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Archive for the ‘Literature/Stephen King’ Category

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens

Since I wrote The Drowning Feminist, I’ve had an outpouring of empathy from people in the same position. Men and women who are stuck at home, desperately trying to keep themselves motivated, keep their brain active and keep their head above the quagmire that is stay-at-home-parenthood. I can’t believe how many of my acquaintances have, in essence, been suffering in silence.

As such, I’ve been debating about whether or not to create a Facebook group, where we can support each other. It’s not a get-rick-quick scheme, I won’t be advertising or making any money, but I know that I’m much more likely to succeed and keep moving when I’m talking to others about my goals (i.e. I don’t want to visibly fail, so I push myself). In my mind, I see a group of people who post questions about what they’re struggling with (be it course information, technological issues, how to get into business or everyday crap), free courses and YouTube tutorials, general motivational stuff to get us off our arses and a whole lot of vents. If you’re interested in this, please, please vote below. I don’t get a lot of traffic here, so I’ll never know otherwise 😉

Now, back to the all-important me. I had a couple of weeks where I was incredibly motivated. Managed to stick to a cleaning routine and keep my house spotless (which, is a first!) and do a little bit of stuff here and there in between. It was too tiring though and I wasn’t able to keep it up. I was deep-cleaning a couple of rooms each day. So, I’ve now moved to focusing on a general clean a day and more stuff to build me up. I also have a swanky new desk! Well, a ‘console unit,’ but it’s pretty and I like it.

I’ve booked myself onto a photography course, as I mentioned before. However, I was completely unaware that it was actually a diploma! It’s a lot of time, which I don’t have, but I’m doing it anyway. I will succeed! I’m still on the basics, but have been faffing with photography in the meantime. Below are my first attempts and the mirror picture was heavily edited (I kinda like it like that, though) and not at all planned, so it’s not perfectly focused.

…and now I have to go because I just found my three year old putting mascara on my one year old.

Reflecting Youth – My baby girl decided to have a play in the mirror.

Mucking around while learning about my Nikon D5300


The drowning feminist

I’ve always considered myself a lazy feminist: I ignore protests, petitions and debates, unless they directly affect me, but I do believe in equality and I see red when treated like less because of my gender.

Stereotype me beacuse I’m a woman and I’m guaranteed to flip a lid. I am just as able to make a decision, manage finances, have a career and survive as the next man. I would never be treated like a little woman… until now.

Before I continue, I should point out that I drafted the first few paragraphs and title of this blog in November 2015, over two years ago, when I was starting to feel trapped in a gender-stereotypical role in the quagmire that is military life. I’ve moved on since and accepted my role as a stay-at-home-mum, which was originally by choice. I fought my way out of that, studied, grew, built up a childminding company and successfully kicked the fuck out of my ‘little woman’ image.

Yesterday, two years later, I had a hard lazy-feminist day. Yesterday marked the day where we realised that financially, I cannot work. Having two children, childcare isn’t affordable at all. Even with 30 hours funded by the government, we realised I couldn’t find something in the role that I wanted to do (or a role that would work towards my career) that could cover the extra costs. Just to break even.

There are ways forward and things I could do. For example, I could walk into an incredibly well-paid job tomorrow, thanks to my experience and qualifications, but I’m not willing to sell my soul (or allow my children to be parented by strangers at a nursery) for something as trivial as money. I have made such progress in my life and mindset that taking a gigantic leap backwards isn’t worth it. So, I had to face the fact that I will be a stay at home mum, quite possibly for the next 2-3 years. It’s hard to keep positive when faced with this. I allowed myself a whole minute of pathetic weeping, then picked myself up. I have to make the best of this.

There is no way that I will sink into domesticity, donning an apron and making my best apple pie. I can’t clean for shit, my house is always a tip, I’m late to everything and I’m just too much of an ass to allow myself to be downtrodden by others. So, I’ve decided to try and stay positive and use this time to focus on other goals and enjoy my children. Keep my mind awake, my intellect intrigued, do my best to be a good mum…to keep being proud of who I am.

Firstly, I’m focusing on reading and writing. These are things that make me very happy and I know they will never do me wrong (well, what I write often gets me into shit, but, as an overall activity, it does me well).

  • I’m working on a children’s book. Nothing major and I don’t expect to get published, but, in a saturated market, I believe I have a good idea and I like doing it. It’s also a goal I can work towards, achieve and kick ass at. Whether someone buys it or not is irrelevant. I’ll go the agent route, perhaps directly to publishers, but if those routes don’t work, the kids will thoroughly enjoy it. Hopefully!
  • I’m going to blog more often – keep my adult writing going and it’s a relatively cathartic process. I won’t be sharing to other platforms unless I feel it’ll benefit someone else.
  • I was given a one-line-a-day five year diary for Christmas and I’m keeping that going. It’s nice to summarise and helps with exercise goals (at the end of each line, I write “Did squats. Didn’t die.” It helps to remember I survived!). 
  • I’m keeping a book journal and trying to read as much as possible. It’s not easy with two young children, one of which is me incarnate. She’s a darling, but, god, does she have a temper. I’ve got myself a book stand to help me find my current book (a daily struggle with my 3 yr old being into everything) and have joined book clubs. Still looking for my first book, which I started one line of and then someone walked off with it.

Secondly, I’m going to try and do some work-from-home crap. Perhaps selling wedding stationery, which I seemed to have a knack for. I might do some editing, but it’s soul-destroying work and means I need complete quiet – an, as yet, unachieved status in this household. I dunno, I’ll find something. I have a nice new graphics tablet, so I’ll just spend some time reminding myself how utterly untalented at drawing I am.

I’m sounding upbeat and positive about this. It’s a necessity. If I let myself feel anything about this, I’ll drown. In reality, this is hard. This is really fucking hard.


All about Kindle Publishing

To sum it up: it’s a ball-ache.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I can publish my own work and submit the many innocent readers out there to my waffling, but God, it takes a long time.

Firstly, it’s easier to write for Kindle than to edit your existing work for Kindle Publishing. Take everything that is pretty and stands out in your book…and delete it. In the perfect world, you should have almost no formatting, except Heading 1s, a ToC (Table of Contents) and indents in all your paragraphs… oh, and page breaks before each chapter.

Then, if you’ve mistakenly pasted all your pictures into your document, instead of inserting them (we all do it at some point), go back and redo everything.

Then, once you’ve jumped through those hoops (they seem small, but they’re not when you have 50+ pages of graphics), you have to navigate through Kindle’s incomprehensible ‘Help’ section or Forums (they’re slightly easier).

Forewarning: Pre-empt yourself for the most boring 2o minutes of your life before watching the ‘how to publish’ video. They take you through everything at the pace of a snail. It’s painful, especially when they’re talking about the formatting in Word. It takes a good 5 seconds to click on the ‘Format’ tab.

Once you manage to figure out how to save it in the right format, bung all your pics and web-page into a zipped folder and finally, actually get it published, you have to figure out how the bloody hell this thing works.

It’s not made for Saffas, nor anyone outside of the US. I made my second book $2.70 and on, it came up at $3.70 after tax and delivery, so I decided to lower the price to $2.00…now it’s bloody $4.00 on! I gave up at that point, which is why it’s slightly overpriced (although, it’s currently on a free promotion). The promotions section, surprisingly isn’t on the pricing page, but rather in the section where you can delete your book accidentally. It all, in general, is mind-boggling.

However, that said, many other blogs helped me find my way and once all the hoops have successfully been jumped through, there’ll be a silly, self-satisfying triumph grin on your face.

So, without further adieu, because you’ve already been smothered with posts and tweets about it and definitely need one more reminder, here are my two books.

then it was gone
facebook and twitter for over 60


I apparently write like H. P. Lovecraft.

I know I’m posting a lot lately, but I came across a pretty cool (and probably entirely incorrect) site/tool, that you should try out, just for fun.

Simply put in your text and find out who you write like.

I’m concerned that my political blog says that I write like H.P. Lovecraft, but my blog on weight implies I write like Cory Doctorow. Overall, I write like a science fiction author. Even though I read no science-fiction, perhaps I should try my hand at writing some.

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software.Analyze your writing!

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!



Review on UR by Stephen King – Low men in yellow coats

URUR by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly – Loads of spoilers, do NOT read this if you haven’t read UR yet.

It’s been so long since a book has totally twisted my sense of reality and reading UR on my mobile has taken me back to times of reading The Dark Half and ‘Salem’s Lot…. not to mention The Talisman & Black House or so many others that loosely and surprisingly mention The Tower.

What an incredible story. The plot is good, nothing really to write home about, but it grabs you and pulls you in like no other. Low men in yellow coats make it worth the short read (it should have been so much longer) and, while you may not like the characters, you do become them.

I found myself mimicking The Walking Dead; roaming my house, phone gripped in one hand, bumping into things as I tried to make it to the bathroom without stopping reading. Much like Wesley, I too couldn’t put my ‘Kindle’ down.

A silly little book that has made my Ka-tet senses tingle.

Long days and pleasant nights 😉

View all my reviews

Looking for the audio book? Click here.

PS. This is the worst: When you finish a really good King and haven’t another to tide you over! I have In the Tall Grass and A Face in the Crowd still to read, but I have a feeling nothing will match this buzz. Excuse my total lack of academia and eloquence, I’m way to high on King at the moment.


Short teensy review on King’s Mile 81

Mile 81Mile 81 by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Right, seeing as I’m sharing this on my blog, I thought I’d best do a full(ish) review.

Spoiler Alert for those who need it:

King’s depth of characters and understanding of human nature and people always astounds me. I love how he understands children and remembers what it’s like to be a child. His books are often a portal to forgotten memories of my childhood. He brings us back with simple things, such as the misspelling of ‘swastika’ in Mile 81 (“Notzi swat-sticker”), much like mentioning that as a child, he thought that a ‘bitch’ was an ‘extremely tall woman’ in On Writing.

Along these lines, I have one negative with the story: I can’t imagine a 6 year old thinking the world ‘asshole,’ even if she didn’t say it. It seemed out of character, but perhaps that’s my rose-tinted view of children. Apart from that, he was dead on his description of the characters.

It was short, so there’s not much to say. Although, the obvious similarities to Christine aside, it’s a unique short story for him. It’s definitely not his best (not on par with something like ‘The Raft’), but it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

I picked it up, assuming that I wouldn’t be able to finish anything that wasn’t in normal paperback/hardcover format, and ended up being disappointed that it had finished so quickly.

All in all, worth a read and a whole $15.00 🙂 Now I move on to UR.

Want to get the book? Click here.


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