Thursday, 1 September 2011

‘Maybe I’ll be a poet. Watch all the sky for falling words. Write about my grandma’s curtains, or the lady who put the Chinese buffet in her purse.’

I would like to thank the lovely Prerna Pickett, for being so sweet as to give me a blogging award. Seeing as I’ve been blogging less than a week, I consider this a huge achievement! So check out her blog – The Sands of Writing – you won’t regret it!

Here are my awards: J


Sooo, the rules are as follows…

Thank and Link the person who nominates you
Share Seven Random facts about yourself
Pass the award on to five more blogger friends
Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated

Right, second, oh-so-random and hopefully interesting things about me:

1. My cat killed my hamster. It takes sibling rivalry to a whole new extreme doesn’t it?! I was eighteen and had owned my gorgeous hamster Jaq-Jaq (named after the mouse in Cinderella) for only six months. Have you ever heard the fable about the wolf and the shepherd? The wolf followed the shepherd and his sheep around all the time, and after a while the shepherd began to trust him and think of him as a second-in-command. One day, the shepherd went to sleep, leaving Mr Wolf in charge. Guess what happened when the shepherd woke up? Shock! Surprise! All of the sheep were dead. So basically- that. Although no, I didn’t hand my hamster over to my cat and say ‘play nice you two.’ Alfie (my naughty, spoilt but oh-so-loved, incorrigible cat) somehow got the cage open when I wasn’t around. It was pretty traumatic. I heard my sister screaming my name (I thought she’d cut off her arm she was that hysterical) and ran up the stairs to find Jaq in Alfie’s mouth. It wasn’t much consolation that Alfie hadn’t bitten Jaq and that my poor hamster had only died of fright, but at least my last image of my pet wasn’t of him covered in blood and gore. Needless to say, with Alfie still on the prowl, I won’t be getting another hamster any time soon.

2. My life has a sense of humour- and I am the punch line. Seriously. I have a huge fear of the sea. If anyone is asking why, take a look at it. It’s vast and never ending and you could drown and it’s the element that people are literally the most out of their depths in. (Sorry for the pun.) I fear sharks most of all, but any potentially person-eating underwater creature scares the living daylights out of me. (Did you know that crocodiles travel by ocean in Australia? Uh-huh. Swear it’s true.) I saw the film Piranha in the cinema and whilst other people were laughing at the fake blood, I was fighting the urge to be sick, covering my face with my hands, and reminding myself “it’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real…” you get the gist. I can freak myself out in an empty swimming pool. (Curse my imagination!) My family’s kind and understanding nickname for me is ‘Sharklet.’ So what have I realised makes me feel calmest and happiest and most alive? Swimming in the sea. *Mouths incoherently at the silliness that is my life.*

3. I am the middle daughter of three girls, and as such have total ‘middle child syndrome.’ My poor younger self was cruelly forced to play the ‘boy’ in all of our childhood games. My oldest sister was mother, my youngest sister (with her Goldilocks hair) was the baby daughter, and I got to choose between father or brother. If I needed a change I was grudgingly allowed to be the pet dog. When my sisters grew bored of these games they came up with one even better. I became ‘nasty/naughty cousin.’ No, I did not volunteer for this game, and I still bear the figurative scars to this day. They improved even further upon this by giving me my own Greek chorus whenever I got into trouble. ‘Yeah Charles!’ Was the chant that reached my ears in between my parents’ lectures. (Imagination was never their strong suit.) At the age of six, being called a boy’s name was a grievous insult, so it was Hard Times for little ole me. Needless to say, I blame all of my life’s later issues on this traumatic period of my life. (Only joking! Don’t terrorise me in the comments, Debs :p)

4. I credit Harry Potter/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer with being the two major influences of my life. (Outside of family/friends/teachers of course.) Buffy taught me all I’ll ever need to know about female empowerment, great characterisation and peppy one-liners, whilst Harry Potter showed me just how incredible and powerful a book can truly be. I was already a huge bookworm by the way – I probably came out of the womb with a book and glared at the doctor for interrupting me – but I still remember picking up HP in W.H.Smith’s for the first time when I was nine. I had recently started what would be a life-long love affair with the fantasy genre (my best friend and I had decided that we were the witches from Hocus Pocus) and so I was excited at the prospect of a book about wizards and witches. This was back in 1997 (God, I’m old!) and before Harry Potter was anything other than another book on a shelf. Needless to say, once I’d started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I remember that I was resting it on my windowsill because my legs had become tired from sitting for so long, when I discovered that it was Quirrel, not Snape who was after the Philosopher’s Stone. Endless hours of astonishment were to follow.

5. Despite being afraid of driving my own car, I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and I have been skydiving, white-water rafting, abseiled down a waterfall, experienced a canyon swing, gone on every roller coaster that would have me, and done one of those harness things that spring you up in the air and then let you plummet and spin in somersaults for a bit. The most fun I had was the canyon swing. This was where I was lowered into a canyon whilst sitting in a harness, and I had to pull a strap that would let me drop like a puppet whose strings have just been cut. I can still remember how shaky I felt pulling that strap, and the feeling of my stomach hurtling to my throat as I plunged to what I was convinced was my death. Luckily, a second later it turned into the most amazing swing of my life. I was in Queenstown in New Zealand, and I had a beautiful view of lakes and mountains as I swung from one side of the canyon to the other. It was sheer awesomeness, and I don’t use the word awesome. One day, I will pluck up the courage to go bunjy jumping. 

6. I love and geek out over all things to do with reading and writing. Book charms for necklaces, notebooks, sayings about writing, pictures of people reading, reading and writing product websites, I love them all. I love the quote I’ve used in this post because it reminds you to look for inspiration in unlikely places. Whilst my little sister shops online for shoes, I’m there buying a t-shirt which says ‘careful or you’ll end up in my novel.’ Don’t worry- I don’t wear it outside the house. All my money goes on books, and thanks to a short stint as an intern at a publishing house, I now have a pile of about 40 books in my room, all clamouring to be read. On Amazon, my potential buying list has about 100 books on it. I feel guilty Every Time I think about it. I’ve known I want to be an author since I was about eight, and I did English Literature and Creative Writing at university. It’s fair to say that I’m enamoured with the subject, but not necessarily that I ever know what I’m talking about. J

7. At seventeen I started writing my first book, The Secrets of Yggdrasil Manor. I finished the first draft perhaps two years later. I’ve now just finished its eighth draft, though it has been sent out in many forms of query letters over the past two years. As I’m still unpublished, you can probably guess the result. It took a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that the book I’d poured my heart and soul into for six years was never going to see the light of publishing day, and it still gets to me a little. I maintain that the book isn’t bad; but that the downside of starting a book at seventeen was that I didn’t have a CLUE what I was doing. As a result, it is an homage to every book I ever loved as a child: an amalgamation of Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, K.A Applegate, Philip Pullman and Enid Blyton. I would say that rather than being full of clichés, it twists them on their heads and makes them original again, but the premise doesn’t sound current enough for today’s market. At least, that’s the way I see it, but hey, I’m probably just a deluded fool who doesn’t want to admit how rubbish I am. J

So there are seven, random, long, facts about me! Congratulations if you managed to read it all without skimming, and here are the wonderful blogs I nominate, which you should definitely check out:

Eleanor at

Selina at

Caitlin at

Ruth Josse at

Jolene at

Can I just take a moment to say how wonderful it is to meet other aspiring authors? At first I was terrified because my thought process was: ‘oh god, I’m just one of thousands.’ Then I realised that reading someone’s post and seeing that they know exactly how I feel is both comforting and refreshing, and the tips they give are really helpful. So yay for writer blogs!


Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

This part made me giggle-

'I probably came out of the womb with a book and glared at the doctor for interrupting me' – its so true char!!

Loved all the facts about you, some of them (i dont know how) i didnt know! esp. childhood ones...

Thank you for my lovely award xxxxx

Kelley said...

Congrats :)

prerna pickett said...

Oh my gosh, I'm scared to death of the ocean too! I think it's because we have yet to discover all the secrets deep down in the darkened abyss. If we did some more research we would be surprised to find that the Little Mermaid is in fact based on reality. And I also love meeting aspiring authors, it's nice to not feel so alone on a journey that tends to throw boulder sized rejections on your head :)

Laila Knight said...

Congratulations on the awards! :)

Rachel Pudelek said...

Love it! Funny. Sibling rivalry. So true. :) Yes, I am very much loving getting to meet other writers. We are a weird breed and I love every minute of it. :)The fact that now my weirdness makes sense. :)

Jolene Perry said...

SO awesome of ya :D

I'm also the middle child, but my older sister is a lot older, and I have a younger brother. I think it sort of takes the sting out of the whole middle-child thing.

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This was really interesting to read! I am terrified of the ocean too :) And don't give up on your novel, it always takes a long time to get published no matter how good it is!!!

Ruth Josse said...

Thank you much, Charlotte! Meeting other writers is the Best!

Selina said...

Thanks for nominating me :D