I've spoken a lot lately about finding a balance between blogging, work, writing, and life. As this is a fairly new blog, I knew I wanted to start off with a consistent schedule of daily posts. I'm incredibly proud of myself for keeping to the rigorous schedule for a solid two months of blogging, and I'm certainly not abandoning that commitment to regular posting. Now that I've made it through that first push to get the blog off the ground, though, I feel more comfortable straying from the daily posts under certain circumstances. This month I've found that my personal life and my work has required a lot more of my attention than I could ever have expected. It's been quite an adjustment to find myself in such a demanding situation during this time of year as November is my favourite month, usually filled with such happy memories. But I am marching on, focusing on the big picture. I know this time of stress is temporary, hopefully extending only until December 17 when I return to my family home for Christmas. Until then, blogging will continue on, of course, but there will be a few more weeks like this one - I'll be quiet on social media, and am likely to miss a few more Thursday posts. I still find this little corner of the internet to be such a comforting space for me and I won't be giving it up any time soon.
In other news, I posted an instalment of the Recommended feature on Monday for my favourite Parisian novels (check it out here, and it's been added to my featured posts) - this was partly to show solidarity for the city after the awful terrorists attacks last week, but also a chance for me to return to the city in literature in preparation for my visit this weekend. H and I have planned this weekend trip to Paris for my birthday as we've never properly experienced the city together as a couple, only having visited together for a one-night trip three years ago to attend a dinner with friends visiting from America. Although it will be a more sombre visit after last week's events, we're looking forward to a quiet, relaxing weekend. I will of course be visiting Shakespeare & Co. so you can expect a Paris-edition of Stacking the Shelves to be up soon. Also, you can follow my personal Instagram for a few pictures from the weekend.
Ok, enough rambling. Let's get into the juicy stuff.
This week I've been juggling three books, and I've actually been reading all three consistently (as in - one every night, but still only a few pages in each reading). I'm still surprised by how much I'm enjoying Illuminae, and I think stretching out the reading experience bit by bit is actually working in its favour (strangely enough - given its format I wouldn't expect it to be a good one for dipping in and out of but I've not been confused or lost interest thus far). I think Fates & Furies is the one I would really like to devote a good amount of time to, but prolonging the reading of it means that I don't have to leave the story just yet. And finally, I picked up Sense & Sensibility this week after I had a particularly bad day and wanted a good comfort-read. For me reading Jane Austen is as comforting as cuddling on my parents' couch with my dogs (something I don't get to do very much these days).
Here's where I make the most heartbreaking confession - I haven't written more than 1000 words all week. It was a conscious decision, to set aside the writing in order to focus on my emotional well-being, but I'm quite gutted about it actually. I am going to continue on and still aim to reach some milestone by the end of the month, but I've just had to accept that this wasn't going to be a month of copious writing for me. Sometimes life happens. And the best I can do is to keep writing every day, even if it's just a few words here and there. Eventually this period of stress will pass and I'll be able to fall into this story with reckless abandon. I'm still hoping to have a few magical writing days this month, and I've already written more in November than I had in July-October. If you're also doing NaNoWriMo, let me know if it's going well or if you need some encouragement.
I broke the Netflix fast, and it feels great. I've been re-watching 30 Rock, one of my favourite shows, and it's actually been quite effective for cheering my mood.
Also, you know I just about died when I saw that PBS Digital had a video about Ronbledore on their Ideas channel:
Not sure how it happened but I'm back to listening to Gilmore Guys day in and day out. I had made it to their episodes on Season 3 when I had stopped and started listening to the current ones when they're released each week...now that I'm trying to catch up again, I realise why I had stopped a few weeks ago - it's just too much! But I love it so much.
I have saved a few non-Gilmore Guys podcasts for the trains to and from Paris - In Our Time: Emma, TED Radio Hour: Adaptation, Thinking Sideways: Who Finked on the Franks, and On Being: Ann Hamilton on Making, and the Spaces We Share
First and foremost, this piece on The Toast is just perfect. Literally perfect. This is my life right now. No, but really: Alternatives to Writing Your Thesis. Also quite perfect, is this discussion on women from none other than the Notorious R.B.G & Gloria Steinem. And I just read this great review of Adele's new album - I have a feeling 25 is going to be a big love for me, especially now as I turn 25 next week. For a very different kind of read, I enjoyed this look into why English is such a weird language.
Poem of the Week
The Truth is Concrete
by Katie Peterson
November wind. The feeling of knowing
something before you said it, all over everything.
As in, shadow take me into the side of the mountain.
As in, open up the earth and get inside.
Leaving doesn't mean much. Arriving
means everything, how you came to be where you were,
even if later it will hurt to think of it.
And the forgotten, aren't they always
the most remembered elsewhere, before they perish,
when someone has their eye on them,
and later when the shrines are made
with local flowers and icons of heroes, roses
in midsummer, angels on winter wings?
I'll leave your local customs to your own imagination.
Leaving, though, always a kind
of unfolding of the act of staying. Last night
I knew it was the East wind not asking for me arriving
because the door to the kitchen blew open, last
night, at the edge of sleep, like someone using only half the
The book about Brecht separating at the seam
because my reading had been the last one it could take
before breaking into Exile and After, California
in the middle, with the playwright in short sleeves,
bored on the PCH, looking at the dramatic
cliff work with a friend who meant well, driving,
arriving at the slumlord dockyards saying at last scenery.
You must forgive me or forgive the book for breaking.
It was tired, you see it was a paperback, from the time
people actually wanted ones like that, thought
books like that should be held in hands
on beaches or in cars or in cafes. Sleepy, almost sleepy,
falling asleep, awake, now, I admit it,
I was completely awake, listening to the wind, which I cannot
Nothing in the mind but that reckless pleasure
and somewhere in the book Brecht saying the truth is concrete