525,600 – A Year in the Life

These things are sent to try us.

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What a year. A lot of people are saying that 2016 has been the worst, and just needs to die already. In some ways I agree, but this simply isn’t accurate for how my year has actually been.

Truth is, the year started out better than I could ever have imagined. The first six months were amazing. I spent them in my home, my Aberystwyth, surrounded by wonderful people and made some wonderful memories. My last year in Aberystwyth couldn’t have been better, and it was those 6 months that made it – I have so many people to thank for that. I appreciate you all so much and can’t quite believe that such amazing people spent time with a slightly drunk loser like myself.

It wasn’t until I graduated in July that things took a turn for the worst for me personally. Leaving Aberystwyth was, and still is, an incredibly difficult experience. In the last 5 months I think all of my worst fears have been realised (except dying or being forced onto a rollercoaster), and yet if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from it all it’s this…

I’m still here.

We’re still here.

We are currently surviving, even if it feels like the world is falling apart. A massive bag of racist satsumas stuffed into a suit is about to become the most powerful man in the world and make our already fragile political situation a million times worse, and we don’t even have Princess Leia around to fix it; but humans are tough as hell. We might not always thrive in the face of adversity, but we muddle on. We survive.

I know myself a little better. I know that I am freaking strong, man. I’m not scared any more. Careful but not scared. I can survive, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to take silly risks. I think that would be good advice for politicians, if I do say so myself.

3 Things I Learnt This Year:

-Vote. First Brexit, then Trump occurred because no one thought they would. No one bothered voting, or protest voted for options they didn’t want, and the world is far worse off as a result.

– Think. Stay Grounded. Don’t lose sight of who you are. No matter what happens, you can’t go wrong if you’re true to yourself.

– Work hard, but don’t be afraid to quit. In the last few months, I’ve moved from a job I could do but hated to a job I can do and love. I feel incredibly lucky to have found something that I truly enjoy, even if it’s only temporary; this never would’ve happened if I hadn’t have left my last job. I don’t like quitting; but this was the best thing I could’ve done.

Let’s bookend this post with musical quotes, shall we? 2016, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Bring on 2017.

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Count the musical references in this post.

 


Spot The Difference – Why There’s No Review Today

So unfortunately there will be no review this week (booo – look out for my review of A Monster Calls next week though!). This is because I have some very exciting news instead!

We’ve had an upgrade!!

Okay, so you’ve probably already seen the new domain/the inevitable mountain of tweets I’ll make on the subject, but I upgraded the blog! I was super excited to be able to put money into this once I got a job and today was the day I decided to do that. I won’t be posting a review today for that reason – the blog will be a little temperamental for the next few days (according to WordPress, anyway) and I want to spend what little free time I have at the moment exploring the new features, tweaking the colour scheme to properly match my logo palette etc. Also I spent my blogging time today trying to get past a really hard level on Best Fiends.

Sorry this is kind of a rubbish update but these are exciting times for Always in the Write so watch out! Now to go and update all of my social media accounts – oy vey.

See you soon,

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Me right now. [x]


Me Monday | Life Update!

A few days ago marked the 6 month anniversary of this blog! I realise that I’ve missed several Mondays’ worth of posts lately, and haven’t really given any personal updates on the blog itself, so hopefully today will make up for it a little.

What’s New?

I am considering upgrading the blog soon – I’d love my own domain and I feel that it would be more professional and motivate me to produce better content. I’m biding my time until I get a new job though!

I said I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo… then got an idea. Review Wednesdays may be few and far between this month as I’m taking more time to write than read. I may share snippets if I feel like it but so far I’m very, very far behind so there’s not much to share!

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Health wise I know my last update (The Truth) was well, not good to say the least. I was getting some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sorted but, perhaps ironically, by the time the letter came through at the start of September I wasn’t actually well enough to make the phone call to book my first appointment, so I missed my chance there. I’m doing okay without, though – I’ve never had therapy before and although I’m sure I would benefit from it I am able to cope without. At the moment things are ok, and looking up all the time, so I think I’m fine without for now. Onwards and upwards!

Other than the above, my life is pretty dull at the moment really! There are a few blog opportunities coming up though, and I am looking forward to Christmas and my birthday (cough 54 days cough).

To Be Read

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I have an ever-growing to-be-read pile at the moment! It feels like I finish one book and buy at least two more! Here are some of the physical ones I have:

-A Monster Calls – it feels like I bought this an age ago, and still haven’t read it! I’ll get to it eventually!

– Daughters of the Witching Hill – I bought this just before Halloween but didn’t get the chance to read it then.

-Suite Francaise – “If in doubt, read historical fiction” is slowly becoming my life motto. This has a really interesting back story so will hopefully be a good read!

-Humans – I know, I know, another Matt Haig. This came into the charity shop where I work and I had to pick it up. I am intentionally putting it at the bottom of the pile to mix my reading up, so it’ll be a while before I get to it!

-Reckless – I got this around the same time I got A Monster Calls, but I don’t really know what to do with it. I realised when I got it home that it’s actually an uncorrected proof, and much shorter than the published copy. I think I’ll probably get a copy of the published edition and possibly read both to compare, but I just don’t have the time or drive at the moment to read the same book twice!

So that’s me, pretty much.  What’s going on with your life? Are you on top of your TBR? Give me an update of your own!

See you soon,

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Fandom Friday | Costumes on a Budget!

I am a big advocate of the budget costume. For the past few Halloweens I’ve been a poor student, and this year I’m a poor graduate – I have budget costumes down to a T, and by now I think I have enough tips to write at least a post about it!

1) Don’t buy a costume!

Okay, hear me out – of course you’ll have to buy a few things, that’s obvious, but don’t buy a full costume. They may be quick and easy, but they’re also generally speaking cheaply made, overpriced and nothing you can’t do yourself! Unless you’re really pressed for time or intend to wear it several times, they aren’t worth the expense.

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I had to buy the apron & headband for this Magenta costume because I ran out of time & don’t have the sewing talent! I only got one wear out of them – not worth it. 

2) Come up with an idea based on what you already own.

I must admit that most of my wardrobe is black. This makes Halloween pretty easy – just add a few accessories and some face paint to an LBD and I’m good to go! A lot of costumes can be based around normal clothing, and don’t forget any unwanted clothes that still even vaguely fit – they could be zombified! My costume in first year was a zombie look based on a dress with a hole by the waistband; add some more rips and holes and some brown/black eye shadow & it looked great.

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If in doubt, coat yourself in fake blood.

3) Things that are worth buying: face paint, coloured paper, glue, fake blood.

Last year I was a scary clown. As a crafty person I already had things like card and glue, so it was a no brainer to make my own accessories – a ruff, hat and buttons. I already had the dress, so all I spent money on was a face paint set (on sale at a toy shop before I went back to uni), tights and some neon orange paper. If you have a good stash of craft things you’re probably set – if not, there are plenty of places that sell the basics pretty cheap. Unless it’s something you really, really can’t make, I’d say try DIY!

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I was so proud of this costume tbh. Getting blackout drunk was an appropriate way to show it off. 

4) Not crafty? Not a problem.

There are plenty of easy peasy costumes that require little to no crafting ability while still looking good. As previously mentioned, zombie costumes are so easy – just scruff up some clothes you don’t care about using scissors and some dark eyeshadow – you can’t go wrong because they’re supposed to look messy and ripped (although if you don’t want to flash I would suggest tactical ripping!). Another easy one is a mad scientist – you’d have to get hold of a lab coat, but what you wear underneath is up to you; as crazy or normal as you’d like. Mess your hair up, put some blobs of odd coloured eyeshadow on the coat/your face et voila! I did this one for a SciFi social, basing my look on Steam Powered Giraffe’s Walter Workers, and won best costume! If you’re really last minute and stuck, don’t doubt the power of some pound shop/dollar store fake blood – turn dark clothing into a vampire look with a few dots on your neck and some drops on your chin. There’s no excuse not to make even that little bit of effort!

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5) Have fun & get creative!

Halloween is a great excuse to explore your crazy, wacky, fun side and express yourself in any way you want – so go for it! Don’t be scared of having a ‘Mean Girls Moment’ – I have before and while it was a little bit embarrassing at first, I had the most fun putting my costume together and I think I probably felt the best.

Just have fun & so long as you feel good in your costume, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! These last two are two of my favourite costumes from uni (the other favourite being my clown costume) – in the first I was a gothic loli girl & wore a lacy black dress, ripped tights and boots, all of which I already owned. The second is my Megara cosplay – I did spend money on this, buying a stretchy lilac dress, a violet scarf for her waist and a long, grecian style skirt; but I’ve worn it several times and definitely got my money’s worth, as well as wearing the individual parts for other costumes.

I unfortunately only have pictures of my full body in the costumes with other people and most are pretty messy (read: drunken) so unfortunately shoulders up shots will have to do! I think they illustrate my point well enough though! What are you going as for Halloween? Have you got your costume together yet?

See you soon,

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Sweet ‘stume. [x]


Me Monday | Why Do I Blog?

Anyone can blog. The ‘blogosphere’ is saturated and sometimes it feels like there’s very little point in blogging – someone’s probably already covered whatever it is you’re writing about. Although I’ve only been doing it for three months, it’s so easy to lose motivation. This is why I’m so happy to be a part of the #IBlogBecause campaign and reaffirm why I’m doing this – it’s so easy to forget and I definitely need to remind myself sometimes!

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#IBlogBecause:

It’s a way to express myself. Blogging has given me a voice in a way that I just haven’t had before, even in creative writing. People listen to me! I can talk about what I want and the chances are someone else is interested, too.

The community. I’m becoming more involved in blogger chats and trying to find a place in this community – I love finding bloggers who are friendly and positive, empowering each other and supporting each others’ work. The internet can be a really dark place and it’s so good to find people who build each other up instead of shout at each other.

Purely because it’s fun! I enjoy it and I’m finding that I’m keeping up with it a lot more than I thought I would.

Do you blog? Why? Let me know!

See you soon,

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So Adorable. Found Here


Blog Update!

 

Hey guys,

So again, MASSIVE apologies for not posting much over the last few weeks, but I’m back! I’m hoping to get some posts scheduled for next week over the weekend. Watch this space!

Since I’ve not been posting, however, I have had time to think and get organised with the blog. I started with the premise that even though I don’t expect it to get ‘famous’ or become a source of income, at least not in the near future, I was still going to treat it as a professional endeavour. As a result and since starting, I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I’ve started applying these things already, but I think it’s time to properly get into gear.

One tip a lot of people have offered is this: Have A Focus. While this blog is predominantly about books and literature, I do want to have the freedom to write about other stuff too. I’ve decided, then, to split my posts into 3 categories, posting one on every blogging day (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as it stands):

‘Me’ Mondays: Personal, Lifestyle and Opinion posts. These will include any of my opinion or personal posts that don’t fit the other categories, and possibly some lifestyle stuff too. This will include ‘Writing About Writing’ posts.

Review Wednesdays: This isn’t going to change! I still intend to post reviews every Wednesday, whether they’re book, film & tv, theatre or even video game reviews.

‘Fandom’ Fridays: Nerd time! These will include posts on all sorts of things I’m passionate about, from specific ‘fandoms’ to general geekery. This will include non-review literature posts.

I know it seems like there’s very little room for creative pieces here, and there’s a reason for that – I don’t write them and you don’t read them often enough. If I do write anything creative it will be posted on Mondays, if not as an extra piece in the week.

See you soon,

Ro x