Personal

Two Reasons

So, I’m sorry I haven’t been updating this blog very much lately. When I logged in and saw that my last post was from December my chest did a whole frump. Yeah, a frump.

I’m not really sure what that is, but it goes kind of like this:

December explains a lot really. Since December, everything has kinda changed for me. First, I didn’t feel like posting anything because I was having a mini crisis about the world. I read the book The End of Mr Y (which is actually marvelous and completely brilliant) and it changed my perception about a lot of things.

Through reading it and stumbling over a lot of other things in life, everything suddenly got turned upside down and spun around at a disorientating pace. And now I can’t put it back together again. But this version of life is better, and fresher, and more real. I’m probably not making much sense, but my friends had to deal with me a lot telling them about Derrida and the meaning of life between sobbing and finding me in strange places in the dark.

This was pretty much my life throughout most of December.

I remember a good few days where I would just get in my car, drive somewhere with a view of the sea, the cliffs, and cry angry, red, stinging tears because I was just so in despair over life and why we’re all here. I wrote so many scrawled, scribbled out pages into all my notebooks during those times. I was very scared.

An existential crisis, I suppose you could call it.

Another reason why I haven’t posted in a while is because I haven’t been totally sure of myself lately, either and I didn’t want to post anything I would regret, or look back on and think, ‘Why on earth did you write that? You little idiot.’

I don’t want things to come back and bite me in life; but then, I guess, nobody wants that, do they?

I’ve been waiting to get the hang of myself again, to step back into the person that defines herself as ‘me’. A breakup – yes, a breakup – has shaken everything up in my life. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you might get just how in love with this boy I was. Sounds cliche, doesn’t it? But I did truly love him. Weird thing is, I expected it to hurt a lot more. But it didn’t.

I guess the reason why might be this: I still have the best friends I could ever ask for; I live in a wonderful, beautiful place and I have a family who adore each other every single day. Everyone has been so kind to me and supportive I’ve not really had the chance to fall apart.

Love. I’m really starting to question what that word really means. I thought I would hold onto this perfect little romance forever – and a lot of times I genuinely believed it was totally perfect – that I would find little reminders of what we used to be everyday so terribly breaking and unbearable.

But I don’t. I find them comforting. I can speak openly about the relationship that once was (and people find this jarring because they expect me to cry) because there’s no resentment. We’re simply not meant to be together right now, and that’s okay.

We had our time together and it was so beautiful.

People usually end up hating their ex lovers, but I am genuinely so proud of what we had, what we’ve done, and I look back on all of it with amazing memories that are going to last me the whole of forever. And they’re going to get me just the best stories.

This is so important.

As with everything, you always need to know when to leave. Get the timing wrong and it can make your life something it was never meant to be.

All of this (among other things) ultimately ties up my unexplained absence. These are the two main reasons why I haven’t been here lately. But I promise to be here more, and I promise to try and do it well.

Maybe I should get back to writing about cats. This always seems to make me happy.

Writing

Well isn’t that novel?

One day I will write a novel and one day I will be working in a publishing house. It doesn’t even have to be for very long. I’d love to work for Bloomsbury, the home for many fantastic authors and the publishing company which signed J.K Rowling. These are my dreams, and I want so very much for them to come true.

I think novels are beautiful, regardless of which genre they’re in, because if they can make you feel something then they’re beautiful. I love the way they can just fold together, making you smile or laugh or just simply feel like you’re a part of something. I would list it as being one of the most important feelings in the world, right up there with your first kiss and the first time you buy a drink from a bar and you don’t get asked for I.D.

I think novel writing is beautiful and this is what I want to do. Like, desperately. I won’t stop until I’ve written the best book I can and it’s accepted by a publishing house.

I used to think my dreams were silly but when I met a real author whose roots were similar to my own and who’d graduated from my university, I started to really believe in myself. If she could do it, then why couldn’t I? The advice and things she kindly told me were incredibly helpful and I’m really fortunate to have met her. It also helped that she was so young and so very lovely. It put the faith back in me to realise that you don’t have to be over thirty to get a book deal. That author was C.J Flood, who writes YA fiction – again, something I want to do. She really opened my eyes!

C.J Flood

I want to write novels that I would read. I want to write, full stop. The thrill of it is something I don’t want to ever go away.

Maybe it’s because I’m reading Gone With The Wind right now (which I totally love) but one day I will write a novel based in the Southern States of America. It will be a love story and complicated string of events between a dashing cowboy – charming or reckless, I haven’t decided yet – and a pretty young thing who wears only the prettiest of dresses.

Even if I don’t exactly write this intended story, somewhere along the lines I will write a novel with a cowboy in it. He doesn’t even have to be centre stage. He just needs to be there, if only to make me happy.

My aim in life is to write and life is short, so I’m going to do it. Regardless of whatever gets in the way.

education, Writing

Grammar Rules

Did you know there are certain rules regarding the ways you can write speech as to whether you are American or British? I know, I was shocked too! It turns out I’ve been writing the speech of my characters’ lines in my stories wrong for years because I’ve been writing in the American way! To be honest, I much prefer the American way. Maybe because I read a lot of American books, or just because it comes a lot more naturally to me.

Basically, if you are British (like me) and want to write dialogue you must use inverted single commas like this:

‘To write is to capture something beautiful’

as this is the proper way!

However if you are writing in American English then you must use the double quotation marks like this:

“To write is to capture something beautiful”

I mean, how crazy is that? I always thought it was a matter of preference. But when it came up casually in conversation at a fiction workshop I was in it made me stop and think. Had I really been writing incorrectly all this time? The answer was yes after I researched it. (Always to Google!)

I’m sure it’s never that important anyway. I have had things published with American speech marks in it for dialogue when I am technically supposed to be writing in British English. It’s not like you’re going to get dismissed from a writing competition or, even worse, a novel manuscript you’ve submitted to a publishing house, because you’ve included the wrong speech marks in your work. If you can’t make up your mind and use both frequently all over the place then that might lead to something different! But ultimately, it is up to you whatever you choose to do.

Since I am technical in all my writing and like to correct anybody’s grammar given the opportunity, I will be writing in the formally correct way constantly now and try to keep it up as long as I can. If you are like me, and like everything to be perfect in your writing, from the style down the spelling, you too will probably reflect and check your errors! This is exactly what I did.

Unfortunately, I hate editing my own fiction writing so it took me a mighty long time to correct everything! I hope, if you didn’t already know this little scrap of knowledge, I have enlightened your day.

Good luck with your writing!

Fashion

Perm It Up

I’m getting a perm tomorrow! I cannot believe this is finally happening. I have wanted a perm for so long, as far back as I can remember. I always remember looking at my parents’ wedding photographs because my mum had a perm back then. Her hair was blonde whereas mine is very dark; almost as dark as ebony like Snow White’s. I have always been jealous of my friends who had curls. They would always just ram a straightner right through their hair. Didn’t they know how beautiful it was?

From the very first time I watched Father of the Bride I desperately wanted hair like Annie’s – the bride. I loved the way it was just at the right length and the way it bounced whenever she ran down the stairs into the arms of either her father or her fiancée. It just looked so pretty. I also really wanted her wedding shoes. They were to die for. Well actually I still want them even now.

The shoes Annie Banks wore in Father of the Bride!

As a fan of Taylor Swift, I adore her curls from when she was sixteen. I’m not so keen on the vintage style bob cut she’s got going on right now. I prefer her look in Tim McGraw or Our Song much more.

I mean, look how beautiful?!

I’ve told my hairdresser to go for curls of these kind, so hopefully when it’s all done I can be a cute, curled up princess looking thing! I want to keep my full fringe as my eyebrows and forehead are things I rarely like to show off. As I work at Claire’s I’m a real girly girl and rarely ever wear anything but a dress. So hopefully this look will enhance my (even dorkier) image! My appointment is tomorrow afternoon. I don’t know how long I have to sit in the chair for but I’m sure I won’t be bored.

I will definitely have my book.

Hobbies

Summer Read

This summer I have a big plan. That plan is to read a big book. It’s a book I’ve had in mind for the last two years and it’s sitting on my top shelf right now, snug right next to my Sarah Dessen collection and my all time favourite book Roses by Leila Meacham. That is how important it is. It just has to be read.

I want to read it during the perfect summer. I think it’s about time that that perfect summer is now. What better time to do it than when I’ve come through my first year of university, have a house with amazing friends and a whole 3 months to stretch out and relax before term starts again?

Gone With The Wind.

I just can’t wait. It’s my motivation for getting me through the two books that I’m reading at the moment. I’ve been reading both of them for just over a month and they’re just so slow. I don’t even know if I can take it anymore. I skim most of the pages I read, but they’re whopping great novels. It’s almost painful just trying to get through them.

So Gone With The Wind is my motivation and The One of this year that I just can’t wait to pick up and peel back the pages.

What will be your read this summer?

Cornwall, university, Writing

Telltales & Such Things

Hey, everyone. Hope the sun is shining your way. It is currently down here in Cornwall!

Just an update to notify you of new features I’ve written recently. They’ve taken a while to air on the website so there’s a few all in one go! One is a feature on my best friend who recently completed her Duke of Edinburgh award and advice she has to give, so if you’re into doing the award or even just thinking about it then make sure you check it out!

Another is a feature on a course mate of mine who I met whilst working on the Lionel Shriver author workshops. I really wanted to document the experience and get another point of view on how exciting and precious the time we spent with Lionel was, so I decided to interview her on the experience we shared. Her feedback was brilliant!

The other is on a sweet little writing group I’ve recently discovered under the name of Telltales based in Cornwall, largely Falmouth which is my student home town. Details about the group can all be found via the link!

Please give them a read if you’re interested!

 

Telltales Writing Group: http://www.hercampus.com/school/falmouth/telltales-writers-group-based-falmouth

Campus Celebrity: http://www.hercampus.com/school/falmouth/campus-celebrity-aysha-bryant

Last week’s Campus Celebrity: http://www.hercampus.com/school/falmouth/campus-celebrity-ashleigh-fox

 

Baking, Hobbies, Writing

Good Morning!

It’s Sunday, and as much as everybody else really rather hates Sundays, I have grown to love them. I have no classes to go to, I have usually done all my readings for university week, I have no part time job to attend, and basically I can do whatever the swive I want! Technically I don’t even have to leave my bed (apart from dietary & toilet necessities). So it’s great having Sundays! I really actually love them.

I can get more writing done (which I definitely plan to do!) I am writing a short story submission on the theme of flowers/light inspired by Eva Figes beautiful poetic novella Light which is a fictional take on the life of the great painter Monet who lived in France. It has been struggling these last few weeks or so, but I feel today’s the right day to do it. I have it all thought out! First draft: hello!

I can bake a cake! Now, this one probably won’t happen today because I already made triple chocolate muffins last night. Despite the fact they didn’t rise very well, we still all ate them whilst sitting round watching Flight of the Conchords. I’m sorry I didn’t watch Eurovision, but … FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS!

I can make a soup without time constraints! Today I will be making potato and leek soup. I’m so excited. I love making soups. They just taste so yum.

I can read more of The Selection by Kiera Cass. YES! Aspen is so far my favourite, but that might be because I am just imagining him to be William Moseley.

I can watch Father of the Bride! I have been wanting to watch this film for about a week and a half now, just haven’t had the time or the company. But now with it being an empty Sunday I might just get round to it!

On the plus side, I am also feeling better from being ill this weekend too! Bonus! And all it took was two cartons of orange juice, five bowls of chicken/mushroom/homemade butternut squash soup, three bowls of strawberries and plenty of time in bed reading. Great way to get better!

Look alive, people. It’s Sunday! What will you be doing with yours?

Book Reviews, Cornwall, Hobbies

IT’S HERE!

I received this beauty in the post after ordering it from Waterstones. Can you believe that no book shop has it stocked in Cornwall?! None that I could find anyway. I even looked up its availability online, just so I could go and get it physically. But no such luck.

I hate buying books online because

1. What if they don’t look right?
2. What if there’s a crease on the front pages?
3. What if – God only knows how – the spine is already marked or slightly broken?

I’ve had this experience with brand new books bought online, so you can see why I’m a little shady at committing to that way of consuming. Books are a very huge part of my life, therefore I want them to look pretty sitting there on my shelves! Who wouldn’t?

But this came through in the post two days ago and I am ridiculously happy about it. I did expect it to be thicker but it is a trilogy after all so I let that slide. It’s so pretty. I keep picking it up, putting it back down, then picking it up again. I’ve vowed to get through my current Lionel Shriver book quickly so I can read this beauty as soon as possible!

Once I’m through, I’m going to buy the other two! Despite if it even has to be online!

Cornwall, education, Hobbies, university, Writing

Prose Before Hoes

I’ve come to realise that I’m actually really, really lucky. To be in university – and such a unique, inspiring, close-knit and FRIENDLY university too – has been a Godsend to me. Studying my course has led me to writing pathways that little young teenage me would only ever dream about. It sounds cliche but cliche’s exist for a reason. I am incredibly lucky, to have the opportunities to work with amazing lecturers who are so attentive, to have so many resources available at the university where I’m studying, and to basically have this kind of an education!

So I came across a phrase today – ‘prose before hoes’. I took it lightly, but it kind of has significance. Sometimes, you just have to put your writing first if you want to get anywhere in this industry.

I discovered today through a writing correspondent that students can actually attend the London Book Fair for FREE.
How incredible! To actually be able to be at an event with published authors and writers, book agents and people who work for real life publishing houses! It’s a dream, and I hope to go there next year – one year in the future at least! I’m so grateful to have a lot of things right now. I also have so much to look forward to recently it’s unbelievable!

  • I have recently been fortunate enough to work with award winning author Lionel Shriver, who is a pleasure to work with and have her read my work and give positive (and negative) feedback is something I still can’t quite believe I’m doing …
  • I am an official weekly features writer for an online magazine, Her Campus. I know I’ve mentioned this before but knowing I’m a part of it still a few weeks on after being asked to do it is still exciting to me! I love writing features and coming up with ideas every week, and some of the posts on there are actually really funny!
  • Lionel Shriver signed my book/writing ideas notepad at a book signing and actually recognised me! It was awesome.
  • I got to spend some time with another published author C.J Flood. I spoke to her about her books, how she finds writing and my own novel I’ve been writing for some time now. It was an experience I hope I am never, ever going to forget. She offered to sign her book for me and even wrote an inspirational message inside the front cover!
  • I’ve also spent some time with a really lovely second year student, who writes for Booked Magazine which is aimed towards 11-18 year olds on general pop culture topics, like films, music, book reviews etc. She opened up windows for me and made me realise I can actually do this. Hearing her speak about all the amazing things she has done was uplifting and so inspirational for me. It gives me hope!
  • On a non-writing note, I am going to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London at the end of May, leaving at 2am and spending the WHOLE DAY THERE!!! I am going to spend so much money in the gift shop. I just know it.
  • Also, I AM SEEING MCBUSTED AT THE END OF MAY as well!!!! I am perfectly accepting of the fact that if I spontaneously combust through lack of air or just pure excitement then that’s a good way to go. I kind of embrace that. Seeing them has been my dream for oh so many years, I was just always too scared to do it. But now, finally, at aged nineteen, I AM DOING IT.
  • Hopefully, I will go to the Fowey Festival of Words & Music this coming May as well. I am in the process of writing an article on the festival for Her Campus so will be sure to post it up here as a link once it’s up and running on the site!

I can’t believe how lucky I am. I am looking to get some writing or editorial work experience/internship this summer as my first year finishes late May so will have a lot of free time to keep busy in! If you know anyone or ARE anyone who would like to have me work for them this summer, let me know!

Lionel Shriver

Her Campus

C. J Flood

Booked Magazine

Harry Potter Studio Tour

McBusted!!!

If you know  anyone who would like to have me work for them this summer, let me know! I don’t even care if it’s unpaid!

Hobbies, university, Writing

Writerly Reflections

Why did I want to be come a writer? It’s a fairly simple question to ask but rather a difficult one to answer.

I suppose first of all I wanted to write because I loved reading. My story isn’t one of reading J.K Rowling and desperately wanting to be the way she is as a writer, which is odd because I love the world of Harry Potter a lot more than anything else. The world of Harry Potter comes up fairly frequently in my blogposts. My story came from being twelve years old and desperately wanting to be the girlfriend of famous boyband members. In particular, members of McFly. I could gush on about them for hours in my little notepad I kept hidden in my wardrobe.

What they looked like when I thought I could be their girlfriend. That’s right. All of them.

In order for that to come true, I started writing fanfiction in little diaries I bought from Clintons. I wrote so many stories, and they were all filled with bad writing, bad romance, and probably some really bad dialogue. I still have them, but they’re far too embarrassing to read. But without them I wouldn’t have gotten this far! I would stay in my room for hours every single day of the summer, endlessly spilling my pen into the pages that I kept private. Because nobody was allowed to read it.

Bad writing = good writing!
(Eventually!)

 

Gradually, I moved onto writing from paper to Microsoft Word but still in secret. I would wait until my whole family had gone to bed before I could start tapping erratically on the keys of our shared computer keyboard. I don’t know why it all had to be kept in such secrecy. It just felt so private. I’d never done it before.

When I started to grow older, I realised that – yes – I wanted to become a writer, an author, unconditionally. And all I did in my spare time was fantasise about how incredibly amazing that would be. I have drawings in my old collected notepads of book covers with my name on them, that one day I could actually be a published author. I still have that dream today and am not going to stop writing, ever. Now, I am pursuing a writing course at university. People say it’s a waste of time, choosing Creative Writing as a degree, but I would never have come across the writing opportunities I’ve been given without enrolling onto this course.

Since September, I’ve started a new novel in my own time, written short stories almost every single week during term to submit, become a weekly feature writer for a worldwide online magazine, submitted to a number of different writing competitions, gotten the chance to meet famous writers and poets, and next week I get to be in a workshop with an award winning author!

Really, I don’t think I decided at any point – yes I want to be a writer. I kind of fell into it, and as I got better at it, I then just grew into it.

Writing is awesome.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/writing-challenge-reflections/