Reading Update

Do you read a lot? Sometimes it surprises me how and how much I read. I am going to do a little differently than I usually do with this update.

I have been reading almost exclusively on Kindle and devices. I also tend to read several books at the same time. Since April 15th I have completed these:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien 5stars Reread.
The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien 5stars Reread.
Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan 4stars Not entirely sure I agree with the summation here.
Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien 5stars Reread.
The Master’s Apprentice by Oliver Potzsch 5 stars, and that does not reflect how very accomplished this novel is.
Grammars of Creation by George Steiner 5stars Deep scholarly text that challenges as it enlightens.
Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter 5stars a reading request from the author. Excellent story, well presented.
Terra Luna by Vikki & John Woodward, this is a 5star story, but it is marred to an overall 3stars because of a bevy of errors in copy editing. This was an author’s recommendation.
Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey 5stars chilling story.
A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O’Nan 5stars, this is a plague novel and was very appropriate for the time.
Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec 5stars this is a challenging novel and extremely satisfying, but might not be for every taste. Translation from French.
What Lies Between Us by John Marrs 5stars There are no winners here, but getting there is a great ride.
The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith 5stars I have a soft spot for books about books, throw in a battle between Heaven and Hell, yeah, I am there with you all along the way.

I also tend to read The New York Times, AJC, Science, Granta, and others a bit along the way. My major disappointment in life is the is too much material to read and a paucity of time in which to do it.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

2020.06.30 Sea Bird resize



A simple prescription for defeating a creative block is to face whatever media we work with and simply make a start. Writing is my fondest medium, so I began with A. I do not typically encounter the condition of block, nor the related issue of boredom. Still, I recognize both can be problems for some.

Reading can be a preventative measure against boredom and can dispel block when inspirational material is read. I do not rule out any content that one fancies. We find our inspirations in what we love.

Sometimes creative work with materials used in childhood or similar to those can be the catalyst for a product that is hugely satisfying. I think this is one of the reasons journals are so appealing to me. Writing by hand was how my early stories and poems were done.

Construction paper, pipe cleaners, and glue can be used to make more sophisticated work now that we are grown up, but those materials bring our child out to play. Often when I create art, I go back to early beginnings and use colored pencils. The smell of shavings is very evocative of efforts made before the critic became hyperactive.

If your early days included film, simply remember the feeling of beginner’s mind and get out and take the shot. The idea here is to leave the agonizing behind and simply fall in love with capturing the subject, any subject, now.

A cause of boredom and block is our tendency to overthink. If we become engrossed in the doing, the being, we can escape the critical tendency to be overtly adult.

Some people say think outside the box; my thought is to consider the box lost in another dimension and explore that territory. No answer you discover can possibly be wrong.

Okay, sorry, this was free-form, and as with much free-writing should you disagree, just take what you can use and disregard all else.

I have not written explicitly about creativity in a while, and this is Haphazard Creative. I hope you are graced by intense creativity in whatever you choose to do.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

A Thing, Well A Few

Prompted Positive Poetry’s Prompt #61 was “Fishnet.” I went off in a strange direction and did some derivations on a photo.

2020.06.09 Clockworks edited changed

This is not the poem I lost; I liked it better. I am toying with thoughts of which I cannot be the host. Catch release is all the rage to my overactive mind. Not sure I like the electric blue either, but black looked all wrong.

This following is out of the very verbose journaling. Those are two conjoined Tanka.


This existence is
Riddled with holes, the who, what,
How, why, that I am –
Knowing it is not enough
Normal for others to want.
Me, just wishing to
Belong somewhere with someone,
Who fully loves me
Though I am strange within – out,
Who would reassure my doubts.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I have a free trial of Spotify Premium. I love the Deep Focus channel, the one simply titled, Sleep, and oh, Music for Reading. Of course, The Rolling Stones and Queen get playtime as well.

I wonder if I should catch you up on my reading. I have not done that in a while, and there are some titles you might like.


Target 2001

I found my new journal. It was a Back to School find at Target in 2001. Hint, hint, I got out of school in 1981. Back to School sales rock stationery, though. Yes, 2001 was years ago, I do not know what to tell you about that. This notebook has corduroy covers. The pages leave something to be desired, but hey, paper is paper. Black lines seem unique. The covers are red, which is my favorite color.

Now you know more than you asked about my new journal. Do you journal? If not, have you considered the benefits of journals when dealing with difficult issues? Do you have a significant life event that journals would give a record of for the future? I find my journal permits me to create when I might not usually. I can come to the journal page as I am, show up, and make something.

Try it; you might find a new way of accessing your creativity.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Poems, Life, Being

What use have we of
Which can only describe,
But cannot bring life
To any desolate space
Or without our hearts.
Is it the beauty
In our language, the word,
Which compels writing
Or is it more
How creation fulfills us?
None of us is wed
To syllable expression,
Formed in meter,
Words cast in settings of rhyme,
Still, poets reach for the
We root among those
Sentiments, some
From bygone times when
We were loved, happy, and
To be the selves we wanted.
Often we glory
In what wonders discovered
Or actions achieved
A lyric of love,
However we may find it.
The poem is not
Necessary but neither
Perhaps are such as we.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

2020.05.23 Paradise Plant

Reading Grammars of Creation by George Steiner has set me thinking. Such brilliance in print. Do you have a favorite book at this time? Would you share it?

I went out into the world today. So much change in how we as people relate to one another. Such discomfort wearing a mask. I felt like I had entered a science fiction horror tale. One of my long time close acquaintances gave me a hug. He said he just had a birthday. I asked how old he said 36; I said oh, I am 56, 20 years older. The sweetheart said, no, you can only be 40. Made my day, even if it was only flattery.

I hope life is treating you well. Please create something. With all the world running amok, what you make could be a lifeline for you or someone else. Remember, in whatever you do that kindness is a salve for those who are hurting, Love, Love, Love!