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Aspiring writer, avid reader and cat enthusiast.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I, er, went fishing.


Sorry about the year-and-a-half's absence - I got a bit lazy and then a bit busy and now I'm sort of both, but I've realised that if I want to be a writer, the act of writing stuff is sort of necessary, which is, frankly, a pain (except when I've finished something).

It's been a while. I'm now halfway to forty. A drop-out primary teacher. A waitress. A girlfriend. Tattooed.

I've learned several things since we last had a heart-to-heart ("we" being myself and my impressive collection of Four Whole Followers). Here are a few - it's the usual mix of philosophical musings and superficial bollocks; I haven't changed in that sense.

1. I don't have to actually worry any more about biting my nails. I have mastered the knack of sticking on plastic ones and filing them down to look real, which allows me to enjoy both the feeling of having lovely nails and the complete refusal to uphold any willpower regarding the tips of my fingers EVER AGAIN. Which certainly opens up some different options for my New Year's resolutions - although "I will stop eating crap" and "I will attempt to become a normal, social, non-entirely-Netflix-and-junk-food-reliant potato at some point" are still on the annual list.

2. It is a complicated but beautiful thing to begin to share your life with someone else. It means compromise, facing up to your flaws, exposing your most vulnerable side to someone and hoping against hope that they won't trample all over it one day. It means risking everything - but how will you ever meet the moon, if you're too afraid to fly?

3. Some people are absolutely awful when it comes to leaving a tip.

4. The most beautiful thing about life now, in my twenties, is being completely blind to what is around the corner. A few important things are mapped out, but the twisting and turning unpredictability of life is what adds the colour and makes every chapter a story in its own right.

5. I am terrible at managing my time, being responsible and getting important things done, which, almost reassuringly, tells me I haven't grown up yet. GOOD. One day I might be organised and smug, with hair that does as it's told, a gym membership and a sensible car - but my twenties are a time for flustered jogs back home for my keys, spending the last of my account balance on Chinese food and turning up the volume on my headphones all the way past the legally recommended level.

6. I have made the choice between what is right and what is easy. I have chosen to write a new path for myself and I feel brave.

7. Lastly (because 7 is my favourite number and I am a cliche), Taylor Swift just gets better. She JUST. GETS. BETTER.

So that's my list. There is so much more that I have learned and experienced in this time - it has been a rollercoaster - some of which I'll probably share at a later date, and some that I'll keep under my hat. But I'm learning every day, and I can feel myself changing and growing and making progressively more important life decisions. I'm filled with excitement and fear and confusion and happiness, and it's overwhelming, but I'm still here, and still enjoying the ride.

Catch you on the flip side x

Sunday, April 01, 2012


So, remember how I said I was doing BEDA?


Ok, no, right, look, come on. I realised that I forgot that I'm kind of on holiday for half of this month. As in, without a laptop. AS IN, WITHOUT THE INTERNET. *ceases to exist*

So. There you go. I love all of you squillions of readers. All four of you. Probably just me. Now go read a better blog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pre-breakfast drivel.

I want to start writing my blog more frequently in the time running up to BEDA (Blog Every Day April). So, you know. Hi.

The cactus on my windowsill is being clingy again. It keeps impaling itself on my curtains overnight, so when I pull them open in the morning, it makes a bid for escape out of its pot. As such, it isn't even potted properly - by the time I've wrestled it free from its deathgrip on the curtains, I'm out of the energy that I'm sure must be required to re-pot a cactus. How on earth are you supposed to do that? You can't press down on it!

So at the moment, my cactus looks like this:

Can't be good for its health, the poor thing. Also, check out my bed hair. BAAAAABE.

So it seems that today will be devoted to re-potting my cactus (and then possibly getting a skin graft, it's exciting times, folks), and also getting my Oklahoma! costume altered. It's purple gingham, so it's real purdy. I'm super excited for the show. Thank goodness it's not in April, though - I doubt I could handle the unbridled madness of having to write something of vague interest on here each day, as well as galloping around a stage, night after night, for a week, trying to get farmers and cowmen to get over themselves, for crying out loud.

Well, this has been a nice little chat, but I can smell breakfast-type smells coming from the kitchen now, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to go and eat them all.

Talk soon. lessthanthree.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Marching on like a Mad March Hare that marches because it's March. And whatever.

Hello, blog. Hello, March. Hello, reader, who be reading this.

Hello, my sanity! Where are you going???

Anyway. I've recently been doing a lot of written stuff in this REAL PURDY NOTEBOOK that my friend Gemma got me. Wanna see?

Super purdy, huh? So generally I've been writing quotes, lists and diary entries, and also doing big pages of cursive, and nerdy little doodles. This is all awesome, apart from the fact that it means I've been neglecting le blog.

So today I thought - well, I thought I'd cheat and type out what I just wrote in my diary: A whole big list of things I want to do. I want to stress that these things are not in chronological or preferential order... they simply hopped out of my brain and onto the page with very little thought processes involved other than making my hand write them. Yeah. Ok.

Stuff I want to do.

Read all the books on my to-read list by this time next year.
Meet John and Hank Green.
Learn to knit - properly.
Make a Project 4 Awesome video each year from this year onwards.
Write and perform an original song.
Grow my nails.
Improve my piano skills.
Learn to play my beautiful ukulele.
Travel to the USA.
Go to a convention (LeakyCon or VidCon, preferably).
Write and complete lots and lots of novels, short stories, poems, songs and essays, throughout my life.
Meet the other foureigndames IRL.
Drink lots of water each day.
Get a Gryffindor hoodie.
Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Go on the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Tour.
Go to/perform at a Wrock concert.
Do BEDA every single year.
Go running at least every other day, and become a competent runner.
Lose enough weight to finally be comfortable in my own skin.
Go skinny dipping.
Have my very own dog.
See Kate Bush perform live, if she ever tours again.
Meet some of my other YouTube/Internet heroes.
Properly learn to play Sopio.
Learn to solve a Rubik's cube.
Learn to ride a bicycle.
Go to Canada.
Live abroad for more than four months.
Go to University.
Kiss someone in the pouring rain (cliché I know, but I've always wanted to).
Watch every episode of Dr. Who from Christopher Eccleston onwards.
Be brave enough to dive off Dad's diving spot on Dramont beach.
Travel around South America.
Go on a road trip around the USA, with my American friends.
Dye my hair a completely unnatural colour.
Be free from these goddamn spots.
Run a marathon.
Share a house with some good friends.
Fight worldsuck for the rest of my life.
Learn to drive a car.
Join an am-dram society I love and play the lead in one of their shows. 
Save enough money to be able to do the things I want to do.
Bungee jump.
Learn to surf.
Have children.
Own some kind of property in St Raphael (preferably a caravan at Douce Quietude).
Watch every Disney movie ever made.
See shows on Broadway.
See more shows in the West End.
Live in Central London at some point.
Swim with dolphins.
Be married to one man, who loves me for precisely who I am, for the rest of my life.
Go to the original Chipotle restaurant in Denver, Colorado.
See the Northern Lights.
Meet Jo Rowling.
Try strange foods.

And that's my list of stuff I want to do. It would be nice to think if someone saw this, they would be inspired to create their own. I honestly believe that following your dreams, fighting for the right things and spending time with the ones you love is what being alive is all about.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Kayley and Bryarly's Book Survey/Insomnia Cure.

I’m having a rather stubborn case of insomnia tonight (read: this morning), so I thought I’d use the time somewhat constructively by writing a blog post. Whilst puff levels are astronomically high, inspiration levels are, er… not, so I’ve decided to use the book survey that Kayley and Bryarly recently filled in. This is mainly for my entertainment – please feel free to leave and go watch paint dry or something. Ooookay.

Also, I refuse to change all the spellings to British English, because quite frankly, at half one in the morning beginning this, I can’t be arsed.

1. Favorite childhood book?
Matilda by Roald Dahl.
2. What are you reading right now?
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, but I’m alternating it with The Original Illustrated ‘Strand’ Sherlock Holmes, which I just bought for ONE PENNY. GOD I love Amazon.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None currently. It’s beginning to depress me, how badly stocked my local libraries are.
4. Bad book habit?
I’ve been known to read, fall asleep and therefore drop books... in the bath.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nothing. See above. 
6. Do you have an e-reader?
No. On principle.
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Usually one at a time, but I’ve been ridiculously busy lately, so I’ve been dipping in and out of each new purchase when I get the chance. I’m buying LOTS of books at the moment because Amazon is cheap and because my old favourites are trapped, shivering, in our garden shed.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not in the slightest – I don’t see why they would.
9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
It’s only February, so I haven’t really had the time to read anything awful – but I wasn’t all that hooked on A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French. Maybe it’ll grow on me.
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
My long-awaited devouring of Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, upon my return to England. Simply brilliant.
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Not sure. My comfort zone is quite large – but if a book is decidedly out of it, I’m highly unenthusiastic and generally don’t see it through. VERY picky in a non-picky kind of way. Yup.
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Oh, now you’re asking. Fantasy, some sci-fi (not too deep though), humour (not the crap kind), psychological thriller, suspense… ugh. I HATE putting books into genres though – I’m really against it for a number of reasons, which I would be happy to divulge if anyone is bothered enough to ask. :)
13. Can you read on the bus?
Nope. I get really really sick.
14. Favorite place to read?
Bed. This is probably due to my room being so shoebox-sized that my bed is the only comfortable seating area. Ideally, I would love a large, squashy armchair, just for reading. 
15. What is your policy on book lending?
I’m fine with it, except for my Harry Potter collection, which I’m extremely mean with.
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Never ever.
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Only textbooks, and only in pencil.
18. Not even with text books?
Are you not listening?
19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English. I loved studying French plays in college, but nothing ever flows as well as one’s mother tongue. *nods*
20. What makes you love a book?
Character depth. They absolutely need to be unpredictable and real. Otherwise I see right through them and lose all interest immediately. Also, a really amazing story idea. This is rare, but when I come across it, I get that lovely, bittersweet feeling of ugh, this is amaaaazing, but argh why didn’t I think of it?!
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Some books immediately seem suited to people I love, so I tell them. Other times it just comes up in conversation, and other other times, my dad just nags and nags me about what I’m reading. And yet still refuses to read Harry Potter. Muggle.
22. Favorite genre?
Ugh genre. Just get out of my life with your stupid genre talk.
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
24. Favorite biography?
I’ve yet to read one that’s really gripped me. I much prefer autobiographies.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
For giggles.
26. Favorite cookbook?
LOL you think I cook.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Also a favourite, but I’m trying to spread things out y’see.
28. Favorite reading snack?
Oh, god, anything. As unhealthy as possible.
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I’m not sure whether it was actually the abominable writing that ruined my experience of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, but at the time, two girls at my high school spoiled it for me. I know, right? WHAT a shame.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Oh, book critics generally annoy me, which is unfair to say because book reviews can be very useful/awesome. I just prefer to form my own opinion. And critics never share the same opinion anyway. This is a fairly stupid question, survey. Tsk.
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
If that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel. Again. BREAKING DAWN.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
I find Latin intriguing.
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? 
I don’t get how a book can be intimidating. You either want to read something or you don’t.
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
35. Favorite Poet?
Probably John Keats. Ode to Autumn is just so atmospheric and beautiful.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
If I’m going through that phase, probably around five or six. 
37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
Once. It was about feng shui. I say unread; I read the first page, was informed that a giant turtle lived behind my house, dissolved into a cackling heap of cynicism and returned the book promptly.
38. Favorite fictional character? 
A three-way tie, between Sherlock Holmes (from well DUH), Augustus Waters (TFiOS) and Ron Weasley (Harry Potter). 
39. Favorite fictional villain?
Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series. 
40. Books you’re most likely to bring on vacation?
Belinda Jones is my faithful holiday author – she’s got the divine talent of bottling the sun and the sea and pouring it into the pages.
41. The longest you’ve gone without reading.
No more than a week. I doubt even that, but I can get ridiculously wrapped up in the Internet or my own writing.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Zelda’s Cut by Phillipa Gregory. Indescribably awful.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
If it’s really good, nothing.
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
One Day. I wasn’t completely and utterly happy with the book, but the film was undoubtedly the most accurate book-to-screen adaptation I’ve seen to date. Of course, this is in terms of accuracy. Not sure which I've enjoyed the most. Mainly because the books are, 99.9% of the time, a squillion times better.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Bland acting, altered title, storylines shoved together, characters altered, deleted, invented purely for political correctness and racial balance… ugh. Could have been SO much better.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Possibly around £20? That’s not much, but this is mainly because I do my book hauls in second hand bookshops. Brand new buys are one-offs, 'cause I'm a poor student.
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I don’t skim, I just read the blurb and do the first page test.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Lack of intrigue. Or it could actually be one single badly written line/section. I’m very harsh sometimes. 
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
By size only, unless it’s a series, and then obviously chronologically.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Keep. FOREVER. I’m such a hoarder when it comes to books.
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Lord of the Rings. One day. I promise. And I haven't been avoiding it, as such, I've just never even looked at a copy. In fact, I'm going to make that a goal for this year: start reading LotR.
52. Name a book that made you angry.
Breaking Sodding Crapping Bloody Dawn. UTTER TRIPE.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Marley & Me by John Grogan. Sad doggy snuff book this is not.
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
This hasn’t really happened. When I start out cynical I’m either proven right or wrong, but when I start out optimistic (this is a less common occurrence) I’ve always been proven right. I tend to know my taste.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Harry Potter. Quite simply one of my greatest joys in life.

And there you have it, guys! Oh crikey, it’s half 2 in the morning. I should sleep now.
p.s. in 12 days or less, I’ll know whether or not my story got into the Less Than Three book. Ohgodohgodohgod.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Powering Through!

I think there are times in everyone's lives when we just get a little bit fed up - even if we're where we're meant to be and everything's going relatively swimmingly. As usual, I mean me.

Now, I want to avoid sounding absolutely infuriating right from the start, here. I know I'm no longer in Dublin. I know I'm back at home, the place I was desperate to return to for the last third of 2011. Believe me, I'm happy about that. I don't have to live with strangers any more. I'm home with the ones I love and I'm so much happier.

It's just one of those days where I need things to get going - and I don't mean this in a negative sense. I have a point, I promise!

Each day I apply for a handful of jobs. I haven't heard a single thing back from anybody yet. I'm getting bored. I have very little patience, and I really want to get back into some kind of routine. I miss studying, and every day I regret ever taking this gap year. I could easily sink into a spludgy puddle of self-pity, being the self-confessed grump that I often am.

But I find, in these situations, that it's incredibly helpful to make a list (an actual, ink and paper type fandango) of all the things I've got going for me; all the things I have to look forward to or be grateful for.

I'm doing a show with my dad, my uncle and a large number of luvvie-type friends, and we start rehearsals tomorrow. I've managed to finish my short story for the LessThanThree Project, and I'm fairly proud of what I created and the fact that I pushed myself to actually do it in the first place. Some of my friends still live locally, so we can go for coffee or practice singing or act like morons, depending on which friend it is... I have a place waiting for me at my first choice University, to do a course that I'm thoroughly excited to begin. I'm going on holiday with my parents to somewhere lovely and hot, right by the sea. I have my amazing internet friends that I can talk to at any hour with the click of a mouse.

I'm so fortunate, and each time I get all mopey and stupid, which I do a lot, I try and run through this list in my head - occasionally teaming it with a self-inflicted slap 'round the face - and most of the time, it really helps me. Sometimes it doesn't - there are days when I wallow shamelessly in my miseries, cowering under my duvet, eating rubbish and pretending I don't know what soap is. But most of the time, corny as it sounds, I just try and remember what I've got. Because it's about time I started being grateful for it all.

And when all else fails, I come and have a little rant on here. See? I feel better now! ;oP

Until next time,

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I really feel like I'm on the brink of something big right now.

I have quite a few exciting projects that I want to share with you - partly because I just want to, and partly because I'm hoping it'll help me actually keep track of everything. Well, I can dream.

First of all, my collaborative YouTube channel, The Foureign Dames, is currently one off fifty subscribers. To think that this came from a girl in Nebraska having an idea, I'm stunned at how well we're doing. So many times in my life I have started a project with unbounded enthusiasm, only to give up two weeks - alright, two days - in. But not this time. I'm proud to say that we've now been plodding along for almost five months. And I'm loving it. I'm loving the friendships that I'm building with the other three girls, not to mention those with our awesome subscribers. I'm so excited for what this channel will bring me in 2012.

I'm really working hard on my writing. The Lessthanthree project, run by Hayley Hoover and Kristina Horner, has seriously given me the kick up the backside I needed to GET GOING. The deadline is a month away for submissions, and I'm well into my story now - I'm proud of what I've created and of the fact that I've committed myself to it - and I can only hope that it will make the cut. If it does, who knows where this could take me. I honestly see no limits. And if it doesn't, I'll simply be grateful that it got me back into writing again, and use that to my advantage.

I'm home and looking for a job. I'm out of what was the worst situation I've ever found myself in, and I'm unbelievably thankful to have escaped. I'm back with my family and friends and I feel alive again. This Christmas was the best ever, and I'm now set to gallumph happily into the new year.

I'm in the very very early days of realising one of my most unrealistic dreams: to be in a Wrock band. A very good friend of mine, who started off as a solo artist, has invited me to join her, and we, along with another close friend, are now very tentatively forming a trio. Having spent my day yesterday working out harmonies and making exciting plans, I'm now getting the feeling that this is going to be the start of something big. Watch this space.

I'm feeling very hopeful for the new year, and thankful for everything 2011 has brought me.

Love to you all <3