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Lieby-Lieb-LIEBSTER AWARD!!

Wowowowow thank-you so much to cupcake010 for my nomination — I am both immensely flattered and grateful. Go check her blog out, it is fudging glorious. Also, A.PROMPTreply and Z over at I Prefer Deep Blues and Sea Foam Greens nominated me a while back, but I couldn’t do it because I was super-busy, so thank-you to you two darlings as well.

Rules:

Create a Liebster post, and include…

  • A thank-you and a link to the blogger who nominated you
  • Answers to the 11 questions asked by your nominator
  • Choose 11 (or as many as you like) other bloggers to nominate and list them in the post (they must have under 1000 followers)
  • Make a list of 11 new questions for your nominees to answer
  • List the rules on your Lieb post
  • Mosey on over to your nominees’ blogs and let ’em know! Make their day! You can comment on a post of theirs, and make sure to put a link back to your Lieb post.
  • Aaaand Bob’s your uncle, you are officially Liebified!

So, my questions posed by cupcake010:

  • What was the last lie you told?

    Today: “Whatever. It’s okay. I’m not bothered.” When, yes, actually. Yes I am.

  • What cheers you up?

    Curling up with a duvet and a cute guy and watching a crappy horror film. For some reason all that fake blood and horrendous acting makes me crack up. Like the other day, I was all wound up from a crappy day at school, so I sat down with a pint-mug of tea (no typo — a pint) and watched Dinocroc vs Supergator. To answer your follow-up question: yes, it is as crap as it sounds.

  • What is your favourite body part?

    This sounds a but morbid but it’s probably a case of which I dislike least. Probably my eyes. Or my dimples (I have massive dimples by the way. One person once said they should have their own twitter account…)

  • If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

    Mystique from X-Men would probably be the coolest. To be able to change appearance at will? Who the hell would say no to that?

  • When was the last time you were nervous?

    I’m quite strange in the way that I don’t get nervous or embarrassed anywhere near as much as I probably should. I’m literally the poster-girl for the phrase shrug it off. I think the last time I was properly apprehensive was just before my first driving lesson. I kept having visions of me wiping out a nun or something.

  • Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

    My best friend P (I can talk to her about anything — we talk so much crap together it’s fab.) Or chocolate cake. Dependent on who’s closer to hand.

  • What is your most treasured memory?

    My grandmother has Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia) and she no longer recognises me or anyone she used to know, not even a picture of her late husband. I have very few memories with her, but the last one I recall is at Christmas, perhaps about 5 or 6 years ago. I haven’t seen her since, and I’m holding onto this for as long as I possibly can, because I may never see her again.

  • If money was no object, what would you do all day?

    I would probably rent out a cinema, fill it with people I like and watch my favourite movies on loop. All accompanied by a bottomless supply of tea and popcorn, naturally.

  • What’s your favourite quote?

    “Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust… So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”  — Lawrence M. Krauss

  • What’s your most embarrassing memory?

    Like I said earlier, I don’t get embarrassed easily. The last time I genuinely went oh shitsticks I want the ground to swallow me up is when I fell over when I was mildly intoxicated at a party. I tripped over a threshold and completely faceplanted. Just like that. I had black and blue kneecaps for weeks.

  • Who has influenced you the most?

    Less of a who, more of a what. I am influenced by books and films a lot, and if an idea or a character grabs me, I’ll find my way of thinking completely changes because of the new perspective it’s given me. Authors and filmmakers have huge influence over my views.

 

And the nominees for the next round of the Liebster are…

perksofbeingaprocrastinator.wordpress.com

kattiekate.wordpress.com

measuringthesky.wordpress.com

theawkwardteen.com

shannanwiltshire.wordpress.com

diariesaretoomainstream.wordpress.com

sjohart.wordpress.com

lightthelie.wordpress.com

themostlyconfusedteenager.wordpress.com

mycontrollinged.wordpress.com

fightingtofindmyself.wordpress.com

 
 

And my questions for the nominees…

If you were given the choice, which fictional world would you live in?

What was the last book you read?

How many sugars do you take in your tea/coffee/hot chocolate?

Do you have any weird talents?

What would be your last meal?

Would you rather have chocolate eclairs for fingers or brownies for toes? (They regenerate)

If you could go back in time and talk to anyone, who would it be and why?

What is your favourite song right now?

What are your surroundings as you’re reading this?

If you had to live in a different country, where would you go and why?

What was the highlight of your day today?

 

Much like to y’all!

XX

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A Response to ‘Wintergirls’

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Warning: This book is possibly triggering, so please keep this in mind if you are thinking about or currently reading it.

I had vaguely heard about this book before I read it.

A whirlwind of controversy, criticism, and above all, praise.

It deals with the ever-contentious issue of anorexia and eating disorders, along with elements of depression and other mental health issues.

I picked it up when I saw it on display in my school library. I delved into it completely unaware of the fact I was being thrown into what is probably the most affecting book I have ever opened.

The story itself begins with the narrator, 18-year-old Lia Overbrook, learning of the death of her former best friend, Cassie.

Following this, it quickly becomes clear that Lia suffers from anorexia, her mind, and consequently her narration, riddled with conflict between the need to eat and the urge to starve, between her needs and her compulsions; between reality and what lurks within her mind, pushing her further and further to become less and less.

The first thing that grabbed me about Wintergirls is the style of writing. It’s almost like new-age Virginia Woolf in the way that it meanders and diverts and settles within the narrator’s conscious so that it is no longer the author forming the words, it is the character.

It’s not just the conventional layout of words on a line on a page that Anderson uses; there are smatterings of crossings out, words dotted over the page and, in one instance, a three page spread of “Must. Not. Eat.” that really made me think I was just reading a direct transcription of Lia’s thoughts.

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I’m not going to sugarcoat this – Wintergirls is bleak. There’s no tiptoeing around the nitty-gritty on Anderson’s part. She doesn’t shy away from making Lia undeniably, achingly real, no matter how hard it is.

That being said, there is one point I cannot stress enough: it would have been very, very easy for Anderson to make this book morbid and nihilistic and with no redeeming element to such a disturbing subject matter. There is hope though; a brief shimmer of optimism that alleviates some of the grief within it. Still, do not expect to finish this book without feeling changed.

I’ve been prettily dancing around the point here. I felt the compulsion to write this response because I can’t remember ever being affected so deeply by a book before. Sure, The Fault in Our Stars made me tear up a little, and of course, Perks of Being a Wallflower made me think after I closed the cover. But Wintergirls? This is a whole other league of personal.

I’m going to deflate the elephant in the room now and admit that I used to have an eating disorder, and I am still not entirely positive about myself.

At one point in this book, I honestly thought that it was going to end up being a trigger. And in a way, that is a compliment. Nothing else I have ever read has come close to describing how I felt when I was in the depths of my low points. Nothing has fully encapsulated the real helplessness of it all. It’s a constant onslaught of self-doubt and inward hatred and punishing yourself for being too alive.

Wintergirls is the only book gutsy enough to face up to that in a raw and painfully truthful manner; it shoves itself under the noses of those who turn away from issues such as anorexia and demands to be heard. It makes for a difficult read, but it rewards the reader a thousand times over with its unique insight.

It’s a twisted compliment, but a compliment nonetheless.

I read this book on Wednesday.

It hasn’t left my mind since.

Today is Friday.

I want to hate this book for dredging up all of the feelings I’d worked so carefully to bury. I wanted to absolutely slate it and dismiss it as another sob-story teen fic. But it isn’t. It is so so far from it.

I finally feel as if someone who has not suffered from an eating disorder really understands what it’s like to want to wake up in a different skin or not wake up at all.

If I could say one thing to Laurie Halse Anderson, it would be thank-you — for being uncompromisingly, unapologetically honest. The fact is, this book does not purport to be an anorexic bible, nor does it claim to be a manifesto for tearing down the disorder.

It is a story told in a voice that will stay with me for as long as my memory does.

It is a pure, unadulterated truth.

Nothing more, nothing less.

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Wintergirls — Laurie Halse Anderson

Why? You want to know why?

Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and peels off, roll in coarse salt, then pull on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes your regular clothes, as long as they are tight.

Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all “a disappointment”. Puke and starve and cut and drink because you don’t want to feel any of this. Puke and starve and cut and drink because you need an anaesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anaesthetic turns into poison and by then it’s too late because you are mainlining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can’t stop.

Look in the mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you

“Why?” is the wrong question.

Ask “Why not?”

— from Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

 

I will be writing a review-cum-feedback of this book soon, so keep an eye out.

 


All credit for the extract goes to the author of Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson.

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Updates and Promises

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Sorry about that.

Updates:

The last two weeks have been frantic to say the least.

My first day back at school was last Tuesday. Upper Sixth is killing me already and I haven’t even finished the second week yet. The workload is ridiculous and the pace is slaughtering my brain, one neuron at a time.

And nowadays, all anyone can talk about is UCAS and university and predicted grades and resits and modules and applications and references and personal statements and futures and jobs and preparations and the rest of our lives and life and life and life and more life rolled on top of it.

HTTP ERROR 404: THE REQUESTED PAGE ‘ZAE’S SANITY’ CANNOT BE FOUND. EVER.

 

Ahem.

On a lighter note, I had my first driving lesson! It scared the bejeezus out of me, but it was good. I managed to get up to 60mph on the drive home, which I was pretty proud about.

Aaaaaand, I’ve recently been finding a load of new music since I’ve started to use SoundCloud, so if you have any spare seconds, check out Ben Khan (listen to Youth) or Made In Heights (check out All The Places). They’re both amazing and I’ve been listening to them both on loop for days.

 

Promises:

I will post more. No, really.

I will try to stay more positive and not have these stupid falterings in confidence that translate into shitty blog posts about how purportedly fucked up I am as a person.

I will try to make my blog posts less shitty overall, to be honest. I’m uppin ma gaaame mothafuckah.

Oh, and I’ll try to stop swearing as much. I know some people don’t like that. So I’ll try to replace said expletives with nicer words. Like… flowerpot.

Flowerpot?

Seriously?

Urgh.

Whatever.

I have a new post in the works, so that’ll be on its way out to y’all soon. It’s about a book I read yesterday (yes, I read it in a day) called Wintergirls, and it’s accounts the story of a girl called Lia Overbrook who suffers from anorexia nervosa. This book made me wince in all the wrong ways, and I want to hate it but I can’tI can’t because it’s true. It’s the truest book I’ve read in a long time.

 

Much like to y’all

XX

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