Three Things Thursday: The Beginning
In an attempt to get back into something of a blogging routine, I’m going to start a feature I call Three Things Thursday. Each Thursday, I’ll check in about three things (see how clever that title is?) I’ve read, watched, written, or done during the week.*
*Thursday probably meaning early Friday morning most weeks, because I am me.
For this week, I’m breaking them into categories:
I’ve been rereading Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse trilogy this week, partially for pleasure and partially for a study in craft. Part of what I love about Rutkoski’s writing in this series is the way it manages to create such an intimate tone in a sprawling world. It would be easy for a series that confronts questions of colonialism, rebellion, and war to get swept away by the sprawl of worldbuilding, but the story stays tethered to Kestrel and Arin, using the world in which they live to illuminate their choices, and vice versa. For my money, the series also makes the way the characters challenge each other more interesting than their love for one another, which is a useful feat. (Especially since the ever-shifting power dynamics of their relationship often make it a challenge to see them as being on equal enough footing to make a romantic relationship viable.)
(CW: Sexual assault) (Also: minor spoilers.)
If you’re not watching MTV’s Sweet/Vicious, you should change that. The series follows two college girls who team up to take revenge on the accused rapists at their university, and while the vigilante angle seems ripe for exploitation, it actually leads to some fascinating explorations of power. It is not an easy show to watch, often; scenes depicting rape and sexual assault appear in many episodes. For me, however, some of the most challenging scenes are those without physical violence: those in which Jules, one of the two main characters, is forced to make small talk with her rapist as if nothing happened between them can be immensely affecting. Moreover, the scene in which Jules reveals her story to her best friend only to be turned away is perhaps one of the most brutal and heartbreaking I’ve encountered in a long time.
But despite the difficulty of watching these scenes, which has put me off of many lesser shows, the grace of this series is in its foregrounding of the women’s stories. The show offers a voice—many voices, in point of fact—to survivors of sexual assault, and directly tackles the issue of rape culture on college campuses. (I will not pretend that the show does this perfectly, but I’ll leave it to those better qualified to critique the show’s particular strengths and weaknesses in this area.) And somehow, in the midst of it all, it ends up being pretty funny, too. Worth your time, if you can manage it.
Now that life has settled down a bit, I’ve gotten back into a solid writing routine. After finishing a draft of a contemporary novel last week, I’ve moved on to tinkering with a project I’ve been rolling around in my head for a while: a fantasy novel I’ve taken to calling Ship Book because, well, it mostly takes place on a ship. I probably won’t say much more about it until after it’s done, because that is my way, but for now, have a couple sentences:
See? Ship Book. If nothing else, this post proves I am excellent and literal when it comes to naming things.
Bonus Round: What I Read This Week
- Joyride Vol. 1 by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
- Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
- The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
- The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
- Archie Vol. 1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples