Wednesday, August 15, 2012

a choir of caresses

My recent reading life takes place mostly on the subway. This week's B/Q train book has been Three Messages and A Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic edited by Eduardo Jiménez Mayo and Chris N. Brown. 

In "Future Nereid," by Gabriela Damián Miravete, translated by Michael J. Deluca, these two lines lines about reading jumped out at me:
"In your belly something will shrivel at the thought of the unfortunate distance which sometimes separates us from souls attuned to our own."

"You'd like to underline the words in this book as a substitute for a choir of caresses."
And something shriveled in me, and something else bloomed.


And this is why I give my heart to authors that find the combination of words that describe a part of me, of my life or my thoughts or give me new places to go to. I relentlessly recommend them, I buy their books, I think of them often. Sometimes I write them letters. It is why I keep reading. I keep reading because they love me through the page, a special, wide-spectrum, im/personal love ray.

Who has caressed you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

get in my ears

Authors like Catherynne M. Valente, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Bucknell, Lavie Tidhar, Genevieve Valentine and more populate Clarkesworld. I'm not sure how I missed the way there for so long, especially with all of the recasts by my favorite scifantastic podcasts. Anyway, I subscribed to the podcast a few days ago and haven't really stopped listening since. As you know, I love closing my eyes, just me and the story. Podcast director Kate Baker reads many of the stories and she brings a lot to each. Here are some to start out with:
If you've ever known a true believer: Semiramis by Genevieve Valentine
If you've hated on your body: Worm Within by Cat Rambo
If you've ever played a player: Clockwork Chickadee by Mary Robinette Kowal

Check out the magazine for more stories, cover art, essays and interviews. They pay their authors--another reason to support them.


I've also been listening to 99% Invisible, hosted by Roman Mars. Ostensibly an architecture podcast, the short episodes almost always get into culture and personality, too. I loved to episode on Galloping Gertie, the killer bridge!


Are you generally a genre lover? Do you like smart artists? If so you should also subscribe to the woefully under-updated Make Believers podcast, hosted by Alexa Rose and Ming Doyle. Even though they sometimes they talk about astrology and superhero comics, I am always excited for a new episode. Hat tip to friend of try harder Simon Häussle for recommending it to me!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

today, with partial punctuation

Today, or maybe yesterday (time has been broken for years) is the anniversary of my brother's death. Today it has been nine years since I lost him. Today I try to figure out how that is even possible but no calculations make sense. Today I am happy that I am marked forever by love even though it is inconvenient. Today I eat strawberries. Today I host a good friend. Today I make jokes about not wanting to leave the house. Today I do work for a few hours until my eyes get tired from the screen. Today I don't tell anyone about today until right now. Today I smell a phantom dead mouse and gag a little. Today I take a nap until I have a nightmare. Today I finally vacuum the rug. Today I miss you, and you, and you. Today I am angry about all that's been taken from me. Today that thought does not eat me alive, only nibbles on the edges. Today I cried while using Photoshop specifically the rotate canvas button that I could not get to rotate us right-side-up. Today I wear safety orange shorts because it is hot and I am lazy and you would have loved them too.
Check out this process post by the intellectually ravishing Anne Emond. Be sure to click through to her tumblr for the final product: Motivation!

I like to see how the sausage is made. If you can't think of something to update your blog with, a process post is always appreciated.

I am 100% (1000%?) delighted that she recently started having comics on The Rumpus, the font of many of my recent obsessions.


Friend of try harder, Marguerite Dabaie, is not only a cartoonist, but a professional copy editor to boot. And, lucky lucky, she wants to help you. Here's what she says:
"Cartoonists, zinesters, and good ol' fashioned writers: I will soon be offering my copy editing services at a very affordable price. My specialties will be in self-published and small-press publications. I have been employed for the past five years as a copy editor at an internationally renowned institution in New York City, and I'm more than happy to use my experience to make your work stronger."
Take her up on it! mdabaie AT margoyle DOT net


Visiting me this week is the fabulous Amanda Welltailored.  I am being a terrible host as usual but I love having a friend in the yellow room, making life fuller and more interesting. I promise by her third visit I will have this "being fun" thing down.

Friday, August 03, 2012

this would be better or different

Roxane Gay is the best essayist around. She is also one of the most interesting pop cultural critics working today. She recently wrote this list-a-say about female friendship that struck me as deeply important, as well as informative, for everyone: How to Be Friends With Another Woman

I've been thinking a lot about friendship recently, and as Gay is a writer that helps me think, I am glad she is thinking about it too. Thanks, the hairpin for sending me towards her tumblr.


NEWS: Got my first subscription shipment from Oily Comics. It made me happy. 
ADVICE: You should listen to Robin's interview with artist and publisher Charles Forsman on inkstuds where he talks about what led to Oily, why it feels good to charge $1 for comics, and family. He also reveals that his new book will be about Wolf, a character I loved in a mini I loved.
BRAG: All of you who didn't subscribe really missed out.

This is exactly what I look like.


I write to a six-year-old regularly. We are not related. When I started, she couldn't read the letters herself but now I choose words that I hope she finds delightful. I do hope that our little correspondence, even when likely forgotten, inspires her to be a lifelong letter writer. If I wanted to up those chances considerably, I'd pressure her parents to buy her the Rumpus Letters for Kids subscription. Writers writing letters to kids? Yes, please.  I get the adult version and overall it has been an amazing experience.