Sunday Seven: Thoughts everyone has the night before starting a new job

Tomorrow I start a new chapter, it may be a little sooner than I thought but nonetheless, it’s happening. I start my first temp assignment and as I write this the nerves are ramping up and I’m hoping I at least get some sleep tonight. So here are seven thoughts everyone has the night before starting a new job.

Damn, I ‘m nervous 

I have SO MANY butterflies right now, so, so many.

Will I get any sleep tonight?

I’m awful at sleeping before a big day, there will be a lot of clock watching tonight.

I wonder what the people are like?

It’s always nerve-wracking going into a new situation with completely new people. Luckily the few people I have met have seemed really nice.

What’s the food situation? Am I supposed to eat in a canteen, go out, is there a microwave?! 

I never know what to do in terms of food, it’s always something I think about. Luckily I know the area a little so I can hopefully pop out and grab something.

I’m a professional, I’ve got this… shit, I don’t know what I’m doing! 

The constant battle between the angel and devil on my shoulder this one. The angel knows I can do this but the devil throws in a nice bit of doubt.

I need to check my outfit again

Because you definitely want to get it right on your first day.

Let’s do this

I’ll never know if I don’t do it. Let’s do this!

Feminist Friday: General Election 2017

Earlier in the week Prime Minister Theresa May called a General Election for this summer following the UK beginning the exit process for the European Union. On June 8th Britain will take to the polls once again to vote in a new party and a new leader. There have been some questions raised about voting in a female leader simply because they’re female will not equate to equality.

I fully understand that in the US Hillary Clinton lost out due to misogyny, that there is a definite agenda to force women out of politics. That said, we need to look at each party and their promises, not just their leaders because a whole party isn’t made up of one person.

Voting for May, Sturgeon or Caroline Lucas simply because they are women doesn’t make you more of a feminist. Voting for a party that supports and encourages women, does. While having three women in positions of power and within reach of becoming Prime Minister is excellent for politics and our country we need to make the decision based on parties and their impact on the people.

I feel that being a feminist means looking and considering what each party will do for equal rights. What their history is in regards to equality of the sexes. We may only have 6 weeks to decide on who will lead our country for the next few years, but it’s important we make the right decisions for ourselves and our future.

Book Review: The Princess saves herself in this one – Amanda Lovelace

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‘warning I: 

this is not a 

fairy tale.’

I had heard so much about Amanda Lovelace’s collection of poetry. It was hailed a feminist book young women had to read, that spoke the truth and recreated poetry for our generation. I completely agree with this statement. It took me a little while to get my hands on it but I haven’t regretted it.

I wouldn’t call this a happy read as such, but it is one of struggle and perseverance. It is one of not being saved but saving yourself. It chronicles an important stage in a woman’s life, one that I’m personally going through still, where you try and work out who you are and let go of certain people.

This chronicles Lovelace’s life and is split into four parts; The Princess, The Damsel, The Queen and You. Each part looks at a different aspect of Lovelace growing up, how she felt at the time, whilst at the same time keeping the fairytale theme.  I thoroughly enjoyed the transitions into each because it didn’t feel fractured or like it ‘had to fit’.

I hope this is a new beginning in poetry made for and by young people to enjoy. Whilst I can appreciate some of the classics, after all my favourite poet is Sylvia Plath, we need new and exciting poets such as Lovelace to introduce more young people to a new form of poetry.

I gave this a 5 star review. This was a breath of fresh air in poetry and incredibly well written. I look forward to reading more of Lovelace’s work and to see what she does next.

Getting Motivated

So, this month has been tough, very tough. I wrote a post last week about what’s been going on, why I’ve been quiet on social media (you can read that here) and I’ve had a lot of time to think. I’ve had my time to feel sad and upset about what happened but right now it’s time to get motivated.

I think it’s important to give yourself time to feel what you need to feel when things happen. That said my family and friends make sure that I don’t wallow, that I get on with my life and move on. It’s a new week and it’s time to get motivated.

I have plans for this week, even though I’m at home. I have a full list of plans, things to do and get on with. I’m going to sort out more work, get the house tidy, do some work outs and write like a mad thing! I am more than something that hs happened to me. Was I upset? Yes. Was I in shock? Yes. I doubted myself but I need to try and let that go.

It’s worth saying that the people around you can really help and I’m so grateful in particular to Ali, Abbie, Ben & Joe as well as my family for constantly being there for any help and tearful phone calls I’ve made, you’re all the best.

So this is my declaration to you all, I am not giving up, I have shit to do and the last few weeks won’t define me.

World, I’m coming to get you.

Sunday Seven: Exciting Advance Reader Copies on my to be read pile!

I’m lucky enough to be a member of Netgalley, which means I am able to request some brilliant books before they are released in return for a review. I wanted to share with you seven of my upcoming reviews!

 

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The Girl From Aleppo – Nujeen 

I want to know more about the Syrian refugees, we need to know about their lives, what they’ve experienced.

 

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The One – John Marrs 

A thriller with a scientific element, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews and can’t wait to read what John Marrs has to offer.

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The Girl Who Beat ISIS – Farida Khalaf 

Again, this is a story that needs to be heard and remembered. We cannot forget the horrors that have been taking place in our time or look the other way. I look forward to reading Farida’s account.

 

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Before The Fall – Noah Hawley 

I haven’t read a good suspense novel in such a long time. Taking on survival, mystery and intrigue I’m hoping I’m glued to this one. I’m also hoping for a good twist!

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One of us is lying – Karen M.McManus

I got a Breakfast Club vibe from the blurb of this novel but with the added twist of a Hunger Games kind of thing going on, I could be totally wrong, but I’m really hoping I’m not.

 

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Dreadnought – April Daniels 

I heard about this from one of my favourite booktubers over at Problemsofabooknerd. It features superheroes and the LGBTQ community. Sign me up.

 

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A Stitch of Time

I’m all about books about recovery, this talks about Lauren’s recovery after a brain aneurysm, chronicling the highs and lows of trying to get her life back.

Feminist Fridays: Why I’m excited about some dolls.

As we all know, little girls are expected to like and play with dolls of all variety, I was no different. I had a box of Barbies, piles of Polly Pockets and stacks of generic Baby Dolls. There was something missing though, of course my Barbies started to have jobs (Vet Barbie was a personal favourite), but they rarely kicked butt. They didn’t say to me that girls could be as cool as boys in films, that we weren’t confined to pink and only pink. I didn’t get into Star Wars until I was 20 but damn I needed it. I needed to be reminded that women were powerful and could lead a war.

There are going to be new Star Wars Dolls for Star Wars: Forces of Destiny to accompany a new TV show. I read the news over on the brilliant Heroic Girls and when I saw these dolls I had a wave of excitement. These were posable dolls of some of the most fearless women in the galaxy. Of course, these are going to be collected by fans but for the little girls of today? Little girls who have seen Star Wars and what a girl can do, these dolls are something else. Of course, as time goes by we are starting to see more kick ass dolls on the market, ones that appeal to both boys and girls. Let’s not forget the boys in this, the ones who are told that ‘dolls are for girls’, WRONG.

When I was a kid I used to draw these dolls called ‘Jenny’, I used to draw her in every job that I knew, particularly jobs that I knew people said that boys did. The dolls weren’t there for me so I designed my own. That and I know for a fact one of the boxes for Army Barbie came with the slogan ‘hat and short skirt too!’ Yeah, because that’s going to help when the enemy is firing at you, a short skirt.

Corny or not, kids are the future. How can we expect them to be any better if we don’t teach them about equality as children. That girls and boys can be what they want and play with the toys I want.

Damn right I’m excited about these dolls, and I hope it’s just the beginning.

Book Review: The Dead Inside – Cyndy Etler

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‘I never was a badass. Or a slut, a junkie, a stoner, like they told me I was. I was just a kid looking for something good, something that felt like love. I was a wannabe in a Levi’s jean jacket. Anybody could see that. Except my mother. And the professionals at Straight’

Cyndy Etler has had a difficult life to say the least. After the death of her father as a child she is left with her mother, and later, her husband. As she lives through a torrent of abuse at his hands, her mother simply looks the other way as her daughter cries out. After she finally breaks Cyndy wants nothing more to do with them and runs away, but her new nightmare has only just begun as her mother deposits her to Straight Inc.

When reading this prepare for a story of abuse and misbelief. I was both shocked and appalled at the treatment that Cyndy received from the institution she was placed in. In Cyndy’s words they are extreme forms of physical and mental torture against young people that, to put it simply, were broken. When they entered I can’t help but think may of them had Cyndy’s fire and passion, her spirit. It is, horrific, that these children and that is what they were subjected to, the cruelty and brainwashing.

I will admit that, initially, Cyndy did have a kind of ‘wild child’ personality, however, I would urge you not to dismiss her from this. This is child who has been subjected to horrors before she enters the nightmare of Straight. This, I felt was unclear in the earliest chapters, which could make people distrust or not understand Cyndy. I can understand why it is not so bluntly put, this is a tough and long road for Cyndy, both then and now to describe what happened to her. What I saw the most was a girl who wasn’t loved, who tried to make her own way in the world and who was abused by the people who should have loved her.

I gave the memoir 3.5 stars, not because I didn’t devour it, not because it made my heart hurt but simply because I found myself confused at times about what was happening. The voice speaks true of what was happening and the confusion that Cyndy felt, however, at times it made for difficult reading. There were also some parts which I felt could have been given more time, that said, I know that she has another memoir coming out towards the end of the year, as per her website. I’m hoping that this will let me understand more of Cyndy’s life, recovery and past. Thank you to Cyndy, her publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.