Thought Bubble

Tabling Time – Thought Bubble 2017

Good afternoon all,

So, it’s finally that time! The biggest independent comic festival of the year is upon us, and much sooner than usual thanks to it’s new slot in the end of September, rather than it’s prior early-November date.

Thought Bubble Festival is a fantastic event. Unlike the more famous comic-cons such as MCM, Thought Bubble is purely about comics. No movies, no gaming, just graphic narrative in all it’s forms; whether that’s established creators, university collectives, or first timers. I attended Thought Bubble in 2015 and 2016, and the atmosphere is absolutely electric; when you get all kinds of comic creators from around the country at the same time, we all relish in the fact that we all are skint, have a boring day job and somehow still put ourselves through writing, creating and using our pennies to print things, hoping people will buy them. Every community has it’s cliques, but for the most part Thought Bubble is a huge celebration of us all managing to somehow drag ourselves to the same place at the same time and sell some comics.

I’ll be in Cookridge Street Marquee on table 37b, tabling next to Good Comics on table 36. Come and say hi!

Other people to check out include the Big Brown Eyes Collective, also in Cookridge Street Marquee on table 82a with their brand new anthology Habitat, featuring an illustration from moi.

Also in Cookridge Marquee will be Sneaky Business contributor Alex Hahn with Dom McKenzie on table 38. In Leeds Town Hall Marquee will be fellow Six to Watch 2016 creator Emma Raby on table 61b, and in the huuuuge comiXology Marquee will be fellow HOAX‘er Hannah Berry (table 48), everyone’s favourite Richy K. Chandler (207b), everyone’s other favourite Mike Medaglia (47), and Craft Taproom’s Tom Ward and Chris Welsh (197). Finally, in Victoria Hall will be Avery Hill Publishing (47-48), Douglas Noble and CECAF‘s Sean Azzopardi (40), another 2016 Six to Watch’er Jess Milton (53a), John Cei Douglas, hopefully with his dog (25). And, a whole load of more awesome people – there are too many to list and I’ve gone a bit blind from going through it all. Forgive me.

Basically, there are a lot of incredible people tabling – so come along, take your time and enjoy.

This past week I’ve managed to finish up making thirty hand-cut lino prints to go with Self-Care & Vegetables, my new comic/zine debuting at Thought Bubble. I’ve also been to pick up SC&V from the printers, so it’s all ready to go!

You still have until midnight tomorrow (Thursday) to pre-order SC&V, with all pre-orders receiving one of the lino prints for free.

Pre-order from my Etsy store here!

Some pre-orders have been sent off today, with the remaining being shipped by Friday 22nd. Any orders placed after Thursday night will and be sent out the following week! I’ll also have any leftover prints and new stock from Thought Bubble going up on my Etsy store in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that (including these badges – oooo!)

And that’s where I leave you! I have a few things to catch up on and finish up before the week it out, and then some recovery time – so I will be back soon with the Thought Bubble Festival low-down from behind table 37b. If you’re in or around Leeds this weekend do come along and say hi, it’s going to be a great weekend. Until next time!

 

x

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Self Care & Vegetables… And Being a Bit Brave

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s done. It’s actually done-and-sent-off-to-the-printers done. That’s right, the mystery project I’ve been clocking away at for the past few months, from its conception in April to completion this week… is done. Done done done done done.

Working on something autobiographical has never been my strong point. I love imagination, myths, nature and journeys, I like working with mood and tone, atmosphere and textures. However, when faced with the challenges that life brings, sometimes it’s necessary to step back from things and reevaluate.

So, a relationship broke down. Who cares, right? I’m fairly private, I don’t divulge the details of my living in a spare room for the past five months, and I certainly don’t tell people that some days, at my worst, I struggled to find the strength to eat. I come from a family of not talking about things, and a big reason my four-year relationship broke down is because we never talked about our problems.. so, why do this?

There are many things I’ve learnt so far this year, and one of them is the importance of honesty; not only with other people but with myself. I spent a long time not realising I was unhappy, a costly mistake which has taught me a lot about who I am as a person and what I want out of life. By extension, working through the situation I’ve found myself in and creating a physical record of what has happened – whilst using new materials and techniques – has helped me beyond what words could, and that’s where Self Care & Vegetables came in.

It’s been challenging to look at creating this comic/zine objectively – writing my experiences into a narrative script and editing down my own heartfelt moments. It’s not something I’d describe as pleasant any day, so.. again, why have I essentially published a drawn journal detailing every breakdown?

Well, I realised I’m not alone. Some of the things I experienced were akin to poor mental health and learning how to get better was something I struggled with for many, many months. I guess it sounds overly enlightened, but in a similar way to Cosmos, if I can help someone relate and make them feel less alone, it’s part of my duty as a creator to do so. This isn’t my Sistine Chapel, and it may not be a best seller, but for a limited run of 100 copies it’s 40-pages of all my anxieties and recovery following the fallout of a four-year relationship.

…sound appealing yet?

 

Self Care & Vegetables is now available to pre-order on my Etsy store! The zine is officially released at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 23rd September, with pre-orders being sent out on Friday 22nd.

And, if you feel a bit bummed out after reading what is normally a lighthearted blog, here are some nice things to recover with:

  • Emoji Aquarium is my new-found instant smile maker. Every few hours a new one is posted!
  • My mum showed me a video from Mary and her dog Secret, who do yoga together. I melted, and now I want an Australian Shepherd dog.
  • Terry Pratchett has amused us all by asking for his hard-drive to be destroyed by a steam-roller in his final wishes.
  • At the moment of me typing this the sun is shining in Manchester. Which, is a rare feat and must be acknowledged.

And that’s it for now! Next week I’ll be back with more news and gossip, so until next time.. over and out!

 

x

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One Month Countdown

Good afternoon all,

Comic creators, this is your four-and-a-half week warning for Thought Bubble, I repeat, this is your four-and-a-half week warning:

Official Thought Bubble Festival banner, with artwork by Jen Bartel.

That’s right; one of, if not THE biggest UK independent comic festivals is just around the corner, as the words “It’s nearly Thought Bubble” strike fear into anyone who’s working on a project to release at Leeds’ epic weekend comics celebration. As I mentioned last time, I’ve been getting back to the grind to complete my new zine – the plus-side of not using any paint this time around (yes, yes it’s been a painful but important thing to temporarily let go of gouache and my brushes) is that the final artwork is a lot quicker to create. So, with a few finishing touches it should be going off to print before the week is out!

Here’s some previews..

Next week pre-orders for the zine will open and the full announcement will be made, so keep your peepers peeled!

In other news, the latest Pipedream Comics Pull List went up this month, titled Discover Small Press – including an interview from yours truly! Here’s what they said about it on the site:

We were inspired to celebrate Small Press after a visit to the East London Comic Arts Festival in June and so we’ve picked five of our favourite creators and talked to them about their inspirations and the stories behind their books. These include Jonathan Cape award-winner Matthew Dooley, Avery Hill’s new superstar Ellice Weaver, Human Garbage creator Josh Hicks, NPC-Tea’s Sarah Millman and Cosmos’ Rozi Hathaway. All five of these creators encapsulate what is great about the world of small press and we hope that by discovering their work you can embrace the wonders of the community, too. We also have an amazing cover from Sub Diablo creator Darrell Thorpe.

Discover Small Press with the new issue of indie comics fanzine The Pull List – ON SALE NOW!

The Pull List by Pipedream Comics – available now.

Click above to get your digital copy for £0.99!

And finally, as well as working on the zine I’ve also been working on something more illustration-based for a submission.. Well, three things to be precise. Have a peek:

I’m planning to finish these up this weekend, so all will be revealed soon!

And, that’s about it for now. Have a good bank holiday weekend all – I shall be partying with my paints! Laters.

 

x

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Nearing The End

Good afternoon all!

So, we’re nearing the end of summer already. September is technically autumn, which is practically almost winter, which means that rainy Manchester has given me approximately one week of good sunshine weather this season. At least it’s consistent? This also means it’s nearing the end of the time needed to finish my new zine I mentioned in my last update, which will be launched at Thought Bubble Festival in six and a half weeks!

Six weeks..

Six..

Gulp.

Progress has been slow on the zine in the past couple of weeks, as I’ve found working on this project to be a bit up and down – not to mention having an incredibly annoying cough and feeling like garbage for two weeks. Not feeling great made it hard to work on this zine, so instead I opted to spend my time on crafty things I could do in bed, like sewing. Yes, I’m turning into my mother. And yes, if you knew her you’d realise that’s a great thing.

The zine, an autobiographical story, is something totally new for me. A different way of working and a different way of writing, and working on something autobiographical is a lot harder than escaping into the realms of magical foxes and stars in a jar. I dabbled in stories relating to my experiences in Cosmos & Other Stories, but this zine is definitely a new challenge – wholly to the point with no abstraction. Luckily for me, time is running out and I work a lot better under pressure, so it’ll be done before I know it! I hope.

Without trying to sound too much like 1960’s newscaster – keep an eye out for more as this develops.

In some other excellent news, a half-table space opened up at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 7th October, and I was asked if I’d like to exhibit! I will admit, I was kinda upset when I didn’t get into BCZF – but like ELCAF, this event really has an incredible collection of artists so I was more than happy to tag along with the Good Comics gents and take up some space on the communal table. But, luck turned in my favour and I’ll be there. Exciting stuff! Check out the Facebook event page for all the deets.

Bristol Comic & Zine Fair is two weeks after Thought Bubble Festival (23rd-24th September), with Loogabarooga (21st October) two weeks after Bristol – so it’s going to be a busy month-or-so with lots more travelling. It’s a good thing I’m well rehearsed in napping on trains and coaches! Zooming down the M6 catching flies is my best look..

And that’s it for now! I have my work cut out preparing this zine in the next few weeks, but I’ll keep you all updated with what’s going on. Until next time, have a good week/weekend all.

 

x

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Recovery & Scarves

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, that’s it. The last comics’ festival of the year is well and truly over – and what a festival it was. This year’s Thought Bubble Festival was a most excellent weekend full of wonderful people and more laughs than I’ve had in a long time. Though, I did have a nightmare of a time on Friday evening. And I did happen to lose my favourite scarf. But apart from that, it was the best (plus I already have a ridiculous amount of scarves, so.. I can cope).

Thought Bubble Festival ran from 1st-6th November, with the comic festival running over the weekend of the 5th-6th down in Leeds Docks. I was happily plonked in New Dock Hall, between the charming gents of micro-publishers Good Comics (Dr Paddy Johnston, Samuel C. Williams and Pete Hindle) on my right, and the incredibly talented Anja Uhren (whose Irgendwo im Nirgendwo I recommended back in June for Broken Frontier in the lead up to Small Press Day) to my left. With over 400 exhibitor tables between New Dock Hall, the Royal Armouries building and the ComiXology Marquee it really is a HUGE event, and this year definitely felt busier for me than last year. This year I also attempted to make my table as fun as possible, with my Njálla cut-out, fake snow and snowflakes spread out to help entice people over to my table. Check it out!

As you may recall from last week’s update, Thought Bubble saw the release of my newest short story comic Ø, which was kindly mentioned by Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier as one of his picks during the Gosh! Comics Presents ‘The Best Thing I’ve Read All Year’ panel. You’d think I’d have thought about how someone would talk about Ø with no knowledge of the pronunciation, wouldn’t you. I can confirm that no, no that thought didn’t cross my mind.. So I can only eternally apologise to Andy for trying to promote Ø without the foggiest of how to say it! However, it’s probably the most accidentally clever marketing ploy I’ve ever done, shooting it right to the top of the alphabet of Thought Bubble’s debuting books list. But, regardless of my apparent living on another planet, Ø’s debut went fantastically! You can read more about it here on the updated page, and get your copy from my online Etsy store for just £3 plus shipping.

As you can also see above, Alan Henderson of Penned Guins popped by with some original artwork from his submission to Sneaky Business vol. 2, kindly tucking it into the top copy ready for the next purchaser to get free with their sneaky stories – how awesome is that? Also, I have now officially sold out of The Red Road! I took my final copy to Thought Bubble and Andy Oliver passed me back a couple he’d been taking to tabling events – and all three went! First released in January 2015, the starting 100 copies sold out by October, and I’ve since sold through the bumper second edition 100 copies in just over a year. Thank you to everyone who has continually taken interest in The Red Road, it is still my baby and I’m sad to see it go – but it’s time to keep moving forward.

Big, big thanks to everyone who popped by and said hello – and to everyone who took the time to spend their hard earned money on something I made. You’re all wonderful! Also HUGE thanks as always to Thought Bubble organisers and all the volunteers who make it so fantastic to be a part of. It’s now, with my standard post-TB cold, that myself and the other comic creators wait patiently for next year and the next festival.. We sulk back to our desks to hibernate for winter, so please do think of us. And send cake.

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In more cheerful news, last week Broken Frontier’s Small Pressganged celebrated it’s 5th birthday! In a very heartwarming day of celebration, a bunch of us small press comics people talked about who we found through the hard work of Andy Oliver and his Small Pressganged efforts and articles – this is the column which first included the Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015, which gave me endless coverage and interest that I’d never have gotten otherwise, and without it I definitely wouldn’t have the confidence to be where I am today. I made a special piece for the day which features on the article, also seen above. Myself and a few others mention Danny Noble, and if you’re interested in checking out her work, you can do so here and read about her fabulous self here. I was really honoured to be mentioned by Ravi Thornton, so it’s a lovely article to read all-round. Go check it out and feel your soul warmed!

And that’s about it for now! Outside of Thought Bubble and Small Pressganged’s 5th birthday I have plenty to talk about in the coming blogs, so be sure to check back next week for the return to normality. Until then – keep warm! I’m going to go and put another one of my many scarves on…

 

x

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November Air

Good afternoon lovely readers!

So, I’m back! It doesn’t feel like it’s been all that long since I divulged my creative life, but I have missed it over the past four weeks all the same. It’s been a very exhausting time; moving really is no joke, especially with only a small van and 150 miles of road between the old homes and new. In the end my absolute trooper of a boyfriend and I did 4 trips in 4 days, covering 1033 miles – and one 24.5 hour shift of moving that ended with us collapsing into bed at 6am. Until you’ve cleaned an empty apartment at 2am and moved three heavy reptile vivariums at half 4 in the morning, you just don’t know what misery it is. Best of all, we somehow managed not to fall out, and now we have our beautiful happy home together! We definitely moved at the right time, as now the nights are drawing in, the clocks jumped forward and it’s getting colder – which means the time has almost come.. Thought Bubble weekend is nearly here!

Possibly the biggest comic art festival in the United Kingdom returns to Leeds Royal Armouries this weekend; Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival celebrates it’s tenth anniversary with events running from the 1st-6th November, with the comic festival on the 5th-6th November. I attended my first ever Thought Bubble as a seller last year and had an absolute blast with my table neighbours Van Nim and Richy K. Chandler (you can read all about it here), so I couldn’t wait to apply again for this year – and thankfully I got in! I’ll be in New Dock Hall on table 180b next to those lovely gents at Good Comics.

New Dock Hall @ Thought Bubble Saturday 5th/Sunday 6th November. Come say hi!

Entrance to Thought Bubble is £29 for the weekend or £18 for a single day (either Saturday or Sunday) with under 12’s free with a ticket-holding adult. Cosplayers also get a discount and tickets can be purchased in advance – head to the Thought Bubble website for all the details.

After my rather awful attempts at clay sculpture table friends last year I decided to make something a bit better, so this year I’ll have a real Njálla with me! Well, not real real, but as close to a real Njálla as I can get. So, if you’re in Leeds and thinking of attending Thought Bubble on Saturday or Sunday, look out for my foam-board frosty fox (he doesn’t bite).

The wild Njálla, currently enjoying my reading chair…

In other Thought Bubbly news, my newest short story Ø will see it’s debut over the weekend! For my key fans, you might remember me talking about Ø before; I created it as a 16-page submission to the recent call for entries from the Latvian comic anthology kuš! for their BFF themed š! #27. Sadly, I didn’t make the final cut. But, this means I’ve been able to quickly whack it together and self-publish it instead! Previewed by Andy Oliver this week at Broken Frontier, Ø has been selected as one of his Small Press Debut Picks! Here’s what he has to say about it:

“Broken Frontier 2015 ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch‘ artist Rozi Hathaway has a new 16-page comic at Thought Bubble with the rather succinct title of Ø. A beautiful story of childhood friendship, affection and loneliness, this magical tale showcases Hathaway’s powerful use of colour to accentuate mood and theme.”

– Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier – Thought Bubble Small Press Debut Picks Day 1 – Comics from Rozi Hathaway, Steven Tillotson, Anna Haifisch and More!

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Check out the article and subsequent daily articles to figure out what to add to your shopping list for this weekend! Broken Frontier’s Small Pressganged also sees it’s fifth birthday this week, so be sure to keep an eye on the website and on Facebook/Twitter tomorrow (Thursday 3rd November) to see loads of birthday fun including some exclusive artwork from yours truly. And back to the comic briefly – Ø has now been updated on the front page of my website, so you can check out some of the information there and get the link to all the blog posts detailing its creation – and watch out for next week’s blog update for a full breakdown of the release. I’ll also be selling the usual suspects at Thought Bubble this weekend, including the newest Sneaky Business, this summer’s big release Njálla (snowy landscapes and magical foxes, coming up to the perfect time of year for it!), the few remaining copies of The Red Road I have left, copies of the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook, and other smaller goodies.

There will be a whole gigantic host of amazing talent at Thought Bubble and I highly recommend making it down if you have the chance. If last year is anything to go by it’s going to be something special…

And that’s about it for now! I have lots to catch you all up on in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for your back-to-normal weekly Wednesday wisdom. Until next week.. have a good one, and hopefully see some of you in Leeds! Peace out.

 

x

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Campaign Countdown

Good afternoon folks and folkettes,

So, another week has vanished and somehow it’s already Wednesday. When did that happen? The weekend away was definitely needed to recharge my batteries a bit, but doesn’t half make a dent in my working week. Anyway, Kickstarter-induced panic aside, I hope everyone had a lovely bank holiday weekend whatever you were all up to. Personally, I ate too much of everything and am now debating whether I’ll be able to fit into my clothes next week or not.

Since last week’s update I’ve been working pretty solidly on my Kickstarter campaign, ready for launch next week. When I started working on it I had no idea just how much work it takes to do – blimey! Not only is there the whole glaring-into-a-camera thing and getting a script ready for that, but there’s also selling the project as best as possible in the main body of the campaign page. Whilst I’ve been busy working out budgets and pie charts, drawing sub-header titles and reworking my campaign details twenty times, my actual comic and remaining uni work has taken a temporary sideline. Though, I think I’ve almost cracked this whole Kickstarter thing, so as soon as I’ve filmed my work of cinematic genius as a campaign video, I’ll be ready to go!

 

Coming 6th April! Ish.
Coming 6th April! Ish.

 

I’d hoped to launch the campaign on Wednesday 6th, though it looks like once submitted the campaign is up for review which can take up to 3 business days. Because of this, I’ll submit on Monday and hopefully it’ll have launched by Wednesday, if not before. Phew! Saying that, I think I may be worrying about the finer details a little too much, and I’m sure no one really cares if it’s uploaded a day early – I tell you what, this whole crowd-funding thing is a stressful business, although if I ever have to do it again I’ll be far wiser on how to approach it. I hope.

So yes, because of this whole fandango I don’t have a huge amount of work to show you, as staring into my laptop and calculator, scribbling notes on paper and checking emails for the 4 working days between the last update and now isn’t particularly interesting for anyone else but me. I have, however had a chance this morning to start working on photocopies of The Next Big Thing with paint!

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Now, painting onto cheap photocopier paper does hurt my soul quite a bit. It’s smushy, you can’t really blend well, and it’s just a bit pants. But, instead of launching into painting my final, original pages it means I can make mistakes and change my mind on colours and it doesn’t really matter, as I can just make another copy and try again. Above is a sneaky preview of the practice painting photocopy pages I’ve worked on so far. I’m DEFINITELY looking forward to getting stuck into the final paints, I just have to work through the practice bits and the Kickstarter admin bits and then I can sit back, relax and paint to my hearts content.

In some rather excellent news, The Next Big Thing aside, I have been accepted into Thought Bubble 2016! After a very anxious Friday evening where everyone had received their emails and my inbox was still unnervingly empty, I needed not worry. I had SO much fun at Thought Bubble last year, and I can’t wait to be back in Leeds come November to carry on promoting The Next Big Thing, the upcoming Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook, and watch comic-pals do karaoke (I’m not sure what it is about comic artists and karaoke, but apparently it’s a thing).

Thought Bubble Festival 2016! Banner by Emmeline Pidgen, (from thoughtbubble.com)

As I sadly didn’t make it into the Lakes Comic Art Festival in Kendal, Thought Bubble is now my biggest event of the year and my optimum opportunity to get copies of soon-to-be-revealed The Next Big Thing to a new audience. More events are popping up for later in the year all the time, and I have my eye on a couple more events as long as funds can stretch that far. However, with Thought Bubble being one of the biggest comic events in the UK, I’m over the moon to be able to have a half table there again.

So, that’s that! Next week will see the launch of The Next Big Thing Kickstarter campaign, with the big reveal of the title (yes, that’s right, it’s not ACTUALLY called The Next Big Thing) and live pledges available for you to put towards in helping to make this comic a real, physical reality. How exciting! Until then I have a lot of work to do on some finishing touches, so until next week.. Over and out!

x

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Thought Bubble Festival Round-Up

Good morning ladies and gents,

So, it’s all over! The exciting blur that was Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds this past weekend has been and gone in a flash, and I’m dealing with some serious post-festival blues. It probably doesn’t help that it’s dark and gloomy outside and I’m a bit sleep deprived, but Thought Bubble was so much fun I didn’t really want it to end. But, alas, I’m back into the throngs of university assignments and real life nonsense, which my brain doesn’t seem to be particularly in gear for. Third year woes.

The Thought Bubble Festival held in Leeds was a week-long event with a load of workshops and events, with the pièce de résistance being the comics festival over the weekend. Open both Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm, I was lucky to be plonked next to some absolutely lovely table buddies, Van Nim and Richy K. Chandler over in New Dock Hall, the biggest of the three halls used for the comic festival. There were many, many lovely comic people to see over the weekend, and I even got given some lovely goodies in the form of the Dead Singers Society and the HOME Art Aid Nepal Anthology, plus a comic-swap with Richy for his Tempo Lush Tales of the Tanoox! Here’s the weekend in a nutshell..

Special thanks definitely has to go to Samuel C. Williams for including me in his coffee runs over the weekend; as you can imagine this comic selling business is a rather tiring affair so I spent the weekend entirely propped up on caffeine. Other highlights include bumping into Andrew Tunney, (who I’d met properly at MancsterCon earlier this year) and helping his vigilante mission against faux-steampunk; witnessing some impressive renditions in the comic-karaoke on Saturday evening (yes Paddy, I’m still in awe); and wondering if those crazed sneezes were even real or not, with Danny Noble, Andy Oliver, Elizabeth Querstret and Matt, and Wallis Eates. AND, I finally got to meet Mike Medaglia, whose work is absolutely beautiful. There were so many people I missed seeing just because of how zombie-fied I was by the end, but it was a great weekend and I couldn’t have wished for better company and conversations! A HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by my table and said hello, purchased goodies and took the time to chat. Also, extra special thanks to Alan Henderson who picked up my The Red Road original artwork in the alternate colours! Finally, big big thanks to the organisers of Thought Bubble for making it absolutely fantastic to be a part of – it was my first Thought Bubble and it definitely won’t be my last.

Phew, what a weekend. I’m looking forward to finding some time in the next few days to curl up in bed with my new reading material, the HOME anthology and Tales of the Tanoox, but for now I’m in dire need of catching up on university assignment work. Fun times! On the bright side, there are some exciting things coming this way soon.. Next week will see normal service resume with a good catch up on what I’ve been working on. So, until then, have a good week everyone! Over and out.

x

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