So here we are, another month into opening updates and emails with “I hope everyone is doing okay in these strange times…” Do I still hope everyone is doing okay? Of course. Have the times gotten less strange? It’s difficult to say. I’d like to say I’m better anchored in this new social distancing set up: everyone around me is safe and well, some financial worries have been smoothed out (for now at least), and my productivity is back on track after a couple of weeks of an emotion I want to call bluuuuuuuh. I do keep getting into “wait, is it Wednesday?” conversations, but that happened before working from home too, because time is fake, so maybe that’s okay.
It’s raining, and it’s cosy inside. I’m writing words and making things. My cat is doing a really good impression of a loaf of banana bread on the windowsill, and I can hear little “wahoo!” sound effects from downstairs while my partner catches fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
On the blog:
Creativity, Discipline, and Eizouken (or: Everyone Needs a Kanamori in Their Life) – a reflection on the creative process (feat. some ruminations on my own PhD) and how important Sitting Down and Doing The Work actually is to it, and why that makes me appreciate Kanamori so much.
Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Heroes, Heartbreak, and Heists (in Space!) – reviews and recommendations of Not Your Sidekick, The Disasters, and We Used to Be Friends, all of which made my heart happy.
The Trickster in Popular Culture – Presentation Edition! – the long-overdue recording of a presentation I gave in November 2019, bringing together much of my Trickster research and somehow managing to talk about how cool Villanelle is for a good chunk of an academic paper.
Save a Horse, (Do Not) Ride (This Particular) Cowboy: An Ace Reading of Arthur Morgan – a look at Red Dead 2’s main character through an ace lens, seeing what evidence stacks up, what the themes of the story gain from this, and why all that’s kinda cool.
The Cats movie is wonderful simply because T.S. Eliot, with all his hangups and political ideologies, would have hated it.
The Cats movie is wonderful because it’s ultimately a tale of celebrity hubris, money-grubbing, disrespect for the musical as a medium, and may well herald the end of Oscar-bait musical adaptations.
A panel on aro/ace representation in YA, starring some authors I’ve reviewed and some I’m currently reading, all with great things to say about the complex spectrum of sexuality and identity, what’s considered “queer enough”, and the joys of speculative fiction for escaping and having adventures.
Another digital panel, this one about queer rom-coms – the best and cheesiest tropes, the balance of authenticity and escapist cuteness, and the many intersections of identity that publishing can and should explore.
I think at this point anyone who’s spent any amount of time in The Fan Internet has at least heard whispers of the long-lost legend of MsScribe: the “gold standard of fandom drama”, to quote this very video, and a terrifying and beautifully bonkers encapsulation of early ’00s internet culture. Here the tale is laid out in its (almost) full glory (for the fullest glory, of course, read the original exposé). It’s a whole journey. Do take it with me.
So I know this is last month’s episode, but I only watched it the other day and it’s excellent. Oliver Philosophy Tube Thorn invites us to ask, what is the “purpose” of art? What snares lie in the delicate space between authorial vision and “meeting audience expectations”? And what does fan entitlement look like from someone who’s been on the receiving end of it?
In/Spectre – The Birth of a Modern Ghost – an intriguing look at the myth-making process, and how stories can change, evolve, and “become real” through people’s dedication to them, through the lens of In/Spectre‘s living legend of a final villain.
What We Remake – an examination of what modern remakes keep to remain nostalgic, what they have to change to stay relevant, and the tense space in between. How does a culture of remakes enforce an idea of “the canon”? What makes a good remake? The answer will be a little different depending on who you ask.
30 LGBTQ YA Books You’ll Absolutely Want to Pick Up This Spring– in which Dahlia Adler continues to keep me fed when it comes to publishing info and book recommendations.
Feiwel Series to Put New Faces and Spins on Classics – an announcement of an upcoming series of retellings of classic novels that directly tackles the idea of “universal stories” and the very white, male canon. The series will include a Treasure Island reimagining by C.B. Lee (yeah, I was just talking about her!) set in the South China Sea and featuring some queer adventures and a pirate queen or two; as well as other new takes that sound intriguing.
“We’re Everywhere”: Author L.C. Rosen on Platontic Queer Relationships – L.C. Rosen (who you may notice on the rom-com panel above) writes about the importance of writing queer characters being friends with each other as well as ending up in romances with each other.
And it was a new anime season (again! The horrifying passage of time!!) so be sure to check out the reviews!
And that wraps us up for April. See you all soon, and take care!
Oh! And a massive thank you, too, to the couple of people who dropped a tip into my coffee account last month. I appreciate the hell out of it, and you, and everyone who comes back and consistently reads this little corner of the internet.