My 2018 in Books

The text 'My 2018 in books' on an old-fashioned illustrated banner, over a spread of open books.

Can I let you in on  secret? I first wrote ‘2017’ instead of 2018 when drafting this post. I think that gives you a good idea of what’s going on with my brain haha. You can also check out my 2017 and 2016 in books if you are so inclined.

overall summary

So this year I read exactly 100 books, meeting my Goodreads reading challenge. This is a bit less than other years, and I think that’s a combination of a) not reading as much due to being more busy and b) reading denser books that take a longer time to read. It also does include a lot of comics, perhaps contributing to the fact that I’m about 10,000 pages lower than previous years according to Goodreads. Ah well! That’s life!

The longest book I read this year was, unsurprisingly, Les Miserables, which I reread over the summer. (I would by far recommend the Donoghue translation over the Hapgood which I read first time already.) Les Mis was also the most popular book I read, and Attis by Tom Holland the least popular at 16 other Goodreads ratings.

favourites

It was so difficult for me to pick these! I realised that I’ve actually read SO MANY good books this year, oh my goodness.

I honestly can’t believe I read Autoboyography by Christina Lauren in 2018 because it feels like an absolute AGE ago. This book just really took me in and pulled at my emotions. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore was another book that got me extremely invested, and like all her other books I adored it. I can’t believe I haven’t picked up her newest yet! I was so excited to read I Was Born For This and it didn’t disappoint, bringing me a whole new set of characters to love. I loved Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman so much and I’m incredibly excited to read more of her work (I also loved her second book Summer Bird Blue! I just had too many books already!) I also devoured A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi and WOAH. Also, the cover is so pretty oh my goodness.

My second lot starts with the Hawkeye comics, which I’ve reread about 4 times since I first picked them up and continue to absolutely delight me. The art is just SO GOOD and I love Kate and Clint SO MUCH. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway absolutely blew me away with the characterisation and story (and also can we just appreciate a beautiful cover). I very recently finished Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla and it was so gripping and powerful. A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews was very different but also very absorbing; it felt like a book that spoke to my childhood self but also one that current me loves a lot. . Finally, We Are Okay by Nina LaCour was a nuanced and beautifully written book that really got me feeling those emotions.

hidden gems

The Summer of Jordi Perez and the Best Burger in Los Angeles by Amy Spalding is an EXTREMELY cute and excellent f/f rom-com and I adored it. Noteworthy by Riley Ridgate is about cross-dressing and accapella which is an extremely rad combination. Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans is a short queer novella that I loved very much and I have reread because I sometimes I just gotta read a happy trans story to get by.  I’m putting Attis by Tom Holland here more for the experience than to actually recommend it, because it was so difficult to find that I ended up going to the British library to read it? But it was VERY RAD and surreal. I also feel like it represents the fact that recently I have got…very into Classics I guess? Finally, Indigo Donut is a beautifully written story about belonging, family and growing up, set in London, from the wonderful Patrice Lawrence.

There are so many books that I’m excited to read in 2019 — but I shall leave that for another post!

have you read any of these books? what were your favourite books of 2018? anticipated reads for 2019?

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2018: Year in Review

2018 year in review.jpg

Image description: The text ‘2018 year in review’ over a firework.

We’ve almost made it through 2018! Hurrah! Let’s DO THIS THING. This year feels like it’s been one of the longest years of my life. The other day I genuinely thought that something I did over summer happened in February, so I guess it’s like 2 years have passed instead of 1? Like, what even. Anyway, I’m here with a good old yearly recap post, because I do like to be able to have this as a point of reference and it’s fun to see everything I’ve done over this year. (If I can even remember them.)

Looking back at 2018

  • Firstly, let’s recap my 2018 goals. Doing things with love? I mean, KIND OF. I do think that I’ve spent more time on friendships and on making new friends which is great! And I’ve also met some wonderful internet friends in real life! (This ties in with my other goal about meeting friends.) I’m getting better at looking critically at the things I love but I definitely have a long way to go with that process.
  • Caring for myself… Well, GCSEs sucked a LOT, I have to say. That whole experience and the culture of public examinations is still negatively affecting my mental health now. The first half of the year was really difficult for that reason and I haven’t always been amazing at taking care of myself, but part of that includes letting myself off for that, too? I’ve literally tried to block out all of that because it was just grim, tbh.
  • However, I can say with certainty that have enjoyed so much amazing art this year! From excellent books to theatre to new TV shows I’ve started… it’s been a great one. A big part of this has been helping out with the sixth form musical at my school, where I worked as the sound operator. I was so proud of that production, and although it was stressful, I had an amazing time and I know that it’ll stay with me forever.
  • I have also for sure experienced new things: I got my first job! I travelled to South America with Guides! I went to prom! I did make it through my first public exams! I started sixth form! I got my nose pierced! I DMed for the first time!
  • I want to expand on starting sixth form because Year 12 has been FULL. ON. I’m studying Maths, Spanish, History & Latin and I’m really glad that I picked those subjects. (Especially Latin because I’m maybe enjoying it the most and it was a last minute switch from Chemistry.)
  • I blogged much less in the second half of this year. My stats are NOT thanking me, lol, but sometimes that’s the way life goes. I do have a whole bunch of post ideas so I REALLY hope I can get some more posts up.
  • One thing that I actually was good at keeping up was my bullet journal. I’m so glad I put in pictures of what I was up to from throughout the year because it was really nice to remind me when I looked through.
  • Also, I took my last ever clarinet exam which was kind of trash but THANK GOD IT’S OVER. Now I just have to spend another 6 months re-learning to love the clarinet after that deeply stressful experience, I guess.

Looking ahead to 2019

  • I’m going to turn 18!! WHAT! I’m just going to make that its own bullet point in itself because I don’t feel like I’m ready to be a legal adult at all.
  • I want to do some preparation for my future: learning to drive, improving at cooking, maybe applying for uni/deciding what I’m going to do keeping on with my job.
  • More blogging! I miss it a lot! I’d like to blog at least once a month.
  • In addition to blogging, I want to continue with theatre tech, because that was really fun and fulfilling this year. In summer I’m going to be helping on a production at the Edinburgh Fringe which I’m super excited about! I hope to make the most of that experience!
  • Again, I want to better take care of myself. Some concrete ways I’m going to do this are making sure I exercise, getting back into meditation, keeping a regular sleeping schedule and allowing myself to sometimes just hand in work that’s good enough, if not perfect.
  • I want to use my time on the internet and my phone in better ways. Spending a lot of time mindlessly scrolling social media has been REALLY bad for my brain. Instead, I want to spend more time interacting with people and building relationships.
  • I would like to come out as non-binary to more people? Maybe? And also to just tell people when they misgender me because people still do that a lot but I feel awkward correcting them (even though it’s not my mistake). Also, to just not read the transphobic articles that cross my path because they do not exactly help.
  • I’d like to listen to more new music, since I love finding new bops and I didn’t get that much opportunity to do so in 2018.

I’ll probably think of something really good after I’ve posted this but, ah well. That’s how it goes. I hope you enjoyed this focus on my personal goals.

how was your 2018? do you have any goals or resolutions for 2019?

I Talk About Comics: Traditional Comics Edition

‘WHAT IS THIS?’ I hear you say. ‘An actual blog post????’ To which I say: yes, I think so?  Today I thought I would talk about comics! Over the last year or so I’ve gotten more and more into tradition comics but I realised that I haven’t actually written much about them. (You can also check out the rest of my comics series where I recommend some other comics.)

Anyway. Despite my love of webcomics, for a long time I found it very difficult to actually enjoy traditional comics. (Not only superhero but just like, traditionally published comics in general.) But now I derive a great deal of joy from them and I want to share it with you! So here I am!

Firstly: how does one read comics? Frankly, I’m not sure how much help I can be here, since almost every comic I’ve read comes from my local library. I am so thankful that my local library is free, and I am able to read the well-stocked collection of trade paperbacks, which I recognise is not something that’s available to everyone. If you are able to use your local library, then I really recommend you check out what they have. Otherwise, you can buy trade paperbacks which come in volumes, subscribe to issues (I’ve only bought like 1 issue of comics and honestly that’s a hidden world to me) or some companies have ways to read comics online like Marvel Unlimited.

Also, I want to acknowledge that both comics and webcomics are not very inaccessible in their current form for blind, visually impaired and other disabled readers. Although there are a few scripts out there, for example on the Comic Book Script Archive, and fan transcriptions (which I have here linked to if possible) these are not common. Thanks to this post by Michael Shifrin for some information on that. Additionally, Comics Empower previously sold audio comics but according to their twitter it’s no longer running. Although comics companies do sell digital copies they don’t provide any kind of transcriptions, scripts or audio comics which is extremely frustrating.

But, yeah, I personally get most of my comics out from the library. The comics section always seemed intimidating for me, so I’ve found it useful to research at least one thing I want to get out before searching for it.

Maybe this is a weird thing to say but…I kind of feel like I had to adopt a new attitude when reading comics. It’s a very odd place in which characters appear in different universes and are constantly reincarnated into new adventures. Sometimes I’ll be reading two different series about the same character and it’s WILD. I can definitely see myself getting annoyed at this inconsistency and lack of understanding but I just like…accept it and move on. I find that treating it like fanfiction helps a lot. I find it difficult to articulate but I just get a very strong fic energy from all the different universes and characters and things that are similar but not quite similar; like fic, a bunch of the comics I’ve read just tend to blur into one haha. I’m sure there’s some more interesting stuff to get into, but there we go.

So where should you start? Well, I read a couple of comics at the start but didn’t enjoy them loads so didn’t take too much of an interest. But once I found some I loved it was like ‘OHHH so now I get why people like this’. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is there are a lot of different comics and genres out there (even within the ‘superhero genre’).

The comics that I’ve most enjoyed have been recommendations from people I know; once I can tell we have a similar taste I can go and find some others! I’m just, like, going to share comics I enjoy the most now, depending on other things you like. (I have been toooo far away from blogging for this)

ms marvel
Image description: The cover of Ms Marvel: No Normal. Kamala stands on the cover wearing a t shirt with a lightning bolt on it, defiantly clenching her fist with one hand and holding schoolbooks in the other.

Ms Marvel

This series is popular for a reason! It follows Ms Marvel AKA Kamala Khan, a Pakistani teenager in New Jersey. There are so many characters to love (not in the least Kamala herself! She starts off as a superhero fan which is such a cool angle) and it’s rad to see a more diverse cast in a superhero comic. Plus, it ties in with Civil War II and actually helped me to, like, actually understand that whole storyline.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat!

I have 100% talked about this series before but I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s super cute and queer! I enjoy character development and interaction more than a billion fight scenes and a complex plot and this is just…SO GOOD for that. The art is super wonderful and I adore the characters. I am endlessly disappointed that this was cancelled after 17 issues, to be honest. (you may sense a theme here because a lot of comics I enjoy stop after only a few volumes or get cancelled…)

 

Young Avengers

I confess, I still haven’t read the first incarnation of Young Avengers. (Sorry. If it’s not in the library I probably won’t get round to reading it for AGES and that’s just life.) This was maybe the first superhero comic I loved? Again, I adore all the characters, and it’s queer!! It has America Chavez!!! (Among many other rad people including Loki.) It really got me hooked to figure out what happens next – but alas, once again it is only three issues. Transcriptions by Auden Granger of the first 7 volumes can be found for free on Google Drive here, along with some transcriptions of Daredevil, Ouran High School Host Club and Runaways (2003).

hawkeye my life as a weapon
Image description: the cover of Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon. Hawkeye stands with his bown drawn on a building. Stylised purple and white targets overlay the buildings.

Hawkeye

I LOVE HAWKEYE SO MUCH. It’s one of my favourite series I’ve ever read! Hawkeye is an actual ‘mainstream’ superhero series I like a lot, which I was surprised by. Again, it deals more with Clint Barton’s personal life than it does his official superhero one (though there’s still action in here) which, again, I prefer. This Hawkeye is a human disaster and I love him so much. Also, the art is actually INCREDIBLE. I can’t even. Bonus: Kate Bishop’s solo Hawkeye series is also pretty rad if you want to read more about her. (She’s a Young Avenger too.)

DC Bombshells

All my suggestions so far have been Marvel, since I’m not that familiar with the DC Universe, but I love this one! Thank you Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff for recommending it to me. It’s World War II but in a world with no male superheroes, just a diverse group of ladies being rad and IT GIVES ME LIFE.

If you’re looking for non-superhero comics, I can recommend Saga and Lumberjanes. I’ve also read part of The Wicked and the Divine which was an interesting concept but kind of got me down, so. If it seems like something you’d be interested in then do check it out.

Series I am looking to read more of are: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (because they never have the 2nd volume in the library and I am SAD), Spider-Gwen, Black Panther, and Iceman, in addition to MANY others.

Sadly I can’t list every single one of the comics I’ve enjoyed in one post! But I hope you enjoyed this, and please do let me know if you have any tips or recommendations. Also, I hope to be putting up a few more posts over the holiday period so look out for those. 🙂

Blog Birthday! Life! Sixth Form!

Hello again! It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I’d update you all on what’s going on with my blog and life and all that.

First of all: Twist in the Taile turned 5! That’s right, I started my blog 5 years ago this month. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? Me neither: I always have to go back to my very first post to check that, yes, I was actually that young when I started it. I haven’t got my act together to do a giveaway right at this point (more on that later) but I’m thinking about perhaps doing a belated one. We shall see.

Anyway, the last year has been somewhat turbulent for Twist in the Taile as I took a couple of breaks, mainly due to schoolwork. I’m so grateful for all of you who continue to read my posts and brighten my day with your thoughts. Thank you ❤

Secondly: what’s happening with Sixth Form? Essentially, I’m very busy this term, and although I do have many ideas for posts I don’t really have the mental energy to do homework AND music practice AND my extracurricular commitments whilst not having a breakdown. So, there will probably be less posts. (I’m slightly wincing as I look at the dramatic drop in my stats over the last 2 months and think about the future. OH WELL.)

I’m enjoying Year 12 so far – I especially like that the classes are generally a bit smaller, teachers are more relaxed, I have free periods and such, although the workload is definitely more. Choosing clothes every day is kind of stressful but I’ve sort of ended up with a system where I wear the same trousers for the whole week and just swap the shirt because that’s easier. We have a ‘formal dress code’ which is like…interesting… I’d like to write another post on picking clothes because I find it kind of hard to both wear clothes I feel comfortable in whilst sticking to the expectations of formalwear which are kind of gendered but, eh.

Let me update you on how my subjects are going! I’m taking History, Maths, Spanish and Latin (at my school most people are advised to start with 4 and then drop 1; I don’t think they’ve quite got used to the linear system yet).

History is really interesting and I’m enjoying the Stuarts a lot more than I thought I might?? My GCSE was all based around the 20th century so it’s nice to do something else. Both my teachers are great as well (I have multiple teachers for every subject who teach different topics) although I am slightly terrified of them and my recent essay was…interesting. Also, there’s a lot of note-taking homework, which I’m still getting used to.

I’m so glad I took Maths since this time last year I was completely sure I wouldn’t be doing A-Level (lol) since it’s such a nice contrast to my other subjects. I mean, it’s also challenging but I do generally find it relaxing in comparison to, say History. I like that questions have an actual definitive answer, y’know?

I feel like Spanish has been the biggest step up from GCSE – I enjoy the subject but it does feel like suddenly we have to be a lot more fluent which is very much not me haha. There’s also been some issues with my class which makes it…interesting… I probably shouldn’t say too much about it on here though.

I’m liking Latin a lot! Again, I’m so glad I took it in the end since I was almost going to do Chemistry. Language is very fun, I’ve always found translation quite satisfying, and literature is interesting too. I even read some Extra Books so I feel like a moderately dedicated student. ALSO…the Latin verb drills website has finally come into immediate and practical use with prose composition ayy.

This half term is going to be pretty busy with my school musical that I’m helping and clarinet grade 8 in addition to schoolwork so I am essentially hoping to make it out alive?? Apologies for the lack of Monthly Mixtape; it has rather been put on hold and I feel that its future needs to be considered but that’s something I haven’t quite gotten round to.

Anyway! Please update me on what’s going on with you! I miss talking to you all. 🙂

Things Change, and That’s Okay?

I’ve been thinking about the past a lot this summer. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like even more than usual I’ve been reminded of memories, of how things used to be, of places I used to go. It’s very strange. And often it makes me wish that I could go back to then.

For example: it’s not that long ago, but I miss the time when I used to write a blog post every 4-5 days. I’m never going to get back to posting that often, I think.  I used to actually write stuff as well. The reality is that…school seems to take up so much of my time? And actually I like spending time on it? I mean, exams really sucked, but in general I enjoy learning.

I miss all that writing. But also I’m trying to accept that nothing is going to be the same forever, and actually a lot of stuff has changed in my life. That’s allowed to happen. I’m allowed to spend time on school or music or just hanging out. I still love this blog, and I’m still excited to write posts, but I don’t want it to become a chore — I want to feel excited about the prospect of writing a post instead of just tired. I don’t want to feel guilty about not posting as often as I used to or no getting as many views/followers/comments as I’d like. Because that’s not fun at all.

I find myself mourning friends who aren’t as close anymore and honestly, you know what — people change! I’ve changed a lot. It’s alright for my friendships to shift. I’m particularly thinking about this as I start 6th form which feels like a BIG new thing in my life; it’s the biggest change in school I’ve had since starting secondary school. IT’S SO WEIRD. I miss my old teachers and classes! But also it’s exciting.

Also, I miss when I like…didn’t think about my gender all the time, I guess. And then it makes me wonder if I’m making it all up and gaslighting myself into thinking I’m not actually queer and I’m just a special snowflake. I hate feeling like that; I usually then go and remind myself of all the other LGBTQ+ out there who are real and do exist.

I DON’T KNOW. I feel like this is quite an uncharacteristic and rambly post, for me. I haven’t written one like this in a while and it’s quite cathartic. I don’t understand what this weird remembering thing is. I get it much more vividly from hearing or tasting things — playing my old clarinet pieces kind of feels like transporting myself back into the past. Maybe because clarinet is separate from everything else. The music just goes into a different part of my brain. Aaah you see what I mean?!?

Anyway, I don’t really have a conclusion planned out, except to say that: things change! It’s scary but I’m trying to accept it! I don’t want to pressure myself to blog! And I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

 

Monthly Mixtape #9: Duende

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hello, it’s Monthly Mixtape time again! Sorry for the delay in both this being published and, well, really any posts being published. Life and starting sixth form have been keeping me busy. From now on, you should probably expect less frequent posting since I don’t think I’ll be able to do as much blogger as I used to. (Though you can maybe expect a forthcoming post on that??)

Anyways! Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be (hopefully) up in the first week of October! And this month’s prompt is…

#9: duende

duende, noun: : the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm

Add or view playlist links HERE

Duende is a Spanish word, and you can read more about its origins and how it’s difficult to strictly define in English here and here! I haven’t managed to make a playlist yet for this month, but I decided that if I tried to do that then this probably wouldn’t be posted until next week, so HERE WE ARE. Please forgive me.

how’s it going for you today? are you back to education (like me)? let’s have a chat!

GCSE Results Day // #evestudies

Coloured pens strewn over a notebook, with the text 'GCSE results day #evestudies'.

Hi everyone! WOW it has been a long time since I sat down to write a post. Everything feels kind of surreal so I guess this just adds to it??

Anyway, if you didn’t know, yesterday was GCSE results day in England (GCSEs being the public exams that I’ve worked on for the last 2 years or so). These were my first set of public exams so it has been an…interesting time, let’s say. By which I mean they were rather scary and difficult. But I’m not actually here to talk about Year 11 or the exams themselves! You can go and read previous #evestudies posts including my experience of Year 11 and advice for those going into it, revision techniques, and a masterpost of GCSE science resources.

Over the summer holidays I didn’t have much opportunity to get stressed about results day and I am SO GLAD. I’d been away on a trip with Guides for most of August which took up all of my brain space! Obviously it was still lurking in the back of my thoughts, but I didn’t start thinking about it loads until I came back and started lying in bed at night stressing that I’d failed everything. Fun times, am I right?

Discussing my worries with friends made me feel less alone since I realised that actually everyone was freaking out, not just me. (Though I was still kind of stressed.) On the morning of results day I stayed in bed for ages hoping to distract myself with books and podcasts. I even ended up going in later than I’d planned haha despite waking up early.

ANYWAY. I’m, like, still really in shock at my results?? I did way better than I was expecting? I’d convinced myself that I’d failed additional maths and I actually got an A which I DO NOT UNDERSTAND AT ALL because the exam was ABSOLUTE HELL. (The answer is that the grade boundaries were extremely low.)

I’d prefer not to share all of my grades publicly on here, but since this blog series has covered a lot of my GCSEs I felt that I should do some kind of conclusion. So I just wanted to say that I’m really happy with my results! I got the top grades in the subjects I’m taking at A-Level which is awesome since a) obviously now I’m allowed to take those subjects next year and b) it makes me feel more confident that I actually have a chance at A-Levels. I’m planning to take Maths, Spanish, History & Latin, and I’m very excited?! Hopefully sixth form won’t be too scary haha.

It feels so strangely anti-climatic to see so many hours of schoolwork boiled down to one piece of paper… It still hasn’t quite sunk in for me that it’s, you know, over. But GCSEs have been hanging over me for so long, and it’s such a relief to finally close this chapter. These new exams have been confusing and stressful but WE MADE IT THROUGH, FOLKS.

If you were also getting results yesterday, I hope you’re happy and even if not I send you internet hugs. It might not feel like it sometimes (and this is certainly something that I need to remind myself of) but exam results are NOT the be all and end all, and you’re still awesome no matter what. ❤

As I said, I’m starting sixth form this year which is all very new for me, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more posts in this series. A-Levels! Way less subjects! I don’t have to wear uniform anymore! And also lots of other stuff that I’m sure I’ll discover when I get there. I can’t wait to update you all on it. 🙂

The I Love Sleep Tag

A photo of a sleeping cat stretched out with the words 'The I Love Sleep Tag'.

Hi everyone! Elizabeth @ Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me for this and I am very excited because I do indeed love sleep. Thank you!

What is your routine before going to sleep?

I like routines a lot, and I have a very specific evening routine! In an ideal world, I’d do 30 minutes of music practice from 8pm (I know I should do it earlier when I’m not so tired but what can I say, habits are hard to break), put my phone onto charge downstairs then have a bath or shower around 8:30, and then I read for an hour from 9pm. But usually it ends up being quite a bit later than that haha. During the week I tend to have a bath instead of a shower since my mum prefers them and then she can get in before or after me.

Also, you probably didn’t know this but I’ve had to use lip balm all the time since I was like 7 for some reason?? So, anyway, I always have to put on lip balm before I go to bed.

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Listen to something on my iPod, normally a sleep relaxation thing, audiobook, or occasionally a more relaxing podcast. Sometimes I put something I’ve already listened to on super quietly so that I can’t hear the words but there’s still a sound and for some reason that helps me.

What is your favourite sleeping position?

On my back…? I don’t know. I also often end up on my side.

What can I wake you up for?

If something really bad happens? If I just need to wake up for some reason? I don’t know, I can’t ever remember having to wake up in the middle of the night.

What time does your alarm clock go off?

7am on schooldays. I actually live pretty close to my school, but I am not good at rushing in the mornings, so.

What time do you go to bed?

I try to go to bed around 10-10:30. No jokes, I actually get super tired beyond about 9pm when all my friends are still awake. Oh well.

Snooze or getting up instantly?

Get up instantly, I think? I mean, I read for like 20 minutes after that. But I’m AWAKE and not dozing.

Do you sleep in on the weekends?

Not really; I still wake up at about 7:30 anyway. But I get more time to chill and not leave for school.

What kind of weird stuff do you do while you are asleep?

I don’t sleepwalk or anything as far as I know, but I do kick the duvet everywhere haha.

How many pillows do you have?

One!

What do you wear to bed?

In the summer, I wear one of my many tie dye t shirts and pyjama shorts, and in the winter I have some very nice fleecy pyjamas.

Do you sleep with or without socks?

Without. When we go camping I wear socks but my feet get very sweaty and I don’t like it much. (But it’s better than cold toes.)

How big is your bed?

I confess that I had to look up bed sizes for this…I think I have a small double? It’s not, like, a full double bed. But you can fit 2 pillows next to each other on it.

The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is…?

Go to the loo. And then read.

Do you dream every night?

Yup, though I don’t always remember them later.

What dream or nightmare do you remember most clearly?

Dreams are very hard to translate into writing; sometimes I just have very specific images of old dreams I’ve had. (For example one where foxes came into my old house.) (Warning for light horror?) My most recent very memorable nightmare was during exams when I kept dreaming that all my teeth fell out. I can still recall the VERY specific sensation of them crunching in my mouth, and I’ve had that dream a couple of times since. It is Not Good.)

What is your biggest dream?

Um? I don’t know? If this is like, life goals, then I guess just being happy. I DON’T KNOW.

I’m not tagging anyone specifically for this one but please feel free to do it if you so wish! I’m still away without internet at the time this is scheduled, but I’d love to hear about your experiences with sleep. 🙂

The cat in the featured picture is not in fact one of my own, but I thought it was very cute and also a big mood. The photo is by Alexander Possingham on Unsplash.

Monthly Mixtape #8: Dernier cri

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hello, it’s Monthly Mixtape time again! Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of September! And this month’s prompt is…

#8: dernier cri

dernier cri, noun: the very latest fashion

Add or view playlist links HERE

For this playlist, I sort of went with the vibe of LOUD and GLITZY POP which also happens to be a genre I very much enjoy. And I know, I know, another Carly Rae Jepsen song…shall we play a game called ‘how many times can Eve use a Carly Rae Jepsen song in their playlists?’ It’s been like 8 months and I am just still very obsessed with the album Emotion, okay. IT’S SO GOOD.

A face that is covered with glow in the dark paint spots and glitter. The words 'dernier cri' in brush font.

listen on spotify

crazy, classic life – janelle monae
perfect places – lorde
gucci on my body – baby ariel
la hallucinations – carly rae jepsen
hugs not drugs (or both) – brendan maclean
karma – years & years
doesn’t matter – christine and the queens
nobody – mitski

I hope you enjoy this, and do check out playlists made by Evi, Holly, and Shadowriverdaleharley for the last prompt Constellate. Just to let you all know this is a scheduled post at the moment I am away with no access to internet until the 20th of August. So although I appear to be here, in fact this is past me talking to you! You’re engaging in time travel! I can’t wait to listen to your playlists and reply to your comments when I get back. 🙂

YALC 2018 Recap

The words 'YALC 2018 recap by twist in the taile' next to a 'Five Years of YALC' tote bag and a pile of books. The top book is Run, Riot.Hi everyone! Over the last 3 days I’ve been attending YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) in London and I wanted to share my recap. Before you say EVE, THIS POST IS SO PROMPT: I’m actually going away this evening so I had to write it right now. Nothing like working under a deadline, right?

I’ve been to YALC twice before, but instead of going only on Saturday, this year I went for all 3 days on my own. It was quite a different experience! I don’t know if I’ll go for 3 days next year since I did get pretty tired and I’m an awkward bean so sometimes I didn’t have anyone to talk to. But I did have lots of fun too.

Friday

The spines of the books Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Starfish. An enamel pin with a cactus and a broken heart is in the foreground.

My first signing on DAy 1 was with Non Pratt. I’ve loved Non’s books for AGES and I’d sadly missed her at the last YALC so I was very happy to get mine signed here! Along with an early copy of her new novel Giant Days, I picked up Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber. I actually read it all in one sitting this morning!

Eve and Non Pratt. Eve wears a yellow t shirt that reads 'maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story'.

Next up was the Can we be friends? panel with Alice Oseman, Gayle Forman, and Lauren Price, moderated by David Owen. I’m so glad there was a panel on friendship, since although I enjoy reading romance, my friendships are far more important in my own life and sometimes I feel like I’m doing something wrong for not having an epic romance. (Not every teen falls in love, folks!)

I got my books signed by Alice Oseman and David Owen who drew a cool alien in the front. 🙂 I also picked up a sampler for David’s new book, yay! It sounds so good!

The books Giant Days, Done Dirt Cheap and Run, Riot spread out on a flowery duvet.

After wandering around for a bit, I went to the Where will you be in 5 years? panel with Katherine Woodfine, Non Pratt, Sara Barnard and Sally Green. It was really interesting the about the origins of YALC and the careers of all the authors. On a similar topic, I’d also like to note that this weekend we saw some more statistics showing that the number of author of colours in the UK has decreased since 2006, following findings by CLPE that only 1% of children’s books published in the UK featured a BAME main character. You should read this thread by Wei Ming Kam on Twitter on the situation and writers of colour to look out for in the coming years.

Saturday

Saturday began with a rocky start when I forgot to check the trains and realised one of them wasn’t working so had to improvise with public transport. Note to self for future: ALWAYS CHECK THE TRAINS ARE WORKING.

The first panel I went to was Politics on the Page with Alice Skinner, Karen Gregory, Sarah Shaffi, Tom Pollock, Tomi Adeyemi & Yaba Badoe. This was one of my favourite panels of YALC and I found it very inspiring. I’m now keen to read the books of the other authors who I didn’t already know! I wanted to get my copy of Children of Blood and Bone signed but the queue was really long (which is awesome!) so sadly I didn’t get round to it.The books Far From the Tree and A Closed and Common Orbit. The cover of Far From the Tree has illustrations of falling leaves.

Next was the Amongst the Stars, a panel with Becky Chambers, Lauren James, Samantha Shannon & Sasha Alsberg discussing all things space and sci-fi. *whispers* I actually love sci-fi a lot and I wish I read more sci-fi books.

I bought a whole bunch of books today which you can see above and throughout this post! They are: Giant Days, Only Love Can Break Your Heardt, Starfish, Done Dirt Cheap, Run Riot, Far From the Tree, A Closed and Common Orbit, Floored, and Noteworthy.

Finally, I went to the Loud & Proud panel with Josh Martin, Keris Stainton & Simon James Green which discussed LGBTQ+ representation. I’d have liked to see more discussion of identities beyond gay characters but I did get some good recs.

Sunday

On Sunday it RAINED! Finally! The workshop I’d intended to go to was full, so I went to a panel on travel with Cecilia Vinesse, Clementine Beauvais, Emily Barr & Rutendo Tavengerwei which was super interesting. Then I had lunch and headed off to Real world, real me with Akemi Dawn Bowman, Eve Ainsworth, Holly Bourne, Lisa Williamson & Lydia Ruffles. (Okay, I know this is getting rather factual but trust me, it was good, I’m just tired.) I saw the cover reveal for the Proud anthology which sounds great!

The books Floored and Noteworthy. Floored shows 6 pairs of feet and 1 pair of feet at the side as though lying down. Noteworthy shows a hand holding a microphone.

I also got to meet many online friends like Elm, Helia, Megan and also some wonderful new people! I’m so glad that I got to do this and it was one of the highlights of YALC this year. 🙂 Thanks everyone I met!

Aand that bring me to the end of my YALC recap. I’d also like to point out that there were serious issues with accessibility at YALC (see this thread by @redrocketpanda on twitter for some details) which is completely unacceptable and needs to be improved for next year.

Once more, I’m going away until the 20th without any internet and I won’t be able to reply to any comments, emails or tweets and such. But I do have 2 more posts scheduled, and I look forward to talking to you when I get back!