I took some time over the long weekend to think about what I want this to look like, what I want my online presence to be, but unfortunately, I also had to use some of the holiday to work on my fucking thesis. Because I have a pretty demanding job and I'm in grad school, I have to parcel out my energy for other things. Right now, website resign and online branding is ranking lower than other things. Like, for example, actually writing and reading.
What I'm reading right now:
1. Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon. Damn, it's weird. I saw Sonic Youth live just once, when I was turning twenty-six and already felt, ridiculously, too old for things. I was living in Spokane and the venue seemed too small for this band that seemed so iconic, and Kim Gordon had a pink sparkly guitar strap and I was so close to the stage and Cross the Breeze went on and on. Reading this book is making me think a lot about what it means to be a female artist, especially one with a partner and a child. It's thoughtful and interesting and sometimes so random.
2. Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I have to keep stopping. The same thing happened when I read 100 Years of Solitude. My brain gets full, like eating too much rich chocolate.
3. Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 by Laura Antoniou. I'll be reviewing, probably in October.
Things I'm writing:
I'm working on a new novel called Winning, about a woman who gets invited to her ex's wedding and decides to remake her life in order to win the break up. I'm about a third of the way done. Not bad considering I started it in August, though the idea's been rattling around in my head for awhile.
I'm lucky to get to read a ton of books. I don't mind a clumsy phrase or a cliche, but there are some things I rarely wade through. A short list of recent reasons I quit reading specific books:
1. Racism, sexism, ablism, transmisogyny, rape culture, etc. and/or general kyriarchy that isn't addressed appropriately by anybody. If a would-be sympathetic character says something troubling and everyone treats this like it's fine, I'm worried. You have about twenty pages after someone says something messed up before I decide your characters are terrible and give up on your book.
1a. "Othering" your characters of color and/or making your historically oppressed characters flat tokens. Also, making shit up about cultures and people who actually exist, especially if it's a culture you have no personal experience with.
2. Rape and sexual assault and physical abuse to move along a plot, without dealing with the lasting effects. Don't have a character's stepdad try to molest her just to get her out of the house and then ignore it for most of the book. Don't have a character be abused just so your main character can provide comfort or solve a mystery. I will literally throw that book across the room. (This does not work as well when I read ebooks).
3. I always click on the author's "connect with me" link in the ebook. If the author writes romance and calls romance "inherently vapid" and talks about he's above the genre he writes/the other writers in his genre, I won't read that book. Respect your genre, respect your fellow writers.
4. The phrase "heaving chests" on repeat in a love scene that also uses the word "turgid." I tried and I couldn't. I'm sorry.
A queer femme, writing romance and smut.