Release Day!

Virago is available now on Kindle for 2.99, and will be available in print sometime later this weekend. I’ll post an update when it is!

Friends! Virago is available for purchase!

Book cover - Virago
A pawprint comprised of several smaller images of the four main characters and the city.

Having survived brutal beginnings in her village, Adelaide arrives in the city of Glendale, ready for a new start. Accompanying her is Neville the tinker, who hopes for a new beginning after a lifetime of traveling… but finds that old habits die hard. Winston Innborne, a dutiful Captain of the Watch, struggles live up to his mentor’s expectations and keep his city’s peace … but finds himself caught in the city’s shifting political climate and fighting a battle he’s not prepared for. Chamberlain Mayne Gordon, an unscrupulous civil servant who sits on the Lady’s Table, chases wealth and power… but finds more than he bargained for. What happens when all four encounter violence, riots, and the most important murder since the Empire fell? ~ from back cover.

I’m very pleased to announce the abridged edition of Virago is available for purchase HERE. A HUGE THANKS to my friend Suzanne for helping with the cover!

Virago is available now on Kindle for 2.99, and will be available in print sometime later this weekend. I’ll post an update when it is!

EDIT: The print version is available HERE.

Heaven’s Gate – A Near Death Experience at 6:22AM

“What a bunch of whackos,” we could be forgiven for thinking. We’ve had over 25 years of brainwashing, after all.

CW: Today’s post discusses mass suicides, cults, child harm, and other unsavory things. I will not be inserting any upsetting pictures. Please proceed with caution!

So, I joined a gym.

That’s not the purpose of this post – not fitspo, not weightloss or bragging about reps or gains or anything else. It is, however, necessary for setting the scene.

But let me back up.

So Wednesday the 22nd, I watched the new WACO documentary on Netflix. I had been looking forward to it for a while – I am old enough to remember when it happened, although at thirteen only recall the beginning and ending, while the weeks in between shootouts didn’t register. In the years since, I’ve become mildly interested in it and read or watch things when they come up. This documentary I found disappointing – it was a lot of sensationalism, some interviews with eye-witnesses, but no analysis or much expert commentary. I have watched other docs on Waco – Ask a Mortician’s examination of it was particularly compelling as she pointed out the failures of law enforcement and how they led to so many unnecessary deaths. The disappointment led me to want to revisit a pretty good one on a true crime show I saw on HBO last year, but I couldn’t remember the title or particulars so I just searched ‘documentaries.’

Which is how I found the Heaven’s Gate: Cult of Cults doc. I didn’t notice the release date and thought it was something from a while back, so I decided to watch.

In short: it is good.

VERY good.


Soon, You’ll Be Sorry You Asked

This is a catch-up post. It is intended to let everyone who asks me ‘what have you been up to?’ know EXACTLY what I’ve been up to – much to their regret. There will be swearing, and discussion of my personal life. There will be discussion of elder care and health scares. Just… there’s been a lot.

In short – things sucked for a while. They were scary and uncertain, but now they are much, much better.

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How MEN (2022) Disappointed Me

Sigh. Let me get the dumb jokes out of the way so I can get to the review:

  • A horror movie named MEN in the year of our lord 2022 – too easy
  • I mean the film not the gender HURRRRRRR
  • Gotta talk about the low-hanging fruit HURRRRRR
  • It gave me all the Rory Kinnear I ever wanted and more – SO MUCH MORE
  • I’d scrumble Geoffrey’s apples (well, maybe not his)

There! I had more but I’m tired. Note: I might not be at the top of my game right now with this viewing and review – I might revisit the movie in a few months to see what occurs then.

Anyway -Let me clear something further up – I didn’t hate MEN. I enjoyed it! I will own it when it’s available for purchase! I’ll break down what it did right and wrong in full later, but what you should understand now is that I am NOT hating on MEN.

MEN’s ad campaign set high expectations: there were blurbs like ‘GAME CHANGER!’, high marks from the Onion AV Club and other respectable review sources. I was expecting the film to do for discussions about the patriarchy what Jordan Peele’s GET OUT did for discussions about racism. Instead, it avoided that discussion and settled for being stylish and posing more questions than it answered.

There’s room for film that provokes conversation; it is refreshing to talk through concepts with other filmgoers, thereby expanding an otherwise solitary enjoyment to a group one. A24 does this time and time again, making (pleasant, sane) discourse all but necessary for their works. But MEN pushed right past that and brushed perilously close to incoherence.

As always, spoilers down below:

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The Batman (2022)

Greetings all! I am dusting off the film review tag in honor of a very special review: The Batman. As always, the Non-Spoiler review will go above the cut, Spoilers below.

Let’s Do The Thing!

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

For three years, we have heard about The Batman, as directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson. We heard about the Snyder fans insisting The Batman will be terrible because it doesn’t involve Ben Affleck or Zack Snyder. Discussions about Batman in the wake of BlackLivesMatter centered on whether Batman had any right to do what he does at all, or if he was a privileged White Man acting as a tool of post-capitalist masters, protecting private property and punishing marginalized communities. And of course, who can forget the discussion on whether Batman performs cunnilingus on Catwoman. Regarding the latter, just like in real life, one group says yes, another group says no.

I’ve been a Batfan since Burton’s 1989 installment. My childhood doggie (1990-2005) was named Batman. With the popularity of the Tim Burton film, the Family Channel began airing episodes of the Adam West show; trust and believe my parents knew right where I was between the hours of 4-5 PM every afternoon that summer. I had toys and T-shirts. Comics were still being gatekept against little girls so I didn’t start reading those until later, but I had the novelization and read it to tatters. Batman: The Animated Series happened and that was a revelation. It felt GROWN UP. The women were characters! With thoughts! Batman Returns happened and I felt Ways About Michelle Pfeiffer in that suit, but what was most appealing was the depiction of her rage. I didn’t know the word ‘patriarchy,’ but being a little girl in a blue-collar environment I encountered it every day – men, boys and women laughing at the idea that women could do anything men could do. And this was in the 80s and early 90s!

As a movie, Matt Reeves’ The Batman checks all the most notable Batman boxes and rarely colors outside the lines–except in one major area, which I’ll discuss later. The film’s world is immersive and recognizable; it looks like Gotham City ought to look – its striated architecture boasts Art Deco flourishes in the upper levels of the city, and in the lower, puddles, steam, and garbage spew from industrial vents or collect in gutters and alleyways. It’s a vivid if uninspired depiction of the Gatsby-esque wealth disparity that would have been ubiquitous to Batman creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane, writing in the 30s and 40s, and is once again our modern American reality.

Rather than faffing about with origin stories, The Batman jumps boots-first into a crime thriller with a high-profile murder. Batman is known, if not accepted, by the cops, and has made an ally of Jim Gordon, masterfully played by Jeffrey Wright. There’s an upcoming election, there’s political corruption, there’s the Riddler running around killing people and leaving puzzles, there’s Selena Kyle (Zoe Kravitz absolutely glistening) doing the cat burglar thing, there’s Alfred (Andy Serkis) as a surrogate father figure, all of which you’ve seen in the trailer. All of it works perfectly, even though there are moments that should remove you from the action. I realized I was thoroughly and delightfully entertained, even while watching John Turturro wear sunglasses in the dark, or a fat-suited Colin Ferrell yell at traffic.

The Batman is well and truly of the modern age, and if there’s one thing the modern age loves, it’s polarization. So naturally, people are arguing like it’s Thanksgiving at the in-laws, everybody’s had a few drinks, and it’s an election year. NO QUARTER.

To close the spoiler-free section, I am excited and appreciative of the thought and development that went into this new incarnation of a well-loved favorite. It’s a bit more cerebral than previous versions, and its soundtrack was good but didn’t have the impact of Zimmer’s or Elfman’s work. As word about the film grows it will gain its rightful place in the film canon.

Now, what about that sequel?


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