Sunday, September 24, 2023

Weekly Goals 25-9-23

 I had a pretty relaxing weekend although I did do a lot of cleaning.  I didn't do a lot of book marketing work, which I should have.  Somehow, the time just ran out.  Maybe it was that hour we lost to daylight saving...

Anyway.  This week's goals?  Pretty much the same.  Try and find some time to do some book promotion stuff.  It's less than two weeks until the book comes out, so I need to get moving.  I have a busy week at work ahead of me too, so time will be at a premium.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Celebrate the Small Things 22/9/23

It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small Things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend, and after working last weekend, I really, really need it!  I also have a new person starting work with me on Monday which will take a big chunk of really tedious work off my plate.  

I've had a few more people offer to read and review My Murder Year, and I've done a couple of interviews and guest blog posts to support the release, so I'm feeling like I've done something, at least. Probably not enough to get it onto the NYT Best Seller's List, but better than nothing. Hopefully people will read and enjoy it.  Two weeks until release day...

I'm going to try and do some relaxing this weekend, but also to get some more book promo stuff done.  I also need to try and figure out where one of the neighborhood cats has sprayed in my living room.  It reeks of cat pee and I've cleaned everywhere it seems to be coming from with vinegar and water and sprayed the get-rid-of-cat-pee enzyme spray, but it still stinks.  I've even used a black light to try and find where it's coming from, but can't see anything obvious.

I also saw a mouse in my pantry yesterday, so I'm going to need to clean that out and try to figure out where they're getting in. This is the second time this year I've seen one in there. Suddenly my weekend isn't looking quite as restful as I had hoped...

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, September 19, 2023


Loosely linked to Lo's book, Last Night at the Telegraph Club, this one is a more contemporary story set against the backdrop of the legalisation of gay marriage.  Set in and around San Francisco, the book follows Aria as her summer plans are derailed by an unfortunate graduation party incident.  Instead of going with her two besties to Martha's Vineyard, Aria finds herself packed off to stay with her grandmother just outside San Francisco.

Aria loves her grandmother and despite being upset about her summer plans being undone, she quickly settles in and finds herself a space in her grandmother's old art studio.  She even starts making art of her own, something she's never done before or even really considered, despite her grandmother being a well-known artist and photographer.

And then there's Steph, her grandmother's gardener who Aria finds inexplicitly fascinating.  And Steph seems interested in her too, asking her accompany her and her friends to an open mic, movie night and to a protest march in the city.  

Surrounded by this group of queer women and undeniably attracted to Steph, Aria's "boring" summer becomes suddenly much more interesting.  

I enjoyed this one a lot.  Aria felt like a very real person as she grappled with feelings and thoughts she'd never considered before.  I also liked the way she peeked into her family history and discovered things there that helped her come to terms with the person she truly is.  She's not a perfect person either and does some things that are quite questionable along the way, but they just serve to make her feel more like a real person.

So I'd recommend this one. 

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb: 

Award-winning author Malinda Lo returns to the Bay Area with another masterful coming-of-queer-age story, this time set against the backdrop of the first major Supreme Court decisions legalizing gay marriage. And almost sixty years after the end of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Lo's new novel also offers a glimpse into Lily and Kath's lives since 1955.

Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha's Vineyard with her best friends—one last round of sand and sun before college. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria's parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West. Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother's gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable—for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. It's the kind of summer that changes a life forever.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Weekly Goals 18-9-23

 It's still all about promotion this week.  I've reached out to a bunch more reviewers and hope to get some of those on board.  I also need to get the book listed on all the free book promo sites, which I haven't done yet.  If I was better at social, I'd schedule a bunch of social stuff too, but that's not really my strong suit.  Especially now that social media seems to have fragmented and I don't really know where people are hanging out anymore.

I need to write a newsletter at some point.  My mailing list is pitifully small, but that's probably because I don't put content out often enough.  I should get better at that...  I write newsletters all the time in my day job, so it's not like I don't know how to do it.

And that's about it for goals this week.  I may take a day off on Friday because I worked over the weekend.  If I do, it will be a writing day and I will try and get all these chores off my plate so I can get back to Guide Us and actually finish it! For real this time.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Celebrate the Small Things 15-9-23


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small Things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's my son's birthday today.  He's 19, if you can believe it.  I know I can't!  Where did those 19 years go?  Typically for a kid his age, he doesn't want to hang out with his aged parents, so he's going off  to do his own thing tonight which will probably involve drinking too much...

We have a festival on this week so I'm working the weekend.  But it should be fun, if a little chaotic.  There are a LOT of people coming to the two shows tomorrow!

I've managed to get a handful of reviewers lined up to read My Murder Year ahead of release and hope to get a few more to read it in the first month or so of its release to generate some hype.  I just need a bunch of time (which I don't have) in which to actually do all this work.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Books I've Read: Wayward


After finishing the epic Wanderers a couple of weeks back, I was happy to discover that the library had the sequel, Wayward, on the shelf too.  Another whopping 800-page read!  No wonder I'm 16 books behind my Goodreads goal this year.

Wayward takes place five years after the end of Wanderers and picks up the lives of the survivors of What Mask, particularly the sleepwalkers and Shepards who have settled in the remote town of Ouray.  Awake now, the sleepwalkers are doing what Black Swan wanted them to do and are re-building.  With the smartest and most resourceful people having been selected, the town is thriving.

Yet all is not well. The community is beginning to splinter with groups following their own beliefs starting to hole up in secret, making plans they are not sharing with the rest of the town. When Shana gives birth, the first new life in the town, things become downright sinister.

Meanwhile, the malevolent Ed Creel has appointed himself President and rules the world's elite from within the walls of a secure bunker.  As the years of confinement mount and supplies begin to dwindle, things within this community also start falling apart and Ed's desperation to hold onto power becomes his downfall.

The book follows both the people of Ouray and Ed Creel and his band of deranged desperados as they struggle to survive in this new world and what they find when they leave the relative safety of their confined existences.

And overseeing everything is the dark spectre of Black Swan, the super computer AI behind the apocalypse and which continues to grow and develop in impossible new ways.

I enjoyed this sequel more than Wanderers.  It was still over-long, but the story moved quickly and there was plenty of action and adventure and new characters to meet.  While some of what is portrayed is horrible, much of the book is testament to the strength of the human spirit and just how far humanity will go to survive.

I enjoyed it and you probably will too, if you're into post-apocalyptic fiction.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Five years ago, ordinary Americans fell under the grip of a strange new malady that caused them to sleepwalk across the country to a destination only they knew. They were followed on their quest by the shepherds: friends and family who gave up everything to protect them.

Their secret destination: Ouray, a small town in Colorado that would become one of the last outposts of civilization. Because the sleepwalking epidemic was only the first in a chain of events that led to the end of the world--and the birth of a new one.

The survivors, sleepwalkers and shepherds alike, have a dream of rebuilding human society. Among them are Benji, the scientist struggling through grief to lead the town; Marcy, the former police officer who wants only to look after the people she loves; and Shana, the teenage girl who became the first shepherd--and an unlikely hero whose courage will be needed again.

Because the people of Ouray are not the only survivors, and the world they are building is fragile. The forces of cruelty and brutality are amassing under the leadership of self-proclaimed president Ed Creel. And in the very heart of Ouray, the most powerful survivor of all is plotting its own vision for the new world: Black Swan, the A.I. who imagined the apocalypse.

Against these threats, Benji, Marcy, Shana, and the rest have only one hope: one another. Because the only way to survive the end of the world is together.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Weekly Goals 11-9-23

I'm still deep in the throes of book marketing stuff right now, so my goal this week is to keep going with that.  I'm reaching out to reviewers and offering ARCs at the moment, which is always time consuming.  But necessary, I believe.

We have a festival this week, so I'll be working over the weekend, which will leave me with even less time than usual to get stuff done.  Slowly but surely, though...  Even if it's only two or three emails a day.

What are your goals this week?