My Self-Published Novel!

Hello!

And yes, you read that right: I self-published a novel!

As of November 1st my first novel is up on Kindle!

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Wolves Rising is the first book in my Beasts of Battle Trilogy.

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Elayne Tintagel is the daughter of Gorlois and Igraine Tintagel who have been reincarnated again. The world is now full of heroes and warriors reincarnating from the mythic past and the Arthurian realm will not be left behind.

Elayne, like her family, has a soul weapon — a sword which serves at her will — but she’s more interested in training with Magic through her once-sister Morgan Le Fay. However, when Arthur rises and her father becomes frustrated with her, Elayne is sent to the School of Damocles for more training.

Here many young warriors learn tactics, training, and how to fight. Until a Shadow Beast, a horrifying approximation of a wolf, begins to attack the school. When students start dying Elayne must overcome her own anxiety and pride to take down the Wolf and maybe discover the real threat.

Too bad she’s never been good at making friends and trusting other people!

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Yep! It’s an Arthurian tale set in a more modern magical realism genre.

I am pretty proud that I got to the point of actually putting it up for other people to see. I hope people enjoy it (or at least read it haha). Currently I have the sequel written (its just in need of more editing) and I’m writing the final book too!

If you’re interested at all, it’s only $2.99USD ($3.92CND) on Kindle. You can find it here:  https://www.amazon.ca/Wolves-Rising-Beasts-Battle-Book-ebook/dp/B07K36MDXD/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1541438077&sr=1-1&keywords=Angela+Alberry

 

We Summoned a Demon?!!

Hello!

With Halloween just two days away, I thought I would tell you about the time that I think my friends and I might have accidentally summoned a demon or something. Yep, it’s ghost story time!

In regards to the supernatural I’m not sure I really have like a strict set of beliefs but I certainly do believe there’s something else that we humans cannot always directly perceive. I’ve had too many weird and frankly uncomfortable/frightening moments not believe that’s there’s something going on.

Why am I telling you about this particular incident then? Two reasons: 1. It was by far the most terrifying account that I currently have and 2. Three other people experienced parts or all of this incident with me so I’ve got more confirmation about it then the other bits. For everyone’s privacy sake I will be referring to these other people as C., D., and K.

Now before I start there are some things I should make you aware of. I have been told that I am an energy dump: I give off a lot of energy that feeds people in apparently both positive and negative ways. C., a self-reported practiser of pagan earth-based spirituality told me that I was a wonderful grounding source of energy and thus nice to be around on her worst days. Another friend who wasn’t involved in the incident told me she had to pick and choose the days she hung out with me because I unknowingly fed her negative emotions and energies, that and that I should never try to control my output because I’d probably make everything a whole lot worse. It kinda hurt.

I also am extremely empathetic which makes normal life with normal people really hard because I get emotional over everything and will swing wildly from emotion to emotion if I’m around people with varying emotions. It’s also kind of scary when I start sensing more emotions than are in the room or when I’m alone. It’s happened before and both C. and that previous friend say I tend to draw those spirits or entities to me which is why it happens so often.

So now with my personal energy/spiritual involvement stated let me set the stage: quite literally a stage. The incident occurred when I along with C. and D. decided to put on a production of Christopher Marlow’s the Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. For anyone unaware the play is about Doctor Faustus who summons a demon and sells his soul for like 24 years of unlimited power and demonic assistance. In the end he gets dragged to hell. Well, since I was directing we put on some auditions in one of the auditoriums of the university we were all attending at the time. In the play Faustus has several parts spoken in different languages, mainly Greek and Latin. So I printed off the largest chunk, the Latin summoning of Meph the demon, so that any student auditioning for Doctor Faustus would be aware of the difficulties of the part. Then C., D., and myself settled in to wait.

No one came. For like an hour. So D. and myself hopped up onto the stage to put on a show and thus draw attention to us for any student who might have been looking for the audition spot. I even got up on a chair on the stage to make a big show of it all. I was jokingly reading from a Shakespearean play that C. and I had for another class (killing two birds with one stone, you know?) while D. was flipping through all the audition scripts I had printed off. She found the Latin section and got really excited because she had another appointment coming up but just enough time to try and read some Latin before she left.  I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that so I, still standing on the chair, shut up and listened to her.

  1. was the first one to realize something was wrong. Later, when I asked her to recount the incident she remembered getting the same feeling when summoning spirits in pagan groups, except the feeling turned uneasy and then downright scary.
  2. finished her Latin and ran off, already late for her meeting but also, she said, uneasy herself.

The entire theatre went cold. It was like storm clouds had filled up the entire room and there was static in the air. I froze, unable to move from the chair on the stage, just staring at C. still in the seats. She shook her head at me when I went to look behind me. There was a back wall to the stage and then a small back stage area: pits on either side and a hall behind the stage connecting the two backstage wings. The terrible feeling grew and C. later described it as a “malignant energy that is every woman’s worst fear walking down a dark alley at night”. We were in trouble. It wanted to hurt us.

In the hall behind the stage footsteps began to sound. Walking slowly back and forth behind us. I could hear them clearly but so could C. 15 feet away. I remember just staring at her desperately because I couldn’t move. The emotions I was feeling was wanting to hurt someone. Wanting to hurt myself. I started feeling sick to my stomach.

Thank any god listening that C. was there that day because I couldn’t move. She jumped up and yelled “STOP!” but the footsteps kept pacing. She began to tell it to go away, that we didn’t want it to come, that we didn’t want to hurt anyone, that we didn’t want it there. Then she started calling on positive spirits and energies to protect us. She climbed up onto the stage and looked at me deliberately. I didn’t know how to summon things: I had never tried. But I knew how to tell someone to go away. So I did. I started just yelling that the thing backstage needed to leave. That it wasn’t welcome. That we were deliberately rejecting that which we had accidently summoned it. The footsteps stopped but it still felt like there was a dark presence in the theatre. I stepped off the chair while C. went backstage, calling on good spirits and turning on all the lights. There wasn’t anyone back there and the only door was locked. No person had been making the footsteps. We had seemed to have cornered it, made it small and less frightening but still there and the room was charged with energy. The lights backstage were dimmer than they should have been. I’ll quote again from C. because she had been backstage with it:

“So I’m back there and speaking to this entity and it’s very clearly a strong, distinctive, self-aware entity that is there. It’s not a shape that I see, it’s not a picture that I see, but I can feel the being’s self-awareness and that they are not from a good place. Like if they try and do anything it will be something bad, or at least it will have a negative impact on myself and my friends. Everything is slow. Myself and [the writer] are both calling in good spirits and calling on good energy and making over very firm rejection of the negative presence that we are not open to it. We are not willing to work with it. We are not going to give it a body in which to work. It starts to not be as solid. It was like the storm cloud when it came in and it’s taking on the presence of deep dense smoke, like you’re in the middle of a house fire that keeps smoking so that it’ll choke you if you don’t dispel it right away. It’s starting to dispel, so that I can breathe again.”

Then the fourth person in the story, K., stepped into the theatre. She was there to try out for the part of Meph the demon but she is a firm Christian believer and wore a crucifix under her costume the entire performance because of this incident. She described it as hitting a heavy and suffocating wall. Then the thing was gone. K. is just looking at me from the top of the auditorium and says “What was that?!”

I burst into tears and sit down on the stage and C. comes out from backstage pale and a little shaky and just starts thanking K. for coming in when she did. K. admits she hit this suffocating feeling and immediately prayed that she’d be kept safe from it, she says its her reflex when she’s in frightening situations. So she comes fully into the theatre and sits down with the two of us as we just shake and I try to stop crying and C. explains she knows it left not vanished. All three of us are really shaken up and it’s the end of the audition time anyway so K. decides she’ll come back the next night and we pack up and walk together to the bus stop. When C. and I get home (we were apartment mates at the time) C. lights up some incense and does a purging ritual on both of us.

The next day D., comes to the auditions looking really tired and pale. She tells us she had really terrible dreams the night before about this dark storm cloud like presence. C., K., and I then explain what happens and then the four of us are freaking out because the thing left and apparently went to find D. but C. brought more incense with her and offers to do the purifying ritual on her so they go outside to do that. C. offered it to K. as well but K. wasn’t comfortably and said she hadn’t had any problems so she stayed with me. That night we had more students come for auditions so all four of us forced ourselves to set aside the incident and focus on the actual auditions, but D., was forbidden from speaking Latin for the deration of the show to avoid any other problems. To make up for the summoning the last performance we did we had Doctor Faustus call out for forgiveness and mercy and thus escape getting dragged to hell. It made me feel better at least.

So, there it is. The time my friends and I accidently summoned something that was probably a demon or at least a menacing entity and then had to tell it very clearly to f-off. This is why I will never use a Ouija board or anything like it. That shit is terrifying why would you ever do it on purpose?! Like I said, the worst of my supernatural experiences so far but certainly not my only one. Maybe I’ll write up some more if you are interested in something like that. Also, feel free to share your own accidental/on purpose summoning incidents; we might as well all get a little freaked out together!

Costumes and Cosplay

Hello!

Since we’re so close to Halloween I really want to talk about costumes and cosplay. I enjoy dressing up be it for theatre, and conventions, Halloween, or just in general. Now I wouldn’t call myself a serious cosplayer and, I’ll be honest, my mother has made practically all of my outfits, but its always been really fun.

It generally started out for Halloween. Little kids like dressing up. I never really grew out of that phase – I still want to go out trick-or-treating even if I am too old. I’ve gotten more selective: I like dressing up from fandoms or even specific characters. The most complex outfit my mom made in high school was a full Jedi uniform, cloak and tunic included!

Jedi

I wore it to one of the few parties I got invited to in high school. And I still have it – its my go-to for a Halloween costume when I’m in a new city because those people haven’t seen it before. Sometimes I even wear it on May the 4th.

My first Halloween of my BA an entire group of friends dressed up as students from Hogwarts.

Hufflepuff

Each House was represented once (I got to be Hufflepuff) and the fifth person went as Professor McGonagall – we got a group photo but to respect their privacy I won’t include that photo here. Harry Potter really helped me connect me with new friends and a few years later I knitted Hogwarts scarves for everyone. That Halloween really made thing worth it. We did Trick-Or-Eat and ended up having to wait for the bus. Two others joined us for the wait, dressed as a fortune-teller and Pink Floyd’s the Wall. We called them Professor Trelawny and the Room of Requirement and spent out wait huddled in a group singing Queen and Disney songs. It was cold bit it was worth it. For the first time in a long time I really felt I belonged in that moment, belonged with those people. IT’s one of my happiest memories – we were all dressed up and somehow able to be ourselves even more than usual.

I’ve lost my tie and I couldn’t knit well so most of those scarves have probably unravelled or have been thrown away. But whenever I’m really struggling I think about that Halloween.

I’ve done theatre periodically and went whole hog on it in university. Sometimes things weren’t fun, sometimes it was hard, sometimes things went wrong. Sometimes you accidently say Macbeth and get chased out of the room and told to do a bunch of weird actions like spinning around before they would let me back in. And sometimes you summon a demon (more on that next week haha). While you’re literally acting as a character, but it teaches you so much about yourself: how you spend waiting time, how you present certain characteristics, and so much more. It’s self-expression in a really visceral way. Plus, the time you spend back stage with the cast and crew can be absolutely gratifying.

Maggie

More recently its been just me or a smaller group of friends getting dressed up and out there. For my BA graduation my mother gifted me with a beautiful white cloak. My best friend loved when I’d wear it into the woods, we have so many pictures on me in that cloak.

cloak

It matched the cloaks some of my friends had. They suited us. When I moved to start my Master’s I wore my cloak to an SCA event (Society of Creative Anachronism – basically a modern medieval times style group found across the world). I tried really hard to participate fully: dressing up, dancing, feasting. I even gave my favour to a knight who fought in the tournament for my honour and his.

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But it felt like I was trying. Before my costumes helped me come out of my shell and be myself more, even when I was pretending to be someone else. During that event I just felt like I was hiding away, trying to ignore the fact that things weren’t working out. That I wasn’t enjoying my program, the society, or anything else happening in my life. After the event I stripped off my cloak and shoved it deep into my closet. I didn’t want to pretend I wanted to feel like myself again. I never did go to another event.

For a while I thought I was passed dressing up. I didn’t do any theatre and wearing cloaks wasn’t fun when none of my friends were there. I started doubting I could dress up again. Then EGLX came along – a videogame convention featuring some of my favorite Youtubers and only a few hours away? Yes, I was going to go!

My mother asked if I was going to cosplay. That choice was harder. Wouldn’t I just be pretending again? Wouldn’t I just be hiding? While the doubts were still there so too were the happy memories. Dressing up and just having fun. Celebrating something I enjoyed for no other reason than the fact that I enjoyed it!

So, yes, I cosplayed. Between my mother and I we put together a casual cosplay for Mae from Night in the Woods. I helped a lot of people with cosplay bingo and I met some people that really help inspire me.

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I haven’t had a chance to dress up since then, but Halloween is coming up so, who knows?

 

On Hamilton: An American Musical

Hello!

I’m going to take a hot-minute and talk about Hamilton because I can! I know, I know, with all the Hamilton hype that it seems a little cliché to focus on such a popular musical but I’m going to do it anyway. Because I liked it. I’m not going to apologize for liking something just because other people like it too. That’s another allowable thing, other peoples’ love or hate of something doesn’t have to be a consideration to like something. If it’s not hurting someone then you do you and I’ll do Hamilton! (That probably wasn’t the best way to put it – whoops!)

So back to Hamilton. I didn’t find it without help. The story goes back a year before I ever head about the musical. I defended my BA thesis, a lovely little dive into the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, against a panel of professors and small gathering of students a year below me who were all defending their thesis proposals (basically a practice round in third year for the real thesis in fourth). It wasn’t a requirement that you be defending anything to attend, you could just go because you were interested but the students my year were all defending things. One mutual friend of myself and other girl defending her thesis was really the only one there for pure mutual support.

So right, there I was defending my thesis and question period opened up from the professors to all those attending. I can’t remember what L asked me, we had attended many of the same classes and knew each other well enough to sit together at lunch every now and then. But she asked me a question that she admitted later she thought was a softball question but even blew the professors out of the water. It was the hardest question I fielded during that defense and the one I bumbled through the worst. After all was said and done I jokingly told her I was going to attend her own full thesis defense the next year and ask her a hard question in return. She found it funny. I nearly passed out on the car-ride I got back to my apartment and did pass out when I hit my bed. I woke up to a glass of water and a bowl of candy from my roommate on my bedside table. I didn’t think I’d actually get to keep my promise.

The day I was due to move out from that apartment that August I got an email from one of my previous professors asking if I’d serve as her teaching assistant for that next year. Which was due to start in a week and a half. I even secured a second TA position with another of my favorite professors. Eight days later I went to Ontario and back again and spent seven of those days half-conscious on my parent’s couch with a chest cold from moving repeatedly between a non-air-conditioned apartment and an air-conditioned car. My mother found an apartment, furniture, and even a friend to drive us and the furniture back out.

It surprises me how many little things needed to fall in place for me to end up discovering Hamilton when I did! Fast-forward the school year and I made sure to keep my promise to attend L’s thesis defense. I didn’t end up asking a hard question but I did get invited along to dinner to celebrate the defenses (something that didn’t happen the year I defended, the jerks!).

But it was something like 1:30 and dinner wasn’t until 5. The bus ride was a relatively straight shot that took like 15 minutes. L invited me to her apartment to whittle away the time before we went down to dinner together. And, of course, what I mean by whittle away the time I mean play for me the entire soundtrack for this really cool Broadway show that’s made up almost entirely of rap songs. It has made the best rap album of the year and its actually about the founding fathers of the United States of America. What? Yep, that’s a thing.

And what a thing it was!

We talked about it a little, even during the actual songs. She explained the casting and what characters were doubled and how it gave a lot of things double meanings. We also constantly kept an eye on the time so that we weren’t late for dinner since some professors were putting the thing on for us. It wasn’t optimum appreciating time – but it was enough.

After dinner that night I walked myself home, pulled the blinds shut against the late sunset, and bought the entire Hamilton soundtrack off iTunes. I fell asleep about the third loop through. It became my go-to track for the summer. Every solo walk, every bus ride, every overly quiet moment in my apartment when none of my favorite You-Tubers had uploaded anything, Hamilton was playing.

I realized when I walked to ‘Aaron Burr, Sir’ I would switch paces and movements when Laurens, Lafayette, and Mulligan introduced themselves. I still get a hip swing in my walk when Lafayette comes in with “Oui, oui, mon ami”.

‘My Shot’ and ‘Wait for It’ tagged out with each other as my anthems when I spent most of the summer keeping to myself. When friendships fell apart and I had one left, when work with my professor was inconsistent, when swimming in the morning when the little lake was covered in mist was both lovely and lonely, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics spoke to me. Very little else got air play on my headset that summer when I walked the bike paths in the evenings and stalked the library at noon. And that was okay, sometimes the music was enough and a lot of the time it had to be enough. That summer was a remarkable improvement from the summer before and Hamilton helped to make that improvement in leaps and bounds.

I expanded my music play when I returned to school that September in a new province and a new program. Don’t get me wrong, I listened to Hamilton plenty and I might have read a fanfiction or two, but with so much philosophy and political science to remember I couldn’t be constantly drilling Hamilton lyrics into my head. Well, until my little five man class did the Federalist Papers and I might have quoted ‘Non-Stop’. Apparently pulling the lines:

“Alexander joins forces with James Madison and John Jay to write a series of essays

Defending the new United States constitution

Entitled The Federalist papers

The plan was to write a total of twenty-five essays

The work divided evenly among the three men

In the end, they wrote eighty-five essays, in the span of six months

John Jay got sick after writing five

James Madison wrote twenty-nine

Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one” (Lin-Manuel Miranda) out of nowhere is a little bit strange. The professor asked me where I knew that from and I proudly admitted I was a fan of a rap musical about the American founding fathers. I thought maybe some people would be curious or, with a little luck, maybe I’d find another fan.

Nope. Just super judgmental looks and my professor saying I was correct though some people still argue that you can’t tell exactly who wrote each individual paper but those were the relatively agreed upon numbers. The other girl in the class found it supremely funny that I was interested in such things because she really just preferred to focus on political science. To each their own but, as a personal note, don’t be an ass when someone likes something you don’t. Support them or don’t say anything if you have nothing good to say. Just…don’t be a dick.

I still listen to Hamilton quite frequently. It’s my go-to soundtrack when I start feeling down and I just need something to sing along to. I can’t match the rap speed but I’m not about to stop trying!

Dealing With My Depression

Hello!

Heading into fall and, eventually, winter beyond it, does mean that I have to fight with myself a lot more to get things done. I’m a Canadian which means winter is terrible. Well, if I’m honest I actually like parts of winter: I like watching it snow and curling up in lots of blankets and sweaters and reading while it storms outside.

Well, you might have already spotted the problem. I like winter when I don’t have to do anything. When I can literally sit inside and read or play video games. I don’t like having to go out in winter, especially in the snow. I don’t like even doing stuff around the house. And this is really problematic because I already suffer from depression.

My depression makes it hard to keep focused and active on projects. It’s the little voice that tells me not to bother. To just stay in bed and sleep all day. That nothing is important, not showering, cleaning, or eating. Add on the additional discouragement of bad weather and needing to bundle up to even walk to the grocery store and it’s a whole lot of nope.

Don’t get me wrong, my depression can be very bad in other seasons too. The winter just seems to be the worst. Knowing this, I’ve actually figured out some of the things in my life that has helped (or hindered) dealing with my depression. This winter coming up is looking pretty bad for me at the moment. I’m going to break some of this down, but keep in mind that this is what I’ve realized about myself and my depression. It’s not going to apply to everyone.

My depression is easier to deal with when I’m working or going to school. Overall, this seems to be because I am then accountable to other people. I’m able to get up and going a lot better when I know someone else is going to be asking me where I was if I didn’t show up. This is more applicable to work because they will call you out if you don’t show up for your shift. My tourism job is ending this month and as of now, I don’t have another job lined up. I also don’t have class to attend. It suddenly becomes a lot easier to lock myself in my apartment and not do anything all day.

I am really trying to avoid this from happening. I am looking for more work: I need to keep earning money too so that drive is there too. But for myself, I have my own projects that I really want to achieve. So, I’ve started making myself accountable to myself. I have planned schedules for my blog, my Youtube series Book and Page (Season 2 coming in November), my Friday Youtube videos, and even for my first self-published novel. All of that is listed in my phone, on my computer, and on my desk. I have as much written out as I can and that is reminding me that I need to get it done.

That doesn’t always let me get out of the apartment though. So, I’ve tried to start reaching out. I’m planning on visiting my best friend at the end of the month. I’ve also made some good friends at work and we’re hoping to continue meeting up even when the job finished. One of them has even invited me to start learning broad sword with her. Literally killing three birds with one stone with that one: socializing, exercising, and being a super nerdy nerd.

The winter will help with one thing: I’ll actually be able to sleep better. I have a major problem sleeping in the heat which doesn’t help my depression (or anxiety) since they make me tired anyway and I need sleep to help with that problem. So, in the winter I don’t overheat and might actually sleep through a night or two.

My appetite bounces around when its cold. The heat makes me lose my appetite so…the more I think about it the more I realize certain parts of my depression are worse in the summer and others in the winter. I might not get out as much, but I sleep better and eat a little more consistently. This is helped by the fact that a lot of my favorite meals are hot ones, more appealing in cold weather than in the summer. I’ve also found a few foods that are quick and easy enough to prepare that there’s less of a turn off in getting up and eating. Currently living with my parents makes that easier too, but they’ll be moving out of country sometime in the spring, so I’ll have to take better responsibility for my food soon.

One problem at a time.

And I always have to keep in mind that all this work isn’t always going to…well, work. There are always going to be bad days. And self-care means that I have to accept that and, on those days, baby myself rather than berate myself. Sometimes reading or playing video games for the day is okay. Not constantly everyday but some days, when you really need it. So, I’ll be sure to keep some books and my Switch nearby as the snow closes in.

I’ll figure things out. It might take some time, but I’ll get there. Maybe even with a job, haha.

Reading Slumps and Dealing With Them

Hello!

Reading slumps are a thing. Trying to actually figure out how to get over the reading slump is just as hard as recognizing and accepting that reading slump. So, let’s try and get some ideas about dealing with and maybe solving the reading slump.

  1. Recognize you are, in fact, in a reading slump. Maybe you’ve absolutely loved reading in the past little bit and suddenly you don’t have that interest anymore. Or maybe you’re still interested in doing some reading when the books are closed but the moment you try to get into it you can’t make it more than one page (even if you actually like the book you are reading). Either way, you used to want to read but now you don’t want to read. You’re first step really is accepting that that is how you are feeling. Acceptance is always really the first step.
  2. Next you have to figure out what type of reading slump you’re in. There are different types and your next steps are going to depend on the types of slump you’re actually in. So, rather than continue this awkward list I’m doing to slap some slump types as some headings and talk about some possible response to those particular slumps under those headings. Am I getting too technical for a blog post about reading slumps? Yes, yes I am.

 

I’M NOT OVER [BOOK NAME HERE]

Keep calm, there’s no need to yell. So, you’ve finished up a book or maybe a book series and you are in major feels mode for that particular book. Book hangovers – they’re a thing. Like I said, stay calm and let the feels feel. I’m serious there’s no real way to power through your own feeling so you’re best bet is to feel what you’re feeling. How many more times am I going to say feelings? Don’t judge me! Talk to yourself: why are you feeling so attached to the book you just read? Did it speak to some experience or emotion you haven’t really sat with and understood about yourself? Did the book help you through some hard times? Recognize that the book meant something to you and thus you’ll have some difficulty moving on. Try watching some movies or playing a video game or something else creative that will get you moving on without feeling like you’re “betraying [Book Name Here]” by reading another book. Eventually your feelings will come down and you can read again past that point.

 

THIS BOOK IS TERRIBLE BUT I NEED TO FINISH IT EVENTUALLY

No, you don’t. I mean you literally don’t unless its for class. Seriously, stop trying to force yourself to do something you are not enjoying. “But the book was a gift”. Well you thank the person for it anyways but if they’re truly understanding then they’ll recognize you have different tastes and accept that. Just don’t get super rude about it around them and let the book go. You don’t need to finish everything book you start, you’re allowed to be a little picky!

 

I CAN’T CHOOSE SO I WON’T

Well, if I’m honest I think that speaks to something of a deeper issue with decision making and thus doesn’t have an easy answer. Or at least not an easy answer when you unpack it. The simple surface answer is to choose anyway. Hey, if you can juggle two or three at the same time that can help to. But the hard thing is just picking a book up and going for it anyway having recognized that you can’t read all the books at once but that’s no-good reason not to read at all. Have someone else look through your “To Read” stack and pick one for you. If you can’t make that decision let someone else throw their two-sense in. But also let yourself choose and recognize that choice isn’t the worst thing in the world.

 

I’m Just Not Into Reading Right Now

That’s cool. Do other things in your spare time. Go out for long walks, visit coffee shops with friends, pick up a video game you’ve never tried before. It’s okay to need to take breaks from something you enjoy – it doesn’t mean you enjoy it less, you just want to enjoy other things right now. Nerdy Complexity would be super hypocritical if I said that you had to want to do one nerdy thing constantly. Switch it up and maybe later you’ll feel like reading again.

 

I’ve Read Five Books This Week, Why’d I Stop?

Probably because you’ve read enough. Book overload is another real thing. Try slowing down before this point or taking a break if it’s already too late for early intervention. Sometimes too much of something is not a good thing!

 

WHY CAN’T I FOCUS?!?!?!

Okay deep breath. Several deep breaths. Your job now is to figure out what your brain is trying to focus on: homework, chores, friends, family, stress? You’re going to have to focus on that thing and try and address it because reading just isn’t going to help until that thing is either addressed or set aside. This is okay and your brain is telling you that thing is more important right now. If the distraction is anxiety and is trying to make you anxious for no good reason try taking a long walk and some fresh air. Or go shopping. Talk with a friend. Something that is going to get you out of your head because reading doesn’t tend to do that.

 

So, there are six types of book slumps and some possible ways to help deal with those slumps. For the most part it is riding out the wave and enjoying something else in the meantime. Also taking nice walks. That will always be a suggested activity that I will tell everyone! Reading slumps are perfectly okay and generally very natural – do not convince yourself you aren’t a book nerd just because you don’t spend every conscious moment reading. You’re more complex than that.

 

Greek Mythology and Myself

Hello!

I’m starting a cold, so I apologize for how cluttered my head feels. It’s been a long past couple of days.

My parents are currently teaching each other how to tie knots at the dining table. They’re doing a boating class (their third one together and my father is due to start a fourth one independently shortly) and this boating course is handling some of the basics like anchoring, docking, and, of course, knots. My mother is reading most of the instructions from the book but my father, who’s always been more hands on than her, is catching on faster. He’s been walking her through one herself, calling the rope end the “wabbit” going around the tree. Which my mother has taken up as well – the rope is now a “he”. It’s cute to watch.

I recognize its not likely something I’m ever going to achieve. I’m already 25 and I haven’t had any real interest in pursuing a relationship. My asexuality certainly has something to do with it. While I’m certainly not closeted about my sexuality I don’t know how I would approach that conversation with someone I want to have some sort of romantic relationship with. I’m not aromantic, at least I don’t think so. I can at least picture myself in a relationship; snuggling, holding hands, kissing. Just not much more than that.

My friends have generally been accepting of my lack of interest in sex but I have also run into people who don’t understand how I couldn’t be interested in something that society puts at the center of any truly meaningful adult relationship. It’s like I’m not grown up enough because I haven’t shown a graduated interest in sexual activities. It’s cute to only want to hold hands, it sounds like I’m in middle school with a crush on another student.

I have legitimately been told to my face that “that’ll change when you meet the right person”. Yeah. To some that might not sound super inappropriate but it, again, implies that my sexuality is a choice and I’ll eventually make the “right” choice when I meet the “right” person. It’s the asexual version of “You’re gay? You just haven’t meet the right girl yet.” Nope, it doesn’t work that way.

Why am I mentioning it now? Who really knows, it’s a part of me and thus is something I keep in mind at the oddest moments of daily activities. Being reminded of my own sexuality by little things is a little surprising because I can tell you one of the big places I don’t find those reminders: mass media. The LGBTQ2+ community has always struggled to find representation in modern media. I say modern media because a close look at some traditional tales provides us the reminder that heterosexuality has not been the only acceptable form of relationship throughout much of history. I’ll speak to the Greek because those are the stories and histories that I’m more familiar with.

Achilles and Patroclus in the Iliad are often speculated as being in a relationship (though traditional formations of Greek relationships likely wouldn’t have worked for these two characters considering Patroclus was older than Achilles which would have made him the ‘lover’ and Achilles the ‘beloved’ which isn’t the easiest thing to picture). Several of Plato’s dialogues include Alcibiades whom Socrates supposedly courted as a beloved (and who also has one of the best entrances to Plato’s Symposium with the line “Good evening gentlemen, I’m plastered!”).

Apollo was certainly a bi character and people are made the argument that Artemis asked not to be married because she interested in other woman – so why not spend your life frolicking and hunting with your women around you, killing men who expect you to like them? Of course, it does need to be noted that Artemis had a single male possible lover but often hunting partner in Orion who in many stories was a womanizer and such a hunter as wants to kill all the animals of the earth. He has generally two death versions: death by scorpion sting (created by Gaia to stop all the killing) or death by Artemis herself (for assaulting her, for assaulting another of her huntresses, being tricked into it by Apollo, being challenged by Orion himself – there’s really apparently a lot of reasons for Artemis to eventually off him) so the label of bi may also be more appropriate.

And then there’s Athena. Virgin goddess who sprung fully formed from the forehead of Zeus (after he swallowed her likely mother Metis (the titan of crafty thought and wisdom). She doesn’t have any lovers that are known of and is treated as one of the three virgin goddesses along with Artemis (who we mentioned above) and Hestia. Perhaps Hestia suits me even more: a virgin goddess of hearth and home. Not quite as violent as Athena can be. Every hearth becomes a shrine to Hestia who gave up her seat on Olympus to the newbie Dionysus and chose to sit beside the fire in the center of the hall instead. That would probably be me at every party if people still had hearths in their houses. Tending the fire and petting the house pets.

And people wonder why I read Greek mythology so much – I can see myself in some powerful and kick ass characters which I don’t often get the chance to experience. I might not get the relationship my parents have had. I might not sit with my significant other in several years, arguing over how best to tie notes, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. I can be happy and romantically independent: I’ve got several virgin goddesses that prove that. So, pardon me, I’m going to go hunting for hearth and home! Talk to you later!