What I’ve Been Consuming-January 2022

Every month, I’ll be sharing what media or miscellaneous I’ve been consuming over the past weeks. This will be a running record for myself, but a way of sharing some of my favorite stories and moments outside of writing—though, it all comes back to writing.

Music

Remo Drive- Art School

I’ve probably danced to ‘Art School’ in my kitchen at least once a day over the past month. And yes, I did it in the same fashion as the people in the video—very dramatically and with a lot of twirls.


ILOVEMAKONEN- Drink More Water 007

I’ve never listened to ILoveMakonnen before, but now, I’m a huge fan. I heard ‘Used To‘ first and kept listening to it repeatedly, so I decided to explore the full Drink More Water OO7 album, a mixture of queer pop-rap that reminds me of Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino still being totally different than both.



Movies/TV

The Matrix Series

To catch up and untangle, discover, and invent some of the trans narratives with my partner, we’ve been going back through the series from the beginning. We haven’t watched the newest Matrix yet, but that’s on this weekend’s calendar.


Cobra Kai entire series

If we’re not friends in real life, you probably have no idea that the Karate Kid series is one of my favorite movie franchises. And while I’m not a fan of the remake of the Karate Kid with Jackie Chan, I do really love the Netflix Cobra Kai series. I’ve even used it a couple of times in examples of good writing.

At the end of 2021, Netflix dropped the newest season, so I had to rewatch all the other seasons to catch up on the drama, storyline, and emotions. It was worth it. But maybe not for my household that had to deal with me yelling “Cobra Kai!” or “No mercy!” randomly for a couple of weeks.


Entire series of The Office

Recently, I got access to the superfan episodes of The Office, which have deleted scenes and little extras included like commercials and stuff. Only the first four seasons are available in superfan format, but I couldn’t stop after just four seasons. And, so, for the 100th time, I watched the entirety of The Office.

I don’t regret a thing. It’s just as funny as I remember it. I even cried during moments I knew were coming.



Reading

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know I’m working on a vampire novella and am doing some reading and research into vampire books. I thought I Am Legend would be a great reading list addition and possibly masterwork study for my own book. For people who don’t know, the book is about a man living as the sole survivor in a vampire wasteland.

*deep deep deep sigh*

I couldn’t get past the book’s overtly and oddly sexual writing where Black characters were called Negreos, and the main character’s sexist and abusive acts just grew until I finally had to say, ‘No, thanks,’ and move on. Maybe one day I’ll finish it, but I tend not to give too much of my time to writers like Matheson anymore. Too many days spent reading Heinlen only to realize yes, he is just a basic sexist racist with some nifty ideas.


I’m glad I pushed myself out of Matheson’s book and moved on to my next vampire read, Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. I’m barely into the book and am already sold on its writing being miles above Matheson’s. NOS4A2 is about vampires, powers, and death. There’s so much going on in the story that a simple explanation won’t do. It’s Dracula without being Dracula and so damn spicy on the page.

I’ve watched the NOS4A2 TV series and loved how they reinvented vampires, tropes, and conventions to create a whole new type of vampire story. Reading it as Hill’s first book, I can see the striking similarities between his writing and his father’s, Stephen King.

Hill just has a little less wild sauce and a bit more of a keen eye.

At least in this book. It does make me want to read Salem’s Lot again.


In last week’s post and on my 2022 intentions, I mentioned that I’m focusing my deep study efforts on syntax for the beginning of the year. Well, my first book in my study is Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig. A book I read when it first came out a few years back when I was trying to grasp how to build a story from the ground up on the page.

The exercises and information were eye-opening and super helpful at getting me to understand some of the more nebulous writing and sentence construction strategies back then. Going through it again now, almost five years later, gives me a deeper understanding of what I first learned years ago. And since none of the exercises are really based around particular levels, but more aimed at getting writers to understand words and sentences in a deeper way, my responses to the exercises are different.

I’m approaching the book and its lessons in a deep way.


I’m in a queer speculative fiction book club and this light-fantasy lesbian love story is our January read. What I love most about being in a book club is that I get to read books I wouldn’t normally read.

It’s not that I don’t like romance books, it’s just that I often don’t read them as my first choice. But One Last Stop is an amazingly funny, heartwarming, and sweet story about found families and love at first sight. It’s also about community and city culture. I love the way McQuiston writes both the setting of the story and the character relationships that take place over the course of the novel.


This book. This book. This book.

I don’t know. It’s winning a special place in my heart as a great Black science fiction novel. I’ve only just begun but am excited to learn more about the characters, world, and themes explored in this book. I won’t get into it here, but lookout for a longer review in the coming months!


Games

I’ve been playing The Forest for a few months now, but I’m trying to make an effort to finish the game. The narrative is about a man who crashes on this island overrun by cannibals and mutants with his son who gets kidnapped by this evil scientist. The whole point of the game is to survive, find your son, and build shelter.

The mechanics are all around building these elaborate forest setups and traps. You can hunt and become a cannibal yourself as you explore the island and unravel the mystery of who took your son and where. It’s a really great game with a lot of horror elements that keep me from actually finding my son and finishing the game. Right now, I’m on day 53 of the in-game world and have built some pretty expansive and impressive setups while exploring the map, but I haven’t ventured into the dark bone filled caves where I’m sure my son is.


My partner and I love playing video games together. We’ve done it since we were friends and have moved through some pretty fun games over the years. Our favorite game to play together is Borderlands. And recently, we downloaded the space western pre-sequel.

It’s just as fun as the other series within the franchise, and I have to admit, I’ve considered bunking off of work just to go play it for a little.



Thanks for swinging by and reading about what I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks. I appreciate it. I’d appreciate it even more if you’d consider subscribing to my blog or checking out some of the books, games, and stories I have available for fans, followers, and readers.

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