Nature: Exploring my forte

My writing career began at one of the most famous wildlife and nature titles in the world… National Geographic Kids. Now, among other pages, I’m the sole writer of the Animals and the Environment page for The Week Junior and have never been happier to provide content on such a wonderful topic that is so close to my heart.

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Every week, I research and pitch stories suitable for the Animals and the Environment section of the magazine, but since we are limited to the number of stories we can feature, many amazing tales go untold. So each week, I’m planning on sharing my favourite wildlife story to spread awareness and, overall, joy when it comes to the wonderful world of nature.

My comeback

So a lot has happened over the last twelve months….

  • I moved into a flat in central London with people I’d never met before;
  • I left National Geographic Kids after being headhunted to work on a new children’s magazine;
  • I began exploring life and all that it has to offer…

Moving anywhere can be stressful – but trying to find a place in London that isn’t going to leave you penniless is a different kettle of fish entirely. That said, even though it may have taken me a while, I finally found a three bed flat in the heart of London, near Angel, that I have fallen in love with. I feel like I’ve found friends for life with my flatmates, which is so lucky, as moving in with people I hadn’t known before could have turned out very differently.

Not long after moving in, I was headhunted for a new children’s magazine that had not even published it’s first issue. Yet again I was faced with another risky decision. Did I stay in a job that I could do with my hands tied behind my back or did I take a leap of faith and jump straight into an unknown magazine in the hope that it would be a success (and that becoming an official Staff Writer was something I could succeed in too)? I took the latter option and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The Week Junior launched in November and has been going from strength to strength ever since, becoming Britain’s fastest growing children’s magazine. I’m so proud to be part of such an amazing team at Dennis Publications and couldn’t imagine myself working anywhere else.

I’ve also come to realise over the past year that you don’t have to live your life in a box… or worry about ticking anyone else’s boxes for that matter. People are entitled to be who ever they want to be and shouldn’t have to answer to anyone for it. Unfortunately, there will still be times where someone doesn’t agree, or doesn’t think that your decision is a wise one… but you know what, it’s my decision to make and if it doesn’t turn out well, then that’s my mistake and is something I will learn from. After all, that’s how people grow, by making their own mistakes. It’s just not possible to learn from someone else’s. Plus if you find out that someone doesn’t like you for one reason or another, then quite frankly that’s their problem. As RuPaul says in her song, Sissy That Walk… “Unless they paying your bills, pay them b*tches no mind.”

Woah… that got deep for a second. Back to business…

Since a new month is now on the horizon, I wanted to begin regularly blogging again and not just posting sporadic reviews. So, to help get me back into the swing of things, I’ve decided to take up the below 31 Day Blog Challenge. In 2014, I took part in the 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge from WordPress and absolutely loved it. It was also so nice to see how fellow bloggers had approached each prompt, so if you’re completing a similar challenge this May, let me know as I’d love to check it out.

So until the next time, enjoy life and keep living the dream!

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#50: Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?

The most recent ones were during The Outdoor Show, although I’m not too sure if they count as a nightmare as they were more weird dreams than anything. So, Nick (Spellman, AnimalMan) knows that I don’t like the tarantulas… but do you remember as a kid cupping your hands together and pretending you had a creepy crawly housed between them? Come on… everyone’s done it! Well, this is sort of what Nick did in my dream, except he DID have the tarantula and I then whacked it out of his hands in fright, sending it flying! My dream then cut to him getting a baby alligator out of a carry case… which he clearly doesn’t have! The next night, the dream was about his burmese python locking it’s jaws around my thigh and refusing to let go – which when I screamed at Nick to get it off, he casually replied ‘sorry, there’s nothing much I can do now that it’s got you!’. I think these dreams were just me worrying about how Nick’s shows would go at the show since I had organised and managed the entire thing.

I guess if we’re talking about scary nightmares, the one that sticks out it my mind (which of course, is keeping with my theme of being completely unrealistic) was when my brother and I were on our way home in the light of day. We turned the corner to see a fully grown male lion at the other end of the road. Before we’d started running, it had spotted us and began leaping in our direction. The most stressful part was the fact that in this dream, my brother couldn’t keep up with me and the lion was gradually closing in. We scrambled up a tree but it was too late. The lion had already grabbed my brother and that is when I woke up in fright. On reflection, I know where the lion came from. I’d been managing and editing Big Cats Alive (the fourth topic from NG Kids Alive), so had been watching tonnes of footage showing lions hunting and killing their prey. When I told my brother about this dream, he casually said ‘don’t worry about me. I wouldn’t need to outrun the lion, I’d just need to outrun you!’. Thanks very much. Stripping it right back to basics though, I think my nightmare stems from my fear of losing my brother and not being able to do anything about it (which I’m hoping is a situation I’d never have to face!).