GUESS WHO HANDED THEIR THESIS IN FOR EXAMINATION?
That’s right! It’s me!!
A couple of weeks later than the deadline I announced (that’ll teach me to announce such things publicly, ha) due to some factors outside of my control, but by golly, it’s polished, all its obvious technical and theoretical holes are patched, and its off on its way to my examination panel!
As you can possibly imagine, things have been a little surreal since I sent my 105,000 word literary behemoth child out into the world to win some hearts and shape some minds. I’ve been trying to I adjust to not always having something to work on, something to research, something to refine, something to do. Now, my non-teaching time is, well, free time, where there isn’t a major project thrumming away in the background waiting for my attention. Yes, I have some other projects I would love to slot into that new empty space. But I’m also going to schedule in a hefty dose of lying down in the sun and doing absolutely nothing.
I’m still writing though, of course. Always always. Let’s look back at what I put out this month:
On the blog
The Queer Art of Not Staying Dead – we all know the Bury Your Gays trope, but here are some fantasy novels that are un-burying their queer protagonists in very satisfying ways.
Queer YA Spotlight: The Monster of Her Age – set in an alternate universe where Australia’s film industry is on par with Hollywood, this is a charming, moving story about grief and horror movies.
Summer 2022 Three-Episode Check-in – how are the new shows going in a season of ghouls and goofs?
Legs – the online literary zine EnbyLife was generous enough to publish a short story of mine! This one’s about the strange rituals associated with doing girlhood “properly”, and how something an annoying teenager says to you in passing can stick in your head forever.
What does “historical accuracy” even mean, and can we apply these notions to fantasy? As Bernadette breaks down, often this is to do with creating a sense of logic, verisimilitude, and cohesion that makes your made-up world feel like a real place people might live day-to-day.
Listen, I maintain my argument that Rent-a-Girlfriend had potential… which makes it all the more painful that it divebombed into stupidity… which makes it all the more cathartic when other people tear its stagnant, sexist, downright silly narrative to shreds.
I’ve also been really enjoying diving into Mina Le’s backlog of well-researched and nicely-presented videos on various niches of fashion history. What does it mean to “dress rich” and where does that pop cultural image come from? What history and imagery is Lana del Rey drawing on for her carefully-constructed persona and why is it falling apart in the year of our lord 2022? She also has heaps on movie and TV costumes, but I’ve been having fun absorbing these glimpses into aesthetic worlds I wouldn’t normally chat about.
I’ve also been enjoying watching fashion historian Nicole Rudolph put together a… Muppets cosplay. No, really. It’s literally so good. The series starts here! You will learn so much!
“Differences Die at the Door”: A Postmortem of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop – alright, so NetBop was canned, but getting to the heart of why involves a deeper dive than the memes. In this article, Madeline examines the creative influences behind the original versus the adaptation, revealing key differences that lead to the latter feeling “repugnant in a uniquely American way”.
All the Dangerous Things Ryan La Sala has Done in the Name of Research – author of Reverie, Be Dazzled, and the please-arrive-in-the-mail-soon new release The Honeys, La Sala has engaged with some chaos in the name of “method writing”—from infiltrating a cosplay contest, to urban exploration, to accidentally unveiling a beekeeper’s curse.
The song on repeat this month is a much more mellow vibe than July’s bop. It’s making me crave a visit to the ocean…
And that’s all folks! See you on the flipside.