I absolutely love rainy city lights. When Moose and I were in New York City last year, we were caught in an almighty rainstorm, and I made us both rush over to Times Square to enjoy it in all its twinkly light and yellow taxi glory. Add a little Christmas magic to the mix and it's pretty much my favourite thing. This photo was taken in Bath, which is one of my favourite cities.
I made a Facebook page for this blog! I know it's early days for the blog but I figured I'd give it a go! You can find it here: Dream Somehow - please give it a 'like' if you fancy being kept up to date that way. Also, my comments are finally using Disqus, something I spent days trying to implement before. I'm hoping that makes it easier for folks to comment and chat here - I'd love to know what you have to say about the silliness I post here!
Here's some Sketch Cards I've been working on lately! The one above, called 'Snow Bunny' was an original card I put on eBay and was snapped up instantly! There's a really big Sketch Card community on eBay so I'm going to throw myself into that in the new year! The two below were commissions from two different clients, Creepy River and Reskell. :)
I was also commissioned by my buddy Xharag ages ago to draw his Zergling character. It was a heck of a challenge for me, because I've never drawn a Zerg before! This is a Marker Card size piece of art, basically A6 size.
I'm slowing down for Christmas now. I'm closing up my Etsy shop next week as I'm off on holiday then, and I'm not taking anymore commissions now until January. I've got some awesome new projects and ideas to play with in 2015 though, so I'll be roaring back into action soon! <3
I'm setting myself a huge challenge in 2015! I know, it's a little early, but it's good to have goals, right? See, I really really love books, but I'm really, really bad at reading them. Before I had a tablet and an iPod, I'd devour books with ease, reading them on the train, in the back of the car and even in the bath. These days, however, I tend to use this time to catch up on my latest TV shows. Thanks to Netflix, I watch a lot of television lately. Yes, even in the bath. Don't worry, I make sure the tablet's out of harm's way!
And yet, I still love buying books. I'll go into charity stores and buy them cheap, or find my way to Waterstones taking advantage of their frequent '3 for 2' deals. I buy books far faster than I read them, and they take up so much room! I've even clogged my tablet up with ebooks and comics, with the best intentions in the world. One day, I'll read them! One day... Honest!
So here's my little project. I'm not allowing myself to buy a new books until I some of the many books I already own. I'm going to go through my shelves and list every book I have on them that I haven't yet read, and I'm going to make an active point of reading them! For real this time!
So here's my list... it's a whole lot of Young Adult and Dystopian fiction. Sometimes it's even Young Adult Dystopian fiction. And sometimes it's Sweet Valley High.
My Big Book Project 2015
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident -Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code - Eoin Colfer,
Northern Lights - Philip Pullman
Amber spyglass - Philip Pullman
Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
Feet or Clay - Terry Pratchett
The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
The Last Continent - Terry Pratchett
Interesting Times - Terry Pratchett
Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
The Somnambulist - Jonathan Barnes
The Atheist's Guide to Christmas - Various
Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel - Adam Roberts
World War Z - Max Brooks
Neuromancer - William Gibson
M is for Magic - Neil Gaiman
The Resurrectionist - James Bradley
Mister B Gone - Clive Barker
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
Blind Faith - Ben Elton
Are You Dave Gorman - Dave Gorman
Googlewhack - Dave Gorman
Last Chance To See - Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine
The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Blitzcat - Robert Westall
Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep - Philip K. Dick
The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick
The Divine Invasion - Philip K. Dick
The Man In The High Castle - Philip K. Dick
We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife - Sam Savage
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Skeleton Crew - Stephen King
Everything's Eventual - Stephen King
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams
Cryer's Cross - Lisa McMann
Knife Edge - Malorie Blackman
The Maze Runner - James Dashner
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Timeriders - Alex Scarrow
Storm Front - Jim Butcher
The Time Machine / The Invisible Man / The Island of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells
When I was a little girl, mum always told me that the red sky at night was the result of dragons fighting and blowing fire at each other in their rage. My childhood was nothing but magical, as every childhood should be. ♥
Today we went shopping in Poole and finished off at The Range! They had no Santa in their grotto but invited people in to take photos and who was I to refuse?
There's a tag going around Facebook at the moment where you share five random photos that make you happy, so I thought I'd give it a go! I actually found it difficult to narrow down, because so many things and memories make me happy, but the strongest always involve friends or family, so that's where I began.
My very best friends, together on holiday in Cornwall ♥ Moose, carving his first ever pumpkin on one of the best Halloweens I've ever had ♥ The usual suspects, in Disneyland Paris ♥ My 'gang' again, in a pub for Sarah's birthday, after seeing Captain America in the cinema ♥ My best pony pals, on a site visit for UK Ponycon!
And, because I feel like cheating, here's five actual things that make me happy, too!
Team Fortress 2 ♥ Oingo Boingo ♥ MCM Expo (and pretty much all geeky conventions!) ♥ Doctor Who (specifically Tennant era stuff!) ♥ My Little Pony (all gens, all the time!)
It's not too early! Anything after Halloween and Bonfire Night is fair game, as far as I'm concerned! Right guys?
I found this tag over at Milk Bubble Tea and figured it'd be the perfect way to get into the festive swing of things!
1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
Okay, I'll admit it. Of all the classics, all the musical wonders, all the animated marvels, my favourite Christmas movie in the whole wide world is 'Elf'. I don't know why! I'm not particularly a Will Ferrell fan, though I do adore Zooey Deschanel, and the humour is silly and stupid which isn't really my cup of tea... but there's something about it! For the past few years I've made it a tradition that I have to curl up and watch it, because it's just dumb and fun and 'Christmas!' Plus, I cry at the ending every single time. I almost held it together last year, but the moment the father started singing? I was gone. Retaining that childhood belief in all things magical is a real trigger for me, and anything dealing with that will set me off in a flood of tears, so even though I watch that dumb film every Christmas and I know the sleigh will juuuust manage to take off in time, I'm always a soggy mess as the credits roll.
(For the record, I'd have said The Nightmare Before Christmas otherwise, but I really don't know if I consider that one a Christmas movie or a Halloween one! So, Elf it is. Sorry Jack.)
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning! Sometimes when I was younger, I'd get a special extra little present on Christmas Eve, but generally once I went to bed I wasn't allowed anywhere near the lounge! When I was a kid, my parents would always set up the camera to record my reaction upon seeing the presents for the first time. Mum would make sure the fire was lit (even if it wasn't cold outside!) and she would have festive music playing in the lounge before I was let in, and then we'd all gather around and open presents! Heck, we still pretty much do exactly that, only now there's a lot more chocolate and alcohol involved.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I have so many awesome Christmas memories - it's always such a magical, fun day! When I was a little girl, one year I walked into the lounge to find Paradise Estate, the largest My Little Pony playset ever made, all set up on display. Apparently my parents had been up for hours putting it together, right down to the little knives and forks on the table. They even put water into the swimming pool! Another year, I'd desperately asked for a rocking horse for Christmas, and when I walked into the lounge, there was this tiny, Christmas tree ornament sized rocking horse in the middle of the floor. I was devastated! Santa had gotten confused and only left me a mini toy one! You can imagine my joy when dad brought out a giant, real rocking horse later!
I think my favourite memory though is when one year I was a little older, and started wondering if Santa really did exist after all? So I cooked up a special plan! We had an old video camera that we usually used to record big moments like Christmas Day and birthdays, so I decided I was going to hook it up and hide it behind the curtain, ready to capture Santa on film! Of course, though, I told my parents all about my plan! I hid the camera, hit record and went to bed.
The next morning, I eagerly checked the film. There was Santa! Well, his legs anyway. And he was angry! I saw him as he approach the tree, get startled, and rush over to the camera, which promptly went dark! Santa had spotted my devious plan, and turned off the device and even wrote me a note telling me how I shouldn't try to capture him on film! Needless to say, I continued to believe for a long time after that, and never tried to catch him in action ever again. Even if my trick had only managed to capture him from the legs down, it was all I needed. Santa was real, 100%.
4. Favourite festive food?
While not specifically a festive food, I could eat a bucket full of little sausages wrapped in bacon and never, ever get sick of them. Ever. I also really love roast chestnuts!
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
I've had so many wonderful gifts I couldn't really narrow it down, but if we're going to think about the most important and impactful gift I've ever received? That would be my new PC that I unboxed Christmas, 2008. It was the PC that enabled me to finally play TF2, and, well, we all know how that ended.
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Cinnamon. Hands down. I kind of associate cinnamon with Halloween, Autumn, Winter and Christmas all in one big spicy ball of loveliness. I tend to burn cinnamon scented Yankee Candles all year round I love it so much!
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really any set in stone! We have various other Christmas traditions, mum and I always decorate the tree together, with glasses of port or sherry and with some dumb music channel on TV playing a round-up like 'Top 100 Christmas Hits!' or something. Christmas Eve was always a busy time for mum as she'd prep the food ready to be cooked in the morning, but we'd always do the standard ritual of leaving a carrot, mince pie and glass of sherry out for Santa. As I got older we'd make cookies together on Christmas Eve, and sometimes we'd go out to our local town to just people-watch, to embrace the schadenfreude of watching everybody last minute panic-shop for the big day! But generally my Christmas Eve routine just involves having a big long bubble bath, putting on the cheesiest Christmas pyjamas I can find, and trying to fall asleep (and failing!)
8. What tops your tree?
A star! And only a star! I have this (admittedly really dumb) thing where I just hate angels and faeries on top the tree! It always feels so tacky and weird to me, even though some of them are really pretty! It absolutely has to be a star on top the tree. Not even room to compromise on this one! I couldn't stand to decorate a tree beautifully and top it off with an angel. Blech!
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Hah! Probably a pony, I'd imagine! Or a dog? Something living and breathing, at any rate.
10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Not gonna lie, as a kid it was about the presents! Not gonna lie, as a grown up they come into it still! Corny as it sounds but I do love giving them as well as receiving them, the thrill of wrapping them up and putting 'em under the tree for the morning is so exciting! Nowadays, it's mainly about just having a really fun, different day, filled with alcohol and good food (Christmas day being the one time where it's socially acceptable to drink alcohol first thing in the morning!). And also? TV specials! Doctor Who is a huge must-do tradition in this household, we plan our entire day and evening meal around it! And now Mum and I are all caught up with Call The Midwife, we'll be adding that to the mix, too. Not to mention the traditional depression that is Eastenders every year!
Well, that's that! We just came back from a day out in Bath where they were turning on the lights tonight, and yesterday I saw The Coca Cola Commercial, so I'm not even a little bit sorry! Christmas is officially here now and I love it!
Introducing Fandom Foxes! A brand new project and line of art pieces featuring cute little critters who love nothing more than nerding out over their favourite television shows, video games and comics! I'm going to be selling products through my Redbubble store, prints on my Etsy and hopefully will have a whole line of charms, necklaces and goodies available at conventions in 2015!
Has anyone got any favourite characters or fandoms they'd love to see my little foxes dressed up as? Let me know and maybe they'll go rummage in their cosplay wardrobe for you! :)
I picked up this book on a complete whim after watching Kristina Horner's video review. I'm a sucker for a twist and absolutely hate being spoilered, so when I heard this book had a pretty major twist/spoiler in it, I just had to grab it and see what all the fuss was about before anyone ruined it for me!
'We Were Liars' is immediately entirely my cup of tea. I love young adult fiction, love teenage drama nonsense, and love over-privileged, rich white person silliness (see; Gossip Girl, 90210, Revenge). This book doesn't bathe in it or revel in it, though - through The Liars' eyes, we see the rich, All American family for how it 'truly' is, and it isn't very pretty even before the darker events in the book. First person and casual, Cady's voice instantly pulled me in. I finished this book in two baths (who doesn't mainly read in the bath?) because I was so invested in the story, in the mystery, in finding out the 'what' and 'why'.
I've never read an E. Lockhart novel before, but I really love the way she writes. I can absolutely see why a lot of people wouldn't be a fan of her writing, because it is extremely poetic in places, with fluffy obnoxious purple prose that I, personally, adore. Back when I actually wrote fiction myself (a degree in Creative Studies in English kind of knocked out my passion for writing, ironically), my entire 'deal' was long, fluffy prose. Lockhart uses absolute metaphors (bleeding, being shot in the chest), and a really informal structure wonderfully. She intertwines the story with fairy tales that increasingly reflect the real life world around Cady and it's all just so nicely done. Clever, too.
So, the twist. Suffice to say, guys....
~ *here be spoilers*~
I knew there was a big twist, which is, as I said, why I wanted to snap the book up right away. I wonder what it would have been like to read the book without that knowledge, because the punch to the gut I received on the reveal was enough even with that mental preparation.
I kind of saw it coming, in an entirely wrong kind of way. Because I knew there was a big twist, I started imagining the most random things, but one of the things I immediately thought was "I bet Cady's dead." It would have been very Sixth Sense, it would have explained why The Liars didn't reply to her or care about her all summer long (I mean, really? Why wouldn't they otherwise? Their friend was ill and away and sad.) But as the story went on, and it seemed more and more unlikely that Cady was dead. It never occurred to me once, however, that The Liars were dead instead.
It was horrible. I finished the book during a game of Civilisation: Beyond Earth and as I read the ending, I'd absolutely stopped paying attention to the game. I cried. I felt like I'd been cheated somehow, that I'd been lied to.
Which was entirely the point, I suppose.
I immediately reopened the book and flipped through random pages, any pages that featured The Liars alongside other characters, constantly amazed that there actually hadn't been any interaction throughout the entire book. Of course there hadn't, because The Liars hadn't really been there. In fact, there was only one real moment that stuck where Cady even mentioned The Liars to anyone else - to the Littles, asking if they went out on the boats with Johnny last year. Their response was simply a "no". It made sense at the time, and made more sense on reflection.
It never felt weird - The Liars hadn't gone to dinner because they hated the Aunties and the horrible family affairs, for example. It made sense. And as I flipped through the book, I started to pick up on things. The haunted house. Carrie wandering at night, crying. Will's nightmares. Why Mirren hadn't received the doll Cady sent her (signed for, by her mother, but of course, never received). Why nobody replied to her emails, which seemed so cruel and out of character. It also explained the other things, the messy house, the scrabble tiles, the lies they told about where they were and what they'd done during her blackout days. If they were ghosts apparating simply for Cady's benefit, they wouldn't have been around to do anything while she was asleep, so when they appeared and were suddenly questioned, they came up with nonsense, lies, anything to keep up the pretence for Cady.
It was, on reflection, heartbreaking. They did it for Cady, because they loved her (and they told her as much, over and over). It was tiring, it was hard. This was a part that got me, from Johnny:
"And honestly, Cady, I love you, but I'm fucking tired. I want to lie down and be done. All this happened a very long time ago, for me."
It made it all so much worse. We were living with these guys, loving them, learning what made them tick and they were so alive and real as we read. In the space of a page, you learn that it was all a lie, that they're not only gone, but have been dead two years. We feel cheated. We feel heartbreak. Gat, her Gat, who isn't her Gat because he can never be her Gat. It all made sense before the reveal, and then it made so much more sense after. What a horrible story. It was beautiful, and it was horrible.
I don't know if this book has a movie deal yet but crikey, it'd make an extremely beautiful, haunting film. It's perfect movie material, and I'd be first in line to watch the reveal again on the big screen, ready for the punch to the gut.
I'm Selena, an artist, blogger and gamer - but maybe not always in that order! Dream Somehow is a blog dedicated to travel, geeky adventures, vintage style and a little bit of Disney Dreaming! If you'd like to learn a little more about me, click here.