April 2020 Wrap Up

April has been a strange month. Adapting the way we live has been a challenge. It’s been strange getting used to working at home all the time and not being able to meet and see people. NHS and key works are all doing such an amazing job right now keeping us alive and keeping the country moving. These are hard times but we will reach the other side eventually.

Since I’ve not been able to go anywhere, I have found more time for doing things I enjoy like reading and writing, which is one plus of this situation. Always look for the positives!

Reading

I finally started Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices series. Lady Midnight was such a good book. I just loved getting to know this new cast of characters. I was one of the lucky people to get an eARC of The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant which was one of my anticipated reads for this year. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I was hoping. It was a good read but I didn’t love it. Since I loved Illuminae, I decided to pick up Aurora Rising, the first book in Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s new series. I adored this book so much. It was fast paced and I was hooked all the way through. Finally, I just finished reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber and will be posting my review for that soon. Sadly, this is another book I found a tad disappointing. I think perhaps this book just wasn’t for me.

Book Haul

I’m so missing being able to go into bookshops and browse! I pre-ordered The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. The Devouring Gray was one of my favourite books from last year, so I had to get my hands on the sequel. More people need to read this book, so if you haven’t picked up The Devouring Gray yet, I’d recommend it! I also received my Fairyloot and Illumicrate copies of Chain of Gold. I won’t post photos of their exclusive editions here as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone who hasn’t had their box yet!

Writing

It’s been full steam ahead for my Arthurian legend retelling idea. I’ve been doing lots of research around the legends and also getting to know my characters through making character charts. I’m having lots of fun planning this one!

What have you been getting up to? Are there any books you read this month that you absolutely loved? I hope you’re all managing to stay safe and well!

Life in the Time of Coronavirus

We can’t escape the fact that our lives are going to be quite different for some time to come. At the beginning of the year, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen just how bad things were going to get.

This is a bit of a spontaneous post. I felt I needed to get my thoughts down on paper (or type my thoughts into this text box…?).

I’m at risk due to being on medication for my Crohn’s Disease that suppresses the immune system. So these are worrying times. Luckily, I’m able to work from home, so I will be doing so for the foreseeable future.

This is a difficult time for many people. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to work from home. Many people are going to lose their jobs because our way of life is just grinding to a halt. And some people have to go on working to keep us well, safe and fed.

To be honest it’s kind of… strange… trying to absorb that this is happening. It almost doesn’t feel real. Is this a script from a movie? It feels like it could be. The next weeks and months are going to be very long.

I’m trying to find the positives from this situation. I can’t go out anywhere. But at least we can call and video chat friends and relatives. And I’ll have more time to read and write!

I’ll be continuing to post at least the same amount of content as usual here. Though I may be posting more frequently since I’ll have more time on my hands! But I am planning on spending quite a bit of time on writing. If there’s any content you’re interested in seeing, do let me know in the comments.

How are you coping with the current situation? Do you have any plans for how to spend your new-found time indoors?

Be safe everyone! Things seem pretty bleak, but we can get through this!

Visiting Amsterdam

I haven’t been abroad much, so this trip was very exciting! I’d been to places when I was younger and to Canada a couple of times as I have relatives there, but I’d not been on holiday abroad since Austria in 2014. It was also my first time going on holiday with friends rather than family which was exciting. I went with two friends from uni and we stayed in a lovely Airbnb in Weesp, which is just on the edge of Amsterdam, for three nights from 5th – 8th October.

A sunny day in Weesp

The journey there went smoothly, except I felt very travel sick on the plane. But, thankfully, everything was running on time. When we arrived at the Airbnb in the afternoon we decided to explore Weesp. It’s a lovely little town with a river, shops, cafes and restaurants. There was also a church with an unusual bell ring that sounded very pretty.

A rather wet Amsterdam!

On our first full day in the Netherlands we headed into Amsterdam. It was only a 15 minute train journey into the centre of the city. Unfortunately it rained all day, so we decided to explore some museums. First up was the Amsterdam Museum, which although wasn’t at the top of my to do list was actually really interesting and gave a good overview and insight into the history of Amsterdam. So that was actually a pretty good place to start. At lunch I satisfied my sweet tooth with a pancake from a nice café which was delicious.

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The End of an Era

It has been a while since I’ve posted as I have been frantically finishing my last coursework for the year. In fact, the last coursework of my degree. Perhaps my last coursework ever. My time at university has ended, after three years of ups and downs. I can safely say I picked the right subject, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning new things. I made friends and joined numerous societies. Now that time is over it’s time for the next step in life, whatever that may be.

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The Vampire That Is…Dissertation…

Vampirism seems to be a great metaphor for final year of university/dissertation. It is a truth universally acknowledged that when deadlines come up something has to fly out the window, and it’s usually your social life and sleep (time for food is much too important to be thrown out that window).

With less than three weeks to go now till my dissertation is due in, I haven’t done a blog post in almost a month. So I figured I’d let you know why I’ve disappeared.

In just a few weeks time I will be posting regularly again. For now I have a beast of a dissertation to tame…

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2016 – A Big Year

Well, I’m a bit late for the obligatory New Year post. There was a lot going on and I guess I just didn’t get round to it until now. I think that’s going to be the tune for the rest of the year. As per usual I have a lot on my plate.

So what am I doing this year? Do I have any resolutions and goals for the year?

A lot, in answer to both those questions.

I have a little something called a degree which I need to remember involves reading, coursework, revising and waking up early enough to attend lectures amidst all the other things I’m supposed to be doing right now.

I’m currently on a placement hunt for my ‘Professional Training Year’ of my degree, which isn’t just going to fall into my lap. It’s involving a lot of cover letter writing, internet searching and head-scratching-while-filling-in-application-forms. So there’s that.

I also decided to be rather ambitious with my involvement in societies this year. There’s the university magazine and editing and printing the Annual for the Writer’s Society.

And I decided I’d set myself a goal of finishing the third draft of one of my novels. Who knows if that’s going to happen but it’s a goal and I’m going to make my best attempt at reaching it.

So there’s lots going on this year. Hopefully it will be a good one.

A New Blog

In an update a few weeks ago I mentioned I had a new blog, and now I’m here to share the details with you. This is an additional blog I am doing to this one, so I will still be posting here often! The blog is called ‘the words we carve’ and I am doing it with four other writers: Sam, Kristin, Munira and Larisa. The initial idea behind the blog was that it would be a way to get us back into writing and/or writing more.

We each post every week (where possible) on our designated day, mine being Mondays. There is also a monthly theme for which one of our posts that month is orientated.

Here are links to my posts so far if you are interested:

It All Started with a Green Notepad

Let’s Begin Again

The Ren Pen of Annihilation

The Connection

Update

I haven’t posted much in the last couple of weeks, and it will probably be another couple of weeks before I start posting regularly again. The reason? It’s exam season, yay! (obvious sarcasm here) Thankfully I only have one exam, but I have four pieces of coursework due in Monday, and another one due in the Monday after. And I have a really bad cold. Yippee.

In other news, I’ve started another blog. I know, I have a full plate as it is! I will still be posting here obviously, this is my focus. This other blog is in collaboration with four other writers which is quite exciting. More on that coming soon!

2015 is Here

Just a tad late on the new year band wagon! But nevermind. Hope everyone has had a great New Year’s Eve and Day.

I don’t have any resolutions as such this year, but I have some goals I would very much like to achieve.

  • Write the second book in The Last Shadow Trilogy
  • Write the third book in The Last Shadow Trilogy
  • Start submitting my work to agents
  • Pass my first year of uni
  • My Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge goal is to read 50 books this year!

It will be interesting come the end of the year when I look back at this, and I’ll either be thrilled I achieved those things, or I’ll be annoyed at myself for not getting things done.

I hope 2015 is a good year for you all!