Looking up into an autumnal canopy of trees

Monthly Muses | September & October 2019

No, you’re not mistaken; I have actually published a blog post – for the first time in a while!

It’s been two months since I did my last Monthly Muses post. I’ll give you the usual excuse; life has been busy. No, I mean it. It’s been really, really busy.

September and October were crammed full, and November isn’t much better! I’ve barely had time to pick up a figurative pen, and I certainly haven’t written any poetry. I’ve not had many evenings to myself, and my usual weekend plans – which often involve not speaking to a single soul from 5pm Friday until 9am Monday – have fallen on the wayside for much better things.

The last few months have been taken up with online courses, work deadlines, theatre reviews, workshops, and dates. Add to that a few semi-spontaneous trips and birthdays, and you’re not leaving much time for words.

But I’m kind of OK with that.

As you can probably imagine, I can’t remember everything I loved for the last couple of months…but I’ll give it a shot. I really need to start listing things as I come across them, to make my life easier!

So here you are; a few of my favourite things from September and October – that I can remember.

Looking up into an autumnal canopy of trees

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Jennifer Gray

Thank you to my friend Laura for lending me her copy – I’ve been wanting to read this for months. This is one of those gloriously rare self-help books that genuinely helps. It speaks at your level, avoids all essences of patronisation, and is actually relatable. I would say the target market is definitely straight women – but as a straight woman, that suited me fine.

Amélie the Musical at NST

In October I went to see Amélie the Musical at Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). Actually, I went twice; the first to review, and the second for pleasure. This was one seriously beautiful show, and I am heartbroken the score isn’t on Spotify to listen to. I am very excited that the creatives behind Amélie are back in Southampton next month with CinderELLA the Musical, too. Lucky, lucky us!

Read my review of Amélie for Broadway World UK

Winchester Poetry Day [AD]

I have to put [AD] next to this, as I was paid to review the event; but I was not paid to say it was good (it was) and nor was I paid to add it to this blog post. This was genuinely one of the highlights of the last few months for me and was a true showcase of the fantastic poetry we have on our doorstep in Hampshire.

How to Pitch and Write for Women’s Magazines

In the summer I signed up to Laura Jane Williams’s online course, How To Pitch and Write for Women’s Magazines. It fell in October; little did I know how busy the month would be.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I had the time to really get my teeth fully into the programme, but I studied all the materials and did all the homework (and got some good feedback!), and really hope to crack on with honing my new skills and knowledge in the New Year, when I have a few more hours to myself. I feel like that’s when I’ll truly get the most out of the course.

I am really glad I took part; I just hope I don’t let myself down.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

This book is by far one of the best I’ve read in 2019. I wasn’t overly sure what to expect when I picked it up, but it had me hooked with some pretty intense plot twists and turns. If you like

Fledglings at NST

Another delightful evening spent at NST in October; this little gem was only on for a couple of days, and had only recently flown the nest into the wide world of theatre, but it was genuinely one of the most brilliant productions I’ve seen recently.

Read my review of Fledglings for Broadway World UK

The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

I have finally started watching this much-loved, much-raved-about show, and it is (so far) living up to expectations. Not only do I wish I was a little more Maisel, but I also adore her somewhat sullen sidekick Susie (who is also the Why Don’t You Like Me? woman from friends, who I have a lot of love for). I’m only a few episodes in but I can’t wait for more.

Fleabag

I had the pleasure of reviewing an NTLive Encore screening of Fleabag at NST (I had four reviews in a row that weekend…it was intense) – having loved the TV show I was excited to see where it all began. Of course, it lived up to expectations – read my review to find out more.

Running workshops

I was delighted to be invited along to run a couple of workshops on writing theatre reviews in October – and of course, I’ve written all about it here.

Wildwood Kin

I tend to stick with the same music all the time; I listen to a lot of old hits and, often, the same thing over and over again. But after Spotify suggested Wildwood Kin (I recognised their name from seeing them on Sunday Brunch) I found myself playing it on repeat for days at a time. They remind a lot of some of my other favourites, The Staves. I would recommend if you like some soft, folksy harmonies.

Everything I wrote in September and October

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