Status Update — Sep 2020

Writing has not been a priority of late. Instead, I’ve been making time to tidy my dwellings, reconnect with my feelings, and try and knock over all the stuff my mind tends to wander to when I’m supposed to be working 😅

And so my things have been thus…

Writing and such

Writing has consisted mostly of boring stuff, aka. non-fiction stuff for work. My bread-and-butter writing isn’t especially exciting, but I must admit, it does bring some relief when I’m anxious or stressed. I suspect it’s because there’s no emotion in it, not like there is in romantic and dramatic stories.

None of my big fiction projects have seen much love in the last couple of months, but I’m working on a couple of short bits and experimental pieces. My “weird fiction” story got accepted for publication—yay! It’ll appear in the Autumn 2020 issue of the Kyanite Press journal.

There’s a teaser excerpt coming out in next month’s Dot Club. Plus more information on this blog real soon.

Tidying up my digital life

Which means closing accounts and retiring profiles I’m no longer active on. It’s funny how many things get “left open” out of FOMO or nostalgia or the fear that we won’t have it at some arbitrary point in the future when we might want it again. I’m in need of some proper cleanups at the moment, though, and that oh maybe approach is standing in my way.

As of today, I’m no longer on Wattpad, Noveltrove and Lushstories. Thank you, readers, for following me there. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my work in the spaces where I’m active. Like this blog 😊

Health, fun & other vitals

Self-care means working on my goal setting and time management, as this is proving to be super important while trying to get all my adulting out of the way 😅 I’m also really enjoying nice smelly things (candles, soaps and oils) and delicious tea.

Currently consuming:

Recently finished:

Playing:

  • Gloomhaven
  • Merchant RPG

And recently on the socials…

A sweet piece of my culture.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CErFumegRUb/

What I’m not reading — Aug 2020

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

There must be something about this time of year that gets me doing stuff other than reading. It’s Djilba in these parts, according to the Noongar calendar, described as “a transitional time of year”. Now, I don’t know if that refers to people and emotions as well as the weather, but I’m certainly feeling a sense of flux.

Although, if you were to watch me through the window, it would appear I’m only fluctuating between gaming at the computer or bingeing Netflix on the couch 😅

Well, it’s not reading, at any rate, and here are the lovely books that are taunting me from my house-sized TBR:

Forbidden Storm by A.R. Vagnetti

A pensive heroin clutches a sword against the backdrop of watchful lupine eyes, on the cover of Forbidden Storm by A.R. Vagnetti

Newly released and hot off the press, this is the long-awaited sequel to Forgotten Storm. This time, we track the escapades of sexy Kurtis (I loved him in the first book, but who doesn’t love a hot martial arts hero?) and the enigmatic Lucretia.

The Kyanite Press: Volume 1, Issue 1

A ghostly hand reaches towards us from a starry night sky on the cover of The Kyanite Press Volume 1, Issue 1

This is one book I wish I had taken with me on my last plane ride. It features speculative shorts of all sorts, and knowing what kinds of stories Kyanite Publishing likes to collect, this would have kept me properly distracted on the long transit home.

The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole

A Black woman holding a laundry basket chats to a Chinese guy holding a cat on the cover of The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole

This book was an insta-buy when I saw it on Instagram, which is a shame because I’ve since done some research and learned that Mindy Kaling is one of the audiobook VAs. Oh how I wish I got the audiobook edition instead, because I love Mindy Kaling’s voice! It’s not ridiculous to buy the audiobook of something if you already have the Kindle version of it, right? Maybe it’s time to dust off the ol’ Audible subscription…

Not Meeting Mr. Right by Anita Heiss

A redheaded lady contemplates the mediocre men in her life on the illustrated cover of Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m looking for until it finds me. That was this book, another insta-buy from an author I’ve heard good things about. I eagerly await a chance to get stuck into it, though if it’s as “Sex and the City”-esque as it sounds, I should probably load up on wine and snacks first.

Dirty 1st Dates: The Arcade by Harley Laroux

A tattooed guy stands in a gaming arcade on the cover of Dirty 1st Dates: The Arcade by Harley Laroux

Harley Laroux is a top shelf smut writer. While a few of her books await me on my Kindle, this one in particular is bubbling to the top. The next book I read will most likely be this one.

Reverb: Live, Die, Rave, Repeat by David Fuente

A crowd of clubbers dance the night away on the cover of Reverb: Live, Die, Rave, Repeat by David Fuentes

Another insta-buy—everything about this book sounds like a riot. This bit from the blurb was what got me in the end: “Expect Sun, Sex and Sangria all mixed in with EDM, even more Sex and Narcotics.”

The Heart of the Deal by Lisabet Sarai

A business woman sits in an executive chair on the cover of The Heart of the Deal by Lisabet Sarai

Lisabet Sarai has been on my reading list for ages, but it was the “Ruby and Rick compete for ownership of a strategic factory in Malaysia” bit that drew me to this book. Who says representation doesn’t sell?

Endgame by Aisha Tritle

A skull stylised with an abstract circuitboard theme on the cover of Endgame by Aisha Tritle

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but the circuitboard-styled skull really sold me on this. That and the techno-thriller vibes in the very intriguing blurb. I have a thing for guys named Alexei too, so that’s a trifecta right there. Oh, Kindle, my Kindle, we shall spend time soon ❤️

Status update — July 2020

These are interesting times we find ourselves in. Though saddened by the losses from turbulent events over the last few months, I’m simultaneously thankful for the shake-up. I’ll refrain from addressing specifics here, because there’s so much more to say than what I can fit into this post.

But generally speaking, something was not right in the life we once called “normal”. I’m optimistic that we can dismantle the rotten parts and build something better, but seeing it all unfold still stokes my nerves. It’s frightening to see how desperately some still cling to the old normal in the face of such overwhelming need for change. I get that change happens slowly, and one can only hope it doesn’t happen so slowly that we as a human family end up needing an even bigger shake-up further down the track.

Well, anyway, here’s what my last couple of months have been like…

Writing, publishing and Camp Nano

Sunset on a Distant World is on a publisher’s slush pile. I’m not expecting to hear back for a couple of months, but all my heads, shoulders, fingers and toes are crossed and hopeful. In late June, I wrote a piece of “weird fiction” to submit to the Kyanite Press journal. Whether or not it gets accepted, I’m thankful for the chance to try a different genre. It came at a serendipitous time, as this type of fiction has some overlap with Project H, which I’m working on this month for Camp Nano.

And, oh: Where the Sun Always Shines, an anthology of feel good stories, is out now!

A Twitter hiatus + my relationship with social media

Recently, I deleted Twitter from my phone. A dear writer/editor friend pointed out that reading so much for work can make spending time on an ephemeral text-heavy platform a bit of a mind-killer. And my experience for the better part of this year so far has lined up with that.

Within 48 hours of deleting the app, it felt as if a fist had unclenched in my brain. Within a week, I found myself more able to focus on tasks in front me, and give more attention back to goals and habits that had fallen by the wayside.

Twitter is like a massively crowded pub—shouty, noisy, and heaps of fun if you’re up for that. But there’s a reason I don’t go to pubs as often these days, and it’s not (just) because pints are now $15 in Perth. I feel more relaxed after my break, and look forward to taking a more laid-back approach to how I spend my time on that site. And on all the other social platforms.

For the time being, Twitter is staying off my phone, and I’m enforcing a “no scroll hole” policy on myself. I’ll still see your mentions and messages, but may not get the opportunity to reply in a timely manner. If you need to reach me, HMU on email or Instagram instead 😊

BLM and activism

In the past, I’ve shied away from anything labelled “activism”, because I’d always understood activism to mean a confrontational big-bang approach to driving change. But in the last few weeks, I’ve learned about quiet/introvert activism and what an activism toolkit might look like if overt protest isn’t something you can sustain. It includes the kind of stuff that could slot easily enough into everyday life, and helps keep the movement going between heated moments.

Right now, I’m researching and learning more about specific issues (like Australia’s constitution having a provision for discounting votes made by people of a particular race 😱), working on being a better ally, and going in a bit harder on any “activist” things I’d unknowingly been doing before. Oh, and exploring how and what it means to be more consciously and conscientiously outspoken.

Health, fun and other vitals

Self-care is currently setting boundaries around work and play, consuming enough calories, getting 10–20 minutes of sunshine most days of the week, and striving for 2L of water everyday.

Currently reading:

Currently watching:

  • Luis Miguel: The Series
  • Family Guy
  • Dark

Currently playing:

  • Mindustry
  • Merchant RPG

And recently on the socials…

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCXrtJFAR99/