What Cats Do // book tag & pics!

what cats do book tag.jpg

I was so excited when I saw this tag on Books & Cleverness because HI I LOVE CATS AND I ALSO LOVE BOOKS. Although I wasn’t directly tagged, I decided to pick it up anyway! And it turned out to be an excellent excuse to take pictures of my beautiful cats with my beautiful books. 😀 (If you’re interested, the black cat featured here is Clemmy and the tortoiseshell is Mia! THEY ARE THE LIGHTS OF MY LIVES.) You can find the original tag at meltingpotsandothercalamities.

Purr: As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

When I’m feeling sad, I usually read fanfiction to make me feel better. (Usually one that I have already read about 103729 times.) Or a webcomic. But if I did want to read a book to relax me then it would probably be either Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, because I love it with all my soul, or Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour because AAAH THE MOST CUTE SOFT GIRLS IN LOVE.

books and cats

Sleep: What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

I got about two thirds through Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and then I just…never bothered to return to it. I don’t remember hating it, but, yeah. Exactly that. I wasn’t invested enough to pick it up for the ending. Who knows, maybe I’ll try again at some point.

Twitch while dreaming: Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

I do feel like I have, but honestly I can’t remember! I feel like maybe I dreamt about a Juno Dawson book one time. I don’t know why that would come to mind if not…?

Seems to play nice…until the claws are out!:  Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

I just finished The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and I absolutely ADORED it but also IT PULLED VERY DRAMATIC THINGS ON ME. MULTIPLE TIMES. But that’s sort of why I loved it! I think it’s great when a book can truly surprise me.

books and cats

Cuddles: Which book character would you give a hug to?

Can I hug August from the Monsters of Verity duology by VE Schwab? Because he really needs a hug. He is basically a toddler except also a teenager and with crazy magic monsters going on. Bless this poor boy.

Catnip: What’s a book that made you have warm and fuzzy feels?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon gave me ALLL the warm feelings. It was so cute! I mean, there were also not-cute bits but, like, obviously. Dimple and Rishi were just so cute and wonderful!

FullSizeRender_1

Cat breeds: Your favourite book(s)?

I can literally never answer this question aah! My favourite recent reads have been Release by Patrick Ness, When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. But PLEASE NOO I CAN’T CHOOSE.

Getting the cat: How did you find your favourite book(s)?

Okay, so, I think Radio Silence is the most interesting — I picked up Release from the library and was recced When the Moon Was Ours about a million times — because I’d already read Solitaire, but it was only after that I started following the author Alice Oseman online! And then I reread Solitaire, enjoyed it way more, and got SUPER hyped up for Radio Silence.

Being in places they shouldn’t: Least favourite cliché?

(Yes, I might have changed the words of these questions to the British English spelling of favourite. Oops.) I’m…not actually sure if I have a particular cliche that I hate? I mean, if I hate it then I probably won’t read or remember the book. I’m not really into guys who are super masculine and annoying and don’t respect other characters. Queerbaiting also annoys me a lot.

The good old cardboard box: Most underrated book series?

I think I’m going with Curse Workers by Holly Black! I admit, it has been a little while since I last read these but I loved them even on reread, and I think the world setting is so unique. It’s like…a contemporary fantasy, plus cons? (The heist-y kind. Not the comic and cosplay kind.) I REALLY LOVE CON AND HEIST BOOKS, Y’ALL. #sorrynotsorry

I’m tagging: Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff, Elly @ A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts, Lia @ Lost in a Story, Jess @ Bookends and Endings and anyone else who wants to do it! ❤ (No cat required.) And of course if I've tagged you please don't feel obliged to do anything.

how do you feel about cats? do you have any pets? ever dreamt of a book?

 

Advertisements

On Turning 16

This month I’m turning 16. It feels weird. feel weird about it. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE SIXTEEN. In my mind, sixteen sounds so much older than fifteen. It sounds like age when I should be more sorted out, when I should be a better writer, when I should be more confident in myself.

I know that I shouldn’t set so many goals on myself — after all, I know so many wonderful people who are 16 and older who are super awesome and still growing and changing and OBVIOUSLY I have a long way to go — but it does feel like I have just been…less.

In October, my blog is turning 4. Yep, I’ve been here since I was 12! I KNOW THAT’S SO WILD, RIGHT. I truly can’t believe I’ve kept at blogging for this long, and I’m so proud of myself. My blog has become a comforting constant, and I am so grateful that I have carved out this space in which I can say things.

Sometimes my history on here does feel like it’s holding me back, I admit — it’s so much easier to be very personal and honest when you’re shouting into the void of the internet at strangers. Just in general life, I do in many ways wish that I could start over from where I am now, because I am such a different person to how I was in primary school or even 2, 3 years ago.

I feel a little bad for thinking this, but whilst I am so grateful that at the moment my parents are supporting me and I have the structure of school, I really am looking forward to not being a part of that. Being around the same people in a school setting makes it difficult for me to express myself the way I would like. I hope that in the future I can meet feel more happy with myself, and meet more awesome like-minded people. And just to be clear, that’s not to say I don’t love my current friends so dearly, because I do! I would NEVER give them up! It’s just that I have changed, and I want to embrace that change for the better.

Truly, I think I have developed a lot personally. Maybe not so much this year as I did last year; if last year was basically me coming out to myself and my friends, then I guess this year has been…consolidating that? Becoming more confident in myself? I mean, I don’t really know. I know sexuality or gender identity might not be a big deal to some people (which is totally cool and great for you!) but my queerness is a big part of who I am, and it didn’t feel good to bottle that up inside. Although I still make mistakes and do stuff that sucks sometimes, I do hope to keep growing & educating myself & learning how to do better.

So, yes, I wanted to be further in my blogging and writing by now. I haven’t ever finished a project. I haven’t been published any more than I had last year. I basically haven’t written in 6 months, yikes. It is so strange to feel at once so young and on the edge of everything and also like you’ve already wasted so much time. I haven’t experienced “classic teen things” (very big air quotes) like falling in love or going to parties, and yes, sometimes I feel left out. But there is no one way to be a teenager. I can spend my time how I want — and if that’s reading a great book with my cat, that’s okay.

 

I Talk About Comics, Part 3

i talk about comics final .jpg

I’m pretty sure this is one of my only successful series ever. (If you count successful as actually continuing as a series.) Probably because there are so many awesome webcomics out there! I’ve been reading a few more since the last update, but I thought I’d chuck in some traditional comics too because a) I didn’t have enough new webcomics haha  and b) I’m trying to get into traditional comics more so, you know, WHY NOT. Do feel free to check out part 1 and part 2 for further comic recs.

With Great Abandon by EH Macmillan Aah! I love this comic SO MUCH. Reasons I love it: trans MC! Hell yeah! Trans adults being trans and happy and doing stuff! Super cute romance, but also looks at the realities of actually being in a relationship. LONDON. Nerdiness. Russ and Harry meet in Forbidden Planet which I have in fact been to. Harry is so smooth which is like, woah. Also, oh my goodness the art is AMAZING. I really admire how the artist is able to continue the story without dialogue and just like…pretty arts… It actually just finished, which is sad because no more updates, but it does mean that now you can read the whole comic in one sitting. Go forth, friends!

Their Story by Tan Jiu I don’t normally read manga-style comics but my friend recced this to me and aah!! It’s so cute! And an F/F WEBCOMIC HELL YEAH LET ME READ MORE CUTE GIRLS. I feel like I read and see so many more m/m webcomics around than f/f ones which makes me really sad. 😦 I’d love to read more f/f and other queer girl stories so let me know if you’re reading any good ones!

Griefer Belt by Kales Y’all, I just really enjoy crime/con/heist stories. What can I say? This is basically queer criminals plus a lot of personal problems. Again, the art is so wonderful, and in general it’s just a super fun story. (Even though crime. Who knows.) Lars Van Allen really is a annoying, but he’s also…funny. The artist redrew him as Freckle from The Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo which I 10/10 agree with, if any of you have watched that. (Warning for violence & gore.)

Aspera by rrroux This comic has only started pretty recently, so we don’t know the characters too well yet, but it’s about LGBTQ+ students at art school in Paris and I’m super excited to see where it goes!

Eerie Crests by Bell I’ve only just caught up with this one and it’s…kind of creepy, to be honest, which isn’t normally my scene, but not creepy in a SUPER HORROR way. A lot of the story so far is characters interacting but there is just a sense of unease and weirdness. The art style is really cool, and I love the character designs too. You know when characters do the blush thing? That’s my favourite. I like it a lot. (Warning for a bunch of stuff in this; you can check the content warnings by the author here.)

ink swash 2

Now onto the traditional comics section, get hyped for my knowledge here. 😛

Young Avengers For once the library actually had all three volumes of this, including the first one, (*gasps*) which was awesome, so I took advantage of ! I find superhero comics difficult to get into, but I really loved this one. Miss America is so cool omg. I hope I can read her solo series soon, eep. 😀  Also, I’m always on board with multiple canon queer characters, heck yeah!

Saga This seems to be a frequent rec for people starting comics but, pfft, I’ll throw it in here anyway. It’s a space opera epic spanning the galaxy with so much good art and snappy last pages. Have I mentioned how much I love me a space opera? BECAUSE I DO. (Warning for violence, gore & sexual content.)

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! I follow Kate Leth on twitter and she seems really cool, but I’d never got round to reading any of her comics. But I ADORED the first volume of this — yes, it was super cute, but that’s honestly what I love to read. It brought me a lot of joy and laughs, and again: HECK YEAH CANON QUEER CHARACTERS!

Lumberjanes Another popular comic but AAH I love this so much! It’s about a group of girls at a girl scout camp. Girls being cute, having fun & adventures together! LGBTQ+ girls! Super fun art! It just brings me a lot of joy. Also, I really need to catch up because I’m like 2 volumes behind, oops.

Ms Marvel I’ve only read two volumes of this as I keep forgetting to reserve the third one from the library, but I’m really enjoying it so far! Again, I don’t read a ton of superhero comics but I’m actually excited and interested in this one, so.

Once again, if you have any recommendations for comics then I’d love to hear them! You can check out my Tapastic account for a collection of most of the stuff I’ve been reading (or wanting to read) on there, including stuff from past posts and some others that I haven’t got round to putting in.

do you read any webcomics? traditional comics? have you read any of these?

Back to School // #evestudies

back to school evestudies.jpg

That’s right folks, it’s September, and for me that means SCHOOL. And also a year of important stuff for me, because GCSEs and A LEVEL THINGS and DECISIONS ABOUT MY FUTURE. *screams*

Whilst obviously I am kind of worried, I’m not…that worried? I mean, I know GCSEs will probably suck but a) they are not at all the end of the world if I mess them up, I can still do other stuff as a human and b) they’ll probably end up fine. And I’m a lot further with thinking about my future than I was this time last year. I still don’t really understand how the new A Level thing all works — hopefully this will be explained??? maybe not though — but, yeah. I have some thoughts on what I want to do, at least. (I know I’d like to do Spanish.)

So, yes. It is GCSE year! Hurrah! not  If you’re not familiar with the English school system, they’re basically the big exams you take age 16 after a two year course. I’m taking 9 or 10, I think? Maybe it’s 10 with the two English ones. I’m not sure. We also have mock exams at my school in January which, again, is going to be SUPER FUN. -_- At least I can look forward to seeing my family at Christmas and The Last Jedi. (Y’all, I am super hyped for it. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MY SPACE CHILDREN AGAIN.)

Whilst obviously I’m going to need to like, do schoolwork, my main goal for this academic year is to be kind to myself. I find exams pretty stressful but I don’t really want to spend the next 9 months or so freaking out. What I mean by this is: I want to keep doing stuff I enjoy! Seeing friends, reading, book events, watching TV, blogging, writing, music. Meditation, which seems to helping a bit. We actually seem to have self-care lessons at school now — they’re not called that, but that’s what they seem to be — and I hope those will be good. If I get super stressed out over work then it just makes everything I try to do 100 times worse. And I do not need to feel crap for 9 months. It’s not worth that.

The other day I watched this video by EmilyOfAdarlan on having the right mindset for GCSEs, which I thought was really useful, if maybe not exactly how I’d like to do stuff? know that I could get super involved in this and just work all the time. And I probably will have to at some point. But I dunno, as I said, I don’t think it’d be awesome for my mental health. Ideally like to be able to combine maximising my time, consolidating stuff, and doing other work-y things with stuff I love. Sometimes I do just need time off. I found using a bullet journal useful so I think I’m going to restart that! (Maybe with a new journal because mine was a bit crappy.)

My mental health hasn’t been great recently but I’m feeling good today? Which is nice? So I’m going to talk about some stuff that I’m excited for this next school year. Firstly, seeing my friends! I’ve really missed just, like, seeing people over the holidays. It’s already been super nice to see them back at school. Also, I am kind of excited to be learning stuff again. Yeah, school can be stressful, but I just. Like learning stuff. WHAT CAN I SAY.

More things I am excited for: the clubs I have going on — LGBTQ+ society (we’re planning to do an assembly to the younger kids which is scary but also fun), music groups, theatre tech. Hopefully I can actually learn some useful tech stuff at the club. And we have House Music this year, which is basically where you get together with your people in your house to perform a song as a choir! It only happens every other year so the last time I did it was in Year 9, and honestly I’ve been waiting for it to happen again ever since because I LOVED it.

It’s a lot more easy for me to talk about what I want to do when I am feeling happy. It’s so much harder to love myself and focus on the good things when I’m not, but I’m going to try my best. In any case,  I hope for the best for the next school year!

are you going back to school? do you have experiences of exams? how did you study, or how are you studying for them?

 

 

 

Summer Favourites!

Words 'summer favourites' over the books Strange the Dreamer and Our Dark Duet

*rolls in* That’s right folks, I’m back! And I am here with a summer favourites post! I am sacrificing the vaguely nice weather to write this so, you know, hopefully it’s worth it. And hopefully I can stop thinking about going back to school (yikes). Here are some things I have been loving over the last three months.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor I’d been putting off buying this for ages because, well, it’s kind of expensive in hardback, and I thought it might come into the library, but in the end I just went for it. I’m so glad I did! Although it was a pretty long book, I was super invested in it, and I especially loved Lazlo. As ever the writing was stunning, let me cry.

Angels in America This is showing at the National Theatre right now and although I couldn’t get tickets to see it live, I was able to see it broadcast live at the cinema near me. I saw it with my grandma and parents, which I think was pretty interesting since we each had really different personal experiences relating to the play. Even though I was a bit worried about the long running time (it’s about 8 hours) I thought this was incredible and I ended up becoming very invested in the characters. Even though most of them were kind of not great people? But I guess, you know — people suck sometimes. The production of the play was also stunning, oh my goodness.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James I was lucky enough to snag an early copy of this at YALC and I loved it even more than Lauren James’ other books, I think! What can I say, I just LOVE space stories. It was such a page turner; I read it in like 12 hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I’d definitely recommend you to read it when it comes out next month!

The Incredible Jessica James I just watched this movie (on recommendation of the excellent Secret Feminist Agenda podcast) and I LOVED IT. Jessica was just, super funny & cool and I definitely didn’t almost cry at the end. GIRLS SUPPORTING GIRLS GIVES ME LIFE. (Also Jessica Williams is pretty oh my goodness.)

Our Dark Duet by VE Schwab Is it supposed to be Victoria Schwab because YA? I dunno. I’m pretty sure the UK version is VE Schwab. Anyway, this book tore me apart and also tore me apart with writing. *flails* That is really all I have to say.

You by Dodie I’m fine…ahaha… No, actually this EP was SO WONDERFUL and I LOVE IT A LOT. In particular I think I really love the titular song, You, which I’d never heard before! Though of course I adore all of them.

The Bright Sessions Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages talks about this podcast a lot so I decided to start listening and…well…I AM OBSESSED. I finally caught up about two weeks ago and just. MY HEART. It’s about people with superpowers except it’s more about how they interact and arGH I LOVE ALL OF THEM SO MUCH. (Except some of the characters who are horrible. But, you know.)

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Another book I finally picked up after hearing so many wonderful things. I just adore books about nerds and cons and this was hella cute! Again, I devoured it in like 12 hours.

stuff from around the internet:

  • On the blog I started a new series called #evestudies about my school life, talked about LGBTQ+ books I want to read, and why I love the podcast Witch, Please.
  • Following the events in Charlottesville, Sara Benincasa compiled a list of organisations you can donate to if you’re able, and Ijeoma Oluo wrote about fighting white supremacy on The Establishment. Although these events happened in the USA, and I’m in the UK, I think this piece is still super relevant.
  • Em @ (the newly rebranded!) Yellow’s The Word talked about resources you can use for language-learning. Although the post is for learning over the summer it’s still super useful!
  • The trailer for A Wrinkle in Time was released and WOAH IT LOOKS GOOD. I can’t remember reading the book, I confess, although my mum swears I loved it, but I’m super pumped to see the movie.
  • Mish @ Chasing Faerytales recced some books with Muslim rep for Ramadan.
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff imparted to us mortals (hehe) some tips for how to make cool aesthetics.
  • I also updated my Redbubble shop! I put on a bunch of new designs featuring cats, blogging, and space and I actually love them a lot so, if you fancy buying one or forwarding on the link do check it out. 😉

in the diary:

  • Oh wow, June feels so long ago. Erm…well, I had internal exams at school! And they went well overall!
  • WHOO SUMMER HOLIDAYS. I went camping with my family which was super fun! I got to spend a bit of time away from everything and also spot the various cute animals around the campsite.
  • I went to my first ever Pride in London which was WOAH. Somehow my friends & I ended up walking in the parade with all the commercial floats, so sorry about that? But also it was so amazing to be around so many cool people and just, like, see other visible LGBTQ+ people??? yeah?? it was fun?
  • In July I went to the Young Adult book event, YALC!  Aah! I’d been looking forward to this event for so long and it was SO GOOD. I just love books a lot, y’all. Please do feel free to check out my full recap here. 😉
  • I don’t know how much you follow my personal rambles about gender so just to let y’all know, I’m currently using they/them pronouns.
  • Probably some other stuff happened but as ever I…can’t really remember it. I’m off to school this week which is kind of yikes.

You might remember that this time last year I decided to switch from monthly to seasonal favourites. Short story is: I think I might do monthly ones again! However, I won’t doing my usual layout with all the items in an image, because to be honest that’s the most difficult part.  I’m not completely sure yet, but three months is just a super long time to keep up with stuff, and I simply don’t have the space to include all the things I love. So, maybe monthly ones it is? We’ll see. *nods*

how have your last few months been? are you returning to or back at school? read any of these books?

View story at Medium.com

YALC 2017 Recap

yalc 2017 recap.jpg

Okay, this post is going to be SUPER late by the time I’m able to post this, but NEVER MIND. On Saturday 28th July I was lucky enough to be able to attend YALC, the con in London for young adult books! And here is my round up of what I got up to!

ink swash 2

I attended YALC on the Saturday in 2015 but this year was SO MUCH BIGGER. The main difference I could see was that there were loads more stalls — publishers, authors, other bookish or nerdy companies — in addition to the panels and workshops. Although I’d been basically looking forward to it since the summer before when I’d missed it, I was pretty anxious. (Also, last time I went to a con I brought the wrong ticket which was yikes.) I think that did detract from my day a bit but I couldn’t really do anything about it.

 

When I arrived at about 9am, I basically just checked out the area. I managed to get my hands on the very last copy of Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz which I was very smug about. I also bought The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and picked up a proof of The Fandom by Anna Day & Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki as well as SO MANY free samplers and other swag. I didn’t want to take all my new books away with me so sadly I’ve only read The Loneliest Girl so far but I ADORED IT, and I’m super excited to read the others! These actually ended up being the only books I got (apart from Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger from the book swap). I do sort of regret not buying more books to be honest, but I had just had a mini haul in order to buy books to get signed at YALC, so. I also purchased a YALC 2016 t shirt even though I wasn’t there in 2016 because, well, I wanted a t shirt and liked the 2016 design more. 😛

yalc 2017 samplers.jpg
samplers I picked up

Next I met up with my friend who was a bit late due to sleeping in (#relatable am I right) (or not for me because I wake up at like 7am every single day) we headed off to the Publishing 102 workshop in the Agent Arena. 5 different people working in the literary and oublishing industry, from editor to designer to librarian, told us about their jobs and answered any questions. To be honest I don’t think I’ll work in publishing but it’s good to keep my options open and I thought it was really interesting! It must be really cool to work on such iconic book designs like The Fault in Our Stars which have become very important & recognisable in fandom spaces and stuff.

Next up after a very long queue for the toilets (okay but…why did they only have like 4 toilets for such a busy convention) was the Genre Bending panel with Zen Cho, VE Schwab, Ben a, Samantha Shannon and also two other people I didn’t know. I found it a bit difficult to hear from where I was but it was very interesting to hear about different genres and what genres actually are. 

Right after this I attended the Unconventional Romance panel with Ayisha Malik, Paige Toon, Patrice Lawrence & Jennifer E Smith. I enjoyed it, and it was cool to hear from Ayisha Malik because I’d bought her book Sofia Khan is Not Obliged to read whilst away so that got me excited. (Also, oh my goodness, I really need to read Indigo Donut.) Some parts were better than others and also, hi, it is I a tiny ace teenager who has never fallen in love so that’s not universal but yeah.

yalc 2017 books
books I got signed

I wish that I’d understood more about the Virtual Queueing system and got my VE Schwab and Laini Taylor tickets in between those two panels as then I’d have been able to get my stuff signed, but sadly I had to skip getting my Laini Taylor books signed because the queue was just too long. However, I did get my books signed by Lauren James, Zen Cho, and later on VE Schwab which I’m so happy about!

IMG-20170814-WA0070
galactic makeover time

Whilst waiting I got a fun galactic makeover, themed to The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, so here I am all sparkly for you. Fun fun.

Now the Teen Bloggers Chat meetup! I was SUPER excited for this & I was very sad to arrive late, sorry guys. But, you know, I really did want those VE Schwab books signed. I was a bit of an awkward bean but it was so lovely to meet everyone, and I hope we can meet again at some point (???).

After this I headed off to the Books That Made Me panel with VE Schwab, Joanne Harris & Laini Taylor. I hadn’t realised it was going to be about, like, formative books you’ve read? So that was a surprise. But it was still cool. And finally I stayed to the end to watch Non Pratt shave her head for charity, and also to not see Benedict Cumberbatch because I didn’t realise what was going on. I thought I didn’t care but APPARENTLY I DO STILL CARE.

Overall I had a fab time, despite being a bit stressed and anxious, and I hope that I can attend again to see YALC grow even more. Now go check out some fab recaps by Jess @ Bookends and Endings and Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf, and you can also watch video footage of ME in the wild at the #teenbloggerschat meetup. Please do link your YALC recap below, I’d love to read it!

did you go to yalc? have you been to another book event? would you like to?

PS. I know I’m technically on hiatus, but I thought it would be a good idea to post this whilst YALC was still vaguely fresh in our minds. I plan to be fully returning at the end of August with my summer favourites. 🙂

On Not Feeling Awesome // plus hiatus

Hey guys! So. If you’ve been following me on social media you might have seen that I haven’t been having a great few days… I’ve been feeling pretty down. I tried to write numerous blog posts with little success. It feels like a lot of bad & stressful stuff has been happening, even though I know it’s probably my perception of it.

It’s okay. I’m doing better now. Even just making the decision to sit down and write makes me feel better. And crying also makes me feel better, even if that sounds kind of weird. I don’t know, maybe my period is coming? It would explain the cramps but also I don’t normally get bad cramps before my period so??? who knows??

Also, I was really stupid & broke my phone. After sitting in rice for several days it seems to mostly work okay, except for the volume. I’d rather have that than nothing though! I’m just a bit frustrated at myself. :/

Just in general EVERYTHING FEELS ANNOYING. I’m having problems dying my hair and seeing all the cool stuff happening at SDCC which I’m not at and having a bit of a Feeling Bad About Gender Moment. I decided to kinda ‘come out’ to my irl friends, I suppose, in that I asked them to use they/them pronouns for me. I love them a lot, and we’re cool and LGBTQ+ together, but some of them don’t know much about non-binary stuff so I guess it can be tiring? And also because I’m an awkward person I don’t like correcting people. But I also put my pronouns more visibly on twitter, so. I’m proud I did that. If I decide actually these pronouns aren’t for me then that’s okay, but they feel good right now, and I’ve had a year to think about.

Good stuff has been happening too! I’m going to YALC next Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. I also went to see part 1 of Angels in America at the cinema; I look forward to finishing it next Thursday. I’m loving podcasts right now and am absolutely living for the second season of Witch Please, The Penumbra Podcast, and the new Secret Feminist Agenda. I’m currently having a bit of a feminism renaissance! Yay!

I didn’t really realise it until I sat down today but — I think what I need is to take some time away. I’ve been so stressed about trying to schedule posts that I just HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. It is a little disappointing for me because I’m always like ‘oh yay, I blog really regularly! I’m reliable!’ but honestly I want to prioritise my mental health. It’s never good to burn out. It’s not good for me to not be enjoying blogging anymore.

As such, I’ve decided to take August off. I’m away with minimal wifi for the first two weeks — camping hell yeah! — and I’ll see when I get back. I’ll probably post a YALC round up but I can’t guarantee anything more. Instead, I’m going to be working to make my blog even more awesome than before in time for Autumn and my 4th blogoversary! (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. I feel so old yet I have so few followers, ahahahaha.) (I’m also trying hard to not get down about the relative success of my blog because JEALOUSY IS NOT COOL.)

Thank you for understanding and for staying with me, friends. I love you all. I’ll probably still be more present on twitter and tumblr if you fancy saying hi to me. Please stay well. I’ll see you soon. ❤

 

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

mid year freak out book tag.jpg

It might be a little past mid-year, but PFFT. All of summer is basically the same, right? 😉 Thanks so much to Bex @ My Shelf & Myself for tagging me, and can we all just take a second to appreciate that amazing blog name. 😍 Now onto the books!

ink swash 2

Best book you’ve read so far in 2017

the hate u give

OH MAN. I have no idea how to choose! I think that The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Release by Patrick Ness, Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg and Our Dark Duet & A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab are among my favourites so far.

Best sequel of 2017 so far

a conjuring of light

I just finished Lord of Shadows which I loved, and I also adored Our Dark Duet, but I’d have to say A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab. I love the world & characters so much and reading that book was just such a thrilling experience. It made me so glad that I can have such awesome fan experiences.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

want cindy pon

Want by Cindy Pon sounds SO EXCELLENT. It’s a scifi book set in the futuristic Taiwan! Which is super cool! I would really like to read more scifi that isn’t a futuristic UK/US. Also, the cover is SO NICE.

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

the loneliest girl in the universe

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I adored The Next Together duology by Lauren James and I am so excited for her new novel! I’ve been snooping around on Tumblr where the author is posting related stuff and…I think there’s going to be fandom? SCI FI FANDOM HECK YEAH. I am also SUPER EXCITED for Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore.

Biggest disappointment

railhead

Railhead by Philip Reeve was one of the books I was most excited for on the Carnegie list. It started off with a cool premise — SCIFI, TRAINS, STEAMPUNK — but I ended up not really being engaged with the storyline or characters. I also maintain that the future is definitely more queer, okay?

Biggest surprise

the smell of other people's houses
I wasn’t expecting to like The Smell of Other People’s Houses but I actually ADORED and DEVOURED it.  It’s set in 70s Alaska which I didn’t know much about at all, and it tells the story of a bunch of different teenagers and the way their lives intersect. I LIKE THESE KINDS OF CROSSING STORIES A LOT, OKAY.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

bone gap laura ruby
Laura Ruby already has some books released, but Bone Gap was the first novel I’d read by her, and I enjoyed it a lot! I look forward to reading any new works of hers. 🙂

Newest favourite character

the last beginning
There was also a question here for ‘newest fictional crush’ but I don’t get crushes haha, so I merged it with my favourite character! I adore both Clove and Ella from The Last Beginning by Lauren James. I LOVE READING ABOUT QUEER GIRLS IN STEM IT MAKES MY HEART SING WITH JOY. I’m also still in love with Kell and Lila and Rhy but hey, that’s not new. 😉

Book that made you cry

release patrick ness
I don’t think I actually cried whilst reading it (because I am a stone cold human who never cries reading books) but Release by Patrick Ness made me feel a lot of emotions. It was just one of those books that reminded me so much of my own feelings — in a way that was both painful and wonderful? (Our Dark Duet)

Book that made you happy

and a happy new year
The Spinster Club series by Holly Bourne has always given me a lot of joy, adn the series finale …And a Happy New Year? was no exception. Of course there was no shortage of crises, and it wasn’t a completely happy ending, but it reminded me of how awesome feminism and friendship are.

Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year

a monster calls
I think the only book to movie adaptation I’ve seen this year is A Monster Calls? (Based on the book by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd.) It wasn’t my favourite movie ever, but I thought the filming was very pretty & it made me feel all the things.

Favourite review you’ve written this year

Erm, I don’t actually write reviews! Maybe I can go through my Goodreads and find one, wait… Okay, no, I don’t know how to search through and read this.

Most beautiful book you bought or received this year

girl of ink and stars
Alas, I only borrowed it from the library, but The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is SO BEAUTIFUL in its physical form. Not only is the cover beautiful — the pages are also such nice quality & there are map illustrations and GAH SO NICE. Also, I bought my friend a new 20th anniversary Ravenclaw copy of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone and to be honest I thought that was pretty awesome.

Books you need to read by the end of this year

when dimple met rishi

OH MY GOODNESS. SO MANY. SO MANY.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon I have this on my Kindle & I’m going to read it on holiday!
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore AAAH I KNOW I ALREADY MENTIONED THIS BUT I’M SO EXCITED.
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash This was only just released in the UK, aah, and it sounds wonderful.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee Webseries creator! Internet people! Asexual characters!
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee I’ve been meaning to read this for ages becayse it sounds AWESOME.
And also a TON more because ALL THE BOOKS YESSSSS. I couldn’t possible fit them all on here. 😛

ink swash 2

I’m not tagging anyone because a) as some of you might know I find tagging people a bit stressful haha and b) it is, erm, not really mid-year anymore, so I’d feel a bit awkward. I do hope you enjoyed this post!

how has your bookish year been so far? do you have a favourite book of 2017 yet?

Summer Bucket List (& Other Plans)

summer bucket list 2017

I’ve just put on my summer playlist and for once the sun is shining here in the UK. Yep, it’s summertime again! AKA the time where I celebrate not having to do schoolwork only to end up being bored. I wish I was someone who could really take this time to relax and do nothing but unfortunately doing that just makes me feel TERRIBLE. By the end of the holidays I actually miss the structure and purpose that school gave me.

But, I am determined that I’m going to do FUN STUFF this summer and NOT MOOCH AROUND. I might be starting off with too high aspirations, but I’ve printed out a calendar and I’m hoping to get back into using my bullet journal as that really helped me structure my day.

I’ve made a to do list of all the stuff that I want or need to do — ranging LL from homework to visiting museums — so I thought I’d share the most interesting here with you. (Trust me, if I just shared my actual word document with the list it would be pretty incomprehensible.)

ink swash 2

activities

There are so many great museums in London & I don’t think I make enough use of them! I’m hoping to visit the Queer Art exhibition at Tate Britain, the LGBTQ+ history thing at the British Museum, maybe visit the V&A or the Science Museum. I have’t been there since I was about 8 so I’d love to see how it’s changed.

I’d also like to take some day trips for example to Brighton, since it’s pretty easy to get a train ticket places, and also I don’t think I’ve ever been to Brighton. SO I’D LIKE TO DO THAT. I’m still working on convincing my friends to come with me haha.

personal

For personal activities, I am hoping to dye my hair blue tomorrow. I actually dyed it blue earlier but it was a semi-permanent dye so washed out basically immediately. 😦 This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages so fingers crossed it works out!

I am also trying to practice more self-care at the moment. I think I’m doing a better job, and currently I feel…fairly good in terms of mental health? Which is nice for once? I’m using the app Smiling Mind to do short daily (or almost daily haha) meditations, and my mum & I are doing some yoga from youtube videos my aunt recommended us. (She’s recently got super into yoga.) And it’s nice to do something together! Especially a physical activity since I don’t really do much in summer and it does make me feel better. I HOPE to go swimming at my local pool but to be honest I’ll probably end up forgetting. I do use my bike to cycle places though, since my parents can’t take me.

Finally, I’m using Duolingo to learn Japanese. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might know that I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while — I also did a bunch last summer. However, as I predicted school got in the way, so I am hoping to use Duolingo as an easy way to learn some stuff for my school trip (!!!) in autumn. I find I’m quite motivated since I don’t want to lose my streak haha.

online

I’m pretty sure I say this every single holiday, but I’m going to try and write a whole bunch of blog posts so that I can have some buffer posts when school/life gets busy. (BECAUSE GCSE YEAR AAAAH I’M FINE.) We’ll see how that turns out.

I’ve also been considering rejigging my blog a bit in terms of design and the way I post. I do quite like my current theme, but I’m sort of feeling like it’s time for a change? And that I could make something which both looks nicer and has more consistent content. (Not that this is necessary for an amazing blog. Just something I’ve been thinking about.)

I’m vaguely considering doing some podfic — if you don’t know what it is, it’s like an audiobook except for fanfiction — since a) I love listening to podfic and b) now I have a mildly better microphone to record with but we shall seeee.

writing

In the last few months I’ve done basically no writing. I’d like to say school just took up all my time, but whilst that’s true to some extent, I also haven’t been feeling very motivated to write anything. This is the first year where I haven’t really got any new poems by the summer. 😦 However, I do have a new idea that I’m working on so I hope to do some of that!

One of my big problems with writing is that I get so worked up over THE NOVEL and how it has to be perfect. I find it a lot easier to view any writing projects from a different way — like, what would I do with this if it were a fanfiction? For me writing fic is really all about enjoyment  so that often gives me a way to feel excited about my story again. Or: what if this were a collection of short stories? a podfic? a webcomic? Obviously different stories work better in different mediums, but that’s just a weird thing I do.

media

As all my friends know, I’m terrible at following up on the stuff they recommend me. So, I’m planning to use this time to watch a bunch of different TV shows (Steven Universe, Brooklyn 99, Jane the Virgin, Carmilla probably others I’ve forgotten) as well as various books, webcomics, and other things. I also want to watch some musicals like Heathers, A Very Potter Sequel and Spring Awakening. (I’M SORRY. I feel bad watching bootlegs but the production is done and I don’t know how else I’m going to see it.)

Along with all this there’s schoolwork, reading/buying books for YALC, read a bunch of watching movies like Star Wars. I adore Star Wars but my family doesn’t enjoy sci-fi so I haven’t seen them all. And I’m seeing the Angels in America at the National Theatre Live thing in the cinema over the next two weeks which I am SO EXCITED FOR. AAH. Hopefully I’ll write a post about it.

ink swash 2

I’ve probably left out some other stuff I want to do, as I always do, but this post has somehow reached 1,000 words and it’s getting hot in this room so I shall end here. 🙂 If you like you can check out my summer bucket list from 2015 (I didn’t do one last year); I just did and woAH what a throwback. I do hope my writing style has developed a bit since then ahaha.

what are your plans for the next two months? doing anything nice? what do you think of the ink squiggles??(it’s an experiment)

Playlist: release

I return to you today with another playlist! Yay! I’ve been listening to a bunch of cool music lately and I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU A LOT. And I am still working on that music link-up thing, by the way, so keep your eyes out. 😉

I’ve been mulling over this playlist for quite a while — the first version had so many different songs — but as ever I’ve edited it down to something I think is more cohesive. But I still just love all the music! Argh, it’s so difficult to choose. I do hope you enjoy.

release 2

release

for the summer dusk. for the ache of a feeling half-remembered. for looking back and perhaps finally letting the memories pass on into the night.
spotify / youtube

fools – lauren aquilina
blud – soak
high – phoebe green
saw you in a dream – the japanese house
supercut – lorde
around u – muna
saint claude – christine and the queens
meteorites – lights (midnight machines version)

I’m actually scheduling this post, so as you read it I will hopefully be having lots of fun learning Spanish (?!?) which is cool. HOPEFULLY. So I might be a bit delayed in commenting. I hope you’re all having a good day, wherever you are. I’d love to hear what you thought of this playlist, or any music recs you might have!