Misfit Toy

Hey everyone. I know it has been a while. In all honesty, i haven’t been writing a lot lately. That upsets me. I used to write everyday to keep my mind active. Now, it has kind of lessened. Im setting out to change that. Also, i wanted to come back onto my blog. I like updating stuff here and get feedback from other writers on WordPress. I hope to start updating again. I even have plan for a new blog series, just like my interview with a writer series. I shall update that very soon. But for now, here is a poem i wrote before my few months of writers block. Hope you enjoy it:

Misfit toy

 

Broken

Disfigured

Maimed

Observed from eager eyes of

Blood thirsty audiences

They marvel,

They spit,

They cheer,

They jeer,

Whatever tickles their fancy.

I, always under the watchful eye

Of the Master

Master of tricks,

Mind or otherwise.

My “difference”,

Gains him enjoyment.

My “afflictions”,

Give him power.

As i get smaller and smaller

In my caged existence,

He gets bigger and bigger

More sinister and more power hungry.

His laughs fill my mind

With poison.

“Your only worth,

Your only job is to please me”

The horrifying gurgle of his voice

Fills my thoughts

And corrupts my mind.

The master of my own affliction…

And the audience fill the stage

To watch my fall,

My grand finale.

I am done.

This misfit toy has played

Its part

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Why I Love Kingdom Hearts

A little different from my usual content, but I promise I have a literary post planned for next week. I decided to make this post, since the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out tomorrow (Well where I live, it is). I have mentioned my love for Kingdom Hearts before in a previous post called Things that make me happy. But I didn’t go into the reasons why I adore this series. I have been playing these games for years and I still consider it my favourite game series. Here I’ll list the reasons why I love Kingdom Hearts and if any of this compels you to give Kingdom Hearts a go, I highly recommend it.

 

The Characters 

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I am not going to count any of the Disney characters in this, as Disney have amazing, well-rounded characters. For now, Im sticking to the new characters Square Enix created for the series. In the first game, the list of Kingdom Hearts characters was slim picking as Square wanted to put more emphasis on their Disney and Final Fantasy characters. However, as the series has grown, more characters have been added into the mix. So many of these characters have strong storylines from start to finish, from Riku’s path to darkness to his redemption and the tragedy of Roxas. However, my favourite character in the series has to be Sora, the protagonist.

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Sora is the most optimistic character I have ever come across. Even through the face of danger and hopelessness, he always keeps his smile. Even one of the characters said that “He is far too nice for his own good.” He fights for the safety of his friends and connects with everyone he meets. He can be naïve at times, but thats part of his charm. He is so optimistic to a fault. But alas, he cant stay like that forever and I am not ready for that. Each character brings something to each instalment and my hopes are that Kingdom Hearts 3 will tie up loose ends with every character. They all deserve happy endings.

 

The Story 

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The Kingdom Hearts plot is one of the most convoluted plots in a video game series. Any Kingdom Hearts fan knows the struggle of attempting to tell a friend about the series. But besides all that, I love the plot of Kingdom Hearts. Each instalment brings its own addition to the bigger picture. It can get confusing when you try to think of the different timelines and how everything connects, but I love the built up lore that Nomura has created for these games. My favourite plot in the series is Kingdom Hearts 2. There is so much tragedy, humour and mystery within that instalment. It’s the best game in the series (in my opinion).

 

The Music

If you dont like the game series, thats fine. But if you dont cry to this piece of music, you are heartless (*wink* see what I did there, KH fans *wink*. I’m so sorry). The music in the series is arranged beautifully, and every rendition compliments to whatever happens into the series. I feel the games wouldn’t be as good as they are, without the OSTs they have. For example, my favourite piece of music from Kingdom Hearts is “The Other Promise.”

The reason I love this piece is because it evolves the character theme of Roxas. Throughout the series, Roxas had the most tragic story arc and this piece shows it. This plays the moment Roxas has a stand off with his other self, Sora. Kingdom Hearts 2 plot builds up to this moment of conflict between the two, and as the player, you can feel the sadness within that moment of contact through this score. There are other amazing pieces of music from the games, such as character themes, Simple and Clean, Sanctuary, Dive to the Heart, Missing You etc.

 

The Disney connection

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For nostalgia reasons, I love the inclusion of Disney characters. Its fun when you play as Sora and befriend your childhood heroes. Its interesting, fun and it gives all the feels. Also, each character has their own battle style and in Kingdom Hearts 2, each Disney partner has a joined battle stance with Sora, such as Sora has a battle stance with Jack Skellington called “Dance Call.”

Each party member has a particular battle stance. It makes the gameplay enjoyable and gives variety to the different Disney characters in the games.

 

Overall,  Kingdom Hearts is an enjoyable ride for anyone. If you love an interesting story (even though its a little convoluted), Disney characters, fun battles and exciting characters, try Kingdom Hearts. You wont regret. Youll be grinning from ear to ear, while playing it. I’m recently playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and years on, I still adore it. I felt the same way I did, when I first played it back in 2005. I cried, I laughed and I’m ready for Kingdom Hearts 3. Along with the rest of the Kingdom Hearts community, I cant wait to have Kingdom Hearts 3 in my hands. Its been years in the making and the time has finally come. Hope you enjoyed this post. I know its much shorter, but I wanted this out before tomorrow as Ill be getting Kingdom Hearts 3 then. To talk about the series as a whole, its really difficult. I wanted to talk about Kingdom Hearts 2, as its my favourite game in the series. But I felt I should talk about the whole series. But I might make a dedicated post for Kingdom Hearts 2 at a later date. It’ll be more extensive than this post. But for now, hope you enjoyed and Ill talk to you in the next post x

 

 

 

My Top 10 Favourite Films

Along with my love for books and writing, I love film. When I was younger, I dreamed of becoming a film director. That dream is gone, but I still have a love for films. For this post, I shall talk about my top ten favourite movies. This is in no particular order and some of these choices are part of a series (I couldn’t chose what was my favourite from those series, so I just put down the series as a whole). So here are my top 10 favourite movies:

Inception

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For those of you who dont know what Inception is, the basic plot of the movie, is: A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. 

I saw this film when it first came out in cinema in 2010, and it blew my mind. The concept of dream-sharing technology was fascinating and to see it come to life on screen, was spectacular. The visual effects and the binding of realities in the dreams were beautiful to look at. Christopher Nolan shot this movie remarkably well, and it is my favourite of all his movies. The acting was amazing. DiCaprio was brilliant, but my favourite part of the movie were the interactions between Joseph Gordon Levitt and Tom Hardy in the film. Tom Hardy wasn’t known before Inception, but his presence lit up the screen. A brilliant scene-stealer. Exceptional film. Would highly recommend it.

Clouds of Sils Maria

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I may have mentioned this film in a previous post. Clouds of Sils Maria is about, a film star comes face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself while starring in a revival of the play that launched her career. 

This film is more slower-paced than Inception, but remains remarkable. The only reason I watched this film in the first place, was for Kristen Stewart. The films slow-paced narrative, made me hate it at first. But the acting and the inner conflict of the story kept me there. The interactions between Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, kept me engaged and I fell in love with their conflict. The conflict between different imaginative minds brings me back to the many conversations I had with fellow writers. Delving into the meaning of texts, and arguing different interpretations, it was refreshing to see. Kristen Stewart was phenomenal in her role as Juliette Binoche’s personal assistant, and she won the French version of an Oscar, the César award for Best Supporting Actress. If you’re into slower-paced and artsy films, check out Clouds of Sils Maria.

Harry Potter series
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As it probably was for many of you, the Harry Potter films were my childhood. I saw every film in the cinema when it came out. I bought all of the books, films and even owned a Harry Potter wand. I’m still in love with this series as a whole. The creation of the magical world onto the screen, was brilliant to see every year. Moreover, to grow up with the trio from when they were 11 to 18, was very nostalgic, and heart-warming. I love all of the films equally and I couldn’t just chose one film as my all time favourite. But my top favourite Harry Potter films would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 1.

 

A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi)

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This film is one of the darker films on my list, but it is a very important film. A Silent Voice is about, a young man who is ostracized by his classmates after he bullies a deaf girl to the point where she moves away. Years later, he sets off on a path for redemption.

The main plot of A Silent Voice, relates to a guy bullying a deaf girl. I have watched many movies about bullying such as A Girl Like Her, and Cyberbully: 

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But none of these films portrayed bullying well on screen. They either have the stereotypical pretty blond girl being the bully or a dump, innocent victim. In A Silent Voice, it portrays the dark elements of bullying, such as the effects it can have on victims and abusers. I never have sympathy for bullies, but A Silent Voice puts you in the shoes of a person, who tormented an innocent person and attempts to make things right. This film portrays bullying honestly, in a way that shows the many sides of these tragic events. Everyone plays a part in some shape of form to these horrific events, but no one speaks up. I’m going to make a blog post about this film, as there is so much to discuss around this film. But I highly recommend you watch it. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s worth the tears.

 

How to Be Single

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It may not be for everybody, but I loved this film. How to Be Single is about, a group of young adults navigating love and relationships in New York City. 

I thought the characters and storylines were really funny. Rebel Wilson was comedic gold in this film. I related to quite a few situations in the movie, and that kept me engaged throughout. Also, I really want an apartment similar to Dakota Johnson’s one in this film. It was so quant and solitary. It’s just a fun movie and if you love fun, comedic films, check out How to Be Single. 

 

The Social Network

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Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

It was a fascinating take on the history of Facebook and its creation. David Fincher made a really smart film, and brought together an exceptional cast that brought the characters to life. I never knew about Mark Zuckerburg until I saw the film. I was so fascinated by Facebook’s history, that I wrote a history paper on it. I analysed statements from the real Mark Zuckerburg and his opinions of the films. The film is brilliant, if you take it as entertainment. There is some factual information provided in the film, but not enough to call it a reliable source. Also, Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Zuckerburg was brilliant. The intro to the film never fails to amaze me.

 

 

Your Name

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Your Name is about, a teenage boy and girl who embark on a quest to meet each other for the first time after they magically swap bodies.

It may seem like a stereotypical swapping bodies story. But it has so much more attached to it. Its hard to explain without spoiling it, but this film portrays a beautiful love story, about honest connection and longing. The look of the film is breath-taking. The director, Makoto Shinkai, creates amazing sceneries that brings you to the urban look of Tokyo to the scenic backgrounds of Japan’s countrysides. Moreover, the music is phenomenal. Your Name wouldn’t be Your Name without Radwimps (the band who composed the soundtrack). Listening to their songs on their own is fine, but they work seamlessly with the film. Its a masterpiece. It became the highest grossing anime film in the world, surpassing Spirited Away. I advise you check it out. You wont regret it.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

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I love all of the films, but Dead Man’s Chest has a special place in my heart. After The Curse of the Black Pearl, I was dying for more pirates. And I got it in the form of Dead Man’s Chest. It was bigger, the action scenes were better, and the trio were back. It was a treat of a movie, and a great way to continue on the story. I loved Elizabeth Swann in this film, as she threw away the corset and picked up a gun. Instead of standing back, she became part of the action, which I preferred. I began to adore her as a character in this film, before she became the Pirate King in the final film in the trilogy. The locations were fabulous and the humour still amazing. This movie in the franchise will remain my favourite of all the Pirates films.

 

Personal Shopper

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Another Kristen Stewart film, of course. Personal Shopper is about, a personal shopper in Paris refusing to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message. 

This film is very haunting and beautifully shot. This is the best performance Kristen Stewart has ever given. The film questions the concept of the afterlife and communication with ghosts. When Kristen Stewart’s character starts getting texts from an unknown number, you wonder whether its her dead twin brother, another ghost or something more sinister. Its another slower-paced movie, but worth the watch. My favourite part about the film is the use of texting to tell story through the medium of film. I dont know why, but I love it when movies base their storytelling actions on our modern-day technologies, such as using messenger, texting, Facebook or Skype. Another film that does this is Face 2 Face, where the film is strictly through Skype calls or facetime.

 

The Lord of the rings

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If you havent heard of The Lord of the Rings, you have must lived under a rock. Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the films follow the hobbit Frodo Baggins, as he and the Fellowship embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring, to ensure the destruction of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron.

This trilogy was directed by the master, Peter Jackson and it became one of the highest grossing film series of all time. Its final film, The Return of the King won 11 of its Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. This film series had a massive impact upon its release and they are still praised to this day. It was The Lord of the Rings that got me into movies. I love the scenery of these films, which was shot in New Zealand (on my bucket list to go there). The acting, the story, the lore, just everything about it I love. Even years after first watching them, I still adore the films. If you havent seen them yet, I highly recommend them. Its a high-suspenseful fantasy with action, romance, friendship and loyalty. A great film to sit back and watch on a quiet Friday night.

 

And there you have it. Those were my top ten favourite movies. If you havent heard of any these, check them out. You wont regret it. My soul remains with literature and writing, but film will always have a special place in my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish Tales: Oisín and Tír na nÓg

Inspired by my previous posts, I wanted to try my hand at retelling the classic Irish fairytales I grew up with. We knew these stories so well, and it has been great to look back on them. By looking into these fairytales, I started to realize how vast Irish mythology is and how these stories only scrape the surface of our legends. I may make a post about Irish mythology down the line. But today, I shall be telling the story of Oisín and Tír na nÓg. Just as a preface for this story, the Fianna were a band of semi-independent warriors in Irish mythology. Tír na nÓg is known as The Land of the Young, and another way to name the Celtic Underworld. My retelling of this tale is taken from a children’s book I read years ago. So this will be told in a different way to other versions. So enjoy this retelling of “Oisín and Tír na nÓg.”

 

One morning, the Fianna were out hunting deer on the shores of Loch Lein in County Kerry. They saw a beautiful white horse coming towards them. Riding on the horse was the most beautiful woman they have ever seen. She wore a long blue dress, blue as the summer sky, studded with silver stars, and her long golden hair went down to her waist. 

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“What is your name and what land do you come from?” asked Fionn, leader of the Fianna. 

“I am Niamh Chinn Óir (Niamh of the Golden hair). My father is the king of Tír na nÓg” she replied. “I have heard of a warrior called Oisín. I have heard of his courage and of his poetry. I have come to find him, and take him back with me, to Tír na nÓg.” 

Oisín was the son of Fionn. He was a great leader and a poet. “Tell me,” Oisín said. “What sort of land is Tír na nÓg?”

“Tír na nÓg is the land of youth,” replied Niamh. “It is a happy place, with no pain and no sorrow. Any wish you make comes true, and no one grows old there. If you come with me, youll find out all of this is true.”

Oisín mounted the white horse, and said goodbye to his father and friends. He promised he would return soon. The horse galloped over the water, moving as swiftly as a shadow. The Fianna were sad to see Oisín go, but Fionn reminded them of his promise to return soon. 

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The King and Queen of Tír na nÓg welcomed Oisín, and held a great feast in his honour. It was indeed a wonderful land, just as Niamh had said. In Tír na nÓg, the trees were in constant bloom and the leaves never fall or die. All the people who lived in Tír na nÓg, were young and beautiful. They hunted and feasted, and at night, he told stories of Fionn and the Fianna, and their lives in Ireland. But he never felt as happy as he did, when he was with Niamh. And before long, they were married, and had two children, Oscar and their daughter, Plor na mBan (Flower of Women). Time passed quickly, and although he was very happy, Oisín began to think of returning home for a visit. Niamh didn’t want him to go. But at last, she said, “Take my white horse. It will carry you safely to Ireland and back. Whatever happens, you must not get off the horse, and touch the soil of Ireland. If you do, you will never return to me, and to Tír na nÓg.” She didn’t tell him that, although he had only been away for a few years, he had really been there for 300 hundred years.

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Ireland seemed like a strange place when Oisín arrived back. There seemed to be no trace of his father or the rest of the Fianna. As he passed through Gleann na Smól, he saw some men trying to move a large stone. “I will help you,” said Oisín. The men were terrified of this giant on a white horse. Stooping from his saddle, Oisín lifted the stone with one hand and hurled it. With that, the saddle strap broke, and Oisín was flung to the ground. Immediately, the white horse disappeared, and the men saw before them, an old, old man. They took him to a holy man, who lived nearby. Some say that the holy man was Saint Patrick. 

“Where is my father and the Fianna?” Oisín asked. When he was told they were long dead, he was heartbroken. He spoke of the many deeds of Fionn and the Fianna, and their many adventures together. He spoke of his time in Tír na nÓg, and his beautiful wife that he would never see again. 

Although he died soon after, the wonderful stories of Oisín have lived on. To this day, children in Ireland still retell the story of Oisín, and his magical adventures in Tír na nÓg. Some people claimed to have seen the beautiful white horse through the early mists of the dawn, only to disappear before their eyes, when the mist clears. 

 

Hope you enjoyed it. I have so many more tales I plan to share on my blog. Thats all I have for this post and I shall see you in the next one x

 

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Irish Writers – We are depressing 💚

In my Masters course, I got the chance to take a class analysing Irish literature. Throughout my college career, I never really looked into Irish literature. For my final year project, I did analyse Irish Gothic texts. But I haven’t looked into contemporary Irish novels.

So the class I took, Gender and Sexuality in Irish literature, analysed a couple of contemporary Irish texts and new woman fiction etc. It was fascinating, to look more into the literature from my country.

But one thing I picked up on, was a conversation I had with an American student. He attends the creative writing masters in my college. One day, he comes into class and talks about the style of Irish writers.

“You Irish people write some depressing s**t. Why does everything have to be sad in your stories”

I had to laugh at this comment, because it reminds me of the tagline for my blog. “I am a happy person but a depressing writer.” From the little interaction I had with Irish literature, it’s true that we have a flair for the tragedies. We place our characters into dark situations with no way out. I just read a novel about a woman who killed her abusive, alcoholic husband and the novel follows the unsettling relationship between her and her son, as they live together in Dublin city. The continuous silence between mother and son speaks volumes to what it means to be Irish. We don’t talk about our feelings. We mostly bottle them up and if we do talk about them, we make a laugh out of it. For the mother and son, they never acknowledge the past horrors at home and maintain this hidden truth, that can never be spoken out loud.

One of my classmates responded to the guys comment, “that’s because we were colonised.”

Ireland has a dark history related to our colonialization by the British Empire. However, that doesn’t really plague our country as much anymore. The darkness within our country at the moment, would be the control of the Catholic Church, the uproar over sexual harassment and assault towards women.

We have our dark moments that seemed unbearable to relive, such as the Magdalene laundries, the sexual abuse of children from members of the church, and many more. Therefore, these dark memories of our country in some shape or form within our writing. They seep into every Irish work, as it would within any work. However, I have come to appreciate this style of writing, as through all these trials and tragedies, the Irish maintain their dry sense of humour.

Through the dark times, the Irish remain humorous. And it’s evident within Irish writers work. So yes, we are depressing. But we use self deprecating humour to push that aside or bring attention to it. This shows who we are as a culture, and I’m proud to call myself Irish.

Some Irish books I recommend you check out would be The Long Falling by Keith Ridgway, Normal People by Sally Rooney. I am currently reading a book called The Pleasures of Eliza Lynch by Anne Enright. It tells the story of a real Cork woman who was a well known prostitute who became mistress to a prince. Eliza Lynch became merely a footnote in history, so Anne Enright  decided to write about her.

This post seems a bit all over the place but I just wanted to talk about that comment from the American student. I’m proud of our self deprecating attitude towards life and our history. There is a great charm to Irish works because of that. I want to read more Irish novels and if I find any good ones, I’m sure I’ll make a post about it. And if you have any works from your country that I might like, let me know. I hope you had a lovely end to 2018 and happy New year 💜 I shall talk to you in the next post.

 

 

Irish books from my childhood

Recently, my sister and I were trying to remember classic novels we read in primary school. Most of them, were classic Irish books written by Irish writers. I dont think I have ever talked about Irish books on my blog before. I think I need to change that. I have another idea for a blog post related to Irish books or Irish writing, which Ill post in the next week or so. But for now, lets delve into my childhood and look at some Irish books that I read when I was young.

 

Drumshee Chronicles by Cora Harrison (Titanic and Murder Strikes Back)

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I remember these vividly. It was a series of books, written by Cora Harrison, which are historical novels for children which tell the history of Ireland through two millennia. These stories talk about the Celts, monks, Vikings and the Normans, the 1798 revolution, the Great Famine etc. My favourite books from the series, or the ones I remember most, are Murder Strikes Back and Titanic Voyage.

Titanic Voyage Synopsis:  Kitty loves everything about the magnificent Titanic – its splendour, wearing her beautiful gold necklace at the ceilis, meeting other passengers, including handsome John. She began to get quite fond of the two children in her care, Robert and Tabitha. She did not even once think of her grandmother’s words as she left Drumshee:
‘That necklace must never leave Drumshee, or bad luck will follow.”

And then disaster strikes. As the Titanic starts to sink and the terrified passengers begin to panic, Kitty realises that Robert and Tabitha are missing.

Murder Strikes Back: In fifth century Ireland, Christianity was new and strange, and Cetterick, the priest, had been cruel and arrogant and had made many enemies.
But which one of those enemies hated him enough to kill him?
Was it the unfortunate slave boy?
The jealous druid?
The goldsmith in fear for his life?
The wife whom Cetterick had abandoned?
The farmer cheated of his land?
And what about the beautiful Mara? What was she doing outside the chapel?
Once again murder strikes at Drumshee, and once again Ita and her fellow students at Drumshee law school set out to solve the mystery.

The novels provide interesting history lessons of Ireland’s past through fictional stories. If you are interested in Irish history, maybe try out these books. I might do a review on them down the line. I havent read them since I was a child so I want to see if they hold up today.

 

When the Sea Calls by Don Conroy
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Synopsis: Sinéad Keane is a lonely young girl growing up in the west of Ireland in the early 1900s. Her mother died tragically in a drowning accident seventeen years earlier. She was pregnant with Sinéad at the time. Whenever Sinéad enquires about the tragic event no one is willing to talk to her about it, least of all her father.

Who is the mysterious stranger from England? Will Sinéad’s friend Danny survive the war that’s raging in Europe? Why does the sea have such a pull on Sinéad’s emotions and feelings?

I am unsure whether I read this or not. I know my sister loved this book when we were young. She talked to me about all of the time. A very haunting story, and ties with Irish mythology really well. So if wanted to know a little more on the myths of Ireland, check out this book.

 

Fallen Star by Joan O’ Neill

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Synopsis: In 1950s Ireland, Sixteen year old Stella’s innocent childhood is shattered when charismatic Charlie comes into her life. Where Stella’s family struggle to make ends meet, Charlie can have anything he wants, and that includes Stella, who is rapidly falling for him. Then Stella discovers she is pregnant. Suddenly Charlie is gone, and Stella is left with only the bracelet he gave her. Stella’s devoutly religious mother, horrifed by the scandal, sends her errant daughter to a Magdalene Laundry convent, miles from home, where in return for daily and rigorous and endless chores, Stella will be able to have her baby in secret. The convent is bleak and austere, the nuns themselves cruel and lacking compassion. When Stella’s baby girl is born, it will be taken from her for adoption, the only answer is to run away with her child. But Stella didn’t expect the struggle and pain of being a single mother – with her family turning against her, who can she rely on for help. Out of the blue, comes support and love from an unexpected quarter, to finally make Stella’s story a happy one. 

This is more of a young adult novel, but I remember it vividly from my childhood. This is a lot darker than the other books, as this takes a leaf out of our history. As you may not know, Ireland had Magdalene Laundries around the country for years. Their purpose was to take “fallen” women into their convents and subject them to hard labour, to repent their sins. These women would be deemed too promiscuous and tainted to live in society. Mostly, they were women who got pregnant out of wedlock, which was a big no-no in the old days of Ireland. So any woman who was raped, or just had sex, or even seemed interested in sex, were sent to the laundries. All mothers who gave birth in the laundries were separated from their children and never saw them again. This book captures that really well. The nuns in the laundries never gave them information, and treated the women terribly. It is a shameful part of our history, as I think the last laundry closed in 1996. If you want to learn more about this topic, there are some documentaries on the topic or you can watch the Magdalene Sisters movie. Its very good.

 

Irish Legends for Children by Yvonne Carroll

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Synopsis: A delightful collection of traditional Irish legends including much-loved favourites such as ‘Oisin’, ‘The Brown Bull of Cooley’ and ‘The Giant from Scotland’. 

This book was in every classroom in my primary school. It told the classic tales of Irish myth such as ‘The Children of Lir’ or ‘Deidre of Sorrows’. Its a great way for us Irish kids, to understand our roots and learn about the classic Irish stories of old. Maybe Ill tell some of those stories on my blog. I love the Irish legends. They are so fascinating and very tied with the country of Ireland. Makes me appreciate where I come from. I’m considering writing a novel tied with the Irish legends. Dont know yet. We shall see.

 

Under the Hawthorn Tree and Wildflower Girl by Marita Conlon-McKenna

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Synopsis: The story of Under the Hawthorn Tree is about three brave young children, Eily who is twelve, Michael who is ten and Peggy who is seven, who try to survive during the time of the famine in the 1840’s. The book tells of their courage while making their journey to Castletaggart to find their great aunts, Nano and Lena, where they would be safe and have food.

Wildflower Girl is the second book in the Children of the Famine trilogy. At seven, Peggy made a dangerous journey through Ireland during the Great Famine. Now thirteen, she goes on another challenging journey, across the Atlantic to America.

Marita Conlon-McKenna was a huge part of my childhood. She wrote many children’s books, but the ones I remember most was Under the Hawthorn Tree and Wildflower Girl. They are part of the trilogy, Children of the Famine. Most of you might not know the story of the Great Famine in Ireland. The Great Famine (An Gorta Mór) was a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1849. It caused great devastation to Ireland, many died of starvation, of diseases on ships etc. Many left Ireland to survive the famine, never to return. Therefore, it was fascinating that McKenna incorporated this part of Irish history into her novels. This provides Irish children an easier outlet to learn about their history, without learning all of the facts.

 

That is all I have for today. I liked looking over the old Irish books I read when I was a child. I havent really talked about where I come from, except for when I wrote about my new project. I have a couple of posts planned relating to Irish writing, author, or even Irish tales. I found writing this post a joy, so I hope to do more like this soon. Hope to see you in the next post x

 

 

 

The Owl and the Pussycat

I decided to do something a little different. I was remincising on my childhood and I remembered a lovely poem I read when I was young. I couldn’t remember the name of it. I searched and I searched. Then I remembered the story of it and I found “The Owl and the Pussycat.” A lovely little children’s poem I loved when I was little and I wanted to share with you.

I have a couple of blog posts ready for the next week or so. I cant wait for you to see them. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this poem. I got the poem from Poetry Foundation.

The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear

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I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

II
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

III
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Image result for the owl and the pussycat poem illustrations

 

Tips for Nanowrimo

This month is Nanowrimo month (National Novel Writing Month). I would love to take part this month, but I’m in the middle of my Masters programme. I’m too busy thinking of ideas for my thesis.

I am hoping to do some writing in December, when I am on my Christmas break from college. But a lot of you are about to start Nanowrimo and it may feel daunting at first. I love the idea, where you give yourself a month to write your first rough draft of your novel. Here are some tips to survive Nanowrimo:

 

Dont overwork yourself

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I know there is an importance on getting your wordcount done each day. But dont overwork yourself. If you do too much at once, youll burn yourself out. When you feel overworked, take a break, have a kit-kat. Allow yourself the time to step away from writing and breath.

 

Forget the word count

Dont stress over word count. It doesn’t matter. I know that you need to reach a certain word count each day. But take my advice: don’t think about word count. Just get your story down. Write out your important scenes. It doesn’t have to be perfect or have to be a certain word count. Once you have your story down, that’s all that matters.

Plan ahead

As you are half way through Nanowrimo, I don’t know if this will help now. But, plan ahead of Nanowrimo, so you don’t get stuck in the middle of writing your story. If you don’t plan, you may find yourself stuck in writers block a few times and it’ll set you back in the process. So a good tip is to make out a spider web, with all your characters, plot and settings. Write them down and sort them out. It’ll help you in the long run.

 

Just have fun

Nanowrimo is a great opportunity for writers to crack out that story you’ve always wanted to write. I was meaning to take part in it this year, to start on my new project. But college is too hectic at the moment. This is your time to tell your story. So enjoy it, while you can. Because the hard part comes when you have to edit it. So enjoy the writing process.

 

That’s all I have for today. Sorry about the mess. My WordPress hasn’t been working on my computer so I had to finish this on my phone. Not used to it. Hope you are all enjoying Nanowrimo so far, and I shall talk to you in the next post x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Struggling

I had a new blog post almost ready to post about tips for Nanowrimo, but some reason, WordPress wont let me edit it. So I decided to just do a post talking to you about what has been happening with me lately. I just saw that the last time I posted was the 18th of October. A whole month of not posting. I’m sorry about that, but I have been busy.

 

Some of you may remember that I am doing my Masters degree in college at the moment. It was been an enlightening experience, but awful at the same time. I’m in the 9th week of the 12 week semester and I have so much assignments due. I have a presentation in 2 weeks and 3 more essays due. Its rough. The last couple of weeks, I have been waking up early in the morning to spend my day, in the library and going to classes.

College is no longer fun. I have been feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. All I want to do is sleep. But I cant sleep, because work needs to be done. Also I work at the weekends, so college work is out of the question. I do a nine hour swift of work and all I want to do is sleep when I get home. Ive been praying everyday for the Christmas holidays to come. Thats how bad its gotten.

I also dont feel intelligent enough to be in this programme. I’m surrounded by these incredibly intelligent people and I feel like I’m just fumbling along. I use to feel confident in my academic field, but in the Masters, I feel inadequate.

 

The good news is I may have an idea for my Masters thesis. Thats good at least. Need to start early. Ill do a little research during the Christmas holidays, but not too much. Ill need to sleep for days, when the semester is over. To those who think that the Masters is an easy year in college and just want to procrastinate before going into the real world, the Masters will chew you up and spit you out, at that rate.

Sorry about the disappearing act. Ill try better to post, but I am going to be busy for the next few weeks. Be patient with me. I promise Ill post again soon. Hope ye had a nice day and Ill talk to you in the next post.

BookTuber/Writing Channels I Love

I dont watch that many booktubers or writing videos on YouTube. I have been trying to find more writing vlog to watch, because I find watching these type of YouTubers inspire me to keep writing. My writing has slowed down within the last couple of years.

Sometimes I hated these YouTubers for talking about reading and writing. With my reading slump, I felt like a failure when watching these people. They would talk about the 10 books they had read in the past month, whereas I barely get through one book. However, these channels helped me to get back into writing.

They talk about stories they love in these books and they talk about their writing process. I mean you cant say that watching these types of videos, wont make you feel inspired by the end. I wanted to write a blog post about these channels so that if any of you need some inspiration or you feel discouraged by your reading or writing, check out these channels. You may find the next best book for you to read and they could help you start writing again.

And for any of you who do watch some booktubers or writing channels, let me know of anymore channels I could watch. I’m trying to broaden my watchlist.

Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia)

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The first booktuber I need to talk about is Sasha Alsberg. Her channel is called @abookutopia. She was the first booktuber I came across and her channel was the reason I got into watching other literature channels. She is very bubbly, outgoing and brilliant to watch. Moreover, she has become a writer, as she published her first book in January 2018, called Zenith. She has made a few vlogs about her writing process through the time she was writing Zenith. She got me excited to write again. I just wanted to sit down, and write my own adventures again, after watching her vlogs.

She also makes videos about her favourite books of the year etc. She is a great source to go to, if you are looking for new books to read. She is one of teh more popular booktubers as she has met and interviewed several celebrities on her channel, such as Stephanie Meyer:

She is a young upcoming writer and a fun YouTuber to watch. I have yet to read her book, Zenith, but I have it ready on my bookshelf.

Lindsay Cummings 

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Next is Lindsay Cummings. I discovered her through Sasha’s channel. Since she co-wrote Zenith with Sasha, she appears in several of her videos. Lindsay has a channel of her own, where she discusses her love of reading and her own experiences with publishing. She is one of the more experienced writers I have come across on YouTuber, as she has published several novels. Overall, she has published 7 novels; The Murder Complex, The Fear Trials, The Death Code, The Balance Keepers Triology and Zenith. Her channel focuses more on the writing process and how to get published. I love the writing vlogs she does as you can see into her day as she goes through a draft of her novels.

She does a lot of videos on writing tips. She discusses NaNoWriMo and the difficulties of getting through your novel.

She is less bubbly than Sasha, but I love her writing advice. She makes a calm atmosphere in her videos, which makes it easier to feel inspired and listen to what she says. She is updating less on YouTube as she has moved house and having her first child with her husband. I wish her all the best in her endeavours, with her new life and her next novel, Nexus.

Shaelin Bishop (ShaelinWrites)

Her channel is more about the art of writing and she discusses her own projects she is working. I love Shaelin’s channel as she discusses her own projects, her own novels and short stories. She has published a couple of short stories, so I feel confident watching her advice videos and feel more inspired to write after her discussions. She took a hiatus from her channel, so I didnt go back to her channel for a while. She recently came back to her channel so I came back to her old and new content. My favourite videos from her are her discussing her works:

 

I love when she discusses how she came up with her ideas, and how she delves into these different worlds she writes about. She also talks about her set-backs, such as her growing disinterest in a project she used to love or the hardships of writing a particular work:

But my favourite videos of hers, are the more recent writing vlogs she is doing, where she writes out a short story and discusses what happens while she is writing it. She provides great advice on how to create an engaging story, interesting characters and unique dialogue. I love her simple set-up in her videos. It is just her and the camera. She just sits down and talks about writing. And I love it.

Those are all the booktuber channels that I love. Go check them out. They have really inspired to keep writing and reading. It’s a section on YouTube where I felt was what I was into. It’s not all prank videos or drama videos, which is nice to find. And if you have any other book/writing I can check out, let me know in the comments. I’d love to watch some more. See you in the next post x

5 books I didn’t like

I’m surprised I never talked about some books I disliked. I wrote reviews on novels that I liked, so its only fair that I write a post about a few of the novels I didn’t like. Now, this is all going to be based on my opinion. I may talk some shit about popular books from popular authors. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have no hate towards the authors of the novels. Mostly, I love their work. Just not the ones I am going to talk about in this post.

Ill only be talking about 5 books as thats all I have at the moment. This is in no particular order. There may be spoilers to these novels down below, so forewarned.

Paper Towns by John Green

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Synopsis: After an all-night adventure, Quentin’s lifelong crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.

I loved The Fault in Our Stars, but I didn’t like this novel. After reading it, I just felt like it was a waste of my time. I thought, “why did I read this?”

The mystery behind the character Margo, drove the story. I loved the concept of this mysterious Margo. No one knew the real Margo and Quentin was one of the many people who saw her as almost an angelic figure. Throughout, I was interested in who the real Margo was. I didn’t care about the rest of the novel. The rest didn’t hold my interest that much. The story was mainly to discover the real Margo. Now, when you find Margo, thats when the story was ruined for me.

I hated it.

I dont care if Quentin ends up with Margo in the end, or if they get a happy ending. But, I hated Margo at the end of the novel. Now, I guess it was John Green’s intent to show the real Margo, behind all the mystery and I guess I just didn’t like what I found. Overall, I felt the book was uneventful. After I finished it, I asked myself why did I even read this?  It just wasn’t for me.

 

The Vampire Diaries The Return: Nightfall

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Synopsis:

To save the two vampire brothers who love her, Elena Gilbert sacrificed her life.

Now that a supernatural force has brought Elena back from the dead, all handsome, brooding Stefan wants is to keep her safe. But when he is lured away from Fell’s Church, sleek, powerful Damon seizes his chance to win Elena over, unaware of the danger they’re both in. A malevolent being has infiltrated the town and is growing stronger. Able to possess Damon at will, the creature is also drawn to Elena and the new power she has acquired. But it’s after more than Elena’s power: It thirsts for her death.

 

I loved L.J Smith’s works. I read most of her Vampire Diaries books and loved her Secret Circle series. I loved the shows that are inspired from her works. But dont be mistaken. The book series is nothing like the tv show. Sure, the tv show is dark and sexy, but the books are sexier and more f***ed up. But I loved them. I’ve always loved dark stories and I liked L.J Smith’s writing style at the time.

However, I never finished the series. Why? This book is the reason.

I dont remember much of this book, except for one part. It was a scene where, Elena and Damon are running away from Damon in a forest. They come to a clearing and whenever they try to leave the clearing, Damon prevents them from leaving, using his powers. Then Damon forces Elena and Matt to have sex in front of him, while he watches.

Now, I was a young teen when I read this. This scene shocked me. I actually still remember this scene to this day, years after reading it. I thought I stopped reading the series after that, but I found a bookmark in The Vampire Diaries The Return: Shadow Souls, which means I continued onto the next book in the series. I’m surprised I didn’t stop reading after that scene. Come to think of it, I’m surprised I didn’t stop reading the series sooner, because it has so many of those types of scenes, such as Tyler almost raping Elena in the first or second book in the series.

 

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

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Synopsis: 

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

My sister loved this book. She begged me to read it for ages and then I finally read it. It wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t great. It didn’t wow me, or hold anything special for me. I hardly remembering it to be honest. I remember picking up the sequel in O’ Mahoney’s and I loved the blurb of it. It got me interested in the story. But I didn’t realise it was a sequel to If I Stay.

It was good. It just wasn’t for me. No shade to Gayle Forman. I actually the writing style in the novel. It was just…I dont know. It didn’t captivate me, like other books did. Now, I can barely remember the novel.

 

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Synopsis: Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

This was a book I started and never finished. I started the book, got through two chapters and put it down. I just couldn’t get through it. The premise of teh story is fascinating and I really wanted to read it. But I couldn’t. I didn’t like the way it was written. I just couldn’t get through it. I tried a second time, when I had to read the book for a college module. Same thing happened again. I guess I just dont like Ishiguro’s writing style.

I loved the film though, with Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield.

 

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

I ended up reading this book, before watching the film. I love dystopian novels and I wanted to see how they would take this. Again, this novel didn’t really wow me. There was no real explanation as to why this war started. It is left up in the air. Daisy’s love story in the novel and movie was with her cousin, which I’m sorry. I’m not into incestuous relationships. They are not close cousins but still. It was an interesting novel, but not my cup of tea. I liked the ending though, where she finds the cousin and he is completely shell-shocked. He cant speak or interact. He cant remember Daisy. It is traumatic when you see him like that. Other than that, I wasn’t a big fan of it. I wasn’t a big fan of the film either. I only watched it for Saoirse Ronan, fellow Irish queen.

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I want to know what you think. Are there any books you didn’t like? What about the books I mentioned? Have you read them and did you like them yourselves? I respect and love most of these writers, but sometimes, even the best writers come out with some bad novels. Thats all part of the process.