Recent Reads and Listens – March 20

In an attempt to keep myself accountable (to an extent, I’m chronically ill and a parent, so I’m going to give myself some art mercy as well), I want to do some more deliberate writing about the books, shows, podcasts, etc that I’m making my way through. Audio Drama Sunday-style, but also with books, because that’s my other love. I also want to be more public with my own creation process, which helps me stay on track.

It’s been nice getting back into audio fiction over the past six months or so, but it’s been over the past few weeks that I’ve really been diving back in in a way I haven’t since probably 2018. So here’s some of what I’ve been up to in the past few weeks.



I love microfiction. When you can get a satisfying story in bite-size pieces, it’s 100% my audio fiction cup of tea. And getting back into audio fiction, choosing microfiction has been a great way to get these stories as I fold laundry or lay awake at night. InCo is unique among sci-fi/outer space stories in podcasting because of the way it uses its abrupt episode style and I suppose the bleakness of its world.

But with so many short episodes, there is so much opportunity to jump from character to character, developing them so quietly that the relationships feel incredibly natural. It’s found family, I suppose, but in that way where you sometimes fucking hate your family. Everybody in this series has serious flaws, but they’re so very real and worthy of love, even at their worst. I’m still working my way through Season Two, so I’ve got plenty left to go. 

Also, can I also mention how floored I am by the voice acting? ItMe! has like Looney Tunes levels of voice acting talent and it is so easy to forget that all these strikingly individual characters are voiced by a single person. 


So when I was maybe 12, I took a field trip to Higgins Armory in Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s closed now, but at the time it had the second largest collection of arms and armor in the United States. There was a demonstration, and they asked for volunteers. I hop up on stage and the woman goes, “this is chain mail” holding up a square of it for me and all my little friends to see. She drapes it over my hand and I remember how comfortably heavy and nearly silky it was. She tells us it’s strong. And then, to demonstrate how strong it is, SHE TAKES OUT A SWORD AND TRIES TO SLICE MY HAND.

Turns out it was pretty strong. My hand remained in place. But I’m 35 now and can still feel the sensation of steel against steel on my palm.

Anyway, listening to Camlann over the past month woke up that dormant memory. Camlann is simultaneously surreal and grounded, referencing Dean Winchester and Wooden Overcoats while also envisioning a world of dragons and less than honorable knights. The implications of this are uniquely horrific in a way that gives me chills if I spend too long thinking about it. But within this environment is a sharply told story with beautifully drawn characters who are sometimes bitter and sometimes selfish, but like in InCo, you can completely understand why.

(And of course I finished Episode 5 and stared blankly up at my bedroom ceiling for a little while. What else was I going to do?)


For me, Victoriocity is driving through narrow streets lined with snow banks, bringing a toddler to a playgroup in an unfamiliar city. At least that’s what I was doing all those years ago when I first listened to the heavily anticipated premiere. Since it’s been so long, I decided to re-listen to the whole series and it was an absolute treat to revisit Even Greater London. I caught up with the newest season this afternoon and now spoiled rotten me has to wait with everyone else for the next episode.

But I had forgotten about how laugh out loud funny this show is, especially Inspector Fleet as the lone straight man in the chaos of this city. The level of fed up he is with everyone in Even Greater London on a regular basis is so beautifully displayed in the little asides slid in between various bombastic declarations. And Clara Entwhistle’s sheer determination to make her own life on her own terms just makes you want to cheer for her the entire time.

And of course. Chief Inspector Keller. My beloved Chief Inspector Keller. I’ve missed him.

(And yes, I have High Vaultage lined up on my phone, ready to go.)


Entwined: Essays on Polyamory and Creating Home by Alex Alberto

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, btw.

I’ve been reading Entwined over the past few weeks, dipping in and out of it on my phone. There’s parts I love and parts that I don’t, but overall, it is well worth the read, no matter what your style of relationship development. My own relationships, sexuality, and other personal information are just that – mine – so I don’t spend a lot of time talking about them online. That said, there were a lot of things in this book that really rang true to me. The feelings of jealousy and openness within relationships, that drive for connection and family. Some of the essays were fantastic, especially the ones where Alberto talks about developing relationships with their partners’ partners. There were some tongue-in-cheek ones further on that came across as more preachy than fun, despite clear efforts to keep the book from being preachy. But these were in the minority.

The Turners by Cat Sebastian

I needed a straightforward historical romance to read late at night, and this series delivered in spades. These are all queer romances between landed gentry and the members of a working class family who keep getting entangled with and infuriated by them. The covers are cheesy as all hell and there are certainly some Instalove moments (which, if that’s you, go for it. I’m into the slowest of slow burns) but it’s one of those series where the cast gradually grows and develops and the obnoxious jackass from the previous book becomes a far more sympathetic character finding his own love in the next. And it was exactly what I needed in the moment for a comfort read.

(Also, I got an ARC of Cat Sebastian’s latest You Should Be So Lucky and that + High Vaultage will be my weekend.)

As for accountability, here’s what I’ve been working on:

New Winslow Season 8: I’m past the untangling/making sure it’s all there phase and finally into smoothing it all out into a real ending. It’s such a strange feeling to wrap this series up after five years, but it’s time. Though of course I’ve got all kinds of potential spinoff ideas floating around for future projects. 

I didn’t intend for the story to get this tangled. And some readers might think it is too tangled, with too many subplots going on. (My husband has teased me that my writing style is Oops, All Subplots! And he’s not not wrong.) And I know I’m being awfully bold talking about staring at the ceiling from a cliffhanger above after some of the shit I’ve pulled in this series. But it’s all coming together in this final season.

(I have no clue who is reading New Winslow, I truly don’t. I know there are strong numbers around the world, which is so thrilling that I can’t even fully express it. But once the series is finished, I’d be far too happy to dig into some of the themes and decisions that went into it if anyone’s interested in that sort of thing.)

North County Paranormal Unit 7: is in surprisingly good shape. I’m honestly not sure which will come out first, this or New Winslow. Or, more likely, it’ll come out in the middle of the New Winslow season because I’ve 100% done that before. I’d like to start putting out these novels/novellas more frequently once New Winslow is done, they’re far more straightforward to write and I love getting to live in this series. 

But this one is Gabriella’s point of view, at the anniversary of Robin’s attempt to kill her in the woods. She’s on a case at a haunted hotel and there’s a big focus on knowing when to hold on and when to let go.

New audio project: is currently a few lines in my notes app. Big plans for someone with moths fluttering out of their creative budget wallet. But we’ll see.

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The Northern Worcester County branch of the Foundation for Paranormal Research is one of the organization’s top investigation and cleanup teams. So when a case comes in involving a century of mysterious disappearances, they figure they’ll be done before their lunch break is supposed to end. Investigators James and Amelia go to the site while their coworkers remain behind. But in seconds, Amelia vanishes in the cursed house and the others are forced to find her with no help from their bosses. Will they be able to get her back or will the house claim one final victim?

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