Tag Archives: homelife

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!


Another Book Launch and some randoms!

I’m at the launch of Shards of the Nightmare in Waterstones, Oxford from 7-8pm today (Monday 29th April) – if you’re in the area, do come along for a reading and chat!

The launch for No So Stories at Forbidden Planet in London was grand – I met a whole bunch of awesome people and thoroughly talked myself out, so Sunday was definitely an introvert day. The book’s available on Amazon and other retailers (including signed copies from Forbidden Planet!) if you’re interested in Kipling, mythology or modern, diverse stories.

And I’ve been musing on the GreenSky series over on the Grimbold Books Patreon page – it’s free to read, so go have a look 🙂

I am definitely going to be over-peopled after this weekend and today, but I have been given an important task for this week: feed my housemate’s fish! So I shall be feeding fish. They don’t talk to much, so I reckon I can manage this…

A Book Launch; and, “I get to read books and people pay me”

First, a book launch! I am (hopefully, barring sudden disaster or extreme tiredness) going to be at the launch of Not So Stories in London on Saturday! If you’re around the Forbidden Planet area, do come along and check out this anthology of Kipling-inspired stories.

And second, me! I’m currently in Uncanny Valley between “this is all strange and new and exciting” and “this is a normal routine day”, with an added dose of “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO GO WRONG”. It’s caused a little bit of We Need To Do All The Panicking but my brain has been coping quite well, for which I am extremely grateful…

I’m settling in to Oxford and moving to a friend’s room this weekend – as opposed to being on my wonderful friend’s floor, which while brilliant as a temporary thing is not somewhere I want to clutter up permanently. My commute is going to be down the canal, and I’m doing ok with the house (I love doing early-early, and it seems to be working well).

I still can’t believe I’m getting paid to read amazing books. Just….WUT IS THIS SORCERY OF A JOB?!

Everyone has been lovely and I’m still feeling a bit overwhelmed by that, too – being able to openly say “I’m a bit anxiety today” and the first reactions from everyone is “oh no, can we help?” – it’s just…amazing, and really helps. (There isn’t really anything anyone can do to help, and I manage my brain as best I can.) But it’s like being able to let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding: it gives me hope that someone else will have my back when my brain’s fighting me and I’m struggling. It’s not going to be another battle to fight on top of the ones I’m already fighting. I’m obviously going to do my best to not let it interfere with my work, but it’s not something I have to spend energy hiding, and that is one  less worry.

And I’m loving my job. I’m learning the ebook processes and KDP nuances (aka. it hates everyone and everything and WOE BETIDE YOU IF YOU ARE 0.00003 OF A MM OUT!) and getting sent things to read; I’ve been given one piece to edit already which is fantastic and I am really looking forward to reading, and I’ve been working my way through some current submissions and back catalogue books. It’s still very strange but it feels familiar, which I love. And I’ve had time in the evenings to work, too; I’m not feeling overwhelmed by my freelance and Grimbold bits, which is doubly nice.

I’m expecting a crash at some point because this is too good to last, but that’s fine – I’ll manage it when it comes. But for now, I’m good. I’m really good.

I’m going to go a read an amazing book now!

5 Happy Things: April 2018

It’s April! There’s sunshine! It’s not snowing! Happy days!

1. Oxford canal.

Oxford canal walk

I’ve been walking to work down the canal for the past few days, and it’s been lovely – there was sunshine and ducks and blossom! It wasn’t quite so nice in the rain last week but there you go.

2. I survived my first week at work!

Everyone’s been lovely, I’ve found a board game posse, I got to copy-edit (aka. read) a couple of amazing books…I’m still learning everyone’s names (and will be for a while) but so far, it’s a really nice place to work, and I’m enjoying the job.

3. Food.

I haven’t been doing too well with eating (stress and new situations do tend to bring out the feeling sick/not eating results) but I made banana bread while at my aunt’s this weekend, and I’ve been making sure I buy things that I want to eat – resulting in tempura battered chicken with gucamole and cream cheese in a pitta for last night’s dinner. It’s glorious.


My Solaris/Abaddon stack has gone down a little (har har…it’s promptly had more put on it) and I’ve had confirmation that I’m at least at the right publishers, because I LOVED most of them! (Dredd is the current exception, because he’s a dick).

  • Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series. I tore through this series, despite not usually reading (or really liking) sci-fi – it does confirm some of my biases, in that it’s complex, impenetrable and detailed. For the first few chapters of Ninefox Gambit I felt pretty lost, and I still don’t remotely get how a lot of the tech and politics works. However, the story and the characters, the worldbuilding, the structure…*happy reader* it’s wonderful. I love the details and the politics, and I loved seeing Cheris grow in the first book. The second follows different people (ish) but it’s a continuation of the same political plotline, and the third really rounds the series off nicely (it’s due out shortly – ARCs FTW!) Basically, for someone who doesn’t really do sci-fi, this has been a pleasure to read despite confirming some of my prejudices – and has been good enough to overcome them!
  • The Promise of a Battered Moon – it’s finally out! This one made me cry at the end, so therefore I’m going to recommend it to everyone just to share the misery. Sci-fi, again, with a whole mashup of planets and cultures and race; the story’s about an asteroid that’s going to hit Earth unless they can prevent it, except that Manon Fontaine knows exactly what it is…if she can get access to it…and just argh. Read it. I need other people to be wearing “I <3 The Dionnes” badges with me!
  • Food of the Gods by Cassandra Khaw *maniacal reader laugh* I LOVED this. Sarcastic, snarky, and a complete smorgasbord of mythology from around the globe. My grubby little paws are itching to start on some of the other authors who have done books in the same series…
  • And I got to read an ARC of Quantum Magician. It’s sci-fi, with a similar feel to Yoon Ha Lee’s, with almost impenetrable terminology that somehow makes sense – and it’s an Ocean’s 11-style heist, in space, with entire cultures playing. It’s amazing – one of the perks of the job is definitely advanced copies!
5. And me.

I’m actually doing ok at the moment, to my great surprise! I’ve been coping. I’ve been cheerful. I’m tired, sure, and I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wobbled – but it’s been a tiny one, a momentary pause and then I’m back on track again. I’ve been chatting to people and trundling along to games and doing freelance bits in the evenings, and doing scary things like going to new shops and going out with new people, and I’ve coped really well with a new environment at work and a new city. I’m cynically waiting for the crash (as this feels…weird) but it’s been nice to actually be able to cope. Is this what it’s like for people who don’t have wonky brain chemistry?! I think I’m still mostly running on adrenaline, honestly – I’m not sleeping brilliantly, so I’m fully expecting to crash sometime. But hey, I’m going to enjoy the smooth ride while I can before my brain decides to go back to normal.

So there’s April! I’m enjoying the spring blossoms, too, while they last. I hope that you’re enjoying the sunshine if you have it!

Ps. Don’t forget that you can pre-order Desert Sands & Silence, and that will make me even happier 🙂 Also, the first in the series – Green Sky & Sparks – is only £0.99 on Kindle at the moment!