Tag Archives: Novel Research

The Beautiful Books #26 – The Author Writing Process Edition

Image Description: The Beautiful People for Writers - Writing Goals

How do you decide which project to work on?
I’m actually pretty terrible at focusing on a singular project and I’m often working on multiple projects at once.

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
The Pushing Boundaries series is the only project thus far I’ve been able to focus on long-term. I wrote a rough draft for Canis Major – Volume I for NaNoWriMo 2015 (November) and had it edited and self-published by November 2016. I know a year doesn’t sound like a long time, but it felt like a long time because I was focusing on it for a core unit of my degree and needed the eBook published in order to graduate.

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
No, unfortunately, although I am trying to organise myself into a get a cup of tea and light some tea-candles and essential oil burner and seeing how that goes.
Image Description: from left to right, a triangle shaped tea-light candle holder with purple flowers painted on the front, a small glass tea-light candle holder, a white oil burner from Dusk with a tea-light candle inside and another small glass tea-light candle holder.

What time of day do you write best?
I generally struggle in the morning and tend to work better in the afternoon and evening

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
As I’m an author who is just starting out, I have no idea, personally I think this is something you’d have to ask a reader rather than a writer.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
Looking back, I began fan fiction writing as a coping strategy for dealing with… well, Life in general, I suppose, however, it also allowed me to experiment with writing possible narratives that could occur within that already structured world, most of these narrative possibilities contained the idea that the canon narrative could have gone in a different direction than the one the author chose. It’s a safe way to explore narratives and characters. But, eventually, the novelty of fan fiction (and the lack of quality control) made the cons of fan fiction out-weigh the pros.

I also realised that if I spent all my time playing around with other people’s narratives and characters, I was left with neither the time or mental capacity to work on my own narratives and characters (although characterisation is still an area I need to improve upon). The reason I keep writing, I guess, is because I’m constantly coming up with new ideas, which is kind of frustrating because I’d like to be able to work on the projects I’ve already started, but we all have our own creative processes.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
During the editing process, I was trying to get my character Beth to convey some plot/character related information to another character Mac, in the original manuscript this took place over three chapters, however, with the assistance of my editor Kim, I managed to transfer this information in three lines of dialogue. It was so frustrating and annoying at the time but it was a good learning experience.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
probably my Lake of Tears project, which is a SFF (Science Fiction Fantasy) Dystopian cross-over involving elves, gods, mages, dragons and time-travel. I am nowhere near the level I need to be (as a writer) to write it, that and I need to do some more research into time-travel and paradoxes.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
I wanted to have written Orion – Volume II written, edited and self-published by the end of the year, but that goal has become laughably out of reach due to personal circumstances and issues with mental health.

Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!
Image Description: a Labrador-dog, wearing a red tie, is sitting at desk with a laptop. It looks as though the dog is typing on the laptop. The picture is captioned with white capital text, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING.

The Beautiful Books #23: March 2017

Image Description: The Beautiful People for Writers - Writing Goals

Welcome to another installment of The Beautiful Books, where I bather on about my current WIP Novel Project, which would be Orion – Volume II in the Pushing Boundaries series (yeah, I know, it says Scorpius is the title of Volume II on the Pushing Boundaries link page, clearly I need to change that, Scorpius will be the title of Volume III instead), however, there have been some complications with the plotting and outlining process.

I’m supposed to have a finished outline for Volume II by the end of March so I can use it for Camp NaNoWriMo in April, but right now it’s just super hard to sit down and think about what I want to happen in Volume II, let alone write it down. One of the numerous problems is that currently I don’t know what’s going on with Beth and James, so for the mean-time, I’m just going to focus on Mac and Cassie and, hopefully, that’ll work out instead. On with the post!

What’s their favourite book/movie/play/etc.?
Mac: Mac enjoys Marvel and DC Comics (the whole Marvel/DC rivalry doesn’t make any sense to him), so he’s enthusiastic/passionate about Comic-to-Movie adaptation, he likes being able to explain the adaptation differences and domino affect it would have on the plot-line.

Cassie: Cassie enjoys cheesy romantic-comedies but her favorite movie would be The Notebook

Is there anything they regret doing?
Mac got Cassie pregnant when she was seventeen and he was twenty and, while they don’t regret getting pregnant per say, they regret the circumstances and events that happened around the two of them at that time (so it’s more of a “guilt by association” type thing).

Mac: When Cassie first told him that she was pregnant, Mac went to James for assistance and James and Justine offered to help discreetly arrange an abortion for Cassie, which is something they both objected to (Cassie didn’t want to get abortion and Mac was supportive of her choice, he was willing to provide whatever Cassie needed), however, Cassie’s family eventually realised that she was pregnant and organised to have Cassie “sent off to a relative” when her pregnancy became more noticeable and for parents to adopt the child. Mac objected to this attempted to (for lack of a better word) rescue Cassie from this arrangement (Cassie was pretty much being forced into giving up the child, but she have a small say on who the adoptive parents could be, Mac didn’t get a say at all). James found out about this and, with Justine’s help, tracked Mac and Cassie down and brought Cassie back to her parents.

Cassie: Cassie doesn’t regret going through with the pregnancy, but sometimes she does wonder if she should have had an abortion (would it have spared Mac all that turmoil and stress?), Cassie also regrets not being able to talk to Mac about the situation, Mac just assumed that they would be a continue to be couple and they would automatically become a family, Cassie wanted to be Mac and she loves him very much, but she realizes now that she didn’t want to be a mother at that point in her life and she’s afraid of saying anything about it because she doesn’t want to sound like she doesn’t care about Mac or the daughter they have. So Yeah… A lot of angst there.

If they were sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how?
Mac: Emilia is a little precious with Mac with when Mac is sick

Cassie: Cassie normally just takes care of herself (depending on how bad it is, usually she’s not that bad), her mum checks on her but her mum is more the aloof/distant type.

Is there an object they can’t bear to part with and why?
Mac: Mac has sonograms of his unborn daughter tucked away safely, but he also has a copy of them on his phone, for obvious reasons.

Cassie: Cassie wishes she had sonograms (her mother took her copies from her to give to the adoptive parents), I’m planning on writing a depressing/touching scene (depending on my writing skills and reader’s perspective) where Cassie finds them on his phone.

What are 5 ways to win their heart (or friendship)?
Both Mac and Cassie have a strong sense of loyalty to their friends (it does manifest in different ways, Mac is more aggressive and willing to pick a fight, where are Cassie is more passive and willing to do stuff on another person’s behalf). Beth manages to win them both over being nice to them and cooking them food.
Mac: Mac is more of a common interest type person, Duncan and him have been mates since secondary school and while they both have an interest in drawing, Duncan no longer has time to pursue it (busy with work and a girlfriend), Beth has more of an interest in manga than comics but she knows enough of a general overview of Marvel and DC so that she had keep up with Mac. Beth also has a list of Marvel movies and TV shows she’s been meaning to catch up on.

Cassie: Cassie is pretty tolerant of people, but she won’t accept homophobia and, even though she’s rather timid when it comes to defending herself from her brother Mark or Donoghue, she is quick and sharp to call Mark and Donoghue out on their bullshit. Cassie can be a little clingy, although she doesn’t always realise it, Seamus sometimes has to remind her when she’s being too clingy with Beth.

Describe a typical outfit for them from top to bottom.
Mac: work boots, flannel shirt (usually in a shade of blue with a navy blue singlet underneath) and jeans.

Cassie: feminine method of fashion, pastel colors (pink and blue), likes to where knitted items of clothing and make her own items of clothing.

What’s their favorite type of weather?
Mac: Summer and spring, but mostly summer, Mac would love the idea of Australian summer, which generically speaking involves wearing shorts and thongs (the shoes in case that wasn’t clear), going to the beach and having a backyard barbecue

Cassie: Cassie likes spring, she loves the smell of roses and flowers in bloom, she also enjoys hiking and walking trails

What’s the worst fight they’ve ever been in?
I suppose it wasn’t a fight, but more the absence of a fight, the pressure of things left unsaid. When James and Justine came to collect Cassie from the caravan-park they were holed up in, James held Mac in a head-lock until he passed out (James made sure to get Justine to stay with him to prevent him from chasing after Cassie), so neither of them got a chance to say goodbye and get proper closure from the whole incident. The lack of closure affects them both, it just affects them in different ways, Mac gets drunk and lashes out, while Cassie takes to selling drugs so she can get away from her parents.

What names or nicknames have they been called throughout their life?
Mac: Mac doesn’t have any nicknames because he’s name is already so short, although Beth does develop the habit of calling Mac “Macca” (which she does to annoy him, although it annoys James more than it does Mac)

Cassie: Cassie’s full name is Cassandra, but she prefers Cassie

What makes their heart feel alive?
Mac: Being with Cassie

Cassie: Being with Mac

So Yeah… that’s about it thus far, now I just have to sit down, and figure out how to shove all of those past events into a 60 000 novella *manic and slightly panicky laughter.

My Treasure Chest – Part 3: What I Got For Christmas

a collection of gifts wrapped in Christmas themed wrapping paper (I’ll go into detail within the post). What can be seen is a large Kids &Co. multi-coloured large bouncy ball, a pink pig critter puff, a pink and yellow slinky, a large blue balloon filled with flour, a pink circle with raised dots on it and multiple zip-lock bags with telephone cord hair-ties inside them.

Photo courtesy of K. A. Cook

Image Description: a collection of gifts wrapped in Christmas themed wrapping paper (I’ll go into detail within the post). What can be seen is a large Kids &Co. multi-coloured large bouncy ball, a pink pig critter puff, a pink and yellow slinky, a large blue balloon filled with flour, a pink circle with raised dots on it and multiple zip-lock bags with telephone cord hair-ties inside them.

Not to sound like I’m bragging, but I got some awesome stuff for Christmas, some of it was Stim Toys and general stuff from Kim but I also wanted to include gifts I got from other people as well :D. I also wanted to include somethings I bought post-Christmas too.

Books: 
Image Description: from left to right, a copy of The Princess Bride (the novel) by William Goldman and a DVD of The Princess Bride. Image Description: from left to right, a copy of The Princess Bride (the novel) by William Goldman and a DVD of The Princess Bride.

I was so happy when Kim said they had a copy of The Princess Bride on DVD that they no longer wanted, I’ve been meaning to do a “Book VS Movie Review” for The Princess Bride for ages! My partner has never seen the movie or read the book, so I figured I could remedy at least one of those problems.

Image Description: a collection of four books, the books are The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce Image Description: a collection of four books, the books are The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce

Kim’s given me so many Tamora Pierce books, I’ve had to make a Book list so that I know which ones to read in order, but I’m really looking forward to reading them :).

Beaded Jewellery:
Image Description: two necklaces with black cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has purple-orange-blue-orange-purple coloured beads. The second necklace has light blue-dark blue-purple-dark blue-light blue coloured beads. Image Description: two necklaces with black cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has purple-orange-blue-orange-purple coloured beads. The second necklace has light blue-dark blue-purple-dark blue-light blue coloured beads
Image Description: from left to right, there are two necklaces with shorter cords that look like two cords intertwined together. The first one is a short brown cord with two brown cords intertwined together, with four gold-coloured small loops and a gold key ring with light blue-dark blue, green, yellow, amber and red coloured beads. The second one is a short black cord with two black cords intertwined together, with four silver-coloured small loops and pink-green-black-green-pink coloured beads Image Description: from left to right, there are two necklaces with shorter cords that look like two cords intertwined together. The first one is a short brown cord with two brown cords intertwined together, with four gold-coloured small loops and a gold key ring with light blue-dark blue, green, yellow, amber and red coloured beads. The second one is a short black cord with two black cords intertwined together, with four silver-coloured small loops and pink-green-black-green-pink coloured beads
Image Description: two necklaces with white cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has green-yellow-pink-blue-pink-yellow-green coloured beads. The second necklace has white-orange-yellow-orange-white coloured beads. Image Description: two necklaces with white cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has green-yellow-pink-blue-pink-yellow-green coloured beads. The second necklace has white-orange-yellow-orange-white coloured beads.

I love beaded jewellery, I especially love the rainbow and pink-green-black-green-pink beaded necklace (should be the second picture), while I like the texture of the black and white rat-tail cords, I love the texture of the shorter necklaces. I wore the rainbow necklace with one of my rainbow unicorn and narwhal t-shirts (pictured below) for Christmas Day.

Telephone-cord Hair-ties:
Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties; a blue one with small pink crosses, a robin’s egg blue one, a purple one, a pink one, a telephone cord that looks like a peppermint candy and a red one. Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties; a blue one with small pink crosses, a robin’s egg blue one, a purple one, a pink one, a telephone cord that looks like a peppermint candy and a red one.
Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties in black. Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties in black.
Image Description: six small telephone-cord hair-ties, with one coloured with red and blue with the rest coloured blue and white or pink (it kind of looks like pink). Image Description: six small telephone-cord hair-ties, with one coloured with red and blue with the rest coloured blue and white or pink (it kind of looks like pink).
Image Description: two groups of telephone-cord hair-ties from left to right, group one is four small telephone-cord hair ties; two are orange and purple, one is red and blue and one green and purple. Group two features three telephone cords grouped together; a pink one, a yellow one and a green one. Image Description: two groups of telephone-cord hair-ties from left to right, group one is four small telephone-cord hair ties; two are orange and purple, one is red and blue and one green and purple. Group two features three telephone cords grouped together; a pink one, a yellow one and a green one.
Stim Toy Box: miniature silver-coloured deep-fry chip basket
Stim Toy Box: a horde of telephone cord
I love these and I love to wear telephone-cord hair-ties that match my shirt and beaded-jewellery necklace, for example: blue shirt, blue beaded-jewellery necklace and three or two blue telephone-cord hair-ties on my wrist (though I prefer three, I sometimes have to settle for two, depending on colour availability)

Fake Kinetic Sand:
Image Description: a small clear Tupperware container filled with green fake kinetic sand. Image Description: a small clear Tupperware container filled with green fake kinetic sand.
Image Description: a small round container filled with blue fake kinetic sand Image Description: a small round container filled with blue fake kinetic sand.
Image Description: a clear zip-lock bag with a colourful collection of fake kinetic sand moulds and tools. Image Description: a clear zip-lock bag with a colourful collection of fake kinetic sand moulds and tools.

My partner and I bought a kinetic sand-kit for his god-children (although technically he is only the godfather to one of the children) as a Christmas present, however, I pretty much spent the whole time playing with it instead while my partner and the children fired water pistols at each other. It’s fucking brilliant! I can’t wait to get back home and play with my own fake kinetic sand kit, although I truly recommend a medium-large tray and a clear work-space.

Miscellaneous Fidgets:
Image Description: a small pink and yellow slinky Image Description: a small pink and yellow slinky
Image Description: a pink rubber-circle with raised dots on it. Image Description: a pink rubber-circle with raised dots on it.
Image Description: a two pack of pink and yellow play-doh Image Description: a two pack of pink and yellow play-doh
Image Description: a pink and blue Liquid Motion Bubbler. Image Description: a pink and blue Liquid Motion Bubbler.

Another slinky to add to my collection, which is great, and the pink circle is apparently a dog-chew-toy but it does feel good to run my fingertips over the raised dots. More pink and yellow themed play-doh, which is always good, but I’ve found that I often use the Liquid Motion Bubbler to either measure time or help me refocus when I need take a break or just relax.

My expanding collection of Piggies:
Image Description: A small furry purse that resembles a pink pig Image Description: A small furry purse that resembles a pink pig
Image Description: Tiny figurine of a pig that is pink and yellow Image Description: Tiny figurine of a pig that is pink and yellow
Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds. Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds
Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds exiting them with a small coin purse in the shape of a pig just beneath them. Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds exiting them with a small coin purse in the shape of a pig just beneath them
Image Description: A critter-puff in the shape of a pink pig. Image Description: A critter-puff in the shape of a pink pig

Aren’t they all adorable? I already had the coin purse in the fourth picture but now that I have the trifecta of Daiso piggies, I can probably use them to summon the Hogfather (maybe?), they are adorable regardless. The little figurine is a little fragile so it was wrapped in bubble wrap and, me being me, I spent more time playing with the bubble-wrap than with the figurine (I fucking love bubble-wrap). But I put the figurine inside one of the sponges, then put that sponge inside a coin purse, resulting in a Turducken of Piggies.

Stress-balls and Fidgets:
Image Description: a large dark-blue balloon filled with flour sealed in a clear-plastic zip-lock bag. Image Description: a large dark-blue balloon filled with flour sealed in a clear-plastic zip-lock bag.
Image Description: a small rubbery yellow stress-ball with a winky face and pink woollen hair Image Description: a small rubbery yellow stress-ball with a winky face and pink woollen hair
Image Description: a black and white patterned soccer-ball. Image Description: a black and white patterned soccer-ball.
Image Description: a colourful collection of small bouncy balls in a clear plastic zip-lock bag Image Description: a colourful collection of small bouncy balls in a clear plastic zip-lock bag
Image Description: a large Kids & Co. Bouncy ball that looks like multiple bits of colourful plastic string interwoven together to form a large ball (like a colourful bouncy ball of twine). Image Description: a large Kids & Co. Bouncy ball that looks like multiple bits of colourful plastic string interwoven together to form a large ball (like a colourful bouncy ball of twine)
Image Description: A perfectly formed Rubric cube with the red, blue and yellow sides showing Image Description: A perfectly formed Rubric cube with the red, blue and yellow sides showing
Image Description: Two spikey balls, from left to right, a blue spikey ball and a green spikey ball Image Description: Two spikey balls, from left to right, a blue spikey ball and a green spikey ball
Stim Toy Box: Xie Wei Sports Toys
Stim Toy Box: mini sports/prickle balls

These are all great, but I’m quite fond of the Kids & Co. multi-coloured bouncy-ball (it’s from K-Mart), I’ve already had a good play with it at home, it’s larger size makes it easier for me to catch. I really like the spikey balls as well as as the soccer ball.

Special Confectionery from Holland:
Image Description: two boxes of confectionary from Holland that is put on toast, you will need to ask Kim for more details, links will be provided. Image Description: two boxes of confectionary from Holland that is put on toast, you will need to ask Kim for more details, links will be provided.
According to Kim, you sprinkle the chocolate flakes on freshly buttered toast and is most delicious when the chocolate flakes are softened (but not melted completely). Kim has also informed me that they can be found in specialised Delicatessens but the expiry date might be a bit iffy, although they’re still good even if they are past their expiry date.

Christmas Presents I Received From Brendon:
T-Shirts From Tee-Turtle:
Image Description: a black t-shirt with a unicorn waring shades with a rainbow in the background, with doughnuts and slices of pizza floating in the background Image Description: a black t-shirt with a unicorn waring shades with a rainbow in the background, with doughnuts and slices of pizza floating in the background
Image Description: a blue t-shirt with a mermaid riding a unicorn side-saddle with the text 'I live in my own reality' printed beneath Image Description: a blue t-shirt with a mermaid riding a unicorn side-saddle with the text ‘I live in my own reality’ printed beneath
Image Description: A blue t-shirt with a unicorn and a narwhal posing in front of a rainbow with the word 'YASSSS' printed in rainbow text underneath them Image Description: A blue t-shirt with a unicorn and a narwhal posing in front of a rainbow with the word ‘YASSSS’ printed in rainbow text underneath them
*SQUEEE!* Brendon got me these from Tee Turtle, he’s amazing :D. I wore the unicorn and narwhal t-shirt with the rainbow beaded-jewellery necklace (pictured above) on Christmas Day.

Random Stuff I Bought:
Image description: two necklaces made from seven coral-pink and maroon-red hexagonal silicone beads strung onto and coral-pink and maroon-red cord with a black breakaway clasp. The necklaces are a clear plastic zip-lock storage bag with a silver ring for hanging on a hook. The barely-visible silver text on the bag reads “clothing and co”. Image description: two necklaces made from seven coral-pink and maroon-red hexagonal silicone beads strung onto and coral-pink and maroon-red cord with a black breakaway clasp. The necklaces are a clear plastic zip-lock storage bag with a silver ring for hanging on a hook. The barely-visible silver text on the bag reads “clothing and co”.
Stim Toy Box: seven aqua hexagonal silicone beads
Kim recommended these on their Stim Toy Box blog (they got an nice aqua coloured one), I was aiming for pink, but these were the closest I could find. I’ll see how these go for use as a subtle Fidget. I also bought some other stuff from K-Mart such as a pink make-up blending sponge and a watermelon plushie for Kim (although I will be the first to admit the fact that the watermelon plushie does look a little demonic). I was tempted to purchase a Munchy (for myself) but I refrained and got some play-do instead.

Stim Toy Box: Snake Puzzles
I bought two small snake puzzles from Smiggle and a blue-pink-purple snap-bracelet with spikes on it (I’m currently wearing it on my left wrist beneath my pink-orange-and-yellow telephone-cord hair-ties), every time my partner snaps it onto my wrist, I giggle, it just feels so enjoyable to hear the snapping sound combined with the pressure sensation (I know that sounds weird, but I don’t really care).

So yeah, that was my Christmas, I hope my readers also had an awesome (and below 30 degrees) Christmas and if you want to talk about Stim Toys or Christmas gifts (or both), let me know in the comments section.

Links:
~Eldritch Esoterica – “Ambiguous Pieces: outfitting and equipping nerdy stimmers since 2016.”
~Stim Toy Box – Homepage
~Stim Toy Box: Australian End of Year Sales Stimmy Round Up!
~Princess Aspien: What I Got For Christmas (YouTube Video)

Audio Stimming: Postmodern Jukebox

Image Description: The keyboard of a piano with a single page of sheet music on top of it
In my family, Music is a big deal, and every Christmas I would make Mix-Tape Style CD’s for my friends and family. Unfortunately, one of my parents would regularly work Christmas Day, and would listen to the CD on the way to work. My father is a walking encyclopedia on the History of Music. If you give him the name of a band, he will rattle off the band’s history and placements of specific songs on radio charts. My partner on the other hand, as kid, did not possess an interest in music. He had limited exposure to FM Pop radio stations and ABC on AM, which didn’t change until he finished secondary college and moved to the “big city” of Bendigo for University access. The only time he listened to music regularly was in the car as he and his step-father traveled into Melbourne together.

This was a strange idea for me to grasp when my partner told me this. It was very difficult for me — a person who is sometimes overwhelmed by sound — to comprehend that for my partner, bands and songs were not distinguishable from each other, but rather blurred together to form one large homogenized blob of decade-associated-noise. Which is why my partner and father will occasionally have weird moments, such as when I play a song my partner vaguely recognizes and I tell him it’s (for example) by Fleetwood Mac. He’ll raise an eyebrow at me and say “That’s Fleetwood Mac?” (though in his defense Fleetwood Mac does change it’s vocal-line up frequently). My father will be incredulous at my partner’s inability to detect a particular band’s style by a mere few bars of music. My partner will shrug non-nonchalantly (“What are you getting all riled up for? It’s just music.”), which will naturally annoy my father further.

Although, I have exposed him to my weird and strange assortment of music, I must confess it mostly consists of 90’s alternative rock — I am a product of my time period in some ways. As my partner’s car is a Japanese import, it can only access AM radio stations, which makes it a little difficult to keep up with modern music. So, it has only just recently come to my attention that auditory stimming is a thing. I hadn’t realised it until I saw a tumblr post mentioning a list of stims, and “listening to the same song over and over again” was one of them, which is something I’ve been doing since I was kid.

The thing is, I still do this and I’m starting to think it might be one of my “feel good” stims (as opposed to my “stress relief” stims which are fidget/hand orientated) and I hadn’t realised it until now. It’s funny, I’ve been trying to figure out “feel good” stims for my characters in my Pushing Boundaries series, and I should have realised sooner why I was having such difficulties. If I couldn’t figure out my own ones, I could hardly figure out ones for my characters. At this point, while I can figure out Mary’s “feel good” stims, it’s going to be more difficult for a character like James, who mostly listens to audio books and classical music, and I have a feeling that it’s going be a process of elimination.

So, for the last two days, I’ve been listening to Youtube videos made by Postmodern Jukebox, and these videos have been helpful for character development and Auditory Stimming:

The Original Artist:
~All About That Bass by Megan Trainor
~Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
~Closer by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
~Habits by Tove Lo
~Hotline Bling by Drake
~Lovefool by The Cardigans
~Stacey’s Mum by Fountains of Wayne
~Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging by Fall Out Boy
~Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood
~Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys and Barbie Girl by Aqua (the 90’s was a weird time)

The Postmodern Jukebox Version:
~All About That Bass – Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version ft. Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Morgan James and Ariana Savalas
~Bad Romance – Vintage 1920’s Gatsby Style ft. Ariana Savalas and Sarah Reich
~Closer – Retro ’50s Prom Style ft. Kenton Chen
~Habits – Vintage 1930’s Jazz ft. Haley Reinhart
~Hotline Bling – Vintage ’40s Swing ft. Cristina Gatti
~Lovefool – Vintage Jazz ft. Haley Reinhart
~Stacy’s Mum – Vintage 1930s Hot Jazz ft. Casey Abrams
~Sugar, We’re Going Down – Vintage Big Band Style ft. Joey Cook
~Sweater Weather – Vintage French Pop / Edith Piaf-style ft. Cristina Gatti
~Barbie Girl – Vintage Beach Boys Style ft. Morgan James

This is just a small sample I’m working with. I’m hoping if I use a small sample, it will make it easier to focus my attention. I am so easily distracted by noise and sound. There are way more songs available from the enormously talented singers and musicians that work with Postmodern Jukebox.

All About The Bass: I’ve already written about my issues with the Megan Trainor version (link is here), however I can’t deny I enjoy listening to this version of the song. Morgan James also changes the line to “go ahead and tell those skinny ladies that”, and coupled with her delivery of the “Naw, I’m just playing, I know you think you’re fat” line sort of makes it more tolerable? IDK, it’s up to personal interpretation. My favourite part of the song is when all three ladies harmonize together (which is audio catnip for me). The first time I listened to this song, I couldn’t help but close my eyes and sigh; I was not aware I was doing that until my partner raised an eyebrow at my behaviour.

Bad Romance: The funny thing is that Lady Gaga herself is a self-taught pianist, so she often performs Poker Face in this style, which I think is great. If anything, I encourage artists to be able to sit back and strip down their music to the essentials. Ariana Savalas and Sarah Reich work great together as a team, with Sarah performing tap dancing. I would have thought the tap-dancing would make it distracting, but it’s complimentary (or at least that’s the case for me).

Closer: While it’s clear that the guy from The Chainsmokers could not sing to save his life, this is not the case with Kenton Chen and the other vocalists Mario Jose and Vince Cannady. They provide lovely tenor and countertenor harmonization. But this song highlights the fact that talented musicians and vocalists are still restricted by the song. The lyrical clunkiness of the chorus is highlighted because these are talented musicians and vocalists. Much in the same way that Elvis Presley’s bad acting was highlighted further by surrounding him with a cast of talented actors. But, getting back on topic, I just love this style of music. Amongst my favourite songs are I Only Have Eyes For You by The Flamingos, I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops and Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers.

Habits: I love the Haley Reinhart version of this (I’ve replayed this countless times over the last two days). I adore Haley Reinhart’s smoky/raspy Mezzo-soprano voice, or at least I think that’s what it’s classified as (I am in no way a music expert). Haley Reinhart is an engaging performer and she is exquisite to listen to.

Hotline Bling: While I despise the original version of this song, I do enjoy the Hotline Bling memes which are hilarious (the Star Wars one is the best, no exceptions). But much like All About That Base, when Cristina Gatti sings this song, it somehow becomes more tolerable (is that the right word?). When I asked my partner to listen to it, he said “Great, now I have to take this song seriously.” He described it as “like Amy Winehouse”, to which I replied “Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing?”, especially since I also love Amy Winehouse’s music such as Rehab (I play this constantly), Back To Black and Valerie (I know this is Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse, but you get the general idea)

Lovefool: As stated previously, I adore tracks performed by Haley Reinhart, but I also really like the original as well. It’s one of my favourite songs, I think both versions are good, but my partner thinks this version is too close to the original. Let me know in the comments section if you agree or disagree.

Stacey’s Mum: This song is a bit of guilty pleasure of mine, and while I enjoy both versions, I’ve got to say that Casey Abrams is mad talented.

Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging: Although I am a big Fall Out Boy Fan, I love it when female artists do covers of songs originally sung for/by men. After all, despite the fact that Otis Reed originally did sing it, Aretha Franklin’s version of Respect is the one that’s most well known, and it’s obvious Aretha Franklin’s version is the better one (not sorry in the slightest). Joey Cook’s version does not disappoint, it sounds just like I imagined a vintage big band to sound like, and the black and white visual adds to the jazzy atmosphere.

Sweater Weather: While I do like the original, I prefer Cristina Gatti’s version, not just because she is lovely to listen to (singing in French!) but also because, unlike the original song, the music composition is consistent throughout the track, the original track slows down the melody for some weird reason near the end. This reminds me strongly of Dancing With Myself by Nouvelle Vague, although I do also enjoy the Billy Idol version of Dancing With Myself as well.

Barbie Girl: With regards to Aqua, I actually have a copy their first album (I give full permission to laugh) and while Barbie Girl was most certainly overplayed, it wasn’t Aqua’s best song, my preferred Aqua songs would be Good Morning Sunshine (even though it has a weird rap moment?) and Happy Boys and Girls (if you could turn Diabetes into a sound, I’m fairly certain it would sound like this). With regards to The Beach Boys, I think Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys is an overrated and, quite frankly, jarring song (there’s a reason people only use the first minute and thirty seconds of that song). I feel that Wouldn’t It Be Good (one of my favourite songs) and I Get Around are better examples of The Beach Boys trademark harmonizing vocals.

And this is why Youtube is both a terrible and wonderful thing. For the last two days, I’ve been feeling happy whilst listening to music, but feeling positive and feeling productive are not the same thing. It’s impossible for me to write and sing at the same time (I’ve tested this). Words can be distracting to productivity, which is why one of my PWE teachers recommended listening to instrumental sounds while writing like cinematic soundtracks or classical music instead.

I have found that I’m more productive with music playing in the background with speakers. I’m not as productive when I’m listening to my mp3 player and headphones, but then again, I live with just my partner and me so that’s possible for me to do that (I understand that’s not possible for everyone). If using Youtube, make use of the playlist function, I found that the playlist function was super helpful and I didn’t have to worry about what video to play next, it automatically went to the next one. This way I could just run it in the background while I did the dishes and the laundry.

So, let me know in the comments section down below if you’re into this type of music or if you like an alternative cover version of a song.

Links:
~Queer Without Gender – Experience Atypical: Sound
~Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist: Signs And Symptoms Of Dysfunction
~Todd In The Shadows: Closer by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
~Todd In The Shadows: The Best of 2013
~The Rap Critic: Hotline Bling by Drake
~When you try all the sounds and beats on your synth while only playing coldplay – viva la vida
~Auditory Stimming

My Treasure Chest – Part 3: Squish

A collection of Stim-toys, I will go into greater detail within the post; but there's play-doh, telephone chord hair-ties and hedgehog frond sponges
Yet another Stim-Toy post, I quite enjoy writing up these posts and I can only hope my readers also enjoy this kind of thing (especially with Christmas coming up).
Links to check out before we begin:
~Eldritch Esoterica: Stim Toy Wishlist
~Eldritch Esoterica: Open Hostility and Critter Puffs

Image Description: left to right, a squishable red apple, in the center a small squishable duck, on the right-hand side a small square slice of tofu with green on the top (I should also like to add that the tofu square is also squishable)
I bought these for Kim over E-bay, I managed to get free delivery for them (which is great) but they take ages to arrive *incomprehensible noises of frustration*. But I suppose the bulk of the enjoyment stems from the anticipation of the thing rather than the thing itself.

Image Description: frond sponges that look like hedgehogs, from right to left, a orange hedgehog frond sponge and a yellow hedgehog frond sponge
I was hoping to get a trifecta of pink-orange-and-yellow hedgehog sponges, but I could only get the orange and yellow at the Highpoint Daiso, I’ll have to check the Melbourne CBD Daiso (I’ll find the pink eventually).

Image Description: two four packs of play-doh in multiple colours
Now, my local Target is having a “special” on play-doh, little individual tubs for $2 and two packs for $4, but I noticed the four packs for $7, so I grabbed a couple for Kim. So, now is probably the time to stock up on play-doh, especially since December is fast approaching. I’m the type of person who truly hates crowds and thus do most of my Christmas shopping either at my local bookstore (who I can order books from via email) or buys gifts via online shopping, if you’re the same as me, I’d probably recommend shopping on a Tuesday as most of the time Tuesday is a quiet day.

Image Description: a large pink bubble wand from Target
I bought this from Target as well for $1, they have other colours such as yellow and blue, just in case readers are not as enthusiastic about pink as I am. I don’t know how this colour-theme occurred, but the colour pink appears to be slowly but surely taking over my house.

Image Description: a lanyard made of a rainbow scale of beads and pink cord
I really like these lanyards, I currently have this pink one attached to one of the zippers on my Nightmare Before Christmas messenger bag, the cord is a little tight for moving the beads up and down, but it’s perfect for rolling, this way I can play with the lanyard on my way to work.

Image Description: left to right, a yellow/green Yoobi coin purse and a blue Yoobi coin purse
I love the feel of these, the only problem with them is that they’re small on the inside, however I’m sure I’ll find a purpose for them, even if’s just to put them on my hands and make zombie impressions at my partner. For those who have an Office-works nearby, you can also buy Yoobi stationary from the Office-works website, and then select the “click and collect” option.

Image Description: two sky-blue moulds for fake kinetic sand
Image Description: two sky-blue moulds for fake kinetic sand
Kim recently gave me these, and these are fake kinetic sand moulds (or at least I assume that’s what they are),

Image Description: a packet of fake kinetic moulding clay
Kim also recently gave this to me, it’s fake kinetic clay, it’s like fake kinetic sand except more stable and less inclined to go absolutely everywhere, it was fascinating to watch Kim pull it apart and put it back together again.

Image Description: a shiny plain-black tray
I bought the plain black tray for $2.80 from Highpoint Daiso, they had round ones there, but I prefer a rectangle shaped tray, it’s kind of like I’m creating a brightly-coloured zen-beach thing, despite the fact that I hate the beach (I know, an Australian who hates going to the beach, it doesn’t gel with the national stereotype, but I assure you, it makes perfect sense to me).

Image Description: a collection of squishy foam objects in a bag and a chrome metal wrong with three foam objected embedded on it
Kim got me these and I can’t help but think that they look like squishy slices of pizza or squishy slices of watermelon.

Image Description: a collection of squishable fish in a white plastic net
I bought two packs of these on Kim’s recommendation from the Coles Supermarket I work at for $4.35 each, when I was asked by a college why I was buying squishable fish, I went with my prepared excuse that I was buying them for my niece, which is technically true as I did intentionally buy a pack for my niece (I also bought her a set of cute pj’s), but yeah, fishes shall be squished.

Image Description: a collection of telephone-cord hair-ties
Kim got me these from K-Mart and I’ll probably use them as bracelets, I only have one telephone cord on one wrist at the moment and would prefer to have three on each wrist (which probably sounds silly, but it’s what I like)

Image Description: three bouncy balls, left to right, one that's red and yellow, one that's pink and white, one that's blue and green swirls.
Bouncy Balls! Oh What Fun We Shall Have!

Image Description: a black and white checked snake puzzle in a plastic box
I’ve never played with a snake puzzle before, apparently you can obtain these from K-mart for $1, but you can also get coloured ones from Smiggle (but they’re more expensive at Smiggle).

The Beautiful Books #21: September

Beautiful Books - Writing Goals
It’s time for another installment of The Beautiful Books – September Edition. Unfortunately, the effort of trying to make sure Pushing Boundaries: Volume One is ready for publishing, I’ve been a bit slack with regards to blogging (sorry about that) so naturally I fell a bit behind and am now #LowKeyPanicking especially now that this year’s NaNoWriMo is fast approaching (I need a freaking Freeze Ray, time is going way too fast).

This On The Outside

This On The Outside

This On The Inside

This On The Inside


And all of my assignments are due on the same day, the last day of term, huzzah! Because I need that extra layer of stress (did I mention I’m attempting to Graduate this year from my degree? Whose foolish idea was that?). Anyway, I’ll stop bitching (I’m sure there are worse off people than myself) and I shall get on with the post.

How did you come up with this character?
James: While James is his own person, the two people I was inspired by to make James are similar to each other but neither of them are similar to James. I wanted James to be distinctively different from them.
The funny thing about James is that personality-wise, he and I more alike than the two people I loosely based him on, and by based on I took a personality trait I liked in others but lacked myself (like say blunt method of talking combined with a dry sense of humor) and added that to James.

Beth: There are elements of my sister in Beth, they’re both Auslan interpreters, they both wear more socially acceptable feminine style of clothing, they’re women who understand the idea behind feminism but aren’t interested in actively participating in it, they’re both mildly eccentric (but not too weird) and a little awkward with people they don’t know well. But there are elements of Beth that are more like me rather than my sister. Beth only wears make-up when she has to (I rarely wear make-up and usually only do so for a special occasion) and Beth is more introverted than my sister.

Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?
James: No, especially since James lives with his Scottish grandma, when he spends time with his Scottish extended family, they are constantly trying to get him to eat (James is a vegetarian with a high metabolism so he’s often underweight). However, James has felt “starving for attention” rather than food.

Beth: Beth does detox cleanses regularly or for a special occasion, something James thinks is pointless and super weird. Beth might also fit into the “starving for attention” category as well, but she’s not the type to say or do anything about it.

Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?
James: James and Robert have a mutual interest in Astronomy, James is very proud of the fact that he can point out constellations (with a good pair of binoculars) and he can show people planets with Robert’s telescope. Although James doesn’t know the Greek mythology behind those same constellations

Beth: While Beth has skills she’s proud of, like her domestic skills (cooking, cleaning, organizing), I think it’s her talent for dancing that’s a little more interesting (or it could just be me). Beth has a talent for dancing, but no interest in the sport or surrounding culture of it, where as Mary loves dancing but struggles with coordination because of her autism.

Mary loves Dancing, so she’s willing to try harder and put up with the shitty attitudes that she can encounter in the Dancing industry, however Beth isn’t willing to do that. When Mary and Beth were kids and teenagers, Beth was made to feel as though she had to go along with it so Mary could be included.

List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.
James: Bigotry (particularly Ableism, Racism and Homophobia), people parking in the disability car-park without a disability sticker and his triggers such as Lavender and Witch-hazel.

Beth: Family/Emotional abuse, Ableism (especially towards Mary or Deaf people) and people saying ignorant/stupid things about Homeless people, mental health and Alcoholism.

What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?
James: James has a high cold tolerance which means he can’t stand the heat (which always makes Beth laugh as she’s from Australia).
Beth: Autumn, it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold and the Autumn leaves piling everywhere just so she can kick them.

What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?
James: Hogwarts House: Slytherin MBTI: ISTJ
Beth: Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff MBTI: ISIP

Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?
James: Both, sometimes they combine together
Beth: More likely to focus on current problem

What is their favourite thing to drink?
James: Tea, it’s calming and ritualistic
Beth: Hot chocolate with the wafer-chocolate stick things in them (they come in tins)
chocolate-wafer-sticks

What is their favourite color? Least favorite?
James: Navy Blue or Cobalt Blue
Beth: Robin’s Egg Blue or Green (various shades)

What is a book that changed their life?
James: I’m not sure if changed his life is appropriate, but James’s favorite book is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, he has it in multiple formats (special edition hardback and audio book), as well as a DON’T PANIC poster on the back of his door.

And, in a strange kind of way, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. James has read the books but didn’t purchase them (James refuses to purchase a copy, so he took his mother’s copy of the trilogy and then returned them with post-it notes through out them, as in “Màthair, this is terrible grammar, I can’t believe this is in a published book, how can you defend this?”) The fact that E.L. James could publish badly written BDSM pornography and make money out of it gave James the idea that if she can write it and make good money out of it, he could do the same thing.

Beth: As Beth has experienced Family Abuse/Emotional Abuse from her mother (who is a high functioning alcoholic), she tends to find books that deal with those particular issues to be in the “hit or a miss” category. The Child Called It by Dave Pelzer is very triggering for her. However, she often reads fiction as a form of escapism (Beth will read from most genres but her predominant genre would be romance)

My Treasure Chest – Part 1: Beads

Image Description: Purple box with rows of coloured tape decorating the outside of it. In front of the purple box is a collection of homemade stim toys (I'll go into greater detail within the post).

Before I begin, I would like readers to check out these links first as I’ll be using these posts as references:

~Eldritch Esoterica: I had a little birthday money.
~Eldritch Esoterica: Bead Ring Necklaces
~Eldritch Esoterica: This is my on-the-go stim toy collection
~Eldritch Esoterica: ‘Fuzzy Coin Purse’ and ‘Fuzzy Pencil Case’ made by Yoobi

Image Description: One jar of fake kinetic pink sand
Fake kinetic sand looks fascinating, so I’m eager to get this out have a play with it, although I do hesitate because of the “mess + super clumsy = bad” factor.

Image Descrption: left to right, three balloons (pink-yellow-pink), two of them filled with flour (pink) and one of them filled with rice (yellow)
I’ve had rice balloons before but not flour balloons and I must confess, while I enjoy the rice, I like flour better

Image Description: a small yellow container of play-do with a pink lid.
Play-do is great, I loved play-do as a kid as my mum would hand make us some for my sister and I, but I hated the play-do at school because the fact that so many other kids had played with it, so my own special collection should be great.

Image Description: A plastic container with bubble-making solution
I loved blowing bubbles as a kid, in fact one of the few family moments I have with my older brother, my younger sister and both my parents before they divorced (I had to be about four or five) all having fun together involved blowing bubbles. I went into the kitchen and somehow knew to combine the detergent with water, whisk it about and use a small wire molded into the shape of a circle to blow bubbles. The solution was okay, but after my father improved it by adding more detergent, the bubbles were significantly better. Much fun was had by all.

Image Description: Left to right, a plastic tube filled with liquid pink glitter and silver stars with a pink ribbon on top, as well as a plastic tube filled with liquid green glitter and silver stars with a green ribbon on top.
I do enjoy watching the silver stars shift from one end to another, but it’s easily distracting/time consuming as it takes a while for the stars to shift from end to another.

Image Description: a pink plastic bag with a small make-up/blush brush inside
I loved playing with my mother’s make-up brushes as a kid, not so much the make up though, I can’t stand the feel of foundation on my skin

Image Description: A small yellow container filled with rice.
I’m assuming this is to shake around. I haven’t really used this one.

Image Description: There's a necklace with a black cord and a pink-yellow peace symbol
It does indeed make a nice thwap sound when you bend it back. I was thinking of attaching it to my bag, but not sure how yet.

Image Description: Left to right, four telephone-cord hair ties. The first three telephone cord hair-ties are transparent pink, yellow and orange. The fourth one is opaque pink telephone cord.
I wear these on my wrists all the time now (three transparent pink-orange-yellow on one wrist and the opaque pink telephone cord on the other wrist), in fact, I’ve had customers ask me where I got them from (you can get them from K-Mart). The pink is a little more stretched the orange and yellow, but I’ll work on it.

Image Description: There is a thick textured pink rope object that functions clip
I like the texture of this one, I like to run my hands over the woven fabric and it feels really satisfying

Image Description: small purple bean bag with white stars all over it, scented with lavender oil.
I love the smell of lavender, but I keep this in a separate bag to retain it’s smell.

While I’m aware I’m an allistic (non-autistic) person, I wanted to write a few blog-posts about Stim Toys, specifically these Handmade Stim Toys that Kim made for me to help with novel research. Now, there’s actually pretty valid reason for Kim to have made all of these Stim Toys by hand, it may sound obvious but handmade Stim Toys are a lot cheaper and it turns out it that store-bought Stim Toys are rather expensive, and there’s the problem with accessibility. For example: if an autistic Australia wanted to purchase an item such as this:

Item Description: metal bracelet that resembles a bike chair with blue on the outside of the bracelet.

In Pushing Boundaries, Beth and Mary have a matching pair of stim-bracelets like these, Beth’s bracelet is blue while Mary’s bracelet is red

From a website like StimTastic, if the item was $25 to purchase, the autistic Australian would most likely be paying $25 in postage and handling as well, so that’s roughly $50 all together. It’s one of the reasons I rarely use Amazon (that I have no idea how to use their E-Book system, I find it confusing as fuck but perhaps it’s designed for kindles only, IDK, clearly another post for another time).

In comparison, Kim’s Homemade Treasure Chest probably cost (all together) most likely $20 to $25 (at a rough estimate) with Contessa (a weighted plushie filled with beans and rice and scented with lavender) being the most expensive item.

Image Description: weighted plushie that possibly looks like a bear, a dog, a bear-dog, or a cat. Light pink in colour with a yellow crown on her head, with yellow blush circles on both sides of her cheeks and little yellow circles on her stomach and a little tail

This is Contessa

The collection is rather large and fascinating, but the ones I wanted to focus on today were my beaded items.
Image Description: a white cord with three chrome-coloured loops, within those three loops is a small metal loop one might use to store keys on, on the loop are five beads with the colour scheme of red-brown-amber-brown-red
The first item, the beaded necklace on a white chord, I enjoy using all the time, I tend to place my thumb in the metal loop and roll the beads across my thumb. But I also like to hold the loop in my hands and roll the beads with my fingers. Unfortunately, I’ve developed the bad habit of ripping out my hair, I find it difficult to stop, however I find my beaded necklace is a good distraction.

Image Description: There are two items in this picture. Left to right, Item One is a chrome metal object that functions as a metal clip, sometimes used for keys or attaching to bags. It has a metal loop one might use to store keys on. It has six beads on the metal loop, the colour scheme is dark pink-light pink-light pink-yellow-yellow-dark pink. Item Two is a small metal loop, one might confuse it for a child's bracelet, it has eleven beads, the colours are a variant mixture of pink and yellow but the beads are also a mixture of solid plastic and transparent plastic
I like to roll the beads on the bead bracelet as well, in fact I’ve been able to use both the bracelet and the necklace as anti-distraction/focus tools, like when my partner was lining up at the RACV store to receive an International Driver’s Permit (for our upcoming trip to Slovenia), I was able to sit down in a waiting chair and play with my bracelet, it was rather soothing (especially since it took ages for the RACV store to serve my partner).

Also, just before I left for Slovenia, I was visiting my sister and mother at my sister’s place and my six month old niece required a distraction, cue the bracelet! I was then able to use the bracelet as a distraction/focus tool (“Look over here, look at the pretty bracelet.”). I was able to use the bracelet like an abacus, shifting the beads from one side to the other, something my niece seemed to enjoy watching while my mother fed her.

While I was in Slovenia, we had friends take us around and look at touristy stuff (more on this later), but our guides also wanted to catch up with friends that they hadn’t seen in a while. I didn’t really know these friends of friends, I was also unable to speak Slovenian (though a couple of them could speak English, although we were often in a group situation were only one or two members of the group could speak English).

So in order to keep myself awake at the dinner table (which was often a problem), or when I had no one to talk to, I would either play with my necklace or bracelet and that helped with my social anxiety, I felt calmer when I had something to focus on.

Also when I was frustrated with how the day was progressing or perhaps not progressing, I had something to help calm me down. When on holiday, I need to know what we’re doing at the beginning of each day, as in “Today we’re going to a see a church and visit a nearby playground for children”.

I don’t mind doing these things just as long as I know that’s what we’re doing (maybe that’s just me, my partner is the exact opposite, he’s quite happy not having an itinerary or a schedule). So yeah, I’m quiet happy with the beaded necklace and bracelet, would definitely recommend.

Then there’s my weighted plushie Contessa. I rather fond of her, I enjoy carrying her around the house (though I’m careful to keep her away from my cat and water), I also love the way she smells like lavender and although the smell has slightly worn off, lavender is very soothing for me. I often have Contessa either on my lap as I’m typing or on my laptop-support table that I got from IKEA.

However, Kim did mention in one their Stim Toy posts that they don’t take scented objects outside the house because of people with chemical sensitivities or chemical allergies (which is super important to remember).

So, if readers would like to talk about what type stim toys they enjoy (homemade or otherwise) and how they use them, please feel free to leave a comment in the section. Or if there’s a particular stim toy people would like to mention, feel free to leave a link in the comment section.

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