A book is born: Instar on Pinterest


The most common question an author is asked is; ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ One of my favourite films is ‘Finding Neverland’ and the reason I love it so much, is because it shows me how the story of Peter Pan came to life. Ok, I also admit freely that I blub like a baby at the ending every time. But, the truth is I also love it because I’m curious, and I need to know how ideas start.

Follow Jacqueline Jay’s board A book is born – Instar on Pinterest.

A Pinterest board works in the same way, so today I grant you snooping rights with a behind the scene’s tour of the same visual journey I took to write Instar. You get to walk in my pinning shoes, and discover more about my characters, the story and locations used. Now you can see how, and where my ideas came from.

Come and join me in the never seen before world of “Instar”, a story about a seventeen-year-old girl called Maia James, who is plagued by cold shivers so intense they make her bones judder, and every time it happens her memories seem to disappear, like someone or something is stealing them? She wishes she had the power to steal memories but she never expected to get it.

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Happiness Bombing with 99 Random Messages


What can you do when on holiday in North Devon, it’s cold and your husband is spending time kissing the sand on the beach and not you (aka Power Kiting). I had a little idea which I named ‘happiness bombing’. Based on glamour bombing which involves leaving mystical messages to make people believe in fairies I adapted it slightly by creating inspirational messages in the hope it might make someone smile. Within a day or so of collecting and writing messages on pebbles, creating handcrafted letters and making tags to go onto bubble wands I realised I had 99 random messages to mysteriously plant along the North Devon coastline for walkers and families to find.

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The first day arrived and I crammed my bag full of messages, heaved it onto my shoulder and felt like a strange variant of the Easter Bunny.  My stomach was sick with nerves and knew I had to find courage to leave these random acts of kindness style messages somewhere for strangers to find.  Taking note of my own pebble message ‘it only takes 20 seconds of intense courage’ I ignored the incessant calls from Mrs Negative telling me ‘You can’t do it’ and I womanned up and set off after taking a deep breath.

Courage image

Once on the pebble beach I found myself loitering suspiciously waiting for people to pass so I wouldn’t be spotted. As I stumbled over the rocks towards the main beach I realised I was just procrastinating to I casually stopped, dropped and rolled away a bit like a ninja but wtih far less finesse leaving a message pebble behind. I felt rather stupid doing this but willed myself to keep going in the name of making at least one person happy for a few seconds.

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I didn’t stop to see messages being discovered as that was not my intention. Later that day I took myself off for a walk and fate must have decided to play a hand as I couldn’t help but notice a group of girls excitedly scouring the beach.  In one girls hand was a cream envelope and another had a pebble, together they ran excitedly to their Mum to show her their treasures. Gathering around a bench the girls tentatively opened the letter their heads bowed as they read the handwritten message. An hour later I could still see them on a ridge further down looking for more and it made me smile that at least I had given them the gift of looking for magic. The magic of possibility is often underrated as we get older.

Dreams

The next day I was sat out on my balcony with a coffee watching the waves still feeling rather silly after dropping off another round of messages when destiny stepped in again. I could hear a man and a woman talking below on the pavement.

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“Where was it?” She asked.

“Over there” he said pointing to the steps leading down to the beach.

Curiosity made me peer over the balcony a little but not enough to be seen and they  both seemed to be searching the area.

“I think you have someone watching over you,” She remarked as she walked further down the path.

I couldn’t hear what the man said in reply as they had moved away but watched as they both stood silently deep in thought further down the promenade.

The next day I spotted one of my cards had been taken from its little plastic wallet (UK weather proofed!) and thrown it into a rockpool. I felt sad about this but I guess you can’t make everyone happy. Later I noticed it was gone, someone must have fished it out of the rockpool and taken it home or there are paper eating crabs in Devon? I realised that perhaps the message wasn’t for the first person who found it because it was meant for someone willing to get their feet wet in order to retrieve it who obviously needed it more.

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Towards the end of my happiness bombing project destiny stuck out her sparkly sequinned foot and I tripped over it landing with a splat. As I opened my eyes right in front of me was a washed up pebble which I had planted further down the beach a few days ago and I laughed at the irony of being happiness bombed myself what were the chances of that?RandomMessages

One thing for sure magic was definitely at work in wintery North Devon this week I just gave it a little helping hand. Why not send out your own #randommessages and see for yourself what magic can happen.

RandomMessages3This is part of my own personal project at overcoming my personal villians which I call Mr Perfectionism, Mrs Negativity and Miss Procrastination whom have got so strong they’ve kept me from blogging and life itself. Together they work as a team to make me feel I am not good enough to blog but after many months I’ve decided I’ve had enough of listening to their whining so I’ve set myself a challenge to overcome them and each month I tackle something different that is missing from my life. Last month I worked on having more childhood fun with a 007 cupcake challenge for my family. This months challenge was to try to make others happy.

These villians worked hard together to stop me from completing this task before I even got to Devon but helping me beat them is my new superhero Destiny (the one with the sparkly shoes). Before you all cart me off to the psychiatrist I simply found that giving these traits names and charachters helps me to identify when they are at work! If you find these villians stopping you from truly living or having fun let me know and perhaps I’ll share my battle against them so far warts and all…
Lifes villians

Apologies there are no cake goodies for you today but I do have my mind set on something experiemental 🙂 You can however get a quick sugar rush and ideas about what to do with your left over Easter chocolate here with naughty hot chocolate fudge sauce and boy is it good!

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p.s if you see this post it means I just beat Miss Procrastination (again)

The problem with shopping in Hollister as a 30 something


Warning – non cake related post! This is part of my new random funny musings on life section so ignore if you wish dear readers or read on and find out random snippets from my 30 something life.

So my husband declared himself a ‘me’ day and went off windsurfing and I decided on a child free day that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander so I ventured out for a day with me, myself and I. The train was packed to Bath but the drunks on the train made the experience mildly entertaining by yelling out ‘nobody fart’ in the crowded nose in each armpit carriage and the child in me stifled a laugh because that just would’t be grown up would it.

From the train I ventured to Hollister which is my favourite shop despite not being 12 I have confession to make I love it there. I’m not sure if it is because it is dark and nobody can see my wrinkles, the cool surf carefree music taking me back to my youth or the rather alluring man on the bag at the end that even though inside I know he is probably gay but he always does it for me and I clutch my bag with pride as I leave. The last time to Hollister they had the bag with just the male body and no head which was such a treat for me. As my Husband carried the shopping back to the car I said ‘Could you hold the bag a bit higher? No just a tad more – yes that’s it!’ I exclaimed as he held it about neck height and suddenly he had a body to die for- that’s OK right or is that a 50 shades of grey area (more on that topic another day!).

Hollister Bags

On entering a Hollister store in my head my sparkly bits in my hair are transformed to blonde sun kissed highlights and lets face it nobody would know as it is so damn dark in there. I feel at home in there, hell you could be in there all day with the magazines, cool leather charis, tunes, perfumes to spritz in the air and walk through. In this store I am able to mingle with the cool, beautiful people who say Hello to ME! In my defence this has never happened to me as at school I was the ugly child who would often be found screaming inside a wooden desk with the beautiful people sat on top of it laughing.

Hollister staff are so darn happy in there that I found myself contemplating how many times I could go in and out of the shop just to be greeted and wished a great day too? Would I get escorted out and outcast like my School days? Nope I actually managed it 3 times as my luck was in and the bag by the face technique was obviously working. Oh OK there was a different person on the door each time but still I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman instead of a the sad 30 something I am. All I needed to complete that picture would be a Hollister God with his low slung shorts, flip flop’s a flipping as he tends to my every clothing need whilst clicking his fingers to call Adonis, Sutra and Romeo (sigh). They should offer a groupon for that I would totally buy it and gift some too.

The problem with shopping in Hollister when you’re a 30 something is:

1. You have to pretend to be looking for a teenager not yourself.
2. You need a head torch to see anything or at least an iPhone torch app to light up the prices. Personally I pack both and ignore the strange looks.
3. If you forget your head torch you will need to do the charchtersitic ‘I am over 30 signal’ which is holding the garment up to the nearest downlighter whilst tutting loudly at the price for such a small piece of material – young people NEVER do this!
3. Always head for the messy shelves and make like a possessed woman at a jumble sale.
4. If you are over a size 12 forget it – Hollister only make clothes for tiny people and 12 year olds.
5. If you have managed to make it to a 30 something with no cellutlite or stretch marks I salute you. That won’t be many of us I am sure. A word of warning here the short short shortest of shorts (that’s the only offerings in Hollister) you are daring to try on may look good in the specially dimmed lighting but in reality they are not quite so forgiving so give us all a break.
6. The changing room doors are really high up so bear this in mind when you are trying to coerce and wiggle yourself into contorsionist angles to get into a pair of skinny jeans (the largest size available and you are only a 10 normally) the thin young, pretty pre-pubescent people will be able to see your dance and snigger.
7. You will need a pair of shades to protect your eyes from the vampire like shock of daylight as you head outside as your realise your night owl days are long gone and you just can’t cope with the two extremes and end up walking into people whilst your eyes are adjusting.

Excited with my new purchases I also brought something for everyone else in the family basically so I don’t feel guilty because I love them . I had a great day and proudly showed my new bikini to my Husband but when my Son walked in and then held a five minute conversation with my breasts and I realised with some sadness it was time to have ‘that talk’ with him. Of course on heading off to get some clothes on I heard my Husband say to him ‘Don’t listen to your Mother you can have a conversation with girls boobs just not your mum’s cause thats not cool’ tsk tsk Mr Cakeboule you’re supposed to back me up but as I made you carry the bag so high the other day I’ll let you off just once. To end the day I celebrated with a pink lemonade cocktail (click on link for recipe) and watched the icy heart melt (sigh) yes a perfect end to a perfect day whilst they watched football I sat in my far too tiny Hollister shorts that I have to say I will not be seen dead in outside of the house but I am not capable of taking my own advice. Just to freak them out I correctly predicted each goal or fail in the penalty shoot out and then got blamed for jinxing it so I guess I only have my Hollister bag for company tonight 🙂

Pink Lemonade Heart

Pink Lemonade Cocktail Cakeboule

Love to all x Why no recipe I hear you wonder – hell I have to fit Hollister clothes – enough said!