Monday, August 29, 2022

Done is What's Important

I made a list.

I made a list before I went to run errands Saturday, and then I did what I often do, which is go to the stores, not check the list, get home, unpack, relax, and then inevitably realize the thing I forgot to buy because I didn't check the list.

Now sure, I should probably learn to check the list. 

Or accept that the joy of living in a city, in walkable distance of a number of stores, is that, I can and did just get the thing the next day. 

Because yes, process improvement is good, but also there are no grades for optimizing your shopping, and basically, I had planned to take a walk outside and listen to an audiobook anyway, so adding walking in the direction of a store wasn't a big shift. 

I don't usually consider myself a perfectionist, but I will sometimes find myself berating myself for not doing things efficiently and yes, efficiency is great. But here, the only one inconvenienced - if we could even call it that - was me. I still went for a walk. I still listened to my audiobook. And I got two more things purchased that I needed. The end result was fine. So who cares? 

One could argue, this many words later, that clearly I do. But part of what I've been trying to remind myself, is that sometimes optimization and efficiency can just take a break already. Done is what's important. And it got done.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. This story of talking pop culture between math questions via fax with his dad in the 1990's is fascinating. 2. An airline put together an all Black female crew - down to the maintenance techs, in honor of Bessie Coleman. 3. There's surfing happening in Hawai'i this week around the annual waterfest, and there are dog surfers, or surfurs, as this conversation suggests.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

New Release - 7 Things About Clear as Ice

1. Sibling relationships are fascinating, and Sienna was so much fun when I wrote Repeated Burn, that I knew she would need her own story.   
2. I talk about this in the acknowledgments too, but yes, I did start teasing a hockey story and then discover my sports superstitions meant I couldn't work on it in season, and so it has been a longer wait than I planned, I appreciate the patience of readers who have now waited a bit for this. Even though obviously this is a fictional hockey league that should have no bearing on any pro sports things happening.  
Also, because some excerpts were posted to my blog, and I wanted to make sure people knew that, Bookbub and I are currently in negotiations about whether this is a new release.  There are lots of words that I never posted, but I understand that Bookbub wishes to be cautious   
3. Raven and Marcus show up here from Repeated Burn, and there are some references to Maya, Lulu's coworker from Bored by the Billionaire.
4. I wish I could tell you that I planned to write a very slow burn to follow the speedy hookup, catch feelings later story depicted in Bored by the Billionaire.  Oh wait, let's absolutely say I planned that as intentional contrast.  (I promise there is some burn at the end.)  But it turns out that the life of a pro-athlete is really busy.  Who knew?  (Everyone.  I know.) 
5. I always end up having to research things for stories, for this one I learned more about hockey (there are things I wondered about as a fan but didn't need to know), volleyball, goalies styles, injuries, and travel.  
6. This story was written during a pandemic but exists outside of it.  Or before it.  Also, there will be an epilogue posted next month to the newsletter for folks who want to see a little more of Marcus, Raven, Lulu, Aiden, Sienna, and Al.  
7. And here's the cover copy: 
Sienna is no stranger to social media.  When she unwittingly starts something claiming there are no Asian Americans in hockey, and then discovers there is one on her hometown team, she knows it's up to her to make amends.  And given her new no dating this year rule, she won't have any trouble keeping things professional.
Al is used to people acting like he's the first or only Asian American in hockey. As the Domes' season moves towards the playoffs, he knows how to keep focused just on hockey.  Even as Sienna turns out to be more than he expected in so many ways.  
Available at multiple etailers: 
Print books are in progress.  

Monday, August 22, 2022

Bookstore Romance Day

I watched quite a few of the Bookstore Romance Day panels this past weekend (after an early morning stop at the bookstore) and then somewhat coincidentally gathered with some other romance peeps for brunch, which is to say, I listened and chatted about romance books a lot this weekend. Also my TBR got even bigger even though several of the panels I attended I had read a book by everyone on the panel. Wild.
For all of the things we need to fix in the world and therefore also in publishing, there are some great books, some books that made people happy, made them hungry, made them curious, and/or made them feel cozy. Books are so great. Stories are so great.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. Substack is well - doing stuff again.  This time letting go an editor who edited a piece that criticized Substack.  Which is interesting, given Substack's people are allowed to write terrible things on our platform because no one is forced to read anything they don't want to stance.   
2. This excerpt from The Grieving Brain is great, because it gets right to why grieving is such an odd process, it's relearning the world. 
3, How a cat drawing helped these two people fall in love. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Joy is Resistance*

Authors I know and adore have had their books banned, challenged, and issued warning labels. 
I've spoken before about how of course every book is not for every reader, and yes I agree that there are books that contain harmful ideas that should not go unchallenged. (The ideas that is.) 
I want people to be able to find books about people like them and people not like them. I have read books this year that made me furious, but I assume someone else found something great in them.
Certainly books that contain bad facts are not necessary to make widely available, just like one assumes kids today have a more recent science book than I did, because we keep learning new things. 
I read Akwaeke Emezi's Bitter this weekend, and it's story about a teen who has spent so much of her life just trying to survive and recognizing that this imperfect world is going to need so much work to fix and couldn't she just stay in her room, was just what I needed after a wild news week that included an author and a man who founded a group to protect authors being attacked on stage. Emezi did an interview with We Need Diverse Books about Bitter, that I found interesting.  
*The title is referencing Ralph Henry Reese's quoting poet Toi Dericotte in the Guardian article. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. Excited to learn DC has a new bookstore, focusing on queer books.  
2. One of the things that fascinated me when I watched "Being Serena" was watching her talk with her coach about how weight fluctuations happen when you're breastfeeding and him being like, well, maybe you stop. And thinking how little information we have about returning to sports as a top tier athlete.  Serena Williams has made tennis better.  I hope the various things she has planned for a post tennis life, are as fulfilling as she wishes. 
3. I had heard about RAGBRAI from friends, and the pie stops, but this piece about the multi-day bike trip is lovely. 

Monday, August 08, 2022

Epilogues, Teasers, and Ending

I was chatting with someone about bookish things, and we shared cliffhangers that had made us mad, endings that had made us quit series, and so on.  
A romance writer friend of mine had once said that for her the sweet spot in romance novels was to end right as you were assured okay, they love each other, they got this, but that readers wanted to live in that moment and she felt this was why epilogues were popular in romance.
Now of course, could you do one more chapter where they are just happy? Sure?  But I think some readers will worry.  So the framing of an epilogue says, look, no more shenanigans, here they are just happy.  Except that sometimes the epilogue also hints at what's come.  The roommate calls and confesses they are pregnant, unexpectedly married, in the hospital, just enough so you go oooh, what happened to roommate?
Now have I read books that did not do this?  Of course.  Am I mad at some of them even though, yes, if you promise me the amnesia will be resolved in book 3 I will grudgingly wait.  Sometimes.  And sometimes that hint was too much and the next book wasn't out yet and I quit.  
In some ways I think this is what Marvel has been trying with these post credits scenes.  Something that doesn't fit in the movie, but gives you a few more moments with the characters and a hint at what's to come. 
And of course season finales, particularly in the days when TV shows had a guaranteed next season, often tried this too.  Raising something that you could talk and speculate about for three months, but didn't make you so mad you quit.  I actually don't think I ever quit because of a season finale, although the cumulative realization that "Grey's Anatomy" was going to kill off everyone once a season grew to be too much for me.  
Kristine Rusch did a post earlier this year about the importance of endings, and one thing rewatching and even re-reading things has often shown me, is that many times, the parts I remember most are near the end.  Now sure I read that more recently, but like giant plot lines will be a surprise to me, but the ending, stuck in my mind forever.  

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1.  I went on a bit of a deep dive into the lawsuit about the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, but this post goes over the highlights of why singing songs for free on Tiktok and performing a live event where you charge money changes things.  It both is and is not about the money.  
2. Apparently this has been going on for a while, but Chuck E Cheese has a nom de kitchen if you will, that appears on delivery apps for people who may just want an Italian pizza of sorts. 
3. And speaking of older news resurfacing, here is the interview with the bartender from those wild bartending videos, where she demonstrated drinks making with no tools.  

Monday, August 01, 2022

Moments of Beauty

My friend and I had outdoor lunch plans on Saturday.  Those of you in the area will know that much of the week leading up to Saturday was either quite toasty, very humid, or raining.  There was little in between.  
I turned off the fan for a few hours at one point because I vacillate between enjoying the white noise of the fan and thinking that sometimes that fan seems very loud and I would like it to shush.  (The fan is not the problem here, I am aware.)  I made it just a few hours before I remembered that turning it off always meant it took much longer for things to get back to not feeling wilted because while it often feels like the fan is doing very little, it take more for it to get back to that point when it can't do it's thing.  
But I digress.  Saturday - the weather folks promised - would fall into that sweet spot, warm enough even for me, not rainy.  I put on sunscreen and bug spray, and decided to be bold and leave the rain gear at home.  And it was delightful.  I ate food someone else made delicious, I chatted with a friend, we people watched trying to figure out what kind of gathering was happening the next door over.  (It involved a tiara and presents.)
We went and got delightful drinks and sat outside in a slightly different location and chatted more.  The sky was gorgeously blue with clouds.  And we said goodbye and it was just a delight.  
May a beautiful day be in your future if Saturday, for whatever reason, wasn't one for you.