60 Books In 2019 #9: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society By Mary Ann Shaffer

Last year, Netflix distributed a movie of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society which I watched as it starred Lily James and I adore her. (Lady Rose for the win!) Then it turned out that Jessica Brown Findley was also in it, and Penelope Walton and my Downton Abbey obsessed brain exploded.

The movie was cute and breezy, even if it dealt with some dark things (German occupation and British post war depression,) and I kept meaning to pick up the book and read it, because I found the movie so completely charming, so I dove into the book full force.

I found the book even more charming, if you can believe it! It’s a book about people who love books! It’s very British, and post war! It’s epistolary! More books should be epistolary, it’s such a delightful writing device.

Epistolary means that the story is told through letters and notes, and it was used a lot in the 18th century and isn’t used much anymore, and it should be, because it’s wonderful. My favorite modern version is a trilogy that Meg Cabot wrote in the early 2000s that uses emails. The Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl and Every Boy’s Got One. 10/10 highly recommend it.

Anyway, back to Guernsey, which tells the story of a writer named Juliet who stumbles upon the story of a small island in the English Channel that was occupied by the Nazis during World War II and finds herself drawn to the people there. A small group resisted by forming a book club, and one of their number was eventually arrested and died in a concentration camp. Juliet decides to tell her story.

That’s pretty heavy stuff, but the epistolary nature of the book as well as the “stepping out of the darkness of the war into the light of possibility” timing of the story keeps things breezy. It’s only upon reflection that you realize the horrors this book is communicating. That’s good writing.

Once again, I think this is a book that I’m going to have to buy a copy of at some point, because I see it becoming one that I’ll read again and again.

Up next is Throne Of Glass by Sarah Maas, I’m interested in picking up this series, which Maggie over at Magpie Making Due is very into. (Maggie and I align on many things, so I trust that it’s pretty up my alley.) (Seriously, we’ve been trading recomendations for nearly a decade, she hasn’t steered me wrong.) (Also, we both hate Outlander.) 

45 Books in 2018 #33: Different Seasons By Stephen King

Last week when I talked about how I was coming to love Stephen King’s formula, I meant it, I really am.

But this week, as I read through the four novellas that make up Different Seasons (Two, stone cold classic stories that I basically knew by heart, another other also very very good and a fourth that’s…well…) I realized the aspect of his writing that I fell so deeply in love with last year.

I love when this man tells stories that are about stories. God, I love it a lot. All of the stories in Different Seasons are about stories.

Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption is held up as possible the best thing King’s ever written and for good reason. It’s incredible, like a warm hug of words, all hope and lights shining in the darkness, artful and straightforward and strong. And it’s a folk tale for a modern age. Andy Dufresne (A name I can’t even think in my own voice, only Morgan Freeman’s soothing baritone.) isn’t a man he’s a myth, some outsized figure who made day to day life in Shawshank interesting for the other prisoners.

Apt Pupil is a shudderingly intense portrait of the way stories and history linger as ghosts, an intimate and horrifying story of evil, the true human kind of evil, not the boogey men and demons King is normally talking about, and the cancer that it is, the legacy of it, and how it can twist and infect, even through the slightest crack in a window. I really enjoyed reading that story and will likely never touch it again, because, it’s uncomfortable.

Then there’s The Body, the first King story I ever fell in love with before I even knew it was Stephen King and it was called Stand By Me, like Shawshank this one has voices attached to it, Richard Dreyfuss, and Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix. (And Jerry O’Connell and Corey Feldman too…) and the way The Body deals with memory, and puberty and growing up and tragedy is so wonderful. “I never had any friends again like the ones I had when I was twelve, Jesus, does anyone?”

The Breathing Method is literally about a magical storytelling club. It’s also not particularly good, but still, 3/4 of the stories in this collection being amazing makes up for that and it fits in well with this being a collection of stories about stories.

Anyway, I liked this and it was a good way to sustain my new Stephen King project. (Which will likely wax and wane…unlike the Vonnegut Project, I don’t really have an outside force pushing me to get on with it, so I’ll be checking in.)

Up next…ummm…well…I know I said I wasn’t doing any repeats this year…but…well…

Look, I’m reading The Dark Tower again, OK? I’m already halfway through The Drawing Of Three, and it’s perfect and amazing and even better the second time around. I’ve decided I’m only counting it as one book though, since it’s a reread and counting it as 7 would be kind of a cheat.

See you around…but not if I see you first.

Getting Snobby: A Rant

I try really hard to not judge other people’s taste in things. I also try not to hate on things, because making things is hard, getting things out into the world is even harder, (Check out The Marina Chronicle! New Entries every Thursday morning!)  and maybe your thing just isn’t for me. Also, walking around looking for shit to hate is exhausting, it’s much easier to just avoid things you don’t like. It’s not always possible and sometimes, things are unavoidable.

And oh boy, has it been tough this week on the unavoidable front.

I mentioned my myriad of issues with Ready Player Onethis book was very deeply, not for me in a lot of ways, which is fine, except for that I am, at the moment, feeling alone in that. Not in my web life, where my feminist nerd circles are happy to rant against it’s bro-ey fantasy fulfillment, it’s trash fire female characters and it’s tediously bad writing, But my real life, that’s different. Someone recently asked for book recommendations on facebook, and knowing this person’s taste I recommended Crazy Rich Asians, (But also like everyone, read Crazy Rich Asians.) There then proceeded to be about 10 people, who’s taste I generally respect and overlap with, recommending Ready Player One, which among other things, I don’t think this person will like, but you know what, it’s her call.

With books I have to be really careful, because people tend to tell me that I’m asking people to take it as seriously as I do. But I just want to scream, that no! That’s not it! I think the thing is bad! And yes, I do take it seriously, because I want to be a writer and I studied literature for a long time, and maybe you should listen to me when I say a book is bad, because like, I know what I’m talking about! I have a diploma and everything.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t bad books that I love. (Twilight…and…well, mostly Twilight.) But I know that bad things I like are bad. I cop to it. I don’t go around telling everyone they’re great.

Also, on Saturday, I met an adorable 16 year old theater kid on the train to NYC. I’m always happy when I meet teenage theater geeks, and I want to hug them and tell them: YES! EXIST! ENJOY THIS TIME IN YOUR LIFE! IT WILL NOT LAST BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOK BACK ON IT FONDLY! She was obsessed with The Great Comet, (I really liked this kid!) and was on her way to see Hello Dolly! because to use her words, “OMG Bernadette! Right?” We touched on Dear Evan Hansen, which she loved but felt didn’t deserve it’s win over The Great Comet (AGREED)

I managed to keep this rant in. Even more than judging people’s reading and watching habits, I don’t judge people for liking bad music. I have terrible taste in music. I think The Backstreet Boys should be considered high art. I adore ABBA, and own, not I’ve downloaded to stream, paid actual money for all of Katy Perry’s albums.

But that’s not the case when it comes to showtunes. Oh sure, I like my share of trash and mediocrity. (The Pirate Queen, table for 1!) But generally, I know bad when I hear it, versus knowing when something is just not my thing. (To use one composer as an example: Elton John. Lestat: The Musical, bad. Billy Eliot, excellent, not to my taste.)

And now we get to Pasek and Paul.

Sigh.

I don’t like them. I don’t think they’re particularly good. They’re fine. The do serviceable work. I thought as a cohesive whole, La La Land was spectacular. But I remember next to nothing about it’s songs, it’s the strong visuals and good performances that made that movie. Not the songs. A Christmas Story is a serviceable musical with again, no real memorable songs. And then there are the big two. Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman.

None of these songs are great musical theater songs, except maybe “Waving Through The Window,” and “You Will Be Found.” The rest are vapid, derivative, predictable with next to no lyrical depth or anything interesting going on musically. They also wrote that horrendous “Running To You” song from The Flash musical, which following after Rachel Bloom’s delightful, “I’m Your Super Friend,” was particularly egregious and all of the dumb mushy duets from Smash season 2. (Ok, fine I listen to “Heart Shaped Wreckage” and “Rewrite This Story” a lot but only because Jeremy Jordan’s voice is from God, and “Original” is still mega dumb.)

And why does this annoy me so much? So some guys made some dumb, derivative, commercial art, so what?

I wouldn’t care, except for that their dumb derivative commercial art is being talked about and rewarded over actually good masterful art in the same genre.

Look, I get it, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t exactly hurting for prestige, but I still burns me that fricking “City of Stars,” beat “How Far I’ll Go” for Best Song. And it really really burns me that The Great Comet and Come From Away lost out on Tony’s to a stupid vapid pop musical with dumb bad songs. And it really really super burns me that because of timing and this inexplicable prestige of theirs, that they’re always going to be mentioned alongside one of the greatest musical theater composers of all time (Miranda) and the pop musical composers we should be talking about instead (Sarah Barielles and The Lopezes) and are getting mainstream attention that could be going to someone who the mainstream hasn’t found yet and might be better than all of the aforementioned people. (RACHEL BLOOM! RACHEL BLOOM! RACHEL BLOOM!) 

Anyway, all of this was just a roundabout way of saying that instead of Ready Player One people should read Crazy Rich Asians, and instead of doing literally anything else, people should watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

30 Books In 2018 #13: Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

It started when I read Salinger. I didn’t know how to describe it then, I was in high school, like most everyone is when they read The Catcher In The Rye. I couldn’t describe why, but I didn’t like it.

It rubbed me the wrong way, all that internal angst, all that, “the world is on my shoulders and no one sees,” and “no other person has ever felt this ever,” just made me angry, not like I was understood at all. In college, I learned to voice it and it’s a term that I’ve used explain my dislike for a certain branch of light literary fiction, “I have no patience for adolescent male jackassery.”

Call Me By Your Name is beautifully written, and genuinely wrought with feeling. It’s also full to the gills with adolescent male jackassery. It’s queer jackassery, and very European, so it’s different, but I see you Elio, I see your longing sighs and over dramatic explanations of your lust, and I sigh and think, “we get it.”

Maybe I’m too Irish-American, too New England, too middle class. Maybe I’m too proud of myself for crawling out of my own butt to see the sun and the wonder of the world around me outside of my bubble of depression and “deep feeling.” But I can only take so much of lounging around talking about ennui and lust before I have to put my kindle down, make a cup of tea and do something. 

Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful book, that I know spoke to many people, and the film more so (I’m seeing it next week with Crystan, so not by my Oscar deadline, sadly), but seriously, y’all, it’s not my thing, I’ve known it wasn’t my thing since I was seventeen and I need to stop trying to make it my thing, because intelligent people who I respect happen to hold it as theirs.

I’m not a lit student anymore, though I miss elements of that (and frankly, Elio and Oliver making jokes about the classic together absolutely killed me, I miss that sort of thing.) there are good reasons I didn’t go into academia, but I deeply miss having that base line of understanding with the people I talk to daily. I miss reading the same books and arguing about what they say.

That’s the magic that this book gave me, it was just hard to get through because it engaged in so many of my least favorite writing tricks. And I am looking forward to the movie, because this is the kind of story that I digest much better in film, probably because I have to be less immersed in it.

Up next is Middlemarch by George Elliot for The Epics Project! It was supposed to be David Copperfield but then I realized that for Women’s History Month, I should read something written by a woman!

30 Books in 2018: #1 The Kingkiller Chronicles Book 1: The Name of The Wind

Hi all!

I’m doing the Goodreads challenge for 2018, and I’ve committed to 30 books. I’d have done more, but since my 2018 reading project is an epic novel every month and those generally take a while to read, I figured adding 2 more books per month, attached to that 12 was a good way to still challenge myself.

As a way to keep myself honest (and keep some updates going here! Hooray!) I figured that I’d write up a bit about my thoughts on each book.

First up! The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which is the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicles, which I first got wind of because there’s a TV show in development (or was? I dunno) that has Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to write the music. Since I am at a point in my cultural consumption where if someone said, “Hey! Lin-Manuel Miranda is walking off that cliff,” I’d do it, here we are!

As for the book…I liked it a lot. It’s beautifully written, full of lovely passages and interesting turns of phrase, and it’s even a different take on epic fantasy, focusing on a storyteller who works his way to become a magician and eventually (I would assume) a hero, and a killer of kings? (He has not yet killed a king, but I imagine it must happen at some point in the story…)

I generally liked the protagonist, Kvothe, and while it appears a large portion of the story will revolve around his love of a woman named Denna, I’m not as interested in that portion of the story. Which is really unusual for me, as you all know, I often focus on the love story of a thing, sometimes to the detriment of noticing other things about it.

And it’s for a really simple reason, because the story is told from Kvothe’s perspective, and he’s idealized her, I find myself rolling my eyes a lot. But there was one passage in particular that really, really bugged me.

There’s a lot of talk, as it’s the first book and Kvothe is in his teens for the main action, about how he doesn’t understand women. Which is fine, he doesn’t, and frankly, most of the women he encounters, besides Denna get treated as full people. (Not always the case in genre fiction penned by men about men.) But there’s one passage where another one of Denna’s lovers and Kvothe discuss the way she lives her life. There’s no judgement there (the fact that she’s not a virgin nor is anyone trying to “save a fallen woman” is also refreshing) and they discuss that other women hate her because she’s not like other women.

My eyes nearly got stuck in the back of my head.

If there were ever a narrative short cut for isolating a female character I’ve hated more than “she’s not like other girls,” I can’t think of it.

That is not, in my experience, how female relationships work. Women, as a whole, tend to only be set against each other like that when men pit them that way. Left to our own devices, we’ll circle the wagons and protect one another, even when we don’t particularly get along. (Why do you think so many women loved Big Little Lies so much. That was like, the entire point of that book and show!)

But other than this tiny annoyance, I really liked the book and I look forward to book 2, which I will be reading when I finish War And Peace, which is the first epic I’m tackling.

I like Kvothe, I particularly like the framing device of him telling his life story, with his mysterious faerie companion, Bast, and a character known as Chronicler. And Rothfuss is clearly a very good writer, I can put up with some little bits of casual misogyny for a good turn of phrase. (Seriously, Sorkin in my favorite writer.) (I also realize this makes me part of the problem)

And if there are many more nuggets in this series as good as the one below, I’ll be fine:

The three boys, one dark, one light, and one—for lack of a better word—fiery, do not notice the night. Perhaps some part of them does, but they are young, and drunk, and busy knowing deep in their hearts that they will never grow old or die.

That’s really beautiful. Just, stunningly constructed.

Marina

Her name is Marina Sanpierre.

She is a psychic. She is about seventeen years old. She nursed a long crush on a boy who chose somebody else, and she is mostly OK with it. She has long dark hair, brown eyes and brown skin. She is royalty, or at least royalty adjacent. She is not a fighter, though most of her friends are. She is a born diplomat. She is lonely. She is quiet. She is trained as a healer of some kind.

She has been with me since I was 14 years old, and I have never found the right way to tell a story about her, or even decided what kind of world I wanted her in. Every time I start a new story, though, no matter the genre, Marina finds her way in.

Marina has shown up in space operas.

Marina has shown up as a magical girl.

Marina has shown up as an eerily prescient cheerleader in realistic YA.

Marina has shown up in that Jimmy Buffett Jukebox musical I wrote half as a joke. (Swept away in a harddrive crash unfortunately. It was actually pretty OK.) She sang, “Banana Republics,” she was going to be an alto.

Marina has shown up in epic fantasy. (This is by the way, where she fits in the best, and where she is best developed.)

I think it’s time for me to make Marina the main character in something, which is why I’m announcing this. It’s the epic fantasy, or part of it, it’s the world that I’ve been playing in since I was 16. It’s called Cammadan. There’s a missing princess, a handsome knight who loves her, an evil wizard tyrant, and there’s Marina.

This is her diary. My goal is to update at least once a week, I have the first few weeks banked so that everything keeps moving. We’ll see how it goes. I’m nervous because this character has been with me for so long, and I’m protective of her, and also, this is the first time I’m putting fiction, not of the “fan” variety out into the world since high school, and high school lit mags and creative writing class don’t really count.

Anyway, the description above pretty much covers who Marina is, although I’m starting her diary at fifteen rather than seventeen for a lot of reasons, but I’m hoping to cover a lot of the events I’ve plotted, written and rewritten but never been happy with for the past fifteen or so years. I know a lot about Cammadan, a lot about more about this girl and she’s still surprising me.

I’m ready for the world to meet her and to know Cammadan a little. The first post goes up tomorrow, and every Thursday after that, until it’s run it’s course.

Summer Reading

Hi everyone!

As the summer kicks off, I’m reminded of library summer reading programs. You know, you would get a sticker or whatever for every book you read?

Anyway, I’ve decided to give myself some reading goals so that I don’t wind up floundering and not reading much, as sometimes happens when I get busy.

  • The Vonnegut Project continues in earnest. This weekend I read (reread actually) Slapstick. Not my favorite (Mother Night has inched up on Cat’s Cradle though.) but nice to revisit. I’ve really enjoyed this project so far, and still heartily enjoying Kurt Vonneguys. Right now, I’m reading Jailbird, and then Palm Sunday. Jailbird, I’m enjoying, it actually remind me a lot of Mother Night, just in style and structure.

Cinder

  • The Lunar Chronicles: A series that I never managed to pick up, but I read Cinder about a month ago and really, really enjoyed it, so I’m onto Scarlet now. I’m invested in the story, at the very least, and I do love re contextualized fairy tales. And badass female heroes, and villains for that matter. Plus teenagers doing magic. Seriously, I don’t know how I haven’t read these books before, they have everything I like. I finished up Scarlet on Saturday night, and I’m looking forward to Cress. I should note, that I picked up Cinder on Kristi’s recommendation. So, thanks!
  • The Dark Tower: I finished The Gunslinger before picking up Slapstick. Mostly I wanted some basis of understanding of the world and story before the movie comes out, and I really, really enjoyed it. I’ve also never really read much Steven King before (see, horror, not my thing…) so I figure this is as good a gateway as anything into his stuff. Also, the movie looks, really, really good, just on it’s own, so, I’m in on this. I read The Drawing Of The Three yesterday and while it felt a little bit less epic than The Gunslinger I’m interested in watching this world expand out as I keep going. (My friend Greg has said that Wizard And Glass might be his favorite book ever…Greg and I tend to align on things. So looking forward to that.)

That’s the plan for now. Right now, I’m looking to alternate between Lunar Chronicles and Dark Tower books (with a Vonnegut here and there to keep up with podcast) to avoid falling to deeply into either worlds. With Game of Thrones coming back, my day job morphing again, and finally starting to look for my own place (that’s it’s own post when things are a little more solid) I can’t really afford, time wise, a full on new fandom.

We don’t need a repeat of the summer of A Song Of Ice And Fire, The Hunger Games and Mad Men and not just because of the complete loss of faith in humanity brought on by that binge. (If you’re wondering how to cure it, I recommend visits to Middle Earth and Narnia) But, yeah, I’m tired and busy and can’t fully invest theses day

I’m using Goodreads to keep myself honest and on task. Connect with me if you’re on the service! And recommend other series for me to take on. Or just books. In particular, something a little more feminine? Lunar Chronicles is doing it for now, but that’ll run out soon and while I’m really enjoying both The Vonnegut Project and The Dark Tower, they’re really, really, male. Not in a bad way, just like, I need to balance the dudely energy a little bit.

Happy Summer Reading!

NaNoWriMo 2016: The Big Choice

Hey everyone, it’s time for the writing marathon to end all writing marathons. I started taking part in NaNoWriMo events in July of 2008, I wrote a very poorly thought out and super derivative romantic comedy about a bunch of 25 year olds who lived in Hoboken, did a lot Karaoke, and went on vacation to Florida. (I was obviously really stretching out of my comfort zone on that one. The heroine had also recently become obsessed with vampire fiction. Guess what I was reading at the time?)

Since then I’ve written some bad urban fantasy, a second generation super hero story from the perspective of the hero’s reporter girlfriend, that was actually OK, but I keep forgetting to do more work on, half of another romantic comedy, and a fantasy novel set in a magical kingdom that’s moved on from it’s medieval setting to a regency one, which leads to one of the three projects I was between this year.

I really like playing in the city of Dovetail last year, but while I was writing the story of Lady Emily Williams, a country girl with magical powers who just wants normalcy. (She was also caught in a love triangle between a bad boy magician and her childhood sweetheart. Why yes, I had been listening to Phantom Of The Opera at the time, why do you ask?) But Emily’s story led me to another one, which is what I’m dying to write. Halfway through I stumbled onto the character of Anessa Antony. Anessa is the daughter of Emily’s magic tutor, and she’s a lot more fun to write about than Emily. So, her story is a possibility.

The other is another idea I’ve had brewing for a while, where the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella and The Prince’s younger brother accidentally fall in love and magic induced shenanigans occur. This idea is a little bit sillier and has a lot of farce baked in.

The third is different entirely, and is basically a dark comedic novel about people in their twenties who still live at home in the suburbs.

Anyway, I landed on Anessa, because I really want to know more about her, and I’d get to hang out with Emily and Xander (the bad boy magician, who also happens to be Anessa’s closest friend.) a little bit more.

We’ll see how it goes, but I’m excited to get kicked off.

The Martian: I read A Book!

So, in order to keep myself engaged in what I want to be reading, and give some accountability, I’m going to do a weekly, “What I’m reading” column. I’ll check in and analyze what I’ve been reading and what I think of it! YAYYY!!!!

This week, I’m getting around to reading The Martian. It is delightful. I’ve been finding myself giggling multiple times, and I’m loving the details that aren’t gotten into in the movie.

Mainly, I want to talk about the character of Mark Watney and how amazing he is as a character.

It would have been very easy to create a character who was impossibly smart, good and easy to root for in this situation. And it’s true, Mark is easy to root for. And he’s pretty smart, but he’s also a little bit cranky, a lot of bit chatty and sort of annoying at times.

This makes him a way better protagonist than someone who’s never wrong and does everything perfectly.

But here’s the thing, that I also loved about The Martian the movie, this story oozes positiveity and hope, and that all comes from the tone of it’s main character. The story isn’t perfect, but that’s what makes it wonderful.

But I knew that after the movie. I liked seeing the little changes, stuff like Mark losing communication with NASA in the third act, was an awesome twist that worked well in the novel, but I can see why it was changed for the film version.

Also, and I’ve heard people say it before, and I completely agree, that The Martian was cast perfectly. Everyone fit their rows to a tee, and it’s rare that you see something like that, but especially a match like Mark Watney and Matt Damon. It is exceptional how good for the part he is, and I’m really grateful for it.

The Social Media Lie

You know how a week or so ago, Essena O’Neil, that girl who’s an Instagram Star decided that she was going to talk about Social Media causing people to lead fake hollow lives?

Right. It was pretty moving. And as someone who’s not you know, great at social media (Sooo lazzzyyyy…), the whole thing made me think of my mother. She recently had her high school reunion, and remarked, once again how everyone talked about how fun her life looked, and how great it was that we as a family did all these wonderful things together.

Now, I’m not saying that it doesn’t totally rock that my family goes to bars, Yankee and Giant Games, Broadway shows, weddings and The Jersey Shore together. It’s awesome that we do these things, that we get along, and that we have the time of our lives when they happen.

“I wonder if they realize that most nights are just us sitting home and watching TV?” My mom asked. “I mean, I only post the pictures of the fun stuff.”

This was what struck me as most interesting part of the declaration from O’Neil that her instagram didn’t reflect her real life. Were there people who thought that it did? Did she think it did?

I know that I’m in an interesting age group, when it comes to my relationship with social media. I’m young enough that social media, Facebook in particular, is an integral part of my interpersonal relationships and social life. But I’m also old enough to remember not having these things. I’m old enough to remember not having the internet in my house. But there’s a generation of kids who don’t understand that yeah, you only post the fun things. The boring stuff just is.

This leads to two things. First, boring feeds that are just what everyone ate for lunch and what music they’re listening to. And second of all an outsize sense that everything about you needs to be worthy of your feed.

It doesn’t. You don’t. There’s nothing wrong with posting pictures and stories about awesome stuff in your life. There’s nothing wrong with not doing that. There’s also nothing wrong with sitting on the couch in your jammies with your mom and a glass of wine and yelling about how Jamal Lyon is being an idiot. (It’s almost always Jamal, I think because we love him most and we expect better of him then the other two.)

This is why if I had a rallying cry it would be, “I am more than one thing.” It took me so long to come around to this, to accept that it’s OK to be multifaceted, and that I wasn’t being disingenuous. You don’t always have to be on, and not every part of you needs to be shared with the world.

To paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda (the MASTER of being more than one thing) “the world has no right to your heart.” Share if you wish. Don’t if you don’t.