Hiya bookish people!

I really can’t explain what happened there. It was fully my intention to fully dedicate my time to AFCTL. I had big redesign dreams, I had plans on what to write and how to interact without losing steam. Something happened there. I found myself slipping – my school project went downhill, I had friend troubles, I had my birthday which gave me more friend troubles, I had a lot of time to think and they were not good thoughts, I had some issues with my living arrangements, and a slight development in the love-interest part of the YA novel called my life.

So, here I am, breaking down what I have gone through during my second unplanned hiatus of 2020, and I want to hear from you guys! My email is completely open to everyone ( emma.afctl@gmail.com ) and have ideas for a huge new project. But for now? A list! My favourite thing.

Also, PS, I’m on Pinterest now! You can find me here.

  • So, for those of you who don’t know, Auckland city in New Zealand has gone back into a Level 3 Lockdown. I live in Auckland, and for me this means no more going to school, working from home, no time with friends, being in a house full of family members (bar my dad, who is technically an ‘essential worker’) and finding that I am going a little stir crazy.

  • I did get an Excellence at Level 3 ( I am in an advanced English course ) for my paper on Marxism in Wuthering Heights. I am really happy about this! And, my teacher has agreed to let me use a blog post for a submission to my next assessment, so when I post it I hope everyone enjoys it!

  • I made a spreadsheet ( I love them! ) to track my school assessments, and am finding it to be super duper helpful! I did one for Level 1 ( 2018/19 ) and have linked a blank copy. I know that as an international book blogger, that this may not be very helpful for different school systems, but for me trying to get a Merit to Excellence course endorsement this year, I found it really helpful. ( @ Cas, would it work for you? ) The NA means not achieved, A means achieved, the M means merit and E means Excellence.

  • Working from home is . . . hard. For me, I guess, it is hard for me to sit in my room ( a place where I don’t need to focus on a school assignment for more than two-to-four hours at a time for homework ) and use that little sanctuary of mine to focus on subjects repeatedly. I’m a fair bit behind, but slowly catching up. I’m working really hard to get as many Excellence and Merit credits as I can, as I am hoping to apply for some scholarships next year. While I can’t hope for a full-ride, I can hope for a partial or at least some school assistance based on grades, and since Year 12 is the last full year of high school, they will be looking at my grades for this year. No pressure!

  • I don’t know if this is a school or social thing, so I think putting it here is the right place. I had a project going with one of my best friends, where we were building a website for a community garden with recipes and growing methods for people to access. Unfortunately, we struggled to work together, and there were tears, arguments, and I made the decision to take myself off the project. My partner was approached by a foundation she works for, so she is continuing. I think that as far as friendships go, we really do have to re-evaluate a bit and just figure out where we stand now, because as much as we hoped it wouldn’t, it has been impacted quite a bit. Thank goodness for our teacher though, she is a brilliant mediator!

  • Does this one go under social or something else? My other best friend and I . . . well, it turns out my more-than-friend-feelings are reciprocated, and I have a boyfriend now. It feels really weird to say or write and I just have this big stupid smile on my face as I type this out. I really really really like him, and am really happy. We’re figuring things out as we go, and I just need to say that I really really really like him again.

  • I had my birthday over the lockdown. I am struggling quite a bit when it comes to the friends, a bit. Apart from Natasha, I have found myself struggling to figure out where I stand. I got a birthday wish from Natasha, Steph ( hi babe! Love ya! ) and my boyfriend, and then the friends I thought I was close to didn’t reach out at all. I didn’t want to be that person who has to go and say “why didn’t you wish me a Happy Birthday?!” but needless to say, it made me quite glum.

  • Apart from the lockdown, I made a really hard decision when it came to my living arrangements. As I’m 16, I’ve been living between my dad and mum’s houses until recently. My mother and I had a falling out and I chose to move in with my dad and stepmum full time. I still see my mum, at least once a week and we were seeing a councillor together before lockdown, and I will be seeing her one-on-one afterwards, but that’s been pretty hard. I have understandably hurt my mum, but I think in the long run, this will be best for my mental health and wellbeing to be with my dad. I love my mum so much, but living with her was not easy or simple, and a very stressful environment ro be a part of.

  • During the lockdown, I have been working on a little Vegetable Garden. We had these barrels that were gonna be stuff and then they just got filled with weeds. Here is a slideshow presentation of where I’m up to!
    Slideshow template source

  • My other project has been going pretty slowly. I’ve been making flowers out of old book pages ( I know! I am a monster, but they were free-to-a-good home books that were damaged and falling apart ), and putting them on my bookshelf. I was inspired to do this by the book flowers my friend Beth gave me a few years ago that have been sitting there for a few years ( left side, the big ones ). I was just using a glue stick but with the cold weather they were taking days to dry and then falling apart anyway, so my dad got me some super glue. I have almost lost my fingers a few times, but it is so much better and faster! It takes five petals per flower, and there are currently 151 flowers ( total, there are some in a bag that I haven’t put on my bookshelf yet ).

That’s what’s been happening with me. I love you guys a lot and can’t wait to be back into blogging, but please be patient with me as I am hoping to cut down my posts to two a week until I work my way back to three. I’ve been tagged in so many amazing things and will be working on those ASAP!

Love you all!

20 thoughts on “

  1. Nice job on your essay for Wuthering Heights!! I haven’t read it before, should I ? Yikes, I’m sorry your back in lockdown and I hope it will get better soon! Thanks for this update about you life….
    Btw, I sent you a quick little email ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh my gosh, your life sounds like it’s been a whirlwind! don’t feel bad about inactivity, your health and well-being is most important💜
    that’s awesome that you got such high marks for your paper, and a boyfriend! i hope your life gets better soon, and i can’t wait for your posts, whenever you’re ready!

    Liked by 1 person

    And I think you made the right choice staying with your dad- you aren’t responsible for anyone but yourself and you need to pick what’s right for YOU. It sounds super hard but I know you’ve made the right decision for yourself, and I’m proud of youuuu
    UGH doing school at home is one of the WORST THINGS EVER. I mean, I’m used to it, because I’m (somewhat) homeschooled? (it’s complicated) BUT IT’S STILL REALLY HARD I GET IT
    No yeah I understand the “I don’t wanna ask why they didn’t say happy birthday” and I’m sorry 😦
    Wait when WAS your birthday??
    Anyyway I’M GLAD YOU’RE BACK (tho you came back with the BLOCK EDITOR ew isn’t it horrible?)

    Liked by 1 person

      IT STARTED RAINING AND EVERYTHING IS FLOODING 😦 My dad is helping me put a cover on it today though!
      Thank you – it was a super difficult decision to make, but I think ultimately it was a good thing.
      My birthday was the 15th of August 🙂
      IT IS !! I keep getting so many errors and having to reload the page??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeeEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS omjg I really am SO happy for you omjg AHhahhahhh why am I so happyyyyy xD
        OOF OH NO
        YES don’t doubt yourself- you know what you need1!!!!
        UGh I know sameee it sucks so much like whY? are there buTTonS? wHY can’t I just type on it like every other thing ever??!
        OKAY I’M ALMOST DONE BUTTT: youuuu areeeeee doingggg aaaa greeeaattt joooooooooB!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUSt at life in generallll! And you are fantastiiicc! anyway yeah xD 💛💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you!!!
        Exactly!!! I have gone back to using the HTML blocks – good to know that my boring code is good for something!
        ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Em, considering everything that’s been going on in your life I’m not surprised you lost a little steam there. I’m sending you a BIG hug – hand in there! 💙💙💙

    So I’m going to try [key word here] to keep this short and sweet but there’s a LOT to unpack here:

    1. AHHHHHHH I’M SO HAPPY THAT YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND! I still remember way-back-when when you mentioned him – that’s so sweet that it all worked out! 😉

    2. I’m sorry you’ve been having friend troubles [at least you didn’t shave off your eyebrows? HAHAHA SORRY]. Honestly drifting apart from friends is such a normal part of growing. I’m no longer friends with anyone I went to school and it was honestly the best decision I ever made. At the end of the day, friends are friends because they bring out your best qualities and support you unconditionally. It’s definitely a good thing if you’ve realized the friendship isn’t serving you anymore. Trust a freaking group project to expose those true intentions though!

    3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! *throw confetti*

    4. Finally, I’m also sorry to hear about your falling out with your mum. If I can give you any advice it would be to not feel guilty because you’ve done nothing wrong. 2020 is a ~stressful~ time and lock down definitely makes living at home harder. Moving out will ultimately be the best thing for your relationship.

    Sending you all my love! Keep that chin up x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hug received!

      I know! I am really happy 🙂 🙂 Is it weird that even though we’re together I still have the biggest crush on him?

      I know! They’re (slowly) growing back! The shape is so weird though, and I don’t wanna touch them until they’re all grown back so I look a little unruly.

      ❤ ❤ ❤

      Thank you, it was really hard but I know I've done the right thing .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually you know what? I have a seriously funny story that you’re going to get a MAJOR kick out of…

        So the other day I got this weird pimple literally IN my eyebrow??? I was like WHY??? Anyway because I’m in quarantine I did a thing and picked at it [not my proudest moment]. Basically, it was a seriously bad move and now my left eyebrow’s tail is looking a little sparse. *face palms*. FML!!!

        I’m just praying it will grow back by the time I go back to work. If not, thank god for brow pens!!! 😂😂😂

        [WHY ARE WE SO STUPID WHEN IT COMES TO OUR EYEBROWS??? Also – who’s miss Georgia Nicolson now! 😅]


        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Emma – welcome back!! So much has happened in your life so a blogging break is totally understandable!
    Firstly I’m sorry you’re having friendship and family falling outs. That sucks & I’m sending lots of love your way, hopefully it will all work out for the better. Just like it did with your boyfriend!! I’m so happy for you Emma – and happy birthday too! <3.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh Emma! Sounds like you’ve had a really tough time lately but I really hope it gets better! 💞 happy late birthday & hey just think about your boyfriend 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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