State of the Blog and Weekend Links: July 16, 2017

I don’t know what I will ever do if I ever have a week that goes unequivocally well for me, with nothing bad happening in the world and no personal or financial crises in my own life. Obviously, of course, this week was not that week.

Things started off well, with a good writing day and a 2k word Gormenghast post on Monday, but by Tuesday my car was acting up again. I dropped it off at the auto shop Wednesday afternoon, and it is still there as of this writing. It’s either something probably moderately expensive to have fixed or it needs a whole new engine; hopefully I’ll get the final word on it tomorrow. Either way, I’m torn between being glad to be on the verge of finally getting to the bottom of months of car trouble and being furious that whatever this problem is wasn’t diagnosed at the beginning of this whole saga before we’d spent thousands of dollars on other car repairs.

As you might imagine, this made for a stressful week. My partner was working from home, which is a distraction. Fortunately, we live within walking distance of most necessities, but having to walk everywhere means simple things like grocery shopping take extra time. Being without a car also derailed later-in-the-week plans. I’d hoped to see a couple of movies this week (The Big SickValerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, maybe Wonder Woman) and I wanted to see a free outdoor performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor this weekend, but none of that was possible.  It’s been just a big, boring, financially stressful mess of a week, and that’s never a good way for me to stay on task and productive.

In the coming week, my number one goal is to find some better ways to not allow depression and anxiety to cause me to shut down quite so completely. Game of Thrones is back tonight, and I’ll be writing about that tomorrow. I’ve already read my next section of Titus Groan (Chapters 32-35), so that should be in the works for late tomorrow or sometime Tuesday. I’ve got outlines for a couple of essays I’d like to work on this week, and I’m thinking of trying a different, shorter sort of round-up style for book reviews for when I don’t have at least 500 or so words to write about things. I’ve been reading a lot lately, and I’d like to share more about what I’m reading and enjoying without the pressure of trying to write a full, lengthy, spoiler-free review.

Just when I needed it this week, Chuck Wendig shared this essay: “So, You’re Having a Bad Writing Day.” It helped.

I finished reading Issue 17 of Uncanny this week, and the first have of the issue’s content is already available online. My recommendations:

I love this Meghan Ball essay at Fireside: “The Importance of Being Monstrous”

Coming soon at Fireside: new serialized fiction by Sarah Gailey.

A series based on Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death is in early stages of production at HBO with George R.R. Martin executive producing:

There’s another new story at the Book Smugglers this week. Their Gods & Monsters series continues with Tonya Liburd’s “A Question of Faith.” You can also read about Liburd’s inspirations and influences.

There’s a new Darcie Little Badger story at Strange Horizons: “Owl VS. the Neighborhood Watch”

JY Yang’s Tensorate series is high on my to-read list for later this summer, and their new story, “Waiting on a Bright Moon,” only helped to whet my appetite.

Be sure to check out Michelle Ann King’s “15 Things You Should Know Before You Say Yes” at Daily Science Fiction.

I read all of Margaret Killjoy’s Tor.com novella, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, this week, and I am telling you right now that you want to pre-order this title. If you aren’t convinced, you can read the first chapter (and part of the second) right now.

Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison wrote about their favorite part of their novella, The Ghost Line.

Sarah Kuhn wrote about the Big Idea in her new novel, Heroine Worship.

Emma Newman has another novel coming out in 2018 that takes place in the same universe as Planetfall. Watch for Before Mars in April of next year.

The first trailer for Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time came out, and it’s wonderful. I wasn’t in love with the stills shared in the last week or two, but everything looks great in the trailer, and I’m glad to see that this production is embracing some of the weirdness of the book:

Christopher Brown wrote about “The Persistance of American Folklore in Fantastic Literature” at Tor.com.

Yoon Ha Lee talked about 6 Books at Nerds of a Feather.

This behind the scenes footage from the production of Star Wars Episode 8 has enough Carrie Fisher in it to break my heart. I am still not okay about her death.

George Romero passed away. And so did Martin Landau.

Finally, it doesn’t completely redeem this garbage week, but the BBC revealed the Thirteenth Doctor today, and it’s Jodie Whitaker.  Reader, I wept.

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