Tuesday, 7 July 2015

ambitions, reality & a shove towards adulthood

Hello!

Now that exams are over and summer is looming, I'd like to think I'll be posting more often. I hope so, anyway.

After recently finishing my first year of GCSE exams and just completing a survey for my school about what sort of help I'll need next year to work out career options, I've started thinking about where the line is drawn when it comes to dreams. There is a time when ambition becomes delusion, it seems, if the majority of adults are to be believed.

There are many adults that fully support their child's dreams, and will help them find any path to get them where they want to be. They will show their child love and trust while they navigate dangerous waters trying to reach that tiny dot of land in the distance with a rotting sign stuck in the ground, DREAM scrawled across it. My parents are in this particular group. But quite a few shove the next generation towards reality too early.

Let children be children. Let them dream of becoming astronauts and sports stars and writers and ballerinas. Let them dream that they can do what they love and be who and what they want to be. Let them hold onto those dreams, because suddenly they'll be shoved towards adulthood.

They'll have to think about "reasonable" and "realistic" career options. They'll have to consider what options they want to take, what they want to do at university, if they want to go to university, what they'll do after university, if the career they want will provide for themselves and, eventually, a family. And because the idea that some careers aren't accessible to us is branded into our minds from an early age, many children give up on their hopes and ambitions to pursue something they don't want to do, but think is more likely to happen than the one thing they want to do more than anything.

I'm at an age where soon I'll be making A Level choices, and then I'll be thinking of universities and degrees. I'm pretty sure I know what I want to do where degrees are concerned. I've always been passionate about literature, so have known from an early age that English is something I want to study. The thing is, English isn't so great on its own, due to limited job opportunities (you see what I mean? Why shouldn't I do just English? Why is that not a good degree to have? Why can I not do what I love and want to do?) And I love the French language. So I'm pretty confident English and French is what I want to do.

But what do I want to do after?

I'm going to end this quickly, for fear of sounding like I believe in children giving up on their dreams and pursuing reality rather than passion. I think people should always look for any opportunity to do what they want to. Children are more intelligent than people think. They tend to know what they want from an early age. I know I did. All I want to do is write*.

Hold on to your passions. Don't try and fit into what's realistic. If you want to do something, work hard and you will get a chance to do it 9 times out of 10.

Chase after your dreams. Grasp at them with numb fingers and when your hands slip straight through like the goal is smoke, run faster, work harder, grip tighter.

Here we are, with our backs against the wall.
We've got big city dreams, but we don't move from the asphalt.
- Come Together, Echosmith**


- B x

*I'm going to start working on something over the summer, so be prepared for me to share that with you. I would love feedback, so if anyone is willing to read a chapter at a time and email me advice and amendments, please let me know in the comments.

**Very good song, definitely check it out!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Love Wins

Hello. Sorry for my absence. I've just finished my exams, and was enjoying my freedom by lying on the sofa doing absolutely nothing. But today is a huge day in history.
I'm not American. I live in the UK, where same sex marriage has been legal for a few years.

But marriage equality in all 50 states is incredible. And I want to talk about it.

Clarification: 1. To those of you who disagree with my views, please don't leave any mean comments below about my beliefs or about homosexuality. I realise that there is a minority that have different opinions, but I do not want these expressed in an offensive way that attacks me, my beliefs, or the LGBTQ community.

2. I am a Christian, so all of my views take my religious beliefs into account.

As I just mentioned, I am a Christian. I think the most important part of being a Christian is loving everyone unconditionally. I realise that there are many, many quotes in the Bible speaking of how wrong being gay is. But there are also many, many quotes speaking of how women are the inferior sex and should submit to their husbands and speaking of stoning those who are not virgins when they get married (to clarify, I will not have sex before marriage, but I recognise that it is something that happens today). Firstly, if we were to follow everything the Bible says, we, as a religion, would be participating in old-fashioned and brutal beliefs and punishments. We would be treating women as objects, only to speak when spoken to, to not participate in discussions and debates, to not have an opinion. The majority of men and women would have been stoned to death by now. There are countless examples of things said and done in the Bible that just aren't socially acceptable today. So why, why do some believe that it is fine to discriminate people against something they can't control?

That's like me saying that everybody with blue eyes is wrong and unnatural. They can't control it. And neither can people born gay. Seriously, do you think people in the past would have willingly become homosexual, with the punishments that came with it back then? And now, why would anyone choose to have that kind of discrimination and hurtful protests, comments and campaigns against them?

Secondly, the Bible contradicts itself all the time. I mentioned above, the Bible talks of all sorts of socially unacceptable things. And then it speaks of loving everyone and treating the world as equal. It speaks of everyone being made in God's image. Everyone. The Bible does not say "Heterosexuals are made in God's image". Everyone. 

I know I can't change people's minds, and I know so many people disagree with me. But so many agree with me. And that gives me hope. That the next generation will have less of this discrimination, and more of this love and equality. And the generation after that will have more than the previous. And the next also. And the next. And the next. And the next. Until everyone is accepted and everyone is equal and everyone can be who they were born to be.

Love always wins and always will.

And it has won today - June 26th 2015. The beginning of the end for discrimination.

Love Wins.

- B

Sunday, 3 May 2015

twitter, films, reading and all that jazz

Hey guys. :)

1. I now have Twitter - yay! If you would like to follow me, just click the link - @bethandowns. It's basically just my weird thoughts and occasional nerd things. :)

2. I just saw Age of Ultron for the second time yesterday with a few of my friends and it was still as amazing as it was the first time! I'm so excited for Infinity War (eventually) so I can swoon over all of the attractive people... And, ya know, the story is going to be amazing... *coughs*

I was also wondering - do you guys enjoy reading my blog? Or does it bore you? Are there things you would rather see me post about or talk about? Would you like more book reviews, film reviews, general thoughts, writings? Whatever you want. Please please please let me know in the comments!

What are you guys reading at the moment? I've just started the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I read The Assassin's Blade, a prequel book of five short stories, in a day and a bit, which was absolutely amazing! I've now started Throne of Glass, the first book in the series, and I shall begin to make my way slowly through that. I won't be able to read as much as fast as I used to, just because of working towards exams, but any spare time I have will be put towards reading. I would definitely, definitely recommend this series!

I'm really sorry for the lack of structure to my posts at the moment. I have nothing really to post about, and a limited amount of time to post, so I don't have hours to think about something big and meaningful to write about. I just ramble, typing away for maybe 15 minutes, and then it's straight back to work, or off to bed. Hopefully in the summer I'll have some better posts for you guys!

Right, back to work.

Love you all ♥

- B
xxx


Saturday, 25 April 2015

2015 - the perfect year for movies

Hello friends! :)

After weeks and months of not going to the cinema, I went on Thursday to see the new Marvel film Avengers: Age of Ultron  and it was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! I love Marvel so much but wow, they really out-did themselves. I loved the twns Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and I loved that we were given a more detailed story for Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner. I can't wait for Infinity War parts 1 & 2, which will include everything in the current Marvel universe - the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos, and possibly Spiderman. Going to be AH-MA-ZIIINNNGGGG.

I then went to see the live action version of Cinderella yesterday, which again was amazing, but obviously in a different way. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White will never be one of my favourite original Disney princess films because there is so little substance to the "true love". But the writers of the live action Cinderella were obviously aware of this and gave some back story to Cinderella and Prince Charming. They meet before the ball in the woods and, during the ball, they dance but also talk and get to know each other. It was absolutely adorable and I'm now super excited for Beauty and the Beast, as it's my favourite Disney princess film (as well as Mulan) and the cast that's been announced so far is perfect.

So those are the films I've seen. But there are so many more coming out this year that I'm excited for.

Jurassic World with Chris Pratt - *swoon* - is out June 12th, which I'm so excited for. I loved the Jurassic Park trilogy growing up and I'm so excited for this new one.

Ant-Man with Paul Rudd is out July 17th, which looks hilarious and also, Marvel.

Fantastic Four with Miles Teller is out 7th August, which is going to be awesome! Again, I loved the previous film as a child and I'm super excited for the reboot.

Mockingjay Pt. 2 with the best cast in the world comes out around 20th November, which I just ashjgsfashf no words.

AND THEN STAR WARS COMES OUT IN DECEMBER CHILDHOOD OMGGGGGG.

I'm pretty happy. I'm super excited. And I just can't wait to see all these films.

2015 is going to be a year filled with cinema trips and happy tears.

Love you all loads ♥

- B
xxxx

Sunday, 12 April 2015

i can never think of post titles...

Hi guys!

I know it's been a while, but I've been working hard for my exams and haven't had much time for doing things that I love - I haven't read, slept solidly, done anything with my friends that didn't include revision in a long, looonnngggg time. The majority of my holidays have been pajama days - which I am no complaining about! - and I think I've left the house for something that wasn't revision based a total of once. And then I came straight home and did revision with the friend.

I have no life anymore. :0

And with all of this work, I also have homework, tests, controlled assessments and work experience. Plus more non-academic things, like..... actually, I can't think of anything non-academic that I've been doing a lot lately. If I've ever had a break from revision, it's either been to eat, to sleep, or a one-off hour or so when we went on a food shop. Oh dear....

I'll never stop though - I want and need the good grades, and I'm willing to have a non-existent social life if it means As and A*s.

Because of the constant revision, I've been listening to a lot of music (I've also started going on jogs just to get out of the house. Whhaaattt????? Bethan doing exercise?! :0 ). I've recently been loving James Bay's album Chaos and the Calm. There are so many great songs on that album - I love them all. My three favourites are down below - please have a little listen, as they are beaaauutttiiful songs.

Best Fake Smile

Clocks Go Forward

Need The Sun To Break

Just check out his album, it's so beautiful ♥

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I had a very last-minute, make-shift Easter egg hunt, where we couldn't find any small chocolate eggs, so wrapped up bundles of mini eggs in tin foil, which was a lot of fun. :)

After finishing PLL (I finished it the day of the finale - OH MY GOD IF YOU WATCH PLL CAN WE TALK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW BECAUSE I NEED TO DISCUSS) I needed something to fill the void of mindless binge-watching when I'm too tired to do anything else. So I've recently started watching New Girl, and it's so cute and so funny!!! I love Nick and Jess together sososososososo much ♥ I'm currently on Season 3 and I'm really really enjoying it. :) Do any of you guys watch PLL? Or New Girl? Or both?

Love you guys ♥

- B
xxx

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

easter holidays, poetry & posting ideas

Hey guys!

Oh my goodness, I'm so happy it's the Easter Holidays! :0 I've been needing a serious break, albeit a break filled with revision, planning and panic. It's so nice to get up at 10am and do work in PJ bottoms and an over-sized Hogwarts hoodie, drink tea and go makeup free - it's great to be able to rub my eyes and not have mascara smudges under my eyes as a result! Are you on break at the moment? I hope you have nice things planned! I think the only social thing I'm doing is going shopping with my biffle Charlotte next week, which should be fun - I haven't been shopping in a while, and there are a few things I need to get (as well as pop into Waterstones - the UK version of Barnes and Noble - to see why they're taking so long with my work experience!)

Sooooo, I had my school Eisteddfod (eye-steth-vod) last week - it's basically a huge event celebrating Welsh Culture and the arts. You are put into 1 of 4 houses when you start school - kind of like Hogwarts, but it's not based on your qualities, it's just random haha. In your house, you can enter into competitions in the Eisteddfod - on-stage and off-stage. On-stage competitions are things like junior (years 7-9) and senior (years 10-13) song, dance, english and welsh dramatisations, house band and house choir. Off-stage competitions are for each department, so there's a competition for Art, History, Maths, Geography etc. One for each subject, basically.

The English competition is probably the most important off-stage competition, and the most traditional in the Eisteddfod - which I just googled and is a tradition in Wales from the 12th Century :0. It's a poetry competition to become the Bard. In my school, it's split into Junior and Senior. I entered for Senior, and... I came 4th! I was up against a lot of talented writers in my year and the three years above me. And I beat all but 3 of them. Goodness, I was so happy! Wow, it was amazing.
My poem was based off of this post. I might post it if you want. :)

I was just thinking; what do you guys want to see more of on more blog? What do you want my posts to be about? Do you prefer reading my writings/poetry? Would you like more book reviews/book related things? Do you enjoy these catch-up, chatty posts, or do you want more structured posts? More photos? Let me know in the comments below. >.<

Love you all loads ♥

- B
xxxxxx


Saturday, 21 March 2015

haircuts & general rant about everything

Hey guys!

I know it's a day late, but at least I'm posting. :)

Tane is currently working on my blog, which is super exciting! Lots of change. I had my hair cut this morning. If you follow my instagram, @fiction.and.tea, you will have seen in past selfies that my hair was really really long. And this morning, I sat down in a squashy, comfy leather chair, took a deep breath and said "I'd like to cut it short". So yeah, I know have bouncy, lightweight hair. And I love it so much. Why did I not do this sooner?! I came home from the hairdresser's and showered, and it took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes less to wash my hair. :0 I'm going to save so much time! Also, no more catching my hair in zips!


















Before // After

In other news, exams are charging toward me like they're a bull and I'm holding a red flag. Or like I am the red flag. Either way, they want to tear me to pieces and spear me on their horns like a very skinny, tense kebab. I'm doing the best I can, juggling homework, revision, social activites (*laughs for 12 years* I have no social life), relaxing and ya know, basic things like eating and sleeping. But it's coming down on me like a wave. Gosh, I hate exams. Usually, I'd spend next week celebrating the near-ness of the Easter Holidays, and then spend the next two weeks sleeping and reading and Netflix-Binge-Watching (it's a medical condition that I've just made up called NBW). Instead, I'll be rising at 8:30, working - either at the library or in my kitchen - working, working, NBW, NBW, sleep. I think I'll probably have one social outing, which will be shopping with my bestie, followed by intense practise of our Welsh Speaking assessment....
Holidays no longer equal sleeping until 12 and eating Nutella for lunch.
And that, my friends, is a terrible thing.

Love you all xxxxxx
- B

Sunday, 15 March 2015

life slumps & netflix binge-watching

Hello!
I am very sorry for not posting last Friday and this Friday just gone - busy busy busy at school. I have my French Writing controlled assessment tomorrow, as well as a Religious Studies test and a Biology test, my English Language controlled assessment on Wednesday and my French Speaking controlled assessment next week. I also have the school Eisteddfod (eye-steth-vod. It's a welsh festival thingy celebrating culture and the arts) next Wednesday, which I'm taking part in, and then revision for my exams which start in 7 WEEKS HELP ME, with homework on top of all that. So I've had a lot of work to do! I'm frequently bursting into tears and having what I think are panic attacks where I find it really hard to breathe and yeah. So there's that....

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to talk about. I've recently been binge watching Pretty Little Liars - do anyway of you watch it?! ISN'T IT AMAZING?!!!!!!! - I finished seasons 1 and 2 (that's 47 episodes and each episode is 45 minutes long) in 4 days. 4 DAYS!!!!!!! I think that's a talent... I'm currently just over halfway through season 3 and oh my goodness!!!! I think I'd be Spencer if I were one of them. She's the most normal of the 4 and she's always working hard and pressuring herself to do better. Also, when she wants to win something, she gets super competitive like me.... woops.


I've been falling majorly behind on reading as a result of PLL. It's just, I've had all this work, plus piano practise, plus other activities, and after a full day of school and all those other things, I'm too tired to read. My eyes are sore, my head hurts, my back aches, and I don't want to do anything other than lie in my PJs in the same position for 5 hours, clicking 'next episode'.


In fact, it isn't just reading. It's everything. I'm not in the mood to do anything. I'm like a zombie. Get up. Get dressed. Breakfast. Clean teeth. Try to cover up the brush of deep purple under my eyes. Attempt something with my hair. School. Home. Piano. Homework. Revision. Netflix. Sleep. Repeat.

The same thing over and over. I don't socialise, I don't do any of my hobbies. I've lost my appetite, I'm constantly exhausted. I've stopped reading, the one thing I love most in the world.


I have entered, what I now call, a life slump.


Like a reading slump (where you don't want to read anything) but with life. 


And I have no idea how to make it stop.

I've tried forcing myself to read, to write, to do anything. But nothing works. I just trudge through the day in slow motion and then collapse from exhaustion at 10pm.

Maybe it's the stress from school. Maybe it's the exams looming ominously around the proverbial corner. I don't know.

I just don't want to be in a life slump anymore.

Love you all

- B
xxxxxx

Friday, 27 February 2015

changing everything

Hello!

So I know I said I was doing a cool, deep post today, but I've postponed that because I've just changed my URL *squeals* Everything is so fresh and new - I can't wait for the new design!

The wonderful Mahnoor created another blog for me with my old URL so you lovely chums can see my new URL. Eventually, she will create a redirect for me - like "Redirecting to Fiction and Tea in 5...4...3...2...1" Ya know the type ;)

BUT FIRST.

You all need to UNFOLLOW my blog and then FOLLOW ME AGAIN if you wish to get updates from my blog from my new URL.

UNFOLLOW ME AND THEN FOLLOW ME AGAIN. :)

Do you guys like where my blog is going? I'm excited. It seems more professional and fresh and aahh exciting stuff!


Let me know your thoughts in the comments and if you've refollowed me. :)

I'll post again soon - probably this weekend, but it could be early next week.

Love you all

- B
xxxxx

Saturday, 21 February 2015

a change & an urgent thought

Hola.

Now, I know I posted yesterday, but this couldn't wait. I have two things to say, the first is short, the second is the basis of this post.

1st thing: I emailed Tane from Fifth Out Of Ten about a new blog design a while ago. She's quite busy at the moment, so I don't think I'll have the new design for a while, but I've been deleting unnecesary things from my sidebar and simplifying my blog. I want my new design to be clean and simple. :)
Now, the big thing about the 1st point *deep breath* I'm thinking about changing my blog name. When I named this blog, it was The Teenager's Bookshelf. A few days later, I stumbled across my lovely friend Kenzie's blog, think. eat. write. read. And I loved her blog name. LOVED. And I still do. It's a gorgeous name. Me being me back then, I loved it so much that I decided to change my blog name to something similar. I wanted my blog name to reflect what my blog was about - thoughts, books, writing and ambitions. So I changed my blog name to what it is now - think. read. write. dream.
But now, I'm thinking I need a change. A clean slate, if you will. New design. New name. New me. I have changed a lot and I think my blog should reflect how I have changed as a person. I was thinking, seeing how my bookstagram account is so successful, changing my blog name to my Instagram username, Fiction and Tea. It's nice and simple. What do you guys think? Please comment below with your thoughts :)

EDIT: I have decided to change my name. As you can see, I've created a simple header with the new name, just so that Tane knows my name has changed and so that everyone else knows my name has changed. The lovely Mahnoor has offered to do a redirect for me so I'll eventually be changing my URL, probably to fictionandtea.blogspot.com. But this will all change in due time. Thank you all. :)

2nd thing, and the basis of this post: I went into town this morning - got some lovely new tea-for-one teapots - and on my way home, with a Greggs pasta pot in my lap, we stopped at a red light. I gazed out the window as I so often do, and saw  a homeless man sat with his back against the wall - not an uncommon sight in a town centre. It's a big city, so there are lots of homeless people on the streets.

But this man was sat on the outskirts, not begging, not seeking attention. He was staring at his legs, wrapped up in a blanket that looked like it had seen better days and he just looked so sad. I continued looking out the window and just before the red turned to green, he looked up at me. In the half a second that we had eye contact, his eyes looked so....desperate. And then I turned away, ashamed.

But ashamed of what?

As soon as the car pulled away, I was so close to crying. I did cry when we got home. But as soon as we drove off, I stared at my barely-touched pasta pot and wished I'd done something. I pictured myself opening the car door, running over and handing him my pasta pot. I know I couldn't have done that - it's dangerous and the light could have turned green at any moment. But I just felt deflated.

And I think it's because I looked away.

Why is it that we do that? Why do we look away when something is too hard to look at? When something is too awful and uncomfortable? The house is dark, the murderer is about to appear and we look away from the screen for that split second before we hear the screams.

I could have kept eye contact, poured sympathy and sadness into my eyes and said everything there is to say with no words. But I turned away because what is there to say? Everything and nothing. But really, what would keeping eye contact have achieved? Would he have felt sympathy or like a zoo animal? He might have misinterpreted my sympathetic gaze for a patronising stare.

How many people turn away whenever something slightly real intrudes on their life filled with useless objects that we take for granted? How many people ignore anything terrible that goes on in the world? How many people pretend that these awful things - homelessness, terrorism, discrimination - are not happening, or do not read into them in any serious detail to prevent the burden of knowledge settling over their lives? How many people try to live in ignorance?

I think I turned away, not because I'm one of the pretenders, not because I wish to live in ignorance, but because I was ashamed of looking and not helping.

I was ashamed of noticing and doing nothing.

I think we're all guilty of that.

- B
xxxx

Friday, 20 February 2015

Currently in the jumble that is my life...

Hey guys! Just thought we could have a little catch up. :) I'm planning next week's post at the moment - I think it might be quite a serious one, so I thought a little run through of what's going on in my life at the moment might be quite nice. >.<



Actually in love with this song at the moment - it's from the Never Let Me Go movie adaptation and is the main character, Kathy's, favourite song. I love it so much and it makes me cry a little bit (a lot...)

I've just finished painting this little poster thing, based around one of my favourite quotes.

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." C.S. Lewis

















I'm quite proud of it. :) I might put it on my bedroom wall!

Since I turned 15 last year, I just haven't gotten round to watching all of the films rated 15 (I think it's R rated in America?) that came out and that I wanted to watch. So this break, I've been catching up. :)

I watched Chronicle a few days ago, which is now one of my favourite films. So dark and twisted! Love it so much! I then watched Silver Linings Playbook - again, a new favourite - and have just finished Looper. All of them were AMAZING! Definitely check them out if you're old enough. :)

I have recently rediscovered my love for Earl Grey tea. I'm having around 5 mugs a day haha! So nice ^.^
I hope you all have a lovely week! Look out for my post on Friday. :)

Love you all

Bethan
xxxxxx

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello my lovelies. :)

I realise this is two days late of my Friday posting and a day late of Valentine's Day, but Friday I got home and slept for 3 hours, ate, then slept again - school exhausts me - and then yeserday I had a hot date ;) (I'm joking, I went over my friend Sophie's house. We made pom poms and cake >.<)

I hope you all had a lovely day, whether it was spent on your own, with friends, family, or your significant other. I usually spend Valentine's Day alone, so it was nice to have a friend to wallow in self pity with hahaha!

I'm currently reading Never Let Me Go by Kashuo Iziguro, as I am meeting him at the Hay book festival this year (which is where I met Cassie Clare) I'm only about halfway through but so far, it's AMAZING and SUPER DARK. :0 Once I've finished it, I'm going to watch the film (with Andrew Garfield in *swoons*)

Not really sure what else to talk about, but I wanted to post. I'll edit if I think of something ;)

Love you guys <3 p="">
Bethan
xxxxx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Randomness & Sacrificing Books

Hellooooo my beauties! Sorry for this post being a day late - it was my brother's birthday yesterday :)

My wrists smell really nice because I used some of my friend's Lady Gaga Black Fluid perfume and it smells AMAZING.

That was completely random, I just thought I'd let you know haha! XD

I'm not really too sure what to post but I don't want to ruin my good streak!

Ummm...

I got my mock results back! They were the reason for my absence - working hard - and I did really well!

English Literature - A*
English Language - A*
Maths - A*
Chemistry - A*
Biology - A*
Physics - C (I'm rubbish at Physics... think I'm going to get a tutor)
French - A
History - A
Religious Studies - A*

So I'm really happy :D School has calmed down now, so I've had more time to read but still not as much as I'd like, which is annoying. Currently Reading Shatter Me, and really enjoying it! Why are the bad guys so attractive?

I saw Big Hero 6 on Wednesday! It was reeaaalllyyyy good. :) I cried a lil bit... I was the oldest person there that wasn't a parent and the only one crying.... so emotional :'(

I really have no idea what to talk about, so I'm going to do the Book Sacrifice Tag from YouTube because it looks really fun!

1. You're in a book shop and suddenly there's a zombie apocalypse. It's announced over the speakers that the only way to kill the zombies is to throw an over-hyped book at them. Which book do you choose?

Definitely the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. So many people adore this trilogy and I just URGH. Lena annoyed me, Alex annoyed me, Hannah confused me, the romance was annoying. Just everything was frustrating, did not enjoy it at all. :/

2. You've just got a beautiful new hair-do at the hairdresser's when you look outside and it's pouring with rain. Which sequel do you sacrifice to use as an umbrella?

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. I loved Uglies - such an amazing premise and I found the writing and plot really interesting and yeah, just great. And then Pretties was just like a repeat. As was Specials.
Pretties was just so bleh and bleak - was not a fan.

3. Your English teacher is going on and on about how this one classic is amazing and revolutionised literature. You hated this classic and end up throwing it at your teacher. Which classic do you choose?

This is quite hard because I haven't read many classics, and the ones I have, I've loved. Does Romeo and Juliet count as a classic? Because I despise that play. They've literally known each other for a few hours, and then sUDDENLY THEY'RE MARRIED AND COMMITTING SUICIDE FOR THEIR PASSIONATE LOVE WOAH HOLD UP WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?! So stupid.

4. You're in a library and then global warming strikes. It's freezing outside so you have to stay indoors and burn books to stay warm. Which book do you run to first to burn?

Either Gone Girl or the Beautiful Creatures series. Either way - DESPISE THEM. Gone Girl was so hyped and I got 30 pages in and was like "I can't" The writing was awful, the characters were horrible and I just wasn't interested. So I Googled the ending.... And Beautiful Creatures.... The first book was okay.. and then the rest of them..... *shudders* never again.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely, week, I love you all ♥

Bethan
xxxxxx

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Go, Set A Watchman

Hello wonderful people!

So, I know it's not a Friday. And I know I'm not scheduled to post. But I just had to blog about this exciting news!

One of my all time favourite books is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I adore this book (and the film) and I think its messages are ones that will stay with me for life. I think this book will stay with me for life.

Harper Lee has never written another book after To Kill A Mockingbird.

UNTIL NOW!!!!!

She has just announced that on July 14th, her second book will be published!!!! 'Go, Set A Watchman' is a sequel, of sorts, to TKAM, and tells the story of a grown up Scout. Harper Lee originally wrote this sequel from the POV of grown up Scout, with flashbacks. But her publisher said she preferred the flashbacks and so Lee wrote a book entirely about Scout's childhood - et voila, To Kill A Mockingbird. But today/recently, a friend of Harper Lee found the original script and it is now being published!

I'M SO EXCITED YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND OH MY GOOOOSSSHHHHH.

*fangirl moment over* (kinda)

Anyway, that's all for now. I just wanted to share that EXCTING news with you.

I hope you all have a lovely week. Love you!

Bethan
xxxxxx

"For thus the Lord said to me; "God, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees.""
Isiah 21

Friday, 30 January 2015

Inside the Writer

Hey guys! I hope you all had a lovely week! :)

So I was going through my Documents file on my laptop, and I found my entry for Rose's contest that she held April last year. 'What makes you, you?'
And I thought I'd share it with you guys. :) I've edited it a bit, and cut a few things just to make it a bit better.

I hope you like it. It's a little insight to who I am, deep inside.

What makes me, me? That's a hard one because I am quite unextraordinary. I've been thinking about it a lot and I think I've finally got an answer.

My name is Bethan Downs. I'm 15 years old. I live in the UK with my family and my dog. I love Dr Who, Sherlock, The US Office, Modern Family; Any Marvel films, the Batman trilogy, book-to-movie adaptations, cheesy 90s romcoms (Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About you for the win); The Hunger Games, Legend, The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Lunar Chronicles, Divergent, Harry Potter, Vampire Academy, Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus; Fangirl, We Were Liars, Eleanor & Park, Wonder. My favourite colour is pale blue.

I love reading. Always have. When I was around 2 years old, I used to get my mum to bring home Biff and Chip books from the library. I couldn't read, but I used to sit with her, pretending to read those books. I would point really enthusiastically at the pictures, turn the pages and talk absolute nonsnese, but to me, I was reading. I love that about myself, reading before I could read.

Writing is also a big part of my life. The first proper story I ever wrote was Johnny and the Lost Lamb (imaginative, right?) I wrote it when I was 7 years old, but I'd been writing little paragraphs about fairies since I could write proper sentences. I can't say exactly when I decided I wanted to be a writer - it's just always been a part of me, that goal, that dream that one day, my book will be on a shelf in a bookshop. Writing makes up a huge part of me. Whenever I have a bad day, I come home and I read or I write because either way, I lose myself and end up somewhere far away from the bad things. I used to get terrible nightmares when I was younger and I would wake up crying and shaking. So I would turn on the light and I would read. Writing and reading - they are my escape and they make up a large chunk of who I am.

I'm really interested in Greek Mythology as well. Those stories are just incredible and I find it fascinating because those stories tell the story of people trying to make sense of this wonderful and confusing world. I like drawing and painting as well - I find it really therapeutic. I'm just quite an artsy, creative person, even if I'm not very good at it!

Anyone who doesn't know me thinks I'm quiet. Then they get to know and, well, the complete opposite is true. I just don't stop talking. I get distracted really easily and talk to myself a lot. I read somewhere that creative people have a short attention span and talk to themselves, so that must be the reason! I daydream far too much and that has let to a lot of embarrassing times when I realise I've been staring at a person while thinking about the feeling of flying or what it's like to be a dog.... Like everybody else, I've made mistakes. I have made a lot of mistakes. But I don't regret any of them.

I like to think of myself as a really cool person, or a ninja, whenever I'm home alone, when in fact, I'm actually an awkward idiot that has the coordination of a spoon and gets stuck while trying to do a forward roll. I have long legs, so ticklers beware - I cannot be held accountable for any injuries sustained if you tickle me. I have curly brown hair that poofs when it rains and grows out before it grows down. I'm weirdly skinny and really pale. I have eyes that don't have an exact colour. I like to describe them as greeny-browny-grey-y. I can't tell you how difficult it has been writing a paragraph about myself in French because unfortunately, the French do not have a word for greeny-browny-grey-y. I suppose my eyes are the only thing I like about my appearance. I think they make up a bit of who I am because I've never met anybody that has my exact colour eyes. They're quite unique, which is difficult for foreign languages, I admit, but I have learned to love my eyes. They're not exactly pretty but they're different, which I have learned is a good thing.

I bite my nails because I'm constantly worrying about something. I almost always wear my hair in a braid. I love chocolate. I like wearing big jumpers and reading while it's raining. I love the smell of books and the sound of rain against my window while I'm trying to sleep. I like sticking my head out of my bedroom window and feeling the wind on my face and the rain on my tongue. I like the sound of pages turning and the feel of paper. I'm trying very hard not to care what people think of me anymore. I don't want to have to please everybody. I want people to like me for who I am - I don't want to suffocate the real me.

What makes me, me? My family. My likes. Reading. Writing. My interests. My eyes. My conversations with myself. My daydreams. My mistakes. My little quirks. My ninja qualities. My opinions. My thoughts. My ideas. My escape routes to other places. My goals. My dreams.

I hope you liked that. Have a wonderful week, all of you.

Love you all ♥

Bethan
xxxxxx

Friday, 23 January 2015

Bethan & The Pursuit of Happiness

Hello everybody. I hope you've all had a great week. :)

So I was thinking today; what is happiness? Like, what actually is that emotion. What causes it, how does it work? So I googled it. And by doing several things, that produce different molecules and such, you could create happiness.

By doing things that produce endocannabinoids, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphin, GABA, serotonin and adrenaline (I literally only know what two of those things are haha) your brain would create happy feelings. You could, theoretically, spend the majority of the time happy.

Think about how you feel most of the time. Is one of your constant emotions happiness? Because I realised last year that the majority of the time, I wasn't happy. I was lonely, upset and insecure.

But would we lead a good life if we were always happy? I mean, I have made a lot of mistakes and have been in hurtful situations. But I have learnt from those mistakes and I have become a better, stronger person because of everything that I regret and everything that's hurt me.

I'd love for everybody in the world to be happy. But sometimes we need to be hurt. Sometimes we need to make mistakes. Sometimes we need to feel lonely, upset and insecure, just so that we can become better people and lead a good life.

Sorry for my philosophical ramblings, but I just thought I'd share.

I love you all lots and lots

Bethan
xxxxxx

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Theory of Everything, Classical Music & A Catchup

Hello, my dear friends

I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED MY MOCK EXAMS! Well thank goodness they're over! I was stressing so much - my back is hurting from being hunched over books for 2 weeks... - and I can already feel a cold coming on. You know teachers always say they're never ill for the whole of term, but as soon as term ends and they relax, they're ill in bed for the holidays? Same thing applies to me.

To celebrate the end of exams, I went to the cinema to see the Theory of Everything, which as you all probably know, is based on the life of Stephen Hawking. It was absolutely amazing and had me very emotional at several points. Eddie Redmayne has been nominated for an Oscar, as has Felicity Jones, who plays Jane Hawking. I would love both of them to win, but I am praying Steve Carell wins for Foxcatcher. I have yet to see the film - I think I'm seeing it this weekend, as I now have so much free time! :) - but I adore Steve Carell as Michael Scott in the US Office and just think he's the nicest man in Hollywood.

I've recently - since around September - been loving classical music. I've found it beautiful since I was around 8, but I've only really starting listening to it last year. I listen to it while I'm working, and am listening to Mozart's Requiem as I write this. I find it so relaxing and calming, and some of the pieces are so beautiful, elegant and almost haunting. Gah, I just adore it. I feel like such a nerd saying I love classical music, but I do just love it.

How have you all been? I hope your 2015 has started off well. It's come to my attention that my blog is not as popular as it once was, which is upsetting but understandable. I have been gone for so long, all your lovely faces have probably moved on and forgotten about me. I'm hoping that as I post more, you guys will notice I'm back and read and enjoy my blog again, but I wouldn't be surprised if you don't remember me! I'm still going to post as normal, and type like I'm having a conversation with someone.

2015 is going to be a good year, I can feel it. There were some rough parts in 2014, and a lot of changes, but all of them were for the better. I am a lot happier with my life now, and am surrounded by a loving family and so many friends that I adore. I have great teachers and so many people supporting me. I know that everything happens for a reason and that in the end, I am better off and happier because of the changes that 2014 threw at me.

I love you all ♥

Bethan
xxxxxx

Friday, 9 January 2015

I finally have a break to write :0

Hello, beautiful people. I finally have a tiny snippet of free time, that isn't filled with work, exams, stressing about exams, cramming in reading time, sleeping or eating. And I decided to blog because I miss this. I miss you all. I miss sitting down on my laptop (not literally on my laptop haha) and writing something for you guys.
I hope you all had an AMAZING Christmas. I got so many books >.< Also.... A MELLARK BAKERY APRON!!!! AS IN PEETA MELLARK FROM THG WHAT I LOVE IT!!!!!
*clears throat* well.

I haven't made any official resolutions, but I've just sort of promised that I'll try to be happier and try to find time to blog. I really really want to keep this blog going, but it's so hard to find time! If any of you have Instagram, follow my bookstagram @fiction.and.tea because it's basically a pocket version of my blog with more photos. :)

I really do miss you all a lot. Gosh, I miss coming home from school and reading all your lovely, supportive comments. I really really hope you're all still interested in reading my blog, because I am going to try and post more often.

This is my plan:
Scrap Creative Thursday/Thursday's Writings and just post every week on Friday. Sometimes it will be writing, sometimes about books, sometimes just a little catch up. But I will try my very hardest to post every Friday, without fail.

I'm thinking, because it's a new year, of getting a new blog design. I just want to start fresh, clean slate, because maybe a new look will make me feel like I'm blogging for the first time. I don't know, I just think a new design will make me feel better and more motivated to blog.

So yeah. Wow. I still love you guys so so so so so much. You are the most wonderful, beautiful people and deserve everything. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that your new year is off to an amazing start.

Love you

xoxo,
Bethan