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Thoughts on life, writing, art, and health.

Photo by Josh Sorenson brown wooden dock surround with trees at daytime

2021, Part 8: August

This month felt like a rollercoaster that was also productive. I’ve found a new book series and author that I’m enjoying. It’s my first foray into any kind of adult romance, which is exciting and… honestly sometimes it’s so spicy, I have to pause the audiobook for a bit. The narrator sure has talent to record these scenes. I also played lots of Minecraft and made a change to my morning and evening routines with some ~retro~ technology.

I’m glad summer is ending. Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons. I can feel a change in the air, an invigorating lightness, that tells me the warm weather is ending, the time for wonder and introspection are coming, and my sweaters will see the daylight again.

📚 | Books I Read

I had a lot of books this month! I bounced between Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. Angels’ Blood was incredible, while The Body Keeps the Score was heavy but necessary. Ironically, both the books deal with traumatic childhood events; Angels’ Blood just had it in a fictional character in an adult fantasy, while van der Kolk’s book is a cornerstone piece of non-fiction on trauma.

I then picked up Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh almost immediately after I finished the first books of this month. I’m really excited for this series and I’m so glad to see Singh has a nice and large backlist for me to go through! I blasted through this second book in the Guildhunter series so fast that Archangel’s Consort, the third in the series, was still on hold. I’ve since started it and it’s also been juicy.

While at the thrift store looking for a clock radio, I found Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (illustrated by Maira Kalman). I had read the book already, back in 2016 or so, and remember it captivating me so thoroughly. It’s one of those books that inspires me a lot as a writer because of the distinctive protagonist/narrator voice.

Finally, I finished Problematica by George Murray and enjoyed the refresh of poetry.

What an artful junkyard
life is, made by chance
piled in hip-high drifts and cords.

“Ectopia Cordis” by George Murray

🎶 | Music I Enjoyed

This month, I purchased a clock radio from the thrift store. I wanted to get my sleep schedule more regular by keeping my phone away from my bed. It’s difficult to hear my alarm from across the room, and I had gotten into the habit of scrolling on my phone after getting up to turn off the alarm, then either falling back asleep or staying in bed on my phone. The radio helps because it’s just audio and doesn’t connect to any distractions like apps or notifications.

So this month, I’ve enjoyed a lot of radio music! I found a few channels available in Ottawa that interested me, since I wasn’t too big on contemporary pop (or “Top 20”, if you will): 88.5 for some alternative rock; 95.7 for pop music, as well as Indigenous artists since the channel is a subsidiary of APTN; 98.5 for soft adult contemporary (which includes a lot of 80s music too); and two CBC channels (CBC One with the news, and CBC Music).

My routine has turned into tuning into the Lite channel (98.5) to wind down for bed, and that’s been such a treat. I enjoy many of the ballads and pop songs coming on there, and the channel has some instrumental hours as well. When I first started doing this, I remembered the line from Bridget Jones: “I had to make sure that next year I wouldn’t end up shit-faced and listening to sad-FM, easy-listening for over thirties.” I don’t think that’s a good way to spend a new year’s night, but I’m good with sad-FM easy-listening at night before bed most days.

🎮 | Games I Played

My room mates and I have been playing a lot of Minecraft! We initially started with a vanilla 1.17 java server, and after we got through the main activities defeated the Ender Dragon, we set up a modded server to get into engineering, magic, and farming.

I also joined a new guild on Love Nikki: Dress-up Queen and I’m proud to say I’m in a top 50 ranked guild. Quite the achievement for a mobile game with millions of players! 😇 We’ve been in the top 10 for a week now, woohoo.

🧠 | Mental Health Check-in:

I’m stuck on this right now because of some big decisions that are still up in the air. Right now, I would rate it an absolute zero because of how stressful the situation is for me, and how little control I have (I have absolutely no control over it). It should resolve soon, since there’s a clear deadline, so maybe I’ll update then. But right now, my perception of my mental health is shrouded by the anxiety from this one situation.

🏆 | August Accomplishments & Highlights

  • Got approval for more work hours
  • Did the most reading I’ve done in years
  • Made some really good lasagna

📋 | September Plans

  • Edit my novel
  • Do good work
  • Revamp website design

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