May was another good month despite starting with the finale of Line of Duty, which was being far too close a reflection of the real world than I generally look for in my “I’m watching this because I want the bad guys to get what’s coming to them” shows. It wasn’t a bad ending at all, it just rang so dispiritingly true that it left me feeling completely deflated because what I’d been hoping for was some “the good guys win and all is right with the world” escapism. However Netflix had my back on the escapism front, having released season one of Shadow and Bone at the end of April so I had something else to dive into which did not disappoint.
Based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books (this first season covering the first book of the Shadow and Bone trilogy worked through with a prequel to the Six of Crows duology) this is a fantasy series that has its foundations in Imperial Russia and is big, bold and intensely magical. The set and aesthetic is delightful and I zipped through all eight episodes in a couple of evenings. Whilst I have read the Shadow and Bone trilogy I haven’t read Six of Crows and that didn’t spoil my enjoyment in the slightest, in fact I’m teetering on the edge of using some of my remaining audible credits to get my hands on it so that I don’t break the rules of my A Year of Reading Frugally challenge. That said, I do wonder what impression you’d get if you watch the series without having read at least the first book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy first.
In more domestic news my house has now been properly spring cleaned, including the gentle eviction of several spider families into the garage (where I can cope with them making their webs and scuttling about the place), and I feel much more positive about everything as a result. My brain really does prefer tidy and aesthetically pleasing surroundings and although it hasn’t stopped the brain weasels altogether it has helped lull them into a level of serenity that makes each day much more bearable. Now it’s the turn of the garden to get my full attention, which it desperately needs.
Writing-wise my story-a-month challenge fell out of my fingertips as an almost fully formed piece of flash fiction, thanks to a prompt that resonated in exactly the right way with a half formed idea that had been bobbing about in the back of my mind for half a year or so. Since I haven’t shared a huge amount of my original fiction on this blog I had almost decided to post it here and so spent a day editing, shaping and polishing until it was fit for eyes other than my own. At which point I had a quick browse through my twitter timeline and what should appear in front of my wondering eyes but a tweet from a lit mag I’d been following for a while asking for submissions on the very topic of my story. So that particular piece of flash isn’t going to be appearing on here for a while (if at all) and I’ve now got four different pieces out with various anthologies and magazines and all my toes and fingers crossed!