Singing Aloud

when no one is listening…

Archive for the tag “BEDA2011”

Stuff I’m Liking

As Blog Every Day in April comes to an end – I can’t believe I actually did it – I wanted to wrap things up with a post about the things I’ve found myself liking during the month of April.

Stuff I’m Liking — BEDA Edition

Steampunk Jewelry. In particular, my new Golden Snitch with working clock necklace. I don’t know what it is about this sort of jewelry that appeals to me. Perhaps it’s because it looks delicate, while still being tough. Perhaps it’s that antique vibe that it gives off. I don’t know, I just like them.

I’ve also found out that one of my favourite jewelry makers has opened a new website with jewelry based on Holly Black’s Curse Breakers trilogy! I loved Vivian Hebel‘s Mortal Instruments shop, now I’m loving her Curse Breakers shop. I’m especially liking her White Cat pendant, I might be getting it in the near future. Though the Curse Breakers shop isn’t steampunk, I’m still loving her designs.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that I have a new phone and that I LOVE IT! My HTC Thunderbolt is by far my favourite gadget this month! I have been finding new ways to make it work for me, from reading books to counting calories, this phone almost does it all.

I love the camera, it takes some really great shots! I also love the different Google apps that integrate seamlessly with the phone. If you’ve been living at the top of a mountain all alone, you might not know that I do almost everything with Google, so having a phone like this is a major advantage for me. My new favourite Google app? Why, that would have to be the Google Goggles. It’s a lot of fun to play with, I can’t wait to use it some more!


Twice. That’s the number of times I’ve been to Alice’s Tea Cup. Thrice. That’s the number of times I’ve had tea this month. Scones, tea, sandwiches and sweets. Those are a few of my favourite things all rolled up into the Tea Time Meal, how could I not like it!? I even got myself a bag of loose leaf so that I could make my own tea at home and yes, I do own one of those tea balls


Some great things happened at my book review blog this month. First I decided to do a Maureen Johnson themed week, since I follow her obsessively on twitter, and I was looking forward to the release of her Last Little Blue Envelope book. Also, she’s the creator of BEDA, so, I suppose that pretty much means that I think she’s cool.

Themed week was a great success! First, I was able to see Maureen’s craziness in person when I attended the Zombies vs. Unicorns debate and so I posted that video to the blog and Maureen retweeted it! Also, I created a map showing all the places Ginny went during 13 Little Blue Envelopes which she loved and retweeted as well. So with the help of Maureen, my little book blog had 1,035 unique visitors during that week! That might not seem like a lot to all the popular bloggers out there, but to an obscure blog that’s just a pet project for a year, it’s golden.


As a person not quite into fashion, I still found this site to be so much fun that once I stumbled on to it I signed up!

Polyvore allows you to create layouts with different fashion styles as though you were doing a magazine spreads. It’s really fun just to play around in and think of different outfits and pieces that go together. You can even try to search for things you’ve recently purchased and find accessories for them. Definitely a time waster for me, but a fun one nonetheless.


Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Were you up at 4a.m. to do so? Well, hats off to you, I preferred to sleep in a bit and look at pictures/video clips later. It was a cute wedding, but for some reason, even though it was a public affair, I didn’t feel fascinated by it. They don’t care about me, just the revenue I give to them by supporting the wedding. It wasn’t amazing in any way, just a normal ceremony and service steeped in tradition. I suppose my mind wasn’t blown by anything that went on there, and I think the biggest reason for that was that it wasn’t a wedding for someone I know and love. People get married every day, so what’s the big deal here?

There is one aspect of the Royal Wedding that I did find interesting and that was the parade of hats! I’ve always loved hats. I wish they were back in style, I’d wear them everyday! But in lieu of hats, I love the fascinator! The one pictured there is from Dillards.com. I hope this is one style that begins to trend again.


So it’s been a long month, I’ve posted a total of 38 posts, at least one post every day so I deem this a success. I have successfully completed BEDA.

There were days where I struggled to figure out what write about and would browse my RSS feed for some inspiration. There were days where I had so much that I wanted to write but not enough time to do so. I doubt I’ll be able to keep this every day momentum up. However, it’s been fun. April has been better for it. So much so that I finally got the domain shanella.com! Woot!

Fare thee well and have a lovely May.

My Suspension of Belief

If you could do anything, have anything, go anywhere, what would you do?


I’d live in a cottage, perhaps near the sea, in an area that’s safe for walking but close enough to a city to experience some diversity.

I’d have a hidden library in the basement, with a secret door to enter, just like Holly Black.

The library will lead out to a secret garden, all of the greenery on the ground would be attended by fairies as they know how to tend to green things best. The best prize of the garden would be my money tree. I’d never need money because the tree would bare golden fruit.

I’d own a collection of Fluevog shoes along with a number of Radley bags, but not too many, as I don’t plan on going out often.

Once a year I’d throw a masquerade ball that will have a theme, the favourite being Alice in Wonderland. There will be music, and good food, and lots of fun and dancing. We’ll dance social dancing, like the Quadrille because dancing should not be awkward but fun.

When I have visitors, we will have tea together. We’ll have conversations on the porch or in the breakfast room. The  porch will have a swing and somewhere in the secret garden there will be a hammock or two.

I’ll have a bicycle with a wicker basket in the front, which I’ll use for shopping. If I need a car I’ll have a Ford Fiesta.

My cottage would be on a tropical island, and we wouldn’t have to worry about natural disasters because of my psychic abilities to wield the elements. I could go on and on, after all, whatever I imagine becomes possible. However, it’s time to get back to reality. At least I’ll be having tea on Saturday, and I’ll be sure to take my Radley bag.

image credits:
cottage: cottage neighborhood
library: thesteampunkhome

garden: andreastaats.com 
shoe: Fluevog
masquerade: Polyvore

I’m a fangirl

Fangirl; n.: a female who supports an idea, trend, company etc, with an intensity bordering crazy.


Here’s the deal, I’m not crazy (sorta, kinda). I just love books, and because I love books, I love the people who write those books. With the entry of Twitter to the world of Social Media, it’s become easy to have a conversation with authors who were otherwise unreachable – except when they tour. So when one of my favourite authors respond to my tweets well, I usually have a moment of excitement, then I carry on with whatever I’m doing.

So when Scott Westerfeld retweeted my Behemoth tweets? *yay*

BTW, the last book in that trilogy comes out this Fall! I hope Mr. Westerfeld goes on tour with his wife!

Then Justine Larbalestier responded to me when I made a comment about her name. I like Justine for a lot of reasons, she’s the reason I got into YA lit as  much as I currently am. I was looking for a Harry Potter fix between books and one of my friends mentioned a controversial book geared towards young people and of course, I had to check it out. After reading Magic or Madness, I decided to read the rest.  It’s also where I picked up the word widdershins. That’s a cool word.

Once I was finished with the Magic or Madness trilogy I found her blog and realised that she was the wife of Scott Westerfeld, whose Uglies books I remembered seeing on the shelves in the bookstores, but always passing them by because the name sounded superficial (yes, I was judging the book by its name). However, realising that Justine was made of awesome, I decided that her husband was probably made of awesome as well and bought the first Uglies book. I’ve been devouring his stuff ever since. Scott is most definitely made of awesome.

Then I started reading Scott’s blogs, and reading the blogs of the authors Justine and Scott recommended and the rest is history.

I’m not sure who did it, but somewhere along the line Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty was recommended. I bought it. I read it. I loved it! Then I became a Libba Bray fan. I don’t know what goes on in the mind of Libba Bray, but I can hypothesis and it’s scary but wonderful. After reading her Going Bovine novel, I wondered if that wasn’t more an autobiography than a work of fiction. She’s insane. She’s funny. She’s ingenius.

Enter Holly Black. I saw her books in the bookstore a number of times, then one day started thumbing through Tithe. I got as far as the title page, I’ve been reading Holly’s books ever since. She’s a master of world crafting, faery lore and now, mobster fantasy. Wow. Impressed. *hat off* *confetti*

This can go on, but I’ll conclude now with …

Two fangirl moments etched into my brain.

2nd moment: I cannot tell you how happy I was that Maureen saw my Ginny European Tour map and loved it! I spent a lot of time on that map and I seriously want to visit all the places she described in her book 13 Little Blue Envelopes. So, to see your work appreciated by an author who worked hard to present a good book? Priceless.

1st moment: Not only did Holly Black say that she loved my steampunkesque necklace during the ZvU debate signing, but Justine Larbalestier, yes, THE Justine, recognised my twitter handle (first name) and even remembered my profile picture. I might have been smiling like a loon, I don’t know, but it was the best. fangirl. moment. ever.

Time spent online

I’m online a lot. Sometimes I wonder, where do I spend my time online? Luckily, Chrome allows you to see your most visited sites and so I present, Shanella’s Most Visited Sites.

Not surprisingly, Google is the most visited site. I check Google for everything! If I need to figure out a word’s spelling – Google. If I need to look up a definition – Google. If I want to do a search – Google. Want to check the news – Google. Want to look up the weather – Google. Want to find a picture – Google. Looking up a movie – Google. Want to access all other Google sites – Google. It’s just the launchpad for everything else.

Facebook is the next used. I’m usually logged into Facebook on Chrome, however, the interesting thing about this is, while Facebook might be second used, I hardly go to the page for personal things! Sure, when I get an alert on TweetDeck I rather view the post on Facbeook, however, 80% of the time spent on Facebook is work related!

Next after that is WordPress, and this is probably because of BEDA. It might also have to do with the fact that I just got shanella.com and went through a lot of late night and weekend testing this past weekend.

After that I have Gmail*. Now with Google’s switching account implemented, I have three Gmail accounts that I check throughout the day.

Following closely behind – and a surprise site – is Yahoo Mail. I didn’t realise that I checked Yahoo almost as much as I check Gmail, mostly because I get a lot of junk email to that address. Perhaps it’s because of that and my constant clearing out of that account that I check it as often as it says.

I’m not too surprised at this next site. When I first got a tumblr I was on it 24-7! Now I’ve calmed down a bit, but I still do have two sites on Tumblr so it’s not surprising that it’s in the top 8 most visited.

Next up is Twitter. This is probably because I have two twitter accounts, one that is personal and one for the book tumblog so while the personal account is logged into all the Twitter apps, the book blogging twitter is logged on via the Twitter webpage. I wonder how many people actually go to the twitter page versus just using a Twitter app.

Finally, I visit Goodreads a lot. Which I understand. I love reading the reviews/comments/status updated on Goodreads. I also love updating the books that I’m currently reading. Love it! =D

* Gmail took up two entries because of the address mail.google.com and gmail.com. I’m sure if those were all counted together it would be right behind google.com.

Life in a Day

It was one day; July 24, 2010.

People from around the world took video footage of their day and submitted it to the creators of this movie. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be coming to theaters this summer!

While I didn’t participate I do remember this day. It was a good day. Things didn’t go according to plan, but spontaneity brought some interesting surprises. Sometimes, things going awry can cause disappointment, but sometimes it turns out for the better.

I’m interested to see this film. The idea of seeing what happened around the world on that one day is pretty mind boggling. It makes me appreciate the power of Social Media.

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