Sunday, 21 October 2018

Inktober Week Three Wrap-up

I! Cannot! Believe! I'm! Still! Doing! This! I honestly didn't think I'd get past week one, but here I am, still going. 

You know the drill by now - the drawings are linked to the tweets that I originally posted them in.

Day Fifteen: Weak
Day Sixteen: Angular

Day Seventeen: Swollen
Day Eighteen: Bottle
Day Nineteen: Scorched
Day Twenty: Breakable

I'm quite fond of a lot of these ones. Weak, Scorched, Breakable, and Drain all turned out really nicely. Angular's a mess - it was my first attempt drawing wrinkles and it did NOT go well. Bottle is an excellent demonstration of why I don't draw backgrounds. 

How's your Inktober going?

Thursday, 18 October 2018

I Heart Characters: Plagued by Ghosts

 (SPOILER ALERT. Serious spoilers for The Raven Cycle below. Turn back now.)

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love. ♡
I could only think of the one character for this prompt, and that's Noah Czerny from The Raven Cycle

'“Noah," Ronan said tenderly, placing his palm on top of Noah's cold, seven-years-dead hand, "you're starting to piss me off.' - Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

Everything about Noah is a spoiler. The very fact that I picked him for this post spoils the big twist of The Raven Boys. He was murdered on the ley line by Barrington Whelk (he deserves that name) years before the series even begins. Now he hangs around Monmouth and joins Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Blue on their quest for Glendower. Ronan also occasionally throws him out of the window.

Despite being mostly a plot point, Noah has adorable relationships with basically all of the main characters. Gansey wants to save him, he's the only boy Blue can't curse, and he's the (ignored) voice of reason when Ronan's home alone at Monmouth and decides that dreaming up cars to race Kavinsky is a good idea. (It is not.)

Considering he's a ghost, Noah's not particuarly creepy. He's quiet, and soft, and always struck me as very young, even though he's technically the oldest of the main characters. He remains that way up until the last book when things start possessing him. To be fair, I'm pretty sure everyone in this series goes through a little body horror at some point...

 'Tis the season for ghosts and ghouls! Do you happen to have a favourite?

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Inktober Week Two Wrap-up

Inktober's just flying by! I thought a drawing a day would be a big ask, but I'm having tonnes of fun!

Like last time, all of the drawings are linked to the tweets I originally posted them in. 

Day Eight: Star
Day Nine: Precious
Day Ten: Flowing
Day Eleven: Cruel
Day Twelve: Whale
Day Thirteen: Guarded
Day Fourteen: Clock
I think Cruel turned out the most like it looked in my head. It's definitely my favourite of the week. I'm pretty impressed with Star too. That said, I had a lot of fun with Clock. I've never tried to draw muscle definition before.

 How's your Inktober going?

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The Longest Books I've Ever Read
Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday to talk about the longest books I've read.

From shortest to longest...

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - 457 Pages

A mystery involving a stolen moonstone. My copy's quite a bit smaller than the average book, but it also had two columns of tiny text on each page so it's probably no shorter than any other edition.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy - 480 Pages

You could cut 80% of the description in this novel and still know exactly what everything looked like. On the other hand, if you blink you miss the existence of Tess' baby entirely as it only lasts a single chapter.

Pamela by Samuel Richardson - 503 Pages

This is the worst book I've ever read and it dragged on for over 500 pages. Pamela is insufferable, the pacing is awful, and characters suddenly change their opinions for plot convenience. Review here. Warning for ranting.

Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan - Page 517

In which Percy recounts the myths of twelve Greek heroes. Hercules alone clocks in at 100 pages! Review here.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - 536 Pages

If I remember rightly, the Six of Crows duology clocks in at over 1000 pages. I've recommended this series to all of my friends and all of them have read and enjoyed it. Review here.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan - 608 Pages

All of the books in this series are 450+ pages so this one is the only one I'll list. I loved this series - I like huge ensembles. This one was probably the one I enjoyed the least. Weird, considering that it brought Nico back into the main cast and he's my favourite character.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens - 732 Pages

This was a Wordsworth Classic Edition, so the text was tiny and many other people's copies were 200 pages longer. Bleak House took me all summer to read and bored me to the brink of death. 

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Trilogy of Four by Douglas Adams - 784 Pages

If I'd read them all separately they wouldn't be on the list, but I read them as a four-in-one which I borrowed off my Dad. These zany space adventures are excellent fun and follow Arthur, a very British bloke, and his friend, Ford, who just so happens to be an alien.

Middlemarch by George Eliot - 893 Pages

Middlemarch was an absolute joy and it's one of the few classics that I've reviewed, but it was extremely long. By the time I got to the last two hundred pages I wanted to yell, "Just kiss already!" at Dorothea and Will. I honestly don't think I would have managed to finish this one without the lecturers' strike. 

What is the longest novel you have ever read?

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Inktober Week One Wrap-up

Why is it you never notice what a mess your proportions are until the picture's on the internet?

 All of the drawings are linked to the tweets I originally posted them in.

Day One: Poisonous
Day Two: Tranquil
Day Three: Roasted
Day Four: Spell

Day Five: Chicken
Day Six: Drooling
Day Seven: Exhausted
So that was week one. So far, so good. Who else is shocked? I know I am, I thought I'd lost the ability to commit to anything. My favourite one is definitely Chicken Girl, but the poisoner at the top comes a close second. I always feel like my fanart looks better than my original art, but I think I'm going to stick to original art for Inktober. Practise makes perfect and all.

If you haven't had a scroll through the Inktober tag yet, I highly recommend it. There are some seriously talented people in there!

 How's Inktober going for you guys?

Friday, 5 October 2018

Open up the Gates! (On Gatekeeping)

Okay, internet, we need to talk about gatekeeping. For those of you who don't know, gatekeeping is what you call it when someone accuses someone else of not being a "true fan", usually for arbitary reasons. For example, "I don't care how much you love the fillms, you're not a true Harry Potter fan unless you've read the books," or "How dare you have a Wonder Women keyring on your bag if you've only seen the film," and, most recently, I've even seen "You're not a real fan because you think the wrong characters should get together."

The entire concept baffles me. I just don't understand the logic behind it.

First of all, what the hell is a "true fan"? I mean, honestly, what is this, a cult? Who set up the ranking system? And do we have to sit a test? Guys, at the end of the day, this is about liking a show, or a book, or a film, or whatever. I don't even know how it's possible for people to be so stuck-up about it. It's supposed to be fun! (And before anyone comes at me and claims that their show is "intellectual" and not everyone will "get it", one, yes I have watched it, and two, fart jokes.)

Second of all, why do they hate new fans? They don't just absorb every piece of information about a series overnight, you know. So they've only read the first book, or seen the film, so what? It's not up to you what media they consume, or how much, or how fast. Not to mention, new fans are a good thing. The more popular something is, the more likely it is to get sequels, and new seasons, and keyrings. (I'm sorry, I really like keyrings.) If anything, you should be happy that new people are coming in. Oh, and the whole "It came out over 40 years ago, there's no excuse" argument? Doesn't really work for people who were only born within the last forty years. Or people who grew up in places where it wasn't a big deal. Or people who just weren't interested until recently.

Thirdly, allow me to say it again, "IT'S NOT UP TO YOU WHAT MEDIA THEY CONSUME, OR HOW MUCH, OR HOW FAST." Gatekeepers, take note, some people don't want to know everything. They're happy just seeing the films. They're happy choosing dubbed over subbed. They're happy with their own interpretation of a character, even if it doesn't take into account something that happened forty years ago in an obscure tie-in novel. Or maybe they do want to know everything, but they haven't gotten there yet. All of this stuff costs money, after all, and it takes time to get all caught up on a show with thirteen seasons. Of course, I'm not trying to discourage discussion here - there's a difference between that and barging into the conversation yelling, "Oh my God, it's like you've never even picked up a comic."

Finally, no matter how new to something someone is, they have the right to an opinion. I've written reviews before and thrown in some character analysis or a theory and worried that I'll look stupid because I might be jumping the gun. But I don't delete it. I can always reassess later. I'm allowed to change my opinion. I'm allowed to decide that I was an idiot before and that this new information changes EVERYTHING about the way that I look at a character. Yes, you also have the right to your opinion, but instead of trying to start a fight with every random person who interprets the source material differently to you, you could try this revolutionary new solution...

Close. The. Window.

And if you can't handle that? Get out of the sandpit and don't come back until you're ready to play nicely.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Ivyclad Ideas: Set in Space

This is the eighth in a series of posts aimed at helping anyone joining my reading challenge to fill the board. Ivyclad Bingo permits basically any type of book: novel, ebook, audiobook, comic, manga... 

The following are not recommendations, they are suggestions.

(What's the difference?)

If I haven't read it, it's a suggestion.

If you want to sign up for the Ivyclad Bingo 2018 Challenge, there's still time! Just click here and follow the instructions. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I figured we'd start with a classic. Earth has been destroyed to make way for a space highway and Arthur Dent, the definition of British, finds himself stranded in space with his friend Ford Prefect who just so happens to be an alien. Formars by Yu Sasuga and Ken-ichi Tachibana

The premise for this manga is humans fight evolved cockroaches on Mars, and it is as glorious as it sounds.

This is actually a recommendation from one of my friends. If you like the family of choice trope, you might enjoy the adventures of this crew of misfits. by Frank Herbert
 A sci-fi classic. The blurb is making me think Game of Thrones, but in space. Please bear in mind here that I haven't read either Dune or Game of Thrones and so my opinion is likely incorrect. Martian by Andy Weir
Mark Watney is stranded on Mars. Luckily, he's a botanist. 

Despite the fact that Mark could die any day now, this book is absolutely hilarious. 


When was the last time you read a book that wasn't set on earth?