Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Monthly Wrap-Up | March 2015

I'm trying out something a little different today! Since I started blogging I've pretty much always done reading wrap-ups at the end of each month to share what I read that month and what I thought of the things I read. I still want to do that, but then I thought I might broaden it out and just talk about my month in general in the hopes of making my wrap-ups a little more personal.

Not only that, but I took part in the blog hop What's Up Wednesday until last week when the lovely hosts Jaime and Erin decided it was time for them to wind it down. I enjoyed talking about my writing progress and other more personal stuff during that blog hop, and now that it's over I want to continue to talk about it and what better way to do that than in a big monthly wrap-up?

So now, as well as sharing with you what I read each month, I'm also going to talk about things I've watched, things I've done and anything else in between!

(I'm also going to choose a different colour each month, because there are so many pretty colours out there. I think March is a very green month.)

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (4.5 Stars)
Reviewed here!

The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin (4 Stars)

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (4.5 Stars)

The Great God Pan and Other Stories by Arthur Machen (3 Stars)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (4 Stars)
Reviewed here!

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (5 Stars)

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (5 Stars)
Reviewed here!

March ended up being a pretty good reading month for me. I'm glad that I've been able to consistently read, except for the odd couple of days, since my great reading start to the year in January. Signal to Noise was definitely the highlight of the month for me, and, alongside Rat Queens, has been my best read of the year so far. I absolutely loved it, and it's definitely earned itself a place on my favourite books list.

There are a few books I'm in the middle of I haven't gotten around to finishing yet, but I'm hoping to finish them in April!

Relic by Renee Collins

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

I'm much more likely to sit down and watch a film than I am to watch a TV show. There are some amazing TV shows out there, but I'm just really bad at watching TV; I have to work myself up to watching a new show because I really have to concentrate and I get bored very easily. If a show doesn't impress me within the first ten minutes then the likelihood is I'll turn it off. I'm very fussy.

I managed to watch quite a bit this month, though, including the entire first season of Penny Dreadful. Congratulations, Penny Dreadful, on keeping me interested for the entire season! I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with season 2. I think I'm a little bit in love with Ethan Chandler.

I also watched the first episode of 12 Monkeys and the first episode of Vikings, but neither of them left me feeling particularly interested. I'm much more likely to go back to Vikings, I've certainly heard amazing things about it as the series progresses, but I gave up on 12 Monkeys. I just thought it was rubbish.

Mockingjay: Part 1 is out on DVD! I treated myself to a copy and watched it for the first time since I saw it in the cinema, and I still like it. I know a lot of people really dislike
Mockingjay, but I found the whole aspect of making propaganda and fighting a war with words - "moves and countermoves" - really interesting. I think Francis Lawrence is fantastic.

I also watched the film adaptation of If I Stay for the very time this month and really enjoyed it - I thought it was a really good adaptation. I didn't cry while reading the book, but the scene in the film between Mia and her grandfather in the hospital did make me tear up. Chloe Grace Moretz did a good job as Mia, too.

And on Sunday I went to see the new Cinderella film. I didn't love it - I didn't think it'd be possible for something to be too Disney, but this film was so twee I'm pretty sure I came out of it with diabetes. Or maybe that was just all the popcorn - but I did love the way it looked. The colours and the costumes were gorgeous; I want basically everything Cate Blanchett wore. Plus Richard Madden was a very adorable Prince; it was nice to see him fleshed out a little more, because so often the Prince in Cinderella is just a generic Prince Charming figure. Was he an entirely original character? No. Was he a cutie pie? Hell yes.

And it was nice to see him attend a wedding and live through it.

Saw some upcoming films that look pretty cool, too; there's one coming out about the Queen and her sister, the late Princess Margaret, in their youth who are allowed out for one night with a pair of chaperones. It looks like a lot of fun! There's also an upcoming adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd which looks lovely. I've never read it - I'm not the biggest fan of Thomas Hardy - but I would like to see that.

Pan also looks amazing, but I really don't want to see a film where Tiger Lily has been whitewashed.

Game of Thrones is back in April - I wonder who they're going to kill this time...

Work's starting to get a little busier - for any of you who don't know but are curious, I work at an independent publishers in Wales! - but I'd rather have plenty to do than nothing at all! I'm pretty much in charge of the blog now, and it's a lot of fun being able to write blog posts and get paid to do it, not to mention the fact that I'm also basically getting paid to use social media!

Last Friday I met up with a friend of mine who was on my MA course and who has recently moved down to South Wales. I've talked about this a little bit on my blog before - usually in my What's Up Wednesday posts - but I'm living back with my parents after finishing my MA in October until I'm more firmly on my feet. The only real problem is my parents live in South Wales, and all my friends live in the north of England. Needless to say, I've been pretty lonely since I moved back home, although I've met some great people through work.

I went round to her lovely new house and also met another friends of hers, who I'd actually already met, just not in person, because last year I did a little proofreading for her feminist Harry Potter magazine, Sonorus. Yes, this lady has a feminist Harry Potter magazine - and they're currently open for submissions!

We had a really fun evening involving pizza, dragons and Victorian lesbians. It was so nice to just be in the presence of one of my friends again, because I really miss them.

I may also be taking driving lessons again soon. I know what you're all probably thinking: 'you're 23 and you can't drive?' but the thought of getting behind the wheel of a car again terrifies me. I took lessons while I was in sixth form - I even took a driving test! - but unfortunately I failed, and then before I could take another one I was off to uni. Now I'm craving the independence that will come with being able to drive myself anywhere, but I'm still really scared. I have to stop letting fear hold me back, though.

Oh and, on a final note, my story 'Coffee Break' was published on Flash Fiction Magazine this month! Yay!

What did you get up to in March?


  1. I am glad that you said you didn't love Cinderella. I have been on the edge about watching it and now I am definitely going to wait for dvd. I really need to read Coraline, I love the movie so much!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Yeah, I don't think you're missing out on anything by waiting for it to come out on DVD! It's a very cute film, but it's not amazing.

      I really enjoyed Coraline, but I enjoy the film just a little bit more than the book, which doesn't usually happen. :)

  2. Oh! I really need to read the Ice Dragon!