But first...SOME NEWS
Before we get into our summer round up, it's time for a quick shameless plug! My short story, All's Faire is now out in the Days of Awe Anthology! Just in time for Rosh Hashannah! Currently, only the epub is available, but the paperback is coming soon! If you want to read a short about magic, Jews, and the Renaissance Festival, you can buy it here.
This anthology was inspired by the desire to see Jews write their own stories of triumph and fighting back, rather than having our stories told for us. Check out Aviva's foreword in here. It kicks ass!
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming
Summer hit with a vengeance, and dang has it been busy! Mostly in good ways! I've been up to a lot of travel, including to Indiana to visit my writing coven (hi Danielle and Katie!). There's nothing quite like visiting distant writing friends, bopping around cute towns, and chilling out and catching up. A bit further away, I also traveled to Cartagena, Colombia for a conference. We got to sneak away here and there to explore the city outside the conference center, and it was absolutely gorgeous! I love visiting Central and South America. My Spanish is a little rusty, but it's coming back fast! Now, since it's been a while since I took you all on a walk, come along for a stroll!
So...remember how I said "no new novels this year"? Well...I lied. My hand slipped and now I'm 30 chapters into a new one...while I continue to edit the Bakery Witch novel...WOOPS!
So what's it like editing a novel while writing another? Chaos. Absolute chaos.
But I enjoy chaos, and I'm enjoying writing this new novel. It's dual POV, it's got chaotic queer characters, and it has the vibes of This is How You Lose the Time War meets Vicious. At least that's the plan. I've been typing it all up on the typewriter my mom used in college. Spelling errors galore! It's also a bit loud (sorry roomies). However, I really love using it. It's so tactile that I want to keep putting words on paper. It also allows me to keep writing quickly without having to stare at the screen after a whole work day of staring at the screen.
The plan is to self-publish this novel and query the Bakery Witch. I feel like I've been in limbo for so long, and the more research I do into self-pub, the more appealing it becomes. So I'm kind of bouncing back and forth between the two, and getting lots of words down in both documents.
Chaos. But I thrive on chaos it seems.
Once again, I'm reading several books at once. A different book for any mood I might experience at any given point in time. Right now, the one I'm reading most consistently is Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I know, I know. SO late to the game. But with the movie coming out, it was finally time to catch up. And despite struggling with the first few pages, this book does NOT disappoint. The banter!!! It's so so good!
I also absolutely loved Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. Following Grace Porter as she navigates love and burnout just gripped me. From the second I opened the book, I was IN IT. And the prose was just stunning!
I need to shout out two folks from my Pitch Wars Class, starting with Sasquatch Summer by Talia Green. THIS BOOK! Monster romance isn't my typical genre, but damn if this wasn't a fun read! And just perfect for getting by in the heat. We love a disillusioned academic who resists love like it's her job, only to fall headfirst for Bigfoot!
And speaking of disillusioned...if you're looking for a book that bites, you NEED to read I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me by Jamison Shea. I literally just finished this last night and I can't stop picture those last scenes. This book was SO visceral! And damn if we don't love women's wrongs!! It's got ballet, faustian bargains, and lots of blood. Highly recommend!
Ugh, Hozier, how do you keep putting albums that I immediately listen to on loop for days on end because they're SO GOOD! Needless to say I've been listening to his new music on repeat.
I've also really gotten into the Dead Eyes podcast. It's about an actor trying to figure out why Tom Hanks fired him from a small acting roll on Band of Brothers years ago. It's like a murder mystery podcast about something unimportant. And I love all the guests he brings on to talk about their experience with failure.
Another thing I'm late to? New Girl. But people keep sending me memes with Schmidt, I love that man so much. So I'm slowly working my way through that.
I also watched Nimona, based on the comic by N.D. Stevenson and it is SO SO GOOD!!! The animation?? The dialogue?? The plot?? I loved the comic and the movies does not disappoint!
Y'all, I'm not gonna lie. I'm stressed. I'm currently juggling a lot of balls, and since I started writing this post, even more has happened.
Originally, I was going to write about managing chaos. About outlining and taking notes and keeping your butt in a chair until you figure out that giant plot hole you keep avoiding.
Instead, I'm just going to encourage you to zoom out. When I'm hyperfixating on a story, I lose focus of the world around me. of how much simply DOES NOT depend on whether or not the last chapter I wrote absolutely sucks. If all you can think about right now is your story and judging your own worth by it, zoom out. Find your nearest tree or cat or friend or huggable person or object. Breathe deep and remember that you are so much more than getting a sentence or paragraph or chapter right. I promise it'll help.
THEN go write an outline you chaos monster (this is a not to myself who only wrote an outline 20 chapters into this latest novel).
Chihiro's Cat Corner
Chihiro is HOT and is making it known. Despite installing another air conditioning unit on the ground floor, she generally spends these summer days flopped out below the ceiling fan. She's also had the chance to meet the elderly cat who lives in my roommate's room (verdict: absolutely hate), as well as our friend's small dog (verdict: what the heck is this thing? But fine, he can hang). She can't wait for this weather to cool off.