Friday, 29 September 2017

Tiny Hipsters Take Manchester

This summer, I met one of my oldest friends, Hawwa, for the first time. We had a very aesthetically-pleasing day in Shoreditch wandering around looking for good graffiti and interesting buildings, cameras constantly in or out of our bags as we battled against the rain. You can read about that here. And a few weeks later, we met up again, this time in Manchester...

Before I show you my photos, though, I'm going to tell you a story because if you're new to this blog and you don't know how tragic I am, you need to know how tragic I am. So a few weeks ago, I tried to do a favour for a friend and drove her to Peterborough... except I didn't realise I'd missed a turning, accidentally ended up on a motorway which was terrifying and NEVER AGAIN, and didn't realise anything had gone wrong until the signs for Peterborough were replaced with horrific signs like 'THE NORTH' and 'Kettering'. Where even is Kettering? I don't know. I don't care. In the end, we realised we were in fact near Nottingham and I cried a lot and it was horrible and my step-dad had to rescue us by finding us on very limited information and letting me follow him home. Genuinely traumatic. Anyway, that's just setting the scene for my actual story, which is: when I got on the train to Huddersfield... I didn't actually check what train I was getting on. I just saw that it was a Virgin train and hopped on. I was distracted by my quickly-cooling McDonald's, okay? I was in Doncaster before I realised that I shouldn't actually be in Doncaster. And later, when I had to catch another train, I just... didn't get on. It was right in front of me for several minutes and I had no idea because I was on Snapchat being hilarious. Then it disappeared off the departures board and the penny dropped.


So then I had to wait an hour. In the cold. Alone. Hungry. *slides tiny violin from tiny case*

Sunday, 24 September 2017

5 Photo Editing Dupes for PicMonkey

It was dark. I was uploading a video to my YouTube channel, scheduling it to go live in a couple of hours. My video still needed a thumbnail, so I clicked over to PicMonkey, my usual online photo editor of choice. Edited the picture, nothing too fancy, clicked 'save'...

...and a box popped up suggesting I 'treat myself' to the privilege of being able to save my image for just £8 a month.

The world ended. It was a very dramatic moment. Twitter was abuzz with bloggers and vloggers having a go at PicMonkey - and rightly so, to be honest. I can see why they did it from a business/finance point of view, but also... way to lose all your customers in one swift move?! It was like the devastating loss of Picnik in 2013 all over again...
Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The New Blogger's Guide to Following Bloggers on Twitter

Well done me for accidentally covering up my own face. I guess you could see it as an improvement.

When you first create a blog, you'll fall into one of two categories: either you'll have no idea a whole blogging community exists, which is the possibly outdated category I used to be in (?!) or you'll know there's a blogging community but you'll have no idea where to start. Because it's a pretty massive community. Like, global. Who do you follow? How do you find new blogs to read? You know they're all out there somewhere but it would be so handy if there was just a list...
Thursday, 14 September 2017

My Favourite Photography Books, and the Joy of Capturing Memories

It's no secret that I love taking photos. Up until a couple of years ago, I would photograph practically everything... and online it would go, regardless of whether it was good, bad, or part of a series of identical photos for no apparent reason. They'd all be uploaded. These days, I'm more selective with what makes the cut, and I no longer photograph everything. That doesn't mean I'm no longer into photography, but rather the opposite: I've actually fallen in love with it even more.
Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Girl's Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: The Girl's Guide to Summer
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Published by: Orchard Books
Publication date: 15th June 2017
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance/Travel
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Sydney Aarons is leaving her Manhattan townhouse for a summer backpacking around Europe with her best friend, Leela. They're visiting London, France, Italy, Switzerland and everywhere in between - it's going to be the trip of a lifetime.

BUT... The trip gets off to a bad start when Leela's ex-boyfriend shows up on their flight out of JFK. When they touch down in London, Leela Instagrams their every move in the hope Matt will come and find them... Which he does, along with the most gorgeous guy Sydney has ever seen.

Will Sydney's summer fling last the distance? And what will happen when they all head home?

Much earlier this year, lusting after a new book or two, I came across I See London, I See France - Sarah Mlynowski's latest YA novel. Her debut, many books ago now, was one of the first books I ever reviewed, and it had been far too long since I'd had a good dose of her writing. Unfortunately, this new one wasn't publishing here across the pond, and after tweeting the publisher to check only to get no response (le cry) I kind of gave up on it. Then I saw a tweet in my timeline which included a photo of a Sarah Mlynowski proof... called The Girl's Guide to Summer. And lo and behold, it was the same book! Cue happy Amber.
Monday, 4 September 2017

On Bloggers and Authors Being Seen as Public Property

A couple of months ago, there was discussion in the YA community about privacy. Specifically, the private lives of authors. The discussion highlighted that many book reviews, especially for books about personal topics such as sexuality or mental health, would talk about the book and then lead on to speculate about the author's private life. Do they share the same sexuality as their protagonist? They wrote it so well, they must do! Does the author suffer from this mental illness, too? Has the author had this happen to them? Has the author had that happen to them? Overwhelmingly, the discussion concluded in this: an author's life is not public property to be speculated about whenever you feel like it.