life between the pages

Readers, I apologise for my lack of updates. It has not been intentional – as previously mentioned, This Wellingtonian Life™ has been a little bit entirely hectic, and my wordy wherewithal has been pointed in other directions.

But I’d better update you as to said directions, hadn’t I? Well.

1) I wrote an article for xoJane! That was pretty crazy.
2) I had my first full page article in NZ Musician
3) I am about to launch into Writers Week, both for work and for reviewing.

And that’s on top of all of my regular bookstore work and starting my publishing course and, you know, life in general! It’s crazy, but it’s great. I will have an update of more substance when everything settles down – and by then, I should have a few more links of published work to send your way. In the meantime, I’m also interested to know whether any of you have any particular pieces from my 365 pieces project that you liked more than the others – I am contemplating putting together a chapbook or ebook (or both) of some pieces, but would love feedback with regard to what pieces you’d think would be best suited and/or whether or not you’d possibly be interesting in purchasing such a book? It would give me a chance to try out my fledgling publishing skills!

Now, I must disappear and lock myself in my room until I finish my current piece – deadline’s tomorrow! Watch this space, my lovelies.

2014 in review. prematurely. sort of.

books gotta get read…

Well, it’s the first day in a year that I don’t have to post on here, and yet here I am! You haven’t gotten rid of me yet, internet.

I will at some stage compile a bit of a collection of my favourite picks from the 365 pieces project – though if any of you have any particular favourites from them, do let me know! I’m definitely interested to know what readers have to say, rather than just my highfalutin feelings.

On the subject of readers, though, that leads me onto my new ‘project’, though less official than my previous one, since I’m planning on giving myself a little more creative flexibility this year, in terms of specific output. However, I’m still a reader, a listener, a consumer of art and media and entertainment. And I feel like I have not paid proper attention to these areas on this blog, especially considering that was what I originally intended this to be.

So each week, for the most part, there will be at least one review posted here. The emphasis will be on books, but if I am in the middle of something and don’t wish to distract myself – or if something amazing comes into my ears and/or eyes , it may well be interposed with music and film and even TV reviews, because why limit myself, am I right?

As a bookseller/buyer/soon-to-be-publisher-in-training/writer/generally bibliophile, I always have a ridiculous number of books either on the go, or on my to-do list. One only need check out my GoodReads account for that – and that doesn’t even contain all of the madness, since I don’t keep it totally up-to-date with my Kobo readings too. And most of my books are still boxed up from my move, so the only ones I have around are more recent acquisitions/ones that were shelved in strange places.

But here’s a cursory list of what I’m in the middle of, or have at least started (excluding re-reads… Suzanne Collins and Tamora Pierce are like comfort food, okay?)

The Great Gatsby – F. S. Fitzgerald (I know, I know, most people read this when they’re 15 in high school, but we didn’t, sorry ’bout it).
Allegiant – Veronica Roth (already finished Divergent and Insurgent, but will review them all together)
The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling (way overdue)
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood (I have started this book SO MANY times. I don’t know what it is about it. But I’m determined to persevere)
The Sandman – Preludes and Nocturnes – Neil Gaiman (also way overdue. I feel like a fake Gaiman-fiend, but I’m remedying it!)
The Gift Lewis Hyde (the only NF title on this list – Eleanor Catton referred to it in her Booker acceptance speech, and then I saw that Margaret Atwood wrote the introduction… sold!)
Snake Ropes – Jess Richards (a publisher rep or a review or something recommended this book as excellent for people who like Margaret Atwood. So I bought it, obviously.)
The Twelve – Justin Cronin (so far taking longer for me to power through than The Passage did, but still proving worthwhile, bit by bit)
Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley – Danyl McLauchlan (NZ author, really good so far, just need to push distractions aside!

And here’s the vague to-read list, as it stands (see the photo at the top for appearances of a fair few of these…) The links are becoming a bit draining, so I will leave you to do your own searches on them, should you wish to investigate further.
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt (actually, I should really review The Secret History, since I read that recently, hmm)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (I was a 18 y.o. semi-hipster lit student working in a chain bookstore when this was at peak popularity, so naturally I avoided it at all costs. Having enjoyed both adaptations, I’m going to give it a go)
Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card (even though OSC’s a pretty awful person, I did really enjoy Ender’s Game, so I kind of want to pursue the series further)
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace (just because)
– Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (sounds a bit trippy and fairly good)
On The Road – Jack Kerouac (left my original Popular Penguin somewhere in Brooklyn, I think, so am starting from square one, only, err, four and a half years later?)
Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems – Allen Ginsberg (been on my to-do list for ages, thanks Book Depository sale!)
The Flood – Maggie Gee (#2 book acquired via the Book Depository 25 hour sale – looks cool, will expand later, naturally)
The Best of H.P. Lovecraft – um, H.P. Lovecraft (lucky last book purchased in the Book Depository sale. Never read any Lovecraft, thought I should fix it. This fairly weighty tome should do the trick!)
The String Diaries – Stephen Lloyd Jones (advanced reading copy from work that our gen. buyer thought I might like, and still haven’t gotten around to it, but it does sound interesting, so on the list before the move!)
Persuasion – Jane Austen (because I’m the worst English major ever and have never read any Austen. Several people have told be Persuasion is her best work, so I bought a lovely leather bound copy and hope that aesthetic allure will encourage me.)
The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales – Edgar Allan Poe (ridiculously, I’ve never really read any Poe, despite taking a ‘Theory and the Gothic’ course in my final undergrad semester – but then, I was pretty much in max-sickness situation then, so my reading list had more than a few holes in it.
– 1984 – George Orwell (another classic lit hole to fill)

Yeah. I’m a bit all over the place. Any recommendations are more than welcome – I love love love making new discoveries, so bring a little joy to my life!

dear readers,

due to completely unforeseen circumstances, there may be some erraticness in postings over the next wee while. hopefully this will not become a full-blown hiatus, however i cannot guarantee that this will not be the case.

thank you,

briar @ raw library

365 pieces – the eleventh month

Obviously we’re still a few days out from it actually being November, but I thought I’d best update you blog-following folks as to what my plan it. You see, as many of you will be aware, November is the month of NaNoWriMo, the ‘National Novel Writing Month’ that is, in fact, now international. I’ve always intended to do it, but life/classes/excuses got in the way, and I never ‘won’, as they call it. However, this year I’ve got ten months of almost daily output on my side – and as much as a ten line poem isn’t quite the same as 1667 words a day (on average), I think that the habitual nature of writing for me at this point in the year will hopefully help me in my quest to cobble together something of relative value.

This does mean, however, that most of my writing hours will be dedicated to this cause, which means that I’ll more than likely utilise snippets from the day’s writings for my ‘365 pieces’ post. Sometimes I’ll mix it up and do something completely different, sometimes I’ll use whatever I’ve been writing, blend it up, and turn prose into a poem. Othertimes, it may just be a particularly melodious extract. We shall see. But I thought I’d warn you, just in case you wonder where all the erratic verse has gone, replaced by more cohesive prose at times!

 

welcome to the hellmouth

preemptive warning – semester starts back tomorrow. which means MADNESS in bookstore land. longer hours, shorter breaks, more inane questions, the works. fun! 

and by fun, i mean, i’ll be feeling a little something like this :

Image

a little stabby.

and i’ll also be fairly exhausted by the end of each day. so, if you’re an avid follower of my ‘365 pieces’ posts, be warned that there is a chance i may get slightly behind – however i will endeavor to catch up on any lost days next weekend, when i (hopefully) regain my sanity. we’ll just have to see what happens!