BEGREATGUYS #5 — My exam story (Try Again)

Never stop trying guys! Believe in yourselves!
“When you try something for the first time, you might find you aren’t the best at it, but doesn’t mean you can’t get better” – Shay-lon Moss

Staying healthy isnt a crime-Fitness is a lifestyle choice

I have learned many things, some of which made a difference in my life. One of which, is learning to “try again”, which for some is easy enough but for others like myself, “trying again” is scary and makes us overwhelmed, makes us anxious and gives us stress. Stress we don’t need nor want. I can tell you of many incidences where I wanted to try again but didn’t due to fear and not knowing, due to low self esteem and negative thinking and due to lack of courage. I grew up on “trying” and giving it my best; my mom always told me and my siblings this growing up — and even then it was easier said than done. Almost like now. Where trying something for a second or third time seems like a waste of time, especially when you don’t know how it will end. 

I learned REAL…

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10 Jokes You’ll Love If You’re An Introvert!

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Lifesfinewhine Is Officially On Instagram!

So I finally decided to join Instagram! To check out my profile click here.

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I decided to join because firstly I wanted to share my blog posts on it and secondly I thought it would be fun to share a bit more of my life and what I’m doing because as much as I try to share on my blog I can’t really share everything I do every 20 seconds because that would be weird and slightly annoying but totally normal on Instagram! 😂

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I also wanted to sort of make more memories and I thought this would give me more incentive to go out more often and also try new things. It also help me kind of document my life and this way I have pictures/videos to look back at and remember stuff and smile!

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I am also planning on sharing vegan and vegetarian recipes as well as some posts about makeup (like tips and my favourite brands) because I feel like Instagram would be better for that then my blog.

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This is probably what my Insta is going to consist of… 😂

So if you want to get more of an insight into my life and just what it’s like for me day to day as well as vegan/vegetarian recipes or stuff about makeup make sure to follow me and feel free to DM me whenever!

To see my profile click here.

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I had the privilege of doing a Q&A with K. K. Edin who’s book The Measurements Of Decay is both fascinating and thought provoking. He brings together Sci-Fi, Philosophy and History to give us an epic tale set in the far future.
Author Bio:
K. K. Edin was born in New York and grew up in the UK, France and parts of the Middle East. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Political Science and a Masters in Philosophy from Boston University. He currently lives in Boston and The Measurements of Decay is his debut novel. Find K.K. Edin on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and at
The Measurements of Decay [Metempsy Publications] is now available in hardback, paperback and e-book formats on Amazon.
Book Synopsis:
In the far future, Earth’s nearby star systems have been colonized. Outfitted with a device that allows them to escape into hallucinations at will, people spend most of their time withdrawn into their own minds. Tikan Solstafir, a renegade who refuses the illusory life enjoyed by others, lives in self-imposed exile on a starship. When a mysterious enemy attacks the ship, Tikan embarks on a mission to destroy the galactic tyranny and liberate humanity from its own dreams. Meanwhile, in the 21st Century, a disillusioned philosopher believes that humanity s collective misery originates in people s failure to communicate with others and make sense of the world. Growing increasingly misanthropic and monomaniacal, he proceeds on a hermetic quest to save humanity from itself, while also succumbing to his own moral decline. As these stories intertwine, a young girl reappears through various epochs, fleeting through Ancient Greece, Medieval Norway, Bolshevik Russia, among others. Unbound by time, Sielle has formed few attachments. Eventually thrust into Tikan’s world, she becomes unwillingly entangled in a political scheme spanning centuries. At once a tortured love letter to philosophy and a space opera spanning centuries, it is a novel of ideas wrapped in a cautionary tale.
1. What inspired you to write The Measurements of Decay?

The novel draws from many inspirations. Too many, perhaps. I began writing it when I was 20 years old and steeped in the classics of philosophy. I recall that the main themes arose out of a series of thoughts I had at the time in response to Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy. Part of Descartes’ work seemed to imply to me, at the time, that absolute certainty about something can only be achieved in virtue of being that thing. Obviously the only thing one can be is oneself. With this as the criteria for knowledge-at-its-best, the implication, therefore, is that anything other than oneself is subject to doubt. But what would it take for that certainty and those conditions to extend to other things and people, and even form the foundation of science? What political and moral implications would this have? The logical thread quickly ended up somewhere between absurdity and nightmare. In other words, perfectly suitable for the crucible of science
fiction. My study of philosophy continued to inform the novel, especially as many problems related to the tension between objectivity and subjectivity became apparent. It is one of the key conflicts of philosophy: How can the individual make sense of being in the world, which is shared by others? How does our limited and unique perspective impact our moral considerations, our ability to be scientific, or our understanding of
consciousness and being? Moreover, how can we make sense of duty, freedom and knowledge in the shadow of this subjective-objective tension?

These are the themes I wanted to address, but I wanted to address them in grand, Melvillian style. I wanted to combine the speculative power of science fiction, the psychological investigation that authors like Dostoevsky or Hamsun perform, and those problems of philosophy that occurred to me while I was a student. And I wanted to create a beautiful, if dark and risky, work of it.

2. What are some of the themes readers can expect to discover in The Measurements of Decay?

At the most general level, the core themes revolve around and arise from the abstract issues I described above. These ideas are very abstract sounding, but I think most people are familiar with them at some level. I have endeavored to test a lot of ideas, push them to their limit, and see what the result is. For me, that is the heart of science fiction, the power to speculate to extremity.

Here below are some of the philosophical themes in the novel, among many others:

Empathy and Understanding

There is an old saying in French, which can be translated as: “To understand all is to forgive all.” In great part, the novel is an analysis of that idea. What would it take for us to completely understand each other, and therefore forgive each other perfectly?

Wouldn’t that be an ideal scenario? To understand each other so well that we treat each other exactly the way we would treat ourselves? Ok. So what would it take? What would constitute perfect understanding? You would have to know the entire history of the person, objectively, the way a scientist might describe their whole life in a lab report. It would require knowing all of their inner thoughts, too––their subjective life. All the reasons they gave themselves for their actions. All of their ideas, emotions and experiences, the way they experience the world–––plus, you would also need their whole context, so you would need to know entire history of the world. So it’s impossible. Right.
But not in science fiction… or is it?


Piggybacking off of the theme of empathy and understanding, the theme of evil is core to the novel. Aside from classic moral questions such as: “Do the ends justify the means?” “Do consequences or principles dictate morality?” “What defines a Good Life?” and so on, I wanted to explore the theme of evil in relation to understanding and forgiveness. What are the limits of forgiveness? Let’s say you can understand everything about a person, but they have committed some truly reprehensible acts… can you forgive them? Can you forgive Hitler, after experiencing the whole of his life and understanding perfectly what led him to his decisions? You might say no, but consider that to understand his life the way he understood it, to be in the cockpit of Hitler’s life, so to speak, you might not have a choice but to commit the same acts he did. Although perhaps not, depending on what we build into the thought experiment. Many people loath themselves, of course, but maybe they don’t fully understand themselves. It can get quite tricky.

The novel takes that French proverb to its limit and tests it. We have a character who, by the same token that he recognizes all of the epistemological, metaphysical, ontological and moral issues at stake, is as vile, immoral, and contemptible as it gets precisely in virtue of his knowledge. That is the real question for the reader. How much can you stomach? How much are you willing to forgive, knowing a maximal amount about a person? And if you can’t, then is understanding the key after all? Can evil survive both total knowledge and forgiveness?

There is a nice discussion of the limits of forgiveness in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers
Karamazov, in Book V Chapter 4: Rebellion, for anyone interested.

Self and Identity

What do we know best? Most would probably say ourselves, since we are most familiar with ourselves. Ok. So should that be a model or standard for the extent to which we would like to understand others? That understanding others as well as we understand ourselves would be the highest achievement of understanding?

There are obviously problems with being able to understand things other than yourself. You are separated by time and space from literally everything exterior to you, and experience them by way of a limited perspective. You can’t have a God’s-eye- view of things. You cannot know the thoughts of others, etc., etc. But what about yourself? Your thoughts are subject to time. Your body is distinct from your mind. Insofar as you are divisible in any way, you are not a self-contained totality. You participate in the world. So that problem folds into the greater problem of knowledge.

There is a lot in the news these days about identity. I think that’s a candidate for the successor to the age of information––the age of identity. That, in a way, is part of what I wanted to bring to its logical conclusion by way of science fiction. In the novel, metempsies allow you forget your identity, and experience existence, virtually, as another person, another identity––but mediated through your own self. It’s a bit loopy,

It’s the dream of many people today, to be able to wholly construct your own identity to the point where its artifice (the creation of it) does not intrude upon its perceived authenticity. I think it may also be the logical conclusion to storytelling, the way we get invested in characters, sympathize with avatars. Video games and movies push that avatar-sympathizing further. What’s next? How can we become Iron Man, Captain Ahab, or Harry Potter, and thereby experience their story as they do, as opposed to mere observers? Would it still be a story?


There are many battles in philosophy around what is called epistemology––the study of knowledge. There are many opposing traditions, theories and systems out there, so while the novel doesn’t cover them all, it does cover what I consider to be two big, opposing categories. One view says negativity is a part of the truth, the other view says that the truth must exclude negativity. For instance, is a true view of a chair one that covers all of its angles? Or is it an inherent part of a true perception of a chair that we cannot view it from all angles at once? For those interested, this issue is related to the conflict between Hegelian and Aristotelian logic.


Dovetailing with the philosophical problems the Narrator is facing, the novel depicts a society that has tried ways put a band-aid on these issues. In many ways, the society of the future described in the novel is a logically extreme conclusion to the societies we live in today. That is, one structured around silent A.I. and smart phone-like technology, but motivated by the underlying philosophical problems we face. Our phones already feel like extensions of ourselves. It’s only a matter of time before they are permanently fused to our minds. What will that look like? How will that relate to the problems of consciousness, language, communication, thought, and human interaction? How about entertainment? Fantasy and dreams are core components of the human psyche. What will they look like, structured by such technology?


The principal means by which we communicate with others is language. We tend to see language as an invisible medium, a clear window to our thoughts, and to those of others. But language is a part of our thoughts. It is a part of that which it helps us to access. It thereby frequently obscures and complicates just as much as it clarifies, at every level, from philosophical theorizing to interpersonal conflicts. We misunderstand each other and talk past each other frequently as a result of language, and not simply in spite of it. The theme of language in the novel also comes out to a large extent in the question of whether or in what way our thoughts and sentiments are truly separate from language. Do I have thoughts first, which are subsequently expressed in language? Or are all my thoughts necessarily linguistic? If not, what does that look like? What is a non-linguistic thought?

Poetry versus Logic

The tension between poetry and logic as media for truth is another theme that is very inherent to the novel, precisely because of the style I have chosen. Plato suggests in the Republic that poets should be outcast from the ideal society. There’s a reason he, a philosopher, brings that issue to the table. If poetry is indeed the language of emotion, then does it obscure our rational understanding? How does poetry, if at all, deliver truth? The novel’s narrator is as much a poet as he is a philosopher. Why is that? What are the tensions that arise for him as a result?

3. What advice would you give readers interested in reading The Measurements of Decay? How should they approach the novel?

The reader should approach The Measurements of Decay with a degree of patience. I have written the novel in an ornate style that bucks the minimalist trend. That alone means paying more attention to the language and not racing through the plot, which is itself somewhat complicated and tangled in other aspects of the writing. The reason for this is that the language is itself a key part of the story, for philosophical, thematic and character reasons. The overarching plot, meanwhile, unravels quite slowly. Many readers have expressed that they found themselves having to accept a degree of ambiguity through the first half or so, but being enthralled by the plot thereafter and appreciating the upward climb retroactively. In addition, the philosophical content of the book can be quite intense, especially for someone without a background in the subject, though not, I think, impossible. Lastly, I would say that the reader should treat the Narrator as a
character with his own idiosyncratic worldview, use of language and will. Much of the novel is an exploration of his psyche, his evil, and his philosophical troubles. To understand the novel is to attempt to understand the Narrator.

4. Who are your favorite authors you like to read and/or follow?

Herman Melville, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas de Quincy, Dan Simmons, Alfred Bester, Ursula K. LeGuin, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Gene Wolfe, Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, J. R. R. Tolkien (particularly The Silmarillion).

5. When do you find the time to write?

Usually late at night, but not necessarily. I tend to write whenever I have at least a solid hour in the day, and all other tasks have been completed.

6. Who and/or what has influenced your writing style?

I am attracted to beautiful and daring language, intellectual ideas and poignant characterization. The novels that I enjoy the most tend to be ornately written, poetic and philosophical in some degree.

In terms of fiction, I draw from the psychological investigations of Dostoevsky, Knut Hamsun and Thomas de Quincy, the immortal masterpiece that is Moby Dick, the speculative powers of science fiction from Alfred Bester and Ursula K. LeGuin, and the magnificent prose of Cormac McCarthy.

Most of the ideas I like to base my themes on are drawn from the history of philosophy, though not always.

7. What are you working on now?

I have ideas for three more novels, each very different from the other, and different to The Measurements of Decay. I am also focusing very much on my professional career and my personal life, with much less time for writing, at the moment.

8. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Decide from the beginning if you want to write mainly for artistic or entertainment or commercial reasons. If you decide to write for mainly artistic reasons, your standard should be nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. You will in all likelihood fail, but it will probably force you to increase the quality of your work. Aim for the stars, as they say.

In terms of writing itself, I like to think of the first draft as a process of excavating marble from a quarry. After the marble is prepared, you can begin sculpting. I also do not believe in inspiration as a necessary requirement to writing. I have found that inspiration only makes starting easier, or helps in generating ideas. It provides no noticeable increase in quality.

If you are writing for purely artistic reasons I would also avoid any business related information about the world of publishing until you are finished with at least the second draft. The knowledge may poison your vision. On the other hand, if you are writing mainly to entertain or for commercial reasons, make sure to read up as much as possible about the publishing world, and, in particular, about the constrictions of your respective genre.

My New Obsession- Old English Company

If you know me well you probably know I have a pretty severe sometimes scary obsession with stationery! I love stationery- I love how it looks, I love the way it feels the first time you use it and most of all I love shopping for it! However, unfortunately I can’t buy all the stationery in the world (although I am trying slowly but surely) and I usually just end up staring at pretty pictures of it on Instagram or Pinterest which is how I found Old English Company!

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They’re a fun and super cute site with literally the most adorable stationery! They were established in London but are now located in Stamford. They have these amazing things with the best little messages and honestly I’m so obsessed with them right now!

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Plus, to celebrate the new additions to their enamel pin collection they’re having this amazing giveaway competition where literally all you have to do is email them your favorite enamel pin design from our entire range at I’ve already entered and this was my favorite:

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Just thought I would share this with you guys because if there’s one thing I love more than stationery it’s free stationery!

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If you want to creepily stare at their Instagram pictures like I do and admire the stationery you can find them here.

And if you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment letting me know what your favorite enamel pin is!


Recently I signed up for Bookbub and honestly it has been such a great experience!

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You guys have probably heard of it but just in case you haven’t heard of it basically what they do is they email you a list of books that are on a discounted price or going for free on Amazon.

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I decided to sign up for fun not expecting much but in the last few months I’ve ended up getting over a hundred books for free and I had to share it with you guys in case any of you would be interested in it! I wanted to wait a while to make sure it was legit and that I wouldn’t end up having to pay for anything but so far it’s totally legit.

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And the best part is that it’s a completely free site. All you have to do is sign up!

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Rise Above

So today we decided to head out for lunch and go back to my favorite vegan restaurant in St. Catharines- Rise Above! They are fully plant based and have the most amazing and delicious food ever!

I’m going to be honest- not all places that have vegan food are good because a lot of places have very bland vegan options that really are not well done but Rise Above is totally different! I think one of the reasons their food is so delicious is because they make it themselves like even the vegan alternatives instead of using store bought stuff. It definitely makes a difference. Their food is so good most of the time I can’t even tell that it’s vegan and they don’t have the usual bland vegan options like salad (honestly no one wants that!) they have so many different and creative foods!

And their portions are amazing too! I usually eat way more than average and I rarely have food remaining after a meal but with this place I never seem to finish (which is great because I get to take it home and eat it again!)

Here are some pictures of the amazing food we had!!

If you’re ever in St. Catharines even if you’re not vegan I would still highly recommend checking out this place! I think you may be pleasantly surprised!

For more on Rise Above click here.

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Writer Survival 101 (Guest Post)

By Lisa Reynolds

The life of a writer is one of hard work and trying to get your work noticed. In such a highly populated field so many works are passed over simply because readers can only read so much at any given time. But if you keep going, you never know what is around the corner. So this article is not so much about how to get your books sold but more about how to keep going even when the sales are not what you dreamed they might be. The following is five tips to keep you smiling (and working!) when the chips aren’t rolling your way …

1. Remember Why You Began Writing In The First Place

OK, this tip is not going to be much use to you if you began writing with the main goal of becoming a best-selling author like Agatha Christie or James Patterson but it will if it wasn’t your first reason for entering the world of writing. Many successful writers including the two writers I have mentioned here didn’t achieve major success straightaway. But something keeps writers doing what they do even when their writing isn’t exactly financing enough Cornflakes. Usually it’s a love of the craft and especially a love for the characters they create. Nine times out of ten if a writer hasn’t this love, they don’t last very long. If money was the main aim after all we’d all have went into the business world or something. So when you are feeling disappointed with how things are going, remember what it is you love about writing and why you were attracted to it in the first place. It usually puts the fire back in your belly to keep going with your chosen craft.

2. Don’t Put Down The Achievements You Have Accomplished

As humans, many of us have a tendency to look at the glass as being half full. Instead if we think positively, we’ll find that we have accomplished a lot more than we first thought. For example blogging or publishing a book are accomplishments in and of themselves without the books being a worldwide hit with their covers pasted on the side of buses. The latter would be nice of course but dwelling on what you haven’t achieved won’t do you any good. Be proud of the things you have achieved and continue with a positive attitude to continue building your achievements. Try not to look at the negatives.

3. Write More, Think Less

Instead of thinking about the last book and how it’s success is going, start into the next book. As writers we go off in our own world when we’re writing so that would help rid yourself of any negative thoughts regarding sales or your work not being noticed. Many of us worry that we haven’t marketed our books enough when in reality it’s often more because there is so much choice and competition out there that our books are often not at the top of everyone’s list. But I was given this advice from a fellow writer and, I’ll share it here, to not worry about marketing past books and to just get on and finish the next one and get it out there. And I think that’s advice worth following.

4. Cherish The Readers You Have

You might want lots and lots of people reading your work and it would be great if there was. But remember that the people that are reading your work, however many that is, are taking time to do so. And time is the most precious gift one can give. So appreciate their time and support. Value them as readers and be proud that you created something that these people out there liked. And the more you write, the more people who will become familiar with your work too so keep writing and keep valuing every new reader.

5. Don’t Envy Other Authors

By this I don’t mean things such as ‘I wish I was as successful as they were’ or ‘I wish I could write like that’. That’s more of a compliment about fellow writers and it’s grand as long as you go back to your work after and continue on. What I really mean here is procrastinating and being so envious that it makes you think that your own work is worthless and that you aren’t a good writer. Or alternatively that you copy these writers and that doesn’t work well either because a writer always writes better when it’s their own writer’s voice, when it’s from the heart. Admire other writers, be playfully envious of their talents but never let it get to a stage where you give up on your own talents.

Remember that whether huge, in-between or small success is in the future that you have a voice and so much opportunity nowadays to get your work out there. Don’t give up on that. Though it might not seem it at times, you have a gift. Share it and don’t deprive the world of what you have to offer.

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Kristina Gallo

Before I start this post I just want to encourage you guys to check out Kristina’s work:

Her blog:

Her books:

As you guys know I’m always happy to support fellow bloggers when they have books out or are doing anything awesome and it turns out Kristina has a new book out that I read last week!

Kristina is a Croatian blogger and indie author who’s writing is mainly about psychology, sociology, human relations and society. She has not only a very thought provoking blog but an interesting new book out! Her latest book is also incredible thought provoking and is about a women trapped in an abusive relationship. It is incredibly realistic and no it’s not your usual guy meets girl story but I would highly recommend it because it gives a great insight into abusive relationships. If this is something you would be interested in reading about I would definitely recommend this book!

Here’s a link to her book:

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Opher Goodwin

If you haven’t heard of Opher Goodwin you need to check him out right now before I get into this post!

Check out his blog here:

Check out his books here:

To purchase his books click here:

So I finally finished Ebola in the Garden of Eden and I have to say it was absolutely phenomenal! Unfortunately, I have had the book for ages but I hadn’t been able to finish it because university was suffocating me!

Back to the book, it’s a futuristic book about The Synod which is a group of the most powerful politicians and science. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is into science, politics or futuristic books!

Also he has a bunch of other books in lots of different genres so check out the list and find something you like! He’s an amazing writer and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

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