This Is Goodbye (But Not Forever)

Hey, peeps!

I don’t have too much to say. I’m going to have to put the blog on an indefinite hiatus. I still have ideas for it and I miss reviewing things at length here, but I’m not able to juggle running this as well as trying to make a living and working on my multiple writing projects.

I don’t know if you’ll even be surprised. This was a long time coming, I guess I was just in denial about not being able to handle so much at once.

I’ve unpublished The Nest’s Patreon and have reworked my Ko-fi to revolve around my solo writing projects instead. If you’d like to keep up with me or learn more about what I’m working on outside of the Shadows Series, you can follow me there. I’ll be posting publicly about my progress, but… Consider donating if you think these stories are interesting and you’d like to see them come out faster. Because as is, I need to prioritize making a living and… Writing, unfortunately, does not provide me with income. If you do, I’ll have some snippets and more detailed lore posted there for contributors only. So hey, you’ll get a little inside scoop on what it’ll all look like before it’s ever published.

And if you haven’t yet, consider checking out Shadows Rise. You can read it on our blog Written in Shadows, as well as on Royal Road. It’s an ongoing web serial that’s been running for almost three years. If you like character driven revenge tales, fantasy settings, assassins and found family, it should be right up your alley.

Also, I’ve been trying to read more and I do review what I read on my Goodreads. It won’t be the same as the blog, but… If you still wanna know what I recommend or not, it’ll be there. Also sometimes I post notes and highlights. I dunno, those might entertain you. lol

I’ve always been very honest about how things affect me. I still want to be creative and if I had the energy and mental capacity to do all the things I want to do, I wouldn’t be making this decision. The truth is I’ve been feeling my mental health dwindling considerably for the past two years and I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to find some stability again. Everything is stress right now and external factors just keep getting worse and worse.

Mentally, emotionally, financially (which doesn’t help with the other two) everything has been a struggle since early 2020. And ever since I’ve had to purge the Harry Potter content from this blog I’ve been feeling a certain way. Like so much of what I’ve done here is part of a slate I’d like to wipe clean. A person I no longer am and wish to not be associated with anymore. A very painful reminder, despite all the good it also contains. I’d like to curate what I want to remain on this blog and make a lot of changes I can’t make right now. The revamp I feel it needs won’t happen without a time investment I’m not able to put in at this point. So the next best thing for me, for now, is to lay it down to rest.

I’m sad about that because this place has seen me through a lot, but that’s also the reason I don’t want to keep it in the state it’s currently in, or continue to treat it as an afterthought because I can’t give it the attention it requires. It deserves better. Those of you who still care to follow me after all this time… You deserve much better than I can give right now.

So yeah. This is a goodbye. For now. I’m not sure for how long but I hope not forever. And if at any point in the past, oof, nine years this blog has been active you’ve appreciated the work I’ve put in here, consider checking out those links and supporting the work I’m currently doing elsewhere. Be it with a coffee or, just with a follow. I’ve never demanded anything from you other than a time investment and that’ll always be the case. Anything else is just a much appreciated bonus.

Yeah. I guess that’s it. I always say that I’ll see you next time, but… I don’t know when that’ll be and I can’t make any promises so, instead… Thank you. You’re all fucking wonderful. Every one of you; whoever you are.


Some Updates and Plans for 2022

Hey peeps! Welp, I got some things to get off my chest.

First and foremost, I know I’ve abandoned this blog as far as its intended purpose is concerned and I think… After my hand injury I just struggled to keep up with everything I had to do. With that, the blog needed to be neglected in favor of Shadows Rise and occasionally paying work. It’s a sad reality. That said, I feel like Patreon played a part so I’m going to be making some changes to that come January. Mainly, I’m switching from a per post format to a monthly format and making it more of a tip jar. This is mostly to take the decision of when to charge and what posts are worth charging off my hands. And I’ll understand if people choose to lower their pledges or unpledge because of this, considering my flakiness, but the truth is my anxiety does not agree with my current way of doing things. It’s affected my ability and in some ways my willingness to produce content for this blog because I don’t want to manually charge people for their pledges. It makes me feel bad to do it, it’s irrational, but it do be like that.

I’m keeping tiers as they are for now. I am however making some changes to perks. Patreon polls won’t be taking place every month, and I’m considering what I’ll be accepting as requested reviews. I don’t think I’m going to be taking requests for full length novels anymore; mostly due to how slow I’ve been to read. And I won’t be taking them for a while because I have things I want to talk about that I’ve shoved to the wayside. I’d like to get through those before I take another request. I wanna talk about my friends’ books, I wanna talk about Arcane. I REALLY REALLY want to talk about Arcane. So, I’m going to get the one Patreon review I still have pending out of the way; I’m finishing that book during the holidays finally, and then I’m going to take some time for those things.

Another thing… I’m going to discontinue any and all pending reviews relating to Harry Potter content. No more fan fiction commentary. No more Cursed Child; even if I wanted to riff on it entirely out of spite. I’ve come to a point where just not supporting Jk Rowling isn’t enough for me… I want her name and intellectual property entirely out of my mouth, keyboard, and life as much as possible. I’m leaving the My Immortal posts up only because of the fic’s own legacy, but any other reviews regarding HP are going to be gradually taken down in the next month or so. This may or not include Christian Potter, I’m on the fence if that one deserves the same regard as My Immortal. It’s definitely as bad if not worse, but not nearly as iconic. I’ll decide.

The next review I post will be a book review for The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex by K.R.R Lockhaven, and after that The Collapse by Alice B. Sullivan because I have so much to say about it and it needs an in-depth review. But in between reviews, I have some opinion posts I want to write, about writing, about writing web serials in particular, and about writing/receiving reviews (although, I’m on the fence of whether I should open that can of worms tbh). I do want to be more active and hopefully I will be. We’ll see what the future holds.


Let’s Talk Genre Part 02: Gothic Horror, by Nisha Addleman

Hey, peeps! Remember when I said I might have some guests come on here and give their perspective on genre? Well, buckle up because we have a guest post today. If you haven’t checked out the first post in this series, it’s not necessary, but either way here it is.

Nisha was one of the first people I met on Twitter with whom I had actual conversation with. This back when I was still mainly tweeting from the Shadows Crew account and my personal account lay mostly dormant. She’s someone I’ve come to greatly respect and admire as a person and a writer, and someone I’ve come to consider a great friend.

Nisha is also one of the first people I thought to ask about writing a guest post on this topic. Because, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Gothic Horror until Nisha began extensively tweeting about it. It also wasn’t until then that I realized I really, really, like a lot of works in this genre. Most recently this interest manifested in my obsession with The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor. The Turn of The Screw is a story that I’ve seen many adaptations of over the years. The Haunting as well (the movie), it’s not just the aesthetic, but some of the dark psychological themes some of these stories take. Haunted houses are often used in literature as a reflection of a character’s psyche. This external personification of their inner turmoil. And I live for that kind of shit.

So needless to say I’ve been drawn by quite a few movies and stories in those kinds of settings and with those kinds of themes. But is there more to Gothic than that? Well… This is where I take a step back and leave you with Nisha’s thoughts on the matter.

And if you like what she has to say, I urge you to check out her stories (The Monster Under Her Bed in particular struck me to my core; mind the content warnings, but I definitely recommend that one!). Show your support because she absolutely deserves it.

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Why You Should Ego Boost Your Friends

I made a whole Twitter thread complimenting my friends today. And it’s not the first time I’ve done this either.

Tweets like the one I quoted, threads asking for book recommendations, and “what have you been reading lately?/what are some people you admire?” questions give me a great excuse to do this and I often take them. There’s a big reason for that. See, I built this blog around criticizing things, riffing on shitty writing; whether it’s so bad it’s good or just straight up bad. And I do that because it’s fun. It’s cathartic to talk about things you dislike, whether you do it with humor or with genuine spite. I do a mix of both sometimes, but more often than not I play up the humor. I like to make my suffering entertaining.

One thing I’m notoriously bad at though is talking at length about things I genuinely like. The more I like something the less I can make a compelling case for it beyond “AAAAAAH IT’S SO GOOD OMFG AAAAAHHH”. This makes it so I often avoid writing comments on things as I read them. I struggle to find words and I also feel that just saying I like it isn’t enough. As a result, I just don’t. Which is a problem. Especially in regards to my friends, I feel. Because it’s easy to take positive feedback for granted when you talk every day and you’re constantly sharing excerpts and making small comments here and there. It’s easy to think the people closer to you know how you feel about their work and that you don’t need to explicitly say it. But truth is everyone needs to hear it. Everyone deserves to hear it. No, it doesn’t mean any less because you’re their friend. If anything it should mean a lot more.

I don’t know. I guess the whole point of this post is me encouraging you to be that sap who publicly shows appreciation for your friends and their work. As much as you can. Find excuses to do it. This post could be one, if you like. You have my permission. 😛

Anyway, that’s all for today. I swear reviews will come eventually. I’m working on it.

See you peeps then.


Let’s Talk Genre Part 01: My Perspective

Hey there, peeps! I’m trying to get my shit in order so I can return to reviews as soon as possible. I really appreciate your patience while I’ve been recovering from my hand injury (my finger is still not quite recovered, but it’s good enough to write) and the absolute mental funk that followed (still not 100% on that either, but we’ll get there). What little energy I’ve had is being devoted to Shadows Rise first, I’ve always been upfront about that, but that doesn’t mean the Nest isn’t important to me. I miss blogging. I miss writing reviews. I wanna get to a place where I’m able to juggle doing this and writing like I used to.

But that’s not what this post is about.

There’s been a lot of talk of genres around me in the past couple months. On Twitter and among my writer friend group. A lot of unnecessary discourse about what does or doesn’t belong in a genre, what has or not been done to death, what are the discouraging things we all hear about our particular genres, because my friends and I write in different genres and we all have struggles with negative commentary relative to our specific genre. And we all in moments feel like, you know, our genre gets unnecessary flack that other genres don’t because we don’t receive that criticism, we don’t see it as often, and it’s easy to assume it doesn’t happen. And if anything, these conversations have shown me that we need to have these conversations more often and more openly. There’s a lot of “that genre doesn’t get it as bad, and those writers have it easy” mentality in the writing community (especially on social media, let’s be fucking honest here) because we don’t always get to see a lot of the criticism those authors are dealing with on the regular.

With that in mind, there are three main things I want to talk about today: How I see fantasy as a genre, why I write and read fantasy, and what are the criticisms and misconceptions that have hurt me the most writing in this genre.

And ultimately I’d like to disclose some of the misconceptions I’ve held about the genres I consider my least favorite and then the more legitimate reasons I don’t enjoy those genres as much. It’s gonna be a long post, but I think assessments like this are important.

That said, disclaimer that anything and everything in this post is my personal opinion and my perspective as a writer and a reader within the fantasy genre. You can disagree with me and see things differently, but ultimately my experience is my own.

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Why I Became a Reviewer

I think I tweeted and posted about it on Patreon and forgot to put anything up here; I’m so sorry about that, peeps. For those of you who don’t follow me anywhere else: I’ve had a fracture on my middle finger. It took me a long time to feel comfortable typing again, and when I did, I had to give Shadows Rise priority (by the way, new chapter’s out now so go have a look!).

I have reviews pending that I will have to get through soon. Starting with a book review and then two Patreon polls I didn’t fulfill (sorry for that, guys!), but consider this my hesitant first step towards putting out content again.

You’ve read the title, you must be wondering why I decided to make this post. Short answer: I think it’s a fair question to ask myself. If you haven’t been around that long, back when I started this blog I stated multiple times I wasn’t a reviewer and this would not be a review blog. Clearly my perspective changed. The Nest is no longer the personal writing blog I initially intended and I’m happier with this outcome. Longer answer: I think explaining why and how this change came about might add to a larger discussion. Because I see a lot of debate about who reviews are for and who’s allowed to call themselves a reviewer. What ‘credentials’ reviewers should have, etc. And as someone who, uhm, doesn’t always write the most objective or tactful reviews, and also as a writer who is open to receiving the same sort of criticism, I feel like I actually have something to contribute to that discussion. It’s just my personal perspective; the reasons I do the things I do, who my reviews are for—Spoiler alert: not for the author, and we’ll get to that point of discussion later, don’t worry.

Not a Professional Critic

When I was a kid, I’d always say I didn’t want to be a writer. I didn’t want to be called a writer. I was never going to be a writer.

Yeah, I know. lol

The main reason was that most writers I knew at that point in my life were pretentious jerks and I didn’t want to include myself in that group. I didn’t realize that simply by doing what I was doing in my own spare time, I was already a writer at that point, and it had literally no effect on me as a person. I’m not a pretentious asshole who’s going to look down on someone for how they choose to approach writing or simply for writing something that isn’t my preference. I’m not implying all other writers are like this, just the ones I’d had a personal experience with at that time, by the way. I’ve met plenty of writers since and most of them are lovely people. Some of them are great friends, even. The reason I bring this up is that my experience with reviewing has been fairly similar. I didn’t want to call myself a reviewer because I didn’t feel I had the necessary credentials to do so. I’m not a ‘professional critic’ after all. And for the record: I’m never going to be. I wouldn’t expect anyone to take any of my reviews seriously, or base their own judgment on them. I do reviews for two reasons:

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The Obligatory New Years Post… With a Twist!

Hey, guys! Been a while since I’ve written a non-review post. This isn’t as much of a personal blog anymore, but I’m still a person after all and… The Obligatory New Years Post is an old-school Nest tradition I decided to not let die. I’m not gonna give you the whole “2020 sucked, here’s to 2021 being better” spiel. It’s just a damn number. If we want anything to be better, that’s up to us. So I’m optimistic, but very cautiously so.

I don’t want to analyze this year too much. It’s been horrible in so many ways, but there have been good things too. Right now I’d rather focus on that, and on moving forward. As you guys know, I don’t do the resolution thing. I don’t need any more reasons to call myself a failure by setting long term goals for myself when I don’t know where my head’s gonna be at tomorrow. One thing I want to do this year, though, is read more stuff I’ll enjoy because it’s actually good instead of just because it’s hilariously bad. I have been doing some of that in 2020, but not enough to my liking. I’m not going to pressure myself to read as much as possible in 2021, but I am going to try to give my time to writers who are legitimately good and deserve my attention more than people who write crap I can draw content from.

In that spirit, and since I’ve been reading on Neovel a lot when I manage to stop and do so… I wanna make a list of some of my favorite reads on the platform in 2020. In no particular order of preference, mind you. I love all of these books and I’ve come to see these authors as friends this past year, so no; I am not going to ‘top list’ them on this blog. All my friends are number 1 on my list at all times. >.>

Actually, to make this simpler, I’ll just start with the novels I’ve actually managed to finish.

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Patreon Review: The Christmas Tree (1991)

Hey guys, Future Bird here. Sorry this is a little late. I woke up pretty sick on the 23rd and while I did write half of this review then (you’ll notice me mention this in a couple of paragraphs, in fact), it actually got a bit worse on Christmas eve. So I couldn’t finish this in time for Christmas. I’m feeling a little better today though, so let’s do this!

The Christmas Tree is… A weird one. I honestly didn’t expect it to win the vote, but my one patron admitted that he rolled for it. Kinda his loss too because we ended up watching this together.


It’s free on YouTube if you guys want to experience first hand, but right off the bat: I don’t recommend it. It’s terrible, but it’s not really much fun. It is pretty short though so it’s not gonna hurt you too much to sit through.

It’s two days before Christmas as I write this and honestly, I’m feeling pretty under the weather (don’t worry, pretty sure it’s allergies again), and the only thing I want besides sleep is Stardew Valley, but I’m gonna sit and write this up for you guys. Because you… deserve it?

Okay, I don’t know why you guys keep coming back for crap like this, but I’m not gonna question it, lol.

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Twilight Review: Chapter 03

[First] [Next (Coming whenever)]

Disclaimer: I’m not a professional critic. This is strictly my (clearly biased) opinion and if you like this book; hey, good for you. Don’t read this unless you know you can take a punch and laugh about it. Also… Strong language ahead probably. I hate Twilight with a fury.

I’m not in a good mood today. That’s why I decided to read Twilight and just wallow in my own fucking existential nightmare. Also, I still haven’t watched Alice in Wonderland and the last three reviews I did of this nature were Cursed Child, so… It’s overdue. =.=

This one is titled Phenomenon. Which, is a great Thousand Foot Krutch song. It’s not a great chapter though.

What Happens

Weather report of course! But wait, it’s sorta relevant this time? The roads are icy, Bella almost gets hit by a van in the school parking lot and Edward loses his title of ‘best character’ from chapter two by saving her life and dooming us all to suffer through the rest of this series. Also by being a gigantic asshole.

Let’s Break It Down

Where to start with this one… Well, with the positives, I guess? It’s a much more straightforward chapter than the previous two. Things happen, Bella is insufferable, Edward is an asshole, the chapter ends. Yes, that’s the positives. All of them. It rambles less, that’s the best I can say for it.

Again, I’m willing to forgive the weather report for this one, since the icy roads are plot relevant, but I’m not willing to forgive how much it still lingers on Bella hating the fact it’s fucking snowing. It’s worse than me starting a new Arc of Shadows Rise.


Now, before I get into the actual incident in this chapter and start pointing out all the ways both main characters are absolute garbage, I want to draw attention to this passage:

When I got out of my truck at school, I saw why I’d had so little trouble. Something silver caught my eye, and I walked to the back of the truck — carefully holding the side for support — to examine my tires. There were thin chains crisscrossed in diamond shapes around them. Charlie had gotten up who knows how early to put snow chains on my truck. My throat suddenly felt tight. I wasn’t used to being taken care of, and Charlie’s unspoken concern caught me by surprise.

I want to draw attention to this for two reasons 1) Charlie is a great dad and I want you to remember that and 2) this was almost good. By itself it’s actually good, except it rings so hollow in the context of how Bella actually treats her dad throughout this. This realization changes absolutely nothing. Bella’s attitude towards Charlie doesn’t change. And considering the fact that following this realization Bella almost fucking dies, there was more than enough opportunity to use this for actual character growth. BUT NOPE. None of that.

With that out of the way, let’s start with why Bella is garbage, because I have less to say about her this time. Not because she isn’t so bad, but because she’s bad for all the reasons I already explained in the first two chapters. Prior to the shocking realization her father would rather she doesn’t die a horrible death, she’s internally bitching about the weather, swooning over the fact she gets to see Edward again at school even though, she points out herself, that’s completely stupid considering how little they know each other.

If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.

Bella knowing she’s being stupid and doing it anyway, doesn’t help her case in the slightest, my dude. It makes it much, much worse in fact.

She also drops this gem of a line and… Stephenie Meyer has a bachelor’s degree in English.

In a lot of ways, living with Charlie was like having my own place, and I found myself reveling in the aloneness instead of being lonely.

Like, I know what she’s trying to say here, but oh my GOD does it read like shit. Seriously, who edited this book? Who looked at this and decided it was good to go? No. Bella is a 17-year-old who apparently reads Wuthering Heights for funsies and she expresses herself like this. WHO APPROVED THIS.

Just a second while I run this by my editor real quick.



So yeah. lol

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Patreon Review: Courting The Coronavirus

Alright. I’m feeling semi-productive today. It’s one in the morning. Let’s get this over with, finally.

If you haven’t read the first Coronavirus book review I did, you don’t have to, but I am going to draw a few comparisons between these two books, so if you want some more context on that, here’s the link. It’s a relatively short read.

If you did read that review of Kissing The Coronavirus, you may recall that I actually enjoyed that book a lot. I gave it 5 stars, I thought it was quality so-bad-it’s-good content. Courting the Coronavirus isn’t. And, if anything, this book is a great example of something that wanted to be, or thinks it is, ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ but in reality is just plain bad.

Now, in my honest opinion, parody is one of, if not the most difficult thing to get right. There is a very thin line between leaning into a certain trope in order to mock it and just… Using said trope. This book, to its credit, is obviously trying to mock these tropes, the problem is it doesn’t do a great job of it. This book’s idea of humor is blatantly stating things. Starting with the main character.

Joan is a dumb selfish whore who I have to assume fucked her way into this university and only got into this science program to try and fuck the professor. And if you think that’s way too harsh on my part, well, that’s 90% of this book’s humor. Joan is a stupid hoe. Laughing yet? Also, she explicitly states she wants to fuck her professor. So, no, I’m not woman-hating on this character. She’s written this way.

Also, I’ve never been one to see a terrible female character and think “oh, I bet a dude wrote this”. If anything, I think E.L James proved dudes don’t own writing shit female characters. That said, damn, I bet a dude wrote this. I can’t prove it, there isn’t a lot of info on this author out there and Lee Taylor is an ambiguous name to me, but I’ll be surprised and disappointed if I found out a woman wrote this.

Now, if you’re thinking I’m an idiot for expecting any quality from any of these books… I wasn’t, no one is. It’s coronavirus smut. I’ve been in the game of review terrible media for a long time now, I never expect quality. HOWEVER. Kissing The Coronavirus wasn’t good either, it was just funny. So, what makes that one funny and this one just… Bad.

I don’t know how to explain this without continuously comparing these two books, but I think the simplest explanation I can give is that Kissing The Coronavirus jokes about how slutty and not-the-brightest Alexa is. Courting The Coronavirus doesn’t joke about Joan being stupid and a slut, it just… Writes her that way. Imagine a stand up comic going up on stage and just making statements. No set up, no punchline, no inflection.

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