Tag Archives: inspiration

My Blog’s Name In Books

I spotted this on Everywhere&Nowhere, and thought it sounded fun!

1.  Spell out your blog’s name. (this is where you wish your blog’s name was shorter LOL)

2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. (Note you cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodreads TBR)

3. Have fun!  

My slight issue is that I don’t use Goodreads as a TBR, so I’m going to give this a try with my Amazon wishlist…

Waypoint Kangaroo by  Curtis Chen

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (although I have already read this, it’s on my list as I don’t own a copy yet!)

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Tread Lightly by Catherine Lane

In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron

Geomancer: the Well of Echoes by Ian Irvine


Aspects of the Novel by EM Forster

New Oxford Style Manual

Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Ceasar by Tom Holland


Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

Of Gods and Madness: the Faithful by Justin D Herd

Embers of War by Gareth L Powell

Whaddya know, it worked! I have enough random books without using all the “The…” titles too. So that’s a small, very random slice of my written-down TBR – the actual one is half in my head, half on Amazon, and half augmented by anything I see and go “OOOOH I wanted to read that one!”

Dream-paths and Fairways

I walked back across the track a couple of nights ago with the same friend who made the original journey with me, Otter*; we decided to go on an adventure despite the darkness, and I’m so glad we did! It was one of those surreal, half-imagined, half-real experiences that I’m so glad I shared with someone, because then you can at least look at someone else and say; “I did experience that, didn’t I…”

It was a clouded night, low and rolling, but the city lights were reflected; they made the air half-shadowed, lit in whites and greys, light enough to see each other’s faces but dark enough to be a dusky shadow. The ceiling of clouds was broken by slashes, and I ended up walking with my face turned to the sky, watching as the stars spun behind the white and grey, rents of black that sent the field stumbling. And the road; it went on forever, the fields stretching either side of it, following the rows of pylons into the dusk – if we’d half-closed our eyes, succumbed to a dreaming drowsiness, we could have missed the cross-path and walked on forever into the dusky lands…

As an aside: Otter and I were talking about the early Greek idea of afterlife, the endless nothingness, Achilles and “Don’t try to sell me on death, Odysseus / I’d rather be a hired hand back up on earth / Slaving away for some poor dirt farmer / Than lord it over all these withered dead”; and talking about mirrors being portals to another world, a shadowed reflections of our own, and how you’d get back if you stepped through. I promptly pulled China Mieville’s Looking For Jake off the shelf when I got home!

The railway was another world again, reached through a tunnel of tangled branches and upright trunks; an orange sodium capsule of light with bright tracks, the gleam of the rails forming another barrier, another path, industrial and warm and still in the midst of the dark landscape – and as unreachable as the mirror-world in the lakes from our perch above, walking across the footbridge that looked down over the strange landscape.

And then the lakes; we sat peacefully on the steps for a while, looking out over the narrow bridge as it stretched between the reflections: the lakes on either side so still that they were just stars and cloud, no ripples, no wind, nothing moving. We watched as people walked past the portal, lit in white and moving on with their world – while ours was still, held, waiting for something. We had the hum of the road overlaying the stillness, the stars wheeling overhead through the slashes of sky, talking about nothing: and the real world beckoning for us to choose the walk across the long path and the step through the portal ahead.

And then, looking back from the portal across the stillness of the lakes:


I have no idea what or how this is going to come out in my writing, but I’m going to be very interested to see how it does!


*They picked the nickname, and it’s now a running joke that I’m trying to get a whole woodland collection!

Studio Ghibli: landscapes

I’ve been watching Spirited Away recently, and I find that I always adore the train-track landscapes.

The journey via train is one of my favourite sequences; I love the way the travellers vanish, get misty, and the places speak of untold stories that appear only for a moment.



I like the way the places go past; the way the skies change and the time flows.



I’m not sure why I like it so much, but as Delirium from Sandman says: “I like in-betweens.”

Doing Scary Things: Do, Rinse and Repeat

chibird believeSo I heard a piece of wisdom back when I was a teenager that I’ve carried with me ever since: it’s something along the lines of, “being grown up doesn’t mean you suddenly know how to do everything. It means you get more situations that you’ve encountered before.”

It’s always been reassuring when I’ve been feeling weird about Being Grown Up, but I’m finding it’s applicable to Doing Scary Things, too. The more I do them, the more experience I have, and the less scary they get.

I was thinking about that recently when I did a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Cambridge without really thinking about it – and four years ago, I HATED driving! Even doing the 15 minutes to work really scared me. Now? The Cambridge trip was fine! And I volunteered (reluctantly, and with a lot of nerves, but knowing that I could do it) to drive a van to London – and I did it! Twice!

The more scary things I do and the more I gently push myself while I can, the easier things get when I feel like I can’t do something – because I’ve then done it before. I’ve got courage to spend at the moment, so I’m using it by walking new routes, eating places I’ve not been, talking to new people – none of which sound like much, but they’re all anxiety points! I’ve sung in public; asked someone out; volunteered for public speaking; sorted company tax accounts; shared some scary writing…

It’s all still terrifying. Driving still isn’t something I choose to do if I can help it; I’ll get the bus or walk instead! Weirdly, it’s usually parking that’s the anxiety point, because I can mostly control everything else – but because I’ve pushed myself, driving is now a much more viable option, and it means I can help someone else and drive a van when I need to.  And that seems to hold true for most of my anxiety things; pushing myself means I add new skills, and it – so far, mostly – means I decrease the anxiety around it.

It’s still limited, though, and that’s something I have been careful to remember. I was honest about my limitations and fears with the van – and I was right to be, because I did struggle, and thanks to having said (I am so grateful for a mental-health-friendly workplace and boss!) it was all sorted out. I was careful to plan and research my trip to Cambridge so that I removed as many of the potential anxiety points as possible; I knew where I could park and what to do at the junctions that could be problems, and that meant I could deal with everything else with a bit more equilibrium. Even with restaurants, I’ll ideally go with someone else who’s been before, stay behind them, give myself time to see how it works. It’s pushing myself, but it’s also knowing where my limits are – but even that is because I’ve been here before, and I know what I get scared about. I can push that.

And when I’ve done it once, I can do it again! Adulting ftw!