The St. Michael’s School Magazine
PHOTOGRAPHY: EMILIA JAROSZ
Editor’s note Although it may not look particularly summery outside, here is the summer edition of DUX Magazine! Inside we have reviews, beauty and fashion tips, horoscopes, author interviews…and more! Thank you to Emilia Jarosz for the cover photo and other photographs, and to Laura May Nardella for designing the magazine. And don’t miss out on the chance to win a copy of Miriam Halahmy’s new book, Hidden, by entering our creative writing competition. -Florianne Humphrey DUX MAGAZINE EDITOR
Yeme Anjeli Olivia Ali Ndi Laura-May
Simply Wonderful by Tim Myers I'm Yours by Jason Mraz Shuffle by Bombay Bicycle Club 1901 by Phoenix Daylight by Matt & Kim 5 Years Time by Noah and the Whale She Moves In Her Own Way by The Kooks Let The Sun Shine by Labyrinth Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap Free Fallin' by John Mayer Summer of â€˜69 by Bryan Adams Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae I Love You, Ono by Stereo Total California Girls by The Beach Boys Forever by Haim 110% by Jessie Ware
Is Feminism For You? I’m sure everyone has heard the term “Feminism” before, however it is often associated with bra-burning, man-hating, angst-y women who blame everything on “the patriarchy” and demand a radical change in society. As with all stereotypes there are some feminists (albeit a minority) who conform to this example, however, the only part of this description which matters, and which is true with all feminists, is the hope for change and equality within the genders.
If you’ve ever seen you’ll be familiar with Mrs
Mary Poppins, Banks’ song Sister
Suffragette. Although in the film she is seen as a bit of a joke, Mrs Banks is a prime example of first wave Feminism. Some of the ideas voiced in this song are a bit harsh (“though we adore men individually, we believe that as a group they’re rather stupid”) but the main aim of first wave Feminism is evident; suffrage for women (or the right to vote). Second wave Feminism developed
in the ‘60s with a view to improving everyday life for women. This includes banishing inequality within marriage and at work as well as fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies and what they do with them. It’s also the basis of Feminism today. In the past there were specific outlines of Feminists, stereotypes if you will, but nowadays a lot more women identify as Feminists. Where Feminism used to be for political activists and teenagers “going through a phase”, now there is no real specification. Where most men used
to mock women
fighting for their rights, there are actually a lot of male Feminists now. And Feminism is for you too!
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” (Gloria Steinem) The above quotation illustrates my point perfectly. If you believe in the equality of genders, you are a Feminist already. If you feel angered by the labelling of women based on or
you are a Feminist. If you feel
22.3% of British Parliament is female you are a angered by the fact that a measly
Feminist. If you feel angered by judgements passed on women based purely on appearance you are a Feminist. If you feel angered by the degrading depictions of women in literature and film you are a Feminist. To have these feelings is the foundation, the next step is standing up for your beliefs. This can be anything from just correcting people who make sexist comments to attending demonstrations to signing or creating petitions for equality. Hopefully after reading this article your interest will be sparked and you’ll want to find out more for yourself. If you do, I highly recommend browsing the internet, as there are endless amounts of blogs dedicated to Feminism. For avid readers, the works of Virginia
Woolfe, Margaret Atwood, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Dickinson, Carol Ann Duffy and Sylvia Plath are influential in modern Feminism and worth a read. For music lovers I suggest Merry Happy by Kate Nash, 22 by Lily Allen, Doo-Wop by Lauren Hill, RESPECT by Aretha Franklin, I Like Giants by Kimya Dawson and Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill.
Recipes Florianne Humphrey Intense Chocolate Cookies (V)
What is more delicious on a hot summer day than chocolate cookies and milk? Nothing we say, nothing! Ingredients 125g/4oz dark chocolate 150g/5¼oz plain flour 30g/1oz cocoa, sifted 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt 125g/4oz unsalted butter, softened 75g/2½oz light brown sugar 50g/2oz caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 free-range egg, cold from the fridge 350g/12¼oz dark chocolate chips
Preparation method Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Break the 125g/4oz dark chocolate into pieces and place into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Place the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix well. In another bowl, cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and stir well. Beat in the vanilla extract and crack in the egg, then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop out 12 equal portions of the mixture - an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job - and place onto a lined baking sheet about 6cm/2½in apart. Do not flatten them. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18 minutes, then test with a skewer - it should come out semi-clean and not wet with batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.
Raspberry Granita When youâ€™re hot and sweaty from staying in the sun all day, a granita is the perfect drink to cool you down.
Ingredients 1 unwaxed lemon , juiced and zested 700g raspberries 150g granulated sugar
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Take off the heat, sieve and cool.
Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn until frozen. Alternatively, pour into a shallow container and freeze for about 10-20 minutes until crystals start to form. Put the mixture into a bowl and, using a fork, break up the ice crystals. Return to the freezer for a further 40 minutes or until firm. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
The Beauty Page By Laura-May Nardella
Eyes Favourite Mascaras
Tip of the week Instead of spending lots of money buying in to the idea that your new toothpaste is actually going to whiten your teeth this time, get some baking soda and water, make a paste and brush your teeth as you would normally. You’ll have sparkly white teeth! Warning: don’t do this more than once a week or you can damage your tooth enamel.
I’ve tried lots of mascaras this year because I really don’t want to wear false eyelashes but my eyelashes aren’t exactly long and luscious and I have come to the conclusion that my favourites are the Maybelline Collosus Extra Volume mascara (£5 at Boots) and the Rimmel Day2 Nite mascara (£2 at boots!).
Maybelline Collosus Maybelline always do really good mascaras and unlike L'Oreal or Clinique, they’ve cracked the ‘no clumps’ technology. You get really fanned out, thick, dark lashes with only one swipe.
Rimmel Day 2 Nite Rimmel’s Day 2 Nite is a double application mascara, one for length and one for volume. The length application is really unimpressive at first but once you add the volume, you get very thick eyelashes. The only downside to the product is that it can be very clumpy but if you warm it up slightly, you can minimise that problem.
The Nails Page By Catriona Gallagher
Newspaper - Paint your nails a solid, dull colour for the 'paper'. I've used a peachy pink due to lack of grey/white colours but as long as it's not super bright it will work. Leave until completely dry. - Tear off a bit of newspaper that has lots of print on it (no pictures or coloured text). Spray some regular perfume into the bottle cap and dip your painted nail in it for a few seconds. - Press the newspaper on the wet nail and hold for 5-10 seconds, smoothing it down, especially at the edges. Make sure you don't hold it on too long as it will stick. - Peel the newspaper off. You can either leave it as straight print or layer it and make it abstract-y. - If any paper sticks to the nail, lightly rub it off with a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover, being careful not to take any of the ink with it. - Top coat it to make it shiny and to keep it from washing off. Dotty Flowers - Apply a clear base coat. - Blob out some nail polish onto a plastic wallet. Dip either a dotting tool or the rubber end of a bobby pin into the polish and dot 5 times in a pentagon shape on your nail. You can do as many flowers as you want and have them random and overlapping or systematic. - Blob out a different colour and dot once in the middle of the other 5 ‘petals’.
Lana Del Rey French Tip Paint all of your nails clear. Tear off roughly an inch of scotch tape and cut the end so it’s pointed. Stick the tape on your nail with the point roughly 0.5cm from the tip of the nail (or more depending on the length of your nail). Paint over the tip of the nail using a red polish to give the triangle French tip look. You can also freehand this. Using a small paintbrush/rubber end of a bobby pin, paint two thin lines under the red tip with a gold/bronze polish. I’ve used a bronze glittery polish here.
Effie Trinket/Gradient Paint your nails a bright, popping colour – for the ‘Effie Trinket’ look use a bright or neon pink. Tear off a piece of a make up sponge. Blob some silver/gold polish (or any metallic colour) onto a plastic wallet. Dap the torn side of the sponge in the polish. Sponge it onto the nail, starting at the tip and moving down. If you do more that one layer, let it dry in between to avoid pulling the first coat off. Add a clear top coat to smooth it out as it gives a rough finish.
Half-moon - Paint your nail with your base colour and let it dry completely. Try and chose two colours that will compliment each other either by matching (light and dark shades) or colours that go well together (black + silver, black + red). I’ve done a mix here. - Cut a paper reinforcement in half and stick it over the bottom of the nail where your half moon would be (the white semi-circle at the bottom of your nail). - Press it right into the cuticle and make sure it isn’t pulling up at the sides. - Paint over it with your second colour. Once it’s dry, gently pull off the sticky reinforcement. Add a topcoat to smooth things over. Pokémon Paint all of your nails white and leave to dry. Use scotch tape and mark off the bottom half of your nail. Paint just the top red and peel off the tape when it’s completely dry. You can freehand this too. Using a small paintbrush, paint a black line in between the two colours and a black dot in the middle When it’s dry add a white dot in the middle of the black one.
Summertime in London Shakespeare: Staging the World at the British Museum 19 July 2012 to 25 November 2012, British Museum Discover what London was like during the Shakespearean era, seen through the perspective of Shakespeare’s plays. Includes contemporary performances, and objects including maps, prints, drawings, paintings, arms and armour, coins and medals. BT London Live: Big Screens to show the Olympic Games 27 July – 9 September, various venues With sports sessions, music, outdoor arts and entertainment Exhibition Road Show 28 July – 5 August, Kensington Exhibition Road includes the Science Museum, the V&A and the Natural History Museum. To show off the newly refurbished road, there will be free scientific experiments, speakers and debates, music and dance, aerial displays, parades, exercise classes and performances. London Design Festival 14 September to 23 September, various venues 300 events and exhibitions, including large scale installations by world’s leading designers and architects and the BE OPEN Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square, which will immerse visitors in a three dimensional sound scape. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Past productions include Lord of the Flies, Pericles, The Crucible, Macbeths and The Importance of Being Earnest. See their website for this season’s performances: http://openairtheatre.com/ The Rolling Stones: 50 13 July to 27 August, Somerset House A free exhibition to celebrate the milestone of one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time, including reportage photography, live concert and studio session images, contact sheets, negative strips and outtakes from every stage in the their history. Matilda the Musical Until February 17 2013, Cambridge Theatre Rated “five stars” by Time Out, see Roald Dahl’s beloved classic brought to life on a West End stage. Rooftop Cinema To 30 August, Queen of Hoxton Watch a variety of films alfresco with the Rooftop Film Club, including Life is Beautiful, Pan’s Labyrinth, Amelie, Bridesmaids, the Terminator and Indiana Jones. Florianne Humphrey
Athletes to watch out for…
Jason Kenny Cycling Track 1 gold, 1 silver
Ben Ainslie Sailing 3 gold, 1 silver
Rebecca Adlington Swimming 2 gold
William Fox-Pitt Eventing 1 silver
Peter Reed Rowing 1 gold
Phillips Idowu Athletics 1 silver
What sports can I expect to see? Hockey Archery Judo Athletics Pentathlon Badminton Rowing Basketball Sailing Beach Volleyball Shooting Boxing Swimming Canoeing Table Tennis Cycling Taekwondo Diving Tennis Equestrian Volleyball Fencing Water Polo Football Weightlifting Gymnastics Wrestling Handball
Barnet’s Olympic celebrations Artsdepot is staging a free aerial theatre and dance spectacle, ‘Bells’, at 9pm on Wednesday 25th July in Victoria Park. The route through the borough: 1. Hendon Town Hall: 12.45pm 2. Middlesex University: 12.45-1.45pm 3. Church End Library: 2.10pm 4. Victoria Park: 2.15pm 5. Artsdepot: 2.25pm 6. Friary Park: 2.55pm Did you know? Five year old Logan McKerrow started a round the country relay of a paper Olympic torch. The torch has been bought and re sold multiple times, with the money raised given to the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity.
QUIZ! Can you name these Summer Olympic host cities? _th_ _ s P_ _ _s _e_l_n T_k_ _ H_ _ s _ _k _ _ _ nt _ _ a _ _ arc _ _ _ _ _ A_la _ _ _ _ra_ _ _ S_ d _ _ _ Did you know? Torchbearer Sarah Milner Simonds, Somerset, sold her torch for a whopping £153,000 on eBay!
Facts about the Olympics • The rings on the Olympic flag signify the five continents, with at least one colour appearing on the flag of every country. They are interconnected to symbolise friendship gained from the Games. • The Olympic Motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Swifter, Higher, Stronger”. • The last medals made entirely of gold were awarded in 1912. • The first opening ceremonies were held during the 1908 London Games. • The Opening ceremony procession of athletes is always led by the Greeks, as the founders of the Games, with the host country bringing up the rear. • An Olympiad is a period of four successive years, so The Olympic Games celebrate each Olympiad. • The first Olympic champion was Coroebus, a naked runner, who won the sole event at the Olympics, the stade, where the word “stadium” derives from.
So what do you think of the Olympics? Will it benefit London or is it just a nuisance? “Although I don’t really have any strong feelings about the Olympics, I think they’re probably good for tourism and Anish Kapoor’s sculpture is ~groovy~ so that makes it all okay” “I’m in favour of the Olympics, it’s good for tourism and also international relations. I’m also kind of excited that London’s hosting them.”
Olympic Comedy For fans of dry, The Office-style humour, watch BBC 2’s brilliant satirical mockumentary, Twenty Twelve, narrated by David Tennant and starring Hugh Bonneville as Head of Deliverance for the Olympic Games, as he and his team try and organise the biggest event of the year without messing everything up. Look out especially for the ridiculous head of PR company Perfect Curve, whose favourite sayings include: “we are where we are with this, and that’s never a good place to be.”
“Hate them! Got no tickets, messes up my travel options and I live on the jubilee line where loads of stadia are so I am stuck!” “I think the ticket distribution was terrible – they should have given tickets to every Londoner that applied, and then gone from there. It’s not fair that the Games are using taxpayer’s money and then we don’t get to see them!” “It’s a great way to help out small businesses but it disturbs locals too.” Do you agree?
Page Anjeli Caderamanpulle
Aspects from Menswear spring 2013 fashion week may surprisingly make an appearance in many girls wardrobes this summer. Strong masculine shapes with fresh bursts of colour could make staple pieces for the rest of the year, and help to cover up on a wet and windy British summers day. Here are some affordable examples from the great British high street! Paul & Joe
This soft blazer from ASOS Premium is a casual, feminine alternative to this Paul Smith suit. Available on sale at £27.50 at www.asos.com http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-Premium-SoftBlazer/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2082950&SearchQuery=asos%20prem ium&Rf900=1632&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Orangeaid
This years resort wear has also had a masculine edge to it. An airy knitted jumper is perfect to carry a day outfit into the night and is great for layering. This slouchy jumper by Chloe has influenced Cheap Monday’s own version. Available from www.asos.com at £50. http://www.asos.com/Cheap-Monday/Cheap-MondaySlouchyJumper/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2331037&SearchQuery= cheap%20monday&Rf700=1000&Rf900=1631&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=1&clr=White
Contrast sleeves can make a very simple outfit look interesting. This light jacket from Zara is very similar to a menswear piece from Kenzo. Available from Zara Woman at £49.99.
Summer Essentials While it looks like there's no summer in sight at the moment, there is always a chance that England’s unpredictable weather may have a few surprises in store. Just in case, here are some essential summer accessories:
AJ Morgan, £15.00
Zara, £6.00 (on sale)
Jeepers Peepers, £14.00
River Island, £10.00
ASOS , £18.00
Miss Selfridge, £10 (on sale)
Page High Fashion on the High Street Verity Rowan
Dressing well can cost a fortune but it doesn’t have to. High street stores are making fast fashion a quick route to the latest trends from the catwalk. Recently, sales figures produced by Primark show highs of a 16% growth, whilst other stores known for their quality, such as Marks and Spencer, are suffering from the lack of consumer confidence with sales decreasing by 6.8% on the year, with some consumers complaining that M&S have ‘lost their way’ uncertain as to who is now their ‘target audience’. However, the real question is; does the price tag make a difference? With most high street stores looking to the catwalk for inspiration for new season designs, it’s becoming increasingly easy to replicate a designer’s work, without the excessive price tag. To put this to the test, I have selected three pieces of clothing from established labels such as Russell and Bromley, Issa and Tibi, all items costing over £200, and found similar items from high street stores, such as Dorothy Perkins, New Look and Warehouse – these items were all under £25. Asking around, it was clear to see that given the choice, the majority of people would have chosen the high street version, some even preferring the design and other features of the high street duplicates as opposed to the designer labels. But what’s your opinion? Would you pay £400 for a dress merely because of the label, when Dorothy Perkins is offering a £22 version?
Green pleated jersey dress Issa £410
Green Sleeveless Dress Dorothy Perkins £22
Capsize Heels Russell and Bromley £255
Nude and Black Pointed Court Shoes New Look £17.99
Coral Maxi Skirt
Coral Maxi Skirt
Concert Review Florence and the Machine On reaching the entrance to Alexandra Palace we were already in hysterical fits of excitement. We had taken the bus from Wood Green and rode up the hill past clusters of teenagers and young adults alike. We were all heading in the same direction like some vast pilgrimage of
youth, eventually congregating on the stone steps to the main entrance. Luckily we bagged a place close to the front, but not so close to have been sucked into the sardine can of the (relatively gentle) mosh pit. The first supporting act, Theme Park, played upbeat dancey music which loosened up our limbs and helped to get the crowd moving. My favourite song was Milk, mainly because the synth player was doing some very ~groovy~ dancing and the combination of his Hawaiian shirt and his rendition of the running man were more than a bit funny. The
I was looking forward to them more because I already listen to their music, but I was not expecting to enjoy it was much as I did. The clash of the rolling drums and roaring bass boomed out of the speakers and because we were standing beneath one I could feel the deep rumbling penetrating my body and turning my internal organs to the anatomical equivalent of a Slush Puppy. When it was finally time for Florenceâ€™s set the enter hall was buzzing with anticipation. She whirled onto the stage in a huge, majestic black cape which billowed and rippled with her wild, swirling motions across the platforms. She sang all of her singles and all of her new album, Ceremonials, with a choir of backing singers, a harpist, two drummers, two guitar players and a pianist and throughout the whole of her set the audience were included in her performance through singing, dancing or just screaming her name. Strobe lights illuminated our faces and painted us red, orange, pink, purple to match the changing backdrop onstage. Her voice was just like it is recorded but better (if thatâ€™s possible) and each song was divine or magnificent in its own way. Ali MacFarlane
Good Reads reviews by Yeme Onoabhagbe and Laura-May Nardella
The Dream Catcher, by Stephen King This book is about aliens. But it isn’t just another book or film where aliens invade and nearly everyone gets killed. It is about four boys who are joined together at a young age by something and have come together again as four men unknowingly to face that something again. The four characters are explored in such detail that you almost feel like you know them by the end, and so the story just gets more and more personal and so more and more exciting.
You are always in the book and in the plot even when you aren’t reading it. I cried, I laughed, I gasped, I literally bit my nails, I pulled every nervous/scared face I have and even covered my eyes – it was a real experience, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a genuinely scary thriller.
Lullaby, by Chuck Palahniuk
Stephen King is one of those rare and remarkable writers and I was hugely excited to read another of his books, and when I finished I definitely did not feel disappointed. The book is very large but is only set during a week or two, but in this book a lot can happen in one day. It took me a while to read it and I remember putting the book down and silently wondering what would happen next and how on earth it could get any more chilling.
Many people will have seen the immensely popular film ‘Fight Club’ but few know that this successful Hollywood film is actually based on a novel by author Chuck Palahniuk. He has written many fantastic novels which I would recommend, including his satirical horror ‘Lullaby’ which is written in first person (as with the majority of his novels) and tells the story of a reporter who discovers that he can link a book of poems to all the cot deaths he has been set to investigate. Once he has unlocked the secret behind the culling poem, he has to deal with the repercussions of knowing a poem which, if read out loud, can kill the nearest person to you. Along with two others, Carl Streator sets out on a mission to find and destroy all surviving copies of the poem. It is a truly gripping novel and Chuck Palanhiuk’s works prove over and over to be brilliant reads. However the subject matter and dark manner in which Palahniuk write do not make for an enjoyable experience; these books will leave you in deep thought and will have you questioning the human psychosis more than ever before.
From the big screen… Warrior princess trumps damsel in distress: The new female heroine Not long ago I was reluctantly dragged by
‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, and I admit, I a friend to go and see
didn’t have high hopes as I’ve never been much of a fan of Kristen Stewart. Or perhaps I was unable to see her as someone other than the indecisive damsel in distress that she brings to life in the ‘Twilight Saga’. Either way, I no longer hold on to that perception of her and I have to say that the film was a pleasant surprise. Stewart plays a fierce Snow White in a dark twist on the classic fairy tale, and the most refreshing and interesting realisation that I left the screening with was that the new heroine in films aimed at youths was finally evolving. In fact the screenwriter of the film, Evan Daugherty has said that his ‘guiding principle’ in the creation of the story was “What if,
instead of saving Snow White, the Huntsman teaches Snow White to save herself?”
The more I thought about this I realised that Stewart’s portrayal of Snow White as a girl that can fight, look after herself and still be desirable at the same time, was actually just one of a few that have begun to emerge in the last year or two.
‘Lisbeth Salander’ in last year’s explosive ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’. Salander is a rare creature and a She is joined in kind by Rooney Mara’s
force to be reckoned with; she is an antisocial computer hacker, inked and pierced all over and she flies around on a motorcycle. She solves numerous age old murder cases, easily brings down several men in high positions of power and still unintentionally gains the affections of the male lead despite her shocking appearance and abrasive demeanour. 2010’s ‘Kick Ass’ was the comedy superhero film that brought Chloë Moretz’s ‘Hit Girl’ onto the screen, a knife throwing ninja-like girl, that despite her young age is the most dangerous superhero of all her older, male peers. In the same year was
Restrepo’ played ‘Columbiana’, a
by actress Zoë Saldaña in
beautiful revenge seeking assassin, who stops at nothing to exact her retribution on those that took everything from her. All the while her foolish enemies scoff; “She’s just a girl!”
But probably the most famous and well loved of the new wave of super-heroines is the ‘Hunger Games’ very own
played by Jennifer Lawrence. Katniss, just like Twilight’s ‘Bella Swan’, is caught between the love of two boys, but the similarities end there. She can scale a tree in seconds and hunts with unparalleled skill and finesse; her arrows virtually always hitting their mark. She continually has to fight for her life, and her human survival instinct is relentless as she evades starvation and unexpected attack. And naturally, she ticks the smart, brave and feisty boxes too.
For instance, the hilarious Amanda Bynes as ‘Viola Hastings’ in ‘She’s the Man’, witty Ellen Page as ‘Juno MacGuff’ in ‘Juno’, feisty Felicity Jones as ‘Kim Matthews’ in ‘Chalet Girl’, and undoubtedly my favourite, the fantastic Emma Stone as wisecracking ‘Olive Penderghast’
in ‘Easy A’. But now there has been a reboot of the young female lead, and she can open a jar with her pinky finger and still kick your butt without breaking a sweat. Perhaps it’s a feminist
of sorts, making a statement that girls can be as stealthy and combative as guys, and that women have all the tools and smarts to save themselves. And if so, then I’m in full support, because although each character faces situations that are
and extreme, the moral of the stories still ring true. You must be able to fight your corner, stand up for yourself and what you believe is right and above all, no matter how cheesy it sounds, realise that you have all the gumption, fight and strength in you to take on what life dishes out. -Olivia Nwabali
The warrior princess movement is still just in its infant stages, with sequels to both the ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘The Girl with
the Dragon Tattoo’
series to follow, and it seems the niche for female heroines in teen films prior, were girls that charmed you with their humour, wit and comedic timing.
An Interview with Rachel Ward Author of Numbers
Imagine if you could look at someone and see the numbers for the day they died. I can’t, and I am sure it will be difficult for you to imagine as well. But Jem has to deal with it everyday; she doesn’t get to merely imagine it. Having to face death full on all the time makes life difficult, until she meets Spider and things seem a little better. But then she goes on a trip to London and Jem foresees a chain of events that will ruin both their lives for ever. When I read the blurb of Numbers, I was completely hooked. It then took me a day to read the first book and I was engrossed the whole way through. Rachel Ward creates a unique character and reality that I don’t believe has ever been explored before like this and this tough task is done beautifully. Not only does she capture the emotions and feelings of Jem flawlessly but she also writes this exciting plot around the main characters Jem and Spider that keeps you guessing till the very end. Ward is in my opinion a talented and innovative writer and that is why I chose to interview her for the magazine and was hugely glad when she contacted back because I really wanted to find out where Jem came from and what inspired her:
How long have you known that you have wanted to be a writer? I've only been writing for about 10 years. I've had lots of sensible jobs all my life and in my midthirties I just suddenly thought that I would try writing a radio play, as I enjoyed listening to the plays on BBC Radio 4 in the afternoons. I wrote a really bad play, sent it off to the BBC, was rejected, but by then I was hooked on writing.
How did you come up with Jemâ€™s gift, in Numbers? The idea came to me one morning when I was walking my dog in the fields overlooking Bath, where I live. Jem wandered into my head, fully-formed, and, instantly, I knew all about her; how she looked, how she spoke, her background ... and her gift. I think I was influenced by Philip Pullman's book, 'Northern Lights' and the US TV series, 'Six Feet Under' and also my own mid-life preoccupation with death and mortality.
Whatâ€™s the best and worst thing about being an author? There are so many good things about being a writer that it's almost impossible to pick. Actually the best thing is writing itself - I especially enjoy writing the first draft of a book, when I'm the only person in the world to know about my characters and what's happening to them. It's like having a secret life. But I also enjoy promoting my books and I love hearing from readers who have connected with the books in some way. I've had some lovely and some very moving emails from fans. I always reply because I really appreciate that someone has taken the time to write to me.
What book do you wish you had written? I kind of wish I'd written 'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman. He's such a brilliant storyteller. I also wish I'd written 'The Summer Book' by Tove Jannsen, because it's about a girl and her grandma living on a little island in the Gulf of Finland and I would love to spend time somewhere like that. What have you always wanted to be asked during an interview? I usually get asked really difficult questions that make me think! So I'd like to be asked easy ones like 'What's your favourite food?' (Potatoes in all their lovely forms) or 'What music do you like?' (At the moment I'm listening to Rebecca Ferguson, Dionne Bromfield and Sinead o'Connor).
What are you working on now? I'm working on a new book which is due out next year. It's a very modern ghost story. It's very dark, but I'm really enjoying writing it.
The woes of being a teenager It has gotten to that time in the year where I start questioning my existence, as I do this time every year. However, this year there is a bit of a twist – university is on the horizon, personal statements need to be drafted, holidays need to be planned and becoming skinny seems like it is my ULTIMATE GOAL. It feels as if, even when I was a tween (ages 12-15) I had the same type of woes as if I set out to make myself stressed out- if I didn’t have to build a castle for history, I was falling in love with a guy twice my age and not understanding why Justin Timberlake simply did not love me back! What is this? Why do we overcomplicate our lives with things that don’t matter or are teenage girls meant to
be melodramatic and crazy? Well whatever the reasons for our manufactured problems, the one common denominator is that they are self inflicted- we have manufactured them because we believe these should be our problems at that specific time in our lives.
TV shows like ‘90210’ or films like ‘Mean Girls’ make you feel that you should have experienced your first high school crush or that you have to be the most popular girl in school otherwise you are simply gauche. This is simple stupidity – this is not actual reality. We base our “problems” on superficial pursuits. Why do it to yourself ? CHILL. SERIOUSLY. I can tell you first hand that at 17 I feel like I am 35 and that I need a job to pay my mortgage and various other old people stuff. If I am honest I want to be 5 again when my biggest problem was the time the ice cream van ended up on my street. By Marjolene D’Almeida
An interview with Miriam Halahmy Author of Hidden Hidden is about immigrants and the exploration of where home truly is. It interested me from the start because I had never previously read a book about immigrants before, even though it is such a significant topic nowadays. Alix, the main protagonist, is a normal 14 year old living in complete naivety about most of the world outside of her home on Hayling Island until she finds an immigrant lying almost dead on the beach with her friend Samir. I chose Miriam Halahmy to interview mainly because although the book is entertaining and riveting, it also has this underlying message that truly touches your heart. It really opened my eyes to something I hadn’t paid much attention to in the past, and I really hope it can open your eyes too. The theme of this book is different to other teen genres so I felt it would be interesting to interview her and find out her motives and beliefs: How long have you known that you want to be a writer? I have always written, since early childhood. Reading was the most important thing I did and so I wanted to write my own stories. I also wrote poems and I kept a diary from when I was about seven, inspired by Anne Frank’s diary and her determination to be a writer. In my teens I taught myself to play the guitar and wrote songs. However it wasn’t until I went to a creative writing class in my local library, after I had my children that I started to submit and publish my work. I still keep diaries, I think they are a good way to make sure you write something every day but I also keep separate notebooks for each novel I am working on – I carry a big bag around with me! I cannot imagine a time when I will not be writing.
What is a typical day as an author for you? There are many tasks for a published author and so you have to manage your time very carefully. I prefer to write from 8.00a.m. – 1.00pm. This is my best time for being creative and inspired, especially with a big pot of coffee on the go! Once I am lost in my writing I can look up and see that hours have gone by and I haven’t even noticed.
After lunch I put my work –in-progress aside and start on all the other tasks - answering emails with requests for visits, talks or to run workshops; writing blog posts or answering interview questions, like this one; promoting my work through social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter; updating my website; liaising with my publicist, editor or agent; organising book launches; running workshops or preparing workshops. It’s a busy life and sometimes you feel you are simply not going to fit everything in! But it does mean that in fact there is not a typical day in the life of an author – and you have to be very good at juggling and time-management. What have you always wanted to be asked during an interview? Why do you write about such controversial issues? Shall I answer? OK... I have no problem with any of the current popular genres for young adults – fantasy, horror, romance, vampires, etc. However, I write because I have something to say and I write the books I want to read. I have always been the most interested in books which deal with social and/or political issues such as those by Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Malorie Blackman and so I am bound to end up writing books which will take on challenging themes. However, I’m not interested in just pumping out my views. My books have strong convincing characters, humour and pace to keep my reader engaged and turning the page.
What influenced you to write about asylum seekers? I have met literally hundreds of asylum seekers through my work when I was a teacher in London and in the past few years as a writing coach with organisations like The Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture. My grandparents on both sides had to run away from Poland in the nineteenth century because of the persecution of the Jews and they were given asylum in the UK. So the stories of asylum seekers are very familiar to me. I have been very moved by their plight, trying to make a new life for themselves and so uncertain of their futures. People don’t realise how lonely and how homesick asylum seekers are. Most of them will never see their homelands or their families again and their stories so often go unheard. I was very keen to write something about how we treat the other in our society. I think that the UK is a very tolerant country but there are still problems for people who run here to seek a place of safety. I wanted to highlight and challenge some of these problems in my novel, HIDDEN. But I also wanted a very quiet setting as a contrast to the conflict in Iraq which was the backdrop. Setting the book on Hayling Island was the perfect landscape and I think it helped to raise the dramatic tensions in HIDDEN. Incidentally the young people on Hayling are absolutely delighted that I have written about their Island home. They are fiercely proud of living on an island of course and it is a very special place. When I met Miriam Halahmy, she gave me a new copy of Hidden, which we will be giving away to the lucky person who wins our magazine writing competition. You will have to write a poem or short story on the theme of ‘Home’.
Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
Horoscopes Star sign: Aries Star date: 21 March - 19 April Roses are red, your face will be red, your back will be red, basically everything will be red. I think a little UV coverage may be necessary this summer.
Star sign: Libra Star date: 23 September - 23 October It’s advisable that you do some studying this summer. Not that you’re falling behind but this weather isn’t going to allow much more...
Star sign: Scorpio Star sign: Taurus Star date: 20 April - 20 May An obsession with stationary is going to put you out of pocket this summer. Maybe it’s a sign, maybe it’s not. Who knows?
Star sign: Gemini Star date: 21 May - 21 June So it seems like Miss Social Butterfly could be squashed by a fly swatter this summer. Be careful where you land!
Star sign: Cancer Star date: 22 June - 22 July BEWARE OF WHITE JEANS. I foresee J2o’s flying here there and everywhere and you may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Star sign: Leo Star date: 23 July - 22 August It’s birthday season! Jump in to your birthday suit and let’s get this party started!
Star sign: Virgo Star date: 23 August - 22 September Oh Virgo, you may think your facebook statuses are hilarious but just refrain this time. Your witticism isn’t up to scratch at the moment.
Star date: 24 October - 21 November Up to your neck in debt? Today might be the day you strike it lucky and catch the television advert that claims they can help you. They really want to help too, they love you. Heck, if they could, they'd have your babies. Seriously. There's a lot of love between you and that random debt-help company
Star sign: Sagittarius Star date: 22 November - 21 December Don’t think that just because it’s the end of school, teachers are going to let you off lightly. Consider yourself WARNED.
Star sign: Capricorn Star date: 22 December - 19 January Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Star sign: Aquarius Star date: 20 January - 18 February If you’re on holiday, the jelly fish might be out to get you. They’re blind but boy do they know an Aquarius when they see one.
Star sign: Pisces Star date: 19 February - 20 March Stop worrying about exams, they are certainly not worrying about you. It’s wasted emotion!
Quotations “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walt Disney “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” ~Bob Marley “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ~Tyra Banks “And no one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves.” ~Marianne Williamson “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” ~ J.K. Rowling “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Mahatma Gandhi “Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.” ~C.S Lewis
“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” ~Ellen Glasgow
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~Albert Einstein “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” ~Victor Hugo “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” ~Buddha “Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” ~Lemony Snicket “If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.” ~Lemony Snicket “A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” ~Jack London “Always forgive your enemies- nothing annoys them so much.” ~Oscar Wilde
compiled by Laura-May Nardella
Dingbats The main principle behind this famous puzzle isâ€Śjust say what you see! e.g. Within Reason
St.Michael's magazine- summer edition