Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Film | May & June, 2016

Last year I decided to get back into film photography and bought a three pack of film. I shot one on one of my brother’s thrifted camera (which, confusingly, doesn’t show the focus) and the other two on the old family EOS.

My photography is a little rusty, especially on film, so the results were hit and miss, but I love shooting with film. The practice of taking that extra time to compose and then the excitement of receiving your printed film, it’s just that little bit more magic than snapping away with a digital camera. I finished them all before the end of semester one and have since bought more film, but I’m still on my first roll this time round…

Here are a few of my favourite shots!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The English Review Vol. 2 | Landmarks in English Literature

My second English course was Landmarks in English Literature, which is possibly my favourite English course to date. I mean, I’ve only done three, but still. I really enjoyed learning more about the evolution of the novel as a form and how it and the people who created them were thought of from the 1400’s to the 2000’s.

Prologue of the Wife of Bath’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer & The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Trying to read Middle English in Chaucer’s Prologue of the Wife of Bath’s Tale was like trying to read another language. Reading aloud helped make the meaning clearer, however I still struggled. It’s interesting in that its female storyteller challenges notions of a woman’s ability to remarry, however it does stick to a traditional notion of women, so not sure whether you could call this a feminist text…but then again, how much I understood it is debatable.

I was surprised to find reading Shakespeare’s The Tempest was not nearly as difficult as I expected. I had to read Hamlet for past studies and it took two read throughs and then an audiobook before I could understand it. Maybe it was having just read Chaucer, but this time around, I realised Shakespeare’s English actually isn’t as different as it first appears. The story of The Tempest was…weird and the characters weren’t terribly complex (it is meant to be a play, so I’m sure it’s more entertaining on the stage), yet it was amusing and, need it even be said, well written.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen & New Grub Street by George Gissing

Northanger Abbey was my favourite read of the course and aided me in my mission to read all of Jane Austen’s works. It’s much lighter and shorter than Pride and Prejudice, but really interesting in its narration on the place and importance of the novel at the time (as well as books written by and for women).

New Grub Street was both depressing in the lives and fates of its characters and fascinating in offering a view of the publishing industry (albeit a pretty pessimistic one) in the late 1800s. I enjoyed it, despite its grim tone.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel & A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan 

The only graphic novel I read during the first year of English studies, Fun Home was a quick read full of intertextuality (quite a lot I probably wouldn’t have gotten on my own) and an interesting structure where every chapter started earlier in the timeline than the previous one ended.

I enjoyed A Visit from the Goon Squad far more than I expected (I’m always scared by postmodernism). The 13 chapters are written like separate stories from different characters’ perspectives, timelines all jumbled, but they all interconnect in small ways. I especially liked Selling the General.


This course covered such a range of genres and styles and a long timeline, it was a great way to get to know literary history a bit more!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

TBR | Summer Edition

I’m naturally a slow reader, so I might be being incredibly ambitious with this list. Perhaps I’ve gone mad with power now that my natural reading speed has increased due to learning to read quicker for study.
But this is my no-pressure, would-be-nice summer reading list.

Required Reading 

The Shining by Stephen King // Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë // Hard Times by Charles Dickens // No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy 

I’m getting a head start on my uni reading, hoping to read The Shining and Jane Eyre and, if I have time, it would be amazing to get Hard Times and No Country for Old Men started (but I'm not really planning on that...).
I’m studying Victorian literature and Adaptations this coming semester, and really looking forward to both! But Adaptations means I’ll be watching the movies versions of the some of the books I read, so I’m also aiming to watch The Shining while I’m still safe at home...

Reread 

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket // Harry Potter by JK Rowling 

Ah, rereading! When I was younger the thought of being able to reread something seemed magical and impossible, but after seeing ads for A Series of Unfortunate Events on Instagram I felt inspired to finish the series. I only ever made it to book 4 and it’s been so long since I read them the first time that I’m rereading them before I continue on with the series. So far, it’s as fun and humorous as I remembered.

I’m also going to begin rereading the Harry Potter series, as I’ve been wanting to for a while. I probably won’t get to this during the summer, but it’ll be a good way to not get sick of Unfortunate Events by reading them all in a row and also, it’s Harry Potter.

Maybe I should also reread Lily Quench (another favourite childhood series)...

Library Finds 

Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón // Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff 

I really shouldn’t have picked up any library books, I only went there to collect an ice cream making book I had on request, but these two novels sounded too interesting to leave. The Prince of the Mist is a short, fantasy novel by a Spanish author, which sounded interesting and I’ve been wanting to read more translated works, so this is a start!

And I’ve seen Illuminae around a lot of bookish Instagrams and wondered what all the fuss was about. Its structure looks completely non-traditional. I’m apprehensive but curious to give this one a go.

Feminism 

I Call Myself A Feminist edited by Pepe, et. // A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf // We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

I’m not sure which of these I’ll end up reading, but it would be nice to at least start one. I bought them all mid last year as I really want to read more about feminism and representation (which are passions of mine) and all these books sound amazing!

And that’s my summer reading list!

Friday, 6 January 2017

2016 // 2017


2016 // an adventurous year 

Thinking back to the beginning of last year, it feels like forever ago. 2016 was a year of adventure: living in the city during semester, starting a new uni course (on campus this time) and, in the dying days of the year, starting a novel project and dedicating time to blog writing. Just as Bilbo (my 2016 spirit animal) grew from his adventure, so I did from mine. By the end of the second semester I was finally use to living in the city and had figured out a schedule that worked for me. 

I didn’t do as much fiction writing as I’d have liked, but I did make a marked improvement on my academic skills, which is handy since I have at least two and a half more years of needing them. 

Overall, it was a good year that challenged me in lots of ways and I met those challenges better than I expected. 


2017 // a productive year 

My hopes and goals for 2017 aren’t very specific, as I’m not making a year list this year (I’m going for shorter term lists, one for the summer, then semester one, and so on…) but I do want to do more this year. Because of my plans to study abroad in 2018 (!!), I’ll be taking three subjects instead of four each semester, giving me a bit more free time (until I finally manage to get some casual work…). I also feel, entering my third year of uni (second in this course), I’ve finally got a method that works for me and will allow me space for personal projects.

I want to write more this year, that’s my main goal. Everything else, other than writing and study, needs to be for fun. I want to continue to remember to enjoy what I’m doing and not add additional, unnecessary stress to my life. 

I’m looking forward to what the year will bring for me. I hope it brings good challenges and adventures for you, too!!

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