A cover reveal, the albums in my rotation, a comforting flavored tea, and a super-viral yarn dyer--it's all below.
Good News First
I have a cover reveal today!
The Midnight Bargain releases on October 13, 2020 from Erehwon Books, and you can check out the cover on themarysue.com!
(I made a jigsaw puzzle of the cover too, if you’ve caught on to the jigsaw puzzle distraction. You can solve it at Jigsawexplorer.com.)
I love this gorgeous cover by Micaela Alciano, and I'm so excited to unveil this story. Watch my twitter for a line-sharing game today!
Events and Appearances
...Well. There were places I was planning on going, but I don't know if I'm going. I'm pretty sure I'm not, and that makes me really sad. But this is what hasn't been cancelled yet:
4th Street Fantasy, Minnesota, June: This is my favorite convention and I look forward to it every year. (please please please let me go to this con I want to see everyone.)
When Words Collide, Calgary, August: we're still playing COVID-chicken with this one. This is my local writer's conference. I don't know a ton of people at this one, but I try to attend every year regardless.
For virtual cons, I'm attending the Nebulas, but not as a panelist or anything. I'm just showing up to get the content and hang out in the room parties. But if you want to talk to me about fantasy romance, I will be on reddit’s r/fantasy on April 20 with Stephanie Burgis, Beth Cato, J. Kathleen Cheney, Jeffe Kennedy, and Quenby Olson!
What's in my pre-order list?
BLACK SUN, by Rebecca Roanhorse
A DESOLATION CALLED PEACE, Arkady Martine
MACHINE, Elizabeth Bear
I am ridiculously excited for all of these books. A brand new series featuring Pre-Columbian Americas with political backbiting in a matriarchal society? The sequel to A Memory Called Empire, where Mahit has to practice diplomacy with a dangerous alien armada? The sequel to Ancestral Night, starring a doctor specializing in treating aliens?
I'm so hyped.
People of Craft - The Blue Brick Yarns
First things first: A warning. These gorgeous yarns are dyed to order, and everyone wants them - if you do too, there will be a beautiful skein ready to surprise you in a few months.
Last year I saw an amazing pattern on Ravelry called Wingspan. I was taken by the design, but the first thing out of my mouth was "that yarn's incredible."
This, for example, is the best rainbow gradient I have ever seen:
A lot of people thought the same thing about Shireen's astonishing gradient yarns. The Blue Brick went super viral as thousands of people rushed the site to order them, and she's been swamped ever since, and I know I'm not helping but if you're a yarn person go have a look!
I have a skein of Muscovy tucked up in my stash, and I have another skein of Apuglia coming my way. I think they'll wind up being scarves that hype up the lovely gradient effect.
What's in my teacup?
On twitter, I asked people to talk about their current or their favorite teas, and my fantastic agent Caitlin talked about S'mores Chai, a flavored pu erh from David's Tea that's sadly no longer available in the USA, but I ordered some from the canadian website.
Oh no. I love it. I enjoy flavored teas, and this one is sweet because of the real chocolate chips and marshmallows in the blend. A little milk and I have a comforting cup that satisfies my sweet tooth.
What's on my Spotify?
So Jealous, Tegan and Sara
I will put Canadian Indie up against all comers. I'm having a throwback moment with local heroes Tegan and Sara - I blame it on my annual rewatch of Grey's Anatomy. But the strummable singalong songs on their early Vapor records breakout are bouncing me through quarantine spring chores.
Pitchfork hated this album when it came out, accusing it of being a haphazard collection of hooks with no substance. Sorry to that reviewer, but all these years later I'm still having a good time with the album's infectious sound. It makes me remember mid-aughts Calgary at a time when the city was becoming more than just a boring oil and gas town, and a return to more cheerful times is what I need right now.
Try out a track: You Wouldn’t Like Me
You and Your Friends, Peach Pit
That Peach Pit album is brand new, and I was so excited to find it after falling so thoroughly for the single, Drop the Guillotine. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to watch this group develop over many more records. Christopher Vanderkooy's nimble guitar power buoys up this music, hooking you in with the melodies and its "if I'm so happy why am I crying" lyrical themes. The tracks are a bit uneven, but I can feel the development between this offering and their debut. Peach Pit was supposed to play in Calgary on the 23rd, and I'm so sad I can't go see them.
Try out a track: You and Your Friends
Ink of the Moment: On twitter, I mentioned some vetiver scented ink. Specifically, I'm using J. Herbin Noir Inspiration, which "takes us on a nocturnal olfactory stroll evoking woody scents smoked with round tobacco, and a subtle union of moss and vetiver."
It's marvelous stuff. Vetiver is my favorite perfume note, and I've imprinted on the scent after writing my bullet journal with it.
Current Pen of Choice: I've always liked a fine line with my fountain pens, and I picked up a Platinum 3776 with an ultra-extra fine gold nib. I had to order it from Japan, but I'm awfully fond of it. Is it toothy? A little. I don't think you can avoid it with a nib this fine. But my curiosity is well satisfied.
Not another Notebook: I was intrigued by the combination ruled and grid paper in Lamy's latest notebook offering. I think it's pretty cool, and I'm glad I checked it out.
Okay I think that's enough newsletter this time! I'll see you next time I have some good news!