Saturday, 25 April 2015

1 Sentence Responses & A HELLO!

vivatramp lifestyle book blog uk 1 sentence responses

(photo taken by my best friend, Claire)

Guess who is back from their unintentional sabbatical? That's right, everyone's favourite 'poetic little mexican food'. Hayles' words, not mine. I didn't intend to be away for so long but, if I'm honest, I burnt out. I'm not entirely aflame right now but I'm feeling better about things than I did and sometimes that's good enough. I'm currently finishing off my degree after a billion years so I'm not entirely sure how often I'm going to grace these parts over the next few weeks but if you start getting a hankering for my wisdom and good looks you an always find me over on Twitter or Instagram. Just the other day I bathed my food waste bin and shared photographic evidence with all of my Twitter friends - my timeline is not to be missed. Anyway, I digress. Lets kick off proceedings...

I was inspired by one of my favourite booktubers Ron Lit to share my one sentence responses with you. I took to Twitter to ask you for things you would like to hear my opinion on and you delivered. I'm going to try and do this without using a load of ellipses, I promise. This edition's prompts were provided by Rosie and Lea. If you'd like to leave some prompts in the comments below, you'll be featured in future editions and I'll forever be in your debt or something. 

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When we were younger, my best friend and I would buy pepperoni pizza from the local takeaway and sit on the seafront steps, the same time and place each week, and eat and make sexual groaning noises as we ate when the weekly running club went by. 

One of my goals in life is to own enough onesies to wear a different one on every day of the week, alas, I currently own three: a mouse and two cats. 

Sleep eludes me sometimes, despite the fact that I love my bed more than anything in the world, so my bedtime is anything from 11:30pm to 5am. 

I own one book by Kafka, The Trial, and I am yet to read it so I shall withhold judgement until then. 

wes anderson 
Wes Anderson is a very clever director, who makes the most beautiful films, but sometimes, just sometimes, as a writer, I feel that he goes for style over substance. 

I have aching bones, my toes are blue and leaving the house is a bit of a nightmare but surprisingly I quite like winter.

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getting older 
When you find yourself staring death in the face, you realise that most people are in fact wrong and getting older is a luxury and one that is afforded to too few. 

kurt vonnegut 
Slaughterhouse Five was like nothing I have ever read before, and I should probably dip my toe into the Vonnegut waters again some time in the near future. 

public transport 
When I was little, I spent a lot of time in Weston-super-Mare on the number 7 bus, travelling with all my cousins and my Grandparents to and from the local museum: sometimes we'd wrap the tickets round our heads like martial arts students, others we would sit quietly in hope of being picked to ring the bell. 

I'm not a massive fan of her solo work, although I'm always there for Destiny's Child, but I respect her and her work greatly. 

I am a feminist but my feminism isn't focused on white cis able-bodied women.

Translated fiction
I think it's hugely important to engage with translated fiction and I need to read more of it. 

I hope you've found this vaguely interesting. If you have and you'd like to see more, leave me some topics to cover in future posts. It's nice to just try something new every once in a while, isn't it?! God, I'm so yolo right now. 


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sharing My Twitter Fiction: 'Just Kids' | Creativity with Bee

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just kids 
This is just a little something that I wrote from a prompt that was sitting around in my journal. I find writing Twitter fiction to be very therapeutic, and I would highly recommend it to everyone! Part of me thinks this feels unfinished, maybe because you could definitely take it a lot further, but I can always come back to it someday. 

I've got lots of little bits of microfiction hanging around so let me know if you'd like to see more. Don't forget to check out my post on how to write Twitter fiction, if it's something you're interested in doing, and let me know what you've been writing about lately 


Saturday, 7 March 2015

On Giving Yourself A Break | Adventures with Bee

vivatramp lifestyle blog uk adventures with bee

It has taken me a long time to realise that, in order to function like a normal human being, I need to take proper breaks. Who knew, right?! I'm not talking about well-I'll-work-and-watch-something type breaks either. I'm talking about physically removing myself from what I'm doing and really relishing doing nothing / something less demanding. 

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I've been taking time out here and there to just be and yesterday I took the whole day to just read whatever I wanted and not worry about writing or emails and such. It was perfect. My January-March book reviews will be up at the end of this month, by the way! 

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My mental health hasn't been great lately, and I've found myself having more bad days than good, so I've been stepping up my self care game. Breaks are an important part of self care (you should check out my post on self care if you haven't already!) and yet I always try and make myself feel guilty for taking them, like I'm somehow risking something?! That's all kinds of ridiculous, I know. I'm here today to encourage you to take five minutes out of your week to restore your batteries as it were. 

little arbitrary list of the things i've been doing on my breaks:  
1. read three graphic novels: Saga vol 1 & Outcast & The Wicked + The Divine (keep an eye out for my reviews!)
2. marathoned old episodes of Parks & Recreation 
3. compiled a playlist of chilled out albums 
4. accidentally dialled a mate with my boob...that was fun
5. ate a ton of rice krispies. seriously i'm like 90% krispie right now. 
6. had lunch at a new-to-me café with friends
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Where do you sit when it comes to taking time out? Do you opt for shorter breaks in between work or do you dedicate blocks of time to them? I'm trying to work out the perfect balance! I was recently interviewed by Blogger's Bookshelf so go and check that out if you're interested in my childhood reads and such!

-- Photos taken during lunch at Prime café in Plymouth


Friday, 20 February 2015

Secondhand Book Haul | Books

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It has only been a month since my last secondhand book haul but after hitting up the secondhand warehouse again, this time with a list of books to hunt down, I have 12 more books to share with you. It could be argued that I'm trying to compensate for a difficult start to the year and, to be honest, that's probably accurate but god book shopping is so therapeutic! Also, who the hell turns down books for £1 each?! Onto the books...

vivatramp book blog uk lifestyle blogger uk secondhand book haul black beauty anna sewell

1| black beauty by anna sewell 
Black Beauty tells the story of a horse's long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow, to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman, to a painfully overworked cab horse. 

I already own a copy of this book, and I read it just last year, but I couldn't bring myself to leave this gorgeous edition behind. It is now sat upon my chest of drawers, among fellow books and candles and such, looking rather beautiful. I was  actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this read!

Set in the American South in the 1960s, this novel follows Meridian Hill, a courageous young woman who dedicates herself, her heart and soul, to her civil rights work, touching the lives of those around her even as her own health begins to deteriorate. Hers is a lonely battle, but it is one she will not abandon, whatever the costs. 

I'm steadily working my way through everything Alice Walker has written and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself. If you have never read anything by her, do it! The Colour Purple would be an excellent place to start. Walker is one of those writers that puts her all into her characters and, as such, everything she writes is just absolutely incredible. I'm not sure when I'll pick this up, but I'm hoping I'll get a chance to before the year is out. 

Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France...Another Country is a novel of passions...that is stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime. 

I have been meaning to read Baldwin's works for a while now and luckily enough I've heard that Another Country is a good place to start. The dichotomy between love and hate is so incredibly broad, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Baldwin takes it. 

One day...Elizabeth Smart chanced upon a slim volume of poetry by George Barker and fell passionately in love with him through the printed word. Eventually they communicated directly and, as a result of Barker's impecunious circumstances, Elizabeth Smart flew both him and his wife from Japan to join her...Thus began one of the most extraordinary, intense and ultimately tragic love affairs of our time...

Both Jason and Zoe have been singing Smart's praises of late so I'm really glad I stumbled across this beauty. I'm not particularly well versed when it comes to prose poetry, but it's something I write and really want to explore in greater detail so this seems like a good enough place to start! I've got a feeling this will be one of those stories that I try and savor for as long as possible, so I may read it alongside something else. 

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5| homemade love by j. california cooper 
J. California Cooper tells exuberant tales full of wonder at the mystery of life and the hardness of fate. Awed, bedeviled, bemused, all of Cooper's characters are borne up by the sheer power of life itself. 

J. California Cooper is a writer that I have only discovered very recently but, again, I have heard some really great things. The premise alone, with characters 'borne up by the sheer power of life itself', sounds pretty awe inspiring so I've got high hopes. 

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6| selected poetry by d. h. lawrence 

I've just finished studying D. H. Lawrence but I thought I'd delve a bit further and try out some of his poetry as I have yet to do so. This edition is so beautiful, and it's made even better thanks to the little inscription on the inside sharing birthday wishes from November 1965! 

vivatramp joan didion the white album second hand book haul book review uk

7| the white album by joan didion 
The White Album is a mosaic of the late 60's and 70's. It includes the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a Black Panther Party press conferences...and the swirl and confusion of the 60's. With commanding sureness of mood and language, Joan Didion exposes the realities and dreams of that age of self-discovery whose spiritual centre was California. 

I love me some Didion, it's no secret. I read A Year Of Magical Thinking towards the end of 2014, and I definitely want to read more of her work throughout this year.  I was extremely happy when I saw this 70's hardback beauty sitting on the shelf, as I stupidly left it behind last time!  

A collection of six stories interconnected to form a novel about the women who live in the community of Brewster Place, a poor neighbourhood on a dead-end street. 

This is another book that I've heard a lot about recently so, again, I quickly nabbed it off the shelf. I'm a fan of interconnected stories, and stories set in neighbourhoods, so I'm going to pick this up sooner rather than later. How great is this cover?! 

vivatramp lifestyle book blog uk georgian poetry book review secondhand book haul

9| georgian poetry 

John Masefield is one of my favourite poets, so this little volume should be right up my street. I'm currently studying contemporary poetry so I think part of me wanted to rebel and read this collection on the side. Anarchy lives on! I'll share any poems that I enjoy on here in the future, I'm sure.

I found this collection of T. S. Eliot's essays tucked alongside the poetry anthologies and thought I'd give it a go as I've just finished a Modernism module at university. I'm probably going to read this post-university when I'm feeling nostalgic for literary criticism because I'm kind of overloaded with it right now but I'm sure he's got some interesting things to say on writing and critiquing! 

vivatramp the little stranger sarah waters book lifestyle blog secondhand book haul

11| the little stranger by sarah waters 
One post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline. Its owners-mother, son, and daughter are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his. 

I've had my eye on Sarah Waters for a long time now but I'm only just starting to build up my collection. I was definitely inspired to do so by Mercedes over at MercysBookishMusings. If you haven't checked out her author spotlight on Waters, you need to go and do so now. It's really informative and great for Waters n00bs like myself! I don't know a lot regarding the plots of Waters' books but I really enjoy reading about Victorian culture and sexuality so I'm hoping they will be right up my street. I'll let you know how I get on. 

How To Get Into The Twin Palms is the story of Anya, a young woman living in a Russian neighbourhood in LA, who struggles between retaining her parents' Polish culture and trying to assimilate into her adopted community. She lusts after Lev, a Russian man who frequents the Twin Palms nightclub down the block from Anya's apartment. It is Anya's wish to gain entrance to this seemingly exclusive club. 

Okay, this isn't a secondhand purchase but I think I'd just include it anyway! Luke kindly bought this book for me for our anniversary and I'm really glad he did because it's quite different to anything I've read recently. If the story is anything like the production of the book, I should be in for a treat! You shouldn't judge a book by its cover but when it's covered in cute illustrations and has deckled edges, I'm sure as hell not going to judge you for doing so! You should check out all of Two Dollar Radio's titles. I'm definitely going to be purchasing some more later this year. 

I've got a few Christmas gift cards to use, so you may see some more new books next month, but otherwise I'm not going to be buying in bulk for a long while. As ever, I want to know what you think of my purchases in the comments below. Have you read any of these books before? What ones should I read first? Have you added any to your wishlist?