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Life Update: I’m Being Published!

I have some super exciting news! I’m going to be published! Yes, a piece of my work is going to be published in an actual physical book! The plan for tonight was to do my normal Thursday book review, but then I got an email. So, how did this come about?

I was lucky enough back in 2015 to be offered the chance to go to Athens as part of Kingston Writing School and I got to learn from the wonderful K.J. Orr about writing as well as being with other writers. I loved the course, I’d happily go back again to learn. This summer that will have been 3 years ago. Each year writers of the Summer School get the opportunity to submit pieces for an anthology.

I submitted last year and, unfortunately, didn’t get chosen which is fine because I don’t think it was my best work. This year, however, I wrote two poems, worked on them and submitted them in the new year. I wish I could say forgot about them but I didn’t I checked my email every day and…it worked.

I got the confirmation email today and I’m so, so excited. I love to write, I’ve always loved to write as soon as I learnt how to. Knowing that my name, my piece is going to be in a book is incredible. I also pretty sure that it’s only the start. I want and am working on writing my first novel in a series.

I’m so excited and I couldn’t wait to share this with you because honestly, I feel like writing my blog for the past few years has made me a better writer. I think about my content, the language and what you guys want to read alongside my own ideas. So a big thank you to everyone who reads my blog!

I’ll keep you all updated!

 

Going, going, gone- Goodbye Dissertation

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If you are following me on any social media, Twitter, Instagram any friends I have on Facebook I now apologise for the avalanche of dissertation related posts for the past few weeks. It really has been my life, every minute I had ‘free’ was spent on my dissertation, reading, editing, re-reading, having a meltdown, carrying on and finally submitting!! Yes today at about 2.30pm I finally handed in my printed and bound dissertation and it felt so good. So, so good.

It doesn’t mean I’m finished, I have two more assignments to finish and submit before everything is done but I do feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I know for a fact I handed in looking exhausted and I don’t really care about that because I am absolutely exhausted! I’m hoping that the next two essays don’t leave me working until 3am (they’re a lot smaller) and so I’ll just feel better.

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THE selfie I’ve been waiting to take for three years

I’m in two minds about whether, if I started my degree all over again, I would take a dissertation again if I had a choice. Looking back on this year and the stresses and strains I’ve had because of my health and my body I would probably been better doing two special studies, but hey ho it’s done and dusted now. Sylvia Plath will always hold a special place in my heart, hell I think I could even write a book on her if I wanted after all the research I’ve done for this! I mean I’m not going to, Sylvia is now just for pleasure reading. On that thought, ah pleasure reading, the TBR list is piling up now!

Honestly, I just feel so happy that it’s over and yes there are niggling little thoughts but I’m pushing them aside. It’s done, it’s over and there’s nothing I can do about it now. Buh-bye! Thank you to all of you who have commented on blogs, liked them, sent me messages on Instagram and Twitter, it feels like I have my own little support group when I’m struggling. So now, onwards and upwards, I’m halfway through submission and come the 3rd May it will all be done!

Fresher’s week 2015

After last weeks celebrations for birthday week, I am surprised I’m still awake after my second week of activities and shenanigans. This week was Fresher week and although I haven’t been out pounding the dance floor I have been pretty busy and, well, I definitely feel like a first year. I spent my first Freshers week being incredibly awkward and nervous and I spent a lot of time in my room, my second Freshers week I went out with my friends, signed up for societies and partied…for my third, I was actually having to be a responsible person.

I spent Monday in physio and working, Tuesday practicing with the boys and taking the Amp for emergency repair (not an ideal situation), Wednesday working with the newbies and taking them to enrollment, Thursday at Freshers fair and then straight to a show at the Fighting Cocks (quite possibly the best crowd I’ve ever played to, shouting, dancing, clapping and an encore!) and back to the fair again on Friday where we got over 100 sign ups for the Horse Riding Society! Get in!

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I’d be lying if I said that everything was completely easy this week. I’ve struggled a lot with both my spine and my anxiety. I’ve got a love hate relationship with Freshers, I love that it’s the beginning of the year and I’m excited to get stuck in, but at the same time I get so anxious with so many people around and everything going on all at once. I’ve met other people like that too, which makes me feel a little better. I’m also freaking out a little out third year, all the work I have to do, the thought of applying for my MA and funding and not knowing what’s going to happen once I graduate. It was also more than a little bittersweet not having Eleanor, Maisha and Alissa around this year to hang out with too.

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Overall, it’s been a good week, definitely challenging but I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved. Am I ready to go back? Yes. I can’t wait to get back into lectures and have something to get stuck into again. I know this years going to be a bit hard because of my spine and I’ll have to miss out on some things that I wanted to do, but maybe I’ll get to do something I hadn’t planned on. I have some great things this year, I love my job, I love my friends, my bands FINALLY getting somewhere, I have two lovely little hammies and the best guy around at my side. I think this year’s going to be a pretty good one.

A girl walks into a comic shop…

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Hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve dropped off the radar for the last few days with my back protesting and a low mood creeping in I’ve just found myself blankly staring at my laptop not knowing what to write. Instead I’ve surrounded myself with some good company when I could and I think I’m slowly breaking out of this low and through it I’ve found a strange new love.

Now I’ve been friends with Joe for years, back when we were both super anxious 18 year olds about to start uni. Ever since I’ve known him Joe’s been heavily into his comic books. When I was younger I got hold of a copy of Spider Girl and loved it but with no comic book shops near me I completely forgot about it. Since then a new comic book shop has opened in Kingston town centre and, of course, Joe has gone and landed himself a job there. After a while of me visiting I felt like I should probably buy something and try to understand what makes comic books so great.

I feel like I shouldn’t have made that decision because my bank account really hates it. Firstly it was getting into the Spider Gwen then the Gotham Academy series, which I’m now obsessed with. Now it’s evolved into me having a list to buy as well as buying three Superman and Wonderwoman comicbooks, Thor Goddess of Thunder, the two Gotham Academy issues I was missing and two indie Graphic Novels. Basically Joe is not only a great friend but also a great salesman. I’ve spent a good few hours pouring over them and I have to say he’s very good with recommendations.

I’ve met so many different people in the past few weeks since I started reading, mostly guys and they’ve all been so nice! This isn’t like my beloved novels, it’s nice to have something to just flick through, look at some nice art and something to look forward to monthly rather than once or twice a year. Don’t worry, nothing will be replacing the love I have for books but it’s another way of appreciating literature in a more visual way.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days, I have another thing to explore and get excited about and I’m pleased to report there are loads of awesome female heroes in comic books, much more than people would have you believe. There’s the ‘female versions’ of the well known super heroes but they’re not just rip offs they all have their own pretty awesome characters and ideas, Godess Thor is one of my personal favourites after reading today.

I’d love to know if you guys are into comic books and have any recommendations for me! I love a kick ass female or two in a comic book so if that gives you any ideas! Also if you’re in Kingston make sure you find Piranha Comics on one of the little side streets near Kingston Markets, it’s a great shop and all of the staff are great! I really love the way that they’ll sit and talk with you and actually care about the recommendations they give you, basically they’re one of my absolute favourite shops in Kingston now.

Paper Towns Advanced Screening!

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Tonight Summer and I were lucky enough to go to an advanced screening of Paper Towns at my local cinema. I’m a huge fan of John Green, he’s one of my all time favourite writers and last year’s film The Fault in Our Stars is possibly my all time favourite film as well as a book that left me speechless. To say that I was excited for tonight was an understatement.

I have to say that the film doesn’t disappoint. When I heard that Cara Delevinge was playing Margo I have to admit I was a little sceptical, it was wasn’t how I saw Margo in my head. I was completely wrong because Cara just acts so well as Margo, there are moments here and there where her British accent slips up but I think that’s only because we got to see the Q&A footage before seeing the movie (where she sounds very British). I don’t know, now I’ve seen it she’s won me over and will forever be the most amazing Margo. As for Quentin, or Q, John Green was right when he said that he Nat Wolff was born to play him. He expresses the good guy/ awkward/ hopelessly in love guy that we all know and love from the book.

The film made me and the rest of the audience laugh, a lot. It also had a much more diverse audience than TFIOS did when it came out. There were such a mix of people, I was really surprised! Also, my sister has never read Paper Towns and she didn’t feel like she didn’t understand it or missed anything out, so don’t feel like you need to have read the book to enjoy. Oh and if you did enjoy TFIOS look out for an awesome cameo!

The best thing is that although I knew what was going to happen, I still had shivers up my spine, I still wanted to know about the mystery of Margo. It takes a very special film to make you forget what you’ve already read and get lost all over again. I was disappointed that the Seaworld scene wasn’t in the movie, it was my favourite part of the book so I was a little let down and there was one change towards the end that I wished was the same as the book. It wasn’t bad at all, just different. That said I fully accept that it can’t be exactly the same as the book.

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Summer and I waiting to go in, with giant slushies of course

There’s something about Green’s books when they are turned into films that sparks this feeling inside me. With TFIOS it was the feeling of wanting and needing to love, love no matter what because you never know how long you’re going to get. Paper Towns just reminded me to keep doing what I want to do, not to slip into that life of doing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it, to embrace and crave some extraordinary things.

Would I recommend seeing Paper Towns?  Yes. It’s not overtaken TFIOS as my favourite movie, but it has made me want to go back and read the novel and in fact appreciate the novel more. It’s so funny and just takes you along for the ride, oh and Radar and Ben are PERFECT. The chemistry between the trio was amazing, sometimes you forgot that you weren’t watching three best friends. As with the relationship between Cara and Natt, it was in a word, perfect. As soon as it hits general release, go and watch, if you’re a John Green fan, you won’t be disappointed. Similarly if you want to have a girl crush over Cara’s eyebrows this is also a film for you!

Guess who’s heeeeeeeeere!!

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Today after frantically cleaning and tidying my flat in the past few days my baby sister arrived to stay with me for a few days. I got the surprise of my little cousin coming to see me when Sum’s was dropped off which just made it even more special. We spent the afternoon after my cousin and Mum left pretty bored. It was too late to go out and do something but too early to just crash for the evening. So we did what any normal pair of sisters do, we bought Pizza, had a play fight and watched Netflix. Sorted.

After a few hours of doing nothing we had to do something before we killed each other (we can’t have that on day one). So we decided to make cakes, but not just any cakes. Hold the freaking press because we made PEPPA PIG CUPCAKES.

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Today might have been slow but from tomorrow morning I’ve got so much for us both to do giving her a look around the music buildings, going into town shopping, grabbing a quick dinner and then off to see Paper Towns tomorrow night! Eeek. Then spend more time laying around and messing around before watching the Bike Race on Sunday (Cyclists. Damn Cyclists.) visiting the comic book shop and seeing what’s up around the town centre, having dinner and then she’ll be heading home…followed by me on Tuesday.

For now we’re sat in matching PJ bottoms, both on our laptops stuffed with pizza and cakes and all that jazz, hopefully we’ll sleep at some point too.

Why I’m going to Athens

In less than 12 hours I will be on my plane heading to Greece, eek! This week I will be visiting the beautiful city of Athens for the first time and I’m stupidly excited. I wrote a little while ago about being accepted on a course that was thankfully being paid for by the university as a part of my work with the Kingston Writing School. While I wish I was going to simply lay around and enjoy the sights of Athens, instead I will be working on my creative writing skills!

Every evening I have a few hours of class with two other students, working on each others pieces and getting feedback on our own. It’s an international writing school, so it’s a great opportunity to network with people from all over the world as well. I really have to thank David Rodgers for the opportunity!

So tonight my family are driving me to meet Ali at the airport. Initially I was going on my own as this crazy, fun and scary adventure travelling on my own, then of course the accident happened and Ali’s Mum stepped in so that he could afford to come too! Now I’ve just there are about 4 shops open before security at 2am, so there’s going to be a lot of Cafe Nero before we can get our big Spoons breakfast. I’m a little nervous because I will be of course wearing my back brace and in my wheelchair through the airport, something I’ve never done before.

That said, it’s such an incredible thing for me to travel to another country for something academic and be honored with an invite to it. I’m planning to make the most of my writing time, as well as seeing the beauty of Athens and spending some much needed relaxation time with Ali. So off I go and I’ll catch you all in Greece!