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. 🙂

 

Spring/Summer Releases on my TBR

Hi everyone! I feel like I haven’t done a bookish post in a while, so here I am. I’m talking about the YA releases of this spring and summer which I’m getting really excited for. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure there’s more wonderful books that I’ve left off — these are the ones that came to my mind.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Okay, I only just realised this was being released in summer, and it sounds excellent. Please give me the haunted Edinburgh ASAP.

Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla

There’s some great UKYA being released in the next few months! I’m very excited for Run Riot, a crime thriller which looks at gentrification and police brutality.

Floored by various authors

And a second great UKYA! Floored is a collaborative novel by some of my favourite authors like Non Pratt and Tanya Byrne. It’s such a cool concept, right?? I read a sampler of it last summer and it really got me hooked.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

This is another book by an author I love; I’m so excited to see more of the characters we say in Simon Vs, and also YAY a bi girl MC!

Clean by Juno Dawson

Okay, I know this is technically already out, but shhh. It wasn’t out when I first drafted this post. I might have to prepare myself mentally before I read this but I’m also very interested in this since I’ve enjoyed several of Juno Dawson’s other books.

 

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

I loved Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek! And this book also looks SUPER BISEXUAL! Yay! From my look at the reviews, it also seems like it has a genderqueer character? I can’t wait to see. And it’s about a band, which brings me onto my next book…

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

You all know that I am actually obsessed with the work of Alice Oseman and I simply cannot shut up about her books. This is a about band fandom, the internet, and the danger of fame. It has two MCs who I am already in love with — Angel, a hijabi Muslim girl, and Jimmy, the lead singer of her favourite band The Ark. I crave trans characters so badly, I can’t wait to meet Jimmy! (Also, side note, but I can’t think of any other UKYA with trans characters of colour. Are there any???)

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

I loved Menon’s first book so I can’t wait to try this one. It’s about an aspiring filmmaker, and also from the blurb I think it has some internet romance? Anyways, I am READY.

 

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

I am SO READY in my SOUL for Theatrical. When I read the author’s other book about conventions, I said that someone should write a book about theatre tech, and NOW IT’S HERE. Or it will be.

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

I admit, I haven’t actually yet read the second book in the Wayaferers series… But I’m super excited for this nonetheless, because I adored the first one. I love good good queer space books.

Oh dear, I am rather tired today, but reminding myself of all the wonderful books out there cheered me up.

what releases are you excited for? did I miss any crucial ones out? what are you reading right now?

7 Things on the Internet That Make Me Smile

Hi everyone! So…I am feeling slightly overwhelmed at the moment. I thought I would share a few things on the internet that have made me smile recently. (And here I’m talking about small things rather than big general things, because the internet is TOO BIG.)

1. Good as Hell by Lizzo

This song is SUCH A TUNE honestly!!! It fills me with joy and strength!! The video is also SO GOOD — it features lots of awesome women getting their hair done and being happy and it is honestly the best.

2. The McElroy brothers call a secret society

This short excerpt from the My Brother My Brother and Me TV show of the McElroys calling secret societies still made me laugh when I rewatched it for this post. I know it doesn’t sound that funny but…IT IS FUNNY. Or maybe I’ve just listened to too many McElroy products at this point, who even knows. (Bonus: this video of Griffin McElroy eating a banana AKA cronch origins.)

3. Cats meowing at each other

Two kitties! Meowing at each other! So pure and beautiful!! I mean, there’s so much good good cat content out there. But I do like this one. You can check out my whole cats tag on tumblr if you like.

4. This online purr generator

OK, I’m just going to put all the cat content together: it is a purr generator. For your computer. I love cats purring so this is just the BEST for me!

5. The Ladies of Hamilton #Ham4Ham

This is a video from back when Hamilton cast on Broadway did little bonus things outside the theatre. That whole run produced lots of very very good content, but in particular I love this one. I’ve probably watched it at least a dozen times, OOPS. I’m just too queer… I cannot handle the beauty.

6. Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko

This still makes me real emotional. I love Hayley Kiyoko so much. Just a VERY GOOD song and video.

7. The time Joe Johnson livetweeted reading Check, Please!

Maybe this is too niche but OH WELL. NEVER MIND Firstly, if you haven’t read the webcomic Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu then you should because it is very very good. Anyway, the subject in question is when the ice skater Joe Johnson read the comic and livetweeted it back in December which produced many, many excellent tweets.

Other quality content is this, this, and this tweet. And no, I absolutely did not just go back through his entire twitter to find those. (The things I do for you.) (But also MUCH #relatable content on there haha.)

Anyways. I hope you enjoyed this rather random post and I wish you a wonderful day!

what are your favourite things on the internet? do you also greatly enjoy looking at cute cats or is it just me??

 

Q&A // books, music & more!

Green and blue watercolour splash. The words 'Question & answer' and 'twist in the taile'

Hi everyone! I’m here today with the very first Q&A that I have EVER done here on Twist in the Taile. Which is wild. If you think about it, you’re all basically experiencing a premiere right here! (Does anyone even know how I am this bouncy when I’m writing this intro despite being wiped out by work??? ME NEITHER. That is one question I can’t answer.)

Anyways, thank you so much to Jess, Holly, The Wild Man, K. Winter, and Kerstin for submitting questions — let’s get started!

books

Best book you’ve read recently? 

Probably I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan or After the Fire by Will Hill. They were both super good & well-written, I’d recommend! (Also shout-out to my library for having both of them; they’ve got in some great new YA books lately. I’m LOVING it.)

Can you read with noise or do you need silence?

Normally I read with silence, since I tend to read in the evenings before I go to bed. I can read with a bit of background noise or music but not anything super distracting.

If you were a book, which one would you be and why?

OOOOH. Oooh… I don’t actually know! I feel like I would be something like Nimona by Noelle Stevenson or the Hellcat! comics (i.e. excitable, queer, friendship, crying, feminism). Except also simultaneously Radio Silence by Alice Oseman because WOW that book speaks to me so much to be honest. It would depend on the day I’m having, really.

Have you ever gotten around to reading Juliet Takes a Breath?

No, sadly I haven’t. It looks amazing and I really want to read it! I admit that the main reason I haven’t read it yet is because it’s £17 to buy in paperback here which is very expensive for a book. I’ve been waiting for the ebook price to go down a bit more but I should really just buy it because it sounds so great.

What’s your all time favourite book?

NOOOO, don’t make me pick! I can’t decide! I’d say among my absolute favourites are When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, but I love SO MANY MORE. *cries* I CAN’T PICK.

Do you have a favourite fairy tale that you’ll read literally any adaptation of?

I regret to say that no, I do not! I used to have a book of fairytales which I loved but I don’t love one in particular anymore.

music (and musicals)

Who’s your favourite character from Les Mis?

Again, this is VERY PAINFUL FOR ME. I LOVE ALL MY CHILDREN. From more canon-y canon (does that even make sense?) maybe Marius, because he is a hilarious awkward cinnamon roll and I just. Love him a lot. But I also love so many more, especially characters who have been interpreted in awesome ways by people in the fandom like Enjolras and Cosette! (Also, like, all of Les Amis.)

And your favourite character from Hamilton?

Angelica Schuyler. 🙂 I love all the Schuyler sisters but I adore Angelica’s song Satisfied.

What grade are you in Clarinet?

I’m hoping to take Grade 8 at the end of this year… I say HOPING, I’ll have to practice more if I want to be good enough by then haha.

How do you go about making your playlists/trying new music?

This might sound kind of boring, but usually to make playlists I just kind of…sit for a while and think about songs that fit the vibe I want. Or sometimes it comes to me when I’m doing something else. If I can’t think of enough songs that way, then I’ll go through my music library and see if I can find anything else that fits.

Honestly, I’m not amazing at trying new music, but I like to follow other people’s playlists and my discover weekly playlist on Spotify. Occasionally I see other people talk about cool music and then I look them up too.

school

What GCSEs are you taking?

Spanish, Latin, History, Music, English Lit & Language, the three sciences, Maths, and Additional Maths. To be honest please send me good luck for Add Maths because it’s very difficult *cries*

What A Levels do you plan on doing?

At the moment I plan on taking Spanish, History, Maths and Chemistry. But I might change from Chemistry to Latin haha. (I went through SO MUCH PAIN in my A Levels decisions. IT WAS TERRIBLE.)

Thanks for reading! I’m not actually having a great time at the moment and revision is coming up, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post every week. But we’ll see.

what are your answers to these questions? are you having weird weather like me???

 

Do Study Blogs Really Help Me Study?

A yellow pencil, pencil sharpener and pencil shavings on a blank lined notebook. The words 'do study blogs really help me study?'

Hi everyone! As you might know, I’ve been busy with school lately, hence the many school-related posts. I was busy over the winter holidays for mocks in January, and I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time in general looking around study blogs like studyblr, Youtube, and such. I’m here today with a discussion post on whether study blogs actually help.

Firstly, I have to say that I just love looking at pretty aesthetic things. (SORRY BUT I DO.) It makes me SO happy to watch videos of people making pretty bullet journals or pictures of cute revision notes. These fill my with an intense, inexplicable joy, and they also make me go ‘Wow, I really want to make something as pretty as this!’ So I find it a lot of fun looking at those.

But does appearance translate into any real life effects? Personally I’ve found it pretty difficult to replicate what I see online. Sometimes if I get so focused on trying to make something beautiful that I’m less concentrated on learning the actual content. This probably isn’t helped by the fact that I’m not actually very artistic so I just. Can’t. I CAN’T.

I do find study blogs motivating. They make we want to go out into the world and do all the productive things. However, I think that’s only true up to a point, because productivity and schoolwork are NOT the only things that matter. Personally, I’m a motivated person anyway; in fact, I think that sometimes I make myself feel worse by trying to do too much work.

Recently my mental health hasn’t been great, and I think that part of that is due to a constant feeling, made worse by looking at all these blogs, that I’m not working hard enough, not being productive enough, not making the most efficient… Hell, I even feel bad for not RELAXING enough. Which is ridiculous, right? But although this ableist idea that productivity equals worth might have negative effects on me, it hurts disabled people way more. (Thank you @StealthClock for tweeting this thread on the topic back in January.)

Even self-care gets turned into a chore, something that I have to complete, which, well, it just kind of sucks. So although I like looking at pretty pictures and working my bullet journal, it’s not always good — and I think it’s important to approach these blogs with caution.

Finding useful revision resources is really cool, and some resources have absolutely changed the way I work, but searching for them can also just be a way of adding to my procrastination. Sometimes just doing some questions from the textbook is the way to go, you know? Another thing is that I find it can be quite hard to find specific resources for what you’re looking for. I don’t see that any GCSE things and also there are sooo many different exam boards with slightly different courses. IT’S SO FRUSTRATING. Also, my school is really extra and my year is doing some really weird things like Maths iGCSE? Why are we doing iGCSE? Does anyone know?? I’m pretty sure the younger years are doing something else.

So, overall, although I think study blogs can be really helpful, they should be used with moderation and caution. I feel like I’m just repeating all the stuff that adults complain about, the internet doesn’t show an exact representation of real life.

what do you think of study blogs? do you use them? how are you today?

By the way, I’m planning to post my Q&A next week so if you have any more questions then do let me know! They can be on anything (books, school, LGBTQ+ stuff etc.) as long as they’re respectful and not weird. 🙂

GCSE Science Resource Masterpost // #evestudies

The words 'resource masterpost for gcse science #evestudies' over an image of coloured pens on a journal with colourful lists.

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing with you my favourite resources for revising GCSE Science. As you might know I’ve had mocks recently — I’m just coming to the end of them — and I thought it would be useful to share what I use to revise so that you can all use them if you still have exams ahead of you. I’ll be covering resources from the exam board, videos, other websites and books.

I take AQA triple science, so whilst what I find is targeted at that course, it definitely applies to other courses and also to general science revision anyway. 🙂 Almost all of these are free except for the books at the end.

exam board resources

Specifications (Biology, Chemistry, PhysicsFirstly I’d very strongly urge you to get a copy of the spec which is free to download from your exam board. I base all my revision off this as it tells you exactly, point-by-point, what you need to know. If you take only one point from this post it’s that you should LOOK AT THE SPEC.

Required practicals (Biology, Chemistry, PhysicsThese will give you the exact methods AQA want you to know for every single practical. Especially useful if you can’t quite remember doing it or don’t have class notes.

Scheme of work (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) This goes into further detail on the spec points and — what I find most useful — provides links to other websites where you can learn about the topic. I’m only annoyed I didn’t know about these earlier!

Science skills There are a lot of questions in the exam on experimental procedure so don’t forget to revise that.

videos

There are MANY, MANY informative videos out there on the web. These range from videos directed specifically at GCSE science courses to general informative videos. The ones here are some of the ones I’ve found useful.

My GCSE Science This is one of my personal favourites. It clearly explains topics with a voiceover and illustrative diagrams. In particular I love their Physics video on the motor and generator effect; I found that topic hard to get my head around and it absolutely SAVED ME. However, their videos do NOT cover all the course content, particularly triple and higher content; they only publish a selection of videos as the rest are available on their website as a paid-for subscription. Also, this might be inaccessible to some people as a lot of the videos need both the diagrams and voiceover to understand. They have videos for AQA, Edexcel and OCR.

Freesciencelessons My other favourite channel! What I love about these videos is that they are very well organised and follow the spec extremely closely so you know that you’re getting everything you need. He hasn’t yet covered every topic, but I believe they’ll be done in time for GCSEs. In particular I like the Required Practical videos. Although these videos do have diagrams, they’re not necessary for all topics; most of content is in the voiceover and text on screen.

Science With Hazel I haven’t watched loads of these; personally I found the one I watched didn’t cover the topic I wanted in enough detail. However, she does provide recaps of the whole specification for each science for both AQA and Edexcel iGCSE which may be useful to you.

Revising Science Another GCSE recap channel similar to Freesciencelessons, with very very short and condensed videos.

Fallibroome Required Practicals Videos are a great way to remind yourself of required practicals if you want to actually watch someone doing them rather than simply hear an explanation. I like that these not only show you a clear method but also explain potential errors and how you might improve the experiment (which you will be tested on!).

Crash Course (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) These videos are NOT directed at GCSE students and generally provide more detail than you need, but are useful to help explain stuff anyway. I recommend you search for particular topic videos if you need them such as this Physics one on sound.

Science songs There are many amusing and catchy science songs out there. Ones I know and have used are: the photosynthesis song, the other photosynthesis song, the osmosis song, the adaptation song and the EM waves song. But don’t use these as the only method of your revision!

other websites

Phet Colorado simulations These are laboratory simulations which help you model topics. I especially like them for Physics where some topics are hard to get around; I recommend circuit constructor, Faraday’s Electromagentic Lab, Magnets and Electromagnets. Simulations are available for all 3 sciences.

BBC Bitesize (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) Ah, the saviour of students everywhere! I love BBC Bitesize; it provides easy-to-follow explanations with diagrams and covers a wide variety of topics. But it’s a general resource for all GCSE students and not targeted towards an exam board so approach with some caution. There may be some topics which aren’t on there as well as some additional topics not in your exam, and it might not cover exactly what you have to learn in the right words.

Chem Collective virtual lab and notes A virtual lab for if you want to practice your practicals which also provides notes and practice questions for some topics. (Though again, not specific to GCSE.)

Passmyexams.co.uk This website contains notes on almost all of the topics. However, I haven’t used it massively myself and although it is for GCSE, it’s not targeted towards a particular exam board so again I would approach it with some caution.

Spolem Biology quizzes This website provides great interactive Biology quizzes to test your knowledge. It also has links to Biology and Chemistry resources such as online notes and videos, but these are directed towards the Edexcel iGCSE.

Compound Chem infographics Beautiful infographics which you can stick up around your room to remind you of Chemistry, or use as a model to make your own. I use their ones for properties of Group 1 and Group 7.

Quizlet I love Quizlet SO MUCH. In terms of science I find it particularly useful for Biology as it’s very content-heavy. (You can find my Biology quizlets here.) Although you can of course make your own, there are many excellent sets already created for GCSE Science so do have a search. I normally find a set, copy it, and then go through and edit with my own notes to ensure it measures up with a spec, changing anything I need.

books

AQA textbooks (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) We were issued these at the start of our GCSE — I don’t know if everyone does, all the people I know do have one but if you don’t for whatever reason I would HIGHLY recommend it. It covers everything in the spec and also has some great exam questions for revision practice.

CGP revision guides (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) Our school sells these to us at a cheaper price. I know many students use the revision guides to do almost all their revision so they’re worth a look, but remember that they do NOT substitute for your own notes or the official specification. I generally only use CGP if I can’t get what I need from the textbook, or as a last-minute summary. These are available for AQA, Edexcel, OCR, and a limited range for iGCSE.

CGP exam practice workbook and practice papers (Biology, Chemistry, PhysicsThe workbook has more exam-style questions if you want them. I haven’t yet tried the practice papers but I’m sure they’ll be useful, especially as we are the first year of this GCSE so there aren’t any past papers for our specification. The exam practice workbooks are available for AQA, Edexcel and OCR but the practice papers are only available for AQA.

I hope you find this post useful for learning and revising science; I had a lot of fun making this and I’d love to hear any feedback you have. 🙂 Please let me know if any of the links don’t work. I wish you good luck with your studies!

7 Beautiful New Book Covers

Two hardback books, Release and Wild Beauty, on a stripey blue blanket, with the words '7 beautiful new book covers'

I just adore talking about book covers, and it’s that time again y’all! I am here to flail about 7 wonderful covers of recent or upcoming YA books, and I am so excited. (Also, all these are either cool books I’ve read or cool books I would like to read.) It was super difficult for me to pick just 7 because uGHH SO MANY. But, you know, I’ve got to keep that brand consistency of lists with 7. The things I do for you. *shakes head*

Cover of Release by Patrick Ness. An illustration of a figure walking down a blue river among darker silhouettes of trees, which when viewed from afar are the profiles of two heads.

1. Release by Patrick Ness It took me several months of looking at the poster I have of this cover on my wall to realise that the river also outlines two faces looking at each other. I know, right?!? IT’S AN OPTICAL ILLUSION. Anyway, yeah, the shades of green are great, I love that it’s so clean and just, mmm. Such a good cover. (I managed to find a nearly-new hardback in the charity shop and IT WAS SO EXCITING. Hardbacks are just so pretty.)

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. A smiling Indian girl holds a plastic cup of coffee with the title written on it in pen.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon I sometimes dislike covers which use photos, especially of faces, but this one is SUPER COOL. It’s so aesthetic, it’s cool to see Dimple on the cover (and yes for more PoC on book covers because we need that!!) and also that writing on the coffee cup combined with the font of the author’s name? So great. I love me some good fonts.

Cover of We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. Illustration of a girl standing on a bed, both coloured pink, who looks into a blue lake whilst snow falls. width=

3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour This book always looks so beautiful in photos. *heart eyes* The colour combination of the blue and pink in the illustration is so nice, and the drawing itself is kind of surreal but also cool; I love the drawing style. It makes me so curious about this book!

Cover of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Photo of a young man wearing old fashioned clothes, with the title in hand-doodled font and smaller doodles of a ship, a music note, playing cards, a violin, and a top hat around.

4. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Hey, those doodles and doodle-y font? I LOVE THEM. MY ACTUAL FAVOURITE. Such a good font choice. Everything works well. Gives off a teen movie-vibe. Honestly, when will I get round to reading this book. (Answer: probably when it comes out in paperback.)

Cover of Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. The title in gold, fairytale-esque font in the centre with lush flowers all around, and a gold outline of a girl reaching out to the title.

5. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore I feel so lucky to own this hardback because IT. IS. GORGEOUS. Props to whoever designed this — not only is the actual cover image  beautiful, but it has such nice phsyicality. Impressions of the flowers on the dustjacket! Gold foil title underneath! The end-papers are such nice paper! The font for the chapter titles! To be honest, it’s just beautiful to fit such a beautiful book.

Cover of Want by Cindy Pon. Illustration of a young person with short dark hair wearing a glass helmet. The blurred bright lights of a city shine behind and the title text glows.

6. Want by Cindy Pon Firstly, this book sounds super awesome and it’s terrible that I haven’t read it yet. Time to go bug the library more to reserve it. Anyway, this illustration is so beautiful; I love the glowy neon title and general vibe and also the reflected lights just asdfjkl awesome.

Cover of History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Illustration of light and dark blue stripes lines which look like waves, with each word of the title on a different wave.

7. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera For once I…like the UK cover more, I think? The illustrations of water are so effective, and also reflects the story without being super spoilery if you get me. Plus, I believe I’ve seen a special shiny WH Smith edition which is cool.

I hope you enjoyed my rambling about the pretty covers! It’s nice to be writing about books again. 🙂 At the moment I’m hoping to keep up the Wednesday posting schedule I have going on, so stay tuned for another post here this time next week. *nods*

what are your favourite covers? have i missed any out?? (probably!) do you have a favourite book you own?

Fantastic Four // blog birthday+ giveaway

A photo of dozens of balloons in a blue sky, with the words 'Twist in the Taile blog birthday + giveaway' on top.

That’s right, folks, it’s that time of year again: PARTY TIME! *dances* I mean, one might say that party time is all year round, but the only time you can truly have a party is obviously on my blog birthday. No other parties count. (I joke. Please feel free to party whenever you like.)

Further down in this post I’m holding a bookish giveaway, but before I get onto that I’d like to say a little something about the last four years. (Do imagine that I’ve done that thing  where you tap the champagne glass to announce a speech, or something else equally fun.)

I’m pretty sure that I’ve said this before, but when I started this blog I really didn’t think I’d still be blogging four years later. I’d already had several failed attempts at a blog and I didn’t see why this would be any different. But! As you can see, here I am. I’ve gone through many reincarnations over here at Twist in the Taile, and of course I’m still evolving, but mostly I AM STILL WRITING THINGS. I am still talking to you all!

There is so much that I love about blogging — from writing funny posts to making pretty graphics — but I do still think that above all, my favourite thing is being able to connect with other awesome people. Although perhaps this blog might not be the fastest-growing it has given me a special and important place to share my thoughts, and some amazing friends. This wouldn’t be a blog if you readers weren’t here reading it. Thank you so much for supporting and educating me. ❤

Here are some things I have done over the last year:

  • Started listening to podcasts! Now they’re such an important part of the things I love & I can’t imagine what I’d do without them. It feels super weird that I only started them last year… (Among my favourites are Witch Please, The Adventure Zone, and The Penumbra Podcast.)
  • Started reading more comics which is very fun!
  • Actually, I’ve just read a lot of great books like When the Moon Was Ours (which I just reread, maybe even more woah that the first time), The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Hate U Give, Release, Queens of Geek, A Conjuring of Light… and SO MANY MORE. Y’all, I just really love books.
  • Went to my first Pride parade, which was kind of scary but also very cool. I’m so glad I went.
  • Also probably a lot of other stuff. But I am itching to get onto the giveaway and I know you are too, so LET US GO THERE.

ink swash divider

giveaway time!

To celebrate my 4th blog birthday, I am giving away one YA book from the following selection:

The winner of the giveaway will be able to pick any one from these six books, which are either a) books I have read and loved or b) books I think sound great and would very much like to read. You can click on the titles for more info. The giveaway is open to any country The Book Depository ships to; hopefully that includes you, but please check their list here.

Enter the giveaway HERE

The giveaway will end at midnight on 25th October (that’s two weeks’ time) so make sure you enter now! I wish you luck, and thanks for celebrating my blog birthday here with me today. If you have any memories or thoughts about my blog you’d like to share, then I’d love to here them. (And with your permission, I might include them in a follow-up post!)

which book would you pick? if you’re blogger, what’s your favourite thing about blogging? any thoughts about my blog?

My Music Taste Through The Ages

my music taste through the ages

My music has gone through a LOT of evolution. I find it difficult to tell people exactly my favourite music because I LOVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT MUSIC. I just go through…genre phases where I will listen to a ton of one kind of music, and then a few months later move on. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy some of my old music! I take my favourites with me.

Pre-Music Years

In primary school I didn’t really listen to or take an interest in music. ABBA was actually my favourite band, haha. (Though they are still amazing.) Selections from this era include Love Story by Taylor Swift and Replay by Iyaz, which were probably both what was on the radio at the time. What a throwback…

Formation

Some developments of okay stuff. I bought as many iTunes free singles of the week as I could — which I still have — including Lauren Aquilina, Orla Gartland, twenty one pilots and Rudimental. Man, I miss that feature. Free music is the best.

Soft Guitars: the First

I started listening to study playlists on 8tracks with kinda country and guitar songs like The Paper Kites and Angus and Julia Stone. I still use the playlist I made at this time for chilling around the house! Man, I really miss 8tracks. Since it stopped working with soundcloud I don’t use it much anymore.

Indie Rock Things

I read a book about a girl who’s really into, like, 80s indie rock? (It was called This Song Will Save Your Life. I still have it on my shelf.) And thus, I made a playlist of 80s bands including things like The Smiths and The Cure. Some of those songs have made it through, but not many. Considering that playlist was like 120 songs or something.

Bubblegum Guitar

Another find from 8tracks as I was looking for summery playlists! I also still really enjoy this genre — not exactly guitars, but not exactly pop? Just. Summery bubblegum guitars. I don’t know how to describe it. Includes stuff like Knox Hamilton, Misterwives, the Two Door Cinema Club, and Holychild. My playlist is called ‘neon sneakers’ and I like that.

Fandom-related

A brief interlude in which I listened to lots of fan playlists, mostly for Les Mis and Harry Potter, and hence made my own. I actually discovered some cool stuff this way! But I also formed super strong character associations with certain songs — I can’t listen to Hang Me Up to Dry by the Cold War Kids without going HEY GRANTAIRE DON’T BE SAD. Blame it On the Girls is also still The Most Courfeyrac song.

Loud Guitar and Drums

I’m pretty sure someone stayed at our house and made me listen to some stuff? Update: IT WAS MY COUSIN’S AUSTRALIAN FRIEND. We saw him again the other day after like two years which was wild. Anyway. Stuff like The Black Keys, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Cold War Kids. A bunch of stuff I still listen to, actually! Also, Vampire Weekend got in there somewhere even though it’s not super related.

Electro Pop

I got pretty into more electronic-y pop kind of thing during the summer Halsey’s Badlands was released — so I listened to a lot of Halsey, Ryn Weaver, Banks, Lights, Pvris, Verite. Basically ALL THE COOL LADY ARTISTS. I actually just went to look for the playlist and I COULDN’T FIND IT so maybe I deleted it which is super annoying

Summery Electro pop

Some stuff happened in between these two. I probably just listened to old stuff. I can’t really remember but, yeah, a weird mix. Maybe this was my musicals period. ANYWAY the summer of 2016 I started listening to more summery pop! And kind of actual pop pop. Honestly I’m pleased that I am finally able to embrace that I JUST REALLY LOVE POP. Highlights include Shura (What’s it Gonna Be? is still one of my favourite music videos ever), Troye Sivan, Years & Years, Aurora, Hayley Kiyoko & Lauren Aquilina because YOOO SHE IS MY FAVOURITE AND THIS WAS WHEN SHE RELEASED HER LP. IT WAS AMAZING & YOU SHOULD GO READ MY REVIEW.

Soft Guitars: the Second

More pop & musicals happened between these. Then I had a bit of a renaissance with the soft guitars, and actually bothered to make a new background guitars playlist with people like Sufjan Stevens, Dodie & The Lumineers.

Summery Chill Pop, Also Other Stuff

AND THUS WE HAVE REACHED NOW. What is my current taste in music, you ask? To be honest, I don’t know, because I just listen to a mix of everything. But my summer 2017 playlist — which you can listen to here — includes stuff like The Japanese House, HAIM, Christine and the Queens, Tegan and Sara, and Lorde. So…some pop? But also some guitars and electronic-y things? I DON’T EVEN KNOW, DON’T ASK ME.

You can check out my spotify account if you like, but it doesn’t cover all of these music phases haha. (Thank goodness.) I don’t know if this is quite a definitive list, but it broadly covers what music I have liked…well, ever, discounting musicals because THAT IS A WHOLE OTHER THING. Maybe I should just write a post screaming about musicals. Anyway, this has been very nostalgic and fun for me, what about you? I’d love to chat!

My cover photo for this post is by Alphacolor 13 on Unsplash.

do you go through phases like me? what are you loving at the moment? i’d love to hear any recs!

 

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?

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