Needlework Progress

I had to spend money on the Black Panther themed yarn from Jimmy Beans wool. I got a bunch of skeins so I decided to make a shawl for a friend of mine and here’s how far I’ve gotten.

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My mental process for this was a roller coaster. Going from “Oh yeah, I can totally build this one stitch at a time” to “Fuck my life, I have to build this one stitch at a time.” But hey, I am loving these colors! And it’s fun and easy to knit this despite some of the stitches I’ve slipped that I feel just add character.

For more of my needlework, check out That Sinking Ship for other things I’ve made!

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” vol 2 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

When the onstage conflict during the school play becomes too real, Legoshi struggles with his carnivore instincts as Bill, a tiger, tempts him to slip.

This volume goes back and forth as to how serious it is, which I actually like! Given the set up of predator and prey trying to coexist in peace could be all about the angst and pain but it’s just dark enough to be intriguing and provide consequences for actions but enough levity to keep it enjoyable. I give this series a lot of credit for succeeding in this balancing act so far. Highly creative and compelling even though some of the sketchy art can be a little confusing sometimes. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Firebird and Other Stories” (Being(s) in Love #5) by R. Cooper

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

This book is a collection of short stories set in the same universe as the other Beings in Love books.

The first one is “The Firebird” set in France in 1934, where a firebird, Kazimir, becomes enamored with a writer named Jacob. Kazimir is used to being the center of attention and having admirers begging to be inspired by him. But Jacob sees Kazimir as more than just an object. It’s a sweet story about finding someone who really values you.

Next is “The Warrior’s Sacrifice” set in Mexico in 1947. Mateo is a “muxe” a person assigned one gender at birth but behaves associated with the opposite gender and he gets beat up for this and left as an offering to the jaguar who protects the town; named Carmelo. Carmelo is home from WWII and keeps Mateo safe, revealing he has been watching Mateo for some time. This is a really touching story with low angst.

Next is “Hyacinth on the Air” featuring a fairy named Hyacinth, who loves to push the boundaries of what he’s allowed to say on air. Seeing as this is set in 1961, there are some pretty strict standards so he causes no end of trouble for Walter, a human who’s in charge of cleaning up after the messes Hyacinth makes. Being a fairy, Hyacinth doesn’t understand why humans are so uptight and why Walter would resist their obvious attraction. This one’s cute but out of all of them this one I found the least impactful.

The next story is “A Giant Among Men.” Set in 1982, Vietnam veteran, former police officer, and troll, Tank, is determined to make sure his friend Simon, an elf, gets home safe after the bar where Simon works is vandalized by people who hate Beings. Simon resists the help because he doesn’t want to be seen as weak but comes to realize Tank sees him as much more than a pretty elf bartender. Pretty enjoyable for what it is.

Next up is “The Imp for Mr. Sunshine.” Set in 2005, Rennet – an imp – has a crush on John, the deputy mayor. Since things tend to go wrong when an imp is present, Rennet believes this bad reputation will keep him from this crush developing into anything more. Little does he know that John has been protecting him for more than just friendly reasons. The parts where Rennet is dealing with his nature and what that means to the people around him are the best in this story.

Next, we have “A Wolf in the Garden.” Miki is a human who loves to work with exotic pants so his job in a greenhouse that’s also in a magic shop is where he’s most comfortable. One day a werewolf named Diego comes into the shop and Miki is smitten, but he knows Diego had a mate, and she tragically died of cancer. Miki does see Diego wants him but believes a wolf only gets one mate in their lives and that a man like him who’s been abandoned by his family and has strange hobbies. These two make an adorable couple and I really enjoyed this story and it was cool to see previous characters like Kazimir reappear. It makes the world feel so much bigger.

Lastly, “The Dragon’s Egg” featuring Arthur and Bertie from “A Boy and his Dragon”. Here Bertie discovers an egg that is their child and Arthur goes into full nesting mode.

This is a pretty decent collection but I have to say “A Wolf in the Garden” and “The Warriors Sacrifice” are my favorite. The others just didn’t grab me as much and made the book feel SO much longer. To get the full experience, you really have to make sure you read the previous four books so don’t just hop into this one. 3 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Little Wolf” (Being(s) in Love #4) by R. Cooper

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

Tim Dirus is on the run from his werewolf family and has taken up what he thinks of as temporary residence in Wolf’s Paw sanctuary, where the town’s tourism centers around a festival where their hunk of a sheriff, Nathaniel Neri. Everybody wants Nathaniel but he has his sights on Tim, who is ready to bolt at any moment if anyone from the Dirus family shows up to lock him away again.

As this is part of the Beings in Love series, you see some of the characters from the previous books make an appearance; making the world-building feel more expansive and detailed. Watching Tim slowly work his way toward understanding what he is and how he fits in is VERY well done and grounded. You can tell his family did a number on him and he’s trying to heal. And don’t let the title fool you. I expected Tim to be some shy thing but Tim’s got some sass in him! He takes crap from no one and I like it.

So far, this is my favorite of the series because the stakes are higher. Tim has some dangerous people after him and this book doesn’t shy away from that. It made this the most thrilling book in the series to me. 4 out of 5.

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Finally Watched It: “Hail Satan?” (2019)

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In this documentary, The Satanic Church goes toe to toe with various government boards in order to promote Satanism as a counterpoint to religion seeping into politics.

This doesn’t play about with the hypocrisy of religion in politics when a minority religion seeks to be represented. Every time the Satanic Church said “Hey, we’d love to put up our monument too!” in every case, the choice was made to not display anything.

But if you’re expecting something that’s all gung ho against religion, you won’t find it here. This is surprisingly fair-minded; even when the Satanists had to wear fucking bulletproof vests to protect themselves in public due to death threats. It makes me wonder they don’t have the support of other minority religions but that wasn’t the point of the documentary. I’d recommend this if you’re interested in contemporary politics.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” : Vol. 2 by Tomohito Oda

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Hitohito Tadano continues to help Shoko Komi with her awkwardness and inadvertently, this earns Komi a rival, Makeru Yadano; who wants to defeat Komi in the health exams. Komi also manages to pick up another friend, Ren Yamai, who has an obvious crush on her. Well, obvious to everyone but Komi.

Remember in the first review when I talked about the horrible dark turn? Well, I thought Yamai was going to be it but although she comes off as a fucking creepy-ass stalker, the manga does keep things light and folds her into the growing group of Komi’s friends. Tadano still seems to be the one who knows her best out of the bunch though. Still loving this series. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy” by Dan Watters, Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara

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With the Dreaming broken and the Dream King missing, the son of Lucifer begins some dastardly plans. Lucifer himself is now a blind old man who must hunt down his own son to save the world. Meanwhile, a police officer John Decker finds something strange is going on in his recovery group.

I want to say this one is as cool as the first two I’ve read but I found this one to be the most confusing so far. The story has to jump between Lucifer trying to track down the mother of his son to whatever the heck Decker is going through with the demons haunting his friends. I liked it but not as much of the others. 3.8 out of 5.

 

Lenni Reviews: “The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations” by Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely, Neil Gaiman

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Taking full advantage of having different storylines in different books take place in the same universe, this volume starts with the same intro as all the other volume 1’s then branches off into its own story; this time within the crumbling Dreaming itself. Desperate to hold the world together in the Dream King’s absence, Lucien the librarian releases the Judge to keep order but he goes way too far.

This is a really cool story that doesn’t go the way you would expect. The main star is really Dora, a resident of the dreaming who is struggling with her identity. I honestly kept waiting for Dream to sweep in and fix everything but that would be way too easy. the art here is on point here again and the story also gets confusing here as well but I think this is because there’s a chunk of backstory here that I’m missing. These are the type of books you read more than once to catch the little details and I’m down for that. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “House of Whispers” vol 1 by Nalo Hopkinson, John Rauch, Sean Murray, Dominike Stanton & Maika Sozo

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The Dream King is missing and the Dreaming is falling apart. The consequences spill out into the waking world when Maggie and her girlfriend Latoya find a strange book and the spells inside put Latoya in a coma.

As is typical of something in Gaiman’s universe, there is a LOT going on and trying to explain it all would result in spoiling some of the more interesting bits. So, I will have to cop out and say the art is beautiful, and I love the use of Voodoo lore in the story. There are some parts that are confusing and I’m hoping the next book will clear things up. 4 out of 5.

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September Writing Update

As you can see by the flood of posts recently, I am making a real effort to not only post every day but clear off my Kindle and clear out the books piled up in my room. This means expect a ton of reviews of stuff that’s all over the map.

This doesn’t mean I’m not writing. I haven’t been meeting my 5 page a day goals mainly because I haven’t outlined Emma’s book at all and I’m just sorta flowing with it. This means some days I write 4-5 pages and some days I write 4-5 words.

Unfortunately, this means I have no idea when my next book will come out. But I will be more forthcoming with updates in the future.

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