November is nigh. It is not quite here, but it looms, casting the shadow of NaNoWriMo backward in time from a couple of days in the future.
This was another excellent week for new arrivals at the Library of Winkelman Abbey.
The first three are publications from Lakeshore Literary, a new-ish local literary concern which grew, in a sense, out of the demise of Caffeinated Press. Owner Jason Gillikin has done a stellar job in launching this new company, and I was happy to support them by purchasing their anthology Surface Reflections, as well as issues one and two of The Lakeshore Review.
Next up is Cormac McCarthy‘s eagerly-anticipated new book, The Passenger, which I picked up from local wunderkind bookstore Books & Mortar.
Next up is the Fall 2022 edition of Peninsula Poets, from the Poetry Society of Michigan. This is probably the only subscription I will continue into the new year.
And next is a long awaited reward from a Kickstarter run by Neil Clarke at Clarkesworld Magazine: A Summer Beyond Your Reach, a collection of short fiction from Chinese author Xia Jia. This project has suffered some significant slings and arrows, including COVID, difficulties coordinating between persons in the USA and China, one of the principles of the project suffering some serious health problems, and ongoing supply chain disruptions. It was originally scheduled to be published in November of 2019, and given the events of the past few years it is a small miracle that the book made it to print at all. But it is here now, and it is absolutely beautiful, and everyone involved should be proud of the accomplishment.
In reading news, I took a break from periodicals to dive into some of the recent book acquisitions, including Marissa Lingen‘s collection of short stories Monstrous Bonds, and the new collection of Jim Harrison’s nonfiction, The Search for the Genuine. Now I’m back at the magazines again, with the recent issue of Poetry in front of me, and possibly one more issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet before the end of the month, which happens at, er, midnight tomorrow.
In writing news, I am about as ready as possible for NaNoWriMo, and counting the hours until November 1.
I had an interesting writer experience a couple of days ago. I was eating lunch at work and reading the new issue of Poetry, when I read a line in Troy Osaki‘s poem “Despedida for the Last Despedida,” and a short story suddenly appeared in my head, set in the world I assembled for the previous two NaNoWriMo stories, fully plotted and partially written. Being at work, I didn’t have time to do more than write down a couple of evocative lines in my journal which will, hopefully, serve to keep the story in my memory long enough to put together a first draft.
This experience is a good reminder that while we should “read well”, as Karen Lord advised her audience at ConFusion 2015, we should also read broadly, as inspiration can come from anywhere, and ideas can be triggered by anything.