Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Why Appreciate an Artist Week is kinda (sorta (definitely)) cool

In case you've been living under a rock and aren't reading the Internet's #1 most popular Canadian/Australian teen book blog about all things nerdy (which in that case what are you doing with your life?), about two years ago I started a thing called Appreciate an Artist Week. Basically you appreciate an artist during that week. (Raise of hands, who saw that one coming?) (I may possibly be the only person who's ever actually taken part in this international holiday week thingy, but I choose to remain optimistic.)

In the past, I've written to Owl City (one of my favourite musicians/bands/music person thingy) and Patrick Ness, one of my new favourite authors. I've never expected anything in return, of course. The whole point of this exercise is to take a moment to thank the people who have improved my life through their art. Art has majorly influenced my life for the better and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to the people who I've never properly thanked. (Hence Appreciate an Artist Week.) 

A few weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail. It was from London, which I thought was strange because I don't know anyone in London, but hey. Mail's cool. It had my name on it, right? I tore into it, read through the letter then jumped around the house, laughing hysterically. It was a personalised letter and signature from Patrick Ness, thanking me for my letter. 

Can we just pause and appreciate the awesomeness of this for a second? 

I didn't put a return stamp on it. I didn't ask for a signature or a letter in return. He took time out of his day to buy a stamp and write a letter and put my address on it and pop it in the mail when I didn't even ask for it. Dude. That is amazing. Because I took the time to say thanks, he took the time to say thanks back. It made my month, and to this day it is safely tucked into the front pages of my copy of A Monster Calls, a scanned copy sitting on my hard drive. That is something I'm going to treasure for the rest of my life. (Sorry, I can't post a picture of it for privacy reasons.)

So the moral of the story here is to say thanks every once and a while. You might not get a reply, but they'll probably read it. They'll listen. And it's going to feel pretty good for them too. 

Have you ever written fan mail? Have you ever gotten a reply? Have you read anything by Patrick Ness? (If the answer is no, then go forth and read something immediately.) 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A bit of a life update

This post comes to you in a list, because I like lists. Lists are cool. (Just like bowties are cool. *flails with all the other Doctor Who fans* 

1. I've started university. Which is weird. And fun. And hard work. And mostly weird. Can we talk about how much work engineering is? It's a lot of math and driving and sitting and studying, but it's cool to be in the same place as people like me. 

2. The newest Spider-Man trailer came out and I'm dying, it's so beautiful. (Pfff, as if I'd get through an entire post without mentioning Spider-Man. Don't be ridiculous people.)

3. I did some dog sitting! I always love dog sitting. (Hence the photo for today's post.) If you have a dog, I will be there people. It's how I make friends, I kid you not. 

4. I have done next to no writing. To be honest it's a miracle the last three posts have gotten out on time, and let's not even mention my manuscripts. It's been at least five weeks since I've even looked at them, and it's making me very sad. But what can I do? School is school. 

5. There was a flood and a cyclone but we're all good now. Basically there was a lot of people panicking for little to no reason while I sat in the corner like a weirdo and enjoyed the copious amounts of rain being dumped on our heads. 

6. I bought some fish? It was a very spur of the moment thing but already I love them half to death. I've never owned fish before so we'll see how long they last before they go belly-up. (I'm optimistic. I've managed to not kill my indoor plants so far so this is a good step up.)

How's your life been lately? Is school driving you absolutely insane? Comment below, peeps.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Rearranging your bookshelf

Eventually, we all come to a time in our lives when Spider-Man swings through the window and - wait, no. We all come to a time in our lives when the Doctor lands his TARDIS in your front yard - um, no, that's not where I was going with this. 

What was I saying again? Oh, that's right. Rearranging your bookshelf. 

I would like to officially claim the title of Queen Whose Pictures Never Match Her Posts.

I tend to avoid rearranging my bookshelf for the obvious reasons of it taking forever due to the crazy amount of books I own. Besides, it takes forever to remember where I put everything because I don't organise them like a normal person by author or alphabetically. (My method is usually hey! That goes there! And that goes there! That would look nice over there!) So I try to avoid rearranging it. 

However, eventually we all come to a time in our lives when things need to change. (Ha, got there in the end.) For me, the first time I rearranged my bookshelf was when I ran out of room and had to upgrade. The second time was when I moved to Australia, and let me tell you that was an impressive undertaking. Anywho, that again took quite a bit of time. 

There's something magical about rearranging your bookshelf, though. It's like putting the world back in place, bit by bit. It's putting a ballast on your unstable and forever-shifting life, grabbing an weight of paper and ink to anchor yourself to while the storms of life drag you every way but the direction you want to go. It's rebuilding your life, book by book by book. And it's beautiful. 

How often do you rearrange your bookshelf? Do you have any specific methods of doing so? 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Run, it's Debbie!!!

Last week has been a little bit intense, I won't lie. It's been a few years since Cyclone Marcia has torn through my little town, leaving trees and debris and rising flood waters in her wake. This week, it's been Cyclone Debbie giving us problems. (To be honest here, I can't be afraid of anything called Debbie, hence the very sarcastic name of this post. Can you imagine? "Oh no, Debbie is coming! Run!") 

I managed to not get a single picture of the storm. *hangs head*

Luckily I'm too far south for Debbie to hit me directly, but I still suffered a little from her wrath. (If something called Debbie can have wrath, of course.) Heavy wind and rain, flooding, and a whole lot of panicking on my mom's part. The news has been stuffed with cyclone updates for days now and it's getting a bit old. I wasn't able to get into school for a couple of days due to flooding, but beyond that we didn't lose power or anything. Our frangipani tree was uprooted (again) so we had to prop it back up with a bit of spit, prayer and duct tape. 

We were extremely fortunate, thankfully. Nothing was damaged, whereas in places up north roofs were ripped off and trees are uprooted. Now, the flood waters are closing in, and apparently the town next to us is going to struggle with a 10 meter rise in the river in the next few days. Schools were closed across Queensland to protect kids and parents from the dangerous roads and weather. I haven't heard of any deaths, but people have lost their homes and possessions due to flooding. Your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated. 

I love a good cyclone, though. It's always so exciting. 

Have you ever lived through a cyclone/hurricane? Or even a bad storm? Do you enjoy lighting as much as I do? (Hint, it's a lot.) Also sorry for the random blog schedule, life's a bit crazy right now.