Entering Fictional Worlds

The thing that I love the most about reading, writing and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix is that they introduce me to new worlds, ideas and people that I never would have known otherwise. They completely sweep me away. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with the world I live in now because I freaking love my life, but fictional worlds give me a sense of exploring my world deeper.

One of my favourite questions to ask people (and I do ask it quite often) is which fantasy world they would most like to visit: Narnia, Hogwarts, Neverland, Wonderland, Panem, Middle Earth or Westeros? All of the characters from that world would be there for you to interact with. You can explore the worlds to your heart’s content. I think the answer that people give is always interesting. It says something about the person – not only that they are a fan of the story, but also what they want out of life. The kind of people they want to mix with. The kind of adventures they want to spend their lives having.

My answer is Hogwarts. Make of that what you will.

Just think. When you’re standing in the middle of a library, you’re surrounded by thousands of different worlds. Thousands of different characters to get to know. Thousands of adventures to be had. And when you write, more worlds, characters and adventures spill from your fingertips.

Everyone has a story in them. A writer’s job is to dig deep and pull them out in as many different ways as they can want. An artist does the same thing. So do actors, directors, musicians, chefs, builders, and basically every job you can think of. Everyone’s story is different. So is everyone’s world.

There are over seven billion people on Earth. That’s seven billion different stories. Seven billion different perspectives of the world they live in. I once read that every single person you meet knows something that you don’t, and I think that is a magical sentence.

What’s your story?

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RIP Robin Williams

aladdin miss you genie me too

On 11th August, 2014, we received the devastating news that actor, Robin Williams, has died. Immediately, the internet burst into outpourings of grief and condolences from fans, friends, and everyone whose lives he had touched. It is believed that he committed suicide after suffering from severe depression.

Of course, Williams’s most memorable role for me was the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin. With such an iconic role, he inspired millions of children to be the best person that they can be. Other roles included Flubber (1997; a film that has stayed in the back of my mind since the very first time I watched it as a child), the unforgettable Mrs Doubtfire (1993) and the heart-warming Hook (1991).

As well as all of his films and comedy work, Williams also worked with charities. While supporting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for many years, he also worked with Comic Relief, as well as other charities.

While it is devastating that the world has lost such a remarkable, inspirational man, it is important to remember that he has left behind a legacy. He has brought laughter to generations of children, and his films will continue to bring laughter to the lives of future generations. The term ‘legend’ is thrown around rather loosely these days, but I think we can all agree that Robin Williams has more than earned this title. Robin Williams was a legend of comedy, and a spark of hope in many lives.

Watch this and enjoy.

If you feel like you need help or someone to talk to, the charity Samaritans is available to talk to at this number: 08457 90 90 90. Or you can email them at: jo@samaritans.org.

Lost Girl

I am obsessed with Peter Pan, and it’s not just because I have a crush on Robbie Kay who played him on Once Upon A Time. It is the entire concept of Neverland. The conflicts between childhood and adulthood, dreams and reality, innocence and corruption, and freedom and responsibility resonate with me more than they ever did before.

As I am reaching my eighteenth birthday, it might seem silly to some people that I’m so attracted to a fairytale. Truthfully, the story of Peter and Wendy never interested me much when I was younger. It’s only now that I’m approaching uni and have to think about earning money that I really understand what it’s all about.

In the early 1900s when JM Barrie wrote the play ‘Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’, childhood was cut short very early. The ages of the characters are never specifically stated in either the play or novel, but Peter is described as still having all of his baby teeth, and Wendy is just his height. Nowadays, childhood seems to stretch on for as long as possible. In early adolescence, children seem desperate to grow up, unlike Wendy.

Now, at seventeen going on eighteen, I find myself torn between wanting to live my own life in my own house, earning my own money. But, at the same time, the thought of all that independence terrifies me and all I want to do is crawl back into my childhood and hide there forever. Maybe that’s why I love the idea of Neverland so much.

Can you imagine how wonderful it would be? Someone turns up on your windowsill and whisks you away on an adventure full of more excitement and happiness than you have experienced in your entire life. Unfortunately, there are laws against that kind of thing now.

But at the end of the day, Wendy makes the ultimate decision and says goodbye to Peter, returning home with her brothers to face the inevitable challenge of growing-up, a feat that Peter was never able to accomplish. And it is so sad. The novel depicts the sadness of it much more than the Disney film.

Peter promises to return every year to take Wendy back to Neverland so that he would never forget her. But he does. Because time doesn’t work the same in Neverland, and although he holds to his promise for a couple of years, he soon leaves her for many years. In that time, Wendy gets married and has a daughter. Then, one night, Peter returns to take Wendy (or whom he believes to be Wendy) back to Neverland for her annual visit. And so occurs one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking scenes that I have ever read. Wendy wakes from her chair in the shadows in the corner of the room and sees Peter standing over her daughter’s bed. Peter cheerfully explains that he’s returned after a year to take her away, and Wendy says that it has been longer than that. It has been years. And slowly, Wendy emerges from the shadows and Peter recoils. She’s all grown-up. In the end, Peter takes her daughter to Neverland, and then her granddaughter, and so on. But he always forgets them.

If that hasn’t tugged on your heartstrings enough, then maybe this piece of information will. JM Barrie grew up with seven siblings. When he was six, his fourteen-year-old brother, David, died. His mother was so devastated that Barrie tried to fill his brother’s place by acting like him and wearing his clothes. In Margaret Oglivy (1896), Barrie described a moment when his mother saw him and asked, “Is that you?”, to which he replied in a small voice, “No, it’s no’ him, it’s just me”. He said that his mother took comfort in the fact that David would remain a boy forever and never have to face the horrors of growing-up and difficulties of adulthood.

This adds a whole new side to Peter Pan, who clearly has similarities to Barrie’s brother. The idea that Peter leads other little ‘lost boys’ to the place where they never have to grow up suggests that Peter makes it easier for dying children to move on. It is a sad but oddly comforting idea.

Peter Pan clearly has many layers and themes that are not as obvious as we thought. It is about more than just the struggle of growing-up; it is about the more complex ideas of life, death and love.

I strongly recommend that you read JM Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. Barrie writes in an imaginative style that is completely unique to him. His use of often surreal imagery creates an atmosphere that you can just lose yourself in. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

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On a different note, my dad now has a blog in which he posts reviews of films, TV shows and books. You can visit it here.

Writing Earfillers–Mozart, Thunderstorms and Fall Out Boy.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” ~ Victor Hugo, author.

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What do you like to listen to while concentrating? Can you work on your homework in blissful silence or do you prefer a little ambience while you work? In this post, I will offer some help and handy links if you’re struggling to find the perfect balance between dead silence mosh pit madness.


Every writer writes under different conditions. Some writers like to write anytime and anywhere, often scribbling pages of dialogue on crowded buses into town. Others prefer to sit at their desk at a specific time every day and only cease tapping at the keyboard when they reach 2,000 words. Some writers like to listen to the current pop sensations as they they hack away at their laptops. Others prefer to sit in stony silence as they type their latest masterpiece.

Personally, I do a mixture of all of these. When I’m busy with college, I tend to write at any opportunity I get, spending my free periods cramped up in the library with notebooks and folders spread around me as I scribble a chapter or two. But as it is summer at the moment, I have been trying to write every second of the every day. And, as you can probably guess, it’s not working very well. As a self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination, the more I tell myself to write this stupid story, the more I try not to. The more Tumblr drags me away into the depths of Fangirland, and the more I want to rewatch episodes of Once Upon A Time for the sixth time. After all, what else are summer holidays for?

In regards to my musical writing conditions, my tastes are… eclectic to say the least. Here are some tips if you’re wondering how to fill your ears while you pour your emotions onto paper. I know that I write better in silence, and can hardly squeeze two words from my pen when the TV is on, although that doesn’t stop me from wasting hours trying. For some people, writing in front of the telly works just fine. If you’re one of those people, you are a rare genius.

I enjoy listening to music that matches the tone or theme of the piece I’m writing. Is my character angry? Fall Out Boy understands. Is my character lovesick? Taylor Swift gets it. But, like with the TV distraction, that doesn’t often work out very well.

Instrumental music is a good compromise. When writing a mystifying and fantastical scene, you could try listening to the beautiful flying music from the 2003 Peter Pan film (which never fails to give me goosebumps). If you’re writing something more dramatic, Mozart or Beethoven is a good choice.

Another of my favourite writing earfillers, are simple background ambient sounds. Although you can find some relaxing ambience on sites like YouTube or Spotify, there are specific websites set up for this specific purpose. Here are some links to my absolute favourites:-

Coffitivity and Rainy Mood really work for me while the others get a little repetitive after a while. If music is too distracting and silence too chiding, these are perfect.

How do you like to fill your ears while focusing? Let me know in the comments.