Saturday, 23 January 2016

Bossy Boots Bookclub February, March and April

   Bossy Boots Bookclub is now starting! I am really excited about this, so here we go, my picks for February, March and April. 




   February: The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin. Full confession I have already started this and enjoyed what I have read so far. To be discussed on the last Friday (the 26th).




   March: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. I know almost nothing about this book, but I was intrigued by the cover and the description. Plus this will be a new writer to me. To be posted on the last Friday of March, the 25th.   




   April: Redefining Realness by Janet Mock. I have wanted to read this every since I found out about it. So I am picking this for April. To be posted on the last Friday, the 29th of April. 

Friday, 15 January 2016

A Serious Subject

   I don't know whether I should even write this. This is a post about depression and suicide, about my own struggle with depression and my own suicide attempts specifically. I struggle with how to even talk about this. This is not a post about how to defeat it, or how to prevent it. This is one woman's account. I want to be able to talk about this freely and without judgement. This is not about trying to get attention either, or an intervention, this about what I want to write about. This is about my experience. So here we go, with no jokes or trying to make light of this, this is my story of my own fight. 

   I have attempted to commit suicide twice, thought about it way too many times to count. I have fought depression my whole life. I don't say it lightly, it is a fight. A fight every day to think that this day is not going to be weighed down by misery. That I am not going to break down and cry today. I am going to get up this day and live. 

   I have not always been strong enough to not lie down and give in. I think it is a matter of survival, some days are not good, or even mediocre but I still won that day because I am still living.  

   There is no happy ending to this, or even a witty one liner. Too many people think that suicide is a cry for help or depression is not real. I think also art can go the other way and make it something held up, or a sympathetic gambit. It isn't. This is about people who didn't want to live. I don't take that lightly, wanting to live. It is something that is illusive to some of us. 

   Tread lightly for those of us in the fight. We may not have the sweat, medals or glory, but by God we fought for the life that we have. Sometimes it may not look like it. I may smile, laugh or joke but that does not mean I didn't have to think about getting up that day. I hope that we all fight for it. Small those victories may be, it is better to be alive. The only thing I have left to say about this is live for yourself, there is no better person to live for. 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A Short Post About Epistolary Novels

   I have been in two minds about Epistolary Novels. I think this is because I had such a bad reaction to Pamela by Samuel Richardson (I wish a whole sauce pan of boils on that book).

   

   I have, however, been obsessed by The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. This is a book told through letters and I fell in love with it this week. Those who love audio books I have been listening to it narrated by Charlie Norfolk and it made me love it all the more. This book is about loving books as well and made me want to learn about Charles Lamb. It's a great book and I can't recommend it enough.

   I would also suggest for two books that I liked using the Epistolary method in the modern era. I really liked More than Love Letters by Rosy Thornton (this might be hard to some by but I thought it was really well done). I also liked Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

   I am going to recommend the 130 Shakespeare Sonnet read by Alan Rickman. His voice is amazing. You can find here: 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Ten More Things, Letting Go, and Looking Forward to

   So I thought I would start of the year with more lists, hurrah!

   Ten more things that made me happy in 2015, in no particular order..

   2015 was the year that I discovered and fell in love with the artist M.I.A. in particular the songs Boyz and Tell Me Why which you can find here:



   This was something that happened in 2014, but I wanted to plug this again as I fell in love with this web series, The Autobiography of Jane Eyre. I think I actually like this series more than the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. It has now finished but the whole of it is still available. I am going to to link to the first video and then you can find out about it if so wished. 

    
   This was also the year that I found out about Penny Reid's books being in audio form. I loved the Knitting in the City series. I wanted to shout out to Beauty and the Mustache for making me fall in love with poetry in books again, and is narrated really well by Joy Nash. I also love that cover.  



   Talking of poetry I wanted to link to this amazing poem by Sarah Kay, it just blew me away when I first heard it:


   This poem also blew me away. I immediately wanted to imitate it, but I can't make lightening strike twice. It is by Jeanann Veriee:


   This was also the year that I tried to get my feet under me in terms of poetry. I wanted to share my favourite that I wrote this year:

   To Guys who Write Songs About Women who Won't Fuck Them.

To start women are not objects to own. 
To capture, or a unicorn to fuck. 
You are so deluded. Can you loan 
Woman to fulfill this deranged luck? 
This spin on the wheel to gain the prize? 
No it is your own downfall, the juice that 
Smells off. You already know you're no prize. 
Lady fortune has a different flat 
Plan for your unmagical reward. The false 
Modesty, imagined good behavior 
Is rewarded by...nothing. The pulse 
Of congratulation silent, in fact pure. 
Woman knew all along, she was no gift. 
She owned herself. Her peace and thought. The lift.

   This video made me very happy:


   This Tumblr: http://toblackgirls.tumblr.com/

    The podcast The Worst Bestsellers. I think the Modelland and Twilight are my favourite episodes. Mostly it just makes me giggle. You can find it here: http://www.frowl.org/worstbestsellers/

   This Tumblr, if you are not following Britt Julious start doing it now. You can find it here: http://britticisms.tumblr.com/

   Bossy Boots Bookclub despite my terrible attendance I have loved doing and I will continue to do this. It made me find books that I wouldn't normally have found and I am a better reader for it.  

   Ten Things that I am Confessing/Letting Go Of.

   So I am going to confess that I have never read Dickens. I read enough dead white straight men for my education. I am still angry at Thomas Hardy, D H Lawrence (The Rainbow was pure torture) and Samuel Richardson. Are these important writers? I guess so. Are they important to me? Nope. So I kind of don't care about it anymore, and I am letting it go.  

   I equally don't care about the Oscar movie thing. Sure they are a worth while document looking back, and there are great people who write about them with a lot of passion. It is worth looking at the documentaries and the best song stuff. Begin Again was a good movie (it was problematic to me, but I really liked the main performances) and only nominated for Best Song. I don't feel like I have to watch any of them, but I don't really want to engage in any of the debates either. So I don't care who wins, it's not like I am going to see it anyway. I am letting it go. 

   A lot of TV has passed me by too. I also don't care, I want to find stuff that I respond to. I have let this go. 

    Equally I have let go of trying to read about more problematic and white feminism. Caitlin Moran really soured me on how, in particular British feminism is viewed (I should be more honest it's English feminism). I am not trying for a personal attack, this is more of a popular writer who I feel is symptomatic when it comes to having blinkers on when it comes to intersectionality. Is it hard? Yes. All people make mistakes, but not caring when you do, then it becomes a problem. I also feel it is not enough to own up to white privilege. Do I have it, yes I do. I try to seek out books, movies and podcasts that are not about white people. I also try not to be dick about it. That's all I ask, and when someone flagrantly ignores it, I am done.

   Trying to see everything on Netlfix is also something that I am letting go of. Is there some great stuff on there? Yes. Is a lot of it not worth it? Yes. I am going to try and be a bit more selective about what I watch. 

   I also had a failed experiment not too long ago about reading stuff that I thought was important. This especially applies to books as classics. I am not going to read The Women's Room by Marilyn French nor am I going to read Edna O'Brien, or Iris Murdoch. It's taken me a while to wake up to being suspicious of how classics are made. Who says that they are? I am interested in these writers, but I don't want to swamp myself with reading something that feels like homework. I just can't. So I am letting it go. 

   I am also going to confess that I don't like Sherlock, the new series or him as a character at all. Send your letter to me...

   I didn't like Guardian's of the Galaxy either. Don't throw anything at me :)

   I have mentioned this before when it came to my kindle but my audio book buying has been a little over the top. I want to be a bit more vigilant about trying something. Narrating a book is I think a really hard thing to do, and more often than not I can get disappointed. So I am going to try and be a bit more selective this year.
  
   And finally I am letting go of trying to perfect when I do something creative. It is the doing that is important. Something I feel a little like a failure at, but I am slowly getting past it.

   Ten Things I am looking forward to...



    So there are a lot of romances that I have on the dock. The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin  and A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev both of which are audio books that I have out of my library. I am looking forward to diving into them. The Jeannie Lin Cover is amazing by the way. 

   Writing more. I am writing this heist book. This is more difficult that the last one, but at 16,664 words so far I am not going to give up. I am also going to be using Twitter and Facebook. I have found if I write my favourite sentence that day it really helps me. So I am going to dedicate January to getting to grips with this book. NaNo I felt I kind of failed at, I got about 7,000 words out of it, and I am going to admit at least half of it was garbage. This though is the trudging part, getting words on the screen. I am determined to get to about 40,000 at the end of the month. Wish me luck!  


   I am also going to get more creative in general. I have a pattern that is really easy for pj trousers and I have an ideal fabric of sheep over a green background. I have a lot of patterns that I want to try out. I am a try and see person, so I am going to try it and see :)

   Be vigilant about this blog. I am going include writing on here as part of writing more. It is important to me. I do also have a Tumblr and Twitter account. The Tumblr is something I find useful when it comes to writing. Images help me. Twitter is also helpful. I don't want to become overwhelmed, but I want to be vigilant.   



   To be on time and observant about Bossy Boots Bookclub. I love that picture so much, you guys. It is important to me and it is my baby. I love doing it and I am determined that it will keep going strong. 
   
   Bake more. 

   Finish reading On Writing by Steven King. It's been really informative. 

   Find books in genre's I don't usually read. Fantasy is something I really liked as a kid and I want to find more of it, as well as crime. Read more lgbt centered books. Oh and read more poetry. 

   I want to include a post every week of what I am reading/watching this week. I think it'll be fun. 

   Use my library in my town. It has a great selection not just of books, but music and movies. I want to seek out writers that I don't know but I really want to be selective about what I find. I can always request stuff if they don't have it. I have always loved libraries and I think it'll be fun to see what I can find.  

   Anyway promise I'll stop with the lists. And Happy New Year! I want that picture of ass kicking on my wall :)