books, ness talks about life

a visit from aprils past

I’ve been keeping of words and books for a long time now. It’s not long when compared to some blogs, but if you compare it to the lifespan of a mayfly … my gosh! It’s been an age.

april 2018 … i read disturbing things

I was in Canada and borrowing heavily from the library. I learned about the Opium Wars which made me think: my word, Britain, what the heck were you DOING? And then I learned about the Rape of Nanking … which is probably one of the most horrifying books I’ve ever read. I had to stop reading it on the bus because it was driving me to tears. So that was that.

april 2017 … prolific! I was prolific!

I wrote a total of FOUR BLOG POSTS IN ONE MONTH!! I know. Given my current track record, this is amazing. I wrote about two lessons I’d learned that month (novels on the high seas aren’t always my cup of tea AND IT IS POSSIBLE TO ENJOY A YA BOOK!! WOOT WOOT!)

I did a writing tag (but called it ‘the writing stag’ because it was funny), told everyone why I loved one star reviews (and then had a crisis because I felt bad for liking them) and rejoiced that a YA duology DID NOT HAVE A LOVE TRIANGLE WHAAAAATTT?!!!

april 2016 … I GOT MY EARS PIERCED

I got my ears pierced and wrote about the gory details (turns out … I REALLY don’t like getting holes pUNCHED INTO MY FLESH!!), admitted that I had read neither Pride and Prejudice or Lord of the Rings and donated some books to the charity shop – one of which was a Georgette Heyer. Do I regret it? Yes, I do.

april 2015 … a lot happened. Also – I wrote four posts AGAIN

I spent a whole weekend reading a Bronte and was VIOLENTLY unhappy about it and ranted a great deal. I read ‘The Tailsman Ring’ by Georgette Heyer and loved it. And spread the love. I drove seven hours to buy some books and I HAD AND STILL HAVE NO REGRETS. And lastly, I used a prompt from Rachel Heffington’s blog to write a short story about cupcakes – I enjoyed it immensely.


I wrote a how to guide on how to acquire books without becoming penniless (and my guide still holds to this day.) I wrote about some useful links – I still listen to Dan Carlin’s podcasts by the way, and I STILL highly recommend them.

In a historic move, I merged two of my blogs and made them into of words and books so I guess April is of words and books’ proper birthday month. (Woot woot!) I once again used a prompt from Heffington and also posted some snippets from Trials of a Blacksmith – the trilogy of which … still isn’t finished. Oops!

And those are all the Aprils in which I’ve posted on my blog. How time flies! Some of these memories – reading Villette in the garden, collecting Heyers and writing about my love for them, giggling about taking a prompt of ‘travel-by-foot’ and turning it into a story about people dressing up as cupcakes – are so close that if I shut my eyes, I’m there again … basking in sunshine or tapping away at my computer with a laugh caught in my throat. However, there’s some distance.

The Ness of then and the Ness of now has changed. Grown up – a little or more than a little, who knows? But one thing hasn’t changed – I still love writing, I love reading, I adore adventures. Life is hard sometimes but life is also beautiful. And with a book in hand and a story in my soul … oh, it’s a grand adventure.

Happy Reading!

ness talks about life

bloggers, blogging [part two]

Part One was here. This is Part Two (WHAT! IT IS?). I’ve spent a long time on the blogosphere, mostly stalking people. Here are a few more of my victims …



When I was a teenager, I was slightly in awe of Jenny Freitag, because a) she was an author (A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!), b) she dripped with intellectual greatness (my humour and writing has ever been … none-intellectual. I have since learned to accept myself), and c) she read Rosemary Sutcliff’s books.

Freitag’s book The Shadow Things was the first book I bought from a blog I’d followed. (My logic was: she likes Sutcliff, therefore, her books might be flavoured with some Sutcliff-y things.)

(And it was.)DistortedBitesizedIndusriverdolphin-small.gif

I still read Jenny’s blog, but mostly I stalk her instagram where there are kittens + babies + and a beautiful aesthetic. (Which, FYI, is not pronounced as ‘anaesthetic’. Yes. I’m glaring at myself in the mirror.)

BLOG STATUS: active, still slayin’ and that instagram tho’



I’d be reading a blog and if they’d have a ‘blog’s I follow’ bar down the side and followed this one? I’d have to click on Jack’s posts. Every. Single. Time.

Oh yes. I was clickbaited before it became a thing. I am a hipster clickbaited chick (?). And you know what? It’s been years now, but when I go back to my blogger homepage and I see her posts? I still get drawn in.

She uses quotes, you see. And I can’t resist a good quotation.


BLOG STATUS: ‘What if we covered his nose and mouth” “That’s called murder.” [Actual blog title] [DO YOU SEE WHY I HAVE TO CLICK?!!]



georgette heyer
this, but maybe tripled …

I think it was Mirriam Neal’s blog that introduced me to Heyer. I blame her. Oh, do I blame her. I own a bloomin’ awful lot of Georgette Heyer’s books, have blogged about them, obsessed about them, decided to marry their heroes, quoted them, and consumed a biography and a book about Heyer’s regency world.

To sum up – Mirriam Neal has cost me a pile of money and I regret NOTHING.

And because I have no intelligence or worry that the Heyer Happening could happen again, I still follow her blog. C’mon, it’s interesting – and it’s not like when I discover a new author I buy all their books, is it? Is it?

BLOG STATUS: active, taking my life and bank account into my hands each time I click on her blog. [I’m kidding.] [I’m not.]



I think Faith first commented on my blogspot blog. (THANK YOU, FAITH) And for some reason still reads this blog – for which, of course, I adore her.

But when I stalked her – I found, to my delight, that she too liked k-dramas (!!!!!!!!). I haven’t watched a k-drama since last Christmas – but Playful Kiss, The Devil Beside You (yes, I know – not a k-drama, but a t-drama?) and Fated To Love You will always have a special place in my heart.

(And also that drama with Mike He and the bread and amnesia and the song ‘Ideal Garden’ that I love. But … I can’t remember what that’s called.)

And MY WORD isn’t Jang Hyuk’s laugh the absolute most hysterical thing you’ve ever heard?

Obviously, Faith’s blog is not allll about k-dramas – she has excellent taste in books too – but this has given me the opportunity to ramble about them, so thank you.

BLOG STATUS: active, tempting me to throw my life aside for a little while and dive into another drama.



Cait writes books in a flicker of an eyelid, devours books like the bookdragon she is, and blogs almost daily.

She’s really quite funny, is obsessed with cake and dragons, and also has just got a two book deal. So a huge congratulations to her.

But one day, I will find out how she does it. One day. The answer probably has something to do with dragons and I am 100% okay with that.



ness talks about life

‘Sup, Sistah!


I have been tagged by the wonderful katiescottage and have faithfully filled out her questions:

1.) Do you enjoy horseback riding?

Yes. I love it. I used to have riding lessons. But then I fell ill, stayed in bed, got out of bed, had a lesson in the rain, got yelled at in the rain and had a horse that wanted to throw me.

It was a bad day.

2.) Do you prefer Charlotte Bronte or Jane Austen?

Oh crumbs. Do you want to know a secret? Lean in. A little closer. *whispers something inaudible*. And that’s why it will be Charlotte Bronte every time.

3.) Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Right handed.

4.) What is your favorite sport?

I enjoy watching skeleton racing, ice skating and that sort of thing. Oh, and rugby (in small quantities – too much of a good thing can be bad for your mental health).

5.) What is the most unusual thing you have ever done?

Tapped a burglar on the shoulder in the dead of night and called him Mum. It made sense at the time!

6.) Do you prefer the mountains or the seaside?

Can I have both? Please? Though truthfully, I think I would have to choose mountains. There is something timeless and majestic about them.

7.) How tall are you?

I’m practically the shortest in my family.

8.) Do you prefer cats or dogs?

Can I have both? Because I love both. One day I shall own a cat. It shall be called Archibald and it shall be my Archibald. (Too much?)

9.) Can you sing?

By golly I can, and do. Whether I can sing well is another matter.

10.) Do you prefer classic Sherlock Holmes or the contemporary Sherlock?

I like the clever way they’ve adapted everything in BBC Sherlock, but you can’t really beat Basil Rathbone. Not really. (Though I can’t say I’m a complete authority on the matter, I’m more of a Poirot/Marple fan).

some shoes. my shoes. red shoes. … I don’t think I can make that rhyme

Now, I believe I am supposed to nominate ten other bloggers to answer ten more questions. I am choosing to forgo this (breakz rulez) and nominate anyone who reads this post and has a blog. (But if you don’t have a blog, please do shoot them over to me by email, I’m always interested in stalking getting to know the patient folk who do me the honour of reading this blog).

And the next ten questions for you to answer? Here they be:

Do you like hedgehogs? // Have you ever accidentally tripped over your own leg? // If you could suddenly pick up a musical instrument and make your hearers weep from the vast emotion you summon, what would it be? // Cold or hot, which extreme weather would you rather suffer in? // Tea or coffee? // Roses or carnations? // Would you rather be chased by a hungry lion or a mad bull? // Do you have any scars? // E-book or paperback? // Favourite or favorite?

Have a marvelous weekend!

ness talks about life

Oh look … a Spring Clean!

Or more of a Spring merge. See, I have two blogs on WordPress and while I enjoy doing both of them, sometimes one can suffer from neglect. I don’t really enjoy leaving blogs to gather dust. So … it’s time for both blogs to collide and become one much more interesting whole: of words & books.

I won’t be deleting Adventures of the Bookish Kind but I won’t be updating it. Meanwhile, over here on the former lettuce write! there will be more regular postings (I hope, but one never knows these things. I do, however, possess the intention of posting regularly. Which has to mean something). I will also be keeping up the various blog series that were on Adventures of the Bookish Kind (Quotables, Recountings and Bookish Influences).

Is there a story behind the new blog title? No, not really. I just want it to illustrate the content of the blog, and also provide me with more freedom in subject matter. Whilst it may seem a little dry and dosn’t contain any reference to bunnies, I’m quite happy with it (the blog title of ‘all things bright and bookiful‘ crossed my mind but was dismissed as a potential title. But I did find it amusing).

So welcome to of words & books and here’s to Spring and New Beginnings.

Happy Easter everyone!

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? – John 11 v 25 – 26