Friday, 30 March 2012

That 'So... what now?' Feeling

March has been a pretty busy month for me, I'm not going to lie. There was a lot that I had to get done for Uni and as a result, blogging and writing took a back seat. As they should, I think, given that I am supposed to be a student first and blogger/writer second.

But now it's March 30th, I've just handed in the last of my essays before the three weeks of the Easter holidays begin and it's sort of left me feeling a bit... strange. Do you know what I mean? When you're whole life is focused in around one thing and when that one thing happens, in the aftermath you feel kind of... dead? That pause and then 'What now?' thing? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. It's happened me a few times recently.

The first was right now when I handed in my essay. I had two of them, both 2000 words long. English and students of the arts will laugh at me right now for complaining about 4000 words because, let's face it, that's their lives! However, as a science student, I'm really not used to writing essays at all. Most of our work is based on practicals and lab reports of very limited wording. So essays were a bit of a shock to the system! For the past 3 weeks all my house mates and friends have got has been: "Nah, I don't think I've time. I have these essays for next week." I kinda looked like this for a while:

But  I've been so focused on getting these essays done that now they're finally handed in, I kind of don't know what to do with myself! (I should probably start working for my exams in May, but I can't begin to even think about those right now!)

The second was in reference to this movie that was kind of a big deal recently. You might have heard about it. Something about Hunger Games? Yeah. That one. As you may or may not know, I read these book a long time ago. I think Catching Fire (book 2) had just been released when I read them, so in terms of the fandom, everyone's been jumping on my bandwagon. I saw it for the first time on the night before it was released in the UK. (It was an advanced screening!) And it was amazing. There were some few subtle changes from the book, but they were so well done that I didn't mind. The majority of it was so damn faithful to the books, it was like watching what had been happening in my head while I was reading the book. I think I may have a girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence. She's amazing.
But again, that same thing happened when it was over. I felt kind of... empty inside. I had been waiting for years for this movie to come out, and I got so into all the hype in the run up, that when it was all finished, I had no clue what to do.

They're all so beautiful. Damn you Hollywood.

The third and final type of this feeling will be the one probably most familiar to my readership. I have never had the fortune of finishing my own original piece of fiction, but I have finished a fair few fan fictions in my earlier days. And it was always the same with them. As I typed, or penned, that last sentence the first feeling was, "Oh my gosh, I've finished!" followed soon after by that crash of "my life no longer has a purpose." Yes, very melodramatic, but for a short period of time after finishing something that has taken over your life, it does kind of feel like that?

Or am I on my own? Perhaps it's my obsessive personality that leads to me feeling empty after finishing goals that I've set myself.

Do you ever feel like this? Or if you don't, how do you feel when you finish something big?

Sarah x

p.s. this post is nearly 700 words and has taken me a little over 30 minutes. Why on earth cant this be my speed of output when I'm doing school work? Life would be so much easier...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Knights of Micro Fiction!

...well that kind of snuck up on me!

Got an e-mail some time last night informing me that it was the last Monday of the month... WHAT? Where did March go? Although I shouldn't complain too much because I have been rather going through a dry blogging spell, so this is a good prompt for me to actually post something!

So here was this months prompts:

In 250 words or less:
Use at least one of the following adjectives: delicate, repulsive, hostile
And at least one of the following nouns: New York City, My 16th Birthday (yes, this would be referring to you), and Kilts

I don't really think I can work any of these into my WIP's so I guess you're just going to have to get a random 250 words! Hurray for spontaneity and possibly semi-autobiographical fiction!

It's 2am. I'm not feeling very creative, but I made a stab at it! 

I don't think I can remember my 16th birthday. It's not as big of a deal as it is for American teens. See, in Britain we can't drive until we're seventeen, so sixteen is just another number in a list on the somewhat bumpy and over-dramatic road to adulthood. 

I do remember my 18th though. On this side of the Atlantic, eighteen is the big number. We become adults and unlike our American friends, we can legally consume alcohol. 

From across the room, my grandmother gives me a hostile look as I take my first, legal, sip of alcohol. The wine spritzer is a far cry from the hard liquor that most people my age seem to think leads to an attractive demeanour.

Everyone that I care about was there, family and friends. While most of the people that I hang out with think that an eighteenth isn’t an eighteenth without a club, some intoxication, and some poorly made decisions, I’m not most people. I wanted nothing more than to spend some quality time with the people I care about the most in this world, reminiscing and indulging in some of my aunt’s famous double chocolate cake.

We played a board game. Unthinkably dull to most people, it’s the highlight of my night. It’s that one where you try to describe a given word without actually saying it. Innuendos, confusion and laughter run riot into the small hours. Screw the hangover. I’ll take my boring, old fashioned fun any day.

Word count: 250 Huzzah! 

I'm sure I'll get a chance to look around some of the other posts in the morning! 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Music To Write To: Loreena McKennitt

So, my music segment is a little later than I had planned it but I've had a busy week. I only have a week and a half left of classes before I get off for my Easter holidays and understandably, that means a lot of deadlines for essays and such which I may or may not have already started... *shakes fist at self for procrastination*

BUT I've got a spare few minutes while I'm waiting around for people who are coming to view our house to rent for next year. In all honesty, good luck to them, this house has been a bit of a bad luck charm as far as I've been concerned. It's been a revolving door with people moving in and out due to arguments and general things. Luckily I was never on the end of any of the bother, but it's still been a bit of a roller-coaster! Things seem to be settled finally, with only a few months left on our lease! Oh well, isn't that the way life goes!

Without further ado I give you:

Loreena McKennitt!


I found this wonderful lady whilst flicking through my friends iPod. She had an album called 'An Ancient Muse' and I remember being completely entranced with the music! She gave me a lend of the CD to put it on my iTunes and I've never looked back. 

Genres suitable for: historic, fantasy, paranormal, 
Personal highlights: Kecharitomene, Caravanserai, The Highwayman, The Mummers' Dance

Initially I just listened to her because her music was very soothing, and I really liked the Celtic and Arabic influences. Then, however, I got the idea for my Persian fiction and the music, especially that on her 'An Ancient Muse' album, just fit so perfectly it must have been some sort of act of fate that I'd discovered her! 

If you, you out there reading my post, know of any similar music to any of the artists that I post about, do drop me a comment and let me know! I'm always on the lookout for new music to take me - and my writing - to new heights!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Got Green? St. Patricks Day Blog Hop!

Being Irish myself I just couldn't resist this little hop!

First a little mood music! If you don't have Spotify, then look it up on Youtube!
Ronan Hardiman – Dance Above The Rainbow

It's funny though, because I get the impression that St. Paddy's day is celebrated more in other countries that have a large proportion of Irish immigrants such as America or Australia, than it actually is here in Ireland. Perhaps it's because I live in Northern Ireland, and although things are much better now than they were back in the 70's, there can still be a bit of trouble here and there, so they don't make too big a deal out of it... I'm not sure! But nevertheless here's my post, in green for the occasion!

My fondest St. Paddy's day memory isn't very grand or extravagant. But it's a memory that I hold dearly. First off, the best thing about the 17th of March is that we got off school! On that day in 2010 my then-boyfriend and I packed up my car with a picnic basket and a blanket, and headed to Tollymore Forest Park (a filming locations of the HBO's Game of Thrones!). I didn't take the photo below, but that's one of the bridges in the park. If it's one thing the Emerald Isle knows how to do, it's forests!

We arrived just before lunch time, and sat down at a picnic table and spread out our feast of sandwiches, crisps, and of course, tea from a flask!

Later, we went for a walk, hand in hand, as those who are in the throes of a relationship tend to do. I've never been one for exercise, so there were several points along our walk, mostly on the hills, that he actually had to push me along.

There is a second reason that I remember this day so vividly. While out on our walk, we met my oldest and closest friend having exactly the same kind of day with her boyfriend (now fiancée). The strange thing is that neither of us had previous knowledge of how we were planning on spending our St. Paddy's day! It also makes me grin, because when we happened upon them, my boyfriend and I were stumbling out of some bushes. Now, before your minds run away with you, here is my completely innocent explanation: we had been down by the river having a stick race, and the only way to get there and back was through a very overgrown path. Honest! Many suggestive comments were made by both parties as a result.
Although I’m no longer with my then-boyfriend, it’s one of my fondest memories of our 18-months together, and I have yet to have a better St. Paddy’s day!
Word count: 333. Exactly! 

Hope you enjoyed! Why not have a jolly hop around some of the other entries after reading mine!

Sarah x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Look! An award? Pour moi?

Happy Monday!

Well, we all know Monday's generally suck, but mine has started awesomely, by my discovering that I've been awarded my first ever blog award!

It's an award for blogs that you think are cool, but have less than 100 followers!

The wonderful Sara over at Cutest Landing was generous enough to award me with it!

There are a few rules surrounding the Liebster Blog though... and here they are!

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
2. Nominate up to 5 others for the Liebster Award.
3. Let said bloggers know via comment on their blog.
4. Post the award on your blog.
5. Consider signing up for the A - Z Challenge

I don't know about number 5. I'm going to have an awfully busy Easter...

But here are who I'm awarding my Liebster Blogs to!

1. Laura over at Laura + The Voices
2. Amy over at Amy Christine Parker
3. Jess over at Ink Spot Plot

Ladies, your turn to pass on the award! 

On another note, I'm going to see John Carter in the cinema on Tuesday and I'm so excited! It looks like it could be an incredible movie!

Sarah x

Friday, 9 March 2012

Music To Write To: Ludovico Einaudi

Time for our third instalment of Music to write to!

This week I'm listening to Ludovico Einaudi, specifically his compilation album entitled 'Islands'.

Don't make  me try to pronounce that name, because I sure as hell won't be able to!

Genre's suitable for: Contemporary, historical, fantasy, romance, general background writing music

Personal highlights: I giorni, Primavera, Divenire, Ancora

This album is just great for writing either the romantic parts, or for anything really, you can just put this album on and totally forget what's going on around you and just write!

The main instrument on most of the album is a piano, and only a piano. Sometimes there are collaborations with other instruments, mostly string, but most of the time it's just him and his piano! You may have already heard some of the music, as it's very popular with film & tv soundtracks, along with a few TV adverts! It's a very calming sound compared some of the music that I will be recommending in later "MTWT" instalments!

If I can't sleep, I stick this album on quietly and it doesn't take long for me to drift off on the beautiful melodies!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

KONY 2012

So this video has been doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter and I just think the blogosphere should pick up on it too!

If you haven't already watched this video, now's the time. Don't be put off by how long it is, no matter how busy you are.

I do agree that this is only one problem in a million that we currently have going on in the world, but surely it's better to start with one, than to not start at all?

The starfish story is one of my favourite little tales and it's not going to be more appropriate than with this:

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, What are you doing?

The youth replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die.

Son, the man said, don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You cant make a difference!

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said
I made a difference for that one.

I've ordered myself a Kony2012 action kit to help raise awareness in my Uni with the posters and everything. Hopefully we will make a difference and get this man arrested for the thousands of lives that he's ruined. 

Sarah x

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

What I Read In: February

Yes, I know we're already a week into March but give me a break, I've been busy!

(On a side note, I've begun sketching out chapter outlines for my WIP. Haven't done that in a long while, so hopefully it's a step in the right direction! Probably isn't a good thing that the notes were made in the margin of where I was supposed to be making class notes... oops!)

So yes, what I read...

1. Seizure - Kathy Reichs

From the writer of the Temperance Brennan series that inspired the TV series Bones comes the second book in her series 'Virals' for young adults! 

I really enjoy Kathy Reichs writing, and just like the first, I couldn't put this one down! 

My only complaint is that Kathy seems to be a little out of touch with the younger generation in parts. For a start, her characters are meant to be around 14-15, where as they talk and act much, much older. She also doesn't seem to have a clue what kids study in school these days. They seem to know about scientific procedures that I'm only learning about myself at University! 

2. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

The first book that I finished on my Kindle! 

But it was a struggle. This book, while beautifully written, was painfully dull at times. I do understand that it's how books were written back then, with lots of description. I think in today's world of drama and everything being very over the top and fast paced we don't really know how to digest a slow classic like Wuthering Heights.

I didn't keep English on long enough in school to be able to sink my teeth into the classics. Perhaps if I was more tuned into how to read them, I would enjoy this more. 

3. Across The Universe - Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

The cover

I kept seeing the amazing cover of this book around the blogosphere and just had to get it onto my bookshelf. It wasn't a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, I actually quite enjoyed it and got through it quite quickly. I know this is supposed to be science-fiction, but as a science student the improbabilities of some of the stuff that went on in this book just bugged me. The book wasn't fantastical enough for me to be able to remove myself from why the things just wouldn't work. I know I'm a stickler, but there we go! Was a nice read though, and I'll be checking out the sequel! 

4. The Alchemist's Secret - Scott Mariani

The Alchemist's Secret (Ben Hope #1)

My friend told me I had to read this book. She said it was Dan Brown only better, and I have to agree with her. It's fast paced, the characters are interesting and the story compelling. I just sat and read, and read, and read until it was done. There's a whole series of books about the same main character and I'm really looking forward to getting into the rest! 

So, that's it for February! What books did your read? If you've read any of the books that I have, what did you think of them! 

Sarah x

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Music To Write To : Lady Antebellum

So this week's segment on music that inspires me to write focuses on the contemporary country band - Lady Antebellum

Now in the last post I focussed on a particular album, because for that group, their latest album was very different from anything they'd ever done before, and that was why I liked it. However, for Lady Antebellum, so far their music has been pretty consistent in that modern American country music style that has been made popular by the likes of Taylor Swift, Martina McBride, and of course Lady Antebellum.

They're all subtly different, and I find that Lady Antebellum hits the perfect chord for me, where as Martina and Taylor sometimes just fall short!

Genres suitable for: Contemporary, Romance

Personal highlights: Need You Now, Something 'Bout A Woman, We Owned The Night, Just A Kiss

One of my house mates introduced me to Lady Antebellum just before Christmas and I fell in love because at that point I was working on a contemporary YA romance and it suited perfectly! 

Their songs just remind me of summer, and the sound of your typical 'contemporary teen romance' movie. Quite a few of their songs have this bright, happy, hopeful sound that just fits perfectly with everything you feel when you're starting out on a relationship with someone.

This song captures what I've just said perfectly.

What do you think of Lady Antebellum? 

So that's it for another segment. I'll be doing a review of what I read in February in my next blog post, so be ready for some book reviews! 

Sarah x