Theres a new poem of mine up on Fevers of the Mind. Its called Failed Hypothesis, go hereto read it.
I love these cold clear winter days. Here’s a photo I took yesterday by the harbour:
If you’re writing anything in any capacity you should take some time to read this amazing essay by Kali Wallace. It’s something I’ve touched on before, the pressure to keep working, but articulated so beautifully and painfully:
Write something else. Write it faster. And network more, because those failures are your fault. You don’t follow enough writers on Twitter. You don’t read enough agent newsletters. You don’t go to enough conventions. You don’t know the right people.
Now the nights are drawing in and daylight is a distant memory. We surrender ourselves to the dark and cold, waiting and hibernating until spring.
Due to events and publishing a play, I haven’t read a lot of articles this month. The ones I did read tended to be depressing and ranty about politics. But with the long nights, I’ve read a couple of books I can recommend. There’s a couple of images as well:
There was one article I read this month that was worth sharing. An investigation into amnesia and forgetting everything that constitutes your personality. This is a long article, but well worth it. Benjamin Kyle forgot all of his previous life. It’s an examination of anonymity, and whether it is possible in this day and age. But it also brings up questions of memory and personality as well. What happens when we can’t remember the person we were before?
These pictures of Sci Fi landscapes by Simon Stålenhag are utterly fascinating glimpses into a near reality. With the world getting more dystopic, they seem more relevant now.
Book recommendations: Firstly, The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. This might be one of my favourite graphic novels of all time. I got it out of the library on a whim and it floored me. It’s the story of a man called David, who makes a deal with deal in order for the ability to create whatever he wants just by touching it. The art is exceptional and the story deals with why people create art and how it links to mortality. It’s hugely emotional as well. Both my girlfriend Mel and I were sobbing when we finished it. Highly recommended.
On a happier note, Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Bodyby Sara Pascoe is funny, insightful and powerfully argued. Using theories of evolutionary biology to explain theories of the female body, it is fascinating and laugh out loud funny. Sara uses the book as an autobiography as well, illustrating her arguments about love and sex with experiences from her own life. Utterly brilliant and recommended for everyone
Finally, a timely reminder from Tom Humberstone, who illustrates Arts Emergency’s manifesto. The charity is a superb idea, encouraging young people to seek careers in the arts and mentoring them with professionals. This seems especially relevant when the world is dark.
That’s all for this month. Have a Merry Christmas and I’ll see you in the new year.
Top image “Carpark near Waterloo station, London, 1963” via here
Summer is a distant memory now. We huddle around the fire for warmth and watch the leaves slowly drift to the ground. It’s chilly outside. Best to draw up the blankets around you, grab a hot drink and hibernate for the winter. Here are a few links to keep you going
As I write the whole world is waiting for a result in America. Perhaps you know the result now. Either way, remember that America is just a story. View at Medium.com
This is a great article by Laurie Penny behind the curtain of American politics, which goes beyond simple discussions of policy or candidates and focuses on the stories that shape the election. Continue reading →
I was away for a large portion of August, with my phone deliberately turned off. I was in the Isle of Skye and saw amazing things, like the sunset above. As such, I don’t have much this month, but there are a few things I enjoyed:
I wrote about Free Speech a little while ago, so was interested to read about the group who try and promote it as a big issue. The only problem is, they seem to be achieving the opposite: Continue reading →
I’ve been really busy this month with all good things. I went to three music festivals, canoed down the Thames and generally had lots of good times.. But in between playing Pokemon Go, there’s been a few articles and things that are worth reading:
The ever reliable Leo Babuta with some writing advice. It’s advice from more of a mindfulness perspective. This is particularly helpful advice i feel:
>Anyone can write, and everyone should. You don’t have to be James Joyce to write. Even if you never want to be a pro, you can write in a journal every day, or write letters to a loved one (and send them or not). You don’t have to be polished. And it’s a great practice, to learn to focus and overcome fears and procrastination, and learn to allow the words to flow from the mind. Continue reading →
Given everything that is going on at the moment, I’m amazed we made it to the end of July. However, there’s enough good stuff out there to take your mind off the malestrom. Here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed:
I can’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but Ken Liu’s story Paper Menagerie is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read recently. An incredibly well crafted fantasy story, it is simple but with depths of emotion. Continue reading →
Another month gone already. It feels like no time at all since I wrote my last link roundup, but here we are again. This month I’ve mostly been reading The Bone Clocks & Wonderbook, but in between there’s been a number of good articles.
Firstly, sad news as The Toast announced it is shutting up shop on July 1st. It’s a wonderful resource of humour and literacy, but also publishes more serious longer articles. There’s nothing quite like it on the internet so it is an incredible shame to see it go. Still though, in its last months, it is publishing brilliant articles like this one on fanfiction and writing. I’ve never written fanfiction but this sort of makes me want to. It’s all writing at the end of the day, whether it’s a blog like this one or fanfiction or stuffy literary fiction. Ignore the snobbery and just write what you want.