There was something evil in the glow of the room’s blue lights. I felt the weight of the man on top of me. He could no longer move. His eyes were closed. I stared long into his face. I realized that I wanted him. I wanted the passion he had until a moment ago. I wanted his shoulders, which were quite muscular for his age, and his naturally tan face. I got out from under his body, sat in a chair, and lit a cigarette. I had to wait like this until he fell into a deep sleep.
It was raining outside.
— The Kingdom, Fuminori Nakamura (trans. Kalau Almony)
A recent short short of mine, “You Are Somewhere Else,” is forthcoming in Visitant and should be available online. As usual, I will post the links when the story comes out. – M
I spend a lot of time writing about writing, but I don’t say very much about reading. Since the line between what we write and read is always very thin, I think I should remedy that. I’m planning a “creative writer’s reader response” post sometime soon. For now, I think it would be fun to post something like an annotated bibliography of current reads.
Websites & Blogs: Here is a short list of some of the things I read online. I’m fascinated by blogs that show me something new, and I find the following sites really interesting. The subject matter skews sharply toward my interests in architecture, civil engineering, creative writing, Asia, funerals, life-hacking, languages, and abandoned places.
- The Forgotten City of Iram – Natasha Edgington’s image blog.
- Bones Don’t Lie – A PhD student in anthropology who specializes in mortuary archaeology.
- Bridgioto! – A gifted animator who isn’t afraid to show her work toward becoming a better painter.
- Grinding.be – Articles about dystopias, architecture, and post-humanism.
- I’ve Infused Myself with Puppy DNA – Voice-driven creative nonfiction by a gifted, if sometimes unfocused, writer.
- Japanese Rule of 7 – Ken Seeroi’s thoughts about living in Japan as an English teacher. Smart and often very funny.
- My Hong Kong Husband – Multicultural marriage, Hong Kong, strange things afoot.
- Functional Shift – Lisa Minnick is a linguistics professor and a gifted teacher. Her thoughts on the implicit and explicit uses of English are fascinating.
- Ribbonfarm – Venkat Rao’s writings on the relativity of perception and other interesting concepts. Very smart guy.
- Rune Soup – Gordon White is a funny, insightful, somewhat pissed off, chaos magician. Reading his blog gives me story ideas and that would be reason enough, but I should note that he is clearly one of nature’s prototypes.
- Order of the Good Death – Caitlin Doughty, licensed mortician and founder of the Order of the Good Death, a blog dedicated to fostering an intelligent discussion of death and “death theory.”
- Things I Don’t Understand And Am Definitely Not Going To Talk About – Jen Snow’s small, highly absurd posts sometimes read like status updates and other times like well-crafted micro-fiction pieces.
- Judecca – a webcomic by Jonathan Meecham and Noora Heikkilä about three lost souls who live on an island in one of hell’s rivers. It’s well done. A love story in hell.
- Damned to Deutschland – Poems and short shorts.
- The Witch of Forest Grove – Sarah Anne Lawless is a real-life witch / shaman as well as a very talented crafter, illustrator, and herbalist.
- Du Fuchs – Photography and urban research in Tokyo.
- Life in Russia – Traveling through post-Soviet spaces.
Books: What am I reading right now? What will I be reading after that? (I do update Goodreads from time to time as well.)
- The Beautiful and the Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea – Yukio Mishima
- The Walk – Robert Walser
- Oxfordshire Folk Tales – Kevan Manwaring
- The Melancholy of Mechagirl – Catherine Valente
Waiting on my desk:
- The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis
- Amerika – Franz Kafka
- Chasing the Dime – Michael Connelly
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
- The Prague Cemetery – Umberto Eco