August saw me flying from New York City back to Texas and spending a bunch of time recovering from psychic damage I’m not going to get into. I also did a bunch of painting, had a weird episode with my Instagram, and just. What a ride of a month it was!
I am nearing the end of my revision journey, and then I’m going to be doing more focused reading lists that I may or may not share as part of the recovery phase after finishing an intense project.
July was…heavy, to say the least. There was some writing professional news that netted out less than positively, a meteor of a personal emergency that is still unfolding, and I think I finally figured a writing time management system that works for me (and a realization that I definitely write to run away, and there is a lot I want to run from).
I also went to NYC to see my family and catch up with some friends. Equally restful and stressful. I’ve stayed safe from disease the best I can, and wish the same for you and yours.
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction Year Release: 2022 Source: Physical Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Trigger warning: realities of birth, rape, sexual assault, religious trauma, graphic religious flagellation, child sexual abuse, incest (between adults), child physical abuse, death of babies, maggots, starvation, pica, vomiting, murder, cannibalism, murder, self-harm, violence against animals, ableism
The invented village of Lapvona sits at the feet of its manor, both literally and figuratively. The lord is a pig with zero self-awareness, but the story of this seemingly cursed town also centers on its inhabitants. Not a single person is a good person, the plot moves from one natural disaster to personal disaster, ping ponging between the two. The prose is crisp and clear, making the happenings uncomfortably unambiguous in their depiction.
I’ve read so many things that I can reliably comp to The VVitch, but this one definitely follows a kind of interpersonal dread that makes you beg the question of the devil’s involvement. In this work, however, the answer is clear as mud. And if you’re into the unlikability of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, it is relentless across a wider cast of characters.
My birthday month has come and past. Have I caught up on my reading goal? No. How is the writing going? It’s going. The highlight of this month was absolutely attending ALA AC 2022 in Washington D.C. with one of my best friends, Elliott, as part of the Zine Pavilion. Many zines were peddled, authors met, and despite the masking, things felt normal. I also accomplished holding a plank for a minute straight! It’s been a good time.
Read an Advanced Bound Manuscript obtained from ALA AC 2022 Content warning: racism, colorism, transphobia, queerphobia, 1920’s sexism, vomiting, PTSD
I will continue to read every and any retelling of The Great Gatsby. With McLemore being one of my auto-buy authors, this seems like a match in heaven. In this spin, Nick and Daisy are Latinx cousins, with Daisy abandoning her background to pass as white among the East Coast elite. Nick and Gatsby are both trans, giving them something else in common aside from a history with Daisy.
While the plot matches its source material approximately beat by beat, the character development and interpersonal relationships in the context of societal expectations makes this retelling shine bright like a chandelier at one of Gatsby’s parties.
My May goals were fairly modest: get new glasses, start the process of renewing my passport, and continue working on the revision. I did all that! And I worked out 3-4 times a week, and I feel like things are steadily trucking along. I think I can finally listen to audiobooks again, and I super missed it.
There was an author interview practically every week. Take a look:
Read an eARC from NetGalley Content warning: Murder, war crimes, sexual assault (not depicted), comfort women, gore, PTSD, terminal illness
A historical fiction journey following one family spanning several generations and centuries. Starting with colonial Japan and a murder, going all the way to post-the-current-year (2035 to be precise) to a V.R. utopia masking future-type horrors unfolding. It’s about cycles of imperialism, violence, and generational trauma, some of which isn’t necessarily dealt with, but very much explored.
Told in a wide range of styles, from interviews to more straightforward narratives to diary entries, I found myself having a hard time believing that this was fiction and not something like a Svetlana Alexievich collection of accounts.
*In an effort to get my reading list under control, I will be finishing up a few ARCs that I should have finished, in some cases, years ago. Yes, I am embarrassed.
Where did April go? This month seems to have blown by really fast, and I can’t even articulate exactly why. I didn’t do any traveling, taxes were an exciting, I turned around a short story in what-feels-like a short amount of time, and got a lot of work done on the revision. I’ve also gotten back to tri-weekly workouts which has been really good for my energy levels. A productive month, even if the productivity wasn’t exactly linear.
I did two blog interviews, which you can find here:
March is another month I largely took off because of Futurescapes and traveling to a work convention. In that time, I played a ton of Elden Ring and mostly did a hard reset of my brain. My writing brain has somewhat defrosted and after setting some boundaries on the work I’ll be doing moving forward, I’m hoping my reading brain will defrost a bit as well.
No author interviews this month but there will be plenty in the next few months.
February is a month where I largely took off from writing my own fiction in preparation for Futurescapes this weekend. Like, I dabbled a bit, mostly played video games. Still did some reading. I finally can go back to listening to audiobooks, which is great for my brain buzz.
Here is a round up of my February reads. I got to interview two fabulous authors to kick off the month: