Feed Your Reading Addiction

tellDuring any holiday, it’s hard to keep up with your usual routine. This blog article is for those who are addicted to reading. You’ve managed to cook a great meal for the family. You’ve done your Black Friday shopping. You have a little time to yourself—but you don’t want to get hooked by a book… because you may never have time to finish it. How do you find time to feed your book addiction? Why don’t you try these ideas?

Turn The TV Off…

And don’t start “The Walking Dead” on Netflix, either. That is addictive viewing… other shows to avoid are “Game of Thrones,” and “Mad Men.”

Why Not Try Short Stories For Size?

There’s always a spare half-hour between bed and breakfast if you choose to use it. Perfect for short stories – some of the greatest writers in the world have turned out world class short stories.

Embrace Insomnia

Those hours between three and five in the morning are perfect for reading, be it a gentle romance or something more passionate, or paranormal. These are uninterrupted hours that are perfect for feeding your reading addiction!

Buy That E-Reader!

Then there’s no excuse not to have books with you at all times – and nowhere too dark to read them.

Join A Book Club

You’ll be so behind the curve that all the lightweights who only joined for coffee and biscuits will have gone by now, leaving the serious readers to get on with it. Particularly good for those books you need to be prodded into finishing. Try it—it works perfectly!

Chilling Tips For A Terrifying Halloween Party 2016

pumpkinsAre you having a party this weekend to celebrate Halloween? You’ve got everything, right? You’ve picked up the pumpkin, and carved it? You’ve the scariest movies to play? You’ve got your copy of “The Monster Mash” to dance to? But have you ticked these terrifying items off your list?

Very Creative Costumes

Encourage guests to get into the Halloween spirit, and ask that they come in full costume. If possible, host with a close friend or maybe a member of your family, and split costs and jobs equally. Purchasing costumes can get expensive! Make a costume with clothing and material from home, or shop at a nearby thrift store. You can make it easy!

The Choco-Cauldron

Decorate with plastic black cauldrons from any local party store. Decorate tables with cauldrons. Fill them with candy, miniature cookies, or candles to serve as centrepieces. Grab and go flower bouquets are another great way to brighten any dark dining room table.

Decorate with plastic black cauldrons from any local party store. Use cauldrons to brighten a dull dining or family room table. Make centrepieces out of cauldrons filled with candy, miniature cookies or candles. To be more formal, place grab and go Marigold bouquets on each table. Go to town and have fun!

A Chilling Playlist

A Halloween party is incomplete without specific tunes to spread a spooky vibe. There are plenty of great Halloween tracks out there.  Just look on iTunes!

Hourly Food

It pays to serve food as soon as guests arrive. Serving food in one location is a great way to have guests meet; as more people arrive begin serving drinks. How about presenting different types of alcohol in different ways.

Scary Movies

Set up a space to watch scary movies. Keep thrilling horror movies playing throughout the night so guests have the option to drop in, grab a bite, and get scared by a classic horror movie. Place bite sized Halloween desserts on a table in a corner of the room. Make it exciting!

Themed Desserts

Bake Halloween cookies and cupcakes with friends to make preparing for the party less stressful. Bake ahead of time to reduce stress and keep the kitchen clean for the day of the party.

Just remember that sometimes purchasing a dessert can be so much easier than getting flour and crumbs all over the kitchen before guests arrive.

The Scariest Movies On Netflix… They’re Coming For You!

faceLove Netflix? This Halloween I’m sure there will be a lot of horror movies streaming on that service. But which movies should you pick? With the thousands of films currently available on Netflix I thought it might be a good idea to put together a blog with some of the better films on offer. If you are looking for something scary, and delightful… check out this list!

The Babadook

With all the competition movies have in the horror genre—it takes a film like “The Babadook” to stand out. The Babadook is no ordinary horror movie. It tells the story of a mother struggling to control her young son who is plagued by visions of a monster he thinks is coming to kill them. He may be right. Genuinely terrifying.

Insidious

Why does Hollywood have such an obsession with creepy kids? Every single time some young person finds themselves possessed we run behind the sofa. Insidious sees a couple fight supernatural forces when their son enters a comatose state, finding himself becoming the host for ghosts from an astral dimension. Whatever you do, don’t watch it alone. Seriously… Just don’t. If you’re alone this Halloween pick something else to view.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

If you’re going to make a film about an exorcism, there’s a lot of competition. One of the greatest horror movies of all time was, afterall, about exorcism. This is a very creepy movie, based on a true story, that just takes the creepiness to the next level. “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is well worth your time, and attention.

The Devil Inside

Over twenty years after a woman murdered three people, her daughter Isabella travels to a hospital for the criminally insane to work out if her mother is suffering from delusions or actual demonic possession. Unfortunately, it’s the latter and it isn’t long before she’s recruiting two exorcists to help her fight back for her mother’s soul. A seriously addictive horror movie.

Housebound

A horror-comedy which rightfully takes its place on our list because it ignores everything it should do as a horror picture and carves its own identity. A movie that you will probably enjoy more each time you see it. You will see it twice. I can almost guarantee it.

Six Halloween Horrors Your Kids Can Enjoy Too!

tales fromHalloween is creeping closer—a time of fear, terror and… Horror movies. This week I thought it would be fun to share some of the best horror movies for kids… If you want a scare safe enough for your kids… These movies might be right for you! Just don’t watch them alone…. Enjoy!

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie

Who doesn’t love Pooh? Seriously? It’s Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood, and everyone is excited to trick or treat. But Pooh eats all of the candy, so Roo and Lumpy set off on a quest to capture a scary Gobloon who will grant their wish for more. Sweet and not scary, this film is perfect for younger children.

Hocus Pocus

A boy who is charged with keeping an eye on his nosy little sister on Halloween night accidentally unleashes the Sanderson Sisters—three witches from the Salem witch trials that suck the youth from little girls.

Beetlejuice

A newly-dead husband and wife discover that a family of the living has moved into their house, so they hire a crude “bio-exorcist” to scare them off. The friendship between the deceased couple and Lydia—the epitome of a neglected and gloomy teenager—is heart-warming and the 1980’s styling will give you a good laugh.

Halloween is Grinch Night

Is How the Grinch Stole Christmas a Christmas popular with your kids? If so– your family will love this lesser-known, Halloween-themed prequel. This cartoon creeper is filled with the same Grinch antics we loved in the original, with just enough holiday-appropriate spook to keep young children entertained.

Halloweentown

Marnie Piper has always been obsessed with Halloween, much to her mother’s despair. But it turns out there is something her mom is keeping from her—she’s a witch! When grandmother Aggie arrives for her annual Halloween visit, Marnie follows her to a strange place called Halloweentown. This installment is the first of a magical trilogy—the two sequels will be better appreciated by kids who are a little older.

The Worst Witch

Back in the days before Harry Potter, there was Mildred Hubble. Mildred struggled with being the worst student at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. This cute movie about a triumphant underdog will entertain kids who may be too young for Harry Potter.

 

 

Facts About Game of Thrones You May Not Know…

thronesOne of the biggest shows of the moment is “Game of Thrones.” It seems like everyone is watching it. This week I’d like to share some “facts” about the show that you may not know… Some strange facts here. If you have any facts to share– feel free to post them in the comments section below!

Over 150 babies were named “Khaleesi” in 2012.

Since the success of the show “Arya” is the fastest-growing baby name in the United States.

Gwendoline Christie, the actress who plays the character Brienne, doesn’t know her birthday.

Emilia Clarke, who plays the captivating Daenerys on the show, does not actually dye her hair blonde. She chose to wear a wig instead.

Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, adopted the dog that played her dire wolf in the show. She named the dog Zunni.

Charlie Chaplin has a relative on the show: it’s Robb Stark’s late wife played by Oona Chaplin.

Charles Dickens also has a relative on the show. Daenery’s brother Viserys is the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.

A large number of the actors on the show have not read the books, some fearing it will affect their acting if they know what happens to their character.

The actor who plays Theon, Alfie Allen, is the brother of Lily Allen.

The actor who plays Stannis Baratheon, Stephen Dillane, has a big connection to the Harry Potter word. Do you know it? His son is the actor who plays Tom Riddle.

So… what do you think? Don’t forget to share your facts below!

Life Hacks For Living Life After College

typeFinding happiness is hard at the best of times—but finding it just after leaving college is a hard task to set yourself. I thought it would be great to share these steps towards finding happiness early on in your life—let’s take a look at them shall we?

Find Your Perfect Job

So you have a degree, now you need to use it. Prepare yourself for hours sifting through job websites and applying for graduate schemes. Though the good news is, the majority of graduates find jobs within the first six months of leaving college.

Find The Perfect Place To Live

Does moving back home send shivers down your spine? Can you face having to pay to live in your own house with your own family? If you know enough people you may want to consider sharing a house? It’s just an idea

Pay Off Those Imperfect Debts

Don’t try to hide away from your debts. You can get yourself a graduate bank account that gives you more interest-free time to pay off your debts. Make it a priority to get rid of that debt—you’ll thank me later.

Get Some Sleep

Three in the morning is no longer an appropriate bedtime. Get into the routine of going to bed before midnight so those early starts aren’t too horrific. You’ll soon be looking forward to those weekend lie-ins.

Stop Being A Student

You can no longer watch Netflix until the early hours of the morning, or live entirely off noodles and beans. Rolling into work in your pajamas will never be acceptable. You can’t leave weeks’ worth of washing up in the sink, nor can you go a month without doing laundry.

You Are Heading Toward The Rat Race

Right now you might be able to leave the house five minutes before your class starts, or stroll in 15 minutes late and just catch up on some notes. The same can’t be said for most jobs, and if you have a long commute, you could be setting your alarm for 5am to get there for 8am.

The Importance Of Being Reviewed & Quizzing Your Reviewers

writing 2Being an author takes a lot of courage—but receiving feedback from your readers takes more than that. It takes an iron constitution. Have you ever found yourself faced with a one-star review? How about face-to-face with a reader who didn’t like your book? How did you react? This blog article is all about turning your readers, with opinions, into writing enhancers.

Be Curious About What Your Reader Has to Say

When we speak about listening with curiosity, we’re talking about showing genuine interest in what others are saying to you. All too often we listen without really showing interest. We are impatient and truly show a lack of attentiveness, which in turn hampers constructive conversation. We are too focused on our own agenda. Be genuinely curious. Don’t do all the talking, and keep interruptions to a minimum.  Pace the conversation, and don’t be afraid to keep it focused and on target. Be involved and your reader will be involved, too.

Learn, Learn, Learn

Sometimes you can project all the necessary nonverbal cues to give the other person a sense that you’re listening with curiosity, but you could still be failing to take in any information. While projecting a sense of curiosity, don’t forget to absorb and register what is actually being said. You need to hear the words, read the gestures, and take in the thoughts, ideas, and emotions of the other party. To take in what you hear, you need to pace the conversation and put yourself in the shoes of the other party. If you aren’t listening—you aren’t learning. If a reader picks up on the fact that you are listening—they will share more information with you.

Notes Are King

Reflecting back with interest shows the person you’re really listening and confirms that you have digested the information they wanted to share with you. It also allows the person to hear back what he or she has said and to check within him or herself: Is it exactly what he or she meant to say? Try to take notes, and refer back to them often. Don’t be afraid to ask your reader to delve deeper into what they’ve said. Try to get to the root of their issues.

Ask Questions…

Asking questions extends the conversation and allows for a more productive dialogue. Ask open-ended questions that allow more exploration to take place. By asking open ended questions, you give your protégés an opportunity to find answers within themselves. When someone actually discovers the answers for themselves, it empowers them. When you question for exploration, you reinforce in their minds that you believe in them, and that their opinions, knowledge, and experience are worthwhile. You build their confidence. Look to build the confidence of your reader to say the things about your book they really want to say.

Don’t Be Afraid to Give Back

Feedback is often thought of as being inherently critical, but that need not be the case. Successful authors are careful and discriminating about how they employ feedback, knowing that poor or incomplete feedback could stifle their projects or even cause feelings of inadequacy in them. The successful author avoids the common mistake of using feedback as a vehicle for asserting expertise.