Hello all! After writing with *no disclaimers*, I thought it might be fun to continue in that vein and give you ten bookish confessions… which I may very well regret making 😉 enjoy!
#1 I spend way too much time thinking about the books I ought to be reading (than actually reading). But don’t we all do this? 😉
#2 I find all those #relatable bookish posts on social media far too relatable 😉 I still like to trawl through twitter for them (when I should be doing better things… like reading 😉)
#3 I don’t actually want to talk when my book is open!!! (And I don’t know why this still needs to be pointed out to the rest of the world!)
#4 Yes, I do actually want to spend all my spare money on books, thanks for asking!
#5 I spend way too much time plotting planning to get hold of new books. I think about if I have it in my budget, if it’s available at the library, if it might be better to listen to the audiobook version… basically I overthink everything and turn each book acquisition into a full-blown project!
#6 Sometimes I don’t want to read your favourite book- sorry! I get A LOT of suggestions… and I don’t always find them interesting… so I have to make a quick escape from the conversation…
#7 That said, if I tell you I do want to read something, I’m planning it out already. Just bear in mind some of these convoluted plans can take years to execute 😉 Don’t be surprised when you finally catch me reading your favourite *years* after mentioning it!
#8 And at the same time, if a book crosses my path, I’m always a little intrigued. I’m definitely going to look it up and down, maybe feel it up, get under the dustcover… even if all that frisking ends in rejection anyway. I have no scruples when it comes to my book addiction!
#9 I’m done trying to be objective about books- I’ll settle for honesty. If I can’t see a book’s merit, I’ll say so.
#10 I take inspiration from a lot of things I read… even if they’re bad (maybe even especially if they’re bad, cos it’s often more encouraging than reading the greats 😉)
And that’s all for now! Do you share any of these bookish habits? Or do you have any confessions of your own to make? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve been doing this for *years* now- doubtless my blogging grey hairs are showing- so it got me thinking about what it’s like to run a blog. I thought I’d share my “words of wisdom” with you all, cos clearly I know best 😉 Obviously, (disclaimer) I’m poking fun talking about my experience, so try not to take it personally (though of course you may very much relate 😉). Without further ado, let’s get into how to run a brilliantly bonkers book blog!
First of all, DISCLAIMERS ARE THE BEST!!! And everyone clearly loves them 😉 that’s why you doubtless skimmed my introduction and disclaimer 😉 We have to include them, because otherwise people get angry. But we also make people angry by including them. And anyone that was likely to get angry over what we wrote will ignore said disclaimer anyway… ergo feeling free to get angry. So, we’re off to a good start!
Now, when it comes to formatting your post, you want to make sure everything stands out. Use all the bold and underlining imaginable. And don’t forget TOO MUCH CAPS LOCK!!!! Oh and exclamation marks while you’re at it!!!! (And brackets work as an afterthought) (yes, I’m guilty as charged, whatcha gonna do about it?! 😉)
When it comes to planning your posts, it’s a great idea to stick to a schedule… which is why I never do. That way you keep your readers on their toes! Speaking from experience, people love to be frustrated with you and have no idea what you’re going to do next. It’s also great if you can disappear from time to time (with little to no explanation). Being flaky is the hallmark of being a good blogger 😉 Then when you come back, you can issue a ton of apologies, just to irritate everyone a little more 😉 I like to pull this stunt monthly- because I like to be regularly irregular. You’re welcome (and sorry about all this!!)
I also like to have a plan when it comes to posts… then change it at the last minute when you get a totally different (and hopefully better) idea (case and point this post came after I scrapped something entirely more sensible and probably more interesting 😉). It’s just a way I like to increase my workload. And not knowing which post you should’ve gone with is a healthy way to increase your own insecurities over whether you’re doing this the right way. Win win.
When it comes to reviews… do them… sometimes… Personally I like to several in a row, then none for months. It’s best to maintain your reputation as totally haphazard and inconsistent. (Of course there’s also loads of ways to write reviews, which I’ve already discussed, but the general idea is to shift gears all. the. time.)
Embrace your most obscure/weird/unpopular opinions. You can never be too opinionated! Praise obscure books and bash books that are really popular… that will make people confused and angry. Lots of controversy for controversy’s sake is always welcome! Remember, the more people that don’t like you, the better 😉
Change things up at random… people love randomness 😉 If you want to stop talking about books for a few months and go on about the eating habits of parrots… do that! No one will read those posts anyway- and that’s what you ultimately want! Bonus random points if you start a blog series, do it for a few months… then trail off unexpectedly. Because why should you finish something you started?
Decide you are going to make BIG CHANGES…. Then never do it! For instance, say hello to my little cartoon friend, who was absolutely definitely not going to star on this blog sometime in the near/far future…
Spend more time fiddling with formatting and unimportant admin than actually writing posts. Think of it as the ultimate procrastination- because you feel like you’re doing something, but aren’t really.
Also, come up with a million blog ideas that you do all the work and endless research for… Yet never commit to actually finishing. Juggle too many things at once- it just makes sense!
Chaotically switch up your social media presence. As soon as no one’s looking, I love to just d i s a p p e a r…
And that’s how I like to embrace the *chaos* in every area of my blogging. My god, after going through that I’m seriously grateful to you all for being patient with me…
What do you think of my blogging habits/advice? 😉 Do you have any “tips” to add? Let me know in the comments!
I think this is self-explanatory- this is obviously going to be a TOP QUALITY advice post on how you can find ways to be creative, even when the muse has fled:
#1 Pick up a project you’ve already finished and see if you can find *some* way to tinker with it…
#2 Brainstorm for new ideas (which really just means scribbling random things in a notebook- but no one’ll know if you look serious about it 😉)
#3 Go for a walk and invent stories (or even conversations with strangers) in your head. This is a highly productive exercise that you will no doubt mine from in future projects 😉
#4 “Learn” a language on Duolingo- pretending one day you will try to replicate Tolkien (you won’t)
#5 “Research” some topic that may or may not be relevant for your next project- this can mean looking up obscure topics on reddit or even reading scientific journals or (when all else fails) ogling googling pictures of celebrities… for inspiration purposes of course 😉
#6 Make a batch of gingerbread cookies and give them funky outfits (I’d use my own examples but 1) I eat them pretty pronto after making them and 2) I’m not exactly talented when it comes to baking and so they usually come out looking come out looking somewhat deformed… which is another reason to eat them quickly/put them out of their misery 😉)
#7 Pick up that instrument you never learned how to play and make a few out of tune sounds like you’re strangling a cat (you’ll know it’s time to stop when people come running to see where the banshee is)
#8 Sing along (tunelessly) to BIG BALLADS!
# And maybe incorporate some dance moves 😉
#11 Write a post for your blog… just like this!
And there you go- any blocked feelings you’re have undoubtedly vanished and you’re back to your usual creative self! Possibly… 😉
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about bad interpretations and I realised it’s actually a lot of work to come up with rubbish! So, naturally, I couldn’t help but write a uselessly absurd post about how it might be achieved (as always, this is just a joke and meant in good fun- not trying to throw shade at anyone!). And, for once I can safely say, don’t worry if you don’t like reading: there’s a good chance you won’t even have to read a single book to do this properly! Let’s get onto my “helpful” guidelines:
#1 Start with your own biases and conclusions and work your way backwards- this is simply the best way to ensure you get the interpretation you desire. It doesn’t matter if it fits with the work at all, as long as your happy with the analysis- that’s the main thing! And the great thing about this is you can add your own person touch: if you don’t like certain characters/love interests/plot points, you get to decide what it meant all along… even if it runs contrary to the actual text (told you, you wouldn’t actually have to read the book!)
#2 Everything in a book either shows the author’s noble intentions OR shows them to be an utter scumbag. This is because every. single. word. in a book is the author’s real thoughts and they must be rewarded or punished for whatever is said (delete where appropriate)
#3 All the characters were secretly gay- whether the book specifies this or not. This is just a good interpretation, regardless of the story.
#4 Nothing is a mistake. Inconsistencies or typos or any printing mishaps are all pregnant with meaning, so you must labour to make them make sense. If there is a typo on page 26, it’s not only secretly deliberate, but it also tells you that the number 26 is the secret to the universe.
#5 There is genius in all sentence structure/line breaks. If you cannot find the meaning behind it… make it up!
#6 Also, don’t overlook the importance of adjectives. Each one is deep and meaningful. It is there for a reason and you must find it dammit!
#7 The author is god: if they tell you how to interpret their book, then that is the correct answer (bonus points if you can use the author’s interpretation to attack or praise them- this means you can resurrect your attitude from #2). Ignore all evidence from this point on. On that note…
#8 Never, ever, EVER use actual evidence. This is offensive. Remember, if you want to write true nonsense, logic must be thrown out the window, doused in oil and set on fire. The best phrase to use when someone asks you why you think something is “read between the lines”- then you are free to act superior and like anyone who disagrees with you is an absolute idiot (because, of course, they are)
#9 Do not admit to or acknowledge being wrong. Remember: the secret to being superior is having the right attitude and that means pretending to be super human at all costs. No matter how big of a hole you dig yourself into, you must never back down and must continue until down that tunnel until either your opponent throws themselves in to save you OR you reach the earth’s core and are fried in molten lava… whichever comes first! And finally…
#10 There is an age-old view that reading and writing should be fun- BUT THIS IS OUTDATED! (I mean, we all know that anything that is old is bad nowadays, so you should have seen this coming). It is VERY IMPORTANT that other readers understand that reading is a miserable experience at all times and know what a sacrifice you made to indulge in this hobby undergo this procedure. Also, books no longer have any escapist elements- everything in them is always a gloomy interpretation of the awful state of reality (extra points if you can link a book to current events- whether this is relevant or written with the foreknowledge of where the world was heading. Personally, I’m looking forward to the academic work on how the Bronte sisters predicted the pandemic!)
And that’s it! That’s the *absolute best* way to interpret a book! I hope you learnt a lot/enjoyed reading my ridiculous ramblings! 😉
But of course, as perfect as this advice is, I’d like to know if (by some bizarre accident) I’ve missed something- are there any other silly ways we should be interpreting what we read? Let me know in the comments!
Aww what a cutesie title… for something that’s gonna get dark pretty fast 😉
My fortune– I must consult the stars to find out my fate! (I’d say I’ll be looking at tea leaves, but let’s be real, those are in short supply 😉 ) Oh you thought this post would be serious? Okay then, I can do serious…
*THE NEWS*- cos we need regular updates on how we’re all DOOMED- okay maybe too serious. How about something a little more upbeat? I know, thinking about food usually cheers me up, but oh wait…
All those recipes for things I can’t cook because people have been stockpiling and there’s no food left (people have even gone for the bananas!!!)
The TV guide– because even if you can’t plan your next meal, you can plan your next TV marathon!
Unfinished drafts– yes, I did write this one while staring at the page for a good ten minutes trying to figure out what to say next 😉
Instructions on how to WASH YOUR FILTHY GERMRIDDEN HANDS (turn on tap, lather up soap, rub for 20 secs while singing happy birthday… see, now you’ve ticked one item off your TBR 😉)
The government’s lockdown guidelines– which you will need to read over and over and over again to make head or tail of… annnd still be stuck on (both physically and metaphorically) days later.
Messages from loved ones– partly because we love them, mostly cos there’s sod else to do 😉 But on the positive side, mine tend to send me…
ALL THE MEMES! Frankly, the one good thing to come out of this situation!
Annnd I wish I could say this is an April Fool’s Joke- but it seems like this year, the joke’s on us! Also, clearly after a few days of being a cooped-up monkey, I’ve completely lost the plot! Hope you enjoyed this! Now go wash your hands!
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, back when dating apps and websites weren’t a thing, there used to be Lonely Hearts adverts in newspapers. And I don’t know what it was about this format that made it inordinately funny, but those snappy little sales pitches always used to get me going. So that got me thinking- what would some fictional characters’ adverts be like? This is obviously a post designed to be taken very seriously indeed 😉
Jeremy Fisher– elderly gentleman, likes fishing. Insects are my passion and my dinner. Hopping to live in the Lake District.
The Little Mermaid– Danish singleton, just searching for my voice and to be part of your world. Likes long walks on the beach. Excellent swimmer.
Voldemort– charming chap, with distinctive features. Wizard in the bedroom (and everywhere else). Favourite song: who wants to live forever. Very attached to pet snake. I will choose you Potter…
Count Dracula– nobleman from Transylvania. Seeks another future spouse to be eternally by my side. Loves: hosting guests, sordid affairs, black capes, bats, drinking (blood). Dislikes: mirrors, stakes, garlic, daylight.
Smaug– smoking-hot, feisty bachelor. Will warm the cockles of your heart (and set you on fire). Meat eater. LOVES GOLD.
Cersei Lannister– killer queen, who likes to keep things in the family. Looking a tall, blond, handsome, twin-spirit that shares the same values and birthdate (hey Jaime, need a hand 😉 )
Dorian Gray– gosh I’m so beautiful, have you noticed how beautiful I am? I really am a marvel to look at (don’t go in my attic)
Miss Havisham– I have the wedding dress already (may need cleaning). Likes entertaining children. I will wait for you…
Gollum– my preciousssss… I wantsss you for myself…
Bella Swan– teenage girl seeking elderly man for committed relationship… maybe, I’m not sure, *bites lip*. I might want to keep my options open (unless you want to kill me, then I’m game!). So bland you can project all your desires onto me. Likes very specific literature that I will contrive to fit my life/our relationship… Oopsie I fell over.
Iago– very accomplished man, somewhat overlooked by those who should pay me respect. Prone to fits of jealousy. Seeks woman who can help with evil schemes.
Ebenezer Scrooge– bah humbug! What is the point of celebrating our love for each other when there is work to be done? Then again, I seem to be haunted by my longings…
White Rabbit– I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!
The Librarian– ook? *presents banana*
And that’s all I’ve got for now! Do you have any lonely hearts for literary characters to add? Let me know in the comments!
Well hello everybody! So, two things have been irritating me lately: 1) people calling things pretentious when they’re not actually pretentious (no beautiful writing does not automatically equal pretentious) and 2) pretentious people being pretentious (usually the same people labelling things pretentious when they’re not). Which is why I’ve decided to do the totally “mature” thing and make THE MOST PRETENTIOUS POST IN THE WORLD just to set the record straight/show that anything you can do I can do better (*yes this is satire, thank you for noticing* 😉)
Alrighty then, let’s get into this discombobulation of an articulation of my emancipation from the oppressive forces that is the English language. Yeahhh look at all those “ations” going into my word salad- myself is a veritable genius 😉 Hope yourself likes myself’s use of hypercorrection there. Thusly, myself thought I’d share my hypnotic-transcendent-mind-boggling-patriarchy-smashing-dominative-sociocratic art with you- enjoy/be amazed by…
Crease in the Wallpaper
A reference, of course, to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work, using shades of light and dark to obfuscate the question is anything even real? The fact that you can barely even see it represents how we are blind to the evils that exist in society purely to oppress us.
As the title suggests, this is a powerful piece reflecting on the wounds society invariably and unwittingly inflicts upon us with is shadowy gaze and accidental touch.
Like my hopes and dreams after this post- completely deflated.
I’m a monkey, I just really like bananas. Also *symbolism* which you’ll have to figure out for yourself.
And my favourite:
I am poor. Send help.
(unfortunately/fortunately we temporarily got rid of the rising damp in the bathroom so you can’t see that in all its glory)
(NB: though I have been forced to use the typical trappings of frames that society superficially demands I use, this is only so that you take me seriously in an increasingly unsympathetic world where artists go underappreciated, NOT because I am a “total wanker” as critics claim.)
(NBB: all the photos are raw and unfiltered… except for the ones where I’ve used filters)
Wowwww what a treat that was for the universe. Now let’s get onto my poetry. Alas- there won’t be a live performance of me accosting-strangers-on-a-street-corner à-la-nouveau slam poetry style, so since you are robbed of that, you’ll have to use your imaginations to witness me shrieking wildly *in your mind’s eye*:
infinite forevers And
THE END! Finito! *Takes bow*
I sincerely hope you did that justice by picturing me just like this:
One day some lucky sod’s gonna be studying that prestigious work of art for GCSE. And on that beautiful note, I’ll love you and leave you 😉
So I watched the movie version of Every Day and *wowwww* I had thoughts on it- so rather than doing a review, which would inevitably get me in trouble with book-stans, I thought it would be more fun to do my own honest version of this “super progressive” horrible story- ya know, to get myself in EVEN MORE trouble with book stans 😉 For people that don’t know this book, the basic plot is that a spirit called A takes over a body every day- there’s a bunch of complicated rules for this, but all you really need to know is A can possess anyone in the same age category- which sounds like an okay premise… until you realise it’s YA so there *has to* be a love story. Cos of course. Now you can probably see the problems that might arise here- however for the sake of entertainment (and in case you can’t see the issue), I’ve decided to rewrite this with a relatively sane human being as the female lead (I know, that’s so out there, it’ll almost make this story almost unbelievable). Enjoy! (or ya know, throw rocks in my general direction cos SATIRE IS EVIL!)
“Oh hello there, I didn’t see you. Wait- why are you staring?”
“Because I am your boyfriend.”
There is a peculiar glint to his eye and glitter in his hair.
“Er, yeah, I know. What’s the matter with you? Did you dress up as Edward Cullen today?”
He smirks at me, like he knows something I don’t…
“Do you want to skip school?”
“Is this what we usually do together?”
“You’re being weird.”
He bends his head to kiss me and I decide to just go with it- after all it wouldn’t be the first time and it seems like a better idea than talking at any rate. He stops and pulls away, gawking at me with peculiar intensity.
“Can I tell you a secret? I am not your boyfriend- see ya!”
His eyes roll into the back of his head. There’s a gurgling sound in his throat, like rattling chains. Then he looks up at me, the picture of innocence.
“Wh-what just happened?” he asks.
“You tell me,” I reply shakily.
But he does not have an answer.
The barrista is giving me side-eye. She seems to gulp several times, perhaps on the words can I take your order… but then she does something unexpected.
“I have something to tell you,” she murmurs in my ear, her voice unnaturally hoarse, her eyes carrying a red glint.
I blink. “Do I know you?”
“You did yesterday.”
“Excuse me,” I say, but the weirdo is already walking away.
I can’t be sure- but I think I see glitter in her hair.
I was in Chemistry when it happens again.
The bloke in front of me has one of those forgettable faces- maybe that’s why he looks like a total stranger. Or maybe he’s another wacko. I hedge my bets by saying nothing.
“Let me formally introduce myself. My name’s A. I’m a spirit that jumps from body to body.”
“Righhhht,” I say, edging out of my seat.
He blocks my path.
“Oh I know you don’t recognise me. But that’s okay- I know you. I’ve been… seeing you around a lot lately.”
I half laugh. “Next you’ll be saying you’ve been watching me sleep.”
He stares at me pointedly, a red gleam in his gaze.
I kick him in the shin and flee- what else was I supposed to do?
A is a girl today. And yes, I’ve decided to just go with the whole A thing- if I’m being punked it’ll make for better TV. Besides, there’s that whole red-eye thing.
“Do you have a type?” she/he/it says.
“I’m not attracted to you,” I reply flatly.
“Who cares! I’m attracted to you. Are you too up yourself to be with me?”
I roll my eyes so far back into my head I feel I must look like the scary one. If only.
A does not bother me today. Thank god.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t around yesterday, the kid I was in was having a lung operation. Wait- why are you running away again?”
I track down one of A’s victims. It was all over the local news: boy wakes up in ditch and claims he was possessed by a demon. They’re saying he’s crazy, looking for attention. I know the truth.
“I think he might have been the devil,” the boy whispers.
“You’re probably right,” I reply incautiously- then look around. I grab a pen and scribble a note in case it’s listening: “It’s stalking me! Send help!”
“Do you not like me cos I’m fat today?”
“Do you not like nose rings? At least I have a great butt!”
It’s inside me. I watch from behind my eyes as A stares at my naked form in the mirror. I am helpless, exposed, furious. Perhaps it feels it too. A opens my mouth and screams:
“WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME!”
Mum comes upstairs.
“Sorry, I’m not available to chat right now,” A hisses with my stolen tongue and slams the door in her face.
Boy, am I going to pay for that later.
“Look I’m sorry I landed you in a psych ward. I may have taken things too far.”
“It’s okay,” I say, even though my hands won’t sit still. “I’ve spoken to someone about… you.”
“Is this the part where you tell me you never want to see me again?”
I close my eyes, remember what the priest told me and repeat it word for word: “I’m asexual,” I say with as much confidence as I can muster.
The shock is visible on the demon’s face; the red glint and glitter instantly begin to fade.
“Forgive me, I should have a-s-k-k-k…”
But it’s too late. I’ve said the magic words. The gender-bending demon is banished by the supreme power of progressive top trumps. The end!
NB this isn’t a critique of the book cos I haven’t read it and NOT GONNA READ IT- even if you pinky swear it’s better than the adaptation. And, having read reviews, both the book and movie seem to believe that having the protagonist say “but you stalked me and kissed me against my will” somehow makes it a-okay. Sorry, no. Pointing out a problem doesn’t fix it. Ultimately, the creepy spirit violated many, many people’s consent. And no amount of pointing that out is gonna erase it. If you love this book, then fine, I’m sure I won’t convince you otherwise- but, yeesh, this went so far over the line for me. I’ll get off my soapbox now 😉
BREAKING NEWS: A presumptuous primate was seen in Northern Ireland, ahead of Game of Thrones returning to the small screens, wandering around the sets in search of dragons- J. Ourno reports.
It’s journey appeared to start in the usually tranquil Dark Hedges aka The King’s Road:
It then went onto the Riverlands and even invaded the legendary Winterfell.
Locals were perturbed by this monkey madness saying: “I don’t care if they say Game of Thrones has been good for tourism- if we go letting any old ape into Northern Ireland, soon we’ll have all sorts of monkey business and gorilla warfare going on. Where will it end?”
We managed to catch up to said orangutan, who had this to say: “I only went on a day trip. Personally, I thought I fitted right in and don’t know what all the fuss was about 😉 I think it’s all bananas!”
Sky, HBO and the production team for Game of Thrones were unavailable for comment.
I’ve been doing this nearly four years and I’ve received a lot of advice in that time- some of which has even been good 😉 Nonetheless, thanks to all the bad advice, I now think I also have a good idea of how not to approach a book blogger. So, I’ve compiled a “useful” list, for all those not in the know, of all the best ways to make a reviewer irate.
NB *please note, this is all in good fun, take this satirical piece seriously at your own peril* 😉
Correct the reviewer on their opinions because their opinion is wrong and yours is right and soon they’ll understand that. Don’t be constructive and give reasons for your disapproval- it’s preferable if you use ad hominems like “you’re thick as pig shit” or more pretentious terms if you can manage it. Remember you can use a thesaurus on the internet and it doesn’t matter if your insults make sense- just try to find the longest word possible (like floccinaucinihilipilification or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… although that second one’s more of a compliment 😉 )
When you critique a review, don’t bother to actually read the review– remember your opinion is valuable and the reviewer is bound to listen to you, even if your suggestion makes no sense in the context eg “in the future you could write what genre it is” in a review that states as much in the first line- this will leave the baffled reviewer reading and rereading their work, trying to figure out what the hell you meant- which is what you want!
Ask the reviewer why people are reading their review– make sure you say this in an as aggressive tone as possible- preferably in ALL CAPS example: I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE READ THIS TRASH!
Get insulted on behalf of the author for negative reviews– particularly if the author is a millionaire. Remember to take any criticism levied extremely personally- cos your hero’s honour is at stake and you must defend it! If they knew you existed, said author would probably thank you (or, you know, not).
Critique the blogger’s layout– cos why not- if it’s offensive to your eye then it must be bad and if you don’t like the images they used, they have to know about it dammit.
And my favourite: if you don’t like what a blogger has to say- harass them on twitter. This will not only show the world that you’re a *good person* but is a great way to change someone’s mind (also mind you don’t listen to any counter arguments they offer because you are a GOOD PERSON and they are a BAD PERSON). I have to add that this is an incredibly convincing tactic, cos I’m sure “YOU’RE WRONG, I KNOW YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE BETTER THAN YOU DO!” has convinced many people in history (particularly when coming from strangers).
Annnd *ouch*, I think I’m feeling the sting of my own sarcasm after that. What do you think of this list? Have you any other “helpful” criticisms to levy at book bloggers? Don’t be shy! And Happy April Fool’s!