Tuesday, 31 December 2013

'So why do you love Thirty Seconds To Mars so much?'


Let me break it down for you.

What a time to be alive...

12 hours.

That’s all that remains of 2013.

As I sit here on my bed (which is also a very good desk) scrolling through all the ‘year in review’ type-tweets on Twitter, I can’t help but wonder; what did I do all year?? What have I achieved? What have I learned? What’s with the fascination with the Echelon? (Since we’re asking questions I thought I’d throw that one in there :p) It’s got me feeling all nostalgic (and given me a wicked case of The Feels) so I thought I’d take a look back at my 2013. The highs, the highers, and the highests. Because it’s been a pretty damn good year.


And so I present to you, my 2013. Set to lyrics because…


…Had to. And you’re welcome.

At the end of 2012 I packed up my things and moved across the country to be closer to family. After 7 years of living away from them, it was time to come home. Turns out that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was the first of many awesome things to come.


The first awesome thing that happened was SingStar. I know I’ve written about this before, but it needs to feature on this list. It was through SingStar that I discovered the band that would go on to literally change my life. As I write that I can’t help but think ‘has it really only been a year with them?’ It’s actually hard to remember life before them. That’s probably weird, right? :p


It’s no secret that I suffered from a hard-core case of the Dark and Twisties for the majority of my life. I was at the stage where I’d just accepted that I was going to be “severely depressed” for the rest of my life, and there was no point in fighting it.

It’s funny how things happen.

Someone* once said that sometimes in order to find yourself, you have to first lose yourself. I couldn’t agree with that more. I had lost myself completely, but through Mars, I found myself again. I fell apart for over a decade, but got back up again. Now I am Bright and Shiny and annoyingly cheerful. Just ask anyone unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter :p The Girl With Words: Spewing Rainbows Onto Your TL since ’13.  This time last year I would NOT have believed that was possible. 2013, I think I’m in love with you.

*Gee, I wonder who that could have been…



Through Mars I also met some of the most awesome people on the planet. I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and they’ve been a HUGE contributor to my wonderful year. One of the best parts of this year was getting the opportunity to meet some of them in August. I can honestly say that was one of the best weekends of my life. I freaking heart you guys SO BIG.



I really mean it when I say Mars changed my life. Besides, you know, helping me finally win my lifelong battle with depression, they were the reason I decided to finally pursue my dream of becoming an author. They make me believe that dreams are possible. They are even the reason that you are reading this blog right now, and that I’ve found the courage to share HEAT with you all. They taught me to be brave, fight for what I believe in and make my dreams my reality. And so I shall.

When my books are finally published (optimism and all that), you’d better believe that they will feature heavily in my acknowledgements. In fact, I’ve already written it. Optimism and all that :p


Hmmm. So I don’t know how this post turned out to be solely about Mars. I guess they’ve had a bigger influence on me than I realised! 2013 has honestly been the best year of my life. I went on some awesome trips with my family, spent a blissful girly week with my real-life BFF, adopted the world’s cutest dog and fell in love with life. Sure, there were some low points (even some truly awful points) but this new-improved version of me seems to be much more capable of letting the negative things go and just focusing on the awesome. I like that. I don’t know what 2014 will bring (besides the fact that MARS IS COMING, PEOPLE. MARS. IS .COMING. T-minus 84 days, 4 hours and 47 minutes to go!!), but I have the distinct feeling that it will be awesome. Why? Because I have faith that it will be. And everyone knows that all we need is faith. Faith is all we need.

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2014 is the year that all your dreams come true :)




TITLE LYRICS: ‘Do Or Die’ by At This Point I Really Shouldn’t Have To Tell You :p

(As sung during a live show, where Jared likes to mess with the lyrics :3)




I'm beginning to feel like a Rap God, Rap God...

Here’s a well-known fact: my favourite thing in the world are books. I know, right? Shocking. But here’s a (possibly) less well-known fact: my other favourite thing in the world is music. I love music so much that it ties for first with my love for books. Note that I’m talking about things here, not people, because we all know who my number one favourite person in the world is…



My mother.


Ha! You all thought I was going to say Jared Leto. Shame on you. Shame. On. You.


I have an eclectic taste in music. There isn’t a genre I can say I flat out HATE; I like songs and artists in pretty much all categories. Sure, there are bands I can’t stand, but I like to think I’m pretty open-minded. I even like that one Miley Cyrus song. I’m not really one for rap, but there is one rapper who I think is freaking awesome: Eminem. I’ve been a doing a little bit of research on Eminem for another blog post that I’m working on (coming #soon), and I have to say, I find his story incredibly inspiring and motivating. He faced a lot of adversity and discouragement, but despite it all he kept pursuing his dreams. He never gave up on himself.  I know a lot of people don’t like him for various reasons (language, content, apparent women hate etc etc) but I love a lot of his music. There was a time that I was ashamed to admit this, because when I was a young teen (I’m talking 14 or 15) admitting you liked Eminem was akin to admitting you liked to club baby seals in your spare time. You just didn’t do it. I mean one time the people at church decided to pray for me because I had Cleaning Out My Closet stuck in my head. Yep. (Admittedly my Eminem-love-shame had A LOT to do with the church I was attending at the time, which also had me feeling guilty for reading Harry Potter and doing yoga. Kids, just say no to the Kool-aid, okay??) Even now there are some people who deeply disapprove of my unabashed Eminem love, but unlike my 14 year-old self, I’m not afraid to be myself. And myself happens to think Eminem really IS a Rap God. The man is a lyrical genius. I can’t say I admire him in the same way that I admire (love, adore) certain members of certain other bands (cough)* but he is definitely up there as one of my favourite artists. Case in point: Rap God is a six minute song. The average six minute song contains maybe 200-400 words (based on about 2 minutes of research on A-Z lyrics). Rap God contains 1500. You can’t tell me you aren’t impressed by that.


The thing I like the most about Eminem is the way his lyrics tell a story. When I listen to his music I get a very vivid image in my head about what he is rapping about – a skill that I envy as an author**. Granted, it’s not always a pleasant picture (see ’97 Bonnie and Clyde, which may not be pleasant but it IS funny as hell in a very twisted way), but it takes a lot of talent to be able to tell an entire story in lyrical form. The current state of the music industry is a testament to that.


I also love the way that he just doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about him or his music. When it comes to his artistic expression, the only opinion that matters is his own. That’s admirable. How often has the fear of other people’s opinions held you back? I know that if I’m not careful, I can easily become bogged down in the fear of other people’s opinions. What will they think, what will they say, what will become of me?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just not care what other people thought? (Within reason, of course. I’m not suggesting that we should all become selfish individuals who only look out for number one.)


So here’s what I propose: let’s take a page out of Eminem’s book and make 2014 the year where we don’t give a damn what other people think about us or our taste in books, music, movies, how we choose to spend our time or anything else. Let’s make it the year where we let our freak flags fly and be who we want to be, whoever that may be. Let’s make it the year where the most important opinion about ourselves is OUR OWN. Let’s make it the year where we all become Rap Gods in our own special way.




TITLE LYRICS: ‘Rap God’ by Eminem. Again! I really love Eminem.


*No-one will ever come close to my love for him. Ever.

**So I decided to start calling myself that. Optimism and all that.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

I bully myself ‘cause I make me do what I put my mind to…

Ooo, how novel! I actually have time to sit down and write something! Apologies for my absence; the last few weeks of the term are always absolutely INSANE. As a teacher you are endlessly bombarded with assessments and reports and learning portfolios and marking and record cards and more marking and concert items and more assessments and about a million other things that you are certain you will never finish because you feel a little bit like you are drowning and did you really get through all this last year surely you didn’t because oh my god it’s insane.


Somehow (and you don’t even really know how, but the stack of empty RedBull cans by your bed side gives you a vague idea) you make it to the last day of the year, and you’re so happy you could cry and maybe you do cry a little because you’ve grown to love your class, even that little boy who spent the entire year sitting next to your desk because you couldn’t take your eyes off him for a single second or you’d find the furniture super-glued to the ceiling.

One day you wake up and you realise that there’s no need to think in enormous run-on sentences because it’s the school holidays and you made it, good grief you made it through the year and it was fun and crazy and insane but it’s over now and you realise that suddenly you can just


And breathe.

Because it’s the school holidays, kids.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that.


Now to be perfectly honest with you all, when I woke up this morning, on this, the glorious first day of the school holidays, I didn’t really feel like writing. I know, right?? Blasphemy! Here I’d spent almost the entire year complaining that I didn’t have enough time to write, and when I finally had the time, I didn’t really want to. That’s typical Girl With Words behaviour, and it’s one of things that annoys me the most about myself. I do my best work under pressure, even if that pressure is just the knowledge that I have more important things to be doing. Take away the pressure, and I flit around aimlessly and unproductively. It’s sick.


I absolutely REFUSE to waste my holidays in this way. I’ve been waiting for this for MONTHS, and while it is deeply tempting to spend the next six weeks devouring books and catching up on all the Mars Porn I missed while I was drowning in school work (and my oh my, how tempting that is), I am going to be productive instead*. I am going to write and I am going to work my ass off, because that’s what it takes to live your dreams, right?

I thought a lot about how I was going to make this happen and avoid getting distracted by The Feels or spending hours reading books that actually made it to the ‘publishing’ stage, and I decided that the best way was to make a list. We all know how my raging case of OCD loves a good list (or several), and making a public list has the added bonus of having to live up to my lofty goals and creating the pressure I require to thrive. Great idea, no?

So, with that in mind, here’s an overview of my holiday goals. Feel free to hold me to them. In fact I encourage it!

·         Edit my synopsis to accommodate for agent requirements;

·         Send out a bazillion more queries;

·         Be rejected a bazillion more times;

·         FINISH the first draft of my WIP** by Jan 31, #NaNoWriMo style: 1667 words a day, baby.

·         Blog more;

·         Read more (including beta-reading for two gorgeous ladies);

·         Enter more writing competitions;

·         Control my Feels Impossible, because I cannot. I. Can. Not.

·         Lose weight for my Meet + Greets with Thirty Seconds To Mars  Whoops, wrong list!

You can do anything you set your mind to. Time to make this dream a reality.



TITLE LYRICS: ‘Rap God’ by Eminem

*And then reward myself with the porn because it’s Mars, people.

I cannot.