Month: February 2018

Goal Review February 2018

Posted February 28, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

Tags:

Last Month's GoalI Want to Read:

  • Welcome to Bordertown by Various Authors
  • The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis (reread)
  • Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown (reread)

I Want to Write:

  • I juuuuuuuust want to finish this booooooook and rewrite the ending that is aaaaaaaaaall universe. T_T
  • Also if I could get started on one of the fairytale retellings faintly bouncing in my brain that would be terrific
  • Also the short stories bouncing around in my head. If I could not have a zillion taking up space, that would be good, please and thank you, brain.

I have accomplished ALL THE THINGS OMG!

Okay, no. Fine. I did not manage to get started on the fairytale retellings or the short stories, but EVERYTHING ELSE I ACCOMPLISHED AND IT WAS AMAZING.

I finally finally finally finished the first DemiPrincess book. I still don’t know quite what I want to do with it. I expect I won’t until book 2 is in revision, to be honest. But it’s finished in the sense that it’s at the stage where I’m happy to consider whether to aim at traditional publishing or to stick with indie. Finally!

And I read a ton. As I sit here, writing this, I’ve managed to read 12 books! Which is 1 less than last month, but also one of them is a chunkster and last month I read no chunksters at all, so… And I read all the books on my goals list. :O :O :O :O

So. Yeah. In that sense it was a good month. Considering I also started (and so far have trouble keeping on top of) a short college program, job applications, discovering baking, and various nonfiction projects, and dayjob work, I am very pleased. One day I will look at what I do and find it impressive instead of sighing at all the ways in which I could have done more if only. Today is not that day.

Today, as I write this, also, I will keel over and sleep in a little bit. But hey I’m managing to get this post written up on time. That’s also a good bonus! GO ME!

Divider

Book Talk: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Posted February 7, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

Tags:

Book Talk: Beneath the Sugar SkyBeneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #3
Pages: 176

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can't let Reality get in the way of her quest - not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)

If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn't have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests...

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.

Also in this series: Every Heart a Doorway
Also by this author: Every Heart a Doorway

A friend of mine sent me their ARC copy of Beneath the Sugar Sky because I’d expressed an interest in reading it. My interest largely stems from the promise that we’d get to see a little more of Nancy and the Halls of the Dead, but the book would have caught my interest anyway. It just sounds like a lot of fun.

CW: Fatmisia (that gets called out repeatedly), amisia, suicide

Read More

Divider

Ace Recs: 4 of My Favourite Books with Asexual Characters

Posted February 4, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

Tags:

Ace Recs: 4 of My Favourite Books with Asexual Characters

As is undoubtedly no surprise to anyone who’s heard of me, I really really love giving recommendations for books featuring asexual characters. As a reader and writer on the asexual spectrum, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve seen plenty of recommendations lists that are about asexual characters or that include asexual characters that repeat the same books over and over. Indeed, I’ve seen recommendations lists that explicitly stated that the handful of books the writer managed to find was all the asexual fiction out there. Considering it was missing several easy-to-find well-known and traditionally published books by respected authors… I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

But it is true that, for many readers, books with asexual characters in them are difficult to find. Many aren’t readily available in bookstores even when they’re pretty popular and well-respected. When I was in Cambridge, I saw displays of several books nominated for the Hugo Awards because they were nominated for the Hugo Awards, but Every Heart a Doorway? Couldn’t find a single copy anywhere. Not on display and not on the shelves. They didn’t stock it. And I wish I could say it was just one bookstore, but it was every major chain I visited. Likewise, in libraries you’ll have more luck finding books featuring asexual characters if you already know the titles before you enter. In both cases, you’ll probably have to ask the staff to order a copy specifically, so venturing into bookshops or libraries and hoping to find books featuring asexual characters just isn’t likely to happen.

Especially in combination with the way recommendation lists for books with asexual representation are usually styled, this difficulty to find books if you don’t already know they exist feeds into a negative spiral where recommendations lists repeat the same books over and over with the same note that this is all there is or this is all the writer could find. Yet there is so much more available to readers…

This is a series that aims to present small lists of books featuring asexual characters with some brief personal commentary on the books. Each list consists of 3 books centred around a single, relatively broad theme. While, sadly, I have had to restrict my recommendations lists to 3 books instead of the more usual 5 found in recommendations lists, each list does consist of 3 unique books. There are no repeats of titles in this series of recommendation posts. This series consists of 10 posts for a total of 30 books featuring asexual characters in various roles.

Unless otherwise noted, assume that books mentioned either seem to assume all asexuals are aromantic or that they’ll erase aromanticism altogether.

I hope you’ll find something terrific to read in these lists! Most all categories have more than three books I could put there, but as I mentioned I only had space for a handful of books or stories. If you’d like to see even more of then, check out Claudie Arseneault’s database of aromantic and asexual (speculative) fiction, which features many more books starring asexual characters!

This week’s theme is…

4 of My Favourite Books with Asexual Characters

Read More

Divider

February 2018 Goals

Posted February 2, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

Tags:

This Month's Goals
I Want to Read:

  • Welcome to Bordertown by Various Authors
  • The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis (reread)
  • Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown (reread)

I Want to Write:

  • I juuuuuuuust want to finish this booooooook and rewrite the ending that is aaaaaaaaaall universe. T_T
  • Also if I could get started on one of the fairytale retellings faintly bouncing in my brain that would be terrific
  • Also the short stories bouncing around in my head. If I could not have a zillion taking up space, that would be good, please and thank you, brain.

If I could get through February without keeling over of Overwhelm that would be nice and good. I will settle for that, but here you go. Have my ambitious list of stuff to do this month. I can guarantee that the reading will happen and will happen relatively quickly – my actual official list is a few books longer – but wow I have a job interview tomorrow (sadly yet another part-time job with highly irregular hours, but pay’s pay) and I started an online course midway through January and I want to work hard at doing well with that and… Yeah. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

Also I may have discovered baking is something that I can at least partway enjoy and my parents have, as a result, decided to utterly bury me in Stuff They Think I Should Bake. (As in the actual cake mixes and ingredients stuff. Not just recipe suggestions on what they think makes good beginner’s material. Mind you, I wanted to start with home-made croissants, so this may or may not be a good thing in the long run. BUT CROISSANTS. T_T)

But, yeah, there’s the plan. I will probably only manage a tenth of the writing plan because wow did you know that when your brain isn’t working right, writing is really hard? And depression has been kicking me in the teeth a lot on top of everything else. (Hell, it’s probably part of why my brain is going “AGH! Too much stuff! SHUT DOWN!”

But I will shush now. Suffice to say: February will probably be hard, but I shall keep going and we shall see what we shall see.

Divider

In Stillness: The Perception of Asexuality in Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway”

Posted February 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Miscellaneous, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

Tags:

It’s here! I’ve finally polished up the draft version of my In Stillness essay and am officially sharing it with the world. :O Prepare yourself because this is 4,970 words long minus quotations, end notes and works cited list. With, it’s about 5,837.

In Stillness:

The Perception of Asexuality in Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway”

Before August 2016, I had never read a story with a character who explicitly identified as asexual. It is tempting to say that, before that time, I had never read any character like me before. This is not true. I’d read several stories with asexually-coded (ace-coded) characters before then[1], but August 2016 marked the month when I first read a story featuring a character who explicitly used the label to describe herself.

That character was Nancy from Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire and until I read that novella I did not truly understand why I too needed labels in fiction, why I too needed to see such blunt visibility and recognition. Every Heart a Doorway was published on May 10th, 2016 and has gone on to be nominated for (and sometimes winning) several major awards. To date, it has won the 2016 Nebulas, the 2017 Locus Awards, and the 2016 Hugo Awards, and it was one of the books named on the Tiptree Honors list in part for its portrayal of Nancy’s asexuality.

Being published by a respected traditional publisher, written by a well-known and popular queer SFF author and explicitly including a discussion of the definition of asexuality has seen Every Heart a Doorway rise to prominence as one of the major books included on recommendations lists featuring asexual characters. Arguably, it has gone on to become the poster recommendation for asexual representation within fiction.

As a reader on the asexual spectrum, I was initially delighted by the narrative that McGuire wrote. I was dazzled by the fact that here, for the first time that I could recall, there was a character written specifically and deliberately to mirror my experiences. It wasn’t a complete match, but it was close enough to hit home. It also, deliberately, called out some of the most harmful stereotypes regarding asexuality that I have seen and experienced. That, more than anything, is what I fell in love with the first time I read it.

When I reread it for the Hugo Award nominations in the spring of 2017, however, my experience was markedly different and I found the amisia[2] in the central premise almost unbearable. Nancy’s personal storyline revolves around her desire to return to the Halls of the Dead, the portal world that she visited, loved and wants to return to with all her heart. While the narrative is aware of its amisia on a surface level, this essay will show that once one looks below that surface the story actually perpetuates the very ideas that it so strongly attempts to deny.

Read More

Divider

January 2018 Round-up

Posted February 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

Tags:

This is late because I’m still playing catch-up on everything. OMG. O_O

Goals

News

Patreon

Posts marked with an * are publicly available at this time.

Culture Consumption

Misc Posts

Divider