Reading to retreat, recharge, and resist
The last three months have been a rollercoaster, to say the least. In order to maintain some semblance of sanity I’ve turned to reading even more than usual.
I’ve been trying to hone my short story skills more. Normally I listen to podcasts, but as of late I’ve turned to some collections on my shelves. The two listed below have a nice array of stories and that may be part of the problem. I get pulled into the stories and forget to evaluate them critically. That’s good for the authors, not so good for my learning. Still, I’ll read on and enjoy if nothing else.
I’ve got to keep one foot in “reality” and am doing so by reading this. I can’t recommend The Devil’s Chessboard enough. I’m about two thirds through and, so far, it’s providing and pretty good background into the shaping of the CIA in the wake of World War II. If you’re paying attention, decisions from 60+ years ago are reverberating strongly today.
Last, but definitely not least, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of We Are Not Good People by Jeff Somers. I’m not all that enamored with Urban Fantasy, but the tone of the story, the character development and the magic have be sucked right in. I’ve read some Richard Kadrey, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, and probably some others and I would put this up there with American Gods and Neverwhere, broadly speaking. Anyway, we’ll see how it ends but I’m all in.
In addition to reading, I’ve been working on a couple of short stories. Not surprisingly, they reflect some of the issues we are dealing with on a daily basis. With some elbow grease, these will find a home in the short fiction marketplace.
Lastly, a shout out to This is Horror and The Outer Dark podcasts (currently enjoying The Outer Dark’s State of the Weird episode. Sooo good.) These shows get me through all the local miles I travel taking my daughter to school, running to the store, etc. Fully entertaining and smart.
That is all. Be well and take care of yourselves.