January Favourites

Welcome to 2018! What have you been up to this month?

Resolutions vs.  short-term goals

I’ve made resolutions for the New Year for most of my life, but….they never worked out too well. I’ve done longer-term goals, but I’ve found that whatever illness I have has pretty much nixed my ability to stick to deadlines. Instead, I decided to create a page in my bullet journal that has several short-term goals that I want to accomplish for this month. It’s a mix of fun self care, as well as chores that need to get done before I start growing whiskers. So far it’s been going well!


Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – what a fantastic book! I grew up outside of the UK, and a lot of what I learnt about anti-racism was from an American perspective. Getting to know more about my country’s history, and present with racism has helped me to understand issues outside of an American perspective. I highlighted my favourite quotes from this book on Women’s Republic.

The Marriage Pact is a thriller about a pair of newlyweds accidentally getting trapped in a marriage cult. Very American, weirdly written, but somehow, so compelling!! Definitely a book to save for a rainy day.


I played Firewatch over the holidays and it was amazing. You play as Henry, a man who, in the wake of his wife’s early onset Alzheimer’s, chose to take a job as a firewatcher in Shoshone National Forest. Henry’s only contact with the outside world is his supervisor, Delilah – who he can only speak to via radio. This game starts off as sweet, but proceeds to crush your every emotion. It’s expensive, and a fairly short game, but the payoff is absolutely worth it.

Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionare’s Conspiracy, in the tradition of all Layton games, is a right mouthful. But in a break from tradition – this game’s Layton is a woman! I have been furiously jotting down my thoughts, and plan to write a full review.


I have a ginormous cross stitch kit that I bought when I was in Thailand last summer (over 35,000 stitches) and I’m barely done with a quarter of it. I got fed up, and instead bought some adorable (and more importantly, small) cross stitch kits from Etsy. I’ve been working assiduously at a little pair of otters, and it’s coming along swimmingly! I plan to make some crafting updates in the future, so keep an eye out!


I finally took the plunge and watched The Room this week. Oh my goodness. It was truly so incredible. I had NO IDEA that it was possible to see that much of someone’s arsecrack in a non-pornographic film. Of course, The Disaster Artist was just as amazing.


By The Book is EVERYTHING my lazy self could wish for. I get to experience the life-changing promises of self-help books, with zero of the effort! if only I had the effort. One of my favourite episodes is America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money.


Vox harkens back to my puzzle-solving, dollshouse loving childhood, but with a creepy true-crime twist!

The only thing better than terrible movies are lengthy Youtube videos talking about how terrible they are.

Women discuss what being butch, or masculine of centre means to them.


I found this article on building a writing system super useful! I’m not able to write every day because…illness…but I have been consciously brainstorming and planning a lot more often. At Women’s Republic, I’ve also published an update to my post about John Miller, the man who admitted to being a multiple rapist on his Facebook page. And lastly, I wrote an article about the harm that pervasive callout posts can create.




What have you been up to this month? Have you decided to make resolutions this year, or try something new like I did?



Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018


I can’t believe 2017 is over! It was certainly…a year.

2017 was ambivalent for me in many ways – on the one hand, my health did a complete 180 and I spent the first 7 or so months mostly housebound, thanks to a tricky combination of chronic pain, poor pain management, and medication.

Although I’ve been able to scale back my studies to part time, start trialling pain meds, and buy mobility aids, I’m still uncertain about my future as a uni student and whether I’ll be able to keep up with two modules next term. Even with just one I’m barely attending 60% of classes a week. I honestly think I’ll be forced to interrupt my studies until later this year, when I’ll hopefully have found pain meds that work for me and a diagnosis.

On the plus side, this year has been a real wake-up call in terms of my (dis)ability. I feel I’ve grown more appreciative of what I can do, chronic pain be damned. This has taken a lot of adjusting (and 2 am crying jags), but I think I’m in a place where I can finally start getting my house in order. 2018 will be my year to sort out my health and get a proper diagnosis.

In spite of my health, I’ve still been able to do some really amazing things this year.

Top amongst them was travelling to Thailand to visit my boyfriend and his family – I’ll definitely return in 2018!

Next up – making my first trip in a wheelchair. Yes, people are weird and creeped out by wheelchairs, but it’s hard to notice when you’re spending your first ENTIRE DAY OUTSIDE in God knows how many years. I even came home with energy to spare! This was a definite turning point for me – getting my own wheelchair has opened my horizons so much. Before I would leave the house for 1 or 2 hours and then come home exhausted. Now I can actually plan to go outside for an entire day, squeeze in a lot of activities and sightseeing, and enjoy it! As you can imagine, travelling has always been something of a drag for me – but now I’ve found out that I, too, can be an irritating tourist.

What is the most incredible to me is how I’ve been able to stick with this blog for so long. I made several failed attempts when I was younger, but never had the patience to bother after the third post or so. In 2017, I found so much joy in writing, and reading other people’s work. Of course, because I can’t just enjoy something for its own sake, I’ve been able to CV-ify this too. I really think that I’ve managed to demonstrate my interests, work ethic, and writing skills as time has gone on. I’m even writing at a second website now – Women’s Republic – and I’m going to be applying to some more volunteer writing jobs this year. I’ll also try to find some books on non-fiction writing to improve what I’ve got already.

I’ve loved video essays for a while now, and I really want to progress to making my own. I’ve got some vague plans knocking about for two films, but I think I’ll knuckle down and make a short video essay – hopefully sometime in January or February! Then, if I like it, I’ll continue with the other and keep going. Expect some very rudimentary film analysis, bolstered by literary and feminist analysis.

2018’s got a lot going for us – have a great year everybody!

Featured image from Freepik.com.


What I Learnt After 4 Months of Blogging/Advice to Other Newbie Bloggers

1. Draft, draft, draft!!!

Quicker things like my This Week in Links posts, I can usually just write, spell-check and then publish immediately. But with longer posts (like my Wonder Woman series) I will write several drafts before I can finally pummel my writing into something coherent.

2. Fact check EVERYTHING

Ideally before you write a full draft. I found out a couple hours before I published my post on Themysciran femininity that the majority of the Amazons were real athletes and my assumptions were completely off. It’s boring, but fact-check and save yourself some online embarrassment.

3. Make photo editing easy

I wanted to make my cover photos more personal, so after struggling to use Gimp I finally found Befunky.com. Its free software lets you crop, add text, filters, and borders easily.

4. Know the difference between bad writing and writing that doesn’t interest you anymore

If the writing feels wrong, go back and do it again. But if you’re struggling to write because you are bored out of your mind, perhaps it’s time to look at it from a new angle or scrap the piece entirely.

5. Ask a friend to read your work

This really shook up my arguments and helped me write more clearly. If you don’t have a friend or family member that can look over a post for you, join a local (or online) writing workshop.

6. Write everyday

When I just started my blog, I avoided writing and only got into it when I felt motivated.

I got sick of jotting down all my big ideas but then just letting them get stale. I’ve worked up from a minimum of 15 to 25 minutes a day, and my goal is to continue until I get to at least 40 minutes daily.

Getting into this habit has actually made me look forward to writing. Even if I am struggling to write, I know that by the end of the day I made progress.

Now I just need to bring this same level of dedication to my coursework

7. Follow people whose work you enjoy

Reading the work of experienced, sharper writers helps me see the flaws in my own writing, and lets me see what works.

Some of my favourite creators right now are Ijeoma Oluo, Hannah Witton, Anita Sarkeesian, Lauren Orsini, Ira Glass, Felicia DayLindsay Ellis, and Esme Wang.

Who do you look up to? Tell me in the comments section below!

7. Pace yourself when writing a series

My Wonder Woman series was fun, but by the end I’d lost interest and writing the last post was a struggle. I think this was partly to do with the time between posts – about one per week.

If I did it again, I would bang out drafts much faster so I could preserve my initial enthusiasm, instead of making it a long slog for myself.

8. Write down all of your ideas

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Once something comes to you, scribble it down somewhere so that you can come back to it later and see if something will develop out of it.

9. Consider whether you want a theme

Having a single, solid theme helps attract a readership that shares your interests.

For example, on my other blog, What in Tanknation?!, the theme is just the tanks that me and my boyfriend build and paint.

Here, I struggle to have a coherent theme because it’s really just stuff that interests me. That’s why when I was gaming more heavily a couple months ago, my blog featured mostly video game reviews, but recently I’ve been focusing more on feminist film reviews, and I’m going to branch out into some interviews and posts on chronic pain.

As I’m not heavily into one particular topic, I struggle to build up a followers list as there’s no consistent content. If you’re looking to gain more followers, I recommend finding a theme and sticking to it.

10. Write drafts in Google Docs, and then move them to WordPress

I’ve found writing drafts in WordPress to be nowhere near as easy as writing them in Google Docs, just because there aren’t enough features that help with editing.

I installed the WordPress for Google Docs add-on that lets you export docs to WordPress’s drafts, and now the entire editing process is much more streamlined.

Images originally from Toei Animation.