πŸ”– Read a pair of pieces about art and mothering:

The β€˜Impossible Life’ of Equal Devotion to Art and Mothering by Jessica Grose (NYT Gift Link)

“Is This The Best Use of My Time?" Sara Fredman in conversation with Catherine Ricketts, author of The Mother Artist.

Finished reading: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean πŸ“š

I do love a good 19th Century casino. Thank goodness for the romance-guaranteed happily ever after, because there was a lot of this book that made me sad when the two main characters had huge misunderstandings.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words over on Manton’s post about my joining the Micro.blog team!

I want to be clear that I’m not taking over for Jean as community manager. I’m the first of I hope many people who will contribute to curation and community work.

My Sister's Baby Is Not My Baby and My Sister Is Also Not My Baby

My little sister M.E. is expecting a baby. Her due date is July 20. She’s 4 and a half years (and 4 days and 30 minutes) younger than me. She hasn’t had a baby before.

I’ve never been an aunt before.

When my mom was pregnant with M.E., I called my mom’s belly my belly. When the two of us lived with my dad for 6 months while he was working in North Carolina and my mom was finishing her undergrad at Florida State University, a lot of M.E.’s care became my responsibility by default. When our dad stayed in NC and the two of us returned to Florida to be with my mom while she did her Master’s coursework, I was still heavily contributing to M.E.’s care. During those years I was 8 and 9. She was 3, 4, and 5.

If she has her baby on her due date, I will be 43 and she will be 38. She is very grown.

I asked W. to help me remember that being a big sister and an aunt does not mean being a volunteer postpartum doula. I don’t trust that I won’t sacrifice my own health and my time with my own child in order to show up for her and her baby.

Postpartum time is one of the most isolating times of life and I forget that when she is postpartum, I won’t also be immediately postpartum. (Because once you’re postpartum at all you are always postpartum, but being immediately postpartum is different.) I have ingrained anxiety that I will have to relive that time alongside her.

The first few months postpartum were one of the most isolating times of my life and I don’t think I can take that away from her. Even if it were possible, I think it would be detrimental to my health to do so.

I hate this distrust I have of myself, of my ability to hold boundaries. I hate that I feel like holding my boundaries will mean hurting her.

It would be good for me to remember that I am not remotely the only person in her life who can show up for her. It would be good to remember that while I kind of was when we were kids, except for the things our parents did for her, I’m not now.

Finished reading: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean πŸ“š

Yes, I finished this less than 36 hours after I finished the last one.

Between chronic illness and acute illness it feels like I have so little time when I can be doing things besides resting.

πŸ”–πŸ“š Read How Pregnancy Forever Transforms the Body and the Mind by Lucy Jones (Literary Hub).

First pool visit of the season yesterday. If I could do everything in water, I would. πŸ§œπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Finished reading: Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean πŸ“š

I love the heroine in this so much. Big eldest daughter, have-to-hold-it-together energy, and I’m so happy the hero is ready and willing to act as a partner and show her that just because she can do everything alone, that doesn’t mean she should have to.

πŸ”–πŸ“š Read What Eve L. Ewing’s Career Trajectory Tells Us About Black Women’s Place in Mainstream Superhero Comics by Ravynn K. Stringfield.

Dr. Stringfield does an awesome job illuminating how Eve L. Ewing’s comics career highlights structural inequality in the comics industry

πŸ”–πŸ“š Read A Daughter Becomes a Mother: On Inhabiting Both Roles in Fiction and in Life by Heidi Reimer (Literary Hub).

Finished reading: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean πŸ“š

My first MacLeaniverse adventure and, of course, I loved it.

Finished reading: The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo πŸ“š

So great. I loved it so much. More later.

Me: goes to Target Ah, it’s so nice to be out in the world.

πŸ”– Read The films that gave us unrealistic expectations about what makes a ‘home’.

…I too had one of those houses I had always dreamed of. But it wasn’t by design… It was by living my life and creating a home that served the needs of that life.

Now that the offer letter is signed and everybody at the school has been notified, I’m happy to share that next year I’ll be the librarian at my son’s elementary school!

πŸ”–πŸ“š Read Tackling Ballet’s History of Anti-Blackness as a White Woman.

The infinitely kinder cousin of ignorance is curiosity.

A great short piece that’s about cultural humility as much as anything.

πŸ”–πŸ“š Read My Son’s Love Life Is None of My Business, Except It Is by Yukiko Tominaga (Electric Literature).

This is a lovely piece about love and dealing with our children growing up.

Finished reading: The (Fake) Dating Game by Timothy Janovsky πŸ“š

Whew! Timothy Janovsky wasn’t kidding when he said this was his steamiest book yet! Grief and heartbreak serve as the flashpoint for this sizzling romance set against a Supermarket Sweep-style game show.

Y’all got me ready for “I cry a lot but I’m so productive” but I was not prepared for the resonant truth of “I’m so depressed I act like it’s my birthday every day.” 🎡

My friend Josh died last week.

My friend Josh died last week. He was only 32 and had already given the world so much. I’m angry on the world’s behalf at all the decades of Josh it should have had and won’t.

We weren’t close but I love(d) him. When I announced to our improv team that I was pregnant, Josh started walking in front of me with his arms out whenever we were at the theater together, pretending to speak into an earpiece like he was my bodyguard.

One time when I was working at UNC, I bumped into Josh running the campus cypher. I told him I’d just come from a conversation where I told someone my flow (as in, rapping) was passable. Josh, himself an incredible hip hop artist, scolded me. So I revised my self-conception: my flow is good enough for comedy.

I sometimes fantasized about running across Josh at the city cypher after a night out at the movie theater around the corner from where the cypher happens. I wanted to introduce him to W.

Josh was an educator and whenever I came across research on hip-hop pedagogy I would send it to him and he always made me feel like each time I did it I’d given him an exquisite gift.

When he was 25 and I was 35, Josh asked me what advice I would give my 25-year-old self. I have no idea what I told him. I do remember being floored by the wisdom he showed in asking the question.

I don’t have a conclusion to this.

Finished reading: You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian πŸ“š

Full review coming soon but y’all, this is so great. It’s out May 7. Olivia Waite says if you only read one romance this spring, it should be this one, and she’s right.

New bio!

Mom. PhD. Once and future school librarian. Freelance academic. Citizen of Romancelandia. I manage multiple chronic illnesses. I love books and games. πŸŒˆβ™Ώ

πŸ”– Read The Messy Places Are Where the Learning Happens: On Being a Beginner by Michelle Boyd (Digits and Threads)

A great reminder to deliberately be a beginner sometimes.

Finished reading: The Witch Queen of Halloween by Kresley Cole πŸ“š

This is a super fun romance novella, inspired by horror movies. Might become an annual Halloween re-read for me.