Sunday, 30 April 2017

30 Days Grace: April.

Right so. Ha. April 2017. Let's see. Ermm. Well I can't lie guys, I never sugar coat or bullshit on this blog and I am proud of that fact...I've had a shit month.

It started...kinda well? I finished my amazing internship with Walker, and had already earmarked April as a Recovery Month – but only in terms of recuperating from a month spent in the big smoke working full time in a busy office environment, not from, y'know, major surgery...we'll get to that in a bit.


Back to the positives. At the beginning of the month I was honoured to help the phenomenal Heads Together #okaytosay campaign by having the babes at The Mix record a conversation between me and mama about our experience with mental health – mine and hers – in the recent past. 


I am now officially a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity! I was gutted to miss the official induction days due to being in hospital, but my goodness I am so excited to get to work with my fellow Ambassadors as soon as I am able. The charity has done so much for me and continues to be generally awesome for others like me, and being an official part of it now is a real honour and privilege.



My new favourite things this month were... 

  • We daughters got our Dad a tattoo for his 51st birthday back in February, and he finally got it done the Saturday after my operation. Which meant he had to come into hospital and flash it at me afterwards – I felt so damn proud of papa, and happy to see his little blue Sussex seagull.

  • Not that she's a 'thing', but I gotta mention my excellent friend Louise Jones and her whole slaying at the London Marathon deal. Please can everyone read her blog post about it, and weep as I did because honestly, so much awesome.

  • The NHS. Yeah it took them forever, but when they found the problem, they worked hard and they came through for me yet again. Thanks to them I am now without an infected abscess-bearing appendix that had caused me intense unyielding pain for weeks - plus they took a little bit of disintegrated bowel away as well, which was also nice. (Recovery is a bitch, I hate everything)

  • The cat. He's a permanent favourite in my life, yes, but after being in hospital for a week and feeling quite vulnerable getting home, seeing his little sleepy face and then having him by my side endlessly for the first few days I was back was a bit magical. Also the utter babe, author and fellow cat lover David Owen wrote me my own short story about Harv, and his bravery in the face of infected adversity. I will treasure that tale always. (Hey, pre-order Dave's next book, perhaps?)



I bought 0 books. Surprise, surprise! However, as usual our lovely cheery postie came to the door several times making his jokes about how my post 'keeps him warm' and that he has 'no idea' how I manage to read and/or store the many book-shaped parcels he brings week by week. 
Some book mail highlights this month were: Cat Clarke's sexy new edition of 'The Lost and The Found' (special feature post to come on that one!) and her newest novel 'Girlhood', out May 4th! I also received 'The State of Grace' by Rachael Lucas (I perhaps unfairly already love it, because Grace) and a very exciting manuscript or two that I cannot possibly discuss on here...yet!
I said it many times this month – thank goodness for books. Thank goodness I am a big reader. Because I tell you what, I dealt with some real bloody horror this month – I'm still dealing with the aftermath of it now – and books are just about the only thing that never fail to transport me away from the horrible things happening in real life. They're there for me when I need them. Ta, books, and all you folks who make them.


I drank 12 cups of coffee. Yeah. That is how ill I got. I stopped drinking coffee.

I did manage to go to my favourite cafe Beanzz a couple of times in the weekend that began April, when I was still able to y'know, walk and generally function as a human.
I went once with my sis, when we delivered the last of the furniture we sold the cafe and I managed a staggeringly excellent parallel park right outside the shop for the first time ever – and then again a couple of days later with an ever exceptional old friend, Ms Helen Rambaut. She and I first met in French class at college, and somehow after years of brief meetings and long absences (she had an exchange year in France for her degree...I have no excuses tbh) we are still able to meet up and chatter for hours – and she still fills me up with sunny happy energy, just by listening to me, sharing her stories and imparting her infinite bubbly wisdom.


I attended 
0 bookish events this month. Oh, but I had 6 booked in at the beginning of the month! And as each day went by, I was crossing every one out in my diary and at times howling with rage and sadness as I did so. I was super excited for every single event – in particular Hannah Witton's 'Doing It' book launch, and the Orion Bloggers Fest evening (put together and hosted by the supremely awesome Stevie Finegan), and all of the incredible events Angie Thomas was scheduled to attend as part of her THUG UK tour... *sighs forever*


This monthly wrap-up has been somewhat sad, no? I'm sorry about that. I am often praised for my immense positivity and silver-lining-seeing in horrible situations – specifically major surgery situations, actually – so I can only hope I managed to do some of that while writing this. 


I have to include a shout-out to my stars of the month – my fam. Notice they are in the April photo at the beginning of this post? That was an evening we went for a lovely dinner out near the seafront – pizza and salads and wine – just because. Just because we didn't want to stay in and veg out in front of the TV, as we tend to do most of the time (but I wouldn't change that, tbh).

In this past month my little team have had to take me to various health centres for tests, to the GP surgery for appointments, and eventually into the local hospital for an operation. They also have had to see me in hospital, which can't be fun – and goddamn, poor mama was doing it 9am – 7pm every day! Dad would come and see me in the evenings when he'd had a full day at work in the city, and little sis had to make time between mock exams and studying at home. Oh, and when I wasn't in hospital I was – am – listless and miserable on the sofa at home, crying out in pain and demanding drugs constantly. So yeah, big up my family. I've said I'll treat them to a dinner out or coffee and cake date or a round at the pub when I'm finally better (and actually have some money to spend on them, lol), because honestly it's the least I can do. Love ya, Team Latter.

Right so, that was April. Let's call it a messy month, and be done with it. I am apparently recovering pretty well (doesn't feel it, docs) and should be up and about by the end of May, nearly good as new (well, I bloody hope so, I'm going to Australia in June!?), so hopefully next month's wrap up will be more exciting for you readers. 


I must now sadly confess that I had a genius plan for May, after what would have been a chilled 'writing month' in April – I wanted to blog every day in May! That is looking seriously unlikely now guys, but I thought maybe I could try...every other day in May!?
Watch this space, I'll do my very best. I'm thinking Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and randomly over weekends? Wish me luck!


Saturday, 29 April 2017

What I read in April 2017.

April 2017 was a bit of a mad one for books, wasn't it? This month had one of those mad days when a shit ton of books seemed to be birthed onto bookshelves all at once! On the 6th, Hannah Witton's book 'Doing It' (more on that below) was released, as was 'The State of Grace' by Rachael Lucas, 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas, 'The Cows' by Dawn O'Porter, 'Beetle Queen' by M.G. Leonard, and 'How to be a Grown Up' by Daisy Buchanan (again, see below)...yeah, that was a lot of books. And they ALL excite me. I also realised that the majority of my reads this month were embargoed pre-release goodness. Sorry, my dears. #humblebrag #blessbookmail 


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Laura Jane Williams: A most delightful chat.

I don't need to ask. I know that you know all about my love for this woman, readers – both her writing and her being. And more. She's at the top of my (extensive) social media crush list, her writing workshop I attended gave me mad inspo, and her books are written in my favourite style – like I have a friend chattering to me, dropping boundless wisdom into the convo now and again which I of course lap up, happily. 



I was fortunate enough to chat with Laura after receiving a proof of this gorgeous new read. As expected, it was an utter delight. In fact, I'll stop rambling and delaying your reading of this excellent interview now. Read on! Go!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Grace answers; 1.

Oh hi, so remember when I did a super cool hashtag Q&A ting a couple of times? No? Yeah, that'd be because it didn't exactly take off. But then recently, I was a little uninspired writing and thought I'd try it again, in a slightly different one-off way...




This one tweet amassed more Qs for me to A than that awful hashtag did, way back when! So thank you, my curious friends. I really enjoyed the asking. Now, for the answering...


Ooh, I have always loved the celebrity Bake Off specials - however, now I am crippled with loathing for GBBO Channel 4 (what even is that photo?!), so I'll re-think. 
Strictly Come Dancing is my favourite celeb reality show of all time ever, so I think I'd have to go with that - however, I absolutely 100% cannot dance and have nothing but hate for exercise, so I doubt I'd get very far in the actual competition. But tbh, if I just got to attend the launch party and be matched with my perfect partner (Kevin/Aljaz), then I'd be happy. 


The family cat. For more details on my all-consuming love for him and the damn lovely ways he wakes me up and fills me with happiness each day, see this post I wrote for The Olive Fox entitled 'My Best Pal With Paws'.  


I would say quite simply that in these tragic times, more than ever, we need to escape. 


***

There will be more of these in the future, I think. Feel free to comment with any questions, or tweet me, as these lovely askers did! I do have a backlog already, so I'm off to a good start.
This may become a little series, if all goes to plan. Some posts will have just the one question, others may have a couple. Some questions will be grouped based on a theme, others may be more random. It's all coming together, oh yes... 

Friday, 14 April 2017

Just...meetings.

I attended a writing workshop in March, run by the beaut Laura Jane Williams, just fyi, as if I haven't already told everyone about it in gushing detail...We writers were given this excellent task, to scribble a quick story of...meeting. A meeting. Meeting someone, who has since made a significant impact on our lives. We then had to edit what we'd written of that tale; cut down, focus on certain things, keep essentials and make impact. It was beyond fun, and felt a little bit magic. 

I am forever falling for those first character descriptions in novels, lapping up the fresh new dialogue that then unfolds; I've told you all before about my creating characters first when writing, how I need to make people and let them make plot. It's the same in my life. I've met many people, there have been many exciting inciting meetings.

On the day of the workshop, I wrote about a meeting that could not have been more important to me, and my life, tbh. I won't be sharing that on here – it's saved specially to be used elsewhere. But these little fragment tings you're about to read (I hope, anyway) are, let's say, a small selection from my shortlist. I may write more, but these are just the ones that popped into my head that day in March when asked about A Meeting. 


(These are my friends, in the cafe that other friends of mine own. I hope none of them mind being featured, tbh I just thought this photo was perfection so)

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Haikus; 1.

Very recently
I was taught how to haiku.
I was not that good.

I do keep trying
because isn't that writing?
Just keep keeping on.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

What I'll be reading in April 2017.

Right, so, April is upon us. I won't do the whole 'where is this year going omg' thing, because to be quite honest I am loving the frantic speeding of time at present. There are many things to look forward to in the next few months, and it's all getting a bit sweeter and prettier with each passing day.
Already the days are longer, the sun is getting higher, and even the darkness is warmer. I may sing – or just sit quietly making yummy noises. Yes, the latter is probably best...

A new month of course means a new reading list! Wanna see what I've got up my sleeve for April? (Spoiler: you do)

Friday, 31 March 2017

31 Days Grace: March.

So, March happened! And it was a month spent in the big smoke. LDN. Laandaaann. I lived the life of an intern; hopping from one tube to another, sniffing out the cheapest lunch spots, calling up local friends for a comfy night, learning the delicate art of filling a filter coffee pot, and expertly juggling email inboxes. Oh yes, I learned a lot this month. 


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