The Cult of Productivity & “Do Nothing” Guilt

As awful as the pandemic has been, a lot of people have used the time to do stuff they’d never previously done. The running joke is that we’re all now banana bread master chefs and massively overweight from all the cakes and biscuits we’ve made and eaten.

It’s great some have taken the time to slow down, but it seems to have made a pre-pandemic problem far worse.

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My Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

You’ll find hundreds of articles like this. And yes, I know this article might just get lost in the void. Sure, some of those tips from professional writers and editors, and people with 20 books under their belts. But we’re all different and we all have different tactics for getting through this. Here are mine.

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All Forms of Storytelling Are Valid – Yes, Even TikTok Videos!

The idea for this post essentially began a decade ago. I’ve started and junked about five past version about the apparent debate over real books vs audio & ebooks. I’m amazed anyone thinks it’s valid to challenge how anyone chooses to consume literature when it’s literally the same content in a different format. Ebooks and audio books are not the only fiction formats subject to such snobbery though.

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Chronicling Our First Year as Allotmenters

Just over a year ago, we went full on middle age when we decided to take on an allotment. For the non-Brits, this is a parcel of land that you rent from a landowner to do with as you please (within reason). Some people use them as a private garden but for the most part, they’re used to grow food. This was our intention but also to put some space aside for wildflowers and decorative plants.

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Exploring Class and Society in Carnival Row and Snowpiercer

NB: I know Snowpiercer season 2 is currently going up on Netflix so I’m going to limit discussion of it to season 1 alone.

Carnival Row on Amazon Prime and Snowpiercer on Netflix are two vastly different TV shows. True, they have some big name actors (Jennifer Connolly and Sean Bean in Snowpiercer, and Orlando Bloom, Indira Varma, and Cara Delevingne in Carnival Row) with high product values and slick effects. They’re grand in scope and set design. Yet they have so much in common, particularly in how they explore social privilege.

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How To Digital Detox as a Freelancer / Small Business

Digital detox – you might have heard the term. Essentially it means to disconnect from some or all social media accounts. Although the science behind a dietary detox is pretty shoddy, there are good reasons to take a break from social media. When done well, you can come back refreshed and with a better focus.

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Who Had Wildfires, Pandemic, and Mass Protests on their 2020 Bingo Card? (My Year in Review)

When I have looked back on past posts defining my expectations for the year ahead, change seems slight and incremental. Little changed between the January and the December though I’m typically heading in the right direction. But this year, all bets were off. The post from December last year looking forward to 2020 seems like 1000 years ago now. Little did I know then, just 6 days before Christmas, that the worst pandemic in over a century was on the horizon.

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This World Mental Health Day, Give Yourself Permission to be Creative

It’s 10th October and that means one thing – World Mental Health Day. Last year, I essentially “came out” to my family about my own struggles with depression. It took me a long time to come to terms with the mood swings, the inexplicable low periods, the periods of anxiety and especially the SAD. Now I’ve fully embraced and acknowledged it,

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How You Can Support Independent Sellers This Pandemic Christmas

Article originally published in 2018 updated in 2020 with pandemic information.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Over the last few years, there has been a movement in retail trends imploring consumers to have an #IndieChristmas – buying Christmas presents from places other than big business and to prioritise independent sellers.

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Frank Herbert’s Dune: “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.”

This was actually one of the first articles I wrote on this blog way back in 2011. It had an overhaul in 2016 or thereabouts and now, with the new film due, a second revamp.

Science fiction is often about technology, yet there are some fictional universes where some technologies we take for granted are taboo. Let’s take computers, for example. Religious dictats are as prevalent in one world as strictures against Muslims and Jews eating bacon are here, today, arguably even more enforced. That is the world of Frank Herbert’s Dune.

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