An Open Letter To My First Semester At University

Dear University,

You challenged me in ways I never fathomed to be challenged.

To be honest, it was quite the blow to my ego, just how much you expected from me. It’s not like I didn’t try.I gave it my all. But you always seem to want more. You say that’s how I’m supposed to get better, Well, for me, that’s how I learnt how to settle for mediocre.

The people you gave me all had something to teach. Some taught me that people are like the wind, they come and go. Others stick with you no matter what. In the end you attract what you are so what does that tell me about myself?

There are days when I really really hate you. You see, I was bought up to believe if you put in your 110%, you can get anything you want. But you changed that.

I’m playing a new game where cunning and shortcuts are appreciated more then effort. It’s a game where all the players are so advanced in their tactics and their sweet tongues and I’m still looking for a rule book.

But I feel like we have a long way to go. I might not have fallen in love with you but I can learn to love you. Slowly but surely

Signing off

Five Thoughts That Go Through Your Head During An Exam

Having finished all my exams for the semester (woo) I have managed to compile a list of all the questionable things that go through my head during an exam.

  1. Did we even learn this?

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I’m sure we’ve all been here before where half if not all the exam ends up testing your ability on doing something you have no clue how to do

2. THIS IS THE ONE THING I DID NOT REVISE 

We all have our moment of panic when the ONE THING you thought  “eh I’ll skip over this” ends up coming in the exam. I recently did an open book exam where the one thing i forgot to put in my notes turned up arrg

3. “Insert random song that gets stuck in your head”

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There is always that one song from 2007 your brain decides to resurrect instead of giving you the damn answer to the question in front of you

4. How many do i need to get right to pass the course?

To be honest, I do this before, during and after an exam. Just to be on the safer side ya know

5. I’m never gonna finish on time 

EVERY. Single. Time. No matter how much you think you’re on top of it, exams press you for time.

I hope this was relatable and entertaining!

The BIGGEST News About Contemporary YA

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a panel hosted by Reading Matters which featured many a loved face such as AS King, Jennifer Niven and Lili Wilkinson.

I managed to gather some rather exciting and exclusive news about the authors’ new project, their fav authors and of course their crushes!

What new projects are they working on?

Jennifer Niven is writing her third YA novel and we already love it without knowing anything about it

AS King released Still Life Without Tornado in October last year AND she’s working on a new book already woo!

What were their fav books as teenagers?

Jennifer: Any Judy Bloom

Lili: Any Judy Bloom

King: Confessions of a teenager as a baboon

Who do they fangirl about?

Jennifer: David Levithan

King: David Levithan

Lili: David Levithan

What’s their secret to world building in YA?

Jennifer: Playlists and casting characters for the book

King: A song for each character

Lili: Pintrest boards

Who would they collaborate with?

Jennifer: Currently working on a secret collab ooo

King: currently also working on a secret collab ooo

Lili: Jennifer and King!

Here are some book recommendations from the lovely authors!

  1. The Hate You Give
  2. When Michael Met Me
  3. Allegedly
  4. The Underground Railroad

It was so lovely seeing them all and I hope you guys enjoyed all the insights I managed to give you!

Why Do People Want To Travel So Much?

I feel like humans ever since the beginning of time have had an innate urge to explore. We had merchants discovering countries and fertile land. We had pirates exploring the depths of the ocean

But modern travel is quite something else I believe.

With the rise of Instagram fame and Youtube and hello blogging, I feel like people are more eager to travel and explore new parts of the world.

I guess a huge part of it is this obssession with sharing how amazing our lives really our. Ar face value anyway. Summer in Greece, Winter in Serbia, Spring in Japan. We want everyone to see how great of a time we’re having don’t we?

Globalisation would be a major factor too I suppose.

I mean it’s a good thing. Exploring new places and cultures makes us less ignorant, sometimes we delve into parts of the world that our parents would have written off as “too dangerous” or “too controversial”

We are becoming something of a travel generation and it lets us understand people better, make connections and hopefully reduces prejudice in the upcoming years when the old generation gets replaced by our new, fresh and less ignorant one.

The One Thing That Successful Authors Never Do

It has recently come to my attention that there is something crucial that most if not ALL successful authors do.

They don’t read reviews of their books

I know. Bummer.

And here I am three years later thinking how all the reviews written on this blog and on Goodreads were left unread by all my fav authors

But why?

It’s simple. They do it for their peace of mind.

I mean you tell yourself I’m going to read so and so many reviews to see how my book is doing. But one mean word about your book baby and you’re left shattered

Books are hard work. They don’t just take time and commitment, authors are sending out a piece of themselves. Sometimes people talk about things in their books that they have NEVER dealt with before.

To have that tossed around like an English Literature project must be hard to come to terms with.

I mean as a successful authors who knows they’re successful, why would you need to care what people think anyway. Bottom line is people either liked it or they didn’t. The evolving nature of our society means that people will move on to the next best thing anyway

Of course there are authors who do read reviews, but for the most part, I think the successful ones prefer to live in shadows

A.S.King’s Top Tips For Writing Strange Fiction

Strange might just be the slowly growing sub-genre when it comes to young adult fiction. The idea is to represent ideas, experiences and values through means that are OUT THERE. It’s about putting emotion into things that wouldn’t normally have emotions so you can let people know about the deeper part of yourselves.

I had the pleasure of attending a writing workshop with the queen of strange Amy King. If you haven’t already go check out all the amazing books she has written!

So here are Amy’s top tips for writing strange:

  1. Keep it real

Good stories come straight from the heart so remember to be true to yourself

2. Tell people how you feel and not what happened

Too often we get caught up in the action, the plot of a story. But the real gold lies in grabbing people into the whirlwind of emotions that you were feeling, its about raw, painful, gut wrenching feelings.

3. Write from a different perspective

One of the reasons Amy writes fiction and from various PoVs is because it makes it easier for her to project her feelings onto a secondary character. Since emotions are so personal already,writing from an objective perspective gives you room

4. Reach in

So this whole post is about feelings YAY. But yeah in determining your emotions and how you feel it’s easier said than done. Something that might help could be asking yourself, really asking yourself how you felt

5. Try putting emotions into inanimate objects

This is where the real strange lies. One of the exercises we did was pretending we were an object in the room we were sitting in. This object had to best represent how we felt. So fro example, you felt like a carpet cuz you felt walked on. It just makes the story so much more interesting if you can make things that usually don’t talk, talk.

I hope these helped you budding writing out there!

2017 Reading Matters Public Day Recap

So that super exciting thing I did on Sunday?  I’m finally here to tell you about it

Sunday June 4 was the public day for young readers and budding writers to meet some famous names such as Jennifer Niven, A.S.King, Jay Kristoff. It was an absolutely enthralling experience to get to pick these writer’s brains and just breath the same air as them.

Today I’m here to do a recap post followed by detailed discussions on what gossip, fun and banter took place at each panel/workshop

The Speculative Fiction Panel

I had the pleasure of arriving hella late to this but I did manage to catch the end where Jay was talking about how to get boys to read more and how to encourage young people in general to leave their phones and grab a book. There was also some really great talk about what speculative fiction can do for the reading industry so keep an eye out for that post

Writing Strange Workshop with A.S.King

When I first read Everybody sees the Ants back in 10th grade, I had a dream that I would get to talk to the author about it one day. Now King lives in the US and I in Australia so I did not know how that was going to happen but boy did I dream. So yes I had the most exciting time learning how to write with one of my favourite writers and I cannot wait to share all the amazing tips!

The Contemporary YA Panel

Most definitely the highlight of my day! Some of my most favourite faces on one panel talking about the fastest growing genre in YA world! Again lots of great discussions on writing and of course some great insider goss and news about secret projects! Get keen for this one folks!

So yea, that was my hectic but totally worth it day spent at the State Library of Victoria. I hope you guys are as excited as I am!