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Monthly Archives: April 2022

I’m late to the party, I know.

I saw so many of my twitter friends talking up a new fantasy novel earlier this year. Something outside the traditional realm of sword and sorcery, but embracing the roots of the genre and crafting it into a drastically different form.

I’m talking, of course, about Travis Baldree’s debut novel, Legends & Lattes. I don’t remember which author I saw first promoting it, but it caught my attention almost immediately. What’s not to love about the premise? An orc adventurer finally tires of the life she’s led and decides to cash out after one final score, wherein she claims a legendary artifact that’s believed to bring great luck to the one who owns it. Viv leaves her old group of companions (let’s not pretend that they’re all friends) and settles down in the city of Thune to found a business the likes of which no one in the area has ever seen: a coffee shop.

Putting years of earnings from monster hunting to use, Viv transforms an old livery into a bustling café. She befriends numerous locals, especially the succubus Tandri, who quickly learns the trade as Viv’s first official hired barista. Not everyone is thrilled with her success, however, and Viv’s past has a way of catching up with her at the least opportune times. Between jealous former partners, a local protection racket, and the fact that literally no one in Thune knows what coffee is, she’s got her work cut out for her. Still, she might just have found exactly the place and the people to help her leave her old life behind once and for all.

Legends & Lattes is ridiculously cute, y’all. It’s a fantasy adventure with a great heart, and without the fate of the world at stake. It’s a wonderful reminder that, as Viv herself says, “Things don’t have to stay as what they started out as.” Take a chance on it. You’ll be glad you did.

So, we moved.

Sold our old house and bought a new one across town (and it took a minute, too, because the housing market here is fucking ridiculous). Got more room for me, V, and the kids. Commutes are still well within workable times/distances. We’re in the process of unpacking, and it’s probably going to be a bit, but that’s okay. We’re planning to stay put for a while now.

It’s a little weird, honestly. I have a tendency to be very much a stereotypical Taurus and get very set in a place or a set of behaviors, and in the last couple of months I’ve been upending a lot of that. Now that I’m not in the same house I was in for the last five years, a lot is starting to change for the better. Granted, I’ve been doing new things in old ways, so there’s that. Old habits, etc. But I’ve been trying to get myself into some new rhythms. A new work schedule, more time at home with the kids. Time to get some yard work and other home improvement tasks done on the weekends.

Right now, it’s a lot of figuring out what goes where, and with my and V’s combined book collection, that takes quite a bit of doing. Not going to lie, this was the worst move I’ve gone through in the last fifteen years. This was mostly because we had two weeks of limbo between vacating the old house and getting access to the new house. I couldn’t just load one box of books, move it, unload it, and then reuse it. Stuff had to get moved into storage, then out again later in the month. It was a lot more logistically difficult, and quite frankly, I burned myself out really hard by doing 90% of the lifting/hauling by myself (my many thanks to my father-in-law and my friends who helped with some of the boxing of stuff and the lifting of my desk). V and the kids helped as much as possible too, but the timing made it difficult for V to take off of work when I was able to. I’m done doing the self-moving, though. Next time, whenever that may be, I’m hiring pros. Insisting on doing as much as I can by myself is another one of those habits I need to kick.

But hey, the house is coming together really well, and we’re all feeling much better about the whole thing. I’m getting some more reading and writing done, and looking forward to the years we have to come. It’s going to take some time to get decorations and whatnot in place, but it’s great to be building a new home for me and my family.