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Reading List 10 of 2020

October 23, 2020

RIP, neighbor tulip poplar (not even in ill health), and neighbor sugar maple (ailing)

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Covers the period from 10.1.20 through 10.23.20

I/we own 7 of these items. I watched 6 items on Youtube/via streaming. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 5 of the books and movies. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 17 items.

{Women}

RESEARCH —

Celtic poetry:

  1. An Acre of Land by R. S. Thomas [1952] (Cymru)
  2. Laboratories of the Spirit by R. S. Thomas [1975] (Cymru)
  3. Residues by R.S. Thomas (Cymru)
  4. Runes of Women by Fiona Macleod* [1915] (Scotland)

*Not italicized as a woman because it turned out to be a pen name for William Sharp

England ~ Wiltshire {Malfoy Manor}:

  1. The Courts Garden (near Trowbridge) ~ National Trust
  2. The Naturalist in Central Southern England: Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset by Derrick Knowlton [1973]
  3. Wiltshire by Ralph Whitlock, drawings by J. Deliss [1949]
  4. The Wiltshire Village Book by Michael Marshman [1987]
  5. [Poetry] Flowers in the Grass (Wiltshire Plainsong) by Maurice Hewlett [1920]

British horticulture:

  1. English Gardens by Kathryn Bradley-Hole
  2. The English Vicarage Garden by Miss Reed [1988]
  3. Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively
  4. The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh by Kathryn Aalto

British:

  1. British Landscape Drawings and Watercolors, 1750–1850 by Robert R. Wark [1981]
  2. Presences of Nature: British Landscape, 1780–1830 by Louis Hawes [1982]
  3. The Children’s Bells: A Selection of Poems by Eleanor Farjeon [1960]
  4. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by Seán Jennett [1965]
  5. The Glory of Scotland by Jack House [1962]
  6. The Marches: A Borderland Journey between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart
  7. The Scilly Isles by Geoffrey Grigson, drawings and watercolours by Fred Uhlman [1948]
  8. English Accents and Dialects by Arthur Hughes and Peter Trudgill [1979]
  9. You Can’t Kill the Spirit: Women in a Welsh mining valley by Jill Miller [1986]

~ AO3 Fanfics ~

  • Harry Potter  // read 144 works; 2,608,941 words

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Memoir:

  1. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  2. Who Am I? An Autobiography of Emotion, Mind, and Spirit by Yi-Fu Tuan

Miscellaneous:

  1. Franz Marc | Watercolors, Drawings, Writings by Klaus Lankheit [1960]
  2. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  3. [SFF] Network Effect [Murderbot 5] by Martha Wells

Films & TV:

  1. Enola Holmes, directed by Harry Bradbeer
  2. Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter
  3. Moana, directed by John Musker & Ron Clements
  4. Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller
  5. Onward, directed by Dan Scanlon
  6. Pride & Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright
  7. Riley’s First Date?, written & directed by Josh Cooley
  8. Song Exploder, created by Hrishikesh Hirway
    1. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Wait for It, directed by Morgan Neville
    1. R.E.M.’s Losing My Religion, directed by Nicola B. Marsh
    1. Alicia Keys’s 3 Hour Drive, directed by Nicola B. Marsh

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Reading List 9 of 2020

September 30, 2020

Rest in Power, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–2020)

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Covers the period from 8.31.20 through 9.30.20

 

I/we own 7 of these items. I watched 3 items on Youtube/via streaming. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 5 of the books and movies. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 3 items.

{Women}

 

 

RESEARCH —

 

Celtic:

  1. The Baking Cookbook: Flavours of Wales by Gilli Davies and Huw Jones
  2. Poetry: Reading it, writing it, publishing it ~ compiled & edited by Jessie Lendennie (Eire)
  3. Selected Poems of Idris Davies [1953]

 

British horticulture:

  1. Shakespeare’s Gardens by Jackie Bennett
  2. [TV] The Great Gardens of England – 40 sites: including 2 in Wiltshire; 4 in Cornwall, 1 in Glamorgan & 3 in Gwent (Cymru).

 

~ AO3 Fanfics ~

  • Harry Potter // read 135 works; 5,012,472 words

 

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Biography & History:

  1. The Destiny of Isabelle Eberhardt by Cecily Mackworth [1975]
  2. Labyrinths: Emma Jung… by Catrine Clay
  3. Legendary Artists and the Clothes They Wore by Terry Newman
  4. Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore by Terry Newman

 

Miscellaneous:

 

  1. The First Books of David Henderson & Mary Korte: A Research by Iris Cushing
  2. Understanding Context by Andrew Hinton
  3. [Poetry] Wisdom Teeth by Derrick Weston Brown
  4. [SFF] On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

 

 

Films:

  1. Enola Holmes, directed by Harry Bradbeer
  2. Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail
  3. Harry Potter 1, directed by Chris Columbus
  4. Pitch Perfect, directed by Jason Moore
  5. SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival
    1. A Letter to Congress {Wallace Stegner}
    2. Blue Carbon {estuaries | HUC8: 17110011 ~ Snohomish River, WA}
    3. March of the Newts
    4. Wave Hands Like Clouds
    5. Wild Toddler Chronicles: Legacy {Utah}
    6. Words Have Power {environmental racism, Connecticut}
    7. Your Rivers Need You {HUC8: 05100204 ~ Red River, KY}

 

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Reading List 8 of 2020

August 30, 2020

Rest in Power, Chadwick Boseman (1976–2020). DAMMIT.

 

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I don’t know (and I don’t care) WTEF J. K. Rowling’s problem is with the stunningly controversial fact that transgender people exist, and we just want to live our lives, same as anybody.

However, I’ve read enough biographies of novelists, poets, artists, and scientists to be aware that a bunch of them consistently behaved like assholes, to friends, family, and strangers alike.

Therefore, how I choose to respond to JKR’s transphobia is to determine that Story used her as Its vehicle to inject Itself into our 21st century world — and I’m deeply grateful for the characters and situations (archetypes) now available to fanficcers … but I never want to hear from her ever again.

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Covers the period from 8.9.20 through 8.30.20

 

I own 21 of these items. I watched 3 items on Youtube/via streaming. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 6 of the books and movies.

Inter-Library Loan {Marina} remains unavailable due to the pandemic.

 

{Women}

 

RESEARCH –

 

British | Celtic:

  1. Britain’s Wild Flowers by Rosamond Richardson
  2. Cræft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts by Alexander Langlands
  3. Inverness, the Cairngorms and the Great Glen by J. Arthur Dixon [c. 1960s]
  4. The Land of Wales by Eiluned Lewis and Peter Lewis [1937] ~ chapter, The Industrial Era
  5. Welsh Place Names by Dewi Davies
  6. The Welsh Spirit of Gwent by Mair Elvet Thomas [1988]
  7. [Poetry] John Clare | The Oxford Authors, edited by Eric Robinson and David Powell [1984]

 

 

~ AO3 Fanfics ~

  • Harry Potter // read 108 works; 3,498,037 words

In not-quite-11-months in fandom, I’ve now read 20 million words of Harry Potter fanfic. I assert my right to continue immersing myself in this shared universe as long as I like. Also, researching for my fanfic is a blast. I can now understand a smidge of written Welsh! Scottish Gaelic too!

 

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Visual Art & Design:

  1. The Best American Info-Graphics 2016, edited by Gareth Cook
  2. Creative Collage by Clare Youngs
  3. Illustrating Children’s Books by Martin Salisbury
  4. Illustration: An Artist’s Guide to Illustration on the Go! by Betsy Beier
  5. The Joy of Lettering by Gabri Joy Kirkendall and Jaclyn Escalera
  6. Just Draw Botanicals by Helen Birch

 

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Poetry:

 

  1. A Guest on Earth: The Life and Poetry of Joy Bale Boone, Kentucky Poet Laureate 1997–1999 by Loretta Martin Murrey
  2. A Warm and Snouting Thing by Ramona Herdman
  3. Ark Aft by Jeffrey Hecker
  4. Dear Motorcycle Enthusiast by Jessica Farquhar
  5. Dragonish by Emma Simon
  6. Mackerel Salad by Ben Rogers
  7. Poems the Wind Blew In by Karmelo Iribarren, translated by Lawrence Schimel, illustrated by Riya Chowdhury
  8. Waiting for My Life by Linda Pastan [1981]
  9. Wave Behavior by Jen Denrow

 

Miscellaneous:

  1. Bone Deep in Landscape: Writing, Reading, and Place by Mary Clearman Blew [1999]
  2. Mythologies by Roland Barthes, translated by Richard Howard and Annette Lavers
  3. One Long River of Song by Brian Doyle
  4. [Fiction] Juniper Lane by Kady Morrison {AO3’s gyzym*}

 

TV & Films:

  1. Classic Albums: Pink Floyd –Dark Side of the Moon [1973], directed by Ian Emes
  2. Classic Albums: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers –Damn the Torpedoes [1979], directed & edited by Matthew Longfellow
  3. Classic Albums: Peter Gabriel –So [1986], directed by George Scott

 

  1. Fast Color, directed & co-written by Julia Hart

 

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*author of What We Pretend We Can’t See, 19.2.2017— Drarry

(for which I joined 6,558 other readers in bookmarking it so I can re-read it!)

I will not, however, be re-reading Juniper Lane, marketed as a “queer romance”, which it contains 0 of … until the last 5 pages or so. Disappointing.

Reading List 7 of 2020

August 4, 2020

Rest in Power, Civil rights icon & U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. (1940–2020)

 

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Covers the period from 7.17.20 through 8.4.20

 

I own 6 of these items. I watched 7 items on Youtube/via streaming. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 4 of the books and movies.

Inter-Library Loan {Marina} remains unavailable due to the pandemic.

 

{Women}

 

RESEARCH –

 

British:

  1. British Dragons by Jacqueline Simpson
  2. Shepherdess with an Automatic: Poems by Jane Satterfield
  3. Unquiet Landscape: Places and Ideas in 20th Century British Painting by Christopher Neve
  4. [Documentary series] A Stitch in Time, with Amber Butchart [fashion historian]
    • 1.01: Charles II
    • 1.02: the Arnolfini Portrait
    • 1.03: the Hedge Cutter
    • 1.04: Dido Belle
    • 1.05: The Black Prince
    • 1.06: Marie Antoinette

 

 

~ AO3 Fanfics ~

  • Harry Potter // read 161 works; 3,603,343 words

 

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Art & Design:

  1. If You Can Cut, You Can Collage by Hollie Chastain
  2. The Lost Words: A Spell Book by Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris
  3. Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies by Dave Addey
  4. [Film] The Gardener [Frank Cabot of Quebec], written & directed by Sébastien Chabot

 

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Poetry:

 

  1. The Blvd by Jenise Miller
  2. field guide to autobiography by Melissa Eleftherion
  3. The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward

 

 

Films & TV:

  1. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, directed by David Dobkin
  2. Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail
  3. Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes on You, with Robin Roberts
  4. Ratatouille, directed & co-written by Brad Bird
  5. Secretariat, directed by Randall Wallace
  6. Disney+ shorts ~
    1. Float, written & directed by Bobby Alcid Rubio
    2. Kitbull, written & directed by Rosana Sullivan
    3. Out, written & directed by Stephen Clay Hunter
    4. Purl, written & directed by Kristen Lester

 

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Dream: 7.4.20

July 5, 2020

I’m at the grocery with Spouse, but I abruptly realize I forgot my mask, which makes me very anxious. (Even though no one else is wearing a mask.) People persist in crowding close to me, while I attempt — ineffectually — to preserve social distance. I also try to keep my mouth covered with my sweatered arm.

I have a meltdown; Spouse is impatient with me, which I feel guilty about. After Spouse walks away, a young boy (unprompted) brings me a cup of water to drink. I thank him, facing his family, and say, “I was having a meltdown”, thinking they may be familiar with the term, but they look at me blankly.

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Now I’m in a multi-story mall complex, with lots of shiny escalators. Spouse has disappeared, and I get thoroughly lost.

I ‘fight off’ a second meltdown, and feel proud of myself.

But then a 3rd one comes, and I succumb to it.

I just want to find Spouse, but maybe I’m going to die here, alone (in a sea of strangers) and in despair.

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[As is usual in dreams like this] I can’t get my phone to work, so I can’t reach Spouse to find out where he got to.

I think I see him in the crowd, approaching me even, but… it’s not him.

I find an employee of a restaurant and ask her to call me a cab, which she does. I’ll take that back to the grocery, then see if I can have Spouse paged.

Cabbie drives me for a minute or two, stops. Says the meter was off, so it’s a freebie. He tells me to “fuck off”. I protest, say I’d be happy to at least give him a few bucks. I reach for my purse to dig out some bills. As I try handing him the money, I look around outside the car to get my bearings. Realize… we are nowhere near the grocery, or anywhere recognizable. In fact, we are in the middle of nowhere.

We both get out of the cab. Cabbie advances towards me, grabbing at 1 of my 3 (valuable) necklaces, demands I give it to him. I recognize I’m being robbed, and am in dire straits.

I wake up.

 

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NOTES:

Yeah, so I have serious abandonment issues, just in general. But also, in waking life, for the past week, Spouse was a day’s drive away (3 states over), sorting through the affairs of his late parents at their house.

This dream occurred the night that he arrived home safely.

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Our local grocery will not admit anyone without a mask, but the store in the dream was not our Wegmans. (Which I have only been to once in the past 4 months. With Spouse. I stuck close to him, and was so stressed that I was unable to think clearly enough to seek out food items.)

A mask has been added to my mental checklist of Things I Should Have With Me At All Times; it’s #9. Whenever I leave our apartment — even just to take out the garbage or recycling — I wear a mask.                             Our apartment building is mostly filled with elderly people, whose health I do not want to endanger. And yet, whenever I leave the apartment on foot and see other people, (except for Spouse) none of them are wearing masks. I don’t understand it.

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I have never ‘fought off’ a meltdown. But I also rarely have them, anymore.  My normal life contains few external stressors these days. (Besides the fact that we’re all living in a Hellscape Dystopian Timeline, I mean.)

Perhaps surprisingly, the added stress of the pandemic has not caused a meltdown, nor can I even recall the last one I had.

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In the cab, I was both carrying a purse, and simultaneously wearing 3 gemmed pendants with ordinary casual clothes.            I haven’t used a shoulder bag in… 14 years? I have worn more than 1 chain at a time, but casual style, nothing valuable.

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DEEPER NOTES:

My father-in-law’s death a few months ago, and now, preparing for his house (of the past 18 years) to pass out of the family, have stirred up some primal issues that were dormant since Gramma died 20-some years ago, orphaning me for the 2nd? time.

Last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I realized that I might have survived sufficient personal traumas such that I could be in therapy for the rest of my life, and not run out of terrifying shit that occurred with the people I grew up amongst.  (‘Family’, even if qualified as ‘family of origin’, no longer seems like it fits, at all.)

That’s a somber thought for a person in their 50s.

I cut off my parents almost 15 years ago. Just yesterday, thinking about my childhood, with a memory that started off perfectly innocuous (pretty wallpaper that I helped pick out), I made a series of connections I’d never put together before, and had the worst panic attack I’ve had in years.

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I just realized that each time I feel I was orphaned, it was when one beloved person (of an older generation) died.

Maybe that’s because I only ever semi-trusted one caregiver, but never trusted the other, at all.

Reading List 6 of 2020

July 3, 2020

RIP, Brother Ah, Black American jazz musician (1934–2020), Bonnie Pointer, Black American singer and songwriter (1950–2020), Mary J. Wilson, Black Baltimorean zookeeper (1937–2020).

 

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Covers the period from 6.1.20 through 7.1.20

 

I/we own 21 of these items. I watched 2 items on Youtube/via streaming. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 3 of the books and movies.

{Women}

 

RESEARCH –

 

Celtic:

  1. The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry by Adam Wyeth
  2. The Line of Tradition: Watercolours, Drawings & Prints by Scottish Artists, 1700–1990, by Mungo Campbell [1993]
  3. The Lost Land: Poems by Eavan Boland
  4. The Right Madness on Skye: Poems by Richard Hugo

 

British:

  1. Emma by Jane Austen {200th Anniversary Annotated Edition}
  2. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  3. Literature & Locality by John Freeman [1963]
  4. Psychogeography by Merlin Coverley
  5. Thorburn’s Naturalist’s Sketchbook [1977]
  6. [SFF] Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
  7. [Video] UK Accents & Dialects, by Gill

 

 

~ AO3 Fanfics ~

  • Harry Potter // read 100 works; 2,930,085 words

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Art:

  1. The Best of Both Worlds: Finely Printed Livres d’Artistes, 1910–2010, by Jerry Kelly, Riva Castleman & Anne H. Hoy
  2. Composition & Perspective by James Horton [1994]
  3. The Encyclopedia of Watercolour Techniques by Hazel Harrison
  4. Painting Light & Shade by Paul Millichip
  5. Watercolor Expressions, selected by Betty Schlemm

 

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Poetry:

 

  1. 31 Letters and 13 Dreams by Richard Hugo [1977]
  2. Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988–2000 by Lucille Clifton
  3. Territory of Dawn by Eunice Odio
  4. Translations from Bark Beetle by Jody Gladding

 

Miscellaneous:

  1. You Were Born For This by Chani Nicholas
  2. [SFF] I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

 

 

Films & TV:

  1. Knives Out, written & directed by Rian Johnson
  2. Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti
  3. The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott
  4. The Music Man, directed by Morton DaCosta [1962]

 

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Dream fragments: 6.10.2020

June 10, 2020

I’m in a large suite (hotel?) with a youngish white woman (late 20s/early 30s), with short dark hair, who is bursting with nervous energy. We are looking at a variety of art projects, which are laid out across the available flat surfaces.

Initially, I think some of them were hers, or of other people, but the ones I can visually recall were my work.

One in particular: landscape orientation, divided in half. Medium: colored pencils on paper. Background color ‘apple green’.  Each half contained a rainbow across part of it (of which ‘plum purple’ was the hue that caught my attention the most), overlaid with text.

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As we talk, it becomes clear that she was my teacher, my art instructor, a long long time ago.

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The skill level displayed in the ‘rainbow’ work is … well, it’s practically childish. Perhaps I should even be embarrassed. But I’m not.       The woman, considering it, says something about how oddly the elements are arranged, as if I didn’t preplan the composition, and thereby had to improvise to include all the required pieces.

I stop wandering aimlessly, come up to the work, my old work, and really look at it.

I feel good about it. I smile at it. I remember…

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I fall into reflections, which I share with the woman as they arise.

I say, “I liked taking your class. I liked learning from an instructor, with other classmates. But… that type of environment isn’t a good fit for my learning style.

I learn best… solo. At my own pace. Which is often loooooong.

I can be very focused on a project… for a while. Maybe even, long enough to finish it. BUT, then I need to change gears, go off and do something else. Read poetry, write poetry. Daydream for a few weeks. Dance.

I can’t force my creative rhythms into a regimented schedule. (Semesters, even quarters.) Never mind, a schedule devised by other people, that allows no wiggle room.

And then I’m supposed to finish? In 2 years?!? Nope.”

I gesture at my work. “This… does look childish, I agree. But… months later, yeeears later, I took up some of these elements again. And then, later, again. Etc.

I learned how to do this assignment… over years of life experience.

That’s why I now realize I could never attend design school. Or get an MFA. The time period allotted is too short.

(Never mind I’d have to, simultaneously, be navigating the riptides of social interaction: with the teacher, a cohort, individual classmates. If past experience is anything to go by, I’d be making social blunders all over the place. Stressful. Anxiety-producing. I’d be trying to make friends, and it wouldn’t be working: more stress and anxiety.)

Frankly, at this late date, I’m kind of amazed I completed any assignments, to any standard.

I couldn’t do it now!”

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Later, she shows me someone else’s work that contains text in a foreign language. I’m bewildered, as nothing I’m familiar with has so many āōxxāāxxōxx scattered throughout.

She insists it’s French. (It isn’t.)

I tell her I know “some Spanish, Italian, Portuguese; a little of the Balkan languages”. She doesn’t respond, she walks out of the room.

I wake up.

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NOTES:

The woman resembled a teacher I actually did have: the TA who taught me English Comp at Purdue.

I realized a few days ago, that’s the college class I learned the most from, that’s been the most useful in my life ever since. Not because it was English, nor even writing. “Jenny” was a staunch feminist, and every reading assignment was from a seminal feminist work on gender, women’s lives, etc., etc. She introduced me to the writing of Angela Y. Davis, Audre Lorde [Zami]; to hijra people in India; to so many other things that became absolutely formative to my character.                          I remember nothing about any writing assignments, however.

I tend to characterize “when I became a writer” as when I began blogging, which was almost a decade and a half after Purdue.

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I wrote my first poem in the summer of 2011. I didn’t really start concentrating on poetry until after I returned from AROHO, 2 years later. Intermittently, I’ve been writing poetry ever since: 2015 was the last year I wrote a lot of poems (50-ish, iirc), but in other years, I’ve worked on individual poems for months. Even so, at the end of the year, how many did I finish? Not very many.

It turns out… how many poems I finish… doesn’t matter that much. What matters is what I learned.

One of the poems I didn’t finish, in 2018 — uklgpnwanishomegrslks— has ‘descendants’ all over the place. I’m still learning from it.

Another poem, whose events unfolded in 2014, but I didn’t begin composing it until 2018, keeps teaching me new things about myself. But it’s not finished. And maybe never will be.

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I reread my account of a dream in late December 2019: the Black woman on the city bus with me (who reminded me of Lucille Clifton), who was interested in how I was learning about Baltimore.

With Her, I was initially anxious that She’d dislike what I was doing, or how I was doing it. Possibly even criticize my speed of doing any of it. (She gave zero feedback about any of those things.)

But with this dream, I felt no similar worries. I saw my own work, and was delighted to revisit it. Then I reflected on it, on making it; further, I observed to myself how much I’d learned since then.

My old instructor’s (critical) opinion was of no interest to me.

I also didn’t believe her about the text she showed me being in French. Presumably for her own project, she really should be the expert. But I trusted my own judgment over hers.

(With Postcrossing, but also with tracking down foreign-language poetry to read (usually translated into English, but sometimes with the original work in its own language side-by-side), I’m a lot more familiar with many many languages on sight than I used to be. I even recognize more scripts than I used to know: Georgian; Devanagari, Tamil; Korean; Amharic.

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I’ve been thinking about composition lately: how paintings, in particular, are composed. How does one decide what to paint? Where it goes on the page? What else is with it? What’s the focus?

But today I extended that line of reasoning to deciding how to ‘compose’ a piece of writing. In blog posts, in essays, I don’t plan. I begin, and float along where my thoughts go.

I don’t outline. I don’t have a destination. I know from experience that I will be very surprised with at least one thing that arises. I know it probably won’t end where I thought it might (before I began). I might keep revisiting it, riffing from it… even months or years later.

Painting… doesn’t really work like that.

But fanfic might.

I’m rereading a fic of >200K words, in 53 chapters, that was consistently written from 2016–2019, then stopped. It’s not listed as finished.                    I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve written themselves into a corner(s) that there’s no plausible way(s) out of.                    My enjoyment of the work is diminished not at all by thinking they might not be able to ‘finish’ it.

The work is one of the ones I think of, when I think about fanfic. I’ve recommended it to someone else as an entry into fanfic. For me, a fan, it’s a seminal work.

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Maybe my ‘book of poems’ doesn’t need all the entries to be ‘finished’. Maybe I don’t need to have determined which types of metadata I want to record before I copy everything in. Maybe everything I do will evolve … because that’s part of what type of work I do.

I went to AROHO on the strength of being a blogger, who was writing a book; I left AROHO as primarily a poet.       I still blog, but… I never wrote that book.

My first paintings were in oils, then acrylics. But it was almost another decade before I tried watercolors. (I miss impasto sometimes, but) I think watercolors suit me miles better. You don’t have to plan.

I’d still like to understand composition better. I think it might help me with poetry, too.

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Reading List 5 of 2020

May 31, 2020

RIP, Eavan Boland, Irish poet (1944–2020); Jaroslava Brychtová, Czech glass artist (1924–2020); Margaret Burbidge, American-British astronomer & astrophysicist (1919–2020); Lewis MacAdams, American poet, and activist on behalf of the Los Angeles River (1944–2020), Little Richard (1932–2020), American singer and musician.

 

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Covers the period from 5.4.20 through 5.30.20

 

I/we own 12 of these items. I/we watched 7 items on Youtube/via streaming. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 1 of the movies.

 

{Women}

 

POETRY

 

  1. Sea-Glass Reflections by Betsy Alexander, illustrated by Les Menard [1984]
  2. Seen/unseen by Benjamin Ostrowski and Steven Ostrowski
  3. Vivarium by Maarja Pärtna, translated from Estonian by Jayde Will
  4. Wild Honey, Tough Salt by Kim Stafford
  5. Feast of Fools, edited by Melissa Guillet
  6. Ljubljana Tales, edited by James G. Coon, et al.
  7. Stranger at Home, edited by Andrey Gritsman, et al.

 

Postcolonial:

  1. Demythologizing the Romance of Conquest by Jeanne Armstrong

 

SFF:

  1. Hidden Turnings, edited by Diana Wynne Jones
  2. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

 

 

Art ~ Video:

  1. Carl Phillips: Creativity in Isolation (Beinecke Library at Yale)
  2. How to Color Everything by Unmask Art
  3. How to Use Colored Pencils by Rachel of PencilStash

 

Films & TV:

  1. The Dish, directed by Rob Sitch [2000]
  2. Emma., directed by Autumn de Wilde {watched 2x: with & without commentary}
  3. Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard
  4. The Willoughbys, directed by Kris Pearn & Rob Lodermeier
  5. Lodge 49 — 1.01
  6. Making the Cut, with Tim Gunn & Heidi Klum — 1.09, 1.10
  7. review of Chicago’s Alinea at Home 5-course meal, by NumberSixwithCheese

 

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~ AO3 Fanfics ~

  1. Good Omens // read 17 works; 340,921 words
  2. Harry Potter // read 54 works; 2,110,385 words
  3. The Hunger Games—Suzanne Collins // read 1 work;   2127 words

 

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pcp: breuddwydio ziibi peshk

May 19, 2020

10228, tail end of Taurus

 

green-and-grey

cloud blue

vermillion

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ancient god known as the Strength and Patience of the Hill

Father Boulder

Willy Silver, playing dulcimer in Illinois in 1970

 

[Ann Leckie; Nina Kiriki Hoffman; Emma Bull]

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87LW

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WDP:

Adele, Bon Jovi, The Clash, Coldplay, ELO, Gin Blossoms, Heart, Lady Gaga, Madonna, P!nk, Prince, Selena Gomez, Steve Miller Band

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Aniibi 6 ~

Judi Benson, American-British

U.A. Fanthorpe, English, 1929–2009

Pamela Petro, American, b. 1960

A.E. Stallings, American, b. 1968

Mark Strand, Canadian-American, 1934–2014

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Boston 3

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~ Celtic | Prydain ~

The Hidden World of Poetry

The Living Mountain

The Orgy

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Janda:

burgundy Michaelmas daisies; delphinium; iris; alstroemeria; coral Gerber daisies; lime chrysanthemums; apple-ish fruits

 

 

/// My best Name Day in a long while ///

 

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Dream: 5.7.2020

May 7, 2020

[Not pandemic conditions]

It’s early evening, I’m in downtown Chicago, and I’m supposed to attend my 25th high school reunion later. My good friend HT is with me (?), as is my dad (?!), while Spouse isn’t.

I don’t know how or why we stopped at this place we’re currently at — I think it’s a hotel. But if so, it’s not the one where the reunion is, nor the one I should have booked us rooms for the night. (It’ll be too late to drive home, after.)

In any case, it’s here that some other event is getting set up for. Meanwhile, I head to the bathroom, and then we’ll leave.

Except I have all sorts of mishaps in the bathroom. I’m gone from my party for a very long time. In fact, HT comes to find me, and does. I tell her everything went wrong. My easy confidence from earlier has dissipated… now I’m dithering.

She says, “We don’t have to go [to the reunion]. We can stay here.”

I think, “But all that effort! I made plans! I’ve been anticipating this for months!!” Then I feel worse, realizing maaaaybe I goofed on the plans I should have made — I’m no longer sure I actually booked us rooms at a hotel; I don’t seem to have packed contact lens supplies [tears, night case, etc.]; maybe I even forgot a nightgown and toothbrush!!    (I recall I’d just been on another trip, and maybe the stuff I should’ve brought is still in that suitcase (at home, unpacked) rather than the one I brought with me.)

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HT leaves the bathroom, but I stay, looking into the mirror. Whyyyy did I pick this outfit?? A skirted suit in a heathery wool, //pale plum//, lace accents. It’s like a size 4, and so am I (as well as being short) but my 2 pairs of underwear are now clearly visible under the skirt, and I look messy. I recall a ruffled skirt I also brought, in //bright plum// lamé. Could I swap that out? Well, but it won’t be any more fun for dancing. (The real highlight of the reunion, for me.) But I didn’t bring anything more suitable. It’s probably too late to find something else to buy, and wear.

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What am I doing here? Who am I trying to impress — with the clothes, no less, not my whole self?

If we head on to the reunion, it’s going to be a big bother. Some part of the back of my mind will spend the entire time fretting… about anything and everything.

No one will remember me. And of those I recall myself, anybody interesting will almost certainly not be there. Why is it so important to attend??!!?

(“Sunk costs” is looking like the most compelling reason. Ugh.)

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I leave the bathroom, walking down a long corridor. I see my dad*. I motion to him to bend down (he’s very tall); I tell him I don’t want to attend the reunion after all. We can stay here, or go on to a hotel to stay for the night. Heck, we can go out.

I feel… relief.

I wake up.

*[[ My dad is wearing a //spring green// top, very long; his hair is like it was when I was a kid: dark-brown-almost-black, and curly. He’s… not wearing glasses??                          He seems… young. 40ish.]]

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FACTS:

I felt mid-30s-ish in the dream, even though I should’ve been mid-40s. My actual 25th reunion occurred more than a decade ago; I did not even hear about it until a year later. (It sounded really boring.)

Of the 3 reunions I know about, none have involved dancing.                 Missed opportunity, that.

I’m tall, with big shoulders, and have never worn a size 4. When I was super-skinny and had an eating disorder, I was still a size 8-10; now I’m a 12-14-16.

I have never worn the //pale plum// of the heathery wool suit. I probably did wear something a shiny //bright plum// back in the 1980s when such things were in style, but… I was a teenager and young adult then.

My dad wearing //spring green// is interesting. Not a color he’s ever worn, I don’t think.                We’re currently in Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, my favorite season — baby leaves! flowers! flowering trees!  //Spring green// is also a main component of ~amelia~ {synesthesia: joy}. Green is commonly regarded as a color of growth and new beginnings.

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NOTES:

Waking life-HT’s parents have both died. I can’t shake the sense that dream-HT was acting as a psychopomp of some sort.

My father-in-law died last month, and I’m grieving like I haven’t since Gramma died 20 years ago. His death dredged up all sorts of primal issues that I’d had no idea he was entangled in.

I feel orphaned for a second time. (The first, when my W grandparents died.)

Except he was nothing like a parental figure, or caregiver (to me). He was something I don’t have kinship terms for … but kinship is most definitely what it was.

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I just realized that the shiny //bright plum// of the ruffled skirt… could be Red-Violet, which is my hue for Psychological Alchemy.

In the dream, it was connected to dancing, which, since the pandemic, I’ve incorporated into my weekly schedule. (Although I haven’t done it for a few weeks now, worried then sad.)

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A few weeks ago, on IG I stumbled across the college-graduate daughter of one of my high school crushes. Going back through her photos, then googling her parent, I saw they’d gone through much harder times than we might’ve guessed were coming all those years ago. In newer photos, this former classmate of mine looks more like a grandparent than a parent of barely-grown kids.

I was finally able to let them go.

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High school is supposed to be a beginning for Great Things. For me, though, developmentally delayed, and depressed, scared and dealing with PTSD, I mostly slept. I survived high school, but nothing important to me began there. College, maybe. Which took me 5 tries to figure it out; I didn’t graduate until my 30s. (My brain had finally caught up with the rest of me.)

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I don’t have cohorts.

I think maybe I suck at human friendships.

I’m a Wombat, in a world of Zebras.

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Everything feels blah. I’m sad and I’m sad and I’m sad. Our weird weather — rainy and cool — is not helping, as warm spring weather is usually highly motivating. Instead, I just sit inside and stare blankly at things, wondering what’s the point to any of it.

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5.10.20 Addenda:

In the dream, my dad appeared to be approximately the age he was when Grampa W died.

Which was also the age my other grandfather was when his youngest child, my father, was born.

A prime number. A lonely one.

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What was I doing at that age?  No births, no deaths.

I did leave Namendi, the job I thought would start “my Real Life”, an environmental career. Instead, it was a threshold, a liminal-cloud-space, after which … everything I “knew” dissolved.

Psychopomp.

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I miss Chicago sometimes.

I don’t miss the Great Lakes in the same kind of way — they’re always with me. But I do miss Chicago.

I’ve photographed the Great Lakes, I’ve written them into poetry, I’ve painted them.

Chicago is different. What I love(d) about it was quality time I spent in it, years ago. I can’t paint ~time spent~.