Hello everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended. I am Kris Bryant and I am back as always with Tara.
Hey everybody, welcome to Episode 17. I feel like we should give y’all a little bit of a warning. We usually record these on a Sunday morning when we’re all like bright eyed and rested. But it is a Monday evening that we’re recording on. And if you have been joining us all along, you know what happens on Monday evenings, we get a little bit sillier than usual.
We’re tired, we’ve worked all day and are just a little slap happy.
I mean, you worked all day. I worked very hard at being on vacation today.
Vacation mode. That’s right. Good for you.
So good. So we went on our first date since before lockdown last year. We were able to find somebody to watch our kids. It was amazing. We went to this diner that we love the food and I got this Eggs Benedict that was pornographic because, first of all, it’s on a croissant. So they cut in half and they do each of the eggs on a half of a croissant. But I got mine with Montreal smoked meat.
I’m out on that. I’m out on the meat.
Oh, that’s right. You’re vegetarian?
Well, no I poultry. But I don’t eat like pork or
So you could get you could get the one on the croissant. They have one it has chicken and avocado and cheese. I think they called it a California something. Frankly, I think that’s a bit of a stretch. But you know what? Dare to dream. Call it what you want.
I’m in. Okay, sorry. Go ahead, food porn.
No, it was good. It was foodborne. I quite enjoyed it.
Did it feel weird for you to be out in public without your masks? Or did you have to wear your mask to the table and then take it off?
No, we did not have to do that because Calgary basically was like, not just Calgary, Alberta. “Whoo. We’re ripping off all the restrictions on everything.” And it’s like, “Ah, cool, guys. Cool. Cool. Cool. Cool.”
Two more days and then it’s on lockdown.
Well, our Premier pushed very, very hard for 70% of eligible Albertans. So that would have been everybody over the age of 12 at that point, I think. I’m trying to think of when they when they started doing the 12 to 18 group was definitely at least everybody over the age of 18, 70% of Albertans getting at least a first dose because they wanted to hold the Calgary Stampede.
I don’t know if everybody knows what the Stampede is, if they’ve heard of it. I think the equivalent is like a state fair. My brother’s girlfriend is American. She lived here in Calgary for a while. And that’s kind of, she was like, “Oh, it’s all the same like food vendors and all this that we see at our things.” And there’s like rodeo events and stuff like that. They usually usually ends up in the news because like a horse dies during the Chuck Wagon races. Yeah, it’s really gross. It’s really, really gross. To be honest, is a terrible part of our culture. Or like, I think it was about five years ago, there was this young woman that got videoed, like literally on the Stampede grounds having a three way that— Yeah, like it’s a fucking wild, it is a wild time.
I remember my first Stampede while working at the company that I’m working at now. So it was five years ago. And the building at that point was like three blocks from the Stampede grounds. We’ve since moved to a different building, but where my team sat was by the back windows, and we could see out and nobody could see in. It was facing an alley. And there was this young couple that decided that that was a great place that they were going to fuck. And we were like, “Oh my god, what is happening?” Because it’s during the work day. And so this person on my team, I think she was like 23, 24 she like runs to the window just pounds on the window and these people freak out and ran away. So or that’s also the time like again, same year somebody went to go pick up lunch and they’re like “I just saw somebody doing coke on the street.” It’s just—
That’s just see for me, like where I live. I live Midwest. So you say Stampede. I’m thinking something maybe totally different. Maybe?
What kind of different are you thinking? Because like I said—
Like, we’re talking like, cows bulls. Stampede. Okay. Yeah. So yeah, very cowboy-ish.
Yes. It’s very, very cowboy-ish. That’s like everybody wears their cowboy hats and gear to the office that week.
Oh, wow. Oh, yeah.
I mean, there are some things that are that are really cool and great about, you know, like we have a parade and that’s pretty cool. There’s pancake breakfasts that spring up all around the city for the week. That’s fun. But it’s very like, yeah, there’s a lot of debauchery and STIs that go around. And just like it’s, yeah, it’s gross. And so our Premier was hell bent on bringing it back to Calgary. And I don’t want to shock you, ut the Scott family did not go.
You missed out.
We missed out. Actually, our kids have never been. They are six and nine years old.
Sounds like it’s a good idea that they don’t.
Right? Well, we thought last year might be the year— they do have like a family day. And they do have like family friendly events and stuff. And so we thought we would take them last year. And then I don’t know if you heard but a global pandemic happened?
Livin’ the life.
Yeah. And so even with, you know, “we have ways to make it safe!” And we, Neil and I both agreed, absolutely not, not something the Scott family is interested in, especially while our kids can’t be vaccinated. And I just saw on Twitter today that there’s been a massive spike in COVID. Specifically in Calgary. The rest of the province has very, very low. But in the last week, they identified 500 new cases when they were identifying like, not that much before, or
You know what? we’re about ready to go on lockdown again, because it’s gotten out of control.
Is that specifically your state or is that—?
Everywhere? For sure my state. My state SUCKS. It’s so bad. And I think we’re like 47th out of 50 on, as far as getting vaccinated. It’s only like 40%. It’s because nobody wants to do it. They all think it’s the government putting something in them. They’re believing all the TikTok videos and stuff.
Is your governor making it worse?
My governor sucks.
Well, you have Josh Hawley. Right?
Well, Mike Parson is the governor.
What does Josh Hawley do?
He’s a representative? And I mean, he’s an asshole. Yes, they both are. It’s like, you know, even, we get rid of Trump and like two more spout out. These two are— take your pick Ted Cruz and Mike Parson or? Yeah, or replaced one with Josh Hawley, you know.
A Florida guy, who’s the Florida guy? DeSantis? I don’t know, I’m Canadian. I don’t need to know.
Exactly. All I know is that like, I was just talking to the boss before I left work today, or the boss’s wife, and she said that, yeah, we’re probably going to go. I’m never gonna get back to work full time because of like, everybody. So even in my office.
So here’s the deal. So one of the ladies over in accounting, she is pregnant. So we were talking about giving her a baby shower, because it’s like, oh, cool. You know, I mean, we’ve had several baby showers. We’ve had several babies born at the company, not at the company.
It was a wild day. It was very messy.
So we decided, you know, I’m on the events committee, I got like, kind of bullied into it. Because only I get to do what I want to do for Christmas. So because of that I have to join the events committee. So here’s something about me, because you know, I love Christmas. And starting next month, we’re going to be, I’m going to be talking about Christmas movies.
Are you serious? Are you gonna start it next month?
I’m gonna start next month. Sure.
Oh my god, I love this. Y’all, I hope you’re ready to hear about Christmas movies for the rest of the year.
Yes. Well, I’ll probably, those will probably be like on my “What are you watching?” type thing. Yes. But anyway, so I went over to accounting, and I kind of sneak this this woman, she she works in a cubicle. You know, I have an office, mostly everybody has an office there. But we do have some views. And so I’m like, “Are you comfortable with me in your cube?” Because she can’t, she’s had so many issues with this pregnancy that she was advised not to get the vaccine. So she doesn’t have the vaccine. And so I’m like, “Are you comfortable with me in your space? Because I’ve had, you know, I’ve been vaccinated. I just want to know what your—” You know, since we don’t ever I never see her because we’re staggered. We’re on different teams. And so I just kind of wanted to I was actually I was going to talk to one of my engineers, and he was busy. So I was killing time because I was literally standing outside of her cube. But I’m like, “Well, let me turn around and say hi, and introduce myself.” “Hi, I worked with you for three years.” One of those where if I saw her out in public, I would not know who she was. Yeah, “she looks familiar.” You know, we have 30 people in our office. But anyway. So I’m thinking to myself, Oh my gosh, she isn’t vaccinated. And we have five people in our office out of 24 who actually work in the office. Five of them refuse to get the vaccine. So that I when I was talking to the boss’s owner, I’m like, “Look, we can’t do this baby shower because we have to keep her safe. And half of the women do not have the vaccine. So we’re gonna figure this out, people are gonna have to start wearing masks, people are going to have to be required to wear masks. We don’t want to jeopardize her baby.”
No, that’s gonna be so nice. Just before we started recording this, you were talking about what the President of France? Has been saying. Do you want to tell people about that in case they don’t know?
Right. So what he’s doing is, it’s like a vaccination pass. So basically, it’s like, if you don’t want to get the vaccine, great, you stay home. And the people who do have the vaccine, you get to go to the restaurants and you get to go to the movie theaters. And so you just have to show that you have your, you’d have to show your vaccination card to get into places and he’s just like, this is what we’re doing now. We’re not doing it the other way. We’re doing it this way. So we’re rewarding the people who are getting the vaccine not you know, the other way round. So good. I wish we would do that here.
I saw somebody on Twitter say, “Can we stop calling them vaccination passports and just call them what they actually are, which is vaccination records.” Right? And I was like, “Oh, that’s so brilliant.” Cuz it’s true. That is all it is. It’s just your record. Yeah.
We all, I mean, in the military, my whole life. We had them all over. I mean, we always had to have them. We had a little book. Here, I’ve had this vaccine, I’ve had this vaccine. So just to get into the different countries. So this is I’m just, I’m floored by the stupidity of my country. But I hear it’s everywhere. It’s not just, yeah, exactly. So but I can’t speak for other people. I can only speak from my own country because I’m here. I’m experiencing it. I’m just like, ugh.
That’s fair. That’s fair.
Well, we want to give a quick shout out because since the last episode aired, someone supported us through Ko-fi. And we just really want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For anyone who’s not familiar yet, Ko-fi is a site where you can financially support your favorite content creators like us. Unfortunately, because we don’t know who sent it. Because you didn’t leave a name or a message. We still want to just thank you so much all the same. We truly do appreciate all the support, because it helps us run this show. Keep everything going smoothly. So thank you, anonymous, awesome person
Thank you very, very much. Yes.
And it’s listener question time.
Queer weirdo human being asks, Do any of us, I guess do us? Do we? Do we read any books and like them way more than we expected to in the beginning? Go into a book. Like oh, I’m excited to read this. And then you’re get done with it. Or like, Oh, my gosh, this was the greatest thing ever.
Yes, yes. Let’s just leave the answer there.
No, I’m kidding. Yeah, I do find it that happens now. Where it usually happens for me, I’ll be honest, is typically with romance. I mean, it can happen with other genres for sure. But I think especially with romance, because if it’s a premise that I’ve seen before, but maybe I pick it up anyway, because it’s like, oh, you know, I like this trope, like, “Oh, I like celebrity romances,” or “Oh, I like age gap.” Especially when you, I’m trying to figure out how to say this without bagging romance, because it’s literally the opposite of what I want to do. Like I love romance. But also you can sometimes feel like you’re reading the same book.
Just different characters.
Not every book is special. But then you pick up a romance thinking, “Yeah, this will be this will be fine. This will be a good read.” And then it just like it knocks your freakin socks off. And that is what I love. And then when that happens, it’s usually because there’s some kind of a twist that I just didn’t expect. Maybe it’s the chemistry between the characters. I think last time, I was talking about Change of Pace by K J? The chemistry in that was such a surprise to me. Like it was so wonderful that I was like, Ooh, yes, yes. And that one, like I liked way more than I expected because of the chemistry was just like so good. Character journeys. Like when you really see characters change and grow in ways that are really compelling, but also like really believable, and you just, like, can empathize with them and join them on that journey. So those are the things for me that will make me like a book. Or if it’s just like, say if it’s an author that I’ve never read before and I’m taking a chance and like maybe I’ve heard good things? This happened a lot with me last year with YA books. So there was You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Fucking loved it. First person, that character is hilarious. Cracked my shit up all over the place.
You hit home run after home run after home run. Yeah, you had a great year.
Yeah, I had a really good year. Same thing Girl, Serpent, Thorn which was more of a fantasy like it’s based on Persian mythology and history. But Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust, I apologize profusely if I pronounced your last name wrong. I doubt you’re gonna listen to this but just in case Also very surprising, cause it was like, kind of dark and it gets to this point where you see the lead, you see her figure out, “Oh shit, I have a choice here if I want to be like the villain or not.” And I was like, “Ooh, what’s happening here? What’s this going to do?” So yeah, I love that.
What about you, Kris? Are there any books that you like? Do you find that at all? Do you read books and you’re like, “Whoa, this is wow. Like I thought this would be good but holy shit, everybody you need to go get it.”
I like it when, like when you give me reading assignments because I’m like, “Okay, there’s a reason. Let’s read this.” So I go into a book with zero expectations. I mean, I know that there are certain authors I’m just gonna like. And recommendations I do get, I do receive a lot of recommendations from readers that are like, “You really need to try this book. You know, give it a try. It’s really really good.” For me, it’s always it. This is so weird. For me it’s plot. It’s like, I wasn’t expecting that, you know, I feel like I fill in gaps. I feel like, and I don’t know if that’s just my writer mind filling in the gaps. If I find like a character falls flat. I don’t know if I like, in my head. Just kind of like, boost her up a little bit by you know, creating stuff. But it’s always like if I’m, if I’m taken aback by the plot, like, “Oh, wow, that was a surprise.” You know, if I don’t, if something like I wasn’t expecting, like, for example, the one thing I can think of is Strawberry Summer. The one thing in there that I wasn’t expecting, was one of those. It was completely plot driven. And I was so surprised and shocked by it.
What was it?
I can’t say it! You know, because we’re recording and I don’t want to give it away. Come on.
There’s a part of me that wants you to say it and then just have Neil put a sound effect over it. People were so mad when we did that about the drag queen name. And we bleeped out that one. I told one friend. I’m not gonna lie, I cracked and I told my friend Ed, who, he is so sweet. He has been a fan and reader in the lesfic community for, jeez, I don’t know, Ed, how long has it been? He’s gonna listen this later. And he’ll let me know
He’ll say 12 years.
No, it’s not gonna be that long, probably about five, probably about four or five years. And he listens to the podcast. And he was like, “Come on, come on. How bad could it be? How bad could this drag queen name really be?” And I told him and he was like, “Alright then.”
So there’s it but you know what? We have such clever listeners now. Like within seconds of it posting, people were like, “Oh, yeah, just do this. Google this.” Like, like, like Wynnde like, she figured it out right away. And she like, messaged me. She’s like, “Hi, blah blah blah.” She knew right away what it was. So but yeah, so this is gonna be one of those situations where? I’ll tell you after it.
That’s true. Actually. Massive, massive plot twists. There’s one in I’m saying this very slowly, as I tried to think of the name from— I like that we both do this. The Goodmans by Clare Ashton. Have you read it?
Oh, okay. The mother.
Are we giving it away?
No, I’m just saying the twist around all of that. I felt like I was punched in the gut when I read that. It took me like, three days to deal with the feelings that I got from that particular twist. I think that’s the most impactful of any, in a good way. I would say because she also wrote a book called something something Mrs. Hamilton. What the fuck is it called?
It sounds familiar. I can’t think of the name without the full name.
But there’s a twist in there—
I love twists.
—that was also gut wrenching, but in like a “Ohhhhh god” kind of way not in like, “Oh, I didn’t see it.” I mean, there is an “Oh, I didn’t see it coming.” But yeah, that one is much more uncomfortable.
If I had a pen, I would like write it on paper. But like I was so late to this podcast today that I I just feel like
We’re all just doing our best Kris. we are. We are doing fine. You can tell me when it’s over.
I will, I will.
The thing is I’ve read the book. I just don’t remember what you’re talking about.
It’s one of those where you know I like when I escape and I pick up a romance, I need low angst, sweet. A little sigh so
But she writes angst bombs so that’s, here’s like, I think everybody is like “Oh yeah, Melissa Brayden, sweet romance. She seems like a really sweet person.” And then you pick it up you’re like, “Oh yeah, like punch in the fucking face.”
Waiting in the Wings?
Wait, no, no. Tangled.
Wait, is that the first one?
I think that’s the first one, right? Tangled, was the first one. That was like a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down, up down. I was like, “oh my god.”
Okay. That one was fine. But I think for me, so Waiting in the Wings, I think that one hit me so hard, because that was one of the romances that I read in my first year of reading lesfic. And so I started reading lesfic because she started publishing and I think her first book and your first book came out around the same time, didn’t they?
Not anywhere close?
Are you sure? I mean, of course, you are.
They’re like three years apart.
Yeah, we’re three years apart.
Okay, well, maybe she only had one book out at that point, like, or maybe she only had that and Heart Block or something. But anyway, it was within that first year that I started reading, and I was not prepared for the breakup scene, which I don’t feel, I don’t feel like that’s giving away a lot. Because most of Melissa Brayden’s books have breakups and then makeups. Like, she doesn’t tend to write the, like Chelsea Cameron, part of why I love her books is that they don’t have the breakup, and then make up. It’s like tension comes from elsewhere. It’s like, “Will these two sweet dumb idiots figure out they’re in love with each other.” Right? Get them together, break them up or whatever. But yeah, that one also, I was gutted until they got back together. And then I was like “Whew”
But you know it’s gonna happen? So it’s Entangled. That’s what I did. The Yeah. So it’s Entangled. Not Tangled. I’m thinking like the movie with the hair.
Oh, yeah very different. One has wine. One has 20-foot hair.
Exactly. Blondes, but whatever.
I remember that being, I remember that book being good. But I don’t remember much about it specifically, because it was a pandemic book for me. And so there was a period last year where I was reading romance, and it just wasn’t hitting the same way for me. Like that was just one of my pandemic damage things. And so now i’m, i’m back to being able to read it, but I still can’t read it exclusively. I read it exclusively for like, almost 10 years. And then last year, my brain was like, “What if you didn’t?”
For me, it was I actually had the time to read. My deadlines. I mean, my deadlines were hard. But I also had more time at home I had time to, on my downtime, I was able to read more. So yeah, I was able to and that was nice. You know, I don’t get to do that very often. Especially like, I have deadlines. I like four deadlines coming up, boom, boom, boom, boom, right back, you know, month, month, month, month, month, so
I’m so excited about the one that you’re writing.
Oh, yeah. Forever. Right. Yeah, I’m excited too. Haha!
We’re not gonna tell people about it. We’re just gonna tease you. You’ll hear about it later in a future podcast.
And I think, I want to say that it’s now available on Amazon, to pre order it. It’s a May book of 2022 and it’s available for pre order.
Is this the one that takes place in another country?
That comes out in January of 2022?
Oh, so the one I’m excited about is up for pre order. Alright.
Well, so it’s available. I’m so excited. I saw that. It’s always a surprise when I see like a book that I’m barely writing that’s available. So that’s nice.
Alright, so if you want to support your local lesfic author, go pre order Kris’s books. Yes.
Always and Forever. How amazing is that?
Isn’t that adorable?
Goddamn, you’re cute. Way to go.
You know what? It wasn’t even planned. Sandy pointed it out to me. She says, “Oh, Always and Forever. I love that.” I’m like, “Oh my God. That’s right.” The ideas for two different, for ,you know, like, several months apart. Yeah. Yeah.
So, so funny.
All right, we have one more listener question. Listen, you know, we did warn you that it might get a little meandery and strange tonight. So please enjoy.
Alright, so the next question, Jenny on Twitter has a question specifically for you, Kris. And we’re going to talk about this question.
Have you ever acted out a sex scene from one of your books with a special lady? And for her follow up? Which one? And so I’m gonna say rather than specifically answering this question, unless you’d like to, I’m not going to hold you back from your bliss.
You tell me boss. What are we doing?
I want to know how many times have you been asked this question, or something similar about, “So how much of the sex that you’re writing have you done?”
So that is a very popular question when I’m on panels that deal with you know, writing the romance, writing the heat, writing sex scenes, that is a very popular question and the answer answer is… I’m just kidding. Well, I mean, sex in general, I mean, every character is different, you know, and it’s different on the page and has different experiences than I do. I mean, there’s some real specific things like strap-on sex, you have to have some experience with that to kind of work through the whole scene, and do it in a tasteful and, you know, manageable way that’s believable. So I mean, yeah, so there’s, there’s some stuff that we have to try out. And some stuff, you can just like, we can just make believe or pull from experiences that happened years ago that I don’t recall, or who with, you know, because sex is different with every person. And so yes, but not really a specific thing.
It just, it all rolls together.
The thing that I find interesting is how that does seem to be one of the first questions that people ask when they have an opportunity to ask an author and I just wonder, what questions would that person ask of a mystery author?
Like, how many people have you killed?
How many people like, okay, so you probably haven’t killed anybody, because you’re not in prison, but like, how many people have you fantasize murdering in this very specific way? You know, or something like that, like, or sci fi authors? “How true is this?” Like, nothing is true. Like, I can’t imagine walking up to Georgia Beers at a conference and saying, “Hey, so when you’re fucking? Is it like this character? Or like this character?” You know, like, I just cannot.
Georgia, if you’re listening, I’m sorry. That was a, I? I’m sorry. But I would never ask. That was the point.
I yeah, it’s, it’s interesting. Because you know, when you write you up, you open yourself up, you’re very vulnerable. Once your book goes out there, it’s out there for everybody. It’s, it’s out there for everybody to interpret the way they want to, talk about it, say whatever they want to, review it however they want to. It’s kind of like a gap between a lot of readers like know me, through books, through my books, like they feel like they know me better through my books. And they’re a little personal, personal with me. I don’t know if that makes sense.
It does make sense. I’ve occasionally, I mean, not in nearly the same degree as you or other authors would, or even frankly, other celebrities who are much, much, much more famous than any of us are.
But that idea of, “Oh, well, I’ve been listening to you on a podcast for a few years. So I know who you are.” And it’s like, “Okay, but I don’t know who you are. Like, I appreciate your support and your enthusiasm. That’s super cool. But like, can you tell, who are you? Can you let me know?” Like, most people are really, really lovely.
Oh sure and they’re very respectful. Without a doubt, I mean, it’s kind of funny because I have such a squeaky clean, kind of— Look at you look with your eyes, big eyes going “WHAT?”
Now that I’ve gotten to know you better, and I like for sure, I know that I don’t know you the best of anybody in your life. But like, I just, now that yes, now that I know you better and a little bit of the way your mind works. I love that that’s your image.
I have the squeaky clean, cutesy, dimple type persona or like just how people know me. And it’s so funny, because like, I never like I never, nobody slides into my DMs it’s hilarious. Everybody’s like, “Oh, I had to delete all these messages because like these people keep sending me whatever.” And I’m just like “Really? So I look at my phone and I’m like, “No, nothing there. No, boobs!”
But it’s actually really sweet. It’s really nice, because that just shows that there is a level of respect that people have for me, and appreciate me and I feel like you know, maybe they do see me as kind of a friend. And you don’t talk like that with your friends. I would never DM you boob pic. Because we’re friends.
You did tell me to send you one once.
When you were BAKED.
I was so fucking baked that you are lucky. There was a part of me that was like “Should I do this?” Then I was like, “That’s not something I do. Kris, don’t ask for that.” But for a moment I was like, “Maybe I don’t know.”
I love it. Because you’re just so cute. You’re like, “I’m so baked! Boob picture!” Okay.
Which is amazing because you didn’t actually want it. But it would have been your fault if I did.
I guess. I you know, I love to be playful. I love having fun with you know, with other women in my life just because it’s, you know, celebrate us, you know, and I love having you know, being around people have the same type of humor that I yes, but not in a crass way.
No. And in conclusion. Don’t DM Kris, your boob pics please and thank you.
Yeah, so what that means is, this squeaky clean images still gonna be squeaky clean.
So what is your favorite, to add on to that? Or kind of to add on to all that like, because we’re talking about the types of questions that authors get asked the most often, what is your favorite question to get asked about your writing?
That’s a tough one that’s so broad.
Alright, so don’t answer. Or like, what types of questions are fun?
Well, you asked a great question. Last time, I think it was last episode where we talked about writing sex, or was it two episodes ago. I love writing sex, I love I love the intimacy of it. I love everything, you know, just building up to that scene to that moment, because it’s so important. You know, the first time you have sex with somebody, it’s an incredible experience. And you have to write about the good, and sometimes the not so, the awkwardly, you know, things like that. That happened because nobody, very few people get it right the first time. You know, there’s still a little learning curve you have with people. Yeah, so, I love that. I love the whole learning curve, and just writing and capturing the intimacy of the moment. That’s that for me, that’s what I love. It’s like, I’m building up to the sex scene in this book, and I’m so excited.
Well, okay, so you just made me think of another romance that really surprised me. It’s the first in the Tricky series by Cameron Eyde. I think that’s how you pronounce her last name, e y d e. I think the first one’s called Tricky Wisdom. They have the worst first kiss, followed by an incredible second kiss. And it was just so good to see that because it’s like, first kisses in romance are often just like this, “It’s amazing. I feel the spark. We’re gonna be banging later. Like, it’s so good.” But in this case, it was like, “Oh, my god, that was a terrible kiss. How could it possibly be this bad?” And then it was like, “Well, let’s try again.” And then it worked. The second time and I was like, “Yes. Nice.”
My worst first kiss. I’ve actually had several worst first kisses was when they asked me afterwards. “So what do you think of my kissing?”
And you’re just praying for the ground to open up below you?
Right. “I have to go. I’m sorry. I have to go.”
“I think it’s making me need to leave this place right now.”
Like that is such an awkward question to ask somebody that you just kissed, literally like you just, you built up to this moment and you kiss and “So what did you think of that?”
That is not the time to debrief.
“Can we get a blameless post mortem here, please and thank you?”
I was like, “What is happening?” No, no.
All right. So Kris, what have you been watching or reading?
I have been watching every single thing on television.
Because you’ve been writing?
Because I have been writing. I have been writing. It was a writing weekend for me. So that’s all I did was I had the TV on the whole time. But I am still continuing the Alone saga. And I honestly can’t remember if we’re down. I don’t, last time it was five. But I don’t know that this week they had anybody go out so I think we’re still at five contestants left. So five. I’m watching that. And then Ted Lasso started.
So good. We watched it too. Yes.
So but so they’re doing the one episode every week.
I’m very, I’m not into that part. I’m not okay with that. We because we didn’t watch it until the whole season was out, the first season.
Right and then you binged it like the whole, Yeah, the whole weekend. Yeah. And then now we got to watch it once a week. So that’s that’s where like The Handmaid’s Tale is different because they give you three episodes. Bam, bam, bam, and then they do the weekly so you get that fix in real fast. And then then you’re like, chill.
Oh, see, I’ve already got it because I feel like I just got a little taste of a visit with friends. And I want to spend more time with these friends.
And the thing that I love. Well, I mean, the the character that I love the most, I think, that’s really coming out for me is Roy Kent because he’s so grumpy. But he’s so tender. And I love that and it’s been so fun seeing because I mean I follow a lot of romance authors on Twitter who are also writing like male/female romances and the thing that I love is seeing all the people that are saying like “Hello, take note this is how you write a hero,” because I would read a— I don’t even read male/female romances anymore except for that one that I talked about a few episodes ago, Hang the Moon, but like I would read a book about a Roy Kent type character because—
I would too because like we are like cursing buddies. Like he curses as much as I do.
Yes. Oh my god.
And his little neice like taking like £1236 or whatever.
And there was this clip going around of. So it’s him and Keely and they’ve just come off of a double date with— so Keeley is his girlfriend in the show, Rebecca is the like, gorgeous, statuesque, blonde woman who owns the football team. Yeah. And he basically tells her “Don’t settle for this other guy. You deserve so much better than that.” And I saw the clip first, just like going around on Twitter. And I was like, “Oh my God, my heart, my heart.” Like I like it’s such incredible advice coming from this guy who has a voice that’s kind of like this.
So gruffy. He refuses to show emotions, you know, and he’s like his anger. Super quick, quick fuse. But yeah, he’s just a big teddy bear on the inside.
Right? He goes to yoga classes with these like 50 and 60 year old women?
But is it yoga? No. I loved it. I loved it. I loved the episode ended. Yes, it was. Yeah, that was a good one. Love it. And I also watched the movie Gunpowder Milkshake, because we have to talk about this.
Yes. We also saw it last weekend. What did you think?
So I didn’t know anything about it. I just saw like, first of all Circe is in it from Game of Thrones. So I’m in, and Angela Bassett, who’s like my top five. She’s just a bad ass. I love her.
And who’s the Asian woman? What is her name again? Michelle Yeoh.
And Michelle? Yes. Oh, yeah. Yeah, she’s been in a lot. So it’s a pretty decent cast.
Yeah, even the main— Oh, shit. I should know her name. Gillian?
Yeah. Got nothing on.
Karen, Karen Gillan.
Karen. She’s a Karen?
I think so, yeah. Because she was on— But my phone’s across the room. Yeah, she was on, she was on, she was one of the companions on Doctor Who and then she played what’s her name and Guardians of the Galaxy?
Yes. I’m listening. I’m also typing.
But I’m pretty sure her name is her name Karen.
Okay. Karen. Boo. Gunpowder Milkshake. Yeah. Karen Gillan. Karen. She’s named Karen.
She was she was fine.
She was fine. But okay, so why did you like I’ll tell you why I didn’t like well, I loved it. But it wasn’t a recommendation for me. Even though people say it’s queer. It just wasn’t queer enough for me.
It’s not. It’s not. I don’t think it is a queer movie. I think it is a movie with queer subtext. And I think that the costuming on Angela Bassett and Michelle Yeoh was doing a lot of the queer subtext heavy lifting. I would like to give an award to those costumes. And those costumes only. Yeah. No, I mean, there is like an implied past relationship between Angela Bassett and Lena… Headey? Is that right?
And also Michelle Yeoh and Karla Gu— How do you pronounce her last name?
Look at us. We should have been more prepared.
We’re terrible at this. Monday night is the night.
Okay, we have Karen Gillan, Gillan, Gillan? Yeah. Like the GIF. GIF. Is Lena Headley. Carla… Gugino?
I think so. So there’s also supposed to be so like her and Michelle Yeoh are supposed to be together. But even then, it’s mostly based off of not even like a kiss on the cheek or anything like that. It’s a whispering in the ear. And it’s like some camera type perspective stuff. And then like a short scene, resolving some stuff later on. I wish that the subtext would have actually just been fucking text. First of all, can we just call it like, a lady gay gang, because how amazing is that?
That would be, I would promote the shit out of that.
Correct. But everything else was like, no.
See, now I enjoyed it because it was so it was kind of like dark but yet whimsical. Like it was kind of like a Pulp Fiction meets Winnie the Pooh.
See, and that is actually the problem that I have with it is that that movie didn’t know what genre it was. Because sometimes it was noire, sometimes—
It was great for my ADD.
It was what?
It was great for my ADD. For sure. It was feeding my brain everything I needed.
No, it was giving me Dick Tracy vibes at times, from that old movie. Like, I didn’t hate it. And it held my attention, but I got to the end and I was like, “I mean, yeah, I guess it’s a movie.” Like nothing felt special about it except the costuming.
But sometimes you just need that. It’s like why sometimes I just pick up just a fluffy romance or write a fluffy romance because sometimes you just need it and it just doesn’t need to. It doesn’t need to be heavy and weigh on you. It could just be a movie.
No, I didn’t need it to be heavy and weigh on me. I wanted it to be great. Like, Ocean’s Eight. I was hoping that this was gonna be the next kind of like…
This is a pandemic movie.
I know but Ocean’s Eight was so- maybe I should just go watch Ocean’s Eight again?
That’s what you should do for you.
Speaking of gay subtext.
Yes, we should watch it for next time. We should watch it, talk about it.
Okay, remind me because I’m going to forget that we discussed this but I like this idea very, very much.
Okay. All right. What about you? What are you watching? What did you watch this week or read?
Alright, so I am still watching – of course I am – RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Season Six. I have to say this season is killing it. It is so good. I think it’s the best out of all the series so far this year and I liked UK season 2, season 13 was okay but felt like it dragged on forever. I was not a fan of Australia. I ended up being very disappointed in Australia. Oh, it is so good. It’s brought- like it’s really reminded me that there are some of the queens that I just fucking love, like Ginger Minj and Eureka, they are just both such talented performers. And a couple of weeks ago, there was a lip sync and they brought back Mayhem Miller, and it was Ginger Minj who was going up and they were lip synching to the song— I think it’s called Phone by Lizzo.
And it was where Ginger Minj really showed off like how you can do a lip sync and bring comedy into it and make it perfect. I was screaming it was so good. And honestly, there are some queens there that are really lasting and going the distance that I just did not really pay attention to in their own season. So Trinity K Bonet as a perfect example. The only thing I remembered about her was that she was like the one queen that ever disclosed that she had an HIV status. And not only is she an incredible- Oh my god, she’s doing so well. But I also loved that they did- They did a parody of the Red Table Talk series that like Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith, and I think her mom or whatever does together. But in that Trinity K Bonet on a talks about, again about her HIV status. And that was where I learned that you- like with the right medication, it’s not transmissible. Oh, just like I love that the show is making space for things like that.
So like it’s just continuing to be a more and more socially conscious show, but still bringing like the fashion and the pageantry and all of that of drag. You know, they had two trans women on this season and one of them is still there. And she is doing amazing. Kylie Sonique Love. So good. So yes, I am loving that.
I’m gonna share my screen again.
So that I can see their notes. There we go. In terms of what I’m reading, so there are two I believe they’re both indie books. And I’ve never read anything by either of these authors before. The first one I’ve only just barely started, but it still seems like it’s gonna be pretty fun. It’s called Cinders of Yesterday by Jen Karner. It is the first in a new series and it’s about a paranormal hunter named Dani Black and she’s out for revenge because a necromancer killed her partner, not her- I don’t believe it’s a romantic partner. I believe it’s just a partner in paranormal hunting. And so she has to find this- She’s where I’m at now. It’s like okay, she’s going to find this special weapon, because this necromancer is impossible to kill so far. And when she goes there, she’s going to find Emily, who is supposed to be the eldest daughter from a magical family. I’m assuming that she will be a love interest. The thing I wasn’t sure about at first, but I am increasingly becoming endeared on. Is that a right sentence? I don’t care. I think I use that wrong. But here we are. Often, just like the writing feels very over the top. And it’s like, I kind of like it. Cuz it’s giving me the like season one Wynonna Earp vibes where because every time you’re watching it, you’re like, this feels a little bit cheesy. And it’s like-
It’s a little cheesy. Yeah, it’s great.
Yeah, you just have to embrace it. And then it’s amazing. And I have- I’m feeling so much hope that this book is going to bring like that kind of vibe and that kind of fun to it. So I don’t know if you’d like to read along with me. People are watching it.
It sounds like a video game. It sounds like one of the games you play.
It does sound like a video game. Although when you describe Wynonna Earp that could be like a video game too couldn’t it?
Right. 100% could be.
Somebody make the video game please I would like to play it.
Tara would totally play it and I would too then.
Just make sure to make it super gay and then we’ll have an official recommendation. That would be the thing to get you to get a Switch, wouldn’t it? Right, right?
Right it would. 100%. Yes. So, if y’all want me to get a Switch, that’s what you have to do is make a video game out of the Earp sisters.
No big deal, right?
I know it’s like, what, two days worth of code? Come on.
You need to go listen to Blood, Sweat and Pixels. And it’s like, oh, it’s years worth of work. Oh, geez. The other books that I’m reading, I’m having a whole lot of fun with it. It’s called Undercover Madam by JJ Arias. I think that’s how you say that, again I apologize. It’s like today’s the day that we’re picking all the names that we don’t know how to pronounce. It is an age gap, employer/employee romance. I’m a little farther along in this one, very much having fun with it.
So the idea is that Charlotte is an accountant. She grew up in foster care, and the only person she’s ever really been close to in her life is one of her foster brothers, Jason. He’s her best friend, still is. He is with the police. He’s been trying to take down- there’s this woman who owns and runs a spa. But the the police suspect that she is using it kind of as a cover for a high end escort business. So the kind of next best solution that they figured out is, well, they’re hiring an accountant. So what if he gets Charlotte to go get that job and then pass information back. And if she does this, she’s been promised by the Miami police that they will help her get into the FBI as a forensic accountant, which is her absolute dream. The problem, of course, is that she gets on site and meets the owner Alexandra, and gets a lady boner immediately.
Like they just they have this incredible immediate chemistry, they both get pants feelings right away. They haven’t done anything about their pants feelings. But I think they’re going to. I do not know if she actually is a madam. I don’t know if she actually does- like I’m not sure what is actually happening there on that point. But one of the things that I really appreciate about it is that even though she’s helping Jason with the investigation, and there’s, you know, the whole criminality aspect of it, it’s not negative about sex work. It’s not shaming the idea of sex work. I haven’t come across anything like that, which I really, really love and appreciate. Because if it wasn’t, I don’t think I’d be able to get through that. My personal feminism is highly intersectional and includes sex workers as a part of it, as well as trans women, women of color. Like I don’t want my feminism to only be standing up for women who look and are living lives like mine. So hopefully that holds, crossing both sets of fingers. Only Kris can see that because we don’t release the video. But yeah, I am hopeful that I’ve made it about a quarter of the way into the book. And it’s been that way. So I don’t see it.taking a turn that way. So I really do appreciate that.
So Kris, what is your official recommendation this week?
Okay, my official recommendation is completely inspired by the Olympics. I decided to watch a sports movie.
Tell me more.
Okay, well, first of all, did you know that there are 160 LGBTQ athletes in the Summer Olympics? Did you know that?
No, I did not.
Yeah it’s a huge jump. 160.
How many athletes total? Are there? Like do we know what percentage that-
I don’t know what the percentage is? I didn’t get that far. I was super excited to see the 160 because the last time the last count, I think was back in Rio and they and it was like 56, they only had 56.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s a big difference then.
This is a big difference. So I was like, “Okay, I’m in. I’m into sports. Let’s watch something very cool”. And so I decided to watch a 2017 movie called Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone and Steve Carell. And I’m sure right now everybody’s like, “Boo, that’s a boring movie, blah, blah, blah. It’s old and irrelevant.” But it really isn’t. It’s actually- it’s still very, very important. And I think that if you have an evening that you should watch this movie if you haven’t seen it, because-
What is it about? I don’t even remember this.
Okay, well, I will read to you the movie blurb. I’ll call it the blurb because it’s what it’s called for books. I know it’s called something else but it’s blurb. “In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between Women’s World Champion Billie Jean King, who is played by Emma Stone, the beautiful Emma Stone, and ex men’s champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs played by Steve Carell, was billed as the battle of the sexes and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicks into high gear off court, each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality but also struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality and her friendship with Marilyn Barnett developed. Friendship, quote. And Riggs one of the first self made media age celebrities wrestles with his gambling demons at the expense of his family and wife, Priscilla-”
Yeah, I know that we’ll get into that. “Together, Billy and Bobby serve up a cultural spectacle that resonate far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today”. So first of all, Emma Stone, enough said.
But the cast is actually really really good. Steve Carrel does a fantastic job playing Bobby Riggs and Elizabeth Shue plays his wife, right.
I didn’t know she was still acting.
Yes. And Alan Cumming is in it. He’s like the- he used to be a tennis player, but he also is the fashion designer for the Women’s League. So= and Bill Pullman. Bill Pullman!`
That’s a great cast.
Yeah, it’s very- and Sarah Silverman’s in it too. It’s like a fantastic cast.
So I saw it. When it was back in 2017. I saw it. I was like, “Eh, it’s cool. All right, I watched it”. But watching it now, four years later, after all the shitstorm that has been going on in my country. Like, it definitely is worth watching. So the movie starts off with Billie Jean, she just wins. Women’s World Champion, the title. She just wins it, and she finds out that she’s only getting paid 1/8th of what the men are getting paid. 1/8th. And so she’s like, “Screw this, I’m gonna make my own tournament, we’re gonna, like start our own league. We don’t need you, man.” And so she’s fighting for equality, for women’s equality, you know, and it’s early 70s. And, you know, women aren’t- I mean, women in the 70s were treated horribly. And it’s not like they’re, you know, we’ve we’ve moved, we’ve, we’ve grown, we’ve gotten a lot more, or at least we’ve closed the gap, but we’re not there yet.
And it’s really obvious by watching something in the past, to see just how bad and how far we’ve come as women. And so she’s fighting for equality and then she’s trying to figure out her own sexuality. You know, she’s married, she has this gorgeous, I want to say just like, just really supportive husband, and he’s like, in the tennis world, too. And he used to, I don’t know, if he used to play or if he’s just in charge of like, all these different tournaments, or what he has big, big role in tennis is basically it.
And he kind of stumbles in on Billie Jean kind of hooking up with the hairdresser. And so yeah, so he’s just kind of like, he doesn’t really I mean, it’s not a negative reaction. I’m really, really surprised. And so he kind of approaches her and he’s like, “Look, tennis is` your number one- is Billy’s number one love, and we’re second”. So he kind of accepts it. So she’s trying to figure out, sop Billie Jean’s trying to figure out her own sexuality during this time. You know, she knows she’s attracted to women, but there’s, you know, she’s fighting this whole tennis world.
So, what’s his face? Bobby is trying to goad her into playing battle of the sexes, and she’s like, “No, I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna stoop. I’m not gonna do this as a like a circus type thing” because he’s role flamboyant. And he’s like, really, like, in your face. But he’s like, women are inferior, blah, blah, blah. And so she’s not taking the bait. She’s like, “No, I’m not I don’t have time for this. This is a serious thing for me. Obviously, it’s not for you”. So he actually convinces this other woman who actually beats Billie Jean and comes first. You know, number one seed player. Her name is Margaret Court. And so she actually has the first battle of the sexes, and she just gets like smeared, creeped all over. I mean, she’s just like, it did not go well.
Isn’t she the terrible homophobic Australian? But like, doesn’t she pop up on the news every so often now for being so disgustingly homophobic?
I don’t know. And there was only one line in the movie. She only gives one line where she’s just kind of like, “Yeah, we know about you type thing”. So she’s like, homophobic, but not like- That wasn’t even that- that’s not even the story. You know what I mean? It’s one of those where because yeah, she was fighting so much. She’s fighting the people. You know, she’s on this team with, she’s fighting women in the league, you know, and so, so Margaret does this she loses. And what’s interesting is that, you know, Billie Jean says, “Don’t do this. He’s only going to make a mockery of women’s tennis don’t do this and she’s like, she does it for the money. She’s like, I’m just gonna do it cuz I’m gonna beat it.” And she doesn’t.
And so the announcers are just jerks. And these are like the real announcers. I mean, they’re not the real announcers. But they’re like, this is how they talked back then. And so like my quotes for movies, and this one is just like, horrible quotes. Like, I’m trying, like, “Face it, she just can’t handle Bobby’s game. The thing with women is that they find it hard to consistently handle the pressure, they’re not built for it. Maybe now it’ll stop the women from demanding more money than men. They aren’t in the same game. It’s a man’s game. This is an easy triumph against motherhood, and mother and women’s liberation”. It’s like, like people said this out loud on television. And so then Bobby wins. And he’s like, “Hey, look at me, I’m, I’m the number one seed women’s tennis player, because I just won, and you guys and I will put out $100,000 for anybody who can beat me”.
So of course, you know, Billie’s like, “I gotta do this, and I gotta do this”. The interesting thing about all of this is that, you know, he’s actually, he would be like a social media, like he would be on social media all the time. If, you know, this was taking place in today’s time. That’s all he does. He promotes himself. He’s such a big self promoter. And here’s the catch. Like, the whole thing about this is that his wife supports him. She comes from wealth. And so he’s dogging women left and right. But you know, she’s opening up her purse to support him for everything he has, like bad gambling habits and stuff like this, but she loves him because he makes her laugh. Anyway, so he liked like, all of this beginning of, you know, the lead up to it. He does all this mockery of tennis, and he doesn’t like try to work hard at it. He’s actually really good tennis player. Like he’s won Wimbledon. He’s won a bunch of stuff. He’s number one. So he’s like, “I love women. I love them in the bedroom, and then in the kitchen, and I’m gonna put an end to this women’s crap once and for all, this women’s lib crap.” Like, so he’s just like a jerk. Like, the whole time. He’s a jerk. And if there’s a thing, and I don’t know if this is real or not, so I didn’t look into this, but they had interviewed at the time. And during this 1973 battle of the sexes, they actually interviewed celebrities. And so they played those clips back.
Oh, that’s very interesting.
And they looked like they were young. And I can’t imagine that they, I mean, maybe it was like, great, you know-
Was it Jane Fonda telling that guy to go fuck himself?
Well, actually, they have you know, what’s his name? Richard? No, Ricardo Montalban. Remember from Fantasy Island. So he’s like, “Oh, I’m rooting for you know, Bobby Riggs, man muscle”, and he’s like crying in front of the thing. And even Chris Everett, she was young. She’s like, “I’m rooting for Bobby Riggs”. Well, she didn’t say I’m rooting. She’s like, “I think Bobby Riggs is going to win”. So like nobody was picking Billie Jean to like, come out and really do this great thing. Obviously, she wins. Like, that’s the whole thing. She wins.
And right before the game, a reporter says they’re all chasing after her before she goes on to the court. And he’s like, “Men are better End of story”. And she turns around. She’s like, “I’m not saying women are better. I never said that. We deserve some respect. Is your father better than your mother just because he’s a man?” So like, there’s constant battle and it’s like, so gross to watch this. Because, like, like Howard Cosell is like, he’s, he’s on there. He’s talking to a reporter and he’s got his arm around her, you know, like smoking cigarettes, and like, “Hey, babe, you know, tell us about this”. And that happened. And it wasn’t that long ago that women were looked down upon so horribly.
So why people should watch this. It’s just, it’s so important to see how far women have come and the shitshow that they’ve had to deal with, and still deal with the fight for equality. You know, and it’s, it’s, it’s- I cringed at all of the men in this movie acting superior. And I remember just being sexualized when I first started working, you know, in the workforce, like men were just- the way I looked, my hair and stuff. So now, here’s what they get at my work. They get no makeup, they get my hair back at a bun. And like nobody has ever seen past my collarbone at work. Like because of like just growing up when I did and just seeing everything and knowing everything. It’s so frustrating. But you know, we’ve come a long way but we have still a whole- we have tons to go we have so much more to go and this movie just really pulls you into it and it makes you realize that “Yes, we’ve come far but we have so so much further to go”. There. That was exhausting.
It sounds excellent and infuriating. All at the same time.
Yes, it was, but you have the peace of mind knowing that we really have a long way since then. You know, you will cringe at like just how the reporters and the announcers are just the biggest assholes ever. And they’re just so mean about women and to women without any consequences. You know, now, you can’t say any of that. I mean, lawsuits, you’ll lose your job. You know, good things.
Yeah. Well, it was interesting hearing about that, against the backdrop of, you know, seeing like with the Olympics about, what was it the Norwegian women’s, was it a volleyball game? They got fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms, which is like, well, that’s 100% rooted in misogny.
And I recently listened to a book called Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe, which was very good. I thought it was going to be a book about how to create better boundaries between yourself in your work and your work life. Because I thought after ` Laziness Doesn’t Exist, that would be a perfect follow on right? That’s not what it’s about at all, at all, it’s like industry by industry, the reason why people are overworked and underpaid. And like what is the historical reasons behind it, what are the systemic things that continue into today? Some of it was really interesting seeing about how like, the culture around retail workers and teachers actually come up from a very similar place of like, “Oh, we’re going to have mostly women do them as a caring profession, they’re caring people, they should be willing to do it for less money”. But there’s a section on sports and the author interviews, I think she was like the head of the US women’s hockey team at the Olympics at some point or so I don’t know. She’s the one who there’s like, there’s a couple and like one of them was on the American team, and one of them was on the Canadian team. And I think the lesfic community went nuts when we found out about him a couple years ago. They interviewed her, the American one. But talking about how like, professional NHL, these men make a shit ton of money. But to be a professional women’s hockey player, very similar to professional women’s soccer. Or even actually like in previous Olympics, and other big soccer events. This is where it’s like a sports ball. I don’t know anything about sports. But we’re like, “People are actually more excited about the US women’s team for soccer than they are about the men’s and they just make so much less money”. And so it’s kind of one of those like, “Yeah, we have come so far, but we still have so far to go.”
Right, agreed. And it’s and it’s what every sport, it’s just, it’s unreal. I mean, and that’s one thing, Billie Jean said, what she’s like, “Look, look at the stands. We’re bringing in just as many spectators, you know, to the sport as the men are”, like, “Oh, that’s not true”. You know, it’s just it’s very frustrating. But at the same time, there’s like, at the very end, you’re like, yes. And don’t Google about like, like, Don’t Google anything else about the movie.
I wasn’t going to.
Yeah, well, so. So then I’m like, “Okay, well, how true is this?” I read like, you know, Billie Jean was really involved in this. And she said she would only do it if there was the sexuality. A storyline was added to it. So that was kind of cool. Yeah. So she really pushed for that. But then like later, you know, like in 2014. Somebody said, “Oh, the mob rigged it. Like it was rigged, themob did something. They’re responsible for it, but I don’t believe it.”
Did they, or is that just people being jerks because they don’t like the idea that a woman won?
I’m gonna go with that one. That’s what I’m going with. But I was like, “Come on!” But then again, anything online, you can find anything, whether it’s true or not online, so I’m gonna go with it’s not true. And she beat him. And she’s awesome. And I love tennis. And I thought this was a good movie.
So I’ve talked enough. What about you? What is your big recommendation for this week?
This is the book that I was reading last time. My recommendation for this week is Covenant by Ann McMan. And like I was saying last time it is the fourth book in the Jericho series. And so for anybody that didn’t listen to the last episode, here’s a teeny weeny catch-up, I know, but it’s possible. It’s possible and for people who did listen, thank you for bearing with me. I’m going to say a thing you just heard me say last time, but it’s the fourth book in the series. But I think this is one of the most interesting series that I’ve ever read because it started as a romance. The first book is very much a traditional very lovely lesbian romance, friends to lovers. You watch the friendship develop and then the romance develop. Bery quirky, quite long in terms of like lesfic romances, so if you’re looking for like really good bang for your buck, go get Jericho. It’s a good one for that.
But then the second book Aftermath is a general fiction. The series does not stay romance, and that’s when like a tornado whips through town. What do they do in the aftermath of that, there’s- it’s very, very comedic. A lot of great things happen there. The next one is Golden Rod, and it gets a little bit darker. And it was published four years ago. So it would have been- Trump was president at that point for about a year. And you kind of see some of those politics creeping into the town. The mayor is a bigot, who I mean, it’s one of those towns where there’s a lot of gay people in it, even though it’s like a tiny, isolated town. I mean, you know, like as, as we find in our lesfic series, where you’re like, how many lesbians work at this hospital?
It’s not unlike that, but still, like, works for me. I’m quite happy with it. And it’s, you know, Maddie and Sid, Why did it take me that long? Oh, my God. Yeah. So it’s like Maddie and Sid, are the main couple. There’s Roma Jean Fremantle is she’s a teenager who lives in the town and she gets a girlfriend in that book. David is Maddie’s best friend. And he’s been married to Michael for ever. But the mayor is very homophobic going after undocumented immigrants in the community. Pretty horrible. The book ends with him being found dead at the end of the Fourth of July picnic. And so now with Covenant is where it picks up. I don’t know for sure if you can read it as a standalone, I think you probably could. And it would probably be fine. But I would say for anybody who’s really wondering, and you’re at all inclined, go back and read all the other ones, because you will definitely enjoy it more if you’ve read it. But I just don’t think it’s necessarily an impediment if you haven’t read it.
But it basically opens, it’s six weeks later and there’s an investigation going on, to try to find out, “Okay, how did he die?” And so one of the most brilliant things about the construction of this book is each chapter, except for I think the last one or two, actually starts with someone from town being interviewed by the police about the events of that night. And it alternates between what they say out loud, and what they’re thinking, and you never actually get the voice of the interviewer and you don’t need it, because there’s enough context in what they’re saying, for you to be able to follow the line of questioning. But what I love is how you see the difference between what people choose to say, and what they keep concealed, because it’s what they feel about it and that tension between like, what do people conceal and what do they reveal is something that I’ve seen numerous times across Ann McMan’s books. It’s a major, major theme in Backcast. Absolutely love that book. And I loved seeing that again here, because it also shows that like, when you put them all together, everyone is relieved that this guy is dead, just because he’s terrible. And the thing that you see in the town, like it’s a it’s- I would say of all the other books in this series that it’s like, it’s probably the most like Golden Rod. And it kind of continues with that, following some difficult themes.
There’s more homophobia in this book, because this guy, Gerald Watson, who is the mayor, brings that Trump element into play. Not that I actually even necessarily think that Trump himself is homophobic, I think he’s too opportunistic to have strong feelings either way. He’s just going to express whatever the people he’s talking to believes about it, so maybe, maybe this guy is more like Mike Pence, per se, who I do believe is very earnest in his homophobia, I believe he means that very, very much. But having somebody like Watson in charge of the town for so long, has really emboldened some of the like highly religious people to really like speak their minds about their homophobia and to feel like they can do it without repercussion. And so you see these effects of like, it’s kind of like Trump’s America in this one tiny town. And how do they deal with that? Because all the characters that we’ve grown to know and love are either queer, or they’re queer allies. And how do they kind of like find their way in this new world? And how did they make peace in it?
The other thing that I really thought was handled really, really beautifully, is that, you know, each book kind of has its own theme or its own thing that it’s really digging into. And I think in this one, it really is the idea of fatherhood, relationships with fathers, which then you can really extend to overall all the patriarchy. And so we see, you know, there are some good dads in this book, thank goodness and in the series. So we see like Roma Jean, she was the the teenager that I said got a girlfriend in the last book, and we see her dad stand up for her and like it’s so sweet. And then we see James who is the father of Henry, Henry is the little boy that Maddie and Sid are raising, but they still want James- like James basically- It’s a long ass story. But basically, he’s still involved in their lives. But he’s asked if they can raise his son. And they’re very happily doing so. But like seeing this dad, who is still finding a way to be a part of his son’s life in a really positive way, but while making sure he has the best life he can, with these two women raising him, and then you see these other dads that are fucking horrible, horrible.
And so there’s like, a dad who blows back into town that like he had beaten the hell out of his queer daughter when she was a teenager. And it’s like, “What is he trying to do now? Is he actually trying to rebuild in good faith or as you try to do something else that’s awful?” We do hear about fathers who sexually abused their children. Now, I want to be really clear about this, though. It’s never, it’s never described, there are never details provided at all. You just learn that. I mean, I had a very strong suspicion about the one character that it applies to. I was very surprised about the other character.
I don’t think pleasantly surprised is the right way to put it because I would never kind of wish that on anybody.
But I appreciated that in sharing that it’s a reminder that sexual abuse doesn’t only happen to little girls, like because it kind of goes into the history of one of the characters. And so ultimately, why I recommend this book, even though it does have a lot of difficult subject matter, is I found it very cathartic to read. Like, we’ve all been going through a lot of difficult things. And even if you take away the pandemic, like just the effects that Trump has had, definitely on the US, but I mean, that has extended to so many other countries, and even in countries where, yeah, I mean, like Canada, we very much have have felt a lot of that anxiety on behalf of our American friends and family. And then you see those politics going into other places like Australia and Hungary. And I mean, frankly, even my province within Canada. I found it really affirming, and good to see where things land at the end.
Because it’s not like everything is perfect. I mean, the town is still going to have challenge. No, it’s not. But the way it turns out feels right. Like the scales are balanced enough for everybody to be able to move forward meaningfully. And so I don’t know that there’s actually going to- for anybody wondering, because every so often I get asked if I know if there gonna be more books in the series at any given time. I think most people know that I’m a gigantic Ann McMan fan girl, I don’t know that there’s going to be one. I did see her say on Facebook, that it’s likely the last one. I would be content if it ended here. It feels like a fitting end. And that everybody is going to be okay. And they’re making their way in the world. I mean, I would not be opposed to reading more stories in this world. I would pick them up for sure in a heartbeat. But I just felt like, kind of like you felt about the last season of Wynonna Earp when I asked you like, “Did they do it justice?”
I feel like Ann McMan did it justice.
Do you still feel sad though? Like, are you sad about it? Or like you’re saying goodbye to something that’s- you’ve been on this journey for so many years?
Yeah. You know what? I- I don’t, because it’s wrapped up just the right way. Like it’s so fitting. And I mean, yeah, I would love to see especially like, I would love to see a future book for Dorothy, because Dorothy is actually the daughter of the mayor. And so after he’s dead, she has to go live somewhere because her mom’s been dead for years. And she goes to live with Maddie’s mother, Celine. And Celine takes her she’s been teaching her piano and she really loves piano and she takes her to New York City to go see somebody performing. I cannot remember the famous piano person they’re performing. But anyway, to see this, like really incredible classical music performance. And she’s so moved. And she’s so energized to be in the city that I just immediately could imagine this whole world in which this 14 year old girl grows up. And maybe she goes to New York. I don’t know. Maybe she goes to Juilliard. Maybe she goes to university someday.
I was about to say, maybe she goes to school there?
Yeah. But like I can, I can just see it. Now, just because I can see it does not mean that the author can see it.
Ann, can you see it?
Right? I don’t know every so often, I’ll just throw it out there that I’m like, and I usually do reviews and I’m like, “I wouldn’t mind seeing a book about this character”. And once in a while authors do it and I don’t think it’s just because I do it. But I have to think it doesn’t hurt that I’ve put the energy out in the universe. So perhaps I’m putting a little bit of energy out in the universe. And we will see what the universe comes back with. That is all for this episode.
We’re just putting it out there.
Right? That is all for this episode. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us for sticking with us as we got silly as we do on Monday nights. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please please please, if you’re not already, hit that subscribe button wherever you listen to podcasts. You’ll always get notified when we release a new episode. If you have a friend that you think would like Queerly Recommended, please just let them know about it.
Or if you want to connect with us on social media. Just search for us at Queerly Recommended on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, all of that everywhere, everywhere, or just email us at podcast at queerlyrecommended.com. Goodbye, everybody.
Let’s see how long this was.
It was a thousand hours.
Oh it’s a long one. Almost an hour and a half.
Well half that stuff we can stop. For like-I went on and on about battle of the sexes? Because-
You have a lot to say about which?
Battle of the Sexes.
I’m looking forward to hearing it.
It’s there’s a lot going on. And I saw it the first time. You know, I saw it when it came out. Because I was like, you know who who wants to watch this movie? You know what I’m saying? It was one of those where it’s like Emma Stone cool. I’ll watch it because of that. So but watching it with like a mission, sorta in a way. And it hit me so differently than it did in 2017. But we’ll talk about that too.
I’m looking forward to hearing it. So you’re good to kick everything off? Is the text big enough, do you want me to make it any bigger?
Wow. I’m trying to be conscientious. This is how we know that one of us does 20 hours of Xoom meetings a week and one of us does not.
Yeah, that would be- I’m fine. It’s fine. I can read.
Neil, if you do listen to this part, Kris just gave me double middle fingers for that.
Double! Not just one. Normally feisty me is one but you got two.
Oh my god. All right. Well, you guys started whenever you feel right.
Okay. All right. Ah.
Oh, wait, pull your microphone a little bit away from your- Yeah. Say some words of T’s and peas in them.
Toilet Paper Paper Paper
That’s not so bad. It was doing that it was like yeah, it was doing that before-
I’m all weird. Okay.
It’s a Monday- This season so that I learned more about it. I think you might be frozen. Are you frozen?
No, I’m unfrozen. But you’re frozen.
Check baby check baby 1, 2, 3.
No, your sound is coming through there now.
I just had to change it reset. It reset my microphone and the audio coming back to me so that it would have gone through my laptop instead of this beautiful microphone.
Please sing something in it.