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text 2018-03-30 16:23
YouTube Q & A

Hey all! I wanted to let you know that I've started to upload question and answer videos to you. I've started with my most frequently asked questions and will be moving on from there. 


Here's my latest video:



I'd love for you to subscribe! Find me on Cristin Harber's YouTube Channel. YouTube has a new community section too. I'm figuring it out now, but if you have any tips, let me know! 

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text 2018-03-29 13:00
Reading progress update: I've read 277 out of 277 pages.
Let's Talk About Love - Claire Kann

I have no idea how I'm going to rate or review this. My feelings are complicated and confusing.


Some of what's in my head:


- Alice feels things so intensely and is so conflict-averse that it's exhausting.


- The stuff with Takumi at the end made me cry, but I'm not sure if they were good tears because things worked out happily for Alice and Takumi or sad tears because I can't imagine things working out like this in the real world.


- Alice and I are definitely on different places on the asexuality spectrum. That said, a lot of the things she was afraid of were the same things I'm afraid of. And when certain things actually happened to her? Well, let's just say that this book is filled with a lot of my relationship nightmares.


- I like Alice's counselor.


- I am still not a fan of Feenie. Even though things worked out well between her and Alice, I still feel like she isn't half as supportive as Kann tried to present her.


- I'm still baffled by the people who call this a fluffy book. Did we read the same book? Does the happy ending automatically make it fluffy for some people?


I guess I can scrape all of this together to try to turn it into a review, but I don't know that I want to mention in the review that I identify as asexual. ::sigh::

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text 2018-03-26 14:00
Reading progress update: I've read 204 out of 277 pages.
Let's Talk About Love - Claire Kann

Oh, I'm so mad. Alice is not a toy that Feenie and Ryan can put away and take out whenever they please. Alice doesn't have very many close friends, and now most of that short list has become horribly toxic (or at least has been revealed to her to be toxic - I personally think it's been toxic for a while now).

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text 2018-03-25 16:58
Reading progress update: I've read 133 out of 277 pages.
Let's Talk About Love - Claire Kann

Amazingly, the movie theater in my town is showing Ponyo today, and I am definitely going. Normally Fathom Events stuff I actually care about only shows in movie theaters 1.5+ hours away.


I'm killing time before heading to the movie theater by reading this. I will finish it, I swear, but it stresses me out so much. And I've decided that I really do dislike Feenie, Alice's friend. Alice stresses out over her feelings for Takumi a lot on her own, but Feenie certainly hasn't helped - every time she and Alice talk about him, she asks Alice some version of "are you interested in him sexually?" I get the feeling that she wants the answer to be "yes." And now she's mad at Alice for leaving a party early, never mind that she'd technically abandoned Alice first, with no indication that she'd planned to come back.

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review 2018-03-23 19:49
Review: Back Talk
Back Talk - Danielle Lazarin

Even the best of short story collections are uneven. I used to find this odd—how could a writer who wrote such a fabulous story follow it with such a crap story? I realize now that it makes sense. I mean, after all, if you look at any author's complete body of works, you'll find great works and ho-hum works. No writer is one-hundred percent consistent. The difference is in presentation. We think of a collection of short stories as a complete work. A novelist's whole career is not held under the same scrutiny.

Danielle Lazarin's Back Talk is no different. There are stories I really enjoyed. And stories I could've done without. The difference was the grouping of these stories. Normally, a collection starts with one or two good stories and follows it with a dud, then another good story and several duds. Depending on the total number of stories in the collection and the ratio of good stories, all this may vary, of course, but often the middle contains several lackluster stories that lead into a final one or two good stories.

So when I started reading Back Talk and found that the first several stories barely held my attention, I assumed the whole collection was not for me. Midway, the stories really started to improve however. In fact, story after story was quite wonderful. At this point, I questioned whether it was me: perhaps some preconceived notion I had about the collection, or some blockage in my personal life. I decided that, when finished, I'd go back and read one of the first few stories that I found to be far from special.

On a second reading, the story I selected was slightly more enjoyable, but I still didn't love it. So maybe this collection is oddly uneven, but it does contain several wonderful stories. The best of these stories really get into the minds of their protagonists. They're quiet stories about everyday events, but they're full of heart. In these character-driven stories, I think it ultimately comes down to connection. I was pulled into the mind of some of these characters, not into the minds of others. Readers of character-centric short fiction should give Back Talk a try.

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