It’s been a crazy few months. There have been many difficulties. My Grandpa was put into a nursing home for health-related reasons. My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in March. Those two events were enough to send me reeling. Other people I knew were going through some challenging times. Overall, it brought on anxiety attacks again. However, these times brought about some changes on my part.
I decided after the first few attacks I wasn’t going to endure it. I had my medication, but it was not enough. I needed to learn how to COPE. I needed to change my anxiety. I listen to many podcasts. The advertisement for the online therapy service Better Help kept coming up. I decided to enroll. The prices were reasonable, and the reviews were good. I was a bit wary, but it was worth the shot. I must say I don’t regret it. My therapist is amazing. Not only does she listen, but she also gives me tools to use. She doesn’t’ let me slack in doing exercises and work during the week. I can also have therapy in the comfort of my own home. Seriously, it is a good alternative to going to an office for therapy. I’m not all the way to optimal wellness, but I’m better. I added this to a serious dedication to meditation. I need my mind to be still. It’s overactive, and it tends to ruminate over things. Stillness and peace is a gift. I try to meditate daily with various themes. I usually pick one which suits the mood or situation. I notice a difference when I don’t meditate, too. My brain goes a little haywire.
One thing has become clear over the past few months, the strength of people is impressive and inspiring. My Mom has shown incredible strength during her treatment. I hear stories of other people enduring and rising above their circumstances. They bend with the circumstances and don’t break. They have their moments of sadness, pain, and vulnerability but they don’t give up. They take nothing for granted. In my moments of severe anxiety, my self-doubt says I cannot cope with anything happening to me or people close to me. I think of the strength others display and it inspires me. I don’t compare situations, I just see the beauty and hope of the people in them.
The fundraiser for my mom is about to end in two weeks. Thanks to all who have donated and shared. Please pass it along if you can.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Kushiel’s Dart mythology is Eisheth and women’s ability to give birth. If a woman wants to give birth in Terre D’Ange, she has to light a candle to Eisheth. If she doesn’t light a candle to Eisheth, she can’t have children. This also means that women don’t have a menstrual cycle until they perform the ceremony. Imagine having that much control over your reproductive cycle.
Eisheth’s blessing is controlled by the angel herself. Eisheth once roamed the earthly plane of Terre D’Ange, populating the coastline and starting a dynasty. Eisheth, along with the other follow angels, followed Elua through the gates of the Terre D’Ange beyond (heaven). However, the ability of women to control childbirth remained. It extended past the borders of the province she founded. All the women in the kingdom couldn’t have children unless they beseeched Eisheth. It’s magical/mystical birth control at its finest.
I find this topic fascinating because birth control usually has little mention or place in fantasy novels. You have several options that take place in fantasy books. The first is that women in fantasy novels have a normal cycle and usually end up having children. The second option is getting a magical being (usually a witch) to brew a potion or give you some herbs. Another option is that you are magical species that can’t procreate with others. There are many nuances, but birth control is likely not deemed necessary in the fantasy genre.
Urban fantasy addresses this issue more frequently. It makes sense since the heroine is living in the modern world. Mercy Thompson is on birth control. Her coyote shifter status doesn’t protect her. However, she is with someone she can have children with. In many cases, the human (ish) heroine is usually involved with a vampire or other creature that takes care of the birth control issue.
Women in fantasy novels aren’t usually given options like Eisheth gives D’Angeline. I would be so interested in learning Carey’s reasoning and thoughts on this topic. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post.
The past few weeks have been busy. That fact, along with a creative dry spell, has caused the lack of posting. I hope to tap back into blogging and creativity in general. I’ve beat myself up a little bit because of this absence. I realized it’s time to stop doing that and just seize onto ideas as they happen. I have some book news to report.
I just finished reading Wolf of the Northern Star. It was a good sequel to the first Wolfkin saga. Himes promises more books, which I’m looking forward to reading. I’m currently reading The Sorcerer’s Concubine by Jaclyn Dolamore. It’s really interesting. Velsa is a doll housing a soul. The purpose of the dolls is to be submissive and earn redemption for their past lives. It’s a trilogy so I hope it continues to be interesting.
DragonCon is in a few days. I’m cosplaying Vin from Mistborn this year. I love Vin’s character. Another good thing, her costume is up for interpretation in some ways. The Mistborn cloak was an adventure to make. My alchemy belt will just be plain fun to wear around the convention. I couldn’t find any daggers that would work and be conventional friendly, so those have to be skipped.
I look forward to trying to make some book panels this year. I enjoyed the Patricia Briggs one last year. They are a breath of fresh air away from the crowds of the Con. I might try for an autograph from Chloe Neill. However, if it’s paid, I don’t have that money. I will pay for a book but I can’t afford autographs.
Anyway, that’s all the book bits I have for now. Thanks for reading!
Being a little boring. Not having it all together. Not having the perfect plan.
I’ve finished readingThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. Not only did it cure my book funk, but it made me think about many things. I’m not too much into self-help books. Most of them contradict each other or just go against my personal values. However, this one gets to the root of a problem I have (please excuse my French): I give a fuck about too many things. My anxiety brain almost makes it default. Quite frankly, having that mindset causes misery. The book really wants you to sit down and think about what you truly give a fuck about.
I made a list in my journal about what I truly care about in life. It was hard since my anxiety brain wanted to chime in all the time. I did manage it and I felt better afterward. It put some things in perspective. Some things are not worth giving a fuck about. Another hard hitter in this book is the concept of responsibility. Not everything is your fault, but most things are your responsibility to deal with afterward. How you get through painful hardships define you as a person. I’ve dealt with many things badly. Some things I’ve dealt with in a mature and smart way. The results are important but the process defines you.
There were other things about the book that hit me with a punch. I’m really glad it did. I needed a good kick towards getting out of my slump. When I stated I’m okay with being a little boring, I meant it. I admit I was bothered that other folks seem to be into more exciting things or having epic adventures. I’m at home watching period dramas and puttering in my garden. However, that is just me. I do want to some more adventures, (Iceland and Scotland), but I can’t force them to happen. I just need to try to make them happen. I don’t need to feel inadequate that I’m not always doing something super exciting. Basically, I don’t give a fuck if you think I’m not exciting enough anymore.
This book is not going to fix me. Books are wondrous and bring magic to our lives. However, they are not going to create miracles in your life. Manson’s tome has given much more to think on in the future. I still haven’t absorbed everything. I won’t succeed at everything he mentions. However, I will try my darnedest to only give a fuck about things that truly matter in my life.
Say what? I’m not talking about a book that smells bad. It’s more of my state of mind regarding books. I haven’t read anything lately that has satisfied me. I can’t seem to get into any novel recently. I know I made this awesome reading list, but my library doesn’t carry some of the books and others are just too pricey. I can say I’ve never been in this state before. Books are normally the one area I don’t have issues with.
I think it might be related to an overall slump I’ve had going on. I’ve definitely been in a state of ennui lately. I thought my brief vacation would help. Nope. The book funk continued during my period of relaxation. I have two book review requests that hopefully will help alleviate the book funk. I love reviewing books so maybe this is a step in the right direction. Perhaps I should read a book in a different spot.
I sincerely hope I’m getting over this book funk soon. I’m reading an interesting urban fantasy novel called The Finder. I haven’t tossed it away because of the book funk yet. It’s hard for me to feel any creative flow. I think that goes for my own creativity and that of others. My interest in some things is slowly coming back. I realize I can’t let myself wallow in the slump. Even if it means pushing myself to get out of it, I will do it.
Has anyone else ever experienced book funk? How did you get out of it?
It was a rough morning. I didn’t sleep well last night and this morning had my heart racing. Missy stepped in a yellow’s jackets nest during her potty round. She got stung a few times. I rushed her to vet office. Luckily, she doesn’t seem to have any adverse reactions. They gave her a large dose of Benadryl and told me to monitor her. She is limping because her foot got stung. I think perhaps it was worse on me than her. My job was all right with me taking the day off to watch her. My face is currently broken out with a mysterious rash, too. It’s days like these you have to take time the to remember the things that make you smile.
The thought of always having an adventure, no matter how small or big.
2. The beauty of nature makes me smile all the time. From flowers in the field to watching the fireflies at night in the trees…beauty is a joy.
3. The love and support from my friends and family.
4. Losing myself in a good book bring a comforting smile to my face.
5. Creating something beautiful that brings joy to myself and others.
6. The feeling of when a poem or song just fits in a perfect moment.
7. The happiness at seeing a tiny seed turn into a flower.
8. Moments of peace when the thoughts in my head are kind, and the anxiety is quiet.
9. Simply having time with someone or something I love.
10. Taking pictures of Missy’s weird and cute faces.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember what makes you smile, but it’s well worth it when you do. And as an update, the furbaby is doing well right now.
Ah, even though summer is a few weeks away, I already have a list in my mind. I want to read more non-fiction this summer, believe it or not. My job is research heavy so it has me interested in different topics. Of course, there is a good amount of fiction I want to read as well. I’m heading to the beach in July so I need some good beach reading. Or at least something to make my brain relax. So here, are my top books or series I want to read this summer.
Summer Reading Wish List
The Radium Girlsby Kate Moore: This nonfiction book is about girls who worked in factories painting watch dials. They used radium, which was thought to be a wonder chemical in the early 20th century. However, the radium made the girls glow but also made them extremely ill. This book tops my nonfiction list.
Throne of Glassseries by Sarah J. Maas: This series is a list repeater. I keep meaning to read it, but I either get distracted or don’t have the funds. I really need to read it since it’s a fantasy novel right up my alley. Who can resist when the novel features an assassin named Celaena Sardothien?
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda R. McRobbie: As a fan of Eleanor Herman’s Sex with the Queen, this nonfiction book piques my interest. It features various princesses from history and their outrageous stories. I have a historical fascination with royalty so I hope I get to this book during the summer.Captive Princeseries by C.S. Pacat: Once again, this is another series that has floated around on my radar. I’ve been wanting to read the story of the warrior hero Damen for a while now. It’s a fantasy novel with a romantic twist. So many books, so little time.