• 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”

  • 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)
  • 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…

  • writing

    Beginning of Chapter 1 (WIP #1)

    There stood a shadow six foot six, dressed in dark clothes and soaking wet. The rain was rushing down heavy and cold. The man was hiding in the shadows aware of each person passing. No one would look in his direction in fear of what was there.  

    There was a mother with her two little children on her way back from the supermarket and a teenager on his way home from a friend’s house unaware of what was near. They would go on to recount how they scurried past and did not look him in the eye. This image struck fear into the street that night. Something as glinting in the darkness from the reflection of the street lights. No one dared to walk too close in fear of attack. There was something shifty and dangerous about the man in black.

    This was not the regular look to the area. In the summer it was a street filled with children’s laughter and tears as they played kiss chase and hopscotch in the warm filled bright evenings. The teenagers booming their music too late for a school night and the mothers and fathers sat with their cold drinks talking over the fences and walls between neighbours. It was a happy time, and a happy place normally. [500+ words]

    To be continued…

  • Books,  writing

    #Ad Q&A • C.v.Wyk – Blood & Sand (book)

    Hi All,

    Today is going to be a little different as I’m hosting a Q&A with debut author C.V. Wyk. Her first novel Blood and Sand comes out January 2018 (& February 1st in the UK). I wanted to give you an idea of who she is…

    Your name, location, book/series

    C. V. Wyk

    Washington, D.C.

    Blood and Sand (book 1)

    What’s your all time fave book?

    Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

    Tell a random personal true story.

    I once met the original Red Power Ranger at an El Pollo Loco. It was glorious. (I was 7.)

    What inspired your first book?

    Ahh!! Where to start? There have been so many books and movies and songs that have made their mark on BLOOD AND SAND, probably too many to name. But Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon” and the movie “Gladiator” are definitely high on the list.

    Which author can’t you put down?

    Dot Hutchison. Her stories are always so intricate and detailed and fantastic. Real writer goals.

    Who is your fave author?

    Who isn’t??? Lately though, I’ve been enjoying a lot of John Scalzi’s work.

    What is your all time fave series?

    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

    Are characters inspired by reality?

    A couple of them. Xanthus’s physical description is based on an actual guy I know, and Jezrael’s name was borrowed from a friend.

    Recommend a best seller?

    The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. It is so, so different from BLOOD AND SAND but absolutely brilliant if you enjoy thrillers.

    How did you get into writ/blogging?

    I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, but the first story I ever wrote and shared was in 7th grade.

    How long have you been at it?

    Forever?

    Please tell me your website/details

    Website: www.cvwyk.com

    Twitter/Instragram: @icvwyk (twitter)

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30975382-blood-and-sand

    What is your fave (u wrote) book?

    This one because it got me an awesome author and editor J

    Do you like tv shows from books?

    I try to keep an open mind. It really depends on who’s behind the camera and how well committed they are to making the best possible adaptation. One TV show that recently got to me was The Handmaid’s Tale. So dark and so well done.

    Who is your fave book instagram?

    There are so many good ones, I can’t choose!

    How long did it take to announce your book to friends n family?

    I waited a couple of weeks. A part of me was genuinely afraid that the whole thing was a big practical joke, and someone was waiting around a corner to jump out and say, “Just kidding! Your book sucks! Na na na!” But that didn’t (thankfully) and I eventually told my friends and fam the news that changed my life!

    [Disclaimer: an affiliate link means the author receives payment and I get a small amount for buying from that link only]