Nov 2019, Fave Media

I completed the first draft of my short story for Voices On FIYAH! While I didn’t meet my goal of 5000 words, I got pretty close at 4500. Now I just need to let the draft sit and come back to it later. I also want to do some research on Chinese immigrants in the (late?) 1800s and Mexican immigrants during the Bracero Program. …of course, I am now desperately reading anything that’s not Takaki’s Strangers From a Different Shore, lol.

Now that I’m done with writing commitments, I’m hoping to get back into some blog posts. Definitely looking forward to relaxing and write whatever I want (or not write at all for a little!). In the meanwhile, here are my faves from November!


Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee (Machineries of Empire #3.5)

So I love “Gloves” for the kinky smut, but the ending. T_T

BUT! GLASS CANNON, friends. GLASS CANNON. As I said in my Goodreads review, Lee somehow reached into my id and gave me hella shit I enjoy: hilarity, Cheris and Jedao sniping at each other and trying to outfox each other but they know each other too well, gut wrenching moments (the Dhanneth convo, oof), tentacular monster boyfriend, Jedao being all smart and scornful of Mikodez, Cheris hand-feeding Jedao not once but TWICE, and the *spoiler* trope that proves Cheris and Jedao aren’t through with each other yet. I will read Cheris & Jedao antics forever, and need a sequel please.

Figure Skating

Gabrielle Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron’s 2019/20 Free Dance to Find You

Apologies for the video quality, but NBC is locking down all of the official footage. I know it’s hokey to call this ice dance so dance-like but it is. It’s mesmerizing every time I watch it.


Celeste’s Strange (Live)

Haunting. And Wrabel’s lyrics are mesmerizing in their simplicity.

Sister’s Love Me Right

This has me in my feels. I even made it my November monthly spread in my Passion Planner.

Oct 2019, Fave Media

Well, I finished my novel! (Huzzah!) And then I got ambitious and signed up for Voices on FIYAH. I committed to 5k for Team Other, and so far there’s intergeneration queerness, matchmaking ancestors, and ghosts out for reparations. I still have essay-ish ideas kicking around, but for November, I’m focusing on Voices on FIYAH.

In the meanwhile, my faves from October!


K Arsenault Rivera’s The Warrior Moon (Their Bright Ascendency #3)

I am aware the series has racist/orientalist/problematic depictions of Asia. And yet there are moments where I’m just punched in the gut. Barsalai hits me in the feels of women who are survivors. I don’t know if what I love is part of the racism, or if it can even be separated. I might do some further writing parsing that out as a Chinese disaspora person.

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

Forthright hits me in the feels yet again. I honestly don’t know how this series reads to people who don’t have such a soft spot for intimacy but hey.

Helen Hoang’s The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)

I was ambivalent about the Kiss Quotient, but people were raving about this companion book, so with a flight ahead of me, I checked it out. It was great! Hilarious post-sex scenes, and a hilarious Mr.-Darcy-level-terrible-but-amazing proposal.


Vau du Vire & Jazz Mafia’s The Soiled Dove

Although its run is completed, this was so much fun! I opted into the dinner + show tickets, and the seats I got were bomb. Front row seats to all the cool acrobatics that make you go “holy shit the human body can do that????” plus awesome music from Jazz Mafia. On a personal note, it’s always rad to see East Asian women doing dance outside of ballet.


Fast Color (dir. Julia Hart)

Reader, I cried. Really moving family drama centered around 3 generations of black women with superpowers. So good, highly recommend. (I’m surprised it got such middling reviews, but perhaps the reviewers were white men?)


Doja Cat’s Rules

Aslfjdksl;jfk I’ve been listening to this on repeat, it’s amazing.

The Prince of Egypt’s When You Believe (West End Cast)

So pretty! I want to see the musical now. I especially love the soloist (Casey Al-Shaqsy) and how incandescent she is.

Sept 2019, Fave Media

Still working on finishing the novel! I’m now one (!!!!) chapter away from finishing it. I have, however, committed to reading poetry at a local event in November, so now I need to work on that. While I work on those, here are my faves from September (aka Virgo season, best season).


Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (Machineries of Empire #1)

Jdksalfjda I know I’m 9999 years late to how amazeballs this series is but asdfklasjfkl;aj. I know some people really struggled with the world-building, but I didn’t, so YMMV. Personally, I really loved his conception of “calendars,” or how certain actions are capable under certain conditions. I found it a pretty tangible metaphor (not sure if that’s the right choice) for the systems we live under.

Reasons I loved it:

  • Lee’s imagination is downright devious in the best kinda way.
  • Despite how serious the topic is, there are excellent moments of levity and hilarity: machines make fanvids, footsoldiers love their soap operas, and assassin bosses love to knit.
  • Tons of LGBTQ characters
  • power play
  • I will now be signing off all my letters as yours in calendrical heresy
  • women who swallow bitterness to survive and make a better future are my weakness

Shoutout to Lee also writing fanfic of his own stuff. Special Assignment is amazing (unsurprisingly I ship Cheris/Jedao, lmao) which was prompted by sartorias no less!

In conclusion, I need this to become a TV series. Preferably with Tatiana Maslany levels of mind-blowing acting. Can you imagine the two actors who play Cheris and Jedao having to mimic each other?? (Daniel Day Kim as Jedao, k thnx pls bye).


90 Days,” Sophie & Marko, choreography by Talia Favia, SYTYCD S16

I’ve rewatched this a number of times now, and I’m disappointed it didn’t get an encore performance in SYTYCD’s season finale. There’s something so… tightly contained? Abandoned? Controlled (IDK what’s up with the vaguely harness-like costumes)? I love it.


Mahalia’s I Wish I Missed my Ex

I love breakup songs. I’ve also enjoyed her songs Square 1 and the dancing in the music video for Do Not Disturb.

Steven Universe the Movie’s Happily Ever After

Pearl’s part in Happily Ever After gets me every time. “Excuse me, B-a-s-s spells bass” is the most perfectionist Virgo shit ever.

Steven Universe the Movie’s Independent Together

I lost my shit when I saw Steg. Also who doesn’t love Giant Woman Opal, or a song that’s in their range to sing? Really though, I love the message of the song.

Short Fiction

The Weight of a Thousand Needles by Isabel Canas

The prose is gorgeous, and this is the kind of fairy tale I love the most. Beautiful, painfully tender, and it taps into that old part of our brains who love the fairy tales of adventure, terror, romance, and freedom.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Again by Zen Cho

I laughed at loud while reading Cho’s The True Queen, and I did with this novelette too. Had people told me this story involved the imugi falling in love with a female physicist, I would’ve read this 1000% faster. Also, the fact that the Way the imugi is studying is Physics is amazing.

If you enjoy it, don’t forget to check out the short sequel Cho wrote as well. I died at the JSTOR reference.

The Hundredth House Had No Doors by Laurie Penny

This hooked me from the get-go with its language. But the witty narrator is what really sold me, especially the line from the right hand woman “you gave me no name, of cours eyou’re going about this wrong.”

Aug 2019, Fave Media

As some of you know, I’ve been writing an urban fantasy/romance novel since October 2018. I’m 3 chapters away from finishing it, so I’m trying to focus on that these days. Then I can say I’ve finished a novel-length work!

Until then, here’re my faves from August.


Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
ajfdkl;asjfklasjdflasjfdk READ THIS. An enchanting fairy tale that pulled at all my heart strings. What really got me is how Casiopea comes into herself, slowly realizing she wants so much more for herself and her life.

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews
The wife & husband writing team of Ilona Andrews is an insta-read for me. I was ecstatic when my I got to skip the (very long) wait line with the LA public library and read it on vacation! Hilarious, memorable characters, and a determined heroine? Yes please! Also, the IG prettyboy assassin-with-a-heart-of-gold Alessandro can be my future husband.

(Note, while this is technically book 4 in the series, it’s the beginning of a new trilogy. I think it stands alone just fine without having read the previous trilogy, which centers on the heroine’s older sister.)


Our Opinions are Correct by Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz

After hearing about this from its Hugo win, I’ve been binge listening to it. It’s super fun to listen to, mixing science, speculative fiction, and interviews with experts in their respective fields. Plus they’re based in the Bay. I think this’ll also appeal to folks who like the Brown sister’s How to Survive the End of the World. Transcriptions are available. Patreon here.

Short Stories

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

Free short story involving a dapper Egyptian lady who wears English suits because they’re exotic. Plus her lady love interest. Swoon! I am SO READY for the novel-length follow up.

July 2019, Fave Media

Usually I have a good idea what I want my non-media roundup posts to be. This time I’m not sure what idea is ready to be given focus (body image? intimacy? salty poetry?). So, I’ll just let my ideas marinate until one of them is ready.

Until then, here’re my faves from July!


A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (Teixcalaan #1)

jadl;fjasl;fdja;l s this book is AMAZING. I knew it’d gotten a lot of buzz and good reviews, but honestly the back of the book and the cover made this book unappealing to me. I can’t remember whose review swayed me to take a chance, but hooo girl am I glad I did. It might’ve been a review that mentioned Mahit has a Trill-like memory of her preceding ambassador (who died under mysterious circumstances) … one that is a decade out of date.

POC, queer people, political intrigue! Intricate world-building from architecture to poetry drawing from both the Byzantine and Aztec empire.

Will absolutely be checking out Martine’s future books and cannot wait for the second book in this series.

Tamiko and the Two Janitors by Forthright. (The Amarathine Saga #3)
My love for this series parallels my love of Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series. This series is an insta-buy for me, as well as a big comfort read. I’m not sure what genre this series is though. It’s not a romance, if anything the deeply queerplatonic intimacy between chosen family is more emphasized. And I am here for it.


NixHydra’s The Arcana (Asra route)
MicheleCDraws mentioned this game on her IG, and I wound up playing it (for free; the paid content doesn’t effect the ending you get). I really enjoyed woo-ing my NB POC wizard boyfriend. Plot’s intriguing (you have to play multiple routes to get the full picture), and I like that you had to overcome Asra’s character flaw (how much he cares about you) to receive the happy ending.


The Farewell dir. Lulu Wang
Or, more specifically, seeing this in Oakland. There’s something about seeing a film in a packed theater, and with people who laugh when you do. Who get it.


Reliably Bad’s If You Feel (The Way I Do)

Erez Zobary’s Before I Knew You

Masego’s Tiny Desk concert

Ashley Jayy & Tank’s Big Ol’ Freak (Megan Thee Stallion cover)

June 2019, Fave Media


Leena Trivedi-Grenier’s The novice farmer whose search for his roots led to an organic farm in West Marin

“It was also Leach’s participation in a Korean community group that inspired Chang-Fleeman to join the group Chinese Medicine and Magic, which explores the connections of Chinese medicine, plants and nature. In April, before he had planted anything, the group came to the farm for a Qingming celebration, where they honored their ancestors by burning joss paper and incense, offering food and spirits and building an altar.

“My dream is for the farm to evolve into a physical space for Chinese Americans to gather around food and talk about identity,” he says.


Tell Me Who You Are eds. Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi
While not a book I will be re-reading, I do think this is a great entry point for people wanting to learn more about race in America. Extremely approachable, beautiful to look at, and I love its interviewee photos and fun facts. Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race makes a great follow-up.

Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)
Laugh out loud funny for both kids and adults. The demon women stole the show with amazing one-liners lamenting their sons’ patriarchal tendencies and how ungrateful children give them indigestion. An awesome mix of Indian mythology, magic, and physics.


Raveena’s Stronger music video

Vendulka’s Karma Chameleon cover

Kacey Musgrave’s Tearin Up My Heart cover (via Food 4 Thot)

Halsey’s Sucker cover


Tejal and Jesal’s Yoga is Dead. I’ve been thinking about Yoga Teacher Training, plus I’ve been looking for a yoga resource that was conscious of race and social justice. This podcast is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Even if podcasts aren’t your thing, their curated resources are worth a look. Transcripts also available.

Narratively’s Believable, ep 1 “Proof of a Forgotten Life.” Along with Regina Louise’s original article that inspired it, “I Was Adopted—When I was 41.” Heartbreaking, but also hits all my mother-feels.

May 2019 Media

Inspired by Alex Brown’s monthly reading roundups, here are some of the things I enjoyed this month!


The Lily’s Celeste Ng called Amy Tan. We listened in.
“You cannot succumb to the pressure of how somebody will misunderstand what you have to say.”
My feels!

Sonia Bokhari’s I’m 14, and I quit social media after discovering what was posted about me
“I had just turned 13, and I thought I was just beginning my public online life, when in fact there were hundreds of pictures and stories of me that, would live on the internet forever, whether I wanted it to be or not, and I didn’t have control over it.”
Never thought about this.


Kiese Laymon’s Heavy
I aspire to this level of honesty and compassion. Echoing Roxane Gay, wow, just wow.

Nalini Singh’s Wolf Rain (Psy-Changeling Trinity #3)
Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is one I return to and reread whenever I’m feeling down. So, a new release from her is always a joy. I binged this in one go as always. A reminder that touch can be plentiful, easily given, and that women will always triumph over the violence that would grind them down.

Short Stories

Nibedita Sen’s “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island.”
Sen describes it as “an MLA bibliography and it’s about colonialism in academia, monstrous appetites, and oh yes, lesbian cannibals.” Folks who’re familiar with Ethnic/Third World Studies will be especially thrilled.

Zoë Medeiros’ “My Sister is a House.”
Exactly as the title says. I would love to read more in this universe.


Ruby Ibarra & the Balikbayans’ Someday
ajslkdfjl;as I am loving all the tracks Ibarra’s doing with the Balikbayans.

Ari Lennox’s 40 Shades of Choke
As I lay here in singledom, I console myself with tracks like this.

Ari Lennox’s Up Late music video
The visuals are literally the stuff of my dreams

Emeli Sandé’s Extraordinary Being
I just really dig this disco beat and Sandé’s understated vocals here. Also had a rad meditation moment while listening to this.

Silk Road Ensemble’s Atashgah
Talk about an audio poem!


Clit Talk, ep 32 & 41 with Nina Hartley
I recently subscribed to this podcast. Women shooting the breeze and interviewing folks about sexual health. It does skew towards being cis-centric. Hartley’s episodes cracked me up.

Duolingo, ep 29 The Wine Master / El Maestro del vino. (Spanish transcript included)
How Héctor Vergara became the 1st Latin American Master Sommelier. Having worked in the wine industry, I was not expecting this to touch on the overthrow of the Chilean government.

Cameron Glover’s Sex Ed in Color
Sexual ed podcasts are some of the very first podcasts I started listening, but it’s taken me this long to realize I’ve been listening to a lot of white folks. So, discovering Glover’s podcast has been a joy. Also, it has the best opening/closing music. I actually listen to it all the way through. (And I should ask for the artist, so I can buy the track!)

Tonya Mosley/KQED’s Truth Be Told.
A brand new podcast centering on POC. The official blurb says it’s an advice show, which is a bit of a misnomer. The questions are used as a jumping off point for larger discussions. So far they’ve interviewed Locatora Radio (Mala Munoz & Diosa Femme) and adrienne maree brown, and I am so here for this. (I only wish they’d lean more into the tarot cards they talk about in the show notes!)

Tina Horn’s Why are People Into That?! Femme Daddies with Ashley Paige.

Roxane Gay & Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Hear to Slay, ep 3 The Hustle with Gabrielle Union.
This one is unfortunately behind a paywall on Luminary, but the official website says transcripts are forthcoming. Union discusses what hustling as a black woman in Hollywood entails, and the compromises and boundaries we set to navigate work BS.