A Poem

I wrote this late last night, too many thoughts in my head. I don’t know if it’s very good, but if you have feedback please let me know (I’m all for constructive criticism) 🙂

Black Veil

On the brightest of days, it waits

Like a predator, eyeing off its prey

It sits

Out of sight, camouflaged

A black mist, particles threatening to coalesce

Swirling, lazy but determined

The mist thickens, blocking out the sun

A veil of darkness encases the world in black

I breathe

But for how long?

My limbs are heavy, the darkness drags

I am nothing, I am no-one

Out of the darkness a rope of light falls

I grab it and hold on

It pulls me up out of the veil

And into the light.

Again, the black veil waits.

Steff xx

An honest list of when to DNF a book

Have you ever started reading a book and found that you were thinking about what you were going to make for dinner instead? Or maybe you have found yourself thinking about another book you really wish you were reading at that moment? These may be signs and symptoms of your need to DNF.

Firstly.

DO NOT PANIC – you do not need to finish every single book that you read. I know it can be hard, especially if you are someone who needs to finish ever book you start. But come on peeps, life is short! If you don’t like broccoli, you aren’t going to eat it (well, I won’t). So why force yourself to read a book that is slowly killing you?

Image result for stop gif

I will make it easy for you. Here are a list of reasons why you can DNF, and if you do end up DNF’ing and you need someone to blame…I’m your girl 🙂

1. Repetition of a word

I recently stopped reading a book because the main character kept calling his parents “the parentals”. At first I was like, no biggie. But then he KEPT calling them that on every single freaking page. I couldn’t handle it. It didn’t help that the writing was pretty average as well, but I wouldn’t have minded it that much if there wasn’t that word repetition. Call them your parents, or mum and dad, or aliens! Just STOP calling them “the parentals”!!!!

2. The main character is an idiot

Especially if it is in first person. You are stuck in this persons head so in a way you become that person. I have DNF’d books because the MC is overly bitter, whiney, self-righteous or just an outright douche. And it can be absolutely frustrating when the MC’s every decision is wrong or stupid.

3. Lack of plot

You know the stories where you are just like…where the hell is this going? Why am I still reading this? If you are finding yourself confused or bored then just stop. You need to move on.

Image result for stop gif

4.  The author is prejudiced

You may notice this either in the undertones or it is boom in your face. Unless you plan on writing a very ranty review about it to deter other people from reading it, why continue on? What are you going to get out of it apart from a headache or a nose bleed? There is no place in the world for hate, and unfortunately publishers only see dollar signs which is why some of these horrid stories end up being published. Move on to your next book and don’t read or promote this authors work again.

5. Animal cruelty

I absolutely cannot stand it. It will make me cry, it will make me angry. Too much of this stuff goes on in the real world as it is, and it upsets me. Why the hell would I want to read it in a book? If there is even an inkling that the animal will die, I stop reading.

6. You have just found out the author is a bit of a prick

Case in point. I loved the Outlander series, I thought Diana Gabaldon was great. Until she tweeted a really snobby, pretentious and kind of mean tweet to a fan. Now do I want to continue reading her books? No, not really. Some people are able to set the artist and art apart, but I am not one of those people. While there are certainly worse authors out there who say some absolutely horrible things, they need to remember why they are where they are. They need to remember their fan-base. They need to not be dicks.

Image result for stop gif

7. The genre is not for you

You like fantasy but you thought you would give that crime/thriller book a go. If it isn’t tickling your fancy and you want to go back to magic and fairy dust, just do it. Good on you for giving a different genre a go, now get back to Middle Earth!!

8. Life

Sometimes you may find that the book you are reading doesn’t really sit well with you because of wherever you are in your life. There have been books that I have put down because of my anxiety/depression, and I found that the book I was reading exacerbated it. With these ones, you may want to come back to them later when you feel like it isn’t going to affect you negatively. And that’s ok!!

Image result for stop gif

Life’s to short to be reading books that you don’t enjoy. You would stop watching a movie or tv show if you didn’t like so why make reading any different? Books are meant to be enjoyed, don’t settle for anything less.

Steff xx

Rant (kinda): What I want more/less of in YA

I think it’s safe to say that I am predominantly a Young Adult reader. It is the first section I head to when I go to the book store and where I will then spend most of my time. My bookshelf is filled with YA – The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass, The Mortal Instruments…to name a few. And while I absolutely love YA, I feel that there are things I would like to see MORE and LESS of. I therefore thought I would compile a list, because lists are fun.

Image result for list gif

MORE

  • Male main characters – I never thought I would say that, but while I do love reading from the female point of view, there really seems to be a lot less male MC’s than female.
  • Diverse Authors – sure there are definitely diverse authors, I’m not saying there isn’t. However it is no secret that there are more white authors than non-white, and even worse…white authors writing “on behalf” of non-white. People of colour should be allowed to share their own stories, not have someone write it for them!!
  • Diverse characters – A certain author has copped a lot of flack for the lack of diversity in both of her YA series. Not every character needs to be white and straight. Not every character needs to be “healed” with no scars or disability remaining. I want representation for EVERYONE from all backgrounds, beliefs, skin colours, sexualities, disabilities etc.
  • Childhood sweetheart tropes – I don’t see enough, in fact I am pretty sure I have only seen this once or twice. I don’t like instalove, and the one way you can ensure that won’t happen in your story is childhood sweethearts. It’s so sweet to see two people who have known each other have feelings for each other, it’s slow burn and I LOVE that!!
  • Mermaids – ok this is a bit of a random one, but there seems to be an abundance of fae, magicians, vampires etc. but I WANT MORE MERMAIDS!! By the way – if you know any mermaid books please tell me so I can read them.
  • Friendship – Does every single story need to turn into a romance? No. In fact, I LOVE books where people can just be friends instead of that need to turn into lovers. I will always be disappointed that Cassandra Clare coupled Clary and Simon up for that tiny bit. Like, whyyyyyy!!!

LESS

  • Macho male characters – Why does every guy need to be the “alpha”? I want more male characters who aren’t all rippling abs and smoulder. Not every male character needs to be absolutely, breath-takingly beautiful. Looks aren’t everything. I will take brains, humour, wit and heart over looks any day!!
  • Skinny and perfect – I’m so sick of “Mary had a perfect smile, perfect eyes, perfect boobs, a perfect skinny body that took no maintenance” and “on top of that Mary didn’t even need to train, from the time she was a baby she could run marathons and parkour”. Um yeah, we see enough of this crap in magazines with celebrities made out to be perfect, like we need FICTIONAL CHARACTERS making us feel insecure.
  • Instalove – Fair enough if you are someone who loves it when 2 people fall in love after 2 seconds, I am not one of them. Fun fact: if you fall in love with someone after 2 seconds it is most likely lust. Unless you are a mind reader and know every single thing about the other person before speaking to them. By the way I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with lust, but let’s be realistic here.
  • Sex without consent/protection – I shouldn’t even need to put this one in here and I don’t really feel I need to elaborate. The amount of books I have read where neither happens is pretty disappointing.
  • Unhealthy relationships – Liiiike Twilight. Sorry, I really don’t mean to drag this book all the time however if you want a good example on how NOT to portray a “loving” relationship this one really takes the cake. Edward is possessive, controlling and just an outright creep.

That’s all I can think of for today. I have probably missed a hundred thousand things, so if I have missed anything let me know. Do you agree/disagree with my points above? Let me know!!

Steff xx

Songs that will forever overwhelm me with their awesomeness

Every now and then I love to talk about my other love, music. I can’t even begin to explain what music has done for me, how it has helped, soothed and healed. I can be a bit emo, and I LOVE listening to sad music when I’m sad – I think maybe because it’s nice to listen to a song that understands how you feel.

I thought today I would give a list of some songs that overwhelm me with just how freakin awesome they are. I will probably need to do another list in the future because this list is only a sample. Obviously this is my opinion on awesomeness, I tend to love songs with power chords or a catchy tune.

Resolve – Foo Fighters

Ok firstly. I LOVE DAVE GROHL. SO. MUCH. I think he is one of the most amazing musicians and he is just a brilliant song writer. I absolutely love this song, I have listened to it on repeat many times. No matter what anyone says, I will always believe that this song is about Kurt Cobain.

Relapse – Little Birdy

This is such a beautiful, sad song. The vocals are just amazing, and I find the whole song in general to be quite haunting. I guess you can take whatever meaning you want from this song, but from how I listen to it, it’s about unrequited love. This was actually one of the first songs I heard from Little Birdy and I fell in love with this song straight away.

M.I.A – Borders

I actually could have put every single one of M.I.A’s songs on here, I love her music so much. I think I love her because she gives zero fucks about what anyone thinks, her music is weird and catchy, and her music is about real world issues. This song however, is brilliant, pretty much talking about white privilege and refugees.

Bullet with Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins

Ahh this one takes me back to when I was 15, with all my teen angst. “The world is a vampire, sent to drain”…truer words have never been spoken. This song is absolutely brilliant, so much anger and despair. Billy also has hair in this one.

Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana

This is another band where I could have put every single one of their songs on here. Nirvana were a brilliant band. Their album “Nevermind” was the most popular, but every single album is different and brilliant in it’s own right. This song is just….I actually get teary listening to this song I love it so much. R.I.P Kurt.

Pixies – Where is my mind

I couldn’t find any other good versions of this song on youtube so went with the Fight Club soundtrack (such an awesome song for an awesome, trippy movie). This song is brilliant, and I am actually not sure if it is about scuba diving in the Caribbean or not. Still awesome though and a song I love a lot.

No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age

Ahhhh this  song is sooooo good!! Listen to the drumming…DAVE GROHL!!! I loved this album, but this song is so freakin cool.

Buddy Holly – Weezer

I was absolutely OBSESSED with this song when I was in highschool. I still listen to this song and just wanna jump around and flail my arms. This was definitely my favourite Weezer album, probably just because of this song hahaha.

Uninvited – Alanis Morissette

This song is so beautiful and haunting. I have been obsessed with this song back from when I first heard it in 2002, it was on a movie soundtrack compilation (this song was for City of Angels). This song is just so amazing.

Savior – Rise Against

Rise Against are a politically based band, so therefore you could take this song a couple of different ways. It could actually be about love or it could be about government, nature…etc. Whatever the meaning, I love this song and once again I think this is another freakin brilliant song.

*******************************

Well I hope you enjoyed  my list of songs. Even if no-one reads this, I had a great time singing along whilst writing this blog!! Happy Sunday everyone!

Steff