What really happens after rom coms…

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE rom coms. But sometimes, I have my doubts about the longevity of the couples in them- particularly when the chemistry mostly comes down to an intense amount of bickering. Too often the writers take two people who have absolutely nothing in common and no shared values… and smooch them together based on one romantic moment/meet cute and a few flirty lines. So this is what happens after one of those stereotypically awful rom com couple gets together (and all the usual tropes have been applied to their story):

AHhh what a beautiful day- it would be so lovely to just skip work and enjoy it with the person you love… except if you do that you’ll lose yet another job (because you can’t keep skipping round in romantic paradise forever). So as much as you love pretending to be being that spontaneous person your lover made you, you’re gonna have to be the old you for just a minute.

And with that you realise every day is not sunshine and roses and that arguing non-stop in the rain is exhausting (yes, I am throwing shade at the Notebook).

Obviously there’s still lots of miscommunication ALL THE TIME- only these days it’s over putting the bins out…

And now they have kids (because of the *surprise pregnancy* plotline at the end of the story) who are definitely being neglected and screwed up by all the needless drama (naturally I’m going to forget about them for the rest of the post, but they do exist, so just imagine little Timmy and Tammy looking sad in the corner).

Oh and they didn’t actually think about the fact they live on different continents, so one party, is absolutely miserable about having given up their friends/family/job to be with this other person. They’re basically having to rebuild their lives with this absolute child love of their life.

And since she’s a Strong Independent Woman That Don’t Need No Man, she’s always giving speeches telling him how she doesn’t need him, she’s stronger than him and she could beat him up if she wants to (and she does want to)… which seems borderline abusive.

But not to worry, because he’s still that guy that controls her every move and follows her around when she goes grocery shopping (which GODDAMMIT isn’t cute anymore because she really wants space to clip her toenails and pick her nose and do other gross human things for a minute!!)

Oh and not to mention his phone is still being hit up by all those girls he used to date- after all he was a playboy in his pre-rom-com life (as was shown in the montage at the start of the movie).

And actually, now you’re back to arguing about that big betrayal that proved you guys shouldn’t be together at all…

Still they have their cutesy moments together where they snuggle and he tells her she reminds him of himself (even though, as previously stated, they really have very little in common and she was only pretending to be into baseball that one time they went five years ago…) 

Anyway, you can’t tell your friends you are DESPERATE to do a runner, because you alienated them all when you got together in the first place and it’s taken you this long for them to accept you as a couple.

So, you’re kinda stuck with each other. Which I suppose is fair enough considering all the shit you pulled in the past (including leaving that poor schmuck at the altar!) I guess you both kinda had this coming.

And that’s it! That’s what happens after the dysfunctional couple gets together in a rom com! But what do you think? Am I being too cynical? Let me know in the comments!

Can I Interest You in Some… Crap Days Out?!

This book was the shit.  I looked at that cover and thought “this will either be brilliant or awful- there is no in-between”- and it turned out to be really funny (if you have a somewhat immature sense of humour). Yes, I get why this isn’t the most popular or well-loved books (just look at the goodreads rating of 3.13) BUT it’s perfect if you don’t take things too seriously. And it’s ideal for people looking for new places to visit in 2022… and need a list of places to avoid!

In this quintessentially British guide, you’ll hear about some of the worst best beloved places you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED TO GO TO! Nowhere is sacred- not even our top attractions like Madame Tussauds and Stonehenge (honestly, I love both of those… though I can’t quite put my finger on why… something this book had me questioning!) It even gave me flashbacks to my childhood, when a misguided parent tried to take me to the pencil museum (even I don’t like stationary that much).

With hilarious observations about just how weird British culture can be, you’ll read this book and question your life choices and why you listened to me and titter at all our idiosyncrasies. I already know I’ve got one person to read this and regret it- you could be next!

I do have to admit, this fizzled by the end and got really repetitive (I have to ask the authors why they felt the need to put some of these places in twice?!) However, I can forgive it because I only have myself to blame for reading this in the first place and it was only delivering what it promised. Really though, I learnt a valuable lesson from this book (and can save you the time and money of reading it if you like): kids only want to go to Disneyland, you cheapskate! Gonna give this book a great big pile of bananas (even if the authors of this book end up writing a follow up book complaining about why all fruit are rubbish:

I may be the only person on the planet who enjoyed this book- but sometimes you love what you love! 😉 What’s the weirdest book you enjoyed lately? And… are you bonkers enough to pick this up too?? Let me know in the comments!

How To Write Without Actually Writing Anything Ie Tips On How To Procrastinate

Because I am the expert and I am sharing my hard-earned wisdom 😉 You’re welcome!

#1 Daydream!!! This is a great one, because you can literally spend hours doing this without achieving anything (and yet you will feel creative and emotionally fulfilled… in your head at least. Don’t skip this step- it is essential so that you can hit your procrastination goals!!

#2 ALL THE RESEARCH- especially if it is irrelevant to the book at hand. For instance, are you writing a thriller set in Wales- then it’s the perfect time to look up the weather in Zimbabwe! Or are you writing a historical novel about Maoist China- time to look up the most popular cheeses in the world! Because why not? There is a subreddit for everything and someone has got to read them- it could be you!!

#3 Listen to inspirational music. This will put you in the mood of writing… even if you don’t actually pick up a pen. At least you got in the right mood!

#4 Watch ALL the Youtube advice videos- particularly samey ones on the same topic. I know I love hearing the same advice over and over (and never following it). I also find they can be really helpful at psyching yourself out of even trying.

#5 Put on the TV to drown out your thoughts (and impending existential crisis).

#6 Call all your family and friends and acquaintances to tell them you have a great new idea for a book- because nothing kills time better than talking about something rather than doing it.

#7 Find all your old stories and stare at them until they dance off the page (no, you’re not going crazy, you are coming up with ways to make them better- I promise… though maybe you should see someone at this point).

#8 Make notes on all the things you need to be doing- you can even write this in your planner if you’re feeling extra conscientiously unconscientious. Don’t worry if this feels dangerously close to doing some work- you will methodically ignore this plan day by day- just make sure you put your plan somewhere prominent so that it can haunt you for all eternity.

#9 Write pointless blog posts (masquerading as humour) that give bad advice no one really needs… like this one!

And that’s all I have for today! It’s surprisingly easy to procrastinate and get nothing done- you can do it too if you put your mind to it! And if you’d like to share more stellar advice on how to make no progress, feel free to leave it in the comments! We could all use the help!

Confessions of a Book Addict!

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!

6 Years of Blogging?! Time for a (Re)introduction to the Orangutan Librarian – Inspired by Bookstooge!

That’s right I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR SIX YEARS!!! THANK YOU to all you AMAZING PEOPLE who have stuck by me and WELCOME to everyone that’s new! To celebrate, I thought I’d do a post so you can all get to know me better. I was inspired by the Most Magnificent and Beneficent Bookstooge’s Introduction post last year- which will tell you everything you need to know about his holiness, the great purveyor of excellent reviews and eclectic posts. I *tip my hat to you sir*!

Now let’s jump into this…

Some quickies to start: I’m a girl and a primate and I work (full time!!) in a library. It was a long road getting there… but that’s another story. Oh and evidently I love dressing up for self-portraits 😉

I love to read (evidently) and tend to read 100-200 books a year.  My favourite books are mostly fantasy and classics- though thanks to blogging I’ll read pretty much anything these days (including things that I never thought I’d enjoy, like non fic, historical fic and contemporary). The one genre it seems I’ll never like is Horror. But it’s hard to pin these things down, since I’m a MASSIVE mood reader.

And in case you were wondering more about my bookish obsession, I have a degree in English Lit and Classics (I swear 95% of my personality is book related). Fun fact: coming to the end of my degree in 2015 was what finally pushed me to start blogging. I just knew there was going to be a literature-shaped hole in my life and needed to fill it pronto!

Like every other humanities graduate and book blogger, I’m also into fiction writing. So far, I’ve written 6 full manuscripts and shelved 3 of those. What remains is a trilogy about ambition… and we’ll have to see what becomes of that 😂 Right now, I’ve finally started working on something new (a YA retelling).

I do occasionally veer away from talking about books- sometimes I talk about what I’ve been upto lately and include some movie recommendations in my monthly wrap ups. Although, as I’ve recently confessed to having terrible taste in TV, I do wonder if you’re going to take those seriously 😉

As you might be able to tell from all the monkeys, I like painting. You can check that out on Instagram (where I haphazardly post).

In the last couple of years, I’ve also started practicing yoga and am insanely into it. My sister and I went to disco yoga- and it’s opened me up to this amazing form of exercise and stopped me being so frazzled!

Speaking of my sister, the Monkey Baby sometimes delights us all with her presence. Although, mostly you’ll have to find her on other platforms, doing her thing.

Oh and most importantly I love discussions- so the comment section is always open! Unless you’re writing something like “I want to chop you up and make monkey stew out of you”… actually I’ve freed some comments from spam that are almost as aggressive. So, be safe in the knowledge, you’ll always get free reign to speak your mind. It may be my blog, but I’m not queen bee, just queen monkey 😉

And that’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed that! Please (re)introduce yourself in the comments! 🙂

How to Run a Book Blog… Seriously (Not Serious)

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!

What meal is the genre?

This is obviously a very serious post and should in no way be taken with a pinch of salt 😉 I was chatting to my sister a while back and thought about how genres correspond to different meals. I thought I’d share my findings with you all. Enjoy!

For Breakfast, let’s have some How To Guides (and recipes) because we gotta start somewhere! (Although I don’t know about you, my brain isn’t switched on in the morning, so I’m not sure I will take much of this in). And because this is (apparently) the most important meal of the day- and we’re already on the subject of non fic- this should be loaded with superfoods and some very hipster self-help.

Moving on to Elevensis. Some may say this isn’t the most important meal of the day… but they would be wrong! Nothing more vital than a piece of cake and a cup of tea- which is why I’m prescribing a strong dose of Humour at this point in the day. Something wacky and funny is particularly appetising! Because it’s a great way to break up the monotony before…

Lunch time! And I know there’s some scientific debate over how important this meal is- which is why I think a little Sci Fi could help 😉 (honestly this pairing is just because I have no idea how to describe lunch and no clue where to put sci fi).

Afternoon Tea should be ready shortly after this- which is just a fantasy for a lot of us! You’re more likely to be transported to Wonderland than be loading up on sweet treats. But ah well… more tea, anyone?

Dinner for me is a truly thrilling part of my day… which is why you’ll be chomping down on some thrillers! Also, if you want to get a little deeper, then they’ll all be psychological.

But we’re not done yet! Because some people will eat a more sophisticated Supper– and for that they’ll need a Starter of memoirs, because before we get to the really good bit, we need to know how you got to where you are today.

Next, we’ll bring out the Main Course– which is naturally some weighty historical fiction. Because a stodgy conversation is good for the digestion 😉

If, by some chance, it’s a Michelin Star Meal– then, and only then, do you get a hold of the classics (and get me the wine list while you’re at it!)

This will all be served with a healthy Side Salad of Literary Fiction. It’s probably good for you and you may even enjoy it, but don’t be afraid to leave it unfinished.

Finally, we’ll finish off this meal with a delightful Desert of fresh (and fluffy) contemporary!

If after all this eating, you’re still hungry in the middle of the night, you can always get up for a mysterious Midnight Snack (ie mysteries). And no, I’m not just putting it here because I don’t know where else to put it 😉 There’s a significant and mysterious reason behind it 😉

Likely story, after all this, you’ve probably got a stomach ache (and maybe some food poisoning)- sorry about that. Horror had to make it in somewhere!

Well I hope that whet your appetite and you got your fill! Cos that’s all for now! 😉

A Bloody Good Time

The sunlight offends me. Squinting at the windows, indecently trying to get in. I hiss at the flickering blinds. The impertinence of it! The breeze and a slight buzzing have broken my slumber- yet I shall not be roused…

Only I’m so thirsty. So hungry. A gnawing ache twists and turns. A tremble fills the void. I cannot remember the last time I had serious sustenance. Groaning, I creak from my abode.

Creeping across the landing, desperate not to wake the others, I shield my eyes as I pass the hall mirror. I dare not look; I will not like what I see. I ought to smash the damn thing- it is a constant reminder of what I am now. Of what creature I have become.

Instead, my eyes snag on the insect suspiciously resting by the window pane… and I make a run for it. Bolting for cover. Sprinting down the stairs, I make it, gracelessly, to what we used to call the living area (it has other uses now, we don’t talk about it).

Eyes closed to the endless equipment we’ve been “gifted” by our gracious overlords, I make it through. Careless of the noise now, because I’ve not seen a soul in days and it’s pretty hard to wake the undead.

Into the pantry I go. Open a cupboard and… We’re completely out of supplies. Completely. I curse myself for I am an accursed fool. Foolish not to brave the streets yesterday- before we ran out. Before the news broke.

Not just the food is gone- but the cleaning products, the hand sanitiser and the toilet rolls. And now the killer bees are at the door too…

Oh well, looks like it’s just another day in 2020!

Ingredients for making the VERY BEST main character!

Lately I’ve been wondering what does it take to get a load of random character traits, stir them altogether, shove them in the oven and see what comes out… Because this is the year of baking metaphors 😉 In all seriousness… this post isn’t very serious 😉 (I just wanted a fun way to talk about some character tropes I don’t like). Okay time to look at the ingredients…

Let’s start with a dusting of special snowflakery. A main character has to be good at everything… otherwise how will you know they are the main one? The best way to achieve this is to have them be the best from the very beginning (but they don’t know how great they are) because if you leave them to ferment, they might simply explode in the process! No, better to just get an instant mix of perfection. Never have them be vulnerable; always give them every ability in your world. There should be nothing they can’t do- because is the point in side characters if you can’t outshine them and how else will your readers know your mc is a badass? What’s that you’re saying? You want flaws? Oh well, if you insist…

Make them clumsy! You don’t want your character to have any character imperfections (that they can work on) so instead give them two left feet! And make sure they trip over at every opportunity. Have them be uncoordinated to the point of it being baffling, causing genuinely life-threatening scenarios. Don’t worry- this won’t come across as slapstick, because you will have a love interest darkly berating them for nearly getting everyone killed over an untied shoelace. Speaking of which- introducing…

The love-interest-appendage. This entirely makes up for your main character having no personality. This love interest should be moody, speak only in grunts, but be impossibly hot. Not sounding exciting enough? Never fear! When in doubt, make two love-interest-appendages! (this will be useful later!)

And if you need these characters to do something together or bond in anyway, you can just have them be pretentious. They can do things like recite “memorised” verses back and forth. Just pages and pages to fill with someone else’s words- because that’s how you hit the big word counts! Thus you have now given them “obscure” interests that no one else has- which is especially good if you have a female lead, cos then they are conveniently…

NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS! Oh wow- who doesn’t love this trope? This character doesn’t like “normal” girly things like clothes and makeup, cos they’re just so cool and unique. One of my favourite things to include in this trope is having them be bitchy about all other female characters- especially ones who have boobs you envy or blond hair or (*OMG*) boobs and blond hair!! Because girls that have features you envy deserve your ire and this teaches teen girls really healthy messages about how they should treat other women. Also don’t have them be friends with other women- paha! No way is this possible when there is man candy on display. Let them all claw each other’s eyes out- that’s a fun form of conflict. And on the topic of bitchiness…

Your protagonist should be nice-ty. Aka they are really quite nasty, but somehow they believe (and everyone around them believes) they’re a saint. And here’s where that love triangle gets realllly useful- because you can have them cheat on their significant other, emotionally and physically, all the while having other characters saying how sweet they are and how they’re only in this predicament because they’re so nice (barf). Who knew this dilemma came from a place of pure goodness? I’m telling you, this book is going to teach so many *positive* messages.

And when in doubt, you should add some telling into the mix. Make sure to have other characters tell how clever the main character is for instance. Don’t have them problem solve a complex test or put them in challenging situations they have to get out of- just put in that they’re a certified genius and your reader is sure to believe it!

Plus, you can blend in the fact that they’re a plain jane (/plain john). And yet everyone is falling over themselves for their god/dess-like features. Weird that!

Also, add a pinch of bad parenting. Now, I say a pinch, because I don’t just mean removing the parents from the story altogether or an example of abuse. I mean, they should be non-absentee absent parents. I know a lot of people complain about dead/missing parents- so you know what’s better? A parent that’s *right there*… buuut completely ineffectual. Somehow they managed to bring up a child to near adulthood, not letting them run into traffic etc, but at the last hurdle they seem to have just taken their foot off the brakes and don’t seem to care whether their teen lives or dies. Smart.

Mix it all together and what do you get…

Bella Swan!

Okay, just kidding! But it’s pretty close! Do you agree with me here? What ingredients would you add? Let me know in the comments!

Ways to be creative (when you’re not feeling it)

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:

tinker changes fix car

#1 Pick up a project you’ve already finished and see if you can find *some* way to tinker with it…

brainstorming ideas

#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 😉)

lightbulb moment

#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 😉

learn language

#4 “Learn” a language on Duolingo- pretending one day you will try to replicate Tolkien (you won’t)

mood reader 1

#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 😉

gingerbread

#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 😉)

cat playing piano

#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)

bad singing

#8 Sing along (tunelessly) to BIG BALLADS!

elaine bad dancing

# And maybe incorporate some dance moves 😉

painting

#10 Doodle!!

read satisfied

#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… 😉