Sunday Book Review: How to Bee

How to BeeHow to Bee by Bren MacDibble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever wondered who would do the job of pollinators if they all died out?

“How to Bee” takes a look at how the world would be if the Bees were almost extinct. It’s a beautifully written story and it takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.

My 12 year old read it first (snatched it out of my hand when it arrived) and said:
“It made me open my eyes to how some families work. I really enjoyed it and I would really recommend it.”

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As Satyulemas approaches…

…I start looking back at what has happened to me in a personal sense over the year. 

This year has been one of the most stressful in my life. We started the year losing several of my favourite celebrities. Losing people familiar to me (even in a distant fashion) upsets and unbalances me.
Then we had our Landlords of 13 years decide that they want the house back and give us an eviction notice. Losing familiar places does the same thing as losing familiar people, only ten times worse.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I am as Autistic as my children and partner.  And I am embracing that. No more excusing what I do because Allistic or Neurotypical people think it is weird.

I was trying to figure out what my stim is the other day. Most autistics have them and they provide comfort when we are anxious or stressed as well as signify our joy and happiness. My happy stim is jumping and clapping – that hasn’t changed since I was little, but I couldn’t seem to find my comfort stim…
Then I realised today that I am always doing something with my hands. If I have something with a game or a keyboard on it, I’ll be playing or writing. If I’m too anxious or angry to do that, I knit or craft. If I don’t want to do that, I bake or wash up or draw,

In fact, if I need comfort and have a pen / paper in my hands, I’ll doodle. If I don’t, I tap or fiddle with whatever I can pick up. Most of the time it’s subconscious, but it’s infinitely preferable to getting so upset and anxious that I meltdown.

Now, here we are in a new house with new people to get used to and I’m anxious again… there are too many people in the area, not enough clear space around me and way too much light and noise. But it is something I have to put up with, so I’ll probably be doing a lot of writing, drawing and knitting….

Satyulemas begins on 17th December (handily the weekend after the kids break up) so we’ll put up the decorations, play loud music, have good things to eat and watch some seasonal movies (assuming I can find them in the boxes) before the preparations really get started…

 

My Author Heroes: Neil Gaiman

This is hopefully the start of a regular series of posts on the writers that I love and look up to. Some of them are well known, some of them independent, but all of them come highly reccomended.

At the end of each post, I will add a link to the author’s blog and any other links that I think you need to know about, so that you can discover their work if you feel like it…

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Neil Gaiman is one of those writers that I look up to. He writes what he wants to write and it is always a good read. It doesn’t fit into any one genre but slips and slides between them,  the rhythm of his word choices carrying you into other places, other times and lacing it all with the unmistakable addiction drug that is a good book.

Sometimes his words are dark, sometimes they’re funny. There’s rarely anything in them that doesn’t bring a new side to the story or the characters. His stories are simple at first glance but the more you read them, the more you see.

He’s a gentleman to his fans. His tumblr blog gets questions galore. He doesn’t answer all of them (he’d never get any writing done if he did), but when he does answer them, his answers are thoughtful and never nasty, no matter what the subject.

Today’s question was a fascinating one:

neil gaimen

I think he handled the question with his usual gentlemanly aplomb, especially as it’s one of those trickier ones.

Mr Gaiman is without doubt one of the world’s best writers and I was introduced to his work the same way that I met the work of Terry Pratchett; I picked up a copy of “Good Omens” out of curiosity. With Terry Pratchett, it didn’t take me long to be hooked, I started with “The Colour of Magic” and devoured every book I could get my hands on.

With Neil Gaiman, I had to reread “Anansi Boys” twice before I decided to look at his other work. As I’ve got older, I’ve come to appreciate his work more and more. Even his children’s books are beautifully worded, my favourite of those being “Blueberry Girl”.

I’m slowly collecting his work. savouring each one. I have both Coraline and Stardust in Movie form and despite the differences from the book form, they are delicious. I hope that you will join me in appreciating his work, but I am realistic enough to know that they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

So here are the links for you to discover him through –

The Publisher’s Site: http://www.neilgaiman.com/

The Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/neilhimself

The Tumblr Link: http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/

The Young Reader’s Site: http://www.mousecircus.com/