The Christmas Tag (Finally)

TheChristmasTag

I’ve let my mountains of tags pile up in the last few months (yes, months), and for that I sincerely apologise. It’s not much, but may I offer you a sorry salad? I’ll try my best to get them done and dusted now that the holidays have begun!

I was tagged for The Christmas Tag by two people: Anna @ Just a Thought and Elly @ A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts. (A lot of thoughts happening there.) I thought that I’d better do it before Christmas came around,  so on we proceed with the festive spirit!

Anna’s Questions

What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I know it’s kind of bad, but I’ve always liked Nativity. If we’re thinking of something a little more traditional, then my family always has The Sound of Music rolling as everyone comes and goes on Christmas day.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning!

3. Do you have a favorite (favourite) Christmas memory?
When I was about five, I spent Christmas with my Australian relations. I remember getting a bottle of Coca-Cola in my stocking and turning up my nose at it: “But Mummy, I don’t like Coke! Why would Santa bring me this?”

4. Favorite festive food?
I ADORE Christmas pudding – you know, the one you set on fire and eat with brandy butter. I wish I could eat it all year round. I’m also prone to a nice bit of stuffing.

5. Favorite Christmas gift ?

I know this is kind of shallow, but probably that Pokémon Black DS game I got one year. I lay in my bed Christmas Eve planning out my whole journey and stuff; I was SO excited. I still haven’t finished the game, but I’m (in theory) just about to beat the Elite Four for the last time.

6. Favorite Christmas scent?

I’m not sure. The smell of cooking Christmas lunch? We have an ancient fake Christmas tree, so I’ve never really associated the smell of pine with Christmas.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

We put milk, a mince pie and carrots in front of the fireplace. I’m responsible for the glitter on the windowsills.

8. What tops your tree?

A star that isn’t meant to go on Christmas trees; it’s rather hard to keep it from falling off.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I didn’t make a massive fuss of it, but I did have some extravagant presents on my list. Sometimes, it was another cat, and others it was magical powers from the fairies. (I want to be able to fly so bad.)

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Like Anna, I love being able to see my family. My mum’s one of seven, so it’s not often that the majority of my relatives are together. But I also love the feeling of being absolutely full in the evening, and I’m not oblivious to the Boxing Day sales, either.

Elly’s Questions

1. What do you want for Christmas?
Books, of course, and some earrings from this cute shop called Cakes With Faces. (Their designs are simply adorabubble.)

2. Do you look out the window on Christmas Eve and wonder if you can see Santa’s sleigh or a shooting star?
The sky is quite hard to see from my house, so no. I’ve always been the kind of person who needs their *coughs* beauty sleep!

3. What shape of chocolate did you get in your advent calendar today?
I have a Fairtrade Divine one, and all the shapes are hearts.

4. What did you put on your tree?

We’ve been known to put up Winnie the Pooh baubles, but this year we have an (in my opinion) rather tasteful and restrained silver and red colour scheme. (A colour scheme! *gasps*)

5. What is your favourite Christmas song?
We have a Pink Martini Christmas CD that gets played every year, and I do love Carol of the Bells/Schedryck, Schedryck on that. (I’ve had a full rendition of it in the original language by my Ukrainian friend.) . If we’re just talking about non-carol songs, though, then I’ll admit that I have a thing for All I Want For Christmas is You. It works excellently with All I Want For Christmas is…[insert unpublished book here] too.

I’m tagging The Writing Hufflepuff and YA Inspires. (You can just choose one set of questions, if you like.) Anyone reading this is also welcome to participate!

Merry Christmas!

How Did That Happen?!

On Thursday, I was not at school. I was not, in fact, dying a slow death by geography test and double physics. (Surprising, I know!) Instead, I was here…

london youth choir

The view from the stage
The view from the stage

…at the Royal Albert Hall. On stage. As a performer.

Now, don’t get too excited. I’m not a celebrity in disguise. I’m one of those people in the purple t-shirts, London Youth Choir. It was just that we somehow ended up singing at the Royal Albert Hall.

I actually sang at the RAH at the end of November for the Scratch Youth Messiah (with 1,000 other people) so this was my second time. It was still awe-inspiring nonetheless, though – I mean, me! – and it was a very surreal day. School is my rhythm; if you break the rhythm, it breaks my groove. It feels wrong, somehow.

The crazy thing is I’m not even a very good singer. I only stumbled across this by chance through a poster at school; I never expected this to happen. I’m off to perform again this evening, albeit at a slightly smaller location.

What were you doing on Thursday?

(And don’t you dare try and pick my face out from that picture.)

 

Guest Post- Trying to Please Everyone

Hi, internetty people. I’m Anna- not Apple, unfortunately. This isn’t my first guest post, but I was thinking a lot about this topic recently, and I thought I would try and explain it- mainly for myself, to be honest. It might be a bit jumbled, but I’m working this out so try and bear with me.

Do you ever feel as if you are being pulled apart? Trying to please everyone at once and live up to expectations and, of course, to “be yourself.” So, tell me, how does anyone manage all that? I’m not perfect at all. Please, don’t expect me to be. Always, everywhere, I feel as if I need to make decisions that will satisfy everyone. That I need to be smart, but not too smart. I need to be pretty, but not too pretty. I need to stand up to the person being rude, but woe betide me if I’m rude back! I care too much about what people think and how they will judge me. Will my friends like that? Oh, I can’t let my brother see that, he might judge me. I grow smaller and smaller and smaller with every thought. Even now, writing this, I am anxious about what people will think of this. Maybe everyone will hate it, I don’t know.

Please, people. If everyone made an effort to let others know they will not judge, maybe the world would be a happier place.
Everyone would be able to wear onesies to school and have cake every day. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Again, apologies if I haven’t managed to totally sum up how I feel. My mind can be a bit out of sync with my fingers and the keyboard. Pretty much all the time, come to think of it.

Anna x
My blog- Just a Thought:.

October Favourites!

October Favourites

We’re a little thinner on the ground this time, but no matter. It was still a good month. Happy Halloween!
Let the proceedings begin:

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson I got this as a birthday present from a friend, and wow. Seriously. The writing was beautiful. The characters were beautiful. Everything was beautiful. I COMMAND YOU TO READ IT

2. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas I’d already read the four novellas separately, but this one has a fifth. When I spotted it the library (along with two copies of Heir of Fire; I was very impressed) I just had to get it. And then, obviously, I had to read all the other stories too. *sobs* It’s so sad…

3. Monopoly Deal Have you heard of this game? Unlike the original Monopoly, you can actually play it to the end. I taught it to my friend whilst on holiday, and we played it loads. I went on a streak and got 9 and 8 sets in consecutive games. (You have to get 3 to win, to put that into perspective.)

4. Poetry As represented by my beautiful biro, because why not? You haven’t been seeing any evidence of this, but I’ve been writing a lot of poems recently. They’re mostly mental. They’re not beautiful, but I guess it’s a way of helping me understand things when I get *coughs* emotional.

5. Badger Balm I love lip balm. I’m a little bit obsessed, and Badger Balm is one of my favourites. It’s the time of year when you can use lip balm without people looking at you like you’re mad.

6. CHOCOLATE I was given a bag of dark chocolate for my birthday by my parents. (It’s the best kind, guys.) Omnomnom

Those are the things I’ve been liking this month! Did you have a good October? I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month, so I won’t be as active, but I have a few things scheduled and I’ll hopefully be updating on NaNo and such.

On a side note: are Chuck Taylors the same thing as Converse? Like TFiOS? Hazel Grace? Because I call them Converse.

On another side note: I joined this awesome site called Guardian Children’s Books where you get a book or more each month, sometimes pre-publication, as well as the chance to interview authors, get bookish news and review things. So far, I recommend. I’ve written a few reviews. But mostly I’m there for the FREE BOOKS.

 

What do I love?

*applauds*

Questions That I Ask

I was watching Jacksgap on youtube recently and saw this video.

It made me question: What do I love?

So me, being me, searched up the definition of “love” (thanks again to dictionary.com) and it said:

verb 
(15)tohaveloveoraffectionfor
And it also said:
(17) tohaveastronglikingfor;takegreatpleasurein
Well those are the two definitions I took to be the most useful in this question. So what do I have “love or affection for” or “have a strong liking for” and “take great pleasure in”? Well the answer is: LIFE!
Well I don’t just love life, because it is life, but because we all have our own story in it. I love looking around when in a populated area and see all these people living their own story. Seeing everyone living their own life. Knowing life is…

View original post 77 more words

“There’s just something about you that pisses me off.”

“When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why god? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, “There’s just something about you that pisses me off.”

-Stephen King

I’ve just started to read a book by Meg Rossoff entitled There is No Dog. It’s based on the scenario ‘What if God were a teenage boy?’ and, as you might imagine, it’s already very funny.

The quote above was written in the front of the book. I don’t usually pay much attention to those sorts of quotes, but this one caught my eye.

September Favourites!

September Favourites

September has gone by already! Each day seems to inch by, but by the time it’s gone it feels like it was a breeze. And IT’S OFFICIALLY AUTUMN! (Or Fall, if you prefer.) September has really been key in the latest rebirth of my blog, which is a sort of book-writing-thoughts mix as far as I can see. I’ve also made some amazing new blogger buddies! ❤

1. & 2. Multiple editions of Fangirl, and Noelle Stevenson I got the collector’s edition of Fangirl for my birthday, which is the third edition I own (I also have the eBook). And seriously, guys, it’s awesome. The cover folds put to become a neat poster, there’s a metallic illustration of Simon and Baz under the dust jacket, and there’s even a special message to British readers in the back. Which brings me onto my next point: Nimona, the comic written by Noelle Stevenson of aforementioned cover-illustrating-awesomeness, came to an end on Tuesday. *cries* Oh, the feels!

3. Fandom life As represented by my Carry On, Simon t-shirt which is stunningly similar to the one worn by Cath from Fangirl. (Yes, again.) This month was the month where I linked up with other fandom people and actually discovered what it means to be in a fandom – which is, to say, scrolling through amusing gifs, quotes and fan art when I really should be doing my homework.

4. Clockwork Princess OH MY GOSH THIS WAS AWESOME EVEN THOUGH I FEEL KIND OF GUILTY LIKING IT BUT IT WAS STILL AWESOME. ‘Nuff said.

5. Heroes of Olympus I’m in the process of re-reading the series in anticipation of Blood of Olympus, which comes out on the 7th. When I read House of Hades, I had kind of forgotten the plot completely, so this time around I thought I’d be prepared.

6. A new fountain pen That’s actually just a picture of the box, since the pen was in my pencil case, but I thought I’d put it in there anyway. It may look like an oversized crayon, but it’s a lot nicer to write with than my last one. Plus, no one will mistake it for their own, since I don’t think anyone has a pen of this brand. To be honest, I’ve never seen a pen from this brand anywhere, let alone at school, which is very partial towards biros and LAMYs.

7. Strepsils Okay, okay, they’re not actually Strepsils, but who cares? It’s like hoover, or sellotape. You just call the item by the brand name. Anyway, I had a cold and cough last week so these were life-savers. They didn’t even taste that bad.

8. Heir of Fire (not pictured) I actually forgot to photograph this, but I had to come back and put it in. It’s the third book in the Throne of Glass series and it was EXPLOSIVE. Thumbs up from me.

That’s it for my September favourites! Do you think I should continue with my monthly favourites? How was your month?

The Genius of Studio Ghibli

“I’ve become sceptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and a girl appear in the same feature, romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live – if I’m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying to a true expression of love.”

– Hayao Miyazaki

Thank you, someone, for understanding that romance isn’t everything. The girl doesn’t always have to kiss the boy at the end. There are other ways in which people love.

Although there are many Studio Ghibli films I could pick on here to give you an example – Hayao Miyazaki, whom I quoted above, co-founded the company – I am going to pick on Spirited Away. Because I love this film. It’s a masterpiece.SpiritedAway1

I recently re-watched it, and whilst I liked it before, this time I fell in love. If it were a book, I would be crying over the beauty of the writing. The storyline. The characters. The mystery and the questions and the ideas. Chihiro’s relationship with Haku. It’s beautiful, despite their differences. It’s stunning. It’s heartbreaking. It’s inspiring.

I couldn’t find you enough superlatives to describe how I feel about this film. For me, it is very, very close to perfection. It’s not something you fangirl over. It’s something you bow down to in your own insignificance. It’s something you stand in awe of. As I said before, it’s a masterpiece.

Chihiro and Haku

Now, when I sat down at the computer this morning I didn’t really intend to write what it seems I have written. I was attempting to write something profound and maybe a little ranty about romance in films and books. However, the keyboard was simply adamant not to take me there, so instead you have 200 words detailing the amazingness of Spirited Away. It won’t be amazing for everyone, but it was amazing for me.

Do you have a book, film, song or something else that you think is really, really, inspiring? And…does your keyboard ever take you places you don’t intend to go?

Reblog | Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Something to think about. Do you ever feel like this?

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover
I may wear glasses, but it doesn’t mean I’m smart
I may be smiling, but it doesn’t mean I’m happy
I may like to speak out but it doesn’t mean I’m showing off
I may be aloof but it doesn’t mean I don’t care
I may be skinny, but it doesn’t mean I don’t eat
I may be quiet, but it doesn’t mean I’m shy
I may have shouted, but it doesn’t mean I don’t regret it
You may know one side of the story, but do you know mine?
View the original post at Not That Different

(brackets)

Hey.

(You may have noticed my recent trend in using brackets and italicised font at the end of my post to give you updates and snippets of information. I’m kinda enjoying it.)

(In other news, it’s the vote over Scotland’s independence today. For those of you who don’t know and haven’t guessed from that summary, Scotland is voting on whether it should become independent from England.
I’m glad that I don’t have to vote.)

(You know, if you’re in a baking mood, I’m pretty sure that chocolate fridge cake is the easiest cake it’s possible to make. I made it with my friend to celebrate International Chocolate Day and it has literally four steps: crush biscuits, melt chocolate, mix, chill. It tastes great, too.)

(I’m really liking this brackets-italics thing. Trust me, it’s different from writing in non-italics-without-brackets. It has a different tone, I’m telling you. Well, ish.)

(And, as always, I shall finish by letting you know that my computer is still out of action. And it will be until further notice, so I might have to stop leaving you these notes.)

(That makes me sad.)