Death and Literature

Been a bit. What, a week you say? Exactly? Hot dandy, that's about what happens when life tosses you a Sad Puppy(TM). These are the sort of unexpected and debilitating moments you knew were out there somewhere, but hadn't happened by for tea and scones yet.

On the night between Tuesday and Monday, my grandmother Margaret Jensen passed away, leaving the mortal coil for something new. Likely somewhere with a brass band and gin drinks. This came as little surprise to the family, as Grammy'd been losing the battle to cancer and Alzheimer's for a few years now. But yanno... death. Even if you don't think of it as an End, it's sad that you won't get to talk to this distinct intellect who's shone you love and support for years. At least in two-way communication. Whether you think it's an End or not, it's at least a change. And change is usually terrifying to our little primate selves. That's ok, though, I like to think that change is a comfortable continuity in itself.

I've been working to completion on that watercolor I posted updates about, in between paying work and putting together submission packets for different publishing venues. Painting's pretty darned near finished. You'll see it soon, ye wanderers of the night lands.

Otherwise, I've pretty much been reading. A lot, by comparison to recent trends. In the last two weeks (or one?) I finished:

KJ Parker's Purple and Black (cute novella. like the emperor a lot.)
Sean William's The Crooked Letter (the concepts are nifty, the prose is great, the protagonists took some getting used to and are still kinda whiny, imo)
Liz Williams' The Shadow Pavilion (not as smooth a tale as her earlier Inspector Chen books, but quite a romp)
Robert J Sawyer's www : wake (16 yr old narrator... sometimes overly pedagogal, but ends feeling fulfilled)
Octavia Bulter's Parable of the Sower (brilliant book. read it.)

Now onto Tim Power's Earthquake Weather. As you may notice, I'm doing a roundabout survey of the judges and teachers at the Writers and Illustrators of the Future workshop I was priviledged to attend in August. I have a KD Wentworth story on my laptop and would like to find a Nina Hoffman book at the library. Did I mention? These are all from the library. Damn fine institution.

And to end on a light note, from this interview:

"Nothing a writer says surprises me anymore, not even if Jeff VanderMeer told me he did his first drafts while dangling naked upside from a coconut palm, writing in squid ink through the hollowed fingerbone of William S. Burroughs. (I've seen his handwriting, this might actually be true.)" - Jay Lake

Tee hee.

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