Happy New Year!

Hello!

Today’s post is about an awfully nice little feature I got in Cardiff Life magazine. I had no idea this was going in (my partner in crime, Hana, gave them permission to use the photo without telling me!) so I was mightily surprised to find myself in here, under the category of “Visionary”.

Nice descriptor that, I might start using it when people ask me to describe myself.

phoenix_cardiff_life

Anyway, seeing as they’ve put this as the thing you should look at to find out more, I really should update it more, eh??

(Read the full issue of Cardiff Life here)

I normally have the quintessential British response to people saying anything nice (which is to cringe and die inside) but I’ve decided that’s a stupid way to live my life, so I’m going to be less of a twat about it and just appreciate whatever comes my way.

So thank you, a big thank you to Cardiff Life for such a lovely write-up. I spend a lot of my spare time writing (every day, in fact!) and also a lot of spare time working on We Are Cardiff, so it’s really nice to get a shout for that.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

HPx

PS It appears it’s been over a year since I last posted on here … slightly embarrassing for someone who has “blogging” listed as a key skill on LinkedIn (does anyone even still use that?? Kidding, obviously I’m going to post a link to this on there)  … in my defence, my all my writing goes on We Are Cardiff these days. Also I’m trying to whole-ass one thing and have spent the past year finishing up edits on my novel, which is not a very interesting thing to blog about. But I’m going to try and keep this place a little more up to date. Pinky promise.

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Cardiff Half Marathon – a first-timer’s experience

I ran the Cardiff Half Marathon for the first time this year, and wrote this article for We Are Cardiff on it. Anyone got any spare legs I can borrow??

We Are Cardiff

Cardiff Half Marathon 2015

(photo by Marc on Flickr)

Hello! My name is Helia. We may not have met before, but I write most of the stuff on this site. When there’s no author given on an article, then it’s me. I ran the Cardiff Half Marathon this year. I was a first timer. It was amazing, and hard, but mostly amazing.

So I wanted to give you a peek into my first half marathon experience.

Also, a warning – this race was hard. Like, really hard. There were a lot of swear words that came into my head or out of my mouth at various points. I try and keep swearing off this site as much as possible, but in order to keep true to my experience, fruity language is ahead. If you’re of a sensitive disposition, or get grossed out easily (because there’s some gross stuff too), better go read something else. I…

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We Are Cardiff Press is launched!

I’m very (VERY) excited to announce the launch of a new small press in Cardiff, run by my pal Hana Johnson under the We Are Cardiff umbrella. She’s worked super hard on sorting everything out and is publishing the FIRST BOOK this November!

we are cardiff press 42b

It’s an anthology of short stories called The 42b, based around a fictional Cardiff bus route. We Are Cardiff Press is a non-profit social enterprise, where any profits made will be put back into making new books or running  writing workshops, encouraging local citizens to find their creative voice – through fiction or non-fiction. Books or blogs: stories are stories.

There are many reasons to be excited about this:

  1. It means We Are Cardiff moving from digital products to super lovely, high quality physical products
  2. It extends the project’s interest in stories from the realm of reality to creative fiction
  3. It opens up a whole new world of storytelling that can encompass long form writing, illustration and photography in a way that just isn’t possible online (and I say this as someone who works in digital pretty much seven days a week)
  4. (side note: what is reality other than a series of stories we tell ourselves, anyway?)
  5. The first story in the book is one that I wrote!
  6. Pretty much all the other stories are wonderful
  7. Pretty much all the illustrations are fabulous.

I feel like that’s probably enough reasons. But I can do more, if you really want.

You can PRE-ORDER copies of the book through The 42b Indiegogo Campaign, where you can also opt for extra rewards like limited edition prints AND spaces on forthcoming writing workshops!

wacp-fb-cover

We’re having a launch party for the book on Thursday 5 November, at a secret Cardiff location (don’t want to reveal EVERYTHING all in one go!) – more details will be released closer to the time, but if you want to keep an eye on what’s happening, there’s:

The launch party is taking place as part of the Swn Festival “fringe” this year. More information about the full music festival here: Swn Festival.

I’ll post more about that soon. But in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been the past few months, this is one of the many places and projects I’ve had my nose in …

Laterz

HP
x

It’s been awful quiet around these parts …

But I’ve had a really good excuse! Honestly!

pile of paper on a table

 

So, that massive headache of paper on the desk (yes I was having breakfast in Wetherspoons, what about it?) is MY NOVEL. Or something like a novel. It’s a really freaking long story.

THAT’S what I’ve been doing.

 

In case I haven’t mentioned it on here, and I don’t think I have, I am a MASSIVE Parks and Recreation fan. Leslie Knope is the greatest character ever created. Also I massively identify with parts of her personality, in particular her inability to focus on doing one thing at a time (I refer you to Season 4 Episode 16. ‘Sweet Sixteen’, where Leslie tries to run her campaign, work in the Parks department and arrange Jerry’s sweet sixteen birthday party, and ends up messing everything up because she’s spreading herself too thin).

I took some good advice from that episode, and also from my Editor-In-Chief, who told me I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE – NOT EVEN PLAN ANYTHING ELSE – UNTIL THIS WAS FINISHED.

Ron Swanson is not my Ed-In-Chief (although CAN YOU IMAGINE), but his advice is sage, and good for everyone.

Don’t half ass two things (in my case, fifty things). Whole ass one thing.

That is what I am attempting to do. And hence, the radio silence.

The novel, or “the long thing” as I’ve been describing it to people, was spawned from a creative writing exercise I took in a novel writing class, last March, run by Cardiff University’s Lifelong Learning Centre, and tutored by the AMAZING Lynne Barrett-Lee.

If you’re based in Cardiff, and thinking about maybe taking a writing class, I would definitely recommend hers. As well as being a great writer, she is a really, REALLY good teacher. Those two things don’t always go hand in hand, but she’s brilliant. There are details about all Cardiff Uni’s writing courses here: Creative Writing and Media classes.

I had no idea about what I would write before I took the class. I didn’t even think I would write anything. I just wanted to take a class to try and get myself into the habit of writing regularly, and picked this one purely at random, because it fit my work schedule. I had not planned to write this story all my life, or anything like that. It literally (ha! literally) came from an exercise in that class, and then grew and grew, and here it is. One hundred thousand words later.

papers and post in notes on a bed

Apparently, NOW the hard work starts?? wtf.

More updates soon…

Multimedia

digital content

I’ve been the evil overlady of the We Are Cardiff website since 2010, run a series of successful social media accounts and campaigns. I’ve also made a full length film and radio documentaries, and I do a fair bit of photography.

For examples of my work, go here.