Friday, May 29, 2015

Top 10 things women find attractive in men

Top 10 things women find attractive in men

  1. Beards – woman love manly bearded men, so masculine, proper man of the wild, able to protect and support a family, all that displayed in a face. Lovely. Also added benefit of tickles.
  2. Smooth shaven men – women love a man with a shaved, smooth face. Demonstrating a commitment to regular grooming, clean and smart. A man that can think and make decisions, while in touch with his emotions. Added benefits, no stubble rash when kissing.
  3. Muscular men – a man that has power, rippling muscles beneath the skin, at ease with himself because he can feel his own strength. A man to hold you in manly arms…Added benefit of winning cuddly toys at the test your strength machines at the fair.
  4. Thin men – ah the joy of the geek, he is pale and looks like maybe he doesn’t get out much but he has a glint in his eye, a bright intelligence, a quick wit, honed form years reading or studying, or just being alone thinking. Added benefit of being able to talk about things, may cry at sad films..actually lots of men do that – don’t say I told you
  5. Chubby men – something to snuggle into. A warm and cuddly bulk of a man, someone not afraid to order a starter and a dessert so you can do the same! No one likes to feel bad about what they eat. Give this man some cake. Added benefit of cake.
  6. Tall men – someone to make you feel all feminine and girly, a man to tower over you, to reach high shelves, to lift you onto his shoulders at festivals. A useful man, see him tall in a crowd, looking over the heads of everyone, reporting back to tell you what’s going on. Added benefit of saving on step ladders.
  7. Short men – no one likes neck ache, how fine to have a man your own height, or maybe even slightly shorter, rock those heels and make him feel like a millionaire with a hot babe on his arm. Mother him, or pretend he’s an Italian gangster (unless he is an Italian gangster, then just revel in being his ‘moll’) Added benefit of eye contact and romantic gazes.
  8. Hairy men – manly to a fault, gorilla like chest hair, prefect to snuzzle on a cold evening, or to run your fingers through on a sunny day at the beach. Added benefit of warmth.
  9. Smooth bodied men – naturally smooth or shaven, showing off the shape on the body beneath, no hair to get stuck in your teeth. A nice smooth skin under a white shirt, perfect to tan or to keep pale. Added benefit of lickability.
  10. Being a man – women that find men attractive often find men attractive, due to them being men. Sometimes you can’t say what it is that made you look twice, or made you realise he was the one, sometimes you can’t say if it was his eye colour, his funny taste in shirts or his loud laugh. Maybe it was the way he held a tea cup or the way he flexed a bicep. Sometimes a man is just attractive and women don’t know why.
I think by now you ‘ve got the point…men (and people in general) are all different and amazingly we all like different things too, one person loves a joker, always laughing, pulling pranks; another likes a serious type, someone to be thoughtful in difficult circumstances. Where one person loves a redhead, another prefers the distinguished look of grey hair.

Shush Mr Tumble, that's a whole other post!
When I see lists on the internet of ‘Top 10 things men hate in a woman’ or ‘Top 10 things men love in a woman’ (and I’ve seen a few lately, hence this post) I want to scream!! I have rarely seen a ‘What women love in a man’ type post or even a ‘What men find attractive in men’ post but I’m sure they are out there. I’m putting this post up to remind us all that different is good and with all the amazing people in the world I’m pretty sure that if you want to find one who is perfect for you, you will.

And yes this is horribly hetero centric, because I’m straight , but it applies to all people really, I’m fairly sure straight, gay, undecided, bi, whatever, people like all sorts of other people…go forth, be single, or find a friend (or friends) have fun. Be most excellent to each other.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordy Wednesday with Aimee Horton

This week I'm pleased to introduce Aimee Horton as our Wordy Wednesday Writer.
Aimee is from Lincoln, England, where she enjoys drinking gin and spending time with her family (and she won’t tell you which of those she prefers doing) -(But I follow her on twitter and I'm going to go for the gin option if I'm honest) . As a child, one of her favourite parts of the summer holidays was to devour all the books in a little book shop in Devon. She continued reading at lightning speed right up until having children. She now reads with eyes propped open by match sticks.

Blogging led her to realise that not only does she love to read but she loves to write… and people enjoy reading what she writes. So let's probe a little deeper and see just what makes Aimee tick, here are the questions

When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved writing, as a child I used to write little stories all the time. However, hitting my teenage years and a secondary school that was more about copying from the textbook then thinking, I lost my nerve. Then, after my second son was born I was encouraged to write a blog and I fell well and truly back in love!

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo
What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Sunshine, peace and gin! (see I knew I was right about the gin!!)

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I used to try and keep strict schedules but realised that life with two small children and freelance work to do, it’s not that easy. Now I just try and write SOMETHING every day. Even if it’s just a new document dumping some ideas in, it’s something to keep the brain going.

Is writing your main source of income, I read lots of articles saying writers make no money, and my readers asked this question a lot! Can you survive on book writing alone? if not, what else do you do?
I really wish I could say it was, that’s the dream. Right now I am very lucky to be able to freelance and earn enough money to do both that and write my books. I must admit though, I am super grumpy on the days I freelance, and the nicest person in the world when I’m writing stories. Somebody once told me you need about eight reasonably well performing books to make a living from writing novels, but I really think that it’s all relative dependant on your circumstances.

What are your favourite biscuits?
Foxes Viennese Melts. The chocolate ones obvs!

Where do you do most of your writing?
A mixture of my study (aka the room with a desk and piles of junk that keep falling on me) and the kitchen while I’m cooking tea!

What book are you reading at the moment?
Kerry Barrett’s ‘I’ll Be There For You” – it’s the fourth in the series and I swear she just gets better and better.
You use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your audience, do you think it helpssales and do you find it fun or a chore?
Oh I LOVE social media! I especially love Instagram and Facebook. Twitter is great, but I don’t think it’s what it was, in fact, I need to write a blog post about that some day soon. I don’t think I’m the sort of person who could get away with using something for the sake of it, I’m an open book (pun not intended, but still quite proud of it), and you’d tell, and not be interested. I genuinely love looking at the photos and the posts of people I follow. Plus – who can’t love my feed? Booze, kids and melted cheese. (you love facebook more than twitter...I'm stunned :-))
Do you own an e-reader? and do you prefer to read digital or paper copy?
I love books, and the thought of holding a book I’ve written (or more importantly seeing somebody else holding a book I’ve written) is my biggest dream. However, I do love an e-reader. I have a nook, and I love the fact that if I’m a bit early for the school run I can sync the app on my phone and pick up where I left off. Practicality wise e-readers fit into our lives a lot better right now, whether it’s making it possible to take on holiday when luggage allowance is a huge issue, or whether it’s just the laziness of being able to pick up the ipad because your book is downstairs. It just fits.
Do you dream in colour?
Yes – my dreams are sometimes more real than my life – and reoccurring!
If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
Maybe get some sleep?! Or more realistically, I’d listen to audiobooks! Mwahahaha! (ooh sneaky! I do wonder if writing were banned if traditional methods of learning and sharing spoken tales would just take over.)
What is your ideal holiday?
The four of us and some sun. That’s all I need. I’m quite insular these days. Perhaps it’s the exhaustion of being a family? But when I get a chance just to be us, nobody else, and no real life at home problems, I find it ridiculously relaxing just to being together.

Thanks to Aimee for sharing her secrets, I'm off for a gin and tonic, no idea why I suddenly fancy one...

Aimee Horton's new book “Survival of the Ginnest,” (there is a theme here...and I love the book cover) published by Velvet Morning Press, is a modern-day diary, written in the form of Facebook posts. This chick lit/mom lit book chronicles the adventures and mishaps of a new mom.
Meet Dottie Harris. Dottie spent her late 20s working her way up the career ladder, but things are about to change. In this modern-day diary, Dottie, after announcing her pregnancy, turns to social networking to build a new social life. She quickly begins to rely on it—along with gin—as a way to reach out and remind herself of the funny side of the frustrations of motherhood.

You can get a copy on Amazon, for Kindle or in paperback - click here

Friday, May 22, 2015

Jord Wooden Watch Review

Yes. Really a watch, made of wood. No, neither had I. So you want to hear more about it? Of course you do!

I was contacted by Jord and asked if I'd like to try one of their wooden watches and review it. At first I was worried that as a UK blogger the lovely watch wouldn't be available to me (Jord are based in Missouri in the US) but it turns out that Jord are happy to ship all over the place and the UK is a pretty big customer.

When I ordered the watch via the website I was given the opportunity to have the watch strap sized so that it would fit straight out of the box, at no extra charge. As a woman with very small wrists this was great and I jumped at the change, the measuring was easy and I filled in the details and waited.
The watch arrived very quickly, beautifully boxed and tagged and I found it very easy to set the time and date. And of course it fitted, straight from the box. The watch looks and feels gorgeous. A luxuriously deep coloured wood (I chose cherry from the wide range of shades and wood types on the website) with red coloured dial and clear bright hour and minute markers. The bracelet style strap and the watch (including the back of the watch) are all wood, though the clasp is metal. The clasp style is secure and very simple to operate with one hand.
But the main thing about the watch is that it is so beautiful and gets admiring comments everywhere I wear it. Comments often start with "is that watch made of wood?" and then after the surprise everyone wants to touch it, try it on, feel it. And it's so light and comfortable too!
I have worn it to business meetings where it looked very stylish among the shiny flashy 'ordinary' watches (my husband says it looks classier than a Rolex) and I've worn it out walking in the woods where it blends with my brown and green walking gear and looks at home in the woodland environment ("Look, I whisper to the trees, one day you could be a watch and travel the world")

I love this watch, I think it's the sort of watch that most people would add to a gift wish list as it's not a cheap watch. But it is an elegant watch. With styles to suit men and women I think a wooden watch would make an excellent present, an unusual and practical choice.

Check  out all of the Jord Wooden Watch styles here

Disclosure - I was sent the Ely Watch in Cherry for the purposes of the review. The opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Squeeze my boobs

I'm 49. This week I opened a letter to find I'd been 'invited' for breast screening.

My immediate thought was just, Oh OK then. But then I read the leaflet enclosed and started to worry. There was talk of false positives, of unnecessary surgery and radiotherapy, of chemotherapy....I became more and more scared as I read.

I'm sure the idea of the leaflet was to inform. There is much talk of informing patients. But I'm not sure what I should do with the information to be honest. After all a statistic is just that. They are misleading at times and can be as unhelpful as anecdotal evidence (evidence of the 'oh my aunt had that and she died' or 'oh my best mate had that and she was fine' sort.) It tells facts but doesn't interpret them.

It won't change whether I have breast cancer or not by being screened, but I might be treated for a cancer that doesn't need treating. If I'm not screened I may not be treated early for a cancer I do have. Screening is itself risky and over time can raise the 'risk' of breast cancer.

So many 'ifs' so many 'maybes' so many 'don't knows'

I was quite upset reading various medical papers online both explaining why breast screening is vital to save lives, and some explaining why over diagnosis is a real problem. From moment to moment I was changing my mind. How had I moved form 'oh yeah, best get screened' to this quivering, weepy, undecided idiot!?

And then the age thing, I'm 49. Breast screening is advised for women over 50 and I'm not, not until right at the end of this year in any case. Does it matter? Should I go any way? Should I wait a year?

I seemed to have so many more questions than answers. Most articles about the fear women face about mammograms was related to the pain of squashed boobs. For me that is the least of my worries. I'm a small boobed woman. Barely a B cup I'm sure they will have no trouble squishing them flat in their machine. But what I'm afraid of is what they will say next...waiting for a letter.

I have no real idea why I feel so worried. There is no breast cancer (that I'm aware of) in my close family. And I have regular cervical smears without this fear. I have even had to return for extra smears when things were not 100% and yet wasn't worried at all. Why has a breast cancer check filled me with such terror? Is it because I'm suddenly reminded of my age? Am I contemplating my mortality. Am I just a drama queen?!

I think that on balance I will go and get my boobs professionally squeezed. But you might need to hold my hand. I'm scared.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wordy Wednesday with Andy Stanton

This week on Wordy Wednesday we have the lovely children's author - Andy Stanton*. Both DD and I have loved the delicious dark humour of his Mr Gum series, and I can reveal that Mr Stanton is also a fine fellow to go out for a drink with and gives good hugs. His books are aimed at ...well I'm not really sure, children certainly, odd people too, any one that likes a laugh and enjoys a catch phrase or two too. 

Since Andy hasn't written a new story in awhile he sent me a photo in which he is holding not his own book, but one he likes.

Andy Stanton author
I asked, and he answered...

When did you start writing?

I always liked writing silly stuff at school. It was pretty out there – if I look back at what I was writing when I was eight or nine there’s very little difference between those stories and ‘Mr Gum’. I was always a fan of bizarre humour and pushing things to the limit and then a little bit beyond the limit and then a little bit beyond that. And then a bit further again. And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more extreme, I’d push it just that bit further. And then – well, you get the idea. Even the teachers who liked me would often ask me to rein it in. 
There was one teacher I really fancied – Miss Yates. She was a big fan of my primary school writing and I listened to her. Once she commented that my writing was really funny but that, without any emotional content, it was getting somewhat tiresome. That was a good lesson and from then on I’d always try to leaven funny stuff with emotion. In a way she was my first editor. It wasn’t until many years later that I actually pulled together all the lessons I’d learnt and really decided to finish a piece of work. 
I was twenty eight when I wrote the first ‘Mr Gum’ and it was mainly written in one night, after years of frustration… It all came flooding out. I forgot about it for a couple of years but eventually rediscovered it in a heap of papers in my room. Sent it off, and it was eventually published in 2006, when I was thirty two or so. So I took my time to get started.

What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Coffee, music (not while actually writing but between bouts) and a kiss from a pretty girl. At the moment I’m lacking opportunities for the third one so the writing’s not going so great.

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?

I’m feast or famine. I go ages without any schedule, but once I’ve actually got my teeth into a story then I’ll work round the clock to get it done. I’ll try to get some sleep but two hours later I’ll jump out of bed with a new idea to add to the mix, or a way to fix a scene… It’s intense once I get to that place, it’s a real push to the finish line.

Is writing your main source of income, I read lots of articles saying writers make no money, and my readers asked this question a lot! Can you survive on book writing alone? if not, what else do you do?

I’m lucky, writing has become my full time job. Book sales and events are what keep me in Jaffa Cakes and CDs.

What are your favourite biscuits?

Jaffa Cakes and CDs.

Where do you do most of your writing?

Almost exclusively I write from home. Sometimes I’ll go to cafes to write but home works best. I mostly write on computer but if I get really stuck I sometimes switch to pencil and paper. 
The first half of ‘Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear’ was written longhand, to break me out of a blank spell of looking at a computer screen and deleting everything I wrote. Writing on paper’s a good workaround sometimes because you can’t just delete an idea – you can scribble it out but it’s still there. It changes how you think and that can be a good thing. Once I’d hand-written the first half of ‘Dancing Bear’ I knew I’d broken the back of it. I came home, typed the thing up and did the rest on the computer.
I remember finishing the first draft in bed, at five thirty in the morning. As soon as I finished I knew it was a good one. And I knew what I was going to change for the second draft. There’s usually some major plot changes between my first and second drafts, I’m typically not satisfied with the first version, by the time I’ve got there I’ve had a better idea…
What book are you reading at the moment?

‘Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir’ by George Clinton with Ben Greenman. 
I’m a massive fan of Funkadelic and Parliament and the book is sensationally interesting and thought-provoking. 
Other books I’ve read recently include ‘The Inheritors’ by William Golding and ‘A High Wind In Jamaica’ by Richard Hughes. The latter is hilarious and dark. It’s not a children’s book but it gets into the psychology of young children better than any book I can think of. It’s a forgotten classic. 
Oh, and I just finished Peter Ackroyd’s biography of Charlie Chaplin. I mostly read fiction but I do like a good biography.

Do you use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your audience, do you think it helps sales and do you find it fun or a chore?

No, I was on Twitter for awhile but it became a distraction. I’m not strong enough to turn it off and get back to work, I have to keep checking to see if I got any retweets or mentions or whatever. 
After I read ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers I came off Twitter for good (though never say never). Personally I’m not a fan of writers using social media as a sales tool. I think it uses up a lot of time which could be better employed elsewhere. If you’re not selling a lot of books, I don’t think social media will add many zeros to your figures. And if you are – then you don’t need it to sell books. But that’s just my stance. I’m sure there are plenty of writers who get a kick out of doing it, and perhaps it is helpful for some. If it works for you, do it.

Do you own an e-reader? and do you prefer to read digital or paper copy?

I have a Kindle and I love it. I also increasingly read on my phone. I like the instant accessibility of e-books, I often see someone reading an interesting-looking book on the train - and within a minute I’ve downloaded it and am reading it myself. In many cases I don’t care what I’m reading on, it’s the words that count. But there’s all sorts of added value that actual books provide. 
For reference and cross-checking: hard copy. Picture books: hard copy. Graphic novels: hard copy. I could go on. Also, it seems that the growth of e-books is pushing publishers to produce really beautiful editions of books… It’s an ongoing balance and I hope that ‘real’ books never die out. I’m a pragmatic romantic. In terms of my own books, the hard copies are way better than the e-versions. We do stuff with fonts and design that haven’t been translated into the Kindle versions. I love seeing kids reading actual books and I love it at book signings when I get to sign some dog-eared copy of ‘Mr Gum’. The best ones are when the kid’s obviously been reading in the bath and it’s fallen in and the book’s now the size of a soufflĂ©. That’s real love.

Do you dream in colour?

I think so but it’s hard to say for sure. I’ll try to observe my next few dreams and get back to you on that.

If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
I’d read and write in secret. Others would be doing it too. Soon we’d come creeping back up through the cracks. You can’t stop something that powerful, or not for long.

A huge thanks for the answers, some really made me think, I like the idea that paper changes the way you write, I hadn't thought of that before but of course it makes sense. I also like the idea that there is something tangible to show the process, a historical record. The issues around printed books becoming more beautiful is also true, I've noticed gorgeous bound copies of both new books and classics in my local bookshop which make you itch to own them. 
My favourite answer was the last, I love the idea of secret writers, and secret readers. Shades of  the firemen in Fahrenheit 451 spring to mind. Here's hoping the muse strikes Andy again soon, (not with a frying pan) and a kiss inspires some new tales.

In the meantime, dear reader,  if you would like to read some of the horrible adventures of Mr Gum you can find them here and in all good book shops.

*I'm not sure if that means Andy is lovely or the children he writes for decide