Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.
This week I got to experience a new kind of kitchen triumph! A while ago, I planted some pumpkin seeds…
…that turned into big pumpkin vines…
…that grew some tiny pumpkins, which I then harvested…
…and made into soup!
The soup was fantastic. If you want the recipe, I’ll be sharing it with the Stone Soup Supper Club for October! Subscribe now to get it in your inbox!
The Trauma Between Us by Meg Elison
Meg Elison wrote this powerful piece on what it means to write about trauma when people close to you also experienced it:
My brother, coward though he is, using an interlocutor though he does, has some right to his anger. His orbit was my orbit, before we got flung out to the far reaches of space. He remembers the same things I do. He says “how dare she” and he says, “that was my life, too”. [...] He is angry with me for writing the story I wrote because it’s easier than being angry with our parents for making the story true.
The Vampire Slayer #6 is in stores now!
In the latest issue of The Vampire Slayer, Spike and Xander grow closer than ever – and Willow confronts Spike at last amid a sea of dark portents. Go check out the preview and pick up the issue at your local comic shop!
Did you think I was done finding word games to use as coping mechanisms? Think again! Squaredle is a word search game with a shockingly excellent design that offers a unique combination of expansiveness and satisfying resolution. It has absorbed most of my brain. I think you’ll like it, too.
Imagining the Real World by Rae Mariz
Check out this essay from Rae Mariz about the real world, imagination, and how there’s not that much difference between the two:
Often times speculative fiction is dismissed as escapist literature, which, hell yeah, it is. We’re reading for escape. We’re looking for ways to get ourselves the fuck outta here. People invoke “the real world” to shut down dreamers. The real world is given this solemn weight, and imagination is referred to like it’s a flighty, wispy thing rendered in hazy pinks. A frivolous pastime. Silly. Unrealistic. Something for kids. Not part of the real world.
I got to interview Victor Manibo about his debut science fiction novel, The Sleepless.
This story grew out of a what-if question I asked myself during a particularly busy time in my life. What if I didn’t need to sleep? Would I get more stuff done? How would such a change impact me, personally? The thought experiment was hard to contain to the individual level, and when I expanded the what-if to the world at large, it really raised some interesting questions. That’s when I felt like I needed to write it all out.
Read the whole thing here!
Visit a Neighbor: The Share by Stephanie Grant
Stephanie Grant, an Atlanta based journalist, writer, and storyteller, writes about beer, cocktails, food, and the Black women who create them.
I’m Reading: The Herd by Andrea Bartz
As CEO of the Herd, an elite women-only coworking space, Eleanor Walsh seems to have it all: close friends, a sweet husband, and the most glamorous and successful female-empowerment-based company in New York City. Then she vanishes on the night of a glitzy press conference – and the police suspect foul play.
For Hana, the head of PR for the Herd and Eleanor's best friend, this is a nightmare. For Hana's sister, Katie, a journalist, this is the story that will make her career. But when the sisters launch their own investigation and begin to learn what Eleanor was hiding, they must also face the secrets they've been keeping from each other--and confront just how dangerous it can be when women's perfect veneers start to crack.
Featured New Release: The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang
It’s an old, familiar story: a young person hears the voice of an angel saying they have been chosen as a warrior to lead their people to victory in a holy war.
But Misery Nomaki (she/they) knows they are a fraud.
Raised on a remote moon colony, they don’t believe in any kind of god. Their angel is a delusion, brought on by hereditary space exposure. Yet their survival banks on mastering the holy mech they are supposedly destined for, and convincing the Emperor of the Faithful that they are the real deal.
The deeper they get into their charade, however, the more they start to doubt their convictions. What if this, all of it, is real?
Add The Genesis of Misery to your tbr here. Order it from your local independent bookseller, or order it via Bookshop.org to support independent booksellers throughout the US and the UK. For international shipping, you can try Barnes & Noble. If you prefer audiobooks, here’s a Libro.fm link. You can also request The Genesis of Misery from your local library — here’s how to get in touch with them. And if you need to order from the Bad River Website, here’s a link that will leverage your order for good.
Featured New Release: Big Bad by Lily Anderson
Step into this alternate reality, where chaos reigns supreme. The Mayor’s sun-shade has created permanent darkness over Sunnydale, fully opening the Hellmouth once and for all. Now the newly christened Demondale has become a safe haven for vampires, beasts, and all types of ruffians. It's never been better to be bad.
Aspiring supervillains (and super nerds) Jonathan and Andrew attempt to hold their own in a town full of monsters, while three-hundred-year-old vengeance demon Anya is just looking for something to give her life purpose again, spending her days working at an evil juice bar. But soon word gets out that there’s a new Big Bad on the scene, one more powerful and more destructive than anyone who has come before. She, of course, is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And she’s hell-bent on rooting out all of this reality's evil by any means necessary.
Now Jonathan, Andrew, and Anya must recruit a team of Demondale’s most notorious villains — including Angelus, Spike, Drusilla, and even Ripper the malevolent magic shop owner — in order to save their world. But it’ll be no easy feat to put their pride and differences aside and stop the worst thing that has ever come to town: good.
Add Big Bad to your tbr here. Order it from your local independent bookseller, or order it via Bookshop.org to support independent booksellers throughout the US and the UK. For international shipping, you can try Barnes & Noble. If you prefer audiobooks, here’s a Libro.fm link. You can also request Big Bad from your local library — here’s how to get in touch with them. And if you need to order from the Bad River Website, here’s a link that will leverage your order for good.
Kitten Cat Update
This week the kittens, who are now Grown Up Cats, went to the vet for a checkup. Bert befriended everyone he met and Calamity had no interest in knowing any of them. The headline of this visit is that we found out how much they weigh now that they’re (probably) (mostly) finished growing. Calamity came in at 9.5 lbs, and Bert came in at 15.5 lbs. The vet diagnosed him as “a real big guy” and did not indicate whether anything could be done to make him stop touching my desk crab..
If you’re a paying subscriber, come by the Stone Soup Supper Club for our weekly chat! I can’t wait to find out how you’re doing.