Unpacking books and feelings
Bookshelves made me cry
Roads Go Ever On 17: Unpacking books and feelings
💻 what I'm up to 💻
Do you ever do this thing where you tie part of yourself and your success to a certain task? Like, for example: I’m a failure of a human being because I haven’t been to the dentist in over six months. And yes, I am talking about myself. That’s one of several tasks I feel inadequate for not crossing off my list. We set these bars for ourselves and beat ourselves up in ways we would never do for others.
Another of those tasks that I’ve bound together with being a loser is fully unpacking. I moved about five months ago. I would never put this expectation of being unpacked with art on the walls on anyone else. But myself? Yep. We unpacked a lot of stuff soon after it arrived. But stacks of boxes covered chunks of the basement and anytime I made a trip down there, I felt guilt. Over 20 of those boxes were books and I’d gone about getting bookshelves in the completely wrong way (I wanted built-ins but they cost so much money and I couldn’t, I ordered some shelves from Wayfair that wouldn’t fit through my office door, and then I settled for IKEA Billy shelves that actually turned out to be perfect for my needs and look lovely and I should have just ordered them in January, sigh).
Anyway. My bookshelves finally arrived and knowing we would build them over the weekend, I started carrying boxes up from the basement. Bit by bit. Determined to move them all myself, I plodded along, bruising my arms and making my feet scream. I shelved books with triumph in my heart. I’ve never been happier about breaking down boxes. The pile of empty boxes grew.
I finally hauled the last box of books up the steps, and it happened to be a heavy one full of my Star Wars Making of and Art of books. As I shelved the last of them, I did a mental dance. I have a about a million other, bigger, more important concerns, but y’all. Crossing just one thing off your list, no matter how inconsequential, can feel so amazing.
Now I have less boxes in the basement and don’t have that overwhelming dread (I still have other kinds of overwhelming dread, to be clear).
📘 my book things 📘
I am so close to sharing news about my next book. So. Close. But until then, I’m chilling. Sometimes I beat myself up because I think I “should” be working on two more things (should is a bad word and I don’t like it), but it’s okay. Right?
Anyway, I stopped by the Gays Do the D podcast to talk about The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and had a terrific time. Listen here.
📺 what I'm watching 📺
My Octopus Teacher
I’m behind the world as usual here, but I recently watched this and found it to be lovely. Do I think it should have won an Oscar? Mmmm no. Is it kinda weird that this dude dealt with job burnout by seemingly ignoring his family? Yep. Does his relationship with the octopus feel a little The Shape of Water sometimes? I mean… But all that said, I was moved by the message at its core: we can form connections with nature in our backyards and learn and be awed. That’s not nothing.
Okay, it took me a while to jump on the “watch absolutely terrible rich people be shitty” train, but I just finished season 1 of Succession and I’m hooked (thanks to my coworkers who have talked this show up so much!). You just kind of have to lean into the fact that the show basically punishes the Roys for being awful and know you’ll empathize sometimes and feel weird about it. And that sometimes--okay, a lot of the time--you’ll feel deeply uncomfortable. But in an enjoyable way somehow!
📚 what I'm reading 📚
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
I picked up this title for book club and even though we don't meet until the end of June, I devoured it in a couple days. It's a sweet rom-com about a chef who unknowingly starts dating the critic who gave her restaurant a terrible review that affects her business. Very You've Got Mail vibes, very cute, very much will make you hungry. And yes, it comes with the coconut cake recipe.
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
I did it. I read the last book in the Grishaverse (for now anyway). This wraps up Nikolai Lantsov’s story and oh wow wow wow. I’m so beyond stoked for a) Shadow and Bone to get a season 2 renewal and b) for them to cast Nikolai. I don’t want to get into spoilers but if you like the Grishaverse, if you are a Zoya stan… Rule of Wolves will make you swoon.
Also, I finished A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas and if you’ve also read the entire series, I’d love to know if you think this book was somehow way more sexy than the others?
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
Just a wee giraffe trying to comprehend what its shadow is about. So. Whalesome.
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
Give your brain a break and not in a zone out and watch TV kinda way. If your thoughts are swirling, dancing between an idea (or ideas), your to-do list, your schedule and you’re spiraling, take a deep breath and focus on another activity. Maybe it’s putting together some LEGO pieces. Or something I learned from Rachel Miller: clean your bathroom. It’s a task you won’t get lost in, it’s small and contained, and who doesn’t like a clean toilet. It can be just the break your brain needs.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“That’s the key, isn’t it? To know the darkness will always remain, but how you choose to face it, handle it… that’s the important part. To not let it consume. To focus upon the good, the things that fill you with wonder.” - Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Silver Flames
This is from one of the non-sexy parts of A Court of Silver Flames. The central character, Nesta, is working through trauma, guilt, and grief. I don’t necessarily agree with how the book treated Nesta’s process but this quote stuck with me.
Thanks for reading and feel free to reply and let me know what you’re watching and reading and what you’re up to in general.