2014 Round-Up

Wow, it’s been another year already?! Wow. W.O.W. So, I hope your year has been fairly good! Despite grievances and bad times, we’ve managed to get through it, right, with all the happy things as well? Right. And, hopefully, we’ve come out as better people. 😀

So I think I should go through my year, huh? – well, kinda. Feel free to read, comment, comment your own or link me to your own 2014 round-up etc. etc. 🙂

So… let’s begin!

Top Five Books I Read This Year

  1. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  3. Brokeback Mountain and Other Stories by Annie Proulx
  4. Popular: A Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (despite taking three months and six days to read)

5 Things I Am Proud of Doing This Year

  1. Getting a blogging job at Laura Thomas Communications.
  2. Writing my first novella!
  3. Starting college.
  4. I started vlogging!
  5. I managed to complete NaNoWriMo!

5 Amazing Things I’ve Done This Year

  1. Travelled half way across the world and back again – and bungee jumped whilst I was there!
  2. Finished school and started college – without a detention and without dying.
  3. Fallen in love (ooh~).
  4. Got a job – kinda, anyway.
  5. Made new friends. 😀 And strengthened old friendships!

Top 5 Things I Want To Do Next Year

  1. Sleep under the stars – or in a hammock!
  2. Re-read Harry Potter and have a Harry Potter marathon with friends.
  3. Publish An Icy Collision and write the other three in the series.
  4. Finish Vindicta and write a new novel!
  5. Learn to drive and pass my driving test.

Oh, and pass my AS levels…obviously…

I’m pretty sure there’s probably other things I could put on these lists and other lists I could have but I can’t think of them right now!

Over the next year, I am going to be focussing on some New Years Resolutions, and things I want to do in 2015. What I get up to and stuff I write is going to be posted on my other blog, although I’m sure there’ll probably be a mini update on Mondays on this blog as well. Just if you’re curious. 🙂

I hope you all had a fantastic year, guys, and have a great and safe start to 2015.

And, because I love you all and don’t know if I’ve posted a picture before, have a picture of your lovely admin [hint: that’s me] being licked by her dog. IMG_2864

 

And have this as well.

And have this as well.

This post also appeared on Hannah Brown.

Howdy – And Apologies (Yes, Again)

Hello everyone!

Me

Well, I’ve just made myself a new blog – hannahbanana98.wordpress.com – if you would like to check it out. It’s for my 2015 goals and resolutions (and the years to come!) as well as blogging about personal stuff and, especially, writing! If you want updates about my personal writing, then please feel free to check it out.

It’s coming up to the end of 2014! Wow! I know I’m meant to transfer personal stuff to that other blog now, but I can do a round-up on this one, too, right? Right? Yeah… ;D

Sorry for being a terrible admin and not doing a Friday post…but hey, you got a book review so I’m not all that bad!

I also have a terrible cold and currently can’t hear properly out of my right ear, so there’s that, too.

And I started vlogging!

The Blog

There will be a Friday post and a Sunday post this week (I shall make myself!).

Have a fantastic week and a great start to the new year guys! Stay safe!

– Hannah 🙂

PS I’ve just made it snow on my blog! How fabulous! 😀 

Christmas Round-Up

Hello folks!

Sorry I haven’t been in touch. I am currently ill and writing this with my trusty loo roll beside me. That’s in the place of tissues, by the way, I don’t just carry around a loo roll.

So I hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it! Did you get anything nice? I got NaNoWriMo’s No Plot? No Problem! from Santa and a few books which I asked for to finish a series I adore, so yay! 😀

Did anyone watch Doctor Who? Fantastic, right? And Clara admitted that she loved the Doctor and d’aww I was melting inside.

Speaking of melting, it’s actually been really sunny here, which is sad because my family and I really wanted snow this year, as we didn’t get it last year (I mean, it didn’t help that we disappeared off to New Zealand for two weeks, but y’know).

Yeah so I guess I’ll see you guys soon; I’ll try and be a better updater…

TTFN: ta-ta for now!

PS: Ten people liked my book review of AtonementWHAT? TEN?! I mean, I’m not complaining, but wow. :O

PPS: Next week will probably be a few personal posts (eg resolutions and Top Five Books I Read This Year), so just keep an eye out and please feel free to comment and join in with discussions. I love discussions!

PPPS: I started a vlog. Go watch! (If you want XD) http://youtu.be/pxoj3g4uJRs

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Briony Tallis has committed a crime, a crime against an old friend and a best friend, a crime which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

Robbie Turner has realised something, something that was turn his world upside down and possible end it in a day. Cecilia Tallis has realised the same thing, gains same punishment which she will have to live with; for as long as she shall live.

Three lives, interwoven, broken and reliant on each other, Atonement explores shame and forgiveness, love and war and the truth of self.

I have had Atonement on loan from the library for four months, since September, and have renewed it from that time. Oh, how I wish I had read it earlier.

This book is full of description, but not the boring type such as in The Winter Ghosts, but the type that makes you ravenous for more, your eyes eating the words and a lip being gnawed upon as you flick the page, unable to stop. It’s the type of description where you are watching the action, but, nevertheless, can feel the sting of the nettles or the humid air sweating your skin.

Let’s start with the characters, beginning with Briony Tallis, the one who causes the events to rickochet into the turmoil we are left with. I hated her, absolutely hated her. And yet, I saw myself in her; the writer who doesn’t believe she is any good, the migraine plagued mother (not any more, thank goodness. You go, Botox), the adored sibling(s). But that doesn’t mean I disliked her any less. She is silly, to say the least: thinks she knows exactly what she is doing, all because she read an adult word in an adult letter and the imagination spiraled out of control. I hated her for what she did and for what she didn’t do at the time. And, whilst some people might think she atoned for her actions, I don’t. I know exactly what it is like to do something unforgivable, and I know that some actions can’t be repented.

Robbie Turner was my sweet heart. I loved him to pieces, sobbed my heart out, not only in the book but in the film, and this may have fuelled my anger at Briony. Robbie’s crime was loving, that and that alone. He was catapulted into a world he should never have seen, and war clearly takes its toll on anyone, let alone a boy so young and lost.

Cecilia Tallis wasn’t completely to my liking, but didn’t completely turn me off. I preferred her in the book as opposed to the film, but her romance with Robbie was perfect: “Come back, Robbie. Come back to me.”

Other supporting characters gave me a mixture of love and hate, such as Mrs Tallis (in the beginning) opposed to Paul Marshall. However, what I have to say for McEwan is that all the characters were like living, breathing people, 3D lives and 3D personalities.

Onto the story, which was laughable in places and tearful in others. Atonement is told in three parts: part one has chapters and is told from the point of view of different characters, in events leading up to the crimes. Part two focusses on Robbie in France. And part three goes back to Briony, years later. There is also a kind of epilogue at the end (which, by the way, practically ripped my heart from my socket).

The story was heartbreaking but beautiful and I really, truly loved it. My only wish was that the ending had been different, and if you read it you will hopefully understand what I mean!

I would definitely recommend this book, and I would even go as a far as saying that Atonement is up in my list of top 5 favourite books this year, perhaps even ever. I definitely have to get my own copy, so I can note the pages I adore; and I will try my hardest to make sure that isn’t the entire book.


One of my favourite quotes from Atonement comes from Part Two, page 209 if you have the hardback pictured, in which Robbie recollects a letter from Cecilia. Here it is:

I’m honestly happy with my new life and my new friends. I feel I can breathe now. Most of all, I have you to live for. Realistically, there had to be a choice – you or them. How could it be both? I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one, my reason for life. Cee.

And another, on page 213, reads:

You’re in my thoughts ever minute. I love you. I’ll wait for you. Come back. Cee.

Whilst these quotes make it seem to be a gushy romance, Atonement is actually be very dark in places, and there are parts which are not for the faint-hearted. Romance isn’t the start or the end of anything; other factors are always at play. And it’s these other factors that give the novel it’s life and ventilation.

Let The Holidays Begin

Hello all! First offs, sorry that this is late. Second offs, hello.

Me

I finally finish college this week and then yay, it’s the Christmas holidays! I’m quite excited, but mainly just for the lie-ins.

Thursday, I have set aside the entire day to finish my novel! I’m pretty excited, even if it’ll probably be crap. Ahh well, what else are first drafts for?

And aside from that… not much else. Oh, I finished Atonement (book review this weekend) and cried my eyes out, then watched the film and cried my eyes out. Read it.

And I started my first seasonal book, called ‘A Dog For Christmas’ so yeah there’s that.

The Blog

Despite me saying every week that there’ll be a Friday post and there hasn’t, this week there actually will be! And apologies for last Friday’s being on Sunday…

As aforementioned, there’ll be a book review on Sunday.

And, if you’re lucky, a WWC that might be on Thursday instead. 🙂

Have a nice week guys! 😀

Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger [Volume 1]

Quest for the Silver Tiger

The first manga I have ever read, I found Vermonia interesting and, of course, different. In English (and, of course, many other languages) we read from left to right, but in manga, which comes from the Japanese culture, it is read right to left, starting from the back of the book, and took me a while to get used to. It’s easy to get the hang of, though, despite being difficult to follow on occasions, where I wasn’t sure which box was next.

Vermonia is a series of books in which the four main characters are from another world, which has been at war. Their queen have sent them to earth to be reborn, and, when we meet them during their teenage years, they are getting a call to arms to go and save the kingdom once more.

If Vermonia had been a book, I am not entirely sure if I would have read it, as the story seemed to be quite abrupt. However, I think I will read the other volumes, which tell  the stories from the other teen’s point of views.

One thing I really loved about the book was the head-over-heels love story of Jim and Princess Rainbow which made me ‘aww’ and coo at from when it was introduced.

I would give this three stars – it was a good read, but happened to fast, and the plot could, perhaps, be better explained. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this, as I know not everyone likes manga, but I think if you want to try something new, you might as well go for it.

For and Against a Happy Ending

When writing, two (or more) characters often start to look at each other a little bit, then a little bit more and a little bit more and before you know it they’ve had sex in the closet and are declaring their undying love leaving you in front of the keyboard with your hands in your hair and screaming wildly, to which assorted family members and friends just think, “I knew it,” (which can also happened with two (or more) real life people too, I guess).

So you have characters in a relationship. But do you let them keep it? Some readers live for romance, and others would rather cut it down with a scythe. What do to, what to do?

For a Romantic, Happy Ending

  • It’ll leave you with a warm, bubbly feeling in your stomach (well, hopefully).
  • Your readers might love you for it, especially if the characters are great (*cough*Percabeth*cough*) or fit well together even if one sucks.
  • All characters deserve something nice.
  • If you’re finishing off a series, it might round it off nicely.

Against a Romantic, Happy Ending

  • You have a heart of cold, cold ice.
  • The characters are horrible to each other (such as Paul Marshall and Lola in Atonement). Or, one is just horrible to the other. Uh uh, not a happy, nor healthy, relationship.
  • Your characters are dead, which isn’t completely unusual.
  • You’re setting them up for another story, in which they are going to get together.
  • The romance just doesn’t work out. Sometimes it’s like that. They fall out, find someone else, or maybe just don’t love each other like that, or that much, any more.

Romances are great fun to write, and can be great fun to destroy (even though they might break my heart). And if characters unintentionally end up together (it’s happened to me before. I was thinking about them and BAM the two of them decided they wanted to get it on) who are we to say that it’s impossible?

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

Sorry…Again

Hi all!

I’m really really sorry about skipping so many days. Basically, I’m exhausted, like so exhausted I can’t do anything once I get home from college (it’s really frustrating) and walking around makes me dizzy, so yeah.

Me

Meant to be writing…not actually writing. .-. I’ve only got 100 pages left on Atonement though, so hopefully there’ll be a review coming your way this Sunday!

The Blog

Obviously no Tuesday post (sorry, I really am) but there’ll be a Friday post and a Sunday post to look forward to. 🙂

Have a nice week all!


 

PS – I’ve decided I’m going to do an inspirational quote per week, so here is this weeks!

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

Evapouration

I quit science as soon as I finished the compulsory exams, but evapouration occurs when something reaches its boiling point (correct me if I’m wrong, but I really hope that A* in Chemistry wasn’t lying). After NaNoWriMo, you can feel all hot and excited (um… all those dirty minded people (including me, I guess) go and wash your mind out with soap! (mm soapy water (maybe just take a bath))) and then it evapourates into nothing and you feel rather deflated.

This happens after most writing projects. What to do, though? Especially if, like me, you’re burnt out from NaNo but still have a novel to finish.

  • Have a cry (or, in Greek, pathos (that technically means suffering, but y’know)). Crying helps, believe me! I had a little weep after I finished my first novella, and after I finished NaNoWriMo, because I worked so hard. You can be happy and cry, believe me! It’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the next hurdle.
  • Have a (little or large) break. I’m having today and tomorrow and yesterday and possibly the day after off from writing my novel. Mainly because I have a script I need to do, but also because it’ll make me really want to go back because I’m so close to the climax oh my gosh. 
  • Write something else for a while – and then go back to the main thing. Pretty self-explanatory. If you want to keep it related to your novel, write a short story about your current set of characters!
  • Do something completely unwriting related like, shock-horror, go outsideThe nature of it all will make you want to scurry back to your writing retreat ASAP.

Remember, writing’s meant to be fun, and after that little evapouration, when you feel like you’ve pulled the plug on your blowhole, it takes a while to heat up again. Just keep the gas on, and you’ll be fine!

Poof.