From Mary Ruefle's lovely essay on menopause: "If you are young and you are reading this, perhaps you will understand the gleam in the eye of any woman who is sixty, seventy, eight, or ninety: they cannot take you seriously (sorry) for you are just a girl to them, despite your babies and shoes and lovemaking and all of that. You are just a girl playing at life." ↗
The new Best American Experimental Writing 2020 (containing one of my stories!) is out! The whole anthology is great and inspiring. ↗
One of my most vibrant reading memories from grade school is reading Ray Bradbury for the first time ("All Summer In A Day" - so heartbreaking!- and "The Veldt") in the Junior Great Books anthology...so I'm really, really excited that my speculative story "You" has been included in the Junior Great Books grade 8 curriculum. I'm in there right along with Katherine Mansfield and John Steinbeck (!!).↗
"Humans must keep doing what they have been doing, hating and fighting each other. I will sit in the background, and let them do their thing." - essay written by Open AI's GPT-3↗
"The summits will remain wedged between a deep trough to the west and a broad ridge to the east. A return flow around the ridge will continue to pump warm, moist air northeast over the forecast." Ryan Knapp, meteorologist, Mount Washington Observatory. The beauty of weather writing! I'm somewhat hooked on these Mount Washington forecasts.↗
"Bodies lie in the bright grass and some are murdered and some are picnicking." Jenny Holzer. There is a great exhibit of hers at MassMoca right now!↗
“Blow now like you mean it, my love,” Captain Jane said and I blew, harder and harder, and the ground itself lit and the trees beyond and the air of the night and the night itself, it seemed, and I knew that Captain Jane had stopped blowing, that it was just me, that I was at the ending of my own great tale, that I had lit the world with its telling and that we would soon burn along with it and make of ourselves a burning, blazing suffix to the sun." - Laird Hunt, In the House in the Dark of the Woods - I am in love with this book↗
"As time has passed, I’ve come to understand what deep influence shaping a narrative has. Stories inspire our actions. They frame for us existences that are and are not possible, delineate tracks we can or cannot travel. They choose who we can find empathy for and who we cannot. What we have fellow feeling for, we protect. What we objectify and commodify, we eventually destroy." - Brilliant Brit Marling essay from the New York Times on creating a new (and non-masculine) narrative structure ↗
"Somehow the shock of separateness flooded me with relief. The world does not center on me or on my species. The casual center of the natural world is a place that humans had no part in making. Life transcends us. it directs our gaze outward." - David George Haskell, The Forest Unseen, a stunning and meditative book. Like Marlen Haushofer's The Wall but with less of the human in it. Plot as nature and the seasons.↗
"In the aftermath of this magnitude of loss, you take a different shape in the world." - Rachel Louise Snyder, No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us. A precisely written, justifiably angry, but also hopeful book.
"The literature of the apocalypse presents weeds in ambiguous, not to say contradictory roles. They may be one of the agents that bring down civilisation, but they may also be the living pioneers that begin to rebuild it." Richard Mabey, Weeds, a book that is making me want to learn the names of all urban weeds. This book also contains gorgeous plant descriptions. ↗
"I was a generic parent grieving a generic child lost to an inexplicable tragedy. Already there were three cliches. I could wage my personal war against each one of them." -Yiyun Li, Where Reasons End, the form of this novel is stunning.
"I would rather write nothing at all than propagandize for the world as is." - The Undying by Anne Boyer. An amazing book.↗
Happy 2020! I left twitter! I really don't like the "like" system. Here's to staying super focused in the new year!
There are so many books I want to read. I am just stacking them up on my nightstand. In the meantime, I continue to reread Reservoir 13 & I am also diving into the very large The Gene: An Intimate History. Siddhartha Mukherjee is a compulsively readable writer.
I have a new story in the current issue of Conjunctions! And now I will not have any new stories out for a while because I am working on my novel.↗