“Welcome to Illyria!”

“Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome…”

I’m a big fan of stories. I’m always consuming some kind of story, whether book or TV show, magical realism or Grimms-inspired sci-fi, anything I can react to, analyze, or write about.

Come watch me write about stories, even if you should be writing yourself. Especially if you should be writing yourself. Reading about writing isn’t writing, and reading other peoples’ writing isn’t writing, but it’s a lot of fun.

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Lady Writer Supergroup

I had this grand plan to assemble a Feminist Fantasy League for real women (as in, women who actually exist.)

While compiling the list, I realized a good 90% of the women I admire are writers.

You know…oddly enough.

So I went with that. Continue reading

Fantasy Feminist Team

I’m finally doing it.

I’m forming a girl squad.

I’ve put it off for years because my friends keep choosing true love over the sisterhood. They tell me marriage is a whole lot of fun.

BUT IS IT?

GIRL SQUAD, ASSEMBLE!

What would this squad do? I don’t know. Win? Fight for love and justice? Discuss film theory? Have pizza nights because I miss those most?

“Girl squad” sounds juvenile for something this important.

How about…Fantasy Feminist Team?

Perfect. Continue reading

Feminism Month

It’s that time again!

(I meant to post this yesterday, but ended up falling asleep in a nest of blankets on my kitchen floor instead. I may be ill.)

I didn’t finish all the books I had lined up for Spiritual Health month. Part of that is my fault: I kept adding interesting titles to my list and ended up with over 30 books. I have a problem.

In my defense, the Seattle Public Library refuses to relinquish titles I’ve been waiting on for a month. A MONTH.

While I waited for those books, I kept snagging titles from female authors, like a memoir about marriage by Ann Patchett and a book on pregnancy by Angela Garbes. One copy of Bossypants and several women’s history tomes later, my feminist books outnumbered my spiritual texts. Continue reading

Happy Anniversary (two days late…)

My pastor asked me how long I’d lived in Seattle yesterday.

I did the math and realized it’s been TWO YEARS.

WOW.

I guess that makes me a bonafide local.

Even though most days I hate living here, I wanted to celebrate this milestone.

If not celebrate, at least recognize.

I don’t think I’ll live here forever. But I love my church and the company I work for – I would be loath to leave them.

To mark this occasion, here are some things I’ve learned since moving here:

  1. The Light Rail only goes so far. When in doubt, take a bus.
  2. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE WEEKEND BUS SCHEDULE, or you could be stranded in University District without a ride to your friend’s wedding in Sand Point.
  3. Never go to Pike Place Market after 12:00 PM. NEVER GO THERE.
  4. Mainline Protestantism is a thing.
  5. I have stronger beliefs about LGBTQ rights and communion than I realized.
  6. You can never have too many books.
  7. Just kidding if you live in a studio.
  8. Rich people have bedrooms. If you want a bedroom so bad, find a roommate.
  9. Summit Street Starbucks on Capitol Hill has the best staff.
  10. Not all theatre is worth your time.

Yuri!!! on Ice Skaters Ranked from Worst to Best

(Per my mom’s advice, a major SPOILER WARNING goes into effect starting now.)

I knew I had depression when I couldn’t get through an episode of skating anime “Yuri!!! on Ice” without sobbing. Then again, the show delivers intense emotions and sympathetic plotlines that can trigger tears whether you have a serotonin deficiency or not.

I talk about this show all the time. I keep trying to trick my family into watching it. My friend Claire bought me an art print of one of my favorite characters (more on that later) that I look at every morning for inspiration.

But when describing the show to my friends or rewatching episodes by myself, I learned something disturbing:

I hate almost ALL of the characters. Continue reading

Seattle Reality Checks

In 2015, I wanted to move to Portland, Oregon.

When people asked me what my Plan was, I’d tell them, “I’m going to move to Portland and work at Powell’s.” Some people thought this was a cop-out, not knowing I was describing my Dream Life. I couldn’t wait to work at my favorite bookstore in one of my favorite U.S. cities.

That did not happen.

My quest to move proved a discouraging failure: I couldn’t find a job or affordable housing and all my predictive budgeting put me in massive debt. My dream started to look impossible.

In the wake of that disappointment, a new idea formed: What if I moved to Seattle? Continue reading

What I’m Reading: August 2018

I have two difficult drafts that I’m working on that I keep editing and restructuring and sometimes avoiding, which is why I haven’t been posting as often. I need a break from the emotional energy required by those posts.

So on to books.

I am currently reading…

  1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    This is a reread; I bought an awesome paperback edition of this classic on my last Powell’s trip and have been itching to revisit the story. I’m picking up on more of the humor this time around and the story is flying by. Goldman’s word choice and structure are so creative. I’m having a lot of fun.
  2. Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett
    A quick Google Search of this author proved…unfortunate. So that’s kind of bumming me out. But I’m not very well-versed in matters of race and institutional prejudice. I want to be better. I’m trying to get woke.
  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    This one may take me a while to get through, but I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. I normally don’t like history – and Claire’s husband Frank is a history buff, which is the WORST – but the female characters in this book are so enjoyable that I’m loath to skip this adventure.
  4. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
    I’m a little horrified that “autism romance” is a genre…but I just watched a documentary about the diversity and progessiveness of romance, so I’m able to appreciate this story more than I might have a couple months ago.
  5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
    Woof. This might be going on the Books to Sell pile soon. I’m only a few pages in. My uncle talked it up so much – the author is a Christian, this book won the Pulitzer prize – so I want to give it a fair shot. All my Googling, though, shows there’s not much to the story: a dying pastor chronicles his life for his young son. I’ll try my hardest, but no promises.

I plan to pick up…

  1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
    I’ve honestly avoided this book since its release. My last foray into folklore-inspired fantasy became a drudge when an initially-interesting novel asked me to commit tons of worldbuilding details to memory. But people have been losing their minds over this book and I’ve heard the romance is reminiscent of Zutara. I saw it, I checked it out, here we are.
  2. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
    I’m into bummer accounts of marriage these days. Ooh, a woman struggles to stay faithful after her husband’s imprisonment? Sounds like fun.
  3. Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
    I followed a Youtuber’s recommendation and fell in love with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. That Youtuber raved about this series and its romance, so I bought the first book.

I had to put down…

  1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
    Much as I loved the writing style, I wasn’t all that interested in the title character’s sad life. Just did a Wikipedia scan; I made a good choice.
  2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
    I loved the first third of this book, but reading about her marriage for some reason kicked up my anxiety. I’ve decided family drama is too stressful.
  3. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
    I don’t think I like Forman’s writing as much as I once did. I revisited If I Stay recently and felt nothing. As soon as the first-person perspective started in this novel, I found I did not care.
  4. Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
    WORST Spiritual Health book so far. de Bono comes across as an arrogant, small-minded asshat. His book opens with a claim that his method is the MOST IMPORTANT cultural change in the last three hundred years. Doooooooouche.
  5. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
    I knew this book would be brutal, but I couldn’t stomach the rape that occurs at the end of the first chapter. I tried my best, but that was too much for me.
  6. The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
    Berg writes a perfectly fine account of author George Sand, but the protagonist spends more time on her family history than I can honestly care about.

 

I’ll be spending lots of time with these books while I puzzle over my upcoming blog posts.