April Favourites!

From the number of favourites this month it looks like my April has been a bit dismal. BUT IT REALLY HASN’T BEEN. The things that have happened are just more interesting, and also I wrote more about them. Although I’ve been rather stressed out with the combination of Camp NaNo, music exam, and revision, so. Maybe my ability to be excited was eaten away by stress…? Wow, that also sounds dismal. LET’S MOVE ON.

image

1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Well, duh. This was one of my most anticipated books of this year. And I adore The Raven Cycle. I thought that maybe in terms of story it was a little messy? Like, there were a lot of new things that seemed to appear out of nowhere. But overall I’m SO HAPPY with how the series has ended and ASDFJKL AMAZINGNESS. *flails* I’m really not ready to leave these characters. I need something to help my emotions here.

2. Kicks by Lauren Aquilina First of all: NEW AQUILINA MUSIC!! Second of all: AWESOME UPBEAT CATCHY NEW AQUILINA MUSIC!! Kicks is just a really fabulous song. Lauren’s sort of moving into more pop-electronic kind of things, but I’m loving it if it’s like Kicks. (I’ve also been writing an excellent co-review of New Aquilina songs, so be watching out for that.)

3. My Neighbours the Yamadas Another Studio Ghibli movie night in the quest to watch them all. Me & my friends have a super fun group where we all watch Ghibli movies together, and we were kinda expecting this one to not be so good…? It has a very different experimental art style, and it’s a series of short stories about a family instead of some crazy whimsical film. But it was HILARIOUS. I highly recommend!

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt I haven’t read many books this month because I spent absolutely forever on this. It’s a complete brick of a book. And I actually enjoyed it so much! It was cool to read it right after my New York trip. It dragged in places, but the writing was beautiful. And also it was slightly awful to watch the train wreck happening, but beautifully awful.

5. Camp NaNoWriMo I HAVE LITERALLY JUST COME FROM FINISHING THIS. 10 words over my goal yess. I mean, I was only doing 15k this time — I started out pretty strong, but very soon realised that maybe it wasn’t a great idea to do Camp NaNo right before exam season? *laughs manically* Normally it would be more aligned with my school holidays, but Easter was really early and it sort of messed my plans up. ANYWAYS. I’m a bit frazzled now, but I’m pretty proud of my WIP so far & I’m looking forward to talking more about it in the near future! (Meanwhile you can check out my Camp playlist here.)

 

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I flailed about my trip to New York, and also I talked about the relationship between school sport and gender.
  • Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen looked at the arguments on each side for the upcoming EU referendum, and educated me on some more points! Although I can’t vote, this was super informative and now I’m definitely supporting in.
  • Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout talked about different design shops and monetising your book blog. (And I had a little feature in this, which was fun!)
  • This Guardian article talked about why YA books with politics are important.
  • Pearl Mackie is playing the new companion on Doctor Who, Bill! I’m excited to see what’s she’s going to be like, although I’m still super sad to see Clara go. 😦
  • Alice Oseman (author of Solitaire and Radio Silence) started a video series about her book-writing process.
  • Robin Talley announced the cover + title of her new book, Our Own Private Universe! Which she blurbed as Judy Blume’s Forever with queer girls. OBVIOUSLY I’M EXCITED. (Also, can we appreciate that she’s also releasing As I Descending, a modern F/F Macbeth retelling?!) (LITERALLY MY PERFECT BOOK I’M SO PYSCHHEEEED RIGHT NOW.)
  • Um, I’ve been a little bit terrible at reading blogs, which is probably going to continue until my exams finish mid-June. But I’d love to see what you’ve been doing over the last month!

In the diary:

  • I…went back to school? And then promptly started freaking out about exams, so yeah.
  • Back to school did mean the start of Carnegie Medal Shadowing! This year seems particularly strong so far — I’d read a couple before we started, but One by Sarah Crossan was a fabulous new find for me. And Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves is currently the favourite, which I’m VERY pleased about. 😀
  • If anyone has tips for music exam aurals: PLEASE. Let me know. *flails with stress* I’ve got my clarinet exam in two weeks and, like, I hadn’t processed it was so soon until now haha.
  • I’VE BASICALLY FINISHED MY JEHAN COSPLAY. I just have to sew one bit along the waistcoat shoulder to make that a bit tighter, and then DONE! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m basically a complete beginner sewer (as in person who sews, not the drain) so I’m thrilled. MCM London, here I come! I’ve been thinking of putting up a tutorial, too… Do let me know if you’d enjoy that. 🙂

It really pains me to say this, because I’ve been a bit missing in action over the last month as well, but: I’m not going to be as active on my blog until mid-June, which is when my exams finished. I’ll still be posting and chatting to you all, but I don’t want to put more stress on myself! So, yeah.

how’s your april been? got any upcoming cons? (not the heist kind, the other one.) have you been having crazy weather like me?!

Playlist: starcross (my camp nano project!!)

YES. This Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a new writing project! I’ve been planning it for a few months now, and I’m super excited to get started. The current pitch is lesbian Henry V in space — which I know sounds slightly crazy, but I am slightly crazy. I’m not keeping strictly to the plot — Shakespeare buffs, please don’t kill me, I seriously chose to swoop in on this on a whim. IT WORKS IN MY HEAD, at least. 😛

Pretty soon I realised I was going to actually need to plan this project. ME, a pantser. The very thought made me want to cry.  But I’ve…actually rather enjoyed it? Hopefully it means I can get down to actual writing this April!

My first line of development with any writing project is picking music. I find it extremely difficult to write without songs. They help me to get into the mindset of my writing infinitely better. Within this playlist I have songs for all my main characters, whom I have briefly described below. (my smol children) Bonus points if you can figure out which song goes to which character! 😛

-> Eleanor Lin, a volatile young space queen/general/queen sounds way better though right. Newly ascended to the leader of her system after somewhat manic teenage years.
-> Neus Felices, self-loathing angsty heir to the bustling interstellar empire.
-> Jem, an excitable small mechanic with a lot of enthusiasm for flying.
-> Junjie, angsty son of a general with secret illegal doings he has yet to inform his mother of.

And also there is idolisation of a universe-wide Wikipedia, travel at the speed of light, and artificial intelligence. *dances in excitement*

starcross

starcross v2
cross me and i’ll cross the stars to get my revenge.
listen on spotify / youtube

judge and jury (paul dinletir remix) – audiomachine
can’t kill us – the glitch mob
radioactive – imagine dragons
gasoline – halsey
dance anthem of the 80s – regina spektor
elastic heart – sia
glory and gore – lorde
born to die – lana del rey

I know it starts off with very scary electronic songs. It gets less scary and electronic as you progress. (Although scary and electronic is probably quite an accurate aesthetic description of my WIP.)

are you participating in camp nano? are you a plotter or a pantser? do you make playlists for your writing?