Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wahey for completing targets

Now I just have to figure out what to write about in this post. I suppose I could write about a book I've recently read, how rude it is to edit other people's posts, rate the different Easter eggs I've devoured since Sunday, describe the changes to decoration I'm making in my bedroom (it will be twice as cool as yours by the time I'm finished, Allie), my top tips for revising effectively, fangirl over- alright that is not on, the html thingy says "fangirl" isn't a real word. Well that just shows what you know- the films coming out in May. Alternatively, I could post my ideas about The Bells of St John, which was the latest Dr. Who episode,   or having phobias, or the best April Fool's jokes I've come across. I could also send out a message to teens with depression, rant about Misha Collins, or list the foreign TV shows I'd recommend if you're sick of the BBC, or waffle about just how lovely Charles McAvoy's voice is. Maybe I could write about all the things I could write about, or some music I've gotten into lately.

Tora, out.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

What's this I see? Three posts in three days? From moi?

Oh yes, Tora, you dared me and a did it. In fact, there's a whole lot more I could write about in this post if I wanted to, but I'm not going to. Because some of us need to capitalise on staving off the procrastination monster for as long as we can.

Anyway, aside from starting sentences with conjunctions and an insatiable hunger for a) fan fiction and b) Kit Kats, I'm doing pretty well. Sure, I've written prologues for novels that were ten times the total word count of my three posts this week, but I'm trying not to beat myself up over it. You know what they say: writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted, and I'm always being told to shut up.

On that note, I bid you farewell, safe in the knowledge that you won't hear from me again until November.


Write or Die

(It's not as bad as it sounds. I promise.)

Write or Die is not, as you may have first assumed, my motto in life - though it would be both suitably ironic and fitting. It is, in fact, a web app of extraordinary usefulness. It may even be the only useful app I've ever tried out. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Skeleton-Hand-Thing and Angry Birds.)

Basically, you have to keep writing of your own volition or it will make you. Depending on your word count and time limit, you could find yourself being persuaded into writing no matter how much you want to procrastinate through a variety of simple, yet effective, methods. Cue sirens blaring and terrible boy band music grabbing your attention as you wander distractedly into the realms of Pinterest and Tumblr. I'm not a big fan of negative reinforcement as a general rule, but this app replicates the feeling of pre-exam dread that forces most people into actually doing some work. Not a bad idea.

Check it out here.

There isn't much more I can say about it that you won't find on the website, but let me just say this: there has never been any greater motivation for me to write than the thoughts of being serenaded by Rick Astley at unrestricted volume.

Let's write, people!


Monday, 1 April 2013

What can I say? I'm a sheep.

(Not really. It's a figure of speech. Sheep, following each other around? Yeeeah, you gots it.)

I would just like to point out that I would blog if I thought anyone was reading. As it is I'm trying to dig myself out of The Pit of Doom (otherwise known as The Black Plague, the Bane of My Life, or Writer's Block) and my twin sister's frankly creepy timing coincided with the first weekend I've actually got a head start on a new project thanks to a sugar rush of inspiration. No doubt when I go back to said project after this, all my inspiration will be gone. *grumbles*

Merry Easter. Or happy solstice. Or whatever. (MARCH IS DRUNK AND APRIL IS HUNGOVER. CUT ME SOME SLACK.)


No Post on Sunday

Happy Easter!

Or, y'know, Eostre. Or spring equinox.Or whichever it is you celebrate.

I've spent the weekend with my brother and his family. It was superb- I met the Gruffalo (well, a wood carving of him, but don't tell my niece and nephew that) and performed a very complex Easter egg hunt, resulting in not one, but two prizes. I never knew that Green & Blacks did Easter eggs, let alone 70% mint supreme quality Easter eggs. I thank my sister-in-law for that; her present buying ability remains unrivaled in this (extended) family.

In honour of the passing of Mr. Griffiths, there is not going to be any post on Easter Sunday this year, so I'm going to schedule this for tomorrow. I bid you all goodnight.



Still figuring out that title

So, whilst everyone showers one another with medium-quality chocolate, I set myself the task of reviving this blog. Three new posts before Wednesday, all from me, and I shall nag Allie to try to match that. What d'ya reckon? Could she? (She's actually busy posting book reviews and things on another blog, but I'll get her here soon.)

Continuing the endeavor I undertook earlier this... year about reading the books my sister has reviewed on this blog, I shall now present my report:

Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini

Helen Hamilton, not-so-average American teen, has grown up on Nantucket island with her father Jerry, after her "mom" shot through when Helen was a baby. As always, it - and "it" being the unveiling of Helen's not-so-averageness- began with the cute foreign boy starting her high school, for a couple of seconds after Helen first saw Lucas Delos (one of the teenagers from that massive family just moved over from Spain, talk of the town) she tried to strangle him. For the rest of the novel, things spiral alternatively in and out of control with enough seemingly obvious plot twists to give you whiplash.

I like the ideas that make up this book, the reincarnations of the old stories, the "inescapable fate". The reason it's a little confusing for me to get a grip on is the way it's written, which, depending on how you look at it, could be very well or sort of alright. It's the way the plot is sort of swimming inside the narrative. Helen's viewpoint is very heavy- you experience the story completely through her, exactly as a teenage girl would react to the situations and characters. The plot's a little continuous, but all the other nuances of the story, are personal anti-preferences, so I'll make no comment, and if you want, follow in mine and Allie's footsteps and try the story out for yourself.

See you laters!


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Lots of the marvelous letter "T".

Since I have adherently decided that exam time is the bestest time ever to get back into teen fiction, I'm doing this thing for the blog. It was going to be called "Tora Tracks Twin's Tales" or "Victoria Vandalizes Victim's Victories" (not to say that you're my victim, at all, Allie...) where all of the nice books that Allie has reviewed or described her undying excitement over their expected releases, I'm going to track down and read. I've already started (but you'll hear about that in just a second) and maybe I'll even post some reviews of my own in order that my dear sister actually /reads/ some of the thingies I've been nagging her to read (cue: evil laugh).
The truth is, dear internet, that I've been wasting far too much of my time studying for those pesky GCSEs and most of my reading has been of unpublished works by independant authors online *coughfanfictioncough* for cheap kicks. Time to return to the realm of literature excellence.

First off, "Matched" and the subsequent novels "Crossed" and "Reached" by Allie Condie.

So, set in a futuristic Earth (I assume America because the massive continental plate and exclusion of the letter "u" in places in should be) the Society has salvaged a population of 20,000 people, who live in peace under its jurisdiction. Or not? Cassia Reyes begins to uncover some of the faults in the fabric of the Society on her seventeenth birthday, when the Society presents her with her perfect partner for life.

I think I read this book without hearing of any of the hype about it, so I had no expectations about it. Literally, a friend handed it to me on the bus home, saying, "It's OK". The fascinating thing about this series is how the story half plays out in the setting of the book, and half in the character's heads. Connecting with Cassia was easy, as we interpret the world and events happening to her through her thoughts and reactions to it. In the later books, we also have Xander's and Ky's viewpoints. Aside from the lovely writing, the use of poetry to style the flow of the story and the life given to the other characters in the book made it even better the second time round. It's a rare series that doesn't lose any expectations as you proceed to the second and third books. Tora gives thumbs up.

I feel like this needs a picture.


OK, peace out, blogosphere.


PS. I'll get back to you on the title for this. Is the alliteration too much?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

There Are No Excuses....

A whole summer, gone! Inexplicably, during a time when technically we should have had the most time to dedicate to the blogosphere, we managed to totally abandon it. Instead of capitalising on a brief surge in traffic, we let the blog drift into its current lonely and idle state.

We apologise, dear readers. (If there are any of you left.)

 We could have spent an entire season improving our non-fiction skills, whether it be reviews of the literary kind or reviews of our daily experiences themselves. Our contributions could have exploded into cyberspace garnering praise from every corner of the earth. Mindless ramblings could have transformed into astounding observations, explanations or even salutations of the achievements of a race bound to a planet which is dying beneath our feet.

But the truth is, readers, none of that was ever really likely to happen.

I mean, the closest I get to saving the planet is making sure I put the recycling out on time. Mostly I'd rather have my head stuck in a book than in a school of thought that would inevitably lead me to contemplation of humanity's destruction. (I'm telling you now, me in a perpetual state of Armageddon-related paranoia is not a pretty sight.)

Besides, I doubt my obsession with analytically reviewing books is going to make universal headlines any time soon.

For now, though, we're back! (Or at least I am, since Tora's not here at exactly this moment to consult on the matter.)

More posts to come, if I can pull myself out of my regret-filled, guilty wallowing pit. How could I have let an entire summer pass by without posting at all?! I bring shame upon myself.


Monday, 25 June 2012

Music Monday

Today here's another new release that's got me  all worked up with impatience and excitement!

                                                     Heathers - Forget Me Knots

With their second album, Kingdom, due to be released in September, the fast-paced energy that captures us on songs such as (oops, sorry for the minor Troy McLure impression there!) Remember When, Slices of Palama and more recently Find A Way returns in Heathers' new single, Forget Me Knots.

There's an almost orchestral feel, reminiscent of Florence and the Machine's Ceremonials, that hints at the girls' musical style having grown and changed for the better, and combined with the strong vocals, familiar harmonies and of course the staple guitar driven sound of Here Not There, I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. 

Plus, it's an awesome summer song, too :) I for one cannot wait for the rest of album!


Friday, 22 June 2012

Music, er, Friday? Cause I won't schedule this post for Monday, I'm far too impatient for that, and besides, you only live once!

What to say? Enjoy the music. Groove a little, if the feeling takes you. Perhaps allow it to guide your muse as you write, draw, or lie on your bed and daydream. Also, celebrate the end of your exams *hinthint Allie*! Just, enjoy!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Music Monday

Orla Gartland needs to stop teasing me! Her new single was released yesterday (and it even has a B-side!!)  on June 17th, Seriously, it's amazing, but I need more! As if dozens Youtube videos weren't enough (and Tora will be proud to see Orla's ukulele featuring in many) her music inspires me to write SO MUCH. Thank you, Orla, for allowing me to indulge in my favourite folk-pop sound as well as getting on with the work I need to do!

Orla's single - Devil On My Shoulder

And (the equally amazing) B-side song, the Ground

The thing with Orla Gartland is that she writes with incredible fluidity - her songs sound so natural, and they seem to simply slip from her in a wave of honesty and sincerity. To make words appear so flawless is not something I could ever hope to emulate, but Orla's lyrics do it every time. And her voice - it's easy on the ears, of course, but more than that it strikes a chord (no pun intended) whatever the material. From carefree covers (see her version of Hey Ya by OutKast for a great summer song) to light originals (Steps is my favourite) to powerful, evoking narratives like the ones featured above, you'll find anything you could ever wish for in a young-singer songwriter with Orla Gartland.

Let us hope she releases an EP as soon as possible...I'm dying here!


If you've made it this far, you might as well look through the blog archive...