Last chance! Less than 24 hours left!

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans,

Renaissance Press is running an amazing Kickstarter that involves sending beautiful cards to your loved ones this holiday season. You can even opt for adding JenEric Gourmet Coffee, and/or an amazing Renaissance Press book.

The card art is by Dominic Bercier. Aren’t they gorgeous?

What are you waiting for? Go give your family and friends what they really want: Cards, Coffee, and Books.

Act quickly! There is less than 24 hours before this Kickstarter ends at midnight tonight. Get your orders in before it’s too late!

Be kind and stay safe,

Éric

Cards, Coffee, and Books!

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans,

Renaissance Press is running an amazing Kickstarter that involves sending beautiful cards to your loved ones this holiday season. You can even opt for adding JenEric Gourmet Coffee, and/or an amazing Renaissance Press book.

Aren’t the cards gorgeous?

What are you waiting for? Go give your family and friends what they really want: Cards, Coffee, and Books.

Be kind and stay safe,

Éric

Half-formed thoughts

Hello My Friends,

Remember when international affairs and world politics were mundane and peaceful? If you said no then you’re right. Don’t get me wrong, what’s happening in Ukraine is terrible, but it’s not unprecedented. Maybe it feels bigger because it’s not in the Middle-East. Or maybe it’s the extremely on-point social media coming out of the country.

A big name author has recently raised a ridiculous amount of money on Kickstarter for 4 books. Last I checked, the total was just over 25 million. That’s amazing and I want to be happy for them. But this author is also on record as being against same-sex marriage because of their religion. It frustrates me to no end when I know there are authors out there with massive talent and fantastic books and they’re barely making rent. No one needs 5+ million to write and publish a book.

I need to stop reading comments. I’ve come much too close to just replying F-you to people in random comments. It’s not healthy. I have to stop.

The world sucks sometimes. Apparently people are trying to bypass the laws against conversion therapy in Canada by using “life coaches” from other countries over video calls. It’s reprehensible and disgusting. No one should be tortured or abused because of their sexuality.

In that same vein, I wish the laws had included other forms of radical therapy that psychologically and physically tortures participants until they behave a certain way. ABA is an example and churns my stomach to think about.

It seems the major protests funded by the right wing fringe are calming down a little, or getting less attention anyway. It still seriously hurts that I have family and had friends who were willing to support Tamara Lich and Pat King. It was always the same thing too. The family and former friends were willing to overlook the white-supremacy, anti-semitism, homophobia, and general hate because the organizers of the convoy were fighting against mandates. That hurts and I just can’t believe people can forgive and support hate just because they agree with someone on one subject.

We watched Around the World in 80 Days (the television show with David Tennant). It started off a little more intense than I would have liked, but it built up really well and had some great characters in it. I’m glad it’s been renewed for a second season. I can also see why so many commentators and reviewers (I really need to stop reading comments) didn’t like it. It tackled a lot of race, sex, and class issues that are still extremely relevant.

Shopping for appliances is a ridiculous process involving much too much jargon and misinformation. As much as the hyperfixating part of me is loving researching washing machines, I’m getting annoyed at the lack of forthcomingness. Unfortunately, while I have friends who are experts in cars, computers, cooking, gardening, books, games, and many other things, I don’t seem to know any washing machine aficionados.

I think that’s enough random half-baked thoughts for today. (Okay, now I want cookies.)

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on any of these in the comments. I shouldn’t read them, but I probably will.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Recommendation Wednesday: Nothing Without Us

This anthology, published by Renaissance Press, is currently on Kickstarter! I’ve been following along with this project since they asked for author submissions in fall 2018, and the authors they accepted are incredible (and I’m sure it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down). I am really looking forward to this anthology.

Nothing Without Us cover art. Image from Renaissance Press.

The Kickstarter is off to a great start, already at over 25% after only two days live.

And there was a delay of a few hours in it going live, because the title of one of the stories is “CharityTM“, and Kickstarter bans any charity work on their platform. Once the issue was straightened out, however, they quickly got to 10% of their goal.

You may recognize the name of the publisher. That’s because they publish Blush! They also publish a diverse variety of books, including several by the author of the other half of this blog; Éric Desmarais.

Here is the summary of the new anthology Nothing Without Us, direct from the Kickstarter itself:

For the most part, people who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental illness are faced with stories about us that are crafted by people who really don’t get us.

Nothing Without Us combines both realistic and speculative fiction and stars protagonists who are written by us and for us. These are bold tales, told in our voices, which are important for everyone to experience.

Why we’re doing this

According to Statistics Canada’s 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, more than one in five people is currently living with a disability. If one were to go by how many disabled people we see in fiction or on the screen, however, it would be reasonable to assume disabled people are as rare and misunderstood as unicorns. Even worse, when we are represented, we are lonely, unhappy, searching for a cure, and we often die tragically to inspire the protagonist of the story (who is never disabled themself) or find a magical cure (and inspire the protagonist.) It’s very clear most of these stories are being written by people who do not have those lived experiences; an unsurprising fact, considering that people who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental illness are chronically both underpaid and underemployed.

Spoonies to the rescue

After publishing her first novel, Cait Gordon was invited to speak on several panels, most of which were about disability visibility in fiction. She rapidly found that panel after panel, members of the public would ask her to recommend books where protagonists were disabled, as opposed to them only being side characters, and she found that she could barely name any title. So, with the help of her BFF, activist Talia Johnson, she decided to assemble this anthology to showcase not only what disabled characters, but also what disabled authors, are capable of. 

Renaissance Press is a small, independently owned Canadian publisher dedicated to uplifting the voices of marginalized people. When Cait approached us with this anthology project, we recognized it as exactly the kind of project we love to champion: own-voices fiction written by a majority of marginalized people whose stories also show the intersectionality of marginalized communities. We’re very proud and excited to be able to present Nothing Without Us to you.

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Molecular Coffee

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Atomo Coffee sounds like something from a science fiction story. Coffee that isn’t from coffee beans. It’s the lab grown meat of coffee.

My biggest worry with this sort of thing is allergies. I have a severe intolerance to coconut oil and milk, along with IBS, so I try to be very careful.

Here’s what they say:

Atomo will not have any allergen components or materials that impact metabolic disorders.

For the insoluble, non-volatile portion of the molecular grounds, we are still exploring many options and targeting an upcycled play that would take the byproduct of a current commercial operation and add value to it by using it as the carrier matrix for our flavor and mouthfeel compounds – essentially the proteins, carbohydrates and oil components you can expect from coffee grounds. Some examples of that would be watermelon seeds or sunflower seeds husks. Much of what we are doing at this stage is still proprietary as we have a good journey ahead to optimize the perfect molecular coffee that can be enjoyed as your daily ritual. All compounds and strategies will be shared as they evolve and are optimized.

The kickstarter is already funded and has 22 days to go.

I’m interested and a little skeptical. What do you think?

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – The Booger Hunter’s Apprentice Kickstarter

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

An extremely talented author, and an acquaintance, Benoit Chartier has launched a Kickstarter for his new kids book called The Booger Hunter’s Apprentice.

Go check out the campaign!

The book looks fun and beautiful. (Never thought I’d say that about boogers…)

In my opinion, getting a hardcover book at $15 is a fantastic price.

Later days,
Éric

Seize the Bean – Kickstarter

Hello Coffee Lover!

I came across a really cool Kickstarter board game called Seize the Bean. The concept is pretty simple; you play a coffee shop owner trying to make their customers happy. It’s a really interesting concept and has a lot of potential.

Plus it has these adorable Coffee Beans, milk cartons, and sugar cubes as play pieces. 
It’s a little pricey at $60 Canadian but looks well worth it in quality. Check out the video.

 

Enjoy and stay Caffeinated!

Éric

Blush: A New Cup

I have talked about using a Diva Cup in the past, but over the past 9.5 years of my using a cup, I have come across several people who were not able to use one, for a variety of reasons.

I was very excited, therefore, to hear about a Kickstarter for a new cup: the Keela Cup. The new design should make the cup easier to use for a lot of the people who could not use a Diva Cup. I hope that they get the chance to try this cup out.

Check out this article by one of the creators.

The Keela Cup mascot, designed by Nomi Kane. Image from Kickstarter.com


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Recommendation Thursday – We Shall Be Monsters – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 200 years on

Hello,

There’s a fantastic anthology that is being Kickstarted. There are some great rewards and I can’t wait to read it!

Go check it out:

We Shall Be Monsters – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 200 years on

“It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

As you may already know, Renaissance will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2018, and to mark the occasion, we’ve decided to launch a project celebrating another important anniversary.
In 1818, Mary Shelley published Frankenstein, sparking the genres of horror and science fiction. On this, the 200th anniversary of its publication, the narrative is more relevant than ever.

We Shall Be Monsters: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Two Centuries On will feature a broad range of fiction stories, from direct interactions with Shelley’s texts to explorations of the stitched, assembled body and narrative experiments in monstrous creations. We Shall Be Monsters is a fiction collection that will feature explorations of disability through Frankenstein, ace, queer, and trans identity, ideas of race and colonialism.

Seven-time Aurora Award winner Derek Newman-Stille and award-winning author and theatre artist Kate Story team up to direct this excellent collection.

This anthology is a huge milestone for us as a publisher, and we won’t reach it without your help.
Kickstarter works on an all-or-nothing basis, which means that if our campaign does not get fully funded, we will not get any of the funds. Please take some time to look at the campaign; I think you’ll find the rewards for this campaign are incredible. You can get this wonderful book, but also a selection of Renaissance novels, your portrait made as Frankenstein’s monster, you can participate to a writing workshop, and so much more!
If you can’t pledge, that’s OK! Sharing the link with all your friends is a great way to help!

Thank you in advance for your support. We take the success of our very first anthology to heart, and really believe it can be a great vehicle for emerging and underrepresented voices.

Check out the Kickstarter!