Wooden table with white mug that has a floral pattern. the mug is filled with wild flowers and it’s a gorgeous day with lots of green folliage in the background

Mini-NonFic Monday: Not A Horrible Day

CN: Implied suicidal ideation Genre: Nonfiction

This isn’t a horrible day. There have been many, but not today. I don’t feel horrible, things don’t appear horrible, and the absence of horriblenesses gives me hope.

Hope has been something that I’ve constantly lived for. But hope slipped away from me last year. And I almost slipped away from Planet Earth as a result.

But then another Not Horrible day happened when dozens of folks told me that I mattered. Then I wanted to stay and live for the other less horrible days ahead of me.

Like today.

I like dwelling in an absence of horribleness.

It’s nice here.

I think will make it a play day.

For who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Gonna hope for the best though.

But for now, I will enjoy myself.

Not A Horrible Day © 2023 Cait Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For more information, contact Cait Gordon.

A greyscale close-up of me, standing in front of a blank background. I am a white woman with short silver hair cropped closely on the sides. I am wearing dark metallic rimmed glasses with rhinestones on the side. I’m wearing silver hook earrings with flat beads and a plaid shirt.

Cait Gordon is an autistic, disabled, and queer Canadian writer of speculative fiction that celebrates diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’CosmThe Stealth Lovers, and the forthcoming Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space (2023). Cait also founded the Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the multi-genre disability fiction anthologies Nothing Without Us and Nothing Without Us Too. 

Featured photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com.

My review: Run J Run is a “Read Now!” Read

Book cover: Two men are running on a bridge under a red sky. Text reads: Su Sokol, Run J Run. "Marvellous, compelling, and vital." Arshad Kahn

After I finished this book, I just sat still, gobsmacked. It was incredible. And though I absolutely loved Su Sokol’s, Cycling to Asylum, Run J Run will stay with me a very long time.

What I find extremely important about this work is that it starts with a content warning:

The following material contains discussions of self-harm, suicide attempts and ideation, childhood physical and sexual abuse, racialized and police violence.

Content warning from Run J Run

And here’s the synopsis:

Jeremy, a high school English teacher coming to grips with a shattered marriage and haunted by the brother he lost, unexpectedly falls in love with his best friend, Zak. Attractive, wildly unconventional, and happy in an open relationship with his partner Annie, Zak seems to embody everything missing from Jeremy’s life, but when the arrest and death of a marginalized student at the Brooklyn high school where they both teach trigger Zak’s mental breakdown and slow descent, Jeremy and Annie are compelled to cross boundaries, both external and internal, in a desperate attempt to save him.

Back matter of Run J Run by Su Sokol (Renaissance)

So, yes, there are a lot of intense themes in Run J Run, but even though subject matter like this is often difficult for me to watch or read, I felt that Sokol crafted the lives of these characters in a way that made me actively care for their well being, and I wanted to find out everything about them. This book also has erotic scenes woven into the storyline, but in my opinion, I felt they shaped both the story and the character arcs.

Quite often, writing characters with complex mental illnesses is done poorly, using harmful tropes. Not so with this work. It is so heavily nuanced; the characters are anything but one dimensional, and the representation of a polyamorous relationship goes so much deeper. Sokol truly underscores the reality of what it’s like for partners to want to keep their loved one from suffering while not sacrificing the untamed nature of who he really is. Annie, Zak, and J are so believable in their interactions. I just found myself empathizing with each of their points of view and hoping for all three of them when things seemed hopeless.

Every scene is so richly crafted, every emotion palatable. I felt like I was right there, drawn into in every scene. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Run J Run is currently available in e-book and paperback from Presses Renaissance Press.

Cait Gordon, in a black and white digital sketch

Cait Gordon is a disability advocate and the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She also teamed up with Kohenet Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the Nothing Without Us anthology in an attempt to take over the world. Narf.