Reading ORIGIN for My Late Uncle

My eldest uncle – my Uncle David – who was five siblings ahead of my mother, was an avid reader of books just as I am. When he passed away from cancer earlier this year in the late Spring, he bequeathed his book collection to me, his favorite nephew. I had to buy a new bookshelf to accommodate the considerable intake. The man LOVED to cook (and eat, of course) so there were a large number of cookbooks that I didn’t really have any use for, as well as some other nonfiction, very little of which I had any interest in, but there were plenty of novels, some older obscure stuff, but mostly mainstream bestselling author stuff like Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler and Jonathan Kellerman, among others.

While sick-and-dying in hospice care, yet hardly succumbing to death because he was too stubborn for that nonsense of going away quietly without a fight (if you knew the character my Uncle David was then you would know he gave Death all kinds of shit just BECAUSE!), he had been reading one of his newest book acquisitions, one with a catching cover you see because it was blue, my favorite color. The book was ORIGIN by bestselling author Dan Brown (yes, the DA VINCI CODE dude).

I recently pulled the book from my shelf and discovered that he had the novel bookmarked where he had left off on page 388 (of 461). I didn’t necessarily have any interest in reading the book anytime soon. However, an idea came to me, one that would be a specific way I could personally honor my beloved late uncle and that was quite simply the fact that I could finish reading the book for him. Don’t even start the book from page 1, rather just jump in cold at page 388 where he left off and read (and hopefully enjoy) the rest of it it for him.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Before year’s end. Maybe I’ll even be able to make some sense of it with roughly only 70 pages left.

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The Writ, The Read & The Rock – 11.19.18

It’s been a while since I’ve done the weekly look back, so here is a retro report on the past week or so . . .

++ The Writ ++

So since the start of November I have been participating – for the third year in a row now – in NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month for the rare uninitiated). In the past I hadn’t lasted more than a few days to a week at most. This year I’ve survived nearly three weeks, mainly by finally embracing not giving into my usual OCD about editing every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph and page to some semblance of “perfection”. I’m also not sticking to one novel project, instead just doing word vomits on multiple projects as they arrive to me because as always this creative mind of mine is always littered with a multitude of ideas – old and new. It’s just how I’ve always rolled, so why fight it? As I write this very paragraph I’m currently tallied at 17,852.

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++ The Read ++

As a lifelong bookworm I’m always reading a variety of material, from novels to comic books/graphic novels, to short stories and nonfiction, etc. I rarely walk out of a library (or bookstore for that matter) with just one book. Let’s suffice it to say that recent trips to Barnes & Noble, all four local branches of Half-Price Books and an Amazon order altogether cost me $$$!!! And a week later I was at the library walking out with yet another armful. A good chunk of my reading is research for my own writing, you see. So it is what it is. Don’t judge me. Unlike people, books rarely let me down or disappointment. Currently the two books dominating my attention is ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2011), book one of a YA sci-fi trilogy by Beth Revis, and THE WICKED + THE DIVINE – Vol. 3: COMMERCIAL SUICIDE (2016), an urban fantasy/modern mythology serialized graphic novel series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.

The latter was a series I originally started when it launched in 2014, but I lapsed on it. So I’m getting caught up one volume at a time. The former has one of the most engaging first chapters I’ve ever read! Many a writer – new and old – could take notes on CHAPTER 1: AMY. I don’t read a lot of YA books and even though the two protagonists  are young in this book they hardly announce themselves as YA – they’re just interesting people in a harrowing situation deftly portrayed within a very compelling, suspenseful narrative. 94 pages and 15 chapters in I can see why this novel, a debut one from Beth Revis, has garnered so much critical acclaim. And I have no idea what’s to come in the following two books that complete the trilogy. But I’m anxious to get there. Guess that means another trip to a bookstore or yet another Amazon order. It’s a bookworm life I lead.

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++ The Rock ++

This past week or so my music listening has typically been wide ranging as usual, starting with METALLICA, 2PAC, OUTKAST, WU-TANG CLAN and FUGAZI, and ending with BLONDE REDHEAD, DEF LEPPARD, PJ HARVEY and DAUGHTER. In the coming week I plan on getting back to SOHN, LONDON GRAMMAR, SONIC YOUTH and APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, but really the music selection relies heavily on any given mood, so we’ll see how the week plays out.

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Not to Disappear (2016) by DAUGHTER

In other rocking news: I did not play my guitar or bass this past week. Actually, I haven’t played since NaNoWriMo started. Clearly that’s NOT rocking.


++ In Closing ++

We lost a pop-culture icon recently, a loss I knew was inevitable any day now and one I knew I would exclaim with shock loudly when I saw the news come across my feed. Rest in peace STAN LEE. Thank you for all the Marvel comics you co-created with countless collaborators and all the ones you “presented” by the time I started reading regularly in the Fall of 1986. Especially thank you for the X-MEN who weren’t my introduction to Marvel Comics (that was Spidey and Hulk) but were my main draw to superheroes overall. I might not have enjoyed my teen years quite as much without them.

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