Why Welsh Autumns Are the Best

I have a love/hate relationship with North Wales. I have spent my whole life visiting here, and while I’ve always loved seeing my granny and going to the beach when I was a child, moving here straight out of high school was a whole different experience. Being that it’s pretty touristy, I would go from manic summers where I was working 60-100 hour weeks (divided (mostly) between jobs), to having so little work that I needed benefit assistance to get me through the winter. It’s kind of intense.

I did that for the first four years of my adult life, and when I did finally move back to the States, I said I’d never do it again.

Well, here I am. I’ve just survived the insanity of the summer (with an injury this time–60 hours work is not my game any more, it would seem), and entering into the autumn. And I realize now why it is that I stayed for so long. The autumns here are the best.

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  1. It’s Quiet
    This is something that you wouldn’t really think of to notice unless you went through the summers here. People come from all over the country, and sometimes the world, to visit North Wales during the summer. It’s a beautiful place and there’s plenty to do–from the coastal paths to sailing to surfing, to just spending too much money.
    The village I live in, at the time that I first lived here, had a permanent population of 800 people. I read one year that during Wakestock (a now extinct festival), the population rose to 20,000. That is insane! Then you have all the sailing races that the rich folk like to be there for, and all the other events that are now catering to the business of the season.
    So when it’s done, and school kicks in and everyone goes home, the villages are like ghost towns. It’s amazing.
    You can find parking. People aren’t getting in your way because–let’s face it–people in herds get dumb. People are there to relax opposed to spend money, so they’re more likely to be friendly and take the time to be polite. It’s just nice, relaxing, and quiet.
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  2. The Weather
    img_3623I have so many locals disagree with me on this one, but I swear it’s true–the weather is better when there’s no tourists. I’m not saying the tourists drive the weather to rain, because I’ve totally been here during the summer months, as a tourist, and had beautiful weather. No, what I’m saying is that the best weather months are May and September through October. All the rest of the months are just rain, kind of bleh, for the most part. There are the odd nice days, or partially cloudy days, but not nice nice. Or if they are, they’re too hot (for my liking at least).
    But the reason why the autumn nice weather is better than the May nice weather is because it’s relaxing weather. Coupled with the calm after the storm, the sun and the mild warmth is pleasant. It seems to seep into the bones more. You want to be in it, but you want to relax in it. In May, you’re so energized of breaking through the lethargy of the winter that there’s too much to do, to much want to do any of it. But after the summer, the warmth soaks into you with a slight breeze that carries my next point…
  3. The Leaves
    img_3558I know, I know, it’s everyone’s favorite part of autumn. But it truly is worth noting. After the trees have been lapping up the delicious summer rain, they’re drying up and ready to change and shed their leaves, and they just smell divine.
    I come from a place that looks like it’s been carved out of the trees. I’m not a stranger to masses of trees and their leaves changing. And I love it. There is a heavy dose of ecstasy when I watch the swirls of leaves across the road.
    But there’s something different when the leaves are coming from the Welsh Snowdonia mountains. I spend a lot of time in the slate-mine village of Blaenau-Ffestiniog, and so I drive and walk through the woods quite a bit. And I cannot tell you how much joy those leaves bring me.
    The tips of the leaves are singing to orange and yellow, and they are just so eager to act as a veil to my destination. Combine that with the rolling quilt of the farmlands that look like they’re lumpy with kittens–it is something breathtaking.
  4. Mushroom Hunting
    As a budding mushroom hunter, I cannot get over how many varieties of fungus there is around here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m spoiled rotten for the fungus amung us in the Pacific NorthWest, but here is just as lush with specimens. When I was growing up, in August, Granny and I would always pick field mushrooms just outside her house. I could see the fairy rings they grew in from the windows, and loved to just marvel at them. Now, as an adult, I’m on the hunt for culinary purposes, and just general curiosity. I have a fascination with them, and there are a plethora all over the Snowdonia National Park.

Until you experience it, you won’t know the difference between a Welsh autumn and that of one in Scotland, The Pacific Northwest, or Germany. And in all honesty, I’ve only experienced one of the three I just mentioned. But if you have the chance to spend a month and a half in Wales, make it the last half of August through to October. It’s worth it, I promise.

Happy Equinox, dear reader.

What is your favorite seasonal experience? Is there any location that you find to be unique with its seasons? I want to know! Let me know in the comments!

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Yet Another Blog

I know, I know, I’m going a little bit crazy here. But I’m discovering more and more that I have my mother’s want for being organized. Who knew I would take on some of her traits, right?

Instead of having one blog that covers my traveling, my studies and whatever else, I’m seperating it all. As you might know, I do, actually have a travel blog called Hopscotch and Woolgathering. It’s pretty entertaining, if I do say so myself.

However, as of today, I also have another blog about my partner/copilot/pilot (code-named Guy in this blog), about sustainable, low-cost living and living off the land. I’ll write about being on the farm in here, but I’ll also write about it in the other one, mostly from an environmetnal persoective. This new blog will also talk about foraging (which I wrote a little about in a past entry here) in the UK, gardening, some hunting, fishing, and hopefully will have some bits and pieces on what to do with the crap we forage/catch.

Without further adue, my new blog:

Hodgepodge and Food Gathering

Writing Horror to Music (and other playlists)

I’ve never once wanted to go as deep into my characters’ brains as to know what kind of music they would listen to. However, as I go through this last pass of my current work in progress, I am finding that I have to write a few extra chapters, and it’s forcing me to delve into what it is that they would be listening to.

While I’m still compiling playlist on YouTube to help me, I’m actually, as I edit, falling back onto something I was listening to more during the winter, and I think maybe in the fall? But it’s an hour of ambient haunting music–and I just love it. It’s subtle, it’s quiet, it blocks out the background noise of wherever I am, and it puts me in a fantastic writing mood.

The only problem is that it puts me in the mood for writing horror–which is fine, that’s not to say at all that I don’t write horror. But i’ts just a little too over the edge for what I’m writing now. As a result, my characters are slowly getting creepier.

However, I actually just wanted to share this track, because I just think it’s so great.

Haunting Music – 3 Hours 
Haunting Music ~ inspiring, motivating music for reading, writing, drawing, painting and art
Posted by White Noise  Relaxation

It should also be noted that White Noise Relaxation also posts happy music for studying, chill out lounge, morning bossa nova, ukulele, Christmas music for children, and so on. I make mention of this so that you know that this particular YouTuber is quite eclectic, and if you don’t need horror-type music, then you can still find something that might suit your needs.

 

I would love to know what music you write/study to. What genre do you write? What topics are you studying? Do you do something else with certain types of music?

MyHorrorLives.com Blog

A very good friend of mine writes horror. You can find his work in Carpe Nocturne Magazine, HorrorAddicts, and his website. He’s recently expanded from beyond writing horror to compiling a blog. I’d like to share one of his entries, for those of you who are horror movie addicts–feel free to visit his site and argue or agree with him! 

Best Horror Movie Deaths

Writing Achievements (this month)

Hurrah! I did it! I managed to make my word count goal for this month’s CampNaNoWriMo. My goal was 24,200 (the number for which you can read about here), and today I reached 24,537 – and just 19 days in.

Though I should note, that I wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped to be–I wrote more than enough words, but I didn’t complete the projects I’d hoped to complete. I wrote lots of blog entries, but I fell short with my interview I needed to write up, I only got two pieces of flash fiction done, and got half way through the two series I hoped to complete. However, it was a learning experience, something I’ll write more on, later.

Also, the digital edition of the Summer 2017 issue of Carpe Nocturne was released, with three of my pieces came out yesterday. It features the debut episode of my horror series, “The Wall”, my article on the Denbigh Asylum, and I also have a tarot/astrology as well. The digital copy is available on Magzter, though the print copy takes a little while to be available. However, when it is, you can find it on Amazon, Barns & Noble, and Waterstones websites. You can also keep tabs on the magazine in general at www.CarpeNocturne.net.

Denbigh Asylum sUMMER 2017

A Sample Chapter of My Novel

Brooke's Return, the Usual, N. J. ThompsonA few years ago, I participated in NaNoWriMo (2014), and was successful. That is to say, I was able to write the full 50,000 words in the 30 day time period.

Three years later, I’m still working on it. As time has gone by, I’ve been editing it, slowly, or perhaps swiftly, but still unable to figure out just what is wrong with it. Well, I’ve finally figure it out and am working on remedying it. However, I wanted to share a chapter of it. This is from the middle of the novel, but a piece I think could potentially act as a stand-alone. As a result, I used it as a bit of a cheat for my weekly flash fiction that I post on my website.

But really, what I’m hoping for is some constructive feedback. So, give it a read, let me know what you think–keeping in mind it is the middle of the story, so more than likely there will be questions answered elsewhere.

Without further adue:

Brooke’s Return

Hop-Wool Post

That’s right! I’m using this as a platform to promote my other blog as well.

In my travel blog, Hopscotch and Woolgathering, I have a new post, which is all about my venture to Llangollen and Llandudno. Check it out! I try and include a fair few pictures too!