January reading, writing and rithmetic

I started the new year with good intentions, an excitingly stripey calendar and colorful star stickers. I had a plan, or at least about 12% of a plan, and I went bravely forward as only brave people can.

I tried to write something every day, and read something every day, and I didn’t do too badly. At some point I realized I was shortchanging myself by not counting editing as a task worthy of stickerdom, so I folded that into the writing sticker oeuvre. But that meant a few days where I did stuff but didn’t get a sticker. Shameful.

Stories I read in January:
They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain by Rachel Acks*
The Lion God by Benjamin Blattberg
Ether by Zhang Ran*
And That, My Children, Is Why We Can’t Go to Space Anymore by Shane Halbach
The Wizard of Ordinary Things by Eliza Archer
Beautiful Boys by Theodora Goss*
Headwater LLC by Sequoia Nagmatsu
The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History by Sam J. Miller*
The Last Flight of Admiral Franco Talbot by Adam Musil
All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein
“Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick
In the Late December by Greg van Eekhout*
Milk Man by Cornelius Fortune
The Presley Brothers by Molly Gloss*
Immersion by Aliette de Bodard*
Give Her Honey When Your Hear Her Scream by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. LeGuin*
The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal*
Of Blood and Brine by Megan E. O’Keefe
The Necromancer in Love by Wil McCarthy*
Cold Hands and the Smell of Salt by JY Yang
Dry Bite by Will McIntosh*
Shoelace by Laura Lovic-Lindsey

My favorites are marked with an asterisk. Some of them I read for the workshop I’m participating in, which has been a lovely experience so far. I need to critique two more stories for my classmates by Wednesday, and I’m excited to revise my own work based on the feedback I’ve received.

I also read a great book of poetry, Dear Hero, by Jason McCall. The comma is part of the title. The poems were short so it was a pretty quick read, but my gut was punched so many times I felt like I was battling a supervillain. Fitting given that the conceit of the book is essentially exploring the nature of heroism, with ruminations on superheroes and sidekicks and epic heroes. If you’re ever in Alabama and you can hear him read, I highly recommend it. Dude has a voice like a football coach, not the typical weird MFA lilt that so many poets pick up like some kind of verbal herpes. Not that herpes is anything to be ashamed of. Lots of people have herpes.

Tune in next month to find out what new stories I’ve read, and whether I’ve come up with any exciting new things to compare to venereal diseases.

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