What I’m into (February 2013)

I keep meaning to do a weekly Bits’n’Blogs post, and never getting round to it. And then I saw that the wonderful Leigh Kramer does a monthly ‘what I’m into’ post, and I thought that was a fab idea! So I’m linking up with her, and do take a while to look round her blog- she’s one of the nicest people in the blogosphere.

Best of the blogs:

On men, women and sex


  • Creating space – Ed Cyzewski. I read this a while ago, and all this month this little gem of an e-book has stayed with me. It is very short and can be read in one sitting. It’s a great motivation to be unapologetically creative. If you’re feeling guilty for wanting to make time to write or paint or play music or bake, this is the thing to read.
  • Hailstones and halibut bones – I received this as a gift (thank you, Mark!). It’s a fun introduction to poetry for children, looking at colours. Or a fun introduction to colours, using poetry, (depending on which way you look at it.)
  • 1000 gifts – Ann Voskamp. I know, I know – everyone who’s anyone has already read this book, so I’m so very late. It’s a remarkable piece of work – so beautifully written, it’s delicious. Her challenge to overcome the weariness of suffering by identifying concrete things to thank God for sounds like it could be twee or reductionist, but the way she writes about suffering is just brilliant. She gets it. So I will listen to her challenge. Still working through how much of the book I fully agree with, but this is an astounding book, both in terms of writing and the theology, and you should really get it. (If you haven’t already – it seems like most people have!)

Love stories

  • Amber Haines – My Love Songs. It was Valentine’s Day this month, and it made me think of an incredible work that I often go back to, when I need beautiful words to feed my soul and hopeful theology to lift my spirit. Amber Haines’ Love Songs are a series of short blog posts that read something between poetry and prose, and tell of her love story (with Seth Haines). Her writing is not just ‘blogging-good’ but ‘literature-good’. It’s up there with my favourite writers of all time – Silvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, WB Yeats – she has a magical way with words. And her story is the best kind: real about the mess and full of redemption. Just – read them. Treat yourself.
  • Alia Joy – roses and thorns together in this love story: In which I love you
  • Alice Buckley – With Dave. (10 years). (I had myself a little happy weep reading this love story).


  • Online course – Story 101

“Write what disturbs you – be willing to be split open.” Elora Ramirez

This month I attended my first writing conference! Okay, so it was from my bed and via a video-linky-uppy-thingy (that is the official technical term), but it was still amazing. Elora Ramirez and Preston Yancey teamed up to host Story 101, an afternoon of writing inspiration. Look out for their future courses – I found it to be really inspirational (and surprisingly emotional!)


  • Date Night – understated but hilarious. A married couple with young kids are trying to spend quality time with each other to bring back the romance and get kidnapped by the mob. It’s genuinely heartwarming and funny. a sort-of anti-romantic romantic comedy.
  • Skyfall – I didn’t get to see it in the cinema, so I was super-excited to see it on DVD. It didn’t disappoint. There’s usually a bit of a dull or more-than-slightly unrealistic bit in Bond films, but this was all first class drama. (And apparently the car in it was kind of iconic, but that passed me by.) It has officially transcended the genre. Could it be the best Bond ever?

M.E. Links
Two of my tweets got retweeted multiple times:
“Number one thing you can do for someone with M.E. = believe them. Number two = trust them to know their own illness better than you do… “Both of these are huge. Most ppl with ME are dealing with the fallout of medical abuse & poor treatment as well as a debilitating illness.”

And here’s one example of that medical abuse:

On my blog:
Anyway: Confessions of a recovering perfectionist was unexpectedly the most popular post of the month, with How I became a feminist a close second. If you’ve been enjoying the Ruth series, you may also be interested to know that my husband has summarised the four chapters of Ruth in Haiku on his blog. (You’re welcome to do the same – link up in comments in my blog or his!)
In the house:
There’s been some Les Mis floating over the baby monitor at night while the boy goes to sleep. His favourite is the opening dialogue between Javert and Valjean, and he sings certain parts with great gusto. With the monitor volume turned down to the minimum so that only the loud bits come through, it sounds a bit like this:
“Look DOWN!…Boke a window PANE!…MEANING OF VA LAW!…SLAVE of va LAW!…my name is DON VAL DON!…I’m CHAVVAIR! …my NAME..DO NOT FORGET ME! 2460- waaaaan!”

We’ve also been all about Aladdin this month. It was Pinocchio in January, and I was the blue fairy. Now I am Aladdin and the boy is Princess Jasmine. (Yes, you did read that the right way round). I have been on many magic carpet rides – we can go anywhere in the world but we always seem to end up at Torquay, to visit the penguins. The blanket also doubles as a magic lamp if you roll it up and rub it – brrrrring! You get your wish, instantly. I ask my boy what he wants from the lamp, and the answer is usually a chocolate caramel doughnut. I love this stage – to be able to keep your child happy with an invisible doughnut? It’s genius. (Just unintentionally punned – genie-us…)

Over to you:

  • What have you been into?

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17 Responses to What I’m into (February 2013)

  1. Mary DeMuth (@MaryDeMuth) 13th March, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    Thanks so much for linking back to the post I wrote for Deeper Church. I appreciate it.

  2. Adele 4th March, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    So many of my favourite blogs featured here. 🙂
    I remember watching Date Night with my sister and we were near paralytic at times!

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it too! 🙂

  3. Kimberly 3rd March, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Fantastic list. It will keep me busy for a long time:) Excellent idea, this monthly gathering of goodness. Might steal it for myself!

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      It’s a cool idea, isn’t it? I stole it myself from Leigh, so I reckon it’s up for grabs!

  4. Amber C Haines 3rd March, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    This list is so very well done, but you made me cry to include me, friend, floored me. Thank you.

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      You’re SO welcome!

  5. Mark Allman 3rd March, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    Wow Tanya… your list could keep me busy for a month!! My family enjoyed watching the Bond movie alot. We also enjoyed the latest Batman movie too. You should check that out if you liked the Bond movie. I love that British phrase “right way round”. I never hear it anywhere. You are only the second person who I have ever heard use that phrase and the other was British too. I assume it means correctly.

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Well, my list kept me busy for a month, so I guess that figures! 🙂
      How funny that ‘right way round’ is a British-ism! Didn’t know. Yes – correctly – as in, opposite of the wrong way round, or the other way round. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Alice 2nd March, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    YES! Addie’s stuff is just amazing – singing my life with her words!
    I want to pick through this post over the next week – thanks so much for lots of juicy goodness (and for the very kind link). x

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      Yes! (And now have the Fugees in my head!)

  7. Diana Trautwein 2nd March, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    There are days when I simply cannot believe you are living under the weight of chronic illness – your spirit flies so high, so free. This is a marvelous list – thank you. And someday, when we both have the time, I’d enjoy an email conversation about that very popular book you’re reading. I think we might find ourselves in the same place on several points. (And I am so TOTALLY with you on Skyfall – by far, the best one. Real people in real situations (well, as real as Bond movies ever get!). Loved the meta-theme of hanging onto the best of the old ways because in the end, they just may save your life.

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      Thanks so much for this lovely comment, Diana. Your words n the comments are always such a gift to me – they lift me.

      And yes! Let’s have that conversation! Love to!

  8. HopefulLeigh 2nd March, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I love how similar our blog reading habits are. 🙂

    I’m not a fan of Bond movies. I’ve seen a few but had no plans on seeing Skyfall. But everyone keeps raving about it and I was astonished by how many Oscar nods it received. And now you’re saying it transcends the genre? I might have to give in.

    • Mark Allman 3rd March, 2013 at 2:07 am #

      It is a very good movie Leigh.

    • Tanya 4th March, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      We are clearly the coolest. Thanks for stopping by – I love your linkups!

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