Heyo From Edinburgh!

The top of Arthur's Seat from my phone/instagram

The top of Arthur’s Seat from my phone/instagram

Boy, do I have to apologize. 

I’m incredibly sorry for neglecting to update my blog, but it’s been mayhem since I left.

I’m here in Edinburgh now, and pretty much all settled in; school has started and groceries have been bought – pretty much everything else has been done as well! 

It’s weird having to actually make meals for myself – all of them, that is. I definitely took for granted all the amazing home-cooked meals provided for me. It doesn’t help when your sister sends a picture of nonna’s infamous lasagna when you have just finished having a bowl of canned soup, or rice. 

I’ve managed to avoid laundry like a plague so far; the bin is looking a little full now, so I’m going to have to figure out the machine sooner rather than later. I wish clothes could wash themselves. 

School is INTENSE! But I can’t say I wasn’t expecting that. I’m lucky that I already have a little bit of experience with design, It well definitely be useful when we start learning it all on Friday. 

I’ve also done the touring bit! Once I upload the pictures from my camera I’ll make a gallery on here for you all – getting to the top of Arthur’s Seat was probably the highlight. Here is another picture from my Instagram in the meantime: 

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This is just a small update for now, I’ll upload the pictures ASAP so I can show them to you all!

Until then, 

Mel 

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Oh, the woes of packing

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Istock via Boston.com via Google Images

As you all know from my post yesterday, I’m getting ready to leave for Edinburgh, Scotland on Saturday. That is in five days. 1-2-3-4-5. Ask me how my packing is going, I dare you?

I’m going to tell you anyway – hence the title of this blog post.

Packing is not going. At all. I do have one suitcase done, but that was the easy stuff because it was mostly heavy sweaters and jackets. I still have basically everything to do and I can’t bring myself to do it.

Maybe it is the fact that I need to shove everything I am going to need for a year in a few suitcases or I’m just incredibly scared, but it is just not getting done.

I’ll admit it, I’m a horrible procrastinator. I leave everything to the last minute no matter how hard I try not to. It is my vice and I will live with it until the day I die (or magically overcome it; that would be lovely). But it’s not just the procrastination that is getting to me.

I’m feeling so overwhelmed with everything I have to do (both packing and non-packing related) that I just don’t do it and don’t think about it. To top it all off, I’m constantly tired. My body is trying to deal with the stress of having to pack my life up for a year and leave all my family and friends behind…and I’m not liking how it is reacting.

I definitely need some help and/or guidance.

So here is my question to you, my readers: What should I do to get out of this funk..and fast. Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments below.

I know everything will be done in time to leave (it sort of has to), I’m just trying to avoid last minute panic if possible.

I’ll be picking which books I’m bringing with me on my journey (to start me off, of course) over the next two days, so my original bookies – and hopefully my new readers – should enjoy my next post 😉

Until next time,

Melissa

Time for a change

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”  C. JoyBell C.

Wow, it has been a LONG time.

A lot has happened since I last posted on this website and I’ve decided that getting back into the blogging scene is definitely what I want to be doing.

It has always been my dream to live in the U.K. I was never really picky about where I ended up, as long as I was there. So when the opportunity came a-knocking I knew I couldn’t let it pass me by – if I wanted to pursue my dreams I was going to have to take risks and that means actually leaving home and making sure those dreams come true.

Well after a year of extremely hard work (literal blood, sweat, and tears), I was accepted to Edinburgh Napier University for their Publishing masters programme – so at the moment I am currently getting ready to leave on Saturday. As you can probably guess, things have been hectic. I decided to come back to blogging because I want to share my (hopefully) epic year with my friends, family, and anyone who cares to read about it.

I’m also planning on starting a vlog on Youtube – that is, if I get the nerves to do so.

I want to document as much of this trip as I possibly can, so I’m going to use all means to do so. Don’t worry, I won’t leave the book blogging totally behind – I definitely want to keep doing that as it was a lot of fun.

I take no credit for my new header and icon..symbol..thing; I found them on the internet and until I get to Edinburgh and can take some pictures of my own I will be using them.

Hopefully you all will be interested in hearing (and seeing – I have a great camera for photos!) about my year abroad, and definitely let me know if you want to see a vlog about my journey!

Thanks for reading,

Melissa

Summer catch up

Hello all,

I know, I know, I lied in my last post saying I was back…because that clearly did not happen. So I might as well do a catch up of what I’ve been up to this summer, because honestly, a lot of it has to do with books.

For the first two months of my summer I was taking a Shakespeare class at my university. It was so much fun, but really hard work.

It was a full year credit done in 2 months…which means 10 Shakespeare plays in 6 weeks, yikes. But I did do it and I have to say, after reading King Lear a second time, it is my new favourite with Hamlet in close second.

Speaking of Shakespeare I’m DYING to watch the BBC’s new production of the Hollow Crown, so once I watch them I’ll probably do a nice little review.

I haven’t actually read as many books as I wanted to by this point in my summer, but considering I was doing all the extra reading for my course I’m okay with it.

So this time I really, really, REALLY, mean that I’m back! I promise to get some reviews down and my thoughts on trailers of movie adaptations that are coming out! I solemnly swear!

PS The first four chapters of Chamber of Secrets is up on Pottermore! Are any of you guys on Pottermore, and if so, what do you think about it?

And I’m back!

Well it has been a while hasn’t it. 

Once school finished I decided to take a small break, but now I’m back (and, in all honesty, procrastinating because I have a Shakespeare essay to write) and ready to continue this blog through the summer! Huzzah!

I’ve been reading a lot, so I have plenty of books to review and the Perks of Being a Wallflower trailer and The Great Gatsby trailer (a lot to say about that one…) just came out, so I’ll probably do a post on those too. 

But for now I must start my essay. Have no fear, I will probably be back later with a new post! 

-Mel

NEW JK ROWLING BOOK! REJOICE!

I know this is a little late, but hey, it’s better late than never.

Potter fans have been waiting since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for another book by the fabulous J.K Rowling, and on September 27th of this year we are finally going to get it.

It’s called The Casual Vacancy and, unfortunately, it is not about magic at all. It’s an adult book and a short synopsis of the book has been posted on Rowling’s website. It reads:

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Seemingly an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

As a fan of JK Rowling I know I will be picking this book up on its release date despite the content, but lucky for me it actually looks like it will be a good read.

What about all of you? Are you (whether or not you are a fan of J.K. Rowling) interested enough in the book to pick it up and give it a read?

Let me know in the comments below and take this poll:

E-readers are changing the book world, but not in the way you would think

What started as telling stories using spoken word has evolved over time and is now breaching the world of technology.

Electronic books (e-books) are the newest method of sharing stories and their popularity is steadily increasing. Indigo, Amazon and Sony, among others, all have their own versions of the electronic book reader (e-reader).

But these new and evolving e-readers bring to question the fate of hard copy books in places such as public libraries and used bookstores.

Anne Marie Aikins, the manager of community relations for the Toronto Public Library, says books downloaded through the library system went up over 100 per cent last year, but they still are not the top priority.

“Last year over 33 million items were borrowed and less than three per cent were e-books,” Aikins said. “It’s a growing market and it will continue to grow as more books become available. But not all books come out in e-book format and those that do may not be available to libraries.“

Aikins said the library is experiencing something very unusual when it comes to e-books. “The more popular e-books become, the more popular other library services are becoming, including hard cover books, which we hadn’t anticipated.”

Some bookstores are also finding they have to change their business to make up for revenue lost to e-books. For example, Chapters-Indigo has introduced more gifts and home accessories to their stores.

For used bookstores, this hasn’t become a viable option. Owner Katya Nosko works at The Great Escape, a used bookstore on Kingston Road in Scarborough. Katya hasn’t noticed any impact from the e-reader at her store.

“[The store] has seen no discernible change in our sales because of the e-reader,” Nosko said. “In fact, we may be doing better because ‘true book people’ feel at home here and their choices to go elsewhere are diminishing.”

People who are self-proclaimed book people have different experiences when shopping for books. For them it is not just about picking up a book to read, it’s more than that.

“The store is as much a destination for adventure as it is a place to pick up a good read,” Nosko said. “People often comment on the pleasant smell of old books and the fun of searching through the stacks.”

So whether you prefer reading from a page or off of a screen, books will always be around as a method of storytelling.

Aikins likens the evolution of books to another form of entertainment, the home movie.

“While the format of video has changed over the years from DVD to blu-ray, movies are still popular and we believe the same thing will continue with books,” she said.

[This is an article that was written by me that was published in the Scarborough Observer newspaper.]

This is a clip from one of the interviews: