All posts by JP

November in Review

Can I start you off with the best thing?  I dare you not to smile.

You guys, I’m tired. I’m on doggy hospice duty these days, and the ol’ Fuzzball has been needing a lot of middle-of-the-night tending for weeks now. But it’s the greatest gift I can give him these final days. It does make me foggy the rest of the day, though. We push through, don’t we?

It’s also been a month of tremendous work output – I somehow finished NaNoWriMo in eleven days – and now I am retreating a little to take stock and refocus on next steps.

I rarely wait for New Year’s to start a new goal. Heck, I won’t even wait for a Monday. I’m finalizing some plans and will share here when ready. I also have some very exciting news to announce shortly.

I do know that I want to write one essay a week starting this week. I have no end point, no plans. There is no “1 Essay a Week for the Next 100 Weeks” type thing. But if NaNo taught me anything, it’s that I like being motivated by a goal that has a tight timeline.

I had a semi-momentous birthday in November, which may be contributing to this deep-seeded need to get grossly introspective. I feel sometimes like I’m Konmari-ing my own damned mind and life. All good. All good.

I’m not sure what it was about late October through November, but I sure pulled some great reads off my shelf.

Beth Ann Fennelly’s Heating and Cooling packs a lot of emotion in  a slim volume. Outrageous, hilarious, painful, and poignant.

Chelsey Clammer’s Circadian is a breathtaking and bold piece of art that merges and weaves together various forms and styles to try to arrive at understanding what may never be understood fully and to stumble upon truths that are often hard to accept.

Maggie Smith’s Good Bones. Breathtaking poetry about motherhood and middle years with strong, hearty through lines and themes.

I posted this review of Michael Ian Black’s Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom’s, which I know sounds weird):

Reading Navel Gazing was like discovering an up-and-coming band on a college radio station that you want to run around and tell everyone about and force them to listen. Not in a hispter way, really, but more in a "This guy gets it" way that made me go back through old yearbooks and double-check that we hadn't gone to school together back in Jersey.

Michael Ian Black packs a lot into this book -- health, aging, relationships, genetics, ancestry, mortality. It's surprisingly existential at times, rich, full, and just snarky enough to avoid being saccharine.

And funny. Did I mention funny? I literally was chasing people down to read them quotes from the book. And they don't hate me for it!

Highly recommended and truly appreciated.

Here are some fun things I ran across on the Internet this past month.

Here’s why you’re bored after you accomplish something.

Speaking of Konmari, can watching Groundhog Day make you a better artist?

Always time, always hope.

And now? I read, write, and figure things out. It’s a good end-of-year task. Something about low light and angles of things. Asking and truly answering “What do I want?” is an act of courage…and a lot of fun!