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?

A Recap of the Excellent YA Shot 2016

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This post is ridiculously late, but NEVER MIND. The weekend before last I was lucky enough to attend YA Shot, an all-day literary festival celebrating young adult books and authors in Uxbridge! I admit that it took me a little while to get there, but I made good progress into The Archived by Victoria Schwab. (I mean, OBVIOUSLY I had to read a book on my way to an event in which I listened to people talk about books all day… What could be better? :P)

I had missed my first train so I arrived about 15 minuted late which was annoying, but thankfully I was allowed to pop into the co-writing panel. 🙂 I hadn’t read books by any of the authors but it was really interesting to hear about their writing and there were some very amusing questions right at the end! (Like which celebrity do people mistake you for, among others.)

There were SOOO many things that I wanted to go to at the noon slot but I decided to head off to a workshop by @helloiammariam on blogging, publishing and feminism. (And there were also some other really cool bloggery/bookish people there. I was such a smol person.) We chatted about stuff like reasons for blogging, and how that’s evolved, and the blogging community, and on creating a space for yourself online — like, it’s okay to share different levels of things. Also, there was TURKISH DELIGHT.image

Although I had missed Alice Oseman’s event which I was disappointed about, I still wanted to get my book signed! So I brought along a copy of Radio Silence and a postcard of Frances and Aled from Alice’s Redbubble shop. (I’d got Solitaire signed at YALC haha.)

I sort of hung around and ate lunch after this until the Melinda Salisbury and Julia Gray event in Waterstones! Now, I’d actually never heard of Julia Gray before but there was a lot of talk about darkness and the nature of evil. And her book has NORSE GODS. HOW AWESOME. Plus lots of darkness… It sounded absolutely awesome and I’ve now firmly added it to my TBR. And you can too! It’s called The Otherlife.

Melinda Salisbury was also wonderful and basically there was lots of talk about evil, religion and their roles in both authors’ books. Melinda talked about how freeing it was for her to write such an evil character, which got some laughs but is also something I deeply relate to. (I mean, like, this is in smol Eve forum era. But I just created utterly AWFUL characters who manipulated all the fierce red-haired green-eyed girls, ha. Good times.)

After this I hurried off the the Terms of Endearment panel about navigating feminism and romance. (With Holly Bourne, Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Holly Smale and Rachel McIntyre.) This was one of the highlights of my day — they talked about examples of problematic vs healthy relationships and how we can write healthy relationships. Wise advice is imagine the person is Wormtail and then see if their actions are creepy. Because sometimes physical attractiveness makes us excuse problematic behaviour.image

My next panel was called Little Women and it was about fantasy and gender with Samantha Shannon, Alwyn Hamilton and Zoe Marriott! I adore Zoe Marriott’s books but I never see many people talking about them, which is very sad. Anyways, this was ALSO a fabulous panel! Yes to more complex female relationships, especially friendships and to awesome retellings where the girls can drive the story themselves. Yet more books added to my TBR, mwahaha. 😉

Finally I attended the Resurgence of YA Sci-Fi panel with SF Said and Kat Ellis, chaired by Lauren James. I read Lauren’s book The Nest Together just the other week and it was SO GOOD GUYS. Time travel and humour and reincarnation and cute romance! It was just so enjoyable. I was excited for this panel because my WIP is technically sci-fi (that I’m supposed to be writing for NaNoWiMo, oops) and I think it definitely did inspire me. Sci-fi doesn’t have to be a ‘classic’ sci-fi book; it can blend genres. And sometimes real technology is even crazier than fiction…

I got my last books signed and then I hopped back off home on the Tube! Overall I had SUCH an amazing day and I would really recommend it to any book lovers who are able to go.