February was unexpectedly chaotic, though the ups and downs seem to be tending upward, in part due to a steadily increasing outdoor temperature and amount of sunlight. The lack of a card-carrying white supremacist in the white house also helps.
Three books arrived this past week. On the left is Neeli Cherkovski‘s biography of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, released in 1979, when Ferlinghetti was 60 (!). I picked this up from Third Mind Books in Ann Arbor, which is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the Beats, as well as the Modernist, New York School and Black Mountain poets.
Ferlinghetti died this past Monday, at the age of 101. When I get get my head sorted out about this I will post an article or two.
Next is Anders Dunkers’ Rediscovering Earth: Ten Dialogues on the Future of Nature, (OR Books) a collections of conversations with writers and thinkers discussing what may be and what will be the state of nature and our place in it, going forward from here.
On the right is Cuba in Splinters, a collection of short fiction in translation from Cuba. This was an impulse buy from OR Books, which I picked up when I ordered Rediscovering Earth. My attention was probably primed because I was in the middle of reading Super Extra Grande by Cuban science fiction writer Yoss.
I spent the last week reading books in translation, and completed three more of my backlog of such books – Permafrost by Eva Baltasar (And Other Stories), Super Extra Grande by Yoss (Restless Books), and A Greater Music by Bae Suah (Open Letter Books). Now for a change of pace I am reading Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart, which I picked up last year at ConFusion. I’m less than 100 pages in, and really liking it so far.
In writing news, I am working on edits to a short story I wrote for a call for submissions for the Grimm, Grit and Gasoline anthology published by World Weaver Press. The story was not accepted, obviously, but I think it has promise.
This past Friday I had the great good fortune to spend some time talking the story over with Jason Sizemore of Apex Book Company. The opportunity was made available to supporters of the Apex Patreon, which I am and have been for a couple of years now. I met Jason at ConFusion back in (I think) 2016, where we spent a few minutes discussing the ins and outs and ups and downs of the publishing business. Obviously Apex is doing much better than Caffeinated Press ever did, but there were many similarities in the experiences of running our respective independent publishers.
The increased reading and the access to a professional editor have me feeling reinvigorated, and warmth and sunlight are always energizing. It’s time to get writing.