Like I said in my new years resolutions post – you can find it here – I’m pretty bad at keeping on track. I thought I might have an easier time staying on the straight and narrow if I checked in with myself occasionally to see how things are going. This probably isn’t going to be a monthly thing, but I’ll try to check in regularly and see if it helps. Feel free to use the comments as your own checking in page! How are you getting along? Have you broken any resolutions? Changed any? Are you smashing through them like the gods/goddesses you are? Let’s chat in the comments, and spur each other on!
So this blog has been Secrets of the Student Life since its conception. And that name fit for a while. It fit when I was a broke student trying to make sense of the world. But now I’m a broke graduate trying to make sense of the world. A broke professional. A woman with a job that I go to every week, Monday to Friday. And, well, Secrets of the Student Life just doesn’t really fit anymore, does it? Because I’m not living the student life anymore.
SO. I’ve decided to change the name of the blog. I thought about for a while, what I want to convey with the name. Names are important. Names are cool and fun and I love them. So who do I want to be in this blog? Who do I want you to see? I settled on Blank Pages Vivid Dreams. I rather like the sound and the flow of it, it lilts nicely and when I say it the name rolls off my tongue. And it really embodies my life. I have vivid dreams both in and out of sleep, and blank pages are the basis of my life. They are the canvas on which I spill my words, the foundations of my life and world. And they go together nicely, don’t they? Pages and dreams. Who doesn’t talk about the most interesting dreams they have? I’ve had many weird and wacky ideas come to me in dreams, and it’s always a rush to write them down when I awake before they skitter off into the ether never to return.
I’m not really changing anything else. I’m still writing about the same things, and the URL will stay the same until I’ve figured out how to change it (or have the money to!). I’ve just changed the name on the front of the blog to better reflect me. And I’m pretty happy with it for now.
So you guys know that I’ve lived in Edinburgh for going on 4 years now. In a city as big and diverse as this, there’s so many cool independent places to go and eat. Last week I had brunch at the Treehouse Cafe on Leven Street, Edinburgh. It’s up next to Bruntsfield Links, and it does REALLY GOOD PANCAKES.
My Goodreads profile is always a long way behind my actual reading. I like my short Goodreads reviews to compliment my more in depth reviews here on my blog, which means I tend to write them at the same time. But…I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty useless at keeping up. I even have a column on my reading spreadsheet reminding me to write reviews, but I still manage to fall behind. It’s just not that easy to write a long, detailed review when life gets in the way, and that means I don’t update my Goodreads either. I’ve been having some struggles recently (and not so recently) that have thrown me way off base, and I’m struggling to know what to do next. I still read but my reading is marred by reality’s ugly head, and having the time and mental energy to review has seemed impossible. While I can think all to well about what I want to say, when it comes down to actually getting it done and dusted I seem stuck. And that blows. A lot.
Just today I moved 6 books from my current list to my read list. I still haven’t reviewed them, but my head seems clearer today than it has in a long time so maybe I can blast some out and get back on track. Just putting a rating and “review to follow” on my books has allowed me to shift them off the current list, and it means I’m catching up to my Goodreads target again. Now I just need to start writing before I actually forget what I thought of the books. For this very reason, I keep rough notes on my phone as I read, so that I can build on them more, but still, it can be hard to remember weeks later what you planned on saying.
We all have our ups and downs, and for the most part reading helps me through mine. I like to review my books so that, later on, I can look back and remember why I enjoyed it (or didn’t), so that I can see whether it’s worth it to reread. It would be nice if my reviews introduced people to books they’d never read too, though reading is so subjective and I always think that it’s better to read and form your own opinion on a book instead of avoiding it because others didn’t like it (or worse, feeling as though you have to enjoy it just because everyone else thinks it’s the best book in the world). Most of the time, writing a review is just part of the reading process to me. It helps me slow down and consider what I’ve just read, rather than running from one book to the next without breath, without remembering what I’ve read or how it made me feel. In these times though, when life itself seems such a chore, reviewing can seem almost impossible. I’m trying though. I hope it picks up. I hope I can get some done before the next wave hits. And maybe this time I won’t fall so far behind.
This review may contain mild spoilers but will not talk in detail about any important plot points. I bought this book second hand from a used book sale sometime last year and just got around to reading it. The book is about a girl called Emma, who is the last person to see her childhood best friend, Abby, before Abby goes missing. The book is centred around Emma trying to find out what happened to Abby while also trying not to let the unsavoury circumstances in her past (that led to her “abandoning” Abby and moving to a different school) bleed through into her present. Check out the Goodreads page here.
Every year since I started university I come home for Christmas but this year was special because I got to come back for a whole month!! A month of free food, no exams or uni work and constant DOGS! Utter bliss. I managed to see so many friends (and in fact a friend from Edinburgh came to spend a few days with me and my folks over Christmas which was nice) and I bought some books. In the sales. Because I have very little self control (read literally none whatsoever). I only bought 6 though! So maybe I’m getting better in my ripe old age?
(All book cover images were taken from google because my camera was being mean to me.)
Hey everyone! I’d been quite sporadic with posting for quite a while (I’ve been having a lot of personal problems and I’ve been in a reading/blogging slump for quite a while) but hopefully that’ll change soon. To commemorate my new ideas and renewed vigour for blogging, I have changed the look of my blog! Woo! It’s still just one of the free WordPress ones (I am but a poor human bean) but I really like the colour scheme and fonts. The blog image of a typewriter is also from the WordPress arsenal and I think it’s both beautiful and does a good job of summing up my blog (and my life if we’re being honest). I may change it to an image that I’ve taken myself in the future, but I’m still undecided. I love this image enough to stick with it for a while yet.
I don’t really know why I’m making this post. I don’t want it to be another “don’t worry I’m back for real” post because they seem to be the death of me. All I can say is that I’m getting on with my life the best I can, I have honestly missed blogging and I’m excited to get back to it, I have more ideas for blog posts now but still no schedule but then, life’s really too short to spend it on a schedule anyway. I want to thank all of you who were here before, and all those who will return. My blog is primarily for myself but when others recognise my work or talk to me about shared interests it really warms my heart. So thank you for that. And here’s to the many productive months ahead.
Don’t forget to follow me if you’d like, read my latest post (a spoiler-free review of the film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), comment on my posts (I do so love hearing from you guys) and follow my new (and hopefully more active) book instagram secretlybeautifulbooks (you can also follow my personal instagram – alliej_xoxo – for sporadic selfies and food porn). See you in the next post .