From Meltdown to Let Down

Disclaimer: Mental Health is as diverse as people are, please keep that in mind while reading. Your mileage may vary. Oh, one more thing, mind the harsh language…

 

panic

Hiya friends, welcome back. I know this is going to be shocking but there is more to me than being a bibliophile, and because of that I’ve decided that Monday’s here shall forever more be known as Mental Monday. Well, now that we’ve established that…let’s get mental.

Maybe the best way to start this is to explain what I mean, I have GAD (three letters that simply mean everything scares me, also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and a panic disorder, causing just enough panic to make me agoraphobic. (I know, right?!?! Could I really be any cooler?)

Basically, my brain likes to overanalyze everything and then deduce that the obvious response is fight or flight. I have spent the last 5 years trying to get control of this with no medications. I mean, I like the TWD as much as the next person, but I don’t like being a zombie. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried to use other things to cope, mostly booze, which didn’t help me at all.

When I was first diagnosed my family and friends had no idea what was happening to me, neither did I honestly. I can still remember the first panic attack I ever had, it was outside a restaurant and I was convinced I was dying. My parents kept telling me to “Just breathe,” but I couldn’t, I couldn’t stop the overwhelming feeling that I was suffocating in my own skin. I figured it was just a one-time thing and went about my business as usual.

Until it happened again, this time in a store.

I knew something was up, and I knew I needed to figure it out. I made an appointment with a doctor and was told, “It sounds like you had a panic attack. It was probably just residual stress from everything that’s been happening in your life. It’ll pass.” It didn’t fucking pass, in fact, they got worse. Another doctor visit and they decided to try medication, saying it would help. It did not help, it just made it worse. Another doctor, another pill, another moment of false hope. I gave up on meds after that. (Side Note: Just because they didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that I believe they don’t work for anyone. If they do help you, I’m so jealous and yet so happy for you that you found relief.)

Cut to now.

I have plans tonight!!! I’m supposed to go see a show, one that I’ve wanted to see for a VERY long time, and there is the anxiety. I am so worried that I’m going to panic in a room full of strangers, who probably could care less what the hell is happening to me, but my brain says, “everyone will see, you’ll be embarrassed, people will KNOW!” Did I mention that I really want to go?

UPDATE: The show got fucking canceled. Can you believe that? I was so determined to go and enjoy myself and then wham, cancelation. Did you know there is an emotion that makes you feel really bummed out when something like that happens? I didn’t know that, I actually had to ask if it was “normal” to feel let down when you were, in fact, crazy anxious and panicky all week.

I don’t really know how to end this honestly, welcome to my brain. Until next time…

Book Review: Magic Bites

Hiya friends, welcome back. Prepare yourself for my first ever book review…dun dun dun. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Magic Bites

amazon 2B&N2

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…(Amazon)

My Final Thoughts:

It’s no great secret, judging by my last post, that I am a massive fan of bad ass female characters, the tougher and mouthier the better. Kate Daniels is the embodiment of that very description, a tough as nails merc determined to find who killed her guardian. Throughout this story, you meet a wide variety of interesting characters, from the Beast Lord to a teenaged werewolf to a creepy vampire. Now I know what you’re thinking if you’re anything like me, “werewolf and vampire, oh hell no I read Twilight, that was enough for me,” but trust me when I tell you to give this book a chance. I adored the witty banter between the characters, and loved even more how Ilona wrote about magic in a way that didn’t leave me wishing for Harry Potter (quite difficult to do with a Potterhead like me). If I had to find one negative in this book it was that it left me with a few unanswered questions, but all in all, that’s not bad because it makes me want to read the rest of this series. On my scale, I’d rate this book 5 feels, it gave me all of them my friends.

There is only one thing left to say, until next time…

Woman Crush Wednesday…

Hiya friends, welcome back. First, let me apologize for how late this post is tonight, my stupid brain has been sabotaging me at every turn this week. In my personal life, some things have been going a little wonky, between the sabotaging brain and a few other things it took me a while to decide what to write. But, alas I caught a break and the brain gave me an idea. I bet you’re curious now so let me explain, in my life, I am surrounded by amazing people, half of which happen to be some tough as nails women. Between the women in my family and the women I am lucky enough to call my friends, I seriously know some real-life superheroes. So, in honor of them, I give you this, my version of Woman Crush Wednesday, some of my all-time favorite bad ass ladies. Enjoy my friends…

 

Hermione Granger

HP1

Yes, this is obviously where I start. Hermione, with her books and cleverness, is hands down one of the best female characters ever written. This witchy genius knows that the answer to any question can be found at the library, that just speaks to my soul. She’s a fierce friend, and not afraid to be herself even when being herself makes her the least popular person in the room.

 

Katniss Everdeen

The Hunger Games

The girl on fire. Who doesn’t like Katniss, even if Peeta and Gale can get a bit annoying (don’t judge me, they seriously annoyed me at some points). I mean she literally sacrifices herself for her sister, if that doesn’t make you bad ass I don’t know what does. She becomes the face of a rebellion and stands up to a corrupt system, all because people needed hope.

 

Elizabeth Bennet

Pride and Prejudice

Smart, strong, and mouthy. In this time women weren’t good for anything except to marry, yet Lizzie bucked against all of that. Yes, she eventually falls in love with the handsome Mr. Darcy, but until that point, she outright refuses to conform to what everyone thinks a woman should be. She speaks her mind and to me that is something that should be celebrated no matter what.

 

Dicey Tillerman

Homecoming

At 13 her mother abandons her and her siblings in a mall parking lot, and instead of waiting to be found and risk being split up into separate foster homes she decides their best bet is to walk to a cousin’s house. Throughout this book, Dicey becomes everything from a caregiver to a protector. I don’t know about you but at 13 I could barely take care of myself let alone three younger humans, that makes her bad ass in my book.

 

Arya Stark

Game of Thrones

I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I will. She’s tough, smart, and witty as hell. Between you and I, I would not want to meet Arya in a dark alley with her trusty “Needle.” She’s a warrior and makes no excuses for it, she doesn’t want to be like Sansa and sew, she wants to fight like her brothers. Come on people, she’s epic!!

 

Well, there you have it friends, five seriously bad ass female characters who deserved some praise. If you lovely people have any to add let me know. Until next time…

The Riddikulus Post

Hiya friends, happy Monday! So I totally meant to plan a good blog post for today, I was hoping to review Magic Bites, but stupid anxiety had other plans for me. I need something fun and easy to do, so Harry Potter tag it is. The second I saw this tag I knew it was for me, I’m a massive Potterhead and quite proud of that fact. Sit back, grab a butterbeer and let’s see if you agree. If you don’t, feel free let me know what you feel different about.

 

1) Favourite book?

HP6
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this but hear me out before ya get all judgmental face. I will stand by this one being my favorite book based simply on the fact that this is where Snape’s loyalty comes into question. In the previous books we know he hates Harry, but Dumbledore refuses to say one false word against him. This book makes it clear Snape is playing both ends against the middle because he’s still one of the big bad’s best Death Eaters. There’s a reason they released book marks with the question, “Is Snape good or evil?”

2) Least favourite book?
This is an annoying question for me, I hate to talk bad about this series. If I had to pick it would probably be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Don’t get me wrong, the whole Triwizard Tournament is pretty cool, I mean dragons, merpeople, and a massive maze full of magical goodness … epic in and of itself. Cool magic aside, this book is so full of teenage angst, I could almost feel the acne forming. Seriously everything from Ron being all hacked off that Harry’s name came out of the goblet, to everyone trying to find dates to the Yule Ball. Ahhh the joys of adolescence.

3) Favourite movie?
Oh, this is a tough one for me to choose. If I’m honest, I love them all in their own special way, yes, I’m a nerd and I am completely okay with that. I would have to say, and I know I’ll get dragged for this, but it would have to be Half-Blood Prince. There are some seriously humorous moments in this movie, “Why is it, when something happens, it is always you three?”

4) Least favourite movie?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they just left so much out. Where was the sphinx in the maze? No mention of Hermione letting Madam Pomfrey carry on when fixing her teeth? Just really good moments that were missing. Also, Dumbledore asks Harry calmly in the book, in the movie he basically screams it in his face. Winky???

5) Favourite quote?
“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Thanks for that reminder Ginny.

6) Favourite Weasley?

fireworks
Fred and George, or Gred and Forge. They’re basically one person, right? They’re the ultimate troublemakers, and that speaks to my inner mischief maker.

7) Favourite female character?
I have two, Molly Weasley and Luna Lovegood. Molly is seriously badass, everything a female character should be. I just love her! Then on the flip side, you have Luna, this character just speaks to me. I’ve been called quirky and unique, and honestly Luna is the very definition of those two words.

8) Favourite villain.
Oh man! I’d say Lucius Malfoy. When he appears in the Chamber of Secrets, he really is quite a formidable foe. He sneaks that diary into Ginny’s cauldron, causing that entire plot to unfold. Then as the story progresses he pops up at the Quidditch World Cup and is so snippy, reminding you that he really shouldn’t be trifled with. Then as all bad guys do, he inevitably falls from grace when Voldemort strips him of everything right down to taking his wand. He goes from cutting this imposing figure to just being a scared man who wants to save himself.

9) Favourite male character?


Ron or Neville, it’s kind of a toss-up for me. Ron is really the epitome of loyalty, even with the moments in Goblet of Fire and the Deathly Hallows, he is so freaking steadfast in his loyalty to Harry. I mean I think we all want a friendship like that between Harry and Ron. Then there is Neville, the boy who lost everything because Voldemort, was petrified of Snape, and always seemed to have the worst luck, and yet he still found the courage in himself to face them both.

10) Favourite professor?
McGonagall, hands down. She’s tough, but you know she has a soft spot for those kids. Plus, I really love how she never backs down from Umbridge.

11) Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
I don’t think I could listen to Lockhart drone on about himself for an hour, let alone a day. I’d have to say wash Snape’s hair, I’ll take greasy hair over bleeding ears any day.

12) Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly?

Molly
How is this even a question, an elated Bellatrix does not scare me nearly as much as an angry Molly, and it’s safe to say Bellatrix is crazy.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car?
Hogwarts Express. Seriously a nice, comfy compartment with all those sweets off the trolley, sign me up.

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath?
Kiss Voldemort. I can’t be the only person who wonders what it would be like to kiss a guy with no nose. Does that make me weird? Probably does, but the alternative is Umbridge in a bubble bath, no thanks. Pucker up Snakeface.

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt?

Firebolt
Easy, Firebolt all day. I’m super clumsy but I’d take my chances just to have a go on that broom.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Draco. In the books, he comes across as this whiny, spoiled brat, in the movies Tom Felton made him all that but somehow made my urge to punch the character less. It was a pleasant difference.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
I don’t think so, I love the books, and there are some parts in them that I really found myself missing in the movies.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
Not a fair question, both were portraying the same character. Yes, the way they did so was different but both were amazing. C’mon Dumbledore is an epically complex character, and both actors did him justice.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most?
PEEVES!!!! He was seriously hilarious, and annoying, and just everything! I really wanted him to be in the movies, but alas …

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?
More than likely Goblet of Fire, I already listed all my missing parts in it so I won’t reiterate it.

21 Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

gryffindor
Gryffindor. I’m not smart enough to be a Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff just didn’t incite anything in me, and I’d never go dark side so Slytherin is out. That just leaves Gryffindor, the house of the brave, and I’m pretty brave (unless it’s dark, and then all bets are off).

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?
Gryffindor, see I told you it was meant to be.

23) Which class would be your favourite?
I think I’d totally love Defense Against the Dark Arts. Who doesn’t want to learn how to fight dark wizards? Plus, I’m a brave Gryffindor so that’s like my calling, right?

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

Riddikulus
Riddikulus, come on this one is self-explanatory. I’d love to blast my anxiety like a boggart.

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
This is probably the easiest question on here, I’ve said it from the beginning I would most definitely be friends with the twins. I’m always up for pranks and hijinks, like I said mischief makers.

26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?
The Resurrection Stone, death is a terrible thing. I know from the story that it probably wouldn’t work out for the best, but it would be nice to bring back the people that I’ve lost in my life.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?
Yeah, I would have loved for there to have been a moment between Harry and Draco at the end, sort of like an understanding. That moment of we’ve been through some stuff together, but it’s all in the past. I know they were mortal enemies, but in the end, did it really matter?

28) Favourite Marauder?
I like the three that didn’t turn out to be lying, backstabbing jerks. Mooney, Padfoot, and Prongs! Separately they are all pretty wicked in their own right, put them together and that just sounds fun.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?
Another easy one, Fred. As much as I ugly cried for Dobby, I would use the resurrection stone to bring Fred back. I don’t think George could ever be truly happy without Fred, I’m almost positive that saying “two peas in a pod” was made for them.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?

hallows
While horcruxes are cool, the idea of splitting your soul freaks me out a bit, therefore I am going Hallows. Master of Death has a pretty cool ring to it, don’t ya think? I bet I could pull it off.

 

I gotta say this was a seriously fun tag to participate in. I know you’re supposed to challenge people, so I challenge all of you. Until next time…

 

Just Beyond the Veil…

I’m not sure if it was the rain that woke me up or the fact that I couldn’t breathe, but whatever it was I’m awake now and I know sleep won’t come again tonight. Sitting up I swing my legs over the edge of the bed and press my feet into the cold floor.

“Ground yourself, focus on the cold.” Looking through the gap in the curtain I know it’s early. “Great the sun’s not even up yet and I’m already talking to myself, should be a great fucking day at this rate.” I sigh and push myself towards the window, knowing that fresh air will help.

“It won’t help.” A raspy voice says from the chair in the corner. “They say talking to yourself is a sign that you’re going crazy.”

“Fuck you, and who says that?” I don’t need to turn around to know who is in my room, we’ve met before.

“People…”

“Save it dickhead, I know what you’re trying to do and it won’t work. Why are you even here?”

“I always forget how sweet you can be in my company.” A chuckle bubbles from the dark. “But, to answer your question, I’m here because you keep inviting me back.”

“I don’t…” I whisper, knowing even as the words leave my lips it’s a lie.

“You don’t…what? You don’t invite me in? You don’t want me here? Oh, I see. We’re in the denial phase again. What fun!”

Looking down, I scowl at my white knuckles and slowly peel my fingers from the sill. I know how this goes, we’ve played this game before. Every time it’s the same, a battle of wills, who can outlast the other. Steeling my face, I spin around to look at my tormentor.

“Not bad, you were quicker this time, but judging by the fact that I’m still here it’s not good enough. A for effort though.” Through the darkness, I can’t make out his face but I know he’s smiling.

“You actually enjoy this, don’t you? At least I don’t get off on people’s misery, I’d say that makes you crazier than me.” I know it’s petulant but I don’t have many options here.

“I never claimed sanity, I leave that to you.” The shadow shifts somehow growing darker and continues. “You might as well put that face away, it doesn’t scare me. Especially not when I know what lies beyond it, all those feelings you hide from everyone, you can’t hide them from me.” The shadow stops talking as suddenly as he started.

“While you were rambling about how good at your job you are, I remembered the most important thing.” Taking a deep breath, I walk away from the window and step in front of the shadow. “If I invited you then it stands to reason I can kick your ass out.”

“Well, well, well…look who came to play.” Rising from the chair he circles me, applauding my newfound confidence before bending to whisper in my ear. “Well played this time, but I’ll be back you know I will. I’m always waiting, watching, biding my time…I’m always just beyond the veil.”

Bothering the Biblio

Hiya friends welcome back. The other night, while talking with a friend, somehow the conversation moved to books. (Don’t give me that look, I wasn’t the one navigating, I was simply a passenger in this conversation) We started off talking about all the reasons why we love reading, and how amazing books are. Being as my friends love to pick on me for being an avid reader, the conversation quickly became, “Ways to annoy the Bookworm.” What follows is the list we compiled and why I find them so annoying.

 

The Changing of the Covers

If you’re anything like me you know exactly what I’m talking about, and you’re rolling your eyes already. Let me explain, an author spends a great deal of time writing their literary masterpiece, it hits the bestsellers list and then something amazing happens…it gets optioned. Now you know what’s coming next…the inevitable changing of the covers. There was nothing wrong with the original cover, they’ve just decided now that it’s a movie or a television show it ought to reflect those characters. So, this book that you read before it was all cool and motion pictured, now lies between two covers with actors on it. I’m not saying that this detracts from the story, and it’s wonderful that it grabs a new audience, but seriously the cover still had the title on it. You want them to know it’s now all fancy and you can watch it, how about slapping one of those “Now a Major Motion Picture” stickers on it?

 

The Difference between a Bookworm and a Monster

Do not, I repeat, do not dog ear my pages. You know that saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” well I will put that to shame if you bend a page in my books. A true bookworm knows that anything, except for food, can serve as a suitable bookmark. Here are some tried and true bookmarks to save you some hassle…. receipts, index cards, a corner torn from a magazine cover, hell I’ve even used a candy wrapper before. Anything will work, just don’t bend the corner over.

 

The Bait and Switch

Hook

This one might not be as clear just from the name, let me walk you through this one. We’ve all had that moment in the bookstore, where you pick up a book that has caught your eye and read the blurb on the jacket. This is followed by a sense of euphoria when you believe you have found your next reading adventure. You take the new book home and settle in for an incredible story, only to get three chapters in and realize…” hold the phone, this book sucks…the bastards tricked me.” That my friends is the bait and switch, and allow me to be the first to apologize if you have ever encountered this. If not, well then you are quite the lucky reader.

 

The Disappearing Character

Imagine you’re reading a novel and you are introduced to this incredibly intriguing character. You spend the rest of the story waiting to get the answers to that character, only to realize he/she is nowhere to be found. Two chapters of a character, leaving you with questions that need answers, and now you’ll never get them. Why? Why give me a character and then poof take them away? What purpose does that serve? But what happened? You’ll never know, and that sucks!

 

The Waiting Game

Clock

Finding a series that you love is a great moment, the prospect of more than one book to fall in love or hate with a cast of characters is heady. I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to devour books at an alarming rate when I really love them. Reading that quickly inevitably leads to arriving at the end of the available books and having to wait a year for the next installment. UGH…just thinking about this makes my eye twitch.

 

BFMYWF (Best Friends Making You Wait Forever)

I’m talking about the time between recommending a book and when they finally finish reading it. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting quietly, waiting for them to finish so we can talk about it. I pass the time by asking the typical questions…” What part are you at?” “Do you like it so far?” “Got a favorite character?” When all I really want to say is, “Why the hell are you taking so long to read it. It’s so good, I couldn’t put it down. A turtle could read faster than you, but don’t worry I still love you. Are you done yet? Are you? Are you?” But, then there is the moment when they do finish, the dam breaks, and you just bombard them with everything. Ahhh, bliss.

 

There you have it, 6 ways to annoy a bookworm (namely me!). You can let me know of any I missed, it’d be nice to know I’m not the only weird one. Until next time…

Story Effects…

Hey friends. I’m sure all of us have read books that have stayed with us for one reason or another. You know what I’m talking about, those stories that left a lasting mark? Well, this is exactly what Tiffany Crystal and I have been talking about recently, so we decided to do a collaboration about some of the effects stories have had on us. Hope you enjoy the humor here…(and yes I can even laugh about it now).

Scary Stories

Ugh! There was this book that was the epitome of cool back when I was in elementary school, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”. There were quite a few creepy stories in it, but one story will always stick out, “The Red Spot.” This story scared the hell out of me, I’d be prepared to testify under oath in a court of law (sorry, I’ve been watching A LOT of Law and Order) that this is where my fear of spiders started. This story talked about how a girl woke up one day with a red bump on her face. When she asked what it was her mother told her it was a spider bite. Simple enough, right? Yeah, no. After the bump started growing they decided to go to the doctor to get it checked, them being worried about an infection and all. In the end, the doctor got busy and they were never seen. That night the boil split open while the girl was in the bath and thousands of baby spiders flooded out (blech), the next morning she was found dead from all the spider bites.

Spiders

Now I’m not sure if you’re an arachnophobe like me, but then again, I’m not sure you even need to be for the idea of this story to give you the willies. Now let’s remember I read this book when I was maybe 8, it messed me up. I had this irrational fear of spiders crawling in my ears and laying their eggs. You know how most kids have their parents check for monsters under the bed? Yeah well, I made my father perform S.W.A.T like tactical type sweeps of my bedroom to check for spiders. Looking back now and reading it again, it doesn’t really pack the same punch as it did when I was 8, but spiders and I are still not going to be hanging out any time soon.

Well, there you have it friends, one story that left me with something. If you guys have any of your own to share, please do. Oh yeah, don’t forget to check out Tiff’s half of this, you won’t be disappointed. Until next time…