My Fourth Blogoversary??? + Aesthetics Giveaway!

WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE. For real. How has it been four years? I vaguely remember sitting down at the dinner table and just,, making a new blog. Being sure that this one wouldn’t last that long anyway, since I had never been able to keep up a blog for long. AND NOW HERE WE ARE. FOUR YEARS LATER. WHAT

Right now it’s easy to believe that I actually stayed with this blog for so long – I absolutely love blogging, shouting about books, meeting so many lovely people… Blogging has become a huge part of my life and it’s hard to imagine a life without it, but I’m sure if I were to go back in time and tell myself ‘hey this little blog you just made? I just celebrated its fourth blogoversary!!’ I wouldn’t believe that lol. I don’t know how many blogs I had before this, but there were quite a few. One of them I stuck with for about two years I think, but I didn’t blog very regularly nor was I that passionate about it. I guess I never really blogged about something that motivated me enough to keep blogging – it never even occured to me I could blog about books and writing, and that there were so many people blogging about those things!! (I was very clueless when I started this blog)

So things have changed a lot since I started this blog. This blog looks very different now compared to back then:

Can we,, can we just talk about that design? Or more like the lack of it dsjgh This is terrible. Also I had no clue what I was doing and my posts were terrible. Don’t even get me STARTED on my reviews. I reviewed all the books I read at the end of the month in a wrap up but since I barely remembered anything and had no idea how to review books it was like two sentences bjdhsg I wasn’t very critical either. I’ve improved a lot since then, thankfully. After this design my blog went through a few others, but my heart can’t handle more ugly designs sgjh So I’m just leaving you with my very first design because that one was definitely the worst

I’ve also changed a lot as a person of course, which really reflects in my blog posts. First of all I realised that I’m not straight, like, at all. And secondly I’ve become a lot more open about a lot of things. Of course I don’t share everything on here, but I do talk about my mental health and I even managed to open up about the abuse I faced in my Starfish review – which is not something I could’ve done four years ago, and I’m very proud of that.

I’m very grateful for the past four years. Blogging has taught me a lot, changed me for the better, helped me accept myself and brought so many lovely people in my life. Thank you all for sticking with me, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or just yesterday. You guys are what makes blogging so so worth it ❤

Giveaway

To thank you all, I really wanted to give something, but since money is tight and international shipping is a big no-no (and only doing a giveaway for my Dutch followers wouldn’t feel right), I’ve decided that I’d do an aesthetics giveaway instead. I will make an aesthetic for five winners, who can pick whatever topic. I can make an aesthetic for you yourself, your blog, books, tv shows, certain characters, ships, your WIP or characters, etc. though you might have to give me some guidelines because I may not be familiar with whatever you choose. It’s all up to you, but I do have some things I won’t make aesthetics for:

💛 No NSFW
💛 No MBTI and zodiac stuff unless you give me something to work with because otherwise I’ll be a confused lil bean (more than i already am lmao)
💛 No Ilvermorny Houses – I’m not that familiar with them (again, unless you give me guidelines! So if you explain what these Houses stand for I could still make aesthetics)
💛 Stuff that’s triggering for me. There are certain ships that I consider abusive, so please don’t feel offended if I don’t want to make an aesthetic for me, but for example Kara and Mon-el from Supergirl where incredibly triggering for me, so I really don’t want to make an aesthetic for them. Also please don’t request anything that has to do with 13 Reasons Why
💛 It’s possible that there’s other stuff I’m not comfortable making aesthetics for that I currently can’t think of, so please keep in mind that I might ask you to come up with something else

If you’re not sure, you could always give me more options so I could choose!

Here are some examples of aesthetics I have made:


One of my WIPs

Starfish

Over Raging Tides

Cinderella Boy

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

One of my characters

Autoboyography


Agatha Wellbelove from Carry On

That time I made an aesthetic for a Hufflepuff writer without realising that’s basically me/my blog name sdjgh

Mal and Evie from Disney Descendants

Me

Me

The giveaway runs from today until the 14th. Click here to enter

How long have you been blogging? Is your blogoversary coming up as well? How has your blogging experience been so far? Let me know in the comments!

How To Make Aesthetics 101 by Moi

Last week I did The Blogger Aesthetics Tag, and May suggested that I’d do a post on how to create aesthetics. Since I love aesthetics (and being helpful promise I’m a good person) how could I not? So here’s my attempt at being helpful! (because I might like helping and teaching people I always feel like I suck at it lmao)

Step 1: Have an idea/theme

Okay so I don’t always already know what kind of aesthetic I want to make, sometimes I just want to make one? In that case there’s secret Step 0 in which I browse my Pinterest and/or WeHeartIt to look at my boards/collections for inspiration. Usually I already know what kind of aesthetic I want to make though. In this case a Hermione Granger character aesthetic, so let’s take a look at my board and collection

Okay so I already have a lot of pictures to work with, but let’s pretend I don’t!

Step 2: Look for pictures to use 

Personally I use Pinterest and WeHeartIt, because I can save pictures on boards/collections and make the aesthetics later on, but you can look wherever you want. In this tutorial I’ll be talking about Pinterest and WeHeartIt though.

When I first started making aesthetics I had NO IDEA how to find pictures, and I’m sure some of you have this same problem. It’s a lot easier when you’re making an aesthetic for an already existing character, especially a popular one like Hermione:

Look at all the pins and boards! It makes it super easy to find plenty of pictures. Of course it’s not that easy when you want to make an aesthetic for your own character or book. I have boards/collections for my own WIPs and characters as well, so whenever I come across something I can save it to the board/collection and at some point I can make an aesthetic, but still, how do you find pictures?

Since my character Mick is a bookworm, I just look for ‘book aesthetics’ and ta-dah! Of course he’s more than a bookworm, but I wanted to use this as an example

Basically: put aesthetic in your search term.

I also follow aesthetic boards/collections on Pinterest and WeHeartIt: from general ‘aesthetic’ boards to ‘yellow aesthetic’ to people’s own characters’ aesthetics or aesthetics for already existing characters/books/tv shows/movies/etc. that I know are similar to my WIPs and characters, so I’ll be able to save pins/hearts from those to the boards/collections for my WIPs/characters and be able to use them later on when I’m making aesthetics.

Step 3: Save all the pictures to whatever device you’re making the aesthetic on

So by now you hopefully have all the pictures you need, so now you need to save them. Yes all of them. Okay, I’m not looking at you through my computer screen yelling ‘HEY YOU FORGOT ONE’ and if you don’t want to save all of them, obviously you don’t need to, I’m just telling you what I do. Though if there’s an image that I know won’t work I’ll skip it, but I like having all images on my laptop to use.

Step 4: Open your collage making program/website

I always use Fotor, but I found that on the App Store so I don’t know if it’s available on other computers? If it is, I definitely recommend it! It’s not just a program for collages, it’s also a regular editor.

Step 5: Choose a layout

You can choose different layouts, and I never really know which one I want, so basically I experiment a lot. There’s no ‘one layout’ for aesthetics, though four, six, eight and nine squares are used a lot. Those are the ones I use myself as well.

Step 6: Upload your pictures and experiment! 

Whatever program you’re using, there’s a big chance that if like me you end up with a lot of pictures you might not be able to open all of them at once, which I personally find a real struggle. I want all the pictures on the side so I can see which ones go together, but alas Fotor doesn’t allow more than 30 pictures and I ended up with around 70 pictures to choose from.

So this is what I ended up with after experimenting for a bit and well… I wasn’t satisfied AT ALL.

Step 7: Experiment some more until you’re satisfied 

AND TADAH. Sorry I don’t have screenshots of the experimenting, but what looks good and doesn’t look good is very subjective anyway. Personally I look at the following things:

💛 Do the pictures look good together? Is it pleasing to the eye? (composition, colours)
💛 Aren’t there too many pictures showing one side of the character/book? For example: a lot of pictures of books in a Hermione aesthetic and no pictures that have to do with her being a witch, a hardworking student, an activist. I like showing as many sides to the character as possible as long as the pictures look nice together

You’ll most likely end up with a lot of pictures saved on your laptop that you wish you could’ve used, but hey you could always make another aesthetic ;)

Step 8: Throw your pretty aesthetics in everyone’s faces

Why yes that IS a Malvie aesthetic I made

You could share them on your blog, or make a Tumblr dedicated to aesthetics like me (cheeky self promo here). If you already have a Tumblr and don’t want another one, you can also upload them on there of course. Twitter and Instagram also loves aesthetics! Anyway loads of people love aesthetics so no one minds if you throw some in their face (I definitely don’t! THROW ALL THE AESTHETICS IN MY FACE)

Well, I hope that was a little bit useful! If you need help/have questions, I always love to help and talk about aesthetics did I mention I love aesthetics I may have a problem. Do you like making aesthetics? Do you have any tips? Do you have an aesthetics Tumblr? Let me know in the comments!

The Book Aesthetics Tag

After doing the Blogger Aesthetics Tag, I wondered if there was a tag in which you had to make book related aesthetics. I couldn’t find one (if there is let me know!) so naturally I made on myself

Rules

💛 Thank whoever nominated you (maybe you’re bitter that you have ANOTHER tag to do on top of the billions you already need to do (#relatable), still though. Someone thought of you. Be thankful. At least pretend to be
💛 Credit the creator of this tag (I feel so… weird, asking for credits?
💛 There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers. Even me, an aesthetics hoe, might get tired after 50 aesthetics (I doubt anyone would make/share that many for this tag I just like to exaggerate \_(ツ)_/¯
💛 Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

Favourite book of the year

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I’ve read more books that I loved, but so far none have been able to surpass these two. They both have important messages, are well-written and have great characters. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing The Hate U Give Yet (I keep putting it off because I feel like everything has been said already?) but you can read my review for Queens of Geek here.

Character you relate to a lot

Taylor from Queens of Geek

There are more characters I relate to, but boy did I relate a lot to Taylor (Charlie as well, but less so). Her anxiety was so well written I could cry. If you want to know more about why I related so much to Taylor (wow this sounds like clickbait but in reality I’m just lazy and don’t want to repeat myself promise) read my review.

A character you look up to

Charlie from Queens of Geek

Hermione Granger

A lot of us look up to Hermione (I also relate to her a lot, but I wanted to give my girl Taylor some love), so I don’t think I need to explain why I look up to her. I also wanted to include Charlie though, cause though I looked up to Taylor as well I didn’t want to repeat myself (the things she did despite her anxiety were incredibly inspiring). I absolutely loved Charlie and how she’s able to express herself, be herself and speak her mind like that is really something to look up to. Not to mention what an incredible friend she is. She may not have anxiety herself, but she gets Taylor so well and she’s always there for her. We should all aspire to be a friend like Charlie.

As much as I love Queens of Geek I promise I’m done talking about it now (in this post anyway) lmao.

An underrated gem 

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

I absolutely loved Heroine Complex. It was such a fun read and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Basically: Asian female superheroes, fun superhero comic book vibes, girls supporting girls, sisters and a healthy romance. What more could you want? Review hopefully coming this week!

A character that deserves more love

Piper McLean from Heroes of Olympus

Agatha Wellbelove from Carry On

The hatred for Piper may have already passed, but a while back (I think around the time Blood of Olympus was published?) I came across so much hatred for Piper. And for ridiculous reasons! Because she thinks Jason is better than Percy?? Yeah the girl’s in love of course she’s going to think that, and she’s entitled to that opinion? I don’t remember the other reasons, but none of them were sounded. I honestly don’t get it. I love Piper with my entire heart. Fell in love with her the moment she appeared. She’s a daughter of Aphrodite, who kicks ass, uses words to get out of sticky situations (Charm speak), is an amazing and supportive friend, and so much more?? Fight me haters.

Agatha is disliked and hated on a lot. Especially when Carry On was first published a lot of reviews mentioned that they didn’t like her. Meanwhile I love my daughter. I love that she chose herself, realised that she never really loved Simon, didn’t want to be the prize for the hero at the end of the quest, just kidnapped a dog (or should I say… dognapped *finger guns*) and went to L.A. to live there happily ever after. Basically I adore Agatha and would fight for her too

An underrated OTP

Danny and Colton from Timekeeper

Timekeeper by Tara Sim did get a bit of buzz back when it was released last year, but I feel that it’s really underrated. Which is a shame because it’s amazing? It was my favourite book of 2016 (read my review here) and Danny and Colton played a huge part in that, since their romance is a huge part of the plot. They’re adorable. The relationship is pure and emotional and just so damn healthy. Apparently I declared it my favourite romance of 2016 and I still stand by that. 

I TAG

Marie | Lia | Kat | Fadwa | CW | YOU

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

If you want to do this tag (whether I’ve tagged you directly or not), but don’t really know how to make aesthetics: stay tuned! I’ve got a tutorial coming this Tuesday (you may be thinking: Michelle, why didn’t you get that up BEFORE this tag? Well… I was really excited about this tag and wanted to post it… So… Sorry?)

Are any of these books/characters/ships among your favourites as well? Which ones would you have picked? Let me know in the comments!

My Blogger Aesthetics

Marie asked me if I had done this tag yet, and if not that I should do it. Since I absolutely love making aesthetics, how could I say no? 😛 Also don’t forget to click on the link to see her wonderful aesthetic and the rest of her wonderful blog duh

Since I love aesthetics, I won’t just be sharing one haha

The Rules:

  1. Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  2. Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  3. Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  4. Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  5. Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

  • Find inspiration by spending (minimum) three hours scrolling through aesthetic Tumblr posts relevant to you.
  • Two great places to hunt for pictures are Pinterest and WeHeartIt. Pinterest requires an account; WeHeartIt does not.
  • PicMonkey’s collage editor is free to use and doesn’t require an account, heck yes.

A while back I was tagged on Tumblr to make a personal aesthetic/moodboard, so I thought I’d share it here as well

I had the idea of making an aesthetic for a Hufflepuff writer, and then when I posted it on Tumblr I realised,, that’s LITERALLY me. My blog’s called The WRITING HUFFLEPUFF. I didn’t even do it on purpose haha

Buttt of course I wanted to make a new one for this tag as well, so I made this one:

I’m really happy with how it turned out! If you’re new here and thinking ‘oh! Michelle must have a pug that she loves and shares lots of pictures of!’ uh no. Michelle whines that she wants a pug and writes a blog post about why she should have one and then about two years later people still find her blog by searching for pugs. I’m honoured really. Also some of my friends have joked that I’m actually a pug in disguise. Which is obviously not true how dare they expose me

I actually made a new Tumblr for aesthetics only recently so if you too love aesthetics, click here

I TAG

Eve | Elly | Em | May

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

Have you done this tag? If so please put the link to the post in the comments so I can check it out because did I mention I love aesthetics? Do you love them too? Let me know in the comments!

Introducing My Characters

Since I suck at summarising my Camp NaNo WIP (which I really need to get better at woops) I decided to instead show some aesthetics and talk about my characters, because I can talk about my children all day. Plus I always struggle with whether or not I really know my characters or not, so I’d figure this would be a helpful exercise. And hopefully at the same time this will be fun for you guys to read? I hope? LET’S GO

THE WIP

Okay so if you’re new/never read any of my previous posts on this WIP/forgot, what is this about? I suck at summarising it, but in an earlier post I explained my WIP as the following:

‘Friendship, banter, food, karaoke, The Gay™, Dora the Explorer Discourse (I’m not even joking I really hope people will find this very very long scene as hilarious as I do lmao)’

Anyway it’s very light and fluffy though it tackles some more serious issues like anxiety, bullying and abusive parents too.

Here’s a general aesthetic of the WIP to hopefully make it less vague?

It doesn’t take place in Rome. Okay, it partially does, because they go there on a schooltrip, but it mostly takes place in a fictional town in The Netherlands which I still need to name (my antagonist is also still called [antagonist] hahaha rip)

THE CHARACTERS

Yong-sun An

💛 Is a blue cow
💛 Very organised
💛 Needs to plan everything
💛 Confused lil bean
💛 Wants to be a journalist but is scared his anxiety will get in the way
💛 Keeps a diary
💛 Prefers to write down his feelings rather than talk
💛 Will think about the worst possible scenario
💛 Tried to hide under a bed once but there was no room rip
💛 Is immune to Drew’s puppy eyes
💛 Loyal friend
💛 Worries about his grades all the time, no matter how well he did
💛 Blows everyone away with his vocals
💛 Boots from Dora the Explorer was his favourite
💛 Hides in bathrooms
💛 Is tired of All I Want For Christmas – there are other Christmas songs
💛 Is not best friends with Drew (except he is)
💛 Completely clueless: ‘He felt an odd sensation at reading the message, probably a new level of annoyance.’ ‘There was also a weird feeling in his stomach. Annoyance, he decided.’ Yeah, ANNOYANCE
💛 Has no idea what flirting even is

Andrew ‘Drew’ Lewis

💛 Don’t call him Andrew
💛 Is a lil shit but everyone loves him anyway
💛 Will come up with the stupidest ideas
💛 Thinks he’s cool
💛 But he’s not
💛 Wants to see the world and get away from his past
💛 His flirting is very uneffective pls help him
💛 Is not subtle at all
💛 Always hungry
💛 Takes food very seriously
💛 Sleeps with a bunny sleeping mask on his face
💛 Feelings haha what are those
💛 Original Mom Friend™
💛 ‘I’m gonna wing it’
💛 Will fight you
💛 Asks deep questions about pigeons
💛 Just because he can’t sing doesn’t mean he won’t sing
💛 He’s a growing boy
💛 Believes ‘please’ is an actual magic word
💛 Hates Boots from Dora the Explorer

Reyna Vélez

💛 Former student council president
💛 Loved by pretty much the entire school because she stands up for everyone and is genuinely friendly
💛 Wants to become a succesful director
💛 Vlogger
💛 Will fight you
💛 ‘Do it for the vine’
💛 Netherlands is not Germany dammit
💛 Ships her friends
💛 Will not accept help
💛 Actual Queen
💛 Will drag you out of your bed in the middle of the night for karaoke
💛 ‘Like my picture’
💛 Has a youtube channel where she covers social issues and movies, tv shows, documentaries etc and posts cute vlogs about her friends
💛 Will never make you do something you don’t want
💛 Always looks good in pictures
💛 Can’t stop, won’t stop
💛 Will throw you out of the group chat
💛 Doesn’t like showing people her weaknesses
💛 Changes the group chat’s name all the time
💛 Will make you take awkward pictures (but won’t post them if you don’t want her to)
💛 Would jump out of a plane without a parachute
💛 Most likely to embarrass you with her speech at your wedding

Hye-su Seung

💛 Too pure for this world
💛 Shy lil bean
💛  Unless you’re close to her
💛  Very observant
💛  Looks like a cinnamon roll but could actually kill you
💛  Can’t even hurt a fly tho
💛  Forgives pretty easily
💛  Art hoe
💛  Doesn’t know what she wants to study because she wants to do all the art/theater things as long as it doesn’t put her in the spotlight
💛 Plays with her sleeves
💛 Don’t disrespect the Colosseum
💛 Will hit you if you disrespect the Art
💛 Second Mom Friend™
💛 Will pet a rock
💛 Always has good advice
💛 Paint. Paint everywhere. Behind nails, ears, eyelids, walls, windows. Everywhere
💛 Good listener
💛 Knows when you need a hug
💛 Biggest procrastinator of them all
💛 Stereotypical Hufflepuff
💛 Is sick of anxiety dictating her life

So that’s a short summary (meme??) of my kids! Turns out I know them pretty well, but I wonder if all of this is even in the WIP?? I know that Reyna being the previous student council president isn’t, because I came up with that not too long ago. But the other stuff?? I DON’T KNOW. I NEED TO EDIT. EXCEPT I WANT TO FINISH IT FIRST #writerproblems.

I hope that was interesting/fun to read? And hopefully that made my WIP less vague, at least a little bit haha. Can you relate to any of these characters? If you were to describe your characters in this way/as memes, how would you describe them? TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR KIDS