Oct 2022, fave media

Books

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy & Sierra Simone

The Future is Disabled by Leah Lakshmi Pipezna-Samarasinha

Author’s Patreon here.

Pimiko and the Uncharted Island by forthright

This series remains some of the queerest stuff I’ve ever read (FFM queerplatonic triad in this one), and yet some of the worldbuilding choices are bewildering to me. That said, I will be sad when this series ends with the next (7th book). Author’s Patreon here.


Music

dolltr!ck’s Let This Go

Leyla McCalla’s Dodinin & Fort Dimanche (Live at NPR Tiny Desk)

Allison Russell’s Kathy (Live at Juno Songwriters’ Circle 2022)

Pharaoh Sanders’ Selflessness

Sophia Subbayya Vastek’s album, In Our Softening

Jazmine Sullivan’s Stand Up

Vienna Teng’s Lost Words Blessing (Spell Songs cover)

The last song on her Live @ Home Set #2 (Oct 2022) if you subscribe to her Patreon.

Jamila Woods’ Boundaries

Sept 2022, fave media

Misc.

Re-read: Alyssa Cole’s Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #2.6)

Re-read: Alyssa Cole’s A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals #3)

Don’t miss the epilogue from the teddy bear’s POV.

Podcast: Therapy Ghostbusters

After reading Stephanie Foo’s What My Bones Know, I heard her do an interview with Esmé Weijun Wang where she mentioned this topic. I’m thrilled she was able to explore it in podcast form. Transcript here.

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Aug 2022, fave media

Books

Ilona Andrews’ Ruby Fever (Hidden Legacy #6)

No complaint in this trilogy ender. So good. Also dead @ Vicky Baby. I’m hoping for an Arabella trilogy in the future! That said, this is not the book to start on in this series; start either with Burn for Me (Nevada’s first novel) or Sapphire Flames (Catalina’s first novel).

Jamie Wesley’s Fake It Till You Bake It

The romance book club made this for me.

Julia Whelan’s Thank You For Listening

The author has spent a lot of time in the romance industry, and you can tell. If you read romance, this is an absolute delight.

Kendra Allen’s Fruit Punch

Broadened my mind on what is possible in memoir with the way time slips when you look back.

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June 2022, fave media

Lots of Ilona Andrews, good tunes, and some live events.

Rereads

Ilona Andrews’ Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) & Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1)

This series/universe continues to be a joy/comfort.

Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy #1-5

In case you couldn’t tell, Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite authors. I didn’t time this in order to be ready for Ruby Fever, but it worked out quite nicely. Also I will take Alessandro over Rogan any day.

Forthright’s Dragged Through Hedgerows (Songs of the Amaranthine #3)

Another comfort read.


Audio

Beyoncé’s Break My Soul

A jam.

Seinabo Sey’s Blessed

Blue and Rom Com were two of my favorite tracks last year, and this one is no exception.

Wooden Overcoats S4

Whewwww the character development/pay off, especially Antigone’s. Also Chapman’s mysterious backstory revealed!

Relisten: Life With Leo(h) S1

Which is also crowdfunding it’s second and final season here!


Live

Hadestown

I hate unhappy endings, and yet here I am saying this was excellent. See it live if you can.

Stars on Ice

Holy smokes, watching the Olympic programs live was an Experience. Especially Jason Brown’s Sinnerman, which broke my brain with its brilliance.

May 2022, fave media

Books

Akwaeke Emezi’s You Made A Fool of Death With Your Beauty

Whewww, what a book about being alive. The implorement to live reminds me of Princess Mononoke, tbh.

Ed. Andrea Purcell’s Sordid Past

An Iron Circus comic anthology is guaranteed to be great art and very gay. Their Smut Peddler line continues to be some of the best erotica anthologies on the market. This one is no exception.

Re-reads: Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels #6-9 + Iron Covenant #1

Smart, hilarious, and unforgettable characters you love dearly. In other words, magic.


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prose poem: taurus birthday affirmation

Written for the inimitable kuuleimomi’s birthday. Crossposted to IG.

There’s a Tumblr (?) post that goes something like this: staying soft in this world is not a weakness, it is a strength. This is a variation on that. This also draws from all the Chani Nicholas affirmation horoscopes I’ve read over the years.


Keeping your hands open in this world that has brought down rulers upon your palms. Keeping your mouth open, even after your then-best-friend put the black licorice jellybean, your least favorite flavor, on your tongue. Keeping on, even after capitalism squeezes every cent from your blood, the joy from your marrow.

All of this is a skill. One of my favorite quotes (author unknown even with googling) is that the heart is a muscle, and like any muscle it can grow as we use it. Our ability to remain open, receptive, vulnerable, whatever you like to call it, is also one of these muscles. I have practiced unclenching my hands, even as I sleep, so I can catch whatever dreams come my way. Naming what I want, asking for what I want, letting myself have what I want – I have practiced all of these. I still do.

To paraphrase the end of the Utena movie, the world gets that much bigger for the way we live, pushing at the limits of what we are told is possible. Octavia says the only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s been done before.

So I believe in wedding rings on all my fingers, vows of commitment to all my relations beneath this sky and maybe even beyond it. I believe in your palm in mine, and another’s in yours, and another’s in theirs going on and on – a whole loving community. I believe in rain on my tongue, and all the fine dining and comfort food I love. Speaking of love, I believe in love running through my veins, that love is a key and a door to a different world. I believe in pleasure that makes me cry out, in joy that pours through every crack and crevice and barrier ever put in place.

On this day and all days, I keep on, I choose to try, I choose to believe.

April 2022, fave media

Music

Olivia Dean’s I Wish I Didn’t Miss You (Angie Stone cover)

This grooves hard.

dollstr!ke’s In the Blue

I love a good pop song.

KAINA’s Casita (Live at NPR Tiny Desk x SXSW)

Rebirth Canal’s AI

I keep thinking about these lines: “i want to you be gentle / i want you to be strong // with all senses uncompressed”

Allison Russell’s Nightflyer (Live at the 2022 Grammys)

I love her voice in this lower register.

Sophia Subbayya Vastek’s The Seas That Made Us

The Suffers’ Don’t Bother Me

Doesn’t it just make you wanna dance?


Misc.

Film: Maggie Q’s The Protege

The cat-mouse UST? *chef’s kiss*

TV: Bridgerton S2

OMFG. SO GOOD! I know a lot of people weren’t into all the changes between season, but I am into it. (Also, it’s normal in romance books anyways.) The eye-fucking! The UST! A dark-skinned leading lady! I do think the season could’ve benefited from additional episodes to work through the fall-out though.

Podcast: Where Should We Begin? S5x06, Twice Married, To Each Other

I really liked her tips that to help diffuse an argument, try arguing while lying down or touch each other. Transcript here.

poem: devil’s food

Sequel to devil’s doorbell! Our narrator discovers they’ve captured the attention of a devil. An excerpt was cross-posted to IG. There might be a couple more in this series, no ETA though.


I shouldn’t have been surprised that
looking for the devil’s doorbell
wasn’t a one-and-done kinda deal.
Like all adventures, it is an invitation,
a call, and like an open door,
anyone can come on through the other side.

Let it not be said, that the devil does
not have a sense of humor. They
did not knock at my door, but rang,
at the very reasonable hour of 1:30pm,
as if they’d known any earlier would’ve
roused me from my slumber and I would not
have answered; and any later, I would’ve
been gone grocery shopping.

Read More »

March 2022, fave media

This was a slow month for me, but was carried by good TV and film.

Books

Melissa Febos’ Body Work

Will be thinking about the essay “Mind Fuck” for awhile.

Erica Ridley’s An Affair by the Sea (The Siren’s Retreat #2)

Hilarious.

Reread: Nalini Singh’s Whisper of Sin (Psy-Changeling #.75)


Music

Caitlyn Scarlett ft. Her Ensemble’s Forgive Yourself


Videos

Lizzo’s Watch Out For the Big Grrrls S1

I binge-watched this and it was so much fun.

Niecy Nash Betts & Jessica Betts React to Couples Astrology Reading

11 minute video, English captions available. I believe in love!

Queer Disability Justice Dreams

1 hour 45 minute video, ASL and English captions available. Discussion between Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Sami Schalk. I’m especially thinking about the mutual aid parts.

Honorable Mention: Domee Shi’s Turning Red and Lana Wachowski’s Matrix Resurrections