Saturday, September 13, 2014

little pieces of poetry

I have thought about posting some of my poetry for a while now. It is just something that I enjoy writing, and I want to share it every now and then. So here are a couple I have written this year, with little explanations as needed.


[written the night before I had my operation]

there is this moment
where I want to disappear into you
so that I don't have to face tomorrow
I can just be a part of your
bloodstream
meditating on the sound of your
heartbeat
and forget that I have my own



[popped into my head one morning]

we, who are amputated at the hip,
feel each other still. 
Acutely and totally. 
Wondering at the absence of each other 
and trying to find the reason. 
But can there ever be
sufficient reason enough for our
operation? 
We must continue on as our own person, 
no longer sharing life with another.




thoughts and feeling are welcome. love to all who read.

p.s. this is my own work. please don't reproduce without permission. :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sparkle Points #3

If you'd like to see where I am taking this from (we are up to number 3, after all!) just click the tag below that says 'sparkle points' and you can see!

As usual, I will bring in the old list and update things as per activity completed/attempted.

LIFE To Do:
  • go swimming! I miss it... I still haven't gone...
  • collect the piece of pottery I painted over three weeks ago... (I really need to do this...) FOR REALS.
  • get back to writing! (I took a few days off from it and haven't gone back yet.) find the joy in it again! nope. still nothing.
  • start learning about book proposals and such~ nope...
  • figure out if I want to go ahead with some big plans of mine... hmm still mulling these over.
  • try new things with regards to my health. make the new appointment (anagram: nap pimento newt!)  scary appointment made! much easier process than I expected...
  • continue with lovely rituals that Xin and I are developing to spend more quality time together. I love our rituals so much. we haven't been able to complete our rituals as much lately because of busy-ness and sickness, but we still talk about doing them when we can :)
  • think about constructing a blog series on what seems to be a huge passion of mine: kpop idols and how they are treated in their industry Again, still mulling this over.
  • start walking again - and yoga-ing!
  • cook more, as I know it brings me a lot of joy. baking?


UNI To Do:
  • finish researching and writing my short feature article for my magazine features unit  done!
  • construct and submit my blog submission on authorial identity for my writing, deception and authenticity unit done!
  • finish readings and ilecture for week four done!
  • familiarise myself with other assignments! done!
  • start and complete the process for withdrawing from one of my units (I had to make a decision here. I may or may not go into it in more depth at another time.)
  • readings and ilecture week six - finish!
  • construct second blog submission on truth in memoir
  • start presentation assignment due week eleven

WISHLIST (current):
  • AKMU Album - Play  ordered for me! still waiting...
  • G-Dragon Album - Heartbreaker
  • DVD copy of the 1995 Sense and Sensibility movie...  Xin and I watched this recently and I forgot how much I adore it. Alan Rickman! Emma Thompson! Hugh Grant! Hugh Laurie! Kate Winslet! Goodness.
  • Ouran High School Host Club Manga boxset? Still thinking about it...
  • Film for my instant camera! I got some more recently (just a little) and I forgot how much I love this darling device.
  • Crash Course DVDs?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: Defector by Susanne Winnacker

I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...



Title: Defector
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Series: Variants #2

Synopsis: "Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. She is trained to use her powers as an agent of the Forces of Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI.
After the success of her first mission, Tessa has made peace with her life as a Variant. Even her love life is on the up...
But when Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?"

My thoughts: Now, I haven't actually read the first book of this series, and so when the second book turned up on my doorstep, I was a little surprised and - dare I say it - underwhelmed. I took one look at this cover, and at the blurb, and assumed I wouldn't like it.
As always, though, I decided I should read the book before giving in to my initial judgments (actually, often wrong...), and I'm glad I did. I ended up really enjoying this book.
It was a fast read, with quite a bit of action. Tessa is an interesting character, who remains quite strong in a confusing world, and who shows her weakness and tries to work through. Occasionally I was a little frustrated with her thoughts (as the reader is privy to them), but overall she kept things moving.
Having little experience with these books and not having read the first one, I was thrown into the deep end a little bit with trying to understand the whole idea of 'variants' and the FEA, and also with trying to understand who each character was. However, despite this, Defector actually stands pretty well by itself, and I found myself ripping through the book in no time.

I think Winnaker does a good job of displaying a teenage girl's mind (I am vastly generalising here, please forgive me), and I felt like I understood Tessa's thought processes. This is a sharp, fast YA that got me out of a reading funk, and I enjoyed it. I am considering checking out the previous book just to bring my knowledged up to scratch!


I received an unsolicited copy of this book from Hachette.

You would like this book if: you like fast YA; you feel like a funk-breaker.

Rating:  6.5/10

If you'd like to keep up to date with what I'm reading, follow me on Goodreads here!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Musings on Anxiety


I have been dealing with some rising anxieties of late. I have had trouble trying to figure out what is actually causing the anxiety, but it seems to be linked to my overall decrease in health of the last couple of months - and how that is limiting my ability to study this semester.
I have had so many communications with my current unit coordinators - and other people at my university, too - and while they have been extremely helpful, it is still not really the best situation for me, or for the teaching staff. I have been unable to turn up to class (aside from one in Week Two) since semester started, and one of my units grades on an assignment that is completed through receiving and offering feedback for your peers. There are a couple of other issues, too, and I just find myself longing for online classes.
To that end, I have started organising them for next year. While I am able to attend classes sometimes, it doesn't happen often, and I think I would do better on my assignments without the added stress and guilt of not being able to turn up.
And yet, I can't really do that with my current units.

I have been feeling a bit lost and frustrated in this whole endeavour, and that is a recurring theme for the past few weeks. I have lost track of whether I am getting sick and then stressed because I am sick, or if the stress is making me sicker (probably both).

Despite all this, I am doing my best to remain grounded. Uni is important to me, yes, but there are other things much more important. My health, for one. Love is important to me, and friendship, and family. And somewhere along the way, reading and writing became extremely important to me. More so than studying. 

This may be a difficult time for me, but it is contributing to my learning - about myself and what I want out of life. I will endeavour to update you guys on what is happening a bit more often :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

{2014} August Reading

Books bought:
~ The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
~ The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Books received:
Aurealis Awards...
~ Blood of Innocents (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence #2) by Mitchell Hogan
~ The Other Tree by D.K. Mok
~ Blood Work (Night Call #1) by L.J. Hayward
~ Aftermath of Armageddon (FirstWorld Saga #2) by Christopher Jackson-Ash
~ Inside Out by Will Elliott
~ North Star Guide Me Home (Children of the Black Sun) by Jo Spurrier
~ Demon Child (Celestial Battle #2) by Kylie Chan
~ The Eternity Gate (The Timekeepers #2) by Traci Harding
~ The Shadow's Heart (The Risen Sun #3) by K.J. Taylor
~ Wall of Spears (Empire of Bones #3) by Duncan Lay
~ Bound (Alex Caine #1) by Alan Baxter
~ Obsidian (Alex Caine #2) by Alan Baxter
~ The Sorcerer's Spell by Dani Kristoff
~ The Shadow Master by Craig Cormick
~ Peacemaker (Peacemaker #1) by Marianne de Pierres

Other...
~ The Book of Days by K.A. Barker
~ Defector (Variants #2) by Susanne Winnacker

Books read:
~ Julia's House of Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
~ The Rise of Aurora West by Pope/Petty/Rubin
~ Memory (Vorkosigan Saga # 10) by Lois McMaster Bujold
~ The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
~ Chronic Resilience by Danea Horn
Blood Work (Night Call #1) by L.J. Hayward
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

This month was a bit of a reading bust for me, honestly - you can probably tell. I normally manage to get double digits - at least I have for the last few months - but this month I made it to seven... with two of those being fairly short graphic novels, and one being a children's book. Hmm.
I do have a fairly legitimate reason for not reading much - I've just been too sick to do much of anything. It has been really hard not reading much - and then, often when I was able to read, I'd just jump from one thing to another incessantly, without much pause. I couldn't settle.
The Aurealis Awards are well and truly off and running for 2014 - at last count we've had 23 nominations for our category, and we've already received well over half of them. So of course I managed to read one book for the awards... and then jumped into other things.
I suddenly had an urge for some decent Sci-Fi earlier this month, so I grabbed the next Vorkosigan book off the Kindle store and read it - I was having trouble finding the right order to read them in, though, but I think I'm there now. I also got part of the way through the 11th book, but didn't end up finishing it.
Chronic Resilience was an excellent book to read, and it appeared on my library's 'new books' stand at just the right time. I have been having so many problems with my health lately and still trying to move forward, so reading this was just excellent and reminded me of the things I could do to support myself.
Finally, The Queen of the Tearling positioned itself on my radar quite a few times before I finally gave it a go, and I am so happy I did. This is an excellent historical-style fantasy (it's not really set in our history, but has castles and queens and awesomeness like that) that took a little while to get into, but was definitely worth the effort.

I am still on my book buying ban at the moment - but I had allowed myself two 'emergency' books if I wanted. I have now used those - I purchases the Cuckoo's Calling to replace my copy that was given away (totally fine with this as now I have the cover I like), and then I really wanted my own copy of The Queen of the Tearling to read. My book-buying ban ends on September 20th, so we'll see how I go!

Have you gotten much reading done this month? What are you enjoying at the moment? Have you read anything in any of my lists above?
Love to all who read.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

On Instinctive Knowing and Other Conundrums

gorgeous picnic times with Xin

People who read regularly, or those who actually know me, may know that I have been getting sick almost every week lately. Not just with my usual stuff - I can generally work through that these days (generally being the key word here) - but with additional things like infections and viruses of every kind.

Surprisingly, I haven't really decided that this whole thing is 'unfair' or anything like that - even though it has been quite a few weeks of getting sick and then getting better only to get sick again. Whenever I talk about it, I just say that it's been really hard/difficult, and leave it at that.

The thing is, I just feel like this is supposed to be happening right now. I don't know why. I feel like I'm supposed to be resting for the majority of the time, and learning how to be without getting too worried or stressed. I am relearning the important things in my life once more.

Don't get me wrong, it's really really difficult. I have been brought low by this so many times, but I give myself a pat on the back for getting back up again. I try to do my best each day - even if my best is just managing to empty the dishwasher. I am proud for doing that activity.

I am trying to give up on comparing myself to others - not just those who have careers and energy to burn, but also those that are 'sicker' than me. I know other spoonies that have terrible pain every day that no one can diagnose, and others that haven't been able to walk unassisted in over a year. I applaud them for their bravery in continuing on, and I send them hope and love that one day they won't have to go through such discomfort. But I try not to compare. Because, yes, I can still walk. And yes, my pain doesn't last all day every day. But it still impacts upon me and my life, and it is hard to get through sometimes.

I had an idea the other day that sprouted from my frustrations about needing someone impartial/sympathetic to talk to, but being unable to give the energy to finding a good counsellor, let alone leaving the house to see them. I wonder if someone could set something up online - like the emergency counselling you can find online - but for people with chronic illness. I want to do that for others. I've had this idea floating around me for months now, and I keep thinking about it, but I'm just not sure if I can pull it off. This is my other conundrum at the moment.

Understandably, my health has not made it very easy for me to study or see people lately. Sometimes I have a glimmer of stress about that, but I have learnt to acknowledge it, realise that it isn't really going to help if I start worrying while I can't do anything, and then return to calm. Things will work out when they can.

Love to all who read.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sparkle Points to be Gained #2~~

(this post series was formerly known as To-Do Listing (post one here) but I wanted a nicer name that worked for me. so... Sparkle Points!)

I am catching up with uni, and doing things with health appointments. But I feel the need for a review of what I wrote before, and maybe writing out a few things I want to do here to keep me going! So, points from last time will be in black, and I will update them if they are done, and new ones will be in another colour!

LIFE To Do:
  • get back into the FODMAP diet - more recipes and more cooking will lead to more joy and commitment Done! To a certain extent. It was decided that the FODMAP diet doesn't really suit my needs right now, so I am trying other options. But I did commit to it for about seven weeks.
  • go swimming! I miss it...
  • collect the piece of pottery I painted over three weeks ago... (I really need to do this...)
  • get back to writing! (I took a few days off from it and haven't gone back yet.) find the joy in it again!
  • start learning about book proposals and such~
  • figure out if I want to go ahead with some big plans of mine...
  • try new things with regards to my health. make the new appointment (anagram: nap pimento newt!)
  • continue with lovely rituals that Xin and I are developing to spend more quality time together. I love our rituals so much.
  • think about constructing a blog series on what seems to be a huge passion of mine: kpop idols and how they are treated in their industry


UNI To Do:
  • Unit Outline #2 - read and mark assessments in diary Done!
  • get readings and start for next week~ also done!
  • finish researching and writing my short feature article for my magazine features unit
  • construct and submit my blog submission on authorial identity for my writing, deception and authenticity unit
  • finish readings and ilecture for week four
  • familiarise myself with other assignments!

WISHLIST (current):
  • AKMU Album - Play  ordered for me!
  • G-Dragon Album - Heartbreaker
  • SHINee mini-albums that I don't have....  I still want a few more of their mini-albums, but I have pre-ordered Taemin's mini-album (although technically it's out now...) and also pre-ordered SHINee's new Japan Album that is coming out in September... plus many other Kpop albums that I am so excited about!
  • DVD copy of the 1995 Sense and Sensibility movie...  Xin and I watched this recently and I forgot how much I adore it. Alan Rickman! Emma Thompson! Hugh Grant! Hugh Laurie! Kate Winslet! Goodness.
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butterfly elephant

creating a place where rest and rejuvenation are paramount