My 100th WordPress follower!

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Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that Lyndsay from the site http://officiallyglutenfree.com  followed my blog yesterday. Lyndsay is now my 100th WordPress follower!

Thank you very much, Lyndsay and to all the rest of my wonderful followers for your following.

I suggest you checkout Lyndsay’s blog, it’s pretty awesome.

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Have a great day everyone.

Alton Towers theme park, including my top tips!

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Earlier this week my dad and I, went to a theme park called Alton Towers.

Probably the biggest theme park I’ve ever seen in the U.K. In fact it’s so big that you have to take a monorail train from outside, to the actual entrance. This is where the fun begins! = )

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First, within Alton Towers let me tell you about the new experience. There is a ride with fourteen loops called “Smiler”, I stayed away from that ride because I was too scared of it! If you’re really brave take a trip on Oblivion, which is a short vertical drop – very scary.

I did take a ride on a rollercoaster called, “Thirteen”, which is a fast rollercoaster, which goes into a dark tunnel; it drops suddenly and then goes super-fast, backwards in the dark. Not for the faint (It was probably my favourite rollercoaster though!) It was fun listening to everyone scream, at the part when the ride dropped.

My other favourite ride on the day was a ride called Sonic. My friends all love this ride as well. You sit in a carriage which spins around whilst you go up and down on a rollercoaster. It curves and gives you a fright especially if you sit backwards, because you don’t know what’s ahead of you.

sonic

The runaway train, looks old and wooden, and although it goes fast, it is not very scary.

runaway train

I really enjoyed River Rapids! Although you need to be prepared to get wet because people around the ride can use water guns and squirt you.

I got drenched.

rapids

If you’re up for being scared then there is a ride called, The Hex. You listen to the horror story and take a weird ride. The ride is like the inside of a church, there is music and scary lights and the room seems to rotate – it takes you upside down, without noticing.

I recommend Alton Towers for kids age 5 upwards. If you are frightened of scary rides then don’t worry. There is a selection of rides for all the family, all weathers, and if you like upside down rides or easy rides – there is something for everyone at Alton Towers.

My top tips for Alton Towers are:

  • Wear comfortable shoes, you will do lots of walking.
  • Take some drinks or a picnic, food and drink in the park is expensive.
  • Save the big rollercoasters till the end of the day, when the queues are shorter.
  • My dad says if you book online you can save 25% on entry, if you book 7 days in advance.

    If you are interested in reading about Alton Towers and the rides, see their web-site.

    http://www.altontowers.com/

    The fantastic electric furnace at Magna in Sheffield!

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    This week I went on a trip to a place called Magna, which is in Sheffield (South Yorkshire in England).

    Magna is an old Steel factory which was converted to a science and education centre / museum.

    There is lots of Steel Heritage here. You might not have known (I didn’t until I went), but Sheffield was famous for making steel. During World War II, Sheffield was a big target for enemy planes, who were trying to bomb it to destroy the steel factories.

    Anyway, the best part of Magna is when they show off the large steel Furnace. They do a demonstration every hour. When they bring the furnace to life, they use a wicked sound and light effects. The show uses pyrotechnics, fire and smoke and lighting. The process is narrated throughout the process. It is loud. It is worth going just for that Furnace demonstration. I really felt like I was part of history and could imagine what it was like back in the olden days, working with this Furnace.

    The furnace is so massive, it’s like the size of a football pitch!

    Unfortunately I couldn’t take a photo of the furnace because the demonstration is in darkness.

    Here are two of my photos from outside.

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    Here is a photo from inside (from http://www.visitmagna.co.uk/content/14/steel-heritage)

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    Oh yes, I nearly forgot, they have other different areas of the Magna centre. They have different pavillions for Water, Earth, Fire and Air – You can look around all of these, you can read, learn and take part in all the actvities.

    A lovely day out.

    If you want more information about the Furnace and about Magna:

    http://www.visitmagna.co.uk/

    Have you ever been to Magna?

    I’ve been interviewed for the School of the ages blog!

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    here is a first for me — an author of children’s books who is also a child! I’m looking forward to watching this very mature and well-spoken young person grow as a writer and a person, and I also congratulate her parents for getting her such an early start in this tough business. Bravo. Now — let’s meet the charming HEATHER ELLIS.

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    If you want to see the full interview, click this link below.

    http://schooloftheages.webs.com/apps/blog/

    Top Tips! On-Line Safety Video For Kids On My Blog!

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    Yesterday my dad taught me about internet safety.

    I have made a video about it, it is below!

    The video has all my top tips in for kids internet safety.

    Hopefully everyone can learn something – what do you think?

    (My dad works in very boring computers!)

    1. Be careful when giving out personal information on-line. Beware because if anyone gets your personal information you can be bullied and spammed or worse.

    2. You should be careful what pictures and videos you post of you on the intenet. Once a picture or video has been put on the internet, it will be seen by millions.

    3. Don’t open types of files like ZIP and EXE files. They may contain a virus – get it checked first by an adult!

    4. Don’t give out passwords to people. It’s dangerous if people get hold of your passwords, you don’t want them logging in and sending e-mails from your account. You can give passwords to your parents though if they ask for it, that is safe enough.

    5. Use passwords that people can’t guess!

    6. To check if a web-site is safe you can type the web-site address into https://safeweb.norton.com

    7. If a web-site makes you feel worried or upset, tell an adult straight away!

    8. If someone you speak to on-line wants to meet you in real life, don’t do it. Tell your parents straight away.

    Can you think of any others?

    Let me know?

    =)

    Author interview – Jacqueline Smith, author of “Cemetery Tours”

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    A few months ago a very kind lady called Jacqueline Smith from America found me on WordPress. She helped me lots, to review my books and we became friends! She is also an author (but not of the same type of books as me). I was really interested in her books and how she writes and I came up with a list of questions which turned into an interview.

    Well, here it is. It’s a very interesting read for everyone. =)

    Check out her books and BLOG, the links are below!

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    First of all I can ask who are your writing inspirations?
    One of my earliest writing inspirations was JK Rowling.  Shortly after the fifth Harry Potter book came out, I realized that I needed more Harry in my life, so I started making up my own stories (Yes, I wrote fanfiction…).  Other inspirations include John Green and Meg Cabot. 

    At what point did you stop and think about really writing a book?
    Spring break of my third year in college.  I had a terrible upper respiratory infection and spent the entire week coughing and reading books on the couch.  I’m not sure if it was the fever or the decongestants, but halfway through True Believer by Nicholas Sparks, I thought to myself, “Hey.  I could do this.”  And from that point on, I decided I was going to write books! 

    My books are a bit different to the types of books you do, for younger readers but I have to ask if it is different… I wondered how long does it take for you to write a book? 
    It really depends.  Cemetery Tours and its sequel, both around 75,000 words, took about 5 months each to write.  I have another manuscript for a short non-fiction book, however, that I finished in about a week.  Then again, I’m still working on the first manuscript I ever started, back in 2010.  For some reason, I just haven’t found the right formula for that one.  But I think I’m getting closer!    

    What are your favourite and most difficult parts of writing your own book?
    I love character development and I really love dialogue!  I like to think I’m a witty person, so writing smart, snarky characters with attitude is a lot of fun for me.  The most difficult parts are action scenes.  They’re fun, but they are tricky!  I’m also really bad at coming up with good names! 

    What was the biggest thing you learned from your experience of writing your own book?
    I learned to stop and breathe.  There is a lot to process when writing and publishing a book, and it is a lot of hard work, but in the end, it is worth it.  It’s very scary and can be intimidating, and I really admire everyone who believes in their work and loves it enough to go through this process, because it is a big job. I’ve also learned pretty much everything there is to know about the publishing process, which is really cool!      

    I spend quite a lot of time thinking about my characters and their names and personalities. Can you see any of your family and friends in any of your book characters?
    Yes, absolutely.  I especially see my mother in Michael’s mom.  She sees the goodness and beauty in everyone and everything, and in turn, everyone knows and loves her.  I think it was one of the rarest and yet most profound and wonderful gifts.   

    Who designed your book covers? 
    My good friend and professional photographer/graphic designer, Benjamin Durham. 

    I’ve seen some of your paintings on your blog, they are pretty awesome – Have you ever thought about designing your own book covers?
    Thank you!  As much as I love to paint, I am a terrible graphic artist! I actually tried to design quite a few ideas for the cover, but Ben took one look at them and said, “Why don’t we start from scratch?” 

    What advice would you give to authors starting out writing their own books?
    Don’t let anyone discourage you.  Believe in yourself and in your ideas, because they are worth the world. Don’t stress over the details, especially in the first draft.  You’ll have plenty of time to rework them during the editing process.  Most importantly, if you get stuck, keep writing! I’ve met so many writers who succumb to writer’s block because they think that because they get it, they’re not meant to write.  NOT TRUE!  All writers hit bumps along the road.  No one can just sit down and write out an entire book in one sitting.  The only way to get through it is to keep writing!  

    You mentioned you are working on a new book, how is that going?
    Excellent!  This is a whole new book, not related to Cemetery Tours (though I’m sure I will go back to it one day).  I’m really excited to be working on something new.    

    When will we be able to buy it?
    The sequel to Cemetery Tours will be out sometime this summer!  As for the new one, I’ve only just started, so it will at least be another six to eight months. I’m really excited about the sequel and I can’t wait until I can talk more about it! 

    Link to Jacqueline Smith’s book Cemetery Tours: 
    http://amzn.to/1guWp6v 

    Link to Jacqueline Smith’s BLOG:
    http://www.jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/ 

    Connor and Chloe – Their stop at Life’s Doom #amwriting

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    Pic was drawn by my dad James Ellis.

    This is a snippet of a bit of writing that I did over the last few weeks. I am not sure if I will publish the story, it is about ten pages of A4 at the moment.

    Anyway! I hope you like it?

    Let me know your thoughts about it?

    The stop at Life’s Doom

    As the dark afternoon continued, the two teenagers had arrived in a section of woodland called Life’s Doom. The two were getting very tired, it seemed like they had been walking for days. They rambled skittishly throughout life’s doom, trying to find their way when suddenly; Connor saw a shadow emerging towards them. The shadow was lurching and grumbling. They soon realised that it was a blood thirsty man zombie. It must have murdered someone because there was blood all over its ripped clothes. Chloe screamed. Then Connor yelled. The screams echoed through the woods, but no one could hear their cries. Nobody helped.

    The zombie had seen the two children and raised its arms in the air and cried in a foreign language. The zombie limped towards them, faster and faster. It moved quicker than a clocks second hand. The zombie had death in its eyes. It was like death at first sight.

    The two children held hands and began to run through the trees. The twigs, leaves and branches were thrashed out of the way. As the zombie chased them – several birds were killed. Connor and Chloe were definitely next and they knew it.

    They ran as fast as their little teenage hearts would take them.

    Luckily for the teenagers Connor noticed there was a large rock, and he dragged Chloe behind it to hide. He put his hand over Chloe’s mouth as she tried to scream. The zombie crunched past them. He was very close and was holding a dead bird in his hand. Luckily the zombie man had not seen the teenagers hiding place. He groaned through the trees searching for them. Moments later the zombie murderer had disappeared into the distance. The teenagers were so relieved that they sighed and Chloe started to cry.

    They had frantically come to the end of Life’s Doom. Chloe said that it was pretty doomful in this area.

    She asked, “We should move on quickly in-case the zombie comes back again.”