Monday, December 31, 2012

Hiatus

Well, this has been niggling at the back of my mind for a litle while now - to officially go on what may be a permanent hiatus.
Even though in my head I think I've been on hiatus since October, I wanted to say something to any of the lovely readers who still have my blog in their feeds.

First and foremost, thank you for reading and for making the last 2.5 years so much fun for me.
I have really loved writing this blog, reading some pretty amazing books, discovering new authors and making some great friends.

A lot has changed since I first started blogging here: I began working in the publishing industry (which has made reviewing and commentary harder and harder over time), I've started studying part-time (which I'm loving) and I'm finding slowly more and more of my blog friends are closing up shop.

In 2013, I've decided to officially give My Girl Friday a break (even though I haven't posted for a while, I still spend a lot of time feeling guilty for not writing and reviewing). I have a couple of other (non-publishing, non-YA related) projects I'd like to work on after thinking/talking about them for a while, I want to finally try to put them into action.

In the meantime, I'm often on twitter (my_girlfriday) or you can follow me on instagram (my_girlfriday)

xo

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Swords, Starks and Sagas: Why George R. R. Martin is rocking my world

I feel like I'm getting into a bit of a pattern: I'll post for a bit, then vanish for a while, then post again with apologies and promises to post again soon, before disappearing again. Aside from the usual issues of work and school, something else has been taking over my life this past month:


 


I have become somewhat addicted to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice saga. To the extent that in the last month, I have read nothing else.Basically I attempted to read A Game of Thrones at the end of last eyar, struggled through six pages and gave up. My manager at work recommended watching the first few episodes of the HBO series to 'get a taste' of the world, and I managed to get through the entire first season with my mum over a weekend. While the fantasy elements were not my favourite thing, I was really interested in the family drama aspect and decided to start reading the books. That was about four weeks ago. Since then (thanks for my 2 hour daily commute!) I've worked my through the series pretty quickly, and have just started A Feast for Crows (so no spoilers please!).

Wow.
Seriously, wow.

This series has really pushed me out of my 'reading comfort zone'. I've written about this before, but over the last few years I've really only been reading young adult and childrens fiction, autobiographies and a touch of crime fiction. I genuinely cannot remember the last piece of historical fiction I read, and I don't think I've ever read anything in the adult fantasy genre. I'm also not really one for series, and never, ever thought I'd be so emotionally invested in a saga like this.
I am loving the characters, the power struggles, and the incredible detail and history George R. R. Martin has shaped into this complex, intriguing world.

Mmm Jon Snow!

Anyway, as A Song of Fire and Ice is taking over most of my free time (as is studying), I have been really slack with blogging. I'm really excited about going to the Melbourne Writers Festival next week, and hopefully that will mean a bit of a return to usual programming here!

Have you read this series? Are other people as obsessed as me?
If you've read it, which point-of-views do you enjoy the most?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Polyvore Profile - Willow Cartwright (Dead, Actually)

I actually drafted this Polyvore Profile back in March (!!!) wasn't quite happy with a few details, then kind of forgot about it under a wave of uni work. Oh well, better late than never!

This was a really fun character to play with. Gold Coast D-lister (by choice), Willow is on the fringe of the local glitterati. She cares about social justice and working hard, but still appreciates a good pair of heels.


Willow Cartwright


♥ Watch the book trailer for Dead, Actually
♥ Add Dead, Actually to your Goodreads wishlist
My review of Dead, Actually

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Snack Size: Funny Women

If I'm not reading YA, chances are I'm probably reading a crime novel (my love of crime fiction has surely been mentioned on here a few times) or an autobiography. Lately I've been on a bit bio-kick and have picked out three of my favourite, recent books by lovely, funny women. Each review is an easily-digestible 100 words.

Bossypants - Tina Fey
Published by Little, Brown, April 2011

Tina Fey needs no introduction. Alumni of The Second City and Saturday Night Live (where she was the first female head writer!). Emmy winning comedy writer and actress. Mother. Sarah Palin impersonator. Bossypants captures all of these moments and many more, as we are given insight into Fey’s childhood in Pennyslvania, background in summer stock theatre and later career success as a comedy writer and performer. As a huge 30 Rock fan, the sections covering this part of Fey’s life were of the most personal interest to me, though on the whole, Bossypants is a smart, (sometimes surprising) and seriously funny book and a candid look at comedy writing.

 
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling
Published by Crown Archetype, November 2011

Mindy Kaling is freaking adorable. Prior to reading this, I had a pretty limited knowledge about her (that she was an actress and comedy writer who is a staff writer for the US version of The Office. I am now quite a Mindy fan! The book is a mix of memoir and comedy essays, as Mindy talks about being a ‘fat kid’ growing up and her love of fad diets, and writes about her progression from an ivy league graduate, a nanny in NYC to writing comedy full-time. Kaling’s writing is personable, funny and really enjoyable.

Bonus: Here’s a cute video of Mindy sharing what’s inside her closet



A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love and Faith in Stages - Kristin Chenoweth
Published by Touchstone, April 2009
Kristin Chenowith talks faith, theatre and singing through your ‘hoo-hoo’. This is a fun read, and clearly written as a (mostly) humorous look at Chenowith’s  journey from Oklahoma to NYC and insight into her fascinating life. The story includes vignettes from Chenowith’s childhood (where she does speak quite candily about her adoption), her pageant days, her relationships (notably Marc Kudisch and Aaron Sorkin), her career (Chenowith is a Tony & Emmy winning actress) and her failed sitcom.  Some readers may not enjoy the non-linear narrative of the book (I do wish it was more chronological) but overall, it’s a charming read.


If you've read a good autobiography/memoir lately, let me know in the comments!
I love recommendations.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Friday Brown

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme (which I occasionally participate in) hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine to "spotlight upcoming releases".

I adored Vikki Wakefield's gritty debut All I Ever Wanted last year, so of course, I was thrilled to find out her second novel is due out in August!


Friday Brown - Vikki Wakefield
Text Publishing
August 22, 2012

From Text: Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run—running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid. Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden.

When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started—and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.

Vikki will be appearing at the Melbourne Writers Festival this year - check out their website for more information.

What books are you looking forward to?

Monday, July 2, 2012

MWF 2012 Schools Program

I can't believe it's July already! Seriously, this year is flying by! On the plus side, there are a lot of amazing things to look forward to in the second half of 2012. One of these, is of course the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Though the main program is not announced until July 20, tickets for the schools' program is now available. Once again, the line-up is impressive and chocked full of local talent, and I'm so excited to be attending a number of the sessions - here are my picks so far (but I'm sure I'll add a few more to my schedule). The descriptions are from the mwf website.


Monday 27 August

10am: Love-Shy - Lili Wilkinson
High school journalist Penny Drummond has uncovered the story to make her career. But what happens when Penny gets too close to her love-shy subject? Lili Wilkinson has the inside story on writing realistic and funny fiction.

1.45pm: Read Any Good Books Lately? - Lili Wilkinson & Adele Walsh
Here's a chance for students to share the highlights of their recent reading with our panel of professionals. You are sure to leave with a new list of must-reads.


Tuesday 28 August

10am: Friday Brown - Vikki Wakefield
Vikki Wakefield shares the tough, realistic story of the 17-year-old Friday Brown. Friday is on the run - running to escape the memories of her mother, of the family curse, and a grandfather who'd like her to stay. She's lost, alone and afraid: what can her future hold?

11.15am: Hard Lines - Julia Lawrinson & Vikki Wakefield
The teenage characters in novels by Julia Lawrinson and Vikki Wakefield often face hard, sometimes life-changing, decisions. See how two authors find hope in a world that is all too real and where there are no easy answers.

12.30pm: Losing It - Julia Lawrinson
Losing It is the hilarious, thought-provoking story of Abby, Mala, Bree and Zoe, each trying to find Mr Right, or at least lose their virginity, preferably in a way that they won't regret. Author Julia Lawrinson explains.

 

Thursday 30 August

1.45pm: Getting Started and Write Across Australia - H.J Harper, Lili Wilkinson & Michael Pryor
Want to get started as a writer? Three success stories reveal their first steps to getting published, in this special free event, hosted by Express Media. Prizes for this year's Write Across Victoria competition will also be presented. New writing starts here!

Are you going to any sessions at MWF this year?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Greetings from the flipside

image source: we ♥ it


Why hello there!

I am back from my mini blogging-break, feeling (mostly) refreshed and excited about writing again.

I have to confess, I've been feeling really burnt out this year. I think working full-time, plus uni twice a week (plus homework and assessments) has taken a bigger toll on me than I'd expected. And then my laptop died (which was why I didn't return to blogging in June) and had to be revived, which I hope will get me through until the end of the year.

Anyway, I'm quite happy to be back in blog-land, and am looking forward to reviewing again and sharing some new bits and pieces over the coming months. Though I haven't been blogging, I sure have been reading (and by reading, I mean getting obsessed with Game of Thrones, which I will be the first to admit is a really unusual choice from my usual tastes but wow - amazing!) and I can't wait to share my thoughts on some recent reads.

So let's get things started - tell me about what you're reading at the moment?