Poetry Published in Thistle Magazine

Hey everyone! This is just a quick post to share some exciting news with you. Awhile back I mentioned that some of my poetry was accepted into a magazine, and I just found out the other day that the issue was published!

Taken from their website:  Thistle Magazine is is an atlas of intricate avenues and rivers within the hearts and limbs of growing souls. We are in the here and now, yet remain intrigued by what ties us to the past. We are interested in the overlooked and unexpected, the long-lost and unknown, the footnotes and etceteras. We seek your art, your words, your dreams and constellations; the memories and visions of your curious heart. Thistle is for those who long to be reminded of the beauty and wonder that we have today. Thistle is for those who long to explore where it comes from.

I am super excited and thrilled to announce that my two pieces Mother of Bread and Of Petrichor and Golden Stars were published in the spring issue titled Growth.    It’s a beautiful issue and I think you should all download it. The artwork in it is particularly stunning.

Thanks everyone for reading! Hope you have a fantastic day. 🙂

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda By Becky Albertalli

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Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.  With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

I had heard so much about this book and how awesome it was, that I was honestly kind of nervous to read Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.  Thankfully it lived up to all the hype!

From the first few chapters I could tell this book was going to be a four star read. Simon is easily one of the most relatable characters I’ve found in YA, probably since I found Rainbow Rowell’s books.  If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll see I commented only 20% of the way in about how much it was making me feel for the character.  Simon is a great friend, which I really liked and at the same time he’s not perfect. He makes mistakes, he gets angry.  His interactions with Martin are really well written and realistic, even thought at times I was amazed at how well he reacted. It all fit with his character.

Plot-wise everything moved about as I expected it to, but the pacing was still good and I was never taken out of the moment being able to predict anything. I was just too busy wishing Simon the best, and hoping things went well for everyone.

Another good thing about this book are Simon’s parents! Who do not fall into typical YA parent mode of never being around! Which is really nice.  Simon’s parents are honestly quite adorable characters, and their reactions to Simon’s coming out were realistic and well written.

As for the mystery of Blue, I honestly had no idea who it was! I love to be surprised, and when I can’t accurately guess plot twists.  I had a couple of guesses, as did Simon but each time he was proved wrong I was right there with him.  And in the end when all is revealed I have to admit I squealed a little because Simon and Blue are so fricken adorable.

So yes, please read this book! I hope you all love this as much as I did! Also feel free to fangirl with me in the comments. 🙂

The Assassin Game By Kirsty McKay

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Goodreads Synopsis: At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game—it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon

I’m a sucker for good covers, and this one has got to be one of the best covers ever!

The Assassin Game ended up being a mediocre three star read for me.  This story, is at parts fairly interesting, especially in the beginning. And I was actually still guessing who the killer was until near the end. But overall I felt like the story wasn’t anything new. The characters were your typical YA characters, the story has it’s fairly common girl meets with boy she used to be friends with and falls in love.

The writing of the story wasn’t the best. I found some of the descriptions weird. At one point a boy’s lips are described as “thin with a Cupid’s bow”, which mostly had me facepalming and laughing at the stupidity of it. But I mean, maybe there’s some points to be given for creativity? I don’t know. 😀

As far as creepiness goes, this book was honestly not all that frightening. It has moments when you are worried for the characters, but I mean…It’s YA, nobody important is going to die in the end, and that’s the sad truth of things.  But when you learn who the killer is, and what the motives are, it’s honestly a bit of a letdown.

So yes, in conclusion, 3 stars for the book. Maybe I could have done less, but I was feeling pleased with the fact that I couldn’t guess the killer.

Anyone Doing Camp Nano?

I realized just the other day that Camp NanoWrimo is happening next month! Is anyone else doing this? I’m hoping to be in cabin with lots of active people, so if anyone knows of a cabin or is putting one together, you should let me know! Cabin assignments happen in 6 days!

Tentatively my plan for Camp is to write 30,000 words collectively on the stories I’m already working on.  Miracle, will hopefully be one.  My second short story, Sheep Of Many Colors, should be another. As well as my siren novel, A Siren’s Tale.  And maybe, just maybe, a NA fantasy novel that I have some ideas for.  I know it seems like a lot, but basically I want to work on a project till it’s finished and them move on to the next. Obviously starting with the short stories.

What are you doing for Camp? 

3 Poetry Books I’ve Read This Year

 

1. Space, In Chains by Laura Kasischke.

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Goodreads Synopsis: Laura Kasischke’s poems have the same haunting qualities and truth as our most potent memories and dreams. Through ghostly voices, fragmented narratives, overheard conversations, songs, and prayers in language reminiscent of medieval lyrics converted into contemporary idiom, the poems in Space, In Chains create a visceral strangeness true to its own music.

So we found ourselves in an ancient place, the very
air around us bound by chains. There was
stagnant water in which lightning
was reflected, like desperation
in a dying eye. Like science. Like
a dull rock plummeting through space, tossing
off flowers and veils, like a bride. And

also the subway.
Speed under ground.
And the way each body in the room appeared to be
a jar of wasps and flies that day—but, enchanted,
like frightened children’s laughter.

3 stars

2. A Village Life By Louise Gluck

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Goodreads Synopsis: A Village Life, Louise Glück’s eleventh collection of poems, begins in the topography of a village, a Mediterranean world of no definite moment or place:

All the roads in the village unite at the fountain.

Avenue of Liberty, Avenue of the Acacia Trees—

The fountain rises at the center of the plaza;

on sunny days, rainbows in the piss of the cherub.

—from “tributaries”

Around the fountain are concentric circles of figures, organized by age and in degrees of distance: fields, a river, and, like the fountain’s opposite, a mountain. Human time superimposed on geologic time, all taken in at a glance, without any undue sensation of speed.

Glück has been known as a lyrical and dramatic poet; since Ararat, she has shaped her austere intensities into book-length sequences. Here, for the first time, she speaks as “the type of describing, supervising intelligence found in novels rather than poetry,” as Langdon Hammer has written of her long lines—expansive, fluent, and full—manifesting a calm omniscience. While Glück’s manner is novelistic, she focuses not on action but on pauses and intervals, moments of suspension (rather than suspense), in a dreamlike present tense in which poetic speculation and reflection are possible.

3 stars

3. The Tunnel by Russell Edson

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Goodreads Synopsis: This prized collection of Russell Edson’s prose poems, featuring his own favorites from seven prior collections, constitutes some of the most original American art of this century. This is the book of choice for both new and committed fans of this imaginative poet.

2 stars

 

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

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Goodreads Synopsis: Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults.
In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don’t understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence—particularly high school—complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy—especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

In my quest to read my LGBTQ+ books this year I decided to read this memoir by Jazz Jennings.

This will be a short review, Being Jazz for me was a solid 3 star book. Good to read but not my favorite.  Keep in mind it is written by a 15 year old, so it’s not going to be a perfect book.  I really liked learning about Jazz’s life, her transition and her wonderful family support system.  She has such wonderful parents that are very admirable. Jazz herself is also inspiring, it’s not easy to be so much in the public eye but I think she handles it very well.  Jazz is very open and honest in her memoir, which is very admirable.  As I said it is written by a 15 year old, so there are parts about Jazz’s dating experience, which I found a little drama-ish. But I guess that’s normal for kids her age, I just felt personally that it didn’t add much to the book.   I hope that she writes a second book later in life.  Definitely read this book and support LGBTQ+ authors.