General Election 2017

As you might know, here in the UK there is due to be a snap General Election in June. The next one was due to be held in 2020, but the PM and then Parliament have called for an election early. Thus: an election we have.

So, this is all very new and a bit of a surprise. It seems pretty crazy that there’s going to be an election in under two months from now; I haven’t had all the time to mentally prepare for it as I might have. To be quite honest with you, politics over the last year has made me feel a little numb. But I don’t think switching off is something that I personally should do, because so many can’t.

I’m a little sad because this means I probably won’t be able to vote until 2022 — I would have been able to vote in the 2020 election — but I still want to be engaged and form an opinion of my own. 🙂 To be honest, the only thing I know right now is that I don’t want a Conservative majority, although currently it does look like it might be that way. I don’t yet know which I’d vote for out of the other major political parties. (UKIP is discounted because it is gross and also currently is not really a major party.)

Alas, I cannot vote due to still being a Child™, but I can still choose someone to support. Even if I’m not really too keen on any of the options. My own constituency has been Labour for AGES, and also they seem like they have the best chance of keeping the Conservatives out….? But I am also not a very big fan of Jeremy Corbyn and some of the current stuff the party. :/ I didn’t really have an opinion when he was elected but now I’m just???? annoyed at his actions?? Yeah. Lib Dems seem okay, but I don’t know much about them. I need to research that. I NEED TO RESEARCH EVERYONE. Please don’t hate on me for my vague unformed thoughts haha.

Yeah. One of the things that I would really like to do more this election is GET INFORMED. Having been comparativrly quite politically aware in the run up to the EU Referendum, I didn’t read the news much after that because of feeling sad and also doing stuff over summer. But I would like to have an opinion based on fact which isn’t just looking at social media trends, because I’ve slipped into that and it’s not great. So, I’m going to try and read the news at least three times a week! Hopefully more, but I also don’t want to start checking the news 24/7 and feeling crap about everything, so.

Frankly, I don’t feel great about the current state of the UK, but the only thing I can do is to keep learning and keep talking to people. With that in mind: if you are over 18 and eligible to vote, PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE. Especially if you’re a young person, since the EU referendum turnout wasn’t great for the younger age group. The last date for voter registration is 22 May, which is only a month away. Of course I would hope that you would vote for something I support but I know that loads of people won’t. Above everything: get informed and make a choice. USE YOUR DEMOCRATIC POWER.

I am eternally sad that I can’t yet vote, but that is our current system. I’m so passionate about people using their ability to vote — you have the option to have a say! Please take it! I’ll probably be posting again about the election, whether during or after, so stay tuned.

Playlist: Hey April

I haven’t made a new playlist in what feels like absolutely ages — okay, I just looked it up and AUGUST; I need to find a playlist prompts thing — and I have also been listening to some rad new music lately. This is a bit of a mixed playlist, but I suppose it’s just a collection of songs that make me think of April! I hope you enjoy 😀

hey april playlist cover

Hey April

for the of threading daisy chains on the damp grass. for the ripening citrus summer. for the sun through the clouds as it rains, splintered but bright.
listen on spotify / youtube

i love you (but i’m leaving) – rusty clanton

absolutely smitten – dodie

past lives – børns

don’t take the money – bleachers

happy with me – holychild

bwu – tegan and sara

don’t kill my vibe – sigrid

feel it still – portugal. the man

the wire – haim

edge of town – middle kids

I KNOW. TEN SONGS. More than usual, right? But what can I say, I’ve been hearing some good tunes. Last month was pretty cool for me because I got to go see Dodie on tour with some of my friends which I am STILL SCREAMING ABOUT. Rusty Clanton was the opening act, and I hadn’t heard of him before but I really liked his music, so!

I actually sincerely want to find a music playlist prompts thing, because I used to love doing the one that went around this corner of the blogosphere. MAYBE I SHOULD JUST MAKE ONE. Hmm. *strokes beard*

An Attempt at Organisation // aka #evestudies

an attempt at organisation evestudies

It’s getting close to that time again, the one we all love…exams! *manic laughter* I’m not taking any life-changing exams this summer, but I do have some GCSE mock sort of things, and I also need to be consolidating my work from the last year since we’re halfway through the course already. ARGH.

I’ve done internal exams every summer since I started secondary school, and I’ve vaguely developed an exam technique, but since work has got more serious this year I thought it would be a good idea to ACTUALLY PLAN WHAT I’M GOING TO DO during the Intense Revision Period™. And what better what to cement my plans than by writing a blog post about them? (I also plan to take some pretty pictures of revision materials, because mmmm fineliners.)

If you’re a little curious, the subjects I’m taking in addition to English and Maths are triple Sciences (or whatever it’s called now, I’m not sure haha), Latin, Spanish, Music, and History. Out of all of these, I think I’m probably going to have to work the most on History, Maths, and Latin, but that’s just a guess!

So it’s currently the Easter holidays, and over this period I’m hoping to:

  • look at all the revision lists & specifications, marking how confident I feel about topics
  • check what revision resources my school has put up and, if necessary, print them out
  • organise my folders in a logical manner (not looking at my maths folder….ahaha…)
  • ensure I have all my notes or ask a friend
  • sort out what and how I am going to revise during the Intense Revision Period™ (i.e. revision timetable)
  • write some blog posts for when I get super busy and don’t have the time to love you all *cries*

In addition to this, I also have some homework for various subjects — which includes memorising these summaries we call blob sheets for one of my History topics, eek — but that’s basically what I’m doing for the next little while.

Because I was feeling ~artsy~ this morning, I got out one of the many journals I have sitting in my drawer and made a list of these things for all my subjects! And then I spent like half an hour looking at pretty pictures of bullet journals, productivity amirite. I’m hoping to keep a vaguely regular list of things I need to do in there, and with any luck I’ll also put my revision timetable in there when the time comes. I may as well make work at least a little fun, right?

This has been a fairly short post, but hopefully I’ll be updating you with what I’ve been doing and various methods for studying I’m using in the future! I mean, maybe. I am hoping that writing this will sort of motivate me to keep vaguely organised and not just manically try to scribble down stuff.

how do you study? are you taking any exams soon? do you also have a love of pretty stationery?!?

Is That a Podcast I Hear…? (Maybe)

podcast cover pic.jpg

Yes! I am here with another some-cool-media-I-have-been-enjoying-lately post. What can I say; I’ve been finding some very cool things recently! Today I’m talking about podcasts. It’s taken me a while to get into the podcast format; I tried Welcome to Night Vale and I feel like I am the only person ever who didn’t enjoy it.  I started listening to Serial this time last year, and I’ve also listened to a podfics, but FINALLY I HAVE SEVERAL REGULAR THINGS I LISTEN TO. Even if now I feel like I’m trying to switch between a bunch of different stories at the same time haha. (My iPod Nano from when I was 7 has suddenly become SUPER USEFUL. I love it.)

Witch, Please (listen here) In which two lady scholars discuss the Harry Potter world. OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS. Every episode is a joy to listen to. As someone who doesn’t especially like literature analysis as school, this actually gets me interested in reading things critically! I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from it, and it also makes me laugh. The hosts Hannah and Marcelle are SUPER RAD. Just in general Witch, Please is completely wonderful and I would wholeheartedly recommend if you have an interest in Harry Potter. Or if you just like listening to cool people. (Also *whispers* Hannah might be coming to London and I WANNA BE ABLE TO GO TO A MEETUP AAH)

The Strange Case of Starship Iris (listen here) This is the only podcast that I’m actually ‘up to date’ on, so to speak — I sort of like not having a large backlog to listen to, even if it means I have to wait for updates. This, too, is QUEER SPACE. (Can you spot a theme haha?) I can’t say too much because #spoilers but TRUST ME, IT IS WORTH YOUR TIME.

The Adventure Zone (listen here) It’s…really weird to go from listening to Witch, Please to this, but THERE IT IS. ‘Four guys play Dungeons & Dragons’ doesn’t really sound like something I’d be interested in, I admit — and the first few episodes required a bit of concentration — but now I just end up walking to school and chuckling to myself slightly. I have no idea what everyone else thinks of me haha. I even kind of enjoy the ad break, which is REALLY WEIRD. I don’t know. It’s cool to have something a bit more lighthearted.

The Penumbra Podcast (listen here) I’m getting through this one a bit slowly because I am super easily creeped out and, like, I don’t want to listen to it when I’m alone in the house haha, but I LOVE EVERYONE. It’s queer space mystery! The characters are super rad! All the voices are SO WONDERFUL, as are the sound effects. In general the production is, like, extremely cool.

do you listen to any podcasts? if so, what would you recommend? (i love new listening material!!)

Yes, I Love YA

I can’t count the number of times that, when I have told people that I mostly read Young Adult books, they’ve turned to me and said something like: “Don’t you think they’re a bit trashy? When are you going to start reading real books?”

About three years ago, someone in the bookshop said that I was going to run out of YA books to read, and that I should start on adult. I bought a few adult books, and I did enjoy them, but fast forward to today and I’m still reading mainly YA. And wonderful YA is still being written.

I really hate the idea that YA and children’s books are somehow less worthwhile than the ones in the adult section. Okay, they’re pretty much all narrated by teens and young people. But what’s wrong with that? We have lives that are just as complex as anyone else’s, and we deserve a voice — we deserve to read about people who are also going through a period of testing boundaries and discovering yourself. In some ways, it seems to me the most interesting age a narrator can be.

Putting down YA books only puts down young people and their voices, when we should be doing exactly the opposite! When people start to say that we’re just mindlessly addicted to social media and don’t have any opinions beyond celebrities, it’s just discouraging us from speaking up.

Having a younger narrator doesn’t mean a book is any less worth reading, or any less interesting. In fact, YA books cover a wide range of complex, important themes but in a way that’s really accessible. Yep, a book can be readable and nuanced! Writing an awesome YA book isn’t any less work than writing an adult novel; there are just so many different genres within each of those brackets.

Maybe reading YA doesn’t require as much consideration as a novel with Victorian language might, but personally I think it’s really difficult to get a love for reading by starting straight with ‘classics’. I really appreciate that some people love them, but personally — and I say this as someone who has always loved books — they take me a while to get through, and a while to understand and get into.

But I’m not reading to learn life lessons, or how to write a book. I’m not even reading to improve my English. I’m reading to enjoy it. To experience stories beyond my own. Reading for pleasure doesn’t come from an adult telling you that you should put down the book you want to read and pick the ‘better’ one they’ve chosen for you instead. Discovering the stories that get you excited is so important, and it’s difficult to do that when your school limits what you can read by the complexity of a book’s sentence structure.

If you want kids to develop a love of reading, then let them read what they love. Perhaps reading one genre will lead to them becoming interesting in another, or perhaps they’ll just love that book — it doesn’t matter. Sharing stories is what matters.

I think that YA fiction is one of the most exciting, diverse genres — we definitely do still have progress to make, as we always do, not just within the books but in authors and publishing as well — and it’s so important for teens to be able to see themselves in books. YA can give a sense of belonging and validation. It can tell young people (and older people) that they’re not alone. There are just so many goddamn amazing YA novels out there.

So before you tell me that my favourite books are trash: maybe pick up a YA book yourself. You might actually enjoy it.

I Talk About Webcomics (Again)

webcomics cover

A while back I made a post talking about why I love webcomics, and linking to some recs, and I had so much fun doing that I thought I’d share with you some new webcomics I’ve been reading! (Because I have found a lot of new, awesome ones. JUST YOU WAIT.)

I’ve mostly linked to the Tapastic pages of these webcomics, since that’s where I can read many of them conveniently, but a couple of them do have other websites with extra info and things, to let you know. 🙂

Long Exposure by mars Contains radioactivity and pining. (Kind of queer superheroes? Maybe? Guys, there are a lot of queer superhero webcomics and I looove it.) The art in this comic is SO NICE. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. The character designs are just GOOD. It’s so readable and, as a bonus, it updates in a couple of pages so you don’t have to suffer  wait for new pages ahaha.

Dead End by M.Mork Dead End is a little darker and more action-based than some of the ones I read, but I do adore the (under)world & its protagonist, Neely. I mean, all the characters are cool in their own right but in particular I love Neely, aah! Emo cinnamon roll! They’re Extra and Angsty but also extremely rad. *nods* I am just…really eloquent right now, wow.

Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag I’m only about two thirds of the way through this one, but I’m enjoying it SO MUCH. It’s been in my ~consciousness~ for a while now, since I know of Molly Ostertag through her other works & Twitter, but I only just started reading it for some reason…? ANYWAY. It has queer superheroes, it has great art, it has cool girls, yay.

Sharp Zero by robotsharks Yes! Another queer superhero webcomic! I fully support this genre, to be honest. Beyond the rad premise, this comic has made me actually laugh out loud more than once, and I really love the diverse cast! It actually returned for a new season the other day, which is super exciting.

Samuel & Djeya by KnightJJ I literally just finished reading this and I really love it so far! It’s by the same co-creator as Les Normaux, which I also love, so it wasn’t too suprising… I’m really exciting to see more of post-apocalyptic Amsterdam (!!!) and the two main characters who so far are much cinnamon roll haha. I can’t wait to see them interact more.

rock and riot.png

image credit: Riot Comics

Rock and Riot by Chelsey Furedi This is DEFINITELY the webcomic I would encourage you to go to if you want a pick-me-up! It’s about two teenage gangs in 50s, except there is DIVERSITY and CUTENESS and DID I MENTION CUTE ART YEAH EVERYONE IS SO CUTE. Yes to cute blushing people.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman Can I make it one post without talking about Alice Oseman? Er, probably not, to be honest. I briefly mentioned this in my last post, when it had just begun, but many months later I am STILL LOVING IT and I have also converted two of my friends to reading it, hehehe. Heartstopper is basically the backstory of two characters, Nick and Charlie, who feature in Oseman’s book Solitaire. I mean, I already adore them because they are cool dudes, but it’s cool to get more of an insight into their lives, and wow this is #relatable haha.

Mimon by Sas Milledge This one hasn’t been running for very long, but I’m already enjoying it! It’s about a girl with something in her attic, and a hedgewitch (maybe?) who helps her. I love the characters, and the art style is so pretty, mm. (I…say this for every comic. WHOOPS. #sorrynotsorry)

hotblood zarco.png

image credit: Hotblood! Zarco

Hotblood! Zarco by Toril Orlesky I know I mentioned Hotblood! in my last webcomics post — well, this is the sequel. *finger guns* It hasn’t been running for very long, but I miss centuars and morally ambiguous characters and the amazing art.

I had so much fun writing this post — it was a great excuse to spend some time rereading webcomics, hehe. I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions for stuff I should read! (If I mentioned it in my last post, I might have already read and liked it though haha.) (I feel like I have lots people have recommended, but I am terrible at recalling them. So PLEASE HIT ME UP.)

have you read any of these? do you plan to? do you enjoy reading webcomics?

The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag

spring has sprung book tag.jpg

The sun is shining, and although it might still be a bit chilly, it feels like spring has arrived! I’m excited for the warmer weather to start creeping in — as well as the Easter holidays — so I thought that whilst I’m in a spring-y mood it would be fun to do this book tag. Thanks nevillegirl @ Musings From Neville’s Navel for tagging me!

a tale for the time being

FLOWERS 

Look on your shelves. What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?

Ooh, I had so many contenders for this one! This picture definitely doesn’t do my copy of A Tale For The Time Being justice… I love the minimal cover but also it just FEELS SO NICE. The hardcover is like, kind of weaved together and it has a sort of slightly textured feel? This might sound weird but it’s just SO NICE to hold in your hand. (I am so chuffed I got this unread at a jumble sale, guys.) The text itself is beautiful, too; it’s not normally a genre that I would read in but I was so impressed at the different narrative voices!

all the bright places

GRASS

What is a book that you find others like way more than you do?

Everyone seems to really love All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Whilst I did enjoy it, I just couldn’t really connect with the characters and it had a bit of a ‘meh’ feel for me. I would quite like to try her newest book, Holding Up the Universe, though. It seems very interesting!

aristotle and dante

RAIN

What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down?

If I’m not feeling awesome, I like to read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I think it’s such a well-written, nuanced book, and although it’s not completely positive all the time it makes me feel…that there are good and wonderful humans out there?

a conjuring of light

DEW

What book made you feel alive?

Hmm… A Conjuring of Light was such a good experience for me. I think reading a hyped up book can always be difficult, and sometimes it can change your relationship with a series or author, but it’s one of my absolute favourite feelings to devour and love a book I’ve really been looking forward to.

far from you tess sharpe

STORMS

What book did you find unpredictable?

Far From You by Tess Sharpe. Though I don’t read thriller-y books that often, this one really pulled me in. It did that awesome thing where the twist just starts to dawn on you right as it’s revealed, which is exactly how I like it!

bone gap laura ruby

RAINBOW

What was a book that you struggled with only to be happy that you read it in the end?

I just finished Bone Gap by Laura Ruby this morning. I didn’t enjoy it so much so start with, probably because I wasn’t getting much time to read it either, but today I just sat down and read the whole 2nd half in one go because I was SUPER ABSORBED WITH IT. I’m really pleased that I persevered with it! (I feel like Les Mis could also go in here. I still think that was a month of Fandom Dedication on my part, to be honest.)

hhhh

CHILLY WEATHER

What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy?

HHhH by Laurent Binet. I did get around half of the way through, but I just wasn’t enjoying it, and I didn’t think it was worth continuing. I found the discussion how historical fiction represents history and indeed truth really interesting, but…it just wasn’t presented in a way I found engaging. I never got lost in it, I guess.

white-cat

WARM WEATHER

What book did you love and want more of?

Curse Workers by Holly Black. I AM CONSISTENTLY UPSET BY THE LACK OF TALK AROUND THIS. I think that the worldbuilding is just so stellar, and I’d really love to read more stories set within it — perhaps not even with the characters in the trilogy, but UGH IT SEEMS LIKE SUCH A WASTE.

the hate u give

GREEN

What book have you not read yet but really want to?

I’ve been hearing SO MANY wonderful things about The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and I can’t wait to read it!

remix non pratt

PINK

What book made you feel a strong connection to the characters?

I could say Radio Silence, but I feel like I mention it about 23071 times a day so I SHALL CHOOSE SOMETHING ELSE. I thought Remix by Non Pratt did a great job at getting me to care deeply for all the characters! Even though many of them didn’t have stuff in common with me, and were pretty darn annoying at times, I really empathised with them. So, yeah.

everything leads to you

PURPLE

What book makes you feel safe when you read it?

Maaybe Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour? I think this could be a lot of things, but that book just made me feel so happy and warm inside every time I picked it up to read it.

asking for it

ORANGE

What book do you feel is intelligently written?

I had to think quite a lot about this, because on one hand: I think a lot of books I read could qualify for this, but also I DON’T KNOOOW. I just know whether I enjoyed them! But I decided to go with Asking For It by Louise O’Neill. Although it wasn’t the easiest read for me, it raised a lot of interesting questions about our culture and how we treat sexual assault.

nimona cover

YELLOW

What book puts a smile on your face?

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson still makes me so happy. I love going back to it and remember when my friends & I read it as a webcomic in Lower School (I can’t remember if it was Year 7 or Year 8 haha). I also just adore the characters, the art, all the Nimona in-jokes…it’s like having a chat with a super funny best friend.

what is the weather like where you are? which books would you pick for this? is there a season you particularly like? let me know!