#Flashfiction in London: “Late Night Conversations”

 

 

 

bedtime shea wong #flashfiction #microstories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Do you believe in ghosts?”

I squint at the clock. “I…it’s 3.30 in the morning. And no”.

“People have seen ghosts, you know.”

“Well, I haven’t seen one, and there should be a LOT of them around by now, so-”

“Would you want to see one?”

“Seeing as they don’t exist, the question makes no sense.”

“You’re no fun.”

I begin to roll over. “And you are-“

I touch the empty spot on the bed and I remember. He’s been gone three years now. In my tiredness, I forgot.

Morning can’t come soon enough.


#Flashfiction in London: “Sweet Dreams”

sweet dreams shea wong

He fell in love with her the minute he saw her in the bakery window. She created miniature treats with such dedication and care, drawn into her own tiny world. He wondered what she thought of as she carefully placed each sugar delight on her tray.

Every day he pretended to check his phone near the window’s edge, just for a glimpse of her. She never looked up from her work. He wondered, would he still love her if their eyes ever met?

Deep down, he never wanted to find out.


Using tech to enrich speech-delayed children: The Storytime Sounds app!

We’re nearly 11 months post hearing restoration surgery (yayayay!), and while the kid’s language is coming along, he’s still severely delayed by almost 24 months. Communication is still very, very frustrating at times, as he so desperately wants to tell us how his day has been, or tell us a dream, and can’t create the words to do so.

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Not On The High Street created a fun little app called ‘Storytime Sounds’, which allows parents and kids to treat their iPad or iPhone as a soundboard of sorts, using marked buttons grouped by theme (space, pirates, monsters, Halloween, lost world, and fairy tales). The layout is non-verbal (no words spoken or read), so even the youngest family members can navigate the app.

 

 

What I was particularly impressed by was the type of sounds – there were the usual creaky doors or oooOOOooo ghostly noises, but they were tempered for a child’s ears, perfect for creating an age appropriate spooky story. And I especially liked the lesser-thought-of sounds, like the clinking of cutlasses as they clash, or the sound of a dart whizzing through the air.

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The kid took to it immediately, and explored it on end, listening to each sound as he pressed the corresponding image. When it was time to make up a story, the narrative was led by him pressing a button (and my bedtime story featuring the pirate who fell in love with the fairy dinosaur before running away from the vampire was a brilliant tale!). If you’d rather start off with a pre-set story, no worries! Here is a great Halloween tale, crafted specifically for the app.

It was great to see him lead a bedtime story session, and I could tell he felt so much more confident as he used the buttons to let me know where he wanted the story to go. I think this app will be part of our bedtime routine from now on.

The Storytime Sounds app is currently free for the iPad and iPhone, grab it for some spooky fun this Halloween!


#Flashfiction in London: “Vertigo”

vertigo

The sculptor’s apprentice had been crushed while working in the cathedral’s basement, and it was quietly agreed that he should be somehow memorialized.

All eyes were on his widow when the final sculpture was revealed; one couldn’t help but notice the resemblance.

She wept, and they silently congratulated themselves.

She didn’t have the heart to tell them her husband had been deathly afraid of heights.


Giveaway! Pair of Bohem sterling silver nails, RRP £35! 28

bohem nails

 

I’m in full on prep for NaNoWriMo, and haven’t done a giveaway in a hot second, so let’s celebrate Halloween in style with some sterling silver Bohem nails!

Bohem nails are the newest manicure trend – a pair of false, sterling silver nails, to accompany your manicure. Here’s some cool stuff about them:

  • bohem 2Unlimited Use
  • Kind to your nails
  • Solid 925 Sterling Silver
  • With anti-tarnish protection
  • Hallmarked officially by Birmingham Assay Office, UK
  • Designed (March, 2013), made and hand-finished by BOHEM’s qualified artisans in the Jewellery Quarter
  • Made in England

The pair I’m giving away is a medium size (fits middle, ring, or pointer finger) Gothic bullet (as seen in larger image).

 

 

This giveaway lasts till midnight October 31st/November 1st, and you can get entries every day, but please note: This is for UK only. (Sorry, rest of world I’ll hook you up after November!). Also, it’s my first Pinterest contest, so I made it pretty easy – follow a board, repin one of a long list of items, and you can repin a new item on the list every day for more chances. Don’t have Pinterest? It’s free to sign up. Simple!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“SuperLucky

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/pair-bohem-silver-nails-rrp-%C2%A335#sthash.so1gfe5P.dpuf


I’m blogging for Bloomsbury and #NaNoWriMo2014!

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#NaNoWriMo2014 people! DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!?!

I love stories. Love starting them, thinking about them, putting them away in drawers, and…never letting them see the light of day again. Starting a story is fun – you get a spark of imagination, you take off with it, careening violently, till you crash into a plot point, or get bored, or think of another omigoshsoawesome story idea, and…you get the picture. But ending a story is always difficult for me; as I tend to work by the seat of my pants, I never have an end goal for the characters to get to, which means I never really know where they will end up.

I did National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) four years ago, but I was sooooooooo pregnant I was only about to muddle through 12K words or so in the month – still a great accomplishment, but far shy of the 50K #NaNoWriMo asks. And after that I got so busy with the kid, and then grad school, that I put the idea of doing the challenge out of mind.

However, I’ve taken this semester off from studies as we’re ramping up the kid’s speech therapy and developmental interventions, so I had a chunk of ‘sit down and write’ time free. And Bloomsbury’s Writers and Artists site have been kind enough to ask me to blog my experience during #NaNoWriMo2014. I’ll be introducing myself on their site in about a week, and then I’ll have weekly recaps and word counts (only 12,500 words a week…no pressure), and of course I’ll be linking here to the gadgets and crap keeping me compos mentis through the whole procedure. Current I’m-really-happy-this-is-in-my-life gadget is the NoteShel.

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NoteShel is a neat little stationary tool. A refillable case for Post-It Notes, it’s book structure with magnetic clasp means inspiration can strike without you worrying about your notebook being ripped to shreds, and the accompanying ballpoint pen is an all-in-one solution for scribbling on the go.

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And unlike other jotters (*cough* I love you but I’m looking at you, Aspinal of London *cough*), the inserts in this case are much cheaper to replace. I’ve already turned my conference wall into a storyboard with these bad boys, and I didn’t have to fish them out of the depths of my bag, wipe the Cheerios debris off them first, and then faff about trying to find a bloody pen. Just pop it open and go.

 

Check them out on twitter, and follow them on facebook where they are currently holding a giveaway for a free NoteShel!

 

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The next few days are going to be a bit of a whirlwind, what with plotting the book out and fleshing out characters, but I have to say, I’m kind of excited to see what I’m capable of creativity-wise. The last two years have been almost all academia, and yes, I actually enjoy writing 25 page papers every 9 weeks, but there’s something to be said for being a bit silly and letting the story go where it will. If you’re doing #NaNoWriMo2014, let me know here or on twitter, and if you’re in the London area, hell, let’s meet at a coffeehouse somewhere in town with folk and bash away on our computers in frustrated silence because OMG DOESN’T THAT SOUND SO FUN?

shea wong the word is panic shea wong my whole brain is crying

You know the drill by now: The products featured were provided gratis, but the review or commentary is all mine. See my PR page for more details.


DIY project: Loom Band Amigurumi!

One of the nice things of having a hot second of time off before November hits is I get to muck about with side hobbies I haven’t had time to attack. Today I actually got to try out those rainbow loom band thingies. I’ve seen the bracelets, but as I used to love to crochet, I thought I get a wee bit ambitious and create a little stress ball. As Paddy Power Bingo was nice enough to send me a packet of their colours the other day, I made them a cute lucky bingo ball.

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If you’ve never crocheted, you’ll probably be a bit better off than I was at trying to re-orient my hands to bands over a piece of yarn. For anyone who has done amigurumi (Japanese toy making) or had a boyfriend in college who was REALLY into hacky-sacks, these instructions should look pretty familiar. For those of you who have never crocheted before (band or otherwise), no worries. Here is a quick video tutorial to walk you through the following concepts:
Magic Circle (how you start the ball)
Increase (how your ball gets bigger in diameter)
Decrease (how your ball gets smaller)
Cast off (how you finish the piece).

 

For everyone else, hop in!

  1. Create a magic circle with 12 links around when finished. You’ll notice I did my anchor loop with 2 colours – the regular colour, and a drastically different tone. It makes it much easier for you to see the loop you want to keep coming back to, and when you’re done, you carefully snip the differing colour band off.

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  2. Start your rows of increases, with this pattern: singe crochet, single crochet, increase. Continue till the ball reaches the width you like. This has five rows, graduating colour from white to pink to green.
  3. Have one row of all single crochet.
  4. Start your rows of decreases. Remember, the number of rows of decreases must match the number of rows of increases, otherwise your ball will be somewhat oblong!
  5. When the opening to your ball is looking pretty small, stuff it with stuffing of your choice. Many people use polyfil or cotton fluff, but I actually use bubble wrap, as it’s hypo-allergenic, can get wet without going all soggy, and let’s be honest, we ALL have bubble wrap in the house, no need to hit up the craft store for a second time just to finish a project.

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  6. I decorated with a lucky 7, but you can actually let your imagination run wild – stitch little arms and legs to yours, glue googly eyes, put a bit of fake fur on the head, whatever you like.

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One of my favourite memories with my grandmum was going to the local church festival every August and playing bingo, and I think she’d love a good luck token like this as she played.

Top tips: While your loom pack came with a teeny tiny crochet hook, which I used as I wanted to make sure this could be done without buying any special tools, next time, I’ll use a proper crochet hook – this one killed my hands after awhile!

I will admit, I MUCH prefer the looms to yarn when having to ‘frog’ (rip out mistakes and go back a number of rows) – much easier to do with bands than fibre like alpaca/wool/animal fibre. I had to frog like 3 rows at one point, and I was done and crocheting again in about a minute and a half.

I’ve let the kid go to town playing with it, and haven’t had a break yet, so I’d consider that stress test a win. And the nice thing is, as loom bands are EVERYWHERE, you could buy a packet on a train or car ride, and within an hour have a cute toy for your kid to play with.

Up next, I think I might do themed balls. If I open up the base a bit, do all white with googly eyes, I’d have a cute ghost. Using alternating rows of increases and decreases in all green would make a super cute Christmas tree. And going for an oblong shape with striped rows would make the most adorable Easter eggs, don’t you think? The nice thing about this is if you don’t like the project, you haven’t ruined any fibre – you just snip one band, and unravel the rest.

Thanks again to Paddy Power Bingo – http://bingo.paddypower.com/  – for sending me the bands!


Early Morning.

Been up since 4.40 or so, answering emails, quietly getting house ready for morning routine. Reminds me of when I would study at 3 am when doing cluster feeds with the kid – your body forms a natural shape of kid in one arm, textbook in another. Muscle memory.

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Current #shelfie with #fountainpens and #pencils. Love my workhorses, but I need to get a cleaning/repair kit assembled. If anyone has suggestions for kit items, let me know. #fpgeeks #parkerpens #Lamy #carandache #sheaffer #crosspens #waterman #Staedtler #fountainpenrevolution

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  I have (foolishly?) decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. Last time I did it I was heavily pregnant, here’s hoping this time I’m successful. I know the story I want to tell, I just need to outline like a mo-fo for the next 10 days. That on top of new video project (shhhh, it won’t be out for another 8-12 months!), and the mictrostories over at Dayre is making me a busy little bee.      

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Sketching story pictures to help walk me through the 20 or so theories under one of the 6 subheadings for this exam. Modification of the mansion mind trick in #DerrenBrown book. If this works, I’ll owe him a drink. #mba View on Instagram

 

 

We don’t get our grades back till December 5th, which is terrifying, as if I didn’t do great in Corporate Finance I’ll have to resit the exam in April, and if that happens, I want to get as big a jump on it as possible, So I guess it’s okay that I’m doing NaNoWriMo, as it’s not like I could be doing huge studying anyway.

 

And at some point I’d like to clean this blog up – people keep sending me buttons I should be slapping up here, and then there are PR people’s needs to consider, and blabbity blah blah oh sweet God could there be anything more boring.

 

And finally, my goal for the next six months is to put one item of crap on eBay a day. I’ve got about 5 items fully photographed and described, so that at least covers this week. Fingers crossed for a huge clear out.