• books

    Reading List 2018 – July

    July was a bad month for my mood, so my read list mostly consists of the comfort of fantasy and spirituality, although I did manage to pound out a few Ruth Rendell’s too. Props for Robert Dinsdale’s “The Toymakers”, which is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Loved it. I Am Rebecca by Fleur Beale How to Start a Red Tent by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost Simisola by Ruth Rendell Road Rage by Ruth Rendell Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon by Lisa Goldstein Aromatherapy for Women by Maggie Tisserand Not her real name by Emily Perkins The Greek Myths by…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – June

    Still making my way through Ruth Rendell’s Wexford novels. It’s fascinating to watch as both Rendell and her main characters adapt to the changes of time: the first Wexford novel was published in 1964, and the one I just finished, “Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter“, came out in 1992. A lot happened in real time over those ~30 years, but Wexford only ages about a decade (maybe? she’s left it pretty vague) so it would’ve been a challenge to update her characters for more modern audiences without totally changing their personalities. It’s indicative of Rendell’s skill as a writer that she accomplished this so smoothly. Speaking of writers, I spent June…

  • self,  writing

    What and Why I Write

    For me, writing is a method of learning about myself and the universe at large. “Know Thyself” instructed the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, and Socrates declaimed, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In a modern life full of distractions, we can hit retirement age before realising we’ve not once paused to ask these most important of questions: who am I? why am I? how can I become what I desire? All things change as they age. This change is inevitable (and vital!) – so I believe it’s important to embrace it, and choose how to shape it for ourselves. One of the key methods of doing this, for…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – May

    I’ve decided to give up on the Romance genre. It’s just not for me. I like a drop of romance as a flavour to the rest of the story, but reading solely about people trying to come to terms with their feelings for each other just makes me tired. I spend too much time yelling, “JUST FUCKING TALK TO EACH OTHER LIKE ADULTS!” and it drops me out of the story. Also, frankly, I’m not often wowed by capital-R Romance writers’ actual writing style, and life is too short for bad books. This month, my new thing was nonfic interior design & decor books. I felt dangerously inspired. In other…

  • health,  writing

    Journalling for Mental Wellbeing

    Originally posted at The Catastrophe Club. If you’ve ever talked to a health professional about your anxiety, they probably mentioned journalling. That’s because there have been a number of studies that demonstrate how useful regular journalling is for managing stress, anxiety, and depression – and it’s something that anyone can do, which doesn’t cost a lot of money or take up a lot of time. How you journal depends entirely on your needs and preferences! Want to focus on the positive? Try gratitude journalling – every day before you go to bed, write down three things that have happened that day for which you are thankful. Sometimes, this can be…

  • health,  self

    Transactional analysis, the P-A-C model, and my Self

    Innocence. Vulnerability. Freedom. Curiosity. Fun. These are the childlike qualities that I want to revive in my life. My inner child wants to be seen, heard, cherished. My inner child needs support, acceptance, love. My inner child needs my inner parent, and my adult self hasn’t been valuing either of those parts enough. So here is what I’m going to do to cherish my child-self: Be open and honest, and share from my core Embrace my need for beauty in my surroundings, and indulge that need Try new things, take risks, look for adventure Find things that make me laugh Create things that make others laugh Listen to and encourage…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – April

    I struggled a lot with low mood this month, and so I went looking for comfort reads (Diana Wynne Jones – one of my fave childhood authors – and Agatha Christie), and dug into some depression-focused non-fic. Also had a chance to pick up another of the new Mahy reprints, which made me very pleased! I also want to take a minute to talk about Grace Bridges’ teen novel Rotovegas, the first in her “Earthcore” series. A young female protagonist discovers the geothermal waters of Rotorua imbue her with supernatural powers, so she seeks out and teams up with other enhanced people to battle against a land developer who wants…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – March

    March was a pretty productive month, in terms of finishing my TBR list. I wrapped up the last of the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series by Sue Grafton, finally had a chance to get to the latest Reacher novel, and picked up a couple of books I’ve been waiting a long time for: Catherynne Valente’s first Fairyland novel, which I’ve been wanting to read since Palimpsest came out in 2009, as well as Tammy Pierce’s latest Tortall book. I also read the debut novel from Krysten Ritter (a.k.a. Jessica Jones!), and enjoyed it. Certainly, for a debut, it’s very polished. My only real criticism would be that the plot points are…

  • day to day

    Life, And Other Four Letter Words

    Depression. Anxiety. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. And then, because my spouse believes sharing is caring, a cold. Ugh. It has been nearly 10 days since I first felt the nasal drip start, and I am SO over it. All this coughing makes my headaches worse, which is fun. In spite of all that, I feel like I’ve been pretty productive over the past couple of weeks. At the start of this month, I really wanted to withdraw, retreat from the world and be a hermit, have some ‘me time’ – all that jazz. Instead, the Universe decided I actually needed to be kept busy! So I’ve had doctors appointments, and therapy…