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I’m back!

I’m sorry for completely disappearing without saying anything. I didn’t mean to! School got really busy for a couple of weeks.. I don’t think my teachers know what the school holiday is for!

I went on holiday with my Dad and Jimmy for a week. It’s a tradition, we always go to Jimmy’s mum’s caravan in Devon and basically do nothing for a week. Sunbathing and reading and generally relaxing and seeing family. We had really brilliant weather for it too. It’s fun. Some people would say I’m too old for it but I always enjoy myself. Dad & Jimmy are both cool and I like spending time with them!

Then Jade Rachel, Erin, Caden Bryce and I went to Florida for a week. It was amazing but I think I did it the wrong way round. I should have gone to Devon after Florida because we did SO much that I’m exhausted and need a break. I’m glad I’ve not got school so I can rest a little bit!

I don’t want to be too busy for the rest of the summer. School is gonna be SO mad when we go back because of the exams and everything so I’d like to be able to properly chill out. I’ll do all the summer reading and stuff but mostly I’ll hang out with my fiends and watch movies and read and stuff.

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I believe

My stepmum Jade Rachel and I were talking about how some ideas or lines from books stick with us.
How sometimes a fictional book will make us want to find out more about a topic (like reading Angels & Demons and wanting to know more about the Illuminati).
How sometimes there’s a line or a passage that for some reason always sticks with you. For her, that’s the opening to I Lucifer by.. um whoever wrote it.
Or how something just resonates and makes sense.

I keep remembering a bit from American Gods by Neil Gaiman that I read earlier this year. I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.
I googled the whole thing because it’s quite long and I can’t remeber all of it

“I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.

I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.

I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

I like how its all about how belief is such a personal thing and no-one should have the right to dictate to anyone what they can or should believe in. I believe in what I believe, whether it’s true or not.

And I’ve never really thought about religion or anything, not really. I mean yeah we do RE in school but its boring the way it’s taught. My mum was an Atheist and Jade Rachel is a Wiccan but none of it was ever a part of my childhood. Except now I’m starting to wonder about all the religions that’re out there, about what people believe in, their myths and legends and kinda wishing comparative religions was taught. I’ve picked up one of Jade Rachel’s books about Wicca to read and I think I’m gonna go to the library and find books about others too!

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You’re The One That I Want

One of the coolest things I’ve found since I started blogging is that lots of other blog about books, and post reviews and talk about books. It makes me feel a little less weird and makes me feel like I’m part of this really cool online community and I want to get to know everyone. I was getting very excited about it earlier and Jade Rachel laughed at me, she also said I reminded her so much of my mum.

My mum used to love Hilary Duff, which always made Jade Rachel laugh because my mum was a total goth. But she found this online forum all about Hilary and she got talking to people and got all excited because there were other people out there who liked Hilary and she was making friends.

That’s not what I was saying though. I keep reading all these blogs talking about books and they all sound really good and make me want to read them. And I keep adding books to my goodreads to read shelf and I think I’m gonna need a few lifetimes to read everything I want to read.

Mostly right now I’m really wanting to read 50 Shades Of Grey and A Game Of Thrones but they’re never in the library when I go. I hear so much about those two (ok and lots of others as well) but those ones have really peaked my interest. I want to read more by Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Nicholas Sparks, Sarah Dessen, Neil Gaiman… I want to read all the books I can find with vampires and werewolves and witches and… and… and…

I REALLY hope I get reincarnated as another bookworm!

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Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book

So many of my classmates think I’m a bit weird, because I’m always reading, because I love to read. They think it’s a waste of time. They also think I’m a total nerd because I get good grades and because I love to learn. I wonder if they’ll still think the same think in just over a year when they’ve failed their GCSEs and I’m starting my A-Levels?

I just love reading. I love curling up on my window seat, in the sun, with music playing and a good book. Usually Harry the cat sprawled out next to me

My mum loved to read, and so does Jade Rachel, and they gave their love of reading to me. They always read to me when I was little and I was reading by the time I was 4 or so. It was love at first read, or something like that.
I love all the places a book can transport you to, all the different worlds you can explore, all the different lives you can live. You can be anyone – a heroine, a damsel in distress, a warrior, an elf, a witch, a vampire, a werewolf. You can be in the past, the present, the future, London, Paris, New York, outer space, under water.
It’s an escape – I had a horrible few years when my mum died and I was really unhappy. Reading gave me something to do and I started reading the books that she loved and it made me feel close to her.

What’s the old saying? Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book

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Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy

I love to cook. Well, mostly I love to bake. Cupcakes and cookies are my favourites but I’ll try anything… it’s always nice to eat afterwards!

My mum used to bake cakes when I was younger and I would always help her out. I’d help with measuring things out and licking the spoon, that kind of thing. And now I make them myself. I make either cookies or cupcakes pretty much every weekend. It’s a stress reliever, I find it relaxing.

Cupcakes aren’t difficult to bake. You can even buy a cake mix from the store and some pre-made frosting if you can’t bake them from scratch.

My favourite cupcakes are vanilla, chocolate, lemon, carrot cake, red velvet and chocolate/vanilla. I also love decorating them differently. When I decorate cupcakes in December they will have Winter or Christmas themes with snowflakes, snowmen, santa etc.

I’m tempting to add a recipe page, and start off by typing up a basic cupcake recipe. And I’ve typed the word ‘cupcake’ that many times that it doesn’t even <i>look</i> like a real word anymore!

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By any other name

My name, Regan, is quite unique but without being really out-there like some of the names – especially ones that celebrities seem to give their kids these days. Kim Kardashian, I’m looking at you! It’s nice to be the only person I know with my name. Like, there’s two Chloe’s and three James’ in my class so you’ve got to be really specific which one you’re meaning (Chloe H, or blond James or football James), but when people say Regan, everyone knows they mean me.

It’s even got quite a cool story behind why my mum and Jade Rachel called me Regan. Originally, I was going to be called Aimee (or Connor, if I was a boy) which means beloved. But my mum had been reading King Lear just before she went into labour and fell in love with the name. I’m glad I’m not named for Goneril, Regan’s older sister – and wouldn’t have minded Cordelia, the younger one either.

Regan, in King Lear, is not a very nice character though. She’s the middle child of Lear, married to the Duke Of Cornwall. She and her sister Goneril are both in love with Edmund, both eager for power and even convince their father to hand over his land using false flattery. Then both of the girls reject him when he wants to live with them and Regan drives him out into the storm. Goneril then poisons Regan when she finds out Regan’s  in love with Edmund. I think my favourite quote about Regan is by Stanley Cavell “[S]he has no ideas of her own, her special vileness is always to increase the measure of pain that others are prepared to inflict; her mind itself is a lynch mob.” 1

I don’t just happen to randomly know all these facts – I read the play and did some research after finding out why I was called Regan. I’m a bit of a geek like that. And you know what else I found out? Shakespeare’s kinda cool. I love how poetically he wrote and he told some really good stories – stories that are still relevant today which in a way sucks that humans haven’t changed much in the last few hundred years, but at the same time shows that people will always be people.

I took a break from writing essays for school and feel like I’ve just written an essay on my blog instead!

1 Cavell, Stanley. The Avoidance of Love. Must We Mean What We Say?. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1976

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I Vant To Bite Your Neck

I am on such a vampire kick at the moment. I’ve just finished reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (they started off brilliant but got a bit blah towards the end) and now I’m reading the Anita Blake books by Laurell K Hamilton. I also really love The Vampire Diaries and Twilight and things like that. Urban Fantasy is probably one of my favourite genres, I love the combination of the world as we know it but combined with all the paranormal elements like vampires and werewolves and magic and all.

Now, Jade Rachel, my step-mum, she says I read horror, not fantasy – because to her vampires and werewolves belong firmly in the horror category. I disagree with her. I think they’re fantasy creatures, but because the books aren’t fantasy, they’re in the ‘real’ world, that’s what makes them urban fantasy. 

To me, the difference between urban fantasy and horror is the intent. Horror is written to scare you. That’s the difference between, I don’t know ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Stephen King writes a story about vampires to be scary. Charlaine Harris writes a mystery book that just happens to feature vampires.

I’m not saying I don’t like horror. I don’t tend to read horror – maybe I should look into it more? Coming at it from a fantasy perspective, start with the vampire horror books and see where that takes me? But for now, I think I’ll stick to my urban fantasy worlds