Categories
Poetry

Poem from Google search results: “suggestions for tories”

Poem titled "suggestions for tories" where google's suggested searches are marked by bold text.

Back in December, I read Brian Bilston’s Christmas poem he created from auto-completed Google search suggestions. I thought I’d try and make a poem via the same method but about the Tories instead.

Categories
Journal

How I set up my Bullet Journal in 2022

Double-page spread of creativity trackers, tracking four habits: poems, drafting fiction, blog posts and journal entries.

Starting a Bullet Journal in 2021 changed my life. It helped me to be more organised and keep track of what I was doing each day. I better understood where my time was going, and I could recognise my habits.

My BuJo brought a lot of structure to my disorganised life, and it was also relaxing and fun. How I’ve used the journal has also evolved over the past 12 months, and I thought it would be useful to share my setup.

Covered in this post: initial first pages, trackers I’ve created and my monthly setups for daily logging.

Categories
Gaming

Townscaper: Relaxing joy in building towns

A colourful town made in Townscaper with 11 houses in a range of colours, including green, blue, red, yellow, purple and white.

It’s been a week of procrastinating on real work and chilling out by playing video games, which I’m content with. A time will come when days of gaming and enjoying idleness will be a rarity, so I’m making the most of it whilst I still can.

Earlier this week, during my habitual Twitter scrolling, I stumbled across the demo version of Townscaper. This can be played in your web browser, which is exactly what I did several times this week for a bit of easy and quick fun.

The game is very minimalist — or at least the demo version is — and is just building by clicking. But its simplicity makes construction feel relaxing, and the colourful towns you create make for some pleasing eye candy.

Categories
Journal

My favourite playwriting notes from Mark Ravenhill

Final tweet from Mark Ravenhill in his 101 notes series, which reads: "To finish,Toni Morrison ‘if there’s a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, you have to write it’. Resonates -that’s how I started l-the sense that a play ought to exist,it would be easier if someone else wrote it but they haven’t so YOU MUST"

Mark Ravenhill is a playwright I studied for my MA dissertation, which focused on plays attributed to the heavily criticised label: “In-yer-face theatre.”  His play Shopping and Fucking, first performed in 1996, was one of several key texts referenced in my final thesis.

So I was thrilled when last year I saw Ravenhill sharing playwriting tips for free via his Twitter, using #MarkRavenhill101.

Earlier this week, I discovered that all 101 notes have been collected into a single post. I decided to revisit them all and have noted some personal favourites I wish I’d known sooner.

Categories
Reading

Reading goals (2022)

Outline of a bookshelf in the page of a journal. Shelves outlined in sharpie, books outlined in a black pen, the space above the books shaded in with a pencil.

The above image is a bookshelf I drew in my journal last year, filled with the books I want to get through in 2022. It’s by no means a rigid reading list, and there are books I missed that I really want to read.

No matter how many times I design a reading plan, I can never stick to it. But regardless of how different my year in books may look by year’s end, my actual reading goal differs from the challenge I’ve set myself every other year.

Ordinarily, much like many booklovers, my reading goal is a set number of books to read within 12 months that I declare on Goodreads. This number is mostly arbitrary, high enough to push me to read if I get behind but low enough that I always hit my target. It’s never really been a challenge, and I’ve been content with that.

However, this year, I decided a challenge was necessary to achieve one specific reading goal I always set myself but never manage to complete.

Categories
Reading

We All Hear Stories in the Dark: “a modern day Arabian Nights, mixed up with playing a game”

Paperback set for Robert Shearman’s We All Hear Stories in the Dark

In Robert Shearman’s three-tome short story collection We All Hear Stories in the Dark, an idea is proposed: you can read every work of literature ever published in three weeks — but you have to read them in the right order. An absurdist idea, for sure, but it builds the foundation of an interesting premise.

Categories
Journal

21 things that got me through 2021

Saying goodbye to the year in my journal and discovering my bubble writing hasn’t improved since I was a child.

It’s the last day of 2021 and what a long year it has been! Thanks for the memories ’21, but you won’t be missed.

There was a lot of shit this year, on a personal level and a societal level and obviously a global level, but there was a lot of good that got me through it. Originally this post had close to 80 things, but I decided to distil it down to fit inside 21 sections.

So here’s my Top 21 things (in no particular order) that got me through Plague Year Two…

Categories
Reading

My favourite books of 2021

Collage of book covers for 12 of the listed 20 books in this post.

I read 45 books this year and started a 46th on Christmas Day. Out of all those books, there was not a single one I’d call a bad read. Thus, narrowing down a list of favourites from this year wasn’t easy.

In the end, after much deliberation, I settled on the 20 listed below. So here are my favourite reads of 2021, listed in the order that I read them:

Categories
Journal

7 thoughts on daily journaling

Two journals, side-by-side. The left has a brown cover with the words "Master Plan" written across it. The right is a grey Game of Thrones premium notebook with House Stark direwolf sigil and words "Winter is Coming" on the front.

Many great things have come out of this year and starting a daily journaling habit back in October is one of them.

I’ve mentioned journaling a few times already, primarily in a Sunday Sharing post and in my newsletter. But I wanted to elaborate on my daily practice further. 

Journaling has done wonders for my creativity and my mental health, so I thought I’d list some specific thoughts on how journaling has benefitted me in the hopes it might encourage someone else to give it a try.

So if you’ve ever considered keeping a diary or journal (I use these terms interchangeably), here are seven thoughts on why it’s good to journal every day, which might give you that little nudge to get started…

Categories
Journal

Sunday Sharing #10: Persepolis, Close to Me, blurring the lines between work and play and more

Christopher Eccleston and Connie Nielsen: the stars of Channel 4’s Close to Me

My last Sunday Sharing of the year (and potentially ever). I’ve got several other blog posts I’d really like to focus on this month, plus I’m considering a more flexible and interesting approach for next year.

As this is the last, I’ve packed this one full of content more in line with the fifth, sixth and eighth editions of this limited series. I hope you find it worth your while.

If all you’re interested in is the list of 10 things I wanted to share from the week, you can skip to the end.