I. Three novels I’ve read this week and can recommend (all three take place in the South by happy coincidence): The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty.
II. “One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”-Annie Dillard
VIII. Speaking of books, I’ve been thinking a lot about reviews and how important they can be. But how hard it is to find (or write) good ones. Check out Cutbank Literary Magazine for some smart and well-written reviews.
XI. The word dérive means “drift; a spontaneous journey where the traveller leaves their life behind for a time to let the spirit of the landscape and architecture attract and move them.” Sounds a lot like the writing process to me.
XII. Erasures can make the most poetic moments out of the least poetic texts. “leaf by leaf/ making/ a form/ apart from/ their movements” .. Read more in these Three Erasures by Collier Nogues at At Length Magazine. Now go erase something!