• Blogging,  Favourites,  Lifestyle,  writing

    New Years Resolutions 2021

    One of the things I always forget to do, is make a New Years Resolutions and even when I do make them, I nearly always forget to fulfil it. So as a fresh start in 2021, I am going to write it down on this blog so I can’t wimp out. Here are all my goals for this year…


    • KEEP UP WITH CLEANING & TIDYING UP (weekly)

    I am the worst for not tidying up until I need to. Since watching MRS HINCH & STACEY SOLOMAN, I have discovered I love tidying and home comforts (which I wil be adding to this blog too) I always need to have a plan in mind first. I can never tidy aimlessly, I need a goal & use MRS HINCH LISTS!

    • MEET FRIENDS & FAMILY MORE, OR KEEP IN TOUCH.

    I’m hoping that when lockdowns or restrictions in my area have eased off I will be able to meet up with friends again and enjoy their company once more. If restrictions aren’t loosened or if either me or my friends are in lockdown, I still want to video chat more with them and keep up with their lives too… even if one of my besties lives in England, I’m from Wales, UK, by the way!

    • KEEP MY DIARY/CALENDAR UPDATED (daily).

    I have a terrible habit of not keeping diaries updated after the first few months. This year I want to look in 2022 & see where I went right or wrong in the year and make resolutions based on the previous year. I think it is useful for organising your life and making plans, even if it is just ZOOM!

    • BLOG TWICE (or more) A MONTH

    I have been known for not blogging for over 6 months (especially with Covid around, I felt like I had nothing to blog about, which is lieees!). This year I vow to write more regularly on my blog!

    • KEEP UPTO DATE WITH COVID NEWS (weekly)

    I’m known for ignoring COVID updates and I think this is a bad idea, as it has changed everyone’s lives. This year I’m going to start watching updates whenever I can to be more knowledgeablee!

    • WRITE OVER 15,000 WORDS ON “The Dark Man Novel” (this year).

    Last year like I said I had a down year, with my mental health playing up slightly due to the COVID restrictions and not being able to do things I would like. This effected my writing terribly as I felt slightly depressed and got “imposter syndrome” – this meant I felt like I couldn’t write anymore & what I had wasn’t my own as I wasn’t good enough to write. I want to change this in 2021


    I hope that list of resolutions work well for me this year and I get to achieve them all, but this now brings the list to a close, as I have run out of things to add. I hope you enjoy this new rebrand as much as I do, as it was a big decision to start a new name, with my old blog.

    Love,

  • Blogging,  business,  writing

    Writing Wednesdays #2 // 2021 update

    I haven’t done an update post like this, in over a year.

    I decided in 2020 I would have a break from writing and put my novels on hiatus for a year, but now I have started to miss writing blog posts, as well missing writing my fiction work.

    I have got 4 potential novels that I am writing with very different themes from mental health fiction, to fiction crime. I am hoping to be under the young adult category and have published at least 1 novel, if not more, within 2 years. I don’t mind if I self-publish or traditional.
    In the world, 2020 has been a nightmare for everyone, especially areas and countries hit bad with Covid-19/Coronavirus. Where I live was hit at its worst right now, in December 2020. We thought we were out of the woods months ago but Covid hit back badly.

    Since Covid, I like many others, felt a slump in my writing and personal life too. When I should have made the most of free time, due to quitting the library shifts (due to a Covid scare and it having to close with temporary restrictions, earlier in the year!) & the various restrictions in and out of Lockdown for Wales, I actually became less attentive to my blog (You will notice not many posts were done this year) & stopped writing my fiction work completely.
    I felt drained and it is only now with the promise of a fresh start in the new year and a new 2021 diary, did I feel up to carrying on with my blog and writing. I am hoping for a fresh start for 2021. I am aiming to complete at least one of my novels by the end of the year 2021 and I also want to regularly post on my blog again.

    As I have fell out of love with books and want to explore other areas such as home care, food/drink, TV/film reviews, etc, I will be doing lots of new content next year. So look out for it.
    I know I change it up a lot on my blog, especially since 2019, but please stick with me as I like writing for my favourite hobby, but also because I love to read other people’s opinions about what I post!

  • writing

    Short Poem called “2020”

    Winds blow swiftly in the breeze
    As the changes occur
    We are all changing, this year

    The world is slowly evolving
    And we are all blissfully aware

    One cries “WHAT HAPPENED?”
    As the rest continue to stare

    2020
    It’s over, too soon
    A new normal has arrived.


    By Danielle Mcdowall

  • Favourites,  writing

    Flash Fiction – “The Window”

    405 words. (trigger warning – mental health & incl. potential illness)

    By Danielle Mcdowall


    FEBRUARY: The night was dark, it was cold, and there was a fog outside. She sat calmly looking out the window again. It was the last night of the month and a man was walking down the road with a dog, a puppy perhaps, it was hard to tell from the distance that she was stood.

    LAST DECEMBER: It was 6 pm and dark. She looked once more and there was a figure on the floor, the person’s face wasn’t visible but whoever it was looked out of place. Who was it & why was he or she there? She fell asleep easily and looked once more when waking up, she looked at her watch it was quarter past 3 in the morning and there was another man, older & stockier stood there facing her window, hiding his face.

    The woman was living alone and started to question her sanity.

    “Am I imagining these figures?”
    “I am alone in this house and I have no one to call”
    “Should I confront them? Or deny they turned up?”
    “…and if they even exist, why are they here?”
    “Do I know you from somewhere?”
    “WHO ARE YOUUUUU……?”

    LAST MARCH: she looked out the window once more and there was nothing but cars and concrete. Was it all in her mind? had she created these images? or was it too much vodka? she didn’t drink.

    LAST JULY: she looked out the window at a blank canvas. What that was once there, stood still. There no movement. Silence except for a black cat running silently across the road, looking for a mouse. The birds sat on the roof, ready for the morning. All that was there, had vanished.

    “Will they ever return?” she asked.

    “Did they ever exist?” she asked again.

    LAST SEPTEMBER: she was alone, the TV had broken and there was no-one to call.

    “Is there anybody out there?” she cried.

    There was no reply. There was a silence, in the deep dark room, she started to look outside,

    “Maybe I can find a friend from the outside of this house.”

    “No one knows me”

    LAST OCTOBER: She needed her meds. She had stopped taking them. She was not alone. She was where she belonged. Safe. The voices in her head didn’t exist, or the figures outside. The silence was deafening but she was finally at peace.

    “They don’t exist, I DO”

  • Favourites,  REVIEWS

    [REVIEW] “His Dark Materials” – My Favourite show of 2019.

    As you can imagine by the title this is going to be a review of my favourite TV series this year. I can’t describe how good this show is from the scenery, the actors, and the script. It was perfect. BBC TV show details: view here.

    The actors were perfect in their roles,

    Not only did we see lyra’s spirit and determination shine through with the young actress playing her. Her speech sounded exactly as how I read it all those years ago when it was first released in paperback.

    Mrs Coulter’s actress showed her hardness being crushed, her under-lying meanness and how vulnerable she was underneath her hard exterior. I can’t explain enough how amazing her outfits were and how put-together they looked. Also top marks for making her the fashionista of the series. I hope the catwalk outfits carry on throughout the next series (if there is one?)

    I must admit that the rest of the cast were superb in their acting too.

    One that really stood out to me was Billy Costa’s Mum, You really felt for her right from the first episode, when he disappeared, right up until when he was might have been found. I don’t want to spoil what happens but it was very emotional viewing. I shed a few tears watching his mum show the agony of loosing a child.

    The next thing I want to gush about is the way in which the Daemons have been created for the scenes with them in. I would have thought it would be hard to create them, however the CGI effects, and puppets did well in showing how the spirit animals following their real-life actors. The voice actors used for the Daemon’s suited the characters and really came to life. They all looked so life-like to the point where I started to wonder whether they were using real animals (they weren’t).

    I would say how good the storyline and script is however as many are aware this series is actually based on a set of 3 books that were adapted for the TV. I read the books so long ago that I had forgotten most of the storyline, but watching His Dark Materials reminded me how I still love reading stories like that and also how incredible the books really were to read, let alone this spectacular tv series.

    To sum up my review,

    I must give the cast and others behind the whole series a 5-star rating. Although there are some parts which may possibly scare young children, I recommend it as a show for all ages over the age of 10. It is interesting, funny, slightly darker than you think but, is still inspiring to watch and follow Lyra on her journey throughout the series. I am hoping that His Dark Materials will be continued for a second series to continue on with the storyline and a final third part too.

    I hope you see this review and decide to try this series on BBC IPlayer before it disappears. It is a great series that will make you laugh, cry and make you want to spur the characters on to the next episode. I believe there are only 6 episodes, which are one hour long each, in the series… but they are totally worth binge-watching.

    *It is a brilliant show that kept me on the edge of my seat;
    with me not knowing what would happen next!*
  • writing

    Writing Wednesdays #1

    As I write this blog post, I am aware of how hard writing fiction is. I started my first venture into writing when I was in my early teens, creating poetry from real life experiences. Never did I show anyone what was on the 20+ pages of a4.

    This project however is different. I am aiming to write between 1 and 20 books: these include 2 adult novels, 1 young adult/teen book, and lastly a children’s book series of 5+ (150 pages each) books. It is a big commitment for me & hard work!

    For now, I will refer to the page already up on my blog (Previous work etc). This has all my WIP (Works in Progress). I am aiming in 2020 to complete 1 of my novels or be half-way between 2 of my novels. I am aiming to plot another 5 books in my children’s series but not start until my first novel is fully complete.

    I am expecting this journey to be a hard one. I am aware even after completing the novels there is a long process before it gets published, possibly years later.

    The way I get my inspiration for the novels, is through watching great TV, reading even greater novels (did you know I’m also a part-time book blogger on this blog too), and of course by real life events, whether they be with me or around the world. I’m hoping my novels will inspire people to read, write, appreciate books, people and respect others more.

    My children’s series I plan on writing in the future, I got the inspiration by growing up reading Harry Potter, Beatrix Potter, & the Famous Five series. I loved reading throughout my childhood, even reading in the dark under a blanket with a torch after bedtime… I really did think carrots would help me see in the dark, honestly!

    So, as I close this post about getting to know me and my writing, I hope you will come on this journey with me and discover more about my writing and how far I’ve come, since starting my first project.

    CURRENT STATS:

    • CRIME NOVEL: 8,000 words
    • Mental Health novel 1,000 words,
    • Historical Novel: 500 words,
    • Children’s 5 book series: not started. (TBC)
  • Books,  Favourites

    Why I cancelled my readathon last year // Why it’s back!

    As you might have noticed by my pinned current tweet on my Twitter, I have advertised my month-long readathon, that I created September last year.

    I came up with the idea while trying to think of a book series I would like to read, along side a children’s series. “The Chronicles of Narnia” does both.

    I decided that over the space of a month it is plenty of time to read the short 7 book series and it will get people reading again as it is a simple level to start back up reading.

    Sadly no one was able to join in or promote my readathon, so I shelved it for the year. But as it’s been a whole year already, I thought I would try and bring it back this year. Hopefully a few if not a lot of people will be interested in trying it this year.

    Not only will it give my blog more publicity. It will also encourage new and old readers. 📚

    I hope you join me this year and I look forward to us all completing the NarnAThon challenge by 30th September.


    Here is my original post: NarnAThon #Readathon

    Happy Reading!

  • writing

    Beginning of “Prologue” (WIP #2)

    PRESENT DAY (December. 1999)

    It was another bitterly cold, December afternoon in late 1999. There was a lean,, dirty-looking, belligerent, male. He had an unfriendly face and looked no younger than 63. He wore an old, faded greyed black, double breasted suit with a classic worn-in, English man‘s black, top hat. To any young person passing, he would have looked like he was in some form of fancy dress.

    He walked with a heavy weight emphasised on his right leg. Not many people knew that his limp had been caused many years ago, when there was nothing that could have been done, to correct the problem. He always refused to walk with the much needed cane, he had laying dormant in his living room. He was a very proud man, who never let on to any pain he may have felt, instead opting for a longer than intended walk, to wherever he fancied that day. [+300 words]

    To be continued…