Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit – mid Review

day4A few weeks ago I promised that I would be going through my reading list based on an Instagram pic I took of my bookshelf all color coded. I promised to start with the first book in black Six of Crows, but for one reason or another I wasn’t feeling that book when I started reading it, so I decided to switch instead, to a random pick, one I had picked up (or rather my boyfriend picked up for me) for my birthday.

This actually is one of my favorite stories I’ve read in a minute (probably since If I Were Your Girl), it’s the story of a lesbian high school student, who’s Christian radio minister father moves her to a small town in Georgia because of his new wife. As with If I Were Your Girl, it seems like for the most part everyone is pretty on board with her, her father is super cool about it, his new wife is super cool about it, and she’s fallen in love with a girl at her new school after promising her father she would lay low in exchange for her own radio show.

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I’m a little more than mid-way through the book at this point (290 of 419) and I absolutely love it, it’s got a great friendship, and an amazing storyline thus far and I can’t wait to finish it.

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I’m giving it 5/5 glasses for just being great, and building the gay tension like the best sort of fan fiction. I’ll update this post once I’ve finished reading it.

A Change of Pace

days3If you know nothing else about me, you likely know that I’m kind of a big fan of change. So much so that I recently (for no other reason than a change) changed my phone from the iPhone 7+ to the One Plus 3T. It’s actually very much my favorite change to date, and I realize that to make such changes is a huge matter of being fortunate enough to do so (because goddess knows technology is rarely if ever cheap). But occasionally these changes are not necessarily ones that require a great deal of money (if any). They can be as simple as changing what genre I’m writing in (which happens frequently), or changing a small thing or other about my podcast graphic (which I’ve done twice now). Occasionally, it’s a change in my brand and how I showcase myself on the internet. For years now, almost yearly in fact, I’ve made some kind of branding update to my blog. It’s become so common, I’m sure that most of my readers probably just think of it as this normal thing that I do, because I get bored with the same thing, and the great thing about being a graphic designer (and partly my downfall) is that I have the technology and the means to make these changes on my own, without any extra financial cost to myself.

I’ve come to realize that I’m actually not alone in this, my friend Adrianne who’s also a designer, has expressed that she’s rebranded herself several times, and that actually makes me feel better about the situation. Even moving my website from WordPress to Wix, and then moving my blog back to WordPress while keeping the general site with Wix, was a major design change. But one that felt necessary all the same.

I want to make it a point not to redesign myself all the time going forward, but I have been working on some changes to the way in which my site currently operates. It isn’t a major design overhaul, but it is a formatting overhaul that I think is ultimately going to suit me more going forward because it’s going to create a more structured framework for which all future page additions will be designed. It won’t go into effect until I’ve got all current pages accounted for and prepped in the new format, so this is more of an informal announcement. Something new is coming. Relatively soon-ish.

Doubt a review-ish

1adfc2_f9669561be1c4e6eb50db02e1197149e-mv2_d_1250_1250_s_2This Spring/Summer has made for interesting television, between Feud, easily one of my new favorites, Riverdale, the return of RuPaul’s Drag Race (and it’s surprise move to VH1), there’s no shortage of television that I’m eager to tune  into week after week. But there’s one show in particular that’s really caught my attention and it came rather unexpectedly. Doubt.

I remember hearing vaguely about Doubt a few months ago, and though I didn’t know much about what it was about, I knew that it was a legal drama and that Laverne Cox was going to be a regular character (which frankly is the reason I watched the first episode). I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the concept of ‘another legal drama’, but for Laverne I was willing to give the show a fair shake. Unexpectedly, what I came to realize was that the show proved in two episodes to be more incredible than I had expected, and I’ve actually come to really enjoy what I’ve seen so far. Blessedly Laverne’s character: Cameron Wirth is out as trans, but it doesn’t seem to really be a thing, which is almost kind of rare on television and in films. Rare enough to be noteworthy. It was one of the better notes of Alexandra Billing’s guest appearance on How to Get Away with Murder in which the matter of her being trans was never central to the story line just kind of a small side note of her character.

Laverne also get’s to play a more comedic role (thus far) compared to the gripping drama of Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black, which is an exciting change to get to see. Technically, Cameron is by no means the main character, (though it’s worth noting Laverne Cox gets second billing under Katherine Heigl in the IMDB page for Doubt) she’s easily one of the more interesting characters, and one who I can’t wait to see more of.

Doubt airs Wednesdays 10pm on CBS

 

The Reading List- Prologue

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The other day I had the frankly bizarre idea that I wanted to try and color code the books on my bookshelf (a part of me wishes I’d also done so by height, but that’s another story), because it seemed like it would be fun. But I’ve also decided that as a challenge to myself I thought I would spend this year reading all of these books from start to finish. In color order as follows:

  1. Six of Crows
  2. Behind Her Eyes
  3. The Cuckoo’s Calling
  4. Becoming Steve Jobs
  5. Yes Please
  6. Enchanted Islands
  7. If I Was Your Girl 
  8. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  9. The Edge of Everything
  10. Settle for More
  11. The Sun is Also a Star
  12. Killing Monica
  13. Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk
  14. The Possessions
  15. Good as Gone
  16. The Wangs vs. The World
  17. The Princess Diarist
  18. The Underground Railroad
  19. Carry On
  20. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
  21. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
  22. Shrill
  23. Swingtime
  24. Pachinko
  25. Fangirl
  26. the Nest
  27. The After Party
  28. Fates and Furies
  29. The Mothers
  30. Why Not Me
  31. The Girls
  32. Celebrity Run-ins
  33. The Nix

I’ve technically already read If I was Your Girl earlier and I absolutely loved it, so I may replace it with another book just to make it a fair/even 33. Additionally I’ll be returning to this post with my progress and crossing things out as I go. 33 books in the year is a fairly small amount, but considering that I’ve been averaging about maybe 2 or 3 a year, I’d say 33 is a great way to play catch-up. I’d like to write periodic reviews on Fridays of my progress with whatever book I’m on, so I’ll be starting the next Fic Fri post with an update on Six of Crows. 

Now What?

days6After working for several years now on my current work-in-progress, to now be done with stage 3 of my 3 part editing process, the question becomes, well now what? What do I do now that the edits are done?

One of the most difficult and honestly most stressful questions to ever ask any writer, is how do you know when a story is done? How do you know when you’ve literally done everything you can to make the story as perfect as it can be? A number of us will simply answer with the glib if not understated, “when you can no longer stand to look at it”. Still others will suggest that the true test is when you can think of no more possible changes that could be made to it, but I don’t think there’s a writer alive who hasn’t noticed at least one or seven things they would change somewhere in a story that’s been edited to death. So I tend to lean towards the former idea of: when you can no longer stand to look at it. 

The next stage, besides the obvious of starting to send out queries to agents is actually to have other people actually read your story. It’s one thing entirely to tell them about your story in this sort of etherial sense, but the only way for them to get the full picture and for you to be able to get feedback on it, is to let people read it. Now that I’m at the end of this project, I am both exhausted, and frankly sick of looking at it, so now it’s time to let someone else look at it for a change and give me their thoughts, so I can pull myself out of my own head and my own anxieties about it. This is sort of a reiterated point, but it’s worth repeating because I think having people to read your story is so beneficial in so many ways.

The Lost Competition

days3In mid-December, I very quietly entered the Writer’s Digest Short Story competition. A day or so earlier I had received an email from Writer’s Digest reminding me that the competition deadline was coming up, and for  a moment I didn’t think anything really of it. I had entered only one other Writer’s Digest competition years ago, with little success, and so I debated whether or not it would be worth entering again now. My writing skills had increased, I thought, but the genre thing always tended to be a sticking point in a lot of these competitions. If nothing else I decided, no one has to know. I told only my mother and I think maybe my boyfriend that I was even going to enter, mostly because, in the chance I didn’t win, I didn’t really want to make a big deal out of it. It was a lesson I learned when I applied for a new position with my job. The first time I had been vocal and talked with most everyone I knew, and when I didn’t get it, I was both heartbroken and a little embarrassed. The second time around, three months later, when the opportunity came up again, I kept my application to myself. That time I got the position and I learned a valuable lesson too, so when it came time to entering this competition, I opted to keep it to myself that I had any designs to do so, until such times as I either won or lost. So why am I talking about it now given that I did lose? Partly because I wanted to share my feelings, about the situation; which I’m kind of conflicted about— on the one hand I’m disappointed of course, on the other, I can’t help but feel that losing the competition was a fitting end to the otherwise exhausting month that tends to be February. Frankly given the 2016 we left and what 2017 could be, it just feels like the icing on a shitty cake and I can’t help but be amused by it low-key.

Famine- a short

Hunger. It was this, deep within Katherine’s soul that kept her awake at night. A hunger so profound that it ceased to register as pain any longer, and instead registered as a deep insatiable urge. A passionate hunger that it seemed nothing could fill. Such was her unceasing craving for sustenance she had almost considered the otherwise unthinkable. Slaking her thirst for carnality with the help of her newest neighbor, a well muscled jock type, with shaggy blond hair and blue eyes and a penchant for washing his car shirtless. How long had Katherine stared hungrily at the body of a neighbor she had never gotten the name of, licking her lips and imagining the salty taste of his sweat as it glistened off his abs. How often had she stood in the icy waters of her shower, trying to quell the aching hunger for affection that she so desperately craved. How many nights had she lay awake, tears streaming down her face as she held tight to the pillow that had once been her husbands? How she had missed his sweet embrace. His fingers as they grabbed her hair, pulling her in for a deep, knee-buckling kiss. The soft sensation of his warm lips as they glided down her neck, and his hand snaked down her chest. She had been different then and a small part of her missed her other self. She arched into the embrace of her memory, as her senses filled with the only nourishment she craved.

READ MORE…

Seasonal Creation Revisited

days2Since I’ve already spent much of the winter deep in edits, I’ve decided that I might as well at least spend the rest of 2017 giving this whole seasonal creation thing a fair shake. I realized sometime last week that when I’m not at my day job 8 hours a day 5 days a week, I’m working on any one of the following (or sometimes a combination of these):

-recording/editing a podcast

-writing/editing blog posts

-writing/editing an essay

-working on a short

-editing/rewriting my work-in-progress

-posting any of these things to social media and my website

-working on a new design projects

-thinking about new podcast/essay ideas

-brainstorming various things

-attempting on occasion to write something new

-somewhere in there, read.

I love everything that I’m doing, I love podcasting with friends, and I love blogging, writing essays, and even working on new design stuff, but unfortunately what this all leads to is that things like reading fall by the wayside. I’m several magazines behind, I’m at least a dozen Book of the Month books behind, and honestly, I’m just generally behind on reading, listening to podcasts and doing anything that isn’t writing or further working on my brand.

I need to take a writing sabbatical, so that I can recharge my creative juices before I burnout (because I’ve been there and it’s so hard to come back from).

So what does all of this mean?

A few things. I still intend to blog at regular intervals. Starting around April-ish, I’m going to be taking a sort of Spring break if you will. For those of you who jumped ship from my previous blog onto this one, you likely have seen how this works before, but since I think a lot of my followers are newer I thought I’d explain how I have done this in the past.

I’ve usually given myself about a month or so off in the past, in which I have pre-scheduled all necessary blogposts for that given month. Now that I have essays and podcasts that come every other week as well I’ll have to either pre-schedule those essays (unlikely) or just write them on the sly and throw them up at their given times. I certainly have enough essays written that I could probably get away with having this stuff ready before this vacay but given how Wix works I don’t exactly have the option to schedule when a page goes live.

I actually really enjoy podcasting and recording with friends, even if editing is tedious, and honestly, I’m getting better at it, however I would like episode 13 to be the sort of season finale for the show. It happens to coincide with RuPaul’s Drag Con, and part of me would love to do some crazy podcast there (although would anyone talk to this no name podcaster?) so all of that is to be determined.

Ultimately the main idea is to give myself ample time to just catch up with everything not currently to do with writing (like design, and reading, and recharging my creative juices) and then jump right into starting the sequel for my current work-in-progress. If I’m honest I’m not sure I entirely believe that I’ll actually not end up writing something of this story during that time, but the idea is to try my best not to.