Monthly Archives: February 2021

An Appreciation of BK

BK, aka Spouse Charming

As the pandemic wears on (and on… and on), I find myself reading productivity porn and wellness porn and anything I stumble on that makes me feel like I might someday sally forth to conquer.  Make the world a better place. Live long and prosper. All that kind of thing. One idea I’ve come across in a few places is that you should perform stretches before you get out of bed. I’ve tried a couple different routines.

Two discoveries resulting from my experiments: 

  1. Stretching before you get out of bed can increase your energy and even help alleviate aches and pains
  2. It’s very hard to accomplish one of these routines if you share a bed with someone. Seriously, you could put someone’s eye out or bruise one of their kidneys. 

Two more discoveries:

  1. I’m not going to kick my sleeping partner out of bed so I can perform morning stretches there.
  2. Being a creature of habit, if I don’t do something everyday for at least three weeks, I won’t remember to do it going forward.

So some mornings I start out cranky and achy. That’s the price of sleeping with BK. But I don’t want anyone to think this situation comes without its perks! I’m always finding new ones. I recently discovered, for example, that structural engineers can be filthy!

Now that BK works from home, I occasionally get to hear his work conversations. These include discussions of “erection drawings” and “riser supports.” When I overheard him say “a relatively stiff member,” I couldn’t take it any more. I allowed my inner juvenile free rein and immediately texted him: “Haha, you said ‘stiff member!’” 

Being quite the philosopher, BK mused that maybe one reason engineering remained an old boys’ game for so long was due to all the locker room talk. 

Thus endeth my little PSA for girls considering engineering careers. The women who are already engineers have probably heard it all already. I have a new appreciation for what you’re going through.

Another perk of living with BK is his tendency to make dad jokes. I’ll close with his most recent offering.

(Content warning: if you’re a fan of our former president, read no further)

“Donald Trump is so clueless that, until one of his staffers explained it to him, he thought Roe v. Wade was a discussion about how to cross a river.”


Ba-dum-ching. Thank you very much.

Read This: The Once and Future Witches

By Alix E. Harrow
Redhook Books/Orbit
Hachette Book Group

During the first few months of the pandemic, I’d pick up books that I probably would have enjoyed in normal circumstances and I couldn’t make the words on the page mean anything interesting or relevant. 

Then around mid-August, I discovered Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic and then N. K. Jemisin’s The City We Became (as an audiobook, brilliantly narrated by Robin Miles). I was back. 

Not everything I’ve read in the interim was as fabulous as those two novels, but I was able to enjoy reading (and the occasional audiobook) more than I had in months. 

Another book that delighted me was Alix Harrow’s Ten Thousand Doors of January.  The characters and concept immediately hooked me, and I can recommend the book to anyone who likes portal fantasy. I read everything I could find by Harrow (she has some great short fiction available online), but I really waited for her next novel breathlessly, based on the title alone: The Once and Future Witches. It came out in October of 2020.

I’m a huge fan of Arthurian legend reboots, and the teasers I read about the novel also promised there would be suffragists. And naturally, with that title, there had to be witches.

I read it. I loved it. It might just be my perfect book. Feminist witches? Fascinating characters to love and hate? A plot that zips right along? Terrific use of language deployed in the service of all of the above?

I’m thrilled to enjoy reading again. I’d hate to imagine not appreciating this novel as much as it deserved. For me, the book succeeded so well that I chose it as my study book for the DIY MFA Writer Igniter Challenge

If you like your fantasy liberally spiced with alternate history and a feminist bent, you really should pick this one up.