Happy new year!!

It’s been quite a while since I made a post on here. Life has gotten in the way, but I’m back again in this new year. As of today I’ve just hit 64,000 words in my latest story, with the working title End of Times. It’s going to be the longest thing I’ve written, and I’m no where near the end. I’m really excited to share it with everyone, but it’s going to be a long way off. I think I’m about a third of the way through the story and it’s going really well. I have been writing between 500 and 1000 words a day, and it’s my first resolution of 2020 to carry that on.

2020 is going to be an exciting year. I’m getting married in April. It’s going to be here before I know it. Lots of planning and preparing to be done and no time to be nervous.

My fiance bought me a new tablet with a keyboard, that I’m using at the moment to write this, which allows me to write wherever I am. It’s much lighter and smaller than a laptop so I can write on my lunch at work.

I’ve been reading a lot more recently, which is good. I used to read all the time, but the heavy reading lists (including some really dull books) at university made reading less fun. It’s taken me a few years, but I feel that I’m enjoying reading a lot more than I used to. My second resolution for 2020 is to read one book a week.

At the moment I’m in full-on Star Wars mode. I’m reading Star Wars Thrawn, about 200 pages in, and really enjoying it. I have a pile of Star Wars comics to get through. I’ve also seen Rise of Skywalker twice at the cinema and loved it both times. Before it came out, Tabby and I watched all of the films, episodes 1 – 8, Rogue One and Solo (In about a week and a half), and Rise of Skywalker feels like a natural conclusion to everything. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what they do next with the franchise. The stand alone movies in a couple of years can’t come quick enough.

I read Watchers by Dean Koontz between Christmas and New Years, which was a really good read. It’s a real page turner and I got through it much quicker than I thought I would. I haven’t read much of Dean Koontz, but I plan on changing that in the next couple of months.

Looking back at 2019, we had a lot of excellent books and films. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood really stands out as my book of the year. It’s sequel we didn’t need, but it more than lives up to the original. I really enjoyed it and urge anyone who hasn’t, to read both The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments. You won’t be disappointed.

My film of the year is a toss up between Knives Out and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I keep on going back and forth between the two. Knives Out is a really fun film that kept me guessing to the end and I’m really happy to hear its getting a sequel. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an epic that only Tarentino can make. When watching I was completely absorbed into that world. My only gripe is the length as I had to leave the cinema to go to the toilet. I got the blu ray for Christmas and re-watched it to see the bit I missed, and enjoyed the film even more the second time around. I’ve read rumours of a 4 hour version coming out this year and I am more than happy to enter that world again and see more.

I’ve also joined Letterboxd to keep track of the films that I’ve watched and hopefully find some films that I would otherwise miss. If you would like to follow me, or check out my ratings on the films I’ve seen so far this year, you can do so here:


I have one list on my profile of my favourite films, which is in no way complete and I plan to add to it soon.

My third and final resolution for 2020 is to update this blog more often. I don’t write on it enough, even though I enjoy doing it. My plan is to do more little update posts. Keep people updated with how writing is going, the films I’ve watched and the books I’ve read as well as news on when books will be coming out. I have 4 finished novels, with only 1 published. I really want to get my writing out there to as many people as possible and I plan on taking that a lot more seriously this year.

Thanks for reading and until next time,


About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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