The Accident: one year on

So, it’s to the exact minute exactly a year ago that I had the accident that gave me the two plates and nine screws of titanium which have not plagued my life, but have me adjust my life.

I’m not writing this to sound conceited that I remember almost every little detail of that night, even down to the way the shadows were falling on the ground.

It’s been an interesting year, and I did think when I got to this point, I would have finally turned the corner and be able to dance at least…I’m not there yet, hopefully soon.

Of course right now I didn’t expect to be sitting here typing this with one hand, since my left is bloody useless and hurts like a demon…I’m deliberately not taking painkillers so I have to blame myself for this.

So a year since I had to deal with the fact that I had to learn to walk again, this would be the moment that I become sentimental and think that this gave me some perspective on how it is to be disabled and gave me a reality check on how it feels to have to learn to walk again. But mine was only temporary so I can’t compare it to anything, I had enough highlights and low lights to never to want to go back to that time.

But a year, perspective…let’s find some. In writing news since I can’t exactly type like normal, I’m running my book though Grammarly and for some reason every sentence over five words, become “Wordiness”. I had no idea wordiness was even a word until now!

I am however going to run it through a professional, yet have to wait until payday to see if I can afford such an endeavour. But it looks good, not trying to be biased, but I really enjoyed putting the finishing touches to it.

In other news, since the reason I’ve had to delay everything because of my accursed arm I’m going to flashback to a few days to explain what happened. Since it is operation number 3 after all.

As anyone who’s read my last post could figure out, I was having trouble sleeping. So, much trouble since sister K was meant to be dropping my off at 7:30 in the morning and I didn’t wake up.

Yes, you’re read that right, the day I was having surgery and my alarm clock didn’t go off. So since K had to go to work, I had to get the bus…to go to the operation.

In some ways I was actually pleased about this since the roads were busy, and if I was in the car with K I would have got nervous, at least on the bus which is something I do all the time so it felt natural. Until I got to Hillingdon and on some level was expecting a repeat of all the drama last year. Thankfully in the Day Surgery part, I was seen by Ward nurse Christy who was wonderful, got settled and given one of those tie back nightgowns…and they are no fun to tie.

At this point in my cubicle seeing the faces of the people who were going ahead of me, I felt pretty Zen; I felt fine…until my Surgeon came in and told me, it was going to be a 45-minute operation.

45 minutes, I was going to be out for 45 minutes!

And almost on cue, I started crying. I had no idea I was holding back the tears until that moment. I was going to be out for almost an hour! I imagine they were used to seeing people like this, so they just left me and give me time to prepare, in which I did by reading or napping until 10:30 when I was told that I was going down to surgery.

I do give them that since if I had more of an idea of the time i know I would been more freaked out but I was strangely calm as I was going down. Old pro at this, more of a sense of déjà vu than anything else. Whilst I was waiting for oblivion, a plastic catheter was put in my hand, this time the right over the left, and because apparently I had a guy who was doing work experience, so soon blood was dripping down my hand!

After that was cleaned up they set to work on my cocktail of drugs to knock me out as soon as they mentioned the word “cocktail” I asked for a Pina Colada, I have no idea why since I hate that drink but perhaps I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy way too many times…because it is that good of a film.

I was suddenly worried that I was going to sign off singing that in my head for the next few hours I began to sing “Hooked on a Feeling” instead! Being knocked out again; having to breathe through the oxygen before it gave way to oblivion didn’t bother me.

But this time I woke up in recovery, totally disoriented and since I was without my glasses everything was hazy, but there was someone at the foot of my bed and I squinted as the door was opening and saw someone being brought in clearly post-surgery with a breathing tube down their throat. This was strange to think since I know that was me not that much earlier. At this point, I blanked out again and woke upon on the ward, learning that I had been out for five hours!

Getting to my feet, and getting out of the cubicle, nurse Christy came over to get me some tea…since I’m British and it makes everything better and I wasn’t in the mood to tell them that I can’t stand the stuff.

After a while I decided to get dressed and at the time I was fit enough to get discharged since K was picking me up, only I learned that she wouldn’t  be able to pick me up for at least an hour.

Since I was starving I just got a sandwich and a drink and was trying not to think that I had just had surgery, in retrospect I could have just got the bus home but the last thing I wanted was to pass out on the U4!

When I was picked up, I had to option of going back to hers, instead I told her I’d go back to mine since according to rules after surgery is a no-no as you’re meant to have someone with you at all times.

Nice thought in hindsight, but all I wanted to do was go to bed since the cocktail I was given was starting to wear off and I was coming to realise how much pain I was actually in. But since K is the eldest she did stay with me that night to keep an eye on me. I was obviously fine.

The first night was the worst, followed by the worst day since the pain still hasn’t subsided, but I knew this at the time. I knew it would happen, but like before this isn’t forever and I feel a lot better this time. Even though I have no idea what the scar looks like since it’s still dressed up

So one year one, still standing and moving on. Not too shabby I think

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Pre-Op Blues

So if you’re reading this, if anyone is reading this since I’ve set it for 24 hours’ time. By this time tomorrow, my operation or procedure will be over and I’ll be missing the little lump of uselessness that has plagued me for the last month.

It’s been a very interesting month, another understatement of the year. Because I know this will affect my left arm, which since irony is the name of the game and I was doing a social experiment, I type faster with my left hand, than my right. So this month I’ve been typing like a demon and straight after I type this I’ll be extending the final date for the Zombie Anthology.

I’ve been advised post-surgery not to get stressed until it’s healed and let’s face it, putting together an Anthology for Charity will be stressful. Also in the great scheme of things, Halloween is a better date to end these things on; I just hope that everyone will be alright with this. I was so adamant that it wouldn’t change anything and now I have to go back on my own word, but I will have to take it easy.

I am nervous about the procedure, unlike my first stay in hospital in which I was there for days until they told me I was going to be operated on, this time I’ll be going there in the morning, and waiting all day, only thing time my bag is packed and soon I’ll be nil-by-mouth, and as a distraction I’m watching Downton Abby!

Ok, what the hell is wrong with me? I don’t even like Downton Abby but for some reason I watch it. I find most of the characters annoying especially Lady Mary. I only watch it because I genuinely love the actress Sophie McShera who plays Daisy and I think she will be fantastic as Druzilla in Disney’s live action version of Cinderella, even if I think the rest of the film is miscast. I mean seriously, they cast Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine and Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother. Can you see Helena Bonham Carter singing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” can anyone?

Ok, I’m drifting as always so back to lump news. Since I’m now officially nil-by-mouth, this is it, the final countdown. In a few hours, I’ll be in the hospital I’m lucky once again to have sister K dropping and picking me up as well as staying all night to make sure I’m ok. As well as my other sister R reminding me this evening that “We’re Portugal’s, we’re tough.” I think that’s my family mantra or something!

I don’t mind the scar, I actually think it’s quite cool that I finally have a scar on the left side of my body; so far everything has always been on my right. Breaks, scars…so my body’s finally starting to even itself out.

I know this is off topic from what I normally talk about, but when you read a blog, you’re not reading the words you’re also getting to know the writer, to try to find their personality within the margins, and I couldn’t continue with what I was doing unless I talked about this too.

But anyway thanks for reading and I’ll let you know how I get on

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I miss the Twin Towers

This is something that had been on my mind for a while, and what better day to post than September 11th. Right now as with every year, it’s the usual slew of various documentaries, for example Falling Man, 9/11 Conspiracy, The 9/11 Faker. Reminding us once more of the events of the terrible day. Not that anyone who witnessed that the day would ever forget it, where you were and what you were doing is imprinted indelibly on your mind as a defining point in your life.

Standing in The Entertainer Toyshop in Uxbridge, when my friend Peter came in to tell me that the “World Trade Centre had been bombed!”

Full props to him for remembering that I was standing in a Toyshop and didn’t want to say anything more.

I was wrapped up in my own ignorance, and naturally concluded that it was just like The Docklands bombing in 1996, and almost everyone was alright. Besides it was the World Trade Centre, how much damage could be done to that building?

Harsh words in hindsight, but several hours later when I got home, I watched the highlights and saw in seconds how different the world now was. What I assumed was a simple accident, suddenly because an act of Terrorism when the second plane hit, we learned the Pentagon had been damaged by another plane, and United Airlines Flight 93 committed the ultimate act of bravery and fought back to the very end.

Almost 3000 people never made it home that night, in perhaps the most cruellest day in American history, in a moment that caused the world to suddenly stop.

That one day that changed everything, we saw how Airports tightened their security; shoes had to be removed, and everyone was a potential suspect. Buildings now had concrete barriers surrounding them…just in case.

As expected Britain joined America on “The War on Terror.” Which today still sounds like a cheesy 1950’s B-Movie title, and in retaliation of this act we are still bearing witness to the aftermath 13 years later.

I watched the first responders, fireman and everyone else trying to pick up the pieces of New York City, to try to process this terrible act, as the Towers disintegrated, in a day that gave birth to many hero’s.  April 4, 1973 was the day it was officially born, it took years but here it was a beacon of progress for the City of New York, and suddenly it was gone, along with so many people.  In the media, it was an establishing moment, it became part of opening credits, at became a part of films. As soon as you saw it, you know exactly where you were the same way, Big Ben (Or the Palace of Westminster, but no one ever calls it that) is used to establish London. It was familiar, ok it was a cold Skyscraper, of steel and glass but it became familiar…and then in seconds it was gone. Making everything, from 1976 to 2001 an unintentional period piece.

As time went on, and as New York began to process and learn to pick up the pieces…something London has experience with; then it became the question of what to do with the Towers, what to do about the films that came before and after. The first victim of this was The Simpson episode.  “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson”, pulled from syndication because it shows both Towers, the Plaza and the funny at the time at least “They stick all the jerks in Tower One!” To this day, it’s only shown on Channel 4 after nine o’clock with a warning that some viewers may find the images distressing!

Then slowly it became much more, a repeat of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, removed the stunning panorama when Kevin was on the observation deck. A friend of mine who lives in New York was telling me that she saw a version of Crocodile Dundee and scenes where the Towers should had stood were now empty. Both Friends and Sex and the City removed them from their opening credits, because it was too soon, because America was too raw. I’m not going to go into the mentality of this, but as a European, it bothered me. I can understand that it would be upsetting, to see something that what once, especially in New York, but removing it from the sphere pretending that it doesn’t exist…that doesn’t seem healthy. I think everyone needed to see them, focus on them and never forget they were there, not erase them from history, because to quote from Martin Scorsese when he refused to remove the WTC from Gangs of New York, because the film is about the creation of the City, not the fall

One thing I really miss is life before 9/11. I’m not going to look thorough it with a rose-tinted view because life is never as perfect as we want it to be. But it was a new Millennium, a chance to wipe the slate clean, and one year in, the world went to hell. At 21, suddenly I had to learn a bunch of new works, al-Qaeda, jihadist, Osama Bin Laden, just to name a few, and I had to face up to the reality that the childhood of my nephews, was now going to be radically altered, and they would live through one war after another. Life before, the only thing we ever had to worry about was if the IRA… Real or otherwise would be up to their usual tricks, but now this Earth inherited something much darker, and all because of those assholes.

I have never visited New York; I have never skated outside the Rockefeller Centre or gone up the Empire State…and I will never stand on the top of the World Trade Centre, but I miss the buildings because it was familiar to all of us. New York only had it for 28 years, which is nothing in terms of structures, but that’s the impact of the image, and not the demise that carried it over the world.

I know almost 3000 people died on that day, in an act that hopefully will never be repeated on American soil, and every time I watch Ghostbusters, Coming to America, Superman or even Working Girl, I get a lump in my throat when I see the Towers, and I’m glad it’s there.

In memory of the people and all their families who lost their loved ones

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Guess who entered a Beauty Pagent?

Things have been changing in my life recently and a good way. Last week, literally on a whim after an ad popped up in my facebook feed for the Miss Plus Size International Competition. I did this on the last day of the competition, with about 2 hours to the deadline,  because I just thought it would be fun, and there would be no “Oh I wish I had done it” moment later on.

Imagine to my surprise, on the first of September, when I got an email saying I had been selected for an interview! Yes, little old me, selected for an entry for a Beauty Pageant.

Having seen Miss Congeniality, American’s Next Top Model, and Miss World, and with the latter these woman are so well trained in what they should say, instead of what they want to say, it strips them of any personality they actually have. 

I was expecting an environment of nastiness, bitchiness and someone standing there proclaiming that they “Weren’t here to make friends.”  Also, when I looked at the details, I had a feeling it would be like the aforementioned ANTM, and everything down to my walk would be scrutinised. Since I was clueless at what to wear, I  did however head down to Yours Clothing in Uxbridge and treated myself to this gorgeous Kimono top in my signature colours of purple, black and red, paired with a purple vest since I need to get more colour in my life!

When I finally got to Aldgate, and ventured down to Le Paris Grill a very nice restaurant and I saw the other entrants and what they were wearing; now I got nervous. They were all dressed to perfection, with immaculate makeup. (I brought mine with me and put it on it the toilets…yes, I do own makeup!) And they were all wearing heels, something I still can’t do, so I decided to wear the above, with jeans and trainers. I walked in with a feeling of inadequacy; everyone looked stunning…and I was wearing jeans.

So how do I look?

So how do I look?

After I had a quick word with the judges, if it was alright to blog about this later…obviously they said yes, and a massive thank you right now for saying so. I was given a list of questions, they could potentially ask me, and we were all divided into groups of four and assigned numbers, and I was given the number 16, which meant that I was the final contestant of the day. In our group, we all introduced ourselves to each other, and I was placed with Scarlett, who has experience in graphic design, Jenny who is a body artist and Eva who has experience working as a model and actress.  After we got to know each other, since we had more time being in the latter part of the groups to do so, we discussed our potential answers and I learned that their all very talented and creative individuals, but with no trace of ego between them which was not what I was expecting at all.

When we were escorted down, since we were first being interviewed together I knew at this point I should have been nervous but with these woman sitting next to me, I wasn’t. They all answered all their questions eloquently and brilliantly and it wasn’t like an interview with the four judges but more like a casual relaxed conversation, and when they got to me I didn’t have any pretence. I just told them about my life, my accident and my projects and things like that, and the fact that I was feeling underdressed was no longer an issue. Yes, I’m deliberately not going into too much detail because the competition is still ongoing.

As a plus size woman you’re naturally made to feel like a failure, in media and market press it always says the same message. If you’re big there is something wrong with you, you are stupid; you are lazy, and you deserve the jibes thrown at you, because your skin’s so think it surely can’t penetrate into your soul. In all the inspirational magazines, you have someone like Adele who’s celebrated for her curves, but only has a head shot on the front cover. Even our most famous actresses bear this scrutiny; Jennifer Love Hewitt apparently lost her converted role on Criminal Minds, because she hadn’t lost the weight after giving birth fast enough. Academy Award Winner Jennifer Laurence has been condemned because according to some readers and of course the media with regards to The Hunger Game “Katniss is too fat”.

This sadly can go both ways, many actors have had to change themselves for the roles they crave, but when a certain actor who in the past has been celebrated for their curves, and proclaiming how much they love their bodies. To then lose a large amount of weight in a way that cannot be considered healthy, and instead of saying something truthful in a heartfelt way, and claim that they have lost it for whatever reason, be it for health, or the role that can finally secure them an Oscar. Instead they denounce their bodies back then, claiming how fat and unhappy they were at a size 14 and of course now their more beautiful/successful/happy.  Insert your own phrase. All this negativity has a huge impact on us, growing up we could never be ourselves, having to develop the thick skin early, to make people like us. To go into school on the first day, too see the ones who would be friends with us, and to try to make them laugh with us instead of us, to the point you become a walking Beryl Cook caricature.

But then again as a 5 foot, (until a growth spurt when I was 17) messy haired, glasses wearing, introvert, I didn’t stand a chance otherwise. Having to become when people expected of me, instead of whom I truly was and still am. Outside, I’m fun loving, and passionate and ok those are traits I do possess, yet at home I’m the quiet one, normally found with her head in a book or behind her laptop, creating masterpieces like this one.

 

End of the day this is the world we grew up in made to feel like failures because we’re not a size zero. And this is what I was feeling as I walked in, in jeans, trainers trying to hide the fact that I was limping slightly, and surrounded by beautiful woman.

Afterwards, before we were being seen individually, which led to a bit of a waiting game, which was also cool because I had some time to process things, I began to think about why I was there. According to the email sent to me, I had been chosen from 740 applicants…so why had I been chosen? 

I’m not writing that, just to stoke my ego, as I try not to have one but at the same time…is there more to me than I’m even aware of?

Being a plus size woman, we’re taught once again courtesy of the media that we are lacking somewhat in some areas, to the point when I have dared to ask the question “Do I look pretty?” The answers I usually receive, only focuses on one aspect of my person, being told I have nice eyes (that maybe true), I have great lips (that is true) and the usual, I have a great personality…well that’s always nice. If you’re going to reduce me to mere body parts, instead of answering “yes or no”, and I could take the latter by the way, then what am I meant to think?

But they choose me as an interviewee, deep down as an ego boost, it’s pretty high as these things go, and I guess has given me some perspective on the last year of my life. Nothing will ever change the fact that I disappeared on the 26th of September 2013, and what was left was a struggle to try to get myself back to where I needed to be, to be able to stand tall once more, and as I was standing there, that part of me started to emerge…and it felt fantastic. What I’m typing right now whilst feeling a massive swell of pride within myself, on Saturday I did something I could never have imagined doing, I stood there and did something just for me…and it still feels fantastic.

Being the last one to be interviewed and the last one to leave, and there are still the overseas and the Birmingham interviews to get through. After I post this I’m deliberately not going to think any more of it, but having met so many fantastic woman on that day, if my experience of Missplussize ends at this moment, then I’m ok with that. Just to be there felt like an accomplishment and I left the place on a massive high note. Can I just sincerely say to the other contestants, good luck and you are all going to do brilliantly.

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Zombie Anthology and annoying lumps

So in recent news, authors for the Zombie Anthology are coming in, I can’t believe that this project is finally off the ground. I am so nervous and excited, confident and slightly scared. This has been a week of such mixed emotions, in-between my other blog, reediting my novella since I said it was coming out at the end of October, and now that is two months away, and as if life wasn’t enough drama a week ago I found a lump under my arm.

This is something, which some people out there have advised me not to discuss, as if the mention of it suddenly becomes a hushed whisper and speculation of what it could be, because people naturally perceive the worst news imaginable.  As if saying it out loud could affect my future. “Well hello everyone, my name is Jodie Portugal. I’m 5’6, I have a scar on my forehead that now one knows how I got, and at the age of 34 found a lump under my arm”. If knowing this about me, adjusts your perception of me, well then that is not my problem.

As soon as I found it, naturally I made an appointment and was seen straight away due to my family history, and if there was an understatement of the year…I think I’ve found it. Any fear I had was calmed, but I was fast-tracked to an appointment that happened on Wednesday.  In the in-between, it was the Bank Holiday, and since I had the entire three days off. Boyfriend MT and I went to Brighton, which was fantastic. He treated me to Doctor Who: Deep Breath at the Cinema, which is brilliant as I’ve never seen Who on the big screen, and Peter Capaldi is already going to be a brilliant Doctor. I also openly maintain that children’s TV has been lacking somewhat since the sad end of The Sarah Jane Adventures (Elizabeth Sladen RIP) and a spin-off about The Paternoster Gang in which we watch the tales of a lizard woman from the dawn of time, her human wife, and Sontaran nurse set in Victorian times, would be fantastic. It would cause complaints because people can be so uptight. You can already imagine the cries of the “Children are being corrupted.” Whilst said children, and everyone else into decent TV just thinking “Marvellous.”

But back to lump news, now the procedures I’m going to discuss as for those out there who may need this in the future, since I’m going to be totally honest.

After waking up at an ungodly hour since I’m in the habit of waking up late when I’m not at work, I was accompanied to the hospital by my mum, for moral support and was seen pretty quickly. Having worked in hospitals for so many years, certain wards acquire an atmosphere. In The Royal Hampshire County Hospital, the ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) room had sadness drenched on every surface, the Special Care Baby Unit, was full of hope. This felt cold, professional but also cold, as if every person there had the question hanging over their heads, and there were copious issues of Take a Break Magazine, affectionately known as the “We hate men, weekly.”

After my initial discussion, how long had it been there? (I have no idea). What’s my family history? (How much time do you have?) After the Doctor had felt said lump, I was given a gown that opened at the front (very attractive) and I was booked in for a mammogram.

Even after all those years of working in a hospital, this was an area I never ventured into so I had no idea what to expect, of course I could have just looked it up in advance, but for some reason I didn’t.

A mammogram is a low-level x-ray of the breast which is achieved by pressing what god, and genetics gave you between two plates of glass for their moment in the spotlight. Now anyone who’s seen pictures of me on this blog, can imagine this took a while. Standing there didn’t bother me, but the fact that I’m getting over a cold and was resisting the urge to sneeze was playing on my mind, but with the moment done it was done, and after joining mum in the waiting room less than 10 minutes later I was going for my ultrasound.

Now this is something I have had experience with, but not in this area and not like this and since the ward was warm, and the ultrasound gel isn’t, yeah you can imagine. As he glided the Linear array transducer (yes I looked it up) over the area, I saw what the sound waves were producing. I have no idea what I was looking at, obviously they did, but at the same time it was sort of fascinating to see all this. This didn’t take long, and once again was playing the waiting game in the waiting room with my mother. We had expected to be there for hours and instead this had taken less than two.

Going back into the Consultant, who was there with the breast nurse, I was informed that there were no traces of Cancer, the dreaded C-word, which was a relief but it was a benign tumour and due to the size of the damn thing they were going to take it out under a general anaesthetic. Which for once didn’t faze me one bit since this will now mean I’ve had three operations in one year. My surgery has been booked for a few weeks’ time and before that I’ve got a pre-op to get through next week, but I’m actually not that worried. It’s been less than a year since the accident, which entailed me to have to learn to walk on my right foot all over again, something that is still affecting me day by day, which hopefully will not last forever. I’m not exactly typing this thinking “Oh smite me, almighty smiter.” But on some level, bad things happen in threes, and I think I’m done. I also spent the rest of the day, taking my 9-year-old niece Summer to see How to Train Your Dragon 2, since it was Orange Wednesday and its still awesome the second time around.

Can I just stress that this doesn’t affect the Zombie Anthology in any way, everything is still on track, and this doesn’t change anything about the plan.

At the same time though I am starting to rethink my life and what could have caused this and I pulled this from http://www.webmd.boots.com/cancer/benign-tumours

Causes of benign tumours

What causes a benign tumour to form? Often the cause is unknown, but the growth of a benign tumour might be linked to:

Environmental toxins such as exposure to radiation

Genetics

Diet

Stress

Local trauma or injury

Inflammation or infection

So with this in mind, from this moment I’m trying not to get too stressed, and to change my diet, from now on more berries in my diet, more green tea and ok I’m going to try to quit smoking. Not saying this is going to be successful, since I’ve tried and failed in the past. But I’m going to try.

Thanks for reading xxx

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Who wants to be in a Charity Zombie Anthology?

Hi all, regular readers of my blog, may remember that a short while back, I mentioned that I entered the SFX Magazine Zombie Anthology Competition.

After it was done, and even though I didn’t win, I was proud of my story the same way I imagine a lot of us are when we try something new.

So I got to thinking how about we bring all these stories together, and do something good with them

After contacting SFX Magazine, to explain the idea, which they were fully supportive of, even though this had no connection to them in any way.

The Charity Zombie Anthology has been launched, along with its own blog.

http://charityzombieanthology.wordpress.com/

But these are the details

The idea is 50 to 100 Writers, depending on who is interested in joining this endeavour, for the ebook, which is so far titled the “Zombie Anthology”, a title that is subject to change in the future. Aside from the cut Amazon take, every penny raised to go to a charity. The charity itself is undecided, I would like to donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust, but this will be decided with discussion, and everyone who is accepted will get the opportunity to suggest a preferred charity.

 

Listed below are the salient points

Stories must be 1500 words or less; including the stories sent originally sent to SFX. The word count is final in lieu of fairness and equality.

There is no barrier to location; stories can be submitted from all over the world.

Age is no barrier, and all age groups are openly encouraged

Stories must be submitted in a Microsoft Word attachment.

 

Stories must be in submitted in British English; any sent with American English will not be accepted.

Stories must be grammatically correct; they are your responsibility as well as being proof ready.

All stories must be accompanied by an Author Bio, somewhere from 200-300 words.

Authors will retain copyright of their story and will be able to use their story in other publications.

Issues like the cover art, the price of the book does need to be discussed, and for this I do need people to assist with this. This is the first time I have ever attempted anything this on a large scale, and I openly admit, that I need help. Everyone who wants to be involved does have a say in this, from the cover art, to the charity. I want us to consider this an equal platform for all.

 

Stories to be submitted by the 1st October 2014. That gives us over a month to get them all in.

Once again

Stories in British English

Sent on a word format

Please place the name of the story, as well as your name in the title and email it too.

zombieanthology@hotmail.com

And above all, good luck, I have a feeling that this is going to be an amazing adventure.

 

So, who out there would like to have a place in this adventure?

Please think about it, tell your friends and get the word out

 

Love Jodie xx

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Mine’s a pint of the Red Stuff!

So writing news I’ll get too later, but finally with  all the drama going on in my life, which alas I can’t talk about right now…Jodie has a secret, what could it be?

I have finally completed another off the Geek List, and that is to give blood, aka the list I made when I was off my head on painkillers and just wanted to feel normal again.

First of all giving blood is not a new occurrence for me, it’s actually my 14th, since I have an unofficial competition going with my sister R who is three years older than me, but on her 15th and I’m determined to get to the sacred 25 Donations before she does, which was a target both my parents reached. Also, I had an operation when I was 5 and received blood, and ever since then I was determined to give it, or else I’ll be a “Blood Thief.” This is what I openly consider anyone who does the above, end of the day if someone out there donates blood that saves your life and you do not return the favour, then you are a blood thief. Of course, if you cannot donate due to health reasons, or religious reasons then fine, but everyone can donate even those of other religions, here’s some light reading

http://www.muslimsgiveblood.co.uk/

http://islamqa.info/en/129113

http://www.sikhnation.net/blooddonation.html

http://inyourhands.org/tissue/religious.html

Which was given to me by my friend Naveed since both his parents work in the medical profession, he’s a devout Muslim and a blood donor.

However, it had been over a year since my last donation, since the accident and of course my tattoo, which I did on the 14th August, straight after Physio (Which is going brilliantly) in Uxbridge Civic Centre. Since I didn’t book an appointment, I was expecting to be there for hours, so at least I had “About a Girl” by Lindsey Kelk to finish, which I ended up giving to a young woman (after I did finish it) whom I noticed didn’t have a book, not that I didn’t enjoy it, I really did. But since I own over 1000 books, I never have the space to keep them, and I live under the “Do good things for others mentality.” Also I had just brought “One Night in Italy” by Lucy Diamond, which is not her real name, but if my last name wasn’t the awesome “Portugal.” And I wanted a different one to write with, “Diamond” would be the type of thing I would go with.

So it was quite nice to be seen in less than half an hour even though my pinprick test, which for the unknown is when they take a small sample of your blood to test it for the haemoglobin (iron) levels. But because my life is a drama mine was a bit low that day, so they had to take a little more. Because if it was too low it could mean I was anaemic again…the last thing I wanted since I spent the first 11 years of my life anaemic, and well it sucks royally!

Thankfully the second test was fine, and five minutes later I was in the chair…and on cue the heavens opened and the rain fell…how ominous! What happens next is so simple, they sterilise the arm, put the needle in, tape it said right arm as they have to go through the arm I write with as the veins on my left are too deep! You clench and unclench your hands, to get the blood flow going, and five minutes later it’s done, and that is it, now how scary does that sound in the great scheme of things?

I look like crap, but I really don't care

I look like crap, but I really don’t care

Also the blood I gave can save the life of nine premature babies, and can help 3 adults…in perspective, it’s not hard. And my blood is always needed, since I have a blood type that only 7% of the population has.

Me in liquid form. Isn't is pretty?

Me in liquid form. Isn’t is pretty?

Here’s more light reading

http://www.blood.co.uk/about-blood/blood-group-basics/

It is interesting however different blood types affect different cultures, for example; my beloved Japan have this proven untrue but still prevalent in the culture that a person’s blood type (ketsuekigata) indicates personality traits.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/the-importance-of-blood-type-in-japanese-culture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_types_in_Japanese_culture

 I’ve read enough Manga and seen enough Anime to know it’s not uncommon for a character to have their blood type listed in their bio, or to have a personality in accordance to that blood type to the point that Korea even brought out a film about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Boyfriend_Is_Type_B 

I’ve never seen it, but you get the gist of where this is going.

End of the day, giving blood was important to me, because it finally felt I was doing something normal, doing something good. Also, it annoys the hell out of me that there are people in this world that have a certain smugness that they do not give blood, or they use the excuse that they are scared of needles…it takes five minutes of your life to save a life.  So what are you waiting for?

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