Be the author of your own story...

Hey all, Sam here writing on a windy Saturday afternoon!

I’m currently in the process of packing to move house. I’m only going 10 minutes down the road from where I am now, but it’s 10 minutes closer to work and I’ll be sharing with a couple of SMASH regulars!

The packing process is one of the most annoying parts of moving and this time around I have started weeks in advance so that I can really think through what 'stuff' I actually need to take with me… the laptop that died two years ago? The brightly coloured, super uncomfortable heels that I wore once for a particular occasion and haven’t touched for 8 years? The pile of 'chick-lit' (aka the book equivalent of a rom-com) that I have not read since 2003!? This time round I’m being more brutal with what goes to charity!!

The pile of books is one of the hardest for me. I have always been a big reader, taking regular trips to the library as a kid, from reading Enid Blyton, to the 'Point Horror'/'Goosebumps' books, moving onto Stephen King and James Herbert. Somewhere along the way I found that the likes of Sophie Kinsella and Celia Ahern also had a place in my heart!

Having carried some of these books around with me for so long, I set myself a mini challenge to read as many as I can before I pass them on. Over the last couple of weeks, in amongst a lot of busy days, I’ve managed to get through three of the 'chick-lit' books. It’s really made me remember how much I love reading – no matter how predictable the storyline is!

This year I have had a few phases – the 'watch all the movies' phase (which also included an 'only Tom Hanks movies' sub-phase); an 'oh my gosh I MUST watch this entire series' phase and now I feel the 'read as much as I can' phase beginning! The main thing all of these phases have in common is that you get to lose yourself in another world for a while. With modern technology, we can be streaming one of the latest blockbusters onto phones or laptops within a matter of minutes and be immersed into a visual and audio fantasy. But a book is something special.

Within an instant of picking up a good book it is our own mind that creates the visual and the audio. Our imagination has the opportunity to get creative, something we rarely get the chance to practice!

Our own lives tell a story and it is up to us to decide what kind of story that will be. A gritty novel with a kickass lead character who saves the day? A romantic comedy with ups and downs, a few misunderstandings but a lot of laughs and love? Whatever it may be, would you read it? Or would you suggest a few tweaks to help your hero/heroine along the way! After all, we are our own authors, and only we can decide what is written in our own lives. There may be cliffhangers, difficulties and chapters that feel like someone else may be writing, but always remember that you always have the power to hold the pen. Our stories will have many chapters, and some may not be as happy as we would like, but each of these chapters make us who we are. Every character has their part to play. Every place the opportunity for drama, love, heartbreak and success. These chapters are the backbone to our stories.

Whatever chapter you are in right now, know that a new chapter is not far away... and it can bring anything!

Enjoy your weekend all… and maybe have a little read!!

Sam and Ash