Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Kudos to whomever came up with this unique topic! I have not read these books and am only mentioning them because these occupations sound amazing.

 

Title and Author: The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

The Job: Carpet designer

Why I’m Interested: It’s quiet, intricate work that creates beloved family heirlooms.

 

Two dolls with fluffy white dresses. One has straight brown hair and the other has curly red hair.

Title and Author: The Queen’s Dollmaker by Christine Trent

The Job: Dollmaker

Why I’m Interested: Dolls bring so much joy to the world.

 

Title and Author: Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier

The Job: Poet

Why I’m Interested: I used to write a lot of poetry. It’s harder than some people imagine it to be but quite rewarding when you finally figure out the right turn of phrase to make your point succinctly.

 

Title and Author: The Naturalist’s Daughter by Tea Cooper

The Job: Naturalist

Why I’m Interested: This specific naturalist studied the platypus, an animal I find utterly fascinating. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the first person from your culture to discover such a thing? I’d like to think he spoke to the people who already lived there about what they knew about the life cycle and physiology of the platypus.

A red and white lighthouse on a large rocky outcropping by the ocean. Part of the lighthouse is reflected in a puddle nearby.

 

Title and Author: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Job: Lighthouse Keeper

Why I’m Interested: It was generally quiet and peaceful work which appeals to this introvert quite a bit.  I’d have time to write stories or read books while I was on the job.

 

Title and Author: The Archivist by Martha Cooley

The Job: Archivist

Why I’m Interested: I adore organizing, cataloguing, and sorting all sorts of different things. Being an archivist sounds heavenly to me.

What I Include In My Content Warnings and Why

Anyone who has followed this blog for a little while has probably noticed the content warnings that appear in some of the book and film reviews I share. I recently realized that I’ve never blogged about what I do and don’t include in my content warnings here, so let’s discuss it.

Please note that I will be briefly discussing things like rape, murder, and violence later in this post to give examples of things I use content warnings for. I will not go into detail on any these subjects, but I always warn my readers in advance when sensitive topics come up. Keep reading at your own discretion.

The Purpose of Content Warnings

A rabbit sitting at the mouth of its den
The friendliest photo I could find online.

Content warnings are used to alert readers about potentially sensitive material so that they can decide for themselves if they would like to read or watch that content.

Trigger warnings are a specific type of content warnings that are used for subjects that may cause intense psychological symptoms in some cases.

The purpose of these warnings is to give people who have PTSD, anxiety, or other mental illnesses a heads up before suddenly diving into topics that may trigger flashbacks, panic attacks, or other mental health concerns for them.

Since just about anything can be a content or trigger warning for someone out there, it simply isn’t possible to forewarn everyone about anything that might be difficult for them to stumble across in a story or film.

What I Include in My Content Warnings

My goal when writing content warnings for the stuff I review here is to include topics that are widely known to be sensitive or triggering.

I generally warn my readers about the following topics:

  • Any form of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, etc.) against adults, kids, or animals
  • Blood and gore
  • Descriptive medical procedures (needles, surgery, amputations, etc).
  • Violence
  • Kidnapping or abductions
  • Death or dying (including pets/animals)
  • Pregnancy or childbirth (especially if it has a tragic outcome)
  • Self-harm or suicide
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexism, homophobia, racism, transphobia, ableism, classism, etc.
  • Mental illness

There have been a few times when readers contacted me privately to ask for clarification for a content warning or to see if something not on this list was included in the book or film I’d reviewed. I’m always happy to answer those questions.

While I do have a spoiler-free review policy in general, I think it’s helpful to let folks know in advance about topics they might need to emotionally prepare for before reading or watching what I recommend here.

How Do You Handle Content Warnings?

Three sketches of humans with round heads and torsos. Each one has a speech bubble above them that is blue, purple, or a combination of the two colours.Do you use them? Why or why not?

If you use them, what topics do you include in them?

Are you open to answering readers’ questions about the content of the stuff you review if they would like to know in advance if something not on your list was mentioned in the book, film, or other piece of media you reviewed?

I can’t wait to hear how all of you handle this topic on your sites and in your reviews.

 

What Bears Do in the Woods: A Review of The Ursus Verses

The Ursus Versus by Nathan Waddell book cover. Image on cover is of a cartoon bear standing behind a tree stump, peeking out, and waving. Title: The Ursus Versus

Author: Nathan Waddell

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: October 29, 2020

Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Length: 66 pages

Source: I purchased it.

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb:

Do you like bears and black holes and squid monsters and dragons and cowboy dragon slayers and riding your bike all around town looking for something to do? Because that’s what I like and this is my chapbook which captures that spirit of fun and terror and the comfort of a good fun book.
This is the first in a series of chapbooks containing poetry and flash fiction and short stories with themes ranging from those mentioned above to deeper explorations of humanity. But honestly the themes mentioned already are all about that too.

Review:

Now is the perfect time for lighthearted science fiction.

Ordinarily, I’ll pick out a few short stories, poems, or essays from collections like these and share my thoughts about them. There were so many funny themes covered here that I thought it was best to allow other readers to discover them for yourselves without spoilers, especially since the later entries often referenced earlier ones.  All you need to know is that this is heavily based on science, science fiction, fantasy, and mythology. Start at the beginning, relax, and enjoy.

This is the sort of young adult science fiction that easily crosses over into adult audiences. The humour in it is tongue-in-cheek and does rely on a certain amount of understanding of the types of scientific concepts generally taught in high school, but it explains most of them well enough to appeal to preteens who haven’t taken Biology yet or older adults who might have last thought about the Paleozoic era half a century ago. In other words, don’t spend too much time thinking about whether you’re “Young Adult” enough for this collection. If you’re interested, there will almost certainly be something here that appeals to you.

Some of my favourite sections were the ones that relied on puns and jokes. Yes, there were the usual quips about what bears do in the woods, but that was the only the beginning of the many reasons to laugh while reading this collection. Honestly, what could be better than finding the humour in speculative fiction no matter which branch of it the narrator happens to be visiting at the moment? I sure can’t think of many things.

Be sure to read the author’s explanations of why he wrote select pieces of this collection. The explanations are all located at the very end, and it was really interesting to read their backstories.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series. Everything published here was first written about twenty years ago, and Mr. Waddell’s writing style has evolved quite a bit since then. If you want to follow along as he shares that journey, The Ursus Versus the perfect place to start.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Greatest Strength

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

scrap of paper that says "there is power in kindness."My greatest strengths are my diplomacy and ability to find the good in everyone. They’re so closely related that I thought it was okay to bind them together for the sake of this prompt.

I’m the sort of person who gets along with just about everyone. People are fascinating, and I enjoy getting to know them one-on-one or in small groups. You can learn all sorts of things about someone by quietly listening to what they do (and don’t) say about themselves, others, and the world in general.

My favourite sorts of people are the ones who love to talk but who also know how to turn the conversation back to us quieter folks after a little while. That is such a wonderful skill to possess!

If someone says something that could be interpreted in multiple ways, I’ll search for the most charitable interpretation possible and give them the benefit of the doubt. Until or unless someone gives me good reason to suspect otherwise, I assume the best of them. In my experience, that’s usually the most helpful way to approach interactions with folks you don’t know well yet.

Being kind and polite to everyone costs nothing, but it can go a long way to make social situations enjoyable for everyone.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl Honestly, I haven’t read that many humorous books recently regardless of if we’re talking about tales published last year or thirty years ago. I’ll share a few funny books I have read and hope I can get some great ideas for other reads from everyone else’s posts today. Solutions… Read More

Subreddits That I Love

Thank you to Iniverse for giving me the idea for this response post. Go read about the subreddits this blogger enjoys before continuing on here. Reddit is a site filled with a massive series of message boards on every topic you can imagine and then some. Each topic is separated into its own page there… Read More

Heading Home: A Review of Abominable

Content warning: vomiting and references to the death of a parent. I will not be discussing these things in my review. Abominable is a 2019 American animated children’s fantasy film about three teenagers who travel from Shanghai to Mount Everest in the Himalayan mountains to return a kidnapped Yeti they nicknamed Everest to his home. They… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: How I Take Care of My Health

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year. While I did get out of some of these habits last year due to how topsy-turvy 2020 was for so many of us, I’m a health-conscious… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Mardi Gras

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl Technically, today’s topic was “Purple, Yellow, and/or Green Book Covers in honour of Mardi Gras.” I’ve written so many posts about book covers of various colours that I tweaked it to be “Books About Mardi Gras” instead. They span a wide range of topics, from  recipes to history to… Read More