Monthly Archives: April 2018

Cozy Witch Mini Booklist

“I put a spell on you and now you’re mine!” “Double, double, toil, and trouble!” Microwave some popcorn and pop in a film. I love witchy goodness of the comfort variety, whether it’s Bette Midler siphoning off the life force of Salem’s children, the Olsen twins freeing Cloris Leachman from her evil witchy twin, or Debbie Reynolds watching over her family in the TV movie series “Halloween Town”. Heartwarming and fun magical adventures are some of my favorite, go-to staycations. There’s a dash of quirky, a handful (or two) of sexy, and a lot of fun.

I found a few books that seem to fit the bill. Since I haven’t yet read these (only sample chapters), I can’t fully vouch for them. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below. After you out check out these series, why not pitch cozy queer witch movie ideas to Hallmark. The one I borrowed via my library Hoopla account, You Cast a Spell on Me, seemed to have everything but F/F. Please and thank you in advance!

Witchcraft & Winds (Weather Witch, Book 1) by Emilia Spring
A Charmed Life (The Ashland Witches, Book 1) by Jea Hawkins
The Cupid Conundrum (Burgundy Hart, Book 1) by Lucy True

Jane Madison isn’t queer, but I adore this Washington D.C.-based specialty reference librarian. She foams milk for lattes and researches obscure data from primary sources at the Peabridge Library. On one fateful day, she discovers witchy powers, a familiar, and more problems than her budget allows. And I just found out that there is a road trip novella, Magic and Mayhem: Nice Witches Don’t Swear by Mindy Klasky! Hells yeah! It’s been ten years since I went on a road trip, so this is a perfect read for my upcoming trip. Pack it up and boost off!

 

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Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life – review

I’m on the tail end of my vacation and I am definitely not ready to get back to work. Last week I visited San Francisco on a week-long road trip down the West coast. It’s been on my fantasy list of places to visit for most of my life. The closest I had ever been prior was a camping trip in the Redwoods 8 years ago and vicariously through my older sister’s high school year book trip. I have a lifetime of pop culture-colored glasses and history stored up in my mind. You’d think that could be the recipe for a major let-down. Reality versus fantasy. The only disappointment I experienced was my lack of time to explore all of the nooks and crannies. I’ll return someday and go on that drag queen historian tour while munching on some savory sourdough! 

Being the super bookworm that I am, I made the requisite pilgrimage to the iconic City Lights Bookstore. Perched on the edge of Chinatown, it occupies an unassuming space. Inside, two floors of bookshelves line hardwood floor with the occasional postcard. Downstairs I found my vacation date (to pair up with the 3-4 other books I brought on the trip ‘cuz you never know what you will be in the mood for on any one day): Wild Mares by Dianna Hunter. 

 

Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life shares author Dianna Hunter’s lesbian farm life and activism from the 1960s-1980s. She acknowledges the vagaries of memory don’t always leave crystal clear recollections; so she checks in with friends, family, correspondence and diary entries, and others to square up details of events. I love memoirs and biographies of queer women. Their everyday lived experiences, activism, and careers captivate me. I guess you could say I’m very nosy, but I think it’s just my appreciation for the countless, and often anonymous folks, whose lives made it a difference for how the world looks today. If not for these kinds of memoirs, I wouldn’t necessarily have heard about certain feminist and queer organizations in Minnesota; lesbian publications like So’s Your Old Lady; and farms with names like Haidiya FarmRising Moon, and Happy Hoofer Farm, products of the back-to-the-land feminist movements. 

Hunter’s memoir pulled me in even more so because she illuminates lesbian community outside of major coastal hubs like Los Angeles and New York. Having grown up in a small county, I enjoy connecting with novels like Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller and author Catherine Friend’s memoir about raising sheep in Minnesota, Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Farm (2006). Ivan Coyote’s storytelling and Lucas Crawford’s poetry collection Sideshow Concessions feature small-town life in Canada. All of these titles are hard to put down and imprint you forever after the final page. If you have any suggestions for lesbian herstory, historical fiction, and queer life in small and rural areas, please let me know in the comments below. I have one related book on the back burner, Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies (2016), edited by Mary L. Gray, Colin R. Johnson, and Brian J. Gilley.  An important project, Country Queers, gathers contemporary stories of queer country life in the United States. 

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Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life by Dianna Hunter
University of Minnesota Press, 2018
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Review – My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall

Image result for elena delle donne book

It’s April and that means the WNBA season is right around the corner. Elena Delle Donne’s (EDD) recently released memoir shares her life on and off the basketball court. EDD, for anyone unfamiliar with the 6″5 forward guard, is an indomitable presence on the floor as a WNBA MVP and gold medal Olympian. My Shot: Balancing it all and Standing Tall reveals personal challenges she faced in finding a healthy balance between basketball and her personal life.

EDD is remarkable off the court, as well. She shares her passions for family; raises awareness and funds for Lyme Disease through her Elena Delle Donne Charitable Foundation; and connects with Special Olympics athletes as a Global Ambassador. Demand Excellence, her personal motto, motivates and sustains EDD through all of life’s challenges. It’s not the same as the mentality that drove her love of basketball and boundaries into the ground. Rather, it’s a key part of the toolkit she uses to enjoy her life to the fullest. As I read, I strongly empathized with the “I Should” mentality. “I should” pursue this career route. “I should” do this and that and if I don’t then I’ve somehow failed others and myself. 

While this memoir is written with young readers in mind, people of any age can connect with EDD’s message of honoring your inner voice and sharing your strengths with the world around you. I’m looking forward to the Washington Mystics, her current WNBA team, having a kick ass season! My 2018 season dream: Seattle Storm vs Washington Mystics in the finals. 

 

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My Shot: Balancing it all and Standing Tall by Elena Delle Donne
Simon & Schuster, 2018

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