Reading for that last quarter…

October-December 2017

Books Bought:

  • Autumn – Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer
  • Through the Shadowlands – Julie Rehmeyer
  • Reincarnation Blues – Michael Poore
  • Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008 – Rich Horton (Editor)
  • The Marching Dead – Lee Battersby
  • Freedom – Jonathan Franzen

(These are the books that I know I bought. There were others. Yes, there were indeed others. But, enough of that for now,)

Books Read:

  • Autumn – Karl Ove Knausgaard (unfinished)
  • Once Upon a Mattress – Book by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer and Dean Fuller; Music by Mary Rodgers & Lyrics by Marshall Barer
  • Thanks for the Trouble – Tommy Wallach
  • Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy – Nicholas Reynolds (unfinished)
  • Infinity: 1 (TPB)- Hickman, Spencer & Latour (unfinished)
  • It – Stephen King
  • Scott Pilgrim Vol 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life – Bryan Lee O’Malley

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a reading list. My writing over the last few months has been sporadic at best. I’ve addressed that in the last few entries, and will continue to try and resume my regular writing habits. Until then…

Finally I finished It. It was a worthy opponent, and took some considerable time to make it all the way through. But vanquish that tome I did, and I’m happy to say that I was typically engrossed in the work. I can vividly remember watching the 90s movie with Tim Curry (among other notables), and did greatly enjoy the film adaptation last year. So in reading the source material, I could appreciate the references that I got and marvel at what was not included in either production.

Admittedly, I hadn’t read much by King over the years. DesperationSalem’s Lot, and Cycle of the Werewolf that I know of. So adding It to my small list of completed titles was rewarding. The only other actual book that I finished in these last three months was Thanks for the Trouble. It was a library selection audio book, and I wanted something to listen to as I was driving back and forth to Georgia.

It kept me entertained, and guessing. It turned out to be a young adult’s book, but I’ve enjoyed many of those over the years. t held a common theme that I find in many books: that is, two people unique in their own ways will somehow discover each other. It had that theme as well, only two became seven.

I did some shopping during this time, and the books listed here are incomplete. I know I made purchases at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and, unapologetically, I whored my way through the remainder bins at stores. Fantasy, Marching Dead, and Freedom were all picked up for pennies on the dollar of the sticker price. Art of Asking was at a discount as well.

Let me move on to Autumn, because dear lord. When I first learned of Ove Knausgaard, it was shortly after his autobiography was published. He was doing an interview on NPR, and they were speaking of the scope of his work.

Then I heard about his new collection coming out, basically essays on everyday topics. One topic, one essay. Some examples are apples, twilight, plastic bags, and piss. The hook that got me was his reading of “Thermos Flasks”, of which I exert here:

The steel Thermos looks like it was designed to be fired like a projectile and is not dissimilar in shape to an artillery shell or a shell casing. It is very beautiful.

Something about both the flow of his words and his simplistic straight-forward style grabbed me and couldn’t let me go. So I grabbed a copy of Autumn, but made little headway.

Once Upon a Mattress, a musical that I was in rehearsals for, was unexpectedly cancelled. I did read the script, however, so I add that into my count for the three months. I’d add Evita, a show I’m currently rehearsing, however it is nearly all singing, and I haven’t read through the lyrics.

There were some graphic novels, Marvel’s Infinity and One Press’s Scott Pilgrim. I had recently rewatched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and decided to check out the material. In Volume 1, the stylization and content was pretty much the same.

Additionally, I’d pick up a book, read a bit, then stop. Those last three months were just hectic enough that I couldn’t quite make headway. The early part of 2018 has already shown an improvement, but more on that next month.

Writer’s block?

I haven’t been writing much lately. I had intended to be, and yet it hasn’t happened. I could blame it on writer’s block, though it’s not entirely accurate. Well, it is and it is’t. Writer’s block to me seems a form of catch-all for the various excuses we use to say that we’re not writing.

Julia Cameron asks something like, “Why is there no engineer’s block?” That sounds not quite right, but you get the point.

Mainly, my lack of writing has been an issue of prioritization. Other things on my mind, and distractions abound in those times when I would typically do my writing. My journal entries have been sparse, my reading lax, and even the well of ideas that would pop into my head had seemed to be reduced to a trickle.

Now why this happens I can’t say. But I am aware that if I don’t write, regardless of if what I write is any good or not, the symptoms are only going to worsen.

So, here’s to a prolific and creative 2018!