mua sfx sfxmakeupartist halloween sfxmakeup

Trick or Treat? Self taught special effects make-up artist #Halloween

Welcome each and every one of you, on this night, All Hallows’ Eve.

Let’s start with a treat.

Mua sfx sfxmakeupartist facepaint DarkElf
One devilish Dark-Elf

Introducing a talented lady with a unique skill set for gore. Abi has been busy this Halloween. After performing a frightening 10 hours of sfx witchery, she transformed hordes of people into fantastical fiends. And that was just Saturday; she’ll be gearing up to start again tonight for trick-or-treating.

What I admire most about Abi, is her tenacity. She’s a working, mother of three, with a passion for criminology and law. Making her my ideal research accomplice. Shh … she doesn’t know it yet!

Her established business Face It is a hit with all ages and continues to grow in popularity. I love her disturbingly dark sense of humour, reminding me not to take life to seriously.


Abi not only conjurers up creatures from nightmares and fantasies, she also runs workshops in face painting and special effects.  Last Halloween my daughter and I had the pleasure of attending her sfxmakeup fright night. It was amazing!

Are you ready for your Halloween TRICK?

Feeling brave?

Be warned: Blood and gore.

blood & gore sfxmakeup mua

Happy Halloween my wonderfully, wicked readers.

Author self-doubt tumblr_nxeot3aztf1rj0hrio1_500

Overcoming self-doubt

A lack of faith or confidence in our ability as an author hits us all at one time or another. This past week has been no different for me. My MS is full of tropes. I’m a failure.  No agent is going to accept me. My writing stinks!

Author self-doubt

We’ve all heard the little gremlins, but what makes us carry on despite the crippling fear.

My favourite quote is by Suzy Kassem. She hits the proverbial nail on the head with her wise words. Sometimes it’s the shove I need to keep going, to keep trying and to hope tomorrow I’ll believe in myself once again.

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem.

cat in bed

For me, perseverance is the only option. In the past I’ve buried myself in a double quilt with a large bar of chocolate as my only comfort but life simply passed on by. I now wonder what might have been if I’d had faith in my future.

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”  – Vincent Van Gogh

And so we should continue to paint with our words, dream up lands from fantasy and create what only our minds can conjure.

Remember we have the right to nurture ourselves, to take a step back, regroup and reconnect to those we care about. As a suffer of mental illness, I understand that sometimes the inner voice is the cruellest one of all. So I won’t feel guilty about allowing myself time to pick up the pieces.


 Rest and relaxation does wonders for our muse.

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare.

What helps you navigate from the tiny terrors that whisper inside your mind? Do share, I’d love to know.

writer, coffee, bag, pen, notebook

7 Writing tips by Lorraine Ambers

Hello and welcome, today I thought I’d share some of my favourite tips with you. The kind of advice I wish I always used but as I’m only human, I too forget.

Like the wonderful author Judith Barrow keeps telling me: Read your work aloud. It helps to identify poor flowing work, straighten out kinks and generally is a great tool for your revision. (Yes, she tells me after each critique session when I clearly have not done so.)

Use your own writing voice, don’t try to imitate someone else’s. Publishers want your unique style that only you can deliver, so quite struggling with the pretence and allow your words to flow through the pen.

pixabay tips ideas
Tips anyone?

As a follow on to the last point, always carry a note book and pen, pencil or if you fancy a crayon. I can’t tell you how many times I should have been prepared. In your handbag/ backpack, in the glove box, by your bed or even record your words of epiphany onto your mobile phone. You always think you’ll remember the clever prose or genius plot twists – but you won’t.

A small tip for any of my writing mums or dads, don’t even think about writing when the kids are awake, at home and never in the holidays. It always results in tears and tantrums; mostly mine because they will not let me write. Any writer – parenting tips welcome.

Writer tantrum
Danger! Writer tantrum.

I am the queen of daydreams and procrastination. So I need some limits and boundaries, even if its to write for 20 minutes a day. Most likely, I’ll be typing for hours but on the days I struggle to get two words out it will help me return for the next monotonous writing event. We all have those days, you are not alone!

Afternoon tea, cake, teapots
Anyone for afternoon tea?

Bring a fresh mug of tea, doesn’t help me write but it sure does lift my spirits. A happy writer is… well, still just a writer but we all have our little comforts. So why not enjoy the perks of working from home, all alone and enjoy whatever treats we choose, just because we can. 😉

For today’s last tip; One I wished I used but learnt the hard way, back up your work. Save it to a cloud, on a memory stick, on your computer – and just to be extra sure, a printed out MS, in a sealed self addressed envelope that you lock in a vault. A bit excessive but you understand my point, when the works gone, its gone, so take care of it people.

Tell me about your writing tips, quirks or habits and have you also learnt the hard way?