Wednesday, 30 April 2014

FanGirl' By Rainbow Rowell

Publisher – Macmillian
 
Cath and Wren are twins. I can sympathise with both sisters as I have been to both ends of the spectrum. I used to be the girl who’d stay in every night – getting my work done – I actually took a very similar course to Cath’s at uni – but I’ve been to Wren’s side too – luckily never ended up in hospital – but I was the party girl in my at university.

t is like reading two books in one. You often get so caught up in Simon Snow’s world that you forget it’s about Cath. I used to write fanfiction – not as intensely – but I know how easy it is to lose yourself in a world of make-believe. I guess it’s escapism. And there are far worse things you could lose yourself in. I liked her character and understood her – because for the first semester at university I didn’t go out. I did used to socialise with the people who also stayed in halls at the time – but now I’m the party girl whenever I go back!

I like Levi. I like that he encourages her. He doesn’t pressure her into anything. She pressurizes herself. I admire that. Someone with real determination to finish the project she’s had her heart set on for two years. I think it’s really important, the last lesson she learns in this book.

I love the way she grows throughout this book. From timid can’t-do-anything-without-my-twin-sister to actually, I’m awesome, me. It takes Cath by surprise, how highly people rate her and I think that’s good. Unlike Cath, not many people have fans all over the world, turning over every fanfic she writes, but I think there’s a deeper lesson we can learn from her.

From the first word, it reminded me of the first days I was at university. Her insecurities about writing – were and are very much my own. I feel for her. The life traumas she suffers are believable and mostly preventable and I get where she’s coming from.

Her relationship with her mother is rightly on knife-edge.

Levi is there for her when she needs him, and I’ve never known what that feels like, but it must be lovely to have that support and someone fighting your corner.

 

I read a review on this book and picked it up soon after, and I was so glad I did. It conjured up some good memories and was such a good story of growth. You really get to know and understand her character and sympathise with her. Definitely worth a read!

 

 
Steph
 
XxX

Sunday, 27 April 2014

How To: Find A Light In The Dark


“If you can’t find a light in the darkness, then be one.”

I can’t remember whose quote that is but I remember reading it. And it is so true. It will empower those around you, maybe not straight away, maybe after years. It can come as a relief to some, who have been plundering in the dark for so long, and perhaps some people won’t realise that you’re the one whose light is shining until something catastrophic happens to you but that is the way of life. When people didn’t hear from me, because I was in hospital they worried about me. My family came to see me in hospital and had me feeling better for the time they were there but it did take me reliving the memory of meeting one of my all-time crushes (T) to light my way out of that tunnel!

So in that way I found a light for myself. It was distant. But as I enveloped myself into re-living that particular memory I pulled the light closer and soon I was all right again.

If you want to be a light, reach out and realise that you are not alone. For every devastated experience you have had, I can tell you that there is someone out there who has gone through similar and/or worse. You don’t have to be a scientist to discover that everyone’s different but everyone is special and unique. No one has all the answers. There are pieces of this life to unfold all the time. Take your time, and in hard situations try to smile. It will put others at ease and possibly even cause them to crack a smile. It was said when I was at university  that I could make a whole room happy just by laughing.

That’s right, my laugh is that loud! And I’m not ashamed of it. Even though now I get frowned at and ‘that’s not the way ladies behave,’ if I think something’s funny I will laugh. And I don’t care if the whole world hears me. I’m a secure person.

Realising that other people go through and suffer like you have is key to being a light. Knowing that you are not alone on the cold, dark nights is so incredibly important. Once you realise this, that you can help other people just by being you, there is no greater gift. Everyone goes through life, everyone is not Ok 100% of the time; no one could be or ever should be. Life is not fair sometimes but the most important thing, the things that defines your life, is how you deal with it.

And just keep on smiling, because there's no reason not to. And when you're happy, it catches on. So go ahead, you'll make other people happy just by being you. Again, it's not a thing that will happen overnight, it will take time. But just take that first step today. Be you. There's n one else you were meant to be.

Hope you liked it and it helped,

Steph

XxX

 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review of 'StarGirl' by Jerry Spinelli!

I read it in 4 days. It’s amazing. This book was recommended to me by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Publisher – Orchard Books

The blurb reads:

 Stargirl. She’s as magical as the desert sky. As mysterious as her own name.

 Nobody knows who she is, or where she’s come from. But everyone loves her for being different. And she captures Leo’s heart with one smile.

But standing out from the crowd isn’t always admired. And when people start to turn against them, Stargirl and Leo are forced to test the strength of their love.

 elebrating non-conformity and the thrill of first love, Stargirl is a classic of our time.’

It really is a fantastic read. And it has short chapters, which are a bonus. Immediately when you open this book you are engulfed in mystery. It is a beautifully told story about being different. Because the chapters are so short it is enticing to read it in shorter time as possible. The resolution is powerful and the legacy left is just awesome. It takes you on the journey of a teenage misfit and the pressures that has on relationships in general.

The story is from a male POV (Leo’s) and I don't like it as much as a girl’s POV, because I can’t really relate to a male POV. It’s interesting to find that he was the one with the popularity issues, opposed to her.  It's a story of the frailty of a first love evolving. It is definitely worth the read.

 

The link - Stargirl

Pick it up! It's worth a read!




I am regularly a guest writer on: http://www.yourhappinessfactor.net

And, of course subscribe to my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkoz1yev_apPjE8XcVrjyjA

Steph
 
XxX 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

How To: Be Ok Without A Relationship

I don’t need… a boy
 
I got this in a comment about a year ago and it’s just been playing on my mind to write a post about. The woman who suggested it has probably stopped reading my blogs by now but nevertheless…

You are strong enough. No question about it. Either in or out of a relationship. Life doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. We often surprise ourselves with our strength. And in a year or a few months, you can look back and laugh ‘I didn’t think I had it in me!’ So don’t give up, even if you don’t believe you can take it. We really can surprise ourselves. And don’t you want to be able to say ‘I’ve had difficulties. But I got through them!’

 It’s hard to do on your own though. Knowing that you have no one to go to other than your parents and friends, for support. It’s easy to feel isolated or that no one understands. The thing is you can feel like that in a relationship too. And in some circumstances, it is worse to be in a relationship when you are feeling this way. You have to learn to be Ok with yourself before going into a relationship ideally. Where you can look yourself in the mirror, say ‘This is me’; accept the imperfections and insecurities that make you you. There is never going to be another you. Others may attempt to look like you or the like, but there’s only one you. With your taste in music, film, theatre etc..

Someday someone is going to love that about you and your little quirks. I used to believe I was the only single person out there. I’m just no one’s type, I’m not lovable. Now I laugh at these distorted views. Of course I wasn’t the only one, and thinking that I was no one’s type left me thinking did I really think I was that special? That NO ONE in the world could find me in their heart? That certainly would make me one of a kind, and I’m not. I was just like everybody else. I still am. That doesn’t change.

You shouldn’t rely on someone else for strength. Because it’s not easy to recover from when/if they go away. They are there for support/shoulders to cry on if and when needed. You need to grow into yourself. No one can do that for you. No matter how much they wish they were facing the problem rather than you, they can’t. You need to learn to be strong on your own. For some, this may come easier as they’ve always had a partner to rely upon and for others it may be harder; you may be alone and it may feel like you’re fighting a losing battle but it will get better and you will find someone. You’ve just got to keep the faith.
 
You are not alone! I know you're probably sick of hearing me say it but it's so true. There are hundreds - billions - of singleton's out there getting on with their lives. You are not the only one. You should never feel that you are.

Hope this has helped.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Review of 'Happily Ever After' by Harriet Evans

I have been wondering what to put up on Wednesday's for a while now - as my sister is right - you cannot really know what a lyric should be without the music. So I will endeavour to post something a bit different every week. From reviews to perhaps some chapters of my own writing. After I post reviews it'd be nice if others could read the same book and tell me if it affected them in the same way  it affected me. I'd love to know.

Here's the first review. Hope you like it and it inspires you to read:

“ ‘It feels like a race. Like everyone else is on the tracks, and I’m at the wrong venue with the wrong shoes on.’ ”

This quote sums up Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans. This quote especially resonates with girls, who might believe that it is a race. To consolidate the truth: it is not a race. Everybody has their own pace. Publisher – HarperCollins

The Blurb reads:

You can’t escape the ties that bind – the past catches up with you no matter how far you try to run…

This is a story of a girl who doesn’t believe in happy endings. Or happy families. It’s the story of Eleanor Bee, a shy book-loving girl who vows to turn herself into someone bright, shiny and confident, someone sophisticated. Someone who knows how life works.

But life has a funny way of catching us unawares. Turns out that Elle doesn’t know everything about love. Or life. Or how to keep the ones we love safe…

Absorbing, poignant and unforgettable, Happily Ever After is a compelling story of a fractured family and a girl who doesn’t believe in love.'

I thought she left too bigger gap between the chapters, but she always filled in the parts we needed to know, at the right time. The jigsaw pieces of her life all make sense by the end. We watch (or read) her grow up and change location because of popularity, but eventually she returns  to her orginal location because she learns that she needs to be happy, not just Ok.

 The love story is keeps us on tenterhooks right up until the Epilogue. Happily Ever After really takes you on a journey of a life that can be universalised. We all go through feeling some form of what she does throughout the book, I definitely found myself nodding along with some of her theories and practicalities of life.

One quotation in particular struck me: “ ‘You’re a star. You’re wonderful. You just don’t realise it.’ ” I think we’re all guilty of that one. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear, but you have to believe it of yourself. Even when no one else does. You’re making your way as best you can, in this world which is constantly telling us we’re not good enough. It’s time to stand up and tell the world that you are now. That is the point this book is trying to impress on us, and I think it works.

https://twitter.com/Steph_Carfrae


I am regularly a guest writer on: http://www.yourhappinessfactor.net

And, of course subscribe to my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkoz1yev_apPjE8XcVrjyjA

Steph

XxX
 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

How To: Feel Better About Yourself (girls)

Get dressed up for no reason. It’ll make you feel great. That surely gives you more reason to do it than not? Especially if you are on your own for long periods of time, it can make you feel better. This is what the world is missing. While you’re at home looking and feeling magnificent, the world is missing your aura, which is so high in the clouds you can’t even see it anymore. So go on, dress up, put that red lipstick on because you can. My friends and I often have discussions about how when you put red lipstick on you feel much more confident. We suspect it contains a feel-good drug or adrenelin of some kind. Your life is yours and though others may question your actions they have no right to look down upon them because at the end of the day it’s your choice to do whatever you do.

It’s your happiness that counts. I do this regularly. I don’t need to but I want to. I just think why not? This life has blessed given me a new day so I may as well respect it and look and feel as amazing as I can. Some days you’ll get up and can’t be bothered, and that’s fine, as long as you do it sometimes. You don’t need to feel stupid. I know sometimes it does make me feel vain when I look in the mirror to apply my red lipstick. But soon I forget about it as I start applying the lipstick. I focus on looking good. For myself, if no one else. Sometimes you won’t want to put on make up and that is absolutely fine. Just be fresh-faced beautiful you. Pleasing yourself is more important than pleasing anyone else. Everyone else is of secondary importance when it comes to how you feel about yourself. It is important you view yourself well. Others might call you all the names under the sun, but as long as you respect yourself that is all that matters. It’s hard to keep going, especially when people do call you names but you just need to know that they’re only jealous of you or a particular quality you possess.

Hope this helps, let me know

Steph

XxX

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

'Army Of Hearts'

I spent today at 'The Making of Harry Potter' in London. Really fascinating (I've been only once before) but it has totally wiped me out! I'm so tired now! An early night is on the cards, I think! It was a really fun day - taking my mum round for the first time. I forgot how tiring a day out could be!

Anyway, I actually remember writing this lyric. I wrote it after seeing a contestant win one of these reality TV programmes. I hope you like it,

It's called:
ARMY OF HEARTS

 

V1:

Incredible to think that so far

There have been a lot of willing hearts

But you have not seen me yet

You’ll be blown away I must admit

Although I may look weak

Hidden strength lies in me

 

Chorus:

There’s an army of hearts

And some are gonna be torn apart

But not mine cos I knew right from the start

That I am a star

 

V2:

Incredible to think now

So many people’s dreams are in their head now

This might be all they wanna do

Have a little time to get through to you

Although I may look fragile

Just wait til you see my smile

(Repeat Chorus)

M8:

Ooh baby baby

A whole army of hearts

That are all gonna get ripped apart

At the end

They’ll be one warrior left standing

That is my friends gonna be me

(Repeat Chorus)

 

Copyright © 2011 Stephanie Carfrae. All Rights Reserved.


If you'd like to have a go at putting music to this, you are more than welcome. But if anything is recorded or performed I need to know about it! You can either comment this post, tweet me (@steph_carfrae), leave me a comment on facebook www.facebook.com/TheRealStephCarfrae

 or email me at stephcarfrae@yahoo.co.uk. If you’d like a ‘Lyric Your Name’ please contact me at the same places. Thank you. I hope to hear from you soon . Thank you for reading,

 

Steph

 

XxX

Sunday, 6 April 2014

How To Believe In Yourself

We’re all worried that we’ll never be able to bring anything new or leave our mark on the world. But you’re uniqueness means no one can do what you do – they might do similar but they cannot do the same. Always remember that. It might seem a little scary – that you have something that no one else has – but it’s what makes you spectacular. No one can be you, no one can feel what you feel – even if you articulate it there’s no saying anyone will understand and/or there can be no words to describe it. And that’s ok. It can be frustrating. So very frustrating. But it’s not fair to take aggression verbally or physically out on other people, especially if you don’t tell anybody how you’re feeling. I hope I encourage communication.

You are already leaving your mark on this world. I know you think if I disappear now no one will notice or even care. Never believe that. I’ve been there. It’s not good for you to think like that. It’s not good for your self-esteem. It’s not good for your health. Because believe me, the way you think about yourself effects everything, down to the way your skin behaves. If you are positive in the face of dilemmas, problems will lessen (not right away) and seem much smaller in the scheme of things. The thing that got me through was thinking that somebody was bound to be lonely if I ended my life. And I couldn’t bear that. The thought of just one lonely heart made me step away from a knife. That’s the truth.

We all think that just because we’re breathing we’re not changing anything. Even I am guilty of that. But we are. We control what happens to us and so we are writing the next chapter of our story. It’s an ongoing process. It never stops. We are always changing the world. You are changing your world all the time. Every moment you breathe. Just because it’s not a big scale or we can’t see how we are doing it doesn’t mean we aren’t changing it. You can’t see it from within. And because we’re in this world right now, we don’t see it changing or how we are changing it but we are. I promise you.

Recite some affirmations for yourself. Like these: I am beautiful, I do have enough strength, I am powerful etc.. That's what I did. While reading The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield. That book really helped me grow into who I am  today! One rule with affirmations though:  they’ve got to be positive. You can make up whatever you choose but they can’t be self-pitying, self-doubting or negative about yourself. These are something for you to remember so try to turn a seemingly hopeless case  into a powerful, this-is-not-going-to-stop-me one. You have power only over your life, you can’t control other people so let them do what they have to do, and often it is a case of mind over matter. I know it sounds simple, and like so many things it sounds easy when put on paper, but it’s much harder to perform or carry out. If you think ‘Oh no, I’ll never get through this,’ then you won’t. You’ll be stuck in that rut forever. But if you ease up, start believing that maybe  there’s a way through you will succeed in getting past that hurdle.
 
I am regularly a guest writer on: http://www.yourhappinessfactor.net
And, of course subscribe to my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkoz1yev_apPjE8XcVrjyjA
 
I hope this helps,

Steph

XxX

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

'It Will Be'


V1:

You’ve been hiding for so long it hurts

You’ve been crying thinking nothing could be worse

You need to put your troubles into perspective

It’s not that no one will care it’s just that this a big universe

Whatever happens happens because it’s making you stronger

Every tear that falls might strum on your heart a little longer

Whatever happens happens because it was meant to

Some critics will say that’s not true

 

Chorus:

But every heart break brings another lesson

You can either learn from or pay no attention

Every no stands for new opportunity

Let a no be a no it wasn’t meant to be

Cos every heart beat beats at a different rate

Everyone is unique even when we make a mistake

No one reacts exactly the same

If you smile and think tomorrow will be a better day

It will be

 

V2:

You’ve been mine for so long you’re so well

Isn’t that the kind of story you’d like to tell?

You need to come out of the shade

Push all the paparazzi away

Whatever happens happens to make you stronger

You might not feel a good time stretching longer

Whatever happens happens for you

Not because you’re not good

(Repeat Chorus)

M8:

Prove you’re better

You are the stronger man

While we’d to believe in the stories of Peter Pan

You are going you are doing

And as long as you keep it up

You won’t be disappointed in love

Whatever happens happens to you

But there’s a lesson to be learnt from it somewhere

(Repeat Chorus).

 

Copyright © 2013 Stephanie Carfrae. All Rights Reserved.



 
If you'd like to have a go at putting music to this, you are more than welcome. But if anything is recorded or performed I need to know about it! You can either comment this post, tweet me (@steph_carfrae), leave me a comment on facebook www.facebook.com/TheRealStephCarfrae
 or email me at stephcarfrae@yahoo.co.uk. If you’d like a ‘Lyric Your Name’ please contact me at the same places. Thank you. I hope to hear from you soon . Thank you for reading,
Steph
XxX
 
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