Book and Compass

writing, reading, posing the occasional bad question

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I know a girl

who is quiet

and beautiful.

She has a smile like an old lightbulb

burning low and uncertain

before firing into fearless brilliance.

Her eyes are wild and dark

and she makes me feel so many things

I have not felt before or since.

But I think that sometimes

inside her vibrant smile

and below the fathoms in her eyes

are wants she will not say.

I hope that one day she will find

the strength to call out for them.

And I hope on that day,

I will be there to give them to her.


Notes:Every few weeks or so we get tacky poetry posts, which are extremely fun to write. – B&C

Bar Study/Isolation

I sat silent, wondering what my life might be like if I were someone else entirely.

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why I want to write

It’s hard to write honest things. The blunt sentiments can only be really delivered by comedians, because coming from anyone else they sound like bad cliches and are not to be taken seriously.

They should be, but delivering “wisdom” with an air of authority is a guarantee that it’s not going to be listened to. Unless it’s from your mother, then you should always follow it.

The rest of us can only come at truth sideways, the way an actor sidles through the curtain between one scene and the next. We make the truth into an elegant riddle for the clever to pick at, titter about, and interpret. Better yet, we are expected to do so. No one expects a truth to be written outright, because no one thinks it possible. Truth is something that is arrived at — a personal experience only for those who are intelligent enough to see it.

We know things to be true when we experience them for ourselves. Not in the tangible way, but one is truly convinced of something when they themselves have arrived at that idea. Someone else could say all they like about the matter, even down to occult precision, but end to end advice is only taken (or not taken) based on a perceived truth of the matter.

The tangibility of truth varies between people, like most other attributes of life. Some abnormally intelligent beings can think so far ahead and in such broad scope that the truth of a situation or future circumstance can be entirely abstract but still as real and possible as their own teeth. Others want more physical proof, or cannot project forward and outward to the same extent. They tumble into their truths in the most physical way, which is often the case in film dramas or exciting novels. That is what makes their journey interesting — that they heed no warnings and bluster onward.

You are expected to approach with sincerity, but not forthright. To bask in the presence of a god but not to profane its person with your eyes or your words. Give praise in your rendition of moonlight on the ocean. Create a hymn in the form of a wandering sailor’s unrequited love. It is not for us to say “this is so.” Though it may be. That isn’t the point. Attack truth sideways, through metaphor and hyperbole.

That’s why I want to write. Coincidentally, that’s also why at one point I wanted to act (but that’s a story for another day). Because false things, while being at least a little true, can create for people a small new reality that alters the way they think and feel. Fiction begets reality, and loath are we to forget it.

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Waking

If you find the cool and steady light of morning
as a harbinger of dread things:

Consider the sky that burns with color after the sun has fallen below the earth,
and the peace of a star-lit night.

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Book Review – Hubert & Kerascoet, Beauty

As if I didn’t have enough nice things to say about Miss Don’t Touch Me, I at the same time came by a copy of Hubert & Kerascoet’s Beauty.

Quick summary: A plain girl makes a wish of a fairy to be beautiful, with unforeseen and dire consequences for her and everyone around her (essentially, there’s so much more but I’ll get to that).I have a couple moments during this review when I dont-quite-spoil but do discuss events or themes in the book that you wouldn’t know at outset. Be warned!

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Book Review – Hubert & Kerascoet, Miss Don’t Touch Me Omnibus

Disclaimer: I’m not an artist, illustrator, or anything near learned on art, comics, graphic novels, and the like. I just read a lot of them in my spare time. This is kind of out on a limb from what I’ve reviewed before, but I’ve been screaming at anyone and everyone who may get it about this one (and another by the same creative team) for weeks.

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Not an Art Person

There is a painting that hangs on the wall of a museum not too far from here. It’s a pretty famous museum, to be perfectly honest.

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Book Reviews [two for one] Painted Devils & Dark Entries, Robert Aickman

I requested this book from another library because at the time it was getting close to Halloween and I was wanting something that was spooky, but not in the straightforward jump-in-your-seat thriller kind of way. I’d had the pleasure of discovering a newer edition of a different volume of Aickman’s work in a WHSmith earlier in the summer (Dark Entries).

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Book Review – The Island of the Day Before, Umberto Eco

Another book review! It seems like I’m reading books very slowly (when in fact the opposite is true, I’m just picking which ones I’d like to write about up here). Preface: I am just a random human, and this is just my opinion of a random novel.

Anyway, as a preface something that has ‘New York Times Bestseller’ stamped on it is usually code for “you’ll at least enjoy this a little even if its not your cup of tea.” Though I’d never tried this before on a book that came out before I could actually read myself — literature, like fashion, tends to take very different shapes in different years. I also will not lie, I skimmed to the back and felt a little daunted at a 500+ page novel.

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progress & rest

This is going to be slightly more personal than I have begun to want for this blog. In fact, it’s probably better-suited to my personal outlet (cedarbooks.tumblr.com), but since it’s affecting the work that I’m putting up on B&C I thought it might be better to be said here, once.

My original plan was to update this every 3-4 days, with at least some tiny thing. However, since finding one part-time job, and then an internship, and taking on a small volunteer commitment as a part of another project, I have found my free time to work on self-driven projects increasingly waning. I’ve also, due to the irregularity of my weekly schedule and the time-suck that is richocheting between two different workplaces, been running myself to the ground in terms of my mental and physical health.

I love writing, and I have loved doing this blog, but over the past month and a half I’ve found the need to take the time to balance myself mentally and physically in order to get back to a stable and healthy place. I’m trying a few new things to do this. And honestly, I just read over that last paragraph or two and realized that just reading it makes my life sound much worse than it actually is. I’m not quite fine, but I’m working on getting there. In the larger scheme of things, this is not the worst thing that could happen to me.

The long & short of this is that I’m going to scale back on updating. Once a week, probably at most, for the next little while. My internship ends in mid-November (hopefully), so at the very latest I will return to normal updates then.

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