Category Archives: Bucket List

The Reading Like a Writer Series #4 Do You Really Need the Classics?

Do you need the classics #4

Don’t judge me…I’m about to admit a really dirty secret… I’ve never read a classic.

shocked

There, I said it. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth. I know it’s awful, believe me. But I did say no judging. It frustrates me that I’ve never read a classic, but I just can’t. Oh, I’ve tried, more times than I can count. I have picked up Pride and Prejudice about 16 times! The last time, I even got a third of the way through. In fact, I have tried to read dozens. I mean damn, reading a classic is practically on my bucket list I am so determined to finish one. Continue reading

Interview with James Howell – Author of the Disturbed Girl Trilogy

James Howell Author Interview

If you would like to be featured like this on my blog, drop me a line.

I first found ‘A Disturbed Girl’s Guide to Curing Boredom’ in DIVA, a magazine for lesbians. It had the tiniest of blurbs (as all their reviews do) about this little book with a rather intriguing title. I absolutely HAD to read it. So I did, and I was an instant fan. His trilogy is one of my favourites… EVER. So it had to make my ‘books that MADE me write‘ list, because it was just that good. Continue reading

New Years Resolutions

happy_new_year_2013-1920x1080

I have tried on a number of occasions to set lots of objectives for the new year, and generally speaking failed, or taken two years to complete them!

However, I am going to set some resolutions anyway.

1. Read a book a month (trying to read more non-fiction)

2. Give £5 to charity every month. I actually started this in November, donating to Movember, and then to NaNoWriMo in December.

3. Finish a first draft of my novel

4. Spend more quality time with the wife and kid.

5. Get to my goal size… (this is the hardest, chocolate addiction is a hard one to break)

What are your New Years resolutions?

NaNoWriMo – The Dirty Truth

Participant-2014-Web-Banner

Writing a Novel has always been on my list of to do’s in life. Ok, its top of the list, but it just never happened. I was too busy being sucked into planning to actually ever get any words down so I decided to suck it up, and get on with it. As a first timer to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But this is how I see it:

Week 1: And we’re off… The thrill of NaNo, everyone’s ahead. Loving life, love NaNo. Chat NaNo, talk NaNo, bore people to death with NaNo, have no problems with plot, structure or characters, on a role, “I can do this shit” euphoria. Taptaptaptaptaptap, burn taptaptap still buzzing, shovel sugar in, tell EVERYONE about it some more, chatter chatter excitement excitement more sugar.

Week2: We’re riding the high, riding the high, riding the high….. put on 2lbs in sugar and chocolate – thats ok, its only 2lbs, can lose it after. Riding the high of NaNo….

CRASH, BURN, DIE. I HATE MYSELF. I’M SHIT AT WRITING. I’M SHIT AT EVERYTHING.

Writers block, unblocked, blocked again, Shovel more chocolate in to cure depressive writers mentality. Self criticise. Stupid NaNo. Suddenly remember why you started the challenge, tap tap tap, chocolate, crisps, hate on work for getting in the way of writing, tap tap.  Feel the burn, feel the slump, can’t do it any more, for the love of god why did I start this… Stupid idea. Hate my story anyway, It’s shit, I’m shit. Row with the husband/wife/partner for writing too much and not talking to you despite their full support at the beginning of the month. Tap tap, Oh I made it to the end of week 2.

Week 3: NaNOOOOOOOOOO burn, exhaustion, head cold, sore throat, RSI, Neck ache, back ache, everything fucking ache, chocolate, ready meals, ready meals, more ready meals too busy writing, forget to bath the kid, put on another 3lbs, HATE my book, but come too fucking far to stop. Someone says something annoying on stupid forums, hate them, hate work, fight the urge to throw laptop, throw something else instead, fight the urge to delete story, tap tap tap, tap tap tap, I’m behind (hate life), I’m ahead (love my story), I’m behind (hate life), I’m at par (thank god for that), tap tap tap, I’m behind (fuck my life).  More chocolate, seen midnight every night this week, I’m ahead, oh its the end of week three…. Love my story.

Week 4: Baring in mind we’re not there yet, here’s how I am hoping it goes:

Oh My God, It’s the start of the last week. SHIT it’s the start of the last week, WAIT…. it’s the start of the last week…. it’s nearly over…. I CAN DO IT…. burn, more chocolate more sweets, M.U.S.T. keep typing, tap tap tap, late night writing, lunch break writing, writing on my phone in the work toilets, writing on the train, writing sentences in meetings on my notebook. Feeling the burn, can see the light, just three more days, tap tap tap, love my book, tell everyone how close you are to finishing, tap tap, chat about NaNo, love my story…. one more day, tap tap I can DOOOO IT.

MADE IT MADE IT MADE IT. Thank god its over I’m never doing it again…..

335 days later… Repeat cycle.

 

Tales of Advice

20140215-161643.jpg

The thing is, we ask for advice even when we don’t really need it, don’t really want it and then, we don’t really follow it!

I have a bee in my bonnet about this because I annoy myself asking for advice.

Why do I do it?

I… Infact WE all already know the answer. Don’t we?

For example:

Should I go out tonight?

Even though your asking with a little wry smile you already know your going, so why do we bloody ask?

Should I eat a second bar of chocolate?

No Sach, of course you shouldn’t, because once you do, your guna be wracked with guilt over the calories you have guzzled, feel guilty, fat and then reach for a third bar to console yourself – why do I do it? I just shouldn’t ask because I already know the answer!

The real irritation I have with asking for advice is really, deep down, we’re all just looking for self justification. It’s kind of arrogant! We want everyone else to agree and justify what we want to do, even when we know it’s a bad idea.

Oh what should I do? – my (fictional) boyfriends cheated on me… again – should I take him back? I mean he is really sorry this time.

Why can’t we just be confident in our decisions? In what we already know we are going to do. Why do we pretend and deny that we haven’t made our minds up?! The moment I ask for advice I’ve already made my mind up. I know it, whoever I’m asking knows it too. Yet we both persist in dancing around the perpetual advice fence: you justify whatever course of action you really want to take, and the person giving advice rolls around the reasons why it’s a bad idea.

What’s the point? Waste of air.

AND…. Even when we do get advice we never bloody follow it! Humans are awful at following advice. We all give it, and even when we ask our dear friends what they would tell themselves, we still don’t follow it!

So – I decided –

Fuck advice, I already know what I want to do….

I have been searching for the right writing course for two years, the course to give me the right knowledge to finish my novel and kick start what I hope will be a writing career – my dream.

Why I thought to ask whether or not to do it I have no idea. I only got annoyed with what I heard, because really, all I wanted was confirmation I was doing the right thing, and who can actually give me that? No one but me!

Yes it’s 350 quid, but I can pay it over a few months, yes I have a newborn. But so what. Who do I actually need to justify it to?

Does having an infant mean my life goes on hold? That my dreams stop?No. More to the point, if I did put my life on hold, what kind of role model is that for my child? Do I want him to learn that you can be lazy and find excuses not to follow your dreams? Or do I want him to know that he has to work, hard, play hard and never give up….

So, I’ll ignore the pessimism, stop asking for advice and do it anyway. My money, my time, my choice.

I might be, covered in sick, soaked in pee, stinking of baby poop, slightly delirious, and temporarily daisy the milking cow, but that doesn’t mean I can’t follow my dreams…..

Even if I have to do it one handed, smelling of baby fluids and caked in puke. Failing that I’ll do it in the bath once the boys asleep!

Happy Birthday Sacha Black…

Happy-Birthday-children-celebration-photo

 

Ok so it’s not like it’s my actual birthday, that came and went in March. But WordPress just told me it’s my blogging anniversary….

What a lovely surprise, and oh how long ago a year feels, I wasn’t even married then! I will write a semi reflective post in light of this year anniversary. But for now, I am moving house – tomorrow, starting a new job on Monday, and all whilst being pregnant. I don’t have time to pee, let alone write a meaningful blog.

Just one thing i do want to say though. Obviously blogging must mean a lot to me, because I wasnt sure, if when I started it was something I would carry on… I think I have surprised myself that I have stuck with it for a whole year. I am sufficiently impressed with myself!!

Happy Birthday Sacha Black. 😀

Liebster, and everything you ever wanted to know about Sacha Black… well sort of!

I am a bad blogger, I was nominated for an award, and because life got in the way I didn’t have a chance to follow it up. Not only that, but a dear blogging friend, tried to cheer me up with some interesting questions and I didn’t get the chance to do them.

Firstly A H Amin who asked me the following questions:

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten in public?

hmm, probably nothing that strange, I am a veggie, and a fussy one at that. I don’t really eat weird things, but I have tried Deer in Nepal, and some other strange meats that I have no idea what they were. But as for strange… literally nothing!

2. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why?

Gandalf? Clearly a sick wizard!

3. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next?

Politely decline and make a hasty retreat!! Or reach for the shotgun that’s clearly stowed behind the door of the cabin, and tell him to back the fuck away with the rodent!

4. If you were given biscotti, would you prefer it with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Not drinking caffeine currently for obvious reasons, but I am partial for a mocha!!

5. In your opinion, who is the funniest man or woman alive today (comedian)

Lee Evans, or Michael McIntyre.

6. If you were given thirty seconds on television to say something, what would it be?

Well I have been on television, I was the lead character in a children’s programme that aired twice a week for six weeks when I was 16… but if I told you what it was I would have to kill you!

IF I got to go on prime time TV now and say something meaningful?

“Keep chasing the dream, and never forget it, love well, live hard, and sleep when you die!”

7. What is your idea of the most romantic date setting ever?

I dont have a single romantic bone in my body. er… Dirty weekend away? Ok maybe not… um… Dinner under the Eiffel tower? Ugh, god I duno. I give up!

8. If you could go on one date with a movie or television star, who would it be and why?

As long as the wife’s not listening then Ellen Page

"Defiance" at the 2008 AFI Fest Closing Night Gala

Because I fancy the shit out of her!!

But if the wifes listening… ah fuck it, she knows I think shes hot!

If not her, then maybe Mila Kunis… nom nom nom.

Altho… Thor is pretty hot, and I always thought Ryan Gosling looked like my wifes brother, so I can’t help but find him attractive!!

9. What is the worst song you have ever heard?

All things R&B, Rap, Hip Hop or heavy metal…. sorry for any fans out there!

10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?

Duno about live… but I would be right here….

muse

11. Who- in your opinion- was the greatest person to ever live?

Da Vinci. No questions. Fucking Ledge.

Ok, so the other two people I owe a posts to are Rebecca, and 2cagedbirds for nominating me for the Liebster award

liebster-award

Ok so there are lots of rules related to the Liebster, but instead of nominating and asking questions etc, I am just going to answer the questions asked of me, and I will add another page to my blog, with a list of all my favourite and regularly read blogs…. That will happen… shortly!

1. Your earliest childhood memory?

Waiting at the window for hours on end, asking my mother if “that was daddys car”

“is that daddies car, momma?”

He would never turn up.

2. Music playing when you made love for the first time, or associated with your first love

er… cant remember or dont want to remember… in fact I dont think there was music on.

3. How you feel about that person now

First person I loved wasn’t the first person I made love too. The first person I made love to I feel indifferent about, the first person I loved… I still think they are attractive and I hope they are happy.

4. How you feel about that music now

N/A??

5. Favourite recent song

ooh, too many, I like

Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound

Lies – Otto Dix

Perfect Replacement – Example

6. What hurts your feelings most nowadays? One example please!

Tough, because I very very rarely get my feelings hurt. I have a ridiculously thick skin, and a pretty big sense of humour.

I dont like people mugging me off, or disrespecting me.

7. What you would like to do next in your life

Have this baby, and finish my bloody novel.

8. Are you attracted to your own sex?

Fuck yes.

9.What is the worst aspect of the opposite sex?

EVERYTHING. Usually rubbish in bed (sorry!) they can’t communicate and most of the ones I have known are pretty ignorant.

10. Can pets replace people in your life?

Probably! I have two cats, and I love them dearly!

11. Will you fall in love again?

I hope not, not in romantic love anyway, I love my wife too much to fall for anyone else. But I imagine I will fall in love with my baby in a different way, a parental love.

  1.  What was your favorite book as a child?

Thats impossible to answer, I read everything, literally everything when I was a kid. So much so, I had to change libraries cause I’d read everything! Also depends what age you mean by kid? as a young child I like wierd books by babette cole, as a teenager I read everything under the sun, from kids books by jacqueline wilson, to classics like of mice an men…. probably my fave from my teenage years was ‘A Solitaire Mystery” by Jostein Gaarder

2. What are your favorite midnight snacks?

dont tend to snack at night, but probably a bagel, and juice!

3. If you got to have a fictional dinner party, who would you invite?  Your list better include me and Harry Potter, or you can just skip this question.

Do you know, I probably would invite all my fave bloggers, I would also invite some of the characters from my novel, and Da Vinci, Mandela, my mum and my bezzie mates

4. When you were a kid, what did you want your name to be?  Be honest, everyone goes through that phase.

I have no idea, I always wanted to change my name though, because my real name is ridiculously long. but I love the name Sacha Black, and I have considered changing my name by depole to it. Sometimes, I feel like I am more Sacha Black than I am the real me. I will certainly be publishing my work under the name Sacha Black.

5. Got any tattoos?

yeh one, that said I was a dick when I was 18!! My arms the one in the middle, my friends are mocking me, its meant to be the symbol for psychology…. which looks like the symbol next to the photo, but thats what happens when you draw things in a tattoo parlour when your inebriated in a foreign country… told you i was a dick… can I also point out when I have been drunk and passed out my mates think its funny to draw a spoon and a knife next to the fork!!

tatpsychology copy

6. You can visit anyplace, real or fictional.  Where do you go?  

fictional…. the world I have created in my novel….

real life… China or Africa

7. What’s the coolest place you’ve ever actually visited?

Ive trekked up to Mount Everest Base camp….

409101_10150678141777079_1012688818_n

Everest is the tall black mountain in the back right of the photo. Its black because its so high it is in the wind currents and the wind has blown all the snow off.

8. In detail, tell us how you feel about shag carpet.  (I may or may not be struggling for ideas.)

shag carpet? What the thingy thats white and fluffy… um, they are usually itchy! but i kinda like them!!

9. Stealing from Amy this time.  Write a haiku about your favorite article of clothing.

not sure how to do this, so I will get back to you on this one!

10. Do you like “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog?  If you’ve never watched it, go do so now.  Netflix or Youtube.  I’ll wait.  Ok.  So, did you like it? 

not sure i get it… but I did youtube!!

11. Favorite musical artist?

good question, I like loads.

Example, Swedish house mafia, gemini, flux pavilion, Otto Dix, James Arthur, ludovico einaudi, Missy Higgins, Snow Patrol, Pink, robbie williams! basically anyting dubstep, or basey,  oh and Emeli Sande, which can I just add everyone thinks I look like her! One day when I reveal myself, I will do a separated at birth type post with a photo of me and her!

Thats all folks… will post up the list of bloggers shortly….

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award

Despite a pretty crappy start to the New Year, I was delighted to find that the artofstumbling had nominated me for the Liebster Award.

As part of the Liebster Award, nominees are required to make nominations for the blogs they feel should be recognised.

“The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  The word ” Liebster” comes from German and can mean the sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, most beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks artofstumbling. Made my day 🙂
  • When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure you notify the blogger that you nominated them!)
  • You write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your own blog!

Eleven Random Facts:

  1. I came ‘out’ twice! once at 16, (then crawled back in the closet due to a conservative home town) and once again at university.
  2. I ran into a boy at school who was wearing glasses and when he pulled away the glasses were stuck in the side of my head!
  3. I have two adorable cats
  4. I recently discovered I have a diminished ovarian reserve.
  5. I have my NRA marksman
  6. I have trekked to Mt Everest Base Camp
  7. I was one of the main characters on a TV programme as a child.
  8. I am terrified of boats
  9. I eat crumpets upside down, because I dont like all the dots
  10. Monsters inc. is my fave kids film.
  11. I am obsessed with shoes!

 

 My nominees and my new questions for my nominees:

1. 2cagedbirds (for her brutally honest love, that I pray she can one day have openly)

2. Stormsilvermane (for his friendship)

3. QueerLandia (for their amazing pledge to bring current news, opinions and information to the LGBT community

4. TillyJean (for her always interesting feminist thoughts)

5. Verbalbanter (for always being strong and surviving no matter what)

6. Gaybymama (for their wonderful family and stories)

7. saradraws (cause she makes me laugh)

8. KiraMoore (for her journey and beautiful poetry)

9. D.C (for writing a fascinating blog about being gay and African)

10. JacquiMurray (for always inspiring me to write on)

11. Dearbutchlovefemme (because I love everything about this blog, its humour, and truthfulness!)

My Answers

1. What’s your favourite book?

virtually impossible to answer, I love loads top two: Day of the triffids and the solitare mystery

2. Your favourite film?

even harder, top three, house of flying daggers, the last samurai and the matrix.

3. Do you have any nicknames?

yes, but if i told you id have to kill you!

4. Do you play any musical instruments?

Not any more, I played the Cello for 7 years, played the piano, and violin, tinkled with the guitar.

5. Have you ever had surgery?

wisdom teeth removed thats about it…

6. What’s your favourite food?

chocolate!

7. What are you afraid of?

spiders, boats and tiny dots!

8. What’s your proudest moment?

Probably reaching Mt Everest Base Camp on my trek, or getting a first class degree.

9. Your favourite item of clothing?

I own 17 black tank tops, and I love every single one! (and my Kurt Geiger heels!)

10. Your favourite song?

anything dubstep. currently like the gemini remix of Ed Sheerans ‘you need me i dont need you’

11. Favourite TV show?

L word or the west wing

 

11 New questions for them. (And anyone else who wants to answer, just because they are that fun! and I’m interested in your answers)

1. If you could only visit one country where would it be?

2. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, with no ill effects what would it be?

3. fave TV series

4. why do you blog/write?

5. whats the dream you still havent fulfilled yet?

6. who did you hurt that you never meant to and what did you do?

7. most inspirational novel you’ve read and why did it inspire you?

8. If you were a super hero who would you be?

9. What three words describe you?

10. whats the one thing guaranteed to cheer you up when your down?

11. whats the craziest thing you have ever done?

Sacha's Emporium of Goals

I have just about recovered from my hen do last weekend. Which was might I add, one of the best weekends I have ever had. The drunken debauchery was astounding! the quantity of alcohol drunk, vile. It was truly an epic weekend and has put me in a much better frame of mind. I can officially say that I am excited about the impending wedding which is now less than two weeks away. (Despite having several Hulk rage like moments because of work and my family)

With a kind of realisation that life’s too short, and a whole new section of my life is starting. There are a lot of things I would like to do. So like many before me, and many after, I decided to write a bucket list. Except that it isn’t a list. I don’t like lists, you can throw them away. So I decided to write a bucket full of goals, that I will pick and choose from until I complete them all, even if it takes my whole life! This is moveable feast, that will get added to and edited. Enjoy…

 

1. SIX PACK SACH

Ok, so this might be a long way off at the moment, but it’s guna happen! I just changed gyms and I am a little chunky but not obese. I have decided that due to multiple injuries from running that my body was not designed for running, but for building muscle, which I do easily. So I have booked a personal training induction, and have brought some body building books. OK I know I sound like Bridget Jones and her Man book case throwing out one lot of self help and in with another load, but seriously. I am making this my first goal, and I am giving myself a year to complete it. Believe me I am under no disillusion about how hard this is going to be I am a self confessed chocolate addict.

 

2. MASTER OF ONE

I am the original jack of all trades, I can take my hand to anything and be ok at it, sometimes even good. But never great. I am master of absolutely nothing. So I want to become really good at just one thing, I want to be exceptional at something. As yet, I dont know what that thing is, but I will work on it.

 

3. 2 BOOKS 2 YEARS

I have two books planned. Well one three quarters planned and another part planned. Two completely different genres but both need to be written. I will give myself a year to complete each one, but those years wont start until I have finished my dissertation in September 2013. Also, I want to get one of them published.

 

4. SEVEN SEVERAL WONDERS

Ok a traditional bucket list item. I not only want to see the seven wonders of the world but do several other things too. I want to spend several months travelling Asia in particular Japan and China, as I am fascinated with their culture and heritage. I have a whole plan of where I want to go in China mapped out already, and have done for about 6 years! I have already trekked up to Mt Everest Base Camp, but I would like to climb a few other mountains and possibly summit some of the more realistic ones, see the world, the northern lights, etc etc.

 

5. SAVVY SACH

ok so this one is a little shallow, but I have never felt happy with my wardrobe, and I have never had enough money to do something about it. With a fat pay rise at the end of my grad scheme on the horizon, I am going to treat myself to a ridiculously large wardrobe that will make me happy and comfortable. I think some of this is to do with the fact I am not happy with my weight. See goal 1!!

 

6. HOUSEPROUD

Buy/own a house.

 

7. GET RICH OR DIE TRYING

Refer to previous blog about becoming a millionaire!

 

8. MINI ME

Produce an off sprung….

 

9. GROW A PAIR

I have a tattoo designed, have done for a while, I need to grow a pair and go get it done already!


UGH. I have just gone back and re read this, as I had stalled momentarily, and  as I read, I was alarmed to find that they are all so boring and bog standard. I need to get a grip. I like to think of myself as a wild child. BUT In trying to write a comprehensive, fun list of things to do in my life, and I have written the most boring list ever. I need to try again.

 

I’ll be back with a much BETTER more interesting list.