12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

The new weekly photo challenge from The Daily Post is ‘Inside‘.  So here’s a nosy of what’s inside my bag:


And here’s a look inside of the blue notebook in said bag:


Stories are inside, is essentially what I’m saying.  I’m deep like that.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is perspective. The idea is to show a close up of something and then pan out to reveal not all is as it seems. This is my one.

Because what dalek wouldn’t want to ride a bottle of Irn Bru.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Windows, says Cheri in this week’s photo challenge post, are portals into the world’s stories.  Equally I say to her that stories are our window onto the world.  And according to something I saw on Pinterest, someone called Horace Mann once said ‘a house without books is like a room without windows.’  BOOM, bookish version of the challenge, followed by one that involves literal windows.

Left to right, a window on science, a window on different countries and cultures, a window into your home, a window onto a magical world, window into the life of a child and how he perceives the world, window on grief, window on how magic works.
Reflection of windows in Venice.

Weekly Photo Challenge – One Shot, Two Ways

Before taking a picture, Jeff studies his scene – looking at a shot horizontally and vertically to decide what orientation works best for his photograph.’  ME TOO, JEFF.  Not only have I read some of this pile of books, I’ve also assessed them horizontally and vertically, from several angles, as they sat on my living room floor for this challenge.  So profesh.

Having said that, it turns out I slightly missed the point (i.e. to do the same shot both vertically and horizontally), but whatever, that’s the sort of maverick I am.  You should probably get used to it for when all my 12 books are available to download.

In the meantime, do you recognise any of these already published books?  Leave a comment saying which ones, and you will win a special prize!  The prize of my respect.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Foreshadow

The prompt for this week is foreshadow.  So far there are lots of incredible entries showing gathering clouds before the storm, this thoughtful one about growing up… and now, my take.  I’ve actually got two, because why the heck not.  First, the opening to the excellent children’s book Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.  This foreshadows some of what is about to happen to lead character Sophie.


And second, my newest notebook (bought on Friday when I went into Paperchase for a birthday card…).  This foreshadows a trip I’m taking to Canada and the US in October, for which  I figured I’d need a beautiful notebook to write my adventures down in.  Perhaps said adventures will be the foundation for another children’s book in the vein of Howl – so that makes this picture a double foreshadow!  Or something.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Masterpiece

The latest photo prompt from the Daily Post is Masterpiece – so naturally the entries thus far include things like architecture, awesome geological features, and smiling children.  Mine is more reflective of my reading habits, which I think is legitimate because the prompt in full reads:

‘No matter where you are (and where you’ve been), I’m certain you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary: a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you; or even a location or scene that’s special, unusual, or even magical in some way.’



I bloody love a good dystopia, and there are plenty to choose from – but The Handmaid’s Tale is probably my favourite – and may actually have started the whole thing, now I think about it.  I first read it as a teenager and it just tapped into something in my brain, or ‘spoke to me’ if you prefer.  It felt frighteningly plausible, which a lot of these books do – a good dystopia essentially speculates on possible fallout from the introduction of new technology, so is generally grounded in recognisable science and social situations.

The Handmaid’s Tale may have the edge for me because it was my first dystopia, or because of Margaret Atwood‘s prose, or perhaps because of being from the perspective of a female protagonist; comparatively rare given the others I considered photographing were Oryx and Crake (also by Atwood, also awesome, but with a male narrator), Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and 1984 by George Orwell.

I strongly suggest you read them all, and an honourable mention must also go to  The Passage by Justin Cronin, which I read in February this year.  It was never really in the running for this photo because I read it on kindle, which is not as aesthetically interesting as a paper book – but if you like dystopia it’s a damn good read.

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