A big, deep breath

I’ve finally come to the end of a long run that wasn’t the best for me. For months and months, I took on too many projects and constantly lived an overloaded lifestyle. My justification? I didn’t have one.

In hindsight, it was probably a combination of a work ethic that favours intensity and the lack of a well-calibrated filter for input. I understand this is not uncommon for people in Team Neurodiversity, which I have also recently learned is indeed my team.

Of course, being the kind of person who believes we make the choices that seem like the best idea at the time, I embrace the notion that “that unhealthy lifestyle” was actually very good for me at some point. Sometimes we need to struggle before we experience gratitude. Sometimes we need the rain before we get flowers.

Well, to continue the metaphor, I still need to tend to my garden before anything will bloom, but I have finally dug my way out of the mire 🌻 Here are the seedlings I’m currently tending:

WIP — “Sunset”

Act 2 of “Sunset” is done. I had a lovely break over the weekend, involving computer games and Thai food 😄 in preparation to get cracking on Act 3. This book has been a work in progress since 2018, and I’ll be over the moon when I finally get to share it with you.

Coming soon — About Henry: A Novella

About Henry: A Novella is now up on Amazon, pre-ordering is open, cover has been revealed, etc. 🙌 It feels great to have both stories, About Henry and About Her, in a single device-friendly ebook format.

This blog — a refresh

So here I am now at my new blog home, blog.jlperidot.com. I should have done this ages ago, as the new setup means easier maintenance and less faffing about every time WordPress releases a new update.

I hope you’re still with me and, if you are, that you’ll excuse any broken links still pointing to my old domain. They’ll get fixed in due course.

A bowl of Thai beef curry noodle soup and sweet Assam tea
Thai beef curry noodle lunch from the other day 😋

Construction in progress

No, I haven’t been taken over by hackers (at least, I hope not). Just working on a bunch of updates for this blog 👷🏻‍♀️

It’s been a nightmare trying to maintain the previous incarnation, so I’m now running on a new setup. Please excuse the mess! 🙏

It’s a long weekend in Perth, starting from today. Here’s hoping something doesn’t go horribly wrong, forcing me to spend the next three days in CMS hell 😅

Impromptu status update: Other than tinkering away with this site, I’ve been working on my novel WIP, the upcoming About Henry release, and procrastinating on planning my next story.

Published
Categorized as Diary

About Henry — a novella

Sometime last year, the CapriLuxe anthology disappeared from Wattpad. It looks like the organiser cleaned up her digital life, and I absolutely don’t blame her. There’s an airy feeling of freedom that comes with deleting accounts you no longer use. For one thing, you never have to worry about a “hey, we got hacked” email from a brand you forgot you once shared personal information with.

Anyway, the disappearance of Henry Aston shall be remedied. About Henry and About Her will be combined into a single novella edition and released through Amazon sometime in July.

If you’d like an ARC, make sure you’re subscribed to Dot Club. There’ll be more information about this in the June (#30) newsletter.

A man in a suit holds a cocktail in a brandy balloon

Shout, shout, let it all out

There’s at least one child who lives near us who likes to shout every morning. He/she/they descends the steps of their home and runs around the neighbouring vicinity sing-shouting at the top of their voice. He/she/they may also be the same child/children who screams every afternoon with such regularity and reliability that it’s evident we’re dealing with garden-variety bathtime/naptime disagreement and not something more sinister.

Ah, I remember being that age (those ages?). Shouting almost always brought some kind of relief—from pain, from frustration, from boredom, from the terrors of peace and quiet. At my ever-ripening age now, relief comes from laughter and ugly crying and making time to think and re-connect with myself, but I still marvel at the wondrous mechanics these little humans have. For example, their tiny throats can vibrate air particles with such vigour that concerned passersby stop to ask if they should to call the police.

At various shout o’clocks throughout the day, I wonder what the future holds for these young ones. Rock star. Opera singer. Football coach. Market auctioneer. Quiz night emcee. Suburban mum from the 80s. Flock of galahs in a tree at sunset. The possibilities are endless in this age of technology and the noise-cancelling headphones for which I am grateful.

Shout on, child. You are made of star stuff ⭐️

Being busy happens when life makes plans for you

I reject the idea that being busy is a badge of honour. If anything, being too busy may be a sign that we’re not being kind enough to ourselves, giving ourselves time to rest, which is hardly something to brag about even if it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

We may not mean to be busy, yet life happens and we end up that way. Maybe in our pursuit of meaning and happiness, we took on one too many enjoyable things and overdid it a little—or a lot. Or maybe we got caught up in the hidden tasks, the unpaid labour, the little extras that project managers need Gantt charts for.

That’s certainly how my last few years materialised, anyway. My rearview looks like a long, dark tunnel, stretching so far back that I can barely see the pinprick of light at the entrance. But the road ahead looks brighter. April has been a raging nonce of a month. A heap of big, demanding long-term projects converged at once, which was intense but came with the silver lining of getting them all out the door.

Actually, no, they’re not quite out the door. At the moment, they’re still in the foyer putting their shoes on, but it’s progress and I feel better for it. I’ve caught up on a huge backlog of filing and admin as well, and am now getting closer to catching up properly on email, unsubscribing from ancient spam, et cetera. It’s been a productive time, even with all the recent pandemic business that’s been going on in Western Australia. Looks like when things go awry, I deal with it by buckling down, focusing local, and taking comfort in things I can control. It’s left me with room to rediscover things I love that I’d let fall by the wayside.

This week, I’m working on “Sunset”; I’m working on a novella release of About Henry; I’m working on maintaining work-life balance as we head towards the light.

And it feels good.

Star Crossed — out now!

It’s out! It’s out! Star Crossed, an anthology of romantic science fiction, is now available from major e-book retailers.

It features my short story, O, swear not by the moon, alongside moving works of fiction by some amazing indie authors.

Here’s a little excerpt:

“And I contribute code to this place,” he adds, tossing a ball decorated with the topology of her homeworld. It materialises from nothing and spins on his finger. “Do I captivate you sufficiently?”

“The axis is off by three degrees.” Tanith swats the ball away. It disappears in a puff of gold feathers. There’s a sparkle in his eyes—they chroma-shift and she adores it.

Edited by Renée Gendron. Published by Fedowar Press.

Get your copy today 💖

Silhouette of a couple looking out over a planet surrounded by clouds on the cover of Star Crossed, an anthology of romantic science fiction from Fedowar Press.

Reviewing books is a bastard of a thing

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

And many thanks to Nomad Authors for letting me share some musings on it.

Navigating the at-times murky waters of reviewing books has forced me to look more critically at the value of reviews.

I love getting a great review, and yet only rarely consider reviews when deciding whether or not to read a book. Perhaps it’s this ambivalence that feeds my anxiety about writing them.

Anyway, here’s the post. Any of this sound like your experience too?

What I’m not reading — Mar 2021

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

I’ve been good this year. Somehow, I’m managing to read and get my work done, which has not happened so harmoniously in many years. However, while I’m chewing through a hard sci-fi and a sweet romance, my TBR is still giving me puppy-dog eyes. Apparently, one can’t just read today. One must read faster. Oh well~ 😪

Here are the little culprits currently gathering dust in the corner of my mind palace…

Occupational Hazard: An Anthology of Sexy Workplace Stories by Rebecca Chase

A lady in sexy corporate-wear on the cover of Occupational Hazard by Rebecca Chase

As much as I love a good long-read with complex storylines, I’m very keen on what I call “snack reads”—short stories you can enjoy with satisfaction within little pockets of time. That’s what drew me to Rebecca Chase’s 2020 release, Occupational Hazard, an anthology of six sexy workplace stories. Real-life smutty office moments may not be my thing, but steamy workplace stories certainly are.

Open to Love by Lyndell Williams

A woman in a hijab smiles while a bearded man smoulders on the cover of Open to Love by Lyndell Williams

Having just finished watching Vida, I’m in so in the mood for romantic drama and sexual tension, and expect Lyndell Williams’s Open to Love to deliver in droves. I mean, just check out that cover and read this blurb: “Faheem uses all his charms to make sure Hafsah becomes his, but flirting can be a dangerous thing when committing to no sex outside of marriage. The two play with some serious fire that might burn them both.” 🔥🔥🔥

Neon Hearts by Stefanie Simpson

A woman illuminated in pink and blue on the cover of Neon Hearts by Stefanie Simpson

This amazing book is coming out in a few days and I can’t waaaaaaait! Unfortunately, I shall have to wait, but that’ll just give me more time to get excited. Stef Simpson is an amazing writer with a tight writing style that carries so much feeling. She was kind enough to chat with me earlier this month about NEON HEARTS and her other work. You can check it out her interview here.

The Train Guy by Michelle Prak

Cover of The Train Guy by Michelle Prak: A woman pretends to look at her phone while really watching a man reading his book on a train

I’m not sure what to expect from this book, but I love that Michelle Prak’s The Train Guy involves longing from afar and time spent on a train (yeah, I like trains). Oh, and it’s an Australian romance, which means it’ll probably have that special Aussie cheekiness about it too.

A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo

A woman's face shown through the silhouette of a bird amidst leaves and flowers on the cover of A Lover's Discourse by Xiaolu Guo

A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo 100% won me over with its cover and serious, almost solemn, blurb. It struck me as an introspective love story and in my post-dentist high, I picked up the paperback immediately. Don’t shop for books while on drugs, kids. Or, maybe do…? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

The Queen’s Alliance (Kingdoms of the Ocean #1) by Jessica Gleave

A red-headed mermaid on the cover of The Queen's Alliance by Jessica Gleave

I should be good and press on with Jessica Gleave’s Sky Realms series, especially after finding such a gem of a fantasy romance in Helios and Zelena. But when I found out this author has a merfolk series too, my curiosity was piqued. Neveah will just have to wait. The Queen’s Alliance is the next Gleave book on my list.