Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fairy Tales, Cats and Queermance 2015

I'm working hard on helping put together the second year of Queermance, which it occurs to me that I should help promote before March turns into April and then the weekend is upon us.

Last year, I wrote a short post about it. This year, we'll have exciting extra items in our line up, such as swag bags and a Queer Art panel. Tickets are still available, although food inclusive tickets are ticking down as we need to get final numbers to the Mecure Hotel. Daytime panels, will all be at the Mecure, Therry Street in Melbourne. Aren't available for the full weekend? Single day tickets are available. Evenings only or single panel tickets will be available right up till the day for as little as $20.

The venue for the evening events will be Hares and Hyenas on Johnston St, Fitzroy, which is still one of my favourite queer friendly venues in the whole city. It does help that books line the walls, and they sell tea. And, if you squint reeeaaaally hard, you can see the place at the back where we had the readings last year for the launch of Queermance Vol. 1.

Queermance Vol. 2 will be launched in the same space on Friday 17th of April, starting 8pm and we'll also be having some readings from authors from the first volume who weren't able to make it last year. Copies of both books will be available on the night, thanks to Clan Destine Press. I have my submission in. Do you?

As if that's not enough, there's other stuff going on in my life right now. Such as:

For the first time since my Honours year, I'm curled up with old friends Hans Anderson, Marina Warner, the Grimm brothers and no shortage of coloured post-it notes. They're just as good a company as I remembered.

Unlike last time, when my focus was on Beauty and the Beast and other permutations, the enchanted slipper and the deformed foot have got my attention. I've lost too many hours to flicking through pages and writing notes. It's been sublime!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Release: 'The Art of Asking', by Amanda Palmer

Around 2007, I was invited to go to a small caberet-ish concert with my ex and some others. The event was going to be happening in the Corner Hotel in Richmond. Historically speaking, this has been one of my favourite Melbourne venues--along with The Forum which is in the city--due to the interactions I've had with musicians there. Liv Kristine was amazing. I still remember how diminutive she was when I hugged her after the show in which she'd been the operatic vocals of the metal band Leaves Eyes.

The other notable band I saw around that time was, of course, The Dresden Dolls. Their opening man was the unforgettable Jason Webley. Words cannot express how striking he is the first time that you see him on stage, and so to that end I will instead describe him through the visual sharing of this video:

I see now that this post has become a shameless music post, and cannot find it within myself to be sorry.

One part of the duo that made up The Dresden Dolls was Brian Viglione. This man is probably one of the nicest musicians you will ever meet. To me, when I met him, he seemed quiet, bordering on shy, though you'd never guess it when he gets into one of his drum solos.

It meant the world to me when he was the second musician I loved who flattered me with a hug after the show. I remember grinning like a moron, and yet having had the courage not to hide behind my friend's shoulder in nervousness at meeting him. Me and famous people = tied tongues and blushes that run from cheeks to toes. And yet I love these meet and greets at the end of gigs. Go figure.

Actually, it's really cool to have been able to find this particular video on YouTube nine years after the event, because it's the same one I saw on their Yes, Virginia tour in 2007-ish. Out of the screen, I can still see Amanda sitting behind her piano, avidly watching Brian as he went at it, likely looking for the opening to the beginning of "Half Jack". Oh, my god, the lyrics of "Half Jack". Even without Brian's amazing display of talent at the beginning of the live version of this song, it's absolutely mad.

I should probably say, as I'm typing up this post, that I pulled out my old copy of Yes, Virginia and started nostalgically swaying while glancing down at the cover of The Art of Asking: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, by Amanda Palmer, AKA the Queen of the Internet.

You see, I remember the night of Brian's drums just like I remember Amanda's stripy stockings on the piano as she stood up, hair flying, sweat launching across the stage with the pure energy she puts into EVERYTHING.

The saddest thing about that night was that, while I was hugging Brian, Amanda was disappearing into the backstage area in what I later learned was a very uncharacteristic display. It was upsetting, over the years, hearing how engaged she was with all of her fans. Those stories made me feel I had missed out on something important.

Finally, I get to my review of this book:

Just over 100 pages in, I read the line, "I notice the difference if I don't sign after a show. It can feel deeply lonely." And it was like... acknowledgement. While I'd been hearing for years about the caring, sharing figurehead of this whole interconnected community of likeminded people the internet, here, finally, was an acknowledgement of my little moment "with" (around?) Amanda. And it felt reassuring to note that Amanda Palmer is human too.

A lot of this book is about getting the feeling that, despite the fame, and the TED talks, and the music, and the dating Neil Gaiman, and the general being Amanda Palmer, she's just a person too. And, I think, that's kinda why I love this book so much. Because it could be written by anyone. It's self-deprecating in all the right places, it's honest, and hilarious.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'Tear Me Apart', and the closing of Egmont USA

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love three things: retold fairy tales, young adult fiction, and raving about favourite authors.

Two years ago, I wrote a review of 'Kill Me Softly', by Sarah Cross. There was no doubt in my mind then--and still no doubt now, truth to tell--that Sarah Cross was one of the new up and coming authors combining young adult fiction and fairy tales into happy little packages.

Kill Me Softly, published in 2012, is a Sleeping Beauty story set in the fictional town of Beau Rivage. The wonderful thing about this story, though, is that it's not just a Sleeping Beauty story. The whole town of Beau Rivage is filled with fairy tales coming to life. Other main characters include Snow White, Beauty and her Beast and, of course, Bluebeard.

It was like reading something in the world of Disney, only with a deliciously dark undertow after the Grimms' own hearts.

“Birthdays were wretched, delicious things when you lived in Beau Rivage. The clock stuck midnight, and presents gave way to magic.

Curses bloomed.

Girls bit into sharp apples instead of birthday cake, chocked on the ruby-and-white slivers, and collapsed into enchanted sleep. Unconscious beneath cobweb canopies, frozen in coffins of glass, they waited for their princes to come. Or they tricked ogres, traded their voices for love, danced until their glass slippers cracked.

A prince would awaken, roused by the promise of true love, and find he had a witch to destroy. A heart to steal. To tear from the rib cage, where it was cushioned by bloody velvet, and deliver it to the queen who demanded the princess's death. 

Girls became victims and heroines.

Boys became lovers and murderers.

And sometimes... they became both.” 
(Kill Me Softly, page 1) 

Now imagine my delight when, three years later, I hear about the release of Book 2 in this series: Tear You Apart, a Snow White story starring Viv from Kill Me Softly.

Viv knows there’s no escaping her fairy-tale curse. One day her beautiful stepmother will feed her a poison apple or convince her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Henley, to hunt her down and cut out her heart before she breaks his. In the city of Beau Rivage, some princesses are destined to be prey.

But then Viv receives an invitation to the exclusive club where the Twelve Dancing Princesses twirl away their nights. There she meets Jasper, an underworld prince who seems to have everything—but what he really wants is her. He vows to save her from her dark fate if she’ll join him and be his queen.

All Viv has to do is tear herself away from the huntsman boy who still holds her heart.

The whole thing would have been much more exciting had it not been paired with the information that Egmont--the publisher of both Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart was closing its doors, less than a month since the latter title was released. 

Attempts to sell Egmont USA since October 2014 have not resulted in any final agreements. As a consequence, Egmont has decided to close the office, effective from January 31st 2015.  
The spring 2015 list will be published and books will continue to be available via Random House. (Source: egmont.com)

In conjunction with Cuddlebuggery Book Blog, I and 54 other book blogs are launching the Last List Blog Hop for the authors and books that have been hit hardest by this closure. As per the above press release, authors like Sarah Cross will still have their titles available via Random House, but without the publicity backing of their publishing house.

So spread the word! I can personally attest that these books are 100% amazing and cannot wait to add Tear You Apart to my personal--OMG and constantly growing--library. Please feel free to reblog, repost, retweet, re-anything this post to anyone you think will be interested.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Me too."

It's been a while since I wrote in this little safe space of mine, and I've been looking for a way of getting back into it since it ended up in the, 'It's all a bit too hard' pile around the middle of last year.

It's February, so it's a little bit too late for New Year's Resolutions, too late for best moments of 2014 reflexion-style posts.

It's February, so it's definitely more of a looking forward time of a year than looking backward.

The thing that finally got my out of my shell and caused me to re-open the dialogue in this blog is a post called "Coming out again why more queer folks with mental illnesses need to speak out." It spoke of the truths of how many people in the queer community take their own lives, and some of the reasons for it.

Our voices could save someone’s life.
So where do we start? [...] It can be as simple as saying “me too” when someone in your community talks about their depression instead of just nodding; it can be as simple as saying “I know what that’s like” or “I have that too” or, most importantly, affirming that they are not alone.

I realised, when I started writing up this post, that I didn't yet have a tag for LGBTQIA, or even LGBT. I just had one for bisexuality. Which made me think that I've been doing my share of keeping my stories to myself, or sharing them only with a very limited audience, often within my own home.

So here is my voice. Here's my story:

My name is Nicole. I am a cis-gendered woman living in Melbourne, Australia with my two cats, my partner (man), and my fiancee (gender questioning). Towards the end of last year, my partner and I had a not!wedding--which suppose makes him my not!husband as well as my partner--because the laws of our country won't acknowledge legal ceremonies involving multiple relationships or gay ones. I should probably make a photo post of that beautiful day to post on here. Maybe now I actually will.

Outside of my home, I have a second house where my girlfriend lives. She is a beautiful young woman who is hesitant to walk down the street holding hands or kissing me because of the reactions we get from people in cars driving by.

As a bisexual woman in multiple relationships, I notice the differences in the way that other people view my relationships. I notice the way that I feel more "safe" walking down the street or in the shopping centre at night with one of my boys by my side. And, like my girlfriend, I notice the looks that we get from other people when we forget ourselves and hold hands, or stop to kiss because one of us has said something unbearably sweet.

I notice the pause, the hesitation in my voice when I go to my therapist or psychologist. So often, the topics that come up will intersect with the loves in my life. I find myself using gender neutral terms for all of them, or else casually dropping in the word "girlfriend" like it's the 1980s and "girlfriend" is a term used between women of a certain age group. I tell myself then that I'm not exactly lying if it's their misconception that leads to my obfuscation.

But who am I really hurting there? If I get a bad response from a non-LGBT friendly psychologist, I can just go out and find another one. Yes, the inconvenience and upset of needing to do that will be mentally taxing, but surely it's better than invisibility. Invisibility that I myself am perpetrating deliberately.

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

I regularly see psychologists because, as well as being part of the queer community, I also suffer depression. Depression that, last month, culminated in my having to quit my full time job of 8 months due to said depression. I was lucky because I managed to leave that job on good terms and with references intact. I was unlucky because I couldn't quite manage to make myself hold on until I had something else to go to.

Depression is something that I have suffered with, according to this blog, about two and a half years. Although I'd had episodes of depression before that, the period between September and December 2012 was the darkest spell I'd had up till that point.

For a long, long time, I saw the treatment of antidepressants to be as bad as the condition. There were storms of weeping and anxiety as I feared that I would be irrevocably changed by taking that kind of medication that would then addict me so I could never come back off it again. It led me onto other types of medication such as St John's Wort which, sadly, was a stopper at the very best and seems an alternative from a long time ago now. It did not work for me in the long term.

As anti-antidepressants I am, I ended up on them between April 2014 and January 2015. The condition came to a head when I realised I could not imagine that any side effects from the antidepressants could possibly be worse than the depression itself. I had hit rock bottom, and I didn't care. Not for myself, anyway. It was my loved ones that, I'm glad to say, gave me the strength to ultimately make this decision.

In January, I had an appointment with my doctor that my fiancee attended with me. Together, we articulated how the antidepressants were keeping my lows at a reasonable level, however the highs were nearly uncontrollable so as to be almost manic. I speak fast and loudly anyway, but when my boys were having trouble telling where one word / sentence ended and the next began after half a dozen or so years together, we knew we had a problem.

I am currently surviving without medication. I"m not sure if this will continue to be the way, but I do know that I'm not up to going back to full time work. I have been lucky enough to happen to fall into a position with perfect part time hours for me that is not too far away from home. I have a nifty little car to get me there and back and audiobooks to keep me company. And, of course, the reward of a bath once I get home, with the cats making sure not to be too far away.

This story is far from over, but I am still here to tell it, and will have the strength to continue to tell it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May: Back to the Writing Board

The Month So Far:

Okay, so the month hasn't been overly long, yet, but I missed posting last month, so you get this one for free.

This week, I'm back to writing Out of the Blue. Quite the accomplishment. I felt especially accomplished once I looked back at my February post and realised I was on 19,000 words then. I just passed 21,000 yesterday.


This morning, I had a visit from a side character who doesn't get introduced to the story until 20,000 words in, but I think he might end up being another of my favourite characters. At 8.30 this morning, he decided he just had to share this with me.

I'm loving this series of books. I'm getting a lot of short stories out of it that I can throw at publications.

Speaking of, I've had a small one this week, a section of a larger piece, at this blog: http://littleravenpublishing.com/2014/05/02/featured-writer-nicole-field-nee-fergusson/


9591398And books. I've been reading so many and I feel quite snowed under by my current set. The only problem with borrowing from a library is that they have to be read within a certain time.

This month, I had a bit of a difficult time figuring out which was the most truly amazing and stand out book I'd read since last month. Philippa Gregory and Laini Taylor are hard acts to follow. Still, I think a compelling argument can be made for the first book in Catherynne M. Valente's series The Girl Who Circumnativated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. 

This could be seen as a children's book. Certainly, the subject matter of a 12 year old girl getting pulled out of her own life and going through a fairy tale-esque adventure could be seen as aimed at kids. And I would be right behind that, except for the lyrical writing.

Embedded image permalinkIt is at times lyrical, whimsical, self-referential and literary. The narrator herself is almost a character in the story, but not in such a way that it takes away from the narrative or others characters. Every part of this story is planned in such a way as to make it all look effortless and, again, that is just another part of its charm. By the second chapter in, I wanted to quote every line.

These little illustrations at the beginning of each chapter were just the cherry and icing.

I'd only read Palimpsest by Catherynne before, but somehow The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland made me immediately run out and grab Deathless, which I've been vaguely meaning to read since it came out in 2011.

Friday, March 21, 2014

March: Queermance #1 Book Launch

The month so far:

So, aside from a whole bunch of personal stuff that has been keeping me particularly quiet on here this month (which I may or may not post eventually in detail) I've had a really good couple of days.

-On Monday, I was advised that a short story I put in for a Queermance short story anthology had been accepted.
-On Tuesday, I realised Kerry Greenwood was one of the other authors to be featured in the same anthology!!!
-On Wednesday, I was asked to do a reading for the launch. Which was going to be on Friday @ Hares and Hyenas in Fitzroy, Melbourne. IE: The first time I've been in the same country where my writing is being published (eeeeee!)
-On Thursday, I worked myself into a panic attack, which was not fun.
-On Friday (yesterday) I managed to pick myself out, drag myself out of the house and successfully did a reading of a portion of my story that appears in an anthology that was just 6 weeks from conception to publication.

That happened to look a lot like this:

Yes, I am really that tiny, but also it was nice that the audience wasn't right in our faces there, although the lighting was very bright.

The most exciting thing for me, apart from being able to meet and greet with everyone who had had a hand in putting the publication together, was actually one of the names that went into Q: Queermance Volume 1. 

When I was a strapping young aspiring author of about nineteen, I happened to stalk go to a library run campaign called Meet the Authors. One of the authors to appear was none other than Melbourne based Kerry Greenwood. I remember sitting very patiently while she spoke and at the end I went up to her, asking what advice she would give to someone wanting to get published.

Last night, ten years later, I was featured in an anthology with her. I don't even know how to start to describe what that experience felt like.

Q: Queermance Volume 1 is a short story anthology which includes eleven retold fairytales with gay and lesbian protagonists. It was put together in six weeks with the amazing work of Lindy Cameron from Clan Destine Press in Melbourne and Jacob Coates from Jaffa Books in Brisbane

It turns out that said anthology is a little hard to Google search, though, so here's a little help. Q: Queermance Volume 1 can be found --

Here at Clan Destine Press
Here on Amazon  
Here on Smashwords

On reading in the last month, my new glasses have led new life into the pasttime and I'm able to get through so much more than I ever could! (Actually, that probably made the reading last night far more manageable too.)

By far and away my favourite book so far this month has to be Wideacre by Philippa Gregory. I'd been meaning to read this book for ages, so long in fact that I had managed to collect all three books in the series very cheaply. Had I known how completely immersed I was going to be in the story, I don't think I would have been able to wait.

The best description I've come upon for Wideacre is that it's a strange mis-match of 1999's Cruel Intentions  and basically anything written by Jane Austen. The main character is Beatrice, a young woman who loves her family home very much but is unable to inherit. Unlike in Cruel Intentions, there are very clear reasons underlying each and every one of Beatrice's actions. Also, I find her a very capable character to be behind the wheel with, which just keeps me page turning even when the events in the story are alarmingly high stakes or off-putting.

I read and loved her Tutor series, was kind of turned off by her contemporary writing, so this series could have been very hit or miss.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


There has been Doctor Who (end of Tennant, start of Smith, watched for the first time and ZOMGZOMGZOMG. I was bawling THE WHOLE EPISODE dear god).
Work. Work work, today only one day of work, but the fourth day in a fairly big week.
Had a smallish argument over the stupidest thing, fuelled by tiredness on all sides and I’m just sick of tiredness.
This morning, I came home to the news that my man, my love, my, um, big part of my world, may be heading towards partial remission. Scans over the last several weeks show increasing reduction, all the way down to no longer visible in some spots. Hormone scans show nothing active going on behind the scenes. We have gone from stage 4 to stage 2 seemingly overnight.
That’s great. One year ago, we had 70% reduction. We had streamers and balloons and me jumping around like a foolish moron, foolish only because I thought the worst was already over.
As I am writing this, my jaw is clenched so tight I don’t even know how I’m going to relax it.
6 months ago, we were told he had one year to live.
I just. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I am physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the whole day and want it to be over now and all I want to do is cry and be hugged and read something comforting and sleep and not have to get up before 8 o’clock tomorrow.
I'm just having a really hard time right now. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Upcoming Release: The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne Harris.

It's no secret that I love Joanne Harris' work. When I found out that she's about to be releasing a new novel, The Gospel of Loki, well, I got rather excited.

Not just because, to me, Loki looks like this:


Ms Harris does some incredibly insightful and evocative work, from the ongoing small time #Storytime hashtag on Twitter to the recent MBE insignia for services to literature she received from the freaking Queen of England!

Of course, like any author of relative popularity, she doesn't always receive high acclaim for all her works. I recently read a review of her Four Quarters of the Orange which, among other things, stated that the reader is an adult and wants to read about adult things. Funnily enough, that review and what I already knew about Joanne Harris just made me get around to reading this book faster. And what a read! Filled with such amazing and evocative writing as usual:

"The secret is to leave the stones in. Layer cherries and sugar one on the other in a wide-mouthed glass jar, covering each layer gradually with clear spirit up to half the jar's capacity. Top up with spirit and wait. Every month, turn the jar carefully to release any accumulated sugar. In three years' time the spirit has bled the cherries white, staining itself deep red, penetrating even to the stone and the tiny almond inside it, becoming pungent, evocative, a scent of autumn past. Serve in tiny liqueur glasses, with a spoon to scoop out the cheery, and leave it in the mouth until the macerated fruit dissolves under the tongue. Pierce the stone with the point of a tooth to release the liqueur trapped inside and leave it for a long time in the mouth, playing it with the tip of the tongue, rolling it under, over, like a single prayer bead. Try to remember the time of its ripening, that summer, that hot autumn, the time that well ran dry, the time we had the wasps' nests, time past, lost, found again in the hard place at the heart of the fruit."
Joanne M Harris The Gospel of Loki

Her latest novel The Gospel of Loki tells the story of the trickster god (no surprise there) finally taking the stage after being thoroughly misrepresented in histories and the tales we know of him. He's going to set the record straight on May 24th later this year.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February: Out of the Blue

The month so far:

I have had the slowest month of reading I think, ever, due to one whole week waiting for glasses to be made after massive eye strain occurring on the Australia Day weekend and (unfortunately) public holiday.

I’ve never had an eye test before, but there’s nothing like sitting down with a complete stranger who asks you to shut your left eye and you going, “Ah. So that’s the problem.”

Three hundred dollars and one astigmatism later, and I am back to reading at normal pace again. Everything is so much clearer, colours are brighter and, when my eyes get used to it, apparently I’ll be less tired from strain and my mood may be better. Also, funky new face accessory:

Displaying photo.JPG

It’s two years since the optomitrist thinks my eye sight deteriorated. It’ll be interesting to see if my mood picks up as significantly as it’s dropped in that time.

The City & the City

As for what I've actually read, the only thing of note I've come across is The City and the City by China Mieville. I felt a little bit, on reading this, like when I read The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It's like books I usually read, but for some reason I just couldn't stop turning the pages.

At first, the only thing I knew about this book was that it could be seen as a metaphor for the way homeless people are 'unseen' on the streets, even though they inhabit the same city as everyone else. But it's so much more than that. There's detectives and crime and international hijinx due to the nature of two cities geographically occupying the same physical space.

And, like King Rat when I read it years ago, reading this has convinced me that there is something very interesting going on in China's head that makes me want to read more now I'm done.

As well, since my last post, I started on writing Out of the Blue a little earlier than February. Just before Christmas, a friend of mine was telling me about how I needed to get into the habit of writing 1000 words before breakfast, 1500 before first tea refill, 2000 before lunch, etc. And, of course, I have the words of Ms. Aaron's 2k to 10k keeping me motivated.

It's been three months since I finished writing for Nano, and I finally feel refreshed enough to start again.

Currently, it's at 19,000 words approx, with the first part posted here.

A couple of tracks have really grabbed me and kept me writing. Last year, I was working for Ticketek in Melbourne and had the opportunity of going to a couple of concerts I wouldn't have otherwise seen.

The Fray came out as a support act with Kelly Clarkson, instantly becoming one of my favourite bands. Their song, How to Save a Life, has often come to me and made me want to write something along to it.

I still remember going to the Pink concert with a friend of mine. Neither one of us were really fans, though we'd both heard that she was a pretty good performer. We said to each other that it was totally alright to leave early and grab a cup of coffee instead, and then Pink exploded out of the stage in Rod Laver Arena and floored us both. 

There was no more talk of leaving after that.

Months later, I was sitting in my car and happened to hear this song on my iPod. I don't actually remember whether it got played at the Melbourne concert. If it did, it was before this story idea came to me. This time, when I heard it, it gelled with my character Magenta so much so that I immediately added it to my playlist, where it's been on repeat every morning. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 2014 - One Month Down

The year so far:

- We had my partner's daughter with us over from Perth.
- We had Christmas.
- And New Years.
- And cleared out our garage.
- I discovered the Pandora app on my phone, and that led to all sorts of new music.
- Saw Frozen.
- And Sherlock.
- And The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, which was basically the same thing. ;)
- Compiled a truly intimidating to-be-read pile that is no longer under any control at all.

As for New Year's Resolutions... I have two. One of those comes in the form the above mountain. If I manage to at least pick up all of these titles to see if I like them by mid-year, I'll be happy. 

Notable mentions of good books read so far:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Retreat (Season 8, #6)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8: Retreat.

I'm not usually a huge graphic novel fan, but as soon as season seven ended, I knew I'd be buying all of season eight in comics. And so I did, and there they've sat for... far too many years. Every so often, I pick one up, wipe off the dust and commit to reading it.

Then, a Willow specific comic was lent to me (pictured in above pic, far right) and I felt I should finish the last three issues of season eight.

Well! I read it overnight. Kept on turning pages, so very, very compelled. The rest of the books have been a bit of a slog, to be honest, but this one made it all worth it!

Who's that on the left hand side of the cover? Why, it's the reason why I found this book so enjoyable. Oz is back! (full review..)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor.

For people who have just picked up this book, please don't be alarmed by the first chapter. You are not about to read a young adult novel with a thin plot and sallow romance front and centre. Though I don't blame you for thinking that with the introduction of Kaz.

Thankfully, the book only grows better than that, and the plot hits such a point that by page 100 you will not be able to put this book down.

I had heard many wonderful reviews about this book, and I am thrilled not to be disappointed by it. This is a young adult novel, with the heroine set in Prague so the schooling system seems a bit skewed from what I recognise; much more adult and seeming like TAFE or college with subjects like life drawing. That only improved my reading experience. Karou is also a kickass heroine who can take care of herself, which is the best pairing in young adult fiction up to date.

I'd also like to keep a record of what I write and where, at least once a month, even if it's fanfiction. (NB: It will be fanfiction at some point. We've just had Season 3 Sherlock. So...)

This month, between 10th - 21st January, I wrote a short six part series posted on Tumblr: Delilah and Sansa.


When Sansa tells Delilah she loves her, it’s while walking on a bike trail on the way to get ice-cream. One minute, they’re walking side by side in comfortable silence, the next Sansa kisses her on the side of the face and whispers, “I love you.”

Delilah’s mind stalls. “Do you love me really?” she asks, once a full second and a half has passed. It’s the dumbest thing to ask, and she knows it, but honestly can’t think of anything else to say.

"Of course I do." Sansa’s cheeks are a little flushed, maybe with exercise; more likely with emotion. Then she adds, "It’s okay if you don’t feel it yet. I can wait."

"Oh no, it’s not that!" Delilah rushes to fill the awkward moment even though she’s aware that she’s never told anyone other than family and friends that she loved them. She’s in no way ready to say these words right now, yet Sansa is unlike anyone else she’s ever known. "I mean that… this is all so fast. I don’t know how these things usually go."

In her world, there hasn’t been a lot of time for dating.

"I understand," Sansa says, speaking softly now, in her gentle singer’s voice.

Delilah takes her hand and clasps it tight in both of hers. “No, obviously you don’t. But I’m going to take you back to my place and shower you in affection so you have a better understanding of things.” She looks up at Sansa from beneath her eyelashes. “Even if I’m not ready to say it yet.” 

Sansa’s responding smile shines. It takes Delilah’s breath away. The ice-cream brought from the shop at the end of the bike trail never tasted sweeter.

( I promised I would write fic inspired by Fukari’s lovely work. Part One can be found  here.)
Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.
Part 4.
Part 5.
Part 6.

Inspired by artwork by Fukari, music by Jasmine Thompson and The Dresden Dolls. Word count: 1,448.

From 17th - 21st of January, I also plotted a new novel, projected approx 70,000 words. The first chapter was something I scribbled down during NaNo. Hoping to start that off properly in February, if not before.