Book Review: Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

SAS2016 has been a fairly good year of reading for me so far.  Up until the end of this week I have managed to read thirteen books.  Considering I managed a rather feeble twenty books for the year in 2015, this is almost a blistering start.  I could not give a good reason for the change, other than the fact that I managed to get a bit of a roll on while on holiday back in March.  Also, I’ve decided that it is perfectly legitimate to add in my read-aloud kid’s literature.  I mean, when you are reading Carnegie winners and classics like Roald Dahl, how can you not include them in your official reading list for the year !?

Anyway, amongst the March books there were two re-reads for me.  One was a lovely visit back in to the world of Harry Potter, and the other was back to Regency England with Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

I’ve linked to the review I posted over on the 1001 Books blog.

To see what else I’ve indulged in so far this year, you can check out my 2016 Reading List page.

Book review: Emma – Jane Austen

EMy latest book review is up over at the 1001 Books blog.  It’s a perennial favourite by Jane Austen – Emma.

I was finally brave and tackled an Austen.  I first read them as a teenager and loved them.  I think I’ve watched every BBC adaptation of her work since that time too.

I can also say that my vague memory of the 1996 film adaptation isn’t one of dread.  Ms Paltrow isn’t a massive favourite with me, but that was more than offset by getting to see Jeremy Northam as Mr Knightley.

Whether you are an Austen fan or not, feel free to pop over to the other blog and leave a comment either for or against.

Morning Pages

MPsI could have sworn that I had spoken at length about my favourite help-mate when my head becomes overwhelmed with life, but on searching the blog I find that I have seemingly mentioned it only in passing comments.

Well today I plan to rectify that.

Every now and then life gets to having a bit too much going on in it for an INFJ like me.  I do a mental curling up in a ball while my mind rocks back and forwards hugging itself.  It seems part of my nature to overload myself in cycles and then retreat from pretty much everything.  When those big dips in the cycle come along I find myself turning to something I discovered well over ten years ago.

Morning Pages.

The idea is from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (or in Kindle form, if you prefer). I stumbled across this book by complete accident and I’m so very glad that I did.

The Morning Pages are one of the two basic tools in unsticking yourself creatively – or in my case removing the clutter from my mind to help me in my daily life.  It isn’t a journal as such, it’s stream of consciousness writing.  Ideally done first thing in the morning, your aim is to fill three pages by hand.  Yes, the old fashioned (or currently hip) way to do things.  Personally the morning isn’t really working for me at this point in my life, although I did this for a few years quite happily.  Those years were pre-children.  The same applies to doing it by hand.  I type much faster than I can write, and with so little time (relatively) to do this on any given day – I’ve taken to doing it digitally.

I’ve been maintaining a private blog online to do this in, but I have found that I am hit and miss with this; only using it when I REALLY need to get something off of my chest and out of my head – but not into someone else’s ears.  And after listening to the Happier podcast for a while now* I’ve decided to try and work with my own nature rather than fight it.  I’ve found a free (always a good start) online option to try out.  It’s called Morning Pages (unsurprisingly) and it has badges and points and 30 day challenges… all those funny little things that seem to add a dimension of fun and accountability.  It’s not all bells and whistles since that’s not what the MPs are all about.  They are about getting roughly three pages of writing out of you and on to the page.  You don’t need flash editing toolbars and widgets to do that.  I’ve only just started using it, and I’m going to do my best to head there every day for the next 30 days in order to get this back to being a proper, automated, habit.

As well as that, I’ve been toying with going through The Artist’s Way again to try and unstick myself from this round of over-commitment by getting some fun and creative things back in to my life.  That old saw – Balance – is my ultimate goal.  I’m a realist and know that balance is not a static thing but a shifting, juggling act of being tipped a little one way and then back another – think of a clown juggling *badly* at the circus… all that wobbling and stumbling about is just for the laughs, but it’s a pretty good analogy for real life I think.
I’m unsure if I will blog about it, should I go through the process, since that’s just adding another commitment which may fall over in short order.  If I do, you are welcome to join in and leave links to any of your own blog posts about working your way through the book.

As a random aside to finish today’s post, I’ve added a new category here at Oh Waily tonight – it’s Writing.  This doesn’t seem to be a big deal but it actually is.  Even though I have been writing this blog for over ten years now, I have never considered myself to be a writer.  I blog.  I put my thoughts down on the digital paper, but I’ve never used the term writer to describe any aspect of myself.  But clearly I am actually writing otherwise you and I are having a very strange interaction right now.  It’s only taken ten years but tonight I think it’s time to acknowledge that I am an actual writer.

Righto, on that bombshell… go read a bit more about the Morning Pages, or give it a try (in either long hand or digital) and then come back and tell me how you got on!

* and about to re-read The Happiness Project, newly read Happier at Home and Better than Before – all of which are waiting on my Kindle for me to get going.



A book review. What a mystery!

In light of the youngsters in the family coming down with a nasty cold, it’s going to be a bit of a lightweight post here today.

My latest book review was posted over at t’other blog yesterday.

It was a very old favourite of mine, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.
You know the review is going to be positive from someone who had her entire canon as a teenager, don’t you?  Anyway, you can pop over there and read it, or wait until I re-post it here some time towards the end of the month.  The choice is yours.