Monday, 26 November 2012

Normal Service Resumed?!


I have been away from the blogspere for what feels like forever... To write a complete catch-up post would be rather long and boring so I will keep it brief.

So what happened?!!
No, I didn't slip into a wandering vortex, or get abducted by space monkeys; nor did I fall into a uncovered manhole. I simply had a bad case of what I like to call, "upset life rhythm".

I wish I could report my absence as being a result of an agent "realising my potential" or that I have been busy hammering at the keys to complete my first novel, but alas, it's simply because I have returned to work.

Since returning to work, it's been a hard slog. New role, new staff, new distractions... NO READING OR WRITING!

*knocks head on keyboard repeatedly*

Days have slipped from one to the next and it's left me feeling unsettled and in a dreamlike state. You would think that reading and writing would put you permanently in a dream world, but on the contrary, reading and writing seems to ground me.

Back to work

The lows
Hmm...I don't like to dwell on it but it's been STRESSFULwith members of staff off sick. Trying to keep up with demand, workload etc etc has been a tough juggling act.
Not only has it meant minimal reading and writing, it's meant minimal sleep and I am exhausted. This has led to a number of weeks without running... So I'm not feeling great about that either. Returning to work has had an impact on everything.

Our fair fish (Bubbles to those who knew of him through older posts) died last night and as a parent, this is rather hard to explain to an angry little boy who is demanding that we get Bubbles back... right now... and he's "not even kidding you!" (OJ's newest phrase)...

There have been plenty of tears, tantrums and sickness in the household of late, and today was the icing on the cake when I suffered verbal abuse from a woman on the phone. To cut a long story short, I regretfully had to change my mind about taking on another rabbit... I expected a little frustration from the seller but not complete and utter outrage. It was not my intention to madden the woman, it was a genuine regret... Sheesh. If I had intentially wanted to waste her time, I would just not have bothered to show up at the agreed time! I can't write what she said but lets just say she might want to work on her vocab as well as her people skills...
Scary sh*t...

The highs

OJ STARTED PRE-SCHOOL!!! (and then was off the second week due to illness but we shall sweep past that part..)

We have six cute bunnies.We now have two Rex, two giant Flemish and two Netherland cross... more pics and stories to follow I'm sure. (Oh you lucky people!)

My hubby celebrated his 30th birthday this month and we shared a lovely afternoon together whilst nan-nan insisted on babysitting. It was great to take a walk, hold hands and appreciate a quiet meal. It was a wonderful reminder that we are still the same people even with being preoccupied wih our two little blessings!

What's next?

I'm just trying to get my routines back on track, which means more efforts to get back to reading, writing and blogging.

For now it's attempting to sleep before one of my boys wake from coughing fits or bad dreams!

P.S. I know it's only been a month but that is quite some time in the blogspere, so thank you to all my lovely followers for staying with it over here.


Sunday, 25 November 2012



By Vlad Vaslyn

~ Horror, humour, supernatural, short fiction~

Paperback, 90 pages (Kindle edition)
Published October 28th 2012 by Vlad Vaslyn (first published October 28th 1012)
* * * * * out of five stars

The Blurb (via goodreads)

Poor Roberta. She's aging, has lost everyone she's ever loved, and now she lives out her sad, lonely days feeding on bad convenience store food and faded memories of happier times. She wants nothing more than to join her loved ones in the afterlife, but then a gruesome discovery along the banks of the Merrimack River changes everything. Roberta knows she'll never be alone again

My review

If you are a fan of short, snappy horror with a dash of humour to compliment it, then you must read Yorick.
I was invited by Mr Vaslyn to read the first chapter or so to see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing it. One of the things I distinctively remember thinking as I read the first paragraph was: Where on earth is the author going to take this?! But that sold it. I was so intrigued and pulled in by Vaslyn’s descriptions and punchy introduction, I found myself compelled to find out.
Vaslyn is brilliant at building character, whilst developing atmosphere and story.

I instantly liked and felt sympathy for Roberta. She was the kind of character that you pray you don’t become in old age. She is all of our fears about growing old in one character.

The story is mainly set up around Roberta and her “discovery”. With some supporting characters giving Roberta more depth and background into how she is perceived in her community.
Vaslyn uses humour skilfully in this work of horror, something that I feel can be tricky to nail in a horror story. Humour can break a horror story down (in my experience) but truthfully, the humour in this was brilliance. I won’t go into detail here as not to spoil it for potential readers, but look out for the conversations Roberta has with her discovered skull.  They are somewhat innocent, normal yet so bizarre.

As a sweeping statement, I am not a fan of short stories; they somehow don’t quench the thirst I have for background, back story and explanation but Yorick as thrown my thoughts on short stories completely. The pace maintains interest whilst the ending is satisfying. It comes together but also leaves just enough room for speculation as to what might’ve happened next.  I will definitely be looking out for more from this promising and talented author.
Dark, twisted and creepy; a real little gem of a horror.

Yorick is definitely worth a cosy eve in on the sofa...  Well... It’s not every day you are going to read about a little old lady wondering around with a skull tucked under her arm...

**A brief message for Mr Vaslyn**
I don’t know how you stumbled upon my blog, but I’m sincerely glad you did. Thank you.