Sunday, 30 December 2012

Goodbye 2012

I'm starting to feel a little sad at the moment. While 2012 hasn't been the best year of my life so far, a lot has happened this year. 

This is a basic summary of 2012:

My illness has improved for the first time in like 9 years. 

I've become a little bit more confident. 

I got into Law School!! :D 

I got out of college! 

I've managed to somewhat stick with this blog! 

I finished writing a novella! 

I haven't failed any university assessments so far!!

Hopefully, 2013 will be just as good!

How was your 2012? What were your main achievements? How do you think 2013 will go? 

Kamille :D

Friday, 9 November 2012

LLB LAW: The First Weeks

Hello readers! It's been a long time since a post hasn't it? I'm still alive, almost so don't worry!

Okay so 6 weeks have passed into this course. For anyone who doesn't know, I'm studying for a Law degree in the UK (the LLB). This post is also geared towards people who are thinking of studying law at university.

Right now, I'm sleep-deprived, nauseous from so much reading and frustrated from not understanding anything.

University is nothing like college was. It's like a jump into an abyss. There's so many concepts and terminology that I've never come across so everything feels alien. But I think I'm getting there in terms of understanding the topics we've been introduced to. It's probably obvious but the most important part I think of studying law at university is the reading workload.

I don't have many essays to write. I've written one drafting assignment and one practice problem based essay. But I know some students who have already written more than 3 essays. I was quite surprised to be honest, as I thought we'd be given essays to write every week.

Lectures are okay but they tend to be quite fast-paced and it's hard to keep up with lecturers who talk fast so I'm going to be buying a netbook or a tablet to help me take notes in lectures. It's also easy to get distracted. Lots of people use their phones during lectures which I find pretty rude so if you're that kind of person, try and stick to the back of the lecture halls. However I would advise against spending most of the lecture on your phone.

It's distracting when you're listening to the lecturer and the person next to you is tapping on their phone. Try and stick to using your phone during breaks and out of lectures. Lecturers also notice their students aren't listening when they're looking at their crotches for extended periods of time and smiling.

I find that going through lecture slides before the lecture (if they're available) is useful. If your lecturers don't upload the slides then read through a textbook for an introduction or you'll be sitting in a 2 hour lecture and no idea of what's going on.

Overall, the workload is large and difficult but I'm enjoying it so far. At first things don't make sense but it gets easier.

I'll update about my progress soon! Hopefully while I'm studying for exams over the Christmas holiday.

Kamille.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Fresh Face Of A Law Student

I officially started lectures yesterday for my law degree! :D

I was really excited to finally be able to say that I am a law student. It seems a privilege to be studying such a demanding and enriching course. I'm buzzed up to really get into the course and start with tutorials and extra reading. I know that makes me sound like a nerd but it's true. I really want to throw myself into studying.

But it all seems a lot more different from studying A Levels. I now have more reading to do, harder essays to write, more self-study to do and a need for a higher level of organisation.

I love reading but the essays seem daunting. It's a bit like when you stop writing for a few weeks or months and then when you get back to the writing bit, it feels like you've forgotten how to write. I think it's going to be a bit like that. We haven't written any essays so far but I have a pretty good feeling that my ability to write decent essays has declined a bit.

If anyone can think of example essay questions for me to use to try out my essay writing, please can you leave the question in the comments section? It would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I'm also worrying about organisation. I'm simply the most disorganised person I've ever come across. Right now, I'm just writing my lecture notes into a refill pad but I've soon got to figure out how I'm going to organise things. Notepads? Type up notes? Folders? There are so many options and I don't know which to go for.

We have exams and coursework deadlines in Jaunary and I hope I'm ready by then.

And until I can figure out what my workload is going to be like, my posting on this blog will be minimal.

So here's to my first year of university!

And I hope everyone else who is in education right now also has a good year!

Kamille.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

I'm 20 today! Am I excited? Not really. I'm going to miss being a teenager a lot! It was a status that I feel has described me well for the last 7 years.

I'm not really celebrating. Haven't got much to celebrate at the moment. I gave my brother all my money and let him max out my credit card to pay for his new laptop. Even though I still need a new one. I have to wait for my student loan money to come through. I'll be living off toast and beans maybe this year haha!

The only thing I have to look forward to is my trip to Ikea tomorrow. And my mum has to pay because well, I don't have any money lol!

So yeah, I hope you all have a good day and I'll be back in a few days to update! I'll be updating as often as I can about my experiences studying LLB Law.

Bye!

Kamille.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Twilight Rewritten - Chapter 3



I'm sorry Chapter 3 took so long. I was just a bit busy sorting out some other stuff and completely forgot! Hope you enjoy!

Click here for Chapter 1
Click here for Chapter 2

So Bella wakes up and the ground is covered in ice. She is horrified.

Considering how clumsy she is, you'd think this walking hazard would call in sick and stay in bed but no, she goes to school. How brave. Not.

Bella is excited to go to school. Normal 17 year old.

She wants to go to school so she can perve on Edward Cullen.

Idiot.

Bella nearly dies while trying to walk to her car. This must be a new record. She's escaped death more times than Harry Potter did, in 7 books too!

Bella thinks she's a novelty. LOL!

Bella refers to Mike as a dog. Bella is such a lovely person isn't she?!

She gets to school and nearly dies from getting hit by a car. Edward saves her because he's a super-vampire although Bella doesn't know that yet. We do because it says so in the blurb. I feel more intelligent than Bella, the genius.

Bella should seriously just start to stay at home. She honestly nearly dies every time she leaves the house. I'm starting to think people around her should stay away from her.

Bella goes to the hospital. She perves on Edward's father. Ew.

Dr Cullen is concerned about Bella's inability to walk in a straight line. He gives her some meds for the pain.

Edward and Bella hiss at each other in the corridor. Bella thinks Edward is a freak because he caused a dent in Tyler's van. To be honest, Bella could probably do that just by falling over.

Edward suggests there is something wrong with Bella's head. She denies it. I agree with Edward. Brain scan anyone?

Everyone in Forks is in the waiting room to see Bella because she's so special they just wanted to make sure she's still alive. I'm astounded at how she's still alive.

Bella goes home. Her Mum flips out but stays wherever she is instead of visiting her daughter who seems to nearly die on every single page.

Bella suggests sane and normal people would want to leave Forks. It seems like a pretty nice place. I guess Bella is insane and abnormal because considering she hates the place so much, she pretty much stays put.

Bella takes some drugs to knock herself out. I reckon this is the start of her drug addiction.

She dreams of Edward Cullen.

Ew.

I don't know when I'm going to update with the next chapter but I'll try and do it before I go off to university.

Kamille.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Unknown Illnesses: Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)

As a sufferer of a relatively unknown illness, I thought I'd do some posts on unknown illnesses just to raise some awareness of them.

I found out about Epidermolysis Bullosa from an article on the Daily Mail. Click here to read it. I felt to sorry for the poor baby girl. I hope she has the strength to live with such an awful illness. Bless her heart.

This is an inherited condition where the proteins between the layers of skin haven't formed and so trauma to the skin results in blisters. The chronic damage to the skin can increase the chances of skin cancer.

There is no cure for this illness.


I used to think that my illness was the worst. And in some ways, I think it's the worst. But this is also up there on the list of the worst illnesses you wish you never have.

There is a charity in the UK called DEBRA (click here to go to their website). You can go on their website to learn more about it.

If you ever get the chance to inform people of an orphan illness like Epidermolysis Bullosa, please do. The only way we can raise awareness of illnesses is if we learn about them and spread the word. We need to find cures for illnesses and they'll never come if nobody knows about the illness. And I'm being honest when I say this, but even my doctors are ignorant of my disease and that does not fill me with hope. The medical community saddens me sometimes.

Hope you're all okay.

Kamille.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Results Day 16 August 2012

I never slept last night because I was so nervous.

My offers were the following:

Firm: AAB
Insurance: ABB

What did I get? BBBC

So when I got my results, the first thing I thought was "omg I need to start looking into clearing" but then when Track updated, I found out that I got into my Firm. I got into an AAB course with BBBC.

And I was a bit shocked. I missed by two grades. But I'm just glad I made it out of college after 3 years of hell. My grades aren't too bad but I guess this is a pretty good place to be in.

Plus, I'm going to be living at home for the three years of my course (maybe excluding my work placement year) so I don't have to live in squalor for the next few years! I get to spend loan money on clothes and shoes!

No I'm just joking, I'll probably spend it on books and travel costs.

I'm tired now so I'm going to end this post here. Thanks for everyone who wished me good luck.

Kamille.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Day Before Results Day 16 August 2012

For anyone who doesn't know, on 16 August 2012, thousands of students across the UK will be getting their A Level results and will find out where they are going to university in September.

This is the most daunting day for teenagers in their entire college careers because 2 years (in my case, 3) of hard work and exams rests on this one day alone.

I find out my results at 6am tomorrow and then from 8am I find out my application status.

I am anticipating fairly average results which will be an automatic rejection from my firm university and my insurance university and if my results are significantly bad, I will not be going to Law School.

I'm going to try and get some sleep tonight but I don't think it'll happen. Right now I'm feeling quite sick and nervous. I have not had the best time in college and anxiety destroyed me during this time. But right now, I can look back on my college years and be sure that I won't be experiencing a miracle tomorrow.

I'll let you know how I do and I hope it goes well.

Just so you know, I want to be rejected from my firm uni because it's too close to home and want to get into my insurance. But who knows? I may be doing something completely different tomorrow. I may even end up studying something else.

I'll probably cry first thing tomorrow and then eat a lot. I'll let you know then.

Kamille.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Why I Hate Job Hunting



The summer holidays so far have been absolutely awful. I can so imagine better ways to spend my time than looking through numerous ads and websites and finding nothing. This process is humiliating and sucking the life out of me!

Here are the reasons I hate looking for jobs that don't exist.

The government keeps telling me the jobs are out there and that I have to keep looking. Why does this piss me off so much? Because I've been seriously looking for a job for nearly a year. I've gotten 1 interview and too many to count 'no replies'. There may be jobs out there but I can't work a job where I need to be available 12 hours a day on weekdays when I'm in education or jobs where I need a qualification which I don't have.

I'm not qualified enough. I have no experience because I've been too busy studying over the past few years. I need a degree or a vocational qualification. And I don't have one because I've never studied for one. And after I get my degree, I'll probably face another hurdle:

I'm over-qualified. At this moment in time, I only have A-Levels which isn't too bad. But then I get rejected for jobs probably because the employer can find someone else to do the job. Someone who isn't going to university, has no ambition and is too stupid to answer back or question the stupid employer who believes he or she is god. No. Morgan Freeman is god. Not you, you fat, sweaty arse in a cheap suit.

The experience situation. So you need a job to get experience but need experience to get a job. Now, I've done work experience and a temporary position but unfortunately, I need 20 years of experience in retail to stack shelves. It must be so damn difficult to pick things up and place them on a shelf because I've been told I am not suitable for the job because I don't have any experience in it. Gee, just thinking about stacking a shelf is giving me a headache.

The online application process. Handing CVs into the store isn't that helpful as most stores take online applications and it's the most annoying thing in this whole hunt. It's disorganised. I have to answer the same question like five times because it's worded slightly differently. Then I have to upload a kick ass CV but then have to answer 100 questions based from the damn CV. It takes too long. It's complicated. And when your laptop is broken, the whole thing because so painful your eyes bleed. But to get a new laptop, I need money and to get money, I NEED A JOB!

Stupid application questions.
Are you hard-working and motivated?
What do you want me to reply with? No, I'm a fat slob?
And then there are questions that ask you what your weaknesses are. Gee, what about bed-wetting? What about fussy-eating? They expect you to be honest but when you are honest, they reject you.

Being a student. I got rejected from a certain large toy store in the UK for being a student. And I was clearly told "We aren't hiring students." God that felt like such a big kick in the face. I'm studying because the job market is so poor that I'd be better off learning something in the mean time. I want to better myself. I enjoy learning. And I feel punished for wanting to study. Why? Should we all just quit school and become mindless drones? The worst bit is that I need money to support myself while studying. I don't need a lot but would like a part time job. I've figured out that even with my student loans and financial aid, I'll still need another few hundred pounds for accommodation and this does not take travel expenses, education expenses, medicines (I have an illness so I need the meds), clothing (I can't exactly walk around naked, hygiene products and food.

Vague information on applications and websites.
Example: We require a motivated and passionate sales assistant to deliver a first class experience to customers. You will be ensuring that the shop is presentable and be upholding the values of the company.
What they mean: We require a dumbass who does not question things to sit at a till all day and scan items and deal with dipshits who insist their out of date voucher is still valid. You will also have to clean shit off the floor of the changing rooms and act like this is the best job in the world.
*sigh*
It would be a lot easier if they were straightforward about everything. Working in a store is not an exciting career. It isn't even a career. A career demands skill and knowledge in that area. Scanning items into a machine or wiping dirty surfaces demands no knowledge and very little skill apart from maybe some coordination.
I wouldn't mind a job that's mindless and boring as long as I get paid but please don't write down lies to make it look like your NASA because Crap-supermarket-with-crap-stuff you are nothing like NASA.

The interview process. I've only been called for one interview so I can't say much on this but it was awful. It turns out that I didn't have everything I needed and so had to re-schedule it. I came back a week later and then got rejected. Also, the interviewer didn't like me. She told me I couldn't wear any jewelry, makeup or have my hair down and yet when I walked out of the interview, I saw one worker with more facial piercings than I could imagine and the interviewer went rambling on about presentation being so important and yet she was obese, untidy hair, badly applied makeup, shoes that dead grandparents wear, had significant sun damage to her skin and poor tone to her skin colour. Honestly, it just felt slightly hypocritical of her to tell me I didn't look presentable when I was wearing a black dress, black tights and black shoes while she herself looked like she did. And it felt  insulting.

Questions regarding salary expectations. Honestly, I'll be happy with £5 per hour but when I say this, they act shocked and when I mention anything higher, they still act shocked. It's a stupid question because they'll never pay me what I demand and will give me what the wage for the position is so it seems like a pointless question.

Waiting for a response. They take way too long. I have had at least 12 no replies that I can remember off the top of my head and that is mostly in the last few months. I have handed an application into the same store twice, one no reply and the other time, the shop assistant shoved it into a draw and must have forgotten about it. It would be nice if they told you early on that you haven't gotten the job so you don't spend weeks in anguish. Half the time, I can be 90% sure I'll get rejected anyway. I just hand the application in or submit it because I've got no other options.

Comments from currently employed people. My cousins all go on about how they used to walk into shops with their CVs and get jobs the next day. They're exaggerating and they all got job before the recession. I assume it must have been a hell of a lot easier back then.The worst part is when my parents get involved and agree with them. They all assume it's my fault I didn't get the job as if I had any role in who did and didn't get a position. Meh. And then there are the people who boast that they have 3 jobs. Just. Go. Away. Idiot.



Even after going through all this for months and months, I still have no job. And no money. Although that would be solved if my parents paid back what they owe me but I don't think that'll happen and I don't really have the guts to ask (they owe me a grand). I'll just have to see if I can get a job in the city where I'm going to uni.

Uni is going to be no fun without money :(

Here's to a crap life!

Kamille.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Book Love: Slated by Teri Terry



Slated by Teri Terry is a dystopian (the first in a trilogy of course *rolls eyes*). It tells the story of Kyla, a young girl who had her memories wiped because the government said she did something wrong. Basically, she was slated, a process where criminal children under the age of 16 have their minds wiped. The theory is that if they lose all their memories, they can start life again without the memories that made them criminals. This opens up a nature vs nurture debate. Are criminals born? Or do our experiences make us criminals?

Kyla is assigned a new family and must adjust to her new life or she will be 'terminated' but she feels like she isn't normal and soon begins to realise that things aren't perfect and that things are going wrong.

I know I've said before in this blog that I absolutely hate dystopian but this book was amazing! There wasn't much action though and it did slow down a bit in the middle but the pace was enough to keep me turning the pages so it wasn't really a problem. The ideas behind the novel are rather original which was a lovely surprise considering YA dystopian is turning into a huge frenzy of remakes and rip-offs. But this is the first in a series so I'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

The book is set in 2059 (I think) in Britain (YAY!) and is told in the first person POV. The chapters are easy to get through and the writing isn't small which I really don't like. There are 448 page (UK copy).

The characters are interesting and you can never know which person to trust and if people are really who they say they are. This book is proof that looks can be deceiving! I was so shocked through the book to find that the initially bad characters were alright and the initially nice ones were nasty.

While reading the book, I had no idea who was going to be next. In fact, it felt like everyone was in danger and it's nice when you're reading a dystopian to actually be aware of the dangers of such a world. Too many dystopians play it safe.

The writing was fairly simple and easy to understand and there wasn't really much purple prose (thank the heavens).

We also got to see how this dystopian world came about and it showed a lot of similarities to Britain today, especially with the London Riot 2011 and the fact that Britain is pretty much a Big Brother State with CCTV everywhere.

Another plus is that the romance wasn't a focal point, it was just a sub-plot. I hate dystopians where the romance is too heavy. The book was rather political too which some people may not like but I thought it was nice for the novel to show the whole society and not the emotions of a 16 year old professional whinger.

I really love this book (probably the only dystopian I like) but the ending felt rather like a brick being smashed into my face. Without giving away any spoilers, it makes you want to know what's coming next but is enough for those who don't like the book. I just had too many questions at the end but I guess that is the whole point of a series.

I guess I'll just have to wait for the second book!

Kamille.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Having Fun With Little Money

Last year, I had quite a lot of money saved up for university, my phone bills and generally paying for days out.

But after handing over just over half of it to my parents and having to buy college textbooks, I'm left with hardly anything left.

I'm looking for jobs and have applied to some but nothing so far. I guess it's like a waiting game.

But now I have a whole summer ahead of me and I can't do much in these months because everything in this world costs money.

As a result, I've found some stuff I can do on very little money.

Write fiction. I've been writing fiction since I was a child but over the holidays, I've kind of stepped up a bit. Most of my time is spent in front of my laptop, writing. But this will soon be over. My laptop is falling apart. Seriously. The screen thing has popped up and so the screen it tilted, wires are sticking out and I can't close my laptop or the whole thing will break and right now, I don't have the money to buy a new one. I just hope it sticks out for long enough.

Watch TV. Thankfully for me, my parents pay for the TV bill so if I have some spare time. I watch TV. But I'm not a big fan of the TV. I can never find something I like.

Take a walk. I had thought before the summer holidays that I would take a walk every day. Unfortunately, the weather has kind of made it difficult. It's been raining way too much and it turns out my two month cough is the result of hayfever.

Bake. After writing, my next fave thing to do is to bake. So far I've made biscotti which was really fun but difficult. I honestly thought it would turn out wrong and it took me 20 minutes to get the right consistency. And you get something really yummy at the end!

Budget Shopping. This actually requires some money. Yes, I cheated. Sorry. This is where I go into town with like, £10 and try to buy as much stuff as I can with that money. I actually bought gym trousers, two shirts, 5 pairs of socks, 20 hairbands and a belt all within £15 last week. I felt so proud of myself in the end.

Read over my past writing. I've got so much stuff that I wrote many years ago. Books cost money so I've been reading a lot of what I've written before. It's really bad, I mean really really bad but it's good fun. It reminds me of what I used to write about and how I used to write. I can see how I've changed and in the end, I can put it away and know that I haven't had to pay a dime for those stories!


Visit the library. I can't buy many books so the library continues to be the place for my books. Plus, my local library has been completely refurbished. I don't like it as much though since some of it is now a horrible coffee place and it's 'modern' now. I like old libraries! But it's still full of books!

Watch people who pass your house. I live pretty close to the town centre, the train station and the local park so lots of people go pass. Sometimes I just like to watch people go pass and think about what kind of people they are and what their lives are like. I once noticed a man stopping behind a bush on our road where he went potty. Gross but hilarious. Plus, when I started laughing loudly from behind my curtains, the man freaked out and left pretty quickly.

Visit friends and family. I don't really talk to most of my friends anymore and family problems recently have resulted in us all avoiding each other. But I do like to just talk to someone real when I get bored. You can chat and laugh and make jokes and you're not even spending money!

So that's what I've been doing so far! I hope I get a job soon though. I need the cash!

So what are you doing to pass the time during the holidays?

Kamille

Sunday, 1 July 2012

My Summer Goals

So my exams ended over a week ago and I've spent the last week writing my novel because I am free to do whatever I want.

I feel weird that college is over because it still feels like I'm going back. But I think I'm looking forward to what university is going to be like.

Since I have 2 months of well, doing stuff, I'm making goals.

Don't think I'll complete all of them though.

So here we go.

1) Write a novel and edit - I am currently writing.

2) Find a job - I am currently finding but still don't have a job.

3) Learn some Spanish - I already speak un poco but want to I guess, improve.

4) Learn to cook some basic food for university if I move out.

5) Get my results - I don't actually remember when results day is.

6) Lose weight - I say this in every goal/aim thing but have never actually completed it.

So here we are!

What are your summer goals? Got anything special to look forward to?

Kamille

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Twilight Rewritten - Chapter 2




Click here for Chapter 1.

So. Chapter 1 left us off with Bella crying because Edward doesn't like her very much. Chapter 2 starts off the next day.

"The next day was better ... and worse."

How can it possibly be both? It's like someone asking how you are if you've been ill and you saying "It's gotten better and it's gotten worse".

Bella complains about being tired. She complains about her Algebra teacher asking her a question. She complains about volleyball. She complains about Edward not being in school. I'm realising this girl isn't very content about well, anything.

Bella says she makes "the Cowardly Lion look like the terminator". I personally believe the Lion was not a coward and was rather brave throughout the Wizard of Oz. He may have been a bit of a wimp at the beginning but through the Wizard of Oz, he showed quite a lot of bravery.

Bella ignores Jessica and Mike. She continues to obsess over Mr Edward Gary Sue.

Bella insults Mike, the "golden retriever". She's a really good friend isn't she?

Bella says she must be diplomatic in Forks as if she's an important person. ROFLMAO!

Bella goes shopping to get some groceries so she can cook dinner because that is her only function as a woman.

I'm starting to forget this is a vampire novel. You'd think SMeyer could at least make Forks feel creepy. In fact it feels like it would be a nice place to live, if Bella wasn't there. I mean it's a beautiful place and the people seem nice.

Bella is still thinking about the weather while in the supermarket. She thinks about the weather way too much. You'd think she'd never seen the rain before or something.

Bella emails her "erratic, harebrained mother". How lovely of her.

Bella reads Wuthering Heights "for the fun of it". I keep forgetting Bella is a thirty-something 17 year old. To be honest, if I had been like her at 17, I'd have gotten better grades.

Charlie now keeps the gun in the house because he trusts Bella not to shoot herself "by accident". I wouldn't think like that if my daughter was a walking hazard. She's the kind of person who could kill ten people just by holding the damn thing.

Bella does some cooking because women aren't useful for anything else.

Charlie says good things about the Cullen kids. He won't be saying that when she nearly gets killed because of them.

Charlie watches TV while Bella washes up the dishes. What kind of father lets his daughter cook but doesn't offer to clean the dishes? This Charlie is kind of a shit father at times.

Bella goes back to school. The other kids avoid her in PE. Lol! I don't blame them.

Edward isn't in school still.

Bella cleans the house because she is a normal 17 year old. Bella wants to go to the city to visit a bookstore. Amazon was around at this time. She could've ordered a book online but no, she's an ordinary 17 year old who drives a hundred miles to visit a bookstore.

Weather reference.

People are nice to Bella at school. She tries to be nice to them. What is really annoying is that not many people were this nice to me at school and I was one of the nice kids!

More weather references.

It snows. Bella hates snow. A normal 17 year old I tell you.

Edward is back. Bella has a fit YAAAY!

Edward isn't giving Bella the evils. But he stares at her. Creepish stalker behaviour.

Back to the weather. It rains. Snow vanishes. Bella is happy. Normal 17 year old.

Edward is nice to Bella. They do some group work. Bella tells Edward her life story. You kind of feel a bit bad for Bella that her mother is running around the country with a man while her daughter is miserable in Forks. We're told Bella made the decision but Bella is only 17 and if I had a daughter, I wouldn't live on the other side of the country to my daughter, especially as Bella made it clear before moving to Forks that she didn't like it there. Renée seems to be kind of like Bella, just more childlike.

Biology is over.

Bella continues to be a walking hazard during PE. Something is seriously wrong with her brain. I'm clumsy too but at least I can walk without killing someone or seriously injuring myself.

Edward blocks Bella in the car park with his Volvo. He laughs. Bella doesn't.

So that's chapter 2 done! Aren't vampire novels meant to be all creepy and scary? I felt a bit bad for Bells when she talks about her mother to Edward but that vanishes in chapter 3 which I will finish working on soon. I'll probably put it up in a couple of weeks unless I magically find some spare time.

I hope you enjoyed Chapter 2 rewritten! Please let me know what you think in the comments section!

Kamille.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Twilight Rewritten - Chapter 1



I've started reading this book again for the LOLS and found that I kept stopping and making random comments about the book. So I'm going to let you know about everything that goes through my mind.

I'll start off with the preface.

I don't understand this. Surely this is a prologue rather than a preface. A preface is an introduction from the author and not the narrator.

There's something about a hunter trying to kill Bella. This theme of Bella dying is the main theme of the novel. I don't know who the hunter is and I still don't know anything about Bella so this kind of feels out of place.

Chapter 1.

Bella is going to the airport. This is so fascinating I'm just dying to read more! Where is she going? Paris? London? New York? Lisbon? No, she's going to Forks, a place I've never heard of in the middle of nowhere. 

SMeyer gives us some painful descriptions about Forks.

"inconsequential" a word that most teenagers are aware of and use in everyday life. I'm not a normal teenager so I had to look this up in the dictionary. Turns out, using a primary school dictionary isn't a good idea. I ended up googling this word. Never used it in my life before Twilight. I realise I'm reading a ripoff of a dictionary. At least dictionaries contain swear words.

Then we get a mention of Charlie. I don't know many people who refer to their dad by their first name. I call my dad "Dad" all the time, no matter who I'm talking to.

Then Bella moans about Forks and the weather. This is sort of the beginning of one big moaning session.

Bella says some horrible stuff about her "erratic, harebrained mother". She wonders how her mother will "fend for herself" as if she is like some pet. What a lovely daughter huh?! I wish one day I have a daughter like deary Bella.

Bella lies. She's shit at it. Just like everything else.

Bella and Charlie are awkward. I just want to shoot them both.

Bella gets a car. Bitch is ungrateful for it.

Bella says Forks is "too green" and like "an alien planet". Well funny thing is, green isn't alien at all. Look at maps of Earth and you'll see it's green. Nothing alien about green stuff. And without these horrible green things, we'd all choke to death. Ungrateful Bella.

Bella goes to her bedroom. It hasn't changed since she was a kid except she now has a computer that is worse than the one my parents bought me in 2001 with crap internet. Someone needs to tell Bella she isn't living in the Dark Ages.

Bella complains about having to share a bathroom with Charlie. How terrible. It's worse than sharing a bathroom with everyone who lives in your street just like the Victorians had to!

Bella cries because her life is so horrible. Poor Bella. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with her, she appears to be in great health (although I reckon she should be dead from anaemia), lives in a nice house, probably has health insurance and has a car, we must all pity her because she had a choice in whether or not she went to Forks.

She then talks about Forks High School. Oh no. She won't fit in. There are hardly any students there. She's going to be a "freak".

She talks about her appearance. She looks like SMeyer. And she's so clumsy, you'd think she would die at some point from falling down a flight of stairs and through a window. But no, Miss Mary Sue survives.

Bella talks about how she doesn't feel like a real teenager. Because you know, we all know she's actually a misunderstood genius.

Bella has a malfunctioning brain. Shame it's functioning enough for her to be alive.

Bella cries herself to sleep. More weather references. Urgh, Bella talks about the weather so often, it really makes me wonder if she's British. Nobody is more obsessed with mother nature than us Brits.

Bella feels awkward in the house. She leaves for school.

She thinks she's in a biohazard suit. She probably needs one considering how clumsy she is.

More weather references.

Bella gets to school. She doesn't like school because it looks homely and nice and doesn't look like a prison. All schools should look grey, have metal fences with barbed wire on top, metal detectors and drug checks from police officers. Because you know, we should treat all young people as second class citizens.

Bella Swan shows her obsession with herself by assuming everyone in the town is expecting her. Maybe they're just surprised at how deathly sick she looks.

Bella convinces herself no one is going to bite her and gets out of the car. Bad foreshadowing.

Bella is glad she doesn't stand out because everyone has the same skin colour as her. Seems Bella Swan is also obsessed with how much melanin her skill cells produce. Racist.

She blushes tomato red when her teacher gawks at her - because she carries around a mirror to observe colour changes in her skin just like any normal person. Although this isn't really a colour change in the skin and is just more blood rushing to her face.

She goes to the back of the classroom to avoid people staring at her but they still manage to because Bella is so beautiful and Mary Sue-ish boring and devoid of any personality.

Bella shows us how intelligent she is because she has already read everything on the reading list for English. Because every 17 year old reads Chaucer in their spare time.

SMeyer introduces a cliché. Eric. Greasy hair. Glasses. Acne. Typical geek. I wonder what kind of school SMeyer went to since I've never come across someone as clichéd as this.

Bella makes a shit joke. Blames it on other people not having a sense of humour. Poor Bella. She's just so misunderstood.

Bella hates her Algebra teacher and his class. She blushes (more vain mirror checking) and falls over her feet. I would hate to be near her when she's walking. To be honest, I'd hate to be near her regardless of whether she's alive or dead. Imagine laying in a grave next to Bella Swan. I think I'd want to die. Again. 

Bella thinks people are brave for talking to her. I say they're brave for going anywhere near her.

Bella has an awful memory and forgets people's names just seconds after they tell her. Falling into things must have given her brain damage.

Cliché Eric waves at her. She ignores him.

Bella sees the Cullens. Another thing she's obsessed with. Bella seriously has something wrong with her.

Bella likes the Cullens because they look more anaemic than her. Obsessed with physical features.

Jessica (girl whose name Bella keeps forgetting) infodumps who the Cullens are. Jessica sure knows a lot about them considering the Cullens don't talk to anyone else in school.

Jessica complains about Edward not liking her.

The Cullens leave the lunch hall.

Bella goes to Biology with Angela, another cliché. She's shy, just like poor misunderstood Bella.

Bella sits next to Edward. She freaks out. He ignores her.

Miss Mary Sue can't understand why Mr Gary Sue  Edward is ignoring her. She thinks she smells bad. Maybe sharing a bathroom with Charlie wasn't a good idea after all.

Bella continues to perve over Edward.

Edward leaves Biology quickly without looking at Bella. She's seriously bummed he isn't getting down on his knees and bowing to her. She seriously needs to get a life.

Bella bumps into a golden retriever Mike, a boy who gets down on his knees and bows to her but she ignores him because he doesn't look like a fairy Greek god.

Bella says Mike "was the nicest person" she'd met that day but she still pretty much ignores him because he isn't Edward.

Bella calls Forks her "personal hell". She can still go home to Phoenix but she chooses to stay and complain about everything.

Bella talks about her volleyball injuries. How the hell is she not dead? You'd think someone as clumsy as her would fall into the road and get run over by a truck! Shame about that though.

School is over. Bella hears Edward trying to switch classes from Biology. Bella feels even more rejected. She cries. She goes home.

Note: Quotes are taken from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Kamille

Monday, 4 June 2012

Is Social Networking Making Us Self-Absorbed?

Go on Facebook and you'll see all your 'friends' updating about how awful their life is.

Go on Twitter and you'll see all your 'followers' telling you where they are and what they're doing.

Go on Tumblr and you'll well actually I don't even know what happens on that site since I avoid it like the plague. It's gross and contagious. I'll probably end up using it one day though.

Go on YouTube and you'll see millions of people making vlogs where they talk about their lives to uninterested people.

And then there are the blogs where the blogger seems to only blog about their life and their life is just like your own, boring and uneventful.

Now before you get me wrong, I quite like reading about people's lives but sometimes, it gets too much. There's only so much one can take.

No I don't want to know how many times you drove past a yellow car on your way to work.

No I don't want to see your sock draw. Or your underwear draw. Close those damn things.

No I don't want to see pictures of you sleeping in your cereal bowl. Or while you're on the toilet.

No I don't want to read about how your neighbour listens to Selena Gomez every morning. Unless the singing is awful and you have an audio recording. That'd be fun to listen to.

The internet has given us all the opportunity to tell the world everything about ourselves and be heard. But we're all using it to tell people everything insignificant about ourselves.

The best person on the internet is the person who always has the best things to say.

If you work at a fast food restaurant then update your Facebook with funny things customers have said to you.

If you live in the middle of nowhere, I don't want to watch a video of you complaining about it. I would much rather you spoke about why you live there and how you deal with being lonely.

Instead of posting pictures of yourself doing the ghastly duckface, post up pictures of strangers making a fool of themselves in public. Secretly of course. Don't want to end up being sued or anything.

So talk about yourself but remember this, nobody wants to know about your life unless you've done something interesting or you're funny.

Oh and posting a hundred pictures of cupcakes on your blog doesn't make you cute or original. It's just plain annoying. And I don't get cupcakes. They're just small versions of proper cakes. I'd go with the proper cakes thanks. More for me to eat lol!

Kamille.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

What I've Learnt During Sixth Form College

Please note this post is all relevant to my experiences in sixth form and will not apply to everyone. This is not a textbook for sixth form and A Levels and is more a result of what I've picked up from 3 years of being in purgatory.

For all my American readers, Sixth form college is like the sixth and seventh years of Hogwarts.

This blog post will mostly be of help to people who are going to Sixth Form and are going to study at least one of the following A Levels: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Psychology, English Literature and History. 

I've learnt quite a lot during the last three years (I had to repeat my first year) and I am going to share with you everything I've learnt. And trust me when I say this: I've learnt a lot. If there is one thing I could wish for, it is to go back to the beginning of my first year with all this knowledge.

This is going to be long so grab a cup of tea and some biscuits. It's over 4000 words for anyone who wants to know.

The following topics will be addressed in the post:
Organisation
Teachers
Structure of your day
Lunch
Subjects
Counsellors
The workload
The social side of things
Failing
Bullying
Revision
Exams
General Advice

ORGANISATION 

First, organisation will save your life. I don't think this was stressed much by teachers when I first started. In fact I was tricked. Teachers told me they would make the transition easy before I even went to college and that they would go easy on us in the first few weeks. What really happened? BAM! They threw us into a pool with sharks on our first day.

Keep a lever arch file at home for each of your subjects and take one ring binder with you to college for all subjects with subject dividers. Use that ring binder to collect handouts and important pieces of information such as revision timetables and lesson plans. Then have a notebook or a pad of paper to write on.

And always make sure you have paper. People get sick of you quickly if you are constantly asking for paper. A lot of us are broke and won't be happy if we're having to buy notepads every few days because you can't be bothered to get yourself the stuff you need. And number each page and add the date. It'll pay off if your folder explodes and mine did that every week when I dropped it accidentally.

Always have more than 2 pens with you. They break. Especially when you need them. And have a non-black and non-blue pen to annotate notes if you need to.

Take a small chunk of post-it notes with you to college and put it in your diary and write the most important stuff on their such as appointments, exam dates and homework. And make at least 2 notes of your homework just so you can never forget. Teachers aren't as forgiving as they were in school.

Next, always have a pencil. And if you do Maths/Chemistry/Physics/any subject requiring a calculator, BRING ONE IN! There was always one student in classes who never had one and always complained about not having one. They're not even that expensive.

Have a strong bag. You'll need it when you're always lugging around 10000kg of stuff every day. And get some heat packs for the back ache. 


TEACHERS

I've mentioned this already but teachers in sixth form are not usually like teachers from school. In school, teachers would be forgiving with you, especially if they liked you but in college, they expect you to have matured. You are in college because you are choosing to be there. Unless you have a valid excuse, missing homework will not go down with the maths teacher who can burn holes into you by just looking at you.

They will often treat you as adults. This can be good and bad.

Good: they will respect you and ask for respect back. they won't shout as much. they won't give you detentions.

Bad: they will not want to know every aspect of your personal life unless it's affecting your studying. they can still send you to the principal and will call your parents if they need to. they will not deal with your crap. they will expect you to ask for help rather than constantly following up on you.

The bit on teachers not dealing with your crap refers to rowdy and disruptive students. My new college was relaxed with students like this but my old college would take you out of lessons and simply ask to hand in your ID and leave.

At the beginning of your course, evaluate your teacher. Are they effective? Do they ramble? If you find the teacher is incompetent, see if you can switch into another class. And if that isn't possible, consider dropping. This is drastic but I've spend the entire year with a feckless teacher who handed back our mock exams 7 weeks later on our last lesson and always complained about me being ill (I actually have a serious illness), was always ill himself, never gave us adequate help in catching up and would always spend the majority of the lesson talking about his life. And he was the head of department. 


STRUCTURE OF YOUR DAY

This part was completely shocking. I never knew what to do with all that unstructured time.

You will often have morning lessons, a break, more lessons, lunch and then afternoon lessons. You will probably start around 8:45 and finish around 4. My old college finished at 4:15.

Lessons will follow a similar structure.

Come into lesson. Teacher takes register. Do a starter. Do main stuff. Get homework. Leave.

But it is outside of lessons that everything changes because you will start to get something potentially dangerous. Free periods.

While I used free periods to study and catch up with my homework or go home and study if I had at least 90 minutes, many used them to relax or go to the canteen. Bad idea. This is time that you can use to your advantage. Think about it. Getting your work done in college means you can go home and do whatever you want!

When people tell you A Levels are hard, they aren't joking. They seriously are hard and this needs to reflect in your habits. Just spend 2 hours a week in the library doing your homework and you'll have more spare time after college to sleep or meet up with old friends from school.

Note that a lot of students may travel to get to college. I used to get home after 5 in my first year and I was so tired I would watch TV, eat dinner and go to sleep. In fact, I had no choice but to work during free periods when my brain was still working.

LUNCH

This won't apply to every college but I find canteens to be gross, smelly and noisy. Use the canteen to eat and that's it. I know someone who uses the canteen to study. Urgh. No. Just go to the library. It won't kill you to work in an environment where you aren't going through £10 of cookies every hour. Plus, your waistline will thank you for it.

Food tends to cost a bit more in college than school. Maybe because college food tastes a little bit nicer and you won't get it in shit plates anymore. So keep a bit more change on you for lunch. But note, the food isn't always a major improvement.

Fizzy drinks: the cans cost less than bottles so if you can, take the cans. In my second college we could take cans into most classes. Only get bottles if you aren't going to drink it immediately. And the drink stays colder longer in cans than bottles.

Always keep emergency money on you. There have been many times where I've left my wallet at home and have been hungry all day and too shy to ask friends for money. Emergency money is also good for train tickets, taxis, bus tickets and general annoyances that can arise during the college day.

Take a bottle of water with you at all times. In case you get thirsty. You will probably be able to fill it up from a sink/water dispenser in the canteen.

SUBJECTS

I've addressed this lightly somewhere but A Levels are hard.

When everyone tells you this, ask them for advice instead of laughing them off. Because they are not joking. I thought everyone was just trying to scare me but they know more than you do so ask them about how to make A Levels not as hard.

These are some simple tips:

Catch up if you miss a lesson. I get ill a lot and so was always falling behind. I never caught up and when you get to exams, you suddenly regret it.

Ask teachers for help. Teachers aren't there to make your life miserable and unfortunately, it took me a while to realise this. Most teachers will be happy to help you out and will give you their email address if you need to contact them outside of lessons. Don't ignore them. And don't be rude to them. Seriously, they will not appreciate it and will help you out a lot more if you do treat them with respect.

Don't do Chemistry unless you love this subject so much you'd marry it or need it for university. It's very hard. I got an E at AS Level even though it was always my best subject since Year 7. And only take it if you took Triple Science(EDIT: This won't apply to everyone. If you are a double science student, make sure to go over the triple science stuff before you start). And don't sniff the chemicals during experiments. I speak from experience. Migraines for 48 hours are NOT WORTH IT! Although we did this one experiment that always smelt of cooking apples!

If you're taking Maths, do a lot of past papers. Lots of them. Done all of them? Do them all again. It's the best way to improve and revise. And have a spare calculator in exams. And make sure BOTH work before you go into the exam hall.

For Biology students, summarise your notes. There is a lot of information in Biology and simplifying it all will help. And drawing diagrams will be your new hobby lol! And if you dissect in your college, prepare for gross stinky shit all over your lab coat and your shoes.

Psychology requires a lot of memorisation so be prepared for lots of headaches and repeating things like a spaz under your breath while revising. And have lots of revision cards next to you. Remember, one study for each revision card. Write the aim, summarise the method and write the findings. Then write down at least 3 evaluation points for each study.

English Literature. Read all the books before the course starts. Make sure you've read each book at least 3 times before the exam. Annotate these books. I was anal about this in the beginning but writing notes on paper will take longer and it's easy to lose loose sheets. And post-it notes help a lot with major points in the book. Plan all your essays and write them all out when you aren't playing Angry Birds and watching Waterloo Road at the same time.

History. Oh deary me. This A Level is nothing like GCSE. In fact, I got a B in my GCSE with no revision and 20 minutes to spare at the end of my exam. And I missed out one of the larger questions as GCSE. Anyone taking this, prepare for a heart attack. The essays are brutal. Make sure you have a good, solid argument and refer to your argument and the question at the end of each paragraph. And if you need to include historiography, find 2 pieces of historiography that argue differently so you can compare them and decide which is the most valid. And back up your argument with evidence. NOTE, this subject is not for the weak hearted. And build up a strong writing hand for the exam because you have lots to write in these exams and not enough time.

COUNSELLORS 

I had a breakdown in my first year and refused to get help for it. But if I had gone to a counsellor and gotten help then I would not have underachieved in my subjects and would not have had to take three years in college. I couldn't deal with the transition from school to college for anyone who's wondering what happened. And my first college wasn't terribly supportive.

Needing help does not make you a weak person and if you need help, get it quickly.

If you are feeling depressive, go see your GP and let people close to you know how you are feeling. My family were useless as most Asian families are when it comes to mental health problems but one of my friends was the best person I could tell even though she was also Asian. She was also struggling like me and was never judgmental. Always make sure you have a friend like this who you can rely on. They're also great when you need to complain about something lol!

When you do make an appointment with a counsellor, go to it and make sure you have a plan of what you are going to say so you can be sure you don't miss anything. And the first time you talk about these problems, it can be very difficult. I didn't go back to my counsellor after the first time and she couldn't bring it up with me outside of counselling so I continued to suffer in silence although admitting my problems to her and knowing that I still needed help. I guess I was just too scared to go back.

Remember, counsellors are not going to judge you on anything. They won't go to your parents and tell them everything. They won't send you off to a mental institution. Their job is to just give you advice.

If things are really bad for you, counselling is only going to be a step in the right direction and not the cure to everything. You may need to go to a GP and ask to be referred to therapy. They may also give you Anti-Depressants which will help you enough to get you through the therapy. The Anti-D's will not solve anything but will help, like the counselling. Therapy would be the best thing though if things don't improve.

This probably won't apply to everyone but when I got Anti-Depressants from my doctor, I made the mistake of telling my family who took them away from me because they were worried I'd get hooked. While not all families are like this, if you suspect your family aren't going to be supportive and helpful, it may not be the best idea to tell them all of your problems. But do let them know things aren't going great for you so they go a bit easy on you.

Things will get better but you have to really work with them. Don't ignore your problems and if it's seriously starting to affect your ability to study, I recommend talking to teachers you trust. They were once students too and you never know, they might have some valuable advice. They may also go easy on you with homework and lessons. And it never hurts to let them know that your decrease in grades is not due to laziness or something. 

THE WORKLOAD

Although you're taking less subjects at A Level, there is an insane amount of work to get through.

The most important thing to do is to make sure it gets done as early as you can. Don't let the work build up. I swear it's like an aggressive cancer. Keep a diary to put down all the important homeworks you have to do and write down when they are due in. Try to get work done on the day that you get it.

Be serious and prioritise. Homework is more important than going to see that new movie that's just come out. Unless the movie is Harry Potter but now the movies have all come out, you won't have this problem.

You will also find yourself with a lot of freedom in college. Use this freedom wisely. Free periods should be used to catch up, revise, do homework or study to supplement knowledge gained from lessons. Extra information never harmed anyone.

THE SOCIAL SIDE OF THINGS 

Be nice to people. I've found a lot of bitchy people in college and it can seriously dampen your day. Smile at classmates and say hi. Don't say rude things about them in any case unless there is absolutely no chance they will find out.

Identify the toxic people. Things haven't improved that much since school. You will still find jerks/bitches/idiots and the best thing to do is to ignore them, stay out of their way and make sure you don't cross paths with them. If they are in your class, then simply ask your teacher in private to make sure you never have to do group work with them. The worst thing ever in class is doing a large project with a group of people who will make you do all the work and will also not let you do it peacefully.

Devote some time during the week for social events. If you have nothing to look forward to, you'll get depressed. I know I said that homework is more important but this is unfortunately a case of trying to balance things effectively. A few hours with friends now and then will help you relax and give you a reason to not stab yourself or someone else during a dissection in Biology.

FAILING 

There may be a time during sixth form when you fail at something. It can be inevitable.

For me, it was soul crushing and made me really depressed.

What I realise now is that although failing was horrible at that time, I know realise that it's an opportunity to change. If you do fail, don't mope about it and learn why you failed and try to stop doing that. Don't let it get you down.

Remember, if you do fail, your life is not over. You can still get back up and continue to fight. Or you can run away from your problems. But seriously, you can still be successful in life, even if you do fail Unit 1 Biology and Unit 1 Chemistry.

BULLYING

I know what you're thinking. But people in college are mature!

No. They. Are. Not. All. Mature.

In fact, there will be some people you meet and you will honestly begin to wonder why they are even bothering when they have the mental capacity of a brain dead mammal.

While you find that bullies from school are suddenly nice, the real bullies will still be there and they will take advantage of 2 things.

1) Less fear of punishment. Because everyone assumes you've all grown up, there will no longer be the crap punishments that were used in high school. Bullies will know that they won't be getting a detention.

2) A weaker security net. This security net was a lot stronger in school and in college, your friends won't be in your class to back you up. Also, teachers may not take it as seriously as they did in school.

While bullying isn't as bad in college as it is in school, be prepared to have to deal with shit from other students. If you can, avoid them. If not, consider trying to find their weak points. If you're a girl and you're dealing with a guy, I think his weak point is pretty obvious. AHEM!

If someone is threatening you or you fear for yourself, please tell someone. Also, there must be a policy on bullying. If it gets bad, talk to the Vice-Principal or the Principal if you can get to him/her. 

REVISION 

Okay so let's just admit it now. Revision is not going to be the most exciting part of your course.

You're going to need a lot of motivation and you're going to want to start early. Say your first exam is on 15th May, start your revision for this exam at least 30 days before the exam just so you have space in case something disastrous pops up to annoy you/create problems.

Identify the best way for you to revise. Standing up? Sitting down? Writing notes? Making posters? In silence? With music? In long chunks? In short bursts?

Keep yourself hydrated while revising with water. Coke will not help.

Caffeine is not your friend. You will get half an hour of an energy burst and then collapse. Eat fruit and drink water instead. If you need to refresh yourself, take a shower or go on a walk. 

Next, nobody is going to do your revision for you. It's your responsibility. So sort out some k
ind of a revision timetable and stick to it.

And stay away from distractions. When you're in the middle of exams, you don't want to be writing blog posts such as this. Lol. Limit your TV time and social time. Inform your family of your impending doom and ask them to kindly be quiet so you can focus.

If you find it hard to revise in your house, go down to your local library. Not many people go to them so you are guaranteed to find a quiet area with no TV and no kitchen. When I'm revising, I go to the kitchen a lot to grab some food because I'm bored. This is why I gain 20 lbs during each exam season.

You want to make sure you have all your notes. And go through practice papers and actually do them. Learn the mark schemes, especially if you're studying AQA Biology because those examiners are incredibly fussy.


EXAMS

This is when everything you've been doing during the year will come back to haunt you.

Exams are going to be very stressful and you need to prepare for them. Make sure you have everything you need. Calculators. Pens. Pencils. Rulers. Do not go in unprepared. Plan everything to avoid anything coming up and stressing you out.

Wear comfortable clothes. Consider turning up in your pyjamas. While you'll look like a complete moron, everyone else will be too stressed out and anxious to give a crap about what you're wearing.

When you get out of the exam, avoid the urge to discuss things with friends or you'll be in a panic until you get your results and declare that you will live a life of claiming benefits while watching Emmerdale, reading the Daily Mail and complaining about the immigrants because your life is shit.

Oh and this might be important but avoid the urge to turn around in the exam and knock the shit out of the idiot who keeps tapping his or her pencil/pen. Instead, get one of the invigilators to ask them to kindly stop. Feel free to knock the shit out of this idiot once you have left the hall. And if you are the person who keeps tapping his/her pen, STOP IT!

GENERAL ADVICE 


Don't lock up your problems. Deal with them before everything explodes in your face and you're left with this huge nightmare of a mess that is your life.

Treat everyone around you with respect.

Don't piss about. These 2 years are not going to be easy.

Get a part time job. This is even more important with the fees increase. If you go to uni, you'll be preparing for three years of Pot Noodles and cold pizza from last week and a shitload of debt. Plus, there's nothing wrong with having some money. Although I understand it's hard to get a job in this climate. I've not been able to get a job in college and I regret it a lot.

Be happy. Smile at people. Say hi. Don't be rude. People will not like someone who frowns at them when they say hi.

Do your best to enjoy these 2 years. You want to be able to look back on your time in college and smile, not shudder and swear you'll never go near that place again. Even if things get tough, try to keep something with you that makes you happy. Stay close to friends. And join college clubs and groups. You'll make new friends and discover new things that you enjoy.

Use the library. It's cheaper than buying every textbook under the sun.

A Levels aren't for everyone. If you aren't enjoying lots of studying for exams, try thinking of doing a more practical and vocational course.

Always have a clean learning environment. No clutter. No food wrappers. Messy places stress me out and studying is a lot easier when you don't find food stuck to your study materials. This is one of the reasons studying in the canteen is stupid. 

You do not need more than 3.5 A Levels.

General Studies is about as useful as an umbrella during a Category 5 hurricane. Don't do it!

Study a mix of subjects that you enjoy and subjects you are good at. If you're lucky, both will apply to your subject choices. Do not do a subject because you feel that you need to/it'll look good.

Last of all, don't let anyone put you down. Sometimes you may come across people who aren't very nice. Some people may call you dumb or stupid. Some people may not treat you nicely. Don't let these people walk all over you. Focus on being stronger and don't let anyone get in your way. If you want to go somewhere and someone is standing in your way, get a gun and shoot them walk around them.

I think this is all of it but if I ever come across something I haven't mentioned, I'll just update the article.

If you have anything else to add, please leave it in the comments section! I hope this helps anyone who is going to college and I hope you haven't gotten bored. College is a lot of work but remember to have fun along the way.

And please feel free to leave a comment if this article helped in any way!

Kamille.

EDIT
I don't know if I mentioned this but talk to as many different students as you can about sixth form if you want to know what it's like. The experience will never be the exact same for everyone. It's best to speak to a range of people. And in no way am I going to pretend I am a genius on this topic. This blog post is simply what I've learnt in the last 3 years.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Summer 2012: The Write-Lympics

I made my UCAS decisions today! While I'm hoping I don't meet my offers so I can go through clearing and get onto a more 'fun' course, I'm anxious to do as well as I can. My future is at stake here! haha!

So I will be going to Law School in September. Well, that's what the plan is.

And Law School = no time for writing.

And that is going to suck a lot. So I'm hoping to finish my novel and have it edited by a certain date so I can print it off, put it in a folder, and keep it to remind me that if I can't get an agent and a book contract while in university, I'll need to work hard so I can get a proper job after.

And that is why I'm going to be taking part in something I'm calling the Write-Lympics.

Right now, I'm training which means the following:

  • Finish outlining
  • Make a list of all characters
  • Write at least 100 words a day

And when I finish my exams on 21st June, I'll be moving onto the gruesome challenge:

  • Write the first draft

And then I will be fasting during the summer from around 20th July so about 21st August so I'm hoping to have the novel completed just before that so the date I am setting for the completion of the first draft is: 18th July 2012.

I know what you're thinking. I'm crazy.

Because that gives me 27 days to complete a draft which I am expecting to reach about 60,000 words.

That gives me a daily word count of 2222.22... words per day. Keep in mind I will get a few thousand done before this.

So my daily word count will be at least 2200 words per day if I have at least 594 words completed between now and 21st June.

Between 18th July (or before if I finish earlier) and 20th July (a space of two days, I know), I'll take a break. And then I'll edit from 20th July to 25th August which is the date by which I want a completed manuscript.

On the 15th August, I hope to have a completed manuscript. If I don't then I will have to spend three years with no time to write without a full length novel to my name.

Part of me thinks this is completely nuts because that's a lot of words in a very short space of time.

I just have to hope I survive this ordeal. And I might make changes to this challenge between now and the 21st June.

So stay tuned to watch me write my way to a nervous breakdown!

Kamille

EDIT: check on the page Write-Lympics '12 to see my progress!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Many Uses Of Breaking Dawn

I don't like Breaking Dawn but I have recently found other uses for this 'brick'.

Here they are

  • A brick to keep the door open
  • A weapon 
  • Motivation to keep going - if that can get published, so can your book!
  • Motivation to improve as a writer 
  • Toilet roll 
  • Flood barrier 
  • A book end 
  • Something to stand on so you feel taller
  • Keep your table up if one of the legs is wonky 
  • An effective sedative 
  • Squishing bugs 

I actually find it most useful for the last bit although it is also adequate to squish spiders.

Here's a video of a bug I had to squish today.


What a useful item for everyday life!

I don't like burning books and I don't want to pass this illness on to someone else so I keep it to protect myself from bugs/spiders/gross stuff like my brothers.

How do you put your copy of Breaking Dawn to good use? And what do you do with a book you don't like?

Kamille

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Writers And Insomnia

Looking around, I see a lot of writers have something called insomnia.

It feels like everyone has it but me.

Yes, I don't have insomnia. In fact I go the other way.

I sleep a lot. 12 hour nights along with occasionally napping during the day, I tend to oversleep and have a deep attachment to my bed.

The only time when I'm not like this is when I'm very stressed out and then I'll stay awake and that's due to my anxiety problems. Nothing to do with sleep habits.

I love sleep. If I could marry it, I would. Well, no I wouldn't but you get the picture?

School work is often something that keeps me up till the early hours but I find that once I'm in bed, I'm off. During high school, I slept for an average of 5 and a half hours per night. In my first year of college, 4 hours. Now, I am at about 6 hours. But if I am not woken up by someone else, I'll continue sleeping until I've had at least 10 hours of sleep.

I've lost count of how many writers tell me they have insomnia and sometimes I feel like it isn't fair. If I was like that, I could write when I can't sleep.

Honestly though, I am a hypersomniac with the schedule of an insomniac. I have to stay up doing college work and go to sleep late. But I have to wake up in the mornings to drink Red Bull. And it's my mother who wakes me up. I can't sleep by myself and alarms don't work. I could put it on the other side of the room but in the morning, I'll get up, deactivate it and just go back to bed.

Also insomniacs can survive during the day on low levels of sleep. I can't. I am still incredibly sleepy for about two hours after waking and am still not alert until about 3pm. But by 8pm, my energy levels drop.

Caffeine keeps me going.

It feels like an addiction to be honest.

It makes me feel weird that I'm not an insomniac since so many writers are though. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong! lol!

Do you suffer from insomnia? And are you a writer?

I'd love to know.

Kamille.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

What Is The Best Time Of The Day For Writing?

I've always been the kind of person who writes during the evening and at night. At any other time, it becomes very difficult.

I tend to be very tired after waking and it takes a few hours for my energy levels to rise. In fact, they continue to rise until about 6/7pm and that's around the time I usually do my writing. And then my energy levels start to drop after 11pm. I usually stop activities by 2am as my energy levels are so low that I can't stay awake.

So I write late during the day.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

Advantages of writing during the evening/night:

  • The world is sleeping or getting ready to sleep so emails slow down, less people call you and you're confronted less by distractions. 
  • You've had the entire day to do other stuff and can now concentrate on writing. 
  • The house is quiet. I like to be able to hear myself think and it's easier when no one is talking/banging doors/running up and down stairs. 
  •  The night time can be inspiring for some. 
  • Space. While everyone else is in their rooms, you can temporarily migrate to the living room/dining room and splatter your writing stuff everywhere.
  • You get to wear pyjamas. You can do this in the morning too but you'll smell in the morning, have bad breath and be hungry. At night, you'll just be cosy. 
  • It gives you something to do if you have insomnia. 

But there are also disadvantages.

Disadvantages of writing during the evening/night: 

  • Some people can be tired at this point and will go to sleep. You may find that your energy levels are higher during the morning. 
  • You may still have other things to do. If you're a parent, you'll have children to put to bed and then get their school uniforms ready for the morning. Or you may work night shifts. 
  • Most writers work other jobs/are students and so will need to wake up early to get to work/school. So not everyone can write at this time. I write at this time during the holidays. My writing slows down during term time. 
  • It can mess up your sleep clock and that can have a serious impact on your health. It is ideal for people to sleep in a dark room and going to be at 2am means that the sun will soon rise and you will be sleeping in a light room. This prevents you from going into a deep sleep and most people will wake up early and be tired. 
  • Some people will be completely unable to get anything done at this time. They just may not feel motivated/full or energy/would rather wind down in front of the TV. 

It doesn't matter at what time you write. The most important thing is, when you do WANT to write? When do you have TIME to write? And when do you get the MOST writing done?

I personally find the evening is the best time and will write into the early hours of the night if I have the energy.

If you are going to write in the morning and suffer from sleep drunkenness then take a short walk or run in the morning just to help you wake up. And take a shower before writing so you can smell nice shampoo when you get stuck for words!

Kamille.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Really Bad Ideas For Your Novel - Part 3

It's been a long time since I last did one of these. They were fun so I thought I'd do another one.

Click below to go read part 1 and 2.
Part 1
Part 2

Make your chapters really long. Readers need breaks and this comes in the form of chapters. Keep chapters to a maximum of 7500 words. If they get too long, it becomes more likely for a reader to turn off.

Give your characters unpronounceable names. I hate writers who give their characters foreign names or make complex ones up and then provide no information on how to say the damn name. I used to call Hermione (Her-me-own-knew) and it was really embarrassing when my teacher laughed at me for it.

Include no chapters whatsoever. And you'll end up with a big, ugly block of text. Formatting is good people! Take advantage of it.

Include personal details. Would you like a stalker?

Include the personal details of other people. I'm pretty sure this is illegal.

Have a prologue. Go read this post on prologues (CLICK HERE!)

Set your novel in a real life place you have never gone to and then include a lot of specific details of this place. This is dangerous. By including a vast amount of detail, you're digging yourself into a hole. When you include this detail and have no idea whether it is right or not, you're increasing the likelihood of a reader catching you out. If you haven't visited this place, invent a new place based off it.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Kamille

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Blogging Mistakes And Tips

I've been blogging around the internet since around 2007 but I never really got the hang of it and I still haven't. This blog is probably the best blog I've created since I manage to actually update more than once a month with actual content. On my old blog, I updated around once in a blue moon with a few lines that went like this

Title: OMG I forgot about you!!!!


"Oh My God! I haven't blogged in ages! Got lots of work to do. Really busy atm! And the weather here is awful! My life sucks."

Now it's pretty easy to see what is wrong with this blog 'post'.

Here is essentially what a good blog post includes:
  • One clear subject.
  • Clear formatting without chunky paragraphs. 
  • A good title.
  • Original content/perspective.
Now look back at the bold bit.

Is there one clear subject? No. In fact, I don't see a 'subject'.

Clear formatting? No, it's just 6 sentences running together with no direction. 

A good title? Hell no. Never include more than one exclamation mark. It can look messy in a title.

Original content/perspective? Look at other teen blogs. Most of them will have at least one of the example 'post'.

So you can see why my other blogs were pretty fail right? Because I can. And that's because I had no clear direction with the posts. Now, I update with posts that have quality (I hope) and I update as often as I can.

Although this blog has gone further than I expected and I've improved a lot, I'm still making mistakes.

These are the mistakes I'm still making:
  • Not posting consistently. - It's advised to have a posting schedule such as two blogs posts a week or once a week. But I just update when I get the chance to sit down and write. 
  • Not writing within a specific niche. - I'll admit that I've failed to fit into a niche. I'm trying to develop a more writer/student tone but it gets hard when you just want to talk about your grocery trip to the supermarket!
  • Failing to edit all blog posts. - Yeah, I'm just lazy.
  • Not marketing the blog. - See above.
  • Not interacting with other bloggers as much as I should. - I try and do this often but it gets very difficult especially with some blogs where the author doesn't respond. It makes you feel like your comments are being ignored.
  • Failing to use sources and research. - A well researched blog post is a good one. I'm lazy.
  • Publishing posts that don't deserve to be published. - I've written about two blog posts so far in May that I've deleted. I just couldn't see someone reading them but I still have some blog posts that I should either take down or modify. 

So here are some simple tips for all bloggers:

  • Format Format Format. No chunky paragraphs and organise how everything is going to be laid out. Don't ramble on one topic and switch to another in the same paragraph. And don't ramble!
  • Edit every post.
  • Determine a posting schedule. It doesn't have to be every day but make sure that when you do update, you actually post something meaningful. 
  • Have a clean design and layout. No one wants to see 100 'Follow Me On Twitter' icons. And black text on a white background is easier to read than white text on a black background. No funky colours unless it follows a colour scheme. 
  • No background music.
  • Make sure your pages aren't too loaded with content. People instantly switch off from a blog that takes ten minutes to load. 
  • Make sure your title is relevant to the post. 
  • Post on other blogs. 
  • Do your research.
  • Be consistent. Aim to have all blog posts up to a certain standard. 
  • Connect with your readers. Reply to their comments. Ask them questions at the end of the post. Visit their blogs. 
  • Stay fresh and passionate. Blogging can be boring when it swallows your life so keep yourself motivated by loving it and try to stand out from the crowd.

Kamille.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Book Love: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


It's been a LONG time since I have posted a Book Love post (and a BIHTEL post) so I thought I'd write a bit about The Book Thief.

Reading this book was strange because I couldn't understand some of what was happening and the narrative from Death was unusual. As Death was the narrator, I had a feeling that we would see the life of someone who would die. I won't mention any more of that if you don't want a spoiler.

In History lessons we were taught that Nazi Germany was an evil place full of evil people and were always told about Hitler and his crimes. But it was rare to see what life was like for people living in Nazi Germany and how their lives were affected by what was happening.

This was a fantastic book in my opinion. We see the life of a girl, Liesel, who is living with foster parents in Nazi Germany. She is an innocent girl surrounded by horror. But this is not a depressing tale. I wouldn't call it happy either but it's somewhere in the middle. There are moments where you'll smile and moments where you'll feel sad. You see how Nazi Germany affected now only gypsies, Jews, homosexuals and the disabled but how it affected the lives of ordinary people who were victims of the brutal regime.

I wouldn't call it a novel and see it as a fictitious account of history documented in a long book. In novels, there are usually a clear set of chapters where the pace is steady and then peaks towards the end. The Book Thief was different. While the pace was steady mostly, there were moments where it dived but it picked up again.

Why do I love this book?

I didn't care too much about the characters themselves but understood what they were going through. I was able to see what was going in the book and why they were reacting. When I was done reading, I saw the Nazi regime from a different viewpoint: the ordinary citizen's life. Plus, I read this while studying Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany so it was fascinating to see history without the facts and figures that plague the majority of History courses out there.

And for anyone who hasn't read this, be prepared for a book that will require effort. Although I love this book, it was heavy and required effort. This is not the Jersey Shore of Literature.

Kamille.

Monday, 30 April 2012

10 Reasons I Hate Being A Writer

I know it may seem ironic that I hate being a writer sometimes but I think most people will be able to relate to at least one of my reasons.

1) It's all I can think about. - There are times where I lose track of things because I was too busy building my imaginary world in my head.

2) I don't feel like I'm any good at it. - I think it can be very easy for us to doubt our abilities. And writers face this a lot in my opinion.

3) When I tell people I write stories, I get the 'look'. - You know?! The look of "you'll never get anywhere in life as a writer!".

4)  It's difficult to make a living at it. - Seriously, this is the most annoying reason. It just makes all this writing feel like a waste.

5) Everyone is critical of you. Especially non-writers. - The number of non-writers  (and often non-readers) are not usually full of praise. I find that the writers and readers tend to give better advice and find it easier to spot the good things in a piece of writing whereas non-readers and non-writers can't recognise strengths and weaknesses.

6) It takes up a lot of time. - Find notebook. Find pen. Write a sentence. Rip up paper and start again. Write rubbish. Scrap. Start again. Scrap. End up with nothing at the end of the day. Repeat a million times.

7) Computers. - A lot of writers write directly into computers and all will need one to submit to an agent. And guess what? I hate computers! Honestly not kidding! They die when I touch them! They cost a lot of money. I can't repair them! And my computer keeps failing! In fact it's crashed like twice today!

8) You need a thick skin. - People can be very critical. Writing is something that I pour my blood and soul into and any criticisms feel like a personal attack.

9) People think you'll become the next JK Rowling. - Lol. Yeah right. JK Rowling is an anomaly. The vast majority of writers will never make a living solely from writing.

10) The stupid need to continue. - It's painful. It hurts. It ends in failure. But I still have to keep on going at it. Why? Because it's how I can make sense of the world. It's how I can deal with my own problems. And most of all, it's my voice. For my whole life, writing has been the only way I can get my voice across without being corrupted by the voices of everyone else. This is me. All me. And nobody can touch my words.

I might update again later this week but if I don't then have a good week everyone!

Kamille

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Losing Your Work

Hello everyone! I know it's been a long time since I last posted on here but life has been incredibly busy for me during the past few weeks. Fortunately, I've worked fast enough today to get some time to update.

Most people reading this will understand what it feels like to lose something you own. You feel lost. You feel stupid. And you blame yourself for losing it.

Some will also understand what it feels like to lose something you made. Something you invented yourself. Something which was entirely unique to you.

I know exactly what it feels like.

During a Graphic Design class in secondary school, my teacher sent me to the computer area outside the classroom to complete some work I had fallen behind on. Two of my friends were with me and we joked around for an hour. At the end of the lesson, I handed my work in and logged off the computer. I then left the class for my Science class. It was when I got home that I dug into my pockets to find my USB.

I was going to continue with the story I was working on. I had more than 10,000 words and felt happy to be making good progress. But when my fingers hit the empty sides of the pocket, I felt everything fall onto me.

I had lost my USB. And I had no backup files.

The next day, I reckoned it was still at the computers so I went there before all my lessons and scrambled around the computers looking for my USB. I went to the main reception and dug through a vast collection of USB's other students had lost. I still couldn't find it.

For a few weeks I was heartbroken. All that work had gone down the drain. And I felt lost. I didn't know where else to go with my writing. I also lost a lot of school work and had to start it all again which felt like someone had shot me in both hands. After a few weeks of rushing through all my school work, I had finally gotten my course stuff in order and turned my attention to starting again.

I remembered the first scene of the story I was on and just began writing from there. While I hated the fact that I had lost the story, I was determined to never let it happen again. And I still have the rewritten story on my computer even though I never finished it. It was soon after losing the story I realised it wasn't the story for me.

So while it was gut wrenching and awful to lose my writing, it gave me the chance to look back on it all and make some important decisions. Since then, I have backups of almost everything and I am able to look at my work differently. I know what didn't work with that story and losing my USB helped me see that.

But I'm still sad to have lost it. I had a lot of memories with everything on there and worse, it pains me to think someone out there might be able to find the USB and go through it. I just hope I never left any private information on there. Now that is something that could be very embarrassing!

Have you ever lost something? How did you feel? I know I felt horrid but eventually, I moved on. I realised life wasn't going to stop for me just because I lost something but I still imagine what it would be like finding my USB again. But I think I understand I will probably never see it again.

What did you learn from losing something?

I'd love to know so feel free to leave a comment!

Kamille!