I am writing to you from the depths of Facebook jail; I have been banned for disparaging men on a post about being banned for disparaging men. Will wonders ever cease! This, of course, put a damper on my morning, because I had to set up a secondary account in order to post for both Zoetic Press and Drunk Monkeys, the journal I run. Which made me late for my hair appointment. Which made me unable to make a coffee. Suffice to say, things are dire here in California.
California is on fire. I am not sure if you know this, but it is. There are fires all around where I live, just far enough away that I am not in any danger, but just close enough that my entire family is sick from the smoke and the ash. It seems almost... I won't say fitting, maybe metaphorical?... that this is happening at this time of year, the end of 2017, a year that was in itself a fire. A dumpster fire. My heart grieves for the destruction and hopes for the safety of all that are being affected. It's always a tragedy, but there is something about tragedies happening at this time of year that make them cut a little bit deeper.
I am reflecting on the year, on things that made me happy, things I enjoyed. That's what this post was going to be about, like a Best Of round up, or a Gift Guide. But I started thinking about how difficult things can be, and how I took comfort in the smallest of things to get me through.
I will admit that I have not been reading as much as I should be lately, but I will tell you that the best book I read this year was The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide by Gayle Brandeis. It's a tender and heartbreaking book, and the range of emotion Brandeis feels as she processes her mother's death and her life before and after it are familiar and devastating. I highly recommend it.
The second best book I read this year was, well, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which I admit I only read to spoil the end of the series. I just couldn't wait the 8 weeks or whatever.
I lose a lot of my reading attention to the television, and with the dawn of streaming I have managed to avoid most holiday- themed commercials, which usually bring me to tears because I am an over-emotional silly goose. Losing myself in Twin Peaks: The Return and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (and, of course, the very heavy newest season of Bojack Horseman) helped me deal with the exhaustion of real life: family drama, the news cycle, big changes.
As for a gift guide: I have nothing this year. I suggest giving the gift of yourself to others: your time, your attention, your empathy. We need each other to get through this life, and we need to extend, as much as we healthily can, our love and friendship. You, reader, are a gift, and the world needs you. And, as that Fruity Pebbles commerical once said: 'Tis the season for sharing.
Have a lovely holiday, whatever you may celebrate.
And one last word of advice: don't look at your credit report until, like, March.
P.S. I would be remiss to not mention our newest issue of NonBinary Review, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is available now for only $1.99. I should also mention our Patreon page, where you can help support us for a monthly donation with several levels of perks, and our one time donation option, where you can... one- time donate. You can even get our newest chapbook series, Viable, via those two options.