June Read-a-thon Update: Day 11

First day of class was lovely, and then this morning I had to do more class shuffling, and now I’m registered for a different class, but it means I get to read Sherlock Holmes for school credit.

I’m living the dream, y’all.

Still coming up: a dinner party tonight, classes tomorrow. Friday, I’m workshopping some of my writing to prepare several submissions to journals and online magazines. This weekend I’m pulling those submissions together and querying an agent for one of my novels. And doing classwork.

Feeling better about how much reading I’m doing, and I have a lot to get through for school, so that’ll up my counts, too.

My reading progress up to this point:

  • 4 pages of Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz. Notes: no update.
  • 90 pages of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [trans. M.D. Herter Norton]. Notes: finished.
  • 108 pages of The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Notes: finished this one up. Overall, I am glad to have read these poems, but most of them were a bit juvenile for my taste—and this is obviously attributable to the fact that they were written by a 19 year old Tupac. There were some great protest poems, and some great tribute pieces, and a whole bunch of love poems. 8/10
  • 173 pages of Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell. Notes: and finished! Woof! This is a heck of a read, and I loved every minute. I had so many ideas sparked by this reading, and I can’t wait to work on them. 10/10, will read again
  • 8 pages of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Notes: no update.

Running page count: 383

Book Finished: The Rose That Grew from Concrete

I finished my second book for the June Read-a-thon: The Rose That Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur.

It fulfilled a prompt and a challenge off the Treesofreverie Prompts & Challenges list: “Read a book you’ve heard a lot of good things about” and “Read a poetry book”.

Now, I’m working on Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell for the prompt “Read a book you’ve been meaning to read” & “Read a book written by or focusing on POC #weneeddiversebooks” and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman for “Re-read one of your favourite books”.

June Read-a-thon Update: Day 9

Classes start today, and I’m excited, but also a bit frazzled. I’ve been having trouble getting all of the books for my non-fiction class, and several of them are still in the mail. I hope they come in soon…

Yesterday was the Capitol trip for the New Leadership Oregon 2014 class, and I was invited along, as an alumna. We spent the morning touring the building with Former Governor Barbara Roberts, had lunch with Secretary of State Kate Brown, and the current NLO participants roleplayed testimony in front of legislative committees. When we got back to Portland, there was a mixer and recognition of board members, alums, and the current class. I cried, and it was so inspiring to see people supporting each other there. So much love.

Still coming up: a dinner party tomorrow night. Friday, I’m workshopping some of my writing to prepare several submissions to journals and online magazines.

I think I expected to have more free time that has been the reality. I’m trying not to get down on myself for not reading more, even though I’ve read every day, and made good headway in a couple of books I’ve been meaning to read. I feel a bit discouraged, but I’m hoping I can push through it for the remaining 6-7 days.

My reading progress up to this point:

  • 4 pages of Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz. Notes: no update.
  • 90 pages of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [trans. M.D. Herter Norton]. Notes: finished.
  • 70 pages of The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Notes: read more poems from this one. There’s some very teenage love poems in here, but there’s also an amazing section that features several poems for racial justice activists like Nelson Mandela and Huey P. Newton.
  • 129 pages of Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell. Notes: I have less than half the book left, and I’m still being inspired to do 3 new projects for every chapter I finish!
  • 8 pages of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Notes: I figured I’d pick a lighter read to let myself digest some of the heavier stuff, and still get pages done. This one I got 114 pages into a re-read of, and then set it down—probably in favour of school books I had to get through. (So much reading last term…) Anyhow, I should finish it, because I do love it.

Running page count: 301

June Read-a-thon Update: Day 3

As I mentioned on Monday, I’m doing the Treesofreverie June Read-a-thon, and one thing has become clear: I don’t have as much free time as I thought I did!

Between editing stories and essays for others, doing my own writing, cooking, cleaning, problem-solving household issues, and every other unforeseen instance, I’ve had barely a moment to read. Here’s a run-down of what I’ve managed:

  • 4 pages of Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz. Notes: I’m remembering why I put this one down, for sure. The reading is really dense with metaphor, but mostly my problem is that it just seems really pretentious to me. Totally inaccessible. This one may move into my “Abandoned” folder on GoodReads—we’ll see.
  • 42 pages of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [trans. M.D. Herter Norton]. Notes: I’m also remembering why I put this one down, and it’s totally the translator’s fault. This edition is from 1934, and the language is different from today’s, to say the least. Again, this one feels really pretentious to me. I’m gonna tough it out—I only have 48 pages to go, and I think I can make it happen today.
  • 8 pages of The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Notes: I got interrupted by a phone call. I want to finish this one today, too.

Wow, okay; that looks way better when I write it all up! 54 pages in two days isn’t the best I’ve ever done, but considering all my other commitments, I’ve done worse. Hopefully, by Day 5 I’ll have knocked two or three books off the list.