weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Something I’m Proud Of Doing

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks something I’m proud of doing and honestly I’ve got so much recently. 

For a little background, I have agoraphobia, GAD and various other anxiety issues. I leave the house as little as possible, and over the last 3 years, it’s been much worse. I have been in and out of therapy for 30 years, my most recent was last year and it was incredibly helpful. I’m also medicated for my depression and anxiety, although not my ADHD. Please don’t offer any medical advice. 

Just after Christmas, Li and I caught the train to Exeter. I have not been on a train in maybe 6 or 7 years. I got very panicky as the train was late and more people arrived at the station, I was terrified to start but the train was relatively empty and I started to relax.

Our first stop was into a Waterstones. Because of the sale, when I stepped in I got a bit panicky due to the sheer number of people at the entrance, but once we passed the sales tables and up to the first floor… OMG WOW. I was in book heaven y’all. We grabbed a drink and a cake from the cafe then set about exploring the shop. As you may recall, between this Waterstones (and the second one we found at the end of the day), around £200 on books and it was amazing!

The main reason we were in Exeter though was to have a meal at Yo!Sushi. We both love sushi and neither of us had been for far too long – although my Tesco now has a Yo! counter. I had pre-booked us a table and bought a gift card in the sales, so we had a budget of £100. The menu had changed slightly so a couple of my favourites weren’t available, which was a bit sadly and while I mostly stuck to things I knew I liked, I actually tried a few new things… and only didn’t eat one of them because it was a weird texture. 

We wandered around for a bit, had a quick look in Bird & Blend, CEX, and Game… then discovered the second Waterstones before catching the train home.

A couple of weeks later, we went back to Exeter to go to the museum – there was an exhibition on the history of medicine that we both wanted to see and was finishing in January. So back onto the train, into Exeter and this is where I’m super proud of myself. See, one of my Big Goals when starting therapy was that I wanted to go to a museum, because I love them but too many people, closed spaces, etc. We managed to walk around most of the museum, even though there was a school party of very wee ones in there as well. We had to skip one room because of them, and at one point I had to run away out of another because I was feeling closed in but other than that… I had a very happy nerd. And they had a mummy which was so cool!

We still had some money left on the Yo! voucher, so we had some more sushi for lunch. We went into Build-A-Bear because Li wanted her Yoshi to have more stuffing in it. We ended up back in Waterstones (don’t look at me like that!) where I bought… more books. Another £100 or so worth. Because books. Our last stop was Bird & Blend where we spoke to the mixologists, and talked about what I did like, they recommended a few things to try, and I bought a few sample packs. By this point, I was hurting, so we limped back to the train station in time to miss our train – sat in Costa with a hot chocolate and a cake before the train home

So yeah, super proud of myself for that and hoping to try and continue the momentum into 2023!

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My 2023 Goals and What Are You Reading Wednesday

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks my goals for 2023

Reading-wise, my goals are
Read 50 books
Complete A-Z reading challenge
Clear one pile of the physical TBR
Try to only read 3-6 books at a time
Finish Bill Bryson bibliography

Non-reading goals include
Blog 3x a week
Pass my current university module
Play all the Super Mario games in order
Watch more TV
Fall back in love with fandom
Do the shit I love and have fun doing it

Next up we have WWW Wednesday which asks
What are you currently reading?
Olivie Blake – The Atlas Six
Frederick Joseph – The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
Jenny Kane – Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange
Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

What did you recently finish reading?
CS Lewis – The Magician’s Nephew
QI Elves – Funny You Should Ask
Alison Weir – Richard III & The Princes In The Tower

What do you think you’ll read next?
Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
Marian Keyes – Rachel’s Holiday
CS Lewis – The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Madeline Miller – Song Of Achilles

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

WWW Wednesday – 28 December 2022

It’s the last WWW Wednesday of the year!

What are you currently reading? I am very proud to say that I am down to only actively reading FOUR books!
Frederick Joseph – The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
CS Lewis – The Magician’s Nephew
QI Elves – Funny You Should Ask
Alison Weir – Richard III & The Princes In The Tower

What did you recently finish reading?
Jaimie Admans – The Post Box at the North Pole
Sarah Addison Allen – The Lost Lake
Domino Finn – Dead Man
Joyce & River Higginbotham – Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions
Lauren Juliff – How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker

What do you think you’ll read next? I’m currently working on finishing things and I think next up is likely to be:
Christie Barlow – Love Heart Lane
Sarah J Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury
Holly Martin – Spring at Blueberry Bay
Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

What makes me pick up a book?

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks about What makes you pick up and buy a book?

There are so many reasons!

  • The cover is pretty – colours design or image
  • The title catches my eye, intrigues me or is in the style of the chick-lit books I like i.e. ‘The Little Wedding Island’
  • It’s by an author I love and automatically read
  • It’s the next in a series I’m reading
  • It’s set in/about a period of history that I love
  • I’ve seen it recommended – goodreads, book blog, booktok, amazon email and so on
  • It’s free on bookbub/kindofbook
  • It’s been on my TBR for 17 billion years
  • My ADHD brain has decided I don’t know enough about a random topic like, i don’t know, paleolithic geology (no, really. that did legit happen…)

In case y’all hadn’t noticed, I’m a very eclectic reader, I’ll read pretty much any genre, any type of book. And I’m a mood reader. I will pick up whatever catches my attention, when it catches my attention, regardless of the 25 books I’ve already got on the go.

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Plotlines I love

Yes, it’s Monday and I’m just answering last week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge about A plotline I love to watch/read and why.

This… oh this is putting a big smile on my face because I definitely have a favourite plotline. One that’s found throughout oh so many many many chick-lits and Hallmark shows and I can never ever resist it. Hell, I’ve got a Stargate AU fanfic I’m writing with this damn plotline.

Our lead character, usually a woman, is tired of the ratrace in the big city and her thankless corporate job – which she may or may not have just lost or exuberantly quit. She’s also probably just been dumped. what is this, a fucking country song. And so, she packs her bags and moves to a small town in the country, where she might have grown up but also where she might know absolutely nobody but quickly becomes an integral part of that community of quirky and unique characters. Bonus points if she’s inherited a farm/bookstore/bakery/island, and has to work with the very attractive but very grumpy local handyperson.

It’s very millennial. I literally don’t know anyone of my generation who doesn’t want to do exactly this. It’s why Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and Stardew Valley are so popular!

I love it because it’s formulaic in a good way. I know what’s going to happen, I don’t know how we’re going to get there, but I know it’s going to be heartwarming and fluffy, have a happy ending and probably make me cry.

Essentially, for those fic people out there, it’s a coffee shop AU. AND I CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THEM!

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Plotlines I refuse to read/watch

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks about A plotline you refuse to watch/read and why. And honestly, my first response was that I think I’m going to struggle to answer this. I read such a variety of books in different genres that there isn’t really anything I’ll refuse to read.

Li and I were talking about this last night, and she was saying she won’t read anything that treats an unhealthy relationship as being desirable or as a good thing. I think for me there are a couple of things, but they’re not really plotlines per se.

I’m not a huge fan of The Hero’s Journey, when in an epic/high fantasy setting. There are exceptions – but not in fantasy – but I don’t like farm boy is set upon by a random wizard and tasked on a long journey with a group of travelers in order to save the world.

As a disabled and chronically ill person, I hate inspiration porn. I wish there was more representation, but not in a way that either ‘fixes’ the character, or holds them up as being inspirational just for being alive.

I don’t like purple prose. I have no patience for a narrative that spends pages and pages describing a moor, or a single blade of grass. We’re looking at you here, Tolkien or Hardy.

And I fucking hate bad porn. Especially bad kink. Even more so, when it’s bad kink that doesn’t realize it’s bad kink and makes a vanilla reader think that is how the lifestyle works.

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Fanfiction, A Day in the Past, Bookmarks & What I’m Reading

Today we catch up on the Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge because I’ve missed a couple of weeks and honestly, there’s a couple of topics there I’m looking forward to rambling about!

Thoughts On Fanfiction which can basically be summed up as I FUCKING LOVE FANFICTION!

So, essentially, I’ve been writing fanfiction since before I knew what it was. As a child, I used to make up (and act out) my own stories about the Famous Five and The Hardy Boys, into my teens The X-Files and Star Trek. Then in my late teens in the late 90s, I came online and discovered fanfiction for Savage Garden, the Vampire Chronicles (yup, got my C&D from Anne Rice, thank you) and Star Wars.

I’ve been involved in online fandom, various different fandoms, ever since. I’ve been in online fandom, reading and writing fanfiction, going to cons, for my entire adult life – and I cannot see that changing anytime soon. Most of my friends I met through fanfiction. I’m writing less fanfiction than I was, mostly because of studying, but I’ve been active in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis since 2013 and still love playing with those characters.

I’ve mentioned before that I met my fiance through her fanfiction. I started commenting on her fics on A03, then we started chatting on Tumblr, firstly about fanfiction, about kink in fanfiction, then kink in real life, there was some awkward flirting going on. But we’ve been together now since January 2021, got engaged in January this year and are working on moving in together and getting Not Married.
All because of a series of Stargate SG-1 fanfic!

I write slash, gen and het and if you’re interested in reading any of my stuff, my AO3 account is BADFAlcon

Where would you spend one day in the past? Explain Argh! Ask a history nerd like the hardest question possible why don’t you?!
OK, so I’d love to like see a dinosaur, visit ancient Greece or Rome or Egypt, see Stonehenge being built, visit the Library at Alexandria, meet Elizabeth I (or numerous other members of the royalty), spend time in Renaissance Italy, listen to discussions during The Enlightenment, see Shakespeare being performed at The Globe… the options are literally endless. There is SO much I would love to experience.

But the one thing I would really love to be able to do would be to travel back to the mid-late 80s, and spend a day with my parents. My dad died in 1993, my mum in 2015 – I knew my mum as an adult, but I was 11 when my dad died and he’d been sick for many years so being able to have a proper conversation with him would be just incredible.

Bookmark, scrap paper or dog-ear? Dog-ear? dog-ear?! Do I look like some kind of fucking heathen to you?!
I have a huge pile of bookmarks… somewhere. And I keep buying new ones. Sometimes I can find them when I need them, and god knows I’ve probably accidentally donated dozens to my local library LOL. So bookmark when I can find them, when I can’t it’ll be anything that’s to hand – receipts, post-it notes, scraps of paper, empty chocolate wrappers. But NEVER dog-ear the pages!

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Marian Keyes – Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, David Attenborough – Adventures Of A Young Naturalist & Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
What did you recently finish reading? Mira Grant – Symbiont
What do you think you’ll read next? Natalie J Case – Thanátou

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

Weird Food and What I’m Reading Wednesday

It is now Thursday that I’m getting round to posting this – but I did at least start writing it yesterday (Wednesday). The evening got a little busy, I got hyperfocused on completely my ‘Adult’ Autism Assessment referral form (the irony of hyper-focusing on something relating to being ND is not lost on me), I lost track of time, and then it was bedtime. But hey ho, that’s the way it goes.

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks about weirdest food you love and I’m actually already grinning about this because it’s a Thunder and Lightning. Anyone who isn’t from the West Country is already confused so allow me to explain:
You take a nice thick slice of fresh bread, a good spread of butter, a generous spread of golden syrup, and then a dollop of clotted cream on top. (If you’re Cornish and do it wrong, you can always put cream on first and then drizzle the syrup, but I’ve always done syrup then cream because that’s the correct Devon method.) When I was a kid, my dad used to pair it with an ice cream float.
And now I’m hungry LOL

Can I also just say I’m looking forward to next week which is all about fanfiction – and fic just happens to be one of my favourite things!

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Mira Grant – Symbiont. And it’s keeping my attention well enough that it’s the only book I’m really reading right now. I usually jump around between 3 or 4 as you know
What did you recently finish reading? Joanna Hickson – First Of The Tudors
What do you think you’ll read next? Natalie J Case – Thanátou

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Weird Real Life Events and What I’m Reading Wednesday

Li and I are still both sacked out sick on the couch, watching nature documentaries on iplayer and napping. She’s sorting out embroidery thread, I’m tidying up my new website and reading – although I’m not entirely sure how much brain I have for doing it!

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge topic is A real-life event that no one would believe and it has me wracking my brains. Li says the way we met counts – like, what are the chances of commenting on someone’s fanfic, starting a conversation, falling for her, and discovering she lives about half an hour from where I grew up?

But my favourite happening is a ghost encounter that happened at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. So my friend Natalie (who is a witch and a bit of a medium) and I were doing the second of our two tours of the place that day, we were standing with our backs against a wall listening to the tour guide tell us about how the house was built to confuse the spirits… and I just said to Natalie ‘There’s someone standing behind us, isn’t there?’ which she confirmed. You could tell the moment that spirit could tell we knew they were there, and they ended up following us for the entire hour and a half of the tour – which they spent pulling my jeans down. Now, these were skinny-fit jeans, I’d been wearing them all morning with no issues, and we’d done one of the tours already with my jeans staying firmly in place. And when the tour finished and we left the house? My jeans stayed up for the rest of the day. There was definitely someone tugging them down – no sense of malice, just mischief and playfulness.

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Mary Beard – Pompeii, Bill Bryson – Troublesome Words, Joanna Hickson – First of the Tudors
What did you recently finish reading? Mary Beard – Civilisations and I DNFed Quadrivium by John Martineau
What do you think you’ll read next? Holly Black – Tithe or Mira Grant – Parasite

top ten tuesday · weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

The Sanctuary of Zeus, Bookish Characters, Extraterrestrials, and WWW Wednesday

I have finished doing the research for my end of semester assignment. I currently know far more about the history of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, and the metopes and pediments of the Temple Of Zeus than anyone could possibly want to know. I am now filing the information away and letting my brain cogitate on what’s relevant for my argument. Tomorrow, I start putting it on paper

But for now, it’s time for some blog hopping fun!

Firstly: Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is ‘Bookish Characters and I ended up doing from media in general, rather than just books, because there were a few I just couldn’t leave out when it came to this topic!

Hermione Granger – Is it even a list of fictional bookworms if it doesn’t have Hermione in it?
Hallie Winstone – Hallie wins her dream bookstore and and finds secret love letters in the books
Nina Redmond – Nina is a bookworm who, when her beloved library job ends…. moves to the Scottish Highlands to open a bookstore!
Robert Langdon – He writes and teaches symbology and… c’mon, he wears tweed! LOL
Cather Avery – Cath is a dedicated reader, fangirl and fanfic writer who fantasises about being trapped in a library overnight (is she me?)

Now… this is where I leave the world of books and travel to film/TV bookworms:

Belle – Again, is a list of fictional bookworms complete without Belle? I’m still jealous of that bloody library and it’s pretty muchdefinitely Life Goals
Aurora Teagarden – I absolutely love the Hallmark movies but didn’t get on with the books. Roe is a crime-solving librarian!
Eloise Bridgerton – The books are still on my TBR but I adore Eloise in the Netflix show. She much prefers reading to attending balls
Willow Rosenberg – I could ramble at length about my love for Willow and the amazing impact she had on my life But for the purpose of this list… she’s generally found in the library
Daniel Jackson – In my fandom, this is the geek! He’s an awkward, nerdy, passionate, archaeologist and linguist with allergies. OK, he takes a crash course in badassery, but never really loses the nerdiness.

Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge this topic is Do you believe in aliens? Why or why not? Absolutely 100% I do, and not just speaking as a sci-fi loving person. Considering how many exoplanets we’ve already discovered, and how many other stars out there that probably have planets we haven’t yet found, it seems baffling to me that we would be the only place to develop life. Do I think life on other planets would be humanoid, carbon-based or something we necessarily recognise as life? No. Do I think they’re travelling to us? I’m not sure. That’s a whole nother issue LOL But just look at some of the extremeophile organisms on this planet – acidophiles, halophiles, psychrophiles, and radiophiles. And then, of course, there’s tardigrades. So yes, I completely believe in aliens.

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and Ancient Greece by Paul Cartledge.
What did you recently finish reading? Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
What do you think you’ll read next? I’m really hoping to finish some of the books I’m currently reading, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax, The Cruel Price by Holly Black and A Court Of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.