The Line by Keri Smith

The Line by Keri Smith
The Line by Keri Smith

Hi guys! So a while ago, I posted about Wreck this Journal, a book that I have thoroughly enjoyed wrecking.

The Line is a new book by Keri Smith, the author of WTJ. It is a journey with you and your pencil line, completing weird and wonderful tasks as you go along. You have to be committed to The Line. You follow the book’s instructions and let it take you wherever you may end up.

YOU HAVE STARTED A JOURNEY.

THIS LINE WILL BE YOUR COMPANION, LIKE A THIN THREAD THAT LEADS YOU THROUGH A MAZE.

Here it is! I haven’t completed it yet, but these are some of my favourite pages so far:

The first page

The very start! I loved doodling this front page, just scribbling whatever. It was very therapeutic.

Sticking the line back togetherHere, the line is broken, and you have to fix it by putting it back together somehow. I used tape.

The line has a tantrumSo…the line is angry. You gotta cover it up-give it privacy- of course. So I sewed on a little blue felt door for it to sulk behind. (It’s cute, right?)

These are my favourite three so far. I can’t wait to see where the Line takes me next…

I haven’t had that much time to do it, because sixth form has been full on! So much work! But I’ve filled in a few pages where I’ve had time. I’d recommend it to everyone, it’s great fun and unlike book I’ve had before (it has an entirely new concept from WTJ.)

What if the line is holding a secret?

Thanks to Penguin Press for sending me The Line, along with some other lovely things in the post. It brightened my week!

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What do you all think of The Line, or Wreck This Journal? Have you heard of them before? Comment below!

Sunset xx

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The realest GCSE advice I can give

I think now is a good time to make this post, as someone who has recently received my results.

GCSEs are a weird time. It’s the first time things get kind of serious in terms of school and going forwards. Everyone, including you, is stressed, and it’s really hard work to revise without panicking. I’m no expert, but I have some stuff that could help.

1. Don’t listen to all the advice you’re given. 

So much information is going to be thrown at you. Much of it is useful, but some of it is just really unhelpful and it’s important you don’t take everything as fact. For example, my chemistry teacher said to our class: “Really, with a few breaks and lunch, you should be working from 9 in the morning till 10 at night.”

Honestly, that’s just ridiculous. For me, I aimed to do around 3 hours each day, more if I could, less if I couldn’t. There is no need to work for hours and hours, like my teacher helpfully suggested. It may end up being counterproductive, because you’ll lose focus after a while. Also, you don’t need to throw the rest of your life away for revision.

All in all, take on advice that will help you, but don’t worry about ignoring some. You can ignore this advice if you want.

2. GCSEs are hard and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You might hear sixth formers saying that GCSE students shouldn’t complain. Well, I honestly think you have total right to complain. There are harder things, but there always is. Nothing can take away what you’re going through, so treat yourself accordingly.

3. Try not to compare yourself to your classmates too much.

Revising is really a personal preference thing, and everyone will do it differently. Some people will start months and months ahead, and like me, you might think “AHHHH I haven’t started yet!! Oh my gosh I’m going to fail!!!” How much revision you do, how you revise and how you plan is up to you. Of course, steal other people’s ideas if you like them, but don’t be intimidated or worried.

4. Planning is important, but not THAT important. 

A revision timetable can really help you make sure you cover every subject. But some of the best advice I was told is that it isn’t set in stone; if you are revising something, and you’re really stuck into it and feel like you’re being productive, you don’t need to stop. Equally if you just can’t seem to get anything done, it’s okay to take a break from it and change to something else.

5. Prepare for the actual exam

The last, and maybe most important advice might be obvious to you, but I also think it’s pretty vital. Prepare for the paper. Know what questions you’re answering (in some papers you won’t be answering them all); if the paper is one where you’re pushed for time, plan out when you’ll move on to each question. Be sure you have all your equipment- don’t forget to sharpen your pencils! Find out where your seat is beforehand so it’s easier to find, as well.

Finally, just remember- exams are important, but they certainly aren’t everything. Success doesn’t depend on grades. Get the best you can, and carry on after that. Look after yourself, and keep in mind that long summer holiday!

If anyone has any queries about GCSEs, you can ask me anything you like in the comments, or you can email me. It can be big or small- from stress management to English exam timings.

Sunset xx

 

 

Sixth form, Loch Ness, and other things

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. As for me, I’m a few weeks into year 12, studying biology, chemistry, geography and maths. It’s all…intense. And I can’t really be bothered, which is just great. But it is fun having a sort of fresh school approach- sixth form has different rules to lower school, although it’s really not that different because my sixth form is within my old high school. So it’s not a huge change. Although I do now have the authority to skip the queue at lunch. Make way.

Also, I spent last weekend in Scotland, so that my mum could run the Loch Ness marathon. It was a really exciting weekend, starting and ending with a long drive up there, but it was worth it. We booked a regular hotel room, but it turned out to be HUGE, which was so nice! And I mean huge. My sister was cartwheeling around the room. (I would’ve if I could.)

I did the 5K race with my brother, sister and dad, which was a lot of fun. Annoyingly, as with every running event, my little brother beat me by a considerable amount, but that’s just something I have to accept. Grr. Anyway, we all finished, and our reward at the end was a t-shirt, medal and a little goodie bag including a can of soup. Man, I really love soup.

Medals

Then we had to hang around in the event area near the finish line and wait for my mum to finish her 26.2 miles. We saw the first finisher, who crossed the line in an incredible time, a good few minutes ahead of second place. It was really inspiring to see all of the runners finishing. Makes me want to run a marathon in the future. My mum did really well, and got a new PB!

And other trivia:

  • The Killers’ new album Wonderful Wonderful is f.r.i.c.k.i.n.g g.r.e.a.t. Of course! I absolutely love it.
  • My first test of the school year was yesterday, in maths, and thankfully it was very manageable! Most people agreed it was a lot easier than we expected, I think it was mostly to check we all know the basics of A-level maths.
  • I have Lush Sea Vegetable soap to use that I splashed out on up in Scotland. Is that a valid pun? It’s definitely a stretch. I can’t waiiiit to use it. Who doesn’t love Lush?
  • The lovely people at Penguin Press have offered to send me a book by the same author as another I’d posted about previously. This is like, the biggest blog-related thing to ever happen to me! Woo!
  • I’m looking forward to the cold weather. Wrapping up in the frosty mornings is just the best. Bring on the cold! I have fluffy jumpers for sixth form that are making me overheat right now.
A picture I took the other day on the way to school. The coldest day so far…

That’s it for now! How’s September going for everyone? Let me know. 🙂

Sunset

A Rubbish Poem To Make School That Little Bit Easier

School is a stress fest-

It hasn’t even started and I need a rest.

Perhaps the teachers are making you yawn

Because you could not care LESS about boron

Maybe you’ve got an ache in your writing arm

Or you accidentally set off the fire alarm

If you’re worried because you forgot your homework,

Or if you’re the one who gives teachers nothing but a smirk

School finds ways to drag us all down

Yes, all of us, even the class clown.

So try to stay strong- help others, be kind

And get through to half term- I know it’s a grind.

 

Hey everyone- yeah, it’s that time of year again…I’m sure a lot of you have already started school or are going to start soon, and so I wrote a really bad poem that doesn’t rhyme properly in places to summarise how we’re all feeling. It’s a bit off-beat too, but I personally feel that adds to the discordant atmosphere that surrounds the back-to-school time for many people. (How’s that for analysis? Thanks, English Lit GCSE. P.S. If you didn’t realise, it’s actually got an irregular rhythm because I’m a very lazy, unskilled poet…🙂)

I know school is a lot harder for some people than others, and I’m not trying to take that fact away here. It’s just a generalised, stupid poem for everyone to enjoy.

How are you all feeling about going back to school, college, uni, etc? Have you started yet? Let me know in the comments.

Sunset xx

My summer~results~options

Hi bloggers! It’s been a while, huh? Well anyway, the last post I made was one in advance of  GCSE results day, and here I am post-brown envelope to share the news.

No one told me how bad actually getting results was going to be. Me and all my schoolmates waited outside the doors, jittery, and I was one of the first people into the hall to pick up my results. I went straight to the table corresponding to my surname, and saw rows and rows of envelopes. I was the first person to that table, but for the life of me I COULD NOT FIND MY ENVELOPE. I read every name probably about seven times. People reached around me to get their envelopes- I was very conscious of the fact that I was totally in the way. My results, however, were still nowhere to be seen. To make matters significantly worse, teachers and office staff stood a small distance behind the table, observing me FLIP OUT, standing there way longer than anyone else, but not one of them came over and offered to help! I was about to ask when suddenly I spotted my envelope. It was pretty much right next to me. I grabbed it and hurried away in embarrassment to a group of my friends (all of whom had already opened their envelopes and seen their results. Yes. I was one of the first people in the hall.)

Maybe the teachers were thinking “that kid can’t even find her envelope. Her results must be ruuuUUUUBBbbbish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Alas, I’m over the moon with my results. I got what I thought was something unattainable, in that I actually wasn’t disappointed with anything.

My results do mean I’m going to change my plans for sixth form. Previously I had chosen geography, biology, chemistry and history (as an AS.) However, I did better in a lot of other subjects than I did for history, and I wasn’t exactly buzzing to start it anyway. I could still have taken it, and in a very unlikely turn of events I may still have to (if all other preferred choices are unavailable) but I’m probably going to take maths instead. Maths was a subject I thought was one of my weakest, and though I had considered it for A level I thought I wouldn’t be able to get good grades in it. For GCSE, at least, I did, so I’m taking that over history. Saying I’m taking maths actually makes me feel so much better than saying I’m taking history. I really wasn’t looking forward to it.

The weight of months and months of preparation and stress has been lifted. IT FEELS GREAT. I’m almost looking forward to starting school again now. I’m gonna eat those words later, though.

In other news:

  • I’ve been on a lovely holiday to the Lake District, where we went walking, rowing, and otherwise just generally relaxed.
  • I ran six miles at the weekend, the furthest I’ve ever ran at once.
  • I’m super excited to buy a magazine tomorrow because it has an interview with The Killers in (it’s the little things, right?)
  • I’m reading Skulduggery Pleasant at the minute, and it’s so much better than I’d expected. I’m on book 4 and it’s honestly so addictive.
  • I recently discovered a love for High School Musical. I know, it’s shocking I’ve only just seen it this summer! But I’ve watched each film 4 times now to make up for lost time. The songs are so awesome- my favourite is I Don’t Dance.
  • Finally- I found a little friend today:Cute little beetleLil cutie. Any name suggestions?

 

Well that’s it. I’ve got a lot of blogs to catch up on. Hope everyone’s week is going well!

Sunset xx

 

 

Results day musings, one week in advance

The lead up to results day is an anticipation that I’ve never before experienced. It’s not the same as the excitement for Christmas, or the terror of school injections, or  nerves before a presentation- it’s a unique, horrific feeling. It’s knowing your entire education now has something to show for itself, which makes you worry that it’s not going to be good enough. It’s also a desperate, itching need to know what is in that envelope. Mostly it’s fear, a very overwhelming fear, one that has been built up by months and months of revision.

I put in so much work preparing for my GCSE exams that I shouldn’t be disappointed with whatever I get. Even if I get far lower than I might expect to, I’ve worked as hard as I sensibly could have, and therefore no matter what the grades are I should be proud of my achievements. But…I doubt I won’t be disappointed with something.

Most of the year eleven students in the country right now will be mirroring how I feel. in a way, the ‘we’re all in this together’ sentiment is comforting, but it also adds competition. It’s stupid to be less proud of your grades because of someone else’s, and it’s also inevitable.

Anyway, we all just need to keep in mind that no matter how we do, GCSE results aren’t everything. Despite how dramatic the rest of this post is.

I hope any A-Level or AS students reading are pleased with their results today, well done to you all.

Sunset x

A tour of my Wreck This Journal!

Hello! Has everyone heard of ‘Wreck This Journal’? If not, here’s an explanation. It’s a book, that on every page has instructions you follow, which all in some way add to the destruction of the book. I completed one of the pages I’d been thinking about for a while today, and that inspired me to make this post!

Cover
I stuck loads of typewriter-text on the front of mine, I can’t really remember why. One of them says ‘Sunset’ on.

This is the page I completed today: Slide the journal down a long hallway 

I have spent a long time deliberating on how to complete this one. I was planning for a long time to ask to leave a lesson ‘for the toilet’ and then slide it down a school corridor, but I was too terrified by the concept of someone seeing me and asking me what the heck I was doing to ever actually execute that plan. Then today, my sister said I should do it at our town’s leisure centre, in the big hall. So that’s what I did. There were people around, but mostly little kids, so that’s fine. I must have looked very odd, frisbeeing a book across the floor and then running after it. Oh, and I also might have accidentally thrown the book into someone’s feet. They were really nice about it, though. But imagine what they’ll be thinking next time they see me: “Oh yeah, that’s the girl who flings books at people.”

Here’s another page, one I’m very proud of:

Millions of fruit stickers

The instructions underneath said to collect fruit stickers, so that’s exactly what I did! This page took me AGES to fill. Whenever we bought fruit I’d peel all the stickers off them, carry the stickers upstairs to my room (stuck to my hands) and put them in the journal. I absolutely love this page, and I ended up with some really nice stickers! There’s one with Santa on, a couple of pretty leaf ones, and my personal favourite the big blue melon sticker. Here’s the only problem:

Give away your favourite page.

I DON’T WANT TO GIVE IT AWAY! THAT PAGE COVERED WITH FRUIT STICKERS IS PRECIOUS! I guess I have to at some point. Or maybe I’ll try to convince myself that a different page is really my favourite. Actually yeah, I probably will do that! No one will know (except you guys…)

Here are a few other random pages just to give you more of an idea:

Scratch using a sharp object
As you can see, I’ve successfully completed this page!
Write one word over and over
I don’t know why I chose ‘yum’. It was an impulse decision. Upon reflection, that’s kind of weird.
Hide a secret message somewhere in this book
I would tell you where and what the message is, but…well, then it wouldn’t be a secret.
Collect dead bugs here.
This is the one page I refuse to complete. Stick carcasses in my book? No thanks, mate.
Doodle over pages.
Yes, that is a dairy milk caramel wrapper sticking out the side.

I still have some pages left to do. Yesterday I completed ‘float this page’ and ‘find out a way to freeze this page’. This obviously involved ripping them out, something I was reluctant to do when I first got the book (“you won’t even be able to tell you’ve done it! How will you know? Do I stick it back in?”) but I resigned to the fact it’s just the silly fun of doing it more than anything else.

It’s a totally fun pastime that you can pretty much do anywhere. I have had the book for years and have just gradually added/taken away from it. Many people are really creative with theirs: just search the internet for Wreck This Journal images and loads of beautifully drawn and coloured pages will appear. I, on the other hand, have neither the skill nor the patience for that, so my journal really is well and truly wrecked.

This is something I would recommend to anyone, it’s just pure fun condensed into a book.

I hope you enjoyed this random post. Do you have one of these? Do you want one?

Sunset xx