In 2021 I had to relearn how to enjoy reading. I went months without picking up a book, or starting books and putting them back down. I missed reading, I missed the joy that came from immersing myself in a fictional world and I missed the easiness of being able to follow a story. In the end, I decided to do it the hard way: force my way through. Luck was with me. The couple of books that I forced my way through were entertaining and fun. Which, of course, was an additional push out of my reading slump. Also, smaller books helped with feeling the satisfaction of finishing a book, giving me enough momentum to move and read forward.
On one hand, in December I only read 12 short stories but, on the other, I discovered Diabolical Plots and Nature Futures, and I had a blast reading stories from them. ^^
Practice on a Pulsefish by Steven Berger in Nature Futures: A flash that deals with the consequences of ignoring the natural environment in order to make some easy money. I’m always in for some petty revenge.
A Guide to Snack Foods After The Apocalypse by Rachel K. Jones in Diabolical Plots: Two kids trying to survive the apocalypse on their own. This story was weird and cute and weird!
The Art And Mystery of Thea Wells by Alexandra Seidel in Diabolical Plots: I loved the descriptions of the paintings in this story. They felt like art pieces that existed and the feeling they evoked unsettled and intrigued me.
Audio Recording left by the CEO of the Ranvannian Colony to her daughter on the survival imperative of maximizing profits by Cassandra Khaw and Matt Dovey in Diabolical Plots: Ohhhh I loved this one. Unique descriptions of alien food, taste and ways to cook or serve it while at the same time describing the horror of making choices in the altar of profit. Also, mind the content notes on this one.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Happy New Year!
It’s customary here to wish people you’re seeing for the first time ‘Happy New Year’ even when it’s late in January.
To say that the past
century two years have been hard it would be an understatement. Everyone is tired from the on going plague and the fear that surrounds it, the lockdowns, the deaths, the questions, the lack of answers, the insecurity.
My 2021 thankfully was kinder to me than 2020 (even typing the year gives me goosebumps).
I made an effort on getting back on track in 2021, keeping the blog updated, reading more, writing more, but grief works in weird ways and I stopped writing and reading altogether for months. I didn’t really start coming around and feeling better until late August, when I went on a new adventure – freediving, I started freediving ? – , pushed myself emotionally and physically to its limit and I came on top. I managed to find something else I love as much as books and the sea, and it helped me, gave me focus and purpose. I was lucky. I have a lovely spouse and a strong support system which helped immensely.
If you’re finding that you’re struggling to be creative, it’s okay. The extreme pressure of the pandemic over every day hurdles is overwhelming. But we have to believe that things will get better.
So this year, I’m going to set moderate goals, read plenty and focus on setting a schedule of writing and submissions. What come will come but I have to put myself out there first, right?
Be kind to yourselves this year. Take care, be careful, vaccinate.
Thalassa, the daughter of Hmera
her depths unexplored
her secrets unconquered
she has conquered the world
explored our inner depths
we ‘re all Thalassa’s daughters
definitions from Greek to English
θάλασσα, thalassa: sea
ημέρα, hmera: day
I managed to read 31 stories in April! One day, I will start following magazines in a more organized manner, but this is not the day. For some reason, I like reading randomly, either from people that tweet their favorite stories, or someone promoting their own work, or even going in a magazine and just choose what to read based on the title (and the length. Never forget the length).
There aren’t many poems this month, because I didn’t read any. I’ll fix this as I go.
So, here are eight favourites of mine from this past month.
In March, I finally managed to go back to reading short stories, which has helped change my mood to the better. I didn’t have a plan in the way I chose what I read. In the following list there older stories and newer stories, same venues and same authors. Most of them are flash stories, because it was easier for me to focus for a shorter amount of time. But they are all unique and interesting.
So, there you go!