On Hitting 100 Followers and the Creation of a Sister Site!

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Wow! So, here we are! 100 followers! *Cue party blowers and confetti showers* I didn’t think I’d ever get to the point where 100 people would voluntarily subject themselves to my waffling posts and inane ramblings that I try to pass off as “writing”. But here we are! So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you — it really means a lot! Here’s to many more stories in the future! šŸ™‚

I do apologise that my Bite-Sized Horror series has fallen by the wayside recently, but I’ve had neither the time nor the energy to keep it up at a consistent quality. Maybe when my life returns to something that resembles normality, it’ll make a return! In the meantime, I hope my short stories alone are enough fuel for thought (fuel for nightmare?).

Okay, so, that fanfare and apology is out of the way and done with — on to the next part. Writing is one of my main hobbies, alongside music (which I write, record and publish online) and art. It’s this latter point I’d like to draw your attention to. I like to make my own art (mostly digital paintings), and I’ve recently been adding images of my own creation to my short stories (check out the latest additions, for examples!). Well, it turns out that I’ve amassed quite a lot of art over the course of this hobby, and a few weeks ago I started sharing the pieces via Instagram, to positive response. I thought to myself, “Why not do the same on WordPress?”

I didn’t want to start uploading art onto this blog, as it’s solely for my short stories and horror pieces, and I didn’t want to get my threads crossed or to strike tonal inconsistencies — my stories are, for the most part, horror-themed, whereas my art is quite gentle, dreamy, and psychedelic. So, I’ve made a sister site on WordPress, dedicated entirely to my art. If you’re in any way interested, you can find it here: https://artinsoulstudio.wordpress.com/ — but at the moment, it’s in its fledgling stages!

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An example of the sort of art I’ll be sharing! Artwork by Joshua G. J. Insole

Don’t worry, though — writing is (and shall remain) my main point of focus (even if I don’t have time to work on Bite-Sized Horror!). Art is quite a quick time-filler — I can bash out a painting in ten minutes or so; it doesn’t occupy that much time. I just thought it might be nice to also start sharing my other creative hobbies, as well!

Well, I guess that’s all I really wanted to say! So, thanks for the follows, likes, comments and shares over this past year — I look forward to many more years of blogging with you guys!

P.S. If you’re interested in my music, you can find it on YouTube or SoundCloud!

Real Neat Blog Award Nomination!

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Another nice post to be making, in between all of the scary stuff! In addition to Chris nominating me for the Liesbter Award, PJ has nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award! First of all, thanks so much, PJ — it really means a lot! Having two of these things in a week really put a smile on my face. If you haven’t already, I heartily recommend paying PJ’s blog a visit — it’s full of incredible poetry! PJ’s words are honest and sincere, and possess a quiet profundity that I think is really rare. So be sure to check out PJ’s work!

The rules for the Real Neat Blog Award are fairly similar to the Liebster Award:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of people, linking to their blogs and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
  5. Come up with 7 questions for the people you nominated

So, let’s answer PJ’s questions! PJ asked some really insightful questions, and I’ve tried to be as honest as possible!


What are 3 things we can’t live without?

The biologist in me wanted to start listing theĀ technicalĀ requirements for life, but anyone can pick up a textbook and find those out. šŸ˜‰ For me, I think the top three things that I couldn’t live without would be:

  1. Love — I cannot imagine a life without my partner
  2. Music — a life without Pink Floyd or David Bowie or The Smiths? No thanks!
  3. Books — who’d want to live in a world where neither King nor Pratchett put pen to paper?

 

Who do you wish could live forever?

Stephen King! His books were the first ‘adult’ books I read, in that awkward phase between childhood and adulthood — I was searching for a novel that appealed toĀ me, and thenĀ boom, I readĀ The Shining. Life was never the same, for 14-year-old me! Everything King writes is (in my opinion) gold. Plus, he writes faster than I can read! I don’t know how he does it. I hope he can keep pumping out novels for ever…

 

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Oh, I have so many. I guess my biggest one would be people who make loud noises in quiet places. For example: people who talk loudly in libraries, people who have conversations over their phone’s loudspeaker whilst sitting in the quiet zone of the train, people who blast obnoxious music from their car, etc. I guess my biggest pet peeve is just inconsiderate people!

 

Name a memory that changed you in some way and why.

Sitting in the sun with my grandmother, after we’d both been for a swim. We sat there, letting the sun dry us, talking about nothing in particular — just enjoying the good weather and each other’s company.

I think this memory taught me of what’s really important — loved ones and happiness. And the importance of just relaxing and having a moment to catch your breath!

 

Night owl or early bird?

Night owl by nature! The darkness just feels right — not in aĀ spooky way, either. I guess I’m just a nyctophile!Ā Ā However, I’m learning to appreciate the mornings more, as I get older. I try to not sleep in too much, anymore. I’m starting to enjoy the productivity that can be found in the daylight!

 

If you could travel to anywhere (for free) in the world, where would you go?

I’ve done a fair bit of travelling already, but there’s still so many places that I haven’t been. It’s my goal to have visitedĀ everywhere at least once before I die. If I could pick one placeĀ right now, I guess I’d pick the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand.

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Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

 

What’s your inspiration?

Honestly? Everything. From the book I’m currently reading (Cormac McCarthy’sĀ No Country For Old Men), to the TV series I’m watching (Disenchantment), to the music I’m currently jamming (Anthrax’sĀ Among the Living album, Ghost’sĀ Seven Inches of Satanic PanicĀ EP, Foals’ latest singles from their upcoming albumĀ Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost — Part 2, and Michael Kiwanuka’sĀ You Ain’t the Problem), to the time of year and the weather — Josh in the sunny summer has very different creative ideas compared to Josh in the blustery autumn!


My seven questions:

1) What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? If given the chance, would you do it again?

2) If you were to meet a genie, what three things would you wish for?

3) Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert?

4) In the future, humanity makes contact with an intergalactic alien species. You get the honour of presenting five pieces of art (music, books, TV shows, movies, etc.) — what do you pick?

5) What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of?

6) If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

7) If animals could speak human languages, which species would be the rudest?


My nominations:

  • Gary JefferiesĀ — not only is Gary a tremendously friendly guy, but he writes some terrific stories! Be sure to check out his work. Also, head on over to the community of writers that Gary is building with Rachael RitcheyĀ (whom you should also check out) —Ā BlogBattlers! They have monthly prompts, and it’s a lot of fun participating.
  • PMuĀ — there’s some absolutely gorgeous artwork on this blog. Just go and have a look. Take my word for it.
  • Floating GoldĀ — I found Floating Gold through the aforementioned BlogBattle.Ā Like Gary, Floating Gold writes some amazing stories, and I cannot recommend them enough. So pop on over and have a read!
  • Seolin JungĀ — An Alien at Sea’s blog contains some amazingly creative pieces of fiction. Seolin’s work often broaches the topics of mental health and other such emotionally-charged subjects — always handled in a caring and intelligent manner. Have a read!

As with the other award nomination, thereā€™s no pressure at all to make a response post! This is meant to be lighthearted and fun. If you do decide to make a response post, get silly with it and have fun! Have a good one!

Liebster Award 2019 Nomination!

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Well, this is quite a nice post to be making — Chris Hewitt of Mused.BlogĀ has nominated me for the Liebster Award! First of all, thank you very much, Chris — it really means a lot. If you haven’t visited Chris’ blog yet, I thoroughly recommend Mused.BlogĀ — check it out! He’s got some excellent short stories and flash fiction going on.

So, what is the Liebster Award? Well, it’s essentially an award for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers (such as my blog). It’s an award given by bloggers to other bloggers — I think it’s a great way to support new bloggers and blogs that might otherwise fly under the radar.

There are a few rules to the award — answer the questions posed by the person nominating you in a post (with a link back to them), set five new questions, and nominate other bloggers wither fewer than 200 followers.

Okay! On to my answers! Chris came up with some really cool questions, so I had to give it a bit of thought… Be warned, these answers are quite lengthy! šŸ˜‰


Oh no, it’s another global apocalypse. Only one book, one movie and one song will survive into the brave new world. Which do you pick?

The book would have to be Stephen King’sĀ The Shining — it was one of the first ‘adult’ books I ever read… there are few authors who can tear your heart in two whilst absolutely terrifying you in the way that King does.

The movie would beĀ Aliens! I love all things horror, and the originalĀ AlienĀ is a masterclass in claustrophobic terror, but I just love James Cameron’s sequel! “Get away from her, youĀ bitch!”

The song would beĀ Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. I dare anyone to listen to that song and not sing along — perfect for lifting spirits after the collapse!

 

Battle Royale: a T-Rex, three tigers, one hundred rats, which would win? Show your working out.

Now, that’s aĀ good question. Buckle up for the answer!

It’s been estimated that the T-Rex had a bite force of 431,000 pounds per square inch (psi). A tiger has a bite force of 1,050 psi — which is still huge, considering that it’s twice that of a lion (we humans have a bite strength of 200 pounds). Rats are astounding creatures — they have a bite force of 24,000 psi! So, all of these creatures have the ability to puncture one another’s flesh with a reasonable amount of ferocity. The T-Rex could kill the other two in one attack, whereas the tigers would take a while to bring down the T-Rex. The rats would likely fail against the other two individually, but as a collective they might have a chance to bring down the predators.

The speed of the animals would play a large role, too. It’s been hotly debated how fast a T-Rex could run, but current estimates are around 11 and 33 miles per hour (mph). An adult tiger can run at 30 – 40 mph, so they’d easily have the advantage over the T-Rex — likely managing to get lots of quick attacks in between the Rex’s slower movements. Rats can only manage a paltry 8 mph — a good portion of their army would likely be KOd rather quickly by the predators.

You’d also have to factor in the hides of the animals, as well — how well could they withstand the attacks of the other two? I’m not an expert on this, but I’d guess that the T-Rex had very thick skin and would be able to take a lot of damage. Tigers are also fairly resilient animals, and could likely keep fighting until their last breath — but I imagine if the Rex were able to land a solid attack, it’d be an instant game over for the tiger. Rats, on the other hand, would likely face an instant death should an attack be successful against them.

Additionally, you have to consider terrain. Whose home ground is it? At the moment, I think it’s fairly even between the T-Rex and the tiger, but if the animal were in an environment to which it has adapted, I’d say that’d swing the balance.

Finally, we have to acknowledge bacteria and disease. The Rex existed at a much different time point to the tiger and the rat, so it would likely have a much different immune system. It’s well known that rats are efficient carriers of disease — if they were able to take a quick bite at the Rex, it’s probable that the prehistoric predator would not have the capabilities to deal with modern day diseases, such as the plague (yes, it’s still a thing). This might also be true of the tiger, as well — due to difference in environments.

Overall, I think it’d be close between the two predators, but the victor would likely die shortly after from infection. I think the likely winner would be the rats, due to their sheer number — a good few would perish, but I imagine one or two would escape the chaos, long enough to see the predators fall to disease.

Whew!

 

The Gods have chosen to remove one of your senses, in exchange, they’ll make one of your remaining senses a super-sense. Which one do you lose, and which one do you improve?

Technically, we as humans have aĀ bucketloadĀ of senses — such as the sense to gauge time, senses for balance, senses for gravity, proprioception, etc., but I’m gonna keep it simple and stick to the basic five. (Have a google search on this topic, you can really go down the rabbit hole on our different types of senses!)

I’d choose to lose my sense of smell. It’s important for enjoying food, but I reckon it’s the one that I could do without.

I’d like to improve my hearing — imagine being able to navigate in the pitch black, using your own sonar!

 

You have died, bad luck! Luckily you’ve been offered the choice of being reborn at a time and location of your choosing with all your current knowledge intact. Where and when do you choose?

I’d like to go back to the mid-seventies. 1) I could see all of the awesome bands in their prime — Pink Floyd, Queen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, David Bowie, The Smiths, Joy Division etc. 2) I have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a master’s degree in neuroscience — I could win some Nobel prizes and be set for life with the winnings! The seventies aren’t so far back in time that scientific research would be difficult to conduct, and with knowledge of the right answers, I could focus my research.

 

What’s the best and worst thing about blogging?

The best thing is easily the other bloggers! I love the sense of community and the encouragement everyone gives each other.

The worst thing is the feeling of guilt I get when I can’t post or respond as quickly as I like! Sometimes, life gets in the way…


My five questions:

1) If money were of no importance, what would you be doing with your life, right now?

2) What’s your favourite genre, and why? (This can be for books, movies, or music!)

3) If you could take credit for one piece of work in history, what would it be? This could be a book, a song, a movie script, etc.

4) If you knew you would die in a year, what are the top things you’d like to do before kicking the bucket?

5) Tell me something that I (probably) don’t know! Did you know that the prominent joints on the legs of a flamingo are actually its ankles? The knees are closer to the body and are hidden by feathers!

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Photo by Len on Pexels.com

My nominations:

  • PJ — PJ writes amazing poems, and has a real talent when it comes to making a big impact with few words. PJ’s works have an authentic rawness to them! (PJ actually nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award, which I will be responding to soon!)
  • Rachel AdmasĀ — Rachel makes stunning artwork, often on paper. Her work is brilliantly original — I can’t recommend her blog enough.
  • The Rookery — a hypnotic blend of art, profound poetry, and general musings on life. I’m not quite sure what category The Rookery falls into, but it’s all brilliant!

There’s no pressure to make a response post, this is just a bit of fun! If you do make a response, I hope you have fun with it. The rules can be found here. Happy blogging!