I wear glasses. I have done since I was 3. Although I know some people do, I don’t hate them – I kinda like the way they look on my face. (Except when they slide down. But that’s mostly because of my greasy nose.)
Sometimes I do wonder, though, if I would have turned out any differently if I didn’t wear them.
Obviously, I know what glasses should not be a personality trait. They’re just a problem with my eyes. Yet I can’t help but notice that the majority of the glasses-wearers in my year at school are in my friendship group – and many of the ones who aren’t wear contacts instead. It makes me feel a little ashamed of these glasses that I really do quite like. It makes me want to throw them across the room and pick up a packet of those expensive jelly things and stuff them in my eyes as fast as I can.
Well, not really. Although I can see how contact lenses would be useful, and I’ll probably try them sometime, I don’t see them as something I would wear constantly. Glasses might be restrictive in a surprising number of way: eating spaghetti, rain, steamy bathrooms, losing them/losing things, roller coasters, taking photos (and photos of said glasses), swimming and such, but I’m used to it. I get that those are very trivial things compared to what it could be, but still. If you want to get rid of them, you gotta pay.
The things that gets me most though are the – dare I say – ‘negative’ connotations that come with these frames: nerdy, awkward, uncool etc. Unfortunately, that’s still the way that they seem to be portrayed in many fictional works, and it’s just made worse because I am. I do like reading and writing and all of that. I wouldn’t want to change myself. It’s simply that…I wonder.
What if I hadn’t been born with eyes like this? Would I still be who I am today? After all, glasses weren’t uncool in Reception. People asked to try them on a lot, with all the ‘how many fingers am I holding up?’ majazz. (By the way, never ask that. It’s bloody irritating once you pass the point of primary school, okay?)
I suppose that glasses aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. (After all, bad eyesight seems to have completely disappeared from fantasy and dystopian novels that aren’t Harry Potter.) I don’t know. I guess that it’s just that…I’d like the stigma to go. And, as ever, I’m still wondering.
Welcome, welcome, to another mismatched edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and Bookish!
Just to clarify, this is not a list of the authors that I think are the best. I’m pretty sure that I’m not at all qualified (either in reading fodder or writerly knowledge) to judge that. Instead, in this edition of the kind-of-erratic Top Ten Tuesdays, I’m just going to be telling you my favourites. The ones that I would buy on sight. (Well, not just, since that wouldn’t amount to much. But along those lines.)
1. Sarah J Maas Throne of Glass was probably my first real book obsession. I don’t even know what to say about it, but it’s just affected my life in such a way that I feel utterly indebted to Sarah J Maas. I also find it so encouraging how she progressed from writing fanfic and publishing on Fictionpress to becoming a real published author. It gives me hope that someday I can inspire others, too.
2. Rainbow Rowell Right, so Rainbow Rowell’s books are not always deep and profound truths. But sometimes, that’s not what I want; sometimes, I just want a book that will make me amazingly and wonderfully happy. Reading her books is like a warm hug and hot chocolate, except with much less effort. <3 She also seems like a really cool person – being part of the fandom, and having the courage to switch genres, and just generally promoting fannish stuff. (Also, I own 7 copies of her books, and I don’t even own Landline. THE COVERS AND CHARACTERS ARE JUST SO PRETTY ASDFJKL)
3. Pierce Brown Okay, I get that he’s only written two books so far, but I really like Red Rising. Although Darrow’s not the best protagonist, I absolutely fell in love with the worldbuilding and the writing and everything.
4. Jandy Nelson The first time I read The Sky is Everywhere, I loved it. It is the only book for which I have stayed up reading late into the night. I haven’t liked it so much on re-reading, but when I read I’ll Give You the Sun it was like falling in love all over again. Her writing style is wonderful, and I love the poetry interspersed. <3 (She’s also a poet and editor! How about that?)
5. Maggie Stiefvater I didn’t like The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I haven’t yet read her Books of Faerie. No, the reason that Maggie Stiefvater is on this list is for just one of her series: The Raven Cycle.
I don’t know why they’re so different to her other books, but they are. For me, they seem like they transcend some of the moulds of YA fiction. The poetic language is beautiful, yes, but the characters are just what brings it to life. I would like to write books like these. The characters feel so compelx and real and there we go again, I’m fangirling! Seriously, though. They’re AWESOME.
6. Patrick Ness Patrick Ness’ books are perhaps more what I would call ‘library’ fiction – they’re the books that teachers are always trying to get you to read, the ones that appear time and time again on lists and awards and whatnot. I haven’t yet read all his books, but the ones I have read – Chaos Walking, A Monster Calls, More Than This, The Rest of Us Just Live Here – have been amazing.
7. Alice Oseman Though I liked Solitaire, I think that the book alone wouldn’t have made it onto this list. What I love is how active and supportive with her fanbase she is (check out her tumblr!). She’s possibly the coolest author ever – I mean, she plays piano, writes, attends uni and is an awesome artist? WHAT IS LIFE?? So, yes, I’m very excited for Radio Silence right now.
8. Derek Landy I have no idea how Derek Landy has managed to write so many awesome books in such a short period of time. They’re hilarious, have an awesome magic system, and the characters are all asdfjkl. I’m somewhat miffed to have missed out attending an event of his, but my friends tell me that he’s a cool person as well.
9. Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments & co. aren’t my favourite books. I don’t know what it is about them, but to me they always feel a little…disconnected. Vain. I don’t know. But I can’t deny the fact that I’m absolutely going to gobble up any more books she releases!
. . .
10. Unpublished authors I’ve met so many wonderful people since starting to blog. It’s opened my eyes to a whole writing community, and I’m honestly just astounded at how many beautiful pieces of writing are free and available to read. There are people who just work so hard at what they do, whether that’s a novel or short stories or poetry or fanfiction, and they really can brighten up my day. :) (Okay, I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but I’M KEEPING THE CHEESE. It’s 100% true.)
Who are your favourite authors? :)
After having enormous fun writing my last prose poetry/numbered poem, I then went on a spree and wrote several more. (Not all of which I’m going to share, because a) during that kind of writing process I tend to reuse all my best lines and b) THEY ARE COMPLETELY ATROCIOUS AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE.)
Weirdly, I went through my music phase before orchestra. This one was kind of inspired by someone I know who found their old transcription of Enya’s Watermark. I had to play a with lot with the weird formatting in order to make it work with WordPress *glares*.
I don’t like it as much as my last one. I feel like it’s maybe missing something, but I’ve been editing it for way too long now to tell exactly what. I think I just need to take a break. As ever, comments and critique are much appreciated. :) (Though just a warning: If you’re sensitive to language, then maybe pass over this one.)
Funeral March in F
i. you play in F sharp major from our out of tune piano. the keys cut your skin to a bloody mess, but you brush me away: it’s nothing, you say as you transcribe with dripping fingers. it makes no difference. (but you still stained the photo.)
ii. I don’t want a fucking gift, you seethe as we leave the concert hall. you tell me to the trundles of the bus that a gift is nothing but the whim of a god, that you’d rather build from your own blood and bone than cut someone else. (but don’t they say that the knife always knows its master?)
iii. you live in the fridge light from three in the morning, when the kitchen is cast in empty fifths. the piano is your midnight company, your dance partner across dark keys: I try to mimic your skeleton chords, but you refuse my touch with durezza.
iv. you’re spinning to fast, too far. you confide in me with shaking vocals how you cry in the bedroom, the bathroom, the shower. I know your theory is gone when you go on to preach of stars and spontaneous combustion and things you never used to believe in, about how the universe will make an exception for you just this once. (I should have seen the madness in your eyes. I should have known what would come.)
iv. you’re standing, and it’s wrong wrong wrong –
you were supposed to –
v. I used to think that the world was full of too much beauty, but not anymore. remember, I watched your body fall like a broken bird. I watched you as you stood poised to fly, soaring, until your bones fell heavy with heartaches and you crumpled to the floor. I remember, and I do not forgive.
vii. their sighs merge into an endless stream of sorrysorrysorry that comes in and out with the days like the tide. my steps are slow, syncopated; grave, they’d say in italy. (but have no fear, darling: I’m not quite ready to give up this metronome yet.)
viii. I remember how you played F sharp major, the keys cutting your fingers to a bloody mess. I look down at my own perfect palms and at last, with your silver-scarred hands folded across your corpse in prayer, I cry.
(WordPress is really not liking me at the moment. I hope this posts. Otherwise, come over to my actual blog page and view everything from there.)
I am tired of ‘bloody’ and ‘mate’ being the only words used to identify a person with a British accent in books. I hate to tell you, but there are actually other accents in Britain and not all of us drink tea. As such, I have a compiled a* list of words used by a knowledgeable Londoner such as myself, which authors should endeavour to use in their writing.
*(not entirely serious)
1. Naff Ooh, I’m feeling quite urban here, aren’t I? Naff is a curious word which means the opposite of tasteful, but not the same as distasteful. Synonyms include gaudy, trashy, a large proportion of Camden market.
2. Term I know I’ve said this before, but THE AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM IS VERY CONFUSING. (And maybe other places too. I haven’t read enough books to make judgements, really.) In this wonderful country, we have three terms instead of, like, two semesters, or whatever they have across they have across the Atlantic. I’m not really sure.
3. Converse It took me several re-reads and a film to discover that when Hazel Grace wears Chuck Taylors, she means converse. I just call all of those shoes converse, even if they’re actually £4.99 fakes from Primark.
4. Nick Something that will happen to your Liberty bag if you leave it on the bus, i.e. get stolen.
5. Train Do they even have much public transport in America? Characters seem to drive or fly everywhere. I know the USA is crazy big, but I managed to take an 8 hour train from London to Aberdeen. (On which I left my pencil case and books, by the way. Never going on it again.) And, just to confuse everyone, you’ve got the Tube and the Underground and the Overground and the Eurostar and the DLR. Fun times.
6. Shops Yes, I am going shopping to the shopping centre to visit the bookshop. IT’S IN THE VERB.
7. Lessons Because school does not deserve to be classy.
Oh, and one more: “Isn’t it just chucking it down?”
Dear authors, I hope you have taken note and will do your best to include these in your next novel, undoubtedly set on this glorious island of ours. Old chaps, thank you for reading, and cheerio; for those fellow Britons of mine, are there any I have missed out?
I’m pretty sure I say this every single time, but I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S APRIL ALREADY AAH! (I’m counting down the days to ACOTAR, guys. I really am.)
1. Twitter This was the month I got Twitter. (And also revived my Tumblr, if you’re interested.) I think it’s probably my favourite social networking site so far of the ones I’ve tried – I’m definitely going to be trying to keep up with it. (Maybe that’s not a good thing, though…?)
2. The Bone Season & The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon LONDON. CRIME. MAGIC. MORE FUN THINGS. Yeah, both of these were fun. They had their flaws, but I still devoured them – they kind of reminded me of a more British and magical Red Rising?
3. Half Wild by Sally Green One word: GABRIEL. Annalise is a boring and flat character, okay? It kind of sucked that a lot of the book was about finding her. But hopefully that’ll change. It was still a very pleasing read.
4. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya I am a crazy Studio Ghibli fan, okay? The. Best. Princess Kaguya was no exception, with SUCH A BEAUTIFUL (but also kind of sad) STORY and CHARACTERS and FREAKING LOOK AT THE ART
JUST LOOK AT IT *dies*
5. Spotify I love 8tracks, I really do, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to see the songs you’re playing and shuffle them and the like. (It probably helps that against all the odds, Spotify has an app for my miserably lonely phone.)
6. Princess Princess by Strangely Katie This webcomic was recommended to me by the wonderful Evie @ Where Books Never End and OH MY GOSH IT WAS ADORABLE. It’s like the cutest kick-ass princess story ever, drawn in the Hello Kitty colour palette. GO READ IT NOW OKAY.
7. More Than This by Patrick Ness I first read this around a year ago and had mixed feelings. I re-read it for Carnegie Shadowing and WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW OKAY. The IDEAS. The WRITING. (Third person present tense. Frikkin’ hard to pull off, I’m telling you.) Also, I felt like it was a little bit similar to my current WIP so I spent a lot of time observing how Seth basically interacted with like 5 characters throughout the entire book. Yeah, so I liked it.
Stuff from around the internet
My most viewed posts this month were Poetry: Lady of the Lake, I’m Scared of Being a Teenager and My Hero Monday: Nimona.
I wrote a disgustingly fluffy Simon Snow fanfiction instead of planning my Camp NaNo.
Books, Tea and a Onesie turned one!
Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout talked about the awesomeness of print books. (And also got a site makeover!)
I joined the team for Big Book Project. Watch out for its launch on good Friday!
#VeryRealisticYA, created by John Hansen over at Teens Can Write Too went viral. (You only need to have a quick browse of the tweets to see its genius!)
Bookish things that have happened
The Paper Towns trailer was released.
The TMI TV show rumours were debunked, and it’s been announced that it will air on ABC family.
It was World Book Day!
Half Bad by Sally Green won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize.
The Carnegie Medal 2015 shortlist was released.
Phew, March has been an action-packed month! Posts might become more scarce in the next month or so, as I’m taking Camp NaNoWriMo, but never fear – I’m not abandoning you! You can still always contact me on my Camp account as Taile, or tweet me on the shiny new Twitter at @appletaile.
How was your month? Have you read any of these books? Are you a Studio Ghibli fan too? :)
I don’t think I’m very good at being your typical teenager. Granted, I still have some time to turn all rebellious and moody, but I don’t see myself becoming like that. I also don’t see myself having a big falling out with my parents, or going to parties, or whatever else I’m supposed to do. Those things scare me. That’s why I like to stay in my little idyllic den of books and blogging and other fun things.
I think, though, the number one thing I don’t like to talk about is relationships. It seems like relationships are the number one sign of a confident, popular and mature person or whatever. Yes, I can enjoy them in books, but they have to be written well – the reason that I love Rainbow Rowell’s books is that focus on the personality rather than the ‘OMG super hot’ side. I just don’t really understand people going on about physical appearances.
It’s not that I don’t like looking at people. This might sound slightly odd (I don’t mean it in that way?) but I just like looking at everyone. Everyone is just so beautiful. There’s too much beauty. But it’s not like appearance is a choice. The reason I get mad at ‘love at first sight’ is because you don’t freaking know the person. If I fall in love, I’d hope it was for personality. The idea of liking someone based largely on their appearance is foreign to me.
It isn’t I’m not keen the thought of love, either. Sure, I get a little embarrassed, but I want to experience the things I read about. I’ve fallen in love with poems and characters a thousand times, drunkenly turned their pages and giddily danced around vacant staircases for joy, but never for anything substantial. Never for anything real.
God, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I hope that I work myself out sometime. I don’t know if things will be better after school or not, because I’m scared for the future. I feel like I’m both too old and too young for my own skin. I’m bloody terrified of some of the people at school, but at least they’ve got themselves together. (Even if it’s a kind of dark and twisted mess.) See, I just want to talk about poetry and books and art and sing in the sunshine and travel the world and cook and laugh. I don’t want to make myself into something I’m not just to impress other people.
I don’t know if I’ll get more confident as I grow or whether I’ll just be stuck behind on this different path that it appears I chose long ago. It’s like I’m walking a world away from the people I used to be friends with.
School feels like it’s the centre of the world right now. I know it isn’t, but it’s sometimes hard to remember that.