Interesting Finds

Poof and June is gone! I can’t believe we’re actually in summer now. I don’t have as many links to share this month since I’m sure you want to get back to the great outdoors.

I strive to be as good a persona as this woman is. I like to think I’d chase after my 15 year old son into the desert to save him. http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/04/05/peace-heroes-iraqs-fatima-al-bahadly/

This is a very interesting look at the interplay between gender and the environment. Eco feminists have been trying to make their voices heard for a reason. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/climate-change-feminist-issue-generational-too-celine-charveriat

This is a must read since we just learned here in Canada 1 in 2 Canadians will get cancer in their lifetime. The caregiver role is a complex one, and I don’t anyone has any right to judge someone who alters what that role means for them and their spouse. http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/04/26/the-good-wife/

13 Reasons Why has really been talked out, I missed the mark on this. I don’t believe in shielding kids from difficult subject matter because we all learn eventually and books/shows like this provide an ideal opportunity. Plus, these kids show they’re not as dumb as adults think—they acknowledge the show has problems, but it got them talking amongst themselves. http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/05/teenagers-explain-what-adults-dont-get-about-13-reasons-why.html

I’m pretty sure you don’t have to disclose to a new employer what a previous one paid you…or didn’t pay you. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/federal-court-rules-that-employers-can-pay-a-woman-less-as-long-as-her-old-boss-did-too_us_5903435de4b0bb2d086d4481?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046&utm_content=buffer99296&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The Dog Days of Summer Have Arrived

According to the news broadcast I watch, or at least their weekend meteorologist, today (June 20) at 10:24 p.m. summer officially starts. Hello solstice!

As much as I love waking in sunlight and having light in the evening, I find these long days exhausting because they throw me right out of whack. I stay up too late because my system is not in let’s-get-ready-for-bed mode when I should get moving and then it’s awful trying to haul my sorry butt out of bed. The good weather also means more socializing because I can travel about without worrying that a flash blizzard will happen. Having a life further disrupts my routine.

There’s a reason the school systems give us the summer off.

Still, it’s not all bad. I love reading outside when it’s quiet enough, I enjoy grilling on the BBQ, and I’m a sucker for flowers and food in the garden. I also adore butterflies and bees. My spider friend is hanging outside my bedroom window again. There are lots of upsides, despite my laziness.

With the peak of daylight behind me, I’m hoping to get more things done. Early in the year I deliberated giving myself the warmer part of summer off to see if that would help long term, but that was before my quick decision to enroll in courses. Now I don’t think my stories can handle the time off. Either way, I really need to get in a productive frame of mind here.

I used to find the summer so inspiring. I need to get back into that head space and get some words on the page! I think I need a change of scenery and a long weekend. Canada Day is coming up and I’m hoping to catch up on some sleep. Perhaps I’ll use the time to find a new writing spot for the next couple of months.

What do you do to stay writing fit in the summer? Do you get more done or take a break and attack things in the fall?

Taking on a Genre I Never Thought I Would

May has been a trying month for me, for multiple reasons. The week of May 22nd to 26th was especially hard with multiple deadlines that I hit only at the last minute, a too-full social calendar, a bad week of sleep, and the tail end of an illness. In the midst of feeling overwhelmed, I decided I wanted to try my hand at creative nonfiction.

I love the work of Roxanne Gay, and Bad Feminists is one of my favourite books. I’ve always thought memoir would be an interesting genre to write since I do immensely enjoy the occasional memoirs I read. I need to read more memoirs, for the record. In any case, when I think of writing one, these issues come to mind: I’m too young to write a memoir and I do not lead an interesting existence. I really don’t.

However, my mental health issues have reared their heads mightily this year. Just over a month ago I realized I was in a tailspin. Thankfully, I’m on the upswing, but I know I’m still at the delicate stage and I need to be really cognisant of my emotional state and how I’m processing.

For the sake of catharsis and trying to figure out the roots of my bigger issues, I thought writing a collection of personal essays wouldn’t be a bad idea. I started the project…and it’s going to be a much more difficult endeavor than I ever imagined. I joke to friends and colleagues that compared to people who share a lot, I’m not merely a closed book, I’m glued shut. Unsticking myself is excruciating.

Sharing any aspects of myself is difficult for me. I do not like attention on myself. I do not like being opened to scrutiny. I do not like feeling like I am being judged. All of this stems my anxiety. And the best way I know how to deal with those issues is to face them head on.

Another part of the problem is that as a writer I do not know a great deal about writing creative non-fiction. I know enough that a lot of fiction writing elements crossover, but I also know every genre has its own nuances.

I don’t have enough on my plate right now, so I’m starting a massive undertaking. But I’m also excited to learn something new and share what I learn here.

Interesting Finds

Hi everyone! May has been such a disorganized month I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. But I have a ton of internet items to share!

This article hits home in a big way. As someone who has dealt with weight and body issues since 4th grade, I feel nothing but pity for someone who’s self-worth is so intricately tied to their size. It’s a hard, vicious battle. And no one should be made to feel that they’re worthless because they don’t hit some sort of stupid ideal. I was disturbed when I saw the first preview of Revenge Body while watching TV and I’m even more disturbed now. https://bitchmedia.org/article/body-kardashian/khlo%C3%A9%E2%80%99s-revenge-body-and-strict-demands-family-business

This might just be the best way to keep track of your reading pile. Bullet journal junkies, this is for you.  http://rivetedlit.com/2017/03/21/bullet-journal-for-books/?cp_type=enpm&rmid=Riveted_Weekly&rrid=6512055

I kind of want to invest in a big stick. And use it. Someone just please end the mansplaining. http://www.teenvogue.com/story/worst-mansplaining-stories-on-twitter

This comic from the Oatmeal really speaks to me. If you were to ask me on a routine basis whether I feel happy, I’d truthfully say no. But I’m not unhappy. http://www.upworthy.com/this-comic-from-the-oatmeal-illustrates-how-were-missing-the-mark-on-happiness?c=ufb2

I love The Handmaid’s Tale, but I don’t know if I can watch the show because the book alone disturbs me on such a visceral level. This article brings up something I never thought of when I read the book, or when I’ve read other dystopic fiction: ensuring diversity and addressing race and prejudice properly and realistically. It’s incredible food for thought. https://theundefeated.com/features/hulu-handmaids-tale/

And just to maintain the terror, here’s one superb take on The Handmaid’s Tale and why it has been reintroduced to audiences at such a good time. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/27/handmaids-tale-timely-terrifying-hulu-series-margaret-atwood?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=The+week+in+patriarchy&utm_term=223717&subid=22649583&CMP=patriarchy

Finally to wrap things up with irony, here’s a fact I bet you didn’t know about a certain species of dragonflies. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2129185-female-dragonflies-fake-sudden-death-to-avoid-male-advances/?utm_campaign=RSS%7CNSNS&utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_content=news&campaign_id=RSS%7CNSNS-news&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=The+week+in+patriarchy&utm_term=223717&subid=22649583&CMP=patriarchy

A Year of Reading Women

I want to start my post today by apologizing for missing the first Tuesday of this month and not writing until now. The shift from April to May caught me a bit off guard and I did not manage my time well. Life got a little bit hectic and I couldn’t seem to get it done.

As I type, I realize we’re already in the 20th week of 2017. Is there a better time to initiate a reading challenge? Probably, but I’m doing it anyway! I would love for people to join me, yet I also want to see if I can personally do it. From my title, you have likely figured out that I want to read books written exclusively by female authors this year.

Honestly, barring book club picks by other members and assigned reading for my courses, I don’t think this will be a difficult challenge. I read stories written mostly by women anyway; looking at my bookshelves it’s an easy 3:1 ratio. However, with recent events around the world concerning women and those who identify as female, I want to make a point of it.

And I won’t be reading just fiction because obviously women write much more than that. I’ll be adding poetry, drama, essays, memoirs, and all the other good stuff out there. Too readily, certain governments and individuals with power are trying to silence the women who don’t agree with them. I might not be anyone important, but this shall be one of my means of resistance.

I was reluctant for all of a minute to take up this challenge. The only reason: one of my favourite authors, Guy Gavriel Kay, will be a guest of honour at When Words Collide this year and I had wanted to read all of his books I currently own. At this point, all I can do is shrug –they’ve sat there for years and a few more months won’t hurt them, or me.

So, as I look above my laptop screen at my calendar called “Women Reading,” I shall admire the artwork then shove my nose in a few more books. I hope you join me!