December 2023: Glitter and Velvet

December 2023: Glitter and Velvet

Hello pals!

Important news: Tinyletter’s parent company Mailchimp have decided to close Tinyletter, which feels like the end of an internet era. Therefore, this newsletter will be moving to my website. You should automatically be transferred over and as always you’re welcome to unsubscribe anytime if you no longer want to receive Soft Light Slow. Apologies, as that may mean you get this month’s newsletter from both Tinyletter and WordPress.

I’m so pleased to share Haunted Hallways was successfully fully funded and will be published in October 2024. More exciting secret things have been happening behind the scenes for hijinks on the high seas novel.
I’ve also starting working slowly on something new: a theme park horror novel set between the 1980s and 1990s. It’s about the beautiful nightmare of capitalist consumption, sisterhood, and the joy and toxicity of teenage friendships. Here’s a taster of the aesthetic:

80s aesthet


This month’s reading is probably the year’s most eclectic.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
I think the atmospher of Garland’s film adaptation (of which I was a fan prior to reading the book) captures the style of VanderMeer’s novel well. Our narrator is an unnamed biologist who is part of an expert team of women sent into the enigmatic Area X. The previous expeditions have ended in bizarre tragedies, but the narrator is harbouring a secret: her husband was on one of the previous missions and came back – wrong. It’s a surreal story with lush prose and uncanny imagery.

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
Baby One More Time was one of the first songs I remember hearing on the radio and I’ve been a Britney fan ever since. Coming of age in the 00s was a difficult experience and reflecting back on the cruelty around mental health and the misogynistic framework of so many cultural conversations at the time was fascinating andcathartic. The clear-eyed level-headedness in Spears’ writing and the grace with which she reflects on the past were really striking and I was glad to hear it in her own words after she was silenced for so long. I listened to the audiobook, deftly read by Michelle Williams with the introduction by the author herself.

Emma by Jane Austen
This one is a beloved regular re-read and my favourite Austen novel. My fiance hadn’t read it, despite seeing countless adaptations, so we’ve been reading it together – or rather I’ve been reading it aloud to him. It’s terribly fun for me and I think one of the liveliest ways to read Austen. For those unfamiliar, the story follows Emma Woodhouse as she meddles in the personal lives of her social circle to much heartbreak and hilarity. It’s incredibly funny, with some of the sharpest retorts, comedies of error, and excellent romantic speeches.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
I had the pleasure of Andy Serkis reading this beast of a fantasy classic to me. I associate this time of year with The Lord of the Rings and it was fun to compare the film adaptations with the source material. I enjoy how much Tolkien is a fan of logistics and getting lost in the detail of his world-building. This makes for excellent bedtime or bathtime reading (perhaps slightly sped-up) and I was thoroughly whisked away on the advneture.

Botanical Curses and Poisons: The Shadow-Lives of Plants by Fez Inkwright
One of my WIPs features botanical poisons and since becoming more actively interested in all things witchy and occult, I’ve been particuarly interested in herblore. This is a brief history and alphabetical index of a selection of plants and their uses, predominantly when used for harm. It was less narrative than I prefer in my non-fiction but I found the historical anecdotes intriguing and it was certainly educational.

Til next year stay soft light slow,
Kat x

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