Saturday, 25 August 2018

Poetry Review: Light Filters In

Hi guys! I've recently been reading lots more poetry and one of the collections I've read is Light Filters In by Caroline Kaufman. This was also an impulse buy! I'll be reviewing and showing you some of my favourite poems from the collection.


Light Filters In is about being human and how fragile we are. The book is split up into four sections: The Darkness Falls. The Night Persists, The Dawn Breaks and The Sun Rises. This collection is written with honesty and Kaufman has opened up about her life with depression, self harm and abusive relationships and much more.

I liked the fact that being human and science were the main themes of the book as I'm also an atheist and even if some of the poems are very morbid, they're true, honest. Planets, stars and light are also mentioned throughout; the contrast between light and dark is also similar to depression and happiness.

Kaufman says that the destination isn't happiness, because after all, we won't always be happy a hundred per cent of the time. It's all about the journey, and sometimes the journey is messy and sad, but other times it's happy and joyful. I think that this book is mostly about recovery and how to cope in the bad times and how to release and feel joy in the good times. It's a wonderful read and I highly recommend it for anyone recovering or perhaps even going through depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. It does get better - Kaufman is living proof of that. And so are you!

Overall, I wasn't sure about the theme at the start of the book as it was quite dark, but, like the theme, it gets lighter, it gets better and I really loved how clever the writing was.

Now I'm going to show you some of my favourite poems from the collection. If you have read Light Filters In, let me know what you thought in the comments.

If you have any poetry recommendations, let me know! Until next time, love, Vee x

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Author Interview: Jacquelyn Lee

Hey guys! So in this week's blog, I'm going to be interviewing poet Jacquelyn Lee, the author of Under the Influence. I'm going to be asking her some questions about her poetry, future work and her favourite poets.

Under the Influence is a journey of abuse, trauma and grief through poetry, divided between three chapters. They are Addiction, Withdrawal and overdose. Each chapter is a different part of the author's abuse-ridden life as she grew up under the influence of her dysfunctional parents.

An Interview with Jacquelyn Lee

Because Under the Influence is so honest and full of emotion, was it hard to write, or was it more like a relief to release all of your emotions on paper?

This is such an interesting question. It actually wasn't hard to write at all. It just came so naturally. In about a month, more than half of it was written. In a way, it was like therapy and it helped me heal. The hard part is reading it, I've only read the entire book once since it was released.

Have you got any plans to write more in the future?

Yes, of course! I've started so many projects for future books about topics including mental illness, feminism, and more. I'm also working on re-releasing Under the Influence with a fourth chapter and illustrations added! I can't wait to announce more information about my future books.

What would be your advice to someone wanting to self-publish? Or become a freelance editor like yourself?

My advice to someone who wants to self-publish is not to stress over it because it's so much easier than one might think. I learned by watching YouTube tutorials. If I can do it, anyone can! I plan on releasing an e-book soon on how to self-publish, that's another project I'm working on. I hope it helps many others learn how to self-publish and makes the process as easy as possible for them!

As far as freelance editing, I actually just started. But as long as you have a bit of experience in writing and editing, it's a great way to make some extra cash and help others while doing it. I use Grammarly when I edit which is great for double-checking spelling and grammar errors! I actually just finished editing a college essay for someone. It's great to edit other people's writing because it really helps you grow your spelling and grammar skills without having an attachment to the writing.

Do you ever get writer's block? What do you do to help overcome it?

Yes, all of the time! Sometimes I go weeks without writing a thing. To help overcome it, I typically read other poetry books. Reading poetry always helps me get inspiration to write it. I usually write on and off. So I'll write for a few weeks straight, and then have writer's block for a few weeks. I think it's completely normal to have writer's block. Along with reading other poetry books, I often get inspiration to write from life itself. Sometimes I'll get inspired by hearing something someone said, watching a movie, even seeing a post on Instagram. If you really look, there is inspiration in everything!

Who are your favourite authors/poets right now? Do you have a favourite book or collection?

My favourite poet overall is Amanda Lovelace. Her debut poetry book, The Princess Saves Herself in this One is my favourite poetry collection. I relate to her words so much, reading her work made me feel like I wasn't alone. She was a huge inspiration for me to write my own poetry book. She actually followed me on Instagram and it made me so happy! Other poets I love and admire are: Pierre Jeanty, Damien Tillman, Trista Mateer, Ashley Marie, Caroline Kaufman, and many more!

I enjoy asking everyone this question: if you were stuck on an island, what 3 people would you take with you and what 3 objects/things and why?

That's a good one! I would definitely bring my two younger brothers, Paul and Justin, and my younger cousin Alexa - because they're all extremely smart and good at problem-solving. And for objects, I would bring food, water, and a tent for shelter because I think those basic necessities are extremely important for survival.

Jacquelyn's social media:

Instagram: @jacquelyn.lee

Facebook: @jacquelynxlee


You can purchase Under the Influence here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll see you all next week! Love, Vee x

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey guys! So in this week's blog post I'm going to be talking about the Sunshine Blogger Awards and how you can take part.

I was nominated by Multipotentialite Thoughts  for the Sunshine Blogger Awards. I'm so pleased! As the blog suggests, it's about lifestyle, DIY, literature and much more! Thank you so much for the nomination!

This award has some rules if you are nominated and want to take part:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog to this post
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the nominator
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers
4. Ask them 11 questions - different from the ones you've answered
5. List the rules
6. Display the Sunshine Blogger Award on your post or blog site.

Questions asked by Multipotentialite Thoughts:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

In five years I hope my blog is even larger and I hope to write more and eventually publish a book - hopefully poetry if I can keep going! I also want to travel to a lot more places and maybe even move to another country.

What social stigma does society need to get over?

I think everyone needs to get over the fact anyone can love anyone. There are still so many people who won't accept people who are gay, lesbian, trans etc. Love is love people! It's not hard to understand! Also, mental health - we need to talk about it more, in books, TV, movies. The more we talk about it, the more people we can help encourage to talk to someone and recieve the help and support they need.

What are your views on religion?

I respect everyone's views and religion unless that religion disrespects someone. Don't go around yelling your opinion - if someone wants to learn about a religion, they will. They don't need you jumping down their necks trying to convince them your religion is better than anything else and is the only way.

I'm personally an atheist and that's all I will say.

What is your lucky number and why?

13! I kind of picked it because it's Taylor Swift's lucky number and I absolutely love Friday the 13th. It's not unlucky, it's just our suspicions that get the better of us. I love to like the things that others hate most.

Why did you start blogging?

Excellent question! I was a digital media trainee and one of my main tasks was to create blog posts on a weekly basis. When I left, I really missed writing them and I had thought about starting a blog for a while. I want to share my views and recommend books to people - it is the most magical feeling when someone reads a book based on your review.

Name 3 things that bring you happiness in every day life.

My partner. Food (not even joking). Writing and reading (can I have that as one please?!)

What genre of music do you enjoy?

I enjoy listening to pop and country. But if Taylor Swift was a genre, and I believe she is, then I choose her.

Do you think aliens exist?

Yes. The universe is too large for there to only be humans.

When do you blog? During the day or in the evenings?

I schedule my blogs for Saturday afternoons mainly, sometimes Wednesdays. I write whenever I can!

Can you play a musical instrument?

Yes, I can play guitar and have taken many lessons.

Do you speak any other language than English? If yes, which language/s?

No, I really don't have the patience for it! I get so confused. The English language is confusing enough for me. Although I wouldn't mind learning Italian.

I Nominate:












My 11 Questions

Why did you start blogging?

What's your favourite genre to read?

What are three things you would take to a desert island?

Who is your favourite author/poet?

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

What is your go to comfort food?

Favourite TV show/film?

What 5 things could you not live without?

Do you have any pets?

What was your favourite subject in school?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll see you guys soon. Love, Vee x

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Poetry Review: Pillow Thoughts

Hey guys! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend of relaxing and reading. I recently read Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell and I instantly fell in love with the way she uses her words. It was an impulse buy from Waterstones with my birthday voucher so I took a gamble to see if I liked it, and fortunately, it paid off. In this week's blog I'm going to be reviewing Pillow Thoughts and showing you some of my favourite poems.

My Review

I bought three poetry books recently and Pillow Thoughts was one of them. Pillow Thoughts is broken down into 10 sections including 'If You Are In Love,' 'If You Are Sad,' and 'If You Need A Reason To Stay.' Therefore, you can read them for any occasion and when you are feeling different emotions. I read the entire way through and could relate to so many of the poems - especially the long distance ones. My partner and I were long distance for three years and to read about all the feelings I used to feel, was enlightening. I used to feel so alone and thought the distance would never end.

I also related strongly to the 'If You Need A Reason To Stay' section as this had encouraging poems to comfort me. The way Courtney uses metaphors is beautiful and even if some of the poems seem easy to write, you can still relate to them but you would have never thought to write in that way.

I really enjoyed reading this collection and I'm looking forward to reading Pillow Thoughts II: Healing The Heart. I love modern poetry such as Amanda Lovelace's, Rupi Kaur's and Atticus' work and I think I just found a new favourite poet.

Now I'm going to show you some of my favourite poems from Pillow Thoughts! Let me know in the comments whether you've read it and what you thought!

See you next week. Love, Vee x

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Our Trip to Amsterdam

Hey guys! Last week, Oliver and I were on our way to Amsterdam! We had such an amazing time and I wanted to share where we went and what we did with you. I hope you enjoy this post and let me know in the comments if you have been or are planning to go to Amsterdam.

Day One

I booked our holiday for three days and we stayed at the Ramada Airport Schiphol hotel which was a ten minute drive from the hotel and we had a free shuttle service to and from. It was a little way out of the centre of Amsterdam but there was a supermarket close by which meant we could buy all our drinks and some food at cheaper prices. You can get the train from the airport directly to the city centre and it takes around 20 minutes.

Our flight landed at around 8am so we had a whole day and checked in to our hotel to drop off our bags. We then headed back to the airport and caught the train into the centre. On our first day, we went to the sex museum, which was funny and interesting and maybe a little embarrassing! It's only five euros each. After that we took a wander around and had some lunch at McDonald's before making our way to Jordaan and the flower markets. We did a lot of walking so I recommend catching the tram or Metro! We also purchased a three day travel card from the airport which was around twenty-eight euros each and covered us for all trains, trams, metro and ferries.

We had a look at The Cat Boat, a little boat full of stray cats and then we walked all the way back to Dam Square and went to Ripley's Believe it or Not. I recommend looking at offers before going because we made the mistake of buying a full ticket when we could have had another tour for the same price. Ripley's was quite fun and we were there for Pride week and they were allowing people to marry for one day only so it was lovely seeing all the couples getting married!

We then walked all the way back to the Anne Frank House and had dinner at Pancakes Amsterdam, which is just across from Anne Frank. We recommend using your card more than bringing cash as we ate there three times and they don't accept cash but give you the option to pay in pounds so you don't have to pay an exchange rate. The pancakes are delicious and you get a little key ring souvenir each time you go.

We booked the 6pm slot to visit the Anne Frank House and it was the most inspiring experience; you can't go to Amsterdam without visiting. There was a screaming baby which ruined the experience slightly, but seeing the attic, where she lived, was insane. The experience made me quite emotional and we must have been there for over an hour. You get to use headsets which tell you more in detail about the way the Franks lived and what happened to them.

Day Two

On day two, all rested from the day before, we made our way out into the city early and visited Noord on the ferry. We saw online that there was a place called A'dam Lookout. It's a tall building which has a swing that swings you over the edge, so of course Oliver wanted to try it. We booked our slot and for around forty euros we went upstairs and looked around as the sights from up there were incredible. We should have bought the ticket that included lunch though as we both had paninis.

The swing, Over the Edge, was scary but an experience I'm glad I didn't miss. We made our way back downstairs and onto the ferry which departs around every six minutes and it's also free.

We then made our way to the smallest pub in Amsterdam (from the TV advert), the smallest house and the smallest cafe, where we went to have a drink.

In the evening we headed over to the Red Light District and visited the Erotic Museum which was about seven euros each. It has some of John Lennon's drawings, a weird cartoon program and lots of sex toys. We also visited the Prostitution Museum which is a few buildings down and that was around eleven euros each. You get a headset to listen to a prostitute's story and you get to visit the brothel. The end was the best part because everyone writes their sex confessions and sticks them on the wall! 

We went to the Pancake place again to kill time so it would get dark so we could see the Red Light District at night. It was weird seeing prostitutes in the windows and seeing all the guilty men coming out at only 9pm. It was interesting to see and I definitely recommend going at night when it's so busy.

Day Three

We had pretty much done everything we wanted to do and see so we headed off to the airport to drop off our luggage (only six euros each on card if you're taking hand luggage). We wanted to visit Artis Zoo so we took the Metro. It was around fifty euros for both of us to get in and it was quite a large zoo. They have everything from elephants to insects, reptiles to penguins and wolves. I definitely recommend a visit if you have time and it only takes a few hours to go around, depending on what you want to see.

We then made our way to the pancake place again where I had american pancakes with bacon and maple syrup (oh my God it was so good). By the time we had finished, it was already time to go!

I think three days was enough for Oliver and I, but it depends on what you like to do. If you're an art freak or museum nut, then you might need longer, but if you're like us and want to do little museums and attractions, then you won't need long at all.

Until next time, love Vee x

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Attending YALC

Hi guys! So I attended YALC at Comic Con which is basically a book lover's heaven. There were book signings, publishers, workshops, talks and more. I'll be showing you what I got up to and who I met!

So the day didn't go to plan because the trains decided to have a shit fit, but when we finally got there, we went upstairs and saw so many people dressed up in costumes and went to see all the stalls in the main section of Comic Con.

First we went to sit down and listen to the talk Lisa Williamson was hosting, called 'Real World, Real Me.' It was all about mental health books, the process of writing and what they were about. It was a great talk and I also went to see Juno Dawson talk at the end of the day. She was talking about Clean and addiction and how it's still such a taboo subject.

There was a Waterstone's pop up shop where you could buy the author's books and there were so many publishing houses, including Walker books, Penguin, Bloomsbury and Quirk books.

I managed to get Floored signed by Holly Bourne and bumped into Lisa Williamson, who I interviewed on my blog. I adore Lisa and Juno and I can't wait to read more of their work. I also loved seeing all the new authors and the author talks gave me more books to put on my to be read pile!

If you went along, let me know what you thought! Until next time, Vee x