Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge Update

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In October I signed up to the NaNoWriMo Challenge for 2021. National Novel Writing Month is an annual challenge and starts in November. Participants aim to write a complete draft of a novel during the course of the month. I’ve never done anything like this before but, as usual, I started with grand ambitions and have ended, well, not quite a failure but not quite a success either.

I didn’t finish my first draft, or write x number of words every day – in fact I didn’t even write every day! My novel in progress looks more like notes than a coherent story and maybe I might end up changing my mind on the whole idea anyway – but still, I started and did more than I otherwise would have done.

The good news is that I did write more than usual, yes, sometimes I was sidetracked and wrote my blog instead but I did progress with my novel idea. I now have an outline of chapters and characters, ideas of themes to explore, and some draft chapters which require a lot more work on them.

So okay, I’m far from being an unpublished author, let alone a published one. But I am nearer to being one than I was before the challenge and that’s good enough for me. Now, where’s my manuscript….?

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriM 2021 Writing Challenge

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to write a novel. Ideas would come into my head on and off over the years, acquaintances would translate into potential characters, and I would feel in turn envious and inspired by others who wrote and published novels. But I always made an excuse not to write, from ‘maybe tomorrow’ to ‘who would want to read my stories?’ Everyday life, work and ‘stuff’ would get in the way and, like exercise, writing would take a back seat in my life. But when I started a blog and got back into writing, the idea of writing a novel became more and more insistent. It was not for glory and riches, but a creative urge to, well, create, but what idea to choose? Which characters to write about? And more importantly, how to even start?!

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Last year a friend of mine mentioned that her friend had taken up the NaNoWriMo challenge. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it begins in November. Participants aim to write every day with the aim of reaching 50,000 words by the end of the month. That’s an average of 1,667 words a day but it can be more or less, what counts is the total at the end of the month – that’s the first draft of your novel.

At the time I was told this, I thought, ‘that’s inspiring’ and hoped I would remember in time for this year when I may have chosen what to write about. That time is nearly here… do I sign up or not…

To find out more, visit https://nanowrimo.org/

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Blog anniversary – four years old!

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Back in 2017, I started my blog – and now it’s 2021! I deem it highly successful, not because it makes me any money (it doesn’t) or because I have thousands of followers (I don’t) but because I enjoy it.

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It’s reopened my creative side which has laid dormant since I was a teenager. I enjoy thinking up ideas, writing my blog posts, taking photos and merging pictures and words together. I love the fact that my blog helps me to learn, that whenever I include facts for readers to (hopefully!) enjoy, I’m enjoying learning those facts too. Maybe it’s trees or history, chickens or guinea pigs, it’s all a learning curve. On a subtle level, I would love it if my writing inspired a love of nature and an understanding of why it’s important.

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This year I have tried to branch out by creating a new podcast channel! Some of my posts are more picture-led than others but others are wordy enough for a podcast. An issue I had was the sound of my voice. Do others dislike the sound of their own voice or is it just me? But I found Anchor had its own audio voice I could use as a substitute so no embarrassment there.

This is more of a creative adventure rather than a money-making one. It was interesting to see how easy it was to do via Anchor and WordPress but I admit I get more enjoyment of putting a blog post together rather than a podcast of my blog posts. Still, it’s always interesting to learn new things. The web address is https://open.spotify.com/show/4p3kPV2T20jcPTErXoj2WI

To mark this ‘blogiversary’, later today I’m going to revisit two posts I wrote about this time four years ago. They were two of my very earliest posts. Happy memories of Llandudno…

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Third Blog Anniversary – An Ode to Escapism

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Without meaning to, I took a break from writing my blog for three months. I really hadn’t expected to, assuming I would return sooner rather than later. I’m sure there must be many like me who mean to return to their blog but other things get in the way. Before I knew it, three months had flown by and the third anniversary of my blog (in September) had been and gone.

So what have I done in those three months? I’ve hiked 600 miles of the Appalachian Trail, spent time with curious children who claim to have lived past lives, visited Africa – to be precise Kenya, travelling on a very rickety precarious train – and have been trying to solve murder mysteries in a small town in Mississippi and a tiny island off the coast of Dorset.

Oh, and then there was the strange case of a secret alchemy group and its connection to brutal slayings in 1600s Aberdeen, Scotland.

A selection of books I’ve read this year

So you can see why I had no time to write my blog when I had the above to contend with!

Truly, I have found books and escapism a godsend this year. It has been one of my mechanisms for coping with a topsy turvy world.

My life may have become restricted in 2020 but my mind has still gone to various fascinating locations, encountering a miscellany of characters and scenarios, and so for this year’s anniversary I dedicate this post to writers of fiction and non-fiction, books and blogs.

I also salute the WordPress community of fellow bloggers. It’s a really friendly, inspiring community out there. It’s been a harsh year for many of us and it’s easy to feel anxious or upset right now but I find the blogging world quite the antidote. It’s a creative, warm and inspiring place to visit and take part in.

Now I’m back, I wonder why did I leave for so long?

If anyone would like to promote their own blog or a particular blog post (or someone else’s), visit https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/about/your-favourite-blog-posts/

For each link I will donate £1 to Butterfly Conservation.

Photo by Cindy Gustafson on Pexels.com

As an extra motivation aid, I’ve also decided that I will try to write a post at least once a week, and publish it on Sunday at 2pm, with an occasional extra post on Wednesday, same time.

We’ll see how long being organised lasts!

Thank you for reading. ☺️

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Real Neat Award

Real Neat Blog Award

I received the Real Neat Blog Award by Dear Kitty last year. Kitty writes a very interesting and varied blog about politics, animals, peace, war, arts and many other topics.

Here’s what she says about the award: “Late in 2014, I made this Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I wanted to try to do something about that.

“It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging, but my computer drawing had become rusty. So, I made the award with this logo then.

“It is good to see that this award, which later came back to me, has gone to many places of the blogosphere. And that some people have made new logos for it, like the one at the top of this blog post.”

The rules of this award are:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
  • Nominate any number of people linking to their blogs and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
  • Come up with 7 questions for the people you nominated.

Kitty’s seven questions for me are:

1. Who is your favourite visual artist?

There has been a lot of beautiful art over the years which I love to look at but I don’t have a favourite artist. I love beautiful landscapes, Pre-Raphaelite scenes and art which tells a story – or makes me think and ponder.

2. Which is your favourite bird species?

Kingfishers have stunning colours and I always feel as if robins are curious to see what I’m doing but my favourite will have to be the chicken (I have to say this or my hens won’t forgive me!) My bantams are fascinating, complex little creatures and I feel that every day is a learning curve watching them.

3. Which is your favourite mammal species?

My favourite mammal species has to be the dog simply because the dogs I’ve known and loved provide a comfort and friendship. They may be untrustworthy scoundrels when it comes to food (yes, Teddy, I’m talking about you!) but they are always very lovable. 🙂

4. What is your favourite insect?

Butterflies are very beautiful although I wish they would stay in one spot so I could photograph them more easily! I do have a lot of respect for the hard-working bee as well. I read a novel called The Bees which gives a fascinating insight into the life of a honey bee. It’s fictional but the way the hive in the novel is constructed is based on real bee colonies.

5. What is your favourite plant?

I love all plants but the weeping willow is especially romantic in my view.

6. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

From the UK and the USA.

7. If you would be invited to make a space journey, then to which solar system planet would you like to go?

Not sure about this one, none seem very appealing in terms of atmosphere! I would be very curious though. Maybe Mars as it’s the nearest.

I’m going to stick with the same questions and nominate YOU. I’d love to hear your answers… 🙂

Real Neat Blog Award

Posted in Blogging, Charity, Environment, Writing

Butterflies and Blogs

green typewriter written blog
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To celebrate my second blog anniversary last year, I set up a page to promote other blogs. Each time someone promotes their or someone else’s blog, I will donate £1 to Butterfly Conservation (£2 for the first 25). So far, I have raised a grand total of £14! Hopefully, this will increase as time goes by 🙂

I thought I would promote a few of the posts from the page every so often and so here’s February’s offering:

Inspiration for Wellness is a blog focused on health, beauty and natural living. She’s a registered nurse with a passion for holistic health and her inspiring blog covers essential oils, nutrition, exercise, health supplements and more…

Here’s an example of a post –

Why I Love Essential Oils

Inspiration for Wellness has a similar post to mine called Networking for Bloggers. Here you can meet more bloggers and introduce yourself…

Networking for Bloggers

Mental Health From The Other Side – who is a retired mental health nurse – has an unsettling personal story to tell. It’s a stark and important reminder that mental illness can affect anyone and everyone.

My journey through a psychotic depression – part I

If you’re looking for craft and DIY inspiration, Michelle’s blog is a lovely one to find inspiration.

One example is the DIY Shabby Chic Lamp – https://www.blessingsbyme.com/2019/03/13/diy-shabby-chic-lamp-2

These great blogs aren’t the only ones mentioned on My Favourite Blogs page (the others will get a call-out next time) so why not head there to take a look? Or promote your own blog or someone else’s?

animal beautiful biology bloom
Photo by Cindy Gustafson on Pexels.com

For information on Butterfly Conservation, a UK nature charity, visit https://butterfly-conservation.org

If you would like to promote your or someone else’s blog or blog post, please drop a comment on to https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/about/your-favourite-blog-posts/

 

Posted in Blogging, Writing

My Liebster Blog Award!

LiebsterAward

Rebecca from Wild Sensibility has very kindly nominated Cosy Cottage for the Liebster Award and I am delighted to accept my nomination. She’s got a terrific blog about nature, dogs, writing and running and I’d definitely recommend a wander to her website here: Wild Sensibility

I’ve copied Wild Sensibility’s definition (courtesy of The Global Aussie blog) of the award here:

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community. Originally it was given out to blogs with less than 2000 readers but this has slowly lowered as the reward has gained popularity. If you like helping other blogs out, go ahead and do it regardless of its size.

The rules of the Liebster Award are (loosely):

1. Acknowledge the blog which nominated you.
2. Answer the questions your nominator asked.
3. Nominate two to six other bloggers who might appreciate the boost.
4. Ask them several unique questions.
5. Let them know you have nominated them.

Liebster Award

Here are my answers to Rebecca’s questions:

1. What typically is the closest object on your right when you’re writing (not including a computer mouse)?

A cup (or should that be a big mug?!) of tea.

2. What one-sentence bit of advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?

Be yourself, it’s okay not to be the same as everyone else. Don’t pretend to be a trendy Take That fan if you’re really a geeky Suede fan! (As was my case!) 

3. Describe your ideal writing space and place (assuming money isn’t an issue).

I would have a lovely vintage style shed in the garden.

4. What is your most frequent photographic subject?

Probably scenes of nature, places of interest, chickens and other pets. It would be lovely to be able to take photos of wild animals but they don’t stay still for me and I end up with a blur instead! 

5. Favourite quote?

‘There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ (Hamlet, although I used to think it was ‘There’s more to heaven and earth than meets the eye’!) and To thine own self be true (Polonius, again from Shakespeare’s Hamlet). I think there is a truth in both quotes, we don’t know everything there is to know in the universe and it is best to be true to ourselves and learn to accept and respect ourselves.

6. What does blogging (writing, and reading) add to your life?

For some years, I felt something was missing from my life. Until I started writing my blog, I hadn’t realised it was simply having a creative outlet which, it turns out, is rather important to me. Blogging also makes me feel part of a wider, international community and the diversity of the blogs out there has entertained and inspired me over the last two years.

7. If you could choose to be any animal for a 24-hour period, which would you be and why?

A pampered dog, with lots of delicious food and nap time.

8. Do you have other creative outlets besides writing?

I would like to learn crafts and do more gardening and baking. I bought a knitting kit recently so hopefully will get into knitting soon. The last time I knitted anything was when I was 10!

The most difficult choice is who to nominate when there are so many fabulous bloggers out there. But I’ve chosen:

My Colourful Life

Nora Edinger – JOY Journal

Food.for.Thoughts

Cheryl Bayle

But if anyone else wants to answer the questions, go ahead! I know the rules say ‘unique questions’ but I’m going to cheat and just go with the ones above. 🙂

green typewriter written blog
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Two years ago, I started Dreams and Adventures at Cosy Cottage. It started off as a garden and chicken diary and has become a diary of some of my life’s experiences (including chickens and gardens!), an outlet to voice opinion on issues which matter to me (nature mostly) and a way to motivate myself to write and get fit. I love learning – whether it’s about plants or historic places – and writing it all down helps me remember.

Here’s a few of my very early posts:

https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/down-at-the-allotment/

https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/rurbanites-and-the-quails/

https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/all-cooped-up/

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I’ve also virtually met many bloggers who have supported me via likes, comments and follows – and an enjoyable read of their own blogs. The variety out there is wonderful, thank you for the support and great reading!

So, to mark my second blogging anniversary, I’ve set up a page on my blog called Your Favourite Blogs. Here, you can include a link/s of your favourite posts or of the blog itself. If you want, you can even promote one of your favourite bloggers. For every link, I’ll donate a pound to Butterfly Conservation, a British nature charity which aims to protect butterflies and the natural spaces they live in. (Read about them here https://butterfly-conservation.org/

animal beautiful biology bloom
Photo by Cindy Gustafson on Pexels.com

Here’s where to find the page –  Your Favourite Blog Posts

Two years on… My Second Blog Anniversary

Posted in Blogging, Writing

100th blogging post!

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Since I started writing Dreams and Adventures at Cosy Cottage, I’ve found the blogging community very supportive and helpful so, as a way of saying thank you and a means to mark my 100th blog post, I have decided to mention a few posts I have enjoyed recently.

Here’s a tip if you want to either promote your blog or find new ones to read – there’s a blog called What You Blog About and it features a wide range of writings covering all manner of subjects. One of which is mine!

https://whatyoublogabout.com/2019/05/24/dreams-and-adventures-at-cosy-cottage/#respond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a place to both submit your story and a directory to find more blogs. Thank you again to What You Blog About for paying Cosy Cottage a visit. 🙂

My second is one in which one of my nature posts inspired someone else to create a beautiful artwork.

It made me wonder if we all inspire and motivate someone else in life in some way but the majority of the time never realise this.

And then sometimes we get inspired by someone else in a subconscious way, in a way we don’t consciously think about but the seeds are sown…

https://familyfurore285309785.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/hummingbirds/

person using typewriter
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My third post is a lovely one promoting kindness from Cyranny’s Cove. She has started a regular kind-hearted challenge for us to join in. There is a lot of darkness in the world, so why not spread a little light?

https://cyranny.com/2019/08/01/kind-hearted-challenge-august-edition/

And talking of spreading more light, here is Anita’s blog. A cheerful site which always ends on a note of kindness.

https://anitashope.com/

For those of us who are fascinated by history, Alli’s blog offers a way to time travel to the medieval age and all the intrigues it offers. She recently went on a quest to Wales which can also be found here: https://medievalwanderings.com/

I started off with a blog supporting other blogs. To round off is one by It’s Good To Be Crazy Sometimes. Every week she has a blog party where we can promote posts and pay a visit to fellow bloggers.

https://itsgoodtobecrazysometimes.wordpress.com/

These are only a handful of the fabulous blogs I follow and I hope to promote more when I celebrate my second blogging anniversary in September.☺️

 

 

 

Dreams and Adventures at Cosy Cottage – Truly Inspired 47

I recently took part in an Truly Inspired interview for A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip – here it is! (Other bloggers can take part too, it’s a lot of fun to do).

Dreams and Adventures

via Dreams and Adventures at Cosy Cottage – Truly Inspired 47 — A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Dreams and Adventures at Cosy Cottage – Truly Inspired 47 — A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

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