I’ve been thinking a lot lately about conclusions. My attention is so distorted focusing on beginnings (in stories as well as life) that I neglect endings. In real life I love Mondays, New Years, the new moon, the beginnings of seasons, etc. I don’t really acknowledge or reflect on Sundays, the last day of a season, or the last day of the year. Looking through a stack of stories recently I realized that I have the same mindset when it comes to writing stories. I’m full of enthusiasm for openings, but get bored, or neglect to really reflect on what makes a strong conclusion. For the next few months I’m making endings and conclusions the focus of my creative practice. This shift in attention is also why this this weekly blog feature now has a new name. I’m one of those people who think of Sunday as the end of the week, and Monday as the beginning of the week, so this Sunday post is a reflection on what caught my attention in the past week. Syndicated Sundays is now the Wrapping Up the Week.
Art & Illustration
- Austin Kleon – More on his diary practice. I think I’m going to do a ~40-day diary exercise based on Kleon’s diary practice and Barry’s diary practice.
Books & Reading
- The Neglected Books page reviews The Cosmopolitan Girl, by Rosalyn Drexler (1974).
“‘Pablo has confessed his love for me. I was stunned.’
“We are, too, when we learn, a few lines further down the first page of Rosalyn Drexler’s third novel The Cosmopolitan Girl, that Pablo is a dog. The narrator, Helen, lives in the Hotel Buckminster in Manhattan. The hotel has a strict no-pets policy, but Helen has trained Pablo to walk on his hind legs and dresses him up in a man’s suit, wig, and hat. Pablo is “an intelligent dog, well coordinated and faithful” — which goes without saying, Helen reminds us.
“He can also carry on a conversation and enjoys having Helen read to him from the newspaper. They share their most intimate thoughts and dreams. “I dreamt I was lying in the courtyard dead,” Pablo confides after a troubling night sleep. Helen promises to ask her mother what the dream means.”
Cartoons & Comics
- Bizarro by Wayno (and sometimes Dan Piraro)
- The Nib by various
- Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques
- Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
- Therapy Comics by Mardou
- This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow – Another Disintegrator Beam Accident
- You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld
- Spear by Nicola Griffith. I’ve never been much for Arthurian legend, so a lot of the subtext of this story goes right by me. But I love Griffith’s work, and will read anything she publishes. I’m liking it so far.
- Free Will Astrology – Week of June 16th, 2022
- Scarfolk – Bad Kingdom
“In 1972, the government drew up plans to construct a deportation facility off the coast of Ireland that could house as many as 70 million people – the entire population of the UK, if need be. The intention was to make it an exact replica of the United Kingdom and call it Bad Kingdom. Nobody, it seemed, fulfilled the increasingly stringent criteria of what it meant to be truly British.”
Neptune Frost now at the cinema. Creative Independent interviews filmmakers Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman.
- Bandcamp Daily
- Brooklyn Vegan has a daily post of new releases. I need an AI app that can rank these based on my tastes, so I can check out a few new songs every day. As it is, that’s a lot of new music!
I assume you already have your preferred news source(s). Here are news sources I use to supplement my news diet.
- Wonkette – I love the cursing and share their love of Molly Ivins.
- Popular Information – independent investigative journalism.
- WikiNews – Wikipedia has a news page. It can be kind of hit or miss, but I always use it when I’m following a breaking news story.
Scholarly Article of the Week
- Longden, Eleanor, Alison Branitsky, Wendy Jones, and Sarah Peters. “‘It’s like having a core belief that’s able to speak back to you’: Therapist accounts of dialoguing with auditory hallucinations.” Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice 95, no. 1 (2022): 295-312.
“Hearing voices no one else can hear (‘auditory hallucinations’) occurs in a range of psychiatric conditions and can cause significant disruption and distress. Although antipsychotic medication was long considered a primary treatment response, psychological interventions are increasingly promoted to support recovery, with both service-user accounts and professional guidelines acknowledging the value of exploring voices’ content and emotional meaning. Talking With Voices (TwV) forms part of a new wave of treatment strategies which emphasize the interpersonal aspects of voice-hearing by directly addressing the relationship between hearer and voice. However, in addition to talking about voices, a central component of TwV is speaking directly to them, wherein a therapist poses questions to the voice and the client repeats its responses verbatim.”
Tuesday is summer solstice (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). Wiccan celebration of summer solstice is a reminder that change, as expressed in nature, is inevitable.
Wikipedia Post of the Week
That’s some of the stuff that caught my attention this past week. It’s going to be a hot one this week, so stay cool and drink lots of fluids.