Monthly Round-Up: September 2019

I don’t even know where September went. I feel like time jumped from August to October without anything in between, probably because I was flat-out working in a haze of caffeine and time stretches strangely when you do stuff like that.

Highlights of the Month

  • Going back to the Sussex town where I went to school, and having lunch with my old school librarians. We do it once a year: we call it Librarians’ Lunch and it is one of the highlights of my year.
  • Chiswick Book Festival was excellent. Despite having lived in the area for years I’d never been, but this year I booked myself into two workshops. The first was a memoir-writing session with Cathy Rentzenbrink, and it was excellent; the second was called “How to get from first draft to finished,” which was handy because at the beginning of October I took a week off to edit the first draft of my novel. This workshop was run by Angela Clarke, who delivered it with a straight-up no-bullshit attitude I thoroughly appreciated.

  • Seeing some friends who are joining the same MA I’m starting this week (squeee!) and it made me even more excited to begin.
  • Going for dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in months.
  • The BFF coming over and hanging out for ages, in one of those nights that stretch into the early morning.
  • Going to the Black Food Festival, even though the event was a bit of a disappointment, because it was fun to go across London and it reminded me what an interesting city I live in. And I discovered an excellent plant shop and brought home some new friends.

  • Finishing a huge project which might – might – have pulled my company out of its terrifying hole.
  • Making and sending a bunch of Hallowe’en invitations; here is Pangur practising her best devilish look in front of a table full of tarot cards:

Things That Worked Well

  • Work. Work was practically the only thing on my list in September, and I hit all the goals, and hit them well.

Things That Didn’t Work So Well

Literally everything else 😁

I didn’t read as much as usual, or write as much as usual. I didn’t swim at all. I barely walked anywhere. I hardly had any time to cook, and I ended up eating a lot of crap, which in turn made me feel lethargic, which meant I drank more caffeine, which made me feel worse…


It was not a month of excellent self-care decisions, except that actually it sort of was. Because what people who bang on and on about self-care seem to not realise is that sometimes life happens, and you need to spend some time doing something you really don’t want to do, that makes things harder for you in the short term, in order to get through life. September was one of those times.

But I’m glad it’s over, and that I have a little more time on my hands.

This Month I Walked… 

41 miles.

This Month I Swam… 

I did not swim.

This Month I Read…

(sorry for the terrible photo)

  • A beta-read for a friend *
  • A sensitivity read for a client *
  • My novel, in order to edit it *
  • The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths ⭑⭑
  • The Book of Legendary Lands by Umberto Eco ⭑⭑⭑
  • Indexing Books by Nancy C. Mulvany ⭑⭑⭑
  • Loser Wins by Jean-Paul Sartre ⭑⭑
  • I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella ⭑⭑
  • The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason ⭑⭑
  • An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen ⭑⭑
  • Outsider by Stephen King ⭑⭑

* I am not going to give star ratings to these, because they are not published yet so it wouldn’t be fair. (Also, obviously I’m not going to rate my own book, since I am blatantly biased…)

Guide to star ratings


  • Flowers (beautiful, harrowing, miserable)
  • The Dark Crystal (the original film, to remind myself of how wonderful it is)
  • The Dark Crystal (the new series, which is also wonderful)
  • The Crystal Calls (a making-of documentary about the new series of The Dark Crystal. Can you tell that I got a bit obsessed?)
  • Unicorn Store (terrible)
  • Tall Girl (averagely awful)
  • And then I rewatched all three seasons of The Good Place in preparation for the fourth (and final *sob*) season coming out in October.

How was your September?

Other round-ups from this year: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August


  1. Outsider by Stephen King ⭑⭑
    * I am not going to give star ratings to these, because they are not published yet so it


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