Make Yourself Proud | Writing Update

Hello again!

So, if you’ve been around a while you’ve probably seen me mention Mouse. Mouse is a novel I decided to work on earlier this year that then completely took over my life. Actually, I guess I kind of handed my life to it and oh thank goodness it was completely worth it. I’ve now finished Mouse. Finished! It went from a vague idea to four whole packs of sticky notes covering the windows to a messy as all heck google doc to a full on manuscript and I still kind of can’t believe I actually did it.

It was tough, my brain isn’t the most consistent or hospitable at the best of times but we rallied and I genuinely think Mouse has helped me and my mind-quirks learn to cohabitate a whole lot better. I feel so proud of Mouse and of myself and it’s the first time in a  while I feel completely Myself.

Which is good, because I’m now in entirely new territory taking a terrifying step that I didn’t actually think I’d reach. I’m working on making Mouse a thing. A thing that people could read and like or love or hate or put on a shelf and forget about. Right now Mouse is off with the lit agency of my dreams and I’m refreshing my email like it controls the air supply. I’m ready for the rejection letters and I’m ready to take notes and make changes. I thought it would be more nerve-wracking, to be honest. I usually fear failure to a ridiculous degree but with this, I feel like I can’t fail because (prepare for cheese) I’ve already won. I wrote a whole novel! In verse! A whole (maybe someday fingers crossed) book! My brain that regularly shuts down and hides managed to write a whole book. A book I’m proud of no less. I thought I would hide it away and keep it safe from anyone that could read and criticise it but instead, I want it to be read! I want opinions and notes and I want it to be the best it can be and oh my giddy, giddy aunt does it feel amazing.

I’ll keep you updated on Mouse’s journey, no doubt it’s going to be a long and rejection filled one but it’s one I’m finally ready for.

Meg

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Mermaid Thingamabooks

One of my biggest, most consuming fears is a heart-stopping, spine-tingling fear of water. As a kid I loved the sea, for a while we lived on the coast and I was completely infatuated with the ocean. I watched The Little Mermaid (and the sequel which I obsessed over and am now scared to watch in case it sucks) on a loop and dreamed of being brave enough to travel and see all of the weird and wonderful things hiding down there. But as I got older a major fear started growing. I felt it starting and developing, getting bigger and darker. Soon I couldn’t even really look at large bodies of water, boats made me want to throw up and hide under my bed and bridges were completely out of the question. I can’t even watch underwater scenes on screen without my chest starting to cave in on itself. While I’ve been assured that it’s a pretty standard effect of my strange little brand of anxiety I absolutely hate it. Aquariums? Nope. Driving close to a river? Nope. Titanic? Literally shut the hell up oh my gosh.

But besides the shaking and dizziness and chest-caving-in-feeling there is one ocean-related thing that not even the worst panic attack has been able to crack my love for. Mermaids.

I love mermaids. I love the cute ones and the evil ones and the lure-men-to-their-death ones. Mermaids are cool.

I love mermaids so much that I  have a whole wishlist of just mermaid related books. Yep. They range from kids books to YA love stories to mermaid mythology so I thought today I would share some of them with you!

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

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This is the first in a middle-grade series about a girl who has lived most of her life on a boat but never in the water. When she decides to learn to swim she discovers why her mother has kept her from the ocean her whole life. Spoiler alert: she’s a mermaid.

Every Emily Windsnap book is absolutely stunning and they sound like so much fun! I’m determined to read them all, I definitely would have swooned over this series when I was younger.

Mermaids: The Myths, Legends and Lore

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This had the potential to be a total cover buy because the second I saw it I NEEDED it. But it also sounds like a really interesting read that studies the mermaid lore of lots of different cultures.

This one is at the tippy-top of my wishlist!

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Lorali first caught my attention because the character’s names are Lorali and Rory and I am Gimore Girls trash through and through. But it also sounds like a really fun, unique read. Lorali is a mermaid who has washed up on a beach in the UK and found that it isn’t all beauty and fairytales. It promises mermaid royalty, pirates and little bit of punk and that sounds like everything I could ever want in a book.

You can see the rest of my mermaid-y wishlist (all 20!) here!

If you know of any I should add to my list please let me know!

Meg

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Bookish Wish List

This morning didn’t exactly go to plan. Instead of productivity and a trip to the secondhand bookstore I ended up with a raging headache, a mini panic attack and a lot of free time. I don’t know about you but when I’m feeling down there’s only one thing to do: waste hours and hours looking at all of the cute stuff I can’t have! Here are some of the adorable bookish things I’ve had heart-eyes for this morning.

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Archive Got the Power Dress | Modcloth

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Mermaid for Each Other Bookends | Modcloth (Photo Credit)

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Bookish Throw Pillows | BookWorm Boutique

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Wall Tapestry | Bookworm Boutique

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The Restricted Section – Harry Potter Inspired Candle | The Melting Library

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Peter Pan Locket | MalteseMagpi

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Unicorns: The Myths, Legends & Lore | Book Depository

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Just Read mug | Evie Seo

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 5

This weeks wrap up is going to have a looong intro, you’ve been warned!

To anyone who doesn’t live in my cute little house this week would have seemed completely unremarkable. But if you were to look a little closer you’d see that this week might have been the most remarkable thanks to a lot of little seemingly-unremarkable but actually extremely remarkable things. This week I pushed myself to my very limits and found out something pretty unexpected: they’re a lot further than I thought.

My puppy, George, has changed my life so much it’s hard to believe he’s only been here a few months. When we first got him I could barely take him out to pee without panicking but as the weeks went on and I fell more and more in love with that tiny ginger face everything got easier and easier. I could take him out to pee then I could take him to the end of our lane then to the end of the next lane then all the way down our sweet little estate. As he grew and needed to go farther I grew and learned that I could do it for him. Then this week arrived and brought a new challenge, could I do it without him? While he was off at his puppy group (they go to forests and beaches and play together it’s adorable) I did something I haven’t done in months.

I went out alone.

It was terrifying, I shook a lot and forgot how lungs are supposed to work a couple of times but I did it. I made it all the way to my favourite coffee place then my latte and I camped out in the bookshop until my nerves had calmed enough to walk home. I did it. When George came home we both passed out on the couch for an hour or two, entirely tuckered.

I left the house alone twice more this week, going further each time. It’s been difficult and exhausting but I did it. And of course, books helped!

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51TgWSjAtOLEverytime I left the house I listened to an audiobook the whole time, it gave me something to focus on when oxygen and gravity were being elusive and wonky. The book I’ve been listening to is The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and oh my goodness I love it.

I’ve been completely addicted to the show The Shannara Chronicles and haven’t been able to get my hands on the books but I’m actually a little glad because the audiobook is wonderful. It’s so immersive, the fast paced story is completely captivating and the world is one of the most interesting I’ve come across.

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Yep, I’m still reading Outlander.

I’ve been trudging my my way through this book for weeks but after a little break last week I actually made some progress over the last few days. Miraculous, I know.

I’m now half way through and have developed an overwhelming need to protect Jamie. After hating Frank so much I’m genuinely enjoying learning more about Jamie, he’s a wonderful character. The history is really interesting and I’m liking Claire more and more so there’s hope yet!

new.png513Cj5dTxWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ With a high fantasy audiobook and the beast that is Outlander on the go I felt like I needed something light, fluffy and easy to turn to when my brain just needed to chill for a while. So I’ve been reading Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. The premise of the book is a lot of fun, what if the characters in books kept on living their lives after you closed the book? And what if you fell in love with one of them?

It’s a light YA read that is a little trope-y and a tad too cringey here and there but had I read it as a 14 year old I would have been obsessed.

So that’s what I’ve been reading this week! If you missed last week’s January wrap up you can see that here.

What have you been reading this week?

Meg

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A Bookish Day in Derry

I love where I live more than I ever thought possible. Moving here was a desperate sleep deprived at 5am decision but remains one of the best we’ve ever made. So much has improved so drastically and the things that couldn’t be fixed so easily now actually have a chance. There’s only one problem with this beautiful little town…a devastating lack of bookshops.

We have two small and under-stocked newsagent type book shops that I’m super grateful for but I miss that bookshop feel. The smell, the quiet and the comfort. I could spend all day in a bookshop, which is saying a lot considering how little I leave the house!

Recently our very best bestie bean Weezy came to visit for the weekend and we went on an adventure to Derry. Derry is only 20 or so minutes from my town but I’d never been before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out Derry is pretty great, it’s a lovely city with an absolute ton of cool antique and vintage shops, gorgeous architecture and bookshops so cute you’d move in if they’d let you. My anxiety makes new places difficult and I get very stressed very easily but the little city had such a friendly feeling and warm atmosphere that I was able to really enjoy myself.

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The first bookshop we visited was called Foyle Books and was in the cuter-than-you-can-even-imagine craft village. Every inch of every wall was covered in books and the floor was scattered with boxes that held even more. The shelves were so high that the tops shelves were just a blur to tiny 5-foot-nothing me!

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The next bookshop was called Little Acorns and it might be the most adorable one I’ve ever set foot in. It takes up one big corner of The Yellow Yard, a shop that has everything you never knew you needed like eclectic old records, bright yellow type-writers and old fur coats. It was full to the brim, practically overflowing with new and old books, bookish gifts and art. The kids section was covered in twinkling fairy lights and so full of colour I imagine one glance would brighten even the grumpiest of grumps.

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We popped into the gigantic Easons and Primark too and I picked up a couple of books I didn’t need and a pair of very sparkly shoes I definitely didn’t need.

If you want to see more of our bookish day in Derry it’s all in my new video!

Meg

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Two Perfect Days | Books, Hailstones and Toasties

 

4 years and 3 apartments ago my girlfriend and I had a perfect day. We’d been living together a few months and were relaxing into our new world of college, life in the city and co-habitating for the very first time. It was a Saturday, it was raining and we were broke. Broke, but in that instantly recognisable and uncontrollable book-buying mood. So we tore our bookshelves apart and made a pile of books we could live without, lugged them into town and exchanged them all for store-credit. We bought all the books we’d had our eyes on for ages, all of the ones we’d sent each other Goodreads links for and carried around the store lovingly before hiding them at the very back of a corner shelf just so no one else could have them.

We carted our haul home in the rain, changed into the comfiest clothes we could find, made a stack of cheese toasties and buckets of tea and fell back into bed.

We spent the rest of the day in bed reading, listening to the torrential Irish rain and arguing over who’s turn it was to go make tea. It was perfect. When we realised it had turned dark around us we ordered pizza and told each other all about what we’d been reading. It felt special, it felt like a day I would think about a lot. So I took some pictures.

Yesterday we woke up in desperate need of coffee and a day of being total slobs together. I made fancy coffee (it’s just chocolaty coffee shh) and we snuggled up with our books. It rained, we were together and every bit as in love as all those years ago when so much had changed around us.

That day came flying into my mind with so much detail. I remembered every minute and every thought and feeling that filled it with that odd, heavy sense of importance that only makes sense when you’re right there in the middle of it. Yesterday felt like that and it was amazing.

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We read all day. She read a World of Warcraft novel and cried when a particularly noble orc died. I read the Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern and teared up when a not so noble sibling died. We read each other particularly gross or funny lines, listened to the hailstones bouncing off the roof and argued over who’s turn it was to take the dog out to pee. We even got pizza and ate it in bed, talking about that day and every day since.beanybae

On that first perfect day there was a Hemmingway quote running through my mind;

“We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright.”

When I told her she teased me and my 20-year-old pretentious brand of cheesy-ness mercilessly. I’m pretty sure I blushed and called her a jerk. When I repeated the quote this time around-as a slightly less pretentious but every bit as cheesy 24 year old- she had the exact same reaction and I swear I felt my heart grow a little bigger in my chest. She’s such a jerk and I love her so much.

I hope the next four years bring another perfect day in our own little world where it always rains and the blankets never tangle around our feet. I have no idea who or where we’ll be by then but I know without even the tiniest hint of doubt that she’ll tease me and my corny little quote again and I can’t wait.

Meg

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Hello 2016 | The Future of Sparkle Fists

Ok 2016 here’s the deal, I’ve been a pretty bad blogger.

I adore my blog, especially now that I write for other sites the freedom to write exactly what I want when I want is liberating and seriously fun. But with my particular brands of anxiety/depression/this stuff sometimes I just can’t. I can’t write about that particular thing, at that moment and feel like it’s good enough. But, to be honest, screw that! Mental illness affects pretty much every aspect of my life and I’ve now I’ve let it affect this blog, but no more!

I’ve stripped away every rule I made for myself and kicked all self-imposed limitations in the butt. From now on I will blog three times a week and will blog whatever I feel like writing about! Comics, books, life, mental health, all of the things I want to natter on about but worry about being off-topic. I will blog as often as I feel like but my base plan is this: I’m going to be posting every monday, wednesday and saturday. Saturday will always be a chat about what I read during the week but the other two could be anything! More book reviews, comic thoughts, personal posts, picture posts and who knows what else!

Having said all of that, this week will be a little different, I’ll be posting everyday as a part of TBR Takedown, a readathon I’m taking part in. Once the readathon is over the three-a-week plan takes over and I can’t wait!

The little flame in my belly that is fueled only by writing is ready to go and I’m feeling more determined and optimistic than I have in a while.

This blog is my happy place, I hope that this year I can embrace and spread that a little more.

Meg

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