Reading Gender

image credit: the guardian

We all know that the literary canon is represented by white, male writers to a disproportionate extent. But there are many exceptions, and diverse writers are gaining more exposure all the time. Women read about 50% female authors and 50% male authors. But for men that ratio is about 80:20 in favor of male authors. Why? I think there are a lot of reasons having to do with how our society at large sees and defines masculinity. But The Guardian recently put out a list of Books By Women That Every Man Should Read. The list included contributions from the likes of Ian McEwan, Richard Curtis, Salman Rushdie and more.

On one hand I don’t want to criticize The Guardian for seeing the discrepancy between male and female reading habits and trying to rectify some of the imbalance. But something about this article doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s the authors who are left off. The omissions include (but are no means limited to) Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, any of the Bronte sisters, Agatha Christie, Zora Neale Hurston, Patricia Highsmith, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson and that’s just off the top of my head! But there’s no way a list like this could possible be comprehensive. They asked a handful of men to name a favorite and these are the ones that came up. That’s fair. If they’d been asked to list favorite books by male writers there would be many gaps and omissions as well. That’s the nature of such a list.

10 Powerful Female Authors (list and collage by Bookstr)

Maybe what doesn’t sit right with me is the idea of a bunch of men telling other men that these are the books by women that are “acceptable” for them to read. I’m aware that’s not the intention. The intention is the highlight great work by female authors. But it’s how it comes off.

This article also spurred me to think about my own reading habits. Looking at the books I’ve read so far this year, I’ve read thirty eight books so far. Nine were by men. Clearly I gravitate toward women authors in my own reading. My TBR looks more or less consistent with that proportion. So am I in any position to criticize men for reading things are they feel are in line with their own experiences of the world? Maybe not.

I think the take away is that we should all try to step outside our comfort zones. That goes for gender, but also for race, ethnicity, nationality, class, and any other category you can think of.

Do you gravitate toward books that reflect your experience/identity? If so do you think it’s worthwhile to try to read outside that comfort zone?

Spring Cleaning: A Poem

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Open the fridge and reach for the milk.

The inside of the fridge is tinted dingy grey.

Take out the milk and reach for a cup.

See a rim of dust beneath it.

Look around the room.

The scales fall from my eyes.

Everything is

Crusted

Dusted

Rusted

Pick up a sponge.

Push a broom.

Drag a cloth.

Think about doing it all.

But needed is:

That new window cleaner

A better mop

That swiffer wiffer wonder jet thingy.

Can’t do spring cleaning without that.

Get it next time I go out.

Until then

Dust off the cup

Put the milk back in the dingy fridge

Put the scales back on my eyes

And close the door.

I’ve Been: Thinking About What Feels Like Work Edition

  • Working, working working (by which I mean day job stuff.) Which unfortunately doesn’t leave much left for writing. Maybe it’s less about time than about mental space. I feel like I’m using the part of my brain that I usually use for writing fiction elsewhere right now. I’m hoping that some distance from my writing helps a bit. I’ve been experiencing some frustration with this book lately. I think it needs some more worldbuilding, but I’m not sure how to incorporate that into the action of the story.
  • Thinking about my writing “career.” I put “career” in quotes because I’m not sure that’s the word I want to use. I don’t really have financial goals for writing, beyond not losing too much money. I write because I love it, and I want to publish to share it with people. If I were legitimately going to go into business publishing, I would need to write at a much faster pace than I’m capable of right now. But, as I said, my goals aren’t really financial. A lot of literature aimed at self-publishing seems to be disparaging of writers who treat writing as a “hobby.” I don’t call it that, because I don’t think of it that way. I put a lot into writing emotionally, mentally (and, to some extent) financially. And yes, I do get a few dollars from it here and there. But I don’t think “career” or “job” is the quite the right word either.
  • Working on a series of posts for this blog. I’ve been working on them for a while actually and they’re almost ready. For some reason blogging doesn’t take as much from me mentally/emotionally as work and writing (fiction) do. It’s interesting how we perceive similar tasks differently. Blogging just seems like a more “for fun” category, whereas fiction and work are for other reasons.
image credit: travel.earth
  • Trying to watch Dark on Netflix. I think I run into the mental space issue here too. When I’m verging on overwhelmed with other stuff, I want my TV mindless and escapist. Dark is good, but it’s very demanding. With family trees and multiple timelines I have to use the wiki summaries and the official site to keep track of everything, sometimes pausing in order to do so. I’ve made it through season 1 and I’m invested enough to want to keep going, but it’s hard to summon up the energy when I just want to relax.
image: ign.com
  • Really enjoying binging iZombie. I’m so not usually a fan of anything to do with zombies, usually. I’d read something good about this though, and I was in the mood to watch something silly so I gave it a shot. It’s silly. But also fun and even clever occasionally. It’s about a young doctor who is turned to a zombie at a party (you get turned when a zombie scratches you). She gets a job with the medical examiner, because easy access to brains not being used. But when she eats a brain she gets memories of the brains owner. So she helps the police solve their murders. Her medical examiner boss/friend is working on a cure for zombie-ism. Her family and friends are struggling to deal with some unexplained changes in her personality recently. Oh yeah, and while she gets the memories of the brains she eats, she also gets some of their personality traits. It’s the kind of mindless (but brainy!) entertainment that I’ve been needing lately.
  • Reading Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches. One of my reading highlights of last year was The Ten Thousand Doors of January. The Once and Future Witches proves (at least so far, I’m only a bit more than 1/2 of the way though, more on that in a bit) that her first book wasn’t a fluke and that Harrow is an author who will be an auto-buy for me in the future. But as much as I’m liking it, I’m not reading it as quickly as I usually read. I don’t know why. It seems to be engaging more of my critical brain than fantasy sometimes does (the fantasy is very tied to history, and it’s worth thinking about where they diverge and why).

2021 Year in Review

I’ve Been:

Those We’ve Lost This Year

TV Talk

Thoughts about writing, genre, stories and more:

Readathons:

Best of 2021

I’m hoping to get one more post in this year, but if I don’t, have a happy and safe New Year!

Something Halloweeny This Way Comes…

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I’ve always loved Halloween. As a kid, I was hardly alone in that love. With it’s custom blend of fantasy, make-believe, and candy, it’s a holiday that seems tailor made for the young.

But I took it more seriously than most kids. I started planning costumes months in advance (literally, months- I would come up with costume ideas all year round and then have to wait until Halloween to use them). Then, around mid-September I’d start thinking about the logistics of costumes. For example, the year I tried to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid I was presented with several problems. One was that I would have to walk around in a more modest version of Ariel’s shell bra. Even though the costume had significantly more coverage than the movie version did, my parents didn’t think it wise for me to walk around with no sleeves and a bare midriff on a chilly October evening. That was solved by a flesh colored shirt worn underneath. But then came the challenge of walking around in fins. My tail had an opening at the bottom for my legs, but it wasn’t wide enough for me to take more than mini-steps, so it had to be expanded slightly. Such alterations and decisions required a lot of time and thought.

Not me in my little mermaid costume. I looked much sillier. Less cartoon-y though.
image credit: goat.com.au

My Halloween seriousness wasn’t just limited to costumes. I used to plan my trick-or-treating route. I knew what houses had the best candy, and where to go for “filler” items. I knew there was a limited amount of time for trick-or-treating: eventually my mom would say it’s getting late and we should go home. So I wanted to hit the best houses in the shortest amount of time. In between, of course, I’d stop at all the other houses. I wasn’t one to turn up my nose at any candy!

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But like all children, I eventually grew up. I didn’t grow out of Halloween though. I’m not much of a party girl, and since my friends in college weren’t big party animals either, we’d rent a bunch of Halloweeny movies, stock up on candy and make it a movie night. It was more fun then it sounds. So I’ve sort of maintained the tradition into adulthood. It’s not as much fun as it was in college, since I don’t usually have a group of friends who can easily come over and join me (one of the advantages of dorm living is that everyone is a few doors away!) and I’m more health conscious so I don’t let myself have quite so much candy.

I do save seasonal films to see, books to read and TV shows to binge. Here’s some recommended Halloween media. Just note that while I like “spooky” and “creepy”: I’m not a fan of horror per se. I don’t like blood and guts. I also (for the most part) left off stuff that’s aimed primarily at kids. There’s some good stuff there, but it’s a whole nother list!

Books

image credit: thehauntedlibrarian.com

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury– This is a very seasonally appropriate book. It feels like fall. Actually I think I’d call the story more “dark fantasy” than “horror.” But I suppose it depends on one’s scare threshold. I have some issues with the florid writing in this one. It’s appropriate in some places, but in others I think it slows things down. Still definitely worth reading though.

We Have Always Live In the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson– It’s hard to go too wrong with Shirley Jackson for Halloween! I think We Have Always Lived in the Castle is the most Halloweeny, but it’s a close race.

The Birds and Other Stories, Don’t Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne DuMaurier, and Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier- A lot (but not all) of DuMaurier’s work is Halloween appropriate. I think you can make the argument that Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel deserve a place on this list as well.

The Other by Thomas Tryon– I didn’t like this one at first but by midpoint it was hard to put down! Some of the twists I saw coming but others took me by surprise. Tryon’s novel Harvest Home is also Halloweeny, but I didn’t like it as much.

The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski- This is a haunted house story meets psychological thriller that takes place over several layers and incorporates different forms of text within a text. I didn’t include music on this list, but the author’s sister is singer-songwriter, Poe, who put out an album called Haunted that contained several songs connected to/about the novel.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl- Like The House of Leaves, this book plays with form. It incorporates photographs, documents, and there’s an app you can download to access bonus content. But more importantly, it tells a creepily compelling story with elements of murder mystery and supernatural.

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie– If you love Agatha Christie, Poirot’s investigation of a deadly Halloween party is a seasonal must.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman- The first in a series, and I’d recommend starting here. It’s good if you want Halloween and witches without being too scary.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters– I’d recommend this to readers who appreciate atmosphere and ambiguity.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub– Just what it sounds like! It has one of my favorite ghost story beginnings: “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” “I won’t tell you that, but I’ll tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me—the most dreadful thing . . .”

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield- This is a ghost story, but in an unexpected way.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill– Another creepy British ghost story (gotta love them!)

TV

image credit: thebrokenanchor.com

The Haunting of Hill House– This Netflix miniseries is inspired by Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, but it’s not really an adaptation.

The Haunting of Bly Manor- This miniseries was the work of the same team as the above, but deals with a different story and characters. This one is inspired by Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, but again it’s not an adaptation per se. I didn’t care for the team’s third outing, Midnight Mass (perhaps because it’s doesn’t have a clear literary inspiration?)

Locke and Key– This series is based on a series of graphic novels which I haven’t read. Apparently they’re darker than the Netflix series. In TV form this plays sort of like Narnia meets The Haunting of Hill House. It’s fun, a little creepy, but nothing too intense. I didn’t like the second season as much as I liked the first, but it was still fun.

Being Human (UK) This show about a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf who live together, was a total guilty pleasure for me. I didn’t particularly care for the American version though.

A Discovery of Witches- This is another TV series is based on a book series (also fun) that blends supernatural creatures. The biggies in this one are vampires, witches and demons, but there’s also some other weirdness.

Salem– This is sort of semi-inspired by the idea of the Salem witch hunts, but that’s about all it has in common with reality. There are plenty of witches, demons, and supernatural creatures here.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina– When I was a kid I loved the old TV show. I like this one too, in a different way. Literary and musical theatre references abound, which makes it fun for me.

Stranger Things- If you’ve been living under a rock, and missed this supernatural, 80’s set series, Halloween is the perfect time to binge.

Film

image credit: prevention.com

Hocus Pocus– A childhood seasonal favorite. It’s got a few moments that may creep the little ones a bit, but it’s mostly just funny and fun for the whole family.

The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values- Some more Halloween comedy classics!

Practical Magic– If you’re more into romcom and less into scary

The Changeling– A haunted house mystery that’s both sad and creepy.

The Other This is based on Tryon’s novel of the same name, listed above. It’s a pretty good adaptation, but the book is better.

Don’t Look Now– Based on Daphne DuMaurier’s novella of the same name (listed above).

The Others– A very gothic, Halloweeny haunted house story. It’s a favorite of mine in the genre.

Burnt Offerings– Another underrated haunted house

Sleepy Hollow– The classic legend gets the Tim Burton treatment. It’s just a fun movie.

The Woman in Black – Based on the book listed above. The 2012 film is good, but if you can find the lesser known 1989 film, I like that better. But I only saw that one once, a long time ago.

Poltergeist– I saw this movie for the first time when I was about 9 years old (don’t know how that happened) but needless to say it terrified me. I saw it again a few years ago. I found it less terrifying, but otherwise it holds up pretty well.

Workouts Yes this is sort of an unexpected category, but I saw a few fun Halloween workouts out there, so I figured “why not?”

Up To the Beat Fitness – 30 Minute Halloween Dance Party

Lucy Wyndham- Read- Halloween Workout

Were you’re favorites not listed? I could have listed more, but the post was already getting long! Maybe I’ll do an update next year. Let me know what you think!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween

I’ve Been (Starting to Think About Publishing Edition)

image credit: techadvisor.com
  • Really enjoying Amazon’s Carnival Row. Has anyone else seen it? It’s a fantasy-mystery set in a sort of steampunk Victorian England called the Burgue, where humans and mythical creatures live side by side (though not without significant problems…) It’s definitely not perfect, but I really like it. It was renewed for a second season but production halted due to the pandemic. Then it resumed, then it stopped again. As of now there are five episodes for season two filmed, and Amazon plans to release those and then film the rest when they can. I’m hoping that’ll be soon!
  • Also really liking Netflix’s The Chair.
  • In a bit of a reading slump. For me, reading slumps don’t make me read less (nothing makes me read less!) but I enjoy it less. Probably because I’ve read several “blah” books in a row. Here’s hoping I find something good soon!
  • Getting lots of ideas for posts. I don’t know why that is, but my drafts folder is bursting. So stay tuned for more.
  • In the stage of editing hell where every word I write seems absolutely unpublishable and I start to wonder if I was crazy thinking that I could write another book.
  • Trying to make my internet presence a little more author-y (since I’m starting to work on actually publishing Frost. Ahhhhh!). I’m looking at new templates for my website, updating information, making logos… In some ways my blog/social media presence is all over the place. I know it’s supposed to be targeted to my potential audience and I should be focusing on read alikes for my blog, and similar genres in terms of film, tv, etc. But I’m not a focused person. My interests run far and wide, and I’d rather be myself online than focus and build a business. Besides you never know what will turn up in my writing someday.
  • Starting to think about getting some advance reviews for Frost. When Beautiful was published, one thing I wish I’d known is how much having advance reviews help with pre-orders and initial sales. So I definitely want to think about it for this release.
  • Wondering how on earth some authors are able to write and release several books a year! (see this post for more about that) I want to get to the point where I can do one book in two years, but it takes me four years per book to write/publish at the moment. Who knows if/when I’ll get there? I keep telling myself that’s OK: writing and publishing any books is an accomplishment! But I feel like I have a lot of stories I want to tell….
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Meditations on “The Chair”

OK it’s not the best post title. You’d think I could do better with a show called “The Chair” but apparently, I can’t. Anyway, I did really enjoy this Netflix series recently. I’ve got a few thoughts about it floating around in my head, so I thought I’d do a review-type thingy.

I’ve always thought that in another life I might have really enjoyed being an English Lit professor. I didn’t go down that road for a number of reasons, but I think I would have loved a job where I could live in books. I could spend my days thinking about them, talking about them, and sharing them with others. I loved being a lit major at a liberal arts college for just that reason, and being a professor always seemed to me to be a way to extend that, indefinitely. In some ways, The Chair cured me of that romanticized vision! Yes, loving books is a big part of it. But another part is departmental politics, worry about enrollments and the future of the field, losing office space, IT related stress, and a bit of racism, ageism, and sexism thrown in.

Image credit: tvline.com

The show follows Ji-Yoon Kim, the first female chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University. It opens with Ji-Yoon about to assume that role for first time at the start of a new semester. She expects to face some resistance from the old guard, but she also wants to usher the department into the 21st century. She wants to build and encourage diversity. The deans are worried about enrollment in the English department (kids are going for STEM fields rather than humanities) and that’s also something she expects to confront and hopefully overcome.

image credit: polygon.com

What she doesn’t expect is the face resistance to the tenure of a young, Black colleague (who would be the department’s first Black female tenured professor), a PR nightmare surrounding her friend/crush, and the egos of the elderly, long time professors. She finds herself trapped between the old guard which is largely white and male, and the demand for more diversity from students and donors. She’s also trying to be a single parent to her (adopted, a fact that her daughter brings up repeatedly) daughter Ju-Hee (aka “Ju Ju”) who is strong willed, intelligent, precocious and, well, let’s just say not always appropriate.

image credit: slate.com
image credit: emmys.com

The show was co-written and co-created by Amanda Peet, the actress known for TV shows like Dirty John, Brockmire, and Togetherness, as well as films including The Whole Nine Yards, Something’s Gotta Give, and Identity Thief. I did some googling when I learned this, and discovered that she’s also the the writer of the play Our Very Own Carlin McCollough and the co-author of the children’s book Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein. Perhaps that’s why the show has an appearance from David Duchovny (best known from The X Files), playing himself, who I learned has degrees from Princeton and Yale in English Literature, and started a PhD at Yale though his dissertation remains unfinished. He’s also the author of four novels. He plays himself on the show and his literary cred is important to the plot. I wrote a bit a while ago about how authors and actors are similar, and this show is further proof that it’s true.

image credit: vulture.com

But Hollywood fun aside, the show walks a fine line, portraying struggles that have implications for the larger world. It’s sometimes difficult to figure out where it stands in terms of those issues. Ji-Yoon’s friend/crush/”it’s complicated” is fellow English professor, widower, Bill Dobson. When Bill does a mocking Hitler salute in class (part of a discussion about fascism and absurdism) an out of context video goes viral on TikTik, and Bill is branded a Nazi in public opinion. Students protest, donors threaten to withdraw funding, and it’s Ji-Yoon’s problem. She knows that Bill isn’t a Nazi, and understands that he was giving the gesture in a mocking way. She’s also, perhaps, somewhat biased in his favor because of their friendship. But the optics are bad for the department. She encourages Bill to apologize, but when Bill’s “sorry if you were offended by my joke” doesn’t go over well, she’s in a moral quandary. Does she discipline Bill for something that she thinks was blown out of proportion for the sake of optics? Does she stand by Bill and take on responsibility for the consequences?

image credit: vice.com

I think this plotline has a dual satirical purpose. One is that Ji-Yoon, an Asian woman in a position of power, has to clean up after her white, male subordinate. Another is as a critique of so called “cancel culture.” The show makes it clear that Bill doesn’t deserve to be fired for his mistake. A bad joke? Maybe. A hate crime? Probably not. People who criticize “cancel culture” often object to white men facing consequences for their actions. In this case, Bill doesn’t deserve the consequence he faces. He’s kind of a jerk for his refusal to apologize, but other than that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. This suggests that Bill is a victim in some way, which I don’t think is intended on the show’s part. I think that there is some justification for satirizing people’s quickness to throw stones, but the show doesn’t really take the time to explore any nuance with the issue. By centering this storyline, the show has been criticized for sidelining the stories of Ji-Yoon, Yaz McKay (who is set to be the first tenured black professor in the department) and Joan Hambling (who 30 years earlier became the first female professor in the English department) That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this plot point. I did. And I think it’s central focus is interesting in a show that explores how POC are sidelined in academia. Are the creators of the show attempting to call attention to the focus on the problems of white men? Or did they fall into the trap that so many creators have before, of thinking this person’s problems are the most interesting?

Overall, the show left me with the sense that systemic change is hard and takes time. Sometimes you need to take two steps back to take one step forward. It finishes in a place that could be an ending, or it could be a springboard for another season that hopefully further explores some of these ideas.

Overall it was nice food for thought and a fun, witty look for me at the road untaken. I’m aware that it’s not always an accurate, realistic portrayal of academia, but that doesn’t really matter to me so much. It’s a comedy and things are played for humor. It also has elements of drama and some things are played for dramatic effect. That’s as it should be. Are there many “realistic” TV shows (outside of documentary)? It’s a fun, witty, sometimes thought provoking depiction of characters and plots. It makes us think about the real world, but it doesn’t have to reflect the real world 100% in order to do that.

Am I A “Writer?” Am I A “Published Author?”

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Let me make one thing clear:

If you write, you are a writer.

Full stop.

You don’t have to be published.

You don’t have to be paid.

You can write anything, anywhere.

I believe that completely. But it’s only in the last few years that I started to feel comfortable calling myself a writer. Really, the thing that changed was the publication of Beautiful. So why, if I believe all of the above, was I uncomfortable calling myself a writer before I’d published a book?

I think the reason my have something to do with how other people respond. Usually the first question that someone asks when you say you’re a writer, is “What do you write?” (or “What have you written?”)

I could have answered that before I published my book. I could have pointed to short fiction and articles in various publications, as well as the novels and novel fragments sitting on my computer while I tried to figure out what to do with them. But I didn’t feel comfortable answering that question until I was able to point to a book (or a link to a book) and say “that.”

My standards for myself have always been different from what I expect of other people. I’m harder on myself, and I demand more of myself. I think that’s probably fairly common. So while my criteria for other people is “you have to write to be a writer,” my criteria for myself was “you have to write and publish a novel to call yourself a writer.” Is it fair? Perhaps not. Is it hypocrical? Maybe. But it’s what made me comfortable.

Once I managed to call myself a writer though, I was surprised to find another mountain behind it. I’m still struggling to call myself a “published writer.”

Yes, I have a book out. It’s available to purchase. I’ve held a physical copy in my hands. The ebook is on amazon. But there are still a lot of prejudices about self publishing vs. traditional publishing. There’s also a lot of incorrect information. Note: I’ve addressed some of this in the past here. I see traditional publishing and self publishing as different means, to the same end- a published book.

But in spite of that, the words “published author” have a glamorous connotation. I picture book tours, hotels, signings and release parties. I think TV and film rights. In other words, I picture the complete opposite of my daily life! So I’m still trying to reconcile the difference in my head between being a “published author,” and the glamorous, high flying image, that I think depicts very few real-life authors, whether they’re self published or traditionally published.

As of right now, I’m calling myself a “published author” even though it does make me uncomfortable.

Because I know that the image that I have of the glitzy, beguiling author is completely fictional.

Because I know that self publishing is just as valid as traditional publishing.

Because I probably shouldn’t have waited as long as I did to call myself a “writer,” and I don’t want to make the same mistake with “published author.”

“So You Had A Bad Day…”

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We all have them now and then. For most of us they fall on a spectrum that can range from a day of general bad luck/ things not working out right; to absolutely horrific, involving health crises or the loss of a loved one. I’ve had all of the above in my lifetime, and as much as I’d like to believe that all my bad days are behind me, I don’t. They’re a part of life and we have to learn to deal with them. Of course in my case, “dealing with them” can fall on a spectrum too; from healthy (yoga) to unhealthy (chocolate. in massive quantities)

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For the “no so bad” bad days, I used to have a way to deal. I would have a TV series I would watch at the end of the day. I wouldn’t binge: I’d watch in single episode increments. I would make myself a cup of cinnamon tea, and drink it, one spoonful at a time as I watched. Having something relaxing to look forward to helped make those days when nothing goes quite right a bit more deal-able.

So why did I stop? To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I think it required some discipline that I lacked at some point: after all, I had to have a series that I only reserved for “emergencies.” But sometimes it’s nice to binge! I would also have to discipline myself to sipping my tea slowly. When, let’s face it, delaying gratification doesn’t appeal when you’ve had a rough time of it!

But I’ve been thinking about getting back into this habit again. Or at least trying to. Because on a bad day, it helped to have something nice to look forward to. No, obviously it’s not so effective when something truly terrible happens. But there are plenty of days when you just feel defeated by the end of it, and you need to be nice to yourself. That’s what this is for.

So how do you deal with bad days (of any kind)? Any tips? Tricks? Treats?

Thankfulness and Shameless Self Promotion

This is just a quickie:

I hope that everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a happy, safe, and healthy holiday.

I was thankful to have been included in Portergirl’s list of The Best Indie Authors You’ve Never Heard Of! True to the title, I’ve never heard of the other authors in the post, but I’ll have to check them out.

A bit of promotion for someone else too:

This year, Enchanted Quill Press released a fairytale continuation series. To celebrate, they’re doing a $500 Amazon gift card giveaway. You can enter at the link.

That’s all for now. Please be healthy and safe this holiday season!