My favourite things (may 19th-june 4th)

Hi there! So, it’s been a hot minute since I made one of these posts, huh? Well, here we are, back again–and I thought I’d try my best to hype up some of my favourite things from the past little while. Please check all them out, they are absolutely wonderful!

Khora

Okay, technically the title of this show has a big ol’ accented o in the title, but I’m on my computer and I don’t want to look up the alt code, so please forgive me if you made the show and are reading this.

Khora is a sci-fi podcast based off the Greek myth of the Argonauts, following Princess Medea after she kills her husband Jason. (Yes, I had to look up the myth on Wikipedia to fully appreciate this show. Yes, it was 100% worth it.) I was a huge Greek mythology kid, thanks to the wonders of Rick Riordan books–so listening to this show takes me back to the days when my entire life revolved around whether or not Jason and Piper were going to kiss, it feels very nostalgic.

I love how they interpret the stories, especially Medusa–making her a biproduct of the evil Olympus Corp’s experimentation, able to paralyze people against her will when she feels nervous. (Is this because I project onto her? Absolutely.) Anyway, I would 100% recommend it.

Second Star to the Left

Another super loose retelling–this one is based off Peter Pan, set in a world where humanity has spread amongst the stars, and the colonizing of planets is routine. Scouts like Gwendolyn Hart are sent to scout out empty planets… knowing they will never leave the planet they land on, for the rest of their lives, and won’t even see another human being for five years, when their first settlers arrive.

But Gwen isn’t completely alone–she has her Scoutminder, Bell Summers, to keep her company, and of course her trusty robot companion, Boots. (Writing these posts has made me really good at using the exact same tone a movie trailer would. What has my life come to.)

Because it’s an audio drama, obviously it has buckets of LGBT+ rep, and an evil corporation, what more could you want. I love the sound design on this show, it’s so well done, plus the voice acting is incredible. Bell’s backstory episode has to be my favourite–I was absolutely losing my mind as things unrolled. I can’t wait to see where this show goes, it’s so cool! (And absolutely going to emotionally destroy me, but oh well.)

In Transit

Another space podcast, hooray! In Transit follows the spaceship Eurus, where everything really seems like it’s going fine, until a series of murders takes place–and Alecto McAlpine (a Sentinel, or an elite soldier chosen to guard the ship) is brought out of cryo, in the hopes she’ll be able to get to the bottom of whatever’s going on. But she’s about to uncover a conspiracy far greater than anyone ever could have imagined… dun dun dun…

Anyway, that’s all I can say without spoiling you, but holy shit, this is such a good show! I always say this, but I love the way it’s put together, I love the music, I love the writing–it really knows how to do a good mystery–and most of all, the found family, because I’m absolute trash for that trope. Cairo’s story especially had me more than a little emotional, and anyway now I declare him my comfort character, you can pry him out of my cold, dead hands. This is such a wonderful show, I love it so much, please check it out!

The Night Post

Next, I listened to The Night Post, which has been in my mental to-be-listened-to list for a while, since it sounded super cool. And it absolutely is! It’s set in the super-spooky Gilt City, where the supernatural is kind of just the norm. The three main characters–Val, Clementine, and Milo, all have been selected to work as pigeons for the Night Post, delivering mail by dark. Their job is feared by the wider public, which seems them harbingers of the supernatural. Which, to be fair, they might be. But they’re also… just kind of normal people, amid their high-fatality jobs? It’s a horror podcast, but it’s got lots of heart as well, and the sweetest found family. My favourite character has to be either Milo or Clem–because Milo’s voice sounds like a hug, and I see myself a little in Clem for some reason. The last episode absolutely destroyed me–I have no idea what’s going to happen in season two, and I can’t wait to listen to it, oh my gosh.

Sugar Rush

Ok, this is kind of a fish out of water amid all these super cool indie podcasts, which have touched my soul and/or emotionally destroyed me, but I have this weird obsession with baking shows and I’m going to make it everyone else’s problem. They’re just so nice to watch when I’m sad, and give me this feeling of, like, psuedo-accomplishment, I guess? Anyway, I’ve been kind of obsessed with this one of late.

The idea is, there are four teams of professional bakers, competing against each other and the clock in three rounds where they make cupcakes, confections, and finally a cake. It makes baking feel high-stakes, which I guess I have to give them some credit for. I have a ridiculous amount of fun deciding which team of lovely people to be overly critical of, and which team to root for to the grave, and pretending to know more about baking than I actually do. It’s on Netflix if you want to watch it. 🙂

Whoo! That was a pretty long post, but I’ve just been consuming a ton of media of late, what can I say? Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed. See you soon!

Lots of love,

Lorna

May: The Month in Photography

May 8th


So, it’s been a really exhausting day, not gonna lie. I went to work after a not-great night of sleep, and got back at twelve. Sometimes, after I’m done working, I can just jump right onto my next task with maybe five minutes to get changed… and sometimes I’m so wiped out I can’t form coherent thoughts for three hours. Today has been the latter. It feels like all I can do is worry about things I can’t control.

Like, I have this existential crisis every few months or so about if I should go to university or not–if I have a choice, if my feelings are particularly relevant to this decision. I spin around and around on my little mental toilet bowl, knowing perfectly well this isn’t going to go anywhere.

I’ve just been so hard on myself of late. I’m gonna try and work on that, and hopefully go to bed early tonight.

May 16th


So, I did not in fact, go to bed early. And now it’s the week after, and I feel like I could just fall asleep at my desk right now, except the moment I lie down in bed, all that exhaustion disappears, and I have to lie awake for a while.

I’ve got a big day tomorrow–school, and then a table read for the audio drama I’m working on. But weirdly, I don’t feel too nervous? That might just be the sleep deprivation.

It’s really cheesy, but I’ve been thinking a lot about something a teacher told me a while ago–you have to enjoy the process, because otherwise, what’s the point? I’ve always been a really goal-oriented kind of person, and I really don’t mean that in the positive way. My whole life is structured in my head into milestones and check-boxe. I’ve been trying to go slower, of late. Figure out what the hell that even means.

May 19th


I’m so bad at appreciating what I’ve got.

When things are quiet, and I’ve got nothing better to do, I fantasize about being this super busy famous writer–having deadlines, a management team, an editor, people whose whole job is to determine my success. A platform–like, a real one, and maybe someone would recognize me at a coffeeshop once, I don’t know. Healing people in some small way with a poem, or a story, and convincing people like me it will get better.

But when things actually happen in my life, I immediately switch to fantasizing about just having a normal life. Coming home from work and watching TV and knowing that was it–I was done, no stories to write or blog posts to edit or a thousand balls to carefully juggle.

The grass is always greener on the other side. I feel like that would be a good poem.

May 22nd


So, exciting news: I booked my vaccine appointment! I’m gonna get the first shot on May 30th, and I’m just so relieved to finally feel a bit safer.

I’m historically not the best with vaccines. I just don’t like strangers touching me, and especially when they’re not only touching me but stabbing me with a needle, it just usually sends me into at least a minor panic attack.

Aaanyway, I will be okay, it’s just not the most pleasant experience.

May 25th


So, exciting news, I guess: I auditioned for a podcast, and I’m gonna audition for two more tomorrow. I play one of the characters in We Are Here, which I just decided to take on for the hell of it, but turns out, I really like it? Like, it seriously makes me so happy? And even if nothing comes of it, I’m really glad I’ve figured that out about myself and wanted to share that with the universe today. So, yeah, that’s the life update I guess.

June 1st


Okay, technically I’m writing this in June now–because it’s been a not-great two days, and side effects are a bitch, but: I got vaccinated! On the 30th! And… it wasn’t an entirely awful experience? Which is weird, because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a shot without panicking. But the lady at the vaccine clinic was so nice, and she made me feel really at ease, and in conclusion I owe her my firstborn child.

I felt really weird afterward–like the tail end of a cold, with fun add-ins of dizziness, what felt like a fever, being really sore everywhere and not being able to move your arm. I’m fine now, though.

It feels like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still a little far off, but I also can see that we are getting there. Which is a feeling I’ve pretty much spent the last year waiting for.

(Editing Lorna sliding in here to say that obviously, getting vaccinated is a huge privilege, and unfortunately not something everyone has access to! I’m insanely lucky to be able to get the shot at all. Okay, now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

I just can’t wait for the world to get back to normal. I’ll probably still be kinda miserable, but maybe a little bit less than usual. I don’t know.

Lots of love,

Lorna

my favourite things (May 5th-15th)

The Beacon (Season Two)

Okay, so I know I’ve already written about this podcast, but Holy. Shit. I just need to talk about this show, okay?! It’s so good! For those of you who don’t know, The Beacon is a fiction podcast about a reluctant group of college-aged superheroes, trying to keep their campus safe from the increasingly strange happenings all around it.

This will have some spoilers below, so if, unlike me, you have enough self-control to listen to the whole podcast to find out what actually happens, just close your eyes and scroll past this. Okay, let’s get into it!

This season was even better than the first, I loved the little mini-episodes in between seasons to keep you updated on what was going on with the characters–it was so much fun. Also, we got to find out some of the characters’ real names! I’ve been trying to guess what they are for ages, so you have no idea the amount of serotonin I got from finding out that Capy’s name is Thea. (I had her pegged as maybe a Katy or a Kate, something along those lines–but Thea fits her perfectly.) Also, the plot is really getting intense, I have no idea what’s going to happen in season three, but I’m very excited to find out.

The whole plot with the wolf cult was super chilling–cults in general are always really interesting to write or read about, and I love how this one was handled.

Also, Lassie/Thalusol (is that how it’s spelled? I have no idea, if you wrote the show and are reading this, please forgive me) was such a fun character. At first, he was just very welcome comic relief, but his arc quickly turned much more deep and as the season went on, he became one of my favourite characters–I still think he’s an asshole, but he’s an interesting asshole, so I can tolerate him.

Anyway, in conclusion this show absolutely destroyed me, and I would highly recommend it.

Wooden Overcoats

Wooden Overcoats follows siblings Rudyard and Antigone Funn, who run a funeral home–which used to be the only one on the tiny island of Piffling Vale, until the effortlessly charming Eric Chapman comes along, and steals almost all of their business, because they’re actually kind of terrible at their jobs.

This has everything I want in a show. It’s so cozy and soothing, and just has a way of bringing a smile to my face In case you couldn’t tell, my sense of humour tends to lean a little dark, so this show’s kind of comedy was right up my alley.

It feels a bit like A Series of Unfortunate Events–a depressing show that still manages to cheer you up despite the vague, sinking knowledge that no matter how set the characters seem to be for a happy ending, something nine times out of ten will go wrong, but you can never predict how exactly–which makes for a weirdly addictive viewing experience. It also just has such a neat, very specific, whimsical small-town aesthetic. I think I could listen to this show a thousand times over and never get bored. I love the theme song and the sound design, and everything about it is just wonderful, and perfectly polished, you can feel the amount of love put into every single episode.

I don’t know if there’s going to be a season four or not, but I really hope there is, because I love these characters so much. Also, the last episode of season three almost made me cry, so be warned.

Heart of Ether

I’ve been looking for a horror podcast to fill the Magnus Archives-shaped void in my heart, and Heart of Ether is the perfect fit. It follows Irene Gray, a newcomer to the town of Daughtler, Washington–told in her voice recordings, addressed to her high school girlfriend, who went missing without explanation four years ago. But something’s not quite right about this town, and monsters lurk below the surface… and that is all I can say without getting into spoilers.

The sound design is so chilling, the voice acting is phenomenal, and I’m excited to see where this story is going, because I can sense something big is going to happen in season two, which will start releasing August 13th, so stay tuned because I will definitely need to gush about it more later on.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

I know I’m probably not the only person who’s talking about this movie–it’s been trending on Netflix for a while. But I watched it, and it sort of made me have a mental breakdown, because I guess I’m just allergic to healthy relationships in media now? Like, I will watch stories about trauma and death and brutal violence and be totally numb to it, but give me a happy ending and I’m questioning all my life decisions and crying on the floor. But. It is a really refreshing, very honest take on the “fun cartoon family adventure” movie genre, that I feel like can be enjoyed by adults and kids.

It follows The Mitchells, a family who were just trying to drive their eldest daughter Katie to college, and definitely never intended to be the last free people during the machinepocalypse. They’re unlikely heroes, about as prepared to save the world as any of us would be, and that’s exactly why this movie is so good. All the characters feel so real, and flawed, and fundamentally human.

I’m a huge sucker for family dynamics–romantic relationships and friendships are great, but there’s nothing more fun to write or watch/read about than a family. You get to see how they all influence and effect each other, work together as a team, how they relate to each other, their individual dynamics, the highs and lows of each of those relationships, and especially if they’ve known each other for a really long time, there’s just so much potential in there. I love thinking about how parents effect children, for better or for worse. So, this movie just ticked all the boxes for me, and if you’re prepared to cry a bit, I would definitely reccomend it.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you this week! I hope you check all these wonderful things out, because they’re super cool and they made me happy. Feel free to share any things that you’ve been enjoying of late in the comments, I love hearing from readers. ❤

Lots of love,

Lorna

My favourite things! (April 11-30)

Hey people! So, it’s been a while, but I have finally amassed enough things that I like throughout the month that I could put together another post. So, let’s get into it!

Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Okay, so I basically grew up with Taylor Swift. Half of the songs on Fearless I can recite by memory–I remember being, like, seven, and watching all her music videos after school on YouTube, back when I could name about three artists total. I didn’t really know other artists existed until sixth grade, so for a while it was just me and my emotional support Taylor Swift albums against the world. (No, I did not come up with that joke, I saw it on Tumblr, but I couldn’t resist.)

I don’t know, her music is just really nostalgic to me, and always makes me feel really safe and happy, and has gotten me through some tough times. As I write this it’s been a little while since this album came out, but whatever, I just needed to gush about it. The re-rerecorded songs are, for the most part, very similar to their original versions, but the vocals feel so much smoother and more mature, as though she’s recalling a nostalgic memory, and getting a chance to re-live my childhood this way was so nice. I’m lowkey getting very emotional about finally getting to listen to “Fifteen” as an actual fifteen year old, rather than a nine-year-old who thought being a teenager was gonna be the coolest thing ever. Also, the bonus tracks are amazing, and it’s a crime against humanity they weren’t released originally.

The Unruly City: Paris, London, and New York in the Age of Revolution

Okay, I don’t know if it shows, but I am such a huge history kid. Social studies is my favourite school topic by far. I think knowing about history is so important, because you definitely do see parallels between the world as it is now, and the world as it was then.

It’s so fascinating to think about all the people who came before you, all the events that shaped the world as we know it. Thinking about that will never cease to amaze me. I think revolutions are fascinating, and the late 1700s-1800s is a period I just keep ending up falling back to in my writing, so I figured it was time to read up a bit on it. I feel like there’s so much about history I don’t know, and would love to study further, so if anyone has any suggestions for good history books about, like, literally anything, let me know.

Anyway, this book follows three different revolutionary periods, interweaving different stories. The prose is so beautifully written, and immersive? I don’t know what it quite is, but it really makes you feel like you’re there. It’s definitely very smart, but doesn’t talk down to the reader, and never feels dry or overly academic/pretentious either. I’m not finished with it yet, but I’m pretty close, and I’m loving it so far.

Shadow and Bone

I originally got into the Grishaverse when I was in seventh grade, on the hunt for literally any fantasy books I hadn’t already read to death, like the little book gremlin I was. I was too young to fully appreciate the scope of these books, and they’ve for sure gotten better after a few years, and I’m sure I’ll appreciate them even more when I’m in my 20s. Anyway, last March I got my friend into them while we were in quarantine, and as a result had an excuse to get more into them myself. We’ve both been super hyped to watch the Netflix show and so I may or may not have spent like four hours binge-watching it this afternoon, after I finished work. I’m only five episodes in as I write this, because it is not healthy for me to binge-watch shows without taking a bit of a break, but so far I’m loving it. It’s faithful to the books, without following them verbatim. It sort of feels like reading AU fanfiction by the author, and I say that in the best way possible–because it reworks the original story in such a way that it’s understandable to someone who’s never read the books, but also creates a totally new experience for someone like me who’s read them many, many times–everyone goes into watching it not knowing what’s going to happen.

Shadow and Bone combines the plots of two different series within the same universe, Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. So we get two narratives, both set within the fantasy world, in which Grisha, gifted with various magical powers, live–exalted in one country, persecuted in the next. There are a bunch of different countries, all with really beautifully fleshed-out cultures, but this show focuses on Ravka, based off of Imperial Russia. The country has been divided into east and west by a sea of darkness called The Fold. One side of the story follows Alina Starkov, a soldier fighting against The Fold, who discovers she’s a Grisha, capable of summoning light and calling back the darkness. And then, on the other hand, we follow The Crows, a gang of criminals set on capturing her for a generous reward. Sadly, some of the original six in the book are off doing other things right now, but we still do get to see them–except for Wylan. I’m a bit salty about that, but I guess I can see why he had to be cut. Anyway, the TLDR is that it’s super well written high fantasy and I love this whole franchise to death.

Also, bonus points for how INCREDIBLE the soundtrack is. It’s been stuck in my head all night, which really says a lot, because normally instrumental songs don’t exactly stick to your memory. As we speak, I’m listening to the album for season one on Spotify–10/10, would recommend for dramatically studying French and trying to force yourself to pay attention and/or writing very bad fight scenes.

Inkwyrm

I listened to the first half of this podcast ages ago, like in… November? but I got distracted, and I never ended up finishing it, sadly. But I was at work so I had nothing else to do but listen to podcasts while I worked–so I ploughed through the rest of this show in, like, a few days, because it’s really addictive and definitely easy to binge-listen to. It’s a workplace comedy, and also a space opera, with loads of LGBT+ rep, all of which are just making this show right up my alley. (Oh, and a central wlw romance! Do NOT get me started on the romance in this show, it’s so good!!)

It follows Mella Sonder, assistant to the editor-in-chief Annie Inkwyrm, of Inkywrm Magazine, an intergalactic fashion publication, and their whole ensemble of coworkers and the antics they get up to. Most of the time it’s fairly lighthearted, but it has some really hard-hitting plotpoints too that, not gonna lie, got me pretty emotional. Also, it’s got found family, what’s not to love.

Speed round: My favourite memories of the week

Meals: Chocolate chip cookies, veggie simosas, sun-dried tomato pasta, tacos my mom made, homemade naan breads which turned our surprisingly well, and these English muffins I had with peanut butter for a late-night writing snack.

Memories: Finishing my biology final, at long last, and getting macarons with my friend to celebrate afterwards at the local bakery, watching Shadow and Bone, gardening out in the yard after sunset on a warm night, finally being able to wear shorts!

I think that’s about it! I will hopefully see you again soon, thanks so much for reading 🙂

Lorna

April: the Month in Photography

APRIL 4TH


A picture I took on a walk, right around sunset! I thought I wanted the sun to be at the centre, but honestly, I really like how it looks casting the edge in golden light, I feel like it turned out looking kinda cool, and vaguely vintage? (Like it was shot with a film camera, maybe?) I don’t know, I thought it was pretty.

APRIL 8TH


All the flowers are blooming here! I took this on one of my walks, and I loved what I did with the editing, I thought I brought out the pink really well. I don’t know what to say–I’m honestly just really tired right now. I’ve been juggling a lot of different stuff, and sometimes it feels like any moment now it’s gonna spin out of control. Except, in the end, it never does, which is… encouraging? Maybe? I don’t know.

I really want to start getting into this blog again, and last night I got super inspired and wrote down a few post ideas. I love the idea of being, like a proper blogger, but I don’t know what there is to write about.

Honestly, I’m not the best person to give our advice, and my life isn’t particularly exciting. I love doing these diary-type posts, but I don’t know if anyone really reads them. I vaguely like the idea of writing essays too, but I don’t really have any big important opinions to impart on the world. I’m still figuring my shit out. But I’m trying to be patient with myself about that, as best as I can.

APRIL 14TH


This whole month just feels like it’s gone by so fast–I’m almost done with tenth grade, and I’ve been working on completing my course selection forms for next year, which has so far given me one mental breakdown and counting. Because everyone is talking about university, and it feels like this thing is being shoved down my throat before I have enough time to think about it. And the idea of being in post-secondary education makes me want to throw up, and oh god, I’m just so ready to finish high school and so completely not?

And the thing is, I know exactly what makes me happy, what I want to do with my life–it’s just what I want isn’t exactly practical, and I have no idea how I’m supposed to get there. I just wish I could hit pause on everything for a moment, so I could have enough time to figure things out.

I’m trying to think of something wise and optimistic to say here, but honestly, this month has been kind of a downer. There have been some nice moments in there, but overall, just a big meh.

Which I guess is just life, sometimes. I’ll figure it out, and I hope, whatever you’re going through, we can fumble our way through it together.

Lots of love,

Lorna