Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2021

  • The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick (★★★★☆)
  • The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse (★★★☆☆)
  • A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli Clark (★★★★★)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark (★★★★★)
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (★★★★☆)
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl (★★☆☆☆)
  • Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown by Anais Mitchell (★★★★★)
  • In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland (★★★☆☆)
  • A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark (★★★★★)
  • Emma by Jane Austen (★★★★★)


I had a much, much better reading month than April, thankfully (though, the bar was admittedly very low). Not only did I read much more, I enjoyed so much more of what I read.

Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2021”

Wrap-Up: February 2019

  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (★★★★★)
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (★★★★★)
  • Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso by Kali Nicole Gross
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (★★★★☆)
  • White Fragility by Robin Di Angelo (★★★☆☆)
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (★★★★☆)
  • A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (★★★★☆)
  • How Long ’til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin (★★★★☆)


I accomplished two things this month that I’m pleased about:

I finished TWO series that I’ve been meaning to finish for a very long time: the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the Winternight trilogy. Enjoyed both very, very much, and am very glad to have finished them both.

I actually read 4/5 books out of my Black History Month TBR! I didn’t get to Ijeoma Uluo’s book, but perhaps next year…

I also finally read the latest John Boyne, A Ladder to the Sky, which I’ve been meaning to read since the day it came out and it was absolutely delightful, a wild ride from start to finish.

I’ve also totally dropped the ball with posting reviews to this blog, for some reason. I have no idea why. I’m still writing reviews and posting them on Goodreads, but I’ve just been too lazy to cross-post here. Eh.

I am currently reading The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso, getting started on #FemmeFanTale a bit early! So far I’m enjoying it very much. Looking forward to March being fantasy month.

Writing Update:

After spending a couple of months bouncing around between seven different ideas, I’ve finally settled into one, which is such a freaking relief. I’m referring to it as my Throne of Glass pastiche, since it’s inspired by Throne of Glass (I know, I know), mainly in the sense that it’s about an assassin. But that’s all the similarities the books share, I swear! It’s also adult fantasy, not YA, so there’s that. I’m about 10K words into it, but I have little to no outline, which is unusual for me. Even my worldbuilding is basic at best. But I’m just writing and hoping I’ll stumble my way onto something.

TV Update: 

I binged that Netflix show, Dating Around, and it was…fine? I couldn’t look away, but I also really didn’t like it and it made me so glad that I don’t date. Still working on season 3 of Salem, but it’s stressing me out, so I’m going slow. Then I watched all of Derry Girls (which isn’t saying much, as it’s only six episodes), which is a freaking hilarious sitcom set in 90s Northern Ireland. I’m also catching up on season 3 of One Day at a Time, another sitcom.

I also watched some random episodes of Escape to the Country after a coworker recommended it to me – apparently it’s about Brits who are moving to the British countryside and go look at houses there??? I’m not kidding – some episodes had me on the verge of tears because the views are so fucking gorgeous. I just. Why do I continue to suffer in gross NYC when places like this exist?


The Writer’s Tag


Nobody tagged me for this, but I saw it on Reading Every Night and thought it looked like fun! I’ve been writing a lot more recently.  Not only has the quality of my writing improved, but so have my habits. I’ve become more at ease with the kind of writer I am and what works for me.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I write mostly fantasy! I tend to flit between YA and Adult, or fall in that nebulous category right in between, but usually it’s fantasy. Although I do have one women’s fiction/romance work that’s hidden deep within the recesses of my laptop and shall not be seen by any human eyes for a long, long time, if ever.

A lot of the topics I write are things that I want to see in books, so, female friendships, lots and lots of female characters, f/f relationships, men and women being friends and just friends, diverse characters, non-western fantasy settings, women who are not defined by romance, trope subversion, and lots of magic.

How long have you been writing?

For a while! I wrote my first completed short story when I was…twelve, I think? It was a murder mystery called “Jealousy Can Be Murder.” It had a cover page with Microsoft Word images. It was really, really terrible. Right around the same time I started writing Inuyasha and Harry Potter fanfiction.

Why do you write?

I love creating different world and different characters. But I also need to write, because if I don’t, my head gets so cluttered with different thoughts and plots and people that I can hardly think straight. I daydream a lot, and a lot of those daydreams turn into my stories. If I don’t get them on paper, they drive me insane.

When is the best time to write?

There’s never one specific time; it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll be all fancy and go to a nice coffee shop (rarely), but most of the time I’m just sneaking in time to write whenever I can. Usually it’s during my free time at work. Sometimes it’s weekend evenings when the house is quiet.  Sometimes it’s at night after I’ve come home from work. I’ve found that it’s good to write whenever and wherever and not tie it down to a certain aesthetic or anything.

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

The parts of writing I love are…

  • Creating new characters and giving them names and descriptions and personas
  • Creating maps of new worlds and world-building in general
  • The initial burst of energy and inspiration when I can’t stop writing
  • Making pretty sentences

The parts of writing I hate are…

  • Plotting.  I loathe plotting and I always worry that I’m terrible at it. There’s just so much thought that needs to go into plotting, you know? It’s like, is there enough conflict? Do the characters have realized arcs that mesh with the plot? Is there an inciting incident, climax, etc? Is it interesting enough? Is it fast-paced? Is there a twist? Where’s the twist? Is the twist shocking enough? Does everything make sense? It’s obviously the crux of the novel but I’m so insecure about it.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Whenever I’m “blocked” it’s usually just because I’m stuck with something to do with the plot. This usually comes in the outline stage, since I’ve discovered I don’t like to start writing unless I have a completed outline. Anyway, whenever this happens, I either go read another book to get some inspiration or try to find inspiration from something else. Pinterest is great for that.

Are you working on something at the moment?

I’m working on many things! I have a fantasy WIP that I’m pretty serious about; it’s fully outlined and I’m halfway done writing it. Once I’ve edited it I want to start querying for agents with it, so fingers crossed. I have a bunch of other WIP novels in the works, and also a bunch of short stories.

What are your writing goals this year?

  1. Finish my current WIP, edit it, and start querying.
  2. Finish the two short stories I’ve been working on since forever.
  3. Outline another WIP.

I don’t quite know who to tag (I suck at tagging anyway), but if obviously if you feel like doing this, go forth, and pingback to me so I can read your answers!

end of year: accomplishments and resolutions

2017 Accomplishments & Resolutions

2017 accomplishments and resolutions

Not to be a #cliche, but 2017 brought a lot of changes for me, both in my personal life and my online life.  It was, in many ways, a year where things settled down for me, and I felt like my life really got itself on track to where I want it to go. I feel like I have personally reached a kind of inner zen I hadn’t thought possible for myself.

Since I used to make several end-of-year type posts back when I used to blog on Livejournal, I felt it might be appropriate to migrate the tradition over here.  I got quite a bit wordy, so I put everything under the “read more” (which I just discovered was a thing this week).  I’m going to talk quite a bit about various changes and accomplishments that happened in 2017, as well as hopes for 2018. Let’s get to it!

Continue reading “2017 Accomplishments & Resolutions”