It is Wednesday and I am still ill

So I am on the verge of getting better, but still coughing and spluttering and exhausted easily and VERY VERY BORED OF THIS! I would like a modicum of health and ability to think back now please.

But on the upside, look what arrived at the library yesterday!!!!! I am 170 pages in and it is SO GOOD!

Cover for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomii Adeyemi - image of black girl with white hair

And with that, I am off again to down cough syrup. Please be assured that there will be Tantamount and book reviews once I am back on my feet.


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Update!

Hello! You’ve not heard from me in a while! This is due to illness and stress. Things are calming down a bit, and I am recovering well. But it might be another week before you get a proper post from me. Apologies – I will be back as soon as possible. And with many books and Tantamounts.

Take care!

Meredith

Wednesday update and welcome to new followers

Hello and welcome! I’ve had some new followers lately – lovely to know you’re here 🙂 This blog is a mix of book reviews, Tales From Tantamount, and poetry. Tales From Tantamount is a sort-of story that I write as I go along, and I aim to get two installments done every month (1st and 15th, or as close as possible). I have a catch up page on my website, or you can search through my archives. Book reviews are a bit haphazard, and happen as and when I have both read a book and had time to write a review. Mainly I review fantasy and sci-fi, but I do wander outside the genre. Poetry is even more random, and I just post that whenever I’ve found something that I am not COMPLETELY TERRIFIED to share with people…

I also have a novella, which you can buy in eBook form for less than a coffee. It’s called The Life and Times of Angel Evans, and it is about trying to find a life after prophecy is fulfilled. Contains magic, jokes, queer protagonist with ghostly girlfriend, and terrible cleaning jobs.

Also, you will notice the Ko-Fi button at the bottom of my posts. Think of it like a tip jar  – if you want to and can afford to, go for it. If you don’t want to or can’t afford to, there is no pressure.

Anyway, onto the update!

Reading: Wild Fire by Anna McKerrow, What is not yours is not yours by Helen Oyeyemi, and Penny Blackfeather by Francesca Dare. Yes, all at the same time.

Writing: I’m still fighting the accounts, so not writing as much as I want. I’m getting Tantamount done and very little else. But I know what I want to start working on as soon as I have time to :D:D:D:D

Pondering: favourite words. I think this is because I re-read The Goblin Emperor by Katherin Addison, and the language in that is just so well used. But really I need to read it with a dictionary next time, because I am only guessing the meaning of a lot of the words. Anyway, current favourite word is canst, which is an archaic form of can used when speaking informally, which would also have used thou – English did used to have dialogue that depended on how well you knew someone, with thee thou etc used when someone was well known, and you used for plurals and more formal relationships. Something I will probably poke at greater length.

Listening to: Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae. I will be buying this CD once the tax returns are done; it is my bribe. In the meantime, watch this film/concept album/music video:

That’s all for now, take care everyone!


Here’s the button I meant 🙂

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Wednesday update: very silly videos

Hello all! A quick update, as I am very busy at the moment and not sure when I’ll post next (tax returns urrrgghghhh)

Reading: I am currently reading Red Witch by Anna McKerrow, sequel to Crow Moon. It is fantastic so far, and I’m really interested to see where she goes with it.

Writing: Not a lot – this is due to the dreaded tax returns. Fingers crossed I can get the accounts out of the way this week and get back to writing!

Went to: Piranha Poetry night on Monday! Really fantastic evening, very high standard open mic. I read some things despite being absolutely terrified. I may make the poems that I read available on the blog at some point.

Reviews: I’m reading very slowly at the moment, but should have some reviews for you soon.  Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi, Akata Witch (published as What Sunny saw in the Flames in the UK and Nigeria)(I ended up with the US edition, but have just found out that the author prefers the UK edition) and Binti: the Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor.

Feeling grateful for: my local bookshop – one of the staff there has my taste completely pegged now, so whenever I go in she has something hidden under the counter to recommend to me. It’s terrible for my wallet but lovely for my bookshelves.

Listening to: PYNK by Janelle Monae. You should watch the video; it has vulva trousers!

Also watching this: I mean, how have I never come across it before? It is the most ridiculous thing to ever ridiculous and I love it.

That’s it for now – wish me luck with the tax returns, and hopefully I’ll emerge from beneath them next week. Take care!


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Historical Queer Spotting! Shibden Hall

Shibden Hall

So I am on holiday this week, up north, and one of the things I did was visit Shibden Hall. It’s a historical house-museum. It was inhabited for about 500 years, and became a museum in 1934 after the death of John Lister. It has a fascinating history over that period, which I will not recount because it’s not really what I went there for. I went there because Anne Lister lived there. Anne Lister, noted diarist (she wrote over 4million words of journal) and lover of woman. I’m not certain if I should say lesbian, as I don’t know if she would have described herself that way, but she was exclusively interested in women when it came to romance and sexuality so had she lived now that is almost certainly how she would have been labelled.

I previously read some of the book The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister by Helena Whitbread (I had to give it back to the library before I was done), so I knew a bit about her. But I know a lot more now! I struggle with history, so I am always excited to find history I can relate to. People who aren’t straight and cis tend to get written out of things, so it is always a relief to find any of us!

Anyway, in my queer-spotting today I learned that:

  • Anne Lister was also a businesswoman, and opened a colliery among other things.
  • She could be a bit of a snob in terms of class (my opinion).
  • Pretty much entirely self-educated.
  • Travelled a lot.
  • Had quite a lot of lovers. One of them, Marianna Lawton, was married. And her husband knew and appeared to be fine with this.
  • Her lover, Ann Walker, eventually moved in with her and they had a civil ceremony in York.
  • After Anne Lister died (1840), aged 49 of a fever contracted while travelling, Ann Walker’s family (? I think) got her put in an asylum! Because of course. I can’t find out much about her beyond this, except that she died at her family home in 1854 and before that spent several years in the care of a Dr Belcombe. If anyone has more details, I would be interested.
  • Was referred to as Gentleman Jack. Was renowned for wearing black (white was the proper colour for an unmarried woman).
  • Did a lot of renovation work on Shibden Hall.

Anyway, there’s a lot out there about her and she’s quite an interesting character. The museum is fantastic – very affordable at a fiver, well laid out, fantastic staff, well-written information sheets. It’s set in the estate, so on a day with better weather I imagine it’s lovely. I had a really great time, and accidentally bought a book…


I don’t think Historical Queer Spotting is something that will be regular on this blog, but who knows? Certainly I’m happy to hear about any others you can think of. I am using “queer” because it can be difficult to tell how a historical figure would have identified themself (unless they wrote it down and we have it now), so it’s a good general word. It is also increasingly what I use for myself.

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Wednesday Update: reading, writing and DnD

Hello all! A quick midweek update for you 🙂

Reading: I am slowly reading Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin. It’s very enjoyable, however one of the main characters is a Meredith and this has slowed me down a lot. Far more than I thought it would actually, which is interesting. I rarely have to deal with characters with my name, so it’s an odd one. But the book is very enjoyable, and interesting to read after White is for Witching

Writing: I’m working on a short story at the moment – no idea if I’m going to make the submission window that I want with it, but mad writing anyway.

Listening:

Playing: An absolutely wonderful DnD campaign, in which I playing am a goat-faced tiefling barbarian with a criminal background. My character’s name is Pansy Hellspawn, and this is roughly what she looks like.Pansy Hellspawn

And that is all today folks – got some reviews coming up in the near-sh future. Take care, be well, survive the winter…

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Update: spookiness and writings

Hello all! An update for you, seeing as you have been hanging about so patiently.

Here is a photo of me at a Halloween/Samhain party at the weekend – I was most proud of my costume, which was based on nothing in particular, but which I am told looked a bit like the Spirit of Jazz from the Mighty Boosh.

Reading: I am currently between books, but I have just finished Provenance by Ann Leckie and A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan, both of which I loved. And re-reading The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison for about the fourth time…

Writing: Too many things! I’ve got a story with a deadline in December, which I am desperately scribbling away at, a series that I want to put up here on the blog for free which I am just over half way through (it involves queers and space and silliness) and a “found” story set in a weird town by a big river, which I am also considering putting up here. Although that is less a story, more a collection of strange notices and letters and stuff. I do think you would all enjoy it

Enjoying: The Hopeless Maine exhibition, which I ended up being part of today. Lots of fun, and looking forward to going again. I will also be part of the event on Saturday, so if you want to see me in action you can come to that: https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/tom-nim-brown/

Pondering: the origins of the word ‘yo’. Me and a friend got into this last night, and it was a rabbit hole of confusion and delight!

Listening to: Deathless by Ibeyi

And that’s me – hopefully you’ll hear from me again soon with some book reviews and possibly one of the two blog series’ that I’ve been thinking of.

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