Wednesday Reads (On Thursday)

Because I like to be a rebel and Wednesday was  full of preparations for this early Thursday morning and also troubleshooting cable issues ( apparently all the channels decided to change and that disrupted a lot of things).

So what am I reading, what have I currently read, and what’s still upcoming from the To Read Pile?

Well, glad you asked.

What I’m Reading:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – which has been recommended to me by many places and people and I am happy to report that they were all correct. This book is fascinating for many reasons. It will draw you in with the dialogue and ease of reading and keep you by the narration of the life and viewpoint of a very well known man in one of British history’s most well known periods. The prose is captivating and Hilary Mantel weaves the historical details into a narrative that is easily understood. I haven’t yet seen the PBS Masterpiece Special they’ve based on this, but if they’re true to the book, then it will be fantastic I’m sure.

Fading Suns: RPG book – because this will factor into Christmas gifts and I am making sure that I am familiar with the system and requirements so that modules can be built.   I’m dipping more into GMing which will be fun.

What I’ve Finished:

The second Mitch Rapp book, (chronologically) Kill Shot by Vince Flynn was a hell of a sequel to American Assassin. Mitch gets himself into and out of trouble with a little bit of help from Irene and Thomas and we see Stan Hurley and our good old friend Victor again. It was overall a fairly satisfying read and I’ll be fascinated to see if this is the next Flynn novel to get movie treatment.  I have a lot more feelings about this book, but they are all massively spoileriffic so if you’ve read it,  poke me in the comments and we can flail over it together.

Church Refugees by Ashleigh Hope and Josh Packard

This was an interesting book that I was reading, partly for research and partly for personal reasons.  It’s amazing and also painful.   It talks about the Dones, people who are followers of a certain religious path that are for one reason or another, done with the Church as the institution we are familiar with, but not done with their faith. It takes a sociological look at this phenomenon  and though both contributors are themselves believers in this religion, they try and minimize their internal bias to only focus on the data gathered.  Their academic and scientific standards have been top notch and I want to throw this book at every pastor and missionary I know.   Because I believe it will be that helpful, because I think it will be able to express things in a way that will make sense and be better able to communicate why precisely there are a lot of people leaving the church in order to serve God more.

Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie’s amazing novel about a murder on a train and the detective who has to solve the mystery while the train is stuck in the snow. One of the more interesting character novels, as it provides a great insight into Hercule Poirot’s mindset and personal set of ethics.

What’s Next:

Old Man’s War – my first Scalzi novel! I’m excited to read this.

The King in Yellow – Robert Chambers – this one is for research purposes, but I am so curious about it.  I’ve heard so much about it here and there.

What are you reading?   Share in the comments!

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Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is a time in my family to stop and reflect on what we’re grateful for, as a person and as a family. This year has been harder than the last ten or so before it, but it’s also the first time in a while that I really stopped to reflect on what I’m grateful for. Really truly grateful for, not just the glib answers that immediately come to mind when someone puts me on the spot. So since I am always better with written words rather than spoken ones, I wrote them down here to share.

I am grateful to be alive. Because despite everything, I am alive and my roommate/ best friend is alive, and my family is alive and that right there is a huge blessing. We’re alive, despite the government doing it’s absolute damndest to work to kill us. I am grateful for every single person writing and faxing and calling their Senators and Representatives and encouraging them to put country over party and not sign legislation that would kill me or the people I love.

I am grateful that my chronic pain disease is managable enough that I can keep fighting for people whose disease don’t permit them to do much except keep breathing and keep existing. I am grateful that I have a job that allows me to take the time I need when I need it. I am greatful to have coworkers who genuinely care about my wellbeing both on and off the job. I am thankful that they provide benefits and that they also pay me a living wage. That they don’t hate me when I make mistakes and that they always encourage me to learn more and shine brighter because they actually care about their employees as people, not just numbers on a payroll.

I am so greatful for the support and love from the people I have met at conventions and shows that honestly love and care about me and aren’t afraid to use their platforms to make the world a better place. For the creative community that never fails to surprise and humble me with their outpourings of support and love and presence. For their bravery in continuing to produce amazing work despite the climate we all live in. Where it would be so easy to just give up and walk away because it’s harder now than it has been before and this kind of hypervigilance and the ceaseless crises from one moment to the next is wearing physically, emotionally, and mentally.

For all my fellow autistic and disabled people who are so so tired of forever justifying our existence and our right to be heard and be alive. Thank you so much for everything you are and everything you’ve done and continue to do.

For all of the people who’ve been there for me when the depression and the anxiety have taken hold and I start to doubt again, thank you. You make this life worth living and I’m not saying that lightly. Thank you for being the light in the darkness when it was needed.

Over the past year, I have really come to understand why it is that God encourages us to have community with each other, because it’s impossible to do this alone. So for every single person reading this, thank you for being my community. Thank you for letting me share in your lives and help when and where I can, thank you for everything. You make my life better by being in it.

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Self-Care and Writers: An Update

Writers are not really great about this self-care thing.  Just ask the Internet or any writers you know.   We forget food, errands, sometimes hygiene, all because we’ve got fictional words driving us to type them out and make them real on paper/word processor.    It’s a thing.    The frustration when we’re not producing up to our own standards is also a thing (see above for helpful links regarding all of that).

Self-Care is important. 

I have a double-dose of forgetting about self-care because not only am I a writer, my family is also the worst at this.   We grind and grind until we drop and then once we’re back upright, grinding more.   We never stop and we’re not overly fond of slowing down from the things we need to get done.

So in a move that really surprises no one at all, least of all me, because of all of the compounded stuff in the last three-four months (okay really since April to be honest) – I  hit the actual burnout point.  Technically I hit it at the beginning of last month, but I still had a con to do at that point, so I pushed through it.   Which meant that I spent the entire rest of the month of October reaping the whirlwind exhaustion and fatigue from having just pushed myself so far without a whole lot of down or recovery time.

I did 37 total panels at four conventions in between  a trip to NYC, my baby brother leaving for college, my best friend coming for a weeklong visit, and a whole wealth of immediate and extended family events, house issues and the ever present, always fun medical issues.    I’ve been to Atlanta three times and Louisville once. I’ve had a short story published and invites to submit to three other anthologies, the Patreon is still running for various short stories and novellas, and we’re coming up on the major holiday season.  It’s been a lot lately.

I’m an introvert so recharging generally means I’m sitting somewhere comfy by myself, enjoying the quiet and stillness of just being inside my own brain and not needing to respond to any exterior stimulae unless I wanted to.  Unfortunately with a day job and cats who demand to be fed at regular intervals, recharging had to come at points where I wasn’t working at the full time day job.  So literally everything else had to get reshuffled around to make sure that I could have the time to refresh and recharge.  So that’s why there hasn’t been a lot of posting here from me here (if you follow on me on Twitter, different story, but Twitter doesn’t lend itself well to good thinky posts like I prefer to do here).   You’ll see more posting now, some of it normal updates like the reviews and the wednesday reads, some of them will probably be hilarious posts about November and writing/writers.   It’s deep into NaNoWriMo after all (i’m at 18k and change and I hit the part of loathing all the words ever, so really I’m right on schedule for the nanocycle of writing or if you prefer, I’m right at “The Tango of Mirth and Shame” ).

So hi, everyone!  I’m back and you’ll start to see a lot more posts floating your way very soon.

 

 

 

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The Mad Visions of Al-Hazred Is Out Today!

 

Cover for the anthology

So this came out today and I am super thrilled about it!!   I’ve got a story in there, along with stories from super talented and amazing people.   If you like Cthulhu Mythos stories, then pick this up!    If you would like a signed copy from me,  please comment here or DM/Email me.   It’s 13$ plus shipping and I am more than happy to personalize it any way you like.

Otherwise, it should be available in short order wherever you buy your books!

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Drabble Treat and Shannara Reviews

New October Treat up at the Patreon. This month, $1 buys you access to all the short stories from the last couple of months as well as the story for this month and the drabble treats. Because I love this month and all my patrons!
So if you want to see what it’s all about, click here to go to the Patreon
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And in the other bit of news for today,   The Shannara Chronicles comes back with season two tomorrow.   Watch this space for episode reviews and I’ll be live tweeting every episode I watch live (which should be all of them, life permitting).   I’m super excited to see where they’ll go from here.   Last season was a hell of a ride and I’m so intrigued to see where they take us from where they left off.    You can see all the Season 1 Reviews here  if you want to read my thoughts on last season.
Thanks to Spoiler TV for the promo image.
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Wednesday Reads:

Welcome to Wednesday Reads.

Ahsoka (cover of the novel taken from Amazon)

Currently I am working my way through E.K. Johnston’s Ahsoka book (available here)  and it’s a delight so far.  I really love her character and I was very excited to get my hands on this.  My friend Bryan recommended it to me (you can find his stuff here) and so far I have not been disappointed.

I’ve recently finished Garrett Investigates by Elizabeth Bear, a short story compendium of Abby Irene shorts.  It’s a fantastic universe and I definitely recommend it if you can get your hands on it.   I’ve also finished American Assassin by Vince Flynn,  The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle,  The Alpha’s Home by Dessa Lux, and The Birthday of the World by Ursula K. LeGuin.

More reviews about those to come.   Currently on my reading list after I finish Ahsoka is New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear,  State of Fear by Michael Crichton,  and Shadows over Baker Street – an anthology mixing Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu mythos.

What are you reading?  Tell me in the comments!

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Dragon*Con 2017

At the end of the day, I wound up doing more panels than I’d officially been put on.  The grand total was 19 for the con and it was a lot, but I had a blast doing them.   Even though I work the con, rather than attend, I always have a good time.   This year was one of the best years.

So if you’re coming to here from having seen me at Dragon*Con, welcome! I really am just as weird as I am in person, only I use taller fonts to make my words seem larger.

Here is the link to the Patreon – there’s a 1.00 tier for if you just want access to the short stories!

You can also find me on Twitter over at  @DorothyJoanGray  and it’s some writing, some humor, some politics, and a lot of signal boosting.

So if you’re finding me through D*Con, leave a comment with where we encountered each other and I’ll send you some free flash fiction!

This month is going to be pretty busy with another con this weekend and then a weekend trip up to NYC from the 15th to the 18th.  However, I do have some reviews and essays that will be going up just as soon as I can have the brainspace to sling them up.    For reasons of not having much of a brain, I generally don’t post anything much until the weekend after D*Con.

Stay  weird, my lovelies.

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Sale and A Patron

There will be more reviews coming shortly,  in addition to the Book Log, I have a stack of media reviews to queue up.    Due to some illness, I’ve been a bit delayed in getting them up.   My apologies, everyone,  my lungs have been on a bit of a strike.

So there are two pieces of news that are quite exciting that I want to share.   The first being that I have sold a short story that will be included in the latest Lovecraft anthology from Alban Lake Publishing,  The Mad Visions of al-Hazred.    Publication date still to come and I will keep you updated!

The second major bit of news is that the Patreon for my short stories is now live.   Find it here .     I am super excited to have launched it and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of that!

A lengthier update to follow later this week.   For now,  stay lovely and don’t eat those mushrooms the lady down the street offered you.  They’ll take you down the wrong sort of rabbit hole.

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