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What I think

Hey Readers, it’s Alice here for another blog.

So, if you’ve read my last post you’ll know I’ve been feeling quite down, especially recently. Anyway, that isn’t what this post is about, it’s about ‘what I think’, and if you like it, maybe I’ll make it into a little series??

On with the blog:

My thoughts and moods recently have led to me being withdrawn, quiet and less sociable than usual (which, let’s be real, isn’t very sociable anyway). This has meant I’ve spent a lot of time in my head, almost unable to get away from my thoughts.

And yeah, some of the thoughts haven’t been so great, but like I said, that’s not what this is about. Those thoughts have made me realise some things, and that is good.

Pretty soon, April and I have some big decisions to make, that will potentially determine what we end up doing for the rest of our lives (logical, to make teenagers decide these things, I know). People have tried to help, and they’ve said how the choices really aren’t super important and I should choose what I enjoy, that I don’t need to worry about the future for now. I believe them, and understand the points they are making, but it’s still a hugely important decision for here and now, and it will influence what I do for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know what I’m going to choose (these are subject choices by the way for exams that will determine careers / university) and that terrifies me, as I have around a month, maybe even less, to make up my mind. And, on top of that stress, this year is also an important exam year, so there’s more pressure from that too.

Anyway, there’s the context, and here’s what I think:

All the time I’ve spent getting stressed and emotional and withdrawn and the like, has made me realise that I cannot do something just for the sake of it. The next years of my education will be for the most part, self driven and self motivated, so it’s important that I do things I want to do, and things I’ll enjoy. I’ve had no time to do the things I enjoy, and hardly done anything other than work. This is not good, and it is not healthy.

Sometimes, you have to know when to stop, and you have to leave things for the night, because if you just keep pushing and pushing, eventually you’ll fall over the edge and make things so, so much worse for yourself.

It might seem impossible, but if you’re anything like me and literally drowning in the sheer amount of stuff you have to do, too awkward, stressed and scared to miss a deadline or ask for help, please do. Just talk to someone, a teacher, a friend, a parent. If you can’t do the work, for goodness sake, ask for help instead of sitting at your desk and crying.

Yes, this first half term back at school has been as emotional, stressful, tiring and trying as it possibly could have been, and I didn’t deal with it in the right way at all, but I still got through. You need to make time for yourself, give yourself time to relax and actually enjoy your childhood (teenhood?) for once. This constant standing on the edge of disaster is not who I am, it’s not who I want to be, plus I can’t imagine it’s who you would want to be either.

So, what I think is that you shouldn’t let stress define you. You shouldn’t let work take over, and you should do things that you enjoy! I still have no idea who I am, who I want to be, or what decisions I will make when the time comes, but I know that I can’t keep going on the way I am without everything giving way beneath me. I’m going to make changes; I need to make changes. Yes, this time of my life is important for school, but it’s also important for spending time with friends and family and making memories. I don’t want to look back on my life and see myself as someone who never stepped out of their comfort zone, always put work ahead of happiness and only focused on school. No. I want to look back on this time as amazing. I am a teenager, and there is so much out there that I have yet to experience, and I’m not going to let my thoughts get in the way of that.

~ Alice

(thank you so much for reading, literally each and every view on here makes my day a little brighter. i’m always here to talk, as a friend or whatever, just send a dm to writeaweek on Instagram and one of us will reply as soon as we see the message (address it to one of us in particular if you want) hope you’re all doing okay and feeling good, bye!)

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Bookstagram Photos

Hey readers!

So a little while ago, I decided I wanted to take some pretty photos to go on our Instagram page, so I gathered up all my blue books (we had a blue theme at the time) and a various assortment of blue items that could be in the photos and set to work.

I took over 100 photos so was rather pleased with myself, however, I could have probably done with taking these photos a bit earlier, as when I did take them we were only 3 photos away from moving on to a different theme. So what I’ve decided to do is put a few of my favourite ones into a blog post so people can still see them.

Also, because I’m a bit strange and like to explain my thought process behind literally anything I do or any decision I make, there is some writing explaining everything beneath the photos. Don’t worry – I won’t be offended if you ignore it. I probably would if I were you.

 

 

First of all, I laid out all the books in a flat grid and took some photos from different angles. I think my favourite of these (of which there are more than three, but I only included what I judged to be the better ones) was the photo from directly above the books. Although it wasn’t my intention to be highlighting any of the books when I first started taking the photos, this one ended up highlighting two in particular: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, and The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (which, by the way, are both very good books that I would recommend reading – there are also films of both of them which are worth a watch)

 

 

The next thing I did was pile all my books up into a big block, with a couple going in different directions to the others. I took quite a lot of photos of this set-up, but most of them didn’t turn out very well, hence the fact there are only two in this post. I tried taking all the photos from different angles to get some variety, but despite this they also all came out looking quite similar. So this probably wasn’t the best option for taking photos, but I had fun building it and actually taking the photos (trying to balance the stack so it didn’t fall over and/or collapse was a bit of a challenge!)

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This next one came to life because I noticed a few of the things I had contained both blue and red, so I thought I’d try and put them together and see what came out of it. The above photo is perhaps the only decent one – if you could call it that – out of many. The lighting was uneven/off, and the reflection off the CD case was being strange and awkward, so basically it just wasn’t working very well. Looking back on it, it also wasn’t a very good layout of the books and items. I was trying to do a grid photo where everything was neat and in place and followed the lines, but it just wasn’t working. However, I still thought I’d include it in this post, as it shows a couple of my favourite books, The Thief Lord (which I’ve already mentioned) and Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie.

 

 

These three photos are probably the ones I was most proud of out of this whole “photoshoot”. I actually posted one of them on Instagram, and the author of the book featured (Goldfish Boy, by Lisa Thompson) not only liked and commented but reposted as well! Honestly, that made my day. The reason why I took these photos was because I noticed the blue, orange and white on the cover of the book matched perfectly with my pins and paperclips – in exactly the same colours. After noticing that, I couldn’t resist! Before ending up with these photos I tried a few different variations of the setup, such as one which had an ink pen on the notebook and another which replaced the pencils in the bottom right corner with a pair of glasses, but neither of them seemed right, so I tried out this one and it turned out okay!

 

 

These last two I liked, but decided against using them anywhere for a number of different reasons. Firstly, the pencils in the first one are not lined up straight and I felt as though that ruined it slightly. Secondly, they didn’t really fit in with the blue theme of the account. And I know, I could post them when we have a different theme, but then comes the third, and biggest, reason, which is that they were almost directly copied from a blog post I was reading about how to style good flat lay photographs and I would feel bad about it! That post is linked a bit further down if you’re interested in seeing it – it’s a very good/helpful one too. But anyway, reasons for not posting them and credit aside, I do actually like these photos quite a bit. Like I said, the first one isn’t all that great because the pencils aren’t all lined up, but I like the second one (on the diagonal) especially. I also spent a very long time deciding which order the pencils were going to go in so the colours were in the most aesthetically pleasing order they could be in haha.

Anyway, that’s all the photos that I’m going to share with you today! There were a bunch more I took, both variations of these ones and different layouts too, but they were very bad and I’m slightly embarrassed by them too so they’ve not been included in here. If you enjoyed this post then do let me know, and in the future I might do some more “photoshoots” for our Instagram and put the un-posted ones here!

Like I mentioned above, I was reading and referring to a very helpful blog post on how to style a flat lay photo all the time while taking these photos, and I feel it’s only fair to give credit to that post, so here is a link to it! It’s a good post and very useful, so if you’re wanting to try out taking some photos for yourself I would definitely recommend reading it!

The last thing I’d like to put in this (already rather long) blog post is a list of the books that I used for these photos. I already mentioned a couple of them while talking about particular photos, but I thought a list of them all might be a good idea, especially as they’re all good books that I’d recommend reading! So, without further ado:

  • Paper Towns – John Green
  • The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
  • Blood Ties – Sophie McKenzie
  • The Thief Lord – Cornelia Funke
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
  • The White Giraffe – Lauren St John
  • Year of the Rat – Clare Furniss
  • Unhooking the Moon – Gregory Hughes
  • iBoy – Kevin Brooks
  • Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
  • Goldfish Boy – Lisa Thompson
  • Unwind – Neal Shusterman
  • Lord of Shadows – Cassandra Clare
  • Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket

Anyway, that’s all for today, so thanks for reading! Don’t forget you can check out all our social medias if you want to, and if you liked this post you can look at our Instagram for more bookstagram photos.

Bye!

~ April

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Dan and Phil

(This is a joint blog written by both of us, but it’s going to be in  slightly different format to our older collaborative posts. Also, just a quick note, it may be filled with a load of references you might not understand if you’re not a member of the phandom)

Hi. So, our names are [Alice] and [April]. Nice to meet you.

Hehe, we thought that was a fun little introduction, to start off with, which is also quite topical, as is brings us nicely onto the subject of this post: Dan and Phil.

It’s probably hard to be on the internet without even having heard of Daniel Howell and Phillip Lester, otherwise known as Dan and Phil, or danisnotonfire (rip)/Dani Snot On Fire and amazingphil.  They’re two highly influential YouTubers, currently with over 17.2M combined subscribers who have written two books and performed a world-wide stage tour (The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire, or TATINOF). We sound like we’re introducing them on stage before we welcome them on for an interview (honestly, we wish we were), but really, we’re just letting you know how big these two people are, and giving you some context so you’re not completely baffled as we now talk about how they’ve affected so many people across the globe – and why.

The first of their videos that Alice stumbled across was the ‘punk edits in real life video’, but she didn’t really think it was her thing, so moved on without watching anything else. Earlier this year (can’t quite believe it’s only been that long!), April asked Alice what she thought of them (having spotted things about them on the internet here and there – after all, who hasn’t?)  so she said as much, letting April know that only seen one video (unbeknownst to Alice, April then went home and binge-watched the entirety of the Sims Series, then continued regularly watching their videos from there). She’s not really sure why, but one day Alice sat down and watched the first episode of their Sims 4 series. And then the next and the next and the next. Now, we both eagerly await every new instalment of Dil Howlter’s life and everything else that involves Dan and Phil.

Now, we would both consider ourselves members of the phandom (shoutout to the og trash team!) – we watch every video, watch the livestreams, like the tweets (well, Alice does, April doesn’t have twitter. But she’s there in spirit – Alice sends her screenshots of the best ones). It’s strange what finding a YouTuber you really enjoy watching can do to you, and how big an impact they can have on your life.  

This next part is written by Alice, April editing into third person found it too hard so gave up: Daniel Howell and Phil Lester are unlike any other youtubers I have ever watched. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but the pair of them make me almost ridiculously happy. Watching their videos has stopped me crying and made me laugh so hard that I temporarily forget what was upsetting me. Take it from me, Dan and Phil are two extraordinary people and we should consider ourselves lucky to be able to share their journey with them.

If you haven’t heard of Dan and Phil as youtubers (do you even internet?) you might know them from the BBC Radio one show that they collaborated on, and the others they were involved in, starting in 2013 and ending just last year (in 2016). It’s a shame we missed it, as we both would have liked to have watched it (on the live video streams that went along with them), but hopefully with some hard-core internet scouring we’ll be able to find them uploaded somewhere. (Sidenote from Alice: I think I have!)

Currently, the two of us are playing a kind of game (kind of, not really) where we try and spot the Dan and Phil merch when we are together (the reason why it isn’t really a game is because the grand total is one, as it currently stands…)

We were going to try and end this post in a similar way to the end of Hello Internet (like the start of it was), but unfortunately it involves much flashy music and camera effects which we sadly can’t include, so see if you can get where this ending is from instead:

Oh, we’ve been talking for ages! We don’t really have anything else to say anyway, but have a good day if we don’t talk to you again, even though you’re not really talking to us… never mind; see you later!

~ Alice & April

(Quick update, this is Alice and I’m typing this just before I publish this post; I’ve literally finished watching TATINOF online right now and am just asdfghjkl-ing right now. Just thought I’d let you know that 🙂 okay, bye)

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Doumo Arigatou

Doumo Arigatou: it means Thank You, in Japanese! Now, if you were Japanese, it would be a very suitable way to let you know how grateful I am to have you in my life. But you’re not. Perhaps a more suitable way, then, would be to say… Grazie!!

For almost as long as I can remember, you’ve been there. You’ve been there through the good times, through the bad times.

As far as the good times go, well, some of my fondest memories have you in, and I will hold them close to my heart. Do you remember that time in the Italian restaurant when we were with some school friends? Or that time with my family while on holiday? There are countless times you’ve been there, and just brightened my day up.

For the bad times? Well, whenever I’ve needed you, you’ve always been there. You’ve always offered a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, without even thinking about it. You’ve helped me get through things I might have not got through, if it weren’t for your help. You are undoubtedly the most benevolent being to have ever lived in this universe. I am so lucky to have had though there to help me through things.

What I love about you the most is how interesting you are. There’s always a new side of you to discover, a different fact to learn about you every day. It’s so interesting to see you act in so many different ways. You’re a surprise waiting to happen,  never really know what you’re going to do next, and it fills my life with so much excitement and interest. But still, whenever I need you to, you can go back to being the plain and simple friend I know and love, who is always there for me.

So this is my letter to you, to say thank you, to let you know how much I appreciate you being in my life. I am so grateful to have had you for all this time, and I look forward to the years we have together.

Thank you, Pasta, for everything.

(so this was originally for a competition where you had to write a letter entitled “Doumo Arigatou”, but I missed the deadline of because I was trying to write it seriously and put proper feeling into it. I’ve since given up on that as I was really struggling to write it, so I decided to write it as a funny jokey thing instead. I hope you enjoyed it – bye! ~April)

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New Story – not sure yet (part one)

Hello Readers, Alice here. Below is a brief introduction to the latest story I am writing, and then underneath that is part one. Enjoy!

Alfie and Caleb are two boys who could not be more different at first glance. Alfie has been at the same school his entire life, he’s perfected the art of blending into the shadows. No one even sees him anymore, until one day, new boy Caleb steps into the school for the first time on a random day in the middle of the year and turns everything upside down.

Hood up, earbuds in, head down. Three rules to make you invisible. I’ve perfected the art of blending into the shadows. Nobody even sees me anymore, and that’s the way I like it. Having nearly reached the age of sixteen, all my experiences so far have taught me that friends are bad. Everyone I’ve ever trusted has either let me down, or completely crushed me. Life is much more simple when you are the only person you have to depend on.

My daze-like state is snapped in an instant as a hand claps down on my shoulder. The overbearing face of the school’s deputy head, Mr Struthers is staring at me intently.
“Hoodie off and headphones out, thank you, Mr Blacken.” I reluctantly wrap up the wires and pull off the oversized black jumper. The uniform policy is getting stricter by the day; I’ve only just stepped inside the school, and have already been reminded of the dress code.

It makes it harder to blend in, being more exposed like this, but I’ve had enough time over the years to get it just right. I fold the hoodie over my arm and make to leave. Mr Struthers stops me after a beat, decision pooling in his brown eyes.

“Actually, Alfie,” he frowns, steering me, confused, towards the office.

“Sir?” My voice croaks slightly, unused to conversing with somebody outside of my immediate family.

“There’s a new boy just arrived – Samuel Anderson was supposed to be showing him around, but his mother’s phoned in to say he is unwell. You wouldn’t do it instead would you?” I physically feel my face fall, appalled by the news. He can’t seriously expect me, the guy who doesn’t like having friends, to be a good tour guide for some random stranger? And what sort of person joins a new school on a random Wednesday in the GCSE year?

“Okay.” I say instead, too awkward to talk my way out of it.

“Great, he’s just arrived.” I smile unhappily, hoping for someone who will quickly mesh with the popular kids and leave me alone. We round the corner to the office, a tall figure folded into one of the blue swivel chairs outside. His uniform, from the back at least, looks pristine, and not a single one of his shiny jet black hairs is out of place.

“This is Caleb Pearson,” Mr Struthers says, but I hardly hear him, my stomach leaping with butterflies as the chair swings around and I see the boy’s face.

His skin is pale, but it almost glows like the moon, looking good on him in a way that wouldn’t suit anyone else. His eyes are a unique shade of startling green, and seem to be examining me, much like I am examining them. His nose is a little bigger than average, curved, but just right for his face, which is framed by his dead straight pin neat fringe, stylishly swept back. He. Is. Stunning.

I shake such ridiculous thoughts from my head, focusing instead on how much of an inconvenience he will be until I can find someone to offload him onto.
“Hello,” he unfolds his tall frame, standing up to greet me and the deputy-head. I smile nervously, croaking out a ‘hi.’

“Right then,” Mr Struthers pats me on the shoulder, “I’ll let you two get on with it.” We both smile a goodbye, mine pathetic and forced, but Caleb’s wide and genuine.

He’ll fit right in with the popular guys. He’ll get a girlfriend in an instant. I sigh, almost for a moment wishing it were so easy for me to make friends. But then I remember my history, and remind myself how toxic friendships can be.

“Err…” my voice falters, “you know where your locker is?” He unfolds one of the crisp sheets in his hand, scanning it for a moment.

“It says here that it’s in the East Wing corridor? Locker 401.” He raises his eyebrows slightly at the paper, frowning.

“Sure. I’ll show you where it is.”

“Thank you.” I don’t reply, not wanting to give him the wrong idea about any potential friendship between us. I ignore the itching urge to ask why he’s joining at such a weird time, where he came from, what subjects he’s taking. I remind myself that I don’t care about him, and that I don’t need anyone.

People are better off without me, and I need to remember that.

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Back to School

Hey readers!

So it’s that time of year again. Many people are preparing to go back to school – lots will have already started again already. You’re probably sick to death of back-to-school this and back-to-school that, but I thought I’d compile a quick list of handy tips and things to remember when you go back.

  1. Be prepared. Try to make sure that you’re ready – this includes being equipped with the correct supplies and knowing how you’re going to get there (eg by the 7:30 bus from xyz street). This will help you be less stressed on the first day and get off to a good start, which is always a good thing.
  2. Remember to eat breakfast (if you can). It’s understandable that some people can’t eat that early in the morning because it makes you feel sick, or that you don’t have access to breakfast (if this applies to you, why not try researching soup kitchens or the like near you when you can get some food in the morning?). It has long been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (although there have recently been scientific studies to show otherwise, so we’re just going to ignore science for the moment). If you eat a good breakfast in the morning it will help set you up for the day and put you in a better mood. Also, I, personally, always find it harder to work when I’m hungry, as I’m concentrating on my stomach more than the matter at hand.
  3. Try to stay organised. It can be hard sometimes, but staying organised can help make your life much less stressful. Whether it’s having a planner/diary, a calendar stuck on your wall or a running to-do list, having some sort of organisational tool can really help to keep your life less hectic and stressful. This year, I’m going to try out a new system I discovered recently called Bullet Journaling. If you search it into Google or YouTube then you can easily find loads of information about it, but if you’d like a whole blog post from us about it, then let us know!
  4. Don’t let your work pile up. There’s nothing worse than having piles and piles of work to get done, and not much time to get it done it. To help combat this, try to get your work done as soon as possible after it’s set. Do your smaller assignments and homework the day it’s given to you, and plan out when you will work on your larger projects so you don’t end up leaving everything until the day before it’s due in and as a result staying up until the early hours of the morning trying to get it done on time.
  5. Try to figure out a regular sleeping schedule. Admit it, over the summer your sleeping schedule has probably gone a bit haywire. I know the feeling! But when you’re back at school sleeping irregular and short hours just isn’t going to help, as you don’t have the freedom to sleep whenever you want. For the next few months (until the next break) your days are going to be filled with school and work, so you need to figure out regular and consistent hours when you can get some good sleep. You can find a helpful article on how much sleep you should be getting each night here.
  6. Last, but not least, remember not to stress too much! At the end of the day, it’s just school, and nothing more than that. It’s perfectly okay if you need to take a step back, perhaps take a day off, and just have some time to yourself to relax and unwind. Especially if you suffer from things such as anxiety, school can be a very stressful place and can make you have a pretty hard time. I know it’s difficult, and I’m not trying to be patronising or insensitive, but just try to remember that it’s not that important in the long run, and you are allowed to just relax.

Anyway, that’s all I have for today! I hope you maybe found some of these tips useful? If you did, great!, and you didn’t, … oh well. Don’t forget you can contact us in a variety of ways, including Instagram and Tumblr, our messages our always open!

Bye!

~ April

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A reply to April’s post ‘confidence.’

Hello random reader, Alice here.

I’ve been ridiculously inactive and have no excuse whatsoever, so would like to apologise for that and thank April for keeping on going without me.

I’ve just read her most recent blog post, ‘confidence.’, which you should definitely read if you haven’t done already. It struck a chord with me, and really got me thinking.

I’ve known April for nearly nine years now, so confidence is not an issue for me (and hopefully not her either) when the two of us are together. We can be ourselves (generally rather odd, no offence, April) and everything is fine. I never worry about what she’ll think of me, or whether or not I can tell her something, knowing 100% that she will have my back.

With other people however, I am very different. April and I have a close knit friendship group, and most of the time with them, I’m completely fine and we can all have a good time. It’s when I’m with people who I don’t necessarily know as well that things change.

I’ve had rather a lot of very different ‘best’ friends in my life, but April is the only one who has really stuck around. With other people, as we’ve matured and gotten older, we’ve drifted apart, had an argument, or in one case, the other person just started blanking me one day. Maybe this is why I would consider myself socially awkward. Maybe it’s genetics. I have no idea, but around even the people who I once spoke to every day, when I find myself in a situation where I should talk to them, I get stupidly scared.

I know that some people find social situations so much than I do, but the confident, bubbly child that I once was is no longer recognisable unless you are very close to me.

I’m not that sure where I’m going with this post, and am writing it fairly late at night, so have no idea of its quality, but I feel as though there are some things I could share, on the off chance that it may help me, or even someone reading this.

Now, I am 15 years old and feel as though my lack of confidence is holding me back. I want to accomplish things in my life, and have ambitions, but know that I will never get anything done if I can’t pluck up the courage to take the plunge and try new things.

I’m writing a story at the moment (a book?!) and through the main character, Michael, I seem to be learning a lot about myself. For me, writing is a hobby and a release. Whenever I sit down and tell myself: ‘right, I’m going to do some writing now’, as soon as I am done, I feel like I could take on the world.

Other members of my family are practically oozing with confidence, and even as I know that some of the time it is an act,  I do wish that I could have a little of their natural charm.

School is just around the corner, and this year I want to take more risks and do things that I want to do, for me and nobody else. One of my other friends has been talking about ‘reinventing herself’ for the beginning of the term in attempt to make more friends. Although I will stick by her with whatever she does, it makes me a little sad that she thinks that she has to change herself in order to become more popular.

Popularity for me is not a big deal. I once was fairly popular, but now I am not. I’m not bothered. At our school, there are lots of friendship groups, not just a single ladder or hierarchy. Although my group isn’t at the top, being with the friends I have gives me the confidence I otherwise lack and makes me happy.

Of course, I have off days – who doesn’t? Sometimes (quite often) I wish that I could go effortlessly into any situation and get on just fine without so much as blinking. That would be great, yes, but I have amazing friends and I know that some of them will stick by me forever.

I want to try out acting, I want to keep blogging, I want to try radio (April, what do you think?!) I want to keep writing, one day (maybe) I want to try YouTube. However, most importantly, I want to stay with the people who make me laugh on a regular basis but who I could also trust with anything serious.

I’m not the most confident person in the world. I reherse saying ‘good morning’ as I’m walking towards someone in a corridor and kick myself afterwards for sounding like an idiot. Confidence is not something I have in an abundance, but it is something that I really, really want to work on.

Thanks to April for the inspiration for writing this post, and thanks to anyone who stuck around until the end. Writing on here is such a brilliant thing to do, so thank you so much to everyone who supports us.

Feel free to send us a message on Instagram (@writeaweek), or on any other forms of social media and online things we have set up, if you just want someone to talk to or maybe to tell us about your own confidence. It means the world to us when someone likes what we do.

Thank you again, and good luck for whatever your future holds.

– Alice

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Confidence.

So recently, I began working at my new job, and I’d like to discuss something that effected (affected? I never know which to use) me a lot during my first couple of days: Confidence.

I cannot explain to you the amount of nerves I was feeling the night before my first shift, but believe me, I was an emotional wreck. Going in and asking about the job was hard enough for me, never mind the interview, and now I had to walk in and just figure out what to do? Although I had been so looking forward to it, all of a sudden I didn’t want to go. I wanted to curl up in a hole in the ground and never come out ever again.

Honestly, it was terrifying. I walked in, looked around me, and realised I didn’t know how to get into the office (where I got my official badge saying I was actually working there). It took me ten minutes of hiding where I couldn’t be seen by the people at the front desk to finally build up the courage and go and ask for some help. And when I did, they happily showed me how to do it, gave me directions to the office then offered to refresh my memory on how to do everything. They were the nicest they could have been, and honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting. It wasn’t as if they were growing to grow three dragon heads an incinerate me for daring to ask for help, was it?

That, I think, is what the problem was. I wasn’t doing anything bad that would warrant them having a bad reaction, but I wasn’t thinking logically. Realistically the worst they could do was ask me for proof that I was actually meant to be working there before letting me in, nothing worse. But in my head I built it up to something more than it was, which made me worry unnecessarily.

My friend recently told me about someone they knew, who always asked for discounts on anything they bought. Whenever they went to the counter they asked if they could get it for anything cheaper than the marked price. And quite often, the person behind the counter said “why not?” I, personally, would not have had the confidence to do that, and probably never will. But, thinking about it, it isn’t that bad of an idea. What’s the worst they can say – no?

I suppose the moral of this post is that if you never ask, then you never get. Have confidence in yourself, and think logically about the worst outcomes. Are they really that bad? Is it worth all of the worry you’re feeling? The answer to both – probably no.

So that concludes my post for today. Sorry it’s not very long, and also sorry it’s a bit rambly and rubbish. I had some thoughts in my head that I needed to get out, but they didn’t come out very eloquently. Anyway, thanks for reading, and bye!

~ April

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Writing Games

Hey readers!

Today I decided to make this list of different fun writing games you can play with your family and friends, or just anyone really. I have played all these games before and find them quite fun, so I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

Consequences

Consequences is a really fun game which my cousins introduced me to a year or so ago, and I have played with lots of my friends since. It’s a really simple way of making very funny stories.

Consequences is best played in groups of three or above people, although it does also work with two players (but it’s not as fun)

To play, you have to sit in a circle. Or a rough circle of sorts. Well, you don’t have to actually be sitting in a circle, but you need to have a loop/order that you can pass things around in. Everyone starts of with a piece of paper. They write down the name of a woman on it – it can be anyone from a made up person, or a fictional character, or someone you know. They then fold the paper over so that the name they’ve written can’t be seen. Then everyone passes the paper on to the person next to them/next in the loop. Then they write now a name of a man on it and fold it over, and so on. The order of what you write goes like this:

– Woman’s name
– Man’s name
– Where they met
– What she was wearing
– What he was wearing
– What she said
– What he said
– How it all ended

Once you have completed all of the categories you can unfold the paper and read out your mish-mash stories. What makes this game funny is that no-one knows what the person before them has written, so it’s all jumbled up and doesn’t really make sense. This can be made especially funny if you use people you know as the characters, for example you could have your best friend running off with your elderly grandma while wearing a dress made of tinsel.

I hope this explanation has been good enough, but if not feel free to comment below or contact us using any method and I’ll try to make you less confused 😀

The Random Word Game

The random word game is another funny game you can play. It only requires 2 people, although you could adapt it so more people can play.

It is a very simple game. Person 1 picks some random words. They can be anything ranging from names to objects to actions to descriptive words. How many they pick depends on how difficult they want it to be – more words make it more difficult, less words make it less difficult. Person 2 then has to make up a story using all of these words. Note: they do not have to use the words in the order that person 1 says them in.

For example, Person 1 could pick the words “orange”, “lamppost”, “blue”, “nattering” and “genie”. Person 2 would then make up a story using these 5 words, such as “Once upon a time there was a genie, who liked nattering away to his friends. One day he was walking along the street when he saw a blue orange lying on the pavement. He was so amazed by this that he didn’t look where he was going and walked straight into a lamppost”.

The Three-Word Game

The three word game is another simple game. This game works best with three or more people, but it can also work with just two.

Really, the game is just what it says on the tin. The first person says 3 words. They cannot be random words, they have to make up a sentence or phrase or part of a phrase. For example, they might say “Once upon a”. The next person then says another 3 words. If they see where the first person is trying to go with their phrase they could continue that (eg “Once upon a time”) or they could do something completely different, for example “blue moon, there”. And so on. The game can last for as long or as little amount of time as you wish. Full-stops and other end-of-sentence-punctuation must be specified, but do not count as a word. For example the next person could continue “was a monkey fullstop.”

License Plate Game

The license plate game is a good game to play while on long car journeys. Whether or not it technically classes as a writing game is debatable, but it does make you think about different words in your vocabulary (I sound like an English teacher haha)

Disclaimer: this game might not work in all counties as the format of the umber plates might be different which means you cant do it. Sorry if that happens!

This game is a very basic game. First off all, you look for a car. This is why it’s good to play it on long car journeys because you’re often surrounded by lots of other cars on motorways, etc. Once you have found a car you look at it’s number plate, specifically the last three letters of it.

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This is where you might have to improvise, and not all countries number plates end in three letters. You might have to use the first three letters, or three letters that are in the plate, or just two letters.
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Looking at the last 3 letters, you have to try and think up of what these could be an acronym for (what they could stand for). For example, if the number plate ends in SMR, you could say it stood for “Stan’s Motorcycle Race”. The trick is you have to try and make it make sense as a sentence or phrase, but you only have 3 letters and they have to begin with certain letters. This game can certainly be tricky at times, but you can also get some very funny phrases!

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And that’s exhausted my list of writing games! I’m sure there are many more out there in the world, but at this present moment I cannot think of them/do not know them. If you do have any more, then feel free to contact us! There are many method different methods you can contact us by:

Anyway, that’s all for this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading – bye!

~ April

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Blog

Hello readers, Alice here.

Things have been strange for me recently. The book I’m writing has reached over 50,000 words, and has taken a turn that I didn’t think it would when I began. Without giving too much away, it has become about something that is quite difficult to write about, and something of a sensitive subject.

The past… I don’t know how long, I’ve been thinking differently to how I used to do. It is almost like something has released in my head, and I have finally realised that I am here, and I exist, and I am the one who chooses what I do. Ugh, *flops on floor*.

I’ve always been the quiet one, unless I’m with my friends, but since this realisation, I have been trying to put myself out there more (not always, but more than I used to), working with different people and talking about new things. I’ve discovered that most people, just like me, simply want to get through the day and look towards the future. Talking to people you wouldn’t usually talk to might seem scary, but when you take the first plunge, it gets much, much easier. It’s surprising how many people are surprised when I talk to them (in a good way), and has made me think that I should have done this much earlier.

There has been ongoing drama with one of my (ex) closer friends, but that seemed to have fizzled out until things were good between us. We are no longer super close, but I would still consider her a friend, however she seems to be trying to rekindle the tension, which is annoying, but we’re heading in the right direction (I hope).  To be completely honest, I am happier with us the way we are, civil, but not best friends. Is that

I’ve been talking to my crush more, still not that much, but it’s getting there and we’ve had a couple of nice conversations.

April and I are planning a project for the summer, and have lots of new collaborative writing things planned that we’re looking forward to starting.

Things are going well for the most part, so why do I feel so strange?

My book’s change in storyline is somewhat dark, and I can’t help but think it is mirroring what’s going on in my head. I can’t really explain much more about that, because I might post on here once it is finished and edited (if I’m happy with it) and SpOILerS.

I’ve found that if I have writer’s block, writing poems increases my creativity and gets the words flowing, but everything I write is pretty miserable, and I cannot write anything positive (though to be fair, I haven’t tried that hard).

Anyway, the point is, I have realised that I am me. I don’t know who I am yet, but hopefully I will someday. At the end of the day, this is my life, and I should do what makes me happy, even if I’m not sure what that is yet. I’m not going to let school suffocate me anymore – next year will be stressful, so I need to try and enjoy now. This has caused a bit of a build up in homework that needs to be done, but it has given me time to do things for me.

I wouldn’t say that I’m happy at the moment, but I’m not not-happy, and I have no idea what is even going on with my emotions.

What I’m trying to say is that you should do the things that you love. Do not throw everything away and stop doing any work, but put some time aside just for you; sometimes work can wait.

April has commented that I have ‘changed’ recently. I don’t think I have changed, I think I’ve just released a part of myself that was hidden away before.

Happy reading,

Alice