Jennifer Niven. 

Having absolutely loved Jennifer Nivens book ‘All the Bright Places’, I decided to jump onto the Internet to try and find out more about her and her other books. I actually came across her own personal website, where I learnt so much about her and got some fabulous tips too! She’s definitely helped me on my way to wanting to be a writer!

Jennifer Niven started writing at a very young age as her mother was a writer too. She started off by writing songs, poems and short stories and in 2000 she became a full time writer. She has written 9 books so far and is working on her 10th. She also runs a website called ‘Germ Magazine’ http://www.germmagazine.com, Where people can send in entries. It’s for anyone to share their writing, a really great idea which came from her book ‘All the Bright Places’.

Jennifer Nivens books

Holding up the Universe

All the Bright Places

American Blonde

Becoming Clementine

Velma Jean learns to fly

Velma Jean learns to drive

The Aqua net diaries

Ada Blackjack

The Ice Master

It’s important to keep yourself stimulated and challenged creatively’ – Jennifer Niven.

One of the most important things I learnt from her website was that when she writes a book she immerses herself wholly. She listens to music from the time period, watches movies of the same genre, reads books the characters would read and creates a soundtrack with songs that relate to the story. How impressive is that?!? She also said her number one top tip for new writers is to:

Write & read, work hard. Learn to love editing and write what inspires you and what you love.’ – Jennifer Niven.

She’s also written a ‘Nivens guide to writing’ which you can read here -http://www.jenniferniven.com/writers/. But heres the low down, in the way I have interpreted it;

1. A book should not be too long

2. If you are bored writing then your reader will be bored reading.

3. READ: it opens your mind and gives you ideas.

4. Focus on one chapter at a time.

5. Give yourself a daily word count.

6. Let yourself feel the emotion your writing. Let yourself cry.

7. Be willing to write garbage – don’t try to be perfect.

8. Know when to let the book go.

9. Stay calm and breathe.

10. Learn to take the critique

11. When you write, write! That’s all that should be going on in your mind, no distractions!

12. Write a book you would like to read: write what inspires you.

I am so thankful to Jennifer Niven for all her advice, I’m so happy I came across her website. I will make sure I keep up to date with her magazine website too, to find out even more about the fascinating industry she works in! Check out her website: http://www.jenniferniven.com, it’s great!

Also give her books a read, All the Bright Places is my new favourite book, and I really can’t wait to read some of her others.

Emily Jane xo

*image is NOT my own. Google images.

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Matilda The Musical.

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A few weeks ago now I visited London with my family and we went to see ‘Matilda The Musical‘ at the Cambridge theatre. It was a really fantastic show, that I will never forget! I really did enjoy it from start to finish. Ive always loved Roald Dahl’s stories from a very young age and it was great to see it performed in live action. The director Matthew Warchus has put together a truly spectacular show which combines new ideas and treasured memories from the original book and film. I highly recommend you go and watch it the next time your in London.

Matilda is a very popular story that most people know, everyone loves Roald Dahl! The show followed the original story perfectly but added certain elements, such as story telling from Matilda herself, in the show to play out some of the stories events. Matilda is a very clever young girl who isn’t respected by her bitter parents. Her parents don’t agree with her wanting to learn but eventually agree to let her attend school at an early age. Miss Honey is Matilda’s new teacher and she spots her potential from the moment she meets her. We meet Ms Truchble who is an evil, wicked women who is the headmaster of the school and makes the children’s lifes hell. We find out she is Miss Honeys auntie and how she treated her as a child and Matilda uses her magical powers to get rid of Ms Truchble once and for all! It’s a fantastic little story, with great humour and family drama.

The acting was incredibly strong from all characters which was a present surprise with most of them being children. Sara Sheen who played Matilda was a fantastic little actress who really put on a suberb performance. How she managed to remember all those challenging words I do not know! I didn’t even know some of the words myself! She was very impressive. Craige Els who played Ms Truchble was spectacular! We originally thought it would be strange for a male to play this particular female character but it was just what the part needed. He was the most memberable character and by far my favourite; he was just brilliant! Michael Begley who portrayed Mr Wormwood (Matilda’s Dad) also stood out to me as he was hilarious; every time he was on stage I could not stop laughing! His camp stance and hilarious walk was genius.

The set design unfortunately wasn’t as spectacular as I would have hoped. There were only really three main sets that were used during the show. I do think they could have incorporated a few other places to tell the story even more affectively. However, the three sets were greatly put together and used in the best possible way. The school classroom set stood out to me, I loved how the tables were used in so many different ways, a very clever use of set. This may be why they thought other sets were not needed. The props were very playful which fit perfectly with the school environment. The big swings, were a personal favourite, I just wanted to jump on the stage and join in!

The best part of the show for me were the song and dance performances by all the main characters and dancers. As mentioned above the swings scene was my favourite, where the cast sang, ‘When I grow up‘ and did their fantastic swinging sequences. This was a great aspect of the show, it fit the story perfectly; it was is a truely fantastic idea in my eyes. All the other singing and dance performances were great too. There were some great songs in the show, hats off too Tim Minchin the music composer.

I really enjoyed the performance and so did my family. It’s a real fun loving, happy show that I highly recommend to everyone, especially young children! The acting was superb, the songs were so catchy and the overall direction and performance was fantastic. Go and see it when your next in London, you will not be disappointed!

Emily Jane xo

POP UP Cinema.

Last weekend me and my sister went to a Pop Up Cinema Event at Whirlow Farm in Sheffield. This particular showing was ‘The Lion King’, one of my personal favourites! The evening was set up by The Village Green Events Company who are based in Sheffield and the North. I had heard about the company from a friend and I couldn’t wait to give one of their events a try! And I absolutely loved it, it was a great experience and such a fun night.

It was £12.00 a ticket which basically secured you a seat at the screening and it was worth every penny. The screen was set up in one of the barns which on its own seemed to be such a great idea but a highlight for me had to be that we got to sit on deckchairs! How amazing is that! There were over 200 of them set out in the barn waiting for the film lovers to arrive.

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This was taken before it started showing the pop up screen.

We arrived around 7:00pm and the farm was already buzzing. We were greeted at the front gate by two lovely ladies that welcomed us and explained where we needed to go, they couldn’t be anymore welcoming and kind to us, it was very nice to see. There were three separate businesses outside the barn selling food and drinks too. There was Street Food available from Whirlow farm themselves, ‘Nether Edge Pizza’ and ‘Livvys Ice Creams’. Me and my sister went for the pizza, of course! Who wouldn’t when it’s one of those little fire ovens that’s making it?! Everyone knows that pizza always tastes better cooked this way! This was another great moment of the night!

We really should have arrived earlier but we wasn’t aware of just how popular the event would be! We finally found two seats which were ideal for us with the perfect view. We sat down, with our pizza and snuggled up with a blanket to watch the film, which started at 8:30pm. What more could you want on a Saturday night ey?!

The atmosphere in the barn was fantastic! Everyone singing along to the well known Lion King Songs and in general having a ball. I would say everyone in the room had a great night, everyone even cheered and clapped at the end. It was really lovely to experience such a high sense of community between everyone.

The experience was just great, it was something completely different to anything we have ever experienced before and I will definitely be attending again! It was just my idea of a perfect night out. A Disney film, pizza, snuggled up on a deck chair in a unique and completely different location, it was fabulous!

Huge congrats to ‘The Village Green’ Team, they put on a really outstanding night which was enjoyed by all. I really cannot wait for the next one, I can’t recommend them enough. If you want something different, something unique to attend, and a real night to remember, make sure you visit their next event!

Take care,
Emily Jane
xoxox