Mental Health Awareness Week- Anxiety And Loneliness.

I’ve always felt lonely at school due to many reasons. First of all, mental health problems. My anxiety always held me back from going out with friends and others from school, so before long, they just stopped inviting me. Fridays, weekends and Mondays were so shit because of this. All I would hear in the classroom on Fridays was them all planning what they were going to do, who they were going to meet up with and when etc. My weekends consisted of homework, watching everyone uploading their party pics and vids on social media and crying, as dramatic as that sounds. Mondays were always ‘Omg the weekend was so good!’ Followed up with the ones nearest to me looking at me with a certain look in their eyes and going ‘What did YOU do?’
They knew full well what I did.


I also had bad panic attacks at school, and these always felt lonely as it felt like I was the only one there who had them. Of course I really wasn’t, there was definitely a few in that school who had anxiety, but since there was no support network or clubs for people with mental health problems to meet up and talk and give advice, I never had any peers to relate to.


With all this, my circle of ‘friends’ only actually cared about me when they needed me, such as when they needed help on some coursework. They would never actually sit next to me in class or walk with me to my next lesson. They always left me behind.
One day I decided to gain some courage and go to a different group. They seemed quite accepting of me and even though they still all went out and never invited me, they still made me feel happy. They were all so funny and they even let me sit with them in our lessons. The previous group of friends all began slagging me off and turning on me one by one, but I still had two of them who never gave in to pressure and still talked to me. They were the best ones out of the bunch.
I still never fit in anywhere, I began to understand that more and more throughout school, and while it hurt deeply, there were parts of me that just accepted that ‘Hey, I’m lonely and don’t fit in. Whatever.’


I still did absolutely amazing in school and passed all of my exams, one with an almost-pass. I left school and unfortunately didn’t fall into a job so I ended up on benefits with fortnightly visits to the job centre for advice and support, all while most of the people from school went to colleges and universities and got jobs. This was my next stage of loneliness.


I also lost contact with all my friends and the people I hung around when I left school, and not having a job made things so much worse. Sure I had my writing which I had been doing since I pretty much first started school. It didn’t pay for anything, but it was a huge passion of mine and still is to this day. It has definitely gotten me through a lot.
I used to go out for a lot of walks when I didn’t work, and a lot of the time they were upsetting. I was surrounded by groups of friends hanging out and couples walking down the street hand-in-hand. My heart hurt every time. I felt so unworthy. I didn’t even want to be here.
I so desperately wanted a dog to run up to me so I could pet it and interact with its owner. That did actually happen a few times, and I loved it every single time. I felt seen.


Another way I have felt lonely is through not having siblings that keep in touch. I have half-siblings but I don’t know where any of them are, and the last one I was in contact with was my half-sister 2 or 3 years ago. I miss them all so much, especially her and one of my half-brothers. I don’t feel as close with the rest of them. National sibling days sadden me, but it’s one of life’s things that I need to accept.


I also find valentine’s day extremely hard. Couples. Everywhere. I always feel worried and ashamed to say this because there’s always someone that calls me jealous and says I need to get a grip. I’ve took a lot of time for myself to decide how I actually feel about being in a relationship. I absolutely adore my independence but I do wish I had someone who I could cuddle, look after and hang out with, and who would do the same for me in return. I’m not too sure how selfish these reasons are, but for now I am trying my best to be content with being alone. Plus, I am spiritual. I have the Universe that comforts me, supports me and provides me with what I need, and for that I am eternally grateful.


So where am I currently in time?
Well, like I say I miss my half-siblings and I do sometimes wish I had a partner, but I now have a pretty great job and some pretty cool friends, so my anxiety and loneliness has definitely gotten better. I still have a bit of progress to achieve, but with my determination and the Universe by my side, I’m ready for anything 🙂

Happy Birthday To Me!

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I do apologise for that. Between work and struggling with my mental and physical health, I haven’t had the time, space or energy, but I’m hoping to get on full track again soon!

Let’s get into this one!

So my birthday was over a month ago, 28th of February to be exact, and I turned 21.
It was an amazing birthday and I’m excited to tell you why!

For context, I work at Age UK, which is a charity that helps older people in the community with loneliness, finances and helping them live the best they can.
On the Wednesday, it was day centre day, where a group of older people come to Age UK and spend a few hours in a big room, interacting with each other, playing games and activities and they get drinks, dinner and pudding.


They were doing arts and crafts on this particular day, and they needed some more materials. Gaynor, one of the day care workers and one of my best friends, opened the art cupboard and quickly closed it. I asked what was wrong, and all she did was look at my other two best friends, Amy and Chloe, and said ‘I opened it by accident’ while nervously laughing
Confused, I asked again what was wrong. She told me not to worry.
I sat down at a table nearby, eyeing up the cupboard and fighting against temptation to open it and check out what Gaynor was so suspicious about.


Eventually, it came to pudding time, and I questioned Amy on what we were going to give them. She paused and told me she was just waiting for Mick, another colleague, to get back.
In the end, Mick turned up, the lights went out and everyone sang happy birthday as Amy pulled the cake she made from the cupboard!
So THAT’S what was up with it!
It was a beautiful cake, shown in the cover picture of this blog. It was a chocolate cake with an edible print of Virgil from Sander Sides. It was very tasty too!
After that, the day centre clients got a piece of the cake for pudding and I opened my card and presents from my friends. The presents were a shiny silver cross necklace, a big bar of chocolate and a personalised mug. My friends and the day centre clients also signed my birthday card.
I was very happy.


We and my other colleagues also had some cake too and I still managed to take quite a decent chunk home for my parents and for myself!
My colleagues and my boss also got me a card and some amazing presents. A skull notebook, a canine skull ornament and a skull-patterned mug as well as some flowers and a scented candle.
With all this, I also of course got cards and plenty of presents from family and I went out for a meal with my parents.
I have to admit, it certainly was the best birthday I’ve ever had, and I am entirely grateful for it.

What Should Be Talked About More In schools?

Finally a new blog!

I do apologise that it has been a while since my last blog, but I am finding my stride with blogging again!

This blog includes ten things that I think should be talked about more in schools. I hope you enjoy 🙂

1. Mental health problems are fortunately more talked about nowadays due to new laws and people fighting for rights as well as more people becoming advocates and professionals who help those with mental health problems. However, they still aren’t talked about enough in schools. Schools should do more to encourage people to discuss their mental health problems which will reduce stigma and ignorance as well as promoting good mental wellbeing and teaching others how to help those with mental health problems. There should also be discussions on the more complex mental health problems such as DID, psychosis and OCD. Sectioning and mental health laws also need to be discussed and how people with mental health problems are not necessarily dangerous and that they are more likely to hurt themselves than others. Talking about mental health and mental health problems can also help students to learn how to reduce stress and how to get through panic attacks. It is also important to provide resources and help to all students which would be very useful to them, whether they are struggling or know someone else who is struggling with their mental health.

2. Bills, taxes and other finances are also things that should be taught in schools. it will help students to understand how to pay for things in their future and will prepare them for what’s to come, which will help to reduce future stress.
 
3. Disabilities are also being talked about much more now than they used to, especially as there are now laws that protect and support those with physical health problems. I think it would be good for these lessons to have small sections on laws that help those with physical and mental health problems and why they were created. By discussing various disabilities, challenges and treatments and how to support someone with a disability as well as taking care of yourself and your own wellbeing, we can learn and defeat stigmas around disabilities and provide good supportive networks for those who do have a disability.
 
 
4. Mindfulness! My school taught us this in a few lessons and it was honestly really fun! There were different types of mindfulness activities that we took part in such as deep breathing and meditation, creating a glitter bottle, mindfulness eating/using our senses to enjoy food and colouring mindfully. While mindfulness doesn’t work for everyone, it is still important to teach it in case it is useful for those who could benefit from it.
 
5. Creating a CV/resume and cover letter. I was taught this in school, but it isn’t actually taught in every school. This is an incredibly important lesson that should be focused on because when students leave school, whether they’re going to college or university or going straight into a job, most of them don’t know how to create a CV. By being taught how to make one, this helps them to be prepared and may reduce any stress over creating one.
 
 
6. Lessons on abuse need to be taught, and these lessons need to include the different types of abuse, how abuse can occur with family, friends and partners, those at risk of abuse and why, signs of abuse and what to do, how to escape abusive situations and the support and networks available as well as advice. These lessons can be hard for those who have already been through abusive situations, so it must be noted that if a student feels uncomfortable with these lessons, they don’t  have to attend.
One topic that could also possibly be tied into these lessons is relationships with partners. It is good to talk about healthy relationships vs unhealthy relationships and how to communicate through any problems that may arise.
 
7. Deciding on your own career and life. We did receive a few lessons on this but we didn’t technically receive any proper advice or help. We were just told to grab our laptops and start searching for universities or jobs to apply to. We were not taught how to plan for our future, nor how to make choices or how to get through any possible issues such as work or university rejections. Schools should also have lessons on interviews as well as getting a new job. Learning about interview questions and good answers  to give was never taught to me, and I certainly suffered for it when it came to my first interview! Thankfully, the Job Centre gave me some great tips which were very beneficial, and I will soon write a blog on them 🙂

8. Lessons on LGBTQIA+. In a time where people are becoming more confident to come out as who they really are, I think it’s important to discuss different sexualities and different genders in school as well as talking about stigmas and defeating them, as we are still in a world where people are judged for being a certain gender or for having a certain sexuality. It would also be good to provide students with support and networks if there were to ever face a situation where someone is against who they are, and may go through an event like abuse, finding out their friends or family don’t agree with who they are or being kicked out of their home by their parents/carers.

9. Being a parent. This may have been discussed in other schools, but it was never talked about in mine. Fair enough we had sex education, but what if a student ever did become a parent? There was no support, networks and advice given to anybody, and there was no talk on your responsibilities as a parent, nor was there anything about what problems you might have if you become a parent.
 
10. My last idea is lessons on coping with grief. This might only be one or two lessons, but I think that students should learn healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with grief, and why someone may end up choosing the unhealthy route. There should also be a section on how to help someone else who is grieving, and information sheets containing what was taught in these lessons and sheets including support networks should also be given out.

That’s the end of the blog! Thank you for reading and if you have any ideas as to what should be talked about more in schools, please let me know!
 

Writer Interview- @ValontheMoon

Professional questions:

1. Tell me about you and your work!
My writing-related job is to create concepts for music videos. Since it doesn’t involve lots of actual writing besides a synopsis and a shot list, I like to call myself a storyteller more than a real writer. I do write short stories on occasion, but it’s rare and I’m way too self-conscious to share them!

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Part of my creative process is to listen to a song and let the imagery flow inside my head until I find the “right” thread. I find the process so fascinating, and I’m always stoked to see what I imagine become real. It’s absolutely cool and magic.

3. How have you gained an audience over time?
I don’t think I have a real audience. My Twitter feed is full of people I like to consider my friends, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared something of mine on a social network.

4. How do you work? Silence or music? Do you work alongside a hot drink and a handful of snacks?
Music, snacks, TV. Name a distraction and I’ll probably be using it. As counterintuitive as it sounds, It helps me keep my mind quiet when I work!

5. Link any of your socials and your work for others to check out!
Maybe one day I’ll be able to really share my work. In the meantime you can follow me on Twitter if you enjoy random, chaotic content. My handle is @valonthemoon

Fun questions:

1. What’s your favourite season and why?
Spring, because I’m not an allergic person! No, just kidding. The real answer is that I find the way nature awakens after its sleep quite mesmerizing and romantic.

2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be?
A Niffler! Who wouldn’t want a hyperactive, non-venomous platypus?! And also a phoenix. I’m scared of birds, but the whole idea of not having to lose a pet I love feels just perfect.

3. Would you rather have your own boat/ship or your own aeroplane?
– Sailboat. My dad used to own one when I was a kid. Living on it on summer was so much fun!

4. What are your current favourite shows?
Money Heist, that series was brilliant! Incredible characters, amazing storylines… Everything about it was so compelling! I’m currently finishing The 100, but while I really like it, I also wouldn’t define it as something I’d rewatch once I’m done.

5. What’s your thoughts and feelings on vampires!?
I stumbled upon Bela Lugosi’s Dracula when I was 6 years old. That movie frightened me so much that I had nightmares about vampires for years, but I was also incredibly curious about their lore, so I began reading anything I could find about them: Bram Stoker, Anne Rice… Some of the classics. Then Buffy came, along with Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse, and by the time True Blood was out I was madly in love with vamps!

Thank you for taking part in this interview!

Writer Interview- @MGMasonBooks

Professional questions

1. Tell me about you and your work!
Hi, I’m Matt. I write mixed genre stories – that means I adhere to no genre boundaries and happily throw horror, scifi, and fantasy together. A recent horror release was set during the Roman Empire and had major scifi story elements.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
The problem solving element. Stories begin for me as a single scene and I enjoy working out what part of the story that is, how we got there, and where we’re going next. It’s like putting a puzzle together.

3. How have you gained an audience over time?
Social media. I’ve found just talking to people helps – not just about writing, but general stuff. A social media audience, especially when connecting with other writers, is often a combo of a professional network, friends, colleagues, and fans.

4. How do you work? Silence or music? Do you work alongside a hot drink and a handful of snacks?
Silence normally. I can’t work with music that has lyrics as it’s too distracting. So if I need to focus, I’ll play ambient noises. I have about 80hrs of ambient sounds on YouTube. Steam trains seem to work the best!

5. Link any of your socials and your work for others to check out!
Instagram: https://t.co/PdQmR0p1UI
Twitter: https://t.co/7YUeBdBqHZ

Fun questions:

1. What’s your favourite season and why?
Spring. As an SAD sufferer, winter really drains me of energy. I bounce right back and feel full of beans when the sun shows its face more often and the clocks go forward.

2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be?
A pegasus, because who wouldn’t want a flying horse?

3. Would you rather have your own boat/ship or your own aeroplane?
Boat. Just finding a spot somewhere in the ocean away from everyone and everything is really attractive. You can’t really do that in a plane.

4. What are your current favourite shows?
Doctor Who (always)
Sex Education
Death in Paradise
Snowpiercer
Carnival Row

5. What’s your thoughts and feelings on vampires!?
They should be scary. My favourite recent vampire book is The Passage by Justin Cronin while my favourite recent vampire film is 30 Days of Night. They felt so refreshing in a time where Edward Cullen was everywhere. But trends come and go and I think the scary animalistic vampire is overdue a comeback.

Thank you for taking part in this interview!

2 in 1- ‘Don’t Apologise For’ & 10 affirmations

Hey everyone!
This is a super short and sweet blog, but I thought it would be nice to post something like this as I’m working on other big projects at the moment, and plus the next blog will be much bigger as it’s about what should be taught more in schools!

Please enjoy!

30 things to not apologise for!

1. Self care, taking a break and having some ‘you’ time.
2. Saying no.
3. Not attending an event.
4. Not doing something that makes you uncomfortable.
5. Ending a toxic friendship or relationship.
6. Your interests or talking about your favourite things.
7. Your style and appearance.
8. Wanting to be alone.
9. Prioritising and working on your interests, dreams, school/careers/college/university etc.
10. For what others say is ‘wrong’ with you.
11. How you feel.
12. For telling the truth.
13. For your sexuality.
14. For your gender.
15. For worrying about something.
16. For liking something others don’t.
17. For not liking something others do.
18. Mental health and illnesses.
19. Physical health and illnesses.
20. For not working.
21  For standing up for yourself.
22. For standing up for others.
23. For doing what you think was right.
24. For speaking your mind.
25. For enjoying yourself.
26. For grieving, even if you’ve been grieving for years.
27. For wanting to spend time with a friend or partner.
28. Your religion or spirituality.
29. If someone doesn’t like your work.
30. For struggling with something.

10 affirmations for you!
1. You are beautiful, you are creative, you are the light.
2. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are in the right place, on the right path. This is where you need to be right now.
3. Take some deep breaths. You will be okay.
4. You are loved and cared about.
5. You are good enough. You are perfect.
6. Look around you. The world is stunning, just like you.
7. You matter, so much.
8. What you do counts. Your opinions, your thoughts, your dreams, your interests, your love for the people around you, what you do in life. It all counts. You are doing well.
9. Everything will be okay.
10. Tomorrow is another day to shine.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and I hope you are also enjoying the interviews I have been doing here this month!

Love you all!

Writer Interview- @amboinreallife

Professional questions:

1. Tell me about you and your work! 
I write about living with ADHD and mental illness on my blog The Winter Of My Discontent. I cover a vast array of related topics in an effort to educate, advocate, and create community for people with ADHD and mental illness.
Recently, I have just completed my first fiction novel. It is a paranormal romance called Maladaptive. It touches on mental illness and the toll that it takes on the main character, Sabrina Hutchins. She moves to a new town after inheriting property, only to find love…and vampires.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love everything about the writing process. Coming up with a new idea, watching the characters and story come to life, helping other people through my writing. It’s all been so healing for me and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if it weren’t for writing.

 3. How have you gained an audience over time? 
Honestly, the best way to gain an audience is to engage with them. Find them on social media, in groups, use word of mouth and then talk to them. Treat them kindly and be your authentic self. You’ll gain a following over time.

4. How do you work? Silence or music? Do you work alongside a hot drink and a handful of snacks? 
I sometimes work with music, sometimes not. It just depends on my mood. I find that the right song can definitely set my mood for a scene, but it’s not a necessity for me. I do usually have a cold drink sitting next to my computer. I also snack A LOT while I’m writing. 
Other than that, I’m almost always at my desk, using my laptop to write. I can’t use my phone. I’ve tried and I just can’t get the hang of it.

5. Link any of your socials and your work for others to check out! 


You can find my blog at www.thewinterofmydiscontent.com.

You can also find our private Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/thewinterofmydiscontent.

You can also follow me on Twitter @amboinreallife.

Fun questions: 

1. What’s your favourite season and why? 
Hands down, fall. I love everything about fall. The leaves changing, the weather getting cooler…SPOOKY SEASON!! So, yeah…Fall is where it’s at!

2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be? 
Ohhhh…probably a dragon!! I could fly and it would protect me from my enemies!!

3. Would you rather have your own boat/ship or your own aeroplane? 
I’m going to have to go with a plane. My mom and dad live in landlocked states and that is where I would be visiting the most, probably. Plus, it’s just faster.

4. What are your current favourite shows? 
I’m actually not watching anything at the moment because I’ve been writing a lot, but I have some old favorites. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Originals, The New Girl, Gilmore Girls…there are so many I can’t think of them all. I’m also a sucker for a Golden Girls rerun. RIP Miss Betty White.

5. What’s your thoughts and feelings on vampires!? 
I love them! I love all things “scary” and vampires are one of my favorite subjects. My very first fiction novel is a vampire romance! My favorite vampire is the vampire Marius de Romanus from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Again, RIP to one of the greatest of all time.

Thanks so much for letting me be a part of this, my friend!

Love and light! Keep fighting the good fight!

Thank you, 

Amber @ The Winter Of My Discontent

amber@thewinterofmydiscontent.com

https://thewinterofmydiscontent.com

Thank you for taking part in this interview!

Writer Interview- @SarahStrix


Professional questions

1. Tell me about you and your work!
My name is Sarah Strix. I am a wife, the mother to two lovely children, and an author. I am most known for my novel, The Orion Star, which spawned four more novels (Falling Star, Rising Star,
The Void Between Stars, and Lonely Star in the Lone Star State). I have also penned five additional full length novels. I have a work in progress (Shards of Ankh) which is my second
most popular book and has won several awards.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
I like being able to use my craft to show people they’re not alone. A common theme throughout my works, regardless the genre, is mental health struggles. I hope that by sharing my truth it will
not only destigmatize talking about mental health, but it will make people struggling feel better. I think it’s especially important for those who are the only people plagued by mental health issues in their immediate life.

3. How have you gained an audience over time?
By being obnoxious on Twitter. Hahaha, no, I kid. Seriously though, I try to be an active member of the writing community on Twitter. I have way more followers on there than I ever imagined. I try to actively just put the word out there about my writing. It helps that, as of right now, all of my works are found on Wattpad, which is a free website.

4. How do you work? Silence or music? Do you work alongside a hot drink and a handful of snacks?
Music is a must. Music is a must in my life in general. It might sound weird, or counter-intuitive,
but writing to music helps me concentrate. I like to have coffee on hand, or tea, or, at the very least, some water. Snacks are a must, although I admittedly usually take a break if I’m hungry.
Not only does it help rest my eyes, but it’s a good time to get up and stretch and move around.

5. Link any of your socials and your work for others to check out!
All of my work can be found on Wattpad, username QueenStarbuck:
https://www.wattpad.com/user/QueenStarbuck
You can find me on Twitter:
@SarahStrix

Fun questions

1. What’s your favorite season and why?
Fall! Not too hot, not too cold. My favorite holiday (Halloween!) is during this time. I also just genuinely love all things fall; long walks through forest preserves with the leaves changing
colors and falling, the temperature, the smells…How could I almost forget haunted houses, too?

2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be?
A manticore! I’m not sure how I’d tame and befriend one, but they look cool regardless. If I was to pick a nice one, it’d be a pegasus, hands down.

3. Would you rather have your own boat/ship or your own aeroplane?
This is a tough question because I’m mildly terrified of both? Hahaha, seriously though. I think  I’d like a boat more. They’re much more soothing. I don’t like the change in altitudes on planes;
it makes me feel like I’m on a roller coaster, and I hate that dropping feeling.

4. What are your current favorite shows?
Gosh, I’m admittedly not much of a TV watcher. I just started watching the live action Cowboy Bepop, and it’s phenomenal. (I know it was cancelled already, so I guess I’m the only person on the planet that genuinely loved it.) I also took a gander at Squid Games, and it’s…interesting? I feel like it’s pretty derivative. Then again I’m only on the third episode.

5. What’s your thoughts and feelings on vampires?!
Goodness. First of all. Rest in peace, Anne Rice, who sadly passed away today as I write this.
That said! Vampires have always been a HUGE part of my life, so I apologize for the mini-essay that’s about to happen.
My mother was a huge classic monster fan–The Invisible Man, The Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc.…Bela Lagosi’s Dracula was a staple, watched every year during October
when we’d have a monster movie marathon every weekend leading up to Halloween. She also was a huge fan of Nosfaratu, and she owned Interview with a Vampire (the book).
I have fond memories of her and I watching this show in the 90’s called Forever Knight. It was about this old vampire who was morally opposed to killing people, so he instead became a homicide detective working the night shift. Not only did he solved murders (which usually ended up being supernatural in nature), but he was friends with the woman who ran the blood bank–she supplied him cruelty free blood. It was pretty campy, the special effects were pretty awful–especially by today’s standards. The vampires could fly and they did that with just a lot of camera shaking. Regardless, it was something special between my mom and I so I love it.
Then of course there’s Anne Rice. I was awfully miserable in High School, and I used her books as a form of escapism. To say her influence over myself and my writing was substantial would be a huge understatement. My first full-length novel was written heavily influenced by her work, in addition to the lovely Neil Gaiman. One of my favorite characters that I’ve ever created, Marcus LaBelle (a vampire with a very complicated past that made him a self-loathing walking contradiction), started as basically fanfiction of Lestat. I’m happy to say he became much more than that, but if I said that Lestat wasn’t my source material it would be a lie.
I also love and adore vampire movies. I’ve seen all the Anne Rice one’s, 20 Days of Night, Underworld, the Blade movies (so good), Blood: The Last Vampire. I Am Legend, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (was obsessed with the Joss Whedon show), From Dusk Til Dawn (which is funny, I went into that movie not knowing it was about vampires)…Well, you get the idea.
Also I need to be clear here–I like my vampires to be either morally tortured, angst-ridden anti-heros or bloodthirsty killers that love the hunt and kill as much as feeding. And they never sparkle in sunlight, thanks.
I could go on and on. One of my favorite video games series is Castlevania. So in conclusion, how do I feel about vampires? Flipping love them, always and forever. 😉

Thank you for taking part in this interview!

Writer Interview- emalcom508

Professional questions:

1. Tell me about you and your work!
Well, lately, I am myself reuniting with my work and discovering my own voice. Ever since I have come out as a trans woman it has been hard for me to write, before I used to explore my hidden self while writing, I explored all these themes and elements from my outer life, whether it be my favorite fiction or my own trauma and weaved it into these amazingly dark and fantastic stories that seemed to represent my hidden self, I could finally speak as a woman, could finally translate my life and the art I love through a female character. And so now I’m figuring out how to access these fantastical realms within me as my true self. Lately, I’ve been going back to something I did a lot as a teen, which is stream of consciousness and it’s been really productive and enlightening in a way, a really insightful way to find this newly heard voice of mine that doesn’t have to hide any more.  Right now, I’m working on something autobiographical (a magical realism journal of sorts), a children’s middle school aged book that I started right before I came out, and, as always, on and off editing my massive book Fays. 

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Discovering all these different worlds full of amazing characters that reside within me somehow, like I’m some sort of magical galaxy. I always have felt like fairies are always there to help me through life, they have always protected me, and sometimes it kind of feels like they’re whispering all these awesome stories to me, but it’s from within too, these whispering fairies are just from one of the worlds inside me, which in turn can affect this outside real world that we all know so well.

3. How have you gained an audience over time?
Yes, in a way, but more for my online presence than my writing. I have been told by so many people that I have been an inspiration to so many, but I have no idea why or how, but I’m happy that I can be. I just believe in going with the flow and being as good of a person as I can be, help as many people as I can, especially people like me who are autistic or trans and I think that just really resonates with a lot of people. I love writing, I love fleshing out all these worlds and characters, but just knowing that I can help people feel better about their lives and themselves, to offer people hope, that for me is all I could ever ask for.

4. How do you work? Silence or music? Do you work alongside a hot drink and a handful of snacks?
These days I kind of hold it til I bust, I just get a spark and I keep building on to it. Because I’ve tried to be more stream of consciousness lately, it’s usually pretty spontaneous, I just grab my notepad and just start jotting, but when I actually sit down to write, I usually warm up by listening to certain music, usually some epic classical music, and then when I’m ready I just turn everything off, embrace the silence, get into my head, and just start writing. It all kind of pours through me when I really get going.

5. Link any of your socials and your work for others to check out!
Right now I’m just mostly on Twitter, but I might try to start my blog again in the new year.
Twitter:  @emalcom508

Fun questions:

1.What’s your favourite season and why?
Fall, because it’s just beautiful and not yet freezing (when I lived in Georgia, Winter was my favorite, but extreme cold has made me move up my favorite season a bit).

2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be?
A Porg from the Star Wars movies!

3. Would you rather have your own boat/ship or your own aeroplane?
Um, I guess an airplane, but either one would be nice really. I’m kind of a point a to point b kind of person.

4. What are your current favourite shows?
I haven’t been watching too many lately, but The Only Murders in the Building was really cute and I’m enjoying Hawkeye so far. My two sleepy time fall asleep shows are We Bare Bears and Selena+Chef.

5. What’s your thoughts and feelings on vampires!?
Hahaha, I think they’re cool, Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire was huge for me when I was a kid, such a massive inspiration. Sometimes, because I look so young and I enjoy being up at night, I feel like a vampire, I totally get why being eternally youthful could get annoying after a while even though the perks are awesome.

Thank you for taking part in this interview!

Writer Interview- @elven_scribe

Professional questions:

1. Tell me about you and your work!
Hello again! I’m Tilly and I write epic/dark fantasy novels and occasionally poetry. I thrive on dark, gritty stories that evoke strong emotions of both despair and relief, and I do my best to portray this in all my work. In between my full time job, uni work and volunteering, I try and squeeze in as much writing as possible. I started my novel in summer 2020, and I’m probably about 2/3 of the way through. I aim to have this finished and ready for editing by the end of 2022. 

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Definitely the peace it brings me. When I’m writing, I feel calm. I can escape from the world for hours at a time, creating a world that means something to me. I hope one day to be able to share this world with you and other readers, and release exciting stories that will grip and break your heart.

3. How have you gained an audience over time?
I met most of my writing friends through Twitter, which is where I’ve formed relationships with authors and some inidie publishers. As I’ve yet to release anything, I wouldn’t say I have an audience per se, more of a support network where I can ask for feedback and improve my writing skills. Slowly but surely!

4. How do you work? Silence or music? Do you work alongside a hot drink and a handful of snacks?
Always ambient music. Usually a game soundtrack (lately it’s been Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or Final Fantasy XV). More often than not I’ll drink a huge cup of tea (if I’m writing in the morning) or a glass of wine in the evening. Snacks are a must. Sour candy is my favourite.

5. Link any of your socials and your work for others to check out!
My Twitter handle is @elven_scribe 🙂

Fun questions:

1. What’s your favourite season and why?
Spring! The cold dark nights are over, the flowers are waking, my garden springs to life. Colours of nature, bees, wildlife; I love it! My birthday is in Spring so I’m totally not bias at all.

2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, what would it be?
This is such a hard question. I absolutely love mythical creatures. I’d love to go boring and say dragon (thought owning a dragon would be quite the opposite of boring), but maybe something like Cerberus. A three-headed guard dog? Hell yeah.

3. Would you rather have your own boat/ship or your own aeroplane?
A ship would be awesome. Though the sea is quite terrifying, I think it would be beautiful too. Sunsets, swimming, cruising around top-deck. Yeah, definitely a ship.

4. What are your current favourite shows?
Currently? Witcher. Wheel of Time. Castlevania. Midnight Mass.

5. What’s your thoughts and feelings on vampires!?
I’d let a sexy vampire drink my blood. Enough said.

Thank you for taking part in this interview!