Friday, 1 August 2014

Goodbye...for now

I just wanted to quickly say that I am now leaving this space for now but I am still blogging regularly over at WML. Why are you doing this you may ask? In a nutshell, I just got tired of keeping my creative writing separate from my main blog although this may change in the future. Who knows?

Until then, see you over at WML!

Mo x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Read It Or Not: Zoology

These past few months I have done quite well on the reading front but not so much on the writing and publishing posts front. Soon after I finished How I Live Now, I started Zoology and finished that within a week but forgot to publish my thoughts on it on here. The same goes for Looking For Alaska and Little Women which I also read shortly after I was done with Zoology. So here I am, in July, finally sharing my views on Zoology - my book for the month of May.

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Written by Ben Dolnick, Zoology is the coming of age story of a recent college drop out called Henry Elinsky, and how he tries to make sense of the path he is to take now with the help of his brother. The book was written in such a way that we are let in on the unfiltered thoughts of the character which took me by surprise. Getting to read how he honestly views the world made me think of the saying, "think before you speak",  and made me wonder how conversations people have will change if everyone conveyed their thoughts in their purest form. Although they story did not beguile me, it was however well written and had resounding themes that anyone can relate to- family, self-actualisation, love etc. 

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Read it or not...that is your choice.

Mo x

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Short Story: Open Road

Standing here on the open road, my home far behind me and my future way in front of me, I have never felt more at peace than I do now. Here. In the middle of this wide and empty road. Not even the chill from this icy winter's morning can snap me out of this revere I'm in. I open my eyes, adjust the strap of my heavy laden carry-all bag that is digging into my shoulder, grab hold of the handle of my small, bright orange wheelie suitcase and begin my long walk to the local station. Some of the money I have saved up from working tirelessly at that Godforsaken pub with those old leering men that only become more unbearable to be around when they are drunk, the always busy local pharmacy and the ever-so quiet public library burns in the front pocket of my jeans; tempting me to throw caution to the wind and call a taxi to drop me off at the station and enjoy a few brief moments of warmth. But I stave off this idea and remember my goal. It's not like I haven't done this before. 

God those days were unbearable.

I didn't have enough money to pay for both my house bills and bus fares into town to go to work so I always had my early morning "workouts" to keep me in shape. I had to make do with two small  meals a day that could barely be considered actual meals so I didn't have to worry about putting on any weight. I am just lucky that my skin and hair are manageable because it does not take a lot to tame them which meant I did not have to waste the little money I had on the countless beauty products that are out there. Even shopping for clothes took a back seat and the thought was only entertained when deemed necessary. My house-mates had given up on inviting me to nights out eating or dancing away in clubs in the city because to them I was an anti-social miserable girl that cared for no one and certainly had no plans of having fun. But I didn't care what they thought of me... or shall I say I learnt not to care. My savings for the open road was the only thing that kept me going. 

And that day has finally come.

Standing at the platform my train is expected to arrive at, I run through the list of things I will  have to do once I get there as my nerves kick into overdrive, forcing me to believe that I have forgotten something. The doors of the train open up shortly after it arrives at the platform allowing the maniacs that were once in it to force themselves out of the carriage and bump repeatedly into me. I managed not to lose my temper and quickly got on the train to find my seat. Now that I have gotten to the right carriage and located my seat, I look for a suitable luggage rack to stow away my suitcase and then make my way to my aisle seat. I stop dead in my tracks when I see who will be sat next to me for the next leg of both our journeys. It was the impatient grunt of the person stood behind me and in front of me that forced me to sit down in my seat. I made sure not to make any sudden movements that might alarm the sleeping passenger who I'm now sat next to. Breathing so quietly, I fear I may not be taking in the required amount of oxygen I need to get by in life. I try to sneak a look at the person sat next to me in such a way that no one else will be able to tell what I'm doing. This proves to be very hard especially when the sleeping beauty turns in its sleep and deems my shoulder worthy enough to rest its head upon.


The train has set off now but it seems we may have left my heart back at the station as I cannot detect a heartbeat. How is it this stranger, although he does not feel like one, is able to have such an effect on me and isn't even lucid? Surely that is not right! I clench my teeth, reign in my hormones and carefully nudge him back to his side of the train. I let out a big sigh of relief when it does not look like I have awoken him. I quickly get out my ticket out my pocket and wait for the conductor to walk by so that it can be checked and stamped. A little boy sat at the table not far from me catches my eye when he tugs at his mother's hair and laughs with pure glee when her curls spring back into place. There is something so honest and almost unreal about the love his mum has for him and he for her that sends a formidable sense of calm straight through me I have no choice but to relax.

'...please don't forget to take your luggage with you'.

The booming sound of the conductors voice over the speakers brutally wakes me up from the best sleep I have had in a long time. I open up my eyes and allow them to adjust to the harsh lights within the train. I then become painfully aware that my head is resting on something that keeps moving up and down slightly. I sit up quickly, which is a bad idea as my neck is not in its best state, to find that I had been using the shoulder of the guy sat next to me as my person pillow. My eyes open wide in horror at the sight of the drool trail I had left behind. To say that I'm mortified is an understatement. The pain in my neck doesn't register immediately as I wipe the trace from mouth and chin and apologise profusely to the gentleman whose head I had nudged off my shoulder many hours ago but let me rest mine on his for God knows how long and is now grinning at me from ear to ear for a reason I do not know.

'Jen, it's ok. Honestly it is fine. It's nothing that a bit of water and soap can't fix'.

I frown in confusion. How does he know my name? He chuckles as I assume he knows that I don't know who he is. He gets up which in turn makes me get up. I look around to find that the train is practically empty. How did I not notice this? I watch him as he reaches up to get his luggage from the overhead storage space, puts on his coat and makes his way off the train.

He turns round and says, 'You coming?'

I must be dreaming... I go get my bright orange suitcase, secretly glad that it still where I'd left it, and followed this familiar stranger who knows my name off the train. He says nothing as we make our way to the main part of Piccadilly station. I try to lose him as the place is crawling with people who are itching to get to their various destinations and those awaiting the arrival of their loved ones because I don't feel all too smart walking with a man I do not know. And despite the almost packed vicinity I have never felt more alone especially now that I managed to give him the slip. But the familiar stranger takes hold of my hand which as surprising and highly anticipated that gesture was, caused me to withdraw my hand quicker than one could blink. I caught a glimpse of the frown that was on his face when I looked up at him which was now replaced with a slight smile. He cocked his head towards the escalators and that's when I saw her.


I ran over to my childhood friend like there was hot coal beneath my feet and where she was was a pool of cool water. She hugged me so hard I feared my ribs would break but I was thankful for it.

'I see you have met my brother. I completely forgot that you guys were catching the same train'.

'Brother?' I said. I turned to see the familiar stranger drop his bag to the floor to hug his little sister.

'It seems Jen does not remember me Beth', he said with a chuckle.

Beth looks at me with a raised eyebrow and I shrug my shoulders in response, totally embarrassed by this but I try not to let it show. She shakes her head and giggles.

'To be fair Mark, she hasn't seen you in over what, 8 years?'

He laughs and nods in agreement. We make our way to Beth's car I cannot believe the situation I have found myself in now. Reunited with the only friend from my former life that I am still in contact with who so happens to be the sister of the guy wearing my saliva on his very nice and expensive coat that is walking beside me with his hand slightly grazing mine with every step we take towards the car causing the butterflies in my tummy to do all kinds of tricks. He offers to drive us back to Beth's which gives us the chance to catch up slightly in the back of the car. Beth fusses over the fact that I am wasting away and I am silently hoping to catch her brother's eye in the rear view mirror. When this does happen I look away so quickly I almost give myself whiplash.

 But I am so glad I did.

The sight of the open road before us makes me smile because I know that at the end of it, I will be able let go and truly embrace life. I grab hold of Beth's hand and whisper, 'Thanks for this B'. She pulled me into another bone-breaking hug and says, 'You are welcome babes. I am just glad that you finally came to your senses and decided that this was the best idea ever imagined'. I smile and say, 'It is in't it?' Mark catches my eye again in the rear view mirror and winks at me which makes me smile even more. He puts on the radio and you won't believe what song blares through the speakers.

If that it isn't a sign, I don't know what is...

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Read It Or Not: How I Live Now

This young adult book was such an easy read, it was refreshing. I finished it within a week but have only gotten round to publishing my thoughts on it now because I have not quite mastered the blogging whilst working skill just yet. Now, I won't go as far as calling How I Live Now my 'Book of the Year' but it is a good book filled with mystery, romance, and various portrayals of the brutality, fragility and humanity of human beings. 

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Written by Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now is about a young American girl, deemed to be a terribly misunderstood teenager by her parents, who is shipped off to visit her aunt that lives in England for the summer in the hopes that someone would be able to get through to her. During her stay a terrorist coalition rears its ugly head throwing the world into chaos and we are told how she and those who she interacts with survive the world that they live in now. I am quite intrigued to see how the film turns out as it has been ages since I've read a book before I've watched the film adaptation. I hate knowing what happens before it happens...if you know what I mean. But I guess we all have different ways of viewing things so hopefully the director's vision for this story greatly differs from mine.

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Read it or not...that is your choice.

Mo x

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Read It Or Not: How I Live Now

I remember seeing the poster for the movie adaptation of this book a couple years ago and making a note to go see it but I never did. Then, some time in February I made my way over to Leeds to visit my sister & a couple of my best mates (read about my adventure here) and ended up leaving with a couple extra books to read after drooling over my mate Rach's bookcase.  How I Live Now was one of the books she recommended I give a chance so here I it a chance.

This is my book for April.

Feel free to join me on this adventure or share your verdict on the books I plan to read or recommend the ones you love.

Mo x

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Read It Or Not: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This is a book I would love to have read when I was younger. Not because I don't think I am able to relate to the characters in the book but because I feel like my teenage self would have really, really enjoyed this. But at least I have read it now and I must say I do rather like it. 

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'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is story that falls under the 'Coming of Age' category. It is a novel that regales you with the tale of a boy called Charlie who is trying to find his place in the world as he is about to start his freshman year at high school. I really admire the way Stephen Chbosky wrote this book. He somehow captured the essence of the voice of a young person in the letters that were written by Charlie making it easier to imagine this world of his. It felt like the letters were addressed to us, the readers, and we were invited into the mind of Charlie to see things as he saw it. And it was only halfway through reading this book that I finally understood its title. When I watched the film I sort of had an idea of what the story was about but I have to say the book had quite a few hidden treasures within it that made me understand the characters a lot more as you would rightly assume it would.

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If you haven't read this book before and are looking for something this is quite an easy read (I finished it in March guys. Whoop!!), has a great plot and is also an ode to other great works of literature then is the book you should get a hold of.

Read it or not...that is your choice.

Mo x 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Read It Or Not: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

After buying The Perks of Being a Wallflower back in August last year I am finally getting round to reading it. And by George I will finish reading it this month as it is hardly a long story (only 231 pages). I remember watching the film adaptation of the book, which was written by Stephen Chbosky, and really revelling in the story of young Charlie and his view on the series of events that unfurled in front of him. When I found out that the film was based on a book I made a vow to read the book and grasp as many extra bits of information about Charlie, his friends and family that did not make it into the movie as I could . And now, almost 2 years later, I am fulfilling that promise I made to myself.

This is my book for March.

Feel free to join me on this adventure or share your verdict on the books I plan to read or recommend the ones you love.

Mo x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Read It Or Not: Eat Pray Love

My goodness how time flies! I have not started off this year well on the reading books front. I cannot believe it is March already. Argh! Right, I have finally finished Eat Pray Love, written by Elizabeth Gilbert, and found it to be somewhat of an eye opener. The film left out soooo much but then again, it would be ridiculous to think they could cover everything in 1hr and 30 mins.

So, onto my review:

This autobiography is one that has been an absolute joy to read despite the fact that it has taken a bit more than a month to finish- I only read it during my lunch break for some reason... The way Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this book made me feel  like I was a friend of her's that was sat on a comfy sofa in her living room with a cup of tea in hand, a few biscuits in the other and had a lovely blanket made in India draped over me whilst I listened to her give me a detailed account of what happened on her year of self-discovery. I loved it! Her tales are funny, inspiring, educational and have a resounding feel of honesty. And reading about her trip to Italy, India and Bali woke up my inner traveller from its deep slumber and has lead to me taking my dream of seeing more than the city I live in a bit more seriously. But the thing I love most about this book is her perseverance. Her perseverance through all she went through and the brave decision she made to step out of the box that was her life to gain a new perspective and take charge of her life again is what filled me with doses of inspiration. That and knowing that just because your life may not be the way you hope it would does not mean you have to wallow in self-pity or the toxic abyss that is your current problem; you can pick yourself up again and reap bountiful rewards.

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So, if you are in the mood for a book that is about a woman's search for a happier version of herself and told in a witty, relatable and heart warming way then this is for you. I really do not think you will regret reading it but as I always say:

Read it or not...that is your choice.

Mo x 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Fears of A Writer

I'm afraid.

Afraid that I will one run out of things to say.. stories to tell.... worlds to share. So many stories have already been told since the world began. Is there anything that can be considered new any more? I know that the odds of someone writing a piece on the same topic that is brewing in your mind in the exact way and manner you would regale the world with your thoughts on said topic is so low it can be considered impossible. But...what if it is possible? That right now, the project that you have sweated and toiled over and called your own is not in fact just yours alone...that someone else shares this project with you also. There must be thousands of writers all scribbling furiously in their notepads and journals right this moment, hoping to hold onto that brilliant thought (that most of us could share) long enough to be the first one to put it into words and onto paper.


Paper will never lose its appeal to me. I don't know about you but I love to write my drafts on paper first. Most of them never get transcribed into an electronic format but I don't really mind that because at the end of the day, I feel more connected to the story when it is actually written by me- yes, I am aware that is not sustainable of me :/.  I remember reading somewhere that paper is one of the best listeners in the world and it really is. It is also quite patient- never rushing you to get your words out. Whatever greatness or crappyness it now beholds, it will never reject your thoughts- we do that.  It is only now that I am beginning to be more confident about sharing my work with others to see if they will be as accepting as my pads of paper have been and using it as a means to figure out how I can improve my writing skill. Whether I will pluck up the courage to one day send a draft of my musings to an actual editor is yet to be decided... but I am no longer running away from that possibility which to me is progress. 

But I am still afraid.

Afraid that the ink of my pen is about to run out and there are no more refills. Afraid that I will not get to live the dream I have had since I was a young girl in this lifetime simply because I have nothing else to offer. The fear that what ever I produce could be classed as plagiarism because someone else got their work out first. But even though that fear is slowly trying to prevent me from picking up my pen all together, I actually do not think I would ever stop writing. Even if it is about mundane things like the feel of wet sand beneath my feet on a windy day at the beach, I know I will still write about it. So, I guess all that is left for me to do now is to persevere and keep on writing. Because even if I create a story that is so similar to someone else's, there will be differences that will make it uniquely mine even if it is only how I chose to arrange the words used in my sentences.

And if my pen does indeed run out of ink...

Well, I will just have to go out and get a new one. After all, who doesn't love a shiny new pen? Embracing a new way of writing...of thinking... of expressing one's self. Going beyond what was to experience something new. Getting out of your studio, office or room to enter into the world and allowing it to inspire you and give you exactly what you need for you to carry on. Yes, when that time comes and I feel I have no more stories to tell I will simply force myself to put on my coat and walking shoes, carry my purse and umbrella and head out of my house to go out and get new ideas... change my perspective. I will allow all my senses to absorb the beauty and chaos around me that always differs day to day and interpret it in whatever way comes naturally.

Mo x

Friday, 24 January 2014

Read It Or Not: Quiet


It took me a while but I got there. As it is a book with actual pages of references at the back of it, it is not your usual work of fiction. Matter of fact it is not a fictional book at all. I must admit that this is not the kind of book I am used to reading in my spare time as a bunch more brain cells were required to process it. Even writing this post proved to be quite difficult as not only was there was a lot of material to digest in Quiet, it took me quite a while to finish it and I didn't take note of my thoughts on each chunk I read so I have forgotten where my favourite bits of the book are. No doubt about it though, this is definitely a book that I will be referring back to every now and again.

Quiet was written by a woman called Susan Cain and she is a wonderful writer! I know that the reason I kept turning the pages of her book until I got to the end was not solely because the main topic of her book hit close to home for me but also because her writing style is such that it sounds like she was having a conversation with us, the readers- weaving bits of her life stories in with those of others and some scientific research to back up her facts or pose new ways of thinking. If only textbooks were written is such a manner...
Quiet is about challenging the world to change its current ways of valuing mostly the extroversion-type qualities in people and realise, as well as reward, the beauty and benefits of people who are considered to be introverts... Quiet. 

I know only too well the highly uncomfortable feeling that consumes you when you receive word that you have been invited for an assessment centre which is designed to see how you cope in group activities and just how well you make yourself stand out from the crowd; the sickening feeling you get when you drag yourself to the front of the classroom, that is far too close to be right, to give that dreaded presentation you have been slaving away on all week in front of all your classmates; the butterflies that swarm aimlessly in your tummy when you host a meeting with your company's senior management team to showcase your findings on the project you have been working on; the unease that stiffens your stride as you go to a party where you literally know 2 people who are currently engaged in a discussion with a massive group of people you don't know which means you are left standing alone like a lemon in the corner of the room wondering why you came; the dread that coses up to you went your parents or partner not-so-subtly suggest you get out more by picking up a sport or getting involved in more societies or attending/hosting more dinner parties or a whole bunch of other things that quite frankly just exhaust you.

In my opinion, Quiet explores the intricacies of introversion and extroversion and how people that lean more toward to either side can cope in the environments we live in today. It  gives advice to parents, teachers, managers and folks in relationships on how to better understand their kids, students, employees and partners respectively that are considered introverts. It is filled with stories about public figures who made their mark on the world in their own way even though they saw themselves as introverts showing that introverts can be just as powerful/influential. There are summaries of studies that have been conducted by people considered experts in the field of human personality theories in the book that shed a bit of light on both personality traits. Real-life stories of people that have understood how to wield their introversion-like qualities to their advantage to complete tasks that were once considered out of their comfort zone are strategically placed within the book to support the topic being explored in each chapter. And tales from Susan herself that tell you her personal view on the power of introversion are interwoven amongst the research that she has decided to share with the public .

As a self-proclaimed introvert, Quiet was an big eye-opener for me and made me realise that just because society values certain attributes that I do not possess in spades, it doesn't mean that introverts do not have an important part to play in society. It also taught me a few things on how to handle situations that I do not necessarily jump for joy about being in which was quite enlightening. If you are interested in a bit of psychology, the complexity of one's personality and history, then I think you will like it this book.

Read it or not...that is your choice.

Mo x

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Read It Or Not: Eat Pray Love

For those of you who might be up to date with my other space in this big interweb, it will come as no surprise that I have decided to read this book this year. Written by Elizabeth GilbertEat Pray Love is a book that I have meaning to get my hands on since I first saw the film. I have watched that movie more times than I can count and I cannot wait to sink my eyes into the book from which the film was birthed. I have heard so many good things about this, I am glad a copy has now found a home on my desk that is close to buckling under the weight of the books I have on it already. I really need to invest in a bookshelf...or three.

This is my book for January.

Feel free to join me on this adventure or share your verdict on the books I plan to read or recommend the ones you love.

Mo x

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Push It To The Limit

The last few months of 2013 was terrible for me with regards to the books I managed to read. I still haven't finished Quiet nor have I begun to read Great Expectations. This year I plan to be different. I will finish at least one book a month. It shouldn't be that hard as I love reading and my social life is not vibrant enough to justify why I could not complete this simple task last year.

So, I will publish my thoughts on Quiet this month as well as my thoughts on my book for January. I want my book for January to be a new addition to my ever-growing library as I think it will be a great start to this year. All will be revealed in another post. Great Expectations will be read this year, don't you worry, along with other great classics.

Also, to any book lover out there, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you may have on books that I just have to read. I really want to expand the genres of books that I read this year. I think the romantic in me has been thoroughly spoilt all these years hehe.

I wish all the best with achieving the goals you have set for yourself this year!

Mo x