Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stuck in the Middle of a Big-Ass Book...

And I couldn't be more excited about it!

Now if I said the same thing last week, I'd have been talking about Curse of the Lonely Wolf Girl; which was both a big-ass book and so much of a direct sequel as to have nothing of interest going on.  But now, I'm in the middle of Shadowmarch by Tad Williams: and its awesome.

I'm absolutely raving about epic fantasy and I didn't think I'd ever do that again considering my most recent reading failures in the genre.  I can't wait to 'talk about' this book!

It's eight hundred pages long and I'm at four hundred twenty.  So while I am at the middle the 'stuck' is only in reference to the fact that making progress reading a book this size is difficult to visibly measure.

Never fear; I'm reading.  Soon I'll be blogging about what I'm reading.  I'm in the middle of something good and I'm going to revel in it for however long it takes to get to the end.

Friday, March 14, 2014


As to not deprive my massive readership any longer I figured I'd post some examples of what I'm reading since I'm not posting about what I've read.

The General Law of Oblivion

Mr. Proust called it: the beloved gone so long
you forget what he/she looks like,
no matter portraits, photos, or memory,
which is the best tool for forgetting.
Though one cannot deny
its genius, Mr Proust's prose
kills me, it loops
me over and out.  Is it just French novelist
who don't know how to end
a sentence and so love the semicolon ("the period
that leaks") they can't write two lines
without one?  And I am so godamned tired
of hearing about that cookie!
As if he were the first (first fish were!) to notice
the powers of the olfactory!  But
about the General Law of Oblivion
he had it zeroed: "It breaks my heart
that I am going to forget you," he said
in a last letter to a friend.
The length and music of that sentence
is perfect, in English or in French.

Put the Bandage on the Sword and Not the Wound

It must hurt, too, the sword, heated to red (exactly: burnt
orange) hot, beaten and beaten, hard,
by a strong arm
and a hammer
up and down its long body, plunged
in icy water,
then beaten again
and the grinding, the awful grinding
of stone on steel
before the thick and bitter taste of blood
on its lip.


accompanied by bees
banging the screen,
blind to it between them
and the blooms
on the sill, I turn pages,
just as desperate as they
to get where I am going.
Earlier, I tried to summon
my nervous friend,
a hummingbird, with sugar
water.  The ants go there first.
Now, one shrill bird
makes its noise too often,
too close: ch-pecha, ch-pecha-pecha.
If he'd eat the caterpillars
)in sizes S to XXL!) eating my tomatoes,
we could live as neighbors, but
why can't he keep quiet
like the spiders and snakes?
I spoke to an exterminator
once who said he'd poison
birds but he didn't want me
to write about it.  I have not
until now, and now starts up
that black genius, the crow,
who is answered by the blue
bully, the ubiquitous, the utterly
American, jay.

Three poems from Thomas Lux's (did I do that right?  The 'x' apostrophe thing looks odd and even sounds funny.) God Particles.

You're welcome.  :)

(Three poems and a smiley face?!  Wow, I'm being super generous today.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Month in Review

As far as reading is concerned a lot more got done this month than last.  I finished The Name of The Rose which freed up reading energy to dedicate to other things.  Divergent was probably my favorite book of the month despite all it's quarks.  The runner up to the month's favorite was The Best American Poetry American Poetry 2006 edited by Billy Collins.  This particular volume was far more inviting than other installments I'd read in the series.  I felt anyone could pick up the collection and enjoy the majority of what was their without having to know a secret password, handshake, or offer a blood sacrifice.  I'm looking forward to checking out many of the authors whose works were included.  I read a collection by Collins, Horoscopes For The Dead, and somewhat surprisingly, it did nothing for me.  At all.  I'll certainly be checking out other collections he's edited and I'll probably give his own poetry another try at a later date.  One Of Those Hideous Books Where The Mother Dies and The Lucy Variations rounded out my reading for the month.

So in terms of published words, I read five times as many books as last month.  That at least sounds good.

I can't find my previous draft of this post and I can't remember all that I wanted to talk about.  The only other issue that comes to mind was coming across a lot of articles dealing with gender 'isms' in retail representation of books.  I think Marion's thoughts are universally upheld if only (sadly) wholly ignored in retail presentation.  Don't be fooled by this title "I Don't Need no Women in my Fantasy" about 'isms' in fiction.  Fair warning: it was writen by a man.  There's more than trace amounts of whining in this article and complaining about 'the media' and, essentially something as pathetic as 'The Man.'  There is also some mind-blowing statistics and revelations presented and you should definitely read the full articles attached within the article I've linked to.  Here's the pile-on argument stating more of the same (of which I've the exact same experience though in music publishing.)        

And finally this post on Fantasy-Faction about the Hugo awards and their host this year; best summed up by So @wossy has stepped down from hosting the Hugos at #Loncon3. Great to see that genre folk hate rudeness but are fine with cyber bullying.  I imagine Neil Gaiman and the awards committee throwing their hands in the air and saying, "F--- it…"