Wednesday 28 June 2023

#bookreview: The Neverending Story | Michael Ende

The Neverending StoryThe Neverending Story by Michael Ende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I put this on the TBR challenge because I had the physical book and I couldn't for the life of me remember whether I'd read it before. And now Goodreads tells me that back in 2011 I was sure that I had. idk. The story was vaguely familiar; it's popular canon and referenced in many places, after all. But I'm still not entirely sure if I'd read the book before or watched the movie. Maybe both.

Anyway. Whether this is a new read or a re-read, I did enjoy it quite a lot. I liked the structure of the book, the 26 alphabetical chapters, rather like a very long A to Z novel. I liked the meta-ness of Bastian the reader becoming Bastian, a character in the story. It made sense that the story had to include Bastian's transformation, bringing it full circle until he got back to the human world.

This book was published many many years ago, when people were more patient readers, when big fat books were IT. I'm just thinking that in the publishing industry today, Ende would have been told to cut the book into two, the first one ending when Bastian enters Fantastica and saves the Childlike Empress, and the second one being his journey through Fantastica. Because, you know, why sell one thick book when you could make more money selling TWO books instead?

It reads like two separate books anyway. The first half is more exciting, more action packed. Atreyu is a noble protagonist, even if he isn't ultimately the hero. Then you hit the second half and it's a bit of a slog as Bastian steadily becomes more and more annoying. Still, it doesn't feel complete without either half, so I guess it is what it is.

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Wednesday 21 June 2023

#bookreview: The Gift of Restlessness: A Spirituality for Unsettled Seasons | Casey Tygrett

The Gift of Restlessness: A Spirituality for Unsettled SeasonsThe Gift of Restlessness: A Spirituality for Unsettled Seasons by Casey Tygrett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Casey Tygrett defines restlessness as a state of being unsettled or irritated by the present-tense realities of life; when you're unable to go back, yet unsure of what's ahead. Which perfectly describes where I am, where I've been for a while now. But Tygrett assures us that there's nothing wrong with being restless. Rather, restlessness is what roots you further into who you are, and if dealt with correctly (instead of being ignored or left to fester) can transform us and give us a way through unsettled seasons.

The Gift of Restlessness is a thoughtful book - one that you need to sink your teeth into slowly. Where are your unsettled spaces, Tygrett asks, where are the places that hurt? Then he offers the option to remain in it, to ask the deep questions that will settle you instead of fighting, fleeing, or flopping.

I have fought long enough, I have fled far enough. There are two options left: to give up, or to "flop" as he puts it, or to remain.

Structured around the Lord's Prayer, Tygrett reminds us that this isn't a formula that we need to pray. It's not what to pray, but rather how to pray. The words are familiar, memorised and repeated over and over through life. But what does it truly mean? What are you truly praying for? And how can it guide you through unsettled seasons?

Throughout the book, Tygrett truly plays the spiritual director, always focusing you back on God - and how that Great Belonging with God can settle you, ground you, even when things around you are changing and shaking.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from Broadleaf Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday 13 June 2023



Happening this weekend solely because I was very energetic in April and set a bunch of things up and now I'm just like ok fine, follow through is a thing.

ALSO, hit 35K on the Tea Novel last night (well, slightly past midnight). Aiming for 40K by Thursday before I head down, wish me luck. 

Monday 12 June 2023

Some #teanovel progress (plus excerpt)

Started running a late night online write-in since Saturday and I have written about 4k words!!! and figured out how to add in 2k words of a short story (of the prequel kind) into the main body of this novel. I probs need to edit more to make it kind of fit more seamlessly lol it's a bit of a flashback at this moment, but I guess that works too. 

anyways here's a stupid excerpt because lol.


Jasmine was on to her third(ish) configuration of Attraction Potion (or Wish Fulfilment) which was quite a different wish list from her initial batch. She shook her head, wondering at how naive she’d been when she first started off. To be fair, she’d started with a list from twenty years ago, but she should have realised that it had to be updated, right from the start. 

Jasmine Teh’s Dream Man Husband

  • Handsome. Looks like Hugh Grant. Or Wang Lee Hom (I mean, this is subjective, isn’t it?)
  • Charming.
  • Funny. (Nice, but not strictly necessary. Humour is so subjective.) Witty
  • Romantic. (Debatable, but I’ll leave this in. He should at least make an effort and not be totally kayu.)
  • Smart. Cannot be stupid ok!!!
  • Tall. Well, taller than me. I am so short. So this should be easy. (If possible)
  • Rich, if possible. But not so important as long as he is not poor. Responsible wage-earner with a full-time job. Financially stable.
  • Loves me. Duh (I mean, or what’s the point? WHY WOULD YOU MARRY SOMEONE YOU HATE I DON’T GET IT)
  • doesn’t talk to that annoying Kelly in 3H.
  • should be able to tolerate Jason I guess. 
  • bold, knows what he wants in life (Ok, the Francis situation didn’t work out too well, but he can’t be like a pushover or drifter either)
  • rich, vibrant personality has an interesting personality (Do I mean outgoing? Hmmm not quite but…I think?)
  • within 3-5 years of my age, preferably older (aka I’m not a cradle snatcher)
  • gets along with Bryan and the gang
  • not anti-magic??? *Should ask Long if this is something we can reveal to spouses if they’re not magical themselves.
  • Not boring - has some sort of life outside of work/hobbies
  • COMPATIBLE*** (Do I mean emotionally? Or in life goals? Or like personality? Or well… I guess in everything?!?!)

She studied the list several times, trying to figure out if there was anything else she wanted to change. The last two items were probably the best she could do to counter that disaster date with Francis. She was tempted to add “no corporate types” to the list, but Penang was so small and so full of factories and multinationals that that clause would narrow her dating pool too much. And artsy types were rarely financially stable so… that would bring her back to square one, wouldn’t it?

Maybe she should talk to a few more of the guys her magic selected before offering them the tea. Or…would it be a better idea to offer all of them the tea and then see who actually wanted to date her? Date a few of them and see who she liked more, or which date was the least terrible? 

Because the more she thought about it, the more it felt like it didn’t really make sense to just choose the one with the best fit because “best fit” on a list of criteria doesn’t mean that they’ll actually fall in love. 

Unless, now she added in “compatible”… that should really rank them by how well they’d fit, right?

Ugh, this was confusing. Maybe Bryan was right and she should just use a dating app.

Friday 9 June 2023

a blog return? we'll see how long this lasts.


I deleted a bunch of emails (like 12k of them) from my old main email, which is mostly the old friends and newsletters email now (as separated from the work/primary/I actually read this stuff email), and discovered (re-discovered?) a bunch of really old emails plus a bunch of blog comments from the old tabulas.

Because obviously I never delete anything in my gmail.

Until now la, because I'm running out of space. 


my email and blogging game was a whole different... ballgame? scene? style? thingamabob? and you know what. Maybe I shouldn't have moved so far away from that. lol

cos also, writing properly gets tiring after a while. 

i miss tabulas.