Celebrating Literature

Good Evening!

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So for the past few weeks, I have been caught up in a competition I was running to win a copy of my favourite book. My thinking behind this was to share something about myself, share my love for books and literature and give someone a small piece of enjoyment from a free book, it did come with the added bonus of opening up my audience somewhat, which is always nice, but my main motivation is my plan to spend this year celebrating literature.

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Most of you who know me well, will know I always have 101 things on my to do list, and I flit between hobby to craft and back again, but within this I want to celebrate my one constant – my love for books. So kicked off my competition and today I chose a winner, I cannot wait to hear from them and share my book with them.

How else will i be celebrating? Well as a family of book lovers, encouraging the children to read and find books they love is always top of my agenda, I will be doing blog spotlights on authors and books I love, I hope to get more involvement from my online book club and I have a few other special ideas I will share with you as the year goes by.

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. —Frank Serafini

First off, I will be re-reading my favourite Pride and Prejudice and I have asked my bookclub to join in, please feel free to join me as well and when I publish my book review I hope you will enjoy and comment with your opinions.

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Keep an eye out for some of my favourite adaptions of Jane Austen classics later in the week.

Following from this, the kids and I will be celebrating storytelling week by making up some stories, and I hope to share some of their best with you. National Story telling week runs from 26th January to the 2nd of February, which sits nicely as my birthday is the 1st of February and I love nothing more than a good bit of storytelling.

The rest of the year is pretty exciting too, as we have Harry Potter book night, new books try and review, lots of exploring to do (I have a book with walks from literature to try), and lots of more exciting authors and books to hear about over the coming months.

Books are a uniquely portable magic. —Stephen King

I don’t think I can think of anything better than snuggling down with a good book and a cup of tea, and immersing myself in a completely different world, meeting new friends and falling in love all over again, and again and again. My absolute second favourite thing is snuggling down and reading to my children. We have to take time to do this, we don’t always have time and life can sometimes get crazy busy, as I imagine it does for all of you. But we do stop and make time to read, as its something we all enjoy, I love to read to them and they love to listen. It is one of my favourites part of being a mother, telling them stories I’ve loved since being little, discovering new books with them, sharing my passion and hearing their exciting opinions on everything. I think I would find it hard if I had children who didn’t like to read, but thankfully I have two children who love a good book. Monkey is even a fan of writing, so hopefully he will be sharing his stories with me too!

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Richard Steele

If only reading could help me shed a few of those christmas pounds!

 

House of nearly finished, undecorated rooms of love.

We have been in our house 3 years now, and it is still a half finished draft of what I want it to be. Partly due to time/money/inclination and partly because of my personality traits leaning towards fickle, I intend to move soon so I don’t necessarily want a perfect house and then we have to move. But on the same note, I really would like to have more than one finished room. ☺️

We have a lot of rooms, half finished / unfinished, photo frames with ‘stock’ families in, Bathroom accessories in a bag as I don’t want to add them to an unfinished room, paint cans everywhere and every room is sort of chaotic. And my question for the days is this: Is this normal for a “grown up” or am I failing? Am I even a real grown up? 😂

The house is not still in boxes, so I sort of feel like I’ve achieved something there, and other than when the kids take over it, my living room is wonderfully decorated. I wanted one room, we could retire to in the evenings, and it be completed and mostly tidy. And I think that is my issue, my life is chaotic and probably always will be and I generally love it that way, so as long as I have one room that is normal and semi-peaceful, this is all I ask. But I still feel maybe I haven’t accomplished much in our house, and I’m not sure that is “normal”.

So today, we started on a long journey to sort the house, sort of. We started organising the kids playroom, it’s still got a way to go but at least we can get the hoover in there now, a few trips to the recycling centre and that room might just be good to play in again.

Next, I have my sights set on the kitchen. We have too many pots, pans and kitchen doodads, that we just don’t use and take up space we really need. It could do with redecorating too, but I don’t trust myself to do any of that, so all of the decorating is put on hold until Mr BC returns.

I’d like to say screw it, I’ll give it a go. But I just don’t think I have the ability and a half unfinished room or probably still miles better than a decorated by me room. 😂

I will admit I envy people who have beautifully decorated and tidy homes, I follow lots of interior design tags on Instagram, and I love to see a beautiful home, but I don’t see myself posting any of those photos anytime soon. I love a beautifully decorated home and I can see the merits of a wonderfully tidy house but I think my house has a certain level of charm also. I appreciate I have an amazing family, I have a wonderful mum who helps me keep my house alive and clean, without her my house could resemble something from my nightmares. I am blessed to have two beautiful children and my house may be full of toys, and half finished rooms but it’s also full of love.

Sharing is caring

Happy New Year Everybody! If you follow me on social media, I hope you have enjoyed my celebration of literature so far, along with my usual random sharing of family life!

I started this blog because I wanted to take some time for myself, and I’ve always loved to write and it felt nice having an outlet for some of my creativity. At first, I wasn’t really fussed if people even noticed or read my blog, I simply enjoyed the time I took reflecting on the cool things I have done with my family and sharing my love for books through my reviews. As I have continued, I have realised it is so amazing when I get likes or comments, and I do appreciate followers and feeling like someone is reading and might even be interested in what I have to say.

However, I am still a mum first and towards the end of last year, I took a small break just to spend the Christmas period with my family creating some wonderful memories, but I did my miss writing, I missed sharing moments with you all and especially I missed sharing my book reviews. My biggest passion is reading and sharing this passion with the world and hopefully, maybe inspiring others is so important to me.

So today is all about sharing – I love to share my family, adventures and random ramblings with you all. I hope you enjoy those posts, but today is all about my love of literature, books and my favourite authors. Nothing is more relaxing than snuggling down on a Sunday afternoon with a good book.

How much I love a good cup of tea? You cannot have a good book without a good cup of Tea?

As always, my first objective for the year is to set my Goodreads Reading Challenge target, last year I didn’t do so well, so I have really got to put some effort in this year. I have set 50 books this year, which isn’t quite 1 book a week.

Whilst I was thinking about all the books I couldn’t wait to read from my TBR (To be read) pile,or considering which of my already read favourite books I might read again, it hit me that as much as I love discovering books and losing myself in a good book, I enjoy sharing my experience with others just as much as the act of reading itself.

There are so many good books and authors out there, ready and waiting for you all to discover them, so within this I have decided that as much as I possibly can, not only will I be reading and sharing my reviews as normal, but I think we should be celebrating literature and reading. I am lucky that I have children who have taken an interest in my passion for reading and also enjoy a good book, I love getting to read to them and with them. I love to inspire them, encourage them and watch them fall in love with characters and words as I have done.

‘Books are a uniquely portable magic’ ~ Stephen King

Over the coming months, I want to share some of my favourite authors, books and poems with you, have spotlights on classics, literary hero’s and villains, open up discussions about why we love books and why it is so important to pass this love and share these incredible works with others. I love to inspire others to read, or re-ignite a long forgotten spark for a love of reading. To even inspire one person so read a book would be fulfilling and amazing to hear.

An amazing outlet for this, is a book club. I have an online book club, which is really relaxed and very small. But it is a wonderful place to share books, opinions, get ideas for your next book to read, or simply be and know you are in the company of other book lovers. Knowing you share something with others and having that connection is important, especially if like me, you sometimes feel like being a grown up, a mother or new person to an area can leave you feeling like maybe you’ve lost a little of yourself, or lonely or scared. The internet for all its usual little annoyances, has made the world a slightly smaller place, and sometimes seeing that there are other people who share your interests, who feel the same way, can make a huge difference to a persons life.

If books aren’t your thing, don’t worry, you can find groups and clubs for all sorts of everything, and you don’t need to leave your house if you don’t want too. But if you are passionate about something, if you like to share this with people, do it! It’s a wonderful thing, sharing with others.

To kickstart my January of sharing, my love for books and encouraging my community of followers. I am going to hold a book competition/prize draw between my blog and my social media followers. It is going to be to win a copy of one of my all time favourite books, if you have clocked the date and know the literary significance, well done and you will know my favourite book, if not enjoy trying to guess over the next few weeks. Between now and the 28th of January, Aswell as this blog post, I will be sharing a post regarding my prize draw on all my social media accounts and all you have to do is either:

A) signup to follow my blog via WordPress/email etc.

B) like and comment with your favourite book on the Instagram, Twitter or Facebook post.

(If you do it all, you will be put into the prize draw for each outlet, wordpress, Instagram for a maximum of four entries)

On the 28th of January, I will use a random generator to pick a winner, and will be in contact to arrange postage to you. I have never before done a competition, so please be patient with me as I get to grips with it, but As I have many of my own copies of my favourite book, I want to share it with my followers. I am hoping it will encourage the growth of my little community. I want you to feel able to share your favourite things, your passions with me too. Please find their terms and conditions here: https://butterfly-child.blog/terms-and-conditions-for-january-prize-draw/

‘ Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!’ ~ Anne Frank

Last year was exciting, tiring, scary and hard at times – to put yourself out there for the world to see – can be quite a challenge and quite daunting. This year I plan to enjoy it more, mostly because I plan to enjoy life more. Yes I have bad days, I have an illness which is an extra challenge and balance work/ life can be a task but overall, I have an amazing life, a brilliant family, some wonderful friends and I am a very lucky lady. I would say I am already a fairly happy go lucky person, I try to keep smiling and focus on the beauty and wonder of the world. I think that’s why I like my butterfly child/peter pan moniker, I like to hope I will always see the world and experience it, with a sort of childlike view, and never grow up properly and forget to see and appreciate the wonderment of the world.

This year, I want to do more and share more – my highs and my lows, my passions, my hobbies, everything. So my final word for today is this:

Not a promise, as an almost full time working mother, I couldn’t promise to write blog posts every day or even to write more, as I wouldn’t want to let anyone down if I couldn’t fulfil this – and even before being a mum, you all know how hard and fast life can be – I wouldn’t want to promise something here and now, and focus all my energies on that and forget/or lose time to do the other things I enjoy. Having a good balance between doing these wonderful amazing things and sharing them is so important to me.

BUT, I do want to recommit to this blog, I want to share my weird and wonderful family with you, take you all on our adventures, I want to have somewhere I can share my random outbursts of opinions, show with you my arts and crafts and mostly share with you my biggest love in life: reading. I want to commit to learning and growing and building a small community with you all. My blog isn’t a dedicated to one thing kind of blog, I don’t have a plan, and I doubt I ever will. I’m not like that as a person and I want my blog to reflect this, I hope you will continue to enjoy my blog and carry on this journey with me. I cannot guarantee a smooth ride, as I am and will probably always be learning, but I hope that you will see my personality shining through and enjoy it regardless. I cannot wait to share this year with you, and I hope I get to know you all a little better too.

Onwards and upwards and all that Jazz!

I am not usually one for all of that New Year, New Start business, not because I don’t believe it’s good thing but because if I start something as a fad or because it’s the thing to do, I don’t generally have the willpower to follow it through! 😂

But when it comes to writing for my blog, it is a New Year, and is the perfect time to do a bit of writing. I took a break towards the end of the year, to try to get my life sorted, rest, have fun with my family and friends and just relax and bathe in the festivities of Christmas.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, I have been sharing some photos of our festive season, which I hope you have enjoyed but I haven’t found the time to do much writing, but in the New Year haze, it finally dawned on, I don’t think I’ll ever get my life ‘in order’ or sorted, as I quite like the semi-organised, chaotic version of my life. I love crazy, sporadic adventures, we will never be a really organised, on time family. It’s not how we are wired and I am ok with this. Yes, sometimes our life is crazy, and it’s tiring and frustrating but mostly it’s fun!

I love sharing on this blog. I like that I can share all of our exploits, I enjoy sharing my concerns and worries, and knowing that someone else out there is probably feeling the same and hopefully won’t feel alone anymore, I love that I get to share my loves and passions. Having a social outlet is amazing, and I hope to keep growing my blog in the coming year.

Mostly I look forward to connecting with you, my followers more over the next year. As much as I like to write, I love to communicate, I love nothing more than connecting with people, hearing stories and travelling the world without leaving my room. (I mean l love to actually travel too! 😂 but you get me). So please comment, message me, follow me on my other accounts, but please get in touch!

Just in case you missed it, here is a quick photo catch up of my ChristmaS.

*Book Review* Dark Matter: a ghost story

Dark Matter: a ghost story

By Michelle Paver

Dark Matter was suggested by a dear friend and member of my online book club, as a suggested spooky read for October. At first, I got it as an audible book, but for some reason I couldn’t get into it, some books I just have to read for myself, I could not get into the audible book. But I didn’t give in, I went out to buy the book, and I am so glad I did.

I am a fairly fast reader usually, as long as I have the time, I can read a book within hours. This book took a lot longer and it wasn’t because I didn’t have time. My usual time for reading is late in the evening when my kids have gone to bed, but once I got into this story I couldn’t keep this up, as I found it quite haunting to read. So I had to try to find time during the day to read. I finally managed it on New Years Day, a perfect day to finish a good book and start the new year.

Dark Matter is a chilling tale set in the cold, harsh, haunting wilderness of the Artic. A wonderful suspenseful, psychological tale which will leave you questioning everything.

Jack, our main character, has a chance to join an expedition to the Artic, and as his life has not taken the road he expected, he jumps at the chance to escape the monotony of his existence. It is his experience and diary that keeps the story moving. The trip suffers some bad luck from the beginning, and even without the ominous letter at the start, you can already sense, this isn’t going to be the end of bad luck and misfortune. The story evolves from a “boys adventure” to something much more sinister and spooky.

Pavers description of Spitsbergen, Gruhuken (although completely made up) and the Artic winter are so impressive, I could imagine everything as I read it, the bear post specifically was so clear in my mind that when the story starts to really take its turn for the hauntingly scary, I was right there with Jack.

Gruhuken, the completely made up but equally realistic setting for the tale, holds a horrific or “dismal past” as Jack puts it, that no one wants to talk about and one that should probably stay quiet, but the benevolent spirit that haunts the Island has other ideas. But the most terrifying notion in this whole ordeal is the emotional not knowing. Are the visions, the sounds, the awful things Jack experiences all real, or are they his mind playing tricks on him as he endures the loneliness, the quiet and stillness of the Artic?

Either way the story is a true masterpiece of ghost story fiction. It is more than a haunted house ghost story, the setting, the ordeal and the realistic feeling of the despair and loneliness, through to the menacing feeling of evil, all sets this apart as a truly remarkable read.

As a final thought, if a ghost story is not necessarily your cup of tea, it is worth checking this story out for the beautiful character that is Isaac the Husky. A true, loyal companion to our -at first reluctant dog person – Jack. Isaac is a flicker of happiness in the moments of fear, isolation and darkness. This tale would not be the same, the beautiful Husky brings some warmth to an otherwise chilling tale.

It’s not often I am lost for words, but in this case, I don’t want to over review and spoil it for others, I won’t go on about what happens at Gruhuken and I won’t put any spoilers in as I think, as a reader, if you think you may enjoy it, give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. It does have a slow start but bear with it. It’s worth it.

Overall, I am glad my friend suggested it, as I had never heard of it and I might not ever have picked it up in a book shop, and this would have been a shame as I really enjoyed it. Yes it took a while to finish it, but for me that just added to my experience. A book is really something, if it powerful enough to make me not want to read it during the cold nights of winter, as I may not sleep after I have put it down.

I would definitely recommend this book and give it:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars.