Thursday, 27 October 2011

The arrival of November can only mean one thing.


For those who have been living under rocks, NaNoWriMo is a competitive project that revolves around the concept of writing a novella (50,000 words) in a month.

I love it, and last year had my first win with my story 'Marionette'. It finished NaNo at 62,000 words, however has now been polished and sits at just over 85,000 words. I also won Camp NaNo this summer with my story 'The Worn Out Dancing Shoes', which came in at just over 50,000.

This year I'm taking a risk. Uni has become extremely time consuming, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to do the project justice. However I'm going to give it a try! My story this year is called 'Following Reuben', and the basic idea surrounds a girl called Isobel who has always been heavily influenced by her best friend Reuben, so much so that when he takes off in a camper van to travel festivals she can't refuse the offer to go with him. It's a young adult novel, with a good slice of romance thrown in for good measure. It's not as heavy as what I'm used to writing, although with all my prior commitments that's probably a good thing.

That's my very simple cover. It may be juvenile, but I always like to have a cover picture for my stories, it makes them feel a little less abstract. The photo is from one of my looks, 'Dappled light on a country lane', since I think that it fits the general feel of the story so far.

Wish me luck for November - I'll post a few updates throughout the month, and if you're lucky there may even be a few excerpts!

Monday, 24 October 2011

INSPIRATION EXISTS, an interview with Mariana Soares Branco.

Tell us a little about yourself?
Well my name is Mariana, I'm an eighteen year old girl from Lisbon (Portugal) and I write the blog "An impression of light". I finished high school this year and I'm starting medical school in the fall, which is something I'm really looking forward to!
In my free time you will find me either spending quality time with my friends or doing some of my favourite activities: gymnastics, horse riding or anything fashion related, whether it is shopping or surfing the internet for cool blogs.

Where are you from, and how has it influenced your style?
As I said, I'm from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. I guess this place has indeed influenced my style, but I never really thought about it.. Firstly, there is always such great light here in Lisbon that I never feel like wearing outfits that are too dark, so i mostly wear either bright colors or nudes. Secondly, there aren't many people here who actually dress up, so I sometimes tone it down a bit to fit in better, especially if I am just going for a walk through the city. Last, but not least (and this is a very practical influence), I don't wear heels nearly as much as I would like to because the floor here isn't concrete, it is covered with something called "calçada portuguesa", which is made of thousands of small rocks that have little holes between then: I'm telling you, it is any stilleto's worse nightmare!

Tell us a bit about your approach to fashion?
I believe fashion is a way of expressing yourself, it is your own personal art. Everyone should have fun with it and present themselves as they like best, instead of dressing to appeal to other people. Like Gore Vidal said, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn”!

How would you describe your personal style?
I would like to believe my personal style is classic, yet with a little bit of freshness and youth to it. I always prefer cleaner looks though… whether I throw on some jeans and a white tank top or some fancy dress, I prefer to keep it simple than to go over the top.

Do you have any fashion icons? Who do you admire?
I don't really have a fashion icon, but there are several people in this world i admire. I absolutely love the style of both Olivia Palermo and Emma Watson, I think they always look beautiful and so, so polished. Bloggers wise, I adore Kristina Bazan from Kayture. As for designers, my favourite is Elie Saab without a doubt!

What are your favourite fabrics to wear?
My favourite summer fabric is definitely cotton, maybe leather as well for details. As for winter, I really like to vary my fabrics: wool, tweed, suede…

Do you have a favourite item of clothing right now?I do have a favourite item, it is a brown backpack I bought at Blanco (which you can see here). It may seem too plain, but I love it since it is rather comfortable and goes with absolutely everything!
What items are you lusting over at the moment?At this moment I am lusting over a red leather jacket I saw at Zara. It is absolutely gorgeous, but a bit too expensive!

Tell us about your ambitions?Fashion wise, I would love to have a successful fashion blog so I could share my views on fashion and other themes with the world. As for the other aspects of my life, I would like to finish medical school, work at a good hospital where I could help people and one day get married and have a family.

What's your favourite quote?My favourite quote is either “always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else” (July Garland) or “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” (Pablo Picasso). The combination of them both sends the message that you have to fight for what you want, but you shouldn’t lose yourself while doing so!

You can find Mariana's looks here.

The day the teddy bears had their picnic.

Yesterday I returned to Bath after a lovely weekend in Cornwall. I saw a handful of relatives who haven't visited for years, drank far too much rosé, and ate until I could eat no more. With uni in full swing it was exactly what I needed.

This look includes a few more goodies from the student lock in last week; the zip pocket shirt from H&M and the high-low hemline skirt from TopShop. It was also the first outing for my faux fur headband from Dorothy Perkins. First of all I'd tried on a similar one in Urban Outfitters that cost £16, however I was strict with myself and hunted down a cheaper one - this one cost me £10. A bit pricey for what it is, but it's very cosy and kept my ears toasty.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Remembering games and daisy chains.

Whilst I'm still in Cornwall here's another look. My new(ish) peter pan collar shirt from New Look, my ancient petticoat skirt from Urban Outfitters, my boater from Next, and the same cape and shoes from yesterday's look. Me? Stuck in a rut? Not at all.

I'm going back up to Bath this evening, so dependent on whether I find a new place to shoot looks it may be a while until I post a look again, but do keep your eyes open for another fashion interview in the coming week!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sense and sensibility.

Finally, after two weeks, I have a new look for you! I've yet to adjust to shooting in the city, so whilst I'm spending a weekend at home I thought I'd utilise my usual haunt.

The top is from New Look, as are the shoes (which have been out of service for the past six months since the heels wore down, however while I was at uni my lovely mother had them re-heeled for me!). The skirt is the same one I've been raving about by Gentle Fawn, I've been wearing it so regularly that I felt it deserved a second look.

The weather over the past few days has also warranted somewhat warmer garments, so my camel cape by Miss Selfridge has come out of the wardrobe. It saw me through last winter quite nicely, and I feel no need to upgrade it.

So overall a very truthful representation of the sort of outfits I've been wearing of the past week, and will most likely be wearing for the next six months. Now I just need some more knitwear, some Docs and a few pairs of skinny jeans to mix things up a little and truly prepare for the coming bitter months!

Friday, 7 October 2011

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE, an interview with Mie W.

Now that I'm a little more settled at university, the weekly interview feature is back! I have a whole host of colourful characters whose words I'll be sharing with you over the coming weeks, and first up is Mie W.

Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Mie W, I’m 18 years old and I’m half Norwegian and Half Swedish. I’m currently a student, but in my spare time I have a blog with a friend of mine. I’m really passionate about music, and I’m currently learning how to play the guitar! I love photography, drawing and of course hanging out with my friends. I absolutely love to travel and this year I’m going to travel as much as possible!

Where are you from, and how has it influenced your style?
I’m from Norway, and I don’t know if it has influenced my style. Of course this country is bloody cold during most of the year so I have to adapt my clothes to keep me warm. The influence of my “style” comes from anything really, international and Norwegian (mostly international).

Tell us a bit about your approach to fashion?
To me fashion is more about style than trends! Trends come and go, but individual style is more unique and more personal. My approach is more with other people, looking at fashion through their style! (if that makes any sense at all)

How would you describe your personal style?
I’d say my style changes a lot. To be quite honest I don’t know if I have a personal style! I’m attracted to a lot of neutral colours like grey, black, dark blue etc and rings ofc! I like to mix different elements, so I’m never really 100% rockfish, or hippie or preppy. The thing that’s my standard item in my style are my silver rings, I feel naked without them.

Do you have any fashion icons? Who do you admire?
I admire, like so many others, Alexa Chung. Her style is so amazing and well, what’s NOT to love about Alexa? The British accent adds something extra to her too.

What are your favourite fabrics to wear?
I like almost any fabric! To me it’s the fit that matters the most.

Do you have a favourite item of clothing right now?
Yes, my black jeans! I wear them with everything. Love at first sight!

What items are you lusting over at the moment?Below the ankle- Docs.. I’m getting them soon though! So that means I need a new item to lust for!

Tell us about your ambitions?
My biggest ambitions AT the moment are what I’m going to do in my gap year which I’m taking next year. I want to travel, to learn new things and to make lots of great contacts! My biggest ambition is to work with something including photography, design or anything artistic. (Haha, sounds a tiny bit cliché!)

What's your favourite quote?« There are two kinds of people: people busy dying and people busy being born. »
-Bob Dylan