April and May Summary

Yikes these got away from me. here’s two months of catch-up updates.

I went to the Queer Young Adult Literature Conference at CU Boulder in April, and got Malinda Lo to sign my copy of Ash, even though I had to leave her talk early for work. I also got to see all of Sara Farizan’s talk, which was amazing. Listening to the two of them speak was very inspiring, in the way that I just wanted to rush home and create something.

Malinda lo

I had a similar reaction to seeing Mad Max: Fury Road (an incredible movie), where among the wide range of emotions I felt upon leaving the theater, I was also torn between wanting to just bask in the afterglow of the movie, and to rush home and to create something. I hope that at some point I can craft a story that makes someone else react similarly, where they just become so overwhelmed with what they’ve witnessed, and were so touched by it, that they too become inspired and want to pass that feeling on with their own work.

In May I sent out a total of eleven new short stories, and one attempt at a reprint. At the beginning of this year I was attempting to chart my daily word written count, mainly as a means to stop myself from lazing around for weeks with some sort of visual representation of my productivity. I’ve gone back to tracking daily word count, but there’s more three or four day long gaps where I can only put in 0s. This is okay. On the days that I do write, I think I write well, and a fair amount. I’ve figured out a way to juggle my retail job and writing in a way where I’m allowing myself time to recharge after work, but still producing written content when I can in a productive way. Eleven new pieces is pretty good. I even had a week when I was working on some flash fiction when I was using my breaks at work to text myself the first drafts of pieces that I would then edit on my days off. I don’t think I can do that with longer work, but it worked out well for 100-word pieces.

I also got better with dealing with the number of story ideas I have. Previously, I was getting overwhelmed with the number of stories I was working on, and not really getting anywhere on anything because I was trying to jump between too many projects. Organizing myself was as simple as making a list of stories I want to write, and then working my way down. For the later stories, I made each one a quick bullet outline of main ideas or themes I wanted to hit, so I wouldn’t forget them while I work through my checklist, and this has been working smoothly so far.

In the coming month I’d like to starting working more with Twine games, and getting acquainted with the systems, as well as maybe starting on some research for a longer piece I want to get to eventually.

I also need to be better about updating my social media, as evidenced by the lack of posts here and how dead my twitter is at the moment.

In April and May I read The Thesaurus of Horror; or the Charnel House Explored!! by John Snart (1817).

I thought this was going to be a fictitious piece of over the top horror, an idea I got from the overuse of exclamation marks and italics. I also misinterpreted the opening news piece about being buried alive as a fictitious one. The book is however, John Snart’s attempts to chronicle for English Parliament the horror and injustices of being buried alive, in an attempt to prohibit interment after death, for up to a period of months. He gives his own (semi)-truncated history of the world at the beginning, and then details the horrors of the grave, as well as describes several instances of people being buried alive, including the story of his grandfather or great-grandfather. It was overall a really difficult read, because of the dry and tedious way it was written, but I got to a point where I couldn’t stop, because I just became so transfixed with John Snart’s complete horror. He also spends a significant amount of time at the and detailing experiments done on animals to determine how drowning and suffocation occurred, and how long a living creature could be  buried alive for and still be resuscitated. He condemns scientists who undertook these experiments which he believes were cruel and inhumane, and for the failure as higher beings to look out for and care for lesser animals, which he views as a human obligation. it was an interesting read overall, but I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone.

I am a little curious of the numbers of cases of people being buried alive in 1800’s London, because Snart’s statistics seemed obscenely high, and I wonder how much he may have been inflating them out of his own fear of premature interment.

Short Stories I read and really recommend:

Ocelia Ocelia by Leena Likitalo

A Very Long Bereavement by Melinda Selmys

Bones Like Black Sugar by Catherynne Valente (an amazing story, the best thing I’ve read in a while)

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