Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books of 2017

I’m sporadic with my participation in Top Ten Tuesday, and usually only remember it exists on the day I’m meant to be posting when I do. But here we are! This is a topic I can do!

As with most people, there were probably a few other books that could’ve made the list, but this is what I’m going with. I’m also about to do SapphicAThon and will probably find more favourites doing that, but that’s a problem for future me. This is in alphabetical order by book title.

Top Ten Tuesday

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant

32146161My review.

I’d been meaning to read Austin Chant’s work for ages, so I started with this one since it was short. It’s a cis M/trans M age gap office romance set in a campaign office, and it addresses the power imbalance.

I was especially impressed with the characterisation of both Kieran, the trans MC, and Seth, his older love interest.

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

26626118My review.

I think we all knew this was gonna be on this list. I loved it so much that I’m getting a hardcover for Christmas. I would’ve bought it sooner, but there were so many other books to read so I couldn’t really afford it.

This novel is a f/f romance between the MC, Grace, a bisexual pianist, and Eva, a lesbian biracial ballet dancer. Both have difficult situations with their mothers–Eva’s has just died and Grace’s is not a good parent.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

27969081My review.

This is a great fantasy novel about a young Latina (unlabelled) bisexual bruja, Alex, desperately rejecting her magic and accidentally causing some serious consequences as a result. There is something of a love triangle with Alex, and a boy and a girl.

I remember loving the magic system and the secondary world Alex travels to in the process of fixing her mistake.

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

7144ovnwdplMy review.

This is a transition memoir by a black/Native Hawaiian trans woman detailing through childhood, her transition and finding love. She contends with a whole lot of bullshit in her life, including sexual abuse, racism and violent transmisogyny. I have a more detailed list of warnings in my review.

She’s very open about what she went through in her early life. It’s a difficult read a times, but it ends well. Obviously it had to given it’s a memoir and Janet’s become rather successful as a writer and activist.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

22295304My review.

This is about an Afro-Carribbean girl suddenly thrust into a spirit-based magic system that her family has kept hidden from her all her life. She and those she loves are threatened by someone misusing the magic for their own shitty ends.

Tied in with the story of the magic are issues of cultural appropriation and gentrification, especially in academia.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

29975820My review.

I know, I know. I was late to the party. I’m already laughing at myself in the review about it.

This is a fantasy heist novel set in the Grishaverse and populated by lovable assholes. It’s actually pretty refreshing to read a novel where at least one of the protagonists is openly in it for the money, rather than any sort of idealism. Kaz Brekker does have some ideals, of course, but they’re buried pretty damn deep. I also really enjoy the character relationships and it’s always nice when a M/F ship doesn’t piss me the hell off.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

32613366My review.

Obviously. Does this even need an introduction? No, but I’ll do one anyway.

This NYT bestselling novel is about an African-American girl, Starr, who watches one of her friends get murdered by a white police officer, and what comes afterwards. A huge feature of the novel is the divide between the reaction to the murder within the local community, and within the white-dominated school that Starr attends. In one, her friend Khalil was one of their kids but in the other, he’s every kind of villain imaginable.

This novel addresses so many of the issues that plague us today, both in the crimes committed against Black Americans (and in other countries) and the framing of the narratives surrounding those crimes.

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis

31193155My review.

This is one of the few NA novels that I’ve read this year. I imagine I’ll be reading more in the future.

This is a F/F novel with a romance between a pansexual guitarist who doesn’t know what to do with her life and a Filipino lesbian dancer. Both of them work at the local bookstore. And apparently I really like musician/dancer romances.

This book is relatable in a lot of ways, especially since I dropped out of university a couple of years ago and felt rather adrift regarding what to do with my life as well.

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

unicorn-tracksMy review.

This is a fairly short, simple novel set in a fantasy country based on East African culture. There is a F/F romance between the protagonist from this country and a white fat woman from a European-based country. The protagonist is a rape survivor working with her cousin at his safari guide business.

There are obviously unicorns, and also some conservationist undertones. The worldbuilding is pretty bare but I didn’t really mind that.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

33158561My review.

The Nomeovildes women of La Pradera have a great magical gift: the ability to create flowers. But, at the same time, it’s an ability they cannot stifle without causing serious pain. They are allowed to live on La Pradera, but the land exacts a price: it takes their lovers away.

Estrella and her cousins are all unlabelled bisexuals, and are Latina.

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Down the TBR Hole #11

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

WordPress published this earlier than I planned. That’ll show me for thinking the quick-publish option in the drafts folder gave me the same scheduling options as publishing from the edit section.

Oh, well.

Down the TBR Hole

#1: Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

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EARLY. GAY. SHIT.

INSPIRED. DRACULA.

PROBABLY BETTER THAN DRACULA.

YES.

Verdict: Stay

#2: The Rules of Ever After by Killian B. Brewer

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Cute M/M riff on fairytales. Queer princes. Excellent.

Verdict: Stay

#3: The Voices In Between by Charlene Challenger

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Apparently this is queer, but reviewers have been annoyingly light on the actual details of that. I guess I’ll keep it on my list, if only to write a bitterly detailed review about what the queer rep ACTUALLY FUCKING IS.

This book also has a sequel which is listed on Goodreads but is not linked to this book for some reason. Someone get this author a friend who knows how to internet.

Verdict: Stay (for now)

#4: Moon at Nine by Debora Ellis

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I’m not sure how I feel about a white woman writing about queer Iranian girls, especially given her author bio says “Deborah Ellis has achieved international acclaim with her courageous and dramatic books that give Western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries.” That seems a bit white-saviourish to me.

Also, I found out what happens to the girls at the end and I don’t wanna read that even if it is apparently based on a true story.

This really just does not feel like a book a white author should tackle.

Verdict: Go

#5: Climbing the Date Palm by Shira Glassman

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Another Mangoverse book. I think my decision is obvious.

Remember, if you’re buying these books, make sure you get the ones with this kind of cover art because they’re the ones the author re-released to ensure she’s getting paid properly.

Verdict: Stay

 

 

 

End of the Year Book Tag

This is a bit of a misnomer since it’s more like a “late in the year” book tag that most people completed in like September, but anyway…

This tag was apparently started by Ariel Bissett on YouTube and asks five questions:

  1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
  2. Do you have an Autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?
  3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
  4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
  5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

So let’s do this.

#1: Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

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I’m in the middle of Under the Udala Trees  by Chinelo Okparanta at the moment, which is set in the late ’60s and early ’70s and follows a lesbian Igbo-Nigerian girl during and after a failed war of independence called the Biafran war. It’s a little bit slow in places, but the writing is very good. I’m hoping to finish reading it in the next few days, which will make it my 40th book for the year and the one that makes me win my Goodreads challenge.

#2: Do you have an Autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?

No for a couple of reasons: it’s already the final season here, and I’m in the southern hemisphere so it wouldn’t make sense even if it wasn’t.

I’m also not much of a seasonal reader, probably because of that last thing.

#3: Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

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I won’t get to The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan before the end of the year, but I know I’m getting it for Christmas. There are a couple of things that intrigued me about this book: I follow the author on Twitter, the MC is a Romani girl, and the story is about seeking revenge after a violent rape.

#4: What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

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I have quite a few books I want to read before the end of the year as part of SapphicAThon, but I’ll just pick out three: Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver, We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, and Night Swimming by Steph Bowe.

#5: Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

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There are a few that could fit this bill, so I’m gonna single out two. Fight me.

I also need to read Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde and Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst this month, and they both sound like they could be favourites.

But it’ll be hard to dethrone How to Make a Wish and Six of Crows so good luck to them.


And there we go. A super late “end” of the year book tag. Shit, I have a lot of books to read this month.

 

Down the TBR Hole #10

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’ve been extremely busy in November, and the first couple days of December, but I’m back now.

Down the TBR Hole

#1: Libyrinth by Pearl North

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I have this on my TBR because of queer rep but it sounds like not much is done with that and apparently there’s a really forced M/F romance so… eh. I’d rather read something else.

Verdict: Go

#2: The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan

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The MC is a lesbian (ownvoices, I believe?), which was initially what drew me into it. But I’m not really into the first-person diary format combined with the fact I don’t read a lot of horror. But apparently there’s a lot of lesbian sex and swearing, which will definitely appeal to a lot of people I know. The MC does appear to be the sarcastic kind, which would normally appeal to me if it weren’t for the style of the book itself.

Verdict: Go

#3: The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

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Despite the lesbian rep, I don’t feel like reading an alternate history where the Nazis win and take over England, so I’m gonna pass. Apparently it’s super white anyway, so…

Verdict: Go

#4: The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

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Um. Yikes. Really yikes. TW: rape, child sexual abuse, violent transmisogyny

Verdict: Go

#5: Every Dark Desire by Fiona Zedde

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Lesbian vampire erotica set in Jamaica? Written by a Jamaican-born woman? I’m cool with that, even if it’ll probably take a me a while to read because of the sexual content. At least you know up-front that it’s packed with sex rather than finding out the hard way with reviews or reading it yourself.

Verdict: Stay

#NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up for 2017

This is a couple days late, but I’ve been extremely busy with dress rehearsals and then a couple of performances so this is really the first chance I’ve had to actually post on the blog for a while. Here’s my previous update after I hit 50k.

I won NaNoWriMo with 68.9k, about 66k of which is a fully-completed draft of the novel. The other 3k is that bisexual awakening post I wrote on a day I was actually meant to be writing said novel. 66k is easily the shortest novel draft I have ever written and a lot of that is because I got really slack when it came to describing things.

Still, it’s a nice change that I’ll need to add a lot of stuff rather than take it away during my next revision. I’m sure there’s a lot of unnecessary crap to cut as well, but at least I get to hold onto a bit of the writer-mind rather than editor-mind, at least for a little while.

I also figured out a title for #QueerZombieKillingCheerleaders: Death Touch. With that, I’ve also figured out a naming theme for the rest of the series.

NaNo-2017-WinnerCertPic

I also managed to write every day for the month of November, which isn’t normal for me. I’m usually write huge amounts in bursts and then don’t touch the book for ages. But I really wanted the shiny badge for updating my wordcount every day so I made a concerted effort this month. Sometimes it was only 100-200 words but progress is progress.

NaNoWriMo 2017 progress graph screenshot

It’s not always a lot, but the graph moves a tiny bit every day.

This year brings me up to four NaNoWriMo attempts and three wins. I’ve also done nine Camp NaNoWriMos and won five of those. Camp comes around twice a year and you can also set your own goals these days, so the barriers to doing it are lower assuming you have the free time during the months of April and July.

Writing Death Touch was an interesting experience, because it is technically a rewrite of my 2011 novel. I took the first part of that novel and expanded it, adding extra characters and fixing the pace. In many ways, it was as much of a discovery as writing the first-ever draft was. While it was technically a fourth draft, it was almost a completely different novel.

Also, the vast majority of the major characters are queer now, including the MC and her LI. That’s always an improvement. I’m actually surprised at how easy it has been to queer up some of my older stories that I wrote pre-awakening… and how much it really adds to the story.

nano2017stats 1

Pretty good wordcount average for the month.

One character that received a huge amount of expansion was Steph, one of the MC, Gwen’s, peers and cheer teammate. She didn’t have a lot of page time in earlier drafts, but this one she really gets to shine. Steph is probably the most prominent supporting character and I’ve really enjoyed writing her because she’s an incredibly mouthy person. They’re always my favourites.

I’ve also really loved writing the romance between Gwen and her LI, Miranda. I definitely need to go back and add more, though. And playing with the dynamics on the cheer squad has been a lot of fun. Most of the girls have a best friend on the squad who they are closer to than anyone else.

For my excerpt, I’m going to share a bit from a Halloween party that has most of the squad in it. Daniel is Gwen’s ex-boyfriend and the football team captain. Maria is definitely getting a name change in the next draft since her name is a really old holdover from when this book was white as driven snow, but I left it for this draft because I need to do some thinking on what to call her instead.

Jess and Maria had coordinated their costumes, with the former dressing as Poison Ivy and the latter as Catwoman. My two favourite morally-ambiguous queer superpowered women.

“You look more like Catwoman than half her drawn versions,” I said.

“I do, don’t I?” said Maria. “For starters, I’m actually both queer and Cuban, which a lot of people trusted with her seem to forget.”

“She’s totally not bitter about that,” said Jess. She’d gone a little retro in her costuming, taking on the strapless green leotard, tights and boots worn in that 90’s cartoon version she and Maria had made us all watch in practically one sitting last year.

“Bitter is good,” Amelie said from her spot on a footstool she almost took up entirely by herself in her fuzzy blue Monsters Inc Sully costume. I hadn’t seen that movie since I was a kid, and it had been a few years old even then. Masterpieces never die, apparently.

“I had to physically stop Amelie from writing a strongly-worded letter to a YA author who complained about modern queer labels,” Tasha said, adjusting her witch hat. I liked her dark lipstick. “I mean, I was gonna let her do it, but the author had already harassed, like, five different kids about it.”

“Send me their address,” Steph said. “I just wanna talk.”

“I don’t trust you,” Tasha replied.

“Probably for the best,” said Miranda, snuggling up against me. “You make a hot vampire, Gwen. You know that?”

“Yeah, you’ve told me three times in the past hour.” And I’d told her she made a very cute fairy at least that many times.

Miranda kissed my neck and I resisted the temptation to say, as a vampire, that was actually my job. It probably wasn’t as funny as it sounded in my head. The third different version of Monster Mash came on through Daniel’s speakers. This was what happened when he chose his own music. Maybe I’d have to use my friend privileges to stage an intervention. Right after Miranda stopped looking so kissable.

“I thought Gwen and Daniel were the most disgusting couple ever,” said Steph. “I was wrong.”

We both flipped her off without breaking our kiss.

I keep having to share the fun parts of the novel, but everything serious either isn’t entertaining out of context or involves too much plot that I don’t want to spoil. There are a lot of light moments, but it also gets pretty damn dark as well… which sums me up as a writer, really. Queer, funny but also murdery.

Anyway, I had a blast writing Death Touch this November. It’s something of a homecoming, since the messy two-books-in-one version was the first NaNovel I ever wrote back in 2011.

I hate revising, but I’m actually kind of excited to get this book to a nice standard once it’s had some time to rest. But that can wait until the new year.

I need a break… preferably with a lot of reading.

My Bisexual Awakening

I think I’ve mentioned how I realised I was bi in passing, but it’s worth doing a full post on the realisation itself and the issues surrounding my journey to self-acceptance. There was… a lot going on. Buckle up. This is gonna be a long one.

TW: Anti-queer sentiments… a lot of them.

My Bisexual Awakening

It was 2013. Italy… Florence, if I recall. Bundled up in coats and boots and beanies as an Aussie girl who could count on one hand the number of times she had seen snow before this trip. Surrounded by other Aussie girls who could say the same, all of us studying the language for six weeks before beginning our next year at university back home.

Accompanied by a new friend we made at a language exchange gathering. An Aussie resident from Malaysia who happened to be studying in Italy at the time. He was cute, studying to be a classical singer just like I had yearned to for years. I’d nearly jumped out of my skin when I found out. He’s in America now, training in musical theatre and classical voice like I have been doing in Australia. I’ll refer to him as “V.”

I was nineteen years old, on the cusp on twenty. And my classmates, plus V, were talking about sexuality as we descended a set of outdoor stairs while sniffing out a bite to eat. One of the girls I was closest to, who I’ll call “M,” told us that she liked girls. She’d spoken about her boyfriend regularly before this. They were close. Happy.

Her parents were conservative. She didn’t plan to tell them unless she met a girl she wanted to marry. But she was definitely bisexual.

I don’t know what it was about M’s confession that spoke to me, but it did. In that moment, in the chilly Tuscan winter’s night, I knew that I was the same.

I was bisexual.

Continue reading

Down the TBR Hole #9

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

(Almost) everything is queer today.

Down the TBR Hole

#1: Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall

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I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a hard-boiled mystery novel, let alone one crossed with the paranormal. The blurb hits a number of well-known hard-boiled mystery tropes: the femme fatale, the dead detective partner, hard liquor.

And it’s queer.

And also this line from the blurb is fucking great: “Now half the monsters in London are at each other’s throats, and the other half are trying to get in my pants.”

Verdict: Stay

#2: Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

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Eh, I’m not really feeling this one. From what I can tell from the very rare reviews actually discussing my concerns, everyone in the book is cisgender and there’s apparently some serious cissexism going on. Exactly what I expected to find. So I’m just gonna give it a miss.

Verdict: Go

#3: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

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This probably ended up on my TBR because my younger self liked Bacigalupi’s other book Ship Breaker. I’m not really in the mood for his work anymore, though.

Verdict: Go

#4: A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman

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I’ve had this one on my TBR since before Shira republished all her books with new covers because of some pay issues with her publisher, if I remember correctly. I’ve been meaning to read her books forever and am reading an earlier one in this Mangoverse series for SapphicAThon. Easy choice.

Verdict: Stay

#5: Seven: A Lesbian Snow White by Jennifer Diemer

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It’s short, gay and only a couple of dollars on Amazon. Sign me up.

Verdict: Stay

A (Tentative) #SapphicAThon TBR

The SapphicAThon is a reading challenge that runs for two weeks between the 14th and 28th of December. This is their Twitter account. My friend Tasha, one of the organisers, has shared the optional bingo challenge board and some recs here, and her own TBR here. Jamieson, another organiser, has her TBR here. And here’s a rec list from another organiser, Elise, though she doesn’t break hers down into the categories.

This is the board:

sapphicathon board

My #SapphicAThon TBR

Bisexual MC: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (library)

SF/F: The Witch Sea by S.E./Sarah Diemer (at this time of posting, this is free on Amazon!)

Under 500 Ratings on Goodreads: The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Jewish MC: Knit One Girl Two by Shira Glassman

QWOC MC: Adaptation by Malinda Lo (library)

Ace Spec MC: Thaw by Elyse Springer

Established Relationship: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Friends to Lovers: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Trans MC: Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

Non Coming Out Story:  Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Hate to Love: Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

Both WOC: Huntress by Malinda Lo (searching frantically to replace the copy my local library has decided I don’t deserve to have because of policy bullshit)

Disabled MC: The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

F/F Retelling: Lambs Can Always Become Lions by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

Interracial F/F Relationship: Night Swimming by Steph Bowe

MC Realises They’re Queer: Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden (ebook, because my local library SUCKS)


Knowing my reading pace isn’t always super fast, depending on my mood, I might not be able to do a full blackout of the bingo board. So maybe I’ll aim for more traditional bingo lines first and then attempt the blackout afterwards so I feel like I’ve accomplished something at least. But at least I’ve got stuff planned for every book. If I don’t get to everything, at least I have a whole lot of F/F books to read into the new year.

#NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Update

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately, mainly because 1) I haven’t been reading much and 2) NaNoWriMo has taken over my brain. Those two points may or may not be related.

(They are related.)

Anyway, stuff is gonna get more hectic for me very soon, so I aimed to get to 50k early, and succeeded yesterday, which is the 14th for all those people who find time zones do their heads in. At this time of writing I’m currently at 50.5k. I’ll probably write a bit more today, but I’m tired and hayfeverish so I don’t know how productive I’m gonna be.

I’ve been up and down for the month so far. More good days than bad, obviously, and I’ve managed to write at least a little bit every day. I’m hoping to keep doing that for the rest of the month, but at a slower pace. I’ve been sharing my daily wordcounts in this twitter thread:

I’ve also been using that hashtag to talk about the novel here and there.

Recently, I decided to be a little more reserved about sharing chunks of text publicly since I don’t want to be too spoilery in the event I do actually get published. I mean… why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free, right? At this point, I don’t know what is going to change and what will stay the same about this book, so it just felt like a better idea to pull back on the sharing for the moment. I was sharing a lot in the past.

I’ve been pretty sparing this month, though, so I think sharing a short snippet wouldn’t hurt. Picking an excerpt was difficult, so I’m going with this one because it’s early enough in the story that it’s not super spoilery. There are a lot of characters, some of whom have similar names until I can be bothered changing them (i.e. Miranda and Maria, Amelie and Amber). Gwen is the protagonist.

“Well, he’s totally over you,” said Miranda.

“Who’d’ve thought having breakup sex with him was such a bad idea?” Amelie quipped.

Who told you?” I said.

“You’re like twelve,” Miranda added.

Tasha waved, grinning sheepishly. “Me, sorry. I thought everyone knew.”

“I’m fifteen,” Amelie complained.

“Yeah, yeah.”

Amber rejoined us, sitting on the floor at my feet. “Jack asked me out.”

Steph lifted her head off the couch. I could almost see steam coming out of her ears.

“Chill, Mama Bear,” Jess said, patting her hand.

“Congrats,” I told Amber.

“And if he hurts you…” Steph started, before Maria lunged over and covered her mouth.

“We’ll destroy him,” Miranda finished for her.

“Thanks? I guess?”

“They mean it,” Tasha said.

“Yeah, you should’ve seen what they did to Daniel when I told them he cheated,” I added.

Amelie leaned forward, chin in her hands. “Tell us.”

Miranda shrugged. “No big deal. Someone may or may not have slashed his tires. No idea who might’ve done such a thing… not that I’m complaining if they hypothetically did.”

I’m hoping to finish the full draft this month, depending how busy things get and how much energy I have. Hayfever is kicking my ass at the moment, but I’m gonna try.

Down the TBR Hole #8

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

Literally every single book for this has completely fallen off my radar. As in, I forgot they even existed. Oops?

Down the TBR Hole

#1: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

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Apparently the protagonist is a lesbian. But the writing sample in the blurb looks pretty crappy to me and the blurb itself wasn’t especially gripping. But hey, someone else will like it, I’m sure.

Verdict: Go

#2: Lady Knight by L-J Baker

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I’m really torn about this one. I’ve been wanting to write more of the sword and sorcery type of high fantasy, which this seems to fit… at least vaguely. I don’t like the cover, but the book is like a decade old. Being that it’s a decade old, though, I’m not sure I’d like the writing style. Then again, I don’t know that for certain.

I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading it, but I’m not seeing anything that makes it an easy decision to remove given I probably need to read more stuff like this to get a handle on worldbuilding and such.

Verdict: Stay (for now)

#3: The Second Sister by Rae D. Magdon

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I’m not digging the ableism in the description, given that the justification for the MC’s stepmother becoming abusive seems to be “madness.” Sounds both lazy and ableist, even if the actual plot explanation is more reasonable than it seems. I’m not in the mood to give it a chance. Bye.

Verdict: Go

#4: Wild by Meghan O’Brien

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Apparently there’s insta-love (even if it’s handwaved by it being a magic connection or something). Also, from the reviews I’ve read, it might be a bit more on the erotic side than I usually go for, not when I’d have to pay twelve fucking dollars for an ebook I’m not even sure I’ll like all that much.

(I also may be slightly bitter that I have a protagonist in one of my WIPs with the same name as this one’s MC and apparently a similar personality. And they’re both werewolves, even if the mechanics are a bit different.)

Verdict: Go

#5: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

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I was interested, but the ebook is thirteen dollars and some of the reviews I’m reading highlight some things that will probably bother me. There are apparently a lot of homomisic slurs used, but somehow identity labels apparently don’t exist. Spare me.

Verdict: Go