The Circus At World's End

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Writing Diary 002 | In Which Ley has an Office & Probably Heatstroke

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

I intended on writing this post much sooner than I am, but due to the excruciating heat and humidity plaguing Nova Scotia this week, it just hasn’t happened. It’s too hot and gross to think. Yesterday was one of the cooler days, 32°c but with the humidity closer to 40°c. Today is a touch cooler, the apartment finally dropping from 32°c to 29°c, but overall it’s been a pretty disgusting summer so far.

But I digress. The actual purpose of this post is not to whine about heat. Now that I’ve moved into a larger, two-bedroom apartment with the boyfriend, I finally have something I’ve never had before: my own office.


Pictured above: the most important space of all, my desk. Featuring the computer, a poster of Sable Island’s shipwrecks, a painting my sister made of my name in Gallifreyan, and curtains that are way, way too long.

Isn’t it beautiful?

For the first time in my life, I have a designated space to escape to when I work on my writing. I have somewhere to escape to in general — a Ley sanctuary, if you will. And yes, Kilgard is an incredibly understanding boyfriend* who knows a Ley needs 1) an enormous amount of privacy and personal space to be happy in a cohabitual situation, and 2) to write.

I also got to keep my couch and armchair in the move, allowing Ley to 1) have company over if she so chooses, and 2) nap. Also very important.


Pictured above: the opposite wall with the bookshelves. Featuring my Alphonse Mucha oversized glittery calendar, a TARDIS coffee cup, my meagre movie collection, rubber duckies & pez dispensers, beautiful embroidery from my dear friend Joce, and my books. Oh, and cat food.

In closing, moving was a long, tiring process but well worth the effort and sore muscles and traumatized cat**. I got an awesome office. Now if only I could get myself back in the writing/editing groove, and everything would be fantastic …

* I moved into his apartment, and he gave me an entire room to myself. And allowed me to put my girly things everywhere and rearrange his whole life. Yeah, he’s totally bonkers.

** She loved my office even more than I did when we first moved in — in the sense that she did not leave it. By the end of the first week, she was fine. Thankfully. She was pretty sad there for a while.

Road Trip Wednesday: YA LGBT

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question.

This week, the question is: In honor of the just-ended National Pride Month, what’s your favorite YA LGBT book?

Of course, as YA Highway mentioned, LGBT Pride Month is June for both America and Canada, though here in Nova Scotia our largest Gay Pride week takes place in Halifax at the end of July, so I don’t feel like I’m celebrating anything late.

Not to mention, it is never too late to celebrate LGBT in young adult literature.

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Ley Returns & Google Reader Leaves

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Ley returns from hiatus! Insert confetti here.

It’s also Canada Day! Yay Kanata! (Canadian inside joke.) Yay more confetti!

It’s been a long month of moving. And because I was moving into what was someone else’s apartment, I was able to take my time. Things were packed, moved, unpacked, and I acclimated to their existence in a place away from me while living as minimally as possible in my apartment. At the same time, the moving process took so long that I felt like I spent two months in a state of upheaval.

bookshelves & Rigby

Ley’s new office, complete with sleepy cat who does not a single fuck give.

You know, as opposed to every other move where I either 1) moved everything all at once because holy crow my lease is up I gotta get out of here or 2) moved from my parents’ and thus didn’t feel bad about leaving all stuff behind.

In far more interesting news, Google Reader is done. As of today, in fact. In case you’re worried about what to use to track all your favourite blogs (or if you’ve never known a site could alert you when your blogs update with new content), I’m a huge fan of Bloglovin. Introduced to me by the lovely blogs of Melissa & Magen, it’s easy to use and has a simple, clean design. And it has apps for iOs and Android.

If you’re moving from Google Reader to Bloglovin, there’s a handy tutorial. And if you’d like to follow my official Bloglovin feed, just click here.

After These Messages

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Anyone remember these? Oh, the nostalgia.

It’s been a long month of preparing. Preparing for the Move, a day on which Ley will move (around the corner, quite literally) in with the boyfriend. It’s incredibly stressful on the Ley, as she has lived alone for almost three years, and very happily at that. But winter is coming, even as the tourism season chugs steadily upward to its peak in August, and it’s hard to live on your own with little money and skyrocketing power bills. Thanks, NS Power. Dicks.

Plus, you know, Jonathan’s pretty cool. For a boy.

Yay cute cat fun times!

Rigby’s enjoying the move so far, anyway. For now.

I’m on hiatus. I should be revising my novel. I should be blogging regularly. Instead, I’m moving, and I’m stressed, and I’m exhilarated, and I’m so many emotions all at once right now that I might explode.

So I think I deserve a break. But just a teeny one. Very soon I will return.

Road Trip Wednesday: Surprising Reads

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question.

This week, the question is: What’s been your most surprising read of the year so far—the book you weren’t sure about going in that really swept you off your feet?

Oh. How fun. Except, I can’t pick just one surprising read. (Isn’t that what I say every Road Trip Wednesday I do?) I’ve read a fair bit so far this year, and a number of the books I picked up because it seemed like a good idea at the time, with no concept of how I would feel about them. Some of them disappointed me, some of them were mediocre.

Here are the books that blew my mind.

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Hemlock Grove: Questions Answered

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Hemlock Grove PosterSeveral months ago, I posted my disapproving review of Netflix’s original television series, Hemlock Grove. It wasn’t so much a review as it was a means to vent after having marathoning the show with the boyfriend over the span of a few days.

In a way, I also needed to wrap my brain around what I had just watched. Had I enjoyed it to some extent? Yeah. Had it irritated the absolute bejeezus out of me? Sure bloody did.

That post has since become my most popular on my blog, and StatPress informs me that my last twenty or so search terms have all been Hemlock Grove related. So let’s beat a dead horse, and answer some questions that have popped up!


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Sunday Monday Linkspam 002

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Moving is hard. There’s a lot of putting your life into boxes, carting them elsewhere, and then unpacking them and trying to find new places to store them. Life has been hectic, and so my blogging isn’t quite as regular as I hoped it would be. I’m also posting this on entirely the wrong day. S’all good, right?

In other news, my cat is enjoying all the boxes being brought into the apartment. Not so sure her glee will last very much longer …

Rigby in the Box

  • Film | Recently remembered to finally watch Mama, as it’s been something I told myself I would watch when I ran out of horror movies to see. I’m glad I did. The film is creepy, suspenseful, has disturbing children, there’s a hot rocker chick as the main character, and the visuals are amazing — all the things a Ley loves.

    Check out the original short film, Mama, on Vimeo, which is also fantastic.

  • Short Stories | Neil Gaiman would be in my top two favourite short story authors. He recently released free copies of How To Talk To Girls At Parties bundled with an excerpt of his upcoming novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I enjoyed HtTtGaP as much the second time around as the first.

    He also recently had a new short story, Feminine Endings, published by a lovely horror serial, Nightmare Magazine. And it’s lovely. And a bit a lot unsettling.

  • Music | I love Free Dominguez. She’s lead vocalist in one of my favourite bands of all time, The Kidneythieves, and her recent solo album Volcano + The Sea can be streamed for free before you buy. I love Bandcamp for that reason. It’s not as gothic as her work with Kidneythieves, but it’s still gorgeous.
  • Music | And in a completely different vein of music, I’m very excited to be seeing Jennah Barry this weekend! After a wine tasting. Because there is no way the weekend could possibly get better.

    Her album Young Men is brilliant, and her voice is extraordinary. Give her a listen! Especially 4×4. It’s my favourite.

  • Publishing | All the Publishing Information You Ever Wanted by agent Rachelle Gardner. It’s a freaking smorgasbord of links about agents, queries, and everything else you want (or need) to know.
  • Young Adult | Booktuber Ariel Bissett posted a video In Defence of YA, which is definitely worth a watch. It’s stellar. Huge amounts of gratitude to Ariel for forming every sentence I’ve ever wanted to say in regards to young adult literature.

Okay. I think I’m good now. The Pocket is cleaned out of everything I wanted to post. Have an awesome week!

What Teen Ley Read

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

It feels like I’ve been reading predominantly young adult for years, but in actuality I didn’t “get into” teen fiction until I wasn’t one anymore*. I’m certain I’m not alone in this (similar experience anyone? Anyone? Bueller?), so I won’t pretend like I was special or precocious as a teen. I don’t know what would have been teen fiction in the late 90s and early 00s, but I know what I read wasn’t it.

For one thing, I didn’t read to the volume I do now. I fancied myself an artist, and I thought I would go on to design characters for animation and video games. I wrote with communities of similarly geeky people in incredibly involved story lines, but I never thought I’d go on to be a novelist. It was a hobby, just writing games**.

Young adult also didn’t exist like it does now. There was Harry Potter (the first book came out when I was in grade seven — at the time I thought I was too old to read it), Artemis Fowl, and others, but the first section of the bookstore I’d go to would be horror. I didn’t want to read teen fiction because I thought I was beyond it.

A wild teen Ley appears!

Ley at eighteen, from November 2004

In my teens, I discovered some of my favourite authors — Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Clive Barker. I read Simon Logan’s collection of short fiction, I-O, and then I read it again. And again. To date, I don’t think I’ve reread a book as many times. (It’s no longer published in print, but it’s available on Smashwords for $1.49USD.)

I read novels like Girl, Interrupted, The Bell Jar, and Prozac Nation because I had a morbid fascination with mental illness, dealing with a disorder of my own. Arguably, all are young adult since I believe the authors were in their late teens when the books begin. It’s, uh, been a while.

And then there are the books I read for school — The Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm, all almost cliched for classroom reading. But we also had a brilliant Canadian Literature class featuring books such as Kit’s Law by Atlantic Canadian author Donna Morrissey, The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, and a number of others.

At twenty-seven, I’ve been reading teen fiction for six or seven years now. Obviously, I no longer believe I’m “beyond” teen fiction, though I am choosy in what I read. And I don’t regret not reading it as an actual teenager. From a writing standpoint, I needed to read Neil, Chuck, Clive, and Simon to understand what I love to write, and how I create characters, and what my voice is. They taught me how to break genre boundaries, and create worlds outside of the box.

Let me know what you read as a teenager below in the comments. I’d love to hear! (Or just poke fun at me for how ridiculous I looked as a teen. Sigh.)

* There will be post about this one day.
** And probably at least two about this.

Road Trip Wednesday: Inspiration

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question.

This week’s question: What are some non-writing blogs, Tumblrs, Twitters, Pinterests, Instagrams, etc., that you follow and get inspired by?

This one was tough.

I don’t follow any non-writing-related blogs, but everyone I follow on social media inspires me in some way — but, considering I follow 317 blogs on Tumblr and 117 people on Twitter, it’s hard to pin down many specific places of inspiration.

As far as Pinterest go, as it’s newer on my list of social media outlets I found it easier to pinpoint the truly inspiring pinners: Fellow writers Holly Black, Dawn Kurtagich, and Lisa Mantchev should all be given a visit.

Check out the lists below (categorized, because that’s how I roll) for more. Not that I imagine very many write about post-apocalyptic circuses or abandoned hospitals filled with terror, but just in case.


Ask The Circus – Full of art, photographs, and videos related to the circus.
#lucent dossier – One of my tracked tags on Tumblr ~ the brilliant Lucent Dossier.
The Grand Vizier – Pinterest user with a definite circus theme.


Horror – A board of scary things.
Horror Movie Freak – An amazing Tumblr of horror movie goodness.
monsters irl – Probably one of the hugest Pinterest boards on horror out there.
Pumpkinrot – Unique and creepy Hallowe’en decorations from an amazing artist.
Skulls & Bones – Art and miscellany devoted to skeletons.

Post-Apocalyptic | Urban Decay

abandoned – One of the first Pinterest boards I ever followed.
Kingston Lounge – Stunning photographs of abandoned places.
#urban exploration – One of my tracked tags on Tumblr.

Sunday Linkspam 001

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

  • Music | One of my favourite musical artists of all time, Poe, recently posted a few clips to YouTube and PTCH, revealing that new music could be in the works after eight years of silence. The following is short, but very haunting:

  • Writing | Brain Pickings‘s post on The Daily Routines of Famous Writers is inspiring, intriguing, and makes me really, really wish I was writing for a living. The rest of the blog is fantastic as well, full of great posts on writing and reading.
  • Check out WritingHelpers for this massive list of tips on writing. It’s brilliant.
  • This is probably one of the handiest tips I’ve seen in a while, from Shannah McGill.
  • My friend Dawn Kurtagich and a few other writers have put together a pretty fantastic blog called Fox Force Four. They post tremendously helpful articles on everything from writer’s block to self-publishing to writing process.
  • Food | Pesto is one of my favourite things ever, and TheYummyLife has compiled The 25 Best Pesto Recipes. Ermagerd.
  • Now that summer is getting closer, I just want to eat smoothies. All the time. For every meal. This article and infographic is adorable and fantastic and has some great ideas on smoothies for every occasion.


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