K. J. Bagnall

Writer. Editor. Illustrator. Mental Health Activist. Christian.

April 1, 2017
by K. J. Bagnall
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How D&D Helps My Writer’s Block

I’ve struggled to write the last, well, year if I’m honest. But I’ve recently stumbled across an interesting way of getting myself back in the swing of things: the role-playing game D&D. My first ever game is in a few weeks, and the preparation has sparked something within me.

Stress has been a huge factor in my struggle to write. It saps my energy, my motivation and gives me constant headaches.

This blog is the only personal writing project I’ve kept on schedule for. I suppose there’s something to the illusion of accountability, even though I don’t even have a big readership and I doubt many notice my first-week-of-each-month posting schedule.

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March 4, 2017
by K. J. Bagnall
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How To Respond To Someone Who Is Crying

People cry for a lot of reasons. Today I particularly want to talk about how to respond when someone is crying quietly due to stress, distress or feeling overwhelmed. This most often happens to those who suffer from anxiety, but can happen to anyone lacking of energy due to insomnia or a virus or anything.

So, I’m going to start with what led me to choose this topic, the option of responding or not responding to a crying person, then a step-by-step of how best to respond.

Photo by MarLeah Cole


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January 23, 2017
by K. J. Bagnall
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Be Careful What You Sacrifice (A Brief Preview: The God of Deuteronomy)

So, with my “God of” challenge where I’m reading through the whole bible start-to-finish, I’m currently reading Deuteronomy. And a verse in chapter 20 has me thinking, about being careful what you sacrifice — or not cutting down fruit trees.

I’m a bit behind on my posts about each book, only up to Exodus. I’m not being lazy, I’m just cycling each month between my three “bags”, so the topic only comes up once every three months.

But let’s get back to the point.

God’s Warning To The Israelites

Israel is on the cusp of entering its promised land. They see it on the horizon, waiting, shining. Throughout their long journey, God has given them many rules and requirements to live by. Now as their new life is about to dawn, He reminds them of these and adds a few things:

“When you besiege a city for a long time, while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man’s food.” — Deuteronomy 20:19

tree

Photo by Jacqui Barker

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January 10, 2017
by K. J. Bagnall
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Recap and Release: Striding Into A New Year

Many say the turn of the new year is just an arbitrary date that doesn’t actually mean anything. This is true. However, it is healthy to regularly restock and release, in order to move forward. January is a convenient time to do so, as its association with “New Year Resolutions” helps us remember to take the time to reflect.

Another point to note is that this month marks my blog’s 1 year anniversary! Posting once a month doesn’t sound like much, but life can get busy and I was nervous about committing myself. And, man, did last year hit me hard. And yet I haven’t missed a post! Except for April. But we don’t talk about April 2016. It doesn’t count as a real month.

A Look Inside The Green Bag: Mental Health

In my little blog logo, the green bag holding a bunny represents mental health and family. A year ago, this blog started with my mum heading into hospital for TMS treatment. I worried I would struggle, as mum and I are very close, but it ended up a pretty smooth experience. This was a turning point, and a relief. I no longer had to dread her trips as much.

Image via pexels

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December 5, 2016
by K. J. Bagnall
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The God of Exodus: He is Forgiving

The God of Exodus is a forgiving God. This may startle many; I mean, I’m only up to the second book and the key take-away from it is God’s forgiveness? Doesn’t that become important later, when Jesus shows up?

Forgiveness is central to God’s grace through Jesus, but it has been a foundation of His personality from the beginning.

You’re probably familiar with the first half of Exodus, when God used Moses to rescue Israel from Egyptian slavery. You’ve likely heard the story of Moses bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, and then the whole deal with the golden calf. So where does forgiving fit into all this?

God Redeems A Faithless Israel

When Moses first talked to Pharaoh, things became worse for Israel. Understandably, they were upset and rejected Moses, whom God sent.

So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. — Exodus 6:9

So God waited around for them to show a little faith, right? Nope. For some reason Christians often believe that we must have faith in God for Him to rescue us. And while He appreciates it, and it makes the process easier for us, isn’t not a necessity.

feet-in-chains

Photo by George Hodan

Not only did God save a faithless Israel, He did it spectacularly. That sounds like a forgiving God to me.
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November 1, 2016
by K. J. Bagnall
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Three Common and Unexpected Grammar Mistakes To Look Out For

Anyone who’s seriously looked into English grammar, even just a little bit, knows it’s a bizarre creature. And the more you study it, the less confident you feel about using it correctly. Or maybe there’s a magical point where it all makes sense, which I just haven’t reached yet.

Today I’m going to share three grammar rules and scenarios that surprised me when I first learnt them, and always keep me on my toes. Well, there are certainly a lot more than three that do this, but we’ll keep it nice and simple for this post!

writing-13931299342873avd

Photo by Elisa Xyz

Warning: grammar terms are used in this article. I explain some of the less-familiar ones, but be sure to follow links or do your own research for more definitions.

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October 1, 2016
by K. J. Bagnall
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The Colours Of Trust: Can I Trust You?

I’ve been thinking about trust lately. 2016 has been a hectic year where several things and people I trusted to remain consistent changed. And like many, change does not come easily to me.

Trust doesn’t come easily to me. And yet, I do it like breathing. But I’m talking about two different types of trust here. Wait, there’s more than one? Well, maybe I just have an overcomplicated way of viewing the world. I wouldn’t be surprised. But, you be the judge.

What is it anyway?

Is trust some mushy, lovely heart-warming concept? Sure, we use the word to have that meaning. And this is the meaning I struggle to enact in my life. Actually let me guard down and trust someone else? Whoa, tried that before.

Okay, actually that’s usually gone alright. But I’ve let my guard down by accident a few times and had people come in and made a big mess. And since I wasn’t bracing myself for the rejection, it cut deep. And now when I want to choose to let my guard down, it rubs against the scars.

black-and-white-bokeh-background-1444394612ovh

But trust also means faith in the reality we understand and choose to believe. With me still? Though a bit complicated at first glance, this is the one I find easy.

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September 3, 2016
by K. J. Bagnall
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The God of Genesis: He is Committed

Genesis is a long book, full of stories, people, trials and triumphs. I’ll be skipping over a lot, so I encourage you to read through it yourself.

The purpose of “The God of” Challenge is to find more facets of His being and personality. Reading through Genesis, I noticed this about God: He is committed.

By committed, I mean He’s in it for the long run — whatever it takes to save humankind. And how do I know this? Read on!

Original Sin

One rule. Just one little rule. Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The first humans, Adam and Eve, were going great until the snake suggested the fruit would make them like God. Their desire to be god was a great betrayal, implying that the true God wasn’t doing a good enough job.

Photo by torange.biz

Photo by torange.biz

Despite being wronged so, as God casts them out He gives a promise. While on that day the snake succeeded, a human would take the ultimate victory. From the very start, God had his eyes facing forward, into the future.

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August 5, 2016
by K. J. Bagnall
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How Author Mark Lawrence Helps Me Love What I Hate

There are three things I hate in stories: zombies, excessive swearing and post-apocalyptic dystopia setting. Mark Lawrence, author of The Broken Empire trilogy and The Red Queen’s War trilogy, has all three. And I can’t get enough of his work.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I missed the release of Mark Lawrence’s latest book The Wheel of Osheim, finale of The Red Queen’s War. It’s been a busy few months. Actually, busy year. And so despite being ready to jump up and buy it as soon as I could, I missed the release date.

Mark Lawrence and his latest novel, The Wheel of Osheim

Mark Lawrence and his latest novel (image colour edited)

In my defence, as soon as I realised it was out, I was at the bookshop counter, happily handing over the $28 for his latest work.
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July 9, 2016
by K. J. Bagnall
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Self-Esteem: One Less Worry

Something about my self-esteem defies expectations. I have great self-esteem. Always have. Despite being raised by a mother modelling poor self-esteem, despite being bullied in primary school, having anxiety, witnessing a mum have an unexpected break-down, despite my minor abandonment issues, despite growing up as a teenager and young adult in this narcissistic 21st century western world. Despite this whole life of mine, my self-esteem has been solid.

I feel it’s taboo for high self-esteem people to self-profess. It’s seen as arrogant, self-absorbed. Which isn’t true. High self-esteem doesn’t equal believing that you’re perfect and amazing at everything. It means you feel comfortable that you can do some things, and can’t do other things. It means failing a task doesn’t define you; not living up to a certain standard does not make you a bad, lazy or untalented person.

The Hidden Struggle

I’m sure having high self-esteem saves me buckets of energy fretting and worrying, although I overthink pretty much everything else. But in this world, high self-esteem has an unexpected struggle. It can be really lonely. Most of the time it feels like I’m living as the odd-one-out in a world of people struggling with low self-esteem. And while feeling rejected and isolated doesn’t make me think I’m a bad person, it still hurts.

Isolated
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