Morning fellow Frivolous!
Before we get started, one thing to ANNOUNCE! Our first podcast drops on Friday (i.e. in 2 days). It's my conversation with the wonderful Shingai Njeri Kagunda who's written several short stories, one of which is & This is How to Stay Alive, a novella up for FIYAHLit's Ignyte Award this year.
We talk about Western versus Non-Western storytelling, demonstrating the power of fiction in dismantling the effects of colonization, and she shares her insights on how to persevere as an aspiring writer. I think you'll enjoy the conversation as much as I did having it and learning from Shingai.
Keep an eye out on Instagram as well for the link on Friday and spread the word!
Obligatory Space Images from JWST
How could we not? The James Webb Space Telescope has generated images with stunning amount of detail. At risk of being too much of a nerd, my interest veered towards the atmosphere composition of WASP-96 B, a hot gas giant, and the evidence of water and clouds.
Reading more broadly
I came across Arley Sorg's essay in Uncanny Magazine talking about how we as readers, critics, reviewers, or editors can miss things in the stories we read. He punctuates his essay with excerpts from stories to highlight what nuances have gone into writing those words. And rightly, there are experiences that we as the reader may have very little familiarity with.
It's one reason why I've not written anything about Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, or Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark. Both stories unfold layers of experience and emotion and history which I'm not familiar with. But by reading these, I'm able to pause a bit longer and deliberate before responding, if a response is even necessary.
But as Sorg suggests, the way to fill in those gaps, is to read more of what one's not familiar with, to capture the wide array of experiences even within a single group.
Midnight Diner (on Netflix)
This show is nothing like much of what's on TV. It reminds me of the drama version of slow TV. The premise of each episode, and the full season arc, is to introduce people and their relationships to each other while in the diner, as well as their individual life stories. The way it's crafted is like a cup of warm tea on a rainy afternoon.
These kinds of shows have a special place for me; they are bound to one or two physical places, focus entirely on the characters and the relationships, and unfold a larger arc and theme over conversation. The closest other show that I really enjoyed was the original In Treatment with Gabriel Byrne.
A slightly expanded scope, but still character-driven would be Babylon 5, although the space station itself is large enough to influence the character stories more than the others.