February Newsletter

February Newsletter

Hi, everyone! It's that time again! Monthly news and accountability! Wherein we round-up everything that happened this past month and set new shiny monthly goals to reach. Ooooooooooh... Also spring is coming and look at what that's done to my mood. OMG.

Also welcome, new people! :D [waves] We're a friendly and mostly quiet bunch here. Come in and relax. :D

Life And Other Such Important Matters

Spring is heeeeeere. And I have toothpaste! Which I should probably explain for anyone who doesn't follow me on Twitter. Er, I guess this may stray into dental TMI? I'm not sure. I have a story!

So... I don't get on with mint. As in it makes my stomach ache and it makes me (want to) throw up and, basically, toothpaste companies are really really invested in their minty freshness. I've tried pretty much every toothpaste in my local area that promised to be mint-free. I had one toothpaste that... worked. Wasn't perfect, but hey I'll take not-gagging. And then either we accidentally got the wrong tube (possible) or they changed the formula. I haven't seen the packaging and they revamped the tube, so I assumed, pretty much, that they'd changed the formula to have MOAR MINT.

This is not, I think, outside of the realm of possibilities on account of people expecting toothpaste to be minty and making minty toothpaste ends up reaching more people (and also nets you more competition, but WDIK about non-book big-company marketing strategies), so I was in a bit of a panic because no toothpaste. And yes fine you can do without and all, but it's kinda important to me to have toothpaste.

Anyway! I despaired. I cried. And then I found toothpaste without mint! HUZZAH! Also without alcohol. I have no idea what it is, but it's toothpaste that doesn't appear to make me feel sick. It is also several towns over and not available to me without setting up a whole days' worth of travel. But that is a concern for future!me.

Also I made the best cupcakes ever. Or at least they will be the best when I tweak the recipe and get them just right.

Featured Post

This month I've actually got a post that's not hosted on my website or Patreon. It's a guest post I wrote for The Book Smugglers (who are loves and amazing and if you're somehow not following them yet, what are you waiting for?!)

Asexual Representation in Mainstream Speculative Fiction

While enough books exist that we can make (short) themed lists and can help readers find the subgenre or ideas that they enjoy reading, it is true albeit cliché to say that for many finding this representation is as likely as finding a needle in a haystack. It is impossible for anyone to walk into a bookstore or a library and be directed towards a variety of books featuring representation. Lucky readers may find that a bookstore stocks one or two books. (When I was in Cambridge in 2016, between four major bookstore chains, I could find a grand total of 3 different titles featuring asexual representation and if I had not known what to look for I would have found none of them.)

Completed Projects

  • 8/8 short stories recorded of Tales of the Little Engine
  • 3/3 discussions of papers in Asexuality and Sexual Normativity
  • 16/12 books read

March Goals

  • 9 short essays for March/April/May
  • 12 books read
  • 2 discussions of papers in Asexuality and Sexual Normativity
  • Pick a new Let's Read! project and discuss its future
  • 10,000 words of fiction written
  • 1 short story recorded from Feather by Feather and Other Stories
  • 1 completed new Let's Play
  • Reread Chameleon Moon for essayage

Nice and ambitious to herald in the arrival of spring! If things work out the way I hope, though, this is nothing. (Also, hi. It is a well-documented fact that 10K per month is ridiculously easy for me; it's making them fiction words that I trip on because all the shiny research topics and people seem more interested in those.)

Honestly, it's probably the Let's Play and the recording that'll give me the most trouble just because I need dogs and people to all work with me and be quiet so my ridiculously sensitive microphone doesn't record them too. (It's a Beecaster if you're curious. I adore it, but wow it's sensitive.)

February Goals

  • 3/3 discussions of papers in Asexuality and Sexual Normativity
  • 1/8 short essays for March/April
  • 7,865/10,000 words of fiction written
  • 16/12 books read

Awwwwwwww. I actually have a buffer for the short essays, so I'm good. Just a little disappointed because prioritisation meant I had to shove them to the side so much this month. They're fun. :D It also affected my fiction output a little, but trust me it was worth it and it's not dreadful. I'm still evaluating whether to cut down on them, though, simply because they do take up a fair bit of time to do well right now and I have half a dozen projects I also want/need to do.

Writing Updates

This Month's Fiction Wordcount: 7,865

This Month's Non-Fiction Wordcount: 17,058

DemiPrincess2: I made some progress slowly and then I got sidetracked by a short piece. Given DemiPrincess2 is very voice-oriented in its narration, I don't really like to mix them together. So it'll be on hold until the short is finished or April arrives, whichever happens first. (Watch me not stick to that now.)

Short Piece: This will be a total surprise. I will reveal only this: there is a meetcute. In space.

Stand-out Positive Moment

I know I just mentioned my essay at The Book Smugglers, but honestly? That is it for this month. Working with Ana and Thea has been on my writerly bucket list for ages. And yes, technically I could have crossed it off last year or so, but now the results of our work is available! Look at what their glorious editing and direction created! It's a 10,000 word essay (plus citations and footnotes, admittedly) on how ace representation looks in mainstream speculative fiction! I've been sitting on this essay for over a year and now it's here. All our hard work has been made visible and shared and, wow, the initial response was already so overwhelming.

And I love that I was right to assume that I would be missing books I hadn't heard about because more books. I mean, we're still a long way off from reaching an average of 1% representation a year even with them, but we're closer! And more books are being published and, honestly, I just want to squee and squeal because this essay is my everything and on the first day of its release into shiny availability it already did everything I'd hoped it would do.

Also did I mention that working with Ana and Thea was amazing and they are fantastic and so talented and good people? Go forth and call up discussions, little essay! Fly, my lovely! Fly!

How about you? What have you been up to lately? Has anything awesome happened?