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April 2014

Flash Fiction First Draft: The Boy in the Wood

By CreativityNo Comments


The Boy in The Wood – Flash Fiction First Draft

At College we were asked to choose a pair of footwear and a hat. Then we were asked to write them into a piece of flash fiction (no more than 200 words). Here is my flash fiction first draft, entitled The Boy in the Wood, hope you enjoy:

The Boy in the Wood

Music pumped into my ears from my headphones as I ran along the dirt track, taking my usual route on that early spring morning. My Nike trainers hit the ground as I looked ahead, following the outline of the wood on my left-hand side. I had nearly completed my three-mile target, when up ahead, I noticed a small, brightly coloured hat that had two large embroidered rabbits on it. As I got closer, I saw droplets of red scattered on the leafs and bark of a nearby tree. I stopped as I reached the hat. My heart beat faster. I picked up the hat and removed one of my headphones. To my left, I heard a movement. I stepped into the trees and saw the back of the child’s head. He could only have been seven or eight years old.
“Are you OK?” I asked.
He turned. He was smiling. His eyes were pools of black, matching the colour of his hair. Then I saw the doe, laid on the ground. My eyes widened, looking like those of the doe. In the boy’s hand, a stick covered in deep congealed red, its tip touching the doe.

Write soon,


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Minor Tweaks

By The Web, ThinkingNo Comments

The internet giants like Amazon, ebay & Google only make small tweaks to their sites, rather than design overhauls. The reason for this, is that it gives visitors a sense of familiarity. Over the years my blog has had many designs (see Geeky Post: Website Development). I love the current site design of my blog, but like any design their are flaws and things that could be improved.

So here’s a list of minor tweaks I’ve recently made to the design and functioning of the blog:

  • WordPress Menu functionality added.
  • Booklist pages now have book image covers, along with a link to Buy The Book on Amazon. Pages include: Book List 2014 & Book Lists.
  • Older Book Review blog posts now all have had image book covers.
  • Rearranged layout of comment form, including: changing title to ‘Your Comment’ and adding ‘Name:,’ ‘Email:’ & ‘Website:’ labels before respective textfields rather than after.
  • Removed spam-stopper Plugin, which required an extra question on the comment form to confirm that you’re human. This was removed as already have Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress which is sufficiently effective. This overall makes commenting/interacting on my blog easier.
  • On comments, Authors websites (appear as link on their name) open in new window/tab.
  • On sidebar, added an Amazon banner that isn’t java based. This increases compatibility with Apple devices, such as the iPad and the iPhone.
  • On sidebar, shorted About Me section to less than 50 words (46 words to be precise).
  • On sidebar, added Book Chic Club and Urbangay under Blogs of Interest.
  • On sidebar, removed several blogs that haven’t been updated in sometime under Blogs of Interest.

I’ve got more small tweaks planned over the coming months, along with the usual reviews and other great content.

Write soon,


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My Happiness Report and How To Be Happier

By Happiness & Joy, Technology, The WebNo Comments

About six months ago I watched the video below and I decided to try Track Your Happiness:

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Track Your is a new scientific research project that aims to use modern technology to help answer this age-old question. Using this site in conjunction with your iPhone, you can systematically track your happiness and find out what factors – for you personally – are associated with greater happiness. Your responses, along with those from other users of, will also help us learn more about the causes and correlates of happiness.

(From: About – Track Your Happiness, last accessed: Saturday 19th April 2014)

Fifty times I was sent emails with a link to a questionnaire about my current state of happiness. First it collated what day it was (I think collating the time would have also been useful), asked where I was, asked what I was doing and whether I had to do or wanted to do what I was doing. Here were my results:


Happiness Report – Weekday


Happiness Report – Location


Happiness Report – Activity


Happiness Report – Want to or Have to do what I’m doing?

Then I was asked about how focused I was feeling and how productive I was being. Here were my results:


Happiness Report – How Focused am I?


Happiness Report – My Productivity

Then I was asked about the amount of sleep I had got the night before, along with the quality. At the time I wasn’t sleeping well. Here were the results:


Happiness Report – Amount of Sleep


Happiness Report – Quality of Sleep

There are a few human errors in this data. This was because on a few occasions, I checked the wrong box or clicked the wrong ratio button and clicked the next question button, before realising the error (a Back button would have been useful and eliminated these human errors).

In terms of data analysis a flaw is that the data is self-reported. That said, I don’t know how else you could measure something that’s as subjective as happiness is.

I really enjoyed taking part in this study and I found the data interesting. Some of the data I already knew – such as the amount & quality of sleep I was getting, but some of the data surprised me – such as how much time I was doing different activities.

The most surprising realisation for me was that the more I thought about happiness, the happier I became. So if you want to be happier, try thinking about happiness more and consider Tracking Your Happiness.

Blog soon,


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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The Latest Book in The Enemy Series: The Hunted by Charlie Higson

By Books & Authors4 Comments

I’ve just discovered that the latest book in The Enemy Series by Charlie Higson is called The Hunted and is out on Thursday 4th September 2014. Here’s the paperback cover image:


I love this series and have already read & reviewed the other books in the series. Here is a list of the books in order of release:
1. The Enemy
2. The Dead
3. The Fear
4. The Sacrifice
5. The Fallen

I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of The Hunted (hardcover) by Charlie Higson, which is also available as paperback here: The Hunted by Charlie Higson on Amazon.

Write soon,



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