Reading List, So Far, 2020

I am doing this because I do not do on-site reviews for retailers or GoodReads anymore, well, almost exclusively. I will note how I read each, the media, at the beginning. I am including Amazon links. I do not long retain enough because I ingest so much print, to give you more than a brief overview. If I have that much memory, I am lucky. Something in my disease affects all that, but it is to your advantage, I cannot go on forever about books I loved.

Kindle – The Powers by Mark W. Erwin, 204 pages – 5 stars: Reminded me of The Secret, but had a more God-centered focus. It should be said that those who are non-Christians should find no offense, and the advice appears sound.

Kindle – Somewhere In Time by Richard Matheson, 321 pages – 5 stars: I am a time-travel buff, love to read about it, write about it, look at the science, so I loved this book. It is flawlessly written, it contains mystery, and though I avoid romance, it has a love story. You cannot go wrong with this one. It is a timeless classic.

Kindle –  The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie, 465 pages – 5stars: First, I will tell you I got 25 pages in and was so disgusted, I quit. I dislike doing that, but the book was primarily written in the second person, and I abhorred reading it. Give me a few days with my conscience, and well, I went back. I am a sucker for stories with gods, goddesses, and mankind all meddling in one another’s affairs. So I read, read, and read until I finished. Mythology and Egyptology were some of my favorite subjects back in the day. It is not so strange that I still enjoy such entertainments.

Kindle – Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, 367 pages  – 5 stars: This book could wrench the gut and bring on tears in ways that run deep. There is art, family dynamics, misunderstood relationships, blame, and AIDS, plus two pre-teens to teens growing up. I think you should read it, but hey, I could be wrong.

Kindle Unlimited – Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder, 256 pages – 5stars, but truthfully, 10 stars: I read a lot of writing craft books. I try to learn all I can. What was unusual about this book was just a few words, maybe a page could set my mind off to the point I had to write. I am not sure I learned a lot, it was just motivating. The author is so gifted and writes so well. If you create poetry, do not miss this one.

I have several books underway, and if there is interest, I can make a list from 2019. I am reading things I own now. 2019 was primarily library books.

I hope you found something to spark your interest.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

If You Are Wondering… Bonus 🥰😍🤗

At times, I will neglect my creativity. I work better when I challenge myself and have self-imposed deadlines. The 2020 Creativity Project is a daily marathon of Creativity. I must post and, therefore, must produce.

When I create, it often opens the sluice gates on what holds all my wild in; the dam cannot keep my mind contained. I want to finish my novel and my book on creativity this year. I think I have a chance since I committed to this.

If you are a Creative, however, that defines you, you may find it beneficial to set tasks and goals of which you refuse to let yourself slip out.

I try to share inspiring things and prompts, but some of those posts get no views. I am puzzled by what is happening here, but I have this to do, whether seen or not.

I write everything here, and all the pictures are mine. I chose the design and outfitted it. Since three years old such things have consumed me. I cannot drop it and survive.

I have not run central heat all Winter so I could afford the site cost for Premium. Worth it, I declare. You see no commercials; I got the Entrepreneur theme. Thank God for my Mom’s electric blanket.

I posted so many times yesterday; it was crazy. I proofed for about four hours and took a semi-nap, I hardly sleep without taking pills to turn my mind off — the little perk of my disorder.

Maybe I say too much about myself, I apologize if you think so, but one of my dearly held purposes on the web has always been to raise mental health/illness awareness. It is one of my only ways to contribute as a disabled person. If only…

Now, away and away, business be done.

February is coming; it could sneak up on you, Valentine’s Day. I am all about love, so it is one of my most favorite days. The stores put out the Valentine goodies before Christmas is done, though. Does anyone else think it is shameless overkill? Oh, let’s get out of that morass before we are swallowed up.

I think love should be celebrated every day in every beautiful way, but for I Heart You Day: If you and your someone are going for dinner and a movie, why not ride a horse-drawn carriage. If that is too much, enlist a single person to chauffeur you. You lovebirds sit in back, stealing kisses and caresses on your way. A photoshoot where you go to a studio with costuming and get made and gussied up will be a forever memory. Alternatively, you could hire a photographer, dress in frills, make-up, for the thrills, and be photographed at a place near the heart of your relationship or a scenic spot that will become a new favorite.

I am single, you too? It is okay; we love it also. Pick up your most coveted meal fixings and prepare it beforehand, so you only need to heat it. Buy yourself something you have wished for; it does not have to be expensive. Wrap that up. Pick up a ravishing desert. Now, celebrate with a binge-watch of the shows you have meant to get to while enjoying the rest.

Any of you who feel the need could hire one of your favorite poets to write personalized love poems made to order; also, some might even be able to provide accompanying art, photography, or graphics.

Queen recorded some great love songs. Freddie, Bri, Roger, and John have always been some of my favorite artists, and now with Adam and their recent and current tours, there is plenty of work on YouTube. Take a listen, rock your mood.

Ah, work calls, you are released.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Hearts have this strange way, you know, like the magic which we never allow its slipping into the clouds. The lightning would be spectacular and potentially frazzle dazzle everything.

Simple is OKAY

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Time is valuable because it goes in one direction, and we cannot buy it or get a moment back once it has passed. How we spend it is immensely consequential. It is well to use it for our betterment. Sometimes creation is best because it grounds us at the moment, and the accomplishment can elevate our mood. Endorphins are way cool. There is a calming effect with creativity if we can eject the internal critic.

The critic can be a right pain. When we try to write, it can tell us how wrong we are. When we attempt art, the critic is likely to say, “Oh, that is so childish, it cannot be shared.” With poetry, there is a comparison to any number of celebrated poets, and of course, the poem is not worth the words used. A book, “You think you can write a book, you cannot even sort socks.” A song, “Nah, go listen to XYZ, you will never be that good.”

The best advice is to totally ignore the critic unless we are in “editing mode.” Ideally, the first draft is complete before any edits. Most critics are stubborn brats, even if we throw them to the curb, they come back, like significant others we toss out who keep showing up in places we wish they would not be.

My use of we is because I prefer not to use first-person when I can do without it. It is not a tic because of circumstances. Sometimes I am very self-conscious, let’s amend that to always. Life’s a beach.

Anyway, when we create, we are aiming for enlightenment and results, not to please the nasty critic. The critic is a hater, internalized. Most of us would be well to send ours to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, bury the cur there, and leave forever. Good luck with that!

When we write a lot, art or photography can still engage us in the making but allow us some lightness of being, without the hard struggle of language. It is like the valve atop a pressure cooker. We can ease off the accelerator and coast downhill with art, writing can feel like a curvy mountain road’s ascent. Watch out for falling boulders. For some of us, all creativity is a minefield, but when we make it across, we feel ultimately alive.

A friend wants more exposure. This person is extremely talented. The recommendation of a website was made. Maybe it will happen. Advised the name for a site is a priority. The web address should be memorable and fast to type, short because most will avoid extended ones.

Haphazard Creative came to be because there was a desire to highlight creativity as it is an integral part of any process. A mentor recommended a bunch of names that were in a preexisting list. When Haphazard came up, that was deemed right, because one can find almost anything here. This was a new chapter of online life. Chronicles existed before and has the previous Creativity Project on it.

Ah, Simple is OKAY. Everything does not have to be perfect. Perfection is a lie. We do not need perfection, we need to be our best. There are times when just creating whatever is enough because one work can lead to another. Life is hard enough without pressuring ourselves to compete with some ideal. When we do our best, it is all we have at the moment, and we are always precious. Love is all around us, inside us, in anything we do, and anywhere we are. We are not alone; we are cherished.

This meanders, but what we need to remember is the purpose is love. It is simple. Life is given for passion, and creativity expresses love in so many beautiful ways.

Banish the critic, create, be you, reach for your highest goals, be wonderful wherever you wander, because you already are.

Creativity
Love’s living expression now,
Blessing forever.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I once began a novel called “Whispers In The Mailbox.” It wound up like this, slain by the overzealous critic… Do not let it happen to you.

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Motivation, My Brand

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This rock fascinates me; well, most big rocks make me wonder. I like small stones too, but I use to watch large rocks moving around because of workers on tractors and in dump trucks. There were also the boulders we set dynamite in, after drilling, and a lever push made them blow. Georgia is full of rock and red clay. LOL.

Anyway, I took this yesterday with the Sony camera, and I thought which I always do. I wanted to draw, but I think you know creating art intimidates me. I am a perfectionist, and there is desire, but there is fear. The fear I am not good enough at it. This morning I got a sketchbook, drawing pencils, and colored pencils out. I created something. It really has little relationship to the photo, I did not look at the picture except a glance at the file last night. The photo was what drew me to try.

Creativity is not an easy thing, though it is inherent. We all have abilities, we can all do creative things. Maybe you cook, dance, play music or sing, organize items, create presentations, graphs, pie charts, lesson plans, a wardrobe, furnish a house, anything. Liberal arts are not the only home of creativity, life is creative. The thing is to create positive outcomes for yourself and others.

Perfection is a lie, read that again. Perfection can clog the creative flow, it is as close as we get to block. When we want perfect results, we can stop ourselves from doing what we can do. If we do not do, we can never become better. We lockdown and fail to grow or produce.

Maybe we want a tremendous experience, and we devalue ourselves, our lives. Life, creativity, love, accomplishment is in the little mundane things. It is great to do something outstanding, but we have a lot of ordinary moments, and we can choose to recognize that those are precious too. We may find joy, gratitude, in relationships, in the wonderful taste of what is eaten even if it is often eaten, in the fact we can reach others around the world, the songs played, the soft touch of the fabric on the body, writing with an ink pen, the smell of pencils, a warm shower, a safe environment, our pets, the families God gave us, any gift.

Ah, I guess you should see the creation before you go.

I hope you find the courage to recognize the beauty of your life.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Suggestions, Perhaps?

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Respectful Restriction

Gates open and close,
Allow entrance and exit,
But they also lock.
Sometimes there is no going
Through barriers facing us.

Neighborly fences
Can save us torturous pain,
Where parties respect
Limits that secure freedom
And borders are not breached.

The gates of morning
Let in the nourishing sun
Lighting life each day,
Night swift falls, portcullis like,
Calling us to wangle sleep.

We live between gates
Though we believe we are free,
The beginning, birth,
The conclusion, death, and yet:
Eternal resurrection.

In this beautiful
Time we spend between the gates
We should live – alive,
We should be real, with the gates
Of experience thrown wide.

We are who we are
And we can create our lives,
Miracles abide,
Even in the dark, some gates
Guide us to places we belong.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Sometimes people wonder about inspiration. I took the photo this afternoon. I picked it randomly from a selection of several. Afterward, I determined to write a “GATE” poem. You just roll how you roll.