Tag Archives: homelife

Musical Update: July 2018

Firstly, karaoke. I’m still being volunteered for karaoke at FantasyCon this year, and I was sort of settled between Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher Man and You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes. Then a friend jokes that she wants to sing The Phantom of the Opera, and I – not having seen the film, and not really remembering much of the song – am cheerfully egging her on.

Until she volunteers me for Christine’s part.

And I go and listen to the damn song.

*cue WTF face*

So, uh. I did some singing where not too many people can hear me and…I can (just about) hit those notes. I’d need a bucketload of courage and a few drinks beforehand, but…

Why am I even considering this?!

In other news, I’ve spent this weekend listening to a bunch of random (and I do mean random!) music. A friend at work made me a sort-of-mixtape – aka. he listed a bunch of songs – and so I’ve spent some of the weekend bouncing between Roddy Woomble (don’t ask about the name), Father John Misty, Scissor Sisters and Beck, with some added Queens of the Stone Age and Patrick Wolf thrown in. Said friend is nothing if not eclectic!

I’ve also finally listened to Frank Turner’s new album, Be More Kind – I was a bit hesitant as Frank Turner brings up a lot of memories, but I really like Be More Kind and Blackout, and I’m definitely going to get the album so I can listen to the others on repeat.

I’m also delving into Imagine Dragons, Cash Cash, The Chainsmokers, Clean Bandit, Bears Den and Walking On Cars, so it’s been a fairly random but also quite musical couple of months!

Have my current favourite upbeat tune to brighten your day 🙂

A Random Kate Update: July

Thames River viewUgh. I’ve hit the job anxiety stage, which hopefully won’t last long before it gets to the ok-I’m-doing-good stage, but is not fun while it lasts. I had my 3-month review (3 months?! HOW!) and work are still happy, which is awesome, and I’m still loving it, which is even more awesome, and I’m making friends and plotting world domination and eating cake and reading books.

It rocks!

Apart from the anxiety which is just….my daft brain. My colleague has been absolutely wonderful with it (I may have cried on him a little bit…) and it’s mostly under control, so I’m hoping it lasts!

I’ve been investigating more bits of Oxford; I ended up randomly going out for dinner with a friend earlier this week, went out for cake with some work friends yesterday, am going out again at the end of the week (yeah, this week is taking up all my social spoons!) – it’s really nice to have the energy to explore and see people.

The housing situation (aka. I can’t stay at Jo’s forever, lovely as she is) is hopefully getting sorted *fingers crossed* and I still get to walk down the river every morning for my commute, and I’ve been getting some writing done…

I’d just like the weather to be a little less hot (if only because it makes it hard to sleep, and restless + anxiety brain = nightmares) but hey, I can live with sunshine when Oxford’s a beautiful city to wander around.

So everything is still grand! I have spoons and not too much anxiety and I’m getting to read amazing books as part of my job, and life currently rocks!

The Igor system: what goes around, comes around

I used the phrase “Igor system” to someone the other day and got a blank look…

Igor, servant to Dr Frankenstein

The phrase I use is from Terry Pratchett, who has a mostly-related family of characters who are the typical mad-scientist helper: they’re all called Igor (well, it’s not confusing to them), like green bubbly things, talk with a lithp, are pretty good at self-surgery, and swap body parts.

And it’s the body parts where the phrase comes from; you take care of your heart, because it was your dad’s, and someone else could use it after you. You accept the help from an Igor when you’ve had an accident and need a new arm, or a finger, or a liver – and then when it comes to it, you pay that on. You give what’s needed, “because what goes around, comes around.”

And I think it works really well for both the writing community, and for life.

I help a writer who’s just starting out because I was there, once – and so I’ll check over her submissions and help with copy-edits and grammar and how to put names in headers because it pays it forward. I’ll buy a chocolate bar for a friend because hey, it’s been that sort of day. I’ll do my best to listen and support and give that extra bit of help, even when it might be tedious or tiring or something I don’t have to do – because I was there, or I will be, or because it’s the right thing.

And I’m seeing it come back. I’m getting so much support from my colleagues within the writing industry, and I can’t pay that back in any conventional sense – and so I’ll pay it forward: when I’m there, at their stage, with their knowledge – I’ll pay it on to someone who needs it. I’ll recommend books I love and support authors I enjoy and do my best to put energy into things that need the support, because somehow, it’ll come back to me. It’s a version of karma, I guess, but I try to direct it; because I don’t always have the unspecified energy to spend doing randomly good deeds, I try to use that energy where I know I can help most.

So I do my best to live by the Igor system – and if you ever hear me use the phrase, that’s what it is!

5 Happy Things: June 2018

What’s going on this month? Stuff. Things. Swans being f***ers (seriously, those things are absolute gits!) A lot of walking around Oxford. Friends. Being tired. It’s been a pretty good month so far, even if I have been exhausted for some of it… so, best bits?

Revenant Gun cover1.Reading sequels to awesome books. I love my job! (Ps. Yoon Ha Lee’s Revenant Gun is out this week! My colleague and I may have been fangirling over Ninefox fanart…)

2.House-hunting. I’m currently looking for a place of my own with a couple of friends (as I’m currently in a friend’s spare room) and it’s been fun to see bits of Oxford I might not otherwise have gone to! I’ve been doing a lot of walking, and it is adding to my anxiety levels (phone calls, timing issues, more phone calls…) but it’s exciting as well.

3.And we might be getting a cat! I miss my furball (despite the fact he regularly woke me up at 3am for breakfast when there was food in his bowl, and his favourite sleeping spot is obviously on whatever you’re currently trying to do…) so a potential new furball is great! We don’t know if it’ll actually come off, but it’s a nice dream. My housemate has been looking at cats…I’m currently trying to persuade him that kittens are adorable bundles of squeaky fluff, but they are also FUCKING HARD WORK.

4.It’s weird, but “coping mechanisms” have been a good thing! I broke last week; I was completely exhausted, and had a couple of days where I really could have used my walking stick (and not just to hit people with…) but actually, I feel quite optimistic about it. There wasn’t a specific trigger so I don’t know exactly what I could have avoided to prevent it, but once I realised what was happening, it felt like a routine – I knew what I needed to do, I did it, and I looked after myself as best I could. I was still able to get into work, and even though I was tired, I didn’t burn myself out. So – it sucked, but actually, I got this. I can cope with it.

5.And a little thing…Revels. I used to eat them a lot in school and I’ve rediscovered them. My favourites are the orange and coffee, and I’ll reluctantly eat the raisins. I guess they’re better than Bertie Bott’s, at least – no vomit or dog poo!

So that’s halfway through June…now I’ve got several books to read, several things to edit, and general chaos to administer – so back to work!

5 Happy Things: May 2018

*happy Groot dance*

Things wot are making me happy this month?

  1. My Dresden Files writing – I’m finally getting onto some of the longer stories! I admittedly love the shorter ones (Winter + Troll vs Dini is possibly my favourite Dini-solution to a problem) but the one I’m currently putting up, and one of the later ones in, ooh, about three stories’ time, are both contenders for my favourite longer one.

2. Bento boxes! I now have a cute stacking bear one and a tropical one made of bamboo (which, incidentally, feels lovely – almost slightly rough, and a nice weight!) I’m looking forward to being able to take a random assortment of stuff for lunches.

3. My job is still making me happy 😀 I’ve just been in London for an InDesign course which was pretty good (I learned a lot of new shortcuts, as well as confirming that what I taught myself is correct). I’ve also been moving heaps of stuff (technical term, honestly), reading awesome books, chatting to people who know so much random stuff….I’ve now been there a month, and it definitely doesn’t feel like it!

4. The seaside – and, actually, being on my own. I’m down in Lymington for a few days’ holiday and it’s lovely: I don’t have to worry about anyone else! I’ve seen some of my family which has been grand, but mostly I’m just enjoying the solitude. It’s not always good for me and does depend on my brain-mood, but at the moment, I’m definitely adapting well to doing my own thing.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy – I have finally seen all the way through and really want to see the next one now! I haven’t dared try Infinity War yet (I’m still very behind on most of the rest of that canon) but I’ve decided I’m going to start watching more films that I want to see. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is first on that list!

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