Welcome to the Week: Week 49

Expanding the blog.



Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging more and making this a permanent home rather than my old Goodreads blog.  I’ll be keeping my regular slots devoted to my weekly brief, Gaming Wednesday, and Fiction Friday, but they’ll be more to come on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well.  So without further ado, I bring you the weekly schedule.

Monday- Weekly Brief

Tuesdays- Deutschland Dienstag (a peek at life in Germany)

Wednesday- Gaming Wednesday

Thursday- Potluck Post (crafting, hobbies etc.)

Friday- Fiction Friday (a look behind the scenes with my writing, flash fiction releases etc.)

Until next week, stay awesome, my friends.


How to write a great character

Get to know them



Meet Marvelo, he’s Charmnia’s least competent Wizard 🙂  I’ve seen a huge amount of writing advice dedicated to “strong female characters”, “Mary-Sues” etc. but I’m here to suggest you lay all that aside and meet your character 🙂  No character is perfect, and with time, you’ll see all the layers they have to offer.  You need to see past a two-dimensional description and bring them to life 🙂

Take Marvelo, he could easily become “impotent” as the main character if he WAS a rubbish Wizard.  He’s terible at general magic (lightning bolts, for example) but with the magic linked to his job he aces it!  The magic of Marvelo, is the magic of himself.

Marvelo Cheapmeats (to use his full name) is a nerd, which many see as a weakness, but his strength is applying that knowledge of cheesy Spy Novels to real life.  He believes in the heroes from Star Blast, and when he uses that belief, he becomes a hero himself.

For those of you wondering about Cheapmeats, you bring an “imprint” of your last residence when you arrive in Charmia.  Marvelo remembered waiting for a bus, outside a branch of Cheap Meats.  Although time has erased the memory of the bus, “Cheapmeats” lodged itself in a corner of his brain.

Marvelo is more than a rubbish Wizard, he offers a stray Cat a home, he’s smart but humble, loyal and true, but successful in the eyes of other characters?  That depends on who you talk to.


Get to know Marvelo, in the Bad Candy series-

The Bad Candy Series

Pocket Camp: Thanks for all the fish :(

Time to say goodbye to Pocket Camp 😦




Today’s a sad day, for me, as I’ll be losing access to one of my favourite games.  The latest update requires 1.5 Mb of RAM and my ancient phone can’t handle that.  Even after stripping down all my apps 😦  On the upside, I’ve got back into The Sims4 and I still have Farmville2: Country Escape.

I’ll still alternate between Gaming Wednesday and Make it Mittwoch, so stay tuned for more Sims 4 news!

Welcome to the Week: Week 48

Breaking things down


This week’s goals are twofold, the first task is to get writing and editing again.  I had a wobble last week after a writing “fail” and needed some time to re-group.  My target is to write a decent 1000 words on Bad Candy 3 and edit at least two flash fictions for a collection I’m putting together.

Task number two involves decluttering the house.  I’ll be breaking it down into fifteen minutes blasts but I need to tackle the cardboard mountain which pre-Christmas creates.  Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I need to exercise and get back to German practice.  Again, this can be done in fifteen-minute chunks and with some luck, I’ll make some progress.

What are your plans for the week?  Any tips for getting things done?   Let me know in the comments 🙂

Friday Flash: Invasive Species


(First published on Booksie)



“As you can see, today’s subject will be dealing with the very serious ramifications of invasive species. If you’ll turn to page 40 in your textbooks please.” Millerson deftly wrote the word “symbiosis” on the chalkboard and continued without turning to face the group. “Mr. Powell that would include you.” Kevin shifted uncomfortably in his chair before opening his textbook and wondering how Millerson had noticed. The teacher spun around on the spot and addressed the pupil sat to Kevin’s right. “If you could read the first three paragraphs to the class please, Carole, and then we’ll discuss.” He flashed a smile.

Mr. Millerson stood at the front of his attentive class, a wooden pointer at the ready. He gave a gentle tap with it towards the title of today’s lesson, “Invasive Species”. He’d taken care to underline it to lessen the flowery nature of his handwriting and re-enforce the seriousness of the class. Mr. Millerson made a gentle cough before beginning.

Carole tucked a dirty blonde curl behind her ear and began reading. The text, dry and dull, hung in the air as the students processed it. It spoke of large, unwieldy beasts suckered to their native positions in order to receive their nutrition. Of how restrictive it proved and the need for evolution. Mr. Millerson wrote “evolution” in a box beneath “symbiosis” and drew a vertical line between them. “These primitive creations were well attended to by their caretakers, who kept them healthy and perceived a beneficial co-existence.” Carole stopped reading and looked up.

“Good reading Carole, now did everyone understand the important points in the text?” Millerson paused for a moment and then added “benefit?” and a horizontal line across from “Symbiosis”. Another student’s hand shot up into the air.

“Mr. Millerson? Why the question mark? After the word ‘benefit’, I mean Sir?” The words tumbled out of Edward’s mouth and he felt the need to scoop them back in again, at once. If Mr. Millerson had placed a question mark on the board it would be for a good reason. Edward flushed bright red. Most of the class shifted their eyes to their left, the auditory equivalent of ducking for cover.  Instead of the anticipated implosion, Millerson gave another smile. He clapped his hands together. It would appear he was pleased.

“Good question, Edward! Let’s find out shall we?” Once again, Millerson paused with a smile to pique their interest. “So as we’ve heard, the original species was sedentary which proved fine for them. However, the other half of the pairing ‘us’, as it were, began to find the benefit less than it should be.” He gave a nod to the class, assured that they were all following. “Sure, these handy little creatures saved us time with their help. But could they save lives?” Kevin’s hand shot up, in a flash. Millerson shook his head. “That was a rhetorical question, Kevin.”

Kevin, feeling brave, stood up. “But why would we get rid of something that saves lives, Sir? I mean, that’s what we did, Sir. We wiped out every single one!” Mr. Millerson took a deep breath and tapped the wooden pointer to the question mark next to “benefit?”.

“Because, class, it is survival of the fittest and frankly we were starting to lose. Yes, ‘they’ had evolved but in some ways, they were still the same. Still rooted to one point, the hip or the hand. But we weren’t living in symbiosis anymore, we had become their slaves. Before, when they gave their alarm call we would come running. Soon after, we began to check on them before we even heard anything. We became the sedentary ones, we got slower and we got sicker than them. So we took action.” Mr. Millerson shuffled his feet and looked at the floor like he didn’t quite believe what he was saying.

At the back of the class, Edward fiddled in his pocket, checked no-one was looking and fished out a slender looking android phone. He stroked the blank screen before popping it back in his pocket. He could text his girlfriend, she had the same model from a gent who didn’t ask too many questions. Getting credit wasn’t easy but if you knew the right person and had enough money, it helped. He thought about seeking out friends from further afield. There were rumours of networks all across the globe. The lazy task force in charge of dealing with the threat had only seen fit to wipe out the actual phones. The apps that ran on them were never decommissioned. It was all still out there, floating in the ether. And Millerson thinks they’re extinct, Edward snorted to himself.

Make it Mittwoch: Christmas Lights

I need more light!


My husband used to be a “not until December” Christmas decorator until I provided a lightbulb moment (pun intended).  At this time of year, bringing light into our home helps us fight the urge to “power-down”.  And so, I made this-



To make one for yourself, you’ll need:




Drill (optional)

Battery operated String lights (mine are a metal string with the lights woven in, so they don’t stick out).

Print-out of the shape you want (you could draw directly onto the wood)


  1.  Pop the print-out in place on your wood (or draw directly onto the wood), simple shapes work best.
  2. Drill a hole and feed the lights through (this avoids the cable leading down to your pattern- you can see the non-drilled option in my version).
  3. Hammer your nails in at the points where the outline changes direction until you have your shape.  You can now rip away the paper and recycle 🙂
  4. Wrap the end of the light string around the first nail a few times to hold it in place.
  5. Go point to point, wrapping the string around the nail once to hold in place.
  6. Repeat until you reach the end of the string.
  7. Wrap the string around the last nail a few times and weave any spare string into a nearby outline.
  8. Switch on and enjoy your Christmas light! (To save battery life, never leave the lights on whilst unattended.  I find the batteries on these type of lights don’t last long otherwise).

Welcome to the Week: Week 47

Being thankful


Last Saturday wasn’t a good day, our car broke down and robbed my husband of a whole day.  The car was towed to a garage, got all fixed up, only to breakdown 200m later 😦  Another tow truck (and another tow truck bill) got him more or less home.  The “windfall” money we received the day before evaporated in tow truck fees.

But we’ll get through.


We’re blessed with a wonderful daughter and we’re surrounded by love.  We have a roof over our heads and food on our table.  Time together is precious.  Everything else is the icing on the cake.  This week I’m thankful for everything I have and knowing that it’s enough.

Be excellent this week, my writer friends!

Gaming Wednesday: Life is Feudal- Your Own

I’m a farmer, not a fighter.


You may have noticed a theme the last week (my loss of the internet) and this game’s the culprit!  Well, actually it was my husband fiddling with things to set up a server we could play on together.


My virtual chickens died 😦  I played on someone else’s server and I soon realised that should that server shut down I’d lose all progress.  Because it takes real effort (or GM commands) to find resources and farm them, you invest a huge amount in this game.  That’s the hook for me.


I love that we’re building a three-storey plaster house together and that marauders can’t trash it (I enjoy PVE rather PVP, but I get that some characters won’t play by the rules on some servers- that’s kind of the point).  Now I have my fingers crossed that our internet remains stable lol.

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