2019 Goal Wrap Up and New Goals For 2020

goals 2020

I love setting goals and looking back on them at the end of the year. Whenever I set goals I keep them small, or if they’re bigger ones I break them down into manageable chunks. The last thing you need is to set goals that overwhelm you and you don’t end up achieving them. In today’s post, I’m going to be looking back at my 2019 goals to see if I achieved them, and also set some new ones for 2020.


2019 Goal Update.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

This didn’t exactly go to plan. I started off well but it went downhill pretty fast. I did give a rating to every book I read so that’s at least something. I will be trying this one again because I really do want to make the effort.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

Again, I didn’t achieve this. Due to personal reasons, I took a very long break from blogging. I’m still planning on going self-hosted, I’m just not sure when.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I achieved this! I am currently at 52 and I’ll definitely be adding more to that total before the year is out.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I have been trying so hard to engage with more writers on Twitter and I think I’ve done pretty well overall. I’m a massive introvert and I have anxiety so it’s really hard for me to engage consistently. Sometimes I can’t face even opening my notifications, however, overall, I think I’ve done okay with this one.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I achieved this! I haven’t started editing yet as I want to let it sit for a while before I go back to it. I made the mistake of not outlining it very well (pantsing doesn’t work well for me), so I need to have a long think about what direction I want the story to go in.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I’ve actually nearly finished this draft which I’m so proud of. I’m hoping to get it done by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

I’ll admit, I did not write one short story this year, in fact, I didn’t even try. For some reason, short stories intimidate me. I’m so used to writing longer novels so I find them challenging. Hopefully, in the new year, I can get past that and get writing some.

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

Nope, didn’t achieve this one either, unless you count the Goodreads challenge which I did achieve.


Overall, there are many goals I didn’t achieve. However, the most important one was to finish the first draft of The Mariah Kingdom (this is actually the first draft I’ve ever completed). And to also have nearly completed Project Enigma too is a huge achievement for me. I spent so long letting my perfectionism and fear of failure stop me from finishing projects, so to have gotten past that in my writing is massive for me.


2020 goals.

bullet journal

  • Read 60 books.
  • Start editing Project Enigma.
  • Begin the first draft of The Brentbrook Girls (YA Mystery Thriller).
  • Put together my first poetry collection.
  • Submit more poems to literacy journals/magazines etc.
  • Blog consistently.
  • Review every book I read.

What are your goals for 2020?

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10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas

In the midst of all the celebrations and stresses, it can be easy to forget about the wider community. If you’re wanting to help out, it can be hard to know what you can do, so today’s post is focused on giving you some ideas. Not all of these things cost money, as I know not everyone is in a financial position where that’s possible. Some are cheap or free ideas you can give back to the community.


Donate to a cause close to your heart.

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas | Charleigh Writes

Is there a cause near to your heart? Perhaps you have personal experience of mental illness or a loved one who suffers/suffered from cancer. Donating a small (or larger amount) is an easy way to give back. Most donations can be done online and you can give as little or as much as you want.


Volunteer in a soup kitchen.

soup kitchen

Are there any churches or community centres near you that are hosting Christmas dinner? If you have time, volunteering is a way to give back that doesn’t cost any money. So many people use these resources over the festive period and I’m sure they’d be grateful to see a friendly face on what might be a very lonely day for them.


Give out care packages to the homeless.

homeless

Plenty of places organise giving out packs to the homeless. If you don’t have the time to go out yourself, you can also donate items (such as toiletries, blankets etc). For more information, you can visit this site here. 


Donate to a food bank.

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas | Charleigh Writes

One thing we try to do every year is clear out our cupboards and donate any food we don’t want to a food bank. In the past, I’ve had to use one and I will be forever grateful for the work they do. If you have the funds there are also often food bank donation points in supermarkets.


Donate presents to children.

tree presents

Often, donation stories popping up in the run-up to Christmas. I know our town did one this year where they collected together toys and gifts for children in need. They the donated them so they at least have something to open on Christmas morning. For more information, The Salvation Army is a great place to start.


Keep the smaller, cheaper gifts from Santa.

santa workshop

This is something so simple but can have a huge impact. Instead of having the more expensive gifts from Santa have him bring a smaller, cheaper gift instead. Hopefully, it could be your child that might make another less fortunate child feel less alone.


Buy charity Christmas cards.

christmas cards with polar bear and northern lights with gold tinsel

Every year when I buy a pack of Christmas cards I try to buy a pack where some of the profits go to charity. It’s a small way to give back and something you’ll probably do anyway.


Shop with small businesses.

happy pills, little jar of courage with hanging decorations 'you matter' and 'hope'

This is another easy way to give back. I always try to buy my stocking fillers from sellers on Etsy. Also, if there are any independent shops where you live it’s worth looking in them too. The items are normally good quality and you’d be supporting a small business.


Thank the emergency services.

police car

Whilst people are enjoying their Christmas Day, many people who work in emergency services will be keeping us safe and healthy this Christmas. Just a simple thank you is a free way to give back. You can also drop in cards or chocolate if you want to go that extra step.


Visit a lonely neighbour.

Elderly man's hands resting on a walking stick

So many people will be spending Christmas alone and just popping in on someone can make all the difference. If you’d like more ideas on how to help someone who’s lonely you can check out my post here.


What other ways could someone give back this Christmas?

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20 Post-Apocalyptic Prompts to Inspire You Next Novel

post apocalyptic prompts

I’m back today with more writing prompts! This time I’m giving you some post-apocalyptic prompts. If you would like to check out my other writing prompt posts I will leave the links down below –


apocalypse

1. The electric goes out and everyone’s disappeared.

2. Write a story from the perspective of a zombie.

3. You were born the year the apocalypse happens. Tell your story.

4. You need food so you break into an abandoned supermarket. That’s when you hear the music box start playing and you realise you aren’t alone.

5. You’re the leader of the baddest, most ruthless gang in the wasteland. Write about what happens when someone threatens your leadership.

apocalypse

6. A character uses the apocalypse to forge a new identity and start a new life. Why?

7. The unthinkable happens and now you’re stuck in your dad’s bunker.

8. Multiple volcanoes erupt at the same time, destroying much of the world. You only survive because you were playing up in the mountains with your friends. What happens next?

9. Your family have been ready for months. Except when the bombs finally arrive you’re trapped inside the bunker and your dad is nowhere to be found.

10. You thought you were alone in this new world until you meet up with an escaped convict.

apocalypse

11. A strange howling is heard across the world then everything erupts into chaos.

12. The oceans rise and the world is flooded. How do you survive?

13. You’ve always hated Friday the 13th. That’s why you weren’t surprised when the apocalypse happened on that very day.

14. You’ve spent the last 2 years in your bunker and now it’s time to resurface. Write about what you find.

15. The only reason you survived the apocalypse is because you agreed to go into a special bunker to be experimented on. Now, a group of you have decided to break out. Write about what happens.

apocalypse

16. You are searching for supplies when you find a 10-year-old girl huddled in a supermarket. You decide to take her with you.

17. How you would you celebrate Christmas in the wasteland?

18. You agreed to be cryogenically frozen whilst the apocalypse took place. What everyone thought would happen, turned out to be wrong. Everything is so much worse.

19. A riot breaks out in your bunker and the only way to get away from it is to leave the safety of the underground, but you don’t know what’s out there.

20. A spat of dangerous weather breaks out all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of people die. You are left to take care of your 2 small siblings. What happens?


Let me know if you use any of these prompts, I’d love to see what you come up with. 

post apocalyptic prompts

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Book Review | Lock Me In By Kate Simants.

book review | lock me in by Kate simants | Charleigh writes

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

Title – Lock Me In.

Author – Kate Simants.

Date published – 3rd October 2019.

Publisher – Killer Reads.

Series status – Standalone.

Add to Goodreads. 


Synopsis

A debut psychological thriller from a major new talent

Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…


My thought on the book

5 star book review

I am in awe of how good this book actually was. The premise of this book intrigued me and I found myself gripped from the very first chapter. Interesting, thought-provoking, and full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.

I loved that we got to have some insight into Ellie’s therapy sessions, how it allowed us to work through her issues and to think about what might have caused her problems. The author did a fantastic job of trickling information throughout the book, rather than telling us everything at the beginning. The two POV’s were interesting. I liked reading from the investigator’s POV as well as from Ellie’s. It added a whole new dimension to the story.

Overall, this is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. I couldn’t put it down, the storyline was unique and I was excited to find out what would happen next. I recommend this book to everyone, absolutely brilliant!


How you read Lock Me In? If so, what did you think?

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The 5 Books I Enjoyed Most This Year

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again where I share my favourite reads. I’ve had a great reading year for the most part. I’ve been in a slump for about a month which sucks, but I’m still on track to complete my Goodreads challenge! I have read some great books this year and some not so great. In today’s post, I’ve picked out the 5 I’ve enjoyed the most!


You/poet by Rayna Hutchinson and Samuel Blake.

the 5 books I've enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

Title – You/poet.

Author(s) – Rayna Hutchinson and Samuel Blake.

Date published – 4th September 2018.

Publisher – Adams Media.

Add to Goodreads. 

Synopsis

Offering a variety of advice for tapping into your creative voice, sharing your work online, and honing your writing skills, You/Poet shows you how to express yourself creatively through the art of poetry.

You may think that writing poetry requires a specific set of skills. You may have read books on writing poetry that were stuffy and full of strict rules and regulations. But You/Poetproves that all you need to be a poet is the desire to share your inner thoughts and emotions with the world. Let HerHeartPoetry—an online poetry community, Instagram, digital zine, and poetry press—take you on a journey of self-discovery and surprise, and show you how to embrace the world of writing poetry with arms wide open.

Writing poetry is an act of bravery. It’s just you, your thoughts and feelings, and the words you choose to express them. You/Poet can help you do just that. With encouragement and advice on poetry writing basics, how to identify your unique creative voice, and prompts and exercises to help you channel your thoughts and emotions through writing, this all-in-one guide will help you share your talent with the world.

This year I’ve really been working hard to improve my writing skills. One of the areas I wanted to focus on was my poetry. This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read on writing poetry. It offers up advice on voice and the basics of poetry. However, my favourite part was the prompt section. It’s divided into single-word prompts, word jumble prompts, image prompts, micropoetry prompts and thematic prompts. It’s well worth a read if you’re looking for inspiration or wanting to improve your poetry skills. 


Lock Me In by Kate Simants.

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

Title – Lock Me In.

Author – Kate Simants.

Date published – 3rd October 2019.

Publisher – Killer Reads.

Add to Goodreads. 

Synopsis

A debut psychological thriller from a major new talent

Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I’ve really been loving psychological thrillers recently, so I requested this on Netgalley and was pleasantly surprised. Look out for a review coming soon!


Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer.

Aphrodite made me do it

Title – Aphrodite Made Me Do It.

Author – Trista Mateer.

Date published – 1st October 2019.

Publisher – Central Avenue Publishing.

Add to Goodreads. 

SynopsisBestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite makes you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

This is one of my favourite poetry collections I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It touches on subjects such as mental illness, LGBTQ+, forgiveness, and love. It’s such a beautiful read and I highly recommend it. 


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

knife of never letting go

Title – The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking Trilogy Book 1).

Author – Patrick Ness.

Date published – 22nd July 2014.

Publisher – Candlewick Press.

Add to Goodreads. 

SynopsisTodd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Another book I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. I am in love with Patrick Ness’s writing and I am so excited to read his other books. This was such a unique and exciting read. 


Finale by Stephanie Garber.

finale

Title – Finale (Caraval Trilogy Book 3).

Author – Stephanie Garber.

Date published – 7th May 2019.

Publisher – Flatiron Books.

Add to Goodreads. 

SynopsisA love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Although I am beyond sad this series has come to an end, I absolutely loved the final book and thought it was a fitting ending. Caraval has become one of my all-time favourite series and I’m so excited to see what the author writes next. 


What were your favourite books this year? 

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

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Harry Potter Scenes I Wish Were In The Movies Part 2

Last Blogmas I talked about the scenes I wished they’d put in the Harry Potter movies (you can read this post here) and today I’m bringing (finally!) part 2. As I was re-reading the books and compiling this list, I realised how much people are missing out on if they haven’t read the books. I’ve read the books many times and even now, I still forget about the tiny details that really make the Wizarding World come alive. Honestly, if you love the Harry Potter movies and you haven’t yet read the books, then what are you waiting for?!

Also, this is definitely not a complete list of things I wish we’re in the movies. However, I’ve condensed this list down otherwise I’d be here until next year! Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you wish we’re in the movies.

*This post will contain major spoilers for the final 3 Harry Potter books*


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Petunia and her howler.

I thought this was such an important moment at the beginning of The Order of the Phoenix. Although we don’t find out the whole reason behind it until later, it explained why Petunia couldn’t just toss Harry out onto the streets as Vernon was ready to do.

Grimmaud Place and Mrs Black’s portrait.

One striking thing about the fifth movie was the absence of Mrs Black’s portrait. Strangely, I missed the screaming that would commence whenever the doorbell went or anyone made too much noise. Instead, we only got a little bit of muttering here and there. It just felt so wrong.

Ron and Hermione becoming prefects.

It’s so sad we don’t get to see this moment in the films. Especially because Ron always felt like he was second best to Harry. However, becoming a prefect gave him something he had achieved all by himself and in the books, it gave him a boost to his self-esteem.

Dobby and the come and go room.

I’m always disappointed we don’t get to see much Dobby in the films. In the books, Dobby discovered the Room of Requirement (or as he liked to call it ‘the come and go room’). In the movies, it’s Neville that discovered the room for Dumbledore’s Army. I loved Dobby and he deserved much more screen time.

St Mungo’s Hospital.

This one might be the one that irritates me the most. I loved seeing where people go when they’re sick. I especially loved Gilderoy Lockhart popping up again after he lost his memory in The Chamber of Secrets. However, the most important detail about St Mungo’s is when we get to meet Neville’s parents. They aren’t mentioned much in the movies, and especially because they were important members of the Order of the Phoenix I feel they should have been introduced properly.

Umbridge sending the dementors after Harry.

This was so frustrating! Nowhere in the movies did it say Umbridge was the one who sent them after him (in fact, I’d forgotten it was even her!). It was just left up to interpretation in which I imagine people would assume it was Voldermort who ordered them to attack Harry.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Harry Potter scenes I wish were in the movies part 2 | Charleigh writes

The other Minister.

In the films, we never got to see the muggle prime minister meeting with Fudge and the new Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour. I thought this would have been great in the movies and would have shown the way the magical community interacted with muggles and how they kept them safe.

Tonks.

In the movies, Luna finds Harry after Malfoy used the Petrificus Totalus spell on him on the train. However, in the books, it’s actually Tonks who found Harry and helped him get to Hogwarts. In fact, we hardly ever saw Tonks (or Lupin) in this movie which is such a shame because they’re such great characters.

Tom Riddle’s family.

We learn next to nothing about Tom Riddle’s family in the movies. In the books, one of my favourite parts was finding out where Tom Riddle came from and how and why he ended up as Lord Voldermort.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter 7

The Elder wand.

At the end of the final film, Harry snapped the elder wand and threw it away like it meant nothing. Except in the book he used the Elder wand to mend his own wand and left the Elder wand in Dumbledore’s tomb. For me, this was some form of closure and also respect for Dumbledore. Missing it out in the movies was a huge mistake.

Peter Pettigrew’s death.

I believe Peter Pettigrew’s part in the movies was way less developed than in the books. In the books, his own silver hand (the one Voldermort gave him in the 4th book) strangled him because of his hesitation in killing Harry. In fact, the last we see of Pettigrew is Dobby knocking him out at the end of part one, so it wasn’t even confirmed that he had died.

Luna’s painting.

This was my favourite scene in the entire last book. On her ceiling, Luna had painted Harry, Ron, Neville, Hermione and Ginny with the word ‘friends’ linking chains between them. It was so beautiful and I would have loved to have seen this in the movie.


What moments/scenes do you wish they’d included in the movies?

Harry Potter scenes

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Harry Potter Christmas Tag (Part 2!)

Harry Potter Christmas tag | Charleigh writes

Last year I created a Harry Potter Christmas tag and I had so much fun doing it (you can check that out here). This year I decided to create another one, except instead of not being able to choose Harry Potter books, this one is based completely around it!

I hope you have as much fun doing this as I had creating it!


Rules.

  • Link back to me so I can read your answers!
  • Tag as many as people as you wish.

niftier

Where in Hogwarts would you spend the most time?

Definitely the library. I’d be so at home with all the books.

The family you’d love to spend Christmas with.

The Weasley’s 100%. They are my favourite ever fictional family and I would love to be a part of their festivities.

Characters you’d have a snowball fight with.

Fred and George. I can imagine them bombarding me with snowballs as I walk into Hogsmeade.


Harry Potter goodies

A magical gift you’d love to find under the Christmas tree.

Invisibility cloak. I would love to stalk around Hogwarts and explore after hours (especially the restricted section!). Even better, I wouldn’t get caught!

A fantastic beast that would make the perfect reindeer.

Buckbeak the Hippogriff. I can imagine him flying around with Santa delivering presents to everyone in the castle.

Fictional character you’d think would make a perfect Santa.

I don’t think it could be anyone other than Hagrid. He’s just a big, cuddly giant who’d love nothing more than making everyone happy on Christmas morning.


Harry Potter Christmas

The character most likely to eat Santa’s treats left for him on Christmas Eve.

Ron Weasley. If eating all the chocolates laced with love potion is anything to go by, I’m sure he would have no trouble gobbling Santa’s treats.

What would your favourite character find in their stocking on Christmas Day?

My favourite character is Hermione, and I definitely think she would find new quills and books in her stocking.

The character most likely to drink too much.

Winky. I was going to say Professor Slughorn, but then I remembered about poor old Winky getting drunk in the kitchens so she seemed more likely.


Harry Potter lego

The character most likely to embarrass themselves at the Christmas party?

Neville. The poor old guy always seems to get himself into trouble in some way.

3 characters you’d bring back from the dead to share Christmas dinner with.

Dobby, Sirius and Dumbledore.

Character who’d go all out on their Christmas outfit.

Luna Lovegood. Remember what she was wearing when she attended Slughorn’s party with Harry?


I tag.


Harry Potter pinterest graphic

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