Saturday, 31 December 2011

My 2012 Resolutions

My New Year's resolutions. I guess writing them down might make me stick to them a bit better!

1. Work harder in my degree - I'm studying Biomedical science. Why, you may ask, when I like writing so much? Well, because I've never thought myself very good at it. Not enough to make a career out of anyway, so my next love was science, and there should always be jobs out there for someone with my kind of degree. I've become very lazy at it recently though, only doing the bare minimum. I know that's the same for a lot of students, but I don't want to be just another student. I want to do well, and that will involve a little more elbow grease!

2. Stay away from Fanfiction - Not reading of course, I'll never stop that. No, I mean writing it. I get caught up in movies and books that I want to write my own ending/continuation, and my original ideas get side-swiped. There's nothing wrong with it, but then I get caught up in who's reading and leaving reviews, and sticking to a ridiculous chapter posting schedule that either destroys my sleeping pattern or means I dodge school work which really shouldn't happen.

3. Read more - I used to go through loads and loads of books in a year, but 2011 was a very slow year, and I probably can count them all using just my fingers, and that's not like me. Here's hoping 2012 goes better for me!

4.  Watch my tongue - I have this awful habit of speaking before I think about the consequences. I say things for comic effect or to big myself up, without considering who they might hurt. I had an incident a few weeks ago with a close friend and it really woke me up. She's very assertive, and called me out on my crap. It just made me think, who else have I upset who was too shy/polite to speak out? Engage brain before mouth this year.

5. Get fit and healthy - I guess this is on everyones lists. In the last year, very slowly, I've lost about a stone and a half of weight. It's not that I'm unhappy with the way I look. No, I became comfortable with my body image a few years ago after struggling with it through most of my teenage years. No, it's that my being overweight is probably the reason I have a few health problems. They're not serious, but I would quite like them sorted out, so I can feel a bit more normal. I've made a recent discovery that my University house is only about 5 minutes away from a gym, so I'm going to make a push to try and visit it a few times a week.

6. Put more effort into my Sunday school lessons - I'm a Sunday school teacher. It's a real privilege to work with kids but recently I've been in the mindset of 'can't be bothered' and instead of teaching them we just play games. I'm also struggling to hold their attention in the 30 minute lessons. I guess every sort of teacher has to battle with this so I guess it's just a case of 'buck up, chuck!'.

Whatever sort of year 2011 has been for you, I hope 2012 brings you happiness!

Sarah xx

Thursday, 29 December 2011

My favourite reads of 2011

Between University and reading, and my dalliance with jewellery making, I didn't get as much reading done this year as I normally do, but I do have a few favourites that I'd like to share with you!

1. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I had read this book a year or two ago, but with the movie coming out in March next year, I wanted to re-read it to remind myself why I enjoyed it before all the hype clouds it. I finished it in 6 hours. It is an amazing book. I have bought several friends this book for birthday and Christmas presents just to spread the Hunger games love. EVERYONE should read this book.

2. Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers

I haven't read very much Christian fiction, because in my limited experience it just makes me feel guilty for not being a better person who's stronger in faith. This book though completely captured me. I devoured it in every spare moment while away with my friend and her family for a week for a Christian convention called New Horizon. It's just so good. I'm also making my way through the Mark of the Lion series by the same author, which is fabulous.

3. Game Of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

I bought this book in the airport on my way to see my friend in London. Then, the TV show started and I really enjoyed it, I decided I wanted to read the book. Of course, it was in the middle of my exams and I had to discipline myself and only read it one chapter at a time; one for every hour spent revising. It's a great book and I wouldn't have been able to put it down under any other circumstance. I raced through the second book in the series, but I think I ran out of steam somewhere in the third because I haven't touched the ASOIAF series since the summer. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, I just got distracted. From my limited experience, I defiantly say that the first book is the best. I hope to get through the rest of the books sometime in the new year. AND, the TV series is filmed mostly in Northern Ireland, which makes me proud of my country!

4. Virals - Kathy Reichs

I read this in a few days flat. The author, Kathy Reichs, has written a series of forensic books that inspired the TV series Bones. My parents are a fan, and Kathy came on her book tour to my University. I went to see her and get a book signed to give to my mum and dad as a present and when she was giving her very interesting talk, she mentioned her new YA project. I had forgotten about it, but when I saw it the other day in Waterstones, I knew I had to get it. It didn't disappoint. The only criticism I have is that for a 14 year old, Tory (the protagonist), has an awfully advanced biology class. Sequence DNA? I'm only doing that now in my 2nd year of University!

5. A Great And Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray

My University book shop was closing down and having a very large sale. On top of that, we're given a card by the University with money loaded on it to spend in the shop. It's supposed to be on text books, but I had some money left over. I got this book, and the two sequels mostly because I thought the cover was very pretty. I confess, if I buy books on the spur of the moment, it's usually because I like the cover.  It worked this time, and I really enjoyed this book. I'm currently trying to finish the 3rd one. Similar story to GOT, I read the first two so fast that I couldn't manage the 3rd. It's still sitting on the window sill of my digs at Uni. It is also on my list for the new year.

So that's it! If you enjoy reading, then I would really recommend all the books above. Most of all The Hunger Games. Stephen King recommends it. What more proof of it's awesomeness do you need?

Sarah xx

The one in which I talk about fanfiction for (maybe) the last time...

There's a lot of hate out there for fanfiction. I know why but I don't think it's always justified.

When I started, it was because I couldn't get certain things, such as bands, movies, out of my head, and a writer will always have plots, characters, inside their heads, screaming at them to be written about. For me, in the beginning, they were characters and plots that already existed to a certain extent. And that was fine. It meant that I already had a starting point, and I knew there were people out there who would at least give reading it a shot. And the format, which is usually post a chapter, get reviews, write another one, get some more reviews is comfortable. You get immediate feedback, which in my experience was usually good. It was also a good confidence boost when strangers tell you that they like what you write. I'm essentially a praise whore. I did ask for some constructive criticism, but didn't often get any. I think this was more to do with the fact that no-one could be bothered to tell me when what I'd written was crap, rather than because my writing didn't need any improvement. 

Sure I know that there are a lot of people who just write/read fanfiction to let quench some of their sexual frustration. There is a LOT of NSFW stuff out there. And there is quite a lot of slash fiction too. There's nothing wrong with writing about a same sex relationship. But they take it too far when they pair brothers, even fictional brothers, together. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LEAVE SAM AND DEAN ALONE!

Google 'slash' if you don't know what it means but be warned. Out there, there be monsters.

However, fanfiction has been kind to me. It's allowed me to grow. Or so I hope. And it has shown me that there are people who will read what I write, even if they can be counted on the fingers of a pair of hands.

But it's the big bad world for me now. I don't think I'll ever put a years worth of my (spare) time into a novel length fan fiction again. The only return is a small confidence pick me up, and I think it's time that I grew up and started taking things seriously. I do want to be a writer, and I know that it may not be what my path in life is, but the only way to figure out is to try, and really try.

So, fare thee well fan fiction. It's been real fun, but it's time we parted company.

Sarah xx

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A year later...

So, FINALLY finished my Prince of Persia fanfiction! *party*

If you're interested. All 20 chapters (+ prologue) can be found at

When I write fanfictions usually one of two things happen: 1) I get distracted by another fandom/another story for the same fandom and can't finish it 2) I get fed up with no-one reading and stop writing. Either way the stories usually don't get finished. But this one did! Huzzah!

So, onto original fiction. I have started one recently, but that never means anything in the world of Sarah. I have a dozen first chapters written for various stories. I'll keep you updated though.

As of right now I'm going to read a few more chapters of Virals, the new young adult series by Kathy Reichs (she wrote the books that inspired the TV series Bones.) which is very good.

So to all (I say all, but I know rightly that this blog doesn't get a lot of traffic!) of you, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, 18 December 2011


So what's been going on in the world of Sarah...

Firstly: NaNoWriMo was an epic fail. University work and life in general kept getting in the way. Also the fan fiction I've been working on demanded it's way to the front of my writing priorities and thus, I failed at Nano, but that's okay, I kinda knew that when I went into it. On the upside, I'm almost finished the POP fic and hopefully that will clear the way for something original to assert itself. If you've been following that, I know it's been a few weeks, but I'm writing the penultimate chapter right now!

I'm finished Uni for Christmas now. Although that is a bit of a misnomer as I have exams or 'finals' to those who follow the American system, to do in January. Yes, January. So Christmas is cancelled as far as I'm concerned! Well, not quite. I will still take a few days off, but I'll have to be working quite hard for most of my holidays!

Another thing of note: If you haven't already seen the trailer for the Hunger Games, watch it here... NOW. This looks like it's going to be one of THEE films of 2012. I already think March is far too far away!

On a side note I've been having a lot of vivid dreams recently, so I've been getting a lot of material for original fiction (I hope) which I am planning to start once POP is out of the way. I just hope I can get as sucked into an original story as I have been to Fanfiction.

Sarah xx