The Abyss

Kath recently talked about how blogging sometimes feels like screaming into the void and it’s got me to thinking about my own motivations.

I agree to a certain extent that sometimes it feels like you’re pouring out your innermost thoughts only to yourself, and maybe one or two other people.

I know my mum is my number one fan who often references the things I’ve said in conversation. She’s not really into the film posts, which is understandable and part of the reason I’m trying to keep my content more balanced. I enjoy the thought that even if we haven’t seen each other for a while, she can dip in and gauge how I’m feeling (I only wish this was a two way street). Although, she has an uncanny gift for knowing that even before I’ve acknowledged it myself.

I know Jill and Kath pop in on the regs. They’re much better at that than I am. I know Meghan will stop by occasionally – and I’m lucky to have the odd new follower who’ll take the time to comment or click like.

I’m actually pretty happy with that. I do it first and foremost for myself but would be lying if I said I didn’t care at all about being appreciated. We live in a ‘likes’ motivated society now, where our worth is directly linked to how many hearts we get on Instagram every morning (or so it feels). It’s hard to step away from that mindset and just enjoy things for what they are.

I think sometimes when what you’re doing gets popular it starts to feel less like yours. Not that it’s ever happened to me. I don’t like the thought of my bijou but safe place changing too much. So what if I’m writing reviews nobody will ever really read? I like the way I write and I like looking back on my life, on the good and the hard times – on how I’m changing every year.

There are heaps of posts I look back on now that make me cringe. They could have been written by a completely different girl – one who really didn’t like or accept herself. With this in mind maybe it is even more imperative that this is a safe place.

What do the blogger hobbyists out there think?

PRO-crastination

‘Amazing April’ hasn’t exactly started with a bang. I just haven’t had the adequate oompf to even get it started.

I’ve been feeling pretty run down this week and I’ve been going to bed at a ridiculously early hour most nights to try and combat that. Woe is me, huh?

This is me being all period-y and needy – nobody needs to hear it. I know this feeling is temporary – and I’m still aiming to get some posts up this weekend and over the next week to catch up.

I’ve got some reviews to catch up on, a splash of introspection and a post about Mental Healt first aid. So no harm, no foul.

I just wanted to check in and stay accountable to my original vow to make April super productive. It’s coming.

How are you doing?

Amazing April

I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment with the blog. I mean, I have been blogging regularly but it’s been mainly film reviews (which obviously I LOVE) but this isn’t exclusively a film blog and I want more of *me* to shine through.

I’m just having a problem with content, like what do I want to talk about? I’m sure if I put my mind to it I won’t be able to shut up so I’ve decided to make April my bitch. I will post something of note on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week in the month and anytime around that if I fancy it.

Putting down my intentions here makes me feel like I’ll actually do it. In the meantime, I just finished a fascinating course for work which I’m definitely going to tell you about because it was life changing. Honestly.

How are you?

New Blog, New Me

Happy New Year!

2019 looks set to be quite the year but I’m choosing to stay optimistic. I thought I’d begin the year with a semi-fresh start and a new blog name and goal. Which is equal parts exciting and downright pant-wetting.

I’m hanging up A Voluptuous Mind after several years for something more me.

So welcome to The Middle Row, named after my new favourite spot in the cinema. Once I was a strictly back row kind of gal until I started going regularly with my friend Helen, who’s a front of the theater dweller. The middle row is our compromise and now I feel perfectly positioned.

Don’t worry though, all my posts have followed me over. I’ve just merged them with Thursday Night at the Movies and my mental health blog. Three for the price of one!

It was getting a little pointless keeping everything separate and when I thought about it, it made sense to put them all here. I mean, these are the things I want to talk about collectively after all. So I suppose I’m officially a Movie and Mental Health blogger with a steaming dollop of anything I fancy thrown into the mix.

The good news is that the Blog Collab is back next week with a Free for All January plus shit loads more posts about books I’ve been reading, films and TV I’ve been watching – and all my hopes and dreams besides.

I hope you’ve followed me over and enjoy the new scenery.

Meet the Blogger

I recently read an article about blogging that figures a monthly questionnaire with the author is a good call. Something to do with engagement, blah blah blah. It was aimed at real bloggers and if I’m honest with myself, I doubt I’ve got enough material to fill more than a couple. I do like the sentiment though, so I stole this from the internet.

Welcome to my first Meet the Blogger feature. 

Who is A Voluptuous Mind for?

Anyone who wants to read it, I suppose. If I were to go a little deeper maybe people like me who are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives and like films. Geeks, weirdos, normal people. 

What are your struggles as a blogger?

Inspiration. Time. Blowing my own trumpet. And maybe not really having a proper focus, by which I mean I don’t really have a theme, my posts are either introspective or about B-Movies. I envy people who can commit to a theme. 

How do you deal with numbers and comparing yourself with other bloggers?

I don’t have any numbers! My blog is read by a very low number of people (people whose opinions matter to me) and that’s alright. I don’t do it for popularity or to be like other bloggers. This is my safe space. I don’t know how I would respond the pressure of being a blogging sensation.  

What makes you stand out as a blogger?

Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything. I think you can hear my voice in my words and hopefully I write with a tongue in cheek sense of humour but that’s about it.

What are some of your favorite tools for blogging?

I love the WordPress app and use it a lot. Mostly I slap my posts into NotePad at work and then email them to myself at home to post later. Old skool. 

What’s your favorite post you have written and why?

Wow this is a good question. I have lots but here are a few:

Which is your most read post?

I honest don’t know how to find out but this one always seems to be popular and I have no idea why.

How does your perfect day looks like?

I hate to say it but it’s a day with no plans, a whole season of new TV ahead of me and lots of nice food to eat. Like this one. I love blogging when I have the time and I have A LOT of film reviews to type up for my other blog, Thursday Night at the Movies.

My Blogging Space

It’s our sofa, which only I seem to inhabit. Cup of tea, two cushions and the TV. When I’m home I’m home and I love being cosy. 

Do you have any questions for me? Mum? 

Catch Up

Remember when blogs were a form of journaling? When we’d write down what we’d done in that day or how we felt about certain things as if our online space was a fluffy pink lockable diary from the 80’s? (Nineties, 2000’s, whatever).

I feel like somewhere along the line I’ve lost what blogging means to me – even more so every person and their barista has an internet presence, be it a snarky Twitter feed or a mini-blog in the form of Instagram stories, is it even a thing anymore? As I type that I know that doesn’t matter at all, I’ve never had that much of a following and that’s completely fine – the interaction I’ve had via my blog has been meaningful and life-affirming in a way 10k likes could never be (I’m assuming).

I do this for myself first and I can’t imagine that ever-changing. But I do want to get back to a more passionate place. I love reviewing films, I love talking about books and TV I like too – but where are the feelings, where is the truth? So I’ll be exploring that in my posts moving on. Who knows where this will take me?

Anyway, a catch up, Dear Diary! My husband and I are currently on annual leave and I’ll be honest, I’m enjoying doing absolutely nothing. Films, Drag Race and reading in the bath, none of the spring cleaning I’d planned to do, none of the socialising I imagined myself doing (that part’s an out-and-out lie, sorry). It’s what we need right now and I’m not going to fight my desire to nest.

We also just got back from a few days in Amsterdam which was really lovely and chilled. We didn’t go as crazy as that city sometimes warrants but we wandered and ate and took a boat trip and looked at dicks in the sex museum and generally just hung out – it was perfect.

I didn’t partake in Amsterdam’s number one delicacy but I still enjoyed sitting outside the coffee shops, watching people. It’s such a cool city just to be in.

Today I’m catching up on blogging, both here and on my film blog, watching a few films for the podcast and I might do a Trixie Mattel inspired make up look, if I’m feeling it. I’m absolutely loving the freedom to chill out in my pants and do what I like. Tomorrow we’re doing a double bill at the flicks. All in all, a good week is (un)planned and I intend to enjoy it before reality comes knocking again.

Have a good week all!

Handing in my #onewomanbookclub Membership Card

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Back in June I decided to take part in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge. That was the optimistic idea of reading twenty books in 3 months.

Well, I am here to tell you that I didn’t quite make it. In fact, over the sunnier period I read only eight things. I guess we could blame this on actually doing stuff, but I think it’s really down to being in a non-reading funk which isn’t uncommon round these parts.

I’m hoping, as the evenings draw in, that my desire to immerse myself in the pages of somebody else’s story will return. God knows I’ve got plenty of titles waiting for me on that list. Maybe I’ll aim to complete it by the end of the year.

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2 out of 3 ain’t bad

I should say that some of the books I read were graphic novels, and not all of the titles were on my original list. What can I say? I’m a rebel.

Here’s what I did read:

  1. In a Dark, Dark Wood – Quite good, quite tense – 4/5
  2. One – Sad & beautiful – 4/5
  3. Capital – Excellent – 5/5
  4. Me Before You – A light popcorn read but a better than average one – 4/5
  5. The Beauty, Vol.1 – Great concept, left me wanting more – 4/5
  6. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 – Fun, nostalgic, can’t wait to read more – 4/5
  7. The Sisters – Starts strong. gets a little lame – 3/5
  8. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 – The Faust Act – another really fresh story about young and beautiful gods – 5/5

So there we are. I’m a big fat failure but it’s okay, it just means I have lots to look forward to for the rest of the year. I might even step back into a couple of book reviews.

What are you reading? ❤

International Women’s Day 2016

Happy #IWD2016!

I’ve thought long and hard about how to mark this day and did think about doing a big old post about inspirational female authors, actors and literary characters. Which would be fine but honestly, when I think about true inspiration and influence I realise it’s all around me, all the time. In my everyday, at work, online. Anywhere and everywhere.

I couldn’t include everybody obvs but here are just a few of the women I interact with on the regs who make me want to fight, to be as strong and talented as they are – and to be all round better so I can make them proud too.

Here’s to the women we love, the women who inspire us, the women who raised us and all those who identify as female. I love you.

Woman Power!

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Who run the world?

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

Daisy (The Lucky Apple)
Lydia (Belle of the Bluegrass)
Hayley Margaret (A Stitch to Scratch)
My Mum
Madeleine (Madeleine Martin)
Meghan (The Lightle Side of Life/That’s Lightletainment)
Tatty (Camelia Ophelia)
Jillian AKA Wifey (The Pink Panther Snipes Again)
Hannah (Ponderous Pieces)

To you all I can only say thank you for being in my life. You make it a million times more fun and satisfying!

Coincidentally, WordPress has just reminded me it’s my 2 year blog anniversary today (my first post was on the 9th March 2014 and you can read it here if you want to). We’ve come a long way, baby.

I might elaborate on this a bit more tomorrow but until then:

Happy birthday to me – and a wonderfully womanly day to you all! ❤

Happy Birthday Camelia Ophelia!

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Happy birthday to my main girl, Tatty whose wonderful blog, Camelia Ophelia turned 1 today!

I’ve raved about the blog several times throughout this year and I will continue to do so probably until the end of time, or until one of us stops blogging (which I can’t see happening). So you already know I think the world of this girl and love the way she can pull together an outfit.

I love fashion, even though I’m just finding my feet at the age of 38 on what I think looks good on me and what I love, but Tatty is a natural who always looks put together and chic AF. I see this is as an art form, a true extension of a creative mind and get annoyed when people poo-poo fashion lovers and women who love make-up, etc (not that anyone’s doing that here, or I’ll have ’em).

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But to me Camelia Ophelia is much more than that. I can hear Tatty’s voice in all her posts and it’s getting stronger, along with the writing. It’s so lovely to see and it’s even nicer to witness other people enjoying it. And of course, she’s one of my most lovely friends and my partner-in-work-and-crime, so obviously she’s an incredible human being!

Anyway, happy birthday my love! Can’t wait to read more.

I’ve also been nominated by Tatty for The Sunshine Blogger Award so I’ll do a post on that over the weekend.

And then I’m going to tag some of you babies in it, so get ready! ❤

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks to everyone and anyone who’s visited me over the year. Hope to see more of you in 2016.

Happy New Year all!