Autumn Favourites!

I know it’s December now, but it’s time for my autumn favourites! Time to rewind back to when I wasn’t playing carols and eating mince pies the whole time haha. These last three months have been a bit of a rollercoaster — lots of bad things, but also lots of good. LET’S GO.

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1. YA Shot This was my first time at the one-day bookish festival YA Shot and I loved it! I wrote a longer recap here which you can check out, but overall SO MANY COOL AUTHORS and SO MANY COOL BOOKISH PEOPLE and I would definitely repeat the experience. 😀

2. As I Descended This is another book that I was super hyped for because HELLO, queer Macbeth modern retelling?!? I mean, I basically know nothing about Macbeth so I have no idea of its quality in retellings, but it was still a SUPER COOL and VERY CREEPY book. I actually had to stop reading it in the evenings because I got too scared… But since I, too, am also writing an (extremely) loose queer futuristic Shakespeare retelling, I thought I could see what the opposition was up to. 🙂

3. Carol I read the book that the movie was based on at the start of this year, and I was so excited to actually find the DVD in the library… I mean, it took a bit of maneuvring to wait until the house was empty to watch it ahaha. But SO WORTH IT. It was just such a beautiful and good film, mm.

4. Amadeus  OH MY GOD THIS WAS AMAZING. I also saw another great play this autumn — The Red Barn — but I think Amadeus trumped that. Well, no, yeah, it did because WOW IT WAS SO BLOODY AMAZING. Tha acting?!?? The staging?!? The live orchestra?! The entire story??? I AM JUST SO DEAD. I was almost crying by the end, to be honest. Genuinely just…wow. If you’re able to see it at the theatre or even in a live cinema broadcast thing then I would so so urge you to do so.

5. BBC Class, not pictured  obvs wasn’t pictured on purpose definitely not because I forgot to leave space for it in the photo ahahaha Ha. If you haven’t already noticed my copious flailings… I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS TV SHOW. I’ve literally just come from watching the finale and I think I’m a little bit dead. (I’m going to be so angry if there isn’t a second series. PEEPS IN THE USA, PLEASE WATCH IT WHEN IT COMES OUT IN SPRING.) Once again I direct you to my longer flailing post about why I love it which resides just here. 😛

6. Witch, Please This podcast analysing Harry Potter is basically everything I want in life. (I really love Harry Potter academia, for some reason? Just, like, don’t ask.) It’s actually made me look forward to my train journeys which is good! I’m not that many episodes in but I’m genuinely just enjoying them so much. Much beautiful ear noise.

7. Crooked Kingdom I know that this book is probably old news by now, or whatever. But I AM STILL HELLA EXCITED BY IT. Although it started off a little slow, it didn’t let me down at all and was such a strong counterpart to Six of Crows! I always need more angsty heist people. It was so wonderful to see all the characters and relationships develop, although I am still a little heartbroken by the way it all turned out ahaha. (Plus I met Leigh, eep still flailing! See below for more flails.)

stuff from around the internet:

  • *cries* ONCE AGAIN I DIDN’T MAKE A LIST OF ALL THE EXCELLENT POSTS I READ I FEEL SUPER SAD. I know I say this basically every time, but…yeah. I’m jsut going to link to a couple of interesting things I’ve been reading recently.
  • On the blog I recommended you all lots of webcomics, talked about ace representation for ace awareness week, and in October my blog turned three! Plus, I started off my podcast One Page More! which you can find here.
  • This post on The Gay YA discussed the ‘hero’s journey’ in trans YA and the firs steps we can take to see new narratives. (Putting into very eloquent words some things which I have felt reading books in the past.)
  • A thing about female characters in Harry Potter canon vs fic. THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR. Man, it was really interesting to see some actual stats for female characters in fic. Because, like, I love fic but it does have a lot of things that could be better. Cue my I’m-so-bitter-there-isn’t-enough-femslash-mdespite-majority-female-fans speech. (Also, A BLOG WITH LOTS OF FANFIC STATS. My heart sings.)
  • Elly’s blog A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts turned two, WHOO!
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff also, like me, flailed about BBC Class and wrote a post about WHY YOU SHOULD ALL DEFINITELY WATCH IT.

in the diary:

  • Well…a bunch of stuff happened this autumn that was kind of crappy, both in my own personal life and otherwise. Probably most notably to the wider audience is the US election. Donald Trump won. I know that I and many others were/still are very upset by this, and I don’t think I can really say something more eloquently than others have already said it, but I’m sending out love to you guys.
  • Despite this bad political development — along with others — I did go to a cool thing which gives e hope in the world. I was lucky enough to get onto the Action For Change programme which is a year-long thing to help start social change! The inspiration weekend was AWESOME and hopefully I’m going to be talking about my project at some point in the future on this blog. 😀
  • And I’m actually really enjoying school right now, which makes a really nice change! I mean, it’s still school but I’m so pleased with the subjects I’m doing and just in general LEARNING YAS.
  • I DID COOL MUSICAL THINGS. I saw both In the Heights and Les Miserables for my second time which was just asdhjgjslel. I’M STILL MUSICAL TRASH, GUYS. (Also: The Hamilton Mixtape, amirite?)
  • I MET RAINBOW ROWELL AND LEIGH BARDUGO ON THEIR WORLDS COLLIDE TOUR OH MY GOOODNESSSSSSS *dies* I was basically just a flailing mess for the whole thing but AAH IT WAS SO COOL AND GOOD AND RAINBOW SIGNED ALL MY BOOKS AND I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT EVER HAPPENED. Here’s my cool poster:
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  • Although I didn’t put it in my faves, I went to MCM London again in October and I cosplayed as Baron von Gikkingen! It was super cool to go to the Ghibli meet up again — photos here! — and I also went to a Class panel. (In addition to, as per usual, spending too much money. :P)
  • I did NaNoWriMo and I COMPLETED MY GOAL YAY. To be fair, it was only 15k but I’m still proud of myself. I do feel like my quality of writing is improving with each time I do NaNo. I basically don’t work on my WIP otherwise, so. Hopefully this’ll change in the future and I’ll actually manage to finish a whole draft haha.

how are you? are you doing okay? how have the last few months been for you?

Summer Favourites!

You may have noticed that my monthly favourites just sort of…disappeared from the blog. I know it didn’t have much of an explanation. BUT! Although it might sound hard to believe (I mean, this is me) I actually did have a master plan. 😛 From now on I’m going to be doing round-ups every three months — that is, quarterly. Except it’s going to run from December – February, March – May etc. because seasons and cohesion. Yeah. DON’T ASK. Doing a round-up every month was just becoming a bit of a chore for me, but I still wanted to be able to check in and share the great posts I’ve been reading. Hopefully I’ll start being more organised with keeping track of posts haha!

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1. Nothing’s Real by Shura YAY, I have listening to a bunch of great queer music lately! I first came across Shura when I found her video What’s It Gonna Be? on Tumblr, which to be honest STILL makes me sigh in happiness. It is so wonderful and cute and excellently aesthetic and you all need to click on that link right now…(No, seriously: KEEP WATCHING TO THE END. It’s fab.) Anyway, I bought her full album and it’s awesome and now I might have a tiny crush…? Erm. Anyway.

2. Japanese Woah, guys. I ACTUALLY LEARNT SOME JAPANESE. (I’m attempting to learn some for my trip next year.) I feel so proud of myself. I’ve only done the first few lessons in my textbook (an old edition of Japanese For Busy People) and a bit of a Memrise but I feel very productive. I’ve also signed up to an online course on Minato, so let’s see how that goes.

3. This Savage Song by VE Schwab Let’s be real: it’s a Schwab book. It was always going to end up in my favourites. The writing was beautiful as I per usual and I adored all of the characters! It was also completely awesome to be able to go to one of her events, asdfjkl. (In a subtle bit of self-promotion: here! check out the post where I wrote about it! :P)

4. Isn’t It Strange? by Lauren Aquilina *shrieks* A NEW LOZZA AQ FULL LENGTH ALBUM, WHAT IS LIIIFE. I’ve listened to it in full about 3 times already and…honestly. I think my life is complete. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Expect more flailing in the future. 😉

5. Mr Robot Another programme I finally got round to watching. I find it a bit intense and occasionally a bit of a downer, but it’s a seriously awesome programme. I have 2 episodes left of the first series to watch. (Yes. I know. I watch TV programmes pretty rarely and if I do it’s with the pace of a snail. This is impressive for me.)

6. Serial I downloaded this podcast to my ancient iPod some time ago, but I only recently got round to listening to it. And woah, it’s so gripping! I’d definitely recommend it.

7. Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow I am very proud of myself for finishing this brick of a book. It evens rivals The Brick (aka Les Mis) for historical density. Despite its length, though, I actually found it super readable! And…well. My Hamilton obsession is only increasing, to be honest. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in the American Revolution! (Because history actually is as crazy as the musical.)

8. Slovenia and Croatia So, my big trip this summer was travelling with Guides around Slovenia and Croatia! I’d been fundraising and working together with 13 other girls from my area for just under a year and the trip was absolutely AMAZING. I mean…Girlguides is a little weird for me, because obviously everyone assumes you’re a girl. But it was so nice and asadfjkl I AM FILLED WITH JOY FOR GUIDING & SCOUTING. If you guys ever get the chance to go on an international trip with a scouting organisation I’d definitely recommend it! ❤

stuff from around the internet:

  • I wrote about the Unforgivable Curses for #PotterheadJuly and I am still quite proud of that post. I just…enjoy fun Harry Potter things ahaha.
  • Well, er, Brexit happened. I talked about it just beforehand and just after. You’ll probably see some difference… -_-
  • I talked about all the languages I really want to learn! For some reason this post was super popular…? I have no idea hy, but YAY. It’s been wonderful flailing about languages with everyone! ❤
  • The Finding Our Feet project is finally live! I’ve been working this in collaboration with Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen and Victoria @ Addlepates and Book Nerds. I do hope you enjoy it. 🙂
  • Chiara @ Delicate Eternity wrote a guest post on The Daily Prophecy about the importance of LGBTQ+ retellings, along with many recommendations.
  • Both alwaysopinionatedgirl and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense wrote about the wonderfulness of Ginny Weasley and why she is more than just a love interest. *coughs* like the movies made her out to be *coughs*
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff created the Amsterdam Book Tag, which is SERIOUSLY cool. And I definitely need to do it. Everyone: PLEASE REMIND ME TO DO THIS.
  • The world has been blessed with new Hayley Kiyoko music and a video! Mmm, the song is called Gravel to Tempo seriously wonderful.
  • Look! The cast of Class! Only the new Doctor Who spin off written by Patrick Ness. I am…actually really excited for this ahaha. *nods* It’s due to air around October, which will hopefully keep me surviving through school.
  • Ayy, the BBC is making a Les Mis miniseries. I AM SO HYPED. I was so hyped that I even wrote about all the things I want to see in it. I will doubtless be nattering to you all about this in the future, because HELLO I am still very much a Les Mis nerd haha.

in the diary:

  • Well. June was a little dominated by a) internal exams over the first half and b) Brexit over the second. I mean…I don’t want to write a massive thing about Brexit now because that’s a whole post in itself. I think it’s fair to say that whilst I am feeling a lot better about it, it’s always a jolt in my mind when I remember. :/ I just finished reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and he’s all like tryign to create a system with a balance of government and people. And I do feel like this is an example of something popular but not good… Like, WHY ARE WE MAKING THINGS SO DIFFICULT ON PURPOSE. But yeah. Anyways. British politics is crazy right now ahaha.
  • However, June was also Pride month! This was my first time actually reading & participating slightly more in stuff so that rocked. I am still sad that I couldn’t make it to London Pride, but I swear to you: NEXT YEAR.
  • I went to Wimbledon and saw Serena & Venus Williams, which I am STILL VERY IN AWE ABOUT. Asdfjkl it was a pretty insane day.
  • I was so excited to do a swap box with the lovely Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen! I mean, the internet is great and all but sometimes it’s awesome to get something real in the post. There were loads of wonderful things in it besides the ones pictured as well! (But THAT BOOKMARK THO.) You can check out Em’s post with my swap box here.

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  • I learnt how to make lemon curd and subsequently made it several times. IT’S SO FREAKING TASTY. And it’s really easy to make! (Which is good for me considering I’m not the best cook ever.)
  • I’ve just generally be hanging out and doing fun things over the summer: meeting friends, making ice cream, going into town. Writing. Reading. It’s wonderful to have some time on my hands. 🙂
  • I head back to school today — well, I’m writing this a little earlier, but on the first — and although school and work and stress…I’m also pretty excited to be starting another year. 🙂 I’ve dropped a bunch of subjects this year and we’re getting entirely new classes so it should be good! And I am weirdly excited for the History syllabus, to be honest haha.

I hope you all had a good summer! And if any of you guys got your exam results back then congrats, and I hope you’re pleased.

how was your summer? are you back at school (or not)? listened to any good music lately?

May Favourites!

AAH MAY IS DONE. Which means…EXAMS! *freaks out* But it’s okay, they’re not actual big scary exams for me. I am constantly amazed by all of you who are doing those, and I wish you all the best of luck.

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1. Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz I was lucky enough to win this from Chiara Sullivan and AAAH IT WAS SO GOOD. I’ve been wanting to read one of Hannah Moskowitz’s books for ages and this was such a good first impression. I’m definitely going to be picking up more of her books soon. YES WEIRD MERMAID FAIRYTALES. Although my heart is kind of broken, but whatever.

2. Billy Elliot Also a film I have been meaning to watch for way too long. IT WAS SO GOOD?!? Now I feel like so motivated about dancing, even though I have never been a dancer in my life and I’m not going to be. Like, I don’t really know what to say other than insert a lot of superlatives here.

3. MCM London YAY CONS. I always put them here, but they’re always awesome. So. I cosplayed as Jehan from Les Mis for this — you can check out my costume here — and I now have NO MONEY. Mwahaha. I bought an absolute ton of Japanese sweets, arty things, and also several pairs of cute socks. (They were Totoro and cats.) Plus, I finally got round to buying Lucy Saxon’s Take Back the Skies which I’m enjoying so far!

4.Inception Okay, so I finally watched this movie. I mean, I wish it had more female characters but I did love the premise. ( I’M SORRY. I’ve read Inception AUs already. I think they gave me a lot better idea of what was actually happening.) But YAY heists and weird mind bending stuff! Also, Arthur is the shy dude Cameron from 10 Things I Hate About You and I spent the whole movie trying to figure out where I recognised him from.

5. Witchy Yay webcomics! I’ve been reading a lot of excellent ones lately, but I’m loving this in particular. It has such beautiful art and colouring, as well as an awesome fantasy world and adorable characters. (The longer your hair, the more powerful your magic.) (I would fail in this world. BUT IT’S COOL ANYWAY.)

6. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 I started listening to this musical adaptation of a (very small) part of War & Peace purely because Philippa Soo is Natasha. But IT’S FABULOUS. I really love the mix of operatic and electronic styles! Now I’m kind of thinking I might have to read War & Peace. (Why do heavy classical books make such good musicals? Is that a rule? *shrugs*)

7. Half Mystic I DIDN’T HAVE A PICTURE. But anyway. I’ve been spending some wonderful evenings appreciating this journal. I FEEL SO INSPIRED. There’s an absolute ton of amazing creators in there aah. I really recommend you go get yourself a copy! ❤

Stuff from around the internet:

  • An Overthinking Teenager and I wrote a collab review of Lauren Aquilina’s new music! You can read my review here and AOT’s here. 🙂
  • VE Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light got a cover, and it is SUPER beautiful.
  • AAAH my first ever publication (!!) was this month. (Sorry. I’m kind of excited.) I’m honoured that my poem transit features was in the new issue of Werkloos, in limbo.
  • Aentee @ Read at Midnight and Victoria both discussed shipping!
  • In the latest episode of Eve Tries To Analyse Fandom™, here is an article about fan entitlement. I mean, I don’t agree 100% with everything the author says but it’s definitely a worthwhile read.
  • Also, there was a surprisingly good programme on Radio 4 about non-binary identities. (I KNOW. Radio exists online?!? I don’t know if people from all countries can listen, but there’s definitely going to be some stuff I’m checking out.)

In the diary:

  • I did my clarinet exam and I got a distinction! 😀 YAY I’M SO HAPPY. I thought I’d really worked hard for this grade, so I’m super glad it payed off.
  • CARNEGIE BOOK CLUB IS FINISHED. *falls to floor* This year was so good! I was really impressed with the standard, and I found a lot more that I liked compared to other years. My personal favourite is probably still Lies We Tell Ourselves, but One and The Lie Tree are both in second.
  • I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe, which was insane but also fun. THE MUSIC WAS GREAT. Especially the Puck music. I’m also off to see Romeo and Juliet, which I think should be fun. I’ve studied it in quite a lot of detail so I think it’d be cool to see acted…?
  • We are singing Carmina Burana in choir and it is Very Very Fun and also Very Very Difficult. *laughs manically*
  • Boris Johnson is no longer Mayor of London. We can celebrate. No, I’m actually pretty pleased with Sadiq Khan. He isn’t perfect but he’d probably have been my choice if I could vote. And I definitely appreciate how somebody has finally managed to get their act together and join across parties in support of the Remain campaign.

how has your month been? have you been taking exams? or are you still? if so, good luck from me! ❤

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.

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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?!

March Favourites!

Admittedly this post is a bit late, but it means I can finally say it’s Spring. And that is a very wonderful feeling. This month has been a bit rocky, but lots of good things have happened too — it’s also the one year anniversary of my Les Mis obsession! Which sort of led to a plethora of musical theatre discoveries. That’s pretty nice. *nods* I’m considering writing a little related post, but WE SHALL SEE. as you knowI always do like talking about musicals ahem

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1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh I bought this after I went to a Winner’s Kiss launch in New York! Both Marie Rutkoski and Renée Ahdieh were there, so I couldn’t resist buying this. It’s been crazy difficult to find in the UK, although I’ve been searching for ages. Anyway, the writing was breathtaking and I adore A Thousand and One Nights so much. (It was our school play in my first year. I was a guard in the story of the little beggar. Good times.)

2. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys I’ll freely admit that I don’t read much historical fiction, but I adore Ruta Sepetys. She has such a wonderful writing style. I was thrilled to see she had a new book out, and even more so when I spotted it in my library!

3. How To Get Away With Murder This is the first show I’ve really got into since I started watching Sherlock and Doctor Who. (Which is to say, in about two years.) I just…don’t really watch much TV? And I find it very difficult to complete the whole show. Anyway, I’ve almost finished the first season on Netflix and IT’S SO GREAT. Law! Nice filming! Interesting and diverse characters! (Laurel Castillo, oh my goodness..) Overall I’m loving it a lot. *coughs*

4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments (& co) are somewhat my guilty pleasure. Cassandra Clare is not my favourite person. But still…I HONESTLY ENJOYED THIS SO IMMENSELY. Emma Carstairs is beautiful. I need Helen and Aline, because I would like more queer characters who aren’t queer guys. Also, I reject that parabatai has no translation because…queerplatonic relationship… Yeah, okay, I did have some problems. But somehow this was still VERY gripping and asdfjkl I’m overtaken by feels for the Shadowhunter universe.

5. Illuminae by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I had heard so much about this one. I didn’t quite know what to expect. But I thought it was a beautiful book, and I loved the style of documents — and of course SPACE YAY. It was great research for my current Camp NaNo project. 😛

6. Fun Home Soo… THIS HOLIDAY I WENT TO NEW YORK. I’m going to write a whole post on it later. Fun Home was one of my highlights, though: I think seeing it on Broadway (!!!!) in real life allows another monthly favourite. So, a moment of flailing: AAAAAAaaAAAH!!1!! Okay, deep breath. I have to try and not smile/cry every time I think of it. I’m so glad I saw it on stage because the cast recording does miss some of the dialogue, and the staging is sooo great. (It’s in the round.) The cast was awesome and despite my parents being kind of…eh when they say what it was about, I think they did enjoy it. I WAS DETERMINED TO LOVE IT WHATEVER. *flails* It’s just….asdfjkl so sad and happy and Medium Alison is so awkward and I just empathised with her  lot.

7. MoCCA Fest Also a New York thing, yeah. #sorrynotsorry I went here specifically to see Noelle Stevenson of my beloved Nimona and Lumberjanes — AND I DID AND SHE WAS AMAZING AND ASDFJKL I’M SO SORRY FOR BEING AN AWKWARD PERSON IF YOU EVER READ THIS. (I walked past the stall, like, 4 times before I worked up the nerve to say anything.) But there were so many other wonderful artists and illustrators there. I wanted to buy all the things. I WISH I COULD HAVE. *flails* I wasn’t expecting it to be so fun and awesome.

Stuff from around the internet:

In the diary

  • So, obviously I went to New York! AND IT WAS AMAZING.
  • I learnt my cat has an uncurable illness, and he’s going to die in the next few days. So. Yeah… I’m really sad about that. I’m sort of trying to not talk about it too much, though.
  • I took the train up to the Big Bang Science Fair along with the Guide unit, and we just had a fabulously sciencey day. *flails with excitement* SO. MANY. COOL. THINGS. And can I talk to someone about slime mould? Because it is super cool. Also, virtual reality is starting to be a thing which is pretty awesome. Overall I’m filled with STEM excitement.
  • MY JEHAN COSPLAY IS ALMOST FINISHED, GUYS. I just have to tidy up some threads at the top and sew on the buttons. (I say ‘just’. It’s to cover up my increasing panic and lack of sewing skills.) I’m super excited for MCM in May!

how was your month? are you doing camp nano like me? if so, how’s it going?

February Favourites!

February is insanely short. That is a confirmed fact. I mean, I know it’s only one or two days, but…EVERY MONTH FEELS TOO SHORT, DAMMIT. *sniffs* It’s also been a pretty quiet month, to be honest, with the exception of all the book releases over the past week. I did have a rather exciting weekend, though, so continue further on for the hot gossip. 😛

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1. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman This book was probably my most anticipated 2016 release. (I don’t know how that happened? But yeah, it totally did.) It wasn’t a let-down at all! I LOVED IT. It had an amazing fictional podcast and beautiful characters and I really appreciated the message about uni and academia. As someone who generally finds exams quite easy — I mean, obviously I’m grateful for that but I hate that it can be my defining skill. Also: diversity! It has PoC and queer characters, no main romance, ACTUAL BOY-GIRL PLATONIC FRIENDSHIP JEEZ. It’s the only book I’ve ever read with characters (canonically) on the asexuality spectrum.

2. Carry On special editions Um, so…I bought my 4th and 5th copies of Carry On. Whoops. I got the UK paperback and the special colour in edition, which I’m very excited to try out! I don’t know what colour scheme I’m going to use yet, though. DECISIONS DECISIONS.

3. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson I’m a little torn about this one…I DID ENJOY IT. I mean, it was a self-discovery coming out kind of story. It used a lot of tropes I’d seen before. But I think these books do have worth, and it was a good contemporary self-discovery story. WITH BRITAIN YAY. 🙂

4. Fun Home the musical I haven’t been able to get hold of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home yet — the book this was based on — but I’ve been loving the musical. I love how the story of the three different Alisons (younger, going to college, and reflecting on her past) unfolds at the same time. And it’s the only movie I know of with a queer protagonist, so yay for that!

5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab This was another incredibly anticipated release. I thought the White London arc fell a bit flat (it felt like a set-up for the future, to be honest) but I STILL LOVED IT. It was amazing to see these characters and their luscious world grow. I actually love Kell and Rhy and Lila with all of my heart. I CAN’T EVEN OMG. Schwab’s writing was also beautiful, as per usual. In particular I thought the distinction between the different languages and names was fascinating (and very well done).

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I know this is slightly out of nowhere. (I’ve been hiding it up my sleeve for way too long.) But I opened a Redbubble shop! Right now I’m selling some Carry On + Les Mis designs, although I hope to have a few more original ones up as well over the next week or so. 🙂
  • I talked about a great book event I attended discussing Feminism in YA, with Holly Smale, Holly Bourne, CJ Daugherty and Anna James.
  • I talked about the books I think would be better with LGBTQ+ characters. (I’m actually really proud of this! All my headcanoning finally put to some use. :P)
  • I made a Carry On blog on Tumblr (welllbelove). I’m still posting my podfic, and I also made a Baz playlist for the Snowbaz Valentine’s gift exchange! Overall, a lot of Carry On stuff. If you couldn’t tell.
  • Jupe @ smolprince wrote about stereotypes of women, femininity, and internalised sexism.
  • Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel shared 10 songs that would make great LGBTQ+ books.

    In the diary:

  • I’ve only got £200 left to fundraise for my Guides trip! I managed to finally get my act together and apply for some grants, which was great. 🙂 (If you’ve missed my mini-updates every month: I’m going on an international trip with Girlguides, and we’re fundraising the entire cost of the trip.)
  • I ACTUALLY PLANNED MY WIP YAY. I had a super long train journey, and…somehow I finished my main outline! It’s crazy, because I’ve always been a complete pantser, but I’m very excited to talk about it some more. 😀
  • I also listened to several musicals on the aforementioned long train journey, including The Phantom of the Opera for the first time! That was fun. *nods*
  • I’m trying to be a bit more politically aware, so I went to a talk by my local MP, who actually said a lot of things I agreed with. Helpfully. (I mean, I guess in particular Britain staying in the EU. Which is kind of the Thing of the moment haha.)
  • I feel like I have SOO many exciting posts to get write over the next few weeks. I’m very excited to share them! Although, um, I kinda need to write them first.

how was your month? did you do anything fun with our extra leap year day? (I KNOW IT WAS A MONDAY. but still.)

January Favourites!

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YES. It’s back to monthly favourites! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve done a good one — November was basically taken up by NaNoWriMo, and I missed December’s in light of all the new year round ups happening. So yay, here we go!

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Okay, technically I read this in December. BUT IT WAS FABULOUS. I actually enjoyed it more than The Grisha, I think — the whole thing just felt more polished. And I totally hadn’t realised that it was a heist novel, which was a lovely surprise. (I LOVE HEISTS.) Altogether, I’m now just slightly weeping in despair.

2. In the Heights  HELL YEAH MUSICALS. Ugh. So much excitement this month. Admittedly, I went to see this because I got into Hamilton, but I thought it was such a fabulous musical in its own right — totally going to be buying the soundtrack! It was at King’s Cross Theatre, so the stage was kind of over where the railway line would be and the audience sat on the two platforms? I’m sure there’s a name for that kind of stage. Sandwich stage, maybe. I thought that was really effective as well as the awesome music! LIGHTS UP IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS UP AT THE BREAK OF DAY

3. A Hero At the End of the World by Erin Claiborne This was a lot like Harry Potter. But also not, because it’s Harry Potter if Ron was more of an idiot and killed Voldemort instead of weedy Harry and then Harry worked in a coffee shop and met Draco. So, not that much like Harry Potter. I mean, it was really good as a comment of Chosen One tropes, much like Carry On! Like a Carry On written by Douglas Adams. Plus, Big Bang Press is awesome — it publishes fanfic authors and then commissions fanartists to draw the cover. This is generally a super pretty book.

4. Carol by Patricia Highsmith I do know that this was originally called The Price of Salt. But my edition was called Carol, so. I didn’t want to confuse you! Even if it kind of had a gross cover. Everyone seemed super taken with the recent film, and the book had a ton of recommendations — I mean vintage lesbians — and it didn’t disappoint. UGH, the writing was sooo nice. ❤

5. As You Like It This started a bit slow, but THE SECOND HALF WAS FABULOUS. Have I mentioned how much I love the faek relationship trope? (Shh, I know it’s Shakespeare. He obviously liked this trope too.) Also, Rosalin was really cute. And Celia was played by Patsy Ferran of Jim in Treasure Island last year! Yeah, the director literally just made Jim a girl with no explanation and it was great. *nods*

6. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson Kind of weird and literary. I feel like I’ve been rather literary in my reading recently. I haven’t quite finished it, but it’s lovely to be reading something just…well-written. Yeah. Not that other books aren’t, but the prose just reads particularly well for me. *hums*

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I’ve been feeling a lot of podfic love lately, so I recorded two Carry On ones of my own!(As in, audiobooks of fanfiction.) The first one was for a Christmas gift exchange on Tumblr, and it’s of a wonderful fic about Agatha, and the second one is a chaptered (!!) WIP. AAH I’M REALLY EXCITED TO BE DOING THIS.
  • ‘so instead, you don’t question the expiry date on your forever.’ — Nirvana @ Quenching the Quill wrote a beautiful piece of writing about childhood.
  • Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout talked about all the wonderful ways in which villains die, and which ones are best. *cackles*
  • An Overthinking Teenager @ Mixolydian Musings reviewed/flailed about Carry On, AKA my heart and soul. 😉 She’s also reached 500 followers recently, congrats!
  • ‘You, you’re busy kissing all the tornadoes in Kansas good night.’ — Topaz @ Six Impossible Things shared a poem about love which I fell in love with.
  • Safah @ oh how i wander is doing a series on Whitechapel Art Gallery, feat. wonderful art of both visual and literary kinds.
  • Our Harry Potter story mash up will wrap up next Sunday, but in the meantime you can read chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
  • Rainbow Rowell revealed the blurb for her World Book Day short story Kindred Spirits? AND IT’S ABOUT STAR WARS. Literally. It’s about people queueing up outside the cinema to see The Force Awakens!
  • Susie Day tweeted that she was writing a sequel to the Tumbling, AKA the most adorable short story ever.
  • I almost died because of the Ladies of Hamilton Ham4Ham. I need a Hamilton where everyone is a girl. I NEED IT. I’M SUPER IN LOVE WITH ALL OF THESE GIRLS UGH. Especially Morgan Marcell.

    (This needed embedding. But if it isn’t working, see the clip on YouTube!)
  • Noelle Stevenson (of Nimona & Lumberjanes) wrote an essay about why Boba Fett is a lesbian. Yep.

In the diary:

  • I went back to school. That was, you know, alright.
  • I got a haircut! Yeah. Another one. Here is a webcam selfie that I definitely didn’t take just now. Potentially not the best I have looked ever, but this is for the Good Of The Blog. This is Documentation. 😉
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  • I SWAM 100 LENGTHS. It was for fundraising. But still! Look at how active I am!
  • Although I thought it was a bit too soon to put it on my faves, I’ve been listening to Fun Home all afternoon. It’s a musical about Alison Bechdel, and it’s super gay and super awesome. YAY. 😀
  • I’m…actually planning my new project? Normally I’m a complete panster, so that’s pretty cool. And obviously I’ve also been putting together an inspiration playlist, because that’s basically the first thing I do when I write. Hopefully I’ll be sharing that in the future!

In conclusion, a large part of my January has been spent thinking about cute actors. Yes. I needed the motivation for going back to school, right? 😛

how has your month been? what’s the weather like for you right now? (it’s grey and dreary here.) read any good books recently?