#TheReadingQuest Sign Up

With under an hour left before sign up closes for the magical Reading Quest created by @ReadAtMidnight and illustrated by CW of ReadThinkPonder I decided this is perfect for my first ever participation in an online reading challenge!

Take a moment to investigate the game play, rules and rewards in full here: TheReadingQuest

Having discovered this only moments ago, I am wildly attempting to throw together a quick post that will get me across the deadline.

I have chosen the path of the Rogue!

rogue1

 

I will be leaving the side quests unplanned. As a Rogue, I do indeed have some hidden gems in my TBR, should I manage to squeeze extra reading time into my schedule.

I began with 20 books from varying positions in my TBR list of 178 *correct when written at 14.00 August 13th (a date also noted as 374 days prior to the dawn of my 30’s)

I have painstakingly whittled these down to 8 titles, some of which could serve as more than one tile option, we’ll see how it goes shall we?

I am still open to recommendations on my path to reading a ‘small press’ book should anybody have some for me? My usual go-to’s include SciFi, Dystopia, YA, Thriller, Horror or a classic. However for the sake of challenge, I would willingly consider any fictional recommendation!

Hit me in the comments or on Twitter.

For now I must race through the remaining 55% of my current read- Fellside by M.R.Carey so that I can join the party! Late. As Always.

Intro: Let’s do an experiment…

I suppose without context this blog might only appeal to me, which is fine, but then if I wanted to be the only person to understand it why would I do it online? Anonymity is useful for discouraging bias, but I personally find it a struggle to connect with an entirely unknown source. So I’ll provide a little background about An Average Life, whether or not to my detriment you decide.

Lets do an experiment.

Read slowly, think fast.

 

I came into the world in 1988. Now fast approaching 30 years of age. 

Picture me in day to day life for a moment.

What assumptions did you just make?

Supposing an answer you manufactured was about my current relationship status. Am I married? No. I am divorced actually. Does that surprise you?  I guess maybe not, depending on your culture and geographical location. Did you read the word ‘divorced’ and presume I’m single and unhappy?

I have a wonderful home, a loving partner and one dependant.

Picture that

What does that tell you? Do I rent or own my home? Is it a mansion or a tent? My mind conjures flowers and cottages whenever people describe their home as ‘wonderful’. Is my partner male or female? What do I mean by dependant?

I bought my three bedroom terrace house in 2013. With a mortgage of course, this is ‘An Average Life’ after all. My boyfriend and I have a cocker spaniel puppy and our garden grows an impressive variety of flora every year considering we never plant nor water them.

I wonder now, how many correct conclusions you drew before and after each fact? Are you stereo-typing against your will? Whether you consciously chose to assign characteristics to me or not, your mind will do it if you close your eyes and imagine.

Here’s one I’d struggle to guess at this point, what is my occupation? Do I even have one? Having read what I’ve written so far, what would you assume?

Pick three career paths for me.

Did you guess? I am a retail fashion manager for a world renowned LTD company. Of course, I won’t tell you which company. How could I investigate employee breach of social media policies if I’m prone to them myself? So no, I will not divulge that information. I will ask though, does the phrase ‘world renowned’ connote a positive opinion to you? Would you have less trust in my writing if that was an unjustified implication, even though you’d formed it yourself?

Did my vocabulary tip you off that I am English yet? Or did you acknowledge my username at the beginning to ascertain I am a female in the United KingdomWestcountry by the way.

You know my name but you have no idea of my race or religion. Had you presumed one for me yet? Will you do so now that I’ve mentioned it?

Who am I?

Which of these facts, if any, do you find necessary for you to identify with another’s writing? Would you have stopped reading earlier if I was a stay-at-home parent, a successful business owner, an unemployed flat-sharing artist or a grandmother in retirement housing?

Perhaps you formed a few perceptions between the italics, don’t forget though, that would only be your own suppositions. Suppositions that could also teach us about our own current mindsets

With a non-specific blog such as this I give myself complete freedom of content and massive scope for judgement or misinterpretation of its purpose. Such is the internet.

So this is me, this is mine, I’m happy to share, do what you will with it.

TheReadingQuest- A Banned Book

“Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and works on Wall Street; he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. Taking us to a head-on collision with America’s greatest dream – and its worst nightmare – American Psycho is a bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognize but do not wish to confront.

American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time – a multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic.”

Or in my own words, monotonous and irritatingly materialistic. I get that’s the point, there needs to be emphasis on how stinkingly rich the characters are, but when I’m still reading entire paragraphs describing the outfit each person in the scene is wearing 30% into a book I’m going to get bored.

I’m not a materialistic or designer worshipping type of girl myself. I knew before entering into this that there would be constant reference to money and condescension towards those less fortunate but I hadn’t realise the bulk of the book would consist of it.

Yes there is murder, there is violence. You will find exactly what you expected to, eventually.

I have to admit this is the first book that reduced me to skim reading. I didn’t find the ten plus pages outlining discographies of Whitney Houston or Genesis added to the narrative. I didn’t enjoy reading repetitive chapters full of Wall Street ‘gentleman’ arguing about where or what to eat. Though I will concede that having to do so made the violent and sexual scenes more jarring.

It is well written, the unease and discord I felt whilst reading it was, I assume, exactly what Ellis had intended.

If you are looking for some intense gore, animal abuse and lewd erotica then by all means, have at American Psycho. It is easy to see why this was a banned book.

If you prefer your stories to have a plot, or even just a beginning and an ending I don’t recommend it.

I chose this for the banned book on my path as a Rogue during TheReadingQuest by @ReadAtMidnight.

I wish I had picked A Brave New World.

418 pages read. (TRQ +41HP +10EXP)

£1.19 on Amazon Kindle (on 28/08/17)

Mind Mess: My Fight With Perfectionism

I used to be someone that scoffed at the words ‘depression’ or ‘stress’, in my opinion a person should just pull themselves together and forge on. I thought my father used depression as an excuse and my colleagues were just being lazy when they were signed off with stress.

So karma bit my ass and handed me a mental illness of my own.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

I was diagnosed over three years ago. Medication allows me to control it most of the time but there is no ‘forging on’ when it doesn’t.

I battle with my own mind on varying scales every day, I’ve dug down into my psyche in attempts to rid myself of this illness over and over again to no avail. I tell myself the silver lining of my big, black cloud is that it has made me more compassionate. I have a much better understanding of those coping with mental illnesses and I am ashamed of my previous stoic attitude.

What frustrates me is I am able to identify the events, people and choices that caused me to think this way. I know the hows the whys and the whens. There’s no underlying issue or past trauma that I haven’t already pinpointed and dealt with, there will be no sudden revelation that releases me from the vice.

I have to reprogram my brain, change my own thoughts and perception of myself. But just as it was a long, slow sink into my current state, it’ll be a long, slow climb to get back out. There are two halves of me, the half that is rational and the half that is not.

-I have so much to do at work today and I must finish it all or I am not good enough // I have set myself unachievable targets and my best effort is enough.

-My house is an absolute hovel, I need to clean every inch, starting with the paw print on this wardrobe mirror // Just clean the mirror and relax, the house is not dirty and nobody else ever thinks it is.

-My writing is terrible and boring, nobody will enjoy reading it// I write for my own enjoyment so it shouldn’t matter what others might think.

I’ve heard and read the mantras- My best is good enough, I don’t have to do everything myself, Nobody is perfect. I know these things but they don’t stop me from pushing my body to its limits; working til every muscle aches, cleaning til I fall asleep in a laundry pile, hitting total exhaustion several times a year.

The only person telling me I’m not good enough is me.

But how do I shut me up?