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Showing posts from 2012

Change

Change is a stupidly odd thing. We have to get used to things altering and things becoming different. No matter how much we want it or resist it, change always comes and with it comes the oddness.

We have to adjust in life; as we grow up with have to learn to drink and cook and be in relationships and be single and read and write and fend for ourselves.

I'm currently seventeen years old and I have no idea who I want to be. I have no idea how I'll feel tomorrow or what I want to do with my life and that is bloody scary. As much as I want things to change - as much as I want to leave school and leave the people I spend time with - I also don't. I don't want to meet new people and leave my current friends because I really, really enjoy their company.

I don't want to go from someone who (kind of) knows stuff to someone who (really) doesn't.

It's weird thinking about the future, even thinking about tomorrow or the next hour - you never know (to write a cliche) w…

Aspirations

If money was no object then the job I'd want to do is be a writer. It's a little dream I've had in the back of my mind since I can remember but I've never been serious about it. Why? Because of doubts and money and talent and the competitiveness of it.

I'm pretty much set on wanting to be an editor in a book publishing company now. If that means I have to spend hours on end making cups of coffee and tea and running errands and proofing articles and what have you, I'll do it.

I don't aspire to be an editor because I want 'a way into the publishing business' - I'm pretty sure publishing houses will have policies where they cannot publish their own editors novels - I want to be an editor because I want to work with writers, I want to immerse myself in the world books and the people that write them.

I don't know how the heck I'm going to get there, but I hope I can. I'm going to give it a try anyway.

Aspirations can span from the realist…

It's a SIGN!

Last summer I read a book called "What does it all mean?" by Thomas Nagel and I highly recommend reading it. It's a philosophical discussion about life and everything and though, yes, it hurt my head it was also really, really good! One of the points it discussed has stuck with me: I could be imagining - inventing the book as I read it. It could all be in my head.

A pretty famous guy (I think his name was Descard or something - I'm kidding, Descartes is to whom I am referring) once said cogito ergo sum or more commonly known as "I think therefore I am". His fundamental argument was that the only thing that he couldn't doubt was the fact that he was doubting, thus his mind or his 'thinking being' must exist. My point here is that I could be the only thing that exists (yay idealism!).

We're reading Der Besuch der alten Dame in German. The antagonist is Claire Zachanassian (we have the pleasure of sharing first names) and she is MEAN. She's…

Misunderstanding

I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.

These words uttered by Augustus Waters in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars have been hugely misunderstood by me. I guess I've always regarded them as... as a positive thing - the notion of going up brings ideas of going up in the world and that sort of thing but now I see it differently.

What fun would a roller coaster be if it only went up? As well as being entirely dysfunctional, kind of bad and rubbishly impossible it would be... suspenseful. It would be a way of living filled with dissatisfaction and waiting and would just be so... hopeless.

I don't know why but it's just changed for me tonight, I've seen it in a completely different way; life can sometimes be like this stupidly suspenseful, waiting-around, false-hope filled thing and it's only when you realise that the suspense isn't going to lead to anything, the waiting around won't either and the hope is entirely, one-hundred percent w…

'The Night Circus': Thoughts

This summer I had the pleasure of reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern whilst I was on holiday. It was also on this holiday that, since I couldn't do anything that involved physical-ness, I wrote an essay using one of the Richard and Judy Book Club discussion question things. Please bare in mind that this is an essay and does involve spoilers. 

"The Night Circus" has been described as a fairytale. Do you see echos of other fairytales in this novel?

THE idea of a circus appearing seemingly out of nowhere is a motif that runs through many fairytales. An element of surprise or something happening "without warning" is something that can be seen in fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood - whereby the wolf is an unexpected and enigmatic character. Not only this but the theme of magic runs strong throughout the novel.
MORGENSTERN'S characters all have striking resemblances to typical fairytale characters. Prospero the Enchanter, as well as alluding to Sh…

Re-reading appreciation post

I don't re-read as much as I should. Sometimes when I'm just looking at my books I think time after time "I really should re-read that sometime" and then sigh wistfully at my school reading and my to-be-read shelf and my amazon wish-list...

I've got into a very bad habit of starting books and not finishing them so, I tell you this now: I will not start anymore books until I've finished the ones I'm reading at the moment which are...
Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Q: A Love Story by Evan Mandery
Stasiland by Anna Funder
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

.   .   .   Christ I'm bad. Okay - never mind NaNoWriMo I'm going to do NaNoReMo. I'm going to aim to hit my 60 books mark by the end of November.

I try to re-read A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett every year just because it's simply a wonderful…

Tangled

I think the reason I loved the Disney film Tangled so much is because it explained something to me; it explained that life can be lost, it can be controlled, emotions can get tangled, some dreams are worth chasing and... love. It explained love to me. Rapunzel and Eugene grew together and they needed each other and yes, it's a Disney film and yes it's a fairytale but the message it held was so much more than that...

Emotions are messy. We question the motives of people and sometimes we judge someone before we know them; it takes a girl who has been so sheltered from life to show us that it's sometimes better not to judge and to trust people with more ease.

As well as being funny, Tangled - for me - was about questioning things, about enjoying life and yeah, chasing that dream.

Tangled is the hug that I really needed right now.

Life is a Cabaret

It wasn't entirely that long ago that I sat down with my sister and channel hopped, looking aimlessly through what was on TV. It was there we came across the film Cabaret. I had heard of this film, yes, and admittedly I did get a little mixed up between it and Chicago but upon watching it I was absolutely fascinated.

I'm not really one for 'analysing' films but having just come out of watching the televised 1993 version, directed by Sam Mendes (starring: Alan Cumming as Emcee, Jane Horrocks as Sally Bowles and Adam Godley as Cliff) I cannot help but look at the differences between it and the 1972 film directed by Bob Fosse (starring: Joel Grey as Emcee, Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles and Michael York as Brian). Saying that this is not a comparison! I'm not going to say 'this' is better than 'that' because they are both bloody marvelous. What I am going to do is say what I preferred.

The story of Cabaret is shocking, thought-provoking and just... wow.…

iPads for, um, learning

Our school has made the decidedly huge leap forward and has offered all our students to purchase an iPad over the course of a number of years. Now, I'm all for enhancing learning and I'm all for moving with the times but when I walk through the corridor at lunch time and people are not conversing, oh no, but sitting on their iPads I get a little downhearted.

I'm not saying that I don't do this either; there are times when I will sit on my phone and not talk, or read and not talk but there's always been some people talking in those situations.

I can understand the attraction of an iPad; there's an abundance of apps and there's emails and there's messaging and facebook so it's not exactly unsocial... but it's somewhat unnerving when no one is talking because of these devices...

Perhaps people need to look up and look around them a little more sometimes. I don't know, iPads seem a good idea in some situations but maybe not this one.

Romantic love

I would class myself as a bit of a Romantic. I like gestures and the idea of a happily ever after and the thought that two people can fall in love and stay together forever. I like that, I like it a lot. The first quotation that ever really stuck in my mind was a Shelley quote: soul meets soul on lovers' lips. Iloveit...

I love the thought that when two people who love each other kiss a connection is formed. I love it but I don't know if it's true. I'm not trying to be all mopey and depressing, because that's not the stance I take on this; but if this idea of love we have, the sublime and Romantic one, exists then why do people act the way they do?

People cheat, people fall in and out of love, people get confused. I'm not saying (some of) this is wrong, I'm just questioning this existence of Romantic love... of something that seems so unbelievably honey-sweet that it seems unobtainable. Not only is this sort of love written in fantastical terms, it seems th…

National Poetry Day: a poem

Today is National Poetry Day so I decided to write a poem. It is not very good and yeah. It has the very inventive title of School Day


What the hell are we doing here? Do we exist? Are we just being stupid? Is this a tale full of twists?
Why are you asking me that?! You’re such a fool! You’re a bitch and I hate you We are just too cool
It’s written like that because... Because it is. He said so, so it must be. No one says ‘gee whiz’!
Two plus two equals four That, my friend, is phallic Four for you Glen Coco! Write it in italic!
Can we trust our feelings? I like him, don’t tell a soul Yeah, that was my school day On the whole.
Voila! Happy poetry writing and reading everyone.

A letter to the future me

Oh hey future (now present) Claire (or random reader, hi to you too!).

You're about to start reading (yet) more books. You really shouldn't, but you are. School is busy... very busy and you feel on top of things and waaaay out of your depth at the same time. You're on your third draft of your personal statement and your UCAS application is very nearly done. It's scary. One of your best friend's is going to university next Sunday, this saddens and excites you very much.

A vast array of things are happening right now: medical, school, money contemplations (and spendings), parties, friend stuff. I'd like to think that in six months you will be in a little better (if not better clearer) place than you are right now.

Sometimes it's important to take a step back and relax a little (but relax in moderation and don't make a fool of yourself). The spontaneous things are the things that please you most, you keep finding this out. You should also listen to your ow…

The vision of Tele!

My experiences as a child with TV ranged from The Snorks, Come Outside to the wonderful Horrible Histories. I think I genuinely watched CBBC until I was 16 years old, and I do enjoy it still on the odd occasion for old time's sake.

The TV series I remember watching every week for one series or two was Grange Hill. I adored the depth of the story and characters and following these 'epic' stories. Another childhood show I followed avidly was the TV adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's Tracy Beaker of which I think I'd seen pretty much every single episode ever.

I have a thing nowadays where if I like a show, I have to watch every episode. Since last summer I have watched every single episode of new Doctor Who, every single episode of Gilmore Girls, every single episode of How I Met Your Mother and every single episode of The Big Bang Theory. I also enjoyed Once Upon a Time, which I need to catch up on. Another favourite is Lost In Austen which I return to frequently (Co…

Doctor Who: thoughts

There have been countless blog posts floating around the internet about Who and whether people like and and whether they don't and people got insulted and people got excited and, well, it's all been rather mad.

After watching three episodes of the new series I thought I'd share my own thoughts...

Matt Smith remains, still, my favourite Doctor. A past tumblr/blogpost explained that I love them all, I really do, but Matt Smith has a warm little fuzzy place of awesome in my heart. His acting has been marvellous throughout so far and I love his interpretation of the Doctor.

Now, the Doctor. I am going to put my hand up and say that I haven't liked him at point but I like that... I like that I don't like him because it's so refreshing for him to not be 100% likable all of the time. I think it's interesting to see how he reacts to certain situations and reacts to Amy and Rory.

Speaking of, I love Amy/Rory/Doctor. Not a 'shipped' thing but I think it'…

Book buying, school and other things in my head.

A lot of people I know are readers, they love to buy, borrow, lend and read books - they relish in the land of words. I happily admit I am one of those people; books are a staple part of my diet of life and I never want to give up reading. I've always had a steady 'buy a couple of books, read them, buy a couple more' but, somehow, in this last year I've got into a bad habit of buying LOTS of book and not getting around to reading them, and then buying more. I'm basically buying some of the books I buy for the sake of buying them, rather than really wanting them.

So I've chosen to, like many of my book-obsessed friends, go on a book buying ban. This is where you choose not to buy a book for a certain period of time. It's a good idea, and works... that is until you go into Waterstones or WH Smith or go on Amazon. I'm pretty bad with money and, thus, I will buy a book if I'm in a book shop. I want to get my to-be-read books down to about 3/4 before I b…

Brain kicks

I think we underestimate every little bit about our bodies and how they work.

I've had a rather sad day today; our four year old guinea pig, Dusty, passed away suddenly this morning at the place she was staying whilst we were away. It was a shock and horrible news to have wake you up. Two years ago we lost Bubbles, another of our guinea pigs. The difference in my reaction was huge - I'm sad and heartbroken... but in a different way. It's like my body has blocked that hurt and sadness from the functional part of my brain and I'm wanting to do things and keep busy, rather than sitting numbly for hours on end. Well, I want to do that... but I'm not letting myself - I'm able to not let myself.

I believe this is because since that ordeal in 2010, I have undergone a number of things. I've been prodded and poked, I've faced a relationship that I was terrified of going into, I've suffered a break up that broke my heart, I've worked that relationship out a…

France

I write this blogpost in France. Im publishing it now because I've got no Internet access here. This holiday and time away has taught me some things; the books I've read, the time I've spent away from the internet and technology and the things I've thought and talked about have had an effect on me.
Firstly, the books: 'Beauty Queens' has taught me that it's okay to be feminine and be a feminist - its okay to like a guy but it's also okay to always be yourself and stand for what you want to stand for. Libba Bray has also taught me that some of the practises we have are just plain stupid. 'Girl Parts' has also shown me how silly some of our practises are, tout also that you need to be patient about things and let things grow and progress. Oh, and robots are people too. 'Life of Pi' has shown me that you shape yourself, it's okay to be curious and animals are wonderful things (I've not finished it yet). 'The Disenchantments'…

"Date a girl who reads"

These are not my words. They are the words of Rosemarie Urquico. I remember reading these words and thinkingthis woman knows me.But then I realised that this wasn't the case. Ms Urquico doesn't know me, she knows readers.
I'd like to share these words with you, just as my dear friendNicky did with me, in hope that they will make you smile...
"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, e…

Letters and words

It never fails to fascinate me how powerful words are. How a little letter, such as an "x" can change the whole meaning of the words and punctuation prior to it. Even now, you're reading these words and they're doing stuff to your mind; sometimes we read things that change us, that stick with us. Something a person (be they fictional or real, no matter) said long ago or recently can stick with us for life.

I read a lot and, though my mind is getting better at it, quotes don't stay with me for that long but one particular day I was rather sad and I was reading Dear Mr Potter (compiled & edited by the wonderful Lily Zalon) and someone quoted Dumbledore. The quote was "it does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live." Perhaps it was the alliteration in this quote that made it stick with me, or maybe it was the significance it has to the situation I was in then... but it's stuck. It pops into my head when I find myself wallowing and wanting th…

"Teens don't read"

Earlier today Maureen Johnson pointed out that the view of "teens don't read" in the UK is deeply entrenched (which is a word that I now love and had never heard before). As a teenager in the UK, the stigma around reading seems to be - to me - it's "uncool", it's "geeky", there "aren't any good books out there". I think the fact that a lot of teenagers in British schools are exposed to older literature or, perhaps, not that popular literature in lessons and forced into over-analysing and spending countless hours on 'what the author meant'.

A point that was raised in this twitter discussion was that people didn't want to be seen reading, or didn't want to be seen reading certain books. It's made me realise that I neverever ever see people reading in the older years in my school (ever). Perhaps the odd year 7 (12 year old) or year 8 (13 year old) will read, but - from experience - they will probably be teased ou…

"Dare to suck"

A little while ago Carrie make a video about daring to suck. This is something that I have been trying to do more - I've been trying to do things and put myself out there that scare me.

Firstly, I applied for Head Girl at school. Talking in front of people is something that really scares me, so I decided to apply for the role where I would be put in that exact situation many times. Equally, singing songs in front of people is something that is terrifying too so what did I do? I sang a song, recorded it with my webcam last night and posted it on youtube.

I know I'm not the most eloquent singer, writer, speaker. But those are things that I want to do, want to get better at. For that reason I'm trying to write things, speak more, post things on youtube more (and sometimes face scrutiny).

I don't want people to think I'm attention seeking because people should push to do things that scare them, conquer their fears and all that, shouldn't they?

I'm going to Fran…

17

On my seventeenth birthday I made a decision: I decided that I would write 50,000 words in a year. You may have heard of NaNoWriMo? Well I'm doing that but over a year... so NaNoWriYe (not go the same ring to it really...).

I've decided that I don't want to write anything amazing or profound, I just want to have written words - 50,000 of them. I think if I can show myself that I can do that then I can focus on content and all this.

This month so far I have written 2,365 words. That's 4.73% of my 50,000 target and 51.41% of my month's target (of 4,600 words).

I don't know about you, but having always tried to write a large body of words creatively and not being able to succeed, this is an achievement for me. I'm not saying what I have written so far is good. I'm saying it's something. It's a start. For that reason, I am happy. (And going to read for a bit now.)

The Internet: being like Marmite since... *insert date here*

I think the internet is something you either love or hate. You either 'get' it or you don't.

For me, the internet has been a platform to interact with similar people, make new friends, voice my opinions and just have a jolly good time. Sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Blogspot and Goodreads have enabled me to interact with people that I otherwise wouldn't interact with. Through Youtube I have met Lucy, Gabriella, Amber, Joe, Jess, Heike, Jake and plenty other people through them. Through Twitter I've met all sorts of new people and been able to have conversations I never would usually have with the people at school, I've been mentioned in the acknowledgments of one of my favourite author's books, I've actually been able to meet her and I'm a character in one of her books too! These platforms have allowed me to grow as a person and just to have a really good time! Other sites such as Goodreads have allowed me to explore reading and write reviews on a …

Quotes

Quotes are something that I love, I crave. It's part of my need for words and love for reading. I wish my brain was good enough to remember every quote that I love and wish to cherish.

I turned to a wise man tonight for a quote and found the perfect one, not because it reflects how I feel, or gives me advice but simply because it made me smile:
"Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground."

Sometimes we don't need words to comfort or reassure us, sometimes we simply need words to make us smile. That's why I love quotes so much... there are so many out there that you'll always find the one you need.

Keep smiling and DFTBA.

Time to sit back

Sometimes we have to take a little bit of time to sit back and look at things; look at ourselves, the people around us, what we're doing. That sort of thing. At school applications for Head Boy and Girl have begun, I've written my letter but I don't know whether I'm going to hand it in.

Why?
Well firstly I have a lot going on in my life right now, health wise. I've just been diagnosed with a pretty serious back condition which means I have to see a neurosurgeon and I'm in pain pretty much all of the time. I'm struggling to keep up with school work, let alone other commitments on top of that.
Secondly, we have to sell ourselves to people, we have to be confident enough to talk in front of groups of people... something that makes me want to cower under a rock for eternity. Again, I don't want any unnecessary stress on top of what I already have.
Finally, it means standing up and looking people in the eye that make me feel scared. It means challenging the …

Things I would like to do more

I would like to:
1) Tell the truth more, stop fibbing to try and please people and make things more interesting.
2) Enjoy the little things more; go on walks randomly and see places.
3) Budget money better!
4) Try to do a "good deed" everyday.
5) Eat healthily and enjoy what I eat.
6) Work hard and don't let pain get me down.
7) Write and aim to fulfill a Bucket List.
8) Have more time to do things that seem meaningless.
9) Spend less time doing things that don't result in something.
10) Love people, enjoy company and enjoy life.

Handwriting vs. Typing

I find this something very interesting to look at. Our technology is advancing, our school (for heavens' sake) is getting iPads for teachers and students which is leading people to type and not write as much.

Today I have handwritten more than I have typed - I've got back into handwriting creatively; I got into a habit of just opening a word document and writing aimlessly rather than using pen and paper to do this (which, for me, gets better results).

Letters, musings and everything-block.

I love to receive letters. I just think it's so wonderful to read something that someone has taken the time to write for you! I used to write to a lot of authors when I was younger and I have a jam-packed envelope full of replies; one of the authors, Linda Chapman, sent me about 14 letters in total. I think I just loved communicating with people and e-mail wasn't so big back then. Saying this, before my computer died I had over 400 emails from authors.

I think it's important to let someone know that you appreciate what they're doing - whether that be by liking/commenting on someone's video, sending them a message/tweet/letter or commenting on their blog post... that acknowledgment can really make their day (or it does for me anyway).

I had a penpal who lived in Kenya, she was a girl who was a little older than me (I was 9/10 at the time) and we exchanged about three or four letters through school and then we left school. Then came all the turmoil in Kenya and I don…

Hurting

We think that my eight year old bunny rabbit, Thumper, is dying. I got him eight years ago on 6 June 2004. He was my first ever pet. I don't really have any words.

He's not passed away yet so I can't say I'm heart broken... but I am. The prospect of him dying has never really hit me before today. He's always just been there. He sat with me when I had an ear infection, he married my friends rabbit (they never actually met. It was the ultimate arranged marriage of all arranged marriages), he eagerly ate his carrot everyday and before that it was half an apple. He inspired stories, and poems... he made my next door neighbour stamp around in frustration. He then had an... accident on her when he came home for the first time.

He used to be so lively and eager and grumpy and... well, now he isn't. I just... it hurts. I don't want him to die, I don't want him to leave me. It seems silly to sob over a rabbit, or hurt this much. But it's not...

He could live…

Study leave

Study leave shall mean to me: eating healthier, exercising, getting lots of reading done... this is also on top of exams but right now I feel so unhealthy and so unfit due to the amount of stress and my ill health. I've had a bad back which has meant tonnes of physio and an impending MRI but I have found that if I walk then I become less stiff and then feel better eventually. Just by eating healthier rather than stuffing my face and getting out of bad habits will be good for me!

I'm looking forward to study leave? Why? Because it means I can finish doing all of my current lessons and start on new stuff and just have a little bit of a fresh start... I'm kind of fed up with the way I'm feeling at the moment; I don't sleep well, I eat really badly and I don't exercise - I've just got into a really bad routine!

I'm going to be making a video enthusing about this but the routine starts tomorrow. I am DETERMINED.

For now, though, I shall watch Romeo and Julie…

The effect of exam stress on my book buying habits

It is approximately 8:30pm on Monday 7 May 2012. I'm doing my German oral exam tomorrow and I'm extremely nervous and it's not fair. It has occurred to me at several random points in the past week or so where I've been handing over tender to pay for books or clicking "proceed to checkout", in an almost zombie-like state, on Amazon that exam stress does nothing good for my book buying habits.

Usually I will buy one, two or three books a month. This past week or so: 10+. It's crazy. And mad. And the like. I think I'm just craving stuff to read that doesn't involve anything "school"y, so to speak. Saying that, I've bought a weird mix of books: anything from the most classic of classics to the the most contemporary of contemporary. It's good because it means I'll have a lot to read over study leave and after, but it's not good because I don't exactly have all the money in the world.

On the plus side, my Mum bought me a lo…

Happy times and sad times

It seems that you can never have a period of time without having some lows within those highs. I'm not talking about feeling-ill-or-tired-lows, I'm talking about really sad events that just make you think.

These particular events that I am referring to make me think of something that happened two years ago in December. The day started out wonderfully; it was snowing. We trudged to school, only to be sent back home again and I had a really fun day with my best friend Rachel. It was a brilliant day - we played out in the snow, watched a good film, chatted for hours and drank amazing hot chocolate. It was lovely. Then came the sad thing: I came home to find my six year old, lovely, wonderful sweet guinea pig had passed away. It shocked me and saddened me and all I felt was numbness.

It's weird... we have highs and lows but some extremities are bunched together leaving you feel like you've been put in a cocktail shaker and been shaken until kingdom come!

Please, everyone, …

Books from Childhood

I have a feeling I shall be making a video about this on my book channel (found here) since I have a book coming to me in the post that will flood my brain with memories. I don't particularly want to say too much about that book right now because I feel it deserves a blog post of it's own. What I will talk about is books that have really impacted my life from when I was really little to more recently.

My Secret Unicorn by Linda Chapman - not only did this book lead me to reading beyond bed time (naughty Claire) but it was the first series that I threw myself into. I'd save up my pocket money for the next book and I'd check regularly on Puffin's site to see when the next one would be released. I think I once read all fifteen books in the series in one day when I was ill. Linda taught me that authors write letters to the people that read their books (I'll never forget the day I came home to a nearly three page letter from her), Linda also taught me to believe in m…

Are you there, Stars?

I've never really thought about it much, but what if you couldn't see the stars? I know there are some places that seeing stars is near impossible because of the lights but.. I just cannot imagine it. The Plough is the constellation that I will always look out for, where ever I am in the world - I think this is because it was the first ever constellation that I could identify.

Right now the sunset is beautiful. It's the first stunning sunset that we've had in a long while because we've had cloud and rain.

I remember wandering across the Stray, looking up, standing close and just being. Stars allow us to do that - they allow us time to do something yet just stop, stand still and look.

I think I'd hate not to be able to see the stars.

My thoughts on reading

Yesterday I wrote a very brief and entirely rushed blog post on reading. It was brief and rushed because I wanted to get back to my book, but now I've finished I can actually articulate myself in a manner more appropriate for the blogging world.

I have always adored reading and words and books (that was syndetic listing for you there!) and I revel in spending every single penny I own on books (it did not help my bank account much when I worked in a bookshop). In fact, I had to stop myself from buying a book last night by turning my computer off - it's sort of like an addiction. It's not like I don't have a huge to-be-read-pile already, I just love buying books and my mood is constantly always forever changing.

I don't like to be interrupted whilst I read, I like to sit down in a comfy place and just read - I don't tend to listen to music or do anything else. Especially if the book is good.

I love reading for the sake of reading and I love reading analyse too - …

Reading

When I finish reading after a long while, it always feels like I'm waking up from a long, long, deep, long sleep. I'm not quite here yet; which is the case right now.

I feel like I'm breathing words and that I'm just wandering around half-asleep.

I love reading more than anything. For now, I shall go back to my book...
(I will elabourate on this in much wonderful detail. Right now though my book is far more important. I do apologise.)


Click HERE to read my elabouration... if you haven't already read it. xD

English essays

So I probably have one of the weirdest views ever concerning work. Like most people, I'm never the first to woop when we're set an essay or feel elated when we're set some questions in German but unlike most people I do actually enjoy writing essays - especially English ones - once I get started.

Essays: It's a way of expressing yourself that has been thrust upon academia and thus has a rather tedious ring to it. They're not all boring though, you may hate the rigid structures and the subjective, hard-to-follow criteria you have to hit but the actually writing of essays is an exploration, it's an expression of opinion or a development of ideas; it doesn't have to be boring and basic.

I think it's mainly due to the fact that I love books probably more than anything else (a little over-exaggeration there - but I would be a happy person to simply receive books for my birthday or something like that, whereas to some people that prospect is simply horrific) …

A poem... *hesitates*

The sound of paper pages turning,
The smell of ink and words so yearning,
The eyes fall gently upon the words
That want but only to be heard.
The tell tale signs of disaster,
Or shrill sounds in your head of laughter,
Leave them lonely for but a while
And find yourself quite beguiled;
The calling, crying, craving books
That fill your shelves will have you hooked,
You won't be able to live without
The smell of ink brought about
Only by reading the books so yearning
Who only want their pages turning.

I wrote this last night. I'm in a book-type mood. I've also been losing myself in Potter's world, where there are quite a few little poems/riddles that have this rhyming pattern.
So yeah. :-) I hope you like it.

The price of cheese and other such rubbish.

I say rubbish, I'm sure to some people the price of cheese is an interesting topic of conversation - if you are that person, I apologise for using your epically awesome topic subject interest thing as my example of supposed rubbish but it's nearly midnight and I am, quite frankly, a little tired.

This blog is going to be a little bit of everything. And by that I mean a bit of me complaining about my inability to revise, my love for procrastination (which seems to increase a tenfold around exam time), Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. They should technically be in italics but I cannot. be. bothered. Oh and I might talk about the Saturday which happens to be approaching very, very quickly! But I may fall asleep before then to grow too tired or catch typhus... or something.

I make timetables, I plan, I have everything sorted, I feel productive and then, and then, aaaaand then: I do nothing. Well, that's a little bit of a lie - because I have done something today, I've do…

The inevitability of exams!

Exams are thrown at you as soon as you begin going to school. Don't get me wrong, I sincerely value my education and I enjoy learning but I strongly dislike exams. Since year 10 (since I was fourteen) I have either been learning things for exams, revising for them or actually doing them. The way we're assessed, I feel, is rather subjective to the examiner and plays to some people's talents and not others.

I find that if I am given a week or so I can right a substantially good essay, I will work hard at it and I won't hand it in late or unfinished. In exams, however, I panic and find it so hard to write stuff that is consistently good! I don't feel there is any strict criteria, so to speak, and it's hard to know what to do and what not to do. In all my AS subjects you have to know a hell of a lot of stuff (fair enough - it's AS level) but you have to have intricate and perfect phrasing and have to have extremely good essay writing skills, which I've had …

Being organised

I am sitting in a classroom on a rather ancient computer with a slightly broken keyboard. I am admittedly tired and the flickeryness of the screen is not helping too much; plus the fact that I don't actually have my glasses on.

I am procrastinating - despite having all my work done and I'm pretty on top of things at the moment, I haven't finished reading this book that I need to read for four pm today. I like a challenge as much as the next person but my mind seems to work in a peculiar way...

I split things I need to do into two categories: leisure and work. This book that I'm reading falls into neither of these categories. I spent Saturday as an invalid, confined to my sofa and reading for pleasure and since now I'm on top of my work so I just want to spend my time relaxing... such as watching "Fight Club" (which I have taken from the school library, as it was recommended by my philosophy teacher). This book doesn't fall into work or leisure so it …

Books and other musings!

I love books. If you know me, you probably know that I love books, because I am now on a leaflet that is advertising Young Volunteering over however a larger area. It's rather disconcerting (and, to be quite frank, the picture could be nicer too!) that people can see my face whenever they want to... not that they can't do that anyway, what with making the YouTube videos and what have you thingy ma bob.

This book to your *works out left and right in head* right (? I have no idea... my brain is sleepy) is the book that John Green recently recommended and I have also recently purchased because of this recommendation. I learnt last time (Anna-and-the-French-Kiss-last-time) that John Green is pretty damn good at book recommendations!

I run a reading group with some of the people I volunteer with at my library and we're just getting started. We've had three people turn up so far (I know.) but we're working on it! I'm currently annoyed because I wrote a lovely, beauti…

This thing called growing up...

So there's this thing that you just may have heard of called "growing up". Despite the fact that it indicates that you will grow in the motion of upwards (whether that be 'up in the world' metaphorically or just get taller I'll leave you to decide), there are - from what I have experienced myself and through hearing other peoples tales - many ups and downs.

I've been listening, or rather watching, "The Miracle of Swindon Town" today... John Green's commentaries entertain me immensely and it was really interesting to see things from a guys perspective, especially from a particular man that I have immense respect for! He talks a lot about college and his final years in high school, which are what I am currently experiencing. It's so odd to think that he was at the stage I was once at and now he's there just being so incredibly awesome!

I'm going on some University taster days (by taster days I mean one at Oxford. Oxford.) soon - I&…

Girls on YouTube

You know something that is really annoying me lately: slimey YouTube comments. I posted a video, admittedly yes because I knew it would get attention because I'm a girl talking about Skyrim, wearing a vest top because that happened to be what I was wearing at the time and I've had really... objectifying comments. It's not even as if some of these comments are commenting on my looks, they're commenting on my body.

I don't even care if guys think when they see a girl in a low-cut top "ooh, boobs!" but they don't (usually) voice this in person, so why should they be allowed to do it on the internet? It annoys me greatly; imagine if I was two years younger and had done the same thing? It would put me in a very vulnerable situation, and it still does in a way. I want people to view my content because they like what comes out of my mouth, not because I'm female and film in casual clothing.

I've even had someone accuse me of angling my camera so my b…

Confidence

I've been battling with my confidence since I was 12/13 years old, and I finally feel comfortable with who I am. This is not going to be a sob-story... more of a gushing of annoyance, really.

I honestly, hand-on-heart, don't understand hateful commenters on YouTube and as many times as people say "they don't matter" "ignore them", they do get to me. Admittedly, some of my videos are terrible - I can accept that but most of them I put effort into and I think about what I want to say and do and try and make people smile or laugh.

Two of my videos in particular have had people being either crude or just plain hateful on them; I'm not going to take them down because I worked on them, I made them how I wanted them to be and yeah, they might be bad, but that's the way I made them.

I mean, it's not as if I really care what these people think, but some of the comments make me feel so humiliated and wonder why I even bother. I'm not saying I want…

'Looking for Alaska' by John Green

During this week I gave myself a break from reading my school books and decided to re-read LFA (something I've been wanting to do  for a while). I post reviews on Goodreads and I decided to copy mine across to share on my blog. Why? Because I feel it shows a bit about me. This book didn't change my life, but the way my life has changed has made be able to appreciate it more and relate to it more. Growing up is a funny thing, huh?
Having read this for the first time in the summer of 2010 and having come back to it after nearly two years I find that it has a much bigger impact on me. Back in 2010 I was only just fifteen years old, I was going into year 11 (the year that practically changed my life) and I was - not to be condescending to any 15 year olds out there; this was just me personally - simply unable to understand some of the things discussed in LFA. I am now the same age as Miles, I am in Sixth Form (so my schooling is more like his) and I can relate to all the characters…

Realising some things...

This blog post will be a mush of several things. Enjoy at your own risk.. :-)

1) Concerning YouTube; whenever I've made videos, I haven't really, honestly given them much thought. I've stood in front of a camera and talked, this produces various results... mainly average or mediocre at best - what I'm really saying is, they've just been things that I've done, I've not given it much thought and they're not something that I have really been proud of doing. BUT after scripting, filming, editing and uploading this (it opens up in a new window) video... I realised that I was proud of it. Really, really proud; the stuff that I was saying actually got through to people, and people agreed. I want to take more time with my videos and actually think about the content, rather than doing "turn-on-camera-aaaand-GO" videos.

2) Concerning myself and others; I'm not going to dwell on this too much, but all I want to say is that I've realised that some…

Those surreal moments...

It began snowing today in work - I turned into a giddy little kid again... I cannot tell you how much fun that was.

I've been in a very giddy mood in general today, I had a nice day at work, it snowed, amazing happenings went on auf der Twitter and I had a lovely night last night. Life is officially really good.

So I had this idea about a notebook for Nerdfighters. It was a small bubble of an idea, a MINUTE one! I asked the wonderful people of Twitter whether they'd be interested, Freya (@FreyaLikeStea) said she was, so I decided to go ahead with it. It's now planned to go to the land of the Dutch peoples and then to Lindsey (@PotterMoosh, Wednesday on Sarcaschicks). This is surreal, really... really... AH!

The idea that my little bubble of thought is actually happening, people are actually excited about being involved just makes me so happy and feel... fulfilled!

In other news, I've now bought a Ukulele AND a new camera (I previously did this - it was faulty).

I'm…

Many waves to you, reader.

This is being published to the world, anyone - anyone - can read it, providing they have internet access and what have you.

You get the idea of having a blog in your mind, and it seems great... fantastic... brilliant! You sit down in front of the moniter, hands poised, and your mind goes blank; this happens a lot, especially in exams. It seems a whole year or so of work just floats out of your mind like a floaty thing. It's not like it actually goes anywhere, just something in your silly old brain stops you from remember things. Just like the fact right now that my brain is stopping me from remembering what I wanted to type out.

I don't even know really how to phrase anything. I mean, I could phrase things in a chatty, overly friendly way and say "HEY! Well, here's a bit about me!" but it seems... wrong, somehow. But I should probably do just that, really. I suppose. If you want...

I'm a teenager living in England, I go to University next year (fingers cross…