Explanatory notes: Seasons

Summer: a time when a new romance was starting, things were feeling bright, hopeful and new… tinged with just a little doubt.

Autumn: romance is warming, life is more complicated. I didn’t get this totally edited until January due the appearance of winter.

Winter: blues were definitely around this season and are still clinging- some of the lines are really short, similar to Summer and Autumn, some very long. This one has an even more disjointed structure than the others that I am not fully settled on, though I think that fits well with how I was feeling at the time so it’ll probably stay.

(To be continued)

 

2016 Reviews in Brief: Part One

#1 A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
I cared for K. L., I liked the portrayal of the consequences of magic and how could I not love a lady as sharp as Lila Bard? I am not completely enthralled yet; I wanted to feel more for London and for the supporting characters; but I am still interested to read the next installment.

#2 Sex Criminals: vol. 2
Great. Strange concept, but clever and this installment explores mental illness in a way that felt real and fair.

#3 Blacksad: Amarillo
Not sure I was meant to dip into Blacksad at this point so I felt lost to start off. The story was sweet, very short and beautiful artwork.

#4 Sandman: Endless Nights
I may forever be blinded by my love of Neil Gaiman and the Endless, even this collection of oddments had me enthralled. There’s anthropomorphised stars and sadness and singing fish; though there are seven separate stories in Endless Nights it, of course, feels a part of one great story. I think the rambling strangeness, the mystery, of Gaiman’s writing that many people dislike is exactly what I love and that suits me just fine.

That one goal I reached in 2015

As mentioned in a previous post, my self-set  December challenge to write (or edit) ‘something’ didn’t really work out. I work retail and it was predictable levels of hell; Christmas got in the way; I got lost in reading, television, festive movies and The Force Awakens. Oh, and the A Game of Thrones colouring book. That is not to say that I wrote nothing in December- I have a few little tidbits many of which, admittedly, were born out of retail misery and I have also been mulling over my NaNoWriMo novel (I am still excited about this idea I had three years or more ago which bodes well…) if not making any majors additions at the moment. I spent December absorbing and am now hoping to put all that living, observing and consumption to good use. Which brings me to my latest challenge…

Something I did, somewhat unexpectedly, accomplish in 2015 was reaching the Goodreads reading challenge I set myself. With only a few days to go I realised I had twenty three out of twenty five books with one almost finished and another readily achievable, so hungrily speeding through the final pages of The Dressmaker and then Jamaica Inn I made it…  It was a mixed bag, with a fair few graphic novels to smooth the path. I stared at that blank space: ‘I want to read ____ books in 2016’ and something took hold of me. Double or nothing. Fifty books. I also got the idea into my head of doing a (brief) review of everything I read.

On the reading side of things I am still on track; four days in I had already read one novel and one graphic novel, thirteen days in I have added two more graphic novels and I am half way toward finishing another novel. I am aiming to complete my goal mainly with ‘standard’ novels but I have decided not to discount those in graphic format as I included them in last year’s challenge.

On the writing about it side of things, I am keeping my reviews very brief until such a time as I might find the confidence or compulsion to say more. I am slowly working up to confronting the editing of my Nano, one step at a time…

December tidbit.

What ought to fill this void, this empty dark?
Which lingers, eats away your fragile heart?
Rarely in your mind do days leave their mark,
As you gaze at life ever far and apart,
You can’t feel content; hiding; self-hating;
Leading the charmed life and feeling its guilt
For the time you’ve wasted in your waiting;
And your worried tears for blood not yet spilt.
Continuing the cycle of malaise
With that mind of butter, those limbs of lead.
When it’s kept at arm’s length, living’s a haze
With strange, fogged thoughts now drifting through your head.
You care and care but find nothing to say,
‘Til ev’rything you love just drifts away.

***

When I hadn’t written for a lot of days I decided to have a stab at a pair of sonnety type things (not great with the rhythm though). I haven’t got the other half to the whole yet, I was planning a more upbeat mirror of this one.

Achievements

December didn’t go to plan, I’ll expand on that in another post, though I do have a few morsels to share and,  hopefully, I will get around to that NaNo editing soon (nobody hold their breath). By soon I mean around the time Dreams of Spring is released… For now, though, here’s something I wrote months ago and I don’t think is finished:

Achievements?
Three A levels. Scarcely remembered. Lazily won.
A worthless piece of paper.                
Read between the lines.       
It says: burned out. Didn’t complete.
No degree, no BSc.
The result: about £30,000 less than zero. A few facts rapidly fading.
A lab coat. One good friend fading… and a longing for a city never truly owned.