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Harry Potter Décor Ideas

Hey readers!

So I was recently searching through some old drafts we have on our site of posts and pages that were never finished, or given up on, and I found some from just over a year ago that I thought I would resurrect and finally post. As you can probably guess from the title, it’s Harry Potter inspired room decoration ideas! Okay okay, I know it’s not the more interesting or original thing to write about, but some of the ideas I came up with/found aren’t too bad and someone somewhere might find use for them. I’ve completely rewritten what I originally had as they were written very badly before and I was slightly embarrassed by them, but here they are!


General

Of course, there are Harry Potter Décor Ideas plastered all over the internet, most of them repeats of the same stuff. One of these more popular ideas is Potion Jars. They’re a fairly simple DIY project that doesn’t cost a lot and can add a really nice touch. The first step is to find some glass jars. These can be bought from lots of places, but recycling old jam jars or jars from other foods you might have lying around is a really great idea. Now you have your jar, find something to go in it. To make a potion, some water and food colouring will be effective. Just put them in, screw the lid on tight, give it a shake and ta-da! Instant potion. Of course there are also other things you could put in – glitter as floo powder maybe, or miscellaneous potions ingredients made from pieces of string or buttons. Perhaps you could keep in with recent trends and use some slime. And that’s as complicated as it gets! Find a place to put them, arrange in the most aesthetically pleasing way and bam, instant Harry Potter theme.

Another idea that seems to be everywhere is quotes. They can add a nice touch to the room and could be very subtly Harry Potter, they don’t necessarily have to say “HOGWARTS” in massive writing. Quotes can be displayed in a number of ways – perhaps in a photo frame or hung as a poster. I’ve seen large wall decals of Harry Potter quotes too – try amazon or etsy if you’re looking for one of these. Of course, sticking things on your wall isn’t always the best idea, so definitely check with a parent/guardian/landlord before doing this! Some nice quotes to have around the place could be “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light”, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” or “For in dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own” (I though the dream quotes could be suitable for a bedroom?).

An idea I had when writing the original post was to have a map on the wall. An old black and white map – more of a floorplan really – could be a nice piece of artwork to have on your wall and a nod towards the Marauders Map. If you wanted to go all out, you could even draw little footprints around the map, or print of an actual copy of the Marauders Map off the internet. Just google image search it and there’s plenty to chose from.

A perhaps less-subtle thing is hanging winged keys from your ceiling. Just draw some wings on white paper, cut them out, stick them onto some keys (you can order cheap fake ones of amazon or etsy) and tie some string to them, then hang them from the ceiling! It’s quite simple but also can look really nice. If you’re reluctant or unable to hang them from the ceiling itself, you could perhaps do some DIY and build a sort of baby-mobile thing to hang them from.

A smaller cute thing would be to write “Lumos” and “Nox” onto the light switch. It’s only a little thing, but it can help to add that little touch of magic to the room. A non-permanent way to do this would be to use letter stickers that could be peeled off at a later date when not wanted.

Gryffindor

The best thing about being a Gryffindor here is all the house merchandise available. Almost everything Harry Potter related comes in red and gold. Take advantage of this and display some around your room to show off your house pride! If looking for some heap and affordable merch, try amazon and etsy, although primark do some good Harry Potter stuff too! DIY-ing it would be great too. Hang up a red scarf to make a Gryffindor banner, or hand-draw a poster to hang on the wall. As far as house pride goes, the possibilities are almost endless.

Of course, a bold way to say “I am a Gryffindor” would be a red theme. Perhaps you’d enjoy having a room painted entirely in bright red, but if that’s not your style then there are plenty of other options too. If red’s not your thing, try pink or orange, or even yellow to represent the gold. Or if you’d prefer a more simplistic and less in-your-face look, you could perhaps go for white with red accents. This could be provided through red curtains, a red rug or even a red plant pot.

Slytherin

So just like Gryffindor, I feel as though a Slytherin is stereotypically very proud of their house (and let’s be real for a moment, if you’re decorating your room with a Harry Potter theme, I’m guessing you are too), so the same goes for Slytherin in terms of displaying your house. Although there’s not as much Slytherin merch as there is Gryffindor, there’s still a large abundance of it out there, and it doesn’t have to be strictly Harry Potter, anything green will too. Perhaps some green bunting could add a nice touch. Bunting is quite easy to make too, all you need is some paper and a length of string, and some pens or other decorating materials as you see fit. First, cut the paper into triangles, and decorate as you wish. If you have 9 flags, you could put one letter from the word Slytherin on each and have them spell it out! Once decorate, take the wider end of the triangle and fold it over. How much you fold depends on how big the flags are, but about a centimetre (or half an inch) would be a good amount. Then hook these over the string and voila, you’re done! If you want to make it more secure then you could use sticky-tape to secure the fold on the back.

Also as with Gryffindor, if you can incorporate some green into your room that’d be great. Painting all the walls in dark green might not be the nicest-looking decision (although to each their own), but perhaps a lighter-green feature wall, or green accents here and there would be nice. I also feel as though a good theme for Slytherin would be dark wood. Maybe it’s just me? But I just feel as though dark wood gives off a very dungeon/Slytherin common room-esque vibe.

I personally also feel as though a Slytherin-themed room wouldn’t have lots of irrelevant clutter. Maybe you like to have lots of things on display, but you could try narrowing it down to only the important things that you’re most proud of being on display, and the rest of the clutter tidily packed away somewhere.

Ravenclaw

Okay, so you can probably guess what the first thing on this list is going to be. Yup, you got it: books. Listen, it’s not my decision, but the stereotype of a Ravenclaw is that they like reading, so if you fit into that then embrace it! Display your books proudly around your room. In my personal opinion, you can never have too many bookshelves, but perhaps that’s just me.

Following on from bookshelves, just shelves in general are good. Have some empty space? Why not fill it up with some small miscellaneous items, perhaps a favourite mug or a photo frame? I always imagine a Ravenclaw’s room to be packed with stuff, not necessarily relevant or useful, but perhaps just pretty and nice to look at.

My next idea is to do with skills. Do you have a particular skill or hobby, something you enjoy doing? If yes, then why not dedicate a corner of your room to it? If you play a musical instrument, you could put your music stand in the corner and pile up your music around it. If you’re into astronomy, you could put a telescope near your window and hang up some astronomical charts on the wall around it. If you’re a particularly skilled knitter, you could put a comfy chair surrounded by balls of wool in the corner and stick up some knitting patterns on the wall around it. Whatever it is you’re good at or enjoy doing, embrace it and proudly display it in the room!

Hufflepuff

Of course, the first thing that springs to mind is yellow. Perhaps all-yellow walls might be a bit in-your-face, but it’s easy enough to add yellow accents here and there. A yellow cushion cover or some yellow curtains could add some nice bright touches to the room.

Speaking of bright, that’s what I personally think a Hufflepuff room would be. If your room is a bit dark, find a lamp somewhere or use a new lightbulb to brighten it up. A cute way to bring some more light in could be fairy-lights. Hung on the walls, draped along shelves or wrapped around the end of a bed could look really nice. Although, of course, be careful with where you’re putting them and how you’re twisting them as it’s all very well them looking nice but if they’re not safe then they’re not good.

A stereotype of Hufflepuffs is that they love Herbology and plants, so if you have green fingers and don’t kill every plant you own (unlike me) then why not have some plants in there? Cacti especially are very cute (and currently quite fashionable) but there are all sorts of cool plants you could display if you’re wanting something interesting and different. Some of my personal favourites are snake plants (sansevieria trifasciata), bonsai trees (pinus thunbergii) and peace lilies (spathiphyllum).

What always springs to mind when I think of a Hufflepuff-themed room is cosiness. If you can, why not get lots of snuggly cushions and warm blankets? They can look nice as well as being really practical when you need warmth, and are just really nice to have in general.

Pictures of family and friends to remind you of your favourite people and favourite memories are also a good thing to display. Stereotypically, Hufflepuffs are very family- and friend-orientated people so perhaps display little things that remind you of them, such as photos, drawings, or other little trinkets that have fond memories attached to them.

Finally, scented candles can also add a nice touch. Nowadays, you can get candles that smell of anything (I feel like I’m saying this a lot, but just check amazon or etsy!). They can add a really nice touch to the room as well as making it smell wonderful. As with the fairy-lights though, be careful where you’re putting them and what you’re doing with them. If in any doubt then avoid lighting any – it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Of course, the list could go on. I could write paragraphs and paragraphs about Hedwig and Dobby teddies, or Hogwarts acceptance letters pinned to noticeboards, but I think I’m going to have to finish this blog post here as it’s almost the same length as an essay I wrote at school the other day worth 25% of my grade. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, and maybe even found some inspiration for some of your own decoration. If there’s anything not mentioned here that you think is a great idea, why not head over to Instagram and comment it on this post? We’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas. Speaking of Instagram, if you have any questions or suggestions, or just want to talk, our DM’s are always open and we’re quite active over there!

Thanks again for reading, and bye!

~ April

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What I do to help with stress and sadness (quick fixes)

Hi guys, Alice here.

So, I haven’t blogged in a while. I’m not going to apologise, but I do feel bad. April knows I’m glad she is good at uploading regularly, but here’s another thank you to her – thank you.

I had a plan for this post; I’ve written a short story and was going to type it up and publish it (I wrote it on paper), but I started this morning and just couldn’t make myself do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love this little niche of the internet April and I have created, but it just wasn’t happening, so you’re getting this ‘something’ instead *insert awkward laughing emoji*.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. It’s a scary thing, but needs to be done every so often. I want to do something unconventional with my life, something that I enjoy and something which has some kind of positive impact. The problem with that is it’s difficult to explain that to people, or find a suitable work experience placement :/ – if you know of anything, please let me know!

I know that the next five months are going to be incredibly stressful, so looking to the future should be an exciting thing, so the fact that it is scary and unknown to me at the moment is making the stressful stuff even more stressful and significant. Yay. My point is, sometimes it isn’t easy or pleasant to look at the bigger picture, or even to focus on the smaller things of the present, so you need to find something which makes you happy in the moment and stops the stresses and problems you may be facing, even if it is temporarily. It’s not a long term fix, but for me at least, it is better than wallowing in a near permenant state of sad existentialism.

Here are a few of the things that keep me ticking (or at least the ones I can think of right now):

• the internet –

– Dan and Phil (look them up on YouTube if you don’t know who they are – you won’t regret it, seriously) April and I actually did a whole post about them if you want to read more about how they have influenced the two of us

– this blog I guess, because even if I only rarely use it, it’s a good way to reflect and order my thoughts

– The Try Guys – started watching their videos recently and have been enjoying them (they work for buzzfeed and you can find their videos on YouTube)

– aimless scrolling on various social media – sometimes seems like a waste of time but is good for taking your mind off things (don’t scroll through sad posts!) – cheeky plug:  our Instagram

– general spirals of YouTube, including TED talks and animal videos

– fun apps: I currently play ‘Twisty Road’, ‘Magic Piano’, ‘Splix.io’ and ‘Block! Hexa’

– netflix – 3 recommendations: ‘Sherlock’, ‘the end of the f**king world’ and ‘Happy Valley’ (also if you want something kind of eye opening / educational definitely watch ‘What the Health’)

• books – I like to read and write – haven’t done very much of either recently because I’ve been so busy with school, but missing it a lot

• creativity – I enjoy doodling, sketching, painting, crafts (don’t cry, craft! (I actually cringed writing that hElp)), photography, film making, baking, cooking and pretty much all creative stuff – at the moment I’ve kind of gone off art but that’s because of the huge amounts of coursework I’m procrastinating doing…

• friends – having a set of people who you trust, or just enjoy spending time with is so, so important. I’ve discovered that in the past year or so, after getting out of a really horrid, negative ‘friendship’. April is amazing, and I feel so lucky to have a friend like her (thanks, April).

• family – I’m lucky enough to have a (for the most part) very supportive family, and obviously it isn’t always perfect, but sometimes spending quality time with them is exactly what I need.

There are lots of things you can do to improve the way you feel, including excersise, the list above, and I’m sure you have / can find your own things too. I made a post a little while ago called ‘Tips for being more positive’ , so have a read of that if you need some help with positivity (and let me know if it works).

Sorry this was a bit rambly and random, but I promise there’ll be some good content soon and I’ll finish typing that short story up at some point if you want to read that.

Alice

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Worldbuilding Prompts

Hey readers! So I’ve not posted in a while (don’t worry, Alice has published some great posts in the meantime which you should check out!) but I’ve spent some time coming up with some ideas for posts I want to write. So here’s the first! I personally have always found using prompts very helpful sometimes when you’re stuck on what to write or have no inspiration. I’ve never been the best at writing them, however, but recently I came up with these 3 worldbuilding prompts which aren’t the worst (I don’t think?) Please do let me know what you think of them!

  1. Ever since you were a young child, you Grandma has told you an old folks story about a child who fell through their mirror into the dark and twisted version of their world on the other side. You always thought it was make believe, until one day you trip and fall through the mirror yourself, the glass doing nothing to stop you. However, it’s not long until you realise that the dark and twisted world is actually the one you’ve been living in all along.
  2. A nasty blow to the head and the next thing you know you’re waking up in a hospital with a bad case of amnesia. You don’t know who you are, where you are, or who anyone else is. However, when a group of people turn up claiming to be your family, you’re less willing yo accept this than you have been to accept everything else. There’s something that just doesn’t feel quite right…
  3. One late night party, an early morning spaceflight lesson the next morning, and an instructor who’s almost as tired as you are have all led to a messy crashland on the surface of an unknown planet. Thankfully, the damage to the spaceship isn’t too bad, but there are some key pieces damaged that will need to be replaced. Your only option of both staying alive and finding the parts you need is to try and blend in with the nearby alien civilisation.

Anyway, not the best prompts, but they’re the best I can do and cover a fairly wide span of genres. They’re all meant to be worldbuilding prompts (a the title suggests), meaning they prompt you to write about  a new world/place in detail, as it’s all new to the characters (and in two of them, to the readers too) (yes I did just use three variations of the word “to” in one sentence). If you do decide to use any of them, please do let me know and/or send me what you’ve written! I’d love to see what might possibly come of them.

Anyway, that’s all for today’s post! Thanks for reading, I hope you liked it, and don’t forget you can easily contact us in a variety of different ways (the most likely to get a quick reply being Instagram – @writeaweek)

Bye!

~ April

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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!)

IMG_20170825_154147.jpg

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! (If you want to read more, check it out on wattpad – my user is its-only-me )

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