I read six since the last time I checked in (not including the six books I read for the CWA BOTY contest). I read in a few genres: from Horror (Cynthia’s reimagining of the Pied Piper). Speculative and Science fiction (cloning and space drama). A great film study of one of my favorite movies, The Thing. A thrilling story about a diver that gets swallowed by a whale, and Seth Godin (marketing, leadership and living a creative life). These were some great reads to take my mind off the tasks at hand.
I read two graphic novel/comic series. I mentioned last time I went to CAKE (Chicago’s Alternative Comics Expo) with Georgia last month and one of the artist/writer I met was Megan, and her Lady Eudora book was a great fun read about a proper woman exploring the world of BDSM. I also read Big Sex Criminal (it’s been in my TBR pile for a year or so)—A couple can stops time when they have an orgasm and decide to rob a bank…
I’m not sure how I did it, but I read 8 books since the last time I checked in. As you know I didn’t write a couple newsletters, so that’s where the extra time went. LOL. I read in a few genres: from Horror (cordyceps fungus zombies and supernatural revenge), literary fiction, and a healthy dose of Seth Godin (marketing, leadership and living a creative life). These were some great reads to take my mind off the tasks at hand.
Not only did I spend the past three months away from y’all reading novels, I also read 6 graphic novels. Everything from Manga horror, coming of age and a banned book. I also went to CAKE (Chicago’s Alternative Comics Expo with Georgia last month (I’ll be sharing finds from that next newsletter).
I was still digging my monthly subscription to Vinyl Moon. It’s like a mix-tape on vinyl, except they create an experience combining the curated eclectic mix of songs with story telling and artwork. It’s pretty cool and I’m excited to get more editions. ‘
I did do some record digging at a record shop recently, and I’ll share those gems next month.
Here are the four top podcasts I’ve been finding time for:
Row introduced me to the world he is creating through his words and comics. A world where superhero’s are just being discovered and exploited.
Here is what The Jet Saga is all about in Row’s words:
“Kevin is trying to find his self-worth in a world where heroes are now just becoming a thing. While a nation is being divided by inescapable change, Kevin is desperately trying to provoke change within himself.”
Go learn more about Row Sky and his comic at his website (there are trailers and art work).
This was the first book I’ve read in 2023, and it was incredible. And the process and transformation of the idea and themes in the book cross several creative disciplines, Music, Writing, and Art.
The book has its roots in the Music of Drexciya, a Detroit based Techno duo. The story reimagines the horror of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade by posing the question, “What if the descendants of pregnant mothers thrown overboard created an underwater society?” This theme was picked up by Daveed Diggs and his rap group Clipping. The idea was further explored and expanded by author Rivers Solomon in the book, ‘The Deep.” And to keep the idea and world building expanding, Abdul Qadim Haqq created a graphic novel: The Book Of Drexciya Volume One and Two
Back copy excerpt for ‘The Deep’:
“The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.
Dialogue: The Art of Verbal Action for Page, Stage, and Screen
I am continuing my journey and deep dive into the theory of story, and after focusing on structure, I am moving to dialogue.
Backcopy: ”Now, in Dialogue, McKee offers the same in-depth analysis for how characters speak on the screen, on the stage, and on the page in believable and engaging ways. From Macbeth to Breaking Bad, McKee deconstructs key scenes to illustrate the strategies and techniques of dialogue. Dialogue applies a framework of incisive thinking to instruct the prospective writer on how to craft artful, impactful speech.”
No new Podcast to report: Still catching up on them all!
But on the Music Front, there have been several mentions in this post already, Drexciya, and Clipping, but I was gifted a subscription to Vinyl Moon by my lovely wife Georgia (atomicnumber14). And I did some organizing.
Vinyl Moon is like a mix tape on vinyl, but they create a multimedia experience, Art, Story and Music. I am excited to get new additions every month.
Also, I spent organizing my vinyl collection. I used my woodworking skill and laser engraver to make dividers for my LPs. I will do the same for the hundreds of 45s that I have. Maybe I need to get a jukebox.
This is the third issue in the Horror anthology series. A great collaborative effort! I am looking forward to more stuff from Guerrilla Publishing. Full disclosure: I backed this project on Kickstarter, and even got my Face on the back cover. Still a good read! Go get it!
Edited by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman LETTERS FROM A CRISIS
A wonderful anthology that I’ve been digesting slowly over the past couple weeks; best summed up in the book’s description:
“Galvanizing and lyrical, this is a deeply profound anthology of writing filled with pain and beauty, warmth and intimacy. A remarkable feat of empathy, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love offers solace in a time of swirling protest, change, and violence-reminding us of the human scale of the upheaval, and providing hope for a kinder future.”
I read or listen to this masterpiece of fiction yearly. Reading and thinking about the way this story is constructed (pacing, tone, dialogue, plotting) has been helpful to my own writing. Check it out!
I have been really digging this new soulful alternative country mash up. Go add Amythyst Kiah’s Wary Strange to your playlist!
Okay, that’s where I’m at. I’ll try to update y’all every month on books, comics, and music that I’ve been digging! I’ll try to add some indie author reads!