Today’s tea: organic jasmine green, with a shot of honey generously provided by one of our gracious hosts during last week’s Crescent Beach conference of writerly types. Evokes good memories.
Today’s book: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Botanist Kimmerer is a scientist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. This doubled authority charges her writing with confidence and passion. Her technical background might lead you to expect bare factual reportage, but beauty of her words comes from the well that poets frequent. I love discovering wonderfully written creative nonfiction. Laced through with Kimmerer’s personal experience and study, Braiding Sweetgrass gives us the interweaving of three sources of knowledge: science, tradition, and soul.
I’m reading more slowly these days, but I really don’t mind with a book this rich in content and language. I find I’m being educated in multiple fields at once, with joy along the way. Highly recommended so far.
I’ve been feeling a Great Urgency (yes, capitals are required) to get the next book done as soon as possible. The reason is personal, and not the subject of this post. I’m actually just venting a little bit about my Inner Critic, that internal voice I was trained intothat tells me I’m inadequate to the task.
Danny Gregory, on his blog today, gives ample evidence of his own inner critic in evidence. (He’s trained a lot of us to call it The Monkey. The name works. Particularly if, unlike me, you can avoid imagining Mickey Dolenz.)
Point is, Danny has helped SO MANY people reclaim their creative selves, or make it through the hardest times of their lives, or … like yours truly … believe that we deserve to say yes instead of no to opportunities. If he’d listened to his monkey, fed it and wallowed in the monkey’s “but it’s not perfect!” excrement, instead of working on anyway, so many lives would be bleaker for it.
Which reminds me that someone, somewhere, may need my creation too.
So while my own personal Inner Critic has, with the help if Danny and my other creative tribemembers, been downsized from Gorilla (I know, not a monkey) to marmoset, I’m still going to leave the Marmoset Chow in the shelf and keep working.
If you (and John knows this means him, but perhaps it’s you as well) have been waiting for the audio of Albatross, your wait is over! Read by the fantastic Thomas Bishop, Albatross is available on audio from Audible.com, or at this link.
As always, thanks for your support. Happy listening!
This book is now available in print, as well as digital format. I’m old enough that this makes it seem somehow more real. It sits here on my hearth, soft and solid against the warm brick. An artifact of sorts, documentation of these days. A story of the near future, that is in some ways an attempt on the part of the authors to find their way through a troubled time.
This is the book we needed to write. We’ve have been told by a reader that it’s the story they needed to read. And so Bertie and I, and the good folks over at WordFire, are quietly launching Albatross into the world.
Wishing you all peace, a warm cup of tea, and a quiet spot for reading.
I tore through the advanced read copy of SNOWSPELLED by Stephanie Burgis. A quick-reading adventure story set in a Regency-flavored “Angland,” this novella twists some tropes on their heads and sets off merrily in its own direction. Seriously, I laughed out loud a couple of times when the “expected” was NOT what happened. Very refreshing.
The political and magic systems are engaging, and there’s an intriguing romantic interest … again, trope-twisting.
There’s also non-romantic relationship development; this was delightful (and hearkens back to the Austen tradition, which I really appreciated). I was looking forward to doing a review in time for the book’s release back in September.
Then I was in a car accident, and muddled my brain. And basically forgot the book. So I had to re-read it, but my brain refused to focus on more than a paragraph at a time for several weeks.
Then I was in a hurricane.
So my reader response is posting REALLY LATE!
But I have to say, there are worse things to re-read in 98 degree Fahrenheit South Florida humidity than a book in which a group of people are snowed in at a house party. Magicians, politicians, and lots and lots of chill, both in atmosphere and human relations.. This is a quick-reading book, and I’m recommending it for fans of historically-influenced romantic fantasy as a great escape. Just the sort of thing to have on your reading list for those times when you need to mentally Do Something Else. SNOWSPELLED’s world is engaging and well-written. And while the reader may suss out the source of the conflict long before the characters, the process of their realization is engaging enough to keep the pages turning.
SNOWSPELLED was created as the first in a series, and while it is a stand-alone, it does read very much as though it’s establishing this world, these characters, for a longer adventure. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series; I want to see what protagonist Cassandra Harwood and her peers are up to next!