November 29, 2022

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy : A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women / Review

Today is Louisa May Alcott's birthday, so I wanted to share my review of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women. Coincidentally, I read this book in November of last year. I loved it, so I want to share it with you here.

Image by Chrys Fey



Fans of Little Women who love remakes and modern takes on this classic story (and who won’t mind creative liberties) and who also want to see more diversity will enjoy this graphic novel.

Now, if you don’t like those things, you won’t like this book.

For me, there’s no such thing as "too diverse." I suppose when you’re used to an all-white cast, first for the book and then for every adaptation after that, it could be viewed as too much, but this is a modern retelling, and it has to look and feel modern, which means it can’t be an all-white or all-straight cast. None of the changes surprised me in the least.

The illustrations are so colorful and brought the characters to life. The entire time I was reading I kept thinking about how this version (with this title, obviously) should be made into a movie. Especially an animated one. Looking at you, Pixar!

My favorite character in this retelling (and for the first time ever) is Amy. She’s a ball of obnoxious fun. I love her. (Although she’s certainly not for everyone. I believe she’s supposed to be in sixth grade here, but she did seem a lot younger. I will say that.)

I loved this interracial, blended family in many ways more than the original family. There, I said it, and I am a HUGE fan of Little Women. You get the backstory for how their family formed when Jo’s white mom and Meg’s Black dad fall in love, and I was all for it.

There’s a lot of modern twists, including how their dad is over in the Middle East, but my favorite is  how Jo is a fierce feminist (which could be too much for some readers when several important, relevant topics are mentioned).

November 22, 2022

I Adopted A Turkey / Good Causes PART 9


For years I'd always wanted to “adopt” a turkey from Farm Sanctuary. And I mean I’ve wanted to do this since 2011, but had always been financially unable to. 

NOTE: The adoption is symbolic. The donation goes to the sanctuary where these birds live. 
From their website:  Farm Sanctuary fights the disastrous effects of animal agriculture on animals, the environment, social justice, and public health through rescue, education, and advocacy.

Last year, 2021, it was finally meant to be because one of the “spokesturkeys” was named Faye.

Faye, the turkey, is “The Explorer” with a curious and confident personality, and his favorite pastime is searching for snacks, which I respect. He was also sick as a baby, which as someone who has had her fair share of medical issues, I can relate.

So…I adopted him.

I mean, when your name is Chrys Fey, you have to adopt the turkey named Faye. ♥️

Meet Faye, the Broad Breasted White turkey:

November 15, 2022

Homeless Care Packages / National Homelessness Awareness Month / Good Causes PART 8

November is National Homelessness Awareness Month

From November 12 - 20, it is Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.

From Carpenter's Shelter's Website: Every year, hundreds of thousands of American families become homeless, including more than 1.6 million children.

For more details on homelessness check out: State of Homelessness: 2021 Edition, which does not account for the impact of COVID.

This year, I started to put together care packages for local homeless people.

From April 2022 to November 2022 I’ve handed out 11 care packages.

I was inspired to start doing this during my mom’s second hospitalization in April, in which she was in the hospital for nine days. She was at a hospital a bit farther from home that was located in an area where there are more homeless people. Many times I’d see homeless people at one specific intersection. One frequent visitor to that spot was a person with a prosthetic limb who I always wanted to help, but I’d never have cash on me. Or any money to spare in the bank.

I had recently finished reading Period Power by Nadia Okamoto. In the book she talks about the need for homeless people to have access to menstrual products like pads and tampons, how most shelters don't carry any in stock for those who’d need them, how menstruaters often don't bother to ask for pads or tampons out of shame for needing them, and the dangers if homeless or poor menstruaters don’t have menstrual products, like toxic shock syndrome from using a tampon (or pad) longer than is safe. 

NOTE: I discuss the book Period Power more, and other books like it, in this blog post: Body Literacy Book Recommendations

Seeing all the local homeless people after reading Period Power, and while my mom was in the hospital and I felt pretty powerless, gave me the idea to put together care packages for homeless people with whatever I already had on hand.

So, after driving home one night to get some sleep, before returning to the hospital early the next morning, I created a care package with pads and one with out. And everything was already right there in my home that I could spare (yes, even the pads because I now use reusable pads, which I highly recommend), even though I really didn't have much.

November 08, 2022

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Here's six important messages about lung cancer and cancer in general.

1) Lung cancer is the second most common cancer.

2) It’s the deadliest cancer according the American Cancer Society.

3) Although lung cancer is the deadliest AND second most common cancer, it’s the least funded, so please consider contributing to Lung Cancer Research Foundation this month and throughout the year. 💙

4) Not everyone who gets diagnosed with lung cancer was/is a smoker.

5) NO ONE deserves cancer.



The fourth point is a common misconception that my mom and I HATE.

(Let me state again that no one deserves cancer, whether they smoke/d or not.)

Side Rant: Don’t even get me started on the "Tips From Former Smokers" commercials from the CDC that end with the statement, “You can quit.” Or the commercials from Tobacco Free Florida. Both of which depict ghastly outcomes of being a smoker, such includes lung cancer and chest tubes and oxygen tubing. Every time I see these commercials I want to scream.

When the tumor was first found in my mom's lung, every doctor we saw asked my mom, “How long were you a smoker?”


Some even started with this false statement, “So, you were a smoker.”

Each time, and even now, we have to vehemently say, “No! She never smoked.”

When we first told her oncologist, and especially her pulmonologist (lung specialist), that she'd never smoked, I saw their surprise. And what angered me was that they pressed her, like “Really? Not even when you were a teen? What about years ago? Are you sure?” As if they were trying to catch her in a lie.

But I repeat: Not everyone who gets diagnosed with lung cancer was/is a smoker. So, right now, stop assuming anyone with lung cancer was/is a smoker. Doctors should know this, but doctors are imperfect and biased and like to stick with the facts they know to be true (most of the time).

They’d then ask if she was ever exposed to asbestos.

Answer: No.

Then finally they’d ask if she had been around a lot of secondhand smoke. My mom’s father was a heavy smoker. Upon hearing this, they’d say, “That must be it then.”

Here’s another reminder: If you’re a smoker, you’re not just putting yourself at risk. You’re putting everyone you smoke around at risk. One day, they may be diagnosed with lung cancer because of YOUR actions. If that’s not a HUGE reason to quit right there, then I don’t know what the fuck is.

November 01, 2022

Native American Heritage Month Book Recommendations


November is National Native American Heritage Month.

To celebrate the beautiful Native American culture (and the differences from Nation to Nation and tribe to tribe), as well as Native American (Indigenous) characters and authors, I have created a short list of book recommendations for you. This is not an exhaustive list but rather a starting point.

While you're on my blog, hop on over to this important and informative article I posted last year: How To Respect and Support Indigenous Peoples



White Magic

by Elissa Washuta


BLURB: Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, "starter witch kits" of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.

In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life--Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham--to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.

Crazy Brave

by Joy Harjo


BLURB: In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.


The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

by Zoraida Córdova 


BLURB: The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low, or why their matriarch won't ever leave their home in Four Rivers--not for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed into a ceiba tree, leaving them with more questions than answers.

Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings and powers. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea's line. Determined to save what's left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, her descendants travel to Ecuador--to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

Firekeeper's Daughter

by Angeline Boulley


BLURB: Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi's hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions--and deaths--keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she's ever known.