February and All That

Amazing how time flies when you have a kitten. Suddenly February is here and I can already feel the impending changing of seasons and birthdays and of course the end of the year is one month closer.

This week’s bundle of books for the Library of Winkelman Abbey is small but distinguished. On the left is Berari’s The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance, from Semiotext(e). In the middle is the latest arrival from And Other Stories, Gerald Murnane’s collection of essays Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs. On the right is Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts, the cover of which is even more beautiful in person than in the photo.

In reading, I am slowly ramping up again and working my way through volumes III and IV of the Long List Anthologies. There stories therein are absolutely amazing, no two anything alike, and while reading I feel simultaneously inspired and intimidated.

In writing, I took some time off from creating and editing, and used that time to update my list of published works. This effort included posting my novelette “Hvalur,” which was part of the original Brewed Awakenings anthology published by Caffeinated Press back in 2015.

I have made some progress on a cyberpunk-ish short story, and the research thereof has given me material for some new poems which may or may not see the light of day at some point in the future.

If I publish none of it, at least the cat will still love me.

What I Read in January 2020

As part the process of focusing my 2020 reading on short fiction, I am keeping a list of every short story I read this year. Author names are linked to their primary online presence, as are the venues for those short stories.

January was quite busy, what with work deadlines, ConFusion 2020 and the new kitten, so I only read 20 stories. The majority came from periodicals though the last few came from the superb Long List Anthologies of short fiction nominated for the Hugo Awards.

  1. “Lost Book” – Williams, Ryan M. (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
  2. “That Faraway Kingdom” – Buckell, Tobias (Patreon)
  3. “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” – Fall, Isabel (Clarkesworld #160, January 2020)
  4. “Acceptable Losses” – Dermatis, Dayle (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
  5. “A Choose Your Own Fangle Adventure” – Jeschonek, Robert (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
  6. “Say Hello to my Little Friend” – Rusch, Kristine Kathryn (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
  7. “The Ghost of a Smile” – Miller, John Jos (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  8. “Cessation of Civilization” – Croke, Marie (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  9. “Autoimmune” – Pankau, Kurt (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  10. “Hot Times in Shady Pines” – Kloster, Gary (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  11. “The Last Petal” – Madden, Anna (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  12. “Extremophile” – Harpold, Robert E. (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  13. “Dreamforger” – Crankshaw, Donald S. (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
  14. “Dirtnap” – Koekkoek, Taylor (Paris Review #231, Winter 2019)
  15. “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance” – Buckell, Tobias (The Long List Anthology, vol. 4)
  16. “Red in Tooth and Cog” – Rambo, Cat (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
  17. “A Salvaging of Ghosts” – de Bodard, Aliette (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
  18. “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the International Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” – Yaochim, Caroline M. (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
  19. “Razorback” – Vernon, Ursula (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
  20. “We Have a Cultural Difference, Can I Taste You?” – Jordan, Rebecca Ann (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)

Books and Cats and Books and Cats

The week leading up to ConFusion 2020 was packed and chaotic, full of kitten hijinks, shenanigans and tomfoolery. And also a few books.

The top two, Half Way Home and the Principia Discordia, I picked up at ConFusion from the stack of free books.

The bottom row starts with Franco Berardi’s Breathe: Chaos and Poetry from Semiotext(e), a publisher for whom I have re-developed a profound love. Next is This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I picked this one up hoping that Mohtar would sign it at ConFusion but alas! she did not attend this year.

Third in the bottom row is Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade which I DID get signed at ConFusion, and next to it is Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway, likewise signed. I will talk more of ConFusion and books and signing in an upcoming blog post.

For reading, I managed a couple of short stories, but was too busy for much other than the usual half-hearted browsing of random internet pieces.

Yeah, ConFusion was a lot of fun.

Poe Try Poetry

I would say this past week was another quiet one here at the Library of Winkelman Abbey, but with a new kitten nothing is ever quiet. I did manage to get Poe to sit still long enough to enjoy Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson, the only new book to arrive in the past week.

My reading schedule is waaaaaay off for this time of year, thanks to Poe, who is distracting in the very best ways. I am reading a lot of short fiction, as I planned, and loving it! My subscriptions to Pulphouse, Amazing Stories, The Paris Review, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, etc., are finally paying off.

I have also been closely following the 2020 State of the World conversation over at The Well. Sterling, Lebkowsky and company are touching on some interesting and deeply concerning topics, as well as pointing out that the unease (to put it mildly) that Americans are feeling right now is basically how most of the rest of the world has felt for decades, and to a large extent how things have been for us for a long time, though we do tend to take pride in our ability to live in denial. Food for thought as well as loads of writing fodder.

My next literary update will likely be a little late and will certainly be loaded down with books from ConFusion 2020, which starts in FOUR DAYS!

 

2020 Books and Reading List

Welcome to the Big List of Books for 2020. This is the sixth iteration of the list of books and reading materials acquired by the Library at Winkelman Abbey. The previous five are here:

This list will continue the process started last year – book titles will link to the book publisher or distributor or other place (like Indiebound) where books can be purchased. Only as a last resort (or in the event the book was created using CreateSpace) will the link go to Amazon.

And as always, you can find the complete list of book I own over at LibraryThing, and the terribly incomplete list of books I have read over at GoodReads.

January (27)

  1. Gibson, AndreaLord of the Butterflies (Button Poetry)
  2. McGuire, SeananEvery Heart a Doorway
  3. Hurley, KameronThe Light Brigade
  4. Berardi, Franco “Bifo”Breathing: Chaos and Poetry (Semiotext(e))
  5. El-Mohtar, Amal and Gladstone, MaxThis Is How You Lose the Time War
  6. Landsman, KerenThe Heart of the Circle (Angry Robot)
  7. Eichenlaub, AnthonyHonor in an Age of Metal and Men
  8. Bell, E.D.E.Diamondsong (Atthis Arts)
  9. Bell, E.D.E. (ed.) – Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove (Atthis Arts)
  10. Bell, E.D.E. (ed.) – As Told By Things (Atthis Arts)
  11. MarsalisApeman Rex
  12. Steinmetz, FerrettThe Sol Majestic
  13. Pike, J. ZacharyA Song of Three Spirits (Gnomish Press)
  14. Sanford, JasonHeaven’s Touch and Other Science Fiction Dreams
  15. Sanford, JasonNever Never Stories
  16. Cipri, NinoHomesick (Dzanc Books)
  17. Eichorn, ShannonRights of Use (Astra Invicta Publishing)
  18. Stewart, GlynnStarship’s Mage (Faolan’s Pen Publishing)
  19. Hurley, KameronEmpire Ascendant (Angry Robot)
  20. Hurley, KameronThe Broken Heavens (Angry Robot)
  21. Gibbs, Mary LynneThe Dragon’s Curse (Dragon’s Roost Press)
  22. Cieslak, MichaelUrbane Decay (Source Point Press)
  23. Principia Discordia (Steve Jackson Games)
  24. Howey, HughHalf Way Home
  25. Thomas, Lynne M. and Thomas, Michael Damian (eds.) – The Best of Uncanny (Subterranean Press)
  26. Poetry #215.5 (February 2020)
  27. Kim, Sagwab, Book, and Me (Two Lines Press)

February (10)

  1. Murnane, GeraldInvisible Yet Enduring Lilacs (And Other Stories)
  2. VanderMeer, JeffDead Astronauts
  3. Berardi, Franco “Bifo”The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance (Semiotext(e))
  4. Jacobin #26 (Winter 2020)
  5. The Invisible CommitteeThe Coming Insurrection (Semiotext(e))
  6. Tikkanen, MärtaThe Love Story of the Century (Deep Vellum)
  7. That We May Live (Two Lines Press)
  8. Poetry #215.6 (March 2020)
  9. Sriduangkaew, BenjanunWinterglass (Apex Publications)
  10. Sriduangkaew, BenjanunMirrorstrike (Apex Publications)

March (9)

  1. The Paris Review #232 (Spring 2020)
  2. Schiefauer, JessicaGirls Lost (Deep Vellum)
  3. Rain Taxi #25.1 (Spring 2020)
  4. Ho Sok FongLake Like a Mirror (Two Lines Press)
  5. Callard, Agnes (ed.) – Boston Review #45.1, On Anger (Boston Review)
  6. Kovacs, Christopher S.The Ides of Octember: A Pictoral Bibliography of Roger Zelazny (NESFA Press)
  7. Ashton, DyrkPaternus: Rise of Gods (Kickstarter exclusive hardcover, signed and numbered)
  8. Ashton, DyrkPaternus: Rise of Gods (paperback, signed)
  9. Dreamforge #5, March 2020

April (12)

  1. Ortiz, Monica TeresaAutobiography of a Semiromantic Anarchist (Host Publications)
  2. Chang, KristinPast Lives, Future Bodies (Black Lawrence Press)
  3. Ghalayini, Basma (ed.) – Palestine +100: Stories from a Century After the Nakba (Comma Press)
  4. Tichý, AndrzejWretchedness (And Other Stories)
  5. Unferth, Deb OlinBarn 8 (And Other Stories)
  6. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #8 (Fall 2019)
  7. Karimi, FowziaAbove Us the Milky Way (Deep Vellum)
  8. Piketty, ThomasCapital and Ideology (Harvard University Press)
  9. Robinson, Kim StanleyStan’s Kitchen (NESFA Press)
  10. Jemisin, N.K.The City We Became
  11. Bell, E.D.E. (ed.) – Community of Magic Pens (Atthis Arts)
  12. Buckell, Tobias S.The Executioness (Subterranean Press)

May (17)

  1. Smith, Patrick (ed.) – Conversations with William Gibson (University Press of Mississippi)
  2. McDermott, J.M.Last Dragon (Apex Publications)
  3. Poetry #216.2 (May 2020)
  4. Freedman, Carl (ed.) – Conversations with Samuel R. Delaney (University Press of Mississippi)
  5. Calonne, David Stephen (ed.) – Conversations with Gary Snyder (University Press of Mississippi)
  6. Ahmad, Ehsan and Ahmad, ShakilWild Sun (Uproar Books)
  7. Rowland, DianaMy Life as a White Trash Zombie
  8. Chabitnoy, AbigailHow to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan University Press)
  9. Mukomolova, GalaWithout Protection (Coffee House Press)
  10. Matthews, Airea D.Simulacra (Yale University Press)
  11. Foglio, Kaja and Foglio, PhilGirl Genius: Queens and Pirates (Studio Foglio)
  12. Ono, Masatsugo (Turvill, Angus, trans.) – Echo on the Bay (Two Lines Press)
  13. Barrera, Jazmina (MacSweeney, Christina, trans.) – On Lighthouses (Two Lines Press)
  14. Jacobin #37 (Spring 2020)
  15. Bass, EllenIndigo (Copper Canyon Press)
  16. Poetry #216.3 (June 2020)
  17. Wang, M.L.The Sword of Kaigen

June

  1. Lotringer, Sylvère and Morris, David (eds.)  – Schizo-Culture: The Book, The Event (Semiotext(e))
  2. Coe, David B. and Palmatier, Joshua (eds.) – Galactic Stew (Zombies Need Brains LLC)
  3. Butler, S.C. and Palmatier, Joshua (eds.) – Apocalyptic (Zombies Need Brains LLC)
  4. Sarakas, Crystal and Palmatier Joshua (eds.) – My Battery is Low and It’s Getting Dark (Zombies Need Brains LLC)
  5. Meadors, Melanie R. (ed.) – Hath No Fury (Outland Entertainment LLC)
  6. Murphy, Cerece Rennie and Abbott, Alana Joli (eds.) – Where the Veil is Thin (Outland Entertainment LLC)
  7. Boston Review: The Right to Be Elected (45.2)
  8. Dreamforge #5 (March 2020)
  9. Chavez, Felicia Rose, Olivarez, José, Perdomo, Willie (eds.) – The BreakBeat Poets, Volume 4: LatiNext (Haymarket Books)
  10. Benjamin, Ruha (ed.) – Captivating Technology (Duke University Press)
  11. Klein, NaomiThe Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  12. Pike, J. ZacharyOrconomics
  13. Ashton, DyrkPaternus: War of Gods
  14. Poetry #216.4 (July/August 2020)
  15. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #41

What I Read in 2019

The following is a list of all the books I read in calendar year 2019. Despite it being an extremely busy year, I still managed to squeeze in reading time, mostly by avoiding distractions like sleep. I only listed the books I completed.

In this list are 26 fiction titles, 19 poetry collections, and 5 books of nonfiction. On a five point scale, almost all of these were in the 3 to 5 range. I only scored two books lower than 3. I’m not including scores here because I included them in GoodReads and, less consistently, LibraryThing.

What this list doesn’t show is all of the short fiction and individual poems I read in mailing lists, magazines, websites, literary journals and the like. Those together would probably equal around a thousand pages, or say four additional books.

I can say that it was the poetry books that got me to 50 titles for the year. Not that poetry is trite or easier to read than prose; it is simply that poetry books (the works of Evan S. Connell notwithstanding) are in the main shorter than prose works.

Though each of these books was in some way remarkable, I want to specifically call out five of them for sticking with me well after reading:

  • Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin (fiction)
  • Here: Poems for the Planet, edited by Elizabeth Coleman (poetry)
  • Carceral Capitalism by Jackie Wang (nonfiction)
  • The Language of Saxophones by Kamau Daaood (poetry)
  • Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski (memoir)

For 2020 I will track my reading a little differently: I will keep two lists, one for books and the other for short prose. As I ramp up my writing practice I will be reading A LOT of short stories as study for my own work. Keeping an account of this reading will help me figure out my own skills and shortcomings in the art.

Date Author Title
2019.01.17 Palmer, Ada Too Like the Lightning
2019.01.25 Steinmetz, Ferret Fix
2019.02.12 Greylock, TL The Blood-Tainted Winter
2019.02.14 Tucker, Phil Death March
2019.02.18 Clark, P. Djeli The Black God’s Drums
2019.02.25 Hernandez, Catherine Scarborough
2019.02.27 Link, Kelly Origin Stories
2019.03.13 Adams, John Joseph and LaValle, Victor (eds.) A People’s Future of the United States
2019.03.27 Oliver, Mary Why I Wake Early
2019.03.29 Huey, Amorak Ha Ha Ha Thump
2019.03.31 Dickinson, Seth The Monster Baru Cormorant
2019.04.02 Ferlinghetti, Lawrence A Coney Island of the Mind (50th anniversary edition)
2019.04.03 Ridl, Jack Saint Peter and the Goldfinch
2019.04.04 sax, sam madness
2019.04.11 Kocher, Ruth Ellen When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering
2019.04.13 Montes, Lara Mimosa The Somnambulist
2019.04.21 Cooper, Wyn Postcards from the Interior
2019.04.24 Evans, CJ A Penance
2019.04.25 Vodolazkin, Eugene Laurus
2019.04.30 Ostups, Artis Gestures
2019.05.10 Palmer, D. Thourson Ours is the Storm
2019.05.20 Comola, Jessica everything we met changed form & followed the rest
2019.05.26 Townsend, Tracy The Nine
2019.06.13 Coleman, Elizabeth J. (ed.) Here: Poems for the Planet
2019.06.20 Brace, Kristin Each Darkness Inside
2019.06.30 Krieger, Scott Illyrian Fugue
2019.07.01 Liu, Ken The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary
2019.07.04 Tomlinson, Patrick The Ark
2019.07.07 Tomlinson, Patrick Trident’s Forge
2019.07.12 Roanhorse, Rebecca Storm of Locusts
2019.07.17 Kowal, Mary Robinette Scenting the Dark and Other Stories
2019.07.27 Turgenev, Ivan First Love and Other Stories
2019.08.06 Kuznia, Yanni (ed.) A Fantasy Medley 2
2019.08.23 Chateaureynaud, Georges-Olivier A Life on Paper
2019.08.28 Daaood, Kamau The Language of Saxophones
2019.09.01 Serna, Rudolfo A. Snow Over Utopia
2019.09.06 Ivanova, Adelaide The Hammer
2019.09.19 Jin, Yong A Hero Born
2019.09.19 Breedlove, Lynn 45 Thought Crimes
2019.09.23 George, Jenny The Dream of Reason
2019.09.28 Kooser, Ted Local Wonders
2019.09.30 Rhein, Christine Wild Flight
2019.10.18 Harrison, Jim True North (re-read)
2019.10.29 Pimentel Chacon, Sasha Insides She Swallowed
2019.11.16 Straczynski, J. Michael Becoming Superman
2019.11.17 Buckell, Tobias It’s All Just a Draft
2019.12.02 Ashton, Dyrk Paternus: Wrath of Gods
2019.12.05 James, Marlon Black Leopard, Red Wolf
2019.12.17 Wang, Jackie Carceral Capitalism
2019.12.19 Fisher, Mark Capitalist Realism

The Last Quiet Moments Before the Holidays

Oh, holidays. You never fail to leave me exhausted, burned out and tired of the presence of other humans.

As the year winds down everything within it winds up and thus the already limited available time vanishes at an ever-increasing pace. Fortunately I don’t have much to buy for the holidays and most of the shopping is already done. All that’s left is travel, and that will be done just after Christmas, which will leave a few days for sitting around the house and doing absolutely nothing.

This was a light week for acquisitions here at the Library of Winkelman Abbey. On the left is the latest issue of Dreamforge Magazine. In the middle is the latest issue of Rain Taxi, and on the right is the latest (and fortieth!) issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet from the always-superb Small Beer Press. These are timely as, per last week’s note, I plan to focus my reading on short fiction in 2020, and I have several years of back issues of many magazines and journals to work through.

In reading news, I am almost done with Jackie Wang’s Carceral Capitalism from Semiotext(e) and it has put me in quite a mood. I am sure my writing and social media presence will reflect the influence thereof, as well as that of the other books in the stack I mentioned last week. It’s a capitalism time of year, in all its gory details.

Tomorrow after work I will head into the Caffeinated Press office to load up several boxes of books to add to the stack of boxes in my attic. At some point I may catalog them and figure out new homes at various libraries and used book stores,  but for now in boxes they will remain.

And as far as Caffeinated Press goes, that will be that. I will roll into the new year unencumbered.

Entering the Home Stretch of 2019

Wow. That year went quickly and also dragged like a drunk sloth. And we still have three weeks to go.

Last week was fairly quiet for the acquisitions department here at the library of Winkelman Abbey. Most of my subscriptions have wound down and I am not out and about purchasing new books as frequently as I have in past years. I don’t consider that a particular problem as I have enough unread books here that, were I to quit all other obligations and devote my life to reading, I would still have difficulty making it through the pile before 2030. For every 36-page poetry collection I have a matching 800+ page genre novel, and more of each are published every day.

In the middle of the above stack is the latest issue of The Paris Review. On the left is Soft Science, a poetry collection by Franny Choi which I purchased on impulse when I visited Books & Mortar to pick up my special order of the book on the right, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher.

With the Fisher book in hand I now have a good stack of holiday reading, which I consider appropriate for some good holiday reading here at the end of 2019.

All of these books have arrived at the Abbey within the last year.

With NaNoWriMo over and Caffeinated Press winding down, as well as various other obligations on hiatus for the month, I have had a lot of time to read, which has been wonderful! I completed Dyrk Ashton‘s excellent Paternus: Wrath of Gods last weekend, and shortly after made it to the end of the magnificent Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. Both books have sequels in the works, and they cannot arrive soon enough!

Currently I am about a third of the way through Jackie Wang‘s Carceral Capitalism. For this (and the other books in the holiday reading photo) I am going back to my roots as a student and treating the reading as a learning assignment. I am taking notes and cross-referencing, underlining long stretches of text with a blue ball-point pen. The experience has been enlightening, if such a word applies to a book as astonishing, infuriating and depressing as this one.

In my spare moments I have been organizing all of my completed, mostly-written, and partially-written poems and short stories, and sorting them into stacks based on whether or not I think they are ready to send out into the wild. Based on the advice Tobias Buckell offered in It’s All Just a Draft I have put together several lists of potential targets at which to fire off my work – fiction, nonfiction poetry, genre and themed deadlines and anthologies. Gotta be somebody, somewhere who wants to publish the work of a burned out, disaffected fifty-something dude.

With 2019, and therefore the decade, winding down, many think-pieces are surfacing on the internet, looking back on the events of 2009-2019 and how now compares to then. I have not decided if I will do something like that. If so it will certainly happen in the last day or so of the year. Wouldn’t want to miss a last-minute event.

 

50K and Counting

At 9:00 pm on Wednesday, November 20, I passed 50,000 words in my NaNoWrimo 2019 project titled Neighbors: A Malediction. It. Felt. Wonderful. This is by far the earliest I have passed 50,000 words in the seven years I have participated in National Novel Writing Month. This is also my fifth win. I gave myself a much-needed break and slept in until 7:30 am yesterday, instead of the customary 5:15 which arrives oh, so early as the days get shorter and the nights darker.

Now that the bulk of the writing is out of the way I have time to read and catch up with my journaling, which has fallen by the wayside these past few weeks.

Three books arrived this past week, and none the week before. On the left is volume 1 of The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, which I grabbed from the Write616 archives scattered around the floor of the Caffeinated Press office when I stopped by to pick up a few copies of issue 5.1 of The 3288 Review to ship to a customer. In the middle is Lesley Conner’s The Weight of Chains, which I received as a surprise lagniappe for backing a Kickstarter campaign for Apex Publications. On the right is the latest arrival from my subscription to Restless Book, Silence of the Chagos by Shenaz Patel, which looks like something I might need to bump up a few tiers in my TBR pile.

I have managed to set aside a little time for reading this month. I finished both J. Michael Straczynski‘s extraordinary memoir Becoming Superman and Tobias Buckell‘s extremely helpful book of writing advice It’s All Just a Draft. I am still working my way through Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf, and loving it more with every page. And for my night reading I just picked up Paternus: Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton, which I picked up (and got signed by the author!) at ConFusion 2019 back in January. I’m only about two chapters in but it is every bit as much fun as was the first book in the series, Paternus: Rise of Gods.

For  the last week of the month I plan to add a few thousand more words to the NaNoWriMo novel to get to the end of the first draft. Of course “first draft” is perhaps overselling the novel at this point. It is really the “pre-first” or “box of scraps” draft. A thorough re-read and hefty rewrite will bring it up to first draft.

This is the first time I have completed a novel during NaNoWriMo. In the first year I came close, though on re-read there are many things about it which were problematic and will need to be changed. But perhaps at this time next year I will be able to announce that I am shopping a novel around, looking for a publisher.

NaNoWriMo 2019

At last, it has arrived! NaNoWriMo 2019 started on Friday, November 1. At the time of this post I have written just under 12,000 of the target 50,000 words for the month. Almost 25% of the way there in four days. While I in no way expect to keep up this pace I would really like to actually complete this story/novella/novel within 30 days, instead of hitting midnight on November 30 and suddenly running out of steam partway through the project.

This year I am writing a literary fiction novel titled Neighbor: A Malediction. For the past seven years I have lived across the street from an obnoxious neighbor who has tried my patience, mucked up the neighborhood, and generally behaved like an obnoxious jackass in any number of ways and at every opportunity. This project has good parts and bad parts. On the good side, for story ideas all I need to do is go out and stand on my front porch. On the bad side, for story ideas all I need to do is go out and stand on my front porch. I am playing around with the order of events and the specifics of dialogue and interactions for the sake of narrative flow and dramatic hooks, but everything will be based closely or exactly on real life events. In the event I complete the book and try to get it published I will change names and what-not, of course, but people who know the neighborhood will certainly recognize the characters.

My user name at the NaNo website is JohnFromGR. If you are participating this year feel free to send me a buddy request.

This week we received a small yet interesting stack of books. The first two books in the above photo, They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru and Lion Cross Point by Masatsugu Ono, came in from my subscription to Two Lines Press. I was planning to let my subscription lapse, but in the latest Two Lines Press newsletter they announced a collection of science fiction short stories from Chinese writers, so now I feel conflicted.

Next up is the latest issue of Peninsula Poets, published by the Poetry Society of Michigan.

The last book, Hebrew Punk, is one I grabbed from Apex Publications during their selling drive to raise funds for the next year of publishing.

In reading news, I finished (and liked!) Insides She Swallowed by Sasha Chacon. I am about one third of the way through Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf and LOVING it! I wish I had the time free to just sit and plow through the entire book in one day. I think I could do it, though it would likely do bad things to my connection with the consensual reality.

The next few posts will likely be quite terse as I all myself to become fully engulfed in the NaNoWriMo mindset. Selah!