february 18, 2018

Hiiii world,

What I’m Reading
So last month I talked about RADIUM GIRLS, a nonfic, which is pretty different from what I usually read. I, um, still haven’t finished this book, since it convinced me I had radium poisoning and also was just generally a very visceral and intense read. I have about 100 pages left, and I just need to power through. I will! I will prevail!

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Anyway, as to what I’m actually reading right now, that would be Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy. I’m kind of sticking with nonfic right now. I’ve been having a hard time getting into books lately. I quit two romance novels, a highly anticipated YA fantasy, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. But the nonfic has been holding me. Been stimulating my mind? 😉

Some of the scholarship referenced and cited in Buzz is stuff I read in one of my classes (The History of US Sexuality)–shout-out to Andrea Tone and Devices & Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America (read it!)–so it’s been really cool to be like, “Oh, yeah, I know what that thing is.” Partly I like it cause it makes me feel smart, ha, but it’s also not dense and has a fun voice. I don’t think you have to be a history fan to dig into this one, so don’t discount it if you’re a non-non-fic reader like moi.

I always use this section to talk about stuff I’ve recently read too. Soooo…

Look out for this one in March. It’s been a book of my heart for so long, and now you can all finally read it!

Side note: I reread Simon VS after seeing the movie. It’s now the 3rd time I’ve read it, and it remains the most delightful book. I can’t wait to go see the movie when it’s out–also in March! So many good things are coming out soon 😀

What I’m Doing
ALL MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE. I finally got to go to…

THE

BROADWAY

PRINCESS

PARTY.

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I can’t believe this actually happened. I’ve been waiting for this for years. It was absolutely magical. MAGICAL.

Also 54 Below makes amazing Brussel sprouts.

AND MAGIC.

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princess and the frog happy twirl

Mmmm and some other less exciting but still noteworthy things, I saw Black Panther today. It was such a visually stunning film, and also full of great characters. I know the whole universe is already going to see it, but if you haven’t yet make sure you do! No spoilers here from me but eeeeeeeepppp!!!

Also the Super Bowl happened earlier this month! I made Jess come over and watch it with me. I explained football to her, and she got pretty into it 😀 Or she just enjoyed my mom and me’s commentary bashing the Patriots the entire time.

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Here is Jess imitating the black paint football players have on their cheeks, ha.

Alas, I don’t have pictures, but yesterday I was at NYPL for their Asian American YA panel! That was super relatable and interesting and when Rhoda talked about the Philippines being shaped by colonization/war and the role of superstition that’s still present in her life and shapes it, it was so gratifying to hear a little bit of your experience being shared.

Mith and I hung out after and I tried a variety of vegetable dim sum before we returned to our usual haunt, B&N. 🙂

I shall end this section of ramblings of social interactions with a duct tape Mushu I made at work.

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What I’m Thinking About
Mmm stuff? I’m so proud and awed by the Parkland survivors speaking out for gun control so passionately. They are the embodiment of YA, and it warms my heart. But I hate they have to fight for this. I hate the GOP refuses to act. I hate the GOP refuses to save lives.

In other news, Virtue and Moir can’t just be platonic, right???? RIGHT???

What I’m Netflixing Listening To
Usually when I do this section I talk about music. And I do have a new band to talk about–We Are Scientists. 

But I actually want to talk about a podcast I started listening to called More Perfect. It’s definitely been sucking up time. It’s all about constitutional law and Supreme Court cases. You can see I’ve been surrounding myself with nonfic/historical things. But listen to it!! 😀

What I’m Writing
Still revising monsterbook. Idk if it’ll ever be done.

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Fingers crossed I keep this blogging this up!! Take care, stay safe, and be kind to each other ❤

With love,

Mic

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january 19, 2018

hey, hey! Look at this, a blog post a decent amount of time from my last one. Could this be the year I finally blog semi-routinely? Probably not. But stay tuned.

What I’m Reading

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This is a bit of a new one for me, I’m not the most avid reader of non-fic, but I’m reading THE RADIUM GIRLS: THE DARK STORY OF AMERICA’S SHINING WOMEN. I’d heard good things about it, plus it was about women and history (two of my favorite things), and I noted in the past I have a hard time drafting/revising and reading YA at the same time. 1. Because time spent reading is time not spent working. 2. And, sometimes I tend to absorb what I read and it bleeds through into my work cause I love it too much. Then some of my revising is weeding those bits out and realigning my vision for the story. I figured it might be easier to revise and read something preeeetty different.

I did not expect this book to be as intense as it is. I should have been prepared, considering it’s a horrible piece of history, but there’s a lot of visceral description of the sickness and pain these women suffered due to radium poisoning. There are points where I find myself feeling anxious while reading, but I think if I just go piecemeal, it’ll be fine.

On the flip side, I’m so in awe of these women and their strength. It’s highly suspect if I would have been able to go through what they did. It pisses me off too, that the Radium Girls story is a lesson told over and over again in grade school (was it for you? it was for me), but the story is distilled down to “Oh, the silly women would dab the radium paintbrushes in their mouths and paint themselves, then they all died cause no one knew radium was radioactive.”

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This story is so much more than that. SO MUCH more than that.

What I’m Doing
So like most recent college grads I’ve been job hunting. It’s not fun. We’re gonna quickly move on.

The coolest thing to happen recently was attending a screening of LOVE, SIMON. Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 12.36.50 AM.png

If you’re a YA fan, I’m sure you’ve read this adorable novel, and if you haven’t, PLEASE GET ON IT. The movie was an absolute delight. It perfectly captures the spirit and tone of the book. Formal reviews aren’t allowed so I can’t say much. I’m a notorious critic of YA adaptations and adaptations in general, but this is one of my favorites. That’s not to say they perfectly recreated every scene–there are some changes. But it just works. I think this is the only adaptation I can say this about.

Side note: I stood outside in line for over an hour in the cold and my feet froze I was 110% convinced I was going to get frostbite and die and have to go to the hospital to have my feet amputated and miss the movie.

BUT, I can’t wait to go see it again on March 16 and take Bestie (Jess, as you longtime readers know ;D) and my mom.

I’ve done some other things recently, like finally try a pork cutlet bowl, as inspired by my love Yuri!!! On Ice.

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Jess and I also hit a dessert bar right after. And we got a lot of treats (SO MANY TREATS) but we were so full (SO FULL). But look how pretty they were…

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Then we got our periods the next day, so I guess that explains everything.

And no, that’s not a plant. But we named it Simon 😀

Other than gorging ourselves on dessert, Jess and I have also been hitting the gym. We’ve started off the year on a pretty healthy note all things considered. Let’s see what I’m blogging about in December 2018, muahahaha. Fingers crossed for a fit year.

Between all that I’ve been working at the library, as one does. The real work has been on monsterbook, which I guess I’ll talk about in the writing session belooowwww.

Ermm, Brittany and I hit a new cafe… but I think she still prefers her first love Breads. Oh, I also found out there’s a Goth Renaissance shop downtown, and it houses an immense amount of lingerie, but not nearly as many capes. #MoreCapes2k18

What I’m Thinking About
A list, in no particular order:

  • i hope the new arctic monkeys album is good
  • 16 hour time change. the things I do for tennis #AustralianOpen
  • it’s been 1 year of the trump presidency, HOW are we all still here
  • it’s been 1 year of the trump presidency, HOW is he still president
  • i want to go somewhere new, but it’s winter and traveling with a giant coat would suck up all my luggage space…
  • women’s march 2.0 TOMORROW #riseup
  • how many times can one rewatch gilmore girls before it’s Too Much

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What I’m Netflixing
So, have you heard of this show Cable Girls? I knew it was a show about 1. 1920s Spain, 2. women, 3. women working in a telephone company, 4. women working in a telephone company in 1920s Spain. Like, if that doesn’t sound like a Mickey!Show, I don’t know what does. But I put off watching it. I’d scroll past it on my list, searching in vain for something until I just gave up and put Gilmore Girls on again. But recently Netflix had it back on its front screen since season 2 had just come out.

I don’t know why, but I just gave in. I think I’m just desperate for new TV since Outlander is done and I’m behind on Riverdale, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Jane the Virgin isn’t back yet. I’m just starved for TV, obvs. It started with a voiceover I dug right away, but then I noticed the audio wasn’t synching up with the mouths. Puzzled, I paused it and restarted it, reloaded the page and tried again, but nothing worked. But I didn’t want to stop watching so I decided to just watch it as is.

Then the theme song came on, and my eyes glazing over, I couldn’t register any of the words. That… was not English. And then the title came on, but it didn’t say Cable Girls. It said something in Spanish.

1920s Spain.

I realized this wasn’t an American show, but an English dub of a Spanish show! Anyway, there’s a very long story about how I came to learn that, ha! I’m almost done with episode 3, and I gotta say, I dig it. I think Carlota is my fave, the blonde women below furtherest back holding something. She kinda looks backstabby to me in this image, but she’s actually the sweetest???? She’s so adorable and bubbly and wants her freedom more than anything and I CANNOT WITH HER.

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Look at these women!!! Look at their faces. THEY HAVE SECRETTTSSSSS AND WANT INDEPENDENCE.  

This was one of my absolute favorite bits from 1×01:

[Marga] I still can’t believe you’re here. When your father came into the bar, I almost got in the car, I was so scared.

[Carlota] Do you know what a woman’s worst enemy is? Submission.

[Marga] I was always taught to obey.

[Carlota] Sure. Me, too. ‘A woman needs to always be proper and obedient, Carlota.’ But one day I thought, ‘You’re not a woman. How do you know what I need?’ So he can lock all the doors he wants. ‘There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.’ Virginia Woolf said that.

DO YOU SEE?? Do you see how perfect and wonderful? So yeah, here’s my plug for Cable Girls. Lady friendships, feminism, 1920s Spain, telephones!! (how quaint), angsty tortured love stories, handsome Spanish boys, cute outfits!

What I’m Writing
Ah, yes. Here we come to monsterbook draft5! I’ve said it with every draft, but this is the most intense, trying revision I’ve ever done. This is the book, guys. I hope it is. It feels like it could be. I got some CP feedback from my darling Joan (add DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE here!!) that really highlighted how some of the plot points in monsterbook aren’t things caused by the girls, but that they have to react to it, and thus certain points feel kind of random. She said it, and I was like “Poof, yes that explains everything.” She said some other things too, but that note probably led to the biggest revision I’m doing right now.

I was at my bakery today with an earl grey latte, and I completely replotted act 2 to make sure my girls are the drivers of the plot, the makers of change, the doers of bad choices, the knocker of dominoes, you get the picture. At first, it felt daunting. When I got Joan’s messages at 11:30pm a few nights ago, I was like “omg what will I dooooo” but then the panic very quickly abated, and I felt like, subconsciously, I did know how to fix it. So I hung onto that, comforted myself with it, ha. Today, I wrote down 10 pages of notes in my writing book, completely taking apart act 2 and putting it back together. I’m so thrilled with things right now. That’ll probably change, because writing is a pendulum, where you swing from high to low, excited to horrified, etc. But for now draft5 feels like it’s starting off on the right foot.

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(I listened to a lot of Bleachers while writing it!)

And I have something amazing to show you! Diana Pinguicha Connors drew a portrait of Karo, one of my MCs, for me!!

karo portrait

IT’S SO PRETTY I DIE.

 

And it’s way cooler than Bebinator Karo I made, right??

karo

bahaha can’t you see the resemblance??

This is a great way to end!! Chat soon, maybe??? Take care, and I hope your year is starting off the way you want it to. And if not, there’s still time to turn it around ❤

With love,

Mic ❤

a year in books: 2017

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Another year, over! Look at that. Hopefully it was a good one–personally, since 2017 was a trashfire globally.

Personally, I think 2017 was pretty good. I hauled ass to graduate college–I did 5 classes for spring semester, took one summer session class, and completed my final 3 this fall. Last grade I got back was an A- *dusts shoulders* *sleeps for 10 years*

A highlight reel of cool things that happened: escaping the escape room with Brittany and Mith, another summer at the US Open, writing adventures (monsterbook), roaming the village for cute finds with Mith, cheering Katie on at her NY launch for The Girl with the Red Balloon, biking Central Park (ALL 7ISH MILES–yes, I died), biking Stanley Park (all 5ish miles–you can see now why I thought I could do Central Park…) (side note: Central Park has more hills) (who knew), Brittany baking me pie (again :D), going with Jess to see the very first showing of Beauty and the Beast and then taking my parents that night, Anastasia coming to Broadway and Derek Klena’s parody of Part of Your World.

(yes, it’s from 2016, but I watched it A LOT in 2017.)

I also got to intern at St. Martin’s Press and do cool things, and become privy to some cool bookish secrets 🙂

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[any excuse for Galavant gifs, I use it]

Blah, blah, blah, Mic you wrote some words, did some things, met some new people, saw some new places–where are the books?

I’m getting there.

I also went to Comic Con again. I literally got to squeeze Kristen for like 5 seconds, and then escort her to her panel. And Katie was there and Brittany was there and everything was Wonder Woman, and there was some sort of Walking Dead thing that featured a guy being tortured and screaming every five minutes on the show floor which was 1000% annoying. And we stood in lines and Brittany read the first chapter of monsterbook while we ate ice cream and sat in the corner of the show floor.

comic con

How lucky are we that we get to live in the same timeline as the Wonder Woman movie? ~look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now~

Anyway, to the only topic that matters, BOOKS.


I was right when I said I wouldn’t get near 200 this time (2016, there was something special about you), but I did hit 125. I’m proud of that. My goal for next year is to read roughly the same amount.

Gonna start this one off with REREADS:

-The Scorpio Races. This was a book I read way back when it came out. I had been obsessed with Maggie because of Shiver, and when I read TSR, I don’t know what it was, but I just didn’t love it. It felt slow and overwritten and confusing to me. But so many people love it, and the premise is a Mickey!book, so I decided to give it a try this year in November and everything clicked. 6 years later I’m a bit more of a mature reader, ha, and I completely devoured it. Fell in love, and it’ll be one of my forever favorites now.

-Lola and the Boy Next Door. What a perfect delight! This was another one I didn’t totally love when it came out. Age also probably helped because I totally got Lola in a way I didn’t five years ago. And Cricket Bell is such a gem of a person.

-Bone Gap. I thought I’d be using this book for a term paper on disability, but I ended up scrapping that plan. Either way, I’m glad I got to reread this since I adore the characters so much. Sean and Petey and Finn and Roza are such a special bunch—but especially Roza and Petey because Bone Gap is really about the women at its heart ❤

-Harry Potter 1-4. So I totally failed at doing a full-scale Potter reread over the summer. But it was great to revisit the characters and the world. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. I’m not crying, you are. Side note: why is Prisoner of Azakaban so good??? Why does it ruin me every single time? I DIDN’T ASK FOR THIS.

-Lady Midnight. I did this one before I read Lord of Shadows, which was an A+ decision. It just reminded me how much I love the Blackthorns. And these are giant tomes with lots of plot, so I kinda needed the refresher. Not sure if I’ll do another reread before Queen of Air and Darkness next winter. We’ll see.

-Open Road Summer. The Fill-In Boyfriend. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Just some super cute contemporary I’ll always love ❤

-A Court of Wings and Ruin. So when the third ACoTaR book came out, I devoured it, and then promptly reread A Court of Thorns and Roses, Mist and Fury, and then ACoWaR again. I don’t care. It had to be done. (It also really helped lessen the book hangover.) *anxiously waits for any bit of news about what the next novels are about* *NessianNessianNessian*

-A Darker Shade of Magic & A Gathering of Shadows. So just like Lady Midnight–and unlike ACoTaR–I reread these before the final book, A Conjuring of Light, came out. Very glad I did. Once again, needed the plot refresher and I love these characters and world so much. I wasn’t the hugest fan of AGoS when it came out since I found it slow and filler-y. But this time I was prepared for the pace and really just sunk into every word. Adore this trilogy!

So yes, those were most of the rereads I did this year (the standouts :D)! Very much enjoyed myself. Rereading is a true pleasure.

I looked over last year’s post, and I had a section for WHY DIDN’T I READ THIS SOONER, which is basically backlist books I finally read. I think this year the title goes to two individuals… firstly, Anna-Marie McLemore!

I fell head first into The Weight of Feathers and Wild Beauty. I haven’t yet read her sophomore outing When the Moon Was Ours… I’m saving it for a rainy day. I got too lost in the language when I read TWoF in 2015, but again, just a case of being older and a better reader. I love how she builds worlds out of words. Seriously, Ms. McLemore, please save some talent for the rest of us. And she’s not just telling me a story, either, but she’s showing me something about society.

Magical realism is a genre most people don’t understand, something that’s hard to explain, but it’s not just simply ‘where magic is part of the fabric of the world in subtle ways and unquestioned.’ It’s about resistance and oppression and the past and the future. I never got it before, and McLemore is a master.

Then, I’m sharing this honor with Mistress Holly Black. Holly is someone whose Curseworker series first book I read way back in the day. I wasn’t a fan, but a lot of other great people are. (I wonder if I’ll be one if I reread in 2018… :D). I ended up with an arc of The Cruel Prince from Bookcon, though, and I started reading it on a whim. It totally grabbed me from the first page. Since then, I’ve read The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Once again, I’m drawn to Holly because of her amazing writing. I got to see her at the Brooklyn Book Fest this year, and she legit said she builds her plots around a feeling she wants to evoke in the reader. Who does that? I am drowning in the sea of otherworldly magic that is Holly Black. She completely reinvents what you thought you knew about faeries or vampires. They’re not gorgeous humans with super strength, or humans that are super witty, but this new different creature that’s legit dangerous. So don’t mind me sitting here anxiously waiting for 2019 so I can read the second book in The Cruel Prince trilogy.

Mmmm, so now let’s break this down by genre, right?
[Last year I did have a separate section for 2017 releases, but meh, I can’t be bothered to do that again, so sorrynotsorry there’s some 2018s in this round up 😉 #tease]

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2017 Contemporary Love

2017 Fantasy Love

2017 Historical Love

Here we go! My top books of the year… very much anticipating 2018 and all the wonders it’ll bring.

Hope you’re having a lovely holiday, and you can look back fondly amongst all the dystopian mess that’s taken place. And if you can’t, hopefully 2018 makes up for it. The bar is literally so low. Making it this far is an accomplishment in and of itself, so be kind to yourselves ❤

Mic.

June 16, 2017

Hello, blog! I seem to write to you at odd times of night.

What I’m Reading
Most recently, I just finished THE GLASS SPARE. It was my first Bookcon read and it did NOT disappoint. It did the exact opposite of disappoint. I completely adored it from page one. The writing was beautiful, the characters were so fully drawn and interesting, the romance/banter was 100000/10, the world had just enough slight details to make it feel rich and realized. I loved it so, so much. I especially loved the uneven power dynamics between Wil (MC) and Loom (cursed prince a la the blurb) and how that whole thing played out. It was SO good. Exactly what I’ve been looking for: complex, with Wil strong and firm and unwavering. You all must read this book when it’s out in October!

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heart eyes motherfucker

Also, damn, what a cliffhanger!! WHAT SET UP FOR BOOK 2 I AM READY.

In other news, I’m rereading the HARRY POTTER books. It’s magical. The end.

What I’m Doing
I’m actually in class for the summer. For the month of June I’m taking Italian 3 so I can do exit level in the fall and GRADUATE! 😀 I’ll also be taking my final two English classes, and then that’s it. I will be a college graduate. It’s so weird! But for right now I’m in class for three days a week, doing nine hours of conjuntivo and condizitonale and why are there so many freaking verb tenses?

I’ve also been to the theater, recently. I saw Bandstand, with one of my ultimate faves Laura Osnes. It was a really great show–highly underrated in my opinion. Basically, it’s about a bunch of vets after WWII and a military widow forming a band to deal with their trauma. They have hopes of winning a national song competition that’s supposedly all about representing the troops–but is it really?

It’s a great show, full of honesty and emotion. There was an older gentleman sitting in the row in front of me, and I saw him sobbing throughout the second act. I think it does everything right.

I also saw CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which is basically the most fun I’ve had at the theater in forever. Also underrated, especially since critics basically bashed it. I have no idea what show they watched.

I also went to the movie theater and watched WONDER WOMAN.

What an amazing movie. I cried so much. Like, just seeing badass women kicking ass together and training hard and pushing each other made me so happy my eyes leaked. And how beautiful a character Diana was, how pure and dedicated and true. She was true to herself no matter what and that was so gratifying and important to see.

And, of course, “I wish we had more time” *slips her the watch* *CUE MORE TEARS*

Oh, so good. I’m hoping I can see it again this weekend with Jess. (side note: Jess is in culinary school now! She’s living the dream!! #BestieIsProud)

As mentioned above, I was also at Bookcon earlier this month. That was an adventure. Here’s a shameless picture of my haul.

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I was up at 5:30 both days and on the train at like 6 so I could be at Javits super early and have a good spot in the queue line. It’s all about getting onto the floor in the morning. What a ride.

Here are some cool people I saw! ❤ ❤

I also spotted Chelsea Clinton signing, and that was REALLY COOL.

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I saw Krysten Ritter too and she’s actually so tall in person??? She just seems really cool.

How many times can I use cool? LET’S SEE.

A movie filmed in my neighborhood recently. Coincidentally, it was called:

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No, actually, they filmed around my corner. So I need to know what exactly this is and when I can watch it because COOL BEANS. Sadly, no hot actors fell madly in love with more, nor did a producer spot me strutting down the street and demand I be an extra in the film.

My friends and I also did an escape room thingy. Guess what–we escaped!! It was HARD, man. I totally felt like the weakest link, but I did discover a secret object and found the secret compartment and was a good secretary taking notes, so I feel like I contributed a little, but those two were completely on top of it and if I hadn’t been with them, I’d still be stuck in that room. Also, look at my cute Victorian prop hat 🙂

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What I’m Thinking About
Getting my Pitch Wars wish list done!!! I’m so excited for all the Pitch Wars stuff to start happening. Speaking of Pitch Wars, I did a query crit earlier, which you can find here. I also might have another one coming up so stay tuned 😉 I also definitely want to do crit giveaways leading up to the sub window, but those will all be done on Twitter.

AND ALSO THE KILLERS HAVE NEW MUSIC. THE KILLERS FINALLY HAVE NEW MUSIC I AM SO EXCITED.

What I’m Eating
I present you with:

What I’m Netflixing
I started Girlboss the other day. I only watched episode 1 and some of episode 2, but I like it!! There’s something about Britt Robertson that’s magnetic in this role. I’ve known her work for a long time, since she made the movie Dan in Real Life (so good, do watch if you haven’t!), and good for her making it happen.

I also just constantly watch random Gilmore Girls episodes. Because it makes me happy and it’s light but also balances the feels right and I just want another female driven show like Gilmore Girls. SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE ONE.

Also not what I’m Netflixing, but plain ol’ watching: I got caught up on Jane the Virgin. I love this show. I guess it’s the closest I can get Gilmore Girls. For once it didn’t end on a brutal cliffhanger! I’m excited to see what happens in season 4. Also, Jane and Rafael?? I thought I had given up on that ship happening. Can they stop playing with my feels? Also, to see them work in current social issues and the resistance is so important and legitimizing. I’m so happy we have this show and for all its success.

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(also omg Captain Swan got married and JMo is leaving OUAT and my heart is just full of feelings cause CS were my otp since 2×05 and that was FIVE YEARS AGO. I literally graduated hs and went to college with them and that is so goddamn special to me. This has been such an important time in my life and their story was there to make me happy and make me a better writer and make me feel things and distract me when I needed a distraction and boost me up with set spoilers of kisses and the fandom on tumblr have basically been so joyous and wonderful and I will miss you CS <3)

I also fell in love with the NBC show Timeless, which I watched On Demand. Lucy and Wyatt are my new slow burn ship and I need this to happen. It was quite dramatic when it got canceled and renewed two days later. But I’m so happy it’s sticking around, and seriously LYATT IS LIFE.

Lucy is a cute history nerd and Wyatt is an army vet with serious trauma, but on top of that he’s also a widow and he loves his dead wife so much, but then this amazing lil nerd comes into his life and she’s so bright and strong and he can feel himself wanting to move forward with his life, but he also can’t let go of this past and IT’S SO AMAZING. Also, the show doesn’t sugarcoat our history. It engages with discussions about racism and sexism and is surprisingly diverse. Timeless is just such a good show. It’s feel good, but also has moments that make you think. And the shipping. The shipping is A+.

What I’m Writing
Goddamn, this is a long blog post.

Long story short, I finished drafting and my first revision pass of a new YA contemporary called #ConcertBook (I blogged about it extensively last time). It’s with readers right now, and while I wait for their notes I GOT A YA FANTASY PLOT BUNNY I AM FULLY EXPLORING. I love it. It’s #monsterbook and I will not tell you anything about it except that it has the coolest pitch I can’t take it.

*yawns* Okay, I am sleepy now. It’s like 2am. I need to get into the blogging mood at better times of the day. Well, good night, and keep fighting the good fight, people! It’s more important now than ever.

With love,

Mic ❤

june 21, 2016

Hey!

What I’m Reading
So last time I went super mega fangirl about My Lady Jane and alluded to a book I was reading, but decided to save it for my next blog. Well, I am ready to tell you about that book, but first we need to talk about My Lady Jane again.

So last Tuesday, the authors were at Books of Wonder for an event. But you might remember I was seeing Florence and the Machine that night. I was really, really sad I had to miss it because I read an interview Cynthia, Jodi, and Brodi had done in the Epic Reads book they gave away at BookCon. It was so funny, and I instantly knew I wanted to see these three in person. Alas, that could not be. But, I did order myself a signed personalized copy from the store (cause Books of Wonder is awesome like that–and they ship worldwide).

I finally got around to taking some pictures of my beautiful gorgeous book!

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And now!! To the other wonderful book I read recently and absolutely adored.

Side note: this was the first book I read and tweeted about that attracted people I didn’t even know to tell me how good it was. The tweet actually got way more attention than I thought it would. Right away I had a feeling I was in for something good.

Ummmmm…. so yeah, let’s talk about how AMAZING The Dark Days Club was???? I was not prepared to be blown away by this! Right away, the writing jumped out at me, and I loved how many rich female relationships Lady Helen had.

I’m just gonna embed the Goodreads review, even though now I know they look boring :(, but I honestly don’t think I can write coherently about this book again cause I loved it and need book two right now!

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This cover is unfairly beautiful. Look at the lace! Look at the fans and skeletons and all the intricacies of it!
The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ummmmmm this was perfect bye.

Reasons This Book Is The Best
-So many lady friendships/relationships! The story opens with Helen’s concern for her missing maid and the ruin of one of her close friends. Women are integral to the plot and Helen takes her relationships seriously. Her bond with her (parabati) maid Darby is so sweet, as is her desire to be there for her friend who is now disgraced. I loved the role Millicent plays throughout, as well, as the friend and lifeline to the normal world Helen is gradually leaving behind as she learns more about her abilities. Then there’s her complicated relationship with her aunt, and the loss of her mother, who actually plays quite a role in the book. There are also the other women in society, who are not Catty Evil Mean Girls… but just girls, acquaintances, etc. MUCH LOVE. *heart eyes*

-THE NEW SHIP OF MY HEART. ugh. No one prepared me for its perfection. It was subtle, but swoony af and reminded me of Lizzie/Darcy and Jane/Rochester. Like a perfect blend of both those ships. A particularly *fans self* scene with Lord Byron reciting stirring poetry, demon exorcism hand holding, the fight/first aid scene, the next to last chapter showdown OMG.

-Regency England. Goddamn, this book is amazing. Alison Goodman knows everything about the Regency Era, I am convinced. There are lots of historical books that go for the glitz and glamor of an era, but never follow society’s rigid rules. This book never takes an easy way out. Helen has to sneak out to attend a public hanging? Well she can’t just climb out her bedroom window, but instead this book is excellently plotted and constructed to really live in its time period. Regency jargon! Apparently even the weather in the book is accurate to its date (see: author’s note). I’m just in awe of how perfectly in synch this book is with Regency conventions, rules, and daily happenings. It’s a marvel of a book that feels like Austen reinvented with some actual magic.

-Physically, this book is so beautiful. The art at the top of every single page. The typography of the letters. The dates.

-A refreshing take on The Chosen One and an actual choice for Helen. So, we all know the YA fantasy where the MC has this special power than can quite literally save the world (not that I don’t also enjoy those books from time to time). Helen is also a special lady, but she actually has this amazing choice if she wants it or not, and I love it. Like, there are real stakes/consequences for whichever choice she makes and it was riveting.

-On the same line, the world-building. Along with giving Helen a choice and consequences, the mythology in the story is fascinating. It’s also the reason the fact Helen has a choice works so well. I never felt flooded with too much info. It’s well paced and artfully spread out, and feels familiar yet new.

-WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR READ IT NOW

View all my reviews

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I want to marry this book. MARRY IT. I also want to marry Carlston. *cough*

i need a moment hook ouat

Just… just… please everyone read it. And then come at me so we can swoon and fangirl and WAIT tortuously for The Dark Days Pact.

And since this section is technically called “What I’m Reading” and not “What I Just Read and Loved and I’m Pretty Sure I’m Now Dead,” I’ll say I’m listening to the audiobook of Jenn Barnes’ The Fixer, and it’s so good!! YA Scandal, basically. I’m all for it.

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What I’m Doing 
FOOOOOOODD! Okay, well wait. I have some other things to blog about before we get to the food.

So firstly I was at Books of Wonder last week to see three amazing people: Steph Perkins, Nina LaCour, and David Levithan. Also on the panel were Lisa Williamson (The Art of Being Normal), who has the best English accent and read from her book SO well; Jane Mason (Without Annette); and Billy Merrell (Full Spectrum). They were also amazing, I just didn’t know it until I found out about them at the event 😉

Unbeknownst to me, this event was part of the Openly YA series Books of Wonder was doing in celebration of Pride Month. I felt so honored to be in that room with so many queer teens and allies, especially just a few days after the horror in Orlando. All the authors on the panel recognized the importance of this event, in supporting lgbtqia teens and literature, and standing up to hate with love.

In David’s words, the readings that night would begin with tragedy, but end with Pride. He was right. We started with a scene from one of his older books were a girl is lighting candles at a 9/11 memorial, and from there moved to Stephanie Perkins reading an excerpt from Tim Federle’s short story in her anthology Summer Days and Summer Nights where a gay couple just broke up.

Next was Lisa who read a scene where her main character was being bullied. Then there was Billy who read an excerpt from one the new essays in Full Spectrum about sex and gender.

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Jane read the opening of her book where the girls are arriving at boarding school. And then, Nina and David stood up and owned the floor.

 

They read the opening two chapters from their new book You Know Me Well, and then read a bit from the end (and the crowd was freaking out about spoilers). It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. The two of them were acting it out, being silly and adorable, and reveling in their unapologetically gay book about teens being HAPPY and THEMSELVES and ALIVE. I haven’t read my copy yet, but I am so so SO excited.

That was Wednesday night. And then on Friday….

 

happy baby

I did my waiting! 12 13 years of it! In Azkaban. 

Jess and I went to see Finding Dory! We went to an 11am showing haha because we could just not wait any longer. Plus, we wanted to avoid screaming loud children. It worked out very well.

The short film, Piper, before the movie is too cute. Like, I reached my capacity of cuteness before the actual movie even started.

Finding Dory was really good! It was just cute. There was no horrible traumatic scene we’ve come to expect from Pixar movies. It was lighthearted and adorable and I loved how Dory’s neurodiversity was celebrated. They did such a good job with it, which is why it was a letdown when they failed to do the same two side characters (find an article about it here). That was the only blah part of the movie for me.

Then we went to eat.

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My French toast after I’d taken a bite out of it. I love me some French toast ❤

I promised you food, didn’t I? Well, here’s more!

Yesterday, Mom and I had a day out and enjoyed lunch at this Italian restaurant we’d never been to before in Park Slope.

The first being my appetizer, mozzarella and tomato! ❤ You can never go wrong with that. Then I had penne fiorentina, which is spinach pesto and fresh ricotta! My mom had fillet de sol. For dessert we split a pear tart with hazelnut ice cream. Yuuummm!!

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Oh, I almost forgot. There was also an excess of vodka pizza for Father’s Day, and I only managed to grab this picture before it was all gone.

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Pizza is the best. Pizza is life. Piiiiiizza.

What I’m Thinking About
-I just found these 2 articles I wrote on a short lived blog I was running last year, and I’m still really proud of them a year later! 🙂

-Vote vote vote in November to remove all the awful Senate Republicans who voted against stricter gun laws. They’re not even strict gun laws; they’re common sense gun laws. Obviously you should have to pass a background check to buy a gun. Obviously if you’re a suspected terrorist you should not be able to buy a goddamn assault weapon.

-Sometimes you cut toxic people out of your life for a reason. But sometimes they reappear, seemingly to have changed, but then pull the same crap. It just sucks, when you’re hopeful something is different now and you can get back to a good place. And then you have your heart stomped on again.

-My cat is a celery fiend.

What I’m Writing
Nothing! Right now, anyway. Because I finished my draft!!!!!!!!

gg blair happydespicable me i'm so happy feels

!!!!!!!!

What I’m Watching
The Bachelorette. Gotta say though, last night’s episode was pretty boring with Chad gone and all the guys turning into jerks/blobs/sexists. I need a good show! Recommendations?

That NBA finals game was intense.

US men’s soccer team vs Argentina tonight! I’m excited! Am bummed UEFA and Copa America are happening at the same time, though. I wish they were one after the other so we could have more soccer over a longer period of time. Alas.

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤