summer reading

here's an almost complete list of what i've read since memorial day. i know i've forgotten a few.

non-fiction:

genre and genre-ish fiction

fiction:

young adult:

my favorites so far:

  • velveteen vs the junior super patriots by seanan mcguire - does seanan mcguire every stop writing? seriously legit question. she has how many series going at the same time plus new books and kindle content coming out on the regular. i enjoyed everything i've read by her but this one especially. its about superheroes. come on. 
  • big questions by anders nilsen - a big beautiful graphic novel i picked up on accident about a community of birds having an existential crisis. i have vastly over-simplified this book. its beautiful. 
  • calling dr. laura by nicole s. georges - a graphic novel about a family secret, mothers and daughters, how hard it is to be human sometimes and well, portland.
  • kiss me first by lottie moggach - i can't say i liked this book but it was fascinating to read. dark and twisty and gets into issues of online identity and obsession in a way that made my skin crawl a little.
  • leviathan by scott westerfeld - i don't know what took me so long. so good. so surprised. 
  • code name verity by elizabeth wein - also really good. another war story, like leviathan, which is not usually my jam but i really liked this book.
  • let me go by chelsea cain - i love the gretchen lowell/archie sheridan books. they are deeply fucked up thrillers set in portland that are impossible to put down.
  • joyland by stephen king - i haven't loved a stephen king book in a long time and i almost never like his endings. this one though? perfect summer read that didn't make me want to launch it out a window once i was finished.
  • mary and lou and rhoda and ted by jennifer keishin armstrong - this book about the making of the mary tyler moore show is totally my favorite thing i've read all summer. awesome cloris leachman and bettie white stories. plus, lou grant. a little lou grant is never a bad thing. it inspired me to make this:

what i'm reading right now:

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wednesday words

onomatopoeia. the formation or use of words such as buzz, murmur (or cookoorikoo) that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

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wednesday words

picaresque. of or involving clever rogues, rascals or adventurers.

view all the words of the week here.

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wednesday words

nefarious. Infamous by way of being extremely wicked or villianous; criminal.

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wednesday words

choice. the power, right, or liberty to choose; an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities; of very good quality.

view the whole set of words here.
 

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wednesday words

lagniappe. an extra or unexpected gift or benefit; a small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase. 

view the whole set of words here.

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wednesday words

teratism. love or worship of the monstrous; an anomaly.

view the whole set of words here.

more fun with words!

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wednesday words

exasperating. making very angry or impatient; annoying greatly.
increasing the gravity or intensity of the scene.

totally inspired by this article in the new york times.

check out all the words so far here.

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wednesday words

yes. an affirmative answer or decision; an exclamation used to give an affirmative response.

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being ok with sucking

for the last couple of weeks, i've been trying to edit the book. i'd been working on it little by little all spring but everytime i did, it stressed me out. at some point, in an effort to force myself to just finish the damn book, i told twitter that i wanted to be writing book 2 by july. fuuuuuuuuuck.

so, i forced myself to work on it with the deadline looming. i had stress dreams on the days i didn't write. i was jumpy until i finished that day's chapter. it was no fun. seriously.

i did a million other things.  pulled all the weeds. combed pinterest for new salad recipes. (i wish i were kidding.) read all the books. came up with fun new projects. made jam. went away with each of shawn's bands for a weekend. yeah. avoidance was the name of the game and i'll tell you, i got skills.

this weekend, lovebomb gogo was playing honkfest in seattle. kateri & i took the opportunity to get the heck of out dodge and went along. we had a ridiculous amount of fun. i also admitted that i was avoiding working on the book and that i knew i needed to cut it out and get to work.

so this morning i did. i got up, wrote in my journal, went for a run, then read everything i'd edited so far. oh shit. those four chapters that i just wrote? the ones i mapped out back in november when i realized i'd made a terrible error in my timeline. yeah, those chapters. they SUCK. 

i spent a good long while thinking about that and trying to figure out how to fix it. they totally sucked. those chapters were awful. i don't know if i was still super sad about monkey when i wrote them or what but they sucked. i think i knew it all along. i knew they did and yet it was ok. i'd already started to fix it in my head and i'd remembered something important.

this was what tripped me up when i wrote my first novel. i developed a paralyzing fear of sucking. now, i realize sucking is just a chance to get better. 

i took some notes on my ideas on how to fix those chapters. i stared at the computer screen. i did the dishes. i fed my sourdough starter and harvested some lettuce. i did all the things but write. the entire time i was thinking things through. would my idea really work or would these chapters just suck again? i was pretty sure they wouldn't suck.

i also decided that processing sucking took a lot out of me. my brain was tired. i was pretty sure if i tried to write, it wouldn't be any better than the shit i'd already written. so, tomorrow i'll start to rewrite those chapters and i'll see what happens. fingers crossed.

oh and i think the rest of it, what i wrote back in november, is pretty good. huh.

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