Do you mind if I share what I’ve been reading?

Still reading and enjoying!

Lost Gods by Brom

This has been a wonderful read so far. The narrative style is specific enough for the sake of immersion, but also jumps into the action of the story without too much wait. Traveling through Hell from the perspective of multiple characters is mesmerizing; each chapter isn’t too long nor short for me, which contributes to this work being a delightful page-turner. I’m always excited to witness a new area of Hell, another god, the growth of a revolution, and the developing external and internal conflicts of each character overlapping with one another without being confusing or sloppy. So far, I truly enjoy Lost Gods with all its ruthlessness and narrative poise. This was a book I started reading on Scribd, then had to order in print. 

Still reading…but close to dropping it…

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I was excited for a magical/occult dark academia work to dive into. Unfortunately, the info dumps are incredibly bothersome, but are a good example of why authors need to show rather than tell. The most exciting part about magical systems and their environments is the experience, after all. I’m also concerned with how each character is portrayed, whether through their choices or their description from the protagonist’s perspective, leans into ignorance and racial prejudice. My first impression of the world building and character design overall isn’t good; I’m underwhelmed and keep hoping for actual storytelling and more active characters. I do enjoy the protagonists’s sarcastic and cynical tone, but I would prefer she would stop ranting to me about her conflicts and motives in life and just go after them. She gives me Slytherin vibes, but good gods, stop bitching about everyone and everything around you and do what you claim you’re going to do.

Still reading and loving it

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

I heard many people compare this book to The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova so I started it a while ago. So far, I really like it. The narration style is believable and fresh, meaning it’s a style I don’t really come across often. Similar to Brom, Pyper’s writing jumps into the heart of the story with good pacing. I’m a sucker for the stories about an academic who is recruited for some kind of mission that turns out to be more dangerous than it is educational, but is educational nonetheless. I love the narrator’s perspective on things, mostly because his tone of voice is certainly someone who is haunted by many things beyond his control, but isn’t drowning in cynicism necessarily, which must be due to the love for his daughter.

Listening and very intrigued

The Death of The Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech by William Deresiewicz

This was a featured audiobook that was a recommended read on Scribd and I absolutely love it. I think many people, especially artists, may think it’s all doom and gloom, but I like a good wake up call to the reality of artistry in our time. I think any artist and creative entrepreneur should read or listen to this book if they’re stumped by the question “How do I make a living doing what I love?” Deresiewicz provides research and testimonials from artists who answer the question with, “Well, you may not make a living. That’s kind of the point.” It’s not as pessimistic as artistic souls may think. It’s more of a realistic, big picture view as to why it’s so damn hard making a living doing what you love and that it’s simultaneously harder and easier compared to how artists fought for their careers in the past. I’m not contradicting myself; Deresiewicz breaks down the conundrum of the art and entertainment industries so we as artists can have a more grounded view on the many roads of success that inevitably come with obstacles, failures, and a hell of a lot of exploitation from corporations. (I’m on the chapter about writers, publishing, and fucking Amazon right now…and if I told you how I feel about all this information, this post would be a long ass rant.)

I plan to provide updates about my current reads to stay in touch. I’m actually reading a lot more at once than what’s posted here. That will be another post.

L.

I am in LOVE with an audiobook right now: “You’re A Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. I’m sorry if you’re reading this as someone who is up to their ears with self-help books, but as someone who has swam through various self-help books hoping to find something that has scratched me where I itched, I promise you…this one’s a keeper.

I wrote an article called “The ‘Lack Mentality’ is Killing Us”, which was inspired by my own lack mentality and the lack mentality from the people around me. Misery became our currency, when really it’s what I called “a slow, subtle suicide,” (Authentikei 2018). The main points of my article were:

  • Dropping expectations will help you more in the long run. (This doesn’t mean lower your expectations. It means let go of the unrealistic ones that stress you out and don’t force yourself to be positive. Instead, face your reality objectively.)
  • You are not worthless, useless, shameful, or horrible. You have value that supersedes your monetary and/or social status.
  • If the dis-ease is present, face it. You do not deserve to suffer.
  • Taking care of your needs is a process. There is no get-rich-quick or solve-all-problems solution, but every step you take towards what you need is evidence of hope.
  • Replace satisfying those impulsive acts with appreciating what you have and investing in that by applying what you have to your reality.

Listening to Jen Sincero’s book has made me ecstatic. While listening to the audiobook, I would be yelling “YES! FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT!” out loud. I’ve already disturbed some family members, especially those who overheard the narrator saying “you’re one powerful motherfucker” while I was listening to it in the car, but Sincero’s book is ANYTHING but disturbing. It’s a fucking wake-up call. It’s something I’ve wanted to scream for so long. It’s made me wake up over things I thought I understood but really didn’t.

I’d like to share a few of her quotes that have hit me HARD so far:

“The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses.” 

“What comes out of your mouth comes into your life.” 

“Time wasted rationalizing the mediocre could be time spent creating the magnificent.”

“When you don’t investigate what’s going on with your words, thoughts, and beliefs, you risk stumbling through life on autopilot.” 

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” 

“There is no lack of things to be grateful for if you remember to pay attention.” 

“You can choose to be a victim to your circumstances or take responsibility for how you choose to perceive them.” 

There is such a big difference between agreeing with these statements and actually living these statements. I would add so many more, but I’ll end up copying and pasting the whole book. Her book reminds me of the last paragraph in the “Poor Application of Support and Resources” section of my article:

Challenge the Illusion: Challenge the lack mentality with a mentality of abundance and gratitude. What do you have and how can you apply that to help you in the present moment? If you find it doesn’t satisfy all of your problems, address how what you have helps with one or a few of the issues. That counts.”

I want to address a slight difference between myself and Sincero. When I wrote this article, I was still perceiving money and being rich in general as something that wasn’t that important in life (even though I do financial abundance spells almost every month). I was fine with receiving money, but I never felt comfortable loving money. Loving money was the equivalent of greed. Yeah, it’s not. Sincero describes money as not just our currency that makes the world go round, but it’s also a type of energy flowing throughout the universe reminding us we have a right to be wealthy and enjoy it. You’ll only be greedy if you choose to be greedy. Some of us have very generous and philanthropic ideas that we would love to make into reality if we had the funding. Sincero encourages the reader throughout to constantly keep in mind of all the awesomeness you can do with money (which doesn’t all have to be philanthropic, by the way. Treat yourself is definitely a thing too and can be harmless act without being greedy).

So when I look back at my article, yes her and I address the “lack mentality” in very similar ways, but I must say, she’s taken it a step further and exalted the abandonment of the “lack mentality” to a place of complete badassery.

I have to share one more quote from her:

“Your heart is the most powerful muscle in your body. Do what it says.”

Seriously, either buy or listen to this book right now.

Try out Audible. This would be a great first pick.

I’m in a position where I must bet on myself or bet on a system that may or may not take care of me. I know for a fact that if the system doesn’t have art or doesn’t let me create art, I’ll die. I’ve idealized death too many times to go there again. That was another risk. Another circumstance. Another chaotic instance of thrill and torment, but at least in art that torment tears me to pieces that I can reassemble and make into a new creation. Art provides rebirth beyond death or circumstance or consequence.

This is from my recent blog post where I was contemplating a certain transition I’m going through. As a pagan, I did my best to tap into some inner wisdom, but the panic set in faster. A whole winter of contemplation and meditation, but I still go into panic mode over, what I feel are, the most mundane things. Now spring is here and one source that has guided me through the figurative and literal seasons of change is the Runic Book of Days by S. Kelley Harrell, a wonderful guide to rune magick and how to apply its wisdom daily.

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