Kidiot: Emma ends up in a bush #2


Kidiot: Emma ends up in a bush #2 

A Preface:

Unfortunately, I’m out with a friend today, and because I had to travel back to Wales yesterday, I didn’t have time to write anything shiny and new. However, I’ve been meaning to post this little article here for a while now.

The following short piece was the first thing that I have ever had published (bar an interview about being emo that I did for Sugar magazine…yup). The article was published in 2015 in Oh Comely magazine, Issue no.24, p.119. The original title was ‘lost: pint-sized indiana jones’. Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time may remember my excitementOh Comely is a great independent magazine, full of thoughtful articles and beautiful images. You can find out more about it here. They stock Oh Comely in W.H. Smith and Waitrose in the UK, or you can by copies from their website. I highly recommend it if you fancy something that goes beyond celeb gossip and TV news.

The Story:

When I was five, I got lost in the wood. It was at a holiday camp; my mother was helping with crafts, my brother was playing football. I was bored, and the thick line of trees that edged the campsite called to me. As an excellent smooth talker, I made short work of convincing two others to join my expedition team.

“We’ll stick to the path,” I told them, “It won’t take long.”

The path was a dirt trail, sign-posted with a series of animal pictures. Eventually, the track disappeared, and we had to rely on the pictures to navigate. That’s when it happened. We couldn’t find the purple octopus and so were lost for good.

My team began to sob, but I was ecstatic. This was exactly what I had hoped for. In my head I was Indiana Jones, trekking through the undergrowth, holding back vines (stinging nettles) for a couple of second-rate explorers who couldn’t find the back of their own hand if it slapped them in the face. I remember the valley of brambles we passed through, the river we hopped across. I feel the surge of triumph that swelled in my chest as we emerged from the bushes unscathed.

The truth, my mum tells me, is that my expedition group was lost for twenty minutes in a patch of fenced woodland less than half a mile square. Still, when I’m nervous, I summon that memory and use it to find my sense of adventure once more.

An Epilogue:

So recently I’ve been thinking about this story again, and I’d like to make a couple of points.

Firstly, the “two others” who were with me were both older than me by a couple of years, yet somehow I not only convinced them to come with me, but got them lost, and then un-lost in the space of twenty minutes. Me, the five-year-old.

Secondly, the purple octopus part of this story is a very distinct memory. However, it makes no sense. The previous day we had, as a group, followed this trail of images and they were all woodland related animals. This means that either I hallucinated the purple octopus when we did our first walk, or I deliberately made it up because I was bored and wanted to get us lost so I could adventure.

I mean, basically, this could be a story about me lying to make myself look like a hero. Which makes me Gilderoy Lockhart.

I mean, to be honest, I’m fine with that. Dude’s fabulous.


gilderoy lockhart cosplay

Age 19: Cosplaying school age Gilderoy Lockhart outside the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (now known as Principality Stadium).



3 Steps to Dealing with Rejection

deal with rejection

3 Steps to Dealing with Rejection

Rejection is taboo subject. Nobody likes to be rejected, so often people will try to pretend it’s not happened to them, and just ignore it. Most of the time, this is fine. Dealing with the odd “Sorry, I don’t see you that way,” or “We don’t think you have enough experience,” by shaking it off and getting on with life, is usually the way to go. However, if you’re dealing with a string of break-ups, or jobs you didn’t get, it can be hard not to internalise. So this week, I offer my 3 steps to dealing with rejection, with a little help from J.K.Rowling, one of the most successful rejects of all time.

1. Accept it – Acknowledge that you’ve been rejected. This can be hard, but if you’ve got your rejection in written form, read it deal with rejectionagain. Don’t look for subtext, take everything at face value. If you’ve been verbally rejected say the words in your head. Then take a breath, and say “Okay, no worries.”

2. Process it – Take some time to yourself. Don’t listen to music, just sit quietly. You want to find the silver lining (as deluded as he was, Pat had a point). If you didn’t get the job, then that’s because you weren’t suited to it; whether it be due to your skill level, or because you didn’t get along with the people. Remember, you don’t want to end up in a job you’re not deal with rejectionsuited to. If your crush turned you down for a date, then clearly they didn’t feel that same connection, and you want someone who’s as crazy about you, as you are about them. Then put this rejection into the context of your life. This can be hard to do if you’re younger, but as an adult, when I get rejected, I like to remind myself of the number of times that it’s happened to me. Then I think about the number of times it has happened to my friends and family. Rejection is something that happens every day, to everyone. Sure it can make you feel like crap at the time, but if my first love hadn’t rejected me, I never would have taken up archery, never would have met some of my closest friends, and I currently wouldn’t have anywhere to live. Ultimately, rejection will only take you bad places if you let it.

3. Forget it – Now that you’ve got a new perspective, it’s time to move on. Pick a new destination. It might be a new deal with rejectioncareer path or job application, taking up a new hobby, or trying online dating. it might be sending your novel to yet another publisher, because you got the faith! Use the rejection to make positive changes, and move on. The further you get, the smaller it will seem, then you can forget about it with ease.

I suppose the key for me is reminding myself that life leads to crazy places. Sometimes those places are not ideal, but most of the time they’re frigging incredible. You just have to keep going.

This weekend I will be uploading my latest review, and potentially starting a new novel, so keep an eye out. In the mean time, I’d like to know what do you guys do to ward off the blues? How do you deal with rejection?

Muchas amore, mes caru.


Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



I admit, I was sceptical to begin with. The synopsis gave me the impression that this was going to be a book about a girl who outgrows fanfiction and finds real love in the real world, and that was not a storyline I was interested in. I put the book down, I walked away. And then a friend told me that they’d enjoyed it, and I was in the market for some light-reading, and figured, “Why not?” I have never been more pleasantly surprised.

Rowell’s voice is fluid, and her characterisation is generally good. While many of the characters are detestable as people, they are also brilliantly well-rounded. There is just enough of Laura (the twins’ mother) present to allow us to understand the motivation behind her actions, without the words ever being said. There is just enough of Nick, to give us a sense of his teetering ego. And there is enough of Wren to make us hate her, before we love her all over again.

What is lacking is a full sense of Levi. We know his physical appearance, we know his background, but we don’t know any of his real flaws. From 460 pages, I can tell you a 100 things that Cath loves about Levi, but not one that she hates. Even his reading difficulties are turned into an opportunity for romance, rather than an individual fault. Levi is the kind of character that sweeps you off your feet, but you can never quite ground him in reality. Perhaps I shouldn’t grumble, after all it is a young adult romance, and therefore feet sweeping is to be expected. But the perfection of Levi left me with a bad taste in my mouth, like the message had been corrupted. It’s fine to support the idea that you should be yourself and do the things you love, but adding in the perfect guy who will hunt you down no matter where you hide was just a little to ‘happily ever after’. Maybe a greater discussion of the looming summer apart would have helped. I just needed something to shake the fairy glitter of this otherwise amazing tale.

However, what is lacking from Levi, is made up for in other ways. Rowell may not have grown up as part of the ‘fandom’ generation, but she gets it, and she gets fanfiction. Cath’s obsession with the world of Simon Snow (Rowell’s creation with in a creation) was spot on.  Rowell understands the need to explore, play, and finish stories differently. She even understands that sometimes, the fanfiction is better than the fiction.

I grew particularly fond of the Simon Snow interludes, and Cather’s fakefiction. As someone who never really enjoyed Harry Potter, as others seemed to, I found Snow to be very interesting. In my opinion, Rowell explored more engaging concepts and story paths in a few extracts than Rowling did in 7 books. Specifically, I loved the spells that relied on the power of words, such as ‘please’ and ‘up, up and away’, as well as The Humdrum, who managed to be both a surprising and sinister villain, something that Voldemort never quite achieved.

Ultimately, this was just the book I needed. It was emotionally rich, but still playful. I hope Rowell will someday bring us more of these guys, and until then I’ll be browsing to keep me going. For a romantic, looking for a light read with a kick, this is definitely the book I would recommend.

Dresden Files: Storm Front- Jim Butcher


ImageI don’t get a lot of time to read my own thing as an English student and usually I would not be choosing fantasy for my reading leisure. I have trouble getting into a fantasy. I’ve just never been able to wrap my mind around it. One book in a series is usually all I can ever really manage; I never even made it to the end of the Potter’s.

The Dresden Files, however, have charmed me. The series follows the life of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the only Wizard in the Yellow Pages. Jim Butcher has a great sense of humour and uses that simple language that I love. Dresden’s voice is seductive, but coolly dorky. He stumbles through life, acting on impulse. Whether its hitting his magical minder, or whipping up a batch of love potion, Dresden shows the kind of tenacity that’s missing from a lot of fantasy protagonists. He never gives in.

In Dresden’s debut, “Storm Front,” Harry is on a quest to find the killer of a prostitute and a gangster in love. He’s threatened, attacked, struck by lightning, but this only makes him fight harder.

The books are cheesy, I should warn you about that, but if you’re looking for a world to curl up and geek out in, these are simply a pleasure to read.