Selected short reading (vol. 7)

It’s International Transgender Day of Visibility, which celebrates transgender people and their contributions to society, along with raising awareness about discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

I’m joining in the celebrations by recommending a couple short pieces by trans authors.

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I love libraries — and their deposits

Rijksmuseum library in Amsterdam

I’ve got a thing for libraries. I visit them on vacation (including dragging family members to the main branch of Seattle Public Library shortly after it opened in 2004), make special trips to see them (like a worthwhile pilgrimage to the St Gallen monastery library in Switzerland*), and consider them top post-relocation destinations (even before getting health care sorted). I have a masters degree in Library and Information Studies and, several lives ago, spent many Saturdays doing reference desk duty at a public library.

I borrow hundreds of ebooks and digital magazines every year, although I’d prefer not to disclose precisely how many library cards I currently have 🙈

Libraries are perpetually intriguing to me. My latest fascination is deposit libraries, an old concept with some modern complications.

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The in-between time

We’re in the midst of relocating from Switzerland to England. And, as with any move, there is much (oh so much) that can only become clear in the fullness of time. I know that patience is necessary, but I’m struggling with the culturally conditioned drive for productivity.

I want to jump into action (find a place to teach yoga! start the job search! investigate dog adoption!), but inaction is far more appropriate in so many areas.

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Countdown to calm

Keeping calm and counting on five fingers

On a Sunday evening a couple weeks ago, I got stuck in an elevator with a friend and his six-year-old kid. Panic was inevitable.

My anxiety transformed into a super power in that elevator, though (so much practice halting my own downward spirals!). And I wanted to share the straightforward trick that helped me and that six-year-old avoid a full meltdown.

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Wrap and release

I probably spend most of my waking hours rounding forward — staring at computer screens, bending over a pan on the stove, hunching over my phone or any of a million other tasks. It’s not great for posture and the downward position also tends to tug down my thoughts and emotions, too.

The yoga antidote is supported fish, a lovely, well-propped, chest-opening posture.

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Riding the rails and receiving critiques

In front of York University’s iconic Central Hall

At the beginning of September, I shouldered a bag and hopped a train from Zürich to Paris, the first of many trains as I travelled to York and Kent in England and on to Antwerp. The Interrail app tells me I took 14 trains over 2,779kms and logged more than 22 hours on the rails.

The big draw in York was the Festival of Writing, where I hoped to get feedback on my novel-in-progress, and finally visit the school where I did my two-year Postgrad Diploma in Creative Writing. Tacking on some sight-seeing afterwards, plus catching up with friends in southern England and Belgium, rounded out a week and a half of travel.

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Selected short reading (vol. 6)

I completed my PGDip coursework at the end of June. (phew) And earned a more-than-satisfactory grade on my final assessment. (giant phew) Which means I’ll probably graduate from my two-year creative writing program with distinction. (giant yay!)

Now that I’m free of assigned texts or genres, my tastes have morphed to creative nonfiction — at least for short-form pieces, I’m devouring not-too-serious novels, too.*

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