A lifelong aspiring writer with a Master's Degree in Marine Biology & Ecology.
Passions include literature, music, traveling, and environmentalism.
Follow along on IG @alanalb93, creator of @pendragon_studios and @forever_epigram.
Get Off Your Duff Reading List: LGBTQ+ Edition
By doing this little series I've found, much unexpected, but not surprising, that most of the LGBTQIA+ books out there are geared towards young adults in the high school range (more on this later) and most are about gay boys. It was actually very difficult to find any novels written specifically to represent that 'A', for asexual, or 'I' for intersex. There's also not much as far as trans masc literature is concerned (where a cis female transitions into a male). To that end, the first (to my knowledge) middle age (10+) trans masc novel is coming out in September that specifically tackles a middle schooler's transition, before and after.
Zero Waste Menstrual Products: A Review
Menstruation: kind of an icky topic that nobody likes discussing. But we need to talk about it. Every year, womyn in America spend upwards of $275 million on menstrual products alone (4). That's the same amount that Mike Bloomberg put into a digital advertising campaign to target Trump, or the amount Louisiana legislators are investing into a stimulus program meant to help small-business owners with COVID-19-related expenses. That's a ridiculous amount of money and it's paid out Every. Single. Year.
Dear Donnie, I know you feel jilted by this unforeseen breakup, but I really gotta say... I am not going to miss you. Like, not even a little bit. Not when the climate crisis is being addressed, or when progress is made on racial equality, or even when the education sector is reformed.
Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
Muffins as soft as donuts, stuffed with Nutella, and topped with cinnamon-sugar—Oh My! What could be better? Quick to go together and quick to cook, these muffins are great for kids, coworkers, and the mailman at Christmastime. Unless you're very conservative with your Nutella—and where's the fun in that?—this recipe won't yield a full dozen muffins. But it's not called a tweakcipe (tweaked recipe) for nothing! Feel free to double, or triple, the recipe to fit your muffin needs. And who doesn't need muffins?
Brew Your Own Ginger Beer (Ale)
Chances are, if your mother was born anytime after 1907, you've been given ginger beer or ginger ale at least once when you complained of an upset stomach. Well as it happens, there's a really good reason for this. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and has antiemetic (anti-vomiting) and anti-nausea properties. As far back as 2,000 years ago, ginger root was prescribed as a digestive aid and remedy for upset stomach, diarrhea, and nausea in the form of teas and powdered medicines in India and China. As a lighter beverage, ginger beer/ale is ideal for restoring fluids to the body during intense upset stomach spells, often helping to avoid dehydration.
Get Off Your Duff Reading List: 2020
There are six months left in 2020 and if you're feeling sluggish, like you aren't going to accomplish everything you wanted to this year, you're in good company—I mean, who among us even saw this coming? What I find helps motivate me when I'm in a slump is a thought-provoking book that inspires me to action. Often times, the more meager the means and the more humble the beginnings of the author, the more their book resonates with me. Not only am I inspired by what they write about, but I'm inspired that an average Joe like me could produce such an awe-inspiring work. It really gets me thinking about my potential, my limitations, and if either are truly as I perceive them. In the words of Helen Exley (creator of the London publisher by the same name), “books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life’.”
Our House is On Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis
Recently I finished reading the Ernman-Thunberg (as in Greta Thunberg) family's memoir and wow... It was a total doozy. Our House is On Fire tells the story of the events that led up to Greta Thunberg's school strike for the climate on August 20th, 2018. As hard as it would be to cover any four years in just 222 pages, the four years in question for the Thunbergs are some of the craziest. So many changes, so many struggles, so many fears & dark days, and so much action. More than anything, this book is a guide to getting back on your feet after life knocks you down. And none have been more so knocked than Malena Ernman upon having to watch first one daughter and then the other get bullied in school, receive life-altering diagnoses, and develop life threatening eating disorders. About more than just the young girl who started the World's largest climate strike by sitting alone in front of the Swedish Parliament building, Our House is an insider's view on the good, the bad, and the ugly that took the Thunbergs from a simple Swedish family ruled by their internationally-renowned opera singer mother's tour schedule to an internationally-despised family led by their eldest daughter, her deep concern for the health of the planet we all call home, and her unyielding faith that humanity is not evil.
Get Off Your Duff Reading List: Coronavirus Edition
I think I speak for most of us when I say... I am losing my damn mind! This whole social distancing, self-quarantining, stay at home lifestyle is taking its toll on my sanity. I happen to be part of the population not laid off, but also not occupied by work (it's not exactly legal to take aquarium animals home with you during a pandemic) and thus I am part of the population that has found themselves at home with heaps of free time. And there's only so many crafts one can make or things one can clean before the mind starts to unravel. So I've been doing a lot of reading to stave off the boredom. It's great! I'm learning new things, being entertained and inspired, and when I get jittery I can walk laps around the downstairs without having to press pause.