A mess of straw

The horror of small habits: handling habit overload

Some years ago, I went to see a physio about recurring headaches brought on by neck tension. When he was done poking and prodding me, he taught me a set of neck stretches. “Do these for five minutes every day,” he told me, “and you shouldn’t have to come back here.”

Years later, I still do those stretches religiously as part of my morning routine and my neck is much happier. In theory, it would be brilliant if all my problems could be solved this way: take up some small, daily habit and never have to worry about mess, stress, health or happiness ever again.

And yet.

Recently I went back to the physio with lower back problems. But this time, when he finished up with, “Let’s look at some simple preventative exercises…”, my heart sank. The very thought made me want to execute a hard reverse out the door.

So what’s changed? Simple: I’ve hit habit overload.

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Five snails lined up in a row

This week I learned: the snail telegraph

One of my favourite podcasts is The Futility Closet, source of weird and wonderful historical minutiae. An episode I caught recently put me on the trail of a truly fantastic, if short-lived chapter in the development of long-distance communications: the 19th Century pasilalinic-sympathetic compass, otherwise known as the snail telegraph.

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‘Two Monsters Down in the Dark’ to be published in Luna Station Quarterly!

Super chuffed to announce my next bit of publication news: my story ‘Two Monsters Down in the Dark’ is being published in the March edition of Luna Station Quarterly!
 
This is a story that has been through an awful lot of editing and redrafting since my first attempt at it. In the process, I have learned a lot about story structure, and the story itself has changed a great deal as I came to understand its themes and characters better. It’s probably still far from perfect, but I’m so glad Ellie and Benji are finally getting their moment in the sun.
 
The edition containing ‘Two Monsters’ will be online for free for a week from 1st March, after which you can read it and other stories by emerging authors “on the woman end of the gender spectrum” by buying the March 2019 issue of Luna Station Quarterly.
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