An interview with Lydia Howe: Everything you need to know plus more!

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Hey all! I’ve been lucky enough to be able to interview the fantastic Lydia Howe on her debut novel, Where Dandelions Grow, and here are her answers. I can’t wait to see where she’ll go next in her journey as a writer and wish her the best of luck with her book. Such exciting times! 😊

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You can find links to the book below**

1. Were there any specific events that prompted you to start working on ‘Where Dandelions Grow’ and if so, tell us about it!
 
My cousins and I were really close growing up, and when we started hitting milestones – such as high school graduations – I realized life was going to be changing a lot. I wanted to celebrate/commemorate our bond somehow, and a book seemed like the perfect way. 
 
2. Any quirky writerly habits we should know about? 
 
Quirky writer describes me quite well. For some odd reason I pretty much have to have something in my mouth in order to concentrate while writing. (As I type this I have my headphone cord in my mouth – a habit I do not recommend.) I have a feeling this is why bygone generations always chewed on pencils while being author-ly. I’m also a rather active writer which means I don’t do much writing in public. This past week I was working in front of my sister and she later described me this way: “Lydia makes weird noises as she flies with her arms while sitting at the table all day.” And, that pretty much sums up what I look like…. 
 
3.For you, what is the best part of being a writer? Was it a dream you’ve always had or is it something you just woke up thinking about one day?
 
I joke that the best part about writing is getting to listen to music as I work. But, in reality my real favorite part is the privilege of sharing my thoughts, stories, and ideas with others. 
 
Being a writer is a dream I’ve had ever since I was a little girl and listened to my oldest sister tell amazing stories to me. 
 
4. Through the process of publishing and releasing your novel, and I’m sure, many other fantastic achievements, how would you say you’ve evolved creatively and as a person?
 
One of the big things I’ve discovered is that although I’m a creative person, continuing on with creativity as I grow up has most assuredly been a choice. Therefore, I’ve learned that I can’t take creativity for granted – instead I have to work to be creative and immerse myself in a creative environment each day. 
 
As for evolving as a person… Reading and writing a lot has helped me realize what things in life and relationships really bother me. So, I make it a point to try and notdevelop those habits and tendencies that aren’t productive and worthwhile, and instead work on developing traits that will make my life more helpful to those around me. 
 
5. Can you share some stories about people you’ve met while working on Where Dandelions Grow?
 
I had a great editor for Where Dandelions Grow. We actually ended up working together during a really hard time for me. I had Lyme disease for seven years and moved at a really slow pace and was often unreliable due to being too sick to meet deadlines. Having a patient editor who encouraged me to keep going, but not worry about what I couldn’t do, was incredible. My editor ended up not only helping me with the book, but also with keeping the correct perspective throughout my sickness. 
 
6. Give us a run through on your day to day working life- do you dedicate specific days to writing/ forming ideas or is it just based on what you’re feeling up to at that moment?
 
I don’t have any normal days right now. 🙂 I work part time for my family’s business (which is, thankfully, quite flexible), part time at a coffee shop (which is tons of fun), and part time on writing. That means each day looks quite different. I do try and set specific week or month goals for what I want to accomplish on the writing front, but even that sometimes changes partway through the month. 
 
7. Any golden nuggets of wisdom you have to share? Teach me something!
 
If you have a goal/dream worth pursuing, then go for it! Make sure you have a big enough “why” and then make a plan and hit it hard. 
 
8. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
 
Oh goodness. I’m really not qualified to even venture a guess on that one. Mostly, I’m just so thankful for the publishing industry so that we can have new books! 
 
9. Can you name an early experience when you realised language had power?
 
When I was eight and read a “big” chapter book for the first time (it was probably 250 pages). The book literally changed my mindset and habits as a little girl, and I decided if a story could have that big of an impact on me, then I should become an author, too. 
 
    Just some fun ones now!
 
10. What is the strangest name someone has ever introduced themselves as to you?
 
I don’t specifically recall…. I do have a habit of giving strange nicknames to friends though (and then introducing them to others using that nickname). The strangest nickname I’ve probably ever come up with is “Female Human of the Shrock Family Number Six.” 
 
11. Describe a time where something you can’t explain happened to you.
 
Hmmm… My brain is drawing a blank on this one…. 
 
12. Are you still learning who you are? Imagine you were somebody else. What is one word they’d use to describe you?
 
Ah yes, I think I’ll always be learning about who I am, because I’m constiantly changing and growing. My biggest desire is to grow to be more like Jesus, and that’s something I’ll always have to work on. 
 
One word to describe me? Probably unique
 
13. And last one! What’s your heritage and how do you include parts of it in your life?
 
I had the huge privilege and blessing of growing up in a big (ten kids) family, and we had a stay-at-home mom and were homeschooled. So, my immediate family heritage includes a lot of working together, being taught to work towards our dreams, family time, and exploring the world together. 
My more extended heritage includes German and Irish ancestry, and some relatives that (according to legend) came over on the Mayflower. I’d be delighted to visit Ireland some day.  
 
And that’s it. Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you 🙂 
 
Thank you for having me! 
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About the author:

Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something adventurous author who is partial to hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe, visiting friends in Africa, growing up in a barn and everything in-between. She currently works in a coffee shop during the day and concocts stories by night. Find her online at her  BlogYoutubeFacebook,TwitterGoodreadsInstagram, and Google+ 

Want to grab a copy for yourself now? Great! Head to:

 Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35969327-where-dandelions-grow?from_search=true 

The Awesome blogger award! 😝

Borders-03I am feeling happy today. Sorta like all the colours in the rainbow. I am the rainbow flag! No, that’s not me coming out. Don’t be weird. I am totally not being weird.

I swear, I enjoy these intros too much and I could say a lot more, believe me, but I’ll be nice and just thank my nominator: ENTER THE AWESOME HUMAN @ SHINAVYBLOGSPOT!!

(as you can probably tell, if I was saying this to you (like chatty talking speaking rambling hahahahhhah saying) then I would be using my super elated kiddy screaming joyful voice.

Maryam, you are making such good use of adjectives today! (as totally completely not usual)

In short: I appreciate you VERY MUCH. 😆

And we shall begin! (I am sorry for the complete spam of award posts I’ve been doing lately but I just loooove talking about myself.. looooove it.)

Here are the rules for the Awesome Blogger Award:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Include the reason behind the award.
  3. Include the banner in your post.
  4. Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  5. Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  6. Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  7. Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  8. Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

HAHA, I JUST REALISED I DIDN’T EVEN READ THE RULES. HERE GOES NOTHING:

Maggie over at Dreaming of Guatemala actually created this award, it turns out.. I should do something like that too. QUIRKY BLOGGER AWARDDDDDD YUS YYSUSUSYYSYSYS…  

According to Maggie, “This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

(Maggie, YOU are an awesome blogger.)

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And it’s finally question time! *jumps up and down crazily like someone just said the word ice cream or something*

  1. Describe your personality using three words!

I’d probably say powerful, quirky and non-conventional. These are all so fitting when it comes to moi! I wonder what others would think..

2. Do you like cooking? If so, what is your favourite thing to cook?

Yep, sure do! Cooking is fun. In fact, I have food tech this term and it’s the best ☺There’s plenty of time to complain about errrm, cooking and responsibilities later! I love making cheesecake especially. Seriously, God’s gift to the earth. Pure joy.. in cake.

3. Two of your favourite songs at the moment:

Easy! At the moment, I’m loving Broken Glass by Rachel Platten and What about us by P!nk. There’s such good music out recently and I’ll say it again but so many singers are having personal breakthroughs and releasing some really inspirational material, and I am totally here for it!

4. If you could be on any reality/tv show, what would it be and why?

I don’t know about a reality TV show, but put me on Pretty Little Liars and I’ll have the time of my life. 😂😂 I’m currently watching the series for the first time in my damn life (what was I doing with my time oml?!) and I am so rapt up in the characters and the whole drama/mystery. I’ll just try not to die in the process. All good!

5. One of your pet peeves is..?

Ooh, pet peeves. I hate when you tell somebody a story or send a long text and they give you a really dumb answer like “k” or “kk” or “okay” which all mean the same thing, mind you. It’s like MY BLOOD IS BOILING WITH THE ANGER I FEEL FOR YOU DO NOT DO NOT DO NOOOOT DO THIS TO ME.

#rantover

6. What is your favourite comfort food?

Oh dear, I don’t know! Actually, maybe churros. They are the warmest and sweetest and best thing ever and again, if you don’t even know what I’m talking about, you’re missing out.. especially on cold days. Ahh, food for the soul. 😂😊

7. Your favourite hobby?

Maybe doodling. This is something that anyone who truly knows me or has been in my class can confirm. Today’s doodle was in English class: talking dinosaurs and yelling dinosuars and cross mum dinosaurs. Whatta scene.

8. What country are you from?

I am affectionately known as a ‘multipack’ by my parents, which is just a fancy way of saying that I am of mixed heritage. Half Pakistani, half Maltese!

9. If there is one skill you could master, what would it be?

Ahh, probably the art of being a fantastic speaker. I think it’s a really good skill to have and if you can perfect it.. you’re on the right track. I’m bound to be doing a whole lot of speeches in my life and building skills like these are vital. 💁

10. What’s your favourite beverage?

I don’t really drink soft drinks or anything but I do like the Bundaberg drink variety. They have lots of yummy flavours but are a bit on the pricey side.

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We are da-da-da done! (almost >”<)

Not too many nominations for today but I’ll choose five because I ain’t no rule breaker, mate!

Starling, the mountains are calling, Kally, Lily the Lost Girl and Day Dreamer Teen.

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And I’ve got a few questions:

1. What is your best childhood memory?

2. What do you feel most proud of?

3. If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?

4. What is one of your most defining moments in life so far?

5. Name something you hate with a passion.

6. What is your strongest personal quality?

7. What are you most afraid of?

8. If you were president, what would the first thing you do be?

9. What age do you feel right now and why?

10. If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be?

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Congrats to all my nominees and a lovely day to all! 

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To the bone: raw and unfiltered please

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Ellen is an unruly 20-year-old anorexic girl who spent the better part of her teenage years being shepherded through various recovery programs, only to find herself several pounds lighter every time. Determined to find a solution, her dysfunctional family agrees to send her to a group home for youths, which is led by a non-traditional doctor. Surprised by the unusual rules, Ellen must discover for herself how to confront her addiction and attempt self-acceptance.

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 Two minutes in and this movie is making me nervous. Apparently, it’s meant to be a comedy/drama film (see below), but it’s difficult to get past the ultra skinny babes who can’t have their cake and eat it too. 

 I’m honestly feeling triggered, and damn sad for Lily Collins.

Image result for to the bone tumblr suck my skinny balls

According to more than one source, this is a movie to avoid. Insensitive, innacurate, dangerous and meaningless.

Need I go on? I’m two minutes in and it occurs to me that I should write a review. Let’s see what happens.

One minute later, and I feel terrible. I can hear weird moaning noises, but it turns out that she’s just exercising and it’s painful. I feel terrible. Ah, let’s see. Calorie aspergers? If I’m not mistaken, that’s a totally stupid + offensive thing to say. Oh, and the calorie memorisation? That’s habitual. I’m sure Lily Collins doesn’t need the trigger, but all for a movie, aye?

Nonetheless, I’m still watching.. three minutes in.

8 minutes in and she’s getting weighed. This reminds me of something.

“Jesus, do you think this is beautiful?” “No.”

You look like absolute crap! Every time I ask you why you do this, you give me some non-answer..

I’VE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL. (IT’S GOT ME UNDER CONTROL)

I bet some of them who were about to die said the same thing. *silence* 

I wonder why Lily Collins, former anorexic/bulimic would do this- play a role where it looks like she’s back to phase one. Healing? she says it’s what her former 16 year old self would’ve wanted to see.

I still can’t get over how sick and well, d e a d  she looks. I couldn’t do that- play a role where I was embodying something I’d spent so long running away from.

So far, I’m feeling that most reviews have been unfair.. It’s pretty authentic. She’s at the clinic now, and there’s another girl there. She looks like me. Yes, hit those stereotypes out of the field. They’re not welcome.

She’s just been allowed to go to the bathroom alone. I don’t think that’s allowed.

Image result for to the bone =

I respect Collins a great deal for this. Going to hell and back and still coming out the other end. Some people are watching this for the wrong reasons. It’s not a bad film. Don’t watch it for the wrong reasons. I honestly don’t think it’s romanticising Anorexia, just like I don’t think 13 Reasons Why romanticised suicide.

Find the lie and replace it with the truth.

“I treat kids like you all day every day. I know you’re full of shit and you’re not skinny and you scare people and I know you like that.”

This whole drama is surprisingly funny actually. ‘Ellen’ just made a joke, and it was everythingggg

I don’t think this was meant to be sad. Think new beginnings.. happy.

Okay, seriously? You took her plate and she didn’t eat anything. I feel like if this was real life right now, they’d be force feeding her.

Image result for to the bone ellen eating

Oh my god. Stepmother Susan.. you are not for real! I can’t even imagine what I’d do in this situation. This is just completely and utterly unhelpful and also very triggering. EAT UP ELLEN!

Image result for eat up ellen cake to the bone

It’s a piece of cake. Literally (not). 

Hi, I’m Lucas. Like mucus. 

**when you realise that you’ve probably stopped the moment 1262635257272736366363 times just so you can vomit a whole lot of words out onto a page**

*Please don’t take the vomit part the wrong way.**

I just rant sometimes and need to get all the words out of my brain or it’ll fizzle up and die.

“some of these girls are c u t t e r s?..”

The judgement in Stepmother Susan’s voice makes me wonder what life is anymore. Why, just why?

The rexy olympics

What sort of a term is that?  =/

“Be good. Not too good. Perfect..” I don’t know why, but this line makes me sad. Maybe it’s because perfectionism breeds a weird sort of hate in a person and I know this firsthand.

*22 minutes in and I obviously feel strongly about this film or I wouldn’t have rambled on for two hours**

HAAH! Lucas mucus calles therapy ‘B#!ch and Bull”

that’s something else entirely.Image result for to the bone lucas and ellen

“This is the torture chamber.. also known as the dining room..”

“Priviliges.. earn points, you get to go out on your own. I’m planning my next trip out actually. So far I’ve eaten at nine out of the hundred places I’ve wanted to go.”

Uhh, what happened to not talking about food because It’s boring and I don’t need to know?

I got tubed today, and it hurt. I got all hot and I couldn’t stop thinking about how many calories was in that drip.” 

“1500. I googled that.” there.

It’s not about thin enough, there’s no thin enough. 

Ellen looks a bit horrified at this point. ‘Fat girl’ next to her is eating peanut butter by the tub. I’m vaguely unnerved by this display of courage. I don’t eat peanut butter by the tub.

Now they’re praying to Jesus- laughing yet Daniel? It’s a heartfelt prayer but the cringe factor is just very there.

It’s the next scene and Ellen’s family is in for a group session.. practically abandoned her daughter and now she’s all over her like some feisty monkey.

“You look like a ghost!” Yeah, hi mom. **For the sake of this film, I’m now american okay

(okay, you’ve probably worked out by now that this is a literal second to second review of the film. No statistics, nothing sappy, just you, me and my unfiltered words. It is never my intent to cause offence. This is an official disclaimer. )

Okay, Ellen has three MOMS. THREE! That’s means a lot of chores and whatnot.

“I’m sorry that I’m not a person anymore, I’m a problem.. and it’s all my fault.”

Blame has no place here. Who do YOU want to be?

” I feel angry. It’s like, just eat. And it’s not just her life she’s missing out on, it’s mine. I was robbed of having a sister. When I look at my prom pictures, all I think of is ‘this is when Ellen fainted’ or ‘This is when Ellen was in the hospital’. All my friends think she’s some sort of freak who killed a girl and now what’s worse is that people want to be like her and look like her and go through what she’s going through’

You weren’t responsible for her death. Your drawings.. she sent you the letter. It wasn’t your fault.

butitwasbutitwasbutitwasbutitwas

Miracle potatoes.. every  b i t e  feeds the miracle.

They’ve got a boy anorexic. He was once a dancer with dreams. He’s weird in a funny good way. He looks like you Daniel. 😄

i am weird;

How do you do it, eat, I mean? Don’t you feel all panicky, like the world’s going to end? I do, but I push through anyway. I’m not going to be one of those guys that has to be lifted out of bed with a crane.’

and we’re back to calorie aspergers again and I don’t like it one bit. aghansbdbdd

this film is raw in a way that I can’t quite describe

it looks like reality and its a scary one

even when they say things like

pretty soon you’re gonna be flopping around here like a boneless fish. 

somebody wise once said “Find the lie and replace it with the truth”.

What is YOUR lie saying?

Renew yourself. live a bit. love a little.

repeat.

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infinitelyadaydreamer has reached a new milestone!

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So uh, remember what I said about throwing a party? *partaaaaaaaay**

Yeah? Yeah Maryam? Yeah? Yeah?

You’re all invited! 🎊 So, on the topic of the so called ‘blogging party’.. I’m under the impression that it’s somewhat a simple affair but the traffic generation is nothing to joke about. This is me being serious. Savour the moment. (won’t come again anytime soon.)

okay, scrap that. I like to leave bloopers in okay? This is a blog post, not a movie, so I don’t know if that rule applies but I just made it a rule! Blogging parties look too difficult for my poor little brain to process but *I MAY MAY MAY MAY MAY* consider it should I get some helpful instruction.

Thanks a lot google. ☹

Anyway, you can see that I don’t have a lot of ideas rn. Usually I do. I mean, always. Just not today.

That’s why I’m leaving it up to you guys! What kind of special content would you like to see? Use the comment section to your advantage 💜

And now all that’s left is a big thank you- to each and every one of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It’s an amazing feeling knowing that I can write and people will read and enjoy my content. All of you are true blessings as friends, fellow bloggers and inspirations. I’ve grown a lot since I first started my blog back in 2015 and have achieved things I didn’t even know I was capable of. I started off so small, just a little speck in the bloggerverse (Is that a word?! 🤣) and now look where I am! I find it truly incredible. 100 isn’t a huge number, but it is to me. I remember lots of times where it felt like nobody knew who I was or was reading what I wrote but I know those are times gone by. I’ve reached so many milestones along the way and it’s been an incredible journey. I never would’ve believed that I’d start my own YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGtnTpSQI8AQbC8JgakDfPA), completely change up my writing style and actually start releasing some of that hidden funny online and make good use of the WordPress themes. I was getting some serious fugly vibes before but I’m okay now.

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To all the people who have nominated me for awards, listened to me ramble on (and on and on), been your amazing selves and given good (or constructive!) comments, and a whole lot of other nice things that my *poor little brain* can’t think of at the moment, you’re awesome! You’re an awesome lil unicorn and if I could, I’d buy you all potted flowery cacti.

 

**potted cacti with flowers= the best kind= gimmememmememememme*
Oh, and that number? 100? it’s now 108. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING ILYSM 😁

 

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Oh, yeah. Sorry.

I’ve conveniently been reminded that I should probably shout out my 25th, 50th and finally, my 100th follower.

ThAnK yOu DaNiEl. CHECK OUT HIS YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7HsqiyQEAyXyDFf1lnZXag

*ahhahahahhahahahahha*

So, the list is as follows:

100th:  https://royalkingcaterers.wordpress.com/

50th:    https://haileyhudson.wordpress.com/

25th:    https://abbyuppington.blog/

Ahh.. one more thing. Anybody want to count the amount of times I’ve said ‘thank you’ in this post? Okay, only three but I still feel like I need to make use of those cute things called synonyms.. 😜

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