- I might regret this, buuuut... I've started using my Youtube channel, RhiWrites. I'm still learning, but I hope you'll join me there! It's a talky channel (I believe that's the technical term), just chatting about books and life and being a writer. Come hang out with me!
- My feminist blog has been quiet this month, as I've been taking some time for myself. But I did write a couple of posts! First, I reviewed The Cursed Child (and loved it). Then I had some thoughts on Nancy and Eleven in Stranger Things! And finally, I wrote a discussion of An Ember in the Ashes and the overuse of rape in YA fantasy.
- On this blog, I wrote about what we can learn from the internet's criticism of olympians, and discussed starting ballet (and Youtube!) for the first time.
- Also, if you have any questions about my next book, Long May She Reign, I wrote a handy-dandy FAQ!
- Emotional Agility by Susan David. Really insightful book about finding emotional authenticity.
- A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. Super readable Victorian fantasy, full of magic, boarding schools, and plot twists.
- The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras. Anxiety-ridden overachiever faces her fears in the summer before applying to college.
- Lumberjanes Vol 1. So. Much. Fun. Hilarious adventure from the author of Nimona.
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Addictive and compelling, but wow does it like to use rape as a plot device.
- Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. Awesome epic fantasy. First 150 pages were hard to get into, but then I read the other 650 pages practically in one go.
- THE GREAT BRITISH BAKEOFF IS BACK. Who are your favourites so far? I really like Andrew. He reminds me a bit of Eddie Redmayne. Also Selasi, cos he just seems so cool, and Benjamina, because she seems lovely. Although, who am I kidding? I always love everyone on Bakeoff, and never want to see anyone sent home. Can't they just all win??
- My last couple of days have been swallowed by a little game called Reigns. I've seen it called "medieval kingdom management Tinder," and that's pretty accurate, I guess. You get presented with problems for your kingdom, and you have to swipe left or right to choose how to handle it. You need to balance the four powers -- church, people, army and finance -- to make sure none of them gets too strong or too weak, and generally try to stay alive and ruling as long as possible. There's also an extra addictive little twist to it, a certain long-term puzzle to solve, but I won't spoil that for anyone.
- Halfway through the month, my mum whisked me away to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which I wish had existed when I was a kid, because it would have been amazing. We saw lazing lions (same, lions, same) and adventuring marmosets, STROKED SOME WALLABIES in the Wallaby Walkabout, and hung out with ring-tailed lemurs, which are now officially one of my favourite animals after one came to chill on the path with me. Another new favourite are armadillos, because omg, they are so ugly-cute!
- My BFF and I went to Knaresborough in the Yorkshire Dales to visit Mother Shipton's Cave, a creepy cave, wishing well, and petrifying waterfall that is supposedly the birthplace of a medieval prophetess. The "petrifying" is literal, by the way, as the water turns anything left in its path to stone. There were lots of creepy stone dolls hanging from the rocks as proof. I filmed a lot there, so hopefully I'll be able to put it into a video soon!
- Massive congrats to Long May She Reign's long-suffering science consultant (and BFF), Rachel, who just finished the thesis for her PhD. We had a proofreading party to both help and celebrate, where I hunted for missing commas without a clue what I was actually reading, and then we played an awesome card game called Codenames that I highly recommend everyone play.
- September is my birthday month! I always find birthdays a little weird, because they're days when you're supposed to be happy, and so, typically, they become particularly hard to be happy about. But I'm trying to organize an afternoon in a puzzle escape room for me and some friends, which should be fun! I also have plans to go to the cycling at Manchester velodrome, because you can't be a non-sporty nerd all the time.
- I feel like I'm drowning in books I simply have to read immediately right now. A Torch in the Night just came out, which, gimme now. I just got an email saying that Empire of Storms has been dispatched. And I'm now deep in Robin Hobb's Liveship Trader trilogy, with about a kajillion pages left to go. I don't want the series to end, because it's so fantastic... but I really don't know how to prioritize my reading right now.
- In the writing world, I finished the first draft of my current project (woot!) and am getting stuck in with edits. The typical "why bother??" despair already struck, so hopefully I've got that out of the way and can really dig into this adventure now without all that self doubt slowing my down! And if I want to procrastinate, well. At least I've got plenty to read.