Author: Lynn E. O'Connacht

Livetweeting the final day performance of the revised Sera Myu musical The Birth of a Legend

Posted May 22, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Cast of the Sera Myu 1998 revised edition of The Eternal Legend

Last Saturday, I watched the final day performance of the Sera Myu musical The Birth of a Legend. I loved and adored the copy of the original run and this musical was… very different. You can read the Storify of the livetweet here, and you can read on for some slightly more coherent thoughts now that I’ve had some time to let it sink into me.

As always, the fansubs I’m watching come from SeaofSerenity.net and hopefully one day soon I’ll actually remember to announce it in the livetweeting threads. I’m sorry I keep forgetting. 🙁

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Book Talk: Chameleon Moon

Posted May 19, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Chameleon MoonChameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver
Series: Chameleon Moon #1
Pages: 438

The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.

The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die - directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that's keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation... and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.

Regan, silent, scaly stealth expert, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he's finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn't enough: he needs an escape, and he'll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.

But instead of ending a man's life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice - and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.

They join forces with Evelyn's family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there's Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole's few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.

Separately they'd never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole's eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn't above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating... and holding Regan's memories hostage until he gets his way.

Parole's a rough place to live. But they're not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way...

It took me a very long time to get around to Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver, which is ridiculous, but there we are. I did finally get to reading it. WHOOHOO! And then partway through I started a livetweet of it because of course I did.

Anyway, this is not a livetweet. This is a book talk ramble. So… Let’s get to it!

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Book Talk: Code Talker

Posted May 16, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Code TalkerCode Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines in World War Two by Joseph Bruchac
Pages: 231

Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.
But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. This deeply affecting novel honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve, and it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians.

Also by this author: Rose Eagle

Code Talker is almost more of a creative nonfiction book than it is a YA novel, which might help you going into it because it means you can adjust your expectations to what the book delivers on. Personally, I love learning about history this way, so the book and I were a terrific fit. It’s part of why I picked it up, actually, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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Sale: Sea Foam and Silence AND Feather By Feather (Also! More books with mermaids!)

Posted May 14, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

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News. The text 'news' underneath a big envelope. News and updates on the site.

Quick (and very belated) announcement: The ebook editions of both Sea Foam and Silence and Feather by Feather and Other Stories are discounted throughout the rest of May!

Sea Foam and Silence is discounted to $0.99 (or what its equivalent is in your currency when I submitted the price change) and Feather by Feather has been discounted to $1.99 (or its equivalent in your currency).

But, hey, it is late and I should get some sleep after staying up way too late watching Eurovision, so let’s talk about May and books a bit more! May is also #mermay, you see! Which, basically, means that my Twitter TL is filled with the most gorgeous of mermaid art. Hence the discount of Sea Foam and Silence. It is a perfect #mermay treat! (Feather by Feather and Other Stories also has a little mermaid retelling, but the vast majority of that book is not mermaid-related. There’s a kelpie and some swan maidens. They’re as close as the other stories get to having mermaids.)

Anyway, it took me a ridiculous long time to connect the dots regarding #mermay, mermaids and, you know, my little mermaid retelling. WTH, brain? That is some seriously terrible connect-the-dots work there. But rather than complain about my terrible and awful brain. Let’s look at some other books and stories that you could read for mermay! 😀

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember was released in May and it, too, is a queer little mermaid retelling! Bisexual in this case. So… If you want more queer mermaid retellings for mermay… That said, there is criticism of the way the book portrays enbies and trans people, so do be warned of that.

Who Is Willing by M.C.A. Hogarth features the Naysha, a mermaid-like alien race. They’re secondary characters, but they’re very prominent, so… If you happen to have a hankering for mermaids in space… This novella may well be worth looking at/for.

If you’re looking for an m/m erotica novella, Ariel Tachna’s Why Nileas Loved the Sea might be of interest to you.

Want something more YA? Maybe Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore is more your style. It’s been ages since I read it, but I remember it as a sweet, fast read.

And… Somehow I was under the impression that I had more mermaid-related books in my life. Anyway! Hope there’s something you enjoy in that list!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu: The Eternal Legend (and Bonus Quest For Glitter)

Posted May 14, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sera Myu: A flying skeleton chases Usagi, Chibichibi and Setsuna.

Here’s the Storify! With bonus Eurovision Quest For Glitter because, um, I am terrible with scheduling and remembering dates and forgot it was Eurovision day. In brief:

Sera Myu: The Eternal Legend was amazing and I heart it so much and next week we’re watching the revised musical, which is also the final day for Anza’s run as Usagi/Sailor Moon, as well as Ayako Morino (Ami/Mercury), Misako Kotani (Rei/Mars), Akari Tonegawa (Makoto/Jupiter), Sanae Kimura (Haruka/Uranus), Hiroko Tahara (Michiru/Neptune), Rei Saitou (Setsuna/Pluto), Sayuri Katayama (Seiya/Star Fighter), Momoko Okuyama (Yaten/Star Healer), and Sakoto Yoshioka (Princess Kakyuu).

It will be emotional. It will be filled with ad libs. It will be revised. It will be GLORIOUS. But this week was already GLORIOUS. I had some minor narrative quibbles. Like “Why doesn’t Usagi remember Queen Beryl?” and “But do we have enough backstory to really back this up if you only watch the musical?”, but mostly I’ve just been swept up in this musical and enjoyed it. It was fun and filled with all the things I love about Sailor Moon and Sera Myu as a whole. This musical contains one of my favourite Myu songs ever (the first Reprise of Orleans no Sei Senshi, also known as “When the musical followed the anime and Haruka and Michiru became Tragic Queers until Usagi saves the day”.)

Eurovision: Following 2017’s venture into an Alternate Dimension, Eurovision was dominated by the colours black and white and a distinct lack of glitter, with many participating countries assuming this is a genuine singing competition rather than a colourful glitterfest which pretends to be apolitical (and actually mostly wasn’t this year) where stranger really is better because EUROVISION and Portugal taking the win by a possibly unprecedented landslide with a ballad. (Seriously, if you haven’t seen Love Love Peace Peace before and want to understand Eurovision, click that link.)

I am too cynical for this year’s Eurovision, but by then it was ridiculously late at night and so I hied it off to bed to watch the second half of the musical on Sunday and, lo, here is the Storify of both.

Next week, bring tissues. I will need a MOUNTAIN of tissues to get me through the musical next week.

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Book Talk: Island of Exiles

Posted May 12, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Island of ExilesIsland of Exiles by Erica Cameron
Series: Ryogan Chronicles #1
Pages: 400

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.

On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she's never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run―a betrayal and a death sentence.

Island of Exiles marks the first time I was able to join in with the #AceBookClub, yay! It was a lot of fun to read, and if you’re looking for a fantasy story that’s immersive and different, this is a great place to start looking. ^_^

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8 Things To Keep In Mind When Boosting And Supporting People

Posted May 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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One thing that, in my experience, comes up a fair bit when people see aces and aros ask allies to speak up about the issues we face too is the idea that people can’t boost our voices or issues because something else is happening that affects that person directly. This post, however, won’t look at aces and aros specifically. It looks at general ways I’ve found that are important when speaking up about the hurt done to other marginalisations when your own marginalisation is being hurt too.

It is written from an ace perspective on account of the fact that I am ace spec, after all, but I have done my best to keep the tone of this piece neutral-to-positive and general. It’s also, because I spend most of my time on Twitter, going to use Twitter terminology more than anything else, but I think it applies across various platforms. I hope you’ll find it useful, so let’s dive straight in with the first and, in my opinion, most important point!

1. Keep talking about your own issues.

Seriously. Don’t stop talking about the issues that you and your community face to talk about someone else’s. For one, if you don’t share that marginalisation, that community doesn’t need you to speak for them. For another, your voice regarding what’s happening in your community matters! It’s important!

Do you know who’s qualified to talk about the issues you/your community faces? You are. Don’t stop speaking just because another marginalisation is asking you to boost their voices.

This is especially true and especially important when multiple trashfires are happening in different communities simultaneously. Talk about yours! You don’t have to make threads to discuss what’s happening in another community unless you choose to. People just want a boost in visibility. That’s all.

If you share both? It’s okay to pick and choose which one matters most to you if you need (or want) to. Focus on whichever topic is more important to you at that time. You’re not obliged to talk about both (or either) of them. Just… Do try to boost both if you can.
Relatively, if you think the best approach for you is to focus on making positive and inclusive art and boosting the same, that is absolutely valid. You do what makes sense for you. Everyone does activism in their own way (and this is activism) and there is no One True Way.

2. Retweet or otherwise boost other marginalised voices.

Okay, so you’re dealing with your own stuff, but you see a tweet about something another marginalised group is dealing with. Why not hit that RT/reblog or like button? Even if you don’t engage with it otherwise, that will help the issue become visible to other people and it sure as heck will make the people you’ve retweeted/reblogged feel like they’re being heard and seen.

That’s basically it, though. Whatever you’re dealing with, unless you’re in the middle of a tweetstorm or aught, why not hit that RT button? It only takes a few seconds and a single click and your extended reach could help a lot.

Yes, even if your reach is only tiny. You know that saying about small things adding up? That applies here too. Lots of boosts from people with small reach adds up. It’s like crowdfunding. If 100 people can only chip in $1 each, the total sum raised is still $100 dollars. That can still make a huge difference!

But this is social media, so chances are that a boost is going to reach more than one person. I’m terrible with numbers, so to make maths easier for me (and you!), let’s say that each RT boost will reach 10 people who’ve never heard of the issue before.

If 20 people boost one of my tweets, that means that 200 people whom I could never reach on my own saw that tweet. If those people then boost your boost, that reaches another 20 people each and… that’s… like… 20 times 20 number of people who’d see it so that’s like 400 people? (This is a genuine question.) In any case, that one RT you gave me has the potential to reach exponentially more people than I could reach on my own. And all of that just for a few seconds of effort to hit a button!

3. Don’t speak for the people you’re boosting. Speak with them.

If you don’t share the marginalisation, you are not an expert on what they face. Let them speak for themselves. They’re perfectly capable of it and usually prefer to.

Just to be clear: that doesn’t mean “don’t talk about what other marginalisations deal with”. It just means “Don’t make your voice the only voice your audience sees”. Remember that you’re boosting the people, not the issue.

There are things that, if you don’t have a particular marginalisation, you will never understand in the same way. There are nuances you’ll miss and microaggressions that you might accidentally repeat. You’re trying the best you can, but there are just some things that you can’t see because you have privilege along that particular axis. Sucks, but that’s life.

If you want to speak with people, by all means do. Your voice will be welcome. But please remember this isn’t about you. Do your best to centre the people who are being hurt.

You may not always succeed. That’s okay! We’re people. We mess things up. It happens.

Relatedly, this also applies to including ways for people to support you financially without including ways for them to support the people who are actually being hurt the same way. Yes, I know that it takes a lot of effort and emotional labour to speak about an issue like, say, why something is erasive, but remember this is not about you. If you direct people only to places where they can financially support you, you’re making that thread about you and your voice, even if you include links or boost other people’s threads at the same time. They’re doing the same labour you are and, if you don’t share the marginalisation, at a much greater personal cost. Remember to centre them.

It’s okay to tell people “Hey, if you want to support me, here are ways to do it” if you also focus on ways they can support people of the marginalisation you’re boosting! Please remember to centre them in this area too! They could often use the boost!

4. Recognise that it’s okay if you, personally, cannot boost a specific instance.

Really, it’s okay. People don’t know your circumstances. If you, personally, cannot boost something at a specific time, that’s okay. You, personally, are just one person and self-care is important. Also we can’t boost all the things all the time. It’s exhausting and leads to burn-out.

Just… If you never boost a specific group or topic, even when you’re aware of an issue, and you do routinely boost other groups, the people from the group you never speak about will notice. And at that point, you may have to ask yourself why you never boost that particular group because it’s clearly a pattern that only occurs with that particular group.

5. Recognise that not all marginalised groups get the same level of boosting.

Let me be very clear here: this is not me trying to play a round of oppression Olympics. This is just a simple fact because not all marginalisations are equally widely understood or discussed. Asexuality and aromanticism are largely invisible, so of course straightwashing an aroace character is going to have less visibility (and thus less boosting) than straightwashing a gay character is.

The thing is, though, those smaller marginalisations will notice when they don’t get the same level of boosting and they’ll talk about that amongst themselves. And when they do, someone somewhere is going to tell them that they have no right to be upset about the issue because X, Y or Z is far more important.

That response is what turns it into oppression Olympics. That response is telling marginalised people how to feel and that their issues and oppression isn’t as important as another. So don’t do that. If people are hurt by the lack of support, allow them to talk about that without trying to shame them for it.

Sometimes, members of these groups will vent about the differences in boosting. Sometimes they’ll discuss it amongst themselves. I stress: they’re not doing that because they want to say “Oh, we’re more oppressed than others!” They’re doing it because, actually, it really hurts to see others speak up for or boost everyone else and they just want to talk about that hurt, process it and deal with it. And yes they often also phrase as “Why us? Why does no one listen to us? Why does everyone else get boosted?” because those are valid questions to ask when that’s why you’re hurting. (I have yet to see anyone decide that the answer is “Because we’re more oppressed!” It’s usually something along the lines of “Because we’re invisible”.)

Now, obviously, if someone is making threads about how their issues are more important or trying to derail existing discussions, that’s a different matter. Do not do these things. They are wrong on so many levels and, really, the only thing it accomplishes is that you’re hurting the community you’re trying to help. You’re also hurting the other community that was originally being discussed. Don’t do this. It is harmful to everyone.

6. Be prepared to learn.

Issues don’t just disappear because we RT them (though we can dream and wish). If you’re RTing a specific instance once, chances are that there are more examples of that instance either in the past or in the future that you’re not aware of. That’s okay! You don’t need to be aware of each instance individually ever!

My point here is that when people are talking about issues they face because they’re part of a marginalised group, chances are that this singular instance is an example of something systemic. For example: an article discussing how Jughead might still be ace (and makes no mention of his aromanticism) is a single instance of aro erasure that you can call out. But there have been articles that did it before and there will, almost certainly (T_T) be articles that do it afterwards. It’s a pattern of aro erasure.

Sometimes you’ll easily be able to see how the system repeats itself. Sometimes you won’t. But just because you can’t see it that doesn’t mean it’s not there. (Remember: if you don’t share the marginalisation, you may not notice it. Heck, even if you do share it, you may not notice it at first!)

Anyone, calling out a specific instance once likely isn’t going to do much besides making you feel good for helping.

Be aware of the fact that specific instances that gain discussion traction are often symptoms and examples of a wider problem. You don’t need to know (or recognise) all the individual instances. You do need a rough idea of what the framework it occurs in is, so you can speak out against the framework the instances occur in. And that requires a bit of effort to learn what’s happening in that instance you saw and why it matters.

You don’t have to drop everything to learn about that framework right there and then! Especially if you’re dealing with an issue in your own communities or have personal issues that mean you’re not up to learning new things, you don’t have to drop everything immediately. Again, you are important too. Focus on yourself. Practice self-care. You matter.

But when you’re in a better place and can manage it, try to learn about the issues those other marginalisations face. You want them to learn about the issues you deal with too, right? If you’re never willing to learn about other people, you can’t really expect them to be willing to learn about you.

7. Self-care is important.

I’ve said that a few times and in different ways, but it’s worth repeating and giving it its own point. As many people have pointed out, if you’re marginalised in any way self-care is the most radical thing you can do. I assume that, if you’re reading this, you’re marginalised in at least one way yourself. If you’ve ever spoken out about anything, you’ll undoubtedly know that doing so comes at a price. Trolls will find you and harass you for it. They’ll do the same if you speak out for people whose marginalisation you don’t share.

Practice self-care. Don’t feel obligated to take on more than you can handle. See also: don’t speak for others. That’s a related issue. Often, I see people think that “help us” means “speak for us and get attacked by the trolls for us” and… Listen, I won’t deny that it can be nice to have someone else handle the brunt of the troll attacks for you, but that doesn’t mean they should. No one is obliged to take on trolls. If someone chooses to, that is incredibly generous of them, but it should be their choice.

If you don’t want to take on trolls for another group, that’s okay. Never let anyone tell you that it’s not. It is not your job or obligation to take a proverbial bullet for other marginalised groups.

Take care of yourself too when you boost other people. Boost in ways that balances with your needs and personality.

8. Consider boosting positive things related to a marginalisation.

Again, I’ve mentioned this before, but I thought it deserved its own thread. So something is trash and people are hurting? Boosting their hurt and their discussions isn’t the only way to boost people from that marginalisation! You can also boost positive things that people from that marginalisation have done or are doing!

For example: if a white author publishes a racist book, boost non-white creators and encourage people to support them financially. That creates positive visibility for the people who are being harmed by that instance and it can introduce people to new favourites and marginalised people to creators who share their marginalisation. It is powerful to read books by people who get you.

Marginalised creators often need the boost for visibility and many struggle financially, so your boosts of their work can offer concrete support in a way that boosting the conversations and threads can’t.

And on that note, I think that’s me all rambled out. I hope this is helpful to you! Please do use this post as a jumping out to add more things people can do or shouldn’t do while boosting others. And let me know if I’ve messed something up or left it unclear. Let’s work together to make the world a more inclusive and positive place for everyone!

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Book Talk: The Hate U Give

Posted May 9, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Pages: 464

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

The Hate U Give has been one of the most anticipated YA novels of 2017. It’s taken me a little longer than I wanted to get to read it, but I have now and it’s glorious.

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Heads-up regarding the serials of Sea Foam and Silence and A Promise Broken

Posted May 7, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

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Hi, all! This is a quick heads-up to let you know that, come June, I’ll be taking down the online serialisations of A Promise Broken and Sea Foam and Silence on Wattpad and this website.

This is part of a general restructuring and upheaval of my online presence in general. Right now, I’m coping particularly badly and am not in a good place in any way. I’m really sorry about that and I hope to have a more detailed and explanatory post available later this month. I just wanted to give you all a heads-up that the stories were going to come down, so you could still read them online if you were waiting on doing so!

The sampler pieces from Feather by Feather and Other Stories will be moved to Patreon and start reappearing as early as tonight! As of now, I’m undecided about whether to repost the serials to Patreon in some format.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and support as I work on figuring myself out!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu Sailor Stars Revised Edition

Posted May 6, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sera Myu Sailor Stars. Usagi wanders off with a massive piece of cake.

You can catch up on the Storify here! It’s a little bare bones this week, due to the fact that I’m struggling with a dip in mental health as well as some offline issues in my extended family, but at least I was on time? Being on time is a start!

Truth be told, though, I honestly can’t tell you whether my feelings about this musical stem from just genuinely not liking most of the changes or from the fact that I’m currently in a mindset to dislike most things anyway.

It’s just… It didn’t address any of the issues I had with the original musical (it actually managed to add one) and it altered some of the things I really liked originally. And the fourth-wall breaking period drama shenanigans just aren’t enough for me to like it as a whole.

Those shenanigans, though, are a lot of fun and honestly if you like Sera Myu I’d recommend both these musical just for the changes made there because it’s such a neat bit of playing with the structure and format of what a musical is and can be.

Anyway, I’ll be in the Discord chat for a little while longer, so if you’re a Patron at the Starshine level or higher and want to chat about the musical while it’s still fresh in my mind come hang out with me. 😀

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

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