Thursday, 31 December 2015

21 Things That Made Me Happy: 2015 Edition

   So 21 things that made me happy throughout 2015. I know that everyone and their mother has a list out but I wanted to do one of my own. So here we go, and in no particular order:



   The Great British Sewing Bee, this year was the third series to air (the fourth will be next year and I am already excited about it!). I love this series and I am always happy to have something I like be celebrated. They have a twitter account as well which you can follow @sewing bee. That picture of all the contestants on the third series always makes me happy.

   This video always makes me happy from Joy Nash. I love the bit where she talks about wearing hot pants. I now want to wear hot pants all the time.


   I found several Christmas songs that I like this year, I am going to share two. One is this cover by Emmy The Great Light Speed Champion of Christmas in Prison. You can find it here:



   The other one that I found this year was A Christmas Duel sung by Cyndi Lauper and The Hives. This one I think makes me smile the most. And definitely not safe for work :)




   I have listened to a lot of audio books this year and I am going to give a lot of love here. I started with Hold On by Kristen Ashley. Not for everyone but I really hooked onto Cheryl the heroine of this book. It's narrated by Erin Bennett. I will also shout out to a book published quite a while ago but I listened to this year. Be My Baby by Susan Andersen, narrated by Annie Green. One of my favourites that I listened to this year. 

   Following Bim Adewunmi on twitter @bimadew, I have only recently in the past couple of months started to follow her, and she's really great at the medium. 

   This post on buzzfeed about Hermoine as a black heroine. It's both informative and the art displayed is great: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannabennett/what-a-racebent-hermione-granger-really-represen-d2yp#.neAmWRMMj

   Also this post from buzzfeed about periods it made me laugh so hard: http://www.buzzfeed.com/caseygueren/i-will-bleed-on-everything-you-love#.hwlnr6eej

   This list from NPR about 100 romances: http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/426731847/happy-ever-after-100-swoon-worthy-romances

   This great list of female heroine stories from the Marysue. It made me want to snuffle all this books on this list: http://www.themarysue.com/strong-ya-characters/  I would also like to add myself Dinah from The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Anderson and Kitty from Goggle Eyes by Anne Fine were strong characters I really identified with and were strong in different ways to me and both female. 

   This website: http://mediadiversified.org/ I've only found this recently and it's really great. 

   Sens8, that was on Netlfix this year. I watched it for how much I love Sun. She's an amazing character that is worth watching for a lot of the mess that show is. 

   This amazing post about women in TV by Jennifer Crusie. I agree with this so much. It happens in so many movies as well. I have re-read this so many times. http://arghink.com/2015/11/theres-a-new-girl-in-town/



   The amazing Lunar Cronicles series by Marissa Meyer. My favourite book has to be Cress, and with that cover who wouldn't fall in love with her? She's definitely my favourite character of the whole series as well. Thorne and Scarlett being a close seconds.  The audio books are amazing too, a great series I only found this year and it's a complete series as well and for me it's an amazing take on fairy tales. And these girls have agency coming out of their ears. Oh and a special mention to Iko who made me laugh.  

   I saw for the first time this year A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. A lot of it is sexist and gross. A lot of it is fun and I like this reprise of this song. I like this version as well: 

   
  This list of romances from the Bitch website made me happy, and want to read all of them, it was posted in 2014 but I read it this year: https://bitchmedia.org/post/three-authors-talk-about-their-favorite-romance-novels-featuring-people-of-color 

   The podcast Swoonstep. It's fucking amazing and I love it. You can find it here: http://swoonstep.tumblr.com/

   This podcast Book Shambles is relatively new but I still love it. Co-hosted by one of my favourite comedians Josie Long, and they talk about books all the time be still my heart! You can find it here: http://cosmicgenome.com/shambles/



   The movie Spy. On of the few films I saw in the cinema and totally worth it. And I love that poster, I am a huge fan of Melissa McCarthy, and I would also say that Alison Janney is amazing, she made me laugh so hard in her part.

  The audio book of Deep by Kylie Scott narrated by Andi Arndt. The narrator for me makes this book so amazing. I've experienced narrators that find that series that makes it so good for me, Susannah Jones and the Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley has that same quality. This book made me cry and it made me laugh. The rest of the books in the series are really well done. I can't pick an out and out favourite but I think I like this heroine Lizzy the best. There is a lot of stuff going on but ultimately this is her story.

   The song Modern Girl by Sleater-Kinney. It's something I've not been able to stop listening to you can find it here: 
   

   Last but not least I wrote a whole book!!!!!! I am still so happy with this, it still shocks me. I am in the middle of writing (well NaNo didn't quite work out how I wanted), another book. A heist book and I am now roughly just past 16,200 words. It's been a great ride and I am determined to keep writing books, it gives me such great pleasure. And I hope to finish this one. 

   Here is 2016! Hope that you find all the books you could ever want, well really that applies just as much to me as anyone :) 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Bossy Boots Bookclub, Year Review!

   So I am going to the bookclub in review. The bookclub this year had been really thin, but next year my organisation will be better.


   So to start of the year it was In Another Man's Bed by Francine Ray. I really liked it, and I really want to read more romance like this. I want to branch out with the romances that I am reading, and this one was good.

   

   Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. This I think is tied for my favourite book that I've read this year. I keep remembering things that she had written about race, popular culture and bodies. It is a book I would want to make everyone read, her voice is specific and it stayed with me when I finished it. 


   The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. I liked the history of the creation. I actually for this Christmas got some old strips of Wonder Woman and I am looking forward to diving in to it. I love the art of them. I do still like Wonder Woman as a character and the book didn't quite live up to my hopes. 


   Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park. I am a huge fan of Jane Eyre and I will read/watch/listen to every version. This version though I really thought brought out how to modernize something without taking out what made it great. Something I would recommend definitely. A really good read, and a great modern adaption of something I love. 


   Dangerous Books for Christmas: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale. I am a huge romance fan, it is mostly the books that I read for pleasure (I am still in the middle of Golden Gate by Vickram Seth, I really like it and it's really easy to read, but I keep getting distracted :) and I got that book for Christmas last year). This is definitely a book for romance lovers and we are mighty. I didn't agree with a lot of stuff, but there is a lot of stuff I hadn't picked up on in here. A lot of quotes from people I like as well. 

   I had a quick look today at some modern covers and the covers now have changed. It got me to thinking about the cartoon covers I remember in particular being part of Rachel Gibson books, and Susan Andersen in the 90s. Romance covers change with the times, and there are clues that I and I assume many other readers will pick up on already to assess what type of book it is. That is something that interests me. If you are a fan of the genre this is a book I would definitively say would hold your interest. 

   
   Last book, but tied with my favourite. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This is such a beautiful rendering of childhood I wanted to savour the book. It's won any awards and for good reason. I can't recommend it enough. 

   I am going to keep going with this and be more vigilant with it. It's something that I love doing and find books that I want to read for this. So next February I will be on it. 




   I want to recommend audio books this time. In particular Katie Fforde's books. Going Dutch and A Vintage Wedding. She is an author that I really like but she is not without problems. She does not have any characters who aren't white and there is a thin line between persistent and boundary pushing but the narrator makes these books work for me. Both are about more than one relationship. I think there is something very charming about both books, and it's a geography that I am familiar with. So I hope that these aren't just available in the UK!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Last Bossy Boots Bookclub of the Year

   So these were the two books that I picked for November, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale. 



   So first up Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This book is amazing, I loved it. It really made her childhood come to life. The poetry in this book is really well done. I also noticed that I wanted to savor the words and slow down my experience of it. I can't recommend this enough. 

   

   The second book is Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale. I love both covers of these books. This was really good to read, I didn't agree with all that she said, but it does cover some interesting ground. I didn't realise that the covers of historicals have really changed to lone females and heroes. There are so many that I love the look of (in fact all of Tessa Dare's covers are amazing). 
   This is a book that is really interesting to me, I did disagree with some stuff in it. As a woman who has been reading these books for nearly two decades it was insightful to a genre I love. Anyone else into romance, this is a book that I think you would be interested in.

   This is the last of Bossy Boots Bookclub this year, and I am promising that next year I won't be so disorganised! Happy reading!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Two Things

   I have again been absent. I have been not all that busy, just a little off center. 



   So two things. Bossy Boots Bookclub is supposed to be talking about Brown Girl Dreaming   this Friday. I have been really lax. I love the book, I have just been really slow. So I am instead making this November's book. I am also going to read Maya Rodale's Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained, for November too I have been meaning to read this for a while, so there are going to be two books discussed. So on Friday the 27th of November both will be posted about.

   The Bossy Boots Bookclub has been spotty this year. So next year I will vigilant about this. I really want to be on top of this.

   The other thing is that I am doing NaNoWriMo this year. So starting on Sunday the 1st of November I will be focusing on my heist novel, and hopefully getting to 50,000 words. Wish me luck!

   In other news the song Folding Chair by Regina Spektor has been in my head all week you can find it here:



    

   

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Look Ma I've got a book!!!!!!

   So I have not been around all that much due to writing a book. And I have finished it!!! I wanted to post some things that I have learned through the process.

   Setting a time of day and writing for an hour has been really helpful to me. Over the last couple of days towards finishing, in particular with my spelling and editing I was working on it for about five hour at a time but in the beginning I did an hour. For me it's the time where the words come out and sometimes you realise the next day that they were not right but the important part is you wrote and had some idea of where you were going. 

   Editing, my God editing is like killing your darlings. Editing is for me the hardest process. What is the story you are ultimately telling? And that has come across in the editing. 

   Writing cute dialogue is fun, but does not a story make. These characters need to have problems. They need to be believable so you buy it. I confess dialogue and flirting is my favourite part, but sometimes being cute leaves a saccharin taste.   

   Structure is hard. Structure I have found is my friend, but I want to blast it away as well. It aids you as a writer. The road needs signposts, or you are scrambling through a forest with thorns, swamps and flash floods. So I have found I need it, and it helps me. 

   I am not giving any advice. I am a newbie writer, but I think process is sometimes the most interesting part of doing a project. 

   I am also a writer that I have discovered needs music, it really helps me. I am also a writer that benefits from looking at visuals. All really helpful.

   Most of all I finished!!!! I wrote a whole book, and I am over the moon. 


   As this is a book about a P.I. and a Receptionist I thought I would include this picture that made me happy while writing. 



   So in other projects I have about five unfinished romances on my computer. I am entering NaNoWriMo this year (National Novel Writing Month). The book that I am choosing to work on has roughly 5,000 words on is a heist novel. 

   I am going to briefly outline what I am writing. So it's a Heist romance. Roz the heroine comes from a long line of con men but she thinks she has left that all behind. The hero Ellis is a thief looking for his last score. Both of them end up in the chase for The Indigo Stars (working title) a rare and hugely valuable three strand necklace of Sapphires. Working title for the book You Can Trust Me or I am playing with Where's the Risk?. So far I know my heroine, I know her motivations, it's the hero I am struggling with, his reason to steal I want to be for something other than the money, or family obligation. I am also playing with the idea that the Sapphires are a front for something else. So that has been fun to ponder. I am going to try my best on it for NaNo. 

   This heist book has an inbuilt structure for me to follow. What is the thing? Trying to get the thing. Getting the thing. Losing the thing. Getting the thing back. 

    In other news, I have started reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This years Bossy Boots Bookclub I know has been sporadic, but this is the book that I'll post about on the last Friday of October (30th of October). So far this has been my favourite book that I've read this year. I am letting myself savor the writing as it's amazing.  

   I wanted to recommend a few songs that inspired me while writing. 








    

    

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Wait...I am writing a book!!!!!!!!

   So I thought as I have five unfinished romance novels that I am writing on my computer that I am going to try and finish one. And I now have a tumblr that you can follow my progress on, I have got to 50,541 on this so I am very excited. I feel like a real writer, I aim to get this to 60,000 words, it might go over, by 5 to 10,000 but I really feel like I am going to finish this book, and I will have written a whole Romance novel. 

   My tumblr is called The Romance/Sonnet Place. You can find it here: http://mayminerva.tumblr.com/ and the name May Minerva is one I have always liked. That is also my twitter handle @may_minerva for anyone interested. 

   It's an exultant feeling writing the story of Reece who is is Receptionist and Hawk who is a PI. This picture made me happy, whilst writing their story. 


   I have four other Romances that I am excited about the possibility of finishing. 

   On the personal front I have been dealing with a lot of up and down, but writing has been an amazing experience. So far I have been averaging 1,000 words a day. It's just a great thing that I am writing everyday, and trying to make it the best that I can. 

   I am going to also share here a sentence I haven't shared anywhere else just for fun, here is a taste of what I have been working on: This was going to be a disaster, Reece had thought this was going to be her own strange private investigation, but no, she was going to have two other women with her.

   I'll keep you posted on my progress, and because I don't have enough social media, you can follow on with twitter @may_minerva and tumblr http://mayminerva.tumblr.com/ and here though I am going to try and write about other stuff here too. 

   I have recommended the album Lady by Lady but the track Tell the Truth I have been listening to a lot in the past week, it is the first one on the album and their voices are just amazing on it. You can find it here: 


Friday, 28 August 2015

Bookclub! Re Jane: A novel by Patricia Park

   So a month late (I am really sorry) here is bookclub, Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park. 


   This a reimagining of Jane Eyre, and I really liked it. It does a great job of adapting something into a new setting. The problems that Jane has in the original are created really well in this. There are a lot of differences but I thought it was done really well. It's a book that I would recommend. 

    A quick word on the chapters and the headings, I thought it was really imaginative and for me it worked. So overall a great book.    

   The next book is Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I still need to order this so I am going to post about this in October. So it'll be the last Friday of October, the 30th of October. 

   I know that this bookclub this year has been sporadic but I promise that the next two books I will be on time with (the last book in the bookclub will be in November, I am still deciding on what book I want to pick). 

   Happy reading!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Shortish Post

   So it's nearly August, and I have four things that I wanted to post about here. Before I go into what I wanted to link to, bookclub is in two weeks, Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park (to be posted on the 31st July), I have read about 150 pages so far, and like it a lot.

   So four things that I wanted to link to this week. First I saw this Pirate Shanty by Key and Peele. It made me laugh a lot, and it's really on point too. You can find it here:


   There is a new Podcast on Buzzfeed that I just found out about this week. It's called Another Round and it is presented by Heben and Tracy. I really like this, and have been savoring each episode. You can find it here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/anotherround 
(and on ITunes). 

   I have also only a couple of days ago found out about Gilmore Guys (another podcast). It's been really fun to look at Gilmore Girls through the lens of a different perspective. I also have to confess Emily is also a favourite character of mine, that and Suki.

   I have also been listening to this song all week, it's a cover of My Boyfriend's Back by The Ravonettes. I just love it so much, so I am going to link to it here:


Friday, 26 June 2015

Bookclub! The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

  So this month is the book The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. I bought this on my kindle.



   I did think it was really interesting about the people who created Wonder Woman and the history of feminism tied within the creation. I liked the illustrations that were in my copy as well. I think I wanted more on the character, and really look at the art in it. Some of it I wasn't really that interested in. 

   It's good at examining people, but I found it a little frustrating. 

   Next month (to be posted on the last Friday of July (the 24th), is Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park. I'm really excited about this you guys! 

Monday, 22 June 2015

All About the Romance World

   So there have been several things going on in the world of Romance. I wanted to link to a few things that I've been looking at. 

   First up NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour did a whole episode on romance. You can find it here: http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2015/06/05/411989347/pop-culture-happy-hour-the-romance-novel-special

   It's a great podcast and I loved that all these women were talking about a genre I love with respect, humour and intelligence. My little romance loving heart was very happy.

   Second up, there was a pretty bad post on The Mary Sue about romance, all the same old tired writing about romance was put up. I found out about the response through following Tessa Dare on twitter (@TessaDare) there were two that were linked to through that feed. 

   One was this response by Heidi Cullinan, which you can find here: https://heidicullinan.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/themarysue-smears-romance-twitter-and-i-respond/ 

   This piece is well researched, and I found the list at the bottom all books that I immediately wanted to rush out and buy. I thought it was a great post.   

   The other was by Maya Rodale, which was published by The Mary Sue. You can find it here: http://www.themarysue.com/smart-tropes-in-sexy-books/ 

   It's a great post (in particular about historical romance, which is my favourite period to read about in romance).

   I also found out about this week a piece on Jezebel which documents the history of Harlequin which I found really interesting. You can find it here: http://pictorial.jezebel.com/how-harlequin-became-the-most-famous-name-in-romance-1692048963

   Having talked about Tessa Dare, there is a new book When a Scot Ties the Knot (I think the last in her series of Castles Ever After), that is coming out at the end of August. I am so excited about this you guys! And just for fun here is the cover:



   I am going to finish by recommending this video from the Harlequin YouTube channel. This one in particular just because I like Cowboys in great hats made me happy. 




Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Short Post

    I wanted to write a short post, this Friday coming is bookclub, The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. I've been finding it interesting so far. 

   I also have gone down the rabbit hole of audio books this week. I went through a phase of listening to a lot of historicals, which I really love. 

   I have also finally cut out all the pieces to this shirt that have been thinking about making for a couple of months. I am not if I am honest think that this is going to be a success, for starters there are over 12 pieces to this, and the instructions really confuse me. Why I wanted to make this though is to learn through the process, though not have a garment at the end of it. 

   As this is a short post I am going to recommend this song that I recently found. Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey, it's a really old song and has been covered many times but this version sang by Della Reese is the one I have been listening to all week, her voice is amazing. You can find it here: 
   

Friday, 22 May 2015

Bookclub Picks!

   So I wanted to share my picks for the next three months now I'm a little more organised.   Here we go:

   June:



   The Secret history of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. To be posted about on the last Friday of June (the 26th). I know almost nothing about this, but have wanted to read it for a while. It's about Wonder Woman, who is a character that I know almost nothing about either, so I am looking forward to reading it. 

   July:



   Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park. To be posted about on the last Friday of July (which is the 31st). I am a big Jane Eyre fan and this is a re imaging of it set in modern times. I am really looking forward to this, it looks good.

   August:



   Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. To be posted about on the last Friday of August (which is the 28th). I've heard that this is amazing, and I really want to read it, so I've picked this for August. I'm really looking forward to it. 

   I was looking at the book stuff on Buzzfeed and found this post. What I think it great about this is how varied it is, there is something for everyone. Buzzfeed asked multiple people what book made them sweat (the good kind). Whatever floats your boat there is something there to look at, plus I am all for book lists, especially hot books. You can find the link here:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariannarebolini/the-ultimate-romance-erotica-reading-list#.el3EWEzV9








Friday, 8 May 2015

Some Stuff

   It is a sad day to me, as the UK election has just gone past and it is a Conservative majority, which means in the UK we have 5 years of David Cameron being the spokesperson and leader for the country. I have to remember though for me, though it may be a sad day for me, many people are happy with the outcome. I am not going to disparage those who voted for him. Still, it remains a sad day for me. 

   Sometimes there is only one thing to do and that is at least to be heard (by the two people who read this :)).

   In other news, I found out that there is a new book out called Re Jane: A novel by Patricia Park. I am really excited about this as it's a modern adaptation of Jane Eyre. What I've heard about it, I am sticking this on my list of books for Bookclub. 

  I am going to a post about Bookclub next week, so people know what I am picking for the next three months, I am sorry I've been so lax about it. I was sick for about a week at the end of March, beginning of April, but have been fine for the past month. I have been super in a haze about a lot of stuff, I have only come out of it to be honest in the last week or so. I am blaming Laurann Dohner and the audio books I have been listening to. Her books are quite sex heavy, and big on Alpha's so that might not be your cup of tea, but I really enjoyed them. I like her exploration of the Paranormal in the New Species series.

   I also re-watched While You Were Sleeping this week. It remains one of my favourite romantic comedies, I still laugh at the dinner scene every time. 

   And just for fun here is a picture of a book wallpaper that caught my eye:



   I found this on YouTube this week, it's a parody of Agony (the Into the Woods song), it made me laugh so much. You can find it here:   


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkEFQ4j3fS8
   

        

  


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Bookclub! Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

   So bookclub is super late (this book was supposed to be discussed at the end of March then I said it was going to be April it is now the beginning of May just argh). So I am really sorry that I have not gotten my act together for the past two months. Anyway two weeks late, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. 




   I really liked this, it's not always easy to read, but I really enjoy her essays and her perspective about all the topics that she discusses. I tend to want to call myself a Bad Feminist as well after reading this. It's a great book and something that I am going to be re-reading for years. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Absent

   I was really sick two weeks ago, and got really distracted for the past week so sorry everyone for dropping everything. 

   So I am trying to get back to posting properly and have decided that bookclub will be on the last Friday of this month and pass on March (Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay) and the next book will be on the month of May. Sorry about the delays. I will hopefully be back to fighting form in the next couple of days. 

   And just for fun here is a picture of Storm from the comic books. 


Friday, 27 February 2015

Bookclub! In Another Man's Bed by Francis Ray

   So kicking off Bossy Boots Bookclub is In Another Man's Bed by Francis Ray. 

   
   I really liked it. It had a great tone, and I thought dealt well with cheating. Justine the heroine really struggles with what she should do and what she really wants. I also really liked Brianna and Patrick in the book, I thought their relationship was done well. I was really happy that I picked this as the first book. I haven't read Francis Ray before, so I want to read more of her. This for me was a great book to start with. 

   Just a reminder, next month's book is Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay, I am really looking forward to reading this and discussing it here on the blog (to be posted on the 27th of March). 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A Post about Song Covers

   So this week I have decided that I am going to post about covers that I like. Sometimes I find something really else in a song when someone sings it in a different way, or even the same way. Oh and Barb this is a post that I think you'll like!

   And just for fun here is a picture of a bass guitar, just because I like basses. Plus I really like that colour of blue. 



   So in no particular order here we go:

    Ben Howard on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge did a cover of Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson. I think what I really like about this is how haunting it sounds, the way he sings it has some of the desperation of the song somehow. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPU8V-nvUEk 

    Of course after finding this I went down the rabbit hole of looking the live lounge music. I found this, Bastille's version of We Can't Stop by Miley Cyrus. I actually prefer this to the original (which I find super generic), but this cover appeals maybe because it has a edge to it, I think it sounds different to me sung by a man and that bass is beautiful to listen to. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pZi7CXE2ac

   There are about a million covers of Blackbird by The Beatles but Sarah McLachlan's version of it always makes me cry, and the lyrics have always been haunting. The song hasn't been changed but it's her voice that makes this version my favourite. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3VrggQW7tk

   I have also been listening to artists doing different versions of the their own music. I really like the remix of Crazy in Love by BeyoncĂ©. I like how different this version is of the original and her voice is amazing on this song. I know that it's on the soundtrack of Fifty Shades of Grey which I am not going to talk about, but the song is great and it's a really interesting use of the song using her voice in a different way. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR8KaqteDms 

   I also like this acoustic version of Ride by Lana Del Rae. I really like her voice on this song as well. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtQ4CsNYAgc

   I am going to recommend another cover this is I heard it Through the Grapevine by Gladys Knight and the Pips. This is the version that I like the most, mostly because of how she sings it. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQRcUxNJEbs

 

   

Monday, 16 February 2015

Music of my Teen Years...

   I have recently been listening to the music of my youth. The music that I listened to when I was in my teenager years. Some good (Pulp and Echo Belly), some just make me laugh Total Eclipse of the Heart being one. 

   And here is a picture of vinyl record art just because I live the picture:



   When I was really young I only had my parents records in vinyl, my siblings taste in music and the radio as places I listened to music from. I still love listening to that sound of a record on a needle. The art is pretty as well.  

   When I was a teenager my own music taste developed and I found music I liked independently. This though came from an album that one of my family owned, and I got my own copy, this is an album I still like now. Dark Therapy by Echo Belly is such a hypnotic song that I can never get enough of. I used to listen to this on the way to school (the whole album which is called On), but this track towards the end of the album is beautiful. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcprozpNBFk  

   I recently listened to Annie Lennox's Broken Glass again. It didn't hold up again for me, I like Annie Lennox but not as much as I used to, but this week I found out that the song No More I love Yous is a cover and the original is amazing, it is by The Lover Speaks. I have been really into this song all week. You can find it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdNOCj_35Po 

   When I was a teenager the first album I ever bought on tape was Expecting to Fly by The Bluetones. It still remains one of the albums that I listened to most. I am unsure what song to pick but Putting Out Fires has the most heartfelt lyric to me, the lyric is 'it had to end, losing a lover, gaining a friend'. It has hit me differently that lyric in different times of my life, but when I first heard it, I was really bowled over by that idea, and the way he sings it, both sad but hopeful just really beautiful. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFjKdF3TjPQ

   I also listened to a lot of stuff that I cannot for the life of me think why it hooked me, a lot of the Spice Girls music to me now seems so tame, or Take That, or Boyzone. God even looking at the videos make me shudder a little. The comfort that I take though is when you are teenager you are still developing your taste and still exploring songs. Music in the end is personal but my taste as evolved over the years to getting to what I like and not bowing to popular pressure to like something anymore. Plus it is completely subjective, no one person is going to love the same thing. 

   Just for fun here is the video to Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler. I have not laughed this hard for a long time. To the bizarre neon lassoing, the house on fire for no reason, the very strange group of women who turn dramatically, dressed in white because why not? Independently from everything else by the way. It also has Tyler on a cliff singing in a white dress fending off the wind, this also has nothing else to do with the rest of the video. And it ends with a all in white cowboy with Tyler looking up at him, the hero? I do think the Total Eclipse of the Heart video is probably more bonkers but this really is a sight to see, embracing the eighties with a vengeance. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fpjuoKhfJo

   I am going to end by saying I found two things that made me happy on YouTube. One is the song Something's Gotta a Hold On Me by Etta James. This song put a big smile on my face, and I hadn't discovered it before, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4RZSt4A3jU 

   There is also this old bit that Eddie Izzard did early in his career about horror films, I think it's from either his second or third filmed stand up. It still makes me laugh really hard. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QGhSYgPhgA

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A Few Things...

   I have recently had my Birthday week of fun and I did indeed have a lot of fun. I went to a gig on that Friday and it was really good. I didn't make a skirt during that week, but I am now making one now.

   I have discovered that I am not really one for pressure sewing. I have now recently started making a skirt, which is basically the same pattern that I did before. Having done this before making it this time around had been a lot easier and really fun. I have to do the zip, waistband and hem and then I'll have finished the skirt. I really like the fabric design I've used as well.

   Talking of sewing, The Great British Sewing Bee is back! I am so devoted to this already. It's so good you guys! This series always inspired me, and the clothes they make are all amazing. I also in fact have the Cherry fabric that Alex used in the first episode, on my sewing table. It's beautiful but the stuff I am planning to make with it doesn't require me to match it, but I really admire Alex's style. I have my favourites but I am just pleased that it's that time again for a new Bee. 


   Oh and just for fun here is a Liberty print that I really like, sold on their website. You can find it here:  http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/product/Liberty//Marky-C-Tana-Lawn-Cotton-/110881 

   I've been reading and listening to a lot of books over the past couple of weeks as well. I've been reading the bookclub book and I've nearly finished it. I'm enjoying it immensely so far (and just a reminder that the day that I post is on the last Friday of the month, the 27th of February). I have also been listening to Just Listen by Sarah Dessen narrated by Jennifer Ikeda, and what really made me hook into this was the way the characters relate to each other via music. In particular the honesty that comes out between Owen and Annabel. It also made me want to find some really obscure intense music to listen to.

   I have also found out this past week that Eddie Izzard did a AMA on Reddit, so that's what I am recommending. He's done it twice now. So I am going to link to both one was in 2014, and the other this year. This is the one from 2014: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1wzhgu/eddie_izzard_doing_force_majeure_inhouse_ama/

This is the one from 2015: http://interviewly.com/i/eddie-izzard-jan-2015-reddit
  

Friday, 23 January 2015

My Week of Birthday Fun

   My Birthday is next week (on Monday) and I have decided to plan a week of fun. Partly for the hell of it, but I have also discovered that there is a reason that I didn't like Birthdays in the past. It's because I tended to try and please everyone else around me and I tended not to think about what I wanted. 

   So I have decided that I am going to have a week of fun. On Monday I am having cake and presents. On Wednesday I am going to some art galleries, I am also going to the dentist, not at all fun on that day, but I am going to reward myself by going to galleries and taking some pictures for myself. 



   On Thursday I have decided to challenge myself and see if I can make a skirt in one day. It's going to be a challenge but I really want to see if I can do it. On Friday I am going to a gig. Some of the stuff I have planned makes me feel a little anxious, but it all is in the goal of me having a good time, and trying to do stuff I want to do. So we'll see how it goes!

   On a side note I am happy that I am writing more here as well with romances I am trying my best at the moment to give some life too. I am really hesitant to talk about them, as one I feel like I am never going to finish them, and that they are absolute drivel. I am trying to get myself in the frame of mind that this is something that I want and like to do. And who cares if it is the worst writing that has ever been created, the point is I like it and even if it never sees the light of day it gives me immense pleasure to write about the stories in my head. So it's a little hard but so far but I like it. I have gotten to 30,000 words on one, that is the most I have gotten through. It'll be interesting to see if I can push through this and write more on what I want. 

   This week I am going to recommend the audio book of Jill Shalvis's Forever and a Day, read by Erin BennettI recently got a subscription from Audible for Christmas and I have been in heaven listening to all my romances that I love in audio format. It's the audio that I am really in love with, there is something so soothing about being read to, I have been so into this lately. This is a book I go back to. I think Lucky in Love is also a book that I love to listen to read by Suehyla El Atta, those books are definitely my two favourites from Shalvis's Lucky Harbor series of novels. It's been so great to have these books in an audio format, it makes me experience to book in a different way as well. 

   I have included a picture of a cupcake just because I like cupcakes, and I I think it ties in with the the theme of Birthdays. It helps that the background is blue.    

Friday, 16 January 2015

Bossy Boots Bookclub picks for February, March and April

   So it is this time of year again everyone for Bossy Boots Bookclub to start (I am very excited!). I have decided what I want to pick for February, March and April. I am looking forward to reading what I've picked so here we go:



   February: In Another Man's Bed by Francis Ray. 

   I know almost nothing about this book apart from the fact the plot intrigues me. I am looking forward to this though.



   March: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay.

   I am really looking forward to reading this essay collection. I have purposely kept away from anyone's opinion about it, but I look forward to diving in to this. 



   April: The Secret history of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore.

   I really like Wonder Woman as a character, I have huge problems with the way she is sexualised (which began from the start of her character), but I am looking forward to reading about this character that I know almost nothing about. 

   The first book In Another Man's Bed will be posted about on the last Friday of February which is the 27th of that month. So these are my picks any and all welcome to join.