What I’m Reading: God is Dead, 1

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Sweet cover design. Neat concept. Not 100% original as a premise.
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This might be the end of the world but at least I’ve got this tube top. Also who wears fishnet arm warmers? This was published in 2013. There’s no reason for fishnet arm warmers. Bonus: Her role is that of armed personal assistant to a bunch of old genius atheists who call themselves The Collective. This is my first hint that I’ve just stumbled across /r/atheism’s clandestine fantasy file: The world is being overrun by religious idiots, and it’s up to us and one poorly dressed sexpot with guns to stop them.
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Women as status symbols … just because.
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And who doesn’t enjoy a little chortle over the machismo of the U.S. military?

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But I do love when the Hindu gods show up.

On the other hand, it’s fiction. I will at least leaf through the second issue in the comic shop.

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What I’m Reading: I Love Trouble, 1

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OK, so I mostly picked it up for the cover design. You know you love that typeface and those colors.
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I don’t know how to take a picture of paper quality, but I really like this paper and the art style.
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The main character, Felicia, is someone I can at least relate to a little bit, what with being female and liking to drink on planes.

I’ll probably buy the second issue when I go to the comic shop again. It’s like $3. Why wouldn’t I?

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What I’m Reading: Ada by Gertrude Stein

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Ada
by Gertrude Stein

Purchased at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, MD.
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I don’t want to ruin it by trying to tell you about it.

I think it’s about finding a way to love and be happy. The writing is hypnotic, and Stein’s sparse language points out just how much we don’t have to say. Every time a character says nothing, they say everything.
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The artwork throughout is beautiful, but I want you to see that for yourself.

 

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Weekly Assignment: Read Out Loud

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One of the most self-indulgent things I love to do is read out loud. I do it sometimes just to hear my own voice. When no one is in the house but me and the cat, I take my favorite books and pace around the living room reading as though I had an audience hanging on my every word. This takes reading and writing out of the realm of a purely mental exercise and makes it a multi-sensual experience, engaging the ears, the breath, the voice, and even the full body as I pace, book in hand.

My poetry teacher in college said that at the end of each semester, after all the finals were taken and graded, she would go back to her apartment alone and read all of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl out loud. Personally, I love to read from ee cummings’s i: six nonlectures, but also anything by Ginsberg or the other beat poets works really well. I enjoy the sound of my own voice, the way words have a different effect hanging in the air and echoing off the walls than they do just lying there on the page. Furthermore, with a poet like cummings, hearing the words out loud makes them make more sense to me.

This week, take one of your favorite books and start reading out loud. Not sure where to start? Try anything by Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein. Maybe a favorite spiritual reading or a speech by someone you admire. Or use your own writing — reading your work out loud is a great way to figure out where the little phrasing snags are and smooth out your rhythm.

Luxuriate in the sound of your own voice. Feel the power of the spoken word. Notice whether you seem to take on the qualities of the author or narrator you’re speaking for. When I do this, my cat always comes to listen, and he expresses a clear preference for certain poets — he hates Marianne Moore, or at least the way I read her, but he rather enjoys Sylvia Plath.

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The 100 Books Project

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A major part of creativity is seeking inspiration. If you only pull your ideas from inside your own head, after a while you will run out! That’s why so many creative people live in fear of running out of ideas, and why so many people stall out creatively once their lives settle into a daily routine. Inspiration comes from branching out, learning, and trying new things.

One way that I’m seeking new inspiration in 2013 is to attempt to read 100 books. Now, I’m a comparatively slow reader, and I never quite believe people who say they read 100 or more books every year — they can’t possibly be absorbing all the information if they’re speeding through like that! But I’m setting this goal nonetheless.

My list so far includes classics, comic books, biographies, spiritual guides, poetry, and much more. Some of what I want to read relates directly to my writing projects, such as the NaNoWriMo novel that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown in 2012. Others are books I’ve always been curious about or things other people have suggested.

As we move through the year, I’ll be posting occasionally about the books I read and what I’m learning from them. If you have a book you’d like to suggest, please let me know in the comments!

Want to read along with me? Come join me on Goodreads

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