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August 2022

For the first time since my move from Arizona to Oregon earlier this year, I feel like I’m starting to get a grip on this new chapter of my life. My schedule remains challenging, but I’m finally reading, writing, and even submitting again.

This month I read the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association’s Dwarf Stars 2022 anthology edited by Adele Gardner & Greer Woodward, just in time to vote for my favorites before the deadline. Some of my favorite speculative poets had poems nominated and I’m starting to recognize and appreciate even more speculative poets and their poetry.

Speaking of incredible speculative poets: Donna Lynch’s new book Girls from the County is out now and it’s fantastic! The mix of true crime, folk tales, memoir, and more is seamless, haunting, beautiful, and, as others noted when commenting during her book launch and online reading on August 28th, frequently a punch to the gut. Highly recommended.

I also finished Tim Waggoner’s latest novel this month: We Will Rise. I read and watch Waggoner’s writing advice and I’m partway through his excellent horror writing guide Writing in the Dark, but this is the first time I’ve read his fiction. There’s a really interesting concept, gnarly and gruesome ghost attacks, and characters I wanted to get to know even more. The pace was relentless and I liked how despite the action never letting up, there were satisfying answers and a fitting end to the novel. Looking forward to reading more by Waggoner!

Nicholas Day is one of my favorite writers based solely on his incredible book Grind Your Bones to Dust. He’s been offering his newsletter subscribers a homemade zine that includes one new short story per issue, and I decided to order the first two issues that are now available. Yep, he remains one of my favorites! I absolutely loved his stories “Lupus Lingua” and “How About That.” I own a couple more books by him to read, hopefully, in September.

My sister, brother-in-law, and the son of my sister’s best friend have been playing Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. We’ve been meeting up at least once weekly to work together through scenarios that have us battling monsters and acolytes of an escalating evil. It’s entirely too much fun. We’re over halfway through the scenarios and wishing it would never end.

This month, I rewatched The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass with my mom, who hadn’t seen them before. She’s not currently a fan of horror, but she very much enjoys Mike Flanagan’s miniseries on Netflix. I continue to love The Haunting of Bly Manor, and it was amazing seeing all the early clues to what was happening, including dialogue in early episodes that explained everything that was going on. Midnight Mass was even better the second time. I found the last episode challenging the first time I watched, but this time it felt perfect. Probably my favorite thing I’ve watched all year.

We’re also really enjoying She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. I’m laughing a lot, especially during the fantastic second episode. Tatiana Maslany is a favorite, and her Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk is ridiculously charming and funny. I love this show!

Speaking of funny, the latest season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is as good as ever. New host Emily Connor (the hilarious Emily Marsh) is joined by equally fantastic new incarnations of Crow T. Robot (Kelsey Ann Brady), Tom Servo (Conor McGiffin), and GPC 2 (Yvonne Freese.) Their riffing during Beyond Atlantis is one of my favorites so far this season. There are three hosts and three sets of bots this season, with Emily and her team, Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) joined by his Crow T. Robot (Hampton Yount) and Tom Servo (Baron Vaugn) and returning original host Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson) joined by Emily’s bots, until Joel changes Tom Servo’s voice and personality, allowing J. Elvis Weinstein to reprise the role he originated, for the first time since Season 1! This month’s The Batwoman was rife with both excellent riffing and head-shaking at just how terrible the 1967 movie itself is.

Also on the list of TV I enjoyed in August but haven’t finished yet: The Cuphead Show and The Sandman. There are also several new horror movies on Shudder I love, including Allegoria, Glorious, The Innocents, and Watcher. So Vam had its heart in the right place and I still need to see What Josiah Saw.

I even made it to the theater once in August, to watch Top Gun: Maverick with my sister and brother-in-law. I wasn’t actually looking forward to it (I barely remember the first one and I don’t think it’s one of my favorites), so I was not prepared for how much I loved the film! Full of heart, action-packed, and populated with ridiculously charming actors, especially Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly. It was wonderful to see Val Kilmer, too.