Executive Dysfunction and Expenses

If you knew me through work you would never guess that the organised, focused social worker who can remember details about every child she has ever worked with and keep on top of even the most complex of cases struggles with executive dysfunction. Unless that is, you are my manager who is always chasing my out of date expenses or the woman from finance who is always emailing me about missing expense receipts.

The truth is, that while I do not struggle with social work or most aspects of my writing career, I do struggle with everything else. My expenses are always out of date. I have yet to take a gas metre reading on a property that I moved into eight months ago. I forget to buy essentials and often forget to eat. I have over 100 messages waiting to be read on my phone (don’t mention the emails) and I keep forgetting to book a dentist appointment for a filling that was recommended almost two years ago.

One of the things that frustrates me is that if I could afford certain things, my executive dysfunction would be less of a problem but executive dysfunction is expensive so I can’t afford the things that would help. Despite having a job that should provide me with a comfortable income I am always broke. Of course, it doesn’t help that being physically disabled is also expensive.

Some examples of expenses that arise from my disabilities:

-Lunch. I often buy things to make a packed lunch but forget to take it with me and then I have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on sandwiches.

-Taxis for when it’s just too painful to walk.

-Essentials bought at higher cost because I forgot to buy them in advance and have to pay extra to buy them at expensive corner shops.

-Pre-prepared food. My condition fluctuates so if I had better executive functioning I would be able to pre-prepare my own food for when I can’t chop or peel. Instead I have to buy pre-chopped or peeled food.

I am determined that this year is going to be better. I bought a book to do my budgeting (nothing motivates me like nice stationary and lists) and I am going to try to save money so that I can buy things that would help me and hire people to support me. I might also get around to the benefits application that I’ve been meaning to do forever.

I’ve started off quite well. My food budget for the month is £100 for a big shop (cupboard food, frozen food etc and pain killers) and then £15 per week for fresh food. I was recently told that I need to lower my cholesterol so I really need to prioritise eating fresh fruits and vegetables and foods that are known to help with cholesterol (yes, I am a millennial who is prioritising avocado in my budget). I split this between two shops. Ocado offered £20 off if I spent £80 and Tesco had a good offer on for quorn products so I spent £60 at Ocado and £40 at Tesco (if it’s under £40 you have to pay an extra charge). I didn’t meal plan so I may end up eating strange combinations of food by the end of the month!

Perhaps the only good money saving thing about executive dysfunction is that I often forget to do the food shopping and then forget to stop at the corner shop and end up eating every single thing in my flat before I remember to go shopping so food rarely wastes.

Four days into the new year… I hope I can keep this up!

Review: Wayworn Lovers by Gun Brooke

Blurb (taken from the publisher)

Renowned composer and lyricist Giselle Bonnaire suffers from anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. She needs a driver and housekeeper or she won’t be able to work. Tierney Edwards, a restless, wandering soul, is on the move again, never staying in one place more than a few months. The two women are each other’s opposites, one nomad and one recluse, but when destiny places them together, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. Giselle knows her heart will break when Tierney moves on again. But Tierney has never felt so at home, which scares her. Can these women, so bruised by life and experience, find a way to break free of the past—or will they have to say good-bye?


As a queer woman with an anxiety disorder and agoraphobia I was really excited to read this book and for the most part it did not disappoint. The romance is a little slower than I usually like but it seemed right in this book. With Giselle’s anxiety disorder it felt like she needed things to move slowly and it worked well in this context.

One of the things I loved about this book is that although Giselle has an anxiety disorder and is unable to leave her property at the beginning of this book, she is still portrayed as having a full life. She has friends, a career, pets. Her life isn’t portrayed as a tragedy even though she often can’t leave her home. Giselle is very privileged so of course it’s not realistic for most people with agoraphobia but this is a romance novel and agoraphobic people who can’t leave their homes should be able to read an idealised version of their lives with agoraphobia (ideally I would not be agoraphobic at all but that isn’t an option for me so reading about someone who is able to live happily with agoraphobia is important).

I love reading novels with characters who are care experienced and there are two characters in this book. Tierney is a care leaver and Stephanie, a teenager who Tierney has been in contact with through an online group for care experienced people, is still in foster care. I thought the characters were very well written.

Overall I thought Giselle’s anxiety disorder and agoraphobia were written well and I could really relate to her and her reactions.

Rating: 4/5

Content warning (spoiler)

Continue reading Review: Wayworn Lovers by Gun Brooke

Book Review: Unlawful Entry by Ember Cole

Content Note: This is a review of an erotic romance story.


I started reading this book on my commute to work. Big mistake. This book is far too hot to read in a public place. The story is about a woman (Ryssa) who lets her friend set her up with an anonymous man for sex. She’ll be blindfolded and he won’t be allowed to talk so she won’t ever know who the mystery man was. Her best friend sets her up with Zach, the police officer who she’s had a crush on for the past year. Zach likes Ryssa but doesn’t think he’s good enough to date her but he also can’t stand the thought of some other man being her one night stand.

This was such an enjoyable read. It’s really unapologetically erotic and dirty. It starts with a list of all the things Ryssa wants her one night stand to do to her and the rest of the book is basically Zach and Ryssa doing those things!

Although the majority of the book is sex, it is erotic romance (not just erotica) and I really enjoyed the romance side of things too. I like my romances angsty and there was a good dose of angst in this one.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick read with hot sex and a little bit of angst before the HEA.

Rating: 5/5


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Army Ranger’s Surprise by Donna Michaels

I requested this book even though I hadn’t read the rest of the series because it said that it could be read as a standalone and although it was easy enough to follow without having read the previous books, I think this is probably a book that works much better if you have read the rest of the series. There were so many secondary characters and I found it impossible to keep track of who was who. They seem to all be characters who have been in the previous books so I imagine that if I had read the others, it would have been good to see them again but as I was reading this as a standalone book I just didn’t care about them. Initially this made it difficult for me to get into this book. However, it was worth it because this was an enjoyable romance novel (I only wish I had read the rest of the series first).


There were some genuinely sweet and sexy moments in this book and some points that really made me laugh. Once I stopped trying to remember which character was which and who was married/engaged/involved with who there was an enjoyable story here. It isn’t quite the story that’s advertised, Kaydee doesn’t find out she’s pregnant until near the end of the book and from the description I expected the novel to be focused on their response to her pregnancy but the book was still enjoyable. I also really liked that Kaydee and Leo’s grandparents also have a relationship, it’s nice to see older characters being given happily ever afters.

Overall an enjoyable book but I would read the rest of the series first.

Rating: 4/5



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Autistic Book Project

For autism acceptance month I wanted to do something positive so I came up with the idea of sending books written by autistic authors to organisations that work with autistic people. I will be sending books using money I raised on patreon and my own money but I am also sharing this so that other people can also send books. I think representation is important and it’s important that autistic people see ourselves in books and I also wanted to support autistic authors by buying more copies of their books.

How it works

It’s really simple. Pick an organisation from the list below and send them a book written by an autistic author.

Some organisations have very specific guidelines. For example, some do not accept second hand books or hard back books. These guidelines have been included in individual posts.

I’ve linked to two prison book projects in the US. Both websites have links to other projects providing books to people in prison. Many accept second hand books so you might want to find one that is close to you to make it easier to donate books.

If you do send books I would love to hear about it. You can tweet me @brookewinters33


Which books to donate

Each organisation has information about what kind of books they are looking for. I’ve tried to include some suggestions on each post but I do not know every single book by autistic authors so there are probably many more that could be sent.

I have an ever expanding list of autistic writers that might give you some ideas:


Financial donations

I appreciate all of the offers of financial support for this project but I will not be accepting money from anyone. If you want to contribute but can’t afford to buy a book, some of the organisations do accept second hand books and you would just have to pay postage.

For authors and publishers

Some of the organisations that I’m in contact with regarding this project want to take part but do not want information published publicly for confidentiality reasons. If you are an author or publisher who would like to donate to children and young people in foster care and schools, please email me at brookewinters3@gmail.com

For organisations that want to take part

If you would like to be added to the list of organisations to donate to please email me brookewinters3@gmail.com

You do not have to be an organisation that works specifically with autistic people. Autistic people use all kinds of services.

List of organisations to donate to:

Pelham Public Library

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Books for Prisoners

Women’s Prison Book Project

Welsh Secondary School (This is an Amazon wish list)

Donate Books to Women in Prison

The Women’s Prison Book Project provides books to women and trans people in prisons. You can find out more information about them here: https://wpbp.org/contact-us/about/

Please send new and used paper back books to:

Women’s Prison Book Project
c/o Boneshaker Books
2002 23rd Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Some suggestions of books you might want to send:

Odd Girl Out by Laura James http://extracts.panmacmillan.com/extract?isbn=9781509843077

All the weight of our dreams, on living racialised autism. https://autismandrace.com

This Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (this is a pre-order so it will be sent when it’s published) https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Quotient-Helen-Hoang/dp/0451490800/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522874016&sr=1-1&keywords=helen+hoang

Transcendent 2, the years best transgender speculative fiction. https://www.amazon.com/Transcendent-Years-Transgender-Speculative-Fiction/dp/1590216628/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522873849&sr=8-1&keywords=Transcendent+2





Donate Books to Prisoners

Prison Book Programme (Prisonbookprogram.org) is an organisation that sends free books to prisoners.

You can find more information about them here:


Books can be sent to:

1306 Hancock Street, Suite 100
Quincy, MA 02169

Please only send paperback books that are either new or gently used. They cannot accept self-published books.

Please check out the guidelines before sending books (not all books can be used)


Some suggested books:

All The Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialised Autism. https://autismandrace.com

Transcendent 2, the years best transgender speculative fiction. https://www.amazon.com/Transcendent-Years-Transgender-Speculative-Fiction/dp/1590216628/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522873849&sr=8-1&keywords=Transcendent+2




Donate Books to Great Ormond Street Hospital

Great Ormond Street Hospital is a children’s hospital in London. They accept gifts for the children who are in their care and find that often teenagers get forgotten when people send gifts. As well as books you could consider sending a stimming gift (like fidget spinners).

There are some guidelines for sending gifts:

-Do not send second hand books. All books must be new.

-Do not gift wrap items. Staff need to be able to match them to the children and teenagers.

Please send to:

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
40 Bernard Street

Some suggestions of books you might want to send:

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde http://www.jenmariewilde.com/books/

Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities by Mike Jung http://www.captainstupendous.wordpress.com

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis http://www.corinneduyvis.net

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp http://www.mariekenijkamp.com

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas http://www.rachaellucas.com

Suzie Spins by Emma Dalmayne http://www.stasspublications.co.uk/publications/parents/susie-spins

The Someday Birds by Sally J Pla https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062445766/the-someday-birdS

I love being my own autistic self by Landon Bryce https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Being-Own-Autistic-Self/dp/0615731821




Donate Books to Pelham Public Library

Pelham Public Library is a library in New Hampshire USA and they are looking specifically for Young Adult books by autistic authors.

Books can be sent to:

Kathryn Kania

Pelham Public Library

24 Village Green


NH 03076

The libraries website is: pelhampubliclibrary.org


Some suggestions of books you might want to send:

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde http://www.jenmariewilde.com/books/

Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities by Mike Jung http://www.captainstupendous.wordpress.com

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis http://www.corinneduyvis.net

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp http://www.mariekenijkamp.com

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas http://www.rachaellucas.com


Autistic Books for Autistic People

This Autism Acceptance Month I want to do something positive. I want to get books by autistic authors to autistic people who are otherwise unlikely to be able to access them. Autistic people are over represented in hospitals (including psychiatric wards), prisons, substance misuse services, children’s homes and foster placements, and homeless shelters. Autistic people are also more likely to be living in poverty and unable to afford books.

I think that it’s important for autistic people to see ourselves represented in all kinds of fiction and for us to have access to non-fiction books written by autistic people. I also think it’s important to support autistic writers.

My idea is for the autistic communities, allies, publishers, book shops and anyone else who wants to support this project, to come together to get books to autistic people.

There are two parts to this. We need to get books and we need to find places to send them to where autistic people can access them.

Getting Books

If you are an individual who can afford to buy a book for an autistic person, I will be providing links to wish lists where you can buy a book that will be sent directly to people/organisations. I will make it clear who the wish list is for so if you specifically want to provide books to autistic people in prison or autistic children in hospital etc you can do so.

If you are a bookshop who would like to donate books by autistic people, I will promote your bookshops on Twitter. Please email me (see below).

If you are a writer or publisher who would like to donate copies of your own book please email me (see below). I will promote your book on Twitter.

If you are a business who would like to support this, again I will promote you on Twitter.

I will not be taking any cash donations and books will be going directly to the intended recipients.

Getting Books To Autistic People

I have contacted some organisations already about distributing the books but my contacts are limited and I want to get these books to as many people as possible.

I would really like to hear from people either working for or with connections to:

-Homeless shelters


-Hospitals/psychiatric wards

-Substance misuse services

-Children’s Homes

-Local Authority Virtual Schools


-Day Centres or homes for disabled adults


If you know of or are part of any other organisation that you think should be considered for this project, please let me know. I’m sure there are lots of places that would benefit that I haven’t thought of.


There will be guidelines for sending books. Different institutions have their own rules about what you can send to them and not following these rules will result in books not getting to the intended recipients.

No one will be given personal details of any vulnerable people. Books are being sent to institutions and organisations and not individuals to protect people. Many places (like refuges) will have their own safeguards to protect the people who use their services.

I will not be accepting any donations of money or anything other than books. Please do not ask people to donate money to you to buy books for this and please do not donate to anyone asking for donations for this (obviously you can get together with your friends and put money together if you can’t afford to buy a book).

Thank you to my patreon supporters

I had a patreon that I was using to raise money for something that unfortunately never manifested. I will be using the money that I raised through patreon to buy books for this project so I just want to thank all of the people who supported me on patreon and let them know that this is what their money is going on.


You can email me brookewinters3@gmail.com

Tweet me @BrookeWinters33

Or comment on this post.