Aug 2020, fave media

August taught me a lot about patience, in my writing and with the fires. At least PG&E hasn’t done a public safety power shutoff cut my power like it did last year. *knocks on wood*

Here’s what I consumed that got me through this brimstone and fire month.


DIE vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans

After getting sucked into a D&D campaign Jumanji-style as kids, four adults find themselves back in the game they thought they outran.

lasjfkdsl;ajlf This was so dang good. Ash is also exactly the kind of woman I’m a sucker for – charismatic, manipulative, powerful.

Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh (Wicked Quills of London #3)

She’s a lady by day and an erotica writer by night. Little does she know the man she’s falling for has been sent to reveal (and ruin) her erotica-writing-alter-ego.

I was expecting a fun, escapist historical romance read, but was absolutely delighted by what I found here. An ode to the romance/erotica/porn genre, a realistic first time sex scene, two really horny characters who go on a date at an erotic art exhibit, and a heroine determined to have a life of passion.

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

It’s up to one lone fourteen year old wizard whose talent is baking to save the city. Good thing she’s accompanied by a tiny gingerbread man and an aggressive sourdough starter.

I laughed SO hard while reading this.


N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy #1)

Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks (Elemental Logic #1)

Summer Wars dir. Mamoru Hosoda

Short Stories

Beary Tiny Ghosts by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling Trinity)

So cute! The packs are always a highlight when it’s changeling focused book, so this short snippet was delightful.


The Hardest Part by Olivia Dean

There’s something really retro about this.


I’m really digging her music (and cover art!), but faves are Nothing Without You and In Women We Trust.


A OK, ep 54 “Kink Isn’t Sexual For Me

Patreon here, and Ko-Fi here.

Letters and Politics

Whenever I want great insight and commentary on current events, I know this show will deliver. So I appreciated Jeserich’s interviews with folks about Kamala Harris. The overview of her time as SF prosecutor was informative. Donate here.

Our Opinions Are Correct, ep 64 “How Science is Redefining the Penis

I just about spit-taked at the line “Human penises are made for love and intimacy.” Will be reading Emily Willingham’s Phallacy. Patreon here.

Articles about fire

Workers breathing smoke to harvest crops isn’t ‘resilience’ — it’s a broken system, farmer says by Scott Chang-Fleeman

The whole short article is quotable, but here are some excerpts:

“Is this food system I am a part of truly sustainable if it is reliant on an annual display of a farmer’s ability to forgo mental and physical well-being for their commitment to “their” land and work? And how does this culture of “production despite the odds” trickle down to exploit farmworkers?”

“Instead of Instagram posts that normalize exploitation by thanking farmworkers for putting food on our tables during poor air quality, what if we demanded protections and supported decentralized food systems that prevent them from having to be out there in the first place?”

“Our vulnerability can build new structures that codify health and financial protections for farmers, redistribute wealth to compensate farmworkers as essential frontline workers and decolonize our relationship with fire by relinquishing land back to tribal stewardship.

Let us free ourselves from blind strength and resilience that exploits and rebuilds old structures that are destroyed annually, and open ourselves to a softer response that builds new structures that prioritize care and love for workers, Indigenous folks, prisoners and the land.”

Native Tribes Are Taking Fire Control Into Their Own Hands by Mejs Hasan

To Manage Wildfire, California Looks to What Tribes Have Known All Along by Lauren Sommer

“When Western settlers forcibly removed tribes from their land and banned religious ceremonies, cultural burning largely disappeared. Instead, state and federal authorities focused on swiftly extinguishing wildfires.

But fire suppression has only made California’s wildfire risk worse. Without regular burns, the landscape grew thick with vegetation that dries out every summer, creating kindling for the fires that have recently destroyed California communities. Climate change and warming temperatures make those landscapes even more fire-prone.”

“Before 1800, several million acres burned every year in California due to both Indigenous burning and lightning-caused fires, far more than even the worst wildfire years today. Tribes used low-grade fires to shape the landscape, encouraging certain plants to grow both for tribal use and to attract game.

The arrival of Western settlers dramatically changed the fire regime.

“They came with their concepts of being afraid of fire,” Goode says. “They didn’t understand fire in the sense of the tool that it could be to create and what it did to help generate and rejuvenate the land. So they brought in suppression.”

The Quiet, Intentional Fires of Northern California photo series by Kiliii Yüyan


Y’all Don’t Want To Talk About This, But We Must: Sexual Abuse In Black And Brown Communities by Lorraine Avila

“While my abuser has stated I lied, no one asked him to prove his innocence—no one pressed him publicly. Our community holds onto the idea that successful or “decent” men are safe with everyone, even though we know many rapists are often the people we trust most.”

It also contains this Tweet from @simimoonlight: “…I am naming this because I’m tired of keeping secrets for men. I’m tired of feeling shame.”

Bread and Roses: developing romance and the Third Act Test by KJ Charles

Still thinking about this.

Unpacking the twisty genre of political fanfiction through Curtis Sittenfeld’s Rodham by Constance Grady & Aja Romano

The moment I heard about Rodham, I wanted to see articles written about how this fits into the history of RPF, the fix-it!AU, and the taboo of writing “serious” romance/porn about still-alive-people.

The False Promise of Anti-racism Books by Sandra Gundry

“And while the crafters of anti-racist reading lists are mostly making an earnest effort to educate people, literature and dialogue cannot supplant restorative social policies and laws, organizational change, and structural redress.

When offered in lieu of actionable policies regarding equity, consciousness raising can actually undermine Black progress by presenting increased knowledge as the balm for centuries of abuse.

[…] In the absence of concrete economic and legislative changes, consciousness raising through anti-racist reading is mere filibustering—white people learning about their privilege and power without ever having to sacrifice either.”

‘Paint Us in a Beautiful Light’: Photographing Black Joy, Pendarvis Harshaw interviews Amir Abdul-Shakur

The photos are gorgeous.

Restaurant awards don’t have to be a complete disaster by Soleil Ho

“It should consider a broader net of people in consideration for awards, including under-resourced people and teams who cook ambitious, exciting food outside of traditional restaurants. Many cooks and artisans, including many women of color, sell food on Facebook Marketplace or on the streets or enter the catering or institutional cooking worlds because of how they’ve been sidelined or demeaned in restaurants in the past. Ignoring them is ignoring an important and sizable sector of food culture.

[…] And the award system should offer more categories for outstanding service that include workers who aren’t employers or managers, such as career servers and dishwashers, and categories that explicitly recognize individual restaurants as great places to work.”

Black Women Need to Unlearn the Pattern of Martyrdom,’ Christinna M. Tapper interviews adrienne maree brown

“…how do we start to make a movement culture in which the workload is truly shared? To me, one of the deepest wounds of colonization and chattel slavery is this sense that there’s constant work that we need to be doing to earn our right to exist in any way. So that feels like one piece.

The second piece is we have to unlearn the idea that we have to earn pleasure. That we have to earn the right to rest. That we have to earn the right to be desired, to be loved, to be seen. That someone else has to give us permission to feel good.”

PHOTOS: Living Tree Bridges In A Land Of Clouds by Prasenjeet Yadav

The photos are gorgeous and it’s fascinating to think of other ways to do architecture that works with nature.

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