Five Years of Imogen’s Typewriter. 

This blog is now half a decade old. That’s wild to me. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I sat down and typed in my little domain into Blogger. And four-hundred and twenty-three posts later, here we are. If my blog was a child, it would be going to school by now in a tiny little uniform!

The past year has been a strange one in regards to blogging, I know a lot of people feel lost on occasion and I’ve been struggling to fit in blogging with my degree work as that ramps up year-by-year. I love blogging though and I’ve written some posts I’m really proud of this year.

I’ve written full book reviews on Catch-22 by Joseph HellerAnne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison WeirOblivion by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Haunting of Mount Cod by Nicky StrattonThe Ninth Rain by Jen Williams and Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry. And mini reviews in my wrap-up posts!

I’ve been fostering kittens and cats throughout the year and started blogging about my experiences with The Kittens of Wildfell Hall and Slug & Hedgehog. These posts have been so much fun to write and I’m really hoping to catch up in my sixth year of blogging, since I’m adopting out my 20th cat today!

I’ll be taking part in Bookending Winter this December so make sure to keep a lookout for that! I’m hosting from the 4th to the 7th and you can read all about it and the prompts here and here. There’s even a Twitter. So I’m starting my sixth year of blogging on a good note.

Don’t forget to check out my little blog birthday giveaway on Twitter! And thank you for reading!
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Hello 2018!

A fresh new year, a fresh new diary and a fresh new blog post! 2018 has arrived and I just managed to slump over that finish line when it came to 2017. I didn’t think it could get much worse than 2016 but boy, 2017 sure showed me. It was a year of personal loss, bad health and just trying to keep my head above water. But we got through it, eh?



Things I wanted to do in 2017
Find a balance.
I tried, my gosh, I tried. And you know what? I felt kind of good in January. But it all slid away as the months past by, migraines became a weekly thing and I started my second year of university. It meant that I actually had great difficulty keeping up. I even had my first month since I started this blog where I didn’t read a single book. But balance is difficult and maybe trying to find it in a single year isn’t the most obtainable goal.
Replace.
I wanted to see out with the old and invest in the new when it came to 2017 and I think I did that! I paid up for a new mattress, unhauled a few books (you can see these here and here) and after many many years, replaced the carpet in my study with beautiful wooden flooring that’s ready for some new kitten fosters!
Blog less.

Well, I did blog less. In fact, I wrote 42 blog posts in the whole of 2017 which is less than half what I’ve been writing in the past. It felt strange to do it deliberately, even though I needed to prioritise my university work, and it felt even stranger when I realised it wasn’t deliberate anymore. I’m hoping in 2018, I’ll find a happier middle ground. 
Tick off the practical.

I did some pretty practical things in 2017; I got a student loan, I updated my computer, I finished my first year of university. But I didn’t do a lot of other things so I’ll give this a B+.

Things I want to do in 2018:
Keep trying for balance.
I see a lot of people talking about their word that represents their aim for 2018, and mine is definitely Balance. I can’t keep running myself into the ground and have to recover over and over again. The scale has to stop tipping at some point.
Foster more kittens.
In 2017, I fostered kittens for the first time and I’d like to do a lot more of it in 2018. I now volunteer for both Cats Protection and the animal sanctuary that I adopted my first cats from which is a nice full circle. Kitten season starts in Spring and I’m ready to do my part.
Go to Texas. 
I met one of my best friends online 7 years ago and still haven’t met her! Admittedly, she lives in Texas and I live in England so it’s not the easiest trip but I’d like to make it this year. 
Write more.
While I did write some pretty great essays in 2017, I felt my creative mojo take a backseat. I haven’t written anything resembling fiction in a long time, and I feel like my blog posts suffered as well. So in 2018, I’d like to write more, about anything. Just write.


What are your goals for 2018?
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Four Years of Imogen’s Typewriter.

I’m a little late on this because I’m currently in Mexico, but it was my blogs birthday a couple of days ago. 368 days have passed since I typed out Three Years of Imogen’s Typewriter, 733 days since I wrote Two Years of Imogen’s Typewriter, 1098 days since A Year of Imogen’s Typewriter, and a whole 1463 days since I sat down and typed out my first post. Wild!

The past year has actually been a quiet year on the blog, as I’ve been writing about half the amount of posts that I usually write in a year. I’ve been busy and feeling a little lost. Though on the other hand, I’m prouder of the posts I’m actually hitting publish on. By putting less pressure to hit 2-3 posts a week, I’ve found myself able to really concentrate on good content like I predicted in my 2017 goals. Although I’d like to be able to hit a better balance in my fifth year.

I’ve been writing more in-depth reviews this year like; The White Road by Sarah LotzYesterday by Felicia YapThe Child by Fiona Barton, and so many half-drafts that I’m going to be finishing as soon as possible.

I’ve been replacing books I’m not going to read again like these and these with books I desperately wanted to buy- in fact, by following my 10 out, 1 in rule, I’ve only bought two books this year which has been a major change and helped me save for my current trip in Mexico!

I also started my second year of university which has been a big leap especially with the level of books I’m studying, I’ve suffered some big personal losses, I’ve been fostering kittens, I’ve been to France, CorfuNorway and now Mexico. And through it all, I’ve been blogging.

So thank you for reading and I’ll see you in my next nostalgia-free post! 
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5 Things I Learnt from 24 Hours of Kitten Fostering!

In August I became a volunteer for Cats Protection, with my main interest being fostering. I discovered Kitten Lady about a year ago but up until a few months ago I had a very old and defensive cat. It wouldn’t have been fair to him to put him under the stress of kitten roommates. When he passed, it was unbelievably heartbreaking. But eventually I realised that I now had the opportunity to help cats find homes with people that would love them like I loved him. The adventure started with looking after three kittens for 24 hours, and here’s what I learnt…

1. It’s hard. 
Seriously, kitten fosterers who deal with orphan newborn kittens are warriors. The three tiny babies I was taking care of were maybe three weeks old and I probably got about four or five hours accumulative sleep while I was taking care of them. They needed feeding every two hours because they were so malnourished, and because they weren’t used to a bottle it took about an hour and a half to get them fed and settled. Half an hour later, it started right back up again!
2. You have to recognise your limits.
These three-week old abandoned kittens were originally estimated at about five weeks. At five weeks kittens are starting to wean from the bottle to solid food, they’re starting to use a litter tray, they’re much less dependent and I like to think I could’ve handled it. But when I actually got them, they were much younger, hadn’t been fed overnight and throughout the day I discovered they were far from healthy. They needed more help then I could give and that was tough! I felt like a failure. But kittens come before pride and I knew that there was a limit to my knowledge. They were taken back to the vet, then taken in with a more experienced fosterer and have since flourished!
3. Kittens are always cute, even when they pee on your hand.
Very small kittens can’t pee or poop on their own. They need stimulation. Normally this is the mother licking them but luckily a paper towel rubbing also does the trick. Sometimes, though, there’s a very full bladder and pee gets on your hand. I swear I washed my hands more times in those 24 hours then I normally do in a week. But- kittens! They were so cute, they could pee on me and I’d just be like- oh you little sweetheart! Good job!
4. It’s lifesaving.
While the kittens I had were under the wing of Cats Protection and luckily there were fosterers other than me to take care of them, in certain areas and shelters- there isn’t. Orphan kittens who require bottle feeding every two hours, heating pads and manual help to pee and poop, are put down in a lot of shelters because there just aren’t enough people to do the work. And not everyone can do it! It’s full-on and full-time for the first couple weeks. But it literally saves kittens lives and even though I was only keeping the little guys alive for 24 hours, it felt really great to be able to do that.

5. Boy names are tough!
Throughout this post, the kittens didn’t have names because they were three little boys and I couldn’t think of any for the life of me! And just as I thought of some, they were leaving. I have so many girl names but boy names? I’m lost. Luckily, the kittens I’m looking after now are a boy and a girl so it wasn’t quite as tough. Esther and Gilbert are named for Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Literary names are the best.
Have you ever fostered kittens? Aren’t they just the cutest?
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On being Busy and Lost

It’s been pretty quiet on this blog of mine for the past couple months, eh? In fact, between this blog and my previous blog- four blog posts in two months may actually be my least in over six years. So I thought about all the posts I could write today; the books I read in March, or the ones I took on holiday, my recent unhaul, or a review. But instead, I wanted to write this…

I told you in my 2017 goals that I wanted to find a balance with everything in my life, and to update you more, so I can say pretty honestly that I haven’t found that balance yet. In fact, I’ve felt even more out of centre. I’ve fallen behind on university work so working on assignments is harder than it needs to be, I’m in a reading slump, I have a throat infection and I’m just generally feeling lost. I know logically that I want to do things like blog, study, write and read. It’s just hard.

So this isn’t an apology, because realistically I don’t think bloggers should apologise for taking breaks or not posting. It’s a- hey, stuff is kinda happening right now and I’m working on it. And commiserations if you’re going through the same thing.

“The Past is gone and can no longer hurt you. And though the Future is fast coming for you, it always flinches first and settles into the gentle Present.” – Welcome to Night Vale
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30 Before 30: Three Years On!

It’s my birthday! And that means it’s time for me to watch 11 hours of the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings, have a look at my 30 Before 30 list and do an update. I updated it when I turned 21, then again when I turned 22, and now I’m 23! *gulp*! That’s not early-twenties anymore, that’s just twenties. Next year I’ll be 24 and that’s mid-twenties. To distract me from this revelation, on with the list…

Some of the photos on my Instagram over the year!



1. Complete Pokémon.
Pokémon Yellow was re-released on 3DS for the 20th anniversary but I haven’t got it yet. Honestly, haven’t been playing that many video games. I need to get on this in 2017 since it’s probably one of the easiest to complete on this list. I may buy it for myself as a birthday present!
2. Write a Novel.
Do 10 beginnings count as one? I need to work on finishing projects this year.
3. Earn at least a 2:1 in my degree.
Working on it!
4. Do a 365 photo a day challenge.
I’ve mentioned every year, this is one for later in my life when my life is more interesting.
5. Copy the ‘Three Men in a Boat’ trip.
Not yet! Although at least with my procrastination, there’s less risk of being exploded by a WWII bomb!
6. Take a plane on my own.
7. Start a Podcast.
Remember how 2016 was awful? This idea got delayed because of that. It’s hard to do a podcast when all your hosts are having a hard time in their personal lives. Fingers crossed for 2017!
8. Learn to drive.
I think I just decided what I’m going to do with my birthday money. Time to take that test.
9. Write a will.
10. Own The Walking Dead #1.
I might just buy a reprint and be done with this.
11. Host Christmas.
12. See my brother get married.  
13. Go to Vegas with my oldest friend.
14. Make a quilt.
I have a few patterns ready, I just need some fabric and time now.
15. Own a Hyundai Ix35.
16. Own a collection of mugs that all have meaning.
I’m counting this as done although I’m still collecting. I have an amazing collection at the moment that are all lovely and mean so much to me. 
17. Get back into Archery.
Something I love about these updates is that this list can grow as I do, and I no longer wanted to ‘start a small business’. But something that I’ve wanted to do for years, and clearly need an extra push for, is getting back into archery. So it was time for this to change.
18. Review 200 books. 
I recently finished reading my 200th book, so I’ll have finished this goal when I write up my reviews for my January reads. I can’t quite believe it. I thought this was going to take me all ten years if I’m honest. And all the reviews so far are here!
19. Road trip the UK.
20. Go to SDCC.
21. Grow a bonsai tree and keep it alive.
Last year I had just bought two little saplings that were still alive but not growing. One did end up dying, but the other is finally growing and looking more alive! You can see him in the background of some of my blog pictures here and here. This is in progress!
22. Travel Europe on a train.
23. Cosplay.
24. Go to all the places Ashley wants to bring me to.
25. Learn to crochet and make something.
I learnt to crochet so long ago! I did start a project in 2016 though, a nest-bed for my cat, but I haven’t finished it quite yet.
26. Keep bees.
27. Cut my hair and donate it to the Little Princess Trust. 
I did this last year, and I’m thinking of doing it again in 2017 because my hair has grown long again. It’s such a worthy cause and I’m not exactly doing anything with my cut-off hair!
28. Learn German.
I had a weird 30 credits that I needed to take to complete first year because of changing universities and one dealing in 40 credit modules and the other in 60. I saw a German class and knew I needed to take it. It’s been amazing, super helpful and I feel like I’m finally getting my head around the language! Enough that I’m hoping to read a book in German this year
29. Visit the German Christmas Markets. 
I visited Köln/ Cologne in December 2015, that you can see here! It was such an amazing experience that I actually went to München/ Munich in December 2016, that I posted about here! German Christmas Markets really are magical.
30. Act.
I didn’t put this on last years list because I thought it would come across kind of silly, but I’ve actually been going to acting classes since April. My confidence has built up, at least enough to put it on this list publicly. We’ll see!

Four out of thirty- but with six on the way of being done. I’m feeling a lot better about this list then I was last year. Progress is fun.

Do you have a 30 Before 30 list? What’s on it?

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Hello 2017!

Thank gosh that’s over, huh? Bring on the fresh diaries, the clean calendars and lets all practice writing 2017 a couple of times before we have to write it on any actual paperwork. Perhaps the less said about 2016, the better, but I quickly recap my goals every year, and embracing that I don’t always get where I wanted is healthy motivation. Then for my 2017 goals I decided to go a little more abstract, because I want to focus on how things make me feel this year. Anyway…

Things I wanted to do at the beginning of 2016:
Travel. 
I went to Milan and Munich so I’m calling this a win! I didn’t get to visit my ‘Murican friends but every year we get closer and make more plans. I’m sure they’ll happen eventually.
More degree work. 
I didn’t complete first year like I planned, which wasn’t possible because of how university terms work, but I’m super close and I’m getting pretty good grades.
Catch up on my 30 Before 30 List. 
Nope. Super behind. Definitely going to have a re-think of this before my re-cap on the 20th.
Reach 500 Blog followers. 
Oh beginning-of-2016-Imogen, so optimistic. 
Be happy. 
It was a year of ups and downs, wasn’t it?

Things I want to do in 2017: 
Find a balance.
I started doing new things in 2016, and it threw my physical and mental health completely off. This year, instead of hanging on by my fingertips, I’d like to set my feet on the ground and find a way of doing what I want to do without my health paying the high price. It’s definitely going to mean compromise, which isn’t going to be fun, but this is about the bigger picture.
Replace.
I have a lot of things that I’ve had forever, don’t get rid of and don’t get new ones because I already have some that I’ve spent money on. Bad-fitting clothes, books I don’t have an interest in anymore, even furniture. This year I want to see out with the old, and invest in the new.
Blog less.
Yes, you read that right. I’ve been trying pretty hard to blog 2+ times a week and that worked for me for a good while but lately it just isn’t. It puts this numerical value over my head when really I just want to be writing posts I’m proud of, and sometimes they take me longer than they probably should. I also really want to write more in-the-now posts. I write a lot of wrap-ups, I write a lot of plans, I don’t really keep you updated in-between. I just need to figure out how to write that way and give myself the chance! And hopefully with a little less time on my own blog, I can spend more time supporting and loving other blogs.
Tick off the practical.
It’s time to take my driving test, answer emails, book meetings. All that grown-up stuff that I like to avoid. It might even be time… to try a bullet journal. If I can keep on top of this stuff then I won’t have to keep taking big chunks of time out to catch up.

How is your 2017 going? What are your goals?
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Three Years of Imogen’s Typewriter.

It’s my blogs birthday once again! I say it every year, but I can’t believe a whole year has gone by since I wrote Two Years of Imogen’s Typewriter, two years have gone by since A Year of Imogen’s Typewriter, and three years have gone by since this little blog began! It always surprises me, but the great thing about having a blog is easily looking back at your year.

I’ve learnt a lot from book blogging over the years, much more than these 5 things, and I’m so glad to still be here doing what I love. I went to YALC this year and it just solidified how much reading, and readers, mean to me. Big books or small books, we all have something amazing in common no matter what. And we got to read together when the #Hallowreadathon happened again.

This year I read some great books: If You Go Away by Adele Parks, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir, Tenacity by J.S. LawGreen River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case, and more!

I started writing seasonal TBRs to narrow down the books I wanted to read. With these I wasn’t reading only more books, but audiobooks entered my life again this year. And I finally figured out a way to talk about my favourite podcasts, even if I’ve only written one post so far.

And as a little bonus, on my third year blogging I thought I’d giveaway the trilogy that started it all. Just go here to enter!

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sticking around.
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5 Things I Want to Do Before 2016 Ends!

2016 has been so bad, it’s literally become a meme. I don’t know anyone who has had a good year so far. Is it just that I’m getting older and therefore more aware? Or have the past couple years just sucked? Either way, I’m going to try and turn it around as best I can. I was looking back at my goals for 2016 and thought I’d switch it into 5 manageable things to do…

Stationary and a calendar for 2016

1. Get my bedroom in order
My bedroom is in a state of limbo right now. It’s newly decorated, but I’m still waiting on furniture so everything is still everywhere. It’s stressful that nothing has a place. So I’m hopefully going to get some heavy lifting done, build some flat-pack, send a bunch of stuff to charity shops, and just get everything squared away before my family descends for Christmas.

2. Go to Germany
Last December I went to Köln to see the Christmas Markets and the chocolate museum. It was incredible, but my depression was in high-gear.  This year I’ll be heading to Munich for a couple days to get myself in the Christmas spirit. Now I’m a little better at speaking German and my mental health is a little more controlled, it’ll hopefully be a good time.

3. End the year up to date on my degree work
I’m a little behind, it happens. I got really sick in October so I need to catch up if I want to end the year up to date. I have a two week break starting on the 24th of December, and I’d love to not need to work through it. But I will if I have to. I don’t want to start 2017 trying to make up for 2016, I have a feeling there’ll be enough of that in the world.

4. Grow my blog
My blog is going to be three years old this time next week. I’m not completely content with where I am now- I don’t know many bloggers who are!- but I want to learn and grow. I want to publish blog posts that my readers will love, and for my readers to feel about my blog, the way I feel about these blogs. So if you have any ideas- I’d love to hear them!

5. Plan 2017!
2016 was a bust. Even without taking Brexit and Donald Trump into account, there’s also been a huge amount of loss and sadness in my personal life and the lives of everyone I love. We all deserve better, the world deserves better. So, it’s my hope that with a steady plan for 2017, it will be the year that I look back on and think- yeah, we needed that after 2016. I don’t know the specifics but my general thoughts are; beginning year 2 of my degree, starting a podcast, and getting a handle on my physical and mental health.

What do you want to do before 2016 is over?
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NaNoWriMo, No-Chocolate and No-Netflix November.

I’m generally not very good at talking about life-things on my blog but November is a pretty weird month for me so I thought I’d talk about it! I’m finally getting over being sick, which made October on Imogen’s Typewriter pretty bare as well, yay. So lets talk about November…

NaNoWriMo
I didn’t attempt NaNo last year, but I did the year before and I didn’t do well at all. A couple things are different this year though, which is making me feel a little more positive about it. I’m going to blog about it, which always makes me more accountable. I’ll be posting updates on Wednesdays, starting tomorrow when I’ll go into a little more detail about it. I’m also co-writing for the first time so we’re aiming for 25k each, which will take so much pressure off. And I’m older, and wiser. Lets hope that counts for something!
No-Chocolate
This is something I’ve been doing for a couple of years now, along with giving up chocolate for Lent. I feel like chocolate is my ‘vice’ and when I get into a routine of eating it all the time, it’s obviously not good. Plus, I like to detox off it before advent calendar chocolate! I sit typing next to a bar of unopened Dairy Milk and it”s going to stay that way.
No-Netflix
It’s not even twenty-four hours into November as I write this and I already regret this one. But I’m too dependent on Netflix and TV in general. I just do it too much. I’m not going to be super strict about it. I’ll still watch The Walking Dead and The Apprentice as they come on the TV, and I watch TV when I eat alone but apart from that- I’m going to be doing a lot more reading and podcast listening for entertainment this month!
So those are my November plans! What are yours?
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