Get to Know Me Tag

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First of all, I have to thank dear Chris @readbychris for tagging me to do this! It’s always nice to get to know people better, and these posts are fun to do. So, let’s start, shall we?

Name: Irena

Nicknames: I don’t have a nickname… Irena is not that common name so I guess there was no need for one. It really bothered me as a kid, but I’m fine with it now.

Birthday: April 24th

Star Sign: Taurus

Occupation: Currently, trying to pass my teacher’s exam. XD I’m an English and Croatian teacher.


APPEARANCE:

Hair colour: It’s red now, but naturally I have that weird colour that’s not blonde or brown, but mostly grey. Mousy. XD

Hair length: About 10cm below my collarbones.

Eye colour: Grey-blue. Sometimes even a little bit green. It changes.

Best feature: Ummm… I’ll go with my eyes, I guess…

Braces: Oh, I had them for YEARS!

Piercings: None. I don’t even have my ears pierced. I pierced them when I was a child and there were some complications so now I’m scared of it and everything similar, such as tattoos! The holes are completely closed now.

Tattoos: I’d really like to have one! I think tattoos can be gorgeous. But, as I said earlier, I’m very scared of it. Maybe I’ll be brave enough someday… Now, I’d never get anything this huge, but I think this looks soooo lovely (link):

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Right or left: Is this a political question? 😛 Yeah, bad joke, anyway I write with my right hand (if that’s what I’m supposed to answer).


FIRSTS:

Holiday: I used to go on summer vacation every year with my parents, and I was very small on the first one so I don’t really remember it. XD We are lucky to live in a coastal town, and several beautiful islands are very close so it was easy to travel there and enjoy.

Best Friend: My brother was my first best friend. I was very sucky at making friends (and still am).

Award: Well, we had those “commendations” in primary school. Everyone who had As in all subjects got one at the end of the school year. Does this count? XD

Sport: I’m horrible at sports. Always have been. For a year I went to this kid’s club where we played all kinds of sports but I didn’t really like it so I gave up. In my defence, I’m doing yoga now. XD

Concert: I didn’t really go to concerts as a child. The only concert worth mentioning was the Iron Maiden concert, in 2008. It was so surprising that they came to our town (Split is not a really well-known location, if a band comes to Croatia, they usually hold the concert in the capital, Zagreb). Last summer they came back and it was as great as the first time. 😀

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FAVORITES:

TV shows: Unpopular opinion time: I don’t like to watch a lot of TV shows. Yeah, I’m weird. The thing is, they usually last too long and start to drag, and then I get disappointed… I do watch some, of course. My all-time favourite is Black Sails. Love that one to pieces! Nowadays I like Gotham. I liked Arrow but it’s not that good anymore. The one I really can’t wait to come back is Jessica Jones. 🙂

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Colour: Black. I know it’s not really a colour, but I don’t care. 😉

Song: Anything by Emilie Autumn. She’s the best. Then: White Flag by The Romanovs, Pain Looks Good on You by London After Midnight, Sleepwalking by The Crüxshadows, The First by Pink Turns Blue and many others. Oh, and the entire Queen of the Damned soundtrack! So vampire-ish! 😀

Emilie Autumn by Sopranino on DeviantArt

Restaurant: I don’t think I have a favourite…

Shop: Any nice bookshop. 😉 I don’t have a favourite clothing shop, I usually hate most of the stuff in the stores. XD

Books: I usually name Frankenstein as my favourite, but really, there are so many great books…

Shoes: I feel the best in a pair of black boots.


CURRENTLY:

Feeling: Eh… Fine. 😛

Single or Taken: Taken. My boyfriend is my best friend. ❤

Eating: Nothing. I’m thinking about going to the kitchen and having an apple. Actually, I’ll do it. Just wait for a moment, I’ll be back straight away….

Thinking About: Maybe I should’ve cut this apple in smaller pieces.

Watching: Nothing. I’m writing a post. XD

Wearing: Sweatpants and a shirt. Just regular “home” clothes. XD


FUTURE:

Want Children: Not really…

Want to be married: I want to be with my boyfriend, marriage doesn’t mean much to me.

Careers in mind: I would love to do something in publishing, but that’s almost impossible here. I would also like to study more, get an phD.

Where you want to live: Travel everywhere, live… Well, I don’t know. There are several places, but sometimes I also want to stay here.


DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

God: No…

Miracles: I believe in happy coincidences.

Love at first sight: No. You can’t love someone based on how that person looks, which is the only thing you know about them at first sight. Someone can draw your attention, and that can later turn into love, but only after you really get to know each other.

Ghosts: No. I will get scared if you tell me ghost stories, though. XD

Aliens: Yes. The universe is sooo big, I think there must be some other living beings out there.

Soul Mates: Depends how you define it… If you call someone you’re really close to your soul mate, that’s fine. I don’t believe in “predestined to find each other” kind of soul mates.

Heaven: No… I wish there was something after death, but I can’t make myself believe in it.

Hell: No.

Kissing on the first date: Well, it does exist, doesn’t it? XD

Yourself: Oh, I really wish I believed in myself more… I’m not a very confident person.


And in the end, I tag these wonderful people (and everyone else who want to do the tag!)

Ignitedmoth

Ellen@alittlebooklife

Ellie@bloggingfordopamine

Jackie@toomuchofabooknerd

Swetlana@readingthroughthenights

Books and Hot Tea Got a Redesign

I wasn’t sure if this needed a post, but in the end I decided to do it. I’ve been trying to make my blog look better for a while now, but it never turned out the way I wanted it to. Now, I think I’m quite satisfied with it, though I’m not very good at this stuff. XD

First of all, I want to introduce you to Sheila the owl, my new mascot. 🙂

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Sheila was a template I found on pixabay.com (a great place to find free stock photos!) and then I just adjusted her colours. Owls were always a symbol of wisdom (and bookishness – if that’s not a word it should be) so she is perfect for this job! Sheila will be featured in my memes, such as Captured Moments and Quote for Thought. I also created a banner for the Top 5 Wednesday posts since I’m planning to do these regularly (maybe not every Wednesday, but most).

I am also planning to introduce a new monthly meme called In First Person, which will be posted every 1st day of the month. In these posts I will talk about a theme that I found interesting that month, something new I discovered, and mostly about things that are not related to books, because sometimes I want to talk about some other things as well. Once a month will be enough for that I think. This is Books and Hot Tea after all. 😉

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This means I will also be following a certain schedule:

  • On Mondays I will post a Quote for Thought or a Captured Moments post – in case I go on a trip or somewhere interesting. Sometimes, a tag/award post will be posted on Moday instead of those memes – if there is one to do.
  • Wednesdays are reserved for Top 5 Wednesday.
  • On Thursday, Friday or Saturday I will post a piece of writing (Twittering Tales and more).
  • In First Person will be an additional post.

So, this means posting three days a week. Well, at least for now… We’ll see how it works. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Sometimes, I might skip a post or so.

I’m also using a new theme – Misty Lake. I’m very satisfied with this one!

And that’s it! Happy blogging, people! 🙂


 

Some thoughts on writing poetry…

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On 17th of May, 2015, I wrote my first post on this blog. Which means it’s now more than a year old! I didn’t write anything in celebration of this, but I though it’s a nice occasion to share some thoughts on something I didn’t think would be a part of this blog – poetry.

A few months ago, I posted my first attempt at writing poetry. It was more of an impulsive fit of inspiration than a real poem. I never thought I would post poetry on this blog, even after that first poem. I alyaws considered myself to be a prose writer, even though I did, occasionally, write poetry – or attempted to write it.

In my teenage years it was a vent for all the emotions that I kept inside, a way to say what I feel and what I’m going through, without actually writing a diary (which I tried several times but always got bored with it.) I liked writing this kind of personal poetry. And now, I really started to enjoy it once again, but maybe in a different way.

Now, when I write poetry, I often find myself writing from an imagined point of view, as if a fictional character is behind the written words. It does, of course, have bits of myself in it as well, and some of my poems express some of my thoughts and observations. But sometimes, it’s in a certain way similar to writing fiction. I feel the emotions of my characters, just as I feel the emotions of my lyrical subjects. Is that the influence of being more focused on writing fiction? I’m not sure. I guess I like imagining characters and their stories far too much. XD

In any case, I don’t know if my poems are any good, but I love writing them and I will definitely write more. Experimentation with all forms and topics was the idea behind this blog anyway, and I’m happy it has taken me this far. 🙂

Just a little update…

I made a profile on Instagram.

Yeah, big deal, I know. XD

But if anyone’s on Istagram as well, they may find me at azriela.moone. I love to express myself with words, but sometimes pictures are an interesting way of expression as well. It also means I’ll try to take more photos, which I always found interesting. I’ll be happy to find you there!

Also, I have this idea for a short story, and I even started writing it, but I somehow never got to finish it… It’ll be done soon I hope. 🙂

Wish you all the best, and let me share one of my favourite photos, from San Gimignano, Italy. 😀

San Gimignano

Update + Teaching + Epic Awesomness Award

I didn’t have much time for blogging lately, and that’s because I started working. Bravo me! I’m an apprentice teacher in a school. This might sound confusing, but after finishing college, we have to work as apprentices for a year and then take a test to truly become teachers. College is apparently not enough. XD

Anyway, for now I mostly listen to my mentor teach and help her with some small things, but soon I’ll start giving my own lectures, grade tests etc. This would not be the first time I teach, since we had to do it in college, but there will be more of it, and with much more responsibility now. It feels a bit strange, I have to admit, especially since I feel more like a student than a teacher… (Even though my students are 11-15 years old.) The best thing is – I get payed, not much but for me it’s a lot – and that means that I will be able to buy ALL the books! Well, not all, but a lot. 😉

Now, for the real purpose of this post… I’ve been nominated for the Epic Awesomness Award by wonderful Aquileana (see her post HERE). You should all click on the link and visit her blog, especially if you’re interested in mythology! Once again, thank you, Aquileana, so much for the nomination. 🙂

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The rules are as follows:

1. You are awesome; tell us why.
2. You are my friend; tell us about other (blogger) friends.
3. Be creative, but it’s ok if you are having trouble with this one.
4. There are no direct questions to answer; let yourself run wild!
5. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
6. Notify your nominees.

And here are my answers:

1. I’m awesome because I won the Epic Awesomess Award, duh! The title says it. 😛 But, honestly now, I don’t often think of myself as being awesome… And then, sometimes, when I manage to do something that really scared me or was very hard, I do feel awesome. I hope I’ll feel that way after my teaching exam… XD

2. In my personal life, I don’t have many friends, but those I have are very important to me. As for the bloggers, I’ve met some great and interesting people here. When I started my blog, I had no expectations, and now I’m so happy I did it. I love writing posts and reading everything that you wonderful, creative people write. 🙂

3. I pride myself in being creative, but when someone tells me to be creative, I go completely blank. XD That’s one of the reasons why prompts rarely work for me. I see it and can’t think of anything interesting about it. I guess I just have to wait for my brain to work in its own pace. Which can be in most inappropriate times sometimes, mostly when I’m trying to fall asleep. I guess we have all experienced that. XD

4. For this one, I’ll just write down some things which I find awesome.

The sound of thunder when I’m safe in bed.
Walking under a large umbrella in the mild rain.
When my tea is just the perfect temperature.
When a book captures me and takes me away from the real world.
Beautiful swords, bows and arrows.
The colour black, and a warm grey.
Soft fabric and cuddly plushies.
Watching a good film with someone you love, somewhere cozy.
Waking up and knowing I don’t have to get up soon.

And bubble wrap! XD

And now for the nominations: Shyla Fairfax-Owen

You are great bloggers and you are awesome, so I thought the award was fitting. 🙂

 

My Top 7 Books

Since my blog is mostly book and literature-related, I thought it would be fitting to make a short list of all-time-favourites. I won’t go into much detail, I’ll just explain shorty why I like them, but you’re welcome to ask me anything you want. Why top 7? Well, I didn’t want a huge list, but top 5 just wasn’t enough so 7 it is! XD

These are not in any particular order, I feel it would be almost impossible to rate them like that. So, here we go:

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The series that made me fall in love with books once again, and is probably the reason that I’m such a bookworm today. My love for this series cannot be put to words. 🙂

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

When someone asks me what my favourite book is, I usually say Frankenstein. This book is amazing on so many levels… Looking at the world through the creature’s eyes makes you think about human nature and humanity in general, about all the evils we do and the injustice many have to face. The book incorporates so many different elements – from Gothic to SciFi, questions related to science and philosophy. The ultimate question – who is the real monster: the creature of Frankenstein – is up to you to answer.

3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The book is set in the Middle Ages, and that always attracts me. It’s devastatingly sad and dark, but the style is the complete opposite. Hugo is sarcastic, even funny, while all the characters’ stories are heartbreaking. And it works so well… I just love everything about this book.

4. The Seven Churches: A Gothic Novel of Prague by Miloš Urban

This book’s subtitle is a good introduction to what you can expect. A bit of history and architecture of Prague, a bit of spookiness and gore, and also a murder mystery. And and amazing ending! The book is incredibly atmospheric, I dare to say kafkaesque (and I love Kafka!) and medievalist (yes, the Middle Ages again). There’s just so much to say about it and that’s what makes it so great.

5. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I just love Zafon’s writing, and I had to mention him in this post. I chose The Angel’s Game because it’s my favourite, but I would recommend The Shadow of the Wind and Marina as well. The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven are actually a series, but the last one was a bit of a disappointment. However, the other two were so good that I decided to overlook that.

6. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

You might have noticed that I like a bit weird books. So, of course, I adore Murakami. 1Q84 made me fall in love with him, but you won’t be sorry for trying Murakami in general. His books make me feel like I’m on some other planet, and they draw me so much into their strangeness that I start to expect strange things to happen in real life, too.

7. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

And in the end, something completely different. Nothing strange, nothing weird, but still so engaging and wonderful. Honestly, I didn’t expect much of this book, but it surprised me. Another wonderful perspective on humanity, human feelings and weaknesses. And Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated is great, too.

And here the list ends. I’ll probably remember a book I loved but didn’t mention here but what can you do…

A clumsy start…

So, here I am. Starting to write a blog and all…

So, first things first, I want to say what this blog is going to be about – and that is mostly books. I’m going to update on what I’m reading, and write reviews for books I find interesting. I will also post some of the short stories I have written, which I didn’t have the courage to to before. However, I might add an occasional “lifestyle” post, if that’s what you call it, about certain things I find interesting. For example tea. Tea is everything. 🙂

My name is Irena, and I’d be happy to listen to your comments and suggestions.

So, it begins here…