Buy My Neurodivergent Guide to Content Creation


If you’re a neurodivergent small business owner who uses social media, this guide is for you!

Marketing tips are saturated with strict schedules and detailed rules. TikTok gurus tell you there are specific things you need to do to succeed – post 3-5 times a day, make high-quality videos with cinematic techniques, and never EVER make mistakes.

If you’re neurodivergent – someone with differing brain functions from the typical – these “tips” just don’t sound realistic. Our minds work differently, so how can we be expected to meet the same standard as everyone else?

But not every neurodivergent person is the same. Writing a broad guide for everyone under the umbrella would be impossible. That’s why this guide is not definitive – it offers a few different structures, and you can pick the one that suits you best.

This guide explains what it means to be neurodivergent; obstacles that may cause; ways to stay productive as a content creator, and how to make TikTok more fun for you.

If you’re neurodivergent or want to learn what that means, this is for you. The goal is to help content creators, especially those on TikTok, stay consistent. But anyone can read this guide!

You can buy it and other products from my Stan Store. Check out more neurodivergent marketing tips on my TikTok!

My Gripe with Movie Musicals


I love musicals. I was in my high school’s production from Year 8 to Year 12 and loved every minute of it. It’s always exciting when you learn that your favourite story is being made into a movie. But as many of us know, film adaptations often leave a lot to be desired. In my experience, movie musicals have it the worst. 

My first movie musical was Chicago, which I loved. The dream sequences are a perfect example of a film doing what a stage musical can’t. Stagecraft is amazing, but film can take the characters across a range of real locations in a way that’s more immersive than a stage backdrop – in a sense. 

Theatre never hides the fact that it’s performing to an audience. This makes the audience feel close and intimate with the show, especially when the actors interact with them. Movies are immersive in another way – they want to make the film seem real as possible, making the viewers voyeurs. 

You just don’t get that level of connection with movies, and the humour doesn’t land in the same way (see Into the Woods, and how the darkness was toned down for a cinema audience).

Mixing these two mediums can be successful, but movie studios seem to have trouble getting it right. 

Pitch Perfect

There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to singing in movie musicals. 

The recent Disney live-action remakes record in the studio, then play it over the actual scenes. But they use a lot of editing to make the voices sound “pure”, which ends up erasing all the personality. Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast is being pitch-corrected to make her sound as sweet and melodic as a Disney princess should, but all it does is make her sound manufactured. They remove the natural ridges and grittiness of the human voice for the sake of sounding “pretty” and lose all emotion. 

But musical theatre is about emotion, and a convincing performance will naturally have some rough edges. Think of the biggest Broadway divas: their voices waver at the most intense part of their solos. 

A Little Too Realistic

On the other end of the scale is Les Miserables, which purposely tried to avoid the over-correcting of its vocalists. They did this by having the actors sing live while filming to get the rawness of each scene. 

Sounds good in theory, right? 

In truth, the set of the Les Mis movie was a disaster. Hugh Jackman was severely dehydrated to look the part, damaging his voice. Anne Hathaway lost a frightening amount of weight and once spent 8 hours shooting the same scene, only to use the first take. 

It was the actors leading the timing of the music, not the band, so many of the songs were out of time. The musicians had to keep up with whatever the actors were doing, and there’s a reason that isn’t the standard method in musicals. 

The casting for this movie was incredible, and the actors can actually sing in the right conditions. This movie failed because the creative team were too fixated on making it seem realistic that they forgot to make it sound good. 

I love Les Mis, but no amount of gritty realism will make these kinds of conditions ok. 

Hope Going Forward?

I’ve just seen the trailer for the new Little Mermaid, and it looks amazing. As far as I can tell, they’ve toned down the pitch correction for Halle Bailey. It wasn’t necessary anyway, because she’s a great singer and you can hear it even in the brief footage we’ve seen. As the biggest maker of movie musicals, I hope Disney learns to embrace unique voices and let singers just be themselves. And I hope future movie musicals will reconsider recording the songs “live”. 

Most of the facts here came from these videos by Sideways. Check it out if you’re interested in music!

And as a reminder, I have a RedBubble store with designs like this adorable fairy dragon!

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller


Madeline Miller’s Circe is a book that I enjoyed so much that I wrote my honours thesis on it. It is a feminist retelling of the character Circe from Greek mythology, which is a topic that Miller is very acquainted with.

If you’re not familiar, Circe appears in the Odyssey as another trial for Odysseus to surpass on his way home. She is the daughter of the sun, Helios, and her powerful witchcraft exiled her to an island. In The Odyssey, Circe turns Odysseus’s men into pigs and Odysseus drinks a potion that makes him immune to her magic. After drawing a knife on her, he then seduces her and she is persuaded to free his men. She then consults an oracle to tell him where his journey must take him next. 

While The Odyssey is her most famous appearance, Circe is a character with a rich mythology that Miller encapsulates wonderfully. She is not reduced to the “temptress” archetype, becoming a fully realised character. We watch as she goes from the “ugly duckling” of her family, to ultimately falling in love which leads to exile. We see her grow jaded on her island, left to the whims of men, and we watch her tenacity grow. 

Miller uses Circe to explore the ways women are overlooked in Greek mythology. While mythological Circe is a powerhouse, she’s never written sympathetically and is defined by the men in her life. Miller makes clear the ways that men control Circe and the other women in the story. Circe was an outcast in her family of Titans and was thus singled out. Her sister Pasiphae was favoured, but was handed off to a husband as a peace treaty between Zeus and Helios. The women in this story are wonderfully flawed and distinct. Miller doesn’t erase the effect of the patriarchy in this book; she explores how women are affected by it. They play into or reject the rules prescribed to them. 

No longer does Circe’s story revolve around Odysseus: the witch-goddess is her own hero. Along with her godly family, the cast of this novel includes some big Greek mythology names. Circe brings in characters like Athena and Hermes, and incorporates the myths of Jason & Medea, Daedalus & Icarus, the Minotaur, and more. Before reading it, I considered myself pretty well-versed in Greek mythos, but this book gave me so many new things to research. 

Miller’s writing is like poetry. There’s a comforting, flowing quality to it that paints very vivid pictures. The text is laced with such gorgeous metaphors, descriptions, and symbolism that I didn’t mind reading it four times. I just love the way Miller describes Circe’s emotions and the development of her powers. It’s a female empowerment story, but not in a shallow way. Circe is flawed and complex, often making the wrong decision on her path to learning the right way. The trauma she experiences in her past cause her to lash out and not trust, but she learns to be better. She finds a way to exist as herself, not the person she is expected to be. 

Circe is a beautifully evocative book that leaves you in a trance. The world of Greek mythology comes alive through Miller’s well-constructed words. It is a feminist take on stories that have not been kind to women, nonetheless, it does so without being preachy. I love this book with all my heart. It’s the best I could hope for from a modern take on Greek mythology. If you get the chance to read it, I highly recommend you do!

You can find Madeline Miller’s book on her website here.

The Dark Side of Peter Pan


J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is a classic that has inspired many adaptations, including animated and live-action movies, sequels, and spin-offs. It’s a fantastical story that inspires millions of children, but the version you’re familiar with probably softens the grimmer aspects. Written in 1911, Peter Pan plays out the fantasy of children remaining happy and innocent forever. The moral at the end is that everyone grows up and it’s not a bad thing, but Peter Pan continues living in Neverland for generations after Wendy grows up. If you look below the surface, it’s easy to see Peter as a warning of what it means to be a child forever.

Tragic Beginnings

The story of a young boy who will never grow up was likely inspired by Barrie’s own childhood. Barrie was six when his older brother David, 14, died in an ice-skating accident. His mother didn’t cope well. To cheer her up, Barrie would dress in his late brother’s clothes and whistle in the same way. His mother took comfort in the fact that David would remain young and precious forever. Evidently, Barrie took that to heart. 

Later in life, Barrie and his wife would befriend a family with four young boys. Barrie based Peter Pan on one of these boys, and invented stories with them of mermaids and pirates. Due to his brother’s death, he became very attached to these children and wanted to protect them. He even altered their mother’s will to make himself their guardian when she died. Barrie kept in contact with them well into their adolescence. 

Angel of Death

It was clear that Barrie had a fixation on youth, and so did his main character. Peter Pan was obsessed with never growing up, and Neverland let him play pretend forever with new friends to replace the old. But looking closer, we can see that this is equally a fixation with death. Barrie was clearly traumatized by the death of his brother and his mother’s grief, and it manifested in an unhealthy idolisation of youth. 

To age meant to die, and not the kind of adventurous death that Peter Pan longed for. To become an adult was to be like his mother, who had abandoned and replaced him. But people have speculated that Peter Pan may have been dead the entire time: as he himself explains, he fell out of his pram as a baby and was never found. The theory goes that he died then and became a spirit of Neverland, leading children to their untimely deaths. Not intentionally, though – it was all a game to him.

The Lost Boys 

The Lost Boys were other babies who fell out of their prams, but Peter was the only one who didn’t age. More evidence of him being a spirit are the magical qualities only he seems to possess – aside from never aging, the seasons in Neverland change according to his presence (the winter snow melts when he returns with Wendy and her brothers). 

We know that the other Lost Boys aged because the book reveals the cruel “punishment” for growing up, which is against Peter’s rules. It was said there were always new Lost Boys because Peter would “thin them out” when they got too old, implying that he killed them. But it gets worse – the Lost Boys used hollow tree trunks to reach their secret hideouts. It’s implied Peter would “modify” their bodies to fit when they got too big. 

As an eternal child, Peter Pan never had to face the consequences of his actions or wake up to reality. He thought that everything was a game, and every pirate and Lost Boy that he killed were just the players who lost. Pan couldn’t tell reality from fantasy, often feeding the Lost Boys imaginary meals and not understanding when they were still hungry. He didn’t care about putting Wendy or her brothers in danger because none of it was real to him. 

The Pirates

The pirates were the only adults on Neverland, and happen to be the villains. Captain Hook’s vendetta against Pan and the Lost Boys comes from Pan cutting off his hand and feeding it to a hungry crocodile. Along with Hook’s hand, the crocodile also swallowed his watch. The crocodile developed a taste for Hook’s flesh and plagued him with the sound of ticking. 

The crocodile and watch serve as more than an early warning system for Hook. He is pursued by his greatest fear: death. While Pan sees death as “an awfully big adventure”, Hook is acutely aware that he is constantly ageing, and that one day he will grow old and die. He chases after Pan, who represents eternal youth while running from the crocodile which symbolises the passing of time. Peter Pan taunts him at every point with the one thing Hook wants and can never have: to live forever. 

The Cost of Never Growing Up

As Barrie himself would come to realise, being young forever is not all good. Peter’s belief that everything is a game made him cruel and careless, able to easily replace friends. The worst thing you could do, for him, was to make bore him. He never got the chance to mature, so he kept a grudge against his mother for abandoning him and let it fester. He projected his longing for a mother onto Wendy, but because he can never mature he couldn’t confront the emotions that Wendy’s friendship brought up. Because his emotions never develop past self-indulgence, he’s unable to make genuine connections with people. 

At the end of Barrie’s story, Wendy and her brothers return home. Peter Pan could never understand the grief of their mother, or the comforts of home and a nurturing family. Ultimately, Peter Pan is less of an escapist fantasy than a cautionary tale. Everyone must grow up, but that doesn’t mean that we have to lose our sense of wonder and whimsy. 

Later, I want to talk about the Pixie Hollow books. They’re a much more wholesome Neverland series and a hidden gem of children’s literature. I can’t wait to share them with you!

If you’re a fan of Tinkerbell or fairies in general, I have a new print on Redbubble! Get it on a mug, shirt, sticker, or anything you want!

Book Review: Gideon the Ninth


You’ve never read a book like this before, I can guarantee. Described as a science-fantasy, Gideon the Ninth transcends genre in its whirlwind narrative and utterly enthralling setting. 


“The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.”

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir is the first instalment of The Locked Tomb series. It’s an exceptional blend of sci-fi, fantasy, gothic horror, and murder mystery. Shattering expectations with every chapter, this book has enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world relocated to the void of space, powerful necromancers run a fractured society. Gideon Nav is an unwilling member of the Ninth House who wants nothing to do with it or her peer, Harrowhark Nonagesimus. However, Gideon is forced to be Harrowhark’s bodyguard as she attempts to join the Emperor Undying in immortality. 

The world of The Locked Tomb is incredibly dense and complex. This futuristic society takes a bit to comprehend, but it’s a marvel how much detail Muir puts into the setting. Necromancy is the driving force of this world, but Muir adds so many layers beyond just raising skeletons. There’s bone magic, flesh magic, spirit magic … the possibilities are endless! If there’s one thing I love in a fantasy series, it’s a good magic system. Muir adds so much creativity to what a necromancer can do, but there are still solid rules in place. None of the characters feel too overpowered, even the exceptionally strong ones. 

Speaking of the characters, Gideon is a refreshing protagonist. Her tongue-in-cheek narration is the perfect complement to the story’s often heavy subject matter. Her internal monologue makes her seem charmingly arrogant, but her interactions with others show her to be shy and humble. It’s wonderful to have a proud butch lesbian as a protagonist who is seen as attractive by every other character. 

The other characters are just as impeccably fleshed-out as Gideon. The people in this world are as complicated, dark, and twisted as the world itself; all an absolute joy to read. The characters are surprising and bracing, scrabbling out of any archetypes you try to fit them into. There’s a broad spectrum of personalities, motives and desires, which means there’s never a dull moment in Gideon the Ninth. 

This book truly does have something for everyone. It’s packed with action, high-stakes puzzles, mysteries and dark secrets. What I love about this series is that there aren’t huge chunks of exposition. You’re thrown straight into the action with barely a moment to catch your breath. While this could be overwhelming, Gideon the Ninth leaves enough tantalizing story crumbs that you’re not weighed down by details. You just want to keep pushing through until you’ve discovered every hidden treasure. Gideon the Ninth is available in most major bookstores and online. The third instalment in the series is set to be released in September.

Books I Hated in High School but Love Now


Ok, strictly speaking, I didn’t “hate” any of these books – but my classmates certainly did! It will come as a surprise to no one that I was a huge bookworm all through school. Even after I finished high school and studied journalism, I always packed a book with me on the train. 

Whether you were a big reader or not, we can all agree that reading books of your choice is different from being made to read one for school. Class book lists involve taking notes, analysing passages, writing essays, and very rarely, actually enjoying the book. I will always be an advocate for critical literacy skills – it’s essential to understand nuance in what you’re reading, be it fiction or not – but even I admit that the way schools treat reading can ruin the whole experience. 

Giving students research and a set of themes before they’ve even started reading limits their understanding of the book. They’re positioned to take the view of the coursework from the beginning, which makes them think there’s only one correct way to read a text. 

So, here are five books that I didn’t enjoy reading in high school, but have returned to since and loved! 

1. Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre was on my year 12 booklist for Literature, and my experience with it then was … not great. The teacher wanted us to read it three times during the holidays, taking a different set of notes each time. This made me see the book as a massive word search and stopped me from enjoying the story for what it was. 

Truth be told, I never actually re-read it outside of high school, but I came to appreciate the story and Charlotte Bronte’s writing a lot more. 

2. A Doll’s House 

A Doll’s House by Henrick Ibsen is a play, not a book, but I had to read and analyse it. I was a major theatre nerd; I’d been in Production every year and I was obsessed with musicals. A Doll’s House was nothing like that. It’s in the theatrical style of naturalism, meaning it tries to be as close to reality as possible. The script isn’t overly dramatic, there’s no music except when a character is literally playing an instrument, and it can seem like you’re just eavesdropping on a married couple’s bickering. 

But like so many theatre pieces, watching the show is an entirely different experience than just reading the script. Seeing the play performed added a whole new layer of nuance and really helped me understand the importance of the protagonist’s decisions. The actress’s subtle changes in body language and voice made me feel sympathy for the character in a way that I hadn’t before. 

3. Macbeth

The thing with Shakespeare is that you either love his work or hate it. I love it, but in high school, Macbeth was rather intimidating. We only read it once during class, taking turns to read out loud. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I’d been able to take the script home and think about it in my own time. We were lucky enough to have a group come and perform the play at our school, and once again, the script changes entirely when there are people to act it out. 

I’ve studied Shakespeare a few times in my education. My theatre studies class was full of his plays, and I did an online course about him before online classes were the norm. It definitely helps to have a modern translation to read alongside any Shakespeare scripts. 

4. Frankenstein

Frankenstein is a book that I had the pleasure of reading in high school and university. In high school I found it confusing. A good portion of the book is about Victor Frankenstein’s life before the monster, and a smaller portion isn’t even about the doctor or his creation at all! I didn’t understand the need for the story-within-a-story device and I found Frankenstein’s biography pretty boring. 

But through reading it at uni, I came to appreciate the story on a deeper level and realised that the plot devices I hated before weren’t just thrown in as filler; they were integral to the plot. My re-read took me from a theoretical interest in Gothic literature to a practical one.

5. The Iliad

I took Classics in high school because I loved Greek mythology. What I didn’t realise was how much of that class would be focused on war tactics and politics. I was interested in the gods and monsters, but the chapters we read in class were all about soldiers in conflict, the political power plays between the different sides. 

At the start of this year, I read the Iliad front-to-back, and I enjoyed it immensely. Having the entire picture – and some of my own research – I understood better the motivations of the characters, and was able to see how the actions of the gods affected the lives of mortals. 

I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy these books in high school was a matter of maturity. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the themes or messages, I just didn’t find them compelling. For whatever reason, I’m much more open now to these kinds of readings. I have the time and patience to draw out my own meanings.

If you found this interesting, I’d highly recommend going back to your own high school books and giving them another read!

2 of the Best Queer Shows Out Now!


As I’m posting this, it’s IDAHOBIT Day (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia), and Pride Month is just around the corner! So I wanted to talk about two LGBT+ shows that I’ve really enjoyed recently. I’m grateful to live in a time where people of all genders and sexualities are shown on screen and in books. Queer people are showrunners, writers, and directors. We’re getting seen in an authentic way, finally moving past the same old coming-out and trauma stories that have dominated the genre. 

The shows I want to talk about are extraordinarily different in tone, and it’s so refreshing to have such unique queer media coming out at the same time. Heartstopper is a sweet coming-of-age story about a gay high schooler and his crush figuring themselves out. Our Flag Means Death is a comedy about by the legendary pirates, Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet. 


Heartstopper is very cute, sweet, and I would have loved to have watched it when I was questioning myself. It’s based on a webcomic by Alice Oseman, who wanted to see more queer stories for teenagers. It’s a very honest portrayal of the awkwardness of high school romance. What I love about this series is that it isn’t entry-level gay rep; the main character Charlie (Joe Locke) already knows that he’s gay and there’s no uncomfortable fumbling over the word.

The show does an excellent job at creating a comfortable space for queer viewers while acknowledging the hardships that we face in the hardest years of our lives. Charlie’s best friend Elle (Yasmin Finney) is a black trans girl. Her struggles with bullies are brought up, but they’re never described to the point where it’s unpleasant. 

It would have been nice to show some of her struggles in-depth instead of brushing over them, but the writers have played it safe for this first season. The show, as a whole, is pretty sanitised to appeal to a wider audience. But I’m hopeful that as it grows in popularity, it will be empowered to breach new grounds. 

But not every queer show can do everything. Heartstopper is targeted towards teenagers, and it’s written to be a comfort watch that is honest without being too confronting. It doesn’t need to dive into harsh realities; it’s a beautiful show as it is. 

Our Flag Means Death

 Our Flag Means Death has a very different tone, though it’s more similar to Heartstopper than it may appear. It’s a satirical rom-com from the brilliant minds of David Jenkins and Taika Waititi. The uniquely funny script follows the blossoming romance between Blackbeard (Waititi) and Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) as they engage in pirate antics. The supporting cast of eccentric crew members and rivals elevate the show even further.

The show is wonderfully casual about its queerness. Homophobia and transphobia are not present, and any characters that seem to take issue with another’s queerness are clear villains. Not only is it a wonderfully casual depiction of queer people, but it also acknowledges the long history of gay and trans pirates. Love between pirates go unquestioned, and there’s a nonbinary character (played by Vico Ortez) whose pronouns are never an issue. These aspects of queerness were always present at this point in history, and it’s so great to see them represented. 

While I’d say that this show is a comfort in regards to gender and sexuality, there’s still all of the thrill and action you’d expect in a show about pirates. There’s no shortage of danger, drama, and betrayal. All of this, paired with the dry and sometimes absurd humour makes it an absolutely enthralling watch.

Heartstopper is available to stream on Netflix, and Our Flag Means Death is on Binge and Hulu. You can also read the Heartstopper series or order the graphic novels online from Alice’s website!

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