WHAT IS INSTA-POETRY?

What is ‘insta-poetry’? It’s more than simply posting a poem on Instagram. There’s a certain power in sharing any form of art online, where it can be accessed by anyone, shared by anyone, and commented on by anyone. The Instagram scroll also means that a few seconds is often all that your post can expect to pull from someone.

I’ve been able to ask my questions about Insta-poetry to some poets currently sharing their work on Instagram. In this post, they share what Insta-poetry means to them, the importance of online community, and the Instagram-poetry style.

Continue reading “WHAT IS INSTA-POETRY?”

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HELLO TWENTY EIGHTEEN | CHALLENGES AND BLOGGING PLANS

It takes me a week to properly think about my New Year’s resolutions, or challenges (I don’t do resolutions – they’re too resolute and solid and therefore impossible!).  It takes me a few days to feel the year out, I think. The first week of the new year hasn’t been anything particularly spectacular or different. Other than a step-up in my dissertation research, and more exams and study, the first half of my 2018 looks like it’s going to be much like 2017 in it’s day-to-day-ness. (And then we don’t think about the after-graduation half). When I make goals before the new year has even begun, I run the risk of creating a list of goals that don’t fit into my year. ‘Write a blog post every week’ doesn’t fit into my year. I’ve trialled writing a little bit of my novel in a journal every day so far this year. I wanted to write a couple of pages a day. ‘A couple of pages’ doesn’t fit into my day, every day. A few lines, however, does.

So these are the goals I have settled on. The ones that feel like they can be carried along with me through the day-to-day of my 2018:

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☆ Write every day – I plan to write something each day towards my novel, in a little notebook. Be that one sentence, or one piece of dialogue, a description, or a character’s thought. This is more manageable some days than opening up my laptop and following a chronological outline. So far, I’ve managed to write at least something each day all week. One day that was a few pages, another day it was three sentences. I’m hoping that this will keep me in my characters’ heads and their stories all year, even if I don’t get the chance to finish a typed-up novel.

☆ Read a broader range of genres – I don’t have specifics for this. I just want to give anything and everything a try, rather than my usual go-to’s

☆ Post on my blog at least twice a month – Twice a month doesn’t sound a lot, but posting even once a month has become a challenge for me over the last few months. I posted a lot less on here over November/December due to some intense deadlines (final year problems!). So I’m making a plan to post at least twice on here each month this year. And in the months where I’m not suffocated by essays, hopefully that will be much more!

☆ Combat feeling guilty for relaxing – By this, I mean that, rather than working 9am-11pm (that’s seriously what I was doing Monday-Saturday for the last few weeks of last term), I’m going to stop after dinner and read for an hour, or write for fun for a few minutes, or even just make myself a hot chocolate and listen to music. And I’m going to challenge myself not to feel guilty for doing it!

☆ Read my Bible more – my goal every year is to read my Bible every day, which is still my goal, but I am very bad at doing this. So I’m just going to carry on trying to read it more.

Those are my five challenges for the new year, bookish and otherwise.

Have you set any challenges or New Year’s resolutions this year? What are you hoping to achieve/challenge yourself to do?

Where Did The Dystopian Fiction Go?

Last night, I finished a Brazilian Netflix show called 3%. It hasn’t been advertised much at all, and I haven’t heard a single person talking about it. I found it after scrolling aimlessly through the sci-fi section a few times. It didn’t look like anything amazing, but I read the word ‘dystopian’ and something inside of me cheered a little. Dystopian – I hadn’t read or watched anything from that genre for a while. And it got me wondering…where did YA dystopian fiction go? Continue reading “Where Did The Dystopian Fiction Go?”

Reading Year in Review | 2016

2016 was the first year in which I set myself a goodreads challenge. I was feeling quite optimistic about it, despite having only finished 33 books in 2015. So I set myself a challenge of 50 books for the year, which has been a manageable number for me in previous years. I’ll say from the outset: I did not achieve this goal. I failed to counter in just what a busy and hectic year 2016 would be. So I’m not as upset with myself as I was this time last year, because I know that I have had an amazing year, and that reading just couldn’t take priority to some of these things.

But, just as I did in 2015, I am doing another Reading Year in Review, where I analyse the books that I have read in the year, in a little more depth! I’ve also added another couple of categories to talk about in this year’s edition!

Continue reading “Reading Year in Review | 2016”

‘I Like “Girl” Books’ | The Problem With Gendering Books

I was recently looking through my bookshelves to pick out some of my favourite YA fantasy novels for a blog post, when I noticed something that grabbed my attention: they were all written by female authors. I quickly began to look through my other YA books, and suddenly realised that the vast number of books that I owned within that genre, were written by women. At first, I thought that perhaps I was just subconsciously picking books written by women because they appealed to me more, as a girl. However, when I looked around at my books from other genres, within adult and children’s literature, those were dominated by male authors. That is, with the exception of the romance novels! This got me thinking about the problem of gendering books.

Continue reading “‘I Like “Girl” Books’ | The Problem With Gendering Books”

BOOK DISCUSSION | Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (SPOILERS!)

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It is books like this that made me start blogging. How can a human being read a book like this and keep all of their thoughts and emotions inside, without someone to explode with excitement to?

EoS begins with Aelin and the gang heading to Terrasen to meet with Darrow and some lords, to try to rally some support. But what is a Sarah J. Maas book without some despair to start off the story? Rejecting her claim as rightful Queen, they deny her her throne and the support she needs for war. But by this point in the series, Aelin has become so strong in herself, that she completely brushes this off, continuing on her journey, and calling in the large number of debts she has earned for herself over her assassin years. Remembering some of that Celaena swagger was a delight to read in this book!

Continue reading “BOOK DISCUSSION | Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (SPOILERS!)”

BOOK DISCUSSION | Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes (SPOILERS!!!)

THIS BOOK THIS BOOK THIS BOOK

The feels from this book.

Please bear in mind that I am writing this pretty much straight after finishing the book, on a Monday night, when I should probably be sleeping. But ya know…priorities = talking about this book. Otherwise sleep is probably not an option!

This book was absolutely amazing and I gave it 5 stars. If you want to check out the NON-SPOILER review then click here, but if you have already read the book and want to know all my SPOILERY thoughts then keep on reading!!!

Okay, so let’s start with a quick summary of what happened in this book…

Magnus becomes even more bae.
Cleo is a scarily good liar but we love her for it.
Lucia is one dumb girl, like seriously come on girl! She gives me the creeps though.
Jonas is a pathetic rebel leader. Where would he be without my new fave, Felix?
Lysandra is badass!
Alexius is strange and untrustworthy and I didn’t like him.
Nic and Ashur tore out my heart.
I would like King Gaius dead please.
Amara needs to be dead too if you don’t mind?
Please stop killing the characters I love though!
Or the feels will start killing me!

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Now the super fast summary is out of the way, I’m going to assume you know what happened in the book, and go into all details and fun stuff…

I am a Magnus+Cleo shipper, and this book certainly did not disappoint! The tension between these two has just been growing and growing! As soon as Magnus rescued Cleo from execution, I was just waiting for one of them to admit something! Magnus is by no means a changed man by the end of this book, but I think as a reader we begin to relate to him on a much more emotional level. As his feelings for Cleo visibly grow, I think he does become a little softer. It does say a lot of Cleo though, that she can see past Magnus’ harsh outer shell, his evil family, and what he has (in part) done to her family, and still have feelings for him. I don’t think even by the end of this book she knows those feelings are fully romantic, but they definitely have some feelings and I need to see how they play out in the next book!

“Magnus had come to a horrible realization. One that he knew would cause him nothing but pain and suffering from that day forward.
But there was no changing the truth of it.
He had fallen in love with her.”

I liked how most of the romantic pairings seemed to be going in this book, with the grand exception of Lucia and Alexius! I really liked them together in Rebel Spring, but their relationship made me so frustrated in Gathering Darkness. He was just so off from the beginning, and the fact that Lucia didn’t really question him at all, and after about two weeks was all ready to elope and marry him…she is clearly a very sad and lonely girl. She really needs a good friendship, and I was really hoping that Cleo could have been that for her. I honestly thought that she would tell Lucia the truth about her ring and telling Jonas about the Kindred, and that they could have somehow worked together. But then I forgot I was reading a Morgan Rhodes book where nothing really works out for the best does it?

Jonas was my least favourite character again. His chapters are by far my least favourite of all. They’re not bad at all, he just really annoys me. He is a bit useless. On the one hand, I like that the rebel leader is not the physically strongest character, despite probably having the best motives, as it makes for some interesting character dynamics with other characters around him (like Lysandra and Felix). But mostly it just annoys me. I still don’t think he has quite grasped how serious his role is, or how much planning needs to happen to pull of a successful rebellion. I really hope that in future books he comes out of himself a bit, because at the moment I feel that he isn’t really a character without the other characters around him!

Prince Ashur and Princess Amara were probably my favourite characeters in this book, even more so than the main four. When Ashur turned on Nic near the end of the book, I was frantically searching his characeter for some way he could be good, but I was not expecting what actually happened at all! I think the ‘flashback’ of Ashur’s plans completely shocked me, but in a very good way. I recovered from my surprise and was just happy. And then he dies!!!???? Why are you doing this to my heart, sad book!?

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That scene brought me close to tears, I was so upset and shocked. I feel like Morgan Rhodes saves all of the plot-twists for the last 50 pages of the book so they all happen at the same time and we can’t cope with it all and cry until we can get to the next book.

I want to talk about that final scene though! Lucia manages to take Melania’s power and kill her, and feels creepily satisfied at doing so – I mean I know Melenia was evil but at the moment I feel like Lucia could become worse. I like Lucia as a character, and I really want to root for her, but her decisions were so stupid in this book. I have no idea what she and the newly awakened god of fire (Gathering Darkness at it again with the random plot twists) are going to do together, but I am very interested to see where it will go, and what side Lucia will choose by the end.

I just ended up finishing this book with a bajillion questions: How will Magnus regain favour with his father, King Gaius, after killing Cronus, freeing Cleo, and failing to return with Lucia? Will his feelings for Cleo change his actions at all? Will Jonas and Felix re-unite together? How will Nic deal with Prince Ashur’s death? And who one earth is supposed to be the main villain now?

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Thank you Thank you that Frozen Tides is already out! At least I can put all of my feelings back into reading the next book!