Thank you for an incredible year!

Thank you everyone for a truly wonderful year and thank you for bearing with me when my posting schedule became erratic and sometimes subject to change at the drop of a hat. If you are a patron, you will have heard about my grad school application woes, my move from New York back to Ohio, and various other bits of chaos that have kept me from getting reviews out on time. Despite the chaos it’s been a pretty great year in other ways. I completed my conversion to Judaism shortly before I moved back to Ohio and since I’ve moved back I’ve rekindled old friendships and my life feels the least stressful it’s been in the past two years of the pandemic. 

This year has also been a really amazing one for this blog too. I got to work with Miri Castor and Leon Langford again, whose work I love, reviewing the new installment of Miri Castor’s “Opal Charm” series, “Melody of Astronomical Dusk,” and Leon Langford’s new novel “StarLion: Thieves of the Red Night”; classicist and historian Kathryn Stutz shared her expertise as a guest reviewer of “Lady Franklin of Russel Square”; and I just found an incredible amount of new authors and books that I adore, most notable among these being Craig Hurd-McKenney and his series “Some Strange Disturbances” (my beloved) and “The Unfinished Corner” by Dani Colman. 

Looking toward the coming year, there are a number of new things on the horizon. The largest of which being: I am applying to grad school (again) and that will put new constraints on my time should I get in. Therefore, changes are coming to the blog and to my Patreon.

1. Early access is getting earlier! Which means that all patrons will now see reviews and monthly extras a full 48 hours before they are released to the public. This is to give patrons of all tiers something extra, because there is a high likelihood that grad school will force me to change the day of the week the review comes out based on what my schedule is like for any given week/month, which is itself based on what my schedule was like during my time as an undergrad. I want to make sure that early access is, well, properly early. 

2. New, consistent extra content in the shape of quarterly behind the scenes book rec lists. I’m not only just trying to read more in general, but since grad school will be having me read a lot too, and the extra essays have somewhat fallen to the wayside, this felt like a nice way to bring something extra back to the blog. The list will include sections for finished books, books in progress, and, for patrons, books I read, but didn’t like enough to recommend/had major problems with/couldn’t finish. 

These rec lists will be coming out every third month (March, June, September and December) and will release for patrons a full month before they go live for the public. Ex. The first post will go up on Patreon on Friday, December 3rd and release on the blog proper on December 31st. It will compile the books I read, and would recommend to others, from September to November. Any additional books read in December will be included in the March 2021 post. 

3. Reshuffled reward tiers, now featuring physical rewards!

The $1 “Change Jar” tier has not changed. You still get:
1. My eternal thanks.
2. Behind the scenes looks at upcoming reviews, changes to scheduling and glimpses into my chaotic life.
3. Early access to all reviews and essays before they go live on the main blog.
4. Extra Snapchat images that don’t make it into the reviews.

The $3 “Please sir, I want some more” tier has become the $4 “I have opinions” tier. This is the previous $5 tier, but cheaper, that’s it. You get: 
1. Everything from tier 1.
2. Polls to help me decide content for the upcoming months. 

The old $5 “I have opinions” tier has been replaced with a new and exciting $7 tier called “Talk to me.” This tier gives you access to everything from the previous two tiers in addition to a quarterly letter from me with a personalized book recommendation. 

When you back at this level, you will receive a link to a survey about your taste in books. Then, I will use your response to select a book/comic/graphic novel from my collection every three months that I think you might enjoy and write you a letter telling you a little bit about the book. The letters will go out on the same schedule as the book rec posts, with the first letter coming immediately after you back.

The letters will be written on a selection of fun/interesting stationary and will be sealed with wax seals. The increased cost of the tier is to account for the cost of new stationary, sealing wax and postage. I can send letters internationally, as long as your country doesn’t have shipping restrictions due to *gestures vaguely at the state of the world.* 

As always, if you enjoy my reviews, essays and everything else, I would greatly appreciate your support, be that on Patreon or Ko-Fi, so that I can continue to do this. I run this blog because I love reading and I love sharing what I read and learn with others and the more support I receive the more energy I can put toward doing that. To that end, I want to thank recent Ko-Fi donor, Capt Megsy, for the support! Seeing that notification in my email made my day.

Of course, if you aren’t able to donate to my Ko-Fi or back me on Patreon, you aren’t able to. It’s not always feasible, I know that. I certainly don’t want anyone feeling guilty because they can’t support me monetarily. If you regularly interact with my posts, chances are I remember your icon and username and think of you fondly every time you pop up in my notifications. Steady support by way of being a regular reader also means more than I can say.

Knowing that people find enjoyment in what I do makes it worth it, even if I’m making a pittance doing it. And I’m realizing the irony of that statement, knowing that I’m gunning for a career in academia, where I will also make a pittance for sharing my knowledge with others. My theoretical future grad school stipend will literally be half of what I’m making right now, possibly less than half. Ah, well. 

Thank you, once again, for coming with me through 2021. Here’s to an even better 2022!

End of Year Wrap-Up and Looking on to 2020

Having a proper set up for running this blog has been really great this past year and I know I’m not the most interactive content creator out there, but I see everyone liking and commenting and retweeting and I really appreciate every single one of you so much. This definitely feels like my blog’s most successful year and I’m really looking forward to another year of this.

There are going to be a few changes for next year, however. The big one is that extra posts, like other essays and rec lists, are going to become less frequent, unless by some miracle my life circumstances change wildly in January.

To put it simply, I am both starting to hit burn out territory and no longer getting the health care I need to function. The burn out is mostly job and medical stress related, but unfortunately, because of the way life works, it’s my creative endeavors that get impacted the most. But I refuse to abandon this blog or disappear again, so I’m just going to be cutting back a bit so I can be sure that I’m still putting out quality content and you guys aren’t just getting the bottom of the barrel.

This won’t be impacting December’s extra content, I’ve already got that planned, but going forward for 2020 the extra posts will likely be coming either once every two months, or simply whenever I find something neat I want to share. (Remember you can get a sneak peek at upcoming content, among other things, by supporting me on Patreon for just one (1) dollar.)

The book review schedule will not be changing. We’re still going once a month on Wednesdays at 1pm, or whenever WordPress decides to post it. (I always queue it for 1pm EST/EDT, but it doesn’t seem to always go live then).

I will also be doing some revamping of my Patreon at the end of the month for the new year. I’m hoping to add a three dollar tier (maybe to replace the current five dollar tier) and to do some reward rearranging. I don’t think the one dollar tier will change much, if at all, but I’m dissatisfied with the current status of my five dollar tier. I feel like I need to put more work into properly assembling higher tiers.

Thank you all for coming with me on this hodgepodge of a journey. I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season!
~Thomas

New Content and New Patreon Rewards!

There’s new content coming to both this blog and my Patreon!

First: I have reasoned that with some doing I can make two posts per month. The first will be a review or essay of newly written content as I have been doing since this blog began.

The second, will be something either newly written or something already written that is either topical to world events (like my Met Gala post) or something fun and relevant I’ve gotten up to (sort of like the post I made about the Oscar Wilde manuscript I got last Christmas, but a bit more in depth.)

Second: For my two wonderful patrons (and the hopefully many more to come) I have upgraded my two existing tiers!

Supporting me at the 1 dollar tier now gets you, in addition to everything else, early access to blog posts (excluding announcements like these). Every review and essay will be posted on Patreon 24 hours prior to it going live on this blog.

If you’re interested in supporting me at the 5 dollar level, the monthly polls (which will begin once I have patrons at that level) will be joined by monthly photosets of my cat, Christine Daaé, or Beeboo as she’s better known, (also known as Piss to friends and family). While there is no shortage of pictures of her that can be found online via my social media, the images posted to Patreon will be exclusive to Patreon and will not be posted anywhere else.

Hope to see you there!

Christine Daaé aka Beeboo aka Bepis aka Piss

Can the Met Gala successfully pull off camp?

I don’t know.

I like the idea in theory, but camp is such an inherently queer art form that I worry than any cishet attempt is going to be hollow at best and offensive at worst. And some of the things I’ve been hearing don’t inspire confidence.

Regardless of what happens (I won’t be staying up to watch) I have decided that I will drop a short essay on the history of camp later in the week!

It’s an older essay that I wrote in college and it will be posted in addition to this month’s review. Patreon supporters will get access to the essay a day earlier.

Snap Book Reviews now on Patreon!

While I haven’t gotten rid of my Kofi, I figured it was about time I got on Patreon too!

Those who followed me here from Tumblr will probably remember the number of times this blog fell of the face of the earth due to me being too busy with work and school to maintain it. I would really like that to not happen again, because I really enjoy running this blog.

The best way to help me keep this blog up and running is to support me financially through Kofi or Patreon!

What does supporting me on Patreon get you!

Right now there are two tiers: 1 dollar and 5 dollars

  • The 1 dollar tier gets you early access to information about what the upcoming review or essay will be and access to all the Snapchats taken throughout my reading and/or research, instead of just the two or three that get featured in the review!
  • At the 5 dollars level you get all that plus the ability to vote on things I review in the future.

If I get enough support there will be added tiers featuring such things as writer consultation for writing LGBTQ characters and queer history, sensitivity reading, queer history book/research recommendations and more.

This blog was a fun free hobby while I was in college, but as an adult who needs to make ends meet, well if I can make even a little bit of money from the writing I do here, I’ll be happy.

Holidays and The Picture of Dorian Gray!

So I don’t know how many of you saw the news that they had released a limited run edition of the original manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The queer historian in me was delighted and I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, it costs 250 dollars and I just cannot drop half a paycheck on a book. I am but a poor broke millennial, who does not have the funds for that kind of book collecting.

But this post is not going to just be me agonizing over the fact that I couldn’t afford the book myself. Because it’s Christmas and my dad, his wife and my brother all went in to get me:

It’s really amazing guys, like I cannot begin to describe how fucking over the moon I am about this. I haven’t talked a ton about my collection of queer history books, because before this blog was mostly about book reviews. But in doing my thesis on queer identity and my capstone on queer history, I have amassed quite the collection, (I have an entire floor to ceiling bookshelf that’s all queer literature, fiction and nonfiction.) and this is basically now the crown jewel of that collection.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful and safe holiday season that wasn’t overwhelmed with awful family member.

Remember, queer folks that have to present as cis and straight for the holidays are stronger than any U.S. Marine.

The same old, same old and the brand new.

Tumblr may be dying, but I am not! And frankly I’ve needed to make this blog actually professional for a while now.

Welcome, my new followers and old if there are any of you who have followed from Tumblr! 

This post is going to establish my plans for this blog moving forward. I was pretty negligent of this blog for my last year plus of school and by pretty I mean very. I would remember to get on and reblog  things  sometimes, but…. not  often  enough. But I’ve been out of school for six months and need sell myself like the product that capitalism wants me to be.

So what am I doing now?

There will be:

  • New book reviews or essays every month. 
    • I can’t promise a consistent day each month, because it’s really going to depend on what I get done, because I don’t have a stable schedule right now and have next to no free time.
  • Essays! 

Thanks so much for being here! And I hope you continue to enjoy what I do! If you are able, consider buying me a coffee, because money is actually really conducive to me having more free time to write and read.