Wednesday, 11 July 2018


Hello everyone!

I'm back, and I have a giveaway for you!

One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn is a young adult novel about 17 year old Sam and his life after the death of his mother. When he is sent to live with his estranged aunt and cousins, Sam finds relief from constant emotional turmoil in his growing relationship with the sea. In the midsts of secrets and damage, Sam faces some difficult choices in this poetic and affecting novel. 

I have ONE copy to giveaway, and here are the rules if you want to win:

1. Follow me on Twitter @bookfangirling
2. Retweet this tweet below

That's all you have to do! The giveaway will end on WEDNESDAY 18TH JULY at 12PM and I will pick a winner from a randomising site.

UK citizens only please!

Good luck, and I will see you soon with a new post - lots of exciting things to look forward to this summer! 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

A Poem About Anxiety

Hi everyone - its been a while. I had to focus on finishing university, but now that's out of the way, I can focus on blogging again.

I have been struggling with my anxiety a lot over the past month. It has probably been triggered by exam stress, but I had my last exam on Tuesday and things seem to have taken a turn.

Last night, I had what can only be described as a breakdown. Unfortunately, this is not my first in life. I have only had about 2 hours sleep but the phrase "mind over matter" was stuck in my head, and I realised that I really hate cliches... this one in particular. What happens when your mind is your enemy?

So I wrote a poem about it. Its a bit of a rebellion against 'mindfulness'. Here it is.

PS: If you try to steal my writing, I will find you, and I will send you a crate full of adult colouring books as punishment.

Mind over Matter, Matters over Mind

What is the Matter? 
You ask as we chatter
Noticing my eyes glazing over 

Nothing is The Matter
Specifically, I stutter,
Its just that Everything is Matter in my Mind.

“Whatever is on your Mind won’t Matter in ten years time”
Your patter making my heart beat faster
But if nothing will Matter, why do we have a Mind?

I do not Mind your questions
I know the intentions are pure and the advice raw in the moment
But clichés make my Mind go fuzzy and make me want to rewind

Back to a time when I didn’t have a Mind of my own
A conscious space to call home
Just a head on a body, simple Matter

It is hard to pay no Mind 
When your Mind has a mortgage 
For a semi-detached in a cul-de-sac 

No where for the Mind to run free
A dead end, a wall made up of Matter
Impossible to batter down or climb over.

So go ahead and tell me one more time
That life is beautiful and you can achieve if you believe
And that everything is Mind over Matter

I’m sorry but I cannot believe you
When the Matter in my Mind
Is heavier than the Matter at hand.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A Story about Determination

Photo courtesy of Alex Lloyd Photography


When I transferred universities last year, everything was beginning to look up for me. New environment, new people, new tutors...

Ah yes, I couldn't wait to experience the lecture life.

My English tutors were fantastic, and I really enjoyed the modules from the start. Philosophy, however, was a bit trickier. I took a class on something I'd been doing a lot of for the past 3 years. I was ready to know what I was doing, at least in this one module.

But things never go the way you expect them to.

Everything was fine, until it came for my turn to present. A natural showman, I was ready with my topical meme-filled powerpoint and information on something I already knew a bit about. At least, I thought I did until this presentation. What actually ended up happening was that I totally flopped and the tutor for this module took me to their office for a questioning session that lasted for an hour. Fifty minutes in, I realised I actually didn't know anything at all, felt a bit stupid, and started crying in front of them.

I had wanted to impress these new people so much, and instead I felt as though I'd lost a few brain cells in between my a-levels and my first year of university. They weren't much impressed, and questioned why I was crying. I thought it was pretty obvious, but they did not. From that day on, we never really managed to click.

It then started to go even more wrong. My confidence was knocked, and I didn't end up doing well in any of their essays (the essays are marked anonymously so they didn't know which one was mine, it wasn't personal!). Fast forward to a year later, and I'm in another of their modules, terrified that the same thing was going to happen again. I was determined to prove to them that I actually have a brain, and I was also on a bit of a mission to make them proud. I don't need their approval, but I just wanted to make our working relationship right.

Today, I received my mark from the essay they set.

I got the highest mark I've ever received on a university essay.

Looking back on the essay, I'm quite impressed with it myself. I wrote it a couple of months ago, so I didn't remember what I had written, and I thought for a moment it was someone else's essay. But it was definitely mine! The tutor marked it anonymously again, so they would not have known it was mine. They have also been praising me lately for my contributions to class discussion, which is another major breakthrough. I feel like we've come full circle.

As I'm in my final year of university, it was important for me to fix what had been broken a year before. I came into second year of this university as if it was my first, and so I had a tough job fitting in and catching up with working in the way they think is best. In my final semester, to receive a good mark from this tutor is one of my proudest university achievements. I can finally close that stressful chapter of my life, with the knowledge that I really did my best and it paid off. I didn't spend any more time on that essay than any other essay - it was just my determination to achieve my goal of writing a good essay for this tutor that was strong enough.

I usually have a moral to my stories, and this one is particularly relevant to many aspects of my own life... probably your's too. If you have the ability to fix something in your life that is broken, do it. Or at least give it a damn good go. Sometimes it won't work out, but other times it will, and you will feel so much better for trying in the first place. Even sorting out the smallest things that you think don't matter but absolutely do. One less stress in your life can't be a bad thing.

Today I'm celebrating not just my little win, but my big determination too.