tales of the yellow sky | writing and such

is the taste of the sky the color of ash?

perhaps, could it be the feeling of sitting in a tub of water after a long day, leaning your head back against the wall, lathering the shampoo into your hair? the feeling of washing off grime from the soles of your feet after a long walk with your mother, the feeling of your feet pressing on a bike’s pedals deep into the night, aching (but in a good way), the feeling of ignoring the baby pink journal that sits on your desk reminding you that you have one, two, three things left to do for the day, the feeling of a sky yellower than one could imagine, burrowing away deep inside of one’s soul.

one might say it’s all of these. another might say it’s none of these.

what would i say, you ask? well, i’m so glad you asked.

i would say that one night it could be one of these, and the next night it could be another of these. and last night it was something completely different.

and so it goes on. the sky tastes like amber and lavender, i would tell you. and sometimes it’s roses and sunflowers, too. but right now, the sky is like burnt caramel left on the stove too long. it’s the feeling you get when it’s too dark outside to feel at ease but too early for it to be an excuse. the sky right now does taste like ash.

quite literally, i mean.

you would say it tastes like ash because it has a soft glow, like the last embers of a fireplace flew far away and settled down outside, nestled into the snowy. or because it’s thick on your tongue, like the word you needed yesterday that was almost there- but not quite. you only remembered it today, and you cursed your damn self for forgetting it. oh! you thought, that was the word.

you would say it tastes like ash because of all the ways you think it does. i would tell you that no, it doesn’t taste like ash because of the fireplace and caramel and thick tongues and whatever antics you’re coming up with. it tastes like ash because it tastes like ash. it really does.

i mean, the sky is practically burning. it’s orange and lit on fire, casting a dusky glow (flame?) onto me and you and us all. it’s not actually on fire- not yet, at least- but it is a hundred miles up north, and it is a few hundred down south.

i sit at my desk tapping away at a hulk of metal with some wires in it, the window open and the lights off (it’s two PM on a summer afternoon, i say- why would i need the lights?). the ash rains down in small, soft layers. like it’s a cottony flower, a dandelion, drifting down as a gift from the heavens, settling down on my desk like a thin layer of syrup left out for the hummingbirds.

only, it’s ash. not syrup or sugar or caramel or amber. it’s ash, and there’s ash raining from the sky, aditi and there’s nothing we can do about it because what would we do? try and battle the ash, spear versus empty space?

so we do what we only know- we sweep up the ash off of my table and off of the walls of our house from the outside (“it could come inside, too- close the windows!”) and watch with the rest of the world to see if it’s the end of the world or not.

we do what everyone else does. sleep (or try to, at least), wake up, eat, go for a walk (“no! you’ll get sick!” “nonsense, they always say that. i’m fine.”), and log into school, listening to our teachers tell us how the sky is yellow. then we pull out our phones and see the pictures of an orange sky a couple dozen miles away. are they trying to one-up us?, we joke. but we’re helpless and there’s nothing we can do about it other than wait.

we’ve already waited. we waited two weeks ago and two weeks later, when they told us we were breathing in the ash and it was settling into our lungs, making itself at home, and we should be ready to leave everything we know in the blink of a moment. we waited now and tomorrow when the ash dusts our home like a thin layer of snow. toxic snow.

and we’ll keep waiting, in the dark, looking at the yellow sky, while messages and news and stories and anecdotes and pictures pour into the rest of the world.

what’s going on over there? they ask. oh, they’re burning, someone replies nonchalantly.

WE are burning! you reply indignantly. the city i grew up in is bathed in orange glow! you cry out.

but it’s all the same to them, and if that small difference means the world to you, it doesn’t mean anything to them.

so we go on, thinking this is normal, and no one tells us anything different. we go on thinking there’s nothing we can do about it, and so does everyone else.

but! someone says, and you hear a tiny voice somewhere far out. help us. the voice whispers. you have a voice. i do not. the person speaks for thousands more, a chorus of voices that grows in numbers to tens and hundreds of thousands.

you have a voice. i do not.

If you can, please donate to any one of the links here which are donation links for the fires based in California. Wildfire relief fund. CA natural disaster response. Individual family GoFundMe pages. Commemorating fallen firefighters and their communities. Incident updates (over 1.2 million acres have burned).

The 20 Most Popular YA Books: have I read them? | part 1 because this post is too long

I have like no energy right now. At all. But at least I’m posting semi-regularly?

Since school started and all my other classes are starting up too, I’m finding myself with barely any time. As someone notorious for horrible time management, my solution has been writing daily to-do lists split in to morning / afternoon / evening so that I know what I have to accomplish each day. It’s tedious, but helpful.

Because I barely have any time to even get schoolwork + extracurricular work done, I also have like no time to spend on reading. Which sucks, because I’m kind of a book blog. In case you haven’t noticed. AKA, I have no content to write about.

But then the wonderful Elli @ AceReader who must have been sent from the heavens (I’m serious, I’m that desperate) posted on her blog about if she’s read the 40 most popular recent YA novels that Goodreads posted as a list, and I was like OH! Look- it’s content!!

So before you read this post, go check out Elli’s post because she wrote it first. Thank you Elli for saving this girl from disappearing without any content to write about.

Anyways, that was an awfully dramatic intro. Let’s get onto the actual post ;)) P.S. please don’t read this in the WP Reader!! read it on my actual blog. I spent a lot of time on formatting 😭

Basically, I’ll be seeing whether or not I’ve read the 40 most popular recent YA novels to see if I’m a true book blogger (jk, you can read whatever you want and still be a book blogger, I’m kidding lalala). The thing is, I won’t be able to get to all 40 of them, so I’ll just be doing 20, and next post I’ll hopefully do 20 more! Continue reading “The 20 Most Popular YA Books: have I read them? | part 1 because this post is too long”

‘Star Daughter’ by Shveta Thakrar | #OwnVoices review | beautiful writing & vivid settings

Hey everyone!

A few days ago I finished a wonderful book called Star Daughterby Shveta Thakrar. It’s been a really long time (REALLY long time) since I’ve written a review, so I’m going to try my best to put my thoughts onto this page!

Before I get into this, can we just take a moment to appreciate be absolutely DISGUSTED by the current block editor? I would just like my classic editor back, please 😭 I have no idea how to use blocks…

Star Daughter

Star Daughter – Shveta Thakrar – Spoiler-Free Review

Representation: Indian MC and completely Indian cast of characters, sapphic side romance

TWs: multiple descriptions of cutting another character for blood (skippable & not condoned)

What I liked:

COVER

Regardless of whether you like Star Daughter or not, everyone has to admit that this cover is stunning. I would give this book five stars just for the cover. 😍 It’s also unapologetically Indian- we have a beautiful brown girl on the cover wearing a bindi and a chutti and it’s gorgeous. 🥰 Continue reading “‘Star Daughter’ by Shveta Thakrar | #OwnVoices review | beautiful writing & vivid settings”

Which Characters Am I? | identity crisis book tag

Hey, folks!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’m really sorry about that- I also miss the blogosphere so much and will try to be more consistent with posting! Meanwhile, I’ve been prepping for a music performance that I recorded and sent (finally after so much stress), and school starts in two days which I’m super sad about!

But yes, I am not dead. Thankfully. With COVID-19 going around, who even knows unless I tell you 😭

I’m also really scared that I won’t have time to post much more because I’m entering the busy high school years which would be super sad 😦 so I’m going to try and post as much as I can in the first few months!

However, I’ve also been in a terrible reading/blogging slump. I read a grand total of… wait for it… zero books in July. (wonderful, I know!) And I haven’t known what to post at all, which is why I procrastinated so much on writing a post.

Anyways, since we’re writing this post which actually sounds like a lot of fun, I need to credit the lovely Kerys @ The Everlasting Library for this amazing idea (and the identity crisis book tag!). Her post is amazing, check it out! I used some different quizzes but the idea is similar!

Okay, on to the post! Continue reading “Which Characters Am I? | identity crisis book tag”

My Nominations For The 2020 Book Blogger Awards!

Welcometo the Fourth Annual Book Blogger Awards! May the odds be ever in your favor!

This is the first time I’m ever participating in these awards which are hosted by the very lovely May @ Forever and Everly and the equally amazing Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books. Thank you so much to both of them to for hosting this!

I’m incredibly excited to post this because not only have I been nominated (multiple times!! it means so much to me!!) and want to spread the love even further, but because this is a perfect chance to write a little bit about all of my favorite book bloggers.

For the rules and categories, check out the posts from May and Marie that I linked above!

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★ Best Pre-Teen / Teen Book Blogger (13-19) ★

This is a really hard prompt for me because so many book bloggers fall into this category! But if I had to pick, I’m going with Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea because all of her posts are so thoughtfully written. Plus, she never gives up an opportunity to support her fellow bloggers! I normally don’t interact with Caitlyn’s blog- that’s something I tend to do when the bloggers have a really large following and I don’t want to disturb them- but whenever her posts are published, I adore reading them. Continue reading “My Nominations For The 2020 Book Blogger Awards!”

DISCUSSION // whiteness in the book community

Hey everyone!

In the last post I wrote that was a tag about the books I’ve read so far this year, I mentioned that I really wanted to have a discussion about defunding the police (please click on the link! educate yourself!) but I decided that although I would LOVE to write about it, it 1) is mentally draining, 2) requires a lot of research on my part, and 3) is something that hundreds/thousands of others have written on WAY better than me.

So instead of writing to you about defunding the police (like I said, check out the link!), I’m going to talk about a topic that is super prevalent to our little niche of the internet- and something that should be talked about a lot more.

The book industry and, in a way, the book BLOGGING industry upholds a tiring system of internalized whiteness.

I just want to start this post by making myself clear: I absolutely love the bookish community and the people that I interact with! I also do have lots of love for some books by white authors- which I’ll touch on a little bit later- and am in no way saying that you shouldn’t be a white author or white book blogger.

(get ready for a long post, kids.)

Whiteness and white supremacy is not an individual issue. It’s not even that we as a community think that white voices are inherently “better” than the voices of POC, which is why I hesitate to use the words white supremacy- however, this term has an evolving definition which extends to the practices in communities that intentionally OR unintentionally devalues the work, existence, and contributions of non-white people. Continue reading “DISCUSSION // whiteness in the book community”