Story is not enough

It’s very hard to write when you are sick at heart.

For me – an American – the events of the past few months have caused a renewal of heartache. My country’s election of a corrupt, cruel, and venomous buffoon to the position of national leader was undeniably a catalyst, but the ache predates even his rise to power. We live a time of almost unbearable strangeness, where one can go with a few clicks from cat videos to pornography to people pratfalling off treadmills. People can live decades with diseases that would have been death sentences a few decades ago, doctors can videoconference to surgery tables, and we can see light-years away with stunning clarity.

These are the days of miracle, to paraphrase Paul Simon, but not of wonder. Continue reading

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October Reading: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.”

This is one of my favorite books ever. Continue reading

October Reading: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”

To celebrate the month of October, all the weeks of which are steeped with ghosts and goblins by association, I’ve been delving into my favorite horror reading, and since today is apparently the UK’s National Poetry Day (and the world’s too if Twitter is any indication), today seems like a fitting one to talk about “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all-time favorite poems and an exceptionally creepy tale. Continue reading

On taking writing seriously

First of all, I’m so sorry about neglected comments, updates, and other neglected things. Something apparently went wrong with the email I was using before, and I wasn’t getting any updates at all, so I assumed this place was seeing its usual zero traffic (not exactly the case; I have no idea why, given my lack of updates). Anyway, a comment with foul language was purged, another is a thoughtful one that I have yet to respond to, and there are no doubt several updates that I completely missed on the assumption that every other person I followed was slacking off as much as I on the blogging front. I’ve changed emails while trying to sort out what’s going on with the other one, and I actually do have something written. I’ve also finally updated my About page.

Now to what I initially logged in to write… Continue reading

On the blending of words and actions

When I was in college and the piles of deadlines became too much to handle, I’d finish what I absolutely had to for the day, grab my keys and head out to start walking.

It always began as an aimless stroll, one day moving through the residential areas to the west of my campus one day, heading east to Lake Michigan on the next day. I’d cross busy streets, double back, go down a road I’d headed down in the opposite direction a few days before. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it.

One thing was always constant, though. Somewhere along the way, I’d stop by a place with books. Continue reading