Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Fionavar Tapestry Soundtrack

Welcome to part two of my Fionavar Tapestry review, the soundtrack! This is longer than most of my other book soundtracks but I mean, it is a trilogy so that makes sense. Some of these songs are here for specific reasons which I'll talk about, others just fit the whole fantasy genre thing that's going on. There's a particular abundance of classic rock style stuff because that's just a genre of music that I really associate with fantasy. If you fancy having a listen you can do so here!

The Last Dance – Within Temptation (Let Us Burn Live Version)

Real talk guys: why is this song only a B Side on the German version of The Dance EP, WHY??? It’s so freaking good. Seriously, listen to this song and then try and tell me you don’t feel transported into an alternate medieval inspired fantasy world. I DARE YOU. This song makes me think of so many different aspects of the trilogy; Dave’s encounter with Ceinwen, Kevin realising who he is and sacrificing himself to end the winter, Lisan and Jennifer waiting in the tower, Paul hanging on the Summer Tree….Finally, and absolutely heartbreakingly, it’s Sharra holding Diarmund as he dies after sacrificing himself to break to cycle of Arthur’s punishment. Maybe I am just na├»ve but that is a death I did not see coming and it hurt.

Ymer - Grand Magus

This song just builds and layers and creates a really great atmosphere that just really fits the trilogy. It's not very long at all but it just works.

Gracious – Ben Howard

I mean this entire album could feature in this soundtrack because I listened to it on repeat for most of the second book but especially this one.

This Woman’s Work – Kate Bush

Why does this song make me think of this series? I have no idea. It just really does. There’s a little bit of Paul in it, pre-Summer Tree when he’s filled with guilt about Rachel and unable to cry about it.

Creature Fear - Bon Iver

This was playing during the Kavin/Liadon scene. Just something about how the song starts quiet and then builds a bit and does that a couple of times just really reflected how the tension in that scene built. Because for a while I thought that maybe he would be ok and he wouldn't have to die. That whole bit just gives me really mixed feelings to be honest because it's really sad but at the time it's not, because he goes quite willingly and his death really means something but I still get sad. This isn't very coherent but essentially a lot of the deaths in this trilogy give me really mixed feelings because I really didn't want the people to die but at the same time a lot of them went into the situation with their eyes open and accepted their fate so it's not entirely sad. I don't know okay, I just have a lot of feelings!

This Time Around (Live) – Glenn Hughes

In case it’s not already obvious, I got serious feels about the Arthur/Jennifer/Lancelot plotline and this is another song for that. “To lose you I would rather see the endless time and space go passing by / This time around”.

At The End Of Day – Once and Future King

If you like Arthuriana and/or 80’s rock and haven’t already listened to Gary Hughes’ Once and Future King album then you need to get on that shit. I mean, it retells the story of King Arthur with a bunch of awesome rock vocalists including the brilliant Bob Catley, plus Lana Lane and Irene Jansen (sister of After Forever and now Nightwish vocalist Fleur) and so many other great people. It should be pretty obvious why this is included seeing as there is a whole Arthurian plotline going on.

Down Where I Am - Demons & Wizards

First off I just really like Hansi's voice, I think it's so unique and interesting so I like throwing him into playlists. This is kind of a Darien song. I found his plot really interesting, especially the questions it raised about good/evil/choice. Everyone is constantly so wrapped up in being afraid of him and his potential that they want to make him choose to be on the good side, and it's only Jennifer who really holds onto the importance of him making his own choices. 

The Parting (Acoustic Version) - Katatonia

I don't know Katatonia super well but I really like their acoustic album so I listened to it a bunch whilst reading the final book. It's a bit dark and gloomy and makes me think a little of Rakoth? I don't know why. Also, the singer sounds very Biffy Clyro-esque in the first two lines and I like that!

Believe Enough To Fight – Once and Future King

So technically this is Morgana trying to convince Merlin to bring back the Pagan gods to Britain but I feel like it works pretty well for this series to be honest! “Think about the way you feel tonight / Does the fire inside you still burn bright / Find a way somehow / To believe enough to fight”. There are so many moments in this series where the light just seem to be drastically overpowered and it all seems a little hopeless, but they persevere.

Broadsword - Jethro Tull

I mean, this is a fantasy novel in a song really isn't it! If you listen to it I think you'll get why it's here.

Shake It Out - Florence & The Machine

This is one of my friend's favourite songs because she really likes the line "it's always darkest before the dawn" so now whenever I hear it I think of her! But I also like the optimism that's there. Sometimes everything is shit, but things don't usually stay shit. At some point they will get better and you just have to push through in order to get to that good bit, which is quite relevant to this book!

Heavy Stone - Kyla La Grange

This is sort of a Dave and Paul song. By which I mean it applies to them both individually, not their relationship to each other. They just both have their own sadness which they negotiate and come to terms with as the trilogy progresses and this song makes me think of them at the beginning when they're not quite able to deal with it yet.

Up On The Hollow Hill (Understanding Arthur) - Robert Plant

I mean this is just the Arthurian theme again really. The entire summoning scene on Glastonbury was just great and I really liked it.

Worth Fighting For - Judas Priest

This is here for very similar reasons to Believe Enough To Fight!

Kingdoms - Toseland

Oh The Tose! For those who don't know, Toseland is a world superbike champion or something who after retiring from that decided to go forward with his backup career of being a rockstar. As you do. I went to see him last year with my dad and it was fun! It's not the greatest gig I've ever been to but it was perfectly enjoyable and I particularly like this song and it makes me think of fantasy kingdoms so it's on this mix.

Small Mountain - Midlake

Literally so many of these songs are just here because I have little fantasy novel headcanons about them. This is another. 

The Crow, The Owl, and The Dove - Nightwish

This is a bit of a Kim song for no good reason, just because it is.

Our Farewell – Within Temptation

Okay so I was listening to Within Temptation on shuffle during the final epic battle of the series and this song just happened to start playing right when Tabor and Imraith-Nimphais appeared and if you’ve read the book you know all the mixed emotions associated with that and dear lord I WEPT. Ivor turning his face away so he doesn’t have to see his son die and then just when you think he’s lost he’s saved and I CRY. It was just too perfect a soundtrack to that moment. And it was right on the heels of Darien’s sacrifice of himself and gaaaaah. Darien’s entire plot kills me, he’s just so lonely and all he wants is someone to choose him and love him and to find a home and even though he chooses the light at the end and he saves them all, it still breaks my heart because he never really got that. He chooses to align himself with the light and I love that he stakes that claim to identity but god I wish someone would have just given the poor child a hug.

All Ends Well – Alter Bridge

I mentioned in my review post that I really liked the underlying hope of this series and I just feel like this song really embodies that idea. 

Honourable Mention:

Edge of the World – Within Temptation

This is just the Arthurian triangle. And unlike a lot of media, this is actually a triangle in the true sense. Lancelot and Arthur aren’t just two guys who dislike each other but love the same woman, they also love each other deeply which is why the cycle is able to hurt them all so much. (It’s at this point I have to do a shout out to Gwyneth Jones’ Bold As Love which decided not to spend too much time dragging out the ‘who shall she pick’ storyline and went straight for the ‘fuck it we all know they love each other let’s just make it a threesome’ plot. I am well overdue a re-read of that series.) 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Two Boys Kissing Soundtrack

I've been working from home these last few days which means I have actually been able to start uploading some of the book playlists that I have made recently! So I present to you the soundtrack to my reading of Two Boys Kissing. Usually I analyse each track and explain why it's there, but I seem generally slightly incapable of talking about this book because my words don't cover it well enough, so I'm just going to leave the track listing and link and then float away somewhere. If you fancy a listen clicky here.

1. Awake My Soul - Mumford and Sons
2. The Chambers & The Valves - Dry The River
3. Indestructible (Acoustic Version) - Robyn
4. Rather Be (Cover) - Yura Yunita
5. This Ain't No Hymn - Saint Saviour
6. The Kids Aren't Alright - Fall Out Boy
7. I Think I Like You - SIREN
8. Try - The XX
9. The One You Say Goodnight To - Kina Grannis
10. High Hopes - The Vamps

So yeah, that's that! Let me know if there are any songs in particular that make you think of the book and I'll be sure to check them out.

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Hourglass Factory - Lucy Ribchester

From the moment that I read the blurb of this book, I knew I was going to like it. I mean, it’s a mystery novel set in Victorian London which heavily focuses on The Suffragette movement. What’s not to like? Add onto that the pretty cover design and the fact that it was three quid from a second hand bookshop and you have a very happy Sophie indeed! And I have to say it did not disappoint.
Our main character is Frankie, tomboy reporter who wants to write more than just the society column she is confined to. What should be a simple interview piece turns into something far more complex as the subject goes missing amid murders and political intrigue. I have to say, I really liked Frankie. She can be a little quick to judgement and her temper gets the best of her a lot, but there’s something about her I just really liked.

Along the way she meets a whole host of other characters, my favourites being Milly the snake charming dancer and the ex-Victorian courtesan Twinkle. Twinkle initially seems like an overly judgey society lady but along the way she proves to be an absolutely invaluable ally and at the edges is more open minded than she initially seems. I liked the scene where she called Frankie & co out on their negative judgement on the corset fetishists. “It’s never the deviants who are the problem, Puss. Don’t forget that. It’s people who won’t open their minds that are dangerous”. She is also entirely to blame for getting my hopes up so much about a possible Frankie/Milly romance. If she hadn’t of inferred that Frankie was into women so much I wouldn’t have been so convinced that it could happen! But no, she’s just assuming that Frankie’s gay cos she wears trousers. Sad times. Not gonna lie, I am heavily disappointed that Frankie and Milly didn’t elope at the end! I like to think I’m not just reading too much into it, they totally opened up to each other in a way they hadn’t with anyone else, so I totally think they fancied each other. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a sequel and they can be reunited? Lucy Ribchester take note, Gay Frankie and Bisexual Milly are the way forward. You can thank me later.

Seeing as I like learning about both history and feminism, the focus on the Suffragette movement was something I really enjoyed. Some of the stuff mentioned I already knew about, but there was also a whole bunch of events and names that I didn’t so this was definitely educational as well as interesting. There were two main things that I think Ribchester did well. The first was the reality of it all. These weren’t just women marching with placards, these are women fighting for their rights, chaining themselves to statues, being beaten by the police, going to prison, being sentenced to hard labour, and all for the right to vote and claim a voice. The description of the force feeding was awful and really brought home the amount of suffering that went into earning the right to vote. It’s something that of course I know about but reading this did make me feel incredibly lucky that there were so many brave women who suffered for my right to have a political voice. The big names like the Pankhurst’s are remembered but there are scores of women who fought and suffered and whose names got lost along the way. And I am so thankful they existed.

I also liked that this book acknowledges the limits to the movement. Namely that it is one geared towards a certain class of woman. I can’t remember which character it is, I think it’s the warden at the asylum, who points out that the movement as it is is useless to her. She can’t own land so the vote means nothing to her. To the working class woman who is never going to own property, the aims of the suffrage movement weren’t really relevant. Whilst it is incredibly important to remember what these women went through for their right to vote, it is equally as important to remember those who this didn’t apply to. 

Moving back to the book, I enjoyed trying to piece together the mystery. I would make a rubbish detective because I simultaneously suspect everyone and never guess the culprit correctly. I did manage to guess pieces of this puzzle but there were lots of little surprises along the way as well. Ultimately, I did really enjoy this book! It was a thoroughly entertaining mystery with a good cast of characters. Although everything gets concluded very tidily, I think it’s left open enough that there could be a sequel at some point maybe! (Never letting go of Frankie/Milly. I will go down with this ship!) Even if  not, I would be interested to see what else Lucy Ribchester writes.

Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan

Good lord David Levithan writes beautifully. Seriously, the man knows how to string words together in a way that pierces your soul. Whenever I read books I tend to jot down thoughts and quotes as I go along (the prettiest of which end up as book reaction pages) but I had to just give up on doing that as I read this otherwise I probably would have just written the entire book out. It was just so freaking good guys! So much so that it’s taken me ages to be able to write this review.

Sometimes I read books like The Shock of the Fall and I find it hard to write a review because my voice just doesn’t seem relevant or qualified for the discussion. This time it’s a bit different. It’s not that I feel unqualified to talk about the subject matter or anything, it’s just in the face of such a wonderfully written book my own words seem extra clumsy. I don’t pretend to be a writer anyway, I can bash out a good academic essay and I like to ramble on blog posts but I could never hope to write anything even half as wonderful as this book is.

The book is narrated by the spirity ghost thingys of the generation who lost their lives to AIDS and follows multiple storylines, hinging around two boys (Harry and Craig) who are attempting to beat the longest recorded kiss. All of the threads of this book were just so well done. I loved Ryan and Avery’s story. They were just so sweet (the imaginary golf course oh my gosh) and I’m really glad they got back on track by the end of it. “It’s not as simple as Ryan looking at Avery and feeling like they’ve known each other forever. In fact, it doesn’t feel like that at all. Ryan feels like he’s just getting to know Avery, and that getting to know Avery isn’t going to be like getting to know anyone else he’s ever gotten to know”. Absolute cuties. I spent pretty much the whole book worried for Cooper and wanting to give him a hug. (I should start a support group for all of the characters that I need to give hugs to, honestly). The dynamic between Harry and Craig was really interesting to explore, not together any more but still loving each other and supporting each other through this thing they wanted to achieve. I mean, all of the different plots were brilliant, as was the narration. There is just such a wide spectrum of emotion in this. There’s stuff like coming out to parents and the mildly terrifying feeling of meeting up with someone you like that I could connect with, and then there was a whole ton of stuff that I’ve never experienced but the narration just makes you able to connect with it anyway.  It’s a well-established fact that I cry over fictional things very easily but god I wept over this book when I finished it.

I feel like I have run out of words so I will end by saying that I absolutely recommend you read this book! 

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Fionavar Tapestry Review

In my top ten books of 2014 post I very briefly talked about Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana and how much I loved it. After finishing it I did my usual ‘go onto GoodReads and mark everything written by that author as to read’ spree that happens when I love a book, and I saw such great reviews of this trilogy that I was determined to source it as soon as possible. Enter Father Prewett, stage left, with a gigantic box of his books for me to read. And then cue giddy excitement as I found this trilogy within it! I have to say, I really bloody loved this. The series just got better the more it went on and I just absolutely devoured it. This is going to be a bit spoilery so maybe don’t read this if you were ever planning on reading this trilogy. OR go off and do that now and then come back and flail with me! That would be cool. There is going to be a part two which will be a book soundtrack but due to my eternal struggle to get internet I haven't been able to make it on 8tracks yet. But soon!

So, first things first, I really do love Guy Gaviel Kay’s writing. It's so beautiful and lovely to read.

I really have lost count of the amount of times that my heart broke when reading this trilogy. There are just so many moments that made me absolutely ache when I read them (see: a thousand years of the lios alfar setting out in their boats and meeting the Souleater instead of reaching their island. PAIN.) The thing is, there are the big obvious sadnesses which are painful in themselves, and then there are just these tiny moments that take you by surprise. They’re maybe only a sentence or two long so you could almost miss you but instead they just pierce your heart. However, my absolute favourite thing about this series is the sheer, underlying hope. Throughout all of the sad moments there is always this continued thread of love and hope that lifts everything up a little and makes you feel like somehow everything will turn out okay. Which I’ll be honest is quite comforting at times as there are also some seriously sad moments in this!

Secondly, before I go any further I need to establish the fact that Ivor is my babe and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH OKAY. He is just an absolute sweetie and he loves his family so much and is such a wonderful father but will also lead the Dalrei to war and kick some serious svart alfar butt and then go back to trying not to cry every time he’s proud of his family. He’s just awesome okay? On the subject of the Dalrei, I loved all of the focus on them. I seriously have all the time in the world for stories about people creating found families so I loved watching Dave discover himself and find a family in the Dalrei. But I also liked the fact that he goes back to our world at the end. I know he kind of has to but I like the idea that he might be able to make things work with his family back home.

Confession: I am an absolute sucker for Arthuriana. Even more so if it plays up the whole Glastonbury connection. My family isn’t religious but my mum was a full time complementary therapist for ages so I grew up in quite a spiritual household and we also used to visit Glastonbury a lot so I think I just latched onto the Arthurian legends when I was little and just never let go (also the 3 hour long Merlin film starring Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter is definitely to blame as well. I bloody loved that.) Suffice to say, when Kim summoned Arthur on top of Glastonbur Tor I was practically squealing with joy.  And then promptly weeping as he looks at her and says "they were just children" (all quotes are rough cos I don't have the time to check. Forgive me please.). OH BOOK YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO MANY THINGS. And good lord the moment where Jennifer meets him and it becomes clear who she is, ach my heart. “There were so many falling stars in his eyes, so many fallen. She wondered if there were any left in the sky.” And also "Oh Lance, come on". THESE STUPID MEDIEVAL ASSHOLES WITH THEIR HEARTBREAKING STORY REPEATING THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES. THEY BREAK MY HEART. (again.) And also can I just take a moment to appreciate the fact that we have an Arthurian story here that doesn’t vilify Guinevere? Or any of the trio for that matter. They’re doomed to repeat their cycle of pain over and over again because that is Arthur’s punishment for killing the children but none of them are singled out as a villain. And they all get to go off and live happily ever after together which makes me very happy.

Also, I totally shipped Matt and Loren. I know there is more to love than just the romantic variety but I like to imagine that they’re totally married. I mean can you really deny their love in the face of moments like near the end when Matt is all “WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME LOREN I NEED YOU” and so Loren is all “I WILL STAY WITH YOU FOREVER MY LOVE” and then they totally give each other heart eyes and merrily go off to lead the Dwarven army to war. That’s totally how it happened, right? On the subject of shipping, I absolutely shipped Paul and Jaelle and was second guessing myself so hard throughout the entire last book because I wasn’t sure if I was just imagining it. I let out such a cheer at the end when it became canon!

The book soundtrack will elaborate on a whole bunch of other stuff that I liked about this series because I have all of the feelings, but if you like fantasy books I would absolutely recommend you read this.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Time to Talk

So I was hoping that I would have more time to write this post so that I could put some proper effort into it but lack of internet = me stealing all the internet moments I can get so hey, we just have to make do really don't we? I could post this on a different day, but today is the day that the Time to Change are encouraging everyone to take 5 minutes to talk about mental health so it seems fitting to post this now! I didn't know this was a thing when I did my post the other day, but seeing as it is it seems like a good moment to update you all on how my whole educating myself thing is going.

It's only been a couple of days so it's not like I've been able to do an awful lot, but I have been using my lunch breaks at work to watch a bunch of videos by Laura Lejeune. And I think they're great! So that's pretty much what this post is about.

I'm only able to watch them during my lunch break cos watching too many youtube videos on my phone is how I ended up using up all of my internet allowance half way through January, so not gonna make that mistake again! So I've been spending about 40 minutes of my lunch break each day to watch some of her videos. This does mean that I haven't been able to watch the hugest amount of them but so far they seem really great and informative so I'm gonna recommend them anyway.

All of her videos that I've watched so far have been really good, but I particularly like her common misconceptions series. You can probably guess what the essential jist is but I'll explain it anyway just cos I can. She and a bunch of other youtubers explain common misconceptions about different things (e.g. social anxiety, DID, hypochondria etc) and correct them and generally give very informative information. I'll be completely honest, I've only watched a couple so far but I have definitely learnt a lot. I'm pretty sure that I didn't really know what DID was, I think I just lumped it together with schizophrenia, whereas now I know a lot more and also the fact that it is a completely separate thing from schizophrenia. So, yay for battling my own ignorance!

I have a list of a bunch more youtubers that I haven't had the time to check out yet, but maybe when I do I'll make a post on each one? That sounds like a good thing to do. That way we can all watch their videos and learn together. I wish I was able to do a longer post and talk about Time to Change in more detail but I'm getting picked up in a minute so have to shoot off. But I hope this has been informative to someone and again, if you have any recommendations of youtubers who discuss mental health do let me know.

Monday, 2 February 2015


Bonjour mes petits choux-fleurs! It has been so long! Like, a week and a half aka AEONS. 

I have no new reviews for you but I HAVE bought a bunch of books that I didn't need to buy! Yaaaaaaay!

To explain why I bought what I bought:

Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan

If you read my review of My True Love Gave To Me you'll know that I really loved the David Levithan's short story (and also that I spelt his name wrong. Oops.) so I thought I'd try out a proper full length book by him! Apparently this book is amazing so I'm very excited to give it a go! Also, isn't this cover lovely? Seriously, the more I gaze at it, the more I get excitement flutters in my belly. As soon as I finish the book I'm on now I'm going to read this, and hopefully it will be amazing enough to break me out of my rubbish review writing rut. Fingers crossed!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

I am a huuuuuuuuge Neil Gaiman fan. I have literally never read anything by him that I haven't loved. Even his short stories which are often just a couple of pages long are incredible (see: A Study in Emerald). I've been wanting to get this for ages and so when I saw it was buy one get one half price I thought "my moment has come!" I'm sure a review shall follow once I've finished it!

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

I definitely knew that I wanted to get the Gaiman book, but I wasn't particularly inspired by any of the other books in the offer. I was just sort of floating around Waterstones trying to spy any books that were in the offer that I might have missed when I saw this! This is on a list of books that someone recommended to me and I read the back and it sounded interesting, so I decided to go for it.

So although I wasn't supposed to buy myself any books at all, I'm feeling very excited about these three! I think they're all going to be really great.

It's at this point you might be like, "hmm three books. Not exactly a haul is it Sophie". To which I say to you, "AHA!" and then proceed to introduce you to...

*drum roll please*

Sophie's Exciting Box of Books!

Ta-daaaaa! This box is kind of the reason why I wasn't supposed to buy any books in town but hey, I play by my own rules ~can't be tamed~

I've been staying at my dad's this weekend and we were pretty much just freaking out to his girlfriend about how much we loved Tigana when I mentioned that I really want to read more Guy Gavriel Kay. Cue dad running off to go rummage in a cupboard and returning with this. As well as Guy Gavriel Kay, it's also chock full of authors like Roger Zelazny, Philip K Dick, David Gemmel, and Michael Moorcock.

These are all authors who, even though I haven't really read them, shaped my childhood. I read my first Moorcock last year but I grew up hearing all about Elric of Melnibone and listening to Hawkwind songs inspired by them and my room was covered in Rodney Matthews posters. When I finally read the first Elric book, it just felt so familiar. I was finally getting a context for these stories that were referenced in conversation all the time. It's really exciting to have all of these books to work my way through sometime.

So yeah, this has been my haul!

Let's Talk About Mental Health

I feel like I go round in circles a bit on this blog. Sometimes I cannot contain all of the words I want to say. I review everything I read, analyse various aspects of myself, and generally have posts coming out of my ears. Other times, I feel like I have nothing interesting to contribute. I try to write posts anyway during these moments cos like, how else am I going to get back to that bit where I feel eloquent again, but generally I feel pretty dissatisfied with the things I create in this time. I think I'm having one of these moments again.

I uploaded my last few book reviews because I wanted to have something up, but I don't really think I said anything very interesting in them. I think a couple of them are alright, but generally they just feel a bit empty.

I finished The Shock of the Fall recently and it was so good and it really made me think about a lot of things, but I'm holding back from reviewing it because I just don't think I have anything relevant to say. It was an insight into something that I know very little about and I just feel like my voice isn't really relevant to the discussion.

I really don't know a lot about schizophrenia, which is something I want to change. A while ago I posted on my tumblr generally asking for recommendations on resources to educate myself on a whole range of stuff, mental health being just one, and people were really helpful which was great! But I still don't feel like I've done enough yet. 

Being educated on mental health is just something that I think is really important. So many people close to me have struggled with different mental illnesses which is why I started trying to educate myself on mental health, but it just seems ridiculous that we were never taught anything about it at school. I just can't help but feel like it would have made things a little bit easier for my friends if they'd actually been taught something about mental health at school, rather than having to try and figure out what was going on by themselves. 

Say what you like about tumblr, but I know for a fact that spending time on it has educated me on so many subjects that were just never covered by my formal education. I have learnt so much more about mental health, sexism, racism, and so many other topics, than I ever did in class. I think it's really great that people can go online and read about other people's experiences and learn so much about topics they didn't know about before, but it is also so important that we start to bring these things into everyday life and start teaching about them as a matter of course.

This post has really morphed into something other than I intended it to be but I think that's probably cause I finally started catching up on youtube yesterday and watched this video:

And also this one from Bree Bacon which I can't insert for some reason but is really worth checking out. However, there are loads more videos by so many different youtubers all discussing different things to do with mental health.

I just think it's so great that there are so many youtubers who are taking the time to talk about stuff like mental health. It brings this previously untalked about topic into the spotlight and it causes a whole bunch of people who might not know much about it to learn more.

This post is taking me forever to write because I'm really aware of the fact that I don't want to talk over anybody. I've never experienced any mental health issues. I want to help raise awareness of mental health, I want to help take away the stigma surrounding it, I want to continue to learn more about it, and I want to be able to help my friends whenever they need me. But I don't want to overstep and I don't want to speak over other people.

I started trying to educate myself on this stuff because I had friends who were going through some really shitty times and I wanted to understand better so that I could be there for them in a way that would actually help. Later, when I started my tumblr, I just wanted to create a space where people could go if they needed a bit of positivity in their lives and where I would be able to continue to learn more as well. I now find myself with more followers than I ever expected to have and I feel like I'm part of this really incredible tumblr community, and I guess I just want to make sure I'm good enough for this. (Might have made a bit more sense to write all this on my tumblr, but here we are!)

Maybe I should have waited until I felt articulate again, but I wanted to be able to get this down while it was real. I don't have my tumblr in order to gain lots of followers, that's not my priority. However, reaching 500 followers this weekend kind of blew my mind a little bit and is something that I still can't entirely comprehend. I know in the grand scheme of tumblr there are people with so many more, but I genuinely cannot believe that so many living breathing people decided they liked bodypositivityandglitter enough to click follow. Like, that's a lot of people. So I just sort of wanted to make a bit of a pledge to you guys.

I promise to take responsibility for myself and continue to try and educate myself on things, but specifically on mental health.

I promise to amplify the voices of others and not speak over them.

I promise to be there for you if you ever need someone. I'm not a professional and I'm not going to be able to fix your problems, but I will be there for you. If you need someone to listen or to offer you support then I will be that person. My ask box is always open and I will reply privately to anything you want to talk about.

I also promise to continue to fill my blog with lovely things that can hopefully make you smile a bit! And if you don't want to talk about the shitty things but just want to have a chat and make a friend then I'm also there for that!

My essential point that I'm trying to say is that you are not alone. Okay? 

I will also repeat my earlier request of asking for recommendations for reading materials. Whether it's fiction, non-fiction, youtube videos, anything! I will of course be taking the time to find things myself. I'm not relying on you guys to educate me, but your help is always appreciated.

I'm going to stop now because my lunch break is up and I need to get back to work! I'm not entirely sure what I wanted to express so I don't know if I've been successful or not, but hopefully I have! I know that not a lot of people read this blog but I still felt like I needed to say all of this because I don't just want to be passive, I want to get involved. I'm gonna shut up now.