Books Read March 2019

Lists

Books Finished

Strength to Let Go: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes Book One: Alina Popescu

The Cruel Prince: Holly Black

The Lost Sisters: Holly Black

The Wicked King: Holly Black

Red Queen: Victoria Aveyard

Still Working

Goblin Slayer vol. 3

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

Books Started

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Francesca Lia Block

Desperation: Stephen King

Hope Nation: Rose Brock

Favorites

Still The Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

Love in the Time of Global Warming reminds me of her other book Primavera.

Books Read February 2019

Lists

Books Finished

Giovanni’s Room: James Baldwin

Binti: The Night Masquerade: Nnedi Okorafor

Relic of the Mad Poet: A Journey to the Tree Of Sorrows Story: E. H. Robinson

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 6: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 7: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 8: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 9: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Mars Chronicle Vol. 2: Yukito Kishiro

Berserk Vol. 2: Kentaro Miura

Still Working

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

Goblin Slayer Vol. 3: Kumo Kagyu

Books Started

Strength to Let Go: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes Book One: Alina Popescu

Runes for Beginners: A Guide to Reading Runes In Divination, Rune Magic, and the Meaning of the Elder Futhark Runes: Lisa Chamberlain

Favorites

Berserk

Giovanni’s Room

Parable of the Sower

*

I didn’t get a lot of reading done this month for the same reasons I didn’t get a lot of writing done. I spent 2 weeks doing nothing but home repairs. I fucking hate home repair/improvement, whatever you want to call it. Painting, plumbing, electricity. All the small trees cut down in the back yard. I am DONE with home stuff. Just let me do the dishes and leave me alone!

See these pliers? They’ve seen some shit. We are battle buddies. These pliers are my best friend now. If there’s a fire, I am grabbing them before I grab my cats. That is how much they mean to me now.

Character Consciousness

Writing Life

This is an example of one of the ways I think up characters:

Me: (recording poems for my audiobook)

Icharus: I want to be a character now.

Me: But you already are.

Icharus: In a book.

Me: …what?

Icharus: I want to be in a book. I didn’t die when I fell. And I love Orpheus.

Me: You do? Ok just hang on a–

Icharus: And I want my book to be like every James Baldwin novel but with more sex.

Me: I don’t know if I can be that brutal.

Icharus: And it’s going to be a trilogy.

Me: Really?

Icharus: Yep.

Me: Well you’ll have to get in line behind Regina, all the Echos, Helen, and everybody else.

Icharus: Did I mention I love Orpheus? And maybe one of the gods too. Apollo could be very metaphorical.

Me: Take a number and get in line!

Icharus: I really, really want a book-trilogy.

Me: You’ll get one just shut up and let me work!

Icharus: I don’t trust you.

Me: It’ll happen! You’re in the queue. I promise!

Icharus: You’re going to have to do a lot of research. Geography is really important.

Me: I know!

Icharus: …maybe Achilles…

Me: Don’t push it.

*

And on and on it went and that is how I made the decision to eventually write a gay romance. A character popped into my head that wouldn’t shut up. But really this character has been in my head since 2012 and didn’t find his voice until day before yesterday. Before that he was a shadowy idea floating around in my brain meat.

It happened during a writing exercise I did back in grad school (see how long ago). The exercise was to look at a book cover and write the synopsis on the back. No influence from the real synopsis or any other information from the book. Just write something based off the cover. You should try it, it’s super fun.

When I read my little blurb the girl sitting at the table directly across from me lit up with a smile and after class she told me I had to write that character, that his voice was so clear to her.

At the time I wasn’t writing fiction but I thought she was super nice to say so, so I put the suggestion away and now almost 7, count em, 7 years later here’s that voice again.

But this time I am writing fiction and I don’t want to tell him to go away. So I guess I’m adding another project to my publication schedule.

*

How do your characters come to you?

Or, if you’re a poet, how do poems happen?

What I Read in Grad School

Lists

Matsuo Basho: Narrow Road to the Interior, Sam Hamill translation, 1991

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge: I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems, 2006

Frank Bidart: In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90, 1990

Elizabeth Bishop: The Complete Poems, 1969

Jenny Boully: THE BODY: AN ESSAY, 2007

Jenny Boully: [one love affair], 2006

Ana Božičević: Stars of the Night Commute, 2009

Rebecca Brown: Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary, 2005

Melissa Buzzeo: What Began Us, 2007

Anne Carson: Autobiography of Red, 1998

C. P. Calvary: The Collected Poems of C. P. Calvary: A New Translation, Aliki Barnstone translation, 2006

Paul Celan: Poems of Paul Celan, Michael Hamburger translation, 1989

Emily Dickinson: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, 1993

Dolores Dorantes: sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, Jen Hofer translation, 2008

C. S. Giscombe: Giscome Road, 1998

Renee Gladman: Juice, 2000

Marilyn Hacker: Winter Numbers, 1994

Kimiko Hahn: The Narrow Road to the Interior, 2006

Christian Hawkey: Ventrakl, 2010

Langston Hughes: Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, 1990

Richard Hugo: The Triggering Town, 1979

Bhanu Kapil: Humanimal: A Project for Future Children, 2009

Bhanu Kapil: Schizophrene, 2011

Carole Maso: Break Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing & Moments of Desire, 2000

Eugenio Montale: Mottetti: Poems of Love, Dana Gioia translation, 1990

Pablo Neruda: Odes to Common Things, Ken Krabbenhoft translation, 1994

Flannery O’Connor: The Complete Stories, 1971

Frank O’Hara: Selected Poems of Frank O’Hara, edited by Donald Allen, 1974

Jena Osman: The Network, 2010

Sylvia Plath: The Collected Poems, edited by Ted Hughes, 1981

Claudia Rankine: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, 2004

Arthur Rimbaud: A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat, Louise Varese translation, 1945

Muriel Rukeyser: Muriel Rukeyser: Selected Poems, edited by Adrienne Rich, 2004

Sappho: Sappho: A Garland, The Poems and Fragments of Sappho, Jim Powell translation, 1993

Selah Saterstrom: The Meat and Spirit Plan, 2007

Juliana Spahr: This Connection of Everyone With Lungs, 2005

Juliana Spahr: The Transformation, 2007

Jane Sprague: The Port of Los Angeles, 2009

Gertrude Stein: Reflections on the Atomic Bomb, 1973

Wislawa Szymborska: View With a Grain of Sand, Stanislaw Baranczak and CLare Cavanagh translation, 1995

Tomas Tranströmer: the great enigma, Robin Fulton translation, 2006

Marina Tsvetayeva: Selected Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva, Elaine Feinstein translation, 1987

James Wright: Collected Poems, 1971

C. D. Wright: One With Others: a little book of her days, 2010

Movies:

All About My Mother: Pedro Almodóvar, 1999

We Hold All of Our Hurts Together

Poetry

a handfull of darkness

serpent’s reach

the stars my destination

driving blind

heavy time

the new moon’s arms

adulthood rites

city of illusions

time out of joint

a graveyard for lunatics

i will fear no evil

words are my matter

midnight robber

conspirator

a maze of death

beyond this horizon

the godmakers

the crack in space

the cat who walks through walls

dreams must explain themselves

voices from the street

merchanter’s luck

eye in the sky

something wicked this way comes

sister mine

the green brain

the dragon in the sea

survivor

farewell summer

fledgling

double star

whipping star

lilith’s brood

stranger in a strange land

wave without a shore

A found poem made up of titles by Nano Hopkinson, Octavia E. Butler, C.J. Cherryh, Frank Herbert, Alfred Bester, Ursula K. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, and Phillip K. Dick

Sketch by Mr. J

Books Read January 2019

Lists

Books Finished:

Of Children, and Houses, and Hope: Aliette De Bodard

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: George R. R. Martin

In Morningstar’s Shadow: Aliette De Bodard

Every River Runs To Salt: Rachael K. Jones

Guilty Pleasures: Laurell K. Hamilton (re-read)

Beauty: Laurell K. Hamilton (re-read)

Shutdown: Laurell K. Hamilton

The Beasts Who Fought For Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still: Catherynne M. Valente

Wounded: Laurell K. Hamilton

Goblin Slayer Vol. 2: Kumo Kagyu

Books Started:

The Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Parable of the Sower: Octavia E. Butler

Favorites 🙂

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Every River Runs to Salt

Parable of the Sower