Lots of new work, some comedy, and an upcoming pub quiz for Galway Pride!
So much to cover this week. I have a bunch of event announcements and several media recs — just scroll down to the bottom if you just want my round-up of new works published.
First things first — I’ve started playing with some buttons on Zazzle, trialling some badge designs for when I’m selling books at conventions next year.
These, and a few other designs, are available on my Zazzle store now! They’re obviously quite expensive for individual badges because it’s a print-on-demand store, but I’m planning to experiment with some designs over the next year or so, with the hope of selling these sorts of pin badges (as well as stickers and so on) for cheaper later on.
Secondly, I did a comedy set at Ireland’s Smallest Comedy Club last week, and I’m going to do another set at Basement Jokes, also here in Galway City, on the 17th of May. If you’re up this end of Ireland, come along at 8pm! Basement Jokes is a free entry comedy club, and it’s in the basement of The Cellar Bar. Here’s the show info.
Thirdly, if you’re not in Galway next week but you can make it down the week after, I’ll be hosting a pub quiz to help fundraise for Galway Pride this year. There’ll be a big quiz with a bunch of rounds, and there’ll also be a raffle with prizes from local businesses — there’ll be a few signed copies of Heart of Stone in with the other prizes. Quiz entry is €5 per person, and you can find the info here on EventBrite.
A few people have recently approached me about doing book clubs and so on, so I just wanted to state explicitly here that I’m more than happy to answer questions and chat on stream at queer or fantasy book clubs via Zoom or similar! If you’re going to have Heart of Stone or any of my other work as your book club pick in Ireland, the North of England, or Bristol, depending on where you are, I might be able to come along in person and sign books and so on! You can reach out with that sort of enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Maintenance Phase — Maintenance Phase is a great podcast that Lewis got me into, and I’ve been catching up on a bunch of their old episodes of recent — Maintenance Phase is put together by Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes, and it’s a podcast where they unpack common myths and outright lies told in the wellness and diet industries, especially common fatphobic rhetoric, bad science, and conartistry by fitspo and health “experts”. They get so catty with unpacking this stuff and it’s so cathartic to listen to, but it’s all backed up with good, robust tear-downs of the shitty science behind a lot of what they’re tearing apart. If you want to listen to just one episode to see how you feel, I would recommend, Is Being Fat Bad For You?, from 16/11/2021.
- Yellowjackets (2021 — ) — Presumably everyone and their mother has been telling you already to check out Yellowjackets — let me just add to the cacophony of voices and say, absolutely, do it. It’s got cannibalism, it’s got lesbianism, it’s got toxic codependency, it’s got mental health issues out the wazoo, it’s got all the trauma, it’s got a breakdown of the effects of misogyny on young sports women in the 90s, it’s got cults, it’s got the wildest gore, it’s got bears, it’s got a classic plane, it’s got everything! It’s fucked up and it’s pretty fucking harrowing, especially in the second series, but I’m very much enjoying it.
- Lawn Dogs (1997, dir. John Duigan) — This is such a fun flick, and one that I think I related to a lot in regards to the childhood emotions depicted — this is about a young girl growing up in an isolated gated community and her friendship with a guy who mows lawns and is an outsider to that community. I really fucking dug it, I loved the fairy tale aesthetics contrasted with the miserable reality, loved the unpacking of class and gender feels, loved the trauma, love the particularly scathing depiction of emotional neglect. I did review it, and I also watched the same director’s 1994 film, Sirens, which stars Hugh Grant. I was planning to go through Duigan’s back catalogue and watch some more of his work, but I just want to forewarn that Thandiwe Newton has accused him of sexual abuse — this has obviously put me off going back through it and has tempered my feelings about the art to say the least. Obviously I believe Newton, and if you are going to watch Duigan’s work, make sure to do it in a way that won’t give him further payment or aplomb where you can.
- For new releases, I watched The Pope’s Exorcist (2023, dir. Julius Avery) and Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves (2023, dir. John Francis Daley & Jonatham M. Goldstein). These are obviously very different films, one a supernatural horror about an Italian exorcist on a silly little mopend and the other a fucking A++ adventurous romp of a DnD party on a disastrous and delightful campaign — I recommend them, glowingly and with love, in the same breath because both of them feel so completely sincere and earnest in their shameless love of their subject. There’s no ironic self-effacement, there’s no sarcasm about the plot from within the plot iself, there’s no attempts to imply that the characters or the plot are above or superior to others in their genre. Everyone in these movies goes fucking ham, they camp it up, and it’s absolutely glorious. I am so tired of Joss Whedon-esque quips about how shitty the tropes are while we’re doing the trope — this sort of return to open sincerity is where it’s at. I also watched Renfield (2023, dir. Chris McKay), which unfortunately is not nearly as good — I mention it because it’s Nicholas Hoult and Nicholas Cage hamming it up as vampires, and there’s some fun aesthetics even though the broader execution is unfortunately pretty shit.
- I was in a mood for classic musicals this week, and so I went back and watched Fiddler on the Roof (1971, dir. Norman Jewison) which is obviously one of the best film musicals ever made, and also Guys and Dolls (1955, dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz) and Hello, Dolly! (1969, dir. Gene Kelly). They’re fun, silly films, and I’m planning to dive deeper and watch a few more old musicals if I can stay on this kick. If you’re in the mood for classic movie M/F/M threesomes, there’s obviously Cabaret (1972, dir. Bob Fosse) and Singin’ in the Rain (1952, dir. Stephen Donen & Gene Kelly).
I’ve also been replaying Xenoblade Chronicles (2010) this week, and I really recommend it if you’ve never played it before! It’s a gorgeous game with a beautiful soundtrack and some really fucked up themes around body horror, cannibalism, and war alongside the central fantastical plot, and I love it a lot. It’s on a few platforms, but I’m playing the original on the Wii.
New Works Published
Firstly, for some Tumblr stuff, I had:
- Some notes about casual sex and hook-ups as a disabled person, for which I would love if people do have resources to contribute!
- I gave some advice about approaching the introduction of new characters, especially when coming from a background in fanfic.
And if you’re doing Monstrous May, I put together some header images for use on your social medias!
Movie Review: Lawn Dogs (1997, dir. John Duigan)
I talked about this movie a bit in my media recs section, but this review is a more extensive dive into the film’s themes, especially class, childhood neglect and isolation, queerness and going stealth, and the social dynamics at play in the film.
Erotic Short: Hypnotised
Monstrous May Day #3: Hypnotised — An assistant bartender is drawn in by a vampire.
1k, M/M, rated M. Some sexy hypnosis for the purposes of public blood drinking — no sex. An entry for Day #3 of #MonstrousMay.
Erotic Short: The Tentacle Beast
Monstrous May Challenge Day #5: The Tentacle Beast — A priest makes a pledge to his chapter’s master.
Cis M/tentacle beast. Just 600w, short and sweet! For the Monstrous May Challenge 2023.
Fantasy Short: The Many Deaths of Baldr the Undying
One of Odin’s record-keepers interviews the god Loki.
Here’s a big one! 13.6k, rated M for violence, featuring some Loki and Baldr, some Odin scheming off-screen. Lots of delving into and playing with the stories, but with an angel thrown in for flavour.
Fantasy Short: The Injured King
A king seeks out the healing services of a local witch.
Just a little 800w piece.
Fantasy/Romance Short: Paper Houses
A train conductor begins a relationship with a regular passenger.
7k, rated M, M/M. Some sweet autistic 4 autistic love and affection with a build to the relationship and some fantastical elements on the side. Adapted from a TweetFic.
Fantasy Short: Luca’s Monster
Cute fiction short! A boy talks to the monster that keeps coming out from under his bed.
1.2k, rated G. Sweet fantasy piece. Adapted from a TweetFic.