Sunday, 24 February 2013

Volunteering Fun!

This week I did something a little different and spent the week volunteering with Animated Exeter, Exeter's Animation festival.

It's been a hectic week, with so much other stuff on as well, but I'm so glad I did it, it was FANTASTIC. I met some amazing people and the whole atmosphere was just so brilliant and lively... and it's impossible to put it into words. It's so great to spend time with a bunch of people all so enthusiastic, and friendly and all there because they chose to be. Everyone was just so great. And I had great fun helping out in workshops (even though I knew nothing about animation it was fine because the kid's software was so easy to use) and stewarding events and out on front of house answering questions, sorting groups out for a game that was running.

I saw lots of people I know from the other volunteer stuff I do at the Phoenix too, and also people I know from all over the place, so that was cool. And most of the volunteers were English students, so that was awesome.

I could go on and on, but I won't. It was a fantastic week, and all came to an end last night with an end of festival party (after we had to stand in the freeeeeeezing cold for an hour in a park for a firework finale thing), which was awesome. Had a great night and we all bonded even more as a group.

All in all, it was fantastic and I'm definitely going to do it again next year. I really enjoy doing that sort of thing, and it's great to know that I can do it! Whoooop :D Now things are back to normal, and luckily I have my usual volunteering to get back to, although I really want to find some more festivals to volunteer for. Does anyone else do any volunteering??

It does mean that my work and writing has suffered, so today I'm cracking all with that, although feeling a little coldly :(

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Reading YA and Editing

This past week (or is two now?! it's crazy!), as I've been fangirling and squealing over John Green and riding high on a cloud of love and happiness, I started to think about how I came to openly love reading YA novels and not be ashamed. Because there is this thing around them. That they're for teenagers and they're a lower sort of literature and not as good, and all this RUBBISH that is perpetuated. I know this has been blogged about countless times, but I just felt like I wanted to add to it.

And yes, there have been times when I've felt embarrassed to be out and about reading some because of their awful cheesy titles and I just want to scream it's really well written! Leave me be!

Somehow with John Green it's okay.

I've been rereading them all, and carrying them around, and as I sit reading, hoped many a time that someone would come over and say 'Hey I love John Green', or 'DFTBA'. 

But I don't care so much anymore about what people think when they see me reading any sort of YA. Because I know it's good. I love it, and why should I be embarrassed about what I know is good and what I enjoy reading?

So thank you John Green, for reminding me that YA is cool.

And there's my brief thoughts on that.

A quick writing update; I am editing again. I think I mentioned before that my wonderful CP, Laura gave me amazing feedback on my story and so I have been obsessively editing it. It has been great to be able to see it with a fresh perspective. I was so stuck in the thought that 'meh, it'll do', that I just couldn't be bothered. Now somehow I have a whole new energy for it, and have been excitedly editing. Yes, I am actually ENJOYING editing. I did one edit through, with Laura's suggestions and my own careful rereading of it all, and now I am going through it again, reading it out loud, which is SO painful but so worth it. It's mad how many silly things you pick up on once you start reading it out. I always put it off because of the sore throat that happens, but it's so worth it. So I'm working through it like that at the minute, obsessively making sure every sentence reads well. Phew. I needed to do this. I'm delighted (at the minute) with how things are going. Yay!

Writing weekly exercises for class too, which is challenging, because developing a new story and characters in a few days is difficult. This week I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and have written a 29 year old male character as the MC for the exercise. And I actually like it. What a crazy world!

In other news, things are busy at the minute, this term is always crazy, but this year there are added things (my own fault) but I like being busy. And it makes me more organised!

Family are down this weekend to celebrate my birthday early (as it's half term) so I better go get ready!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


This weekend I went to London. I stayed with one of my best friends, and we had a great time, visiting Borough Market and walking all over London, somehow seeing all the main sights without intending to!

The main thing that prompted the trip however was John Green's The Fault in Our Stars UK tour, or '#TFIOSlive'. We were going to the first show, at 12, so we got there a little early, and headed into Cadogen Hall. I'm not going to go into details of the show here and all the lovely people we were chatting to, but the whole atmosphere was just incredible. Everyone was so friendly. And I met the wonderful and lovely Laura, who gave me lots of critiquing comments -which was amazing!


The whole thing.

I'm trying to contain myself here, because I've been fangirling so much the last few days. Oh my goodness, it was so awesome. John talked about TFIOS, and Hank played some songs, and they answered questions and they were just THERE. Really on stage. These amazing people I watch online, read John's books, and there they just are.

And then after they did a signing. The ticket had included an already signed paperback copy of TFIOS and we were warned the signing would take a while, but quite a few people left, and it was one of those opportunities I felt you couldn't really pass up.


Eeeeek. It was so nerve wracking, but so awesome. They signed my copy of Looking For Alaska and my notebook (which yesterday I just kept flipping open and grinning). And they were so friendly and lovely and just wow. Amazing day. Have I said that enough?

They just inspire me so much, and John makes me want to work even harder at my writing and just be the best writer I can be.

I was still on such a high yesterday <3 Although it already felt like such a long time ago. We went to a 'Fruni' lecture last night by one of our favourite professors, who I swear is an older John Green. So that was bizarre.

Anyway, I'm going to go start working on some edits. Excited!