alternative music · Anna's Life · Fall Out Boy · music · pop(ular) music · Uncategorized

Anna’s Favourites Day 6: Fall Out Boy

Just for warning, there will be at least two more days with the letter F. (Seems like a lot of my favourite bands start with the letter F.)

Tread carefully now. This is where Anna opens up her heart and talks about the past and gets all poetic.


1. What draws me to this particular artist’s music?

I discovered Fall Out Boy two years ago during the spring, just in time for tragedy to strike in my own life. I’m not going to go into details, but looking in retrospective, I realize how good God is.  This band grew very close to my heart, the songs sometimes being the only comfort I have. I’ve never met Pete Wentz, but from reading his lyrics and closing my eyes and listening to the words, he really knew just how I was feeling. During the worst times, I imagined Pete and Patrick to be two sides of my guardian angel, being my little cheerleaders. You can do this, Anna, they’d say. You can get up and go to class. or I know it’s cold, but you can get off the train and make it to school. It’s okay. You can do this. (Definitely incorporating this into one of my novels.)

While I don’t listen to this band anywhere as much as I used to, they’re still quite close to my heart. I absolute detest the sound of their latest song, but that’s okay. I’ve moved on from Fall Out Boy and they’ve moved on, too. I still like their older music better than their newer, anyway. Those are the songs that will always stay with me.

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Anna's Life · Educate Yourself · Uncategorized

The Truth About Haters (And Why They Don’t Really Bother Me Anymore)

For anyone who has known me for an extended period of time, I used to be a very sensitive soul. I desperately wanted to please people and I would change my opinion quickly in order to be liked. And while that girl isn’t completely gone, I’ve realized that over the past year, I’ve become much more confident… and less willing to deal with crap.

“How do you live with yourself after getting broken once again?” a tumblr poet asks.

Answer – you don’t. you pick up the shattered glass of the version of you that was too weak, throw away every single piece you don’t need and create a new one. you reinvent yourself, build it up from dust and bones, glue it all together with hope, and stand up taller. you forget all the lies and heartache, leave behind everyone who ever dared to lay a hand on you and start anew. you come back to life as someone who will know better, as someone who knows they deserve better and step lightly into the world again. ready or not, you gather your strength and go, for the new version of you has still so much to learn [sic].

Continue reading “The Truth About Haters (And Why They Don’t Really Bother Me Anymore)”

a reader's life · Anna's Life · Uncategorized

The Man Who Spoke

Due to the fact that I hardly ever blog on here (since I feel like I have to have long, intellectual posts in order to make blogging worthwhile), I decided that I’m going to try something new – short, little posts about my day, what I’m reading, etc.

So, without, further ado, here is my little happy moment of the day. [originally posted here – with grammatical mistakes and all]


This morning on the train on the way to school, there was an older man with a cast. Despite his injured leg, he moved from bench to bench, talking to people about how he was trying to quit smoking, how he was going to the doctor’s, about Calgary in general, etc. I was slightly annoyed, but more amused.

I was immersed – or trying to be – in reading short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. I hope the man wouldn’t try to come and bother me after all the other people left the train (I get off at one of the last stops, and it often happens that I am the only one left in the car). He didn’t try to initiate conversation, however, and I felt almost…. disappointed?

As he got ready to leave the train a few stops before me, I looked up and gave him a smile. He smiled back.

“That must be a good book you’re reading,” he said. “You were so into it. Have a good day.”

Just thinking about it now makes me smile.

Anna's Life · Uncategorized

New Mornings

Some mornings you wake up and it’s like a brand new day in a life that is an exciting journey. Other mornings, when you wake up, it’s kind of the worst thing ever. My morning was (is, it’s still 8AM) kind of like both of those moments.

One of the adjectives that I hear most often to describe me is sweet. Another is caring. I guess that’s not a big surprise as I love to spread love and help people as best as I can – even if that’s just through a little message saying, “hey, how are you doing? I hope you’re having a morning as lovely as you!” However, those who know me better (like my family) know that I can also be quite difficult and moody at times. I like having things my own way – and if events or people are not perfect, then let hell be unleashed in my mind that it’s not that way. I don’t think I used to be quite as bad, but I guess it can be expected when I went through a very tough last year. I’ve let the troubles of life and the poor Anna, poor Anna to influence me more than I realized, I think, however.

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Anna's Life · Challenges · Uncategorized

Tag: 10 Things That Make You Happy

symphonyonasoldier on tumblr tagged me in this, but since it’s a longer post, I decided to answer here 🙂

  1. Music

Music is really what I live and breathe. I usually go through my day having listened to a whole bunch of different artists, and when I’m not, one can usually find me humming or singing a song… or I just have a song stuck in my head where no one can hear it. 🙂 I love listening to Troye Sivan because his music makes me feel relaxed and like I can be okay with myself – some of his songs, like Wild, Fools, Talk Me Down, and Blue remind me of the ocean, but that might just be because I’ve watched the Blue Neighbourhood trilogy. Tenth Avenue North is what I listen to when I’m really down and I need to remember God still loves me and is always here for me. Fall Out Boy’s lyrics make me realize someone else feels like I do. I just really love a wide variety of music, but my standard genre is that category called alternative (aka iTunes lumping everything together that isn’t pop or country or opera or something).

2. Books

I’ve loved to read since a very young age – one of my very first favourites was The Lord of the Rings, actually. I stopped reading for pleasure during high school and the first few years of university, but I recently got back into it and all I can say is, there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book and forgetting all the crap that exists in the world. I love going into bookstores and looking at the books and smelling the books – I love being surrounded by books – I love reading them – I love trying my hand at writing them…. I just really love the way that words can transform our lives and the stories that they can tell.

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a reader's life · a writer's life · Anna's Life · read-a-thons · Uncategorized · WIP: Curiouser & Curiouser · WIP: Curiouser and Curiouser

just a few thoughts

Well, I’m finally finished with my short story writing course. It went well, so I’m happy about that. I’m even happier with the fact that I can spend the rest of my summer reading and writing.

I decided to join Trees of Reverie Read-A-Thon – I’ve got plenty of books for that, what with my books of Tolkien criticism, a stack of books from my sister, and a BAG from Emma (mostly fantasy there). Of course, I’m also planning to read The Lord of the Rings to decide whether I am really willing to devote my capstone project to my favourite trilogy.

As for writing, I’ve got a thick portfolio from my short stories course. I passed the 20,000 word count last night. I feel like I need some kind of reward for that (I’ve never written that much on one project before), although I’m not sure what. I’m also considering on making a book of short stories, all having something to do with Greek mythology. I already did a retelling of the Icarus myth for my short story course, which I really enjoyed.

As an aside, my friend Gina’s boyfriend Vincent Frankini did a really neat interview which I thought I’d share. Here.

~        ~        ~        ~

For some reason, I find myself very intrigued with a suburbia aesthetic ever since reading The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic – which has definitely been on my mind and becoming a part of the novel I’m working on. Characters sit on flat rooftops and watch the sun going down. The main character, Alice, works in a little corner store in a bit of a risky area. The people are on the poorer side… and yet, they’re the kinder people. They’re the type of people who would invite you in for dinner even if you are almost a stranger and they barely have enough for themselves. It’s the rich families, like that of Alice’s best friend, who wouldn’t give you a cup of water if you were on fire. I feel like I’ve always been interested in this side of humanity – the dichotomy between the rich and the poor. Living in a middle-class family myself, it’s definitely going to take some research… but I’m excited to work on this project.

Here are some songs that are in the back of my mind as I’m working on Curiouser and Curiouser (my WIP name – at the moment, at least): spotify playlist

4 stars · 5 stars · Anna's Life · Book Reviews · Books · Maggie Stiefvater · Music Reviews · on writing · The Lumineers · Thoughts · Troye Sivan · TV Shows · Uncategorized

(I’m not gone, I promise.)

I’ve got a bad cold, so it looks like it’s going to be a lazy day. Perfect time for a blog post, eh? I thought so, too.


I just finished reading The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. It’s a book that teaches writing by showing examples of writing, a technique of which I most heartily approve. I put this book on hold at the library because after reading The Raven Cycle, I am absolutely spellbound by Maggie Stiefvater. Her writing has such magic to it, and she makes me fall in love with writing in a way that only my friend Gina (author of the recent The Rose and the Sword) has been able to do before.

This was such a great read not only because I got writing advice from my beloved Maggie (if I was born in the time of Homer, I’d probably offer sacrifices to beg her to be my Muse), but because I discovered a new favourite – Brenna Yovanoff (now I have to go look for books she’s written). Not only was her story right up my alley (modern YA with a twist of the Gothic), but she showed her writing process in a very different way from Maggie and Tessa (just the short story with comments here and there). Brenna first told a story from her childhood of a drowning that stuck with her the rest of her life before showing the short story as well as a very different earlier draft. While I wasn’t a big fan of Tessa and her world-building, her story at least kept my interest. The book also had a few sections of words from the author s – for example, how to gain ideas and the overwhelming doubt that plagues readers.

Anna’s rating: 5 stars (note to self: need to buy a copy of this book to have forever)

Continue reading “(I’m not gone, I promise.)”

Anna's Life · Hope in Darkness · on writing · Thoughts

The Story of Anna, the Writer

I felt in a reflective mood this evening, so I decided to bring my laptop up to my room, play Mumford & Sons and Halsey, and throw words the computer screen until something started to make sense.

I’m taking a short story writing class this spring, taught by Eugene Stickland. So far it’s more discussing thoughts about writing than learning much about improving my writing, but it has made me think.

For me, and for many of the people in the room, writing came to us at a time when we needed an answer, a hope, something. Eugene’s brother had died when he was eleven and he started writing. One of the students, Josh, told us how his mother had died and that is why he searches for comedy in fiction – ‘why does everyone have to take it [life, I suppose] so damn seriously?’ seems to be his motto. I find it interesting how tragedy can move people in different ways – some go down a dark road, some search for the light. I admire Josh for how earnestly he strives for light, but that isn’t quite the road I went down.

I suppose I should speak a little bit about my own journey. Much of this is going to be details about my life not many know, still much will be left unspoken – either because I can’t find the words, or it’s not my place to tell of it.

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Anna's Life · Books · Uncategorized

Beginning Vacation 2016

My third university semester is over!

Status: halfway done cleaning through all the mess that piled up during the semester (I found several old papers that I want to read through – a Samuel Johnson and Les Misérables paper, for instance)

Listening to: this gorgeous siren playlist

Book last read: I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue this morning – such a good book. I am torn between my favourite character being Adam Parrish or Noah Czerny.

Movie last watched: Yesterday I watched Disney’s Descendants with my best friend Emma. While the Disney Channel movies/shows aren’t my favourite thing in the world, I quite enjoyed this movie. It follows the characters from Melissa de la Cruz’s Isle of the Lost – the children of Maleficent (Mal), Jafar (Jay), the Evil Queen (Evie), and Cruella de Ville (Carlos – who is a precious child who must be protected at all costs). Given a chance at another life in the Kingdom of Auradon, among the Disney heroes and their children, the four children suddenly find themselves realizing that being good actually feels really good.

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Anna's Life · Challenges · Uncategorized

Part 2 of the Book Photo Challenge

Here is my little gallery of Days 6-11 of the Book Photo challenge. Click on each picture to enlarge and read the caption!

And just for a little explanation of some of these pictures. For my borrowed books – I just started A Series of Unfortunate Events and I’m really enjoying it, so I thought I would get the next few. The other book was a recommendation by someone whom I follow on Goodreads. The books I’m reading now are The Idylls for Medieval Literature (I’m reading it all instead of just certain sections because I want to) and The Help (I bought this book a long time and forgot about it, but one of the groups in my Literary Theory class did their presentation on this book and reminded me!) – however, knowing me, I’m reading lots of books. I’ve got Mockingjay for pleasure and a book of letters by Dorothy Day for a project both in e-version… as well as Alice in Wonderland for a project, a book of poetry by Ann Scowcroft, and a book of Catholic devotions. Last, the signed book is my only signed book. It’s a book called I Thirst which was written by a close friend – I highly recommend it, of course. She is actually going to be releasing the sequel very soon!