The Great Dalcassian Clan

*If you want you can listen instead of reading, I have linked to my YouTube below where I read my stories aloud*

Swarms of salty seagulls squawked sinisterly. “Matron would have insisted the seagulls were portents,” muttered Lady Sheenagh. Her eyes rested on the beach below, waves crashed upon it in the darkness of the storm. The shrieks of the seabirds became unbearable. Slamming the shutters on her southward facing window, Sheenagh swung herself onto her soft bed. A bed worthy of a spoiled rich girl, stuffed with feathers, and yet, what good did her spongy cot do her now? In a matter of hours, the traitorous snakes would be here to slaughter the remainder of the Dalcassian household.

High-born Lady Sheenagh Delcassian, with satin skin, scorched red hair and sensitive eyes, had been considered a real beauty in her youth. Now a girl of almost nineteen she was swiftly racing past marriageable age. Her father Lord Eóghan Dalcassian struggled to find suitors for her in the wake of the rebellion. The unrest among the peasants resulting from several years of weak harvests followed by silent snowy winters. Although during this time her family never went without, food was scarce among those in the villages surrounding her ancestral home Caisleán de Thomand. The peasants had been recruited by the surrounding Lords, seeking the weakness in the Dalcassian dynasty for over a century. Now standing at the end of the uprising, Lady Sheenagh Dalcassian awaited the demise of her family’s sovereignty. Her tear stained face, though stunning, conveyed agony in her doom.

As a well-read nobel, she understood the fate that lay before her as a high-born woman. She beseeched the family’s guiding spirit Aibell to lend her a quick death. If faith had something else subsequently planned, she prayed that Aibell would grant her the strength to endure in honour of her family’s heritage in even her death throes.

Her Matron, who raised, taught, and loved her, died earlier that year of consumption. She whispered stories to Sheenagh, on her deathbed, of what happened to young women under siege, and she begged her to run. Tears had streamed from her blue eyes, but this she could not promise. Bravery was required for the Dalcassian house, not cowardice.

Please Matron, you know I cannot promise you these things. I must display dignity for my clan, please do not ask me to flee, it is not in my nature, I must stay and fight.” Matron’s brown eyes shone with tears. Nodding, she beckoned Sheenagh closer. “My dear sweet Sheenagh, I have loved you as though you were my own, although you were not spawned of my own womb, your shining virtue fills me with pride even death cannot dispell. I am forever your humble servant.” Her already shallow breaths slowed to a painful stop.

Sheenagh shook the now lifeless body, unable to control her sobs. “Matron, please do not leave me. I cannot live without your guidance. Who will tell me the wonders of the world, all the while I am secure in my lonely tower.” Shaking she lay her face on the still warm body of her beloved Matron. “Please, I am scared.

Childhood had been serene for Sheenagh. Her nature was that of a goddess on Earth, through it she displayed sympathy and grace. As the third daughter of Lord and Lady Dalcassian, and the seventh child overall, from an early age, she displayed nothing short of a virtuous temperament which gave joy to all those whom she encountered. As a child, Matron would bring her for walks across the countryside. She shared her lunch with peasant children she encountered. She gave them gifts of toys she had outgrown.

It was as if Aibell herself brought her forth from her own rib. Her singing voice echoed through the halls of Caisleán de Thomand. Villagers gossiped that King de Lench of Ireland himself, would someday wed one of his sons to her. Making her the princess they had seen in her from birth. Throughout her girlhood, many sons of the gentry asked for her hand in marriage, but her father could not part with her. He must have believed himself when the sons of King de Lench beheld her in court, one would fall desperately in love with her. Thus seeking her hand in marriage.

Sheenagh remained unaffected by those whispers spent her days reading, singing, and befriending peasants. Her parents laughed at her strange affinity for the poor and though others in their position may have stopped the friendships, they allowed them as it brought her satisfaction.

Sadly, these interactions bred a slice of contention which brought down the Dalcassian supremacy. When the rebellion broke, many who had played with Sheenagh as children displayed no essence of love or loyalty. Bitterness and subversion spread towards the clan of Dalcassian. They seen what Sheenagh had, and they wanted it. Thinking it unfair that but one family in all the land of Dal Cais should have such riches. While the rest scrimped for their supper.

The rebellion had stunned the household. They were not prepared for the ruin it would bring to their family. The betrayal of Lords in the lands adjacent, seen to the decline of her father, whom mere years ago had been a tall, powerful man. His hair had naught but a few greys shining through his red mane. Now, four years into the rebellion, he was suffused with sadness. One betrayal, in particular, had taken him by grisly surprise. The subterfuge of Lord Teague Uí Caisin of Breifne. Whose son, Murtagh Uí Caisin, had wed  Lord Dalcassian’s eldest daughter Lady Clodagh Dalcassian. This treachery had come at a price. Lady Dalcassian took to her bed for several months. Though she had convalesced, she was never quite the same. Her beloved daughter and her grandchildren lost through treason.

Sheenagh had wept at her vanished sister, yet the feeling within the Dalcassian household was still one of faith. During the final years of the rebellion, hope sprung from the small Kingdom of Wexford. Lord O’Neill had offered troops to the Dalcassians in exchange for  Sheenagh’s hand in marriage to his son Lord Aodh. While Lord Aodh was known to be slovenly and grumpy in nature, Sheenagh solemnly stood at the chance to bring victory to her family.

Sheenagh could still remember her father summoning her his study, the grave appearance on his face. A letter lay open on his desk, beside a quart of wine. His face was shadowed by the fire behind. Sheenagh sat and waited patiently for him to speak, her graceful accommodating nature piercing her father’s heart. Though parents claim no favourites among their children, Sheenagh had a special corner reserved in her father’s heart. This was the reason she could not have been swiftly married off. He had thought it too late with the rebellion until the arrival of Lord O’Neill’s letter.

“Sheenagh, Mo Croí, I must speak with you regarding a matter of the most sensitive nature.” Sheenagh perked up, she would not miss one word her father spoke. “I received a letter this morning from Lord O’Neill of Wexford, he has offered us troops to fight off our rebellion…” He trailed off when he looked into Sheenagh’s eyes. His silences informed Sheenagh more than any words he ever spoke. “However, he’s asked for an alliance between our families. An alliance through a marriage, of course, to his son Lord Aodh O’Neill…” Sheenagh pursed her lips, knowing already what was coming. Prepared to accept without question. She knew that although her father spoke as though she had a choice, daughters did not control their destinies. To be spoken to with such high esteem from her father was all the respect Sheenagh could ever ask for. “I will accept father.”

Lord Dalcassian took a sip of wine and offered Sheenagh a glass. Another veneration, an offer to drink with her father. “Father you honour me, both with your council and offer of wine. However, I know my place in this world. As a woman, I have but little to offer my family. A strategic alliance by marriage is one of the few. I duly accept the privilege you bestow upon me this day.” Her father smiled warmly at her, though his eyes held a melancholy which sent a shiver down her spine. She knew that a marriage to Lord Aodh may be fraught with severity. He was well known to be a man of onerous countenance. She straightened her back smiling bravely at her father. “This will save our family and the glory of the Dalcassian clan father, I am exalted.”

That alliance never came to be. Lord Aodh and his men were viciously attacked on the way to Caisleán De Thomand a week hence.  It was then the spy within the great walls of Caisleán de Thomand was exposed. A wretched sour ward by the name of Donal Bóruma. He had been taken by Lord Dalcassian when his own father had died under impoverished circumstances. This monumental betrayal had cut her father down.

Sheenagh had surveyed from the North tower window. Onto the courtyard where Donal Bóurma was beheaded by her father. His screams raged throughout the morning air. “Your family line is ending you arrogant waste. The villagers hate you and the Lords in the lands adjacent will sack your castle, rape your woman folk and…” Lord Dalcassian swung the axe, and the traitor cried no more. Fresh blows were sustained following that. From a family of seven children, all but the traitor Lady Clodagh Uí Caisin, and Lady Sheenagh remained. Each of his four sons perished in battle, and Sheenagh’s remaining sister, Lady Bronagh Mathghamhan of Oriel, died in childbirth along with the babe she bore.

Sheenagh spied the oncoming swath of rebels marching towards the castle from the North tower. The house was near empty now. Her stately mother had taken poison, not half an hour hence. She lay lifeless on the bed near Sheenagh, her skin slowly shifting to grey. Sheenagh remained calm as her simmering prayers flowed asking Aibell for scrutiny. Her earthly life drawing to a close. Her family would not be sullied in history, she knew better. Although victors forge history, she believed Aibell would carry the legacy of Dalcassian’s into the future. The glory of the Dalcassian Clans would never die.

She heard a great boom, as the rebels swung a large log into the gate of the castle. Sensing the end, her stomach twisted as she vomited out the window. She would find her father and spend her final moments with him. Besides, her mother had done dishonour to the Clan by taking her own life. She beseeched Aibell to remove this from the tales surrounding the great Dalcassian Clan. She rose, washed her face of vomit and grabbed her black veil.

Outside of her father study, she heard the cracking of wood. She assumed the great castle door had been smashed in. She knocked on the door and waited a moment. She tried the handle, but it appeared locked. Frightened she knocked and shook the door frantically, “Father? Father please it’s just me, please let me in!” Panic gripped her. Had someone gotten to her father already? With great effort, using an axe, she broke the door down, shattering pieces of wood all around her. She stumbled through the door and her eyes found her father. Strung from the ceiling boards, his corpse swung gently from the wind of a nearby window. The fire crackling near its cusp, untended for hours. Sheenagh was frigid in her realisation that she was the final tenant of the house. The servants had long fled, and she alone represented the Dalcassian clan.

A small note was left by her father that brought her little comfort. It spoke of his undying love for her and his cowardice. His words begged for her forgiveness. She would not relent. She inhaled deeply and climbed on his desk. She cut down his body and allowed it to fall to the floor. She burned his suicide note and the noose. Perhaps it would appear as though he died from heart strain from the stress. Her mother’s body could not be helped, but her father, no. He would not die a coward, though a coward is what he was, she thought rancorously. No, she would tidy him up, place him in his chair, at his desk in his study. Then she would bravely face the invaders alone.

Lady Sheenagh was found beside her father. It is believed, through the mouths of rumours and time, that Lady Sheenagh Dalcassian suffered significantly at the hands of the invaders. The rebels, expecting at least the Lord and Lady of the castle, were enraged when they found them dead. All their resentment was then directed at the delicate Lady Sheenagh.

Some, afterward, were shameful of their behaviour. The blame for the rebellion was often disputed. Surely sweet Lady Sheenagh Dalcassian of Dal Cais was not to blame? Others hissed that she was to blame. She had her chance to desert, but she remained. Even at the moment of her death, she did not renounce her affiliation. Though doing so may have saved her life. She remained the sole representative of the Dalcassian namesake, at the sacking ofCaisleán de Thomand on an Autumn’s eve in 1017. Her mutilated body, along with the body of her mother and father, hung in the courtyard of the castle for many days. It is rumoured that the bodies were taken down and buried. Hidden by villagers still loyal to the family. The castle was subsequently occupied by the traitorous family of Uí Caisin, of Breifne, whose son Murtagh Uí Caisin and wife Lady Clodagh Dalcassian lay claim to the ancestral home.

Legend speaks of the torture the Guardian spirit of the Dalcassians Aibell, levied upon all future occupants of the castle, and of the villages adjacent. Sicknesses, accidents, and stillbirths remained terrors the villagers and Uí Caisin’s endured for decades. However, occupants of Caisleán de Thomand had been known to say otherwise. Some tell tales of a radiant red-haired apparition, with silky skin, and shining blue eyes. A siren song with no owner would echo throughout the halls. After her presence is seen or felt, however whether in dreams or a waking nightmare, an elegant face once sweet turns to menace. A horrifying death ensues. Deaths similar to those suffered by beautiful Lady Sheenagh Dalcassian, who remained to defend her family name when no one else would.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved


 

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you liked this try out some of my other stories! Like this one:

https://thinkingmoon.com/2018/02/15/shadow-self/

Top 5 H.P Lovecraft Short Stories

As you may have gathered I am a huge fan of the macabre. The horror genre is my utmost favourite in all mediums. While I can, and have been known to write fiction which is uplifting, action-packed, or romantic, horror is where I feel most at home.

Of course, you must be a reader to be a writer[i] and I am an avid reader of the horror genre. I love the supernatural, the paranormal, unsolved mysteries, unnatural laws, and the foibles of humankind. In this sense, I feel there is only one author who stands up to meet all these criteria and that is H.P Lovecraft.

His is the story of a genius who remained unrecognised in his time. While he did manage to sell and publish stories during his lifetime, it wasn’t enough to keep him afloat. He relied on his inheritance, which upon his death at the age of 46, had been slowly ground to nothing.

His stories are now in the public domain and have influenced writers such as Stephen King to J.C Lynch. (Self-shout out and no I’m not sorry!)

The criteria for this list is as follows: It must be a short story. It must be written solely by Lovecraft. It must be published before his death.

I digress, so without further ado I present to you my top 5 favourite HP Lovecraft short stories.

  1. “The Colour Out Of Space.” Written 1927, Published 1927.

This fantastic horror story documents the experience of a family, living in the hills outside of Arkham after their farm is polluted by a meteorite from space. Futile attempts to study the meteorite by local scientists results in the matter sinking into obscurity. Years later a surveyor is unnerved by the land, prompting a local to tell him the tragic story of the Gardner family.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXyda5iiGEo

  1. “The Cats Of Ultar.” Written 1920, Published 1920.

Set in Lovecraft’s dreamworld, this simple story tells the tale of a caravan passing through Ultar. A young boy’s kitten is killed by a local couple who are known to despise cats. The young boy, distraught at this discovery, casts his eyes to the heavens and mutters a curse upon the couple. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but in Ultar to this day, all cats are revered.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSnhKfV17X0

  1. Pickman’s Model.” Written 1926, Published 1927.

The narrator’s eccentric artist friend Pickman, known for painting harrowing scenes, invites him over to see the works rejected by the gallerys. The daunting scenes of creatures unknown to man causes disquiet in the narrator, however, he takes solace in knowing the beasts portrayed, are nothing more than fiction from the mind of his friend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KT10mIOm3M

  1. The Outsider.” Written 1921, Published 1926.

Set in a decrepit castle, deep in the woods, our narrator does not identify themselves in anyway. They lived in this castle all their lives, and as far back as they remember they’ve never seen the sky. One day,  frustration gets the best of them, and they make a perilous journey. Climbing to the top of the tallest tower they finally see the outside world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH2UefOMx18

  1. The Doom That Came To Sarnath.” Written 1919, Published 1920.

My favourite story of Lovecraft’s is once again set in his auspicious dreamworld. It documents the history of the great city of Sarnath, the shining jewel of civilisation. They become arrogant, conquering the neighbouring city of Ib, simply because they do not like the creatures which inhabit it. They take the city’s stone idol of ‘Bokrug The Water Lizard’, and reign on high for a 1000 years. However as the story goes, doom must play its part in the city of Sarnath.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RdHZSZogfo

Please go follow: ‘Books For Intellectual Exercise‘ on YouTube for more amazing H.P Lovecraft readings.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Rpcc3P0jGK7LTMC9dR1xg

If you like lists of things, check this out:

https://thinkingmoon.com/2018/09/11/instagram/

[i] King, Stephen. 2000. “On Writing: A Memoire of the Craft.” Scribner. New York City.

Wicca

Wicca. Noun. “A religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (such as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles.”[i]

 

Although I don’t follow an organised religion, I’ve always felt there was a spiritual gap in my life. I envy my friend’s meditative connection to a higher power when they pray. When I’m struggling with my mental illnesses, I know the ability to focus my mind would give me peace. Yet meditation is not an easy skill to learn as I’ve struggled with it for many years. However, those practising Wicca take this training as the due course in their craft.

“Be aware…that disciplines are ineffective unless a routine is established because the unconscious is attuned to patterns and will respond easily once the pattern of a conscious routine is rhythmic.”[ii]

In my local Vincent De Paul, I came across a book on Witchcraft, and absentmindedly bought it as research for one of my projects. In reading it a revelationary paradigm was cracked. Not only due to its descriptive worth, but it’s connections to female power struggles throughout history. While the modern Wicca has both male and female practitioners, it’s roots are in paganism and witchcraft. Both known for their charged feminine figures.

As a feminist I hunger to understand the lore of the feminine, and that which is interwoven into my body. It was comforting to discover that our pagan ancestors used their awareness of the heavens to not only influences the outer world but their inner worlds. To them inner peace begat outer peace.

“Discovering the sublime silence at the center of your being and activating that center.”[iii]

Wicca

Of course, as Halloween approaches, (my favourite time of the year), that which is chilling surfaces. Yet it is my duty to remind you that although dark magic exists and was practised as a religion throughout the ages, those that called themselves witches were persecuted out of fear. Not as a result of any true evil. Women were murdered for their independence, for displaying fortitude, and simply for their feminine energies.

Wicca was born in the 20th century out of the ashes of witchcraft and paganism. It can be practised alone or as the member of a coven. It’s the way of the Goddess, to live beyond the ego, to firmly grasp your senses, so you are their ruler. “Awareness is the ability to literally read the feelings in the air…awareness means control of one’s undertakings.”[iv] Wicca is not about changing the outside world to your every whim. It’s changing how you process your inner world so your journey in life may be more mindful, enjoyable, and rich.

‘Do as ye will, e’re it harm none’

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

References:

De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide.

https://books.google.ie/books/about/Witchcraft.html?id=1TFuAm5N7gEC&redir_esc=y

Footnotes:

[i] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Wicca

[ii] De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide. Page 4.

[iii] De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide. Page 9.

[iv] De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide. Page 37.

 

Do you like my Spooky Tuesday blogs? Well, there are more coming soon this October. Until then why not satiate your hunger with my stories section:

https://thinkingmoon.com/category/stories/

My Hair, A History II

My friends welcome back to Tuesday blogs. Before I start please let me know in the comments if you like my ‘fun’ Tuesdays. Also, ‘spooky’ Tuesdays are coming in October! 😊

Anyways last Tuesday my hair history series began with cute, albeit embarrassing childhood photos. This week I’m giving a quick update on my ‘no poo’ journey. (I don’t know why people call it that, it immediately makes you think of bowel movements.)

So let me set the scene. Part of my sustainability goals for 2018 includes finding alternatives to beauty and cleaning products. I’ve stopped buying shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels in plastic bottles. It may seem like a tough journey but have no fear! It’s not as scary as it sounds.

We’ll begin with the bad and finish with the good.

Things that didn’t go so well:

  1. I’ve had some help with my zero waste goals (linked below). One of the items I got was a shampoo bar. Unfortunately, it didn’t suit my hair which is naturally dry. It just stripped the oils out of it, and it felt worse than before.
  2. Before I got the oil under control, it did cause an odd pimple around my hairline which is not a place I normally get them. However, this has cleared up now my hair has adjusted.
  3. Your hair gets very oily before it recovers, but if you can get over this your hair oils will regulate.

Things that went very well:

  1. So after the failure with the shampoo bar I went back online. I researched the simple washing with water method and so far this has been the best for me. You can rinse with apple cider vinegar if your hair gets too oily but I haven’t had that problem.
  2. My hair feels thicker, softer, and my dandruff has all but cleared up.
  3. I got a bamboo hair brush, and it’s excellent at soaking up excess oil. Brushing your hair is the best way to distribute the oil all the way down your hairs.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

My birthday zero waste package:

https://thinkingmoon.com/2018/06/01/sustainability-half-year-update/

Here is my previous My Hair, A History:

https://thinkingmoon.com/2018/09/18/my-hair-a-history/

Hashtag on Instagram if you’re interested:

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/nopoo/

Please check out this playlist from Madeleine Olivia if you are interested in transitioning to self-cleaning hair:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKp2OscuIgs&list=PL8QDbHDg_9YaiNAuAs77QpmCK7lLeVR_6

My Hair, A History

Well, friends, I’m embarking on a hair journey this September. I’m nervous, but happy I’ve finally gathered up the courage to do the “no poo” challenge.

This September I’ve given up using shampoo and conditioner as part of my sustainability goals. I hopefully won’t have to buy shampoo or conditioner anymore and I’ll be avoiding the plastic bottles they come in. I’ll be talking about this more in October when I’ve hit the month mark, but until then I thought it would be fun to revisit my hair journey from birth.

So I went digging through old photos to find hair goals in Drogheda from 1990 to 2000. (Spoiler my friends, it’s mostly boring). I’ll be doing a hair journey from 2001 – 2010 at some stage when I had free reign over my hair. However, there is some adorableness mixed with cringe here so please, prepare thy self.

Soooooo…

1990:

 

“Can you see my tiny mohawk?”

1991:

My Hair, A History
My Hair, A History

Eh Mam, I’m not happy with this dress.”

1992:

“The year of the tiny pigtails!”

1993:

My Hair, A History
My Hair, A History

The 80’s hair is hanging in there!”

1994:

My Hair, A History
My Hair, A History

An adventure in velour.”

1995:

My Hair, A History
My Hair, A History

“I had the Natalie Imbruglia pout 2 years before she released ‘Torn’!”

1996:

“Mam let me wear red lipstick at Christmas!”

1997:

age7.jpeg

Look it’s a brunette Stevie Nicks.”

1998:

My Hair, A History
My Hair, A History

“All I can do is stare at the shoes. Mine are dreadful, Chris is wearing socks and sandals. Thank goodness our hair is on point!”

1999:

Apparently posing with things in my hands was very important.”

2000:

age10My Hair, A History

“This was for my tenth birthday and I thought I was the coolest cat in school. Mam spent all morning braiding my hair, then carefully placing plastic butterfly clips…”

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Did you enjoy this Tuesday post? Why not have a look at the last one?

https://thinkingmoon.com/2018/09/11/instagram/

A List of 7 Reasons Why List Posts Work

The Art of Blogging

List posts are the blogosphere’s favorite for a good reason — “list” content works, in large part due to the attention-grabbing power of the headline, but also because of the shortening of attention spans due to instant access to information.

A headlinethat lists a number of reasons, secrets, types, or ways will work because the reader knows exactly what to expect from the post. As long as you deliver on your promise, everything should work out great.

View original post 463 more words

_______________Flanking____

Screaming child, clad in dust,

Expenditure on our makeup.

Shockwaves are bigger in person.

Evangelise, in God we trust.

Tough Mondays, are a conjecture,

Convention chic is a fallacy,

While new sneakers squeak,

To notes of fractious conduct.

Billions spent in bloodshed,

The 5th floor for the adults,

Partitioned for your safety,

Plights are triaged for design.

Humanity’s paradoxical helplessness,

Forged in the fire of suffering,

Reminds Death he’s employed.

Hell is another’s misery.

 

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Female Authors

Hello, fellow bookworms! I see you there. 😉 In this post, I would like to talk about my Goodreads challenge along with the female authors I’ve read since January. I won’t be necessarily reviewing the books because I don’t want to spoil any of them on you, but I will be talking about how they affected me.

I set myself a goal of 80 non-work related books to read this year. If you’re on Goodreads why not come join me on my quest. How many have you pledged? Here is a link to my profile:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/44595266-j-c

So far I’ve accomplished 52 of the total 80 which is 65%. As you can see from this very hi-tech screen grab below.

Female Authors
Female Authors

As part of this challenge, I want at least half of those 80 books to be from female authors. Although I have read many female authors in my time, I wanted to make a conscious effort to give equal support to both male and female authors this year.

The following 20 books I’m going to discuss are from female authors I’ve read this year. Seeing as I’ve already read 52 books and only 20 of them are female authors, I’ve  some catching up to do.

Let me know in the comments below if you love/hate any of these books and why? Maybe one of these are on your ‘to be read’ list. Let’s have a chat.  Ok let us not waste any more time, we begin.

Book number 1: ‘The Bell Jar’ – Sylvia Plath

Female Authors
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

As far back as secondary school (high school for my American friends), I’ve loved the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Her melancholy resonated with miserable teenage Jenni. At Christmas I received her only novel as a gift from my parents and proceeded to read it on the 1st of January. What an interesting way to start this year of books. Although it was a compelling read, I still feel her poetry is superior. It’s essential reading for anyone suffering from bipolar disorder, and although it’s not necessarily autobiographical, there are many parallels to Plath’s own life.

Book number 2: ‘Talking As Fast As I Can’ – Lauren Graham

Talking As Fast As I Can - Lauren Graham
Talking As Fast As I Can – Lauren Graham

I have mentioned before on this blog that I have an Audible account. It allowed me to listen to several of these books in the voice of their author. As a huge Gilmore Girls fan, I knew that this book would be best consumed audibly and I was correct. Graham does talk fast, but she keeps a sensible pace so you enjoy full extent of her funny anecdotal life.

Book number 3: ‘How To Be A Bawse’ – Lilly Singh

Female Authors
How To Be A Bawse – Lilly Singh

If you don’t know who Lilly Singh is, I’m really sorry. Here is her YouTube channel. Go ahead and subscribe. I’ll wait…

https://www.youtube.com/user/IISuperwomanII

…done? Did you watch a video or two? I know she’s great, you’re welcome. Now back to her book. There are so many self-help/ motivational books out there. This is one of the good ones. Honestly, she not only deals with the ins and outs of being a Bawse, but she explicitly explains her experiences with depression.

You also get the added bonus of it not only being read in the author’s voice but with some surprise guests. It’s an inspirational read.

Book number 4: ‘Americanah’ – Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

Female Authors
Adjoa Andoh

I thought this novel was phenomenal. I was a fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her speech “We Should All Be Feminists,” so I wanted to give one of her novels a try. Although this one isn’t read by the author herself, it’s beautifully narrated by the talented Adjoa Andoh who brings the different accents to life. It was highly rated on Audible and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s an exquisitely winding love story between Nigeria and the United States of America. Treat yourself with this yarn.

Book number 5: ‘Wishful Drinking’ – Carrie Fisher

Female Authors
Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

When I heard the news that we lost Carrie Fisher, I was devastated. I am such a huge Star Wars fan, and she was one of the first examples of a strong female character that I remember. Along with being such a wonderful personality, she’s also an excellent writer. Her voice (both literary and physical) is so unique. She finds the funny in both the darkness and the light of life. I don’t even have to individually single out any of her books because they are all awesome.

Book number 6: ‘The Princess Diarist’ – Carrie Fisher

Female Authors
The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

Speaking of Carrie Fisher did I mentioned that I love her? In this audiobook, you also get a section narrated by her daughter Billie Lourd.

Book number 7: ‘Furiously Happy’ – Jenny Lawson

Female Authors
Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson

This book has been on so many “10 books to read if you suffer from depression,” or “15 books by female authors,” or “books by online personalities,” that I had to bite the bullet and get it. While the cover is exceptionally attractive and draws you in even before you open the book, the contents are even crazier. It will make you laugh I promise, you’ll be so annoying you’ll want to read sections of it out loud to the person next to you (sorry Le Boo!). If you haven’t heard of her you can check her out here:

http://thebloggess.com/

(Jennis unite!)

Book number 8: ‘Brave’ – Rose McGowan

Female Authors
Brave – Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan has been such a controversial figure, and part of me really wonders how would she be received if she were a man. I am a fan of her hubris, I think she genuinely is brave when you account for all she’s been through. This book is an eye-opener and at times very distressing. The story of her struggle began way before her rape. She has been homeless, she grew up in a cult, and her home life, in general, was very tumultuous.

If you haven’t yet, read this book. Or listen to it on Audible. (I’m not sponsored by Audible by the way, I really wish I was though!)

Book number 9: ‘The Great Gasbag’ – Joy Behar

The Great Gasbag - J Behar
The Great Gasbag – Joy Behar

This book was a bit of light reading between books with a heavier subject. I’m a huge fan of The View which Joy Behar calls her home. Whoopi Goldberg is my Queen. Behar is the only remaining original panel member and she is not winding down. This book may be humorous, but she knows her stuff. Read it for a laugh or read it for the political facts. Either way, you’ll get what you came for.

Book number 10: ‘Repeal The 8th’­ – Una Mullally

Female Authors
Repeal The 8th – (Edited by) Una Mullally

This was a tough read in the lead up to the referendum. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read my post about it:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/why-im-voting-yes-on-may-25th/

This book is a collection of essays, personal stories, and poetry. It made me cry like a small child. It made me angry and see red. It also showed me the value of my vote. I was voting, not only for myself but for all the women that came before and all those who would come after. It was just downright powerful.

Book Number 11: ‘A Line Made By Walking’  – Sara Blaume

Female Authors
A Line Made By Walking – Sara Baume

I’ve spoken about my mental illness here in the past 6 months and any story that continues the conversation is worth reading. This story is set in Ireland, following an artist struggling to cope with her mental health issues. The story has the added dimension of being both unique and uncomfortably familiar at the same time. The images painted by the author are still stuck in my mind, and the cover of this book drew me in inexplicably. It’s also nice to support Irish authors when possible.

Book Number 12: ‘The History of Bees’ – Maja Lunde

A History Of Bees - Maja Lunde
The History Of Bees – Maja Lunde

Heard of this book before? Always meant to give it a read? Well, get on it because it’s fantastic. If you’re like me and you’re worried about the bees (I’m not crazy they help grow our food), this book will reinforce you, while frightening those who are unaware of the dangers in a dwindling bee population.

An intermingling tale of three parts, Lunde manages to both connect people who have never met while demonstrating their utterly alien experiences. The narrators are all terribly flawed so that we feel at home with them, and by the end, you’ll be trembling with worry about our little fuzzy friends.

Book Number 13: ‘Swing Time’ – Zadie Smith

Female Authors
Swing Time – Zadie Smith

Although college and the books I read back then feels like many eons ago (I did only graduate from my Bachelors in 2010), I distinctly remember a novel called ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith. I hadn’t read anything else of hers since and I was in Waterstones one day perusing when this bright yellow book caught my eye. Sure enough, it was Zadie Smith. I’d always promised I would read more of her but never got around to it. I decided to buy it there and then, and she’s still got it.

Book Number 14: ‘Grace’s Guide’ – Grace Helbig

Female Authors
Grace’s Guide – Grace Helbig

Grace Helbig has a lifestyle/comedy YouTube channel whose brand is socially awkward. Although her YouTube content appeals to the painfully bumbling teenager girl inside, I was actually disappointed by this book. She seemed to get this book deal when many YouTubers were also getting book deals because of their online clout with young audiences. The novelty of this novel falls short, and while you might get more of an insight into the person behind Grace Helbig, you will get nothing but recycled life advice from this. (Sorry Grace!)

Book Number 15: ‘No Seriously… I’m kidding’ – Ellen DeGeneres

Female Authors
Seriously…I’m Kidding – Ellen DeGeneres

This book is worth more than the €1 I paid for it in a second-hand shop. It was a lovely light companion for awhile between otherwise serious life times. Also, who doesn’t love Ellen?

Book Number 16: ‘Wicca Starter Kit’ – Lisa Chamberlain

Wicca Starting Kit - Lisa Chamberlain
Wicca Starter Kit – Lisa Chamberlain

This book, and the next were research for something I’m writing. I was surprised at the many misconceptions I had about Wicca, and I found these books useful in my own life. As someone who likes to experience slowly and deliberately, this book came through with many basic tools to survive in a modern world. When you feel as though you’re completely out of touch with nature and your own natural bodily rhythms these paradigms will help.

Book Number 17: ‘Witchcraft Theory & Practice’ – Ly De Angeles

Female Authors
Witchcraft Theory & Practice – Ly De Angeles

As I said this book was also for research purposes. It turned out to be a bargain for the €1 I paid in a second-hand shop. (I love thrifting books). This book, unlike the last one, is more explicit in its explanations, recommendations, and value. Wicca and witchcraft have been attached to women for millennia. It is your due diligence as a feminist to understand it’s history.

Book Number 18: ‘Nefertiti’ – Joyce Tyldesley

Female Authors
Nefertiti – Joyce Tyldesley

 

Simply put Tyldesley has an insanely impressive repertoire of writings and books on the subject of ancient Egypt. Although she has books which are concerned with the civilization as a whole, she is also known for books like this one, which are biographies of those long dead. You’ll get the idea from the full title, ‘Nefertiti: Unlocking The Mystery Surrounding Egypt’s Most Famous And Beautiful Queen.‘ If you want to get an idea about what Nefertiti was like, outside of her famous Berlin Bust (pictured on the novel’s cover), you can read this book.

Book Number 19: ‘You Can’t Fix Stupid’ –  Terry & Linda Jameson

Female Authors
You Can’t Fix Stupid – Terry & Linda Jameson

This is another fun book, that I read in a day. I actually took it with me when I was getting one of my tattoos. I kept chuckling and moving much the chagrin of my tattoo artist. If you know anything about the Psychic Twins you’ll enjoy this book, if you don’t you’ll still enjoy it.

They recently started a YouTube channel in which they discuss many interesting things, while also collabing with many other established YouTubers. I enjoyed this book, and you really can’t fix stupid. Have a look at their channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJZSVCGZksXJWlQECPJvk1A

Book Number 20: ‘Hatchepsut’ – Joyce Tyldesley

Female Authors
Hatchepsut – Joyce Tyldesley

Finally as with the other Joyce Tyldesley book on this list, ‘Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh.’ is an intense read. I credit the depth of the characterisation to Tyldesley’s extensive archaeological fieldwork experience.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Now that my friends is all for now. Liked what you read here? Why not try my previous list blogs?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/28-female-musicians-i-adore/

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/lets-learn-about-me/

 

Perfectionism.

I was in the middle of writing a different blog for today, but I’ve given up because I have a massive headache. It feels like it’s slowly turning into a migraine. I don’t suffer from them often but I feel the weather may be causing it. It’s very ‘heavy’ outside. So basically the other blog, which was about anthropology and food, has been abandoned until next week. It’s pretty much done, but I have perfectionist tendencies, and therefore cannot focus my brain enough to finish it to my own imaginary standards.

It’s something I have slowly been trying to turn around, especially being in academia. There are only so many times you can proof-read something, change it around, and then find your way back to the same spot again. Perfection is an impossible goalpost, yet I continue to set these requirements for myself.

In fairness, me staring at this screen isn’t really helping the situation. I’m going to have to put the laptop away soon, otherwise, it’s going to make me nauseous. This has turned into a stream of consciousness now. I normally put my blog up the night before and schedule it for the next day so this will be a strange one for you to read.

So this is a very quick blog post today, the fact of which actually hurts my brain. Does that happen to you? Like the fact that I will barely proof-read this and then put it up on my blog irks me. As if I’m accountable to someone. I’m the person who is the boss, the big honcho. Ok, so that’s it. Leave me a comment if you’re a perfectionist and therefore your own worst enemy.

Jaycee. xxx

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Also if you liked this post, try my last one in this category:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/cheers-to-love/

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