Welcome 2024 – Whatcha reading?

posted in: The Journey | 4
Blue skies above blue mountain

2024 has entered with wet, wild winds. Ice everywhere underfoot. The world is slippery and precarious. This kind of weather isn’t unheard of on Kachemak Bay at this time of year, but it is unwanted. It tarnishes all the brightness of snowy landscapes and makes getting around outside difficult.

And so I turn inward. Spend evenings in a pool of lamp light near the woodstove. Consumed already this year: two books of poetry, Some of the Things I’ve Seen by Sara Berkeley and Earth House by Matthew Hollis, as well as Tom Lake by Ann Patchett and Stag Cult by Martin Shaw. Last year, I read fewer books that I usually do, and I am wondering at the reason.

How about you? Are you finding it harder to buckle in and read? If so, what is pulling you away – social media, streaming movies/shows, life circumstances, work?

For my creative project that I’ve been working on about Bridget Cleary, I find myself in the same circumstance as my beautiful friend Sherry Simpson found herself once upon a time – too much research. We used to ask her how she was doing with “the bear book” which morphed into “that damned bear book,” but eventually she finished it. She won a John Burroughs Medal for The Dominion of Bears, so I guess I’m going to cut myself slack for not being finished just yet.

I have stories to tell about my trip to Ireland to research Bridget and to walk the roads she walked. And it seems like lately, because of my work with Storyknife Writers Retreat and the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference and my own creative work, I have stories to tell about capitalism and what it’s doing to the creative process and the creative product of our writers and artists.

So I leave you with those questions about reading and creating and the value you place on it. I’d love to hear your answers, in any way you’d like to get them to me. I don’t charge for newsletters or blog posts. (Which is good since I’m so piss-poor at actually adhering to a consistent posting schedule.) I’ve got some thoughts on the proliferation of subscription newsletters as well.

I guess 2024 is the year that I’m full of it. Again. 😉

4 Responses

  1. Pam Uschuk

    I am reading Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin and Joy Harjo’s Poet Warrior (I will teach from this soon). Baldwin is brilliant, challenging, expert at changing points of view and complex sentences. I read this novel as if I’m swimming in lava. Each morning I’ve been writing in my journal, sometimes a small poem, sometimes just wandering through the thicket of me. My TV is a large window looking out on my desert yard, where I watch the scores of birds who come to the feeders. A small armada of Gambel’s quail are clucking and pecking at the seed block. A cold wind blows icy rain from the West….we’re getting ready for a hard freeze tonight.

  2. Amanda Reavey

    I’m reading Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride. I’ve also been collecting poems for my upcoming Restorative Poetry Circle, which combines journal writing and poetry therapy. So far I have poems by Lucille Clifton, Veronica Shorffstall and Lauren Camp 🙂

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