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Wow. Can you believe it’s been a full year since I first started blogging monthly about my mental munchies? (Yes, I’m asking you this as if you’ve faithfully followed my blog for an entire year or more, so do us both a favor—make this less awkward by just smiling and nodding…) Yeah, I know! Time has certainly flown by for me, too. Usually, I start each Monthly Mental Munchies post with a reflection on the month, but I have an immense dislike for February. The fact that it’s decided to extend itself by one full day this year just feels spiteful, so I’m choosing to ignore it altogether. Feb-ru-who?  I don’t know.  Let’s just get on with the meat of this post: all the books, stories, movies, and audio I filled my headspace with this past month!

Books & Stories: I’m going to be honest—this has been a neglectful month for me when it comes to reading. I partly blame that on the fact that I bought a subscription to CBS All Access. dark horsesOkay, I actually blame it FULLY on that, and all its Star Trek greatness. Nevertheless, I managed a novella, at least. My friend and fellow critique group member Suzanne Thackston published her novella, Dark Horses, back in August, and I’ve finally snagged a copy from her and put it on my bedside table. It’s a beautifully-written interpretation of an obscure tale from Greek mythology, complete with gods in disguise, powerless humans at their mercy, and a horrible evil visited on a mountain community. To close the month out, I’ll read the rest of the stories in Issue 40 of Luna Station Quarterly. I started them earlier this month, but got distracted… Anyway, Issue 41 comes out March 1st, so I’d like to read the rest of 40 before it moves to the archives. I’ve also placed Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier on my nightstand, so I’ll at least get started on it before the month ends.

Movies & Shows: As mentioned above, I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so I couldn’t NOT get CBS All Access. Once I did, I had two full seasons of Star Trek: Discovery to binge. I LOVE that show. It’s beautiful, quirky and full of heart and suspense. star trek discoI’m also loving Star Trek: Picard, though the “once a week” release format requires patience, which is probably a good thing. On Netflix, I caught an episode of nature documentary Night on Earth and watched the occasional episode of Schitt’s Creek. Our Redbox selections this month included Terminator: Dark Fate, Zombieland: Double Tap, and Doctor Sleep. Zombieland was okay, but I felt like I got the gag the first time around. I immensely enjoyed Doctor Sleep (note: I’ve never watched The Shining, so I read a synopsis beforehand) and loved the new female-fronted direction of the Terminator franchise. It didn’t do well in theaters, so they probably won’t give us a sequel, but DAMN I loved Mackenzie Davis in that movie. We also caught Birds of Prey: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn mid-month at the theater. My daughter—a Marvel girl at heart—makes an exception for Harley, so there’s no way we weren’t going to catch it on the big screen.  Again, I love a female-heavy action movie, so this was thoroughly enjoyable.

Audio & Music: This month, I leaned heavy into electronica and house beats. The_Crystal_Method_VegasIn addition to the usual fare on my Thumbprint channel on Pandora, I played Vegas by The Crystal Method for background inspiration music while I finished the beat sheet for my young adult sci-fi novel, Cirque Solare. I’m also adding a bit of Computer Magic with Danz to the mix. And this may not count strictly as “audio” but I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Mae Jemison speak at the Weinberg Speaker Series at the local arts center last week. Dr. Jemison talked about her experiences as the first African American woman accepted to the space program and the first to launch into space, as well.  She touched on the value of perspectives, inclusivity, and belief in oneself in a truly inspirational evening.

Now, tell me what mental munchies kept your mind nourished this past month in the comments below!