This Week, Mainly Writing

Just a shortish one this week, since I’m tired and I have a lot of other things to write.

The book is out! You can buy it here.

I’m planning two more computer forensics books next year. In the meantime, I’m writing a novel. I spent some time last week hunkered down across a couple of chairs in the living room studying how better to do that.

My recent readoption of Facebook has already lead to a potentially interesting academic collaboration in my psychology of religion work, which should be interesting.

In academic life, I am currently looking at the historic development of certain religions (c. 1000 BCE – 1000 CE) and how the indigenous traditions of local areas ended up being woven into the fabrics of the larger religious groups that arrived and took over, and how this in turn influenced those religions and the dialogues between different faiths. It’s an ambitious project and one I can easily see taking at least a decade, but at the moment time to read is one thing I have in abundance.

In business life, I am hovering in the wasteland between a couple of possible decisions, neither of which is obviously the most advantageous. So, business may change or it may stay the same, and I expect a lot of that will depend on how much energy I have, and how much of that energy I can be bothered to devote to growing the freelance agency.

In health news, nothing new to report really, except that I’m still recovering from the exertions of a couple of weeks ago, although now I’m feeling less shitty, just quite tired. Today I had a mystery appointment at the hospital – the consultant I saw last time wasn’t sure what it would be for but said it’d been marked as ‘important’ so I couldn’t cancel – and when I got there, the doctor didn’t know what it was for either. But we had a nice chat and she was very pleasant, and then I came home.

Other Things I Did This Week

  • Talked to Dr. Walid Abdul-Hamid, Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Director at Priory Dubai, about the new wellness centre, the challenges expats face when they move abroad, and the stigma surrounding mental health concerns.

The Reading List

  • About Grace by Anthony Doerr, which was well written but I couldn’t stand the protagonist. He seemed like a total creep, as well as being a generally irresponsible human being. I have another Doerr book in my pile for this week, so I’m hoping the protagonist in that one will be more likeable.
  • The Pastoral Poems by Virgil: a classic, obviously. I’m rereading some classical literature at the moment since it’s been so long, and Virgil felt as good a place to start as any. Also, the book had that wonderful old book smell, which made it even more of a pleasure to read. Also, this:

  • Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, which kept popping up on lists of recommendations for writers, so I read it. It was absolutely excellent and definitely something I’d recommend if you’re looking to hone your fiction or memoir writing skills.
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, which was good although I’m a bit cynical and it felt cheaply emotional in places. A teenager who’s chronically ill enough to never be able to leave the house manages to befriend, and then fall in love with, the boy next door… but will they ever get to be together? It was a nice book, but not one I’d necessarily recommend. The one thing I will say is that I didn’t see the twist coming, and if it’d come earlier and the book had focused more on the aftermath of that, then I think it could have been a much more intriguing read.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, who is good at describing possible worlds. It’s set in a future where a virus has wiped out huge swathes of the human population, and follows the intertwining stories of various survivors. I quite liked it, but felt like the story wasn’t really going anywhere, and then it all just… ended. I also had the strange feeling that there was a level of the book that I wasn’t reading, though – like there was some theme in it that I wasn’t quite getting, somehow.
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper, which will have its own review in full because it was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a review. For now I’ll just say it truly fits the definition of a ‘page-turner’.
  • The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a short story which was utterly brilliant and so deeply disturbing that I had to spend the rest of the evening watching Brooklyn Nine Nine for some light relief because I couldn’t get the final scene out of my mind. It was published in 1892, so you can read it here because it’s no longer under copyright.

Interesting Things On The Internet This Week

  • Why we fell for the concept of clean eating, why that’s a problem, and what we can do about it.
  • American Christians are twice as likely to blame a person’s poverty on lack of effort.



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