Stitch, I’m Fabulous! I’m Really Fond of Pun Names!

Stitch, I’m Fabulous! I’m Really Fond of Pun Names!

As you might expect from someone who owns a blog called ‘Much Ado About Novels’, I’m very into wordplay, and when I set up an Etsy shop last year, it had to have a similarly punny name. So, I also own Stitch, I’m Fabulous! which is very small, but I’m slowly restocking it with cross-stitched bookmarks I’ve designed myself.

I started doing cross-stitch probably around ten years ago, when I bought a kit on holiday and proceeded to butcher it! I had a pretty steep learning curve after that, and mostly just used kits to make stuff. I’ve always been very academic, so it was a bit of surprise that I enjoyed doing something with my hands, but I soon found that it made me think better. When I’m stressed or I’ve been worried about something, it really helps to just sit down, follow a pattern, and let my hands rhythmically take over, allowing my mind to wander. It allows me to think through problems, acknowledge my feelings and create something, all at the same time. Mostly though, I sew while I watch TV, as my mind isn’t happy with just one distraction!

I’ve only recently begun to design my own patterns, which is way harder than it initially seems. As such, I’ve mostly been focusing on simple, graphic designs to get my points across. Still, I’m very proud of them, and I’m sure my designs will improve just as my sewing skills did. Below is a panel from a HUUUUGE Legend of Zelda stained glass window piece of I’ve been working on intermittently for ages. I didn’t design this myself, but it shows the sort of pieces of I can create.

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I promise to post a photo if I ever finish this project! But anyway, here are the two cross-stitch bookmarks I have on sale at the moment – one is a Harry Potter inspired small bookmark, for when you just want to get a book from your room without having to get up, and the other is a larger bookmark based on the suffering we endure as readers when a great series ends.

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At the moment, I’m only shipping these to places within the UK. However, if you would really like one of these, please drop me a message and I can research the best way to get it across to you. Also, I can easily make more of these with different colours, so don’t worry about there only being one item listed. I can also customise them in terms of text and design.

That’s it from me today guys! You can also find me on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Etsy, and until next time, may your plots be satisfying and your characters get what they deserve.

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London Stands with Manchester

London Stands with Manchester

I’m still trying to get my head around the events of last night, and I want to make it absolutely clear that there’s still a huge amount we don’t know, and we should be careful about sharing pictures, videos, or reports that don’t come from a credible source. Misinformation is dangerous, and there are plenty of people who want to sow as much hate and fear as possible – we should not give them the satisfaction.

At this moment in time (8:45 GMT), there have been 22 confirmed fatalities and 59 injured from what appears to have been an improvised explosive device detonated in Manchester Arena, after an Ariana Grande concert. Police are treating this as a terrorist incident committed by a lone attacker who died in the blast, but may have been part of a wider network. We don’t know the identity of the attacker, and at this point we shouldn’t make any assumptions.

This comes just 2 months (exactly) after the Westminster attack here in London, which killed 6, including the attacker, and injured 49. The feelings I had on that day came back last night: were my friends safe? Admittedly, many more of my friends live in London, and it was a bit of panic until I realised they were all fine, but ridiculous scenarios run through your head. Even though my boyfriend worked a reasonable distance from Westminster, had he decided to go to lunch there? Had one of my friends decided to have a look round Westminster Abbey? As much as you try to be logical, these fears take over. I received a phone call from my mum shortly after the news broke, saying that she knew I worked a mile or so from Westminster, but was I alright?

It was with huge relief that I found out that my friends in Manchester were safe yesterday, which brought into sharp focus the fact that there were people who didn’t receive that news. We can do nothing more than support them and stand together in solidarity. London is a great city, and we didn’t let the attack scare us into hiding, as scary as it can be going out in public after an attack. Manchester is a great city too, and the people there are filled with as much resilience and compassion as they are here. Outsiders often think of England as being one of two things: quaint or uptight. We are quiet, perhaps, but we are strong, and we care deeply for everyone around us, and we do not bow to fear. All our hearts are with Manchester while it copes with this tragedy, which I’m sure it will meet with bravery and kindness. London stands with you, as does the whole world.

I leave you with the words of Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London:

“London stands united with the great city of Manchester today after this barbaric and sickening attack. This was a cowardly act of terrorism that targeted a concert attended by thousands of children and young people.

My heart goes out to the victims, their families and everybody affected. Once again we have seen the heroism of our brave emergency services. They have our full support and are in all our thoughts today.

I am in constant contact with the Metropolitan Police, who are reviewing security arrangements in London. Londoners will see more police on our streets today.

Manchester and the rest of Britain will never be cowed by terrorism. Those who want to destroy our way of life and divide us will never succeed.”

Why I’m leaving my secure job to write

  As I made pretty clear in my last post, I do not enjoy my job. I’ve only been in it since the start of March, but I realised within a few weeks that it wasn’t for me, and I reasoned that I should stay in it as long as possible. After all, I didn’t actively hate it.

  I have learned, however, that you don’t need to hate something for it to be unbearable, and while I do not want to go too intimately into the reasons why I am leaving this particular job, I realised that it was taking too much and giving too little. I don’t mean this in a monetary sense, but with regards to my mental health. Unfortunately, having a chronic illness lends itself well to mental issues as well, partly through the knowledge of future pain and deterioration, and partly through the fear and strain that the condition has upon your immediate experience. Or at least, this is how it is with me. However, my main issue is that I suffer from PTSD, which has largely gone untreated, and which affects me far more when I am under stress. My job means working in a high-stress environment from 8:30 to 6, and can often go on longer, and the work itself, while I have learned a lot, is something I am not passionate about nor particularly interested in.

  But I’m paying my bills, with money to spare, and I’m hardly working in a sweatshop, so why should I quit? I made the decision that, while I know my situation could be a lot worse, it could also be better, and we can only judge how we feel within our own lives. I stopped thinking beyond my immediate needs, and looked at what I wanted to achieve, and I do not want a career in business. It’s not that I just fancy a career as a writer; it is something I need to do. When I write, I connect to the core of who I am, how I understand the world, and how my experience is different from those around me. As a disabled writer, my writing is hugely informed by my pain and fears, and I know how lonely a struggle it can be. I know how it feels to be isolated from your peers, watching other teenagers do things that are too risky for you. I know how it feels to dread an operation that may save your life, but may also kill you, or take some of your quality of life with it.

  It’s not that I just fancy a career as a writer; it is something I need to do. When I write, I connect to the core of who I am, how I understand the world, and how my experience is different from those around me. As a disabled writer, my writing is hugely informed by my pain and fears, and I know how lonely a struggle it can be. I know how it feels to be isolated from your peers, watching other teenagers do things that are too risky for you. I know how it feels to dread an operation that may save your life, but may also kill you, or take some of your quality of life with it. I know how it feels to see your father have a stroke (a memory that still haunts me) from the same condition you have, and to wonder after his death whether the same will happen to you. And worst of all, I know that while these aspects (and many more) still cling to me, they are also being experienced for the first time by others.

  While the novel I’m writing does not solely focus on disability, it plays a large part within it, and within my stories in general, because this is the only experience of life I have had. When I write able-bodied characters, they are still influenced by my disability, because I have never experienced life not being disabled. And, in all honestly, we need more disabled heroes in novels who break the mold and have active agency beyond being someone to feel sorry for. So yes, while it’s going to be difficult to find a way to either write freelance or to get part-time work so that I can dedicate a good amount of time to my writing, I cannot live with myself if I do not try. I don’t know what the rest of my life has in store, but I know that may be shorter than expected, and I can’t let myself waste a second of it.