October was a great reading month for me! New releases from three of my favorite authors: T. Kingfisher, forthright, and Nalini Singh. Also I learned a lot about myself in Tia Williams’ Seven Days in June, Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Storm, and Hayao Miyzaki’s Spirited Away.
Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídia Divina
The book I’ve been waiting for since Labyrinth Lost. Magical, filled with love.
forthright’s Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate (Amaranthine Saga #5)
I’ve said it before, but the worldbuilding in this universe has made this a go-to comfort read for me. I love the intimacy (especially physical touch) everyone gets: family, friends, lovers. There’s also a B-plot queerplatonic romance between two men in this one! A five book long slow burn no less!! My spirit left my body.
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This was originally written back in 2017. It was around the time Kitty Stryker’s anthology Ask was coming out, and I think Stryker had some post that inspired me. I picked it back up in 2020, and have since edited and added to it. Thanks to Jenna for betareading this.
Content note: We often hear consent applies to situations beyond sex, and this piece is an attempt to describe what I’ve learned about consent in my actions towards others in daily life. I’m not sure what content warnings are applicable (for example, this ranges from sex to giving unwanted hugs). If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. This is also NSFW because of sex.
Word count: ~1,900
My mother does many things right by me. One of them is teaching me to listen and obey when people say stop. At eight, I know no meant no, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
I am an only child, and when I have playmates over, the moment one of them says no or stop, my mother is listening to make sure I obey.
She never gives me the sex talk, but this lesson stays in my heart, even if it does need some polishing.
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A quick note: a premise I suggested made it onto the podcast Monstrous Agonies podcast! Listen to episode 37 on your podcast app of choice, or read the transcript. Podcast Patreon.
C.M Nascosta’s Morning Glory Milking Farm (Cambric Creek #1)
…listen friends, IDK what to tell you, this somehow manages to be “a high heat slow burn with a lot of heart” romance despite the big monsterfucking vibes. It was a ton of fun, and I will be checking out her future works. Nascosta’s Patreon.
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Every now and then I post poetry on IG, and I’m going to try and cross-post them here too.
Originally posted 9.12.21 on IG, and originally written 6.30.21 for a prompt from Napa Women’s Circle & Victoria Fowler. “God is Change” is a quote from Octavia E. Butler’s Parable books.
I was once the gate you traveled through to the underworld, but
grapes become wine become vinegar;
trees become paper become revolution;
poison becomes antidote, only if you give it time.
I was your catalyst, trail of gunpowder set aflame, so
I am not the same anyone, just as
you are not the same anymore.
You cannot plant a seed and expect it to remain just a seed;
you cannot amputate a limb and be surprised it is not the same;
you cannot devour your anger and expect it to be unchanged.
God is change, you know this. The question then is,
how have I changed for having slept in your iron and bone
all these years? I am not the same, I know this, and I am
unbothered by it. The question then is,
will you take me in your palms, the same way you did
your despair, and see me for what I am? Will you
allow me into your home, will you let me take off my shoes
and rest awhile. You may not know my face anymore,
but I promise we will learn from each other.
I may not be deep sea, galaxy diving like your despair,
but I come bearing gifts all the same,
if only you would let me be your rite of passage again –
I may no longer be gunpowder set aflame,
but I can be stardust set alight,
and I long to see what I will become
I wound up moving in August, which drained a lot of my brain/willpower. So most of my books this month are re-reads.
Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels books #1-5
I love Ilona Andrews, so it’s unsurprising I reached for these as comfort reads.
Joyce Wright’s Must Be Nice (ft. Masego)
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August wound up being a busy month for me, so this is coming out later than usual.
E.J. Beaton’s The Councillor (The Councillor #1)
Sixthlight’s summary says it best: “This is basically “recovering from imposter syndrome: the epic fantasy novel”, as Lysande learns to make friends, wield power, and stab people, and I liked it a lot. Plus the central – romance is a bit strong – central developing relationship is a bi-for-bi-with-D/s-undertones power struggle between Lysande and city ruler Luca Fontaine, whose thesis is “I murdered a lot of people to get where I am and I apologise for none of it””
The Dom/sub UST vibes was *chefs kiss*. I had to inhale and stare into the distance at multiple points. I need the sequel and resolved sexual tension now!
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I do have a nonfiction piece that’s close to being finished, but I’d like to ask some friends to take a look at it. In the meanwhile, here’s what I recommend from what I’ve read, watched, and listened to this month!
Kiese Laymon’s How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
Essay collection. JFC this man’s writing.
Ina Park’s Strange Bedfellows
Funny, easy to read, and informative. Also I never thought I’d say this about a book about STIs, but it has an absolutely adorable cover too.
Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1)
I hate the summary on the book, so I present you chai’s words that convinced me to pick it up: “goth god-vessel/sea captain slash bisexy mermaid”. Also includes a high priestess mired in politics, and a warrior come home upon his mother’s death.
I somehow thought this was sci fic, as in space ships and outer space? The intimacy at the end in the bathouse!! MY HEART. I need book 2 and I need my OTP to happen.
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May was a slow month in terms of loving what I read, but podcasts came through!
Comic: Katie the Cat Sitter by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue
Katie takes a summer job caring for her neighbor’s 217 (!) cats, but both her neighbor and the cats have some secrets up their sleeves…
Omg the cats are so good in this. If you’re a cat lover, do not miss this.
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The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
I have no clue how to give this a summary because it’s effectively 5 stories in one: an immigration story, a coming out story, Tattercoats, Cinderella, and the Little Mermaid.
Suffice to say I lost my cool while reading this and am incredibly jealous of Trungles’ writing skills. Patreon here.
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I come bearing more half-sketched thoughts.
With power comes responsibility, and I was thinking about how we as a community often give power to people because we like them (just as a person) or the work they do. But we don’t often think about (or ask) if this person will use this power well, or how they will use this power.
I’d also love to do a similar checklist or questions for community members to self-reflect on the people we choose to give power to, but IDK anything more beyond that.
In the meanwhile, here are some questions that are on my mind:
- What does success in this position look like?
- Why do you want this position?
- What is your understanding of the compensation and/or benefits you will receive along with this position? (And then some kind of follow-up question getting at the idea if you’re a rich millionaire, you don’t really need this salary, so do something else with it.)
- What does just and/or effective power look or feel like to you?
- How will ___ be different by the time you depart?
- What are your plans after this leadership?
- How will you strive to share power? Or even give it away when you step back?
- How do you treat wait/service staff?
- (I’d love to make this a less leading question; feel free to make suggestions! Thanks Octavia for pointing that out.)
- Please provide a reference from the restaurant you most recently ate at.
- Do you have people in your life who will hold you accountable – to yourself, your values, and us – both in public and in private? What allows them to do so? Do you pause and reflect when these people check you?
- When was the last time you were wrong? How did you realize you were wrong? What did you do after this realization?
- Have you ever changed your mind or action as a result of someone checking you? Tell us about it.
- Who can we go to when we have concerns or questions about you? Please select folks who you will listen and heed.
- How do you react when people tell you “no”? Tell me about a time someone told you “no.”
- Who are some of the people who’ve helped get you here?