It's just a tiny bit marvellous

Tag: writing

Venturing Into The Unknown

I haven’t made it particularly public on here that over the last year I have been an out-of-work graduate. Swonderful smarvellous started as an outlet for my frustrations, a get away from all the CVs, covering letters and job applications. Because of that, I didn’t want it cluttered with posts where I moaned about my failures for all the world to see. Nobody wants to read about depressing things like that.

Taking that into consideration, I don’t want to ramble on about how hard it’s been over the past year, moving home and applying for hundreds of jobs with little success. It’s safe to say, though, that I felt that my dream of living and working in London with a publishing company was slowly slipping away.

Luckily, I decided to give it one last shot. I applied for a graduate scheme with a publisher based in London around 2 months ago. Even after every successful stage of the application process, I convinced myself I wouldn’t get it. I learned the hard way that hope is a very dangerous thing when you’re applying for jobs. Especially jobs you really want.

To cut a long and depressing story short, I had a phone call last week from a lovely woman who explained that I had been successful in gaining a position on the graduate scheme. I’m pretty sure I deafened her with my screams.

And so I can now say with confidence that I am moving to London on September 1st 2012 to start a job in publishing.


(That was me having a job induced fit.)

Ps. A quick thank you is in order to all my family and friends who have tolerated my bouts of insanity this past year. And also to all the lovely people who have followed this blog with likes and comments and follows. Thank you for keeping me sane through the madness.


My Love of Listing- or The Bucket List To End All Bucket Lists

Realising how utterly redundant my heading is, let me firstly say I have never made a bucket list before. Though I have been meaning to write one for a while now. Just to give my life some meaning. And because I like making lists. A lot. List making is one of my favourite past times. It’s got to the point where I’m making lists of things to do in the day just because I want to write a list. If ‘eat breakfast and ‘clean teeth’ are also on your list of things to do today, know that you’re up there in the big leagues of procrastination. Like me! Hurrah!

someecards also offer hour upon hour of procrastination fun…

So here it is. The list to end all lists. My bucket list. Before I kick the bucket, all these things best be ticked off or this will have been a complete waste of time.

Who am I kidding. I just want an excuse to write another list.

1. Swim with manatees. Why not dolphins? Because they are the popular kids of the sea. Everyone wants to frolic with them. Manatees never get a look in. Well, not any more, unpopular manatees!! I’m a coming!

2. Live in London. Because I’m fed up of wide open spaces and driving to work. I yearn for smog and packed tube journeys.

3. Win money in Las Vegas. It doesn’t have to be the jackpot. I’d settle for $1. I’m not sure if you can bet that little, but I’m sure they’d let me if I explained this list to them.

4. Be part of a flash mob. I know it’s not cool anymore, but I’m always way behind on trends anyway.

5. Become a published author- and work within the publishing industry. This doesn’t count. I checked. It has to be a proper book that you can buy in Waterstones and get book points for.

6. Win a competition. Any competition. I don’t care what I win.

7. Own some Chanel. Proper Chanel. Not perfume. Not dubious, stained Chanel from eBay. Proper Chanel.

8. Ride in a hot air balloon. Preferably Richard Branson’s, but I’m not picky.

9. Meet somebody famous. And act totally cool. And then be their best friend. Obviously.

10. Go ice skating at the Rockefeller Centre at Christmas. Eeesh, biggest cliche ever. But it is totally necessary.

Rejection Emails

Searching For a Job Has Reached New Lows

I don’t look forward to rejection emails to job applications. I don’t think anyone does, to be honest. 10 months ago when I was first starting out as a graduate, fresh faced and happy just to receive an acknowledgement of my application, the email in question would not have bothered me in the slightest.

I don’t think I can call myself a ‘recent graduate’ anymore. July 11th will be the 1 year anniversary of my graduation and I am dreading it. What do I have to show for my first year as a proper adult? Lots of work experience, a freelance writing position that I love (but unfortunately doesn’t pay enough for me to move down to London) and a teaching assistant position at a local college, helping students with learning difficulties. Some might say I have my plate full- why am I whining? At least I have things to do.

I have always wanted to be a part of the book publishing process. When I was 10 years old, and I was asked by my teacher what I wanted to be when I grew up, my list consisted of author first, journalist second, and ‘maker of books’ 3rd. As I grew older, it rose to the top of my list. (At one time or another, my list also included ballerina, gymnast, and stage actress. I’m glad I put those dreams to rest early!)

Now, because I’m trying to head out into the wide world of publishing, experience is everything. I have experience, so lets check that off my list. The other thing you must have is an eye for detail- checking grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. And, of course, just making sure that everything you write looks professional.

And so, with that in mind, this is why this particular email riled me so much. Sent to me by a leading UK publishing house, it is an email that I wouldn’t consider sending in my wildest dreams. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Different sized fonts? Check. Weird spacing? Check. Spelling my name without a capital letter? Check. Full stops in the middle of sentences? Check. Poor sentence structure? Check. A subject that makes little sense? Check, check and check!

I am still in disbelief that I am trying (and failing) to get a job in publishing, while this person is casually sat at their desk, churning out emails like this. The email is basically saying ‘You’re not good enough for the job, and because of this, I can’t actually be bothered to write an email to you that reflects the standards of the company I represent. Sod off.’

And it’s not just humiliating-it’s down right degrading.

At least I know that when I do eventually get a job (and I know that it will happen because in no way am I ever going to give up) I will make sure I appreciate how lucky I am by treating the job with respect. I will remember that every person deserves the same consideration as everybody else- I wouldn’t hand write a letter with bad grammar and shoddy penmanship, and I wouldn’t have ever expected to receive an email with the same lack of consideration.

Competitions and Downton Hair…Kind Of

Even when I was little, I never won competitions. Even small games like pass the parcel. And musical chairs. At my own birthday party. I was the one who congratulated the winner like a 5 year old beauty pageant loser (obviously, not as melodramatic and the crown was usually a pencil sharpener or something equally as cool.)

It’s never bothered me before, and it still doesn’t really bother me; but yesterday, I entered a competition on a whim, advertised by another blogger. 2 hours later, I had entered about 10 competitions and was feeling quite ashamed. I have no idea why I got so obsessed with entering them!

And I don’t really know why I felt ashamed. Probably because that 2 hours could have been spent doing something much more productive. Especially as I can guarantee that I will not win a single one of those competitions. I have now come to accept my lot in life as a competition loser. But I am proud to be a loser! Well, most of them time.

The competitions I really love to enter are writing competitions. I like to see what other people think of my work. But it’s much harder to put your own work out there into the void to be judged, as opposed to just filling in a form. So I await the results of them with bated breath.

I do know people who have won scads of competitions, and they’ve won some pretty amazing stuff. After my entering binge, I think I may have got it out of my system. If I win, I will keep you posted. But if I don’t win, I’ll go and buy something pretty anyway, so it’s no big deal!

As a side note, yesterday I went out and tried to do a bit of a Downton Abbey hair style for the evening. Let me know what you think!

My shorts and necklace are from Topshop, and the shirt is from HnM.





Where I spend 99% of my time…

As I spend so many hours of the day writing my blog, my articles and my stories at my beautiful desk, I thought it deserved it’s own post.

My last desk was a fourteen year old relic, bought for me when I turned 8 and stubbornly told my parents I was old enough to have a desk (because my cousin had one and if she had one, I had to have one!)

That old desk produced, with many other things, a cartoon series written by me and my neighbour over many happy hours, called Happy Pets. It was a series not dissimilar to Mr. Men- except they were animals with hilarious names like Toot Toot (a parrot) and Monty (a mouse.)

That desk also got me through my GCSEs and A Levels with great success, and it kept me company in all those sleepless nights in my final year at university when I was home for the holidays, quietly tearing my hair out and trying to remember the countless theories in Paine’s ‘Right’s of Man.’ (I got a 2.1 in that particular exam, success I credit in part to that desk.)

But when I came home last summer, a fresh faced graduate,  my parents decided to downgrade me into the small bedroom on the back of the house. Not only did this give me the opportunity to purge all the useless rubbish I’d collected over the years, but I was also able to decorate it exactly how I wanted it.

In the end, I went for vintage-inspired ivory furniture, with a soft, Cath Kidston-esque colour scheme.

But the pride and joy of my room is my  new desk, complete with bookshelf (that only houses about 1/5th of my book collection, but never mind.)

Here it is. I hope we create beautiful things together in the future.


(And if you were wondering what’s actually on my desk, here’s a handy list of the most interesting things:)

  1. My beautiful Macbook, that’s about 6 years old; I still love it. The notebook was a gift from my friend Hannah, who told me to start writing my bestseller in it. I think this is proof that I have at least started!
  2. The face wash is new; I bought it yesterday because my skin has got so bad what with the cold weather. It’s La Roche-Posay purifying foaming gel and corrector pen.
  3. My Downton Abbey boxsets are out because after a hard day at work, it’s the perfect thing to relax to!
  4. The pictures were taken at my cousins wedding a few summers ago, and the postcards dotted around the bottom of my desk are all old postcards/birthday cards I’ve collected over the years. The Ravenclaw badge is from Harry Potter world- it was the only thing I could afford! Everything else was so expensive!
  5. Only my favourite things make it onto the top shelf; highlights including my 45 year old hardback copy of ‘The Hobbit.’ ‘Jane Eyre,’ ‘1984,’ and ‘The QI Book of General Ignorance.’