s because other things have to take priority, whether I like it or not. Which means that, realistically, I’m going to be planning to post 3 or 4 times a week now, instead of 5.

I imagine that will work out to be posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then either Tuesday or Thursday if I can fit an extra one in. How does that sound?

I feel like I’m out of the loop in the blogging world, so tell me; what’s going on with you at the moment?

Fantasy, Marie Lu, The Young Elites, Young Adult

The Rose Society – Marie Lu – 2 minute review

November 12, 2015

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Oh, this was well worth the wait. The Rose Society is the stunning, and dark sequel to The Young Elites. It surpassed all of my expectations.

I filmed a 2-minute review, where, as the name suggests, I have two minutes to get out all my wafflings about a book. If you don’t want to watch it, read on for my written review.

The Rose Society picks up after the chaos that ensued at the end of The Young Elites, and Adelina is out for revenge. During The Young Elites we see Adelina debating whether or not to do bad things, but in The Rose Society she’s made up her mind. She’s vengeful and what she says goes.

It’s refreshing to read from the point of view of someone who is unapologetically dark. Adelina reminds me a lot of Daenerys Targaryen in the last couple of series of Game of Thrones. What I love even more is that despite the fact Adelina is undoubtedly a bad person, Marie Lu still makes you care about her. You still want Adelina to get what she wants.

Aside from Magiano, there are no other major characters added, though Violetta does become a more prominent character. We also get to see a bit more Teren, just because there’s not enough dark and evil going on in this book already.

There’s also this other thing that happens that, wow, but spoilers so I won’t so anything. But wow.

The plot is pretty action-packed, but it’s not overwhelming and the pacing is just right. Throughout the book something begins to build and build, and the revelation at the end is a pretty big cliffhanger for the next book. I did not see it coming at all and the next book can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure that this series is going to end in tears, and I am not a person who cries at books.

Have you read The Rose Society?

The Rose Society book rating - new favourite

The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) Book Cover The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2)
The Young Elites
Marie Lu
Paranormal, fantasy, young adult, magic
October 13th, 2015

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2015: Week 1

November 9, 2015

NaNoWriMo week 1 update

Welcome to week 2 of NaNoWriMo! Throughout November, I will be doing a weekly update with mini diary entries from each day of NaNoWriMo, including my overall word count at the end of the day.

Week 1 has been really good and I’m just over half way to 50,000 words, which I’m surprised by. Heading into November, I thought it would be a real struggle to hit my word count every day, but I’ve exceeded it so far.

Week 2 is often called the hardest week because you’ve made it through the first week, and in the second your enthusiasm may begin to wane and you might begin to relax a little too much.

My story has deviated from plot a little, but I think everything extra that I’ve written has added something to the story that I feel makes it better. I’m perhaps around one-third of the way through my plot, and I’m looking forward to seeing what week 2 brings.


Day 1 – 4,129

I was at work for most of the day, but had a really good evening writing session, which ran over to about 1am on Monday morning.


Day 2 – 7,633

I only planned on meeting my daily word goal on the second day as I had a lot of work to do for university, but I ended up on a bit of a roll and didn’t want to stop myself.

My beginning is feeling a little all over the place, and I know there are gaps to fill in, but that’s not the point of NaNoWriMo. Try telling my inner editor that, though.


Day 3 – 9,280

I’m very glad my first two days were so strong because I hardly had chance to do any writing because I had so much university work, that I should have done on day 2. Oops.

Picking up from yesterday’s writing wasn’t as hard as I imagined, and I managed to a few words down before bed.


Day 4 -11,096

Wednesday was yet another very busy day, but I managed to find an hour at the end of the day to write almost 2,000 words.


Day 5 – 14,285

Today my characters decided to deviate from the plan, and my fingers obeyed them. The whole time I was thinking “Nope, this doesn’t fit with the story. How will this work now?”, and my fingers ignored my brain and did what the characters demanded they did.


Day 6 – 18,757 & Day 7 – 22,382

I had a really good writing session late on Friday night running into early Saturday morning, and wrote over 8,000 words. My characters continued to do what they want, but they’re starting to move back towards my plot plan again, and I’m really happy with how things are progressing.


Day 8 – 25,644

Yet another good evening writing session saw me get another couple of thousands words under my belt. I wrote some Bonfire Night and Christmas scenes, which was really fun.


How’s week 1 of NaNoWriMo been for you?