I Welcome You, 2013!

Now it’s THREE POSTS IN A WEEK GUYS! *proud face* *hopes to keep it up*

I originally wanted to call this post GET IN MY FACE 2013 but didn’t want to risk sounding like a total lunatic. Anyway, I couldn’t be more happy about it being a new year! 2012 was a year of great highs (New York, Amsterdam, Devon, leaving my shitty job) and great lows (unemployment, money woes, disastrous lack of action) and I’m sort of glad to see the back of it. Even if January is the most depressing month of the year.

So time for all the promises I inevitably won’t keep. What am I hoping to achieve this year? Well I’m trying to keep the list short and straight forward:

1. Get a decent job/make enough money to live doing something not shit

Because I need a job! Preferably a good one that I like doing. I’m working on a photography project which will hopefully pay off eventually but I really need to find some work that is vaguely related to writing and my passion for books. Waterstones here I come (haha, not! Been there, done that, didn’t get even one free book let alone a t-shirt).

2. Keep up with the blog and post AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK

Because it’s NOT THAT HARD, yet I let months slide by because I am lazy. And I’m NOT going to just blog about teen sci fi or my holidays. WCBH is meant to be about so much more! AND I’m going to make an effort to get some people actually reading it and maybe re-jig the layout a bit. CAPITAL LETTERS INDICATE MY DETERMINATION.

3. READ AT LEAST A BOOK A WEEK and keep track!

Because I like to tell myself that I read about a book a week but found I could only remember reading 35 books bookslast year (and SEVEN of those were books by Cassandra Clare I read in November/December). I’m sure I read more but did I really forget over 15? Unlikely. And shocking. I need to start keeping track and reading more! I’ve already finished 4 books so far this year so I’m off to a good start!

4. Write some good stuff, hopefully a prize-winning novel

Because I want to write for a living, but seem to spend most of my time reading instead. Or not, as the above has shown. Apparently I just spend my time doing nothing at all, staring into space, etc. I need to do more! Discipline is key here, something that 2012 was sorely lacking. I’ve heard it helps if you can get out of bed before 10.30 at least one day a week.

5. Be more ambitious/positive/enthusiastic/confident

Because 2012 was year of the moping, and I’m not doing that again! Time to get it together and stop putting a downer on everything! Sulking around worrying about not being good enough isn’t getting me anywhere. Although I hate that I’m starting to sound like a book from the Mind, Body and Spirit section of Waterstones. Back when I worked there I knew a guy who called it the Mindless Bollocks and Shit section. True story.

6. Get fit, eat only healthy food etc

Because it isn’t a new year’s resolutions list without this on it.

So there you have it. Keeping it short and sweet this year, and hopefully not too ambitious. Ok, maybe I won’t win any awards for my debut novel (LOL) but at least I’ll have a proper blog and toned legs! Seriously though, 2013 is going to be good, I can feel it! Although my resolutions may sound a bit boring and rubbish, I’m excited about getting stuff done this year and not moping around. Yaaayyy 2013!

So just in case I do get any more people magically reading my blog I’d like to start asking things! Do YOU have any new year’s resolutions? Do you think you’ll stick to them? I’d like to hear about them, even if you think they’re boring!

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Happy New Year!! End of 2012 round-up

Before I move on to this wonderful new year, I thought you might like to know what I’ve been up to since my last post (the one about NaNoWriMo not the one about being hacked!). Well here’s part one of what I’ve been doing:

NOVEMBER: Failed NaNoWriMo, Read the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare Instead

At the end of October, my wise sister told me that if I spent half the time I spend reading writing instead, I’d be able to bash out 10 novels before the end of the year (or words to that effect). She was right. I do spend a ridiculous amount of time reading and not doing anything else. Not just books either, I trawl the internet every day for hours reading articles and blogs. It’s getting out of hand. I am the master of procrastination, and reading allows me to tell myself I’m achieving something as I can pretend to myself that I’m doing some form of “research”. 2012 was the year I pushed the definition of research to its very limits.

Anyway, when Anna said this I did feel a little guilty and decided to attempt NaNoWriMo 2012. What better to get me to start writing? I even blogged about it to make sure I actually stuck to it (LOL). It was all going so well, in two days I’d written 2000 words and had a pretty fun love-at-the-end-of-the-world type plot planned.

After the first two days things began to unravel. I went to three different bonfire parties in four days which meant, naturally that I’d left my novel temporarily and promised to catch up in the week. I wrote a little more on my phone after a drunken night out (totally illegible drivel) but after that I had lost the drive to forge on. I told myself I was too busy, I’d catch up next week when I had more time.

The following week, I discovered the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I’d seen them before but The Mortal Instrumentsthought they looked a little too childish, even for me. However when I saw them recommended on another blog by a grown up man, I thought I’d give them a go. Plus they’ve made the first book into a film and I wanted to check out the books before the films release later this year. NaNoWriMo was a lost cause after that.

I’m not sure why I was worried about the Mortal Instruments series being too young, as they’re similar in feel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Divergent, The Hunger Games trilogy, and many other YA books I have read and enjoyed. I suppose I don’t want to be that person who only reads YA, so I try not to limit myself to it all the time. I enjoy reading all sorts and don’t want to be defined by one genre. Having said that, YA fantasy and Sci Fi is always what I feel like writing about when I sit down to blog. It is an exciting genre that’s getting better and better and I don’t feel as wary of writing critically about it as I do with classics and literary fiction.

Anyway, I read the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series in about a week and a half. The books are City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass, and all follow Clary, a girl who has her world turned upside down after finding out she is a shadowhunter, a demon killer. Clary meets other shadowhunters her own age: Isabelle, Alec and the rather lovely Jace. When her mother goes missing in mysterious circumstances, Clary needs the shadowhunters’ help. Her search for her mother and missing childhood memories takes her all over New York, with her geeky and sarcastic but loveable friend Simon dragged along for the ride. As the books progress, Clary learns more about her past, her parents and the world of shadowhunters, downworlders and demons.

I liked these books because they were plot-driven, super exciting stories with a cracking forbidden love story

Image from imdb.com

Image from imdb.com

(although I did start shouting in frustration by the middle of the third book). What’s more, Simon, who should just be the annoying friend, turns out to be an excellent character. In fact, I’d say that Clare found the perfect balance between keeping the plot moving and exploring and developing the characters. All in all, I bloody loved these books! Even if I am indulging my inner teenager.

The Mortal Instruments series will eventually be made up of 6 books but only 5 have so far been released. Because the third book ended in such a wonderful place I told myself I would leave it there and resist the temptation to pick up the other two until the series had been completed (in 2014!!). Clare has also written another trilogy of books set within the same world but set in Victorian times, these are called The Infernal Devices. Only two of the three have so far been released, so I told myself I would wait until the third book came out before picking up the third. We’ll see how far I got with all this temptation-resisting when I recap on December!

So, that was my disastrous November. Failed NaNoWriMo, went to a lot of parties and read a few books. Any time I wasn’t reading/partying I spent helping my sister photograph a school and generally panicking over my lack of a serious job. But hey! It’s a new year now, so moping is strictly forbidden. Bring on 2013!