Literary Games

I became a reader and writer simultaneously at age three. I quickly began to employ color and text and illustration together. I found in poetry a heart like unto my own and have written it continuously. I guess my hope to be a publisher was born on my mother’s knees or perhaps in the floorboard of the Buick with the dash lighting shining down on my pages.

The dreams persist.

Reading is my favorite form of entertainment, with my rarely watching television. I usually steer away from series, but I have been drawn into a few lately. The idea is commendable, but the execution leaves much to be desired. I am one who becomes immersed in a book or books. It is most disappointing to be prepared for the continuation of a tale and find that it will be a year before you can learn the rest of the story. Not an easy acceptance for a poet who must complete a whole composition in the space of a page or a bit more.

Sometimes I will circumvent the imposition by waiting until all the volumes are complete to read them, but with current works, that is hardly possible. I lately did this with Tolkien’s masterpieces again. Someday I will open the shrink-wrap and dive into Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, I suppose. I begin to wonder about it because I have had those books over a decade. There is also The Game of Thrones, which I have in series and read two volumes from the library, but have yet to break the shrink-wrap on the collector’s edition.

Bibliophiles can be characters. My family tries to encourage me to dispense with some of my literary collection, and I blatantly refuse. I find my books are comforting, and the possibilities they contain, make me feel life is still an adventure. The missives from other minds are great consolation when the world becomes difficult.

I should think with fifty-four years at the vocation, I would have some idea of how to relate to readers, but I often wonder that others must be so unlike myself. Even so, I continue. I write every day and read a wide variety. I have thought l should make some provision to get out into the world and find some worthy subjects for photographic composition. I tend to be dull and remain close to home, which may not be the worst thing with a worldwide pandemic. My dogs and I are company and family.

The Vine Witch and The Glamourist by Luanne G. Smith have me wishing The Conjurer was not to be released next year. The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith is another I am considering following up.

I wonder, those of you who are readers, what do you like? Are you a series person? Writers, have you been at the craft for years, or are you new with beginner mind?

World symmetry
Captured in quaint syllables,
An eagle on wing.


Sheltering in place
The world no more freedom’s space,
Dreams are not contained.


I see you, a smile,
Broad as day, deeper than night,
Come join in delight.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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


I Have Read…

I have not given a reading update in a while. I have fallen behind my goal because of reading large books and working here so much. As we are shut-in, it occurs to me reading is a way to break out. There are so many books and so little time. I encourage you to find something that excites you and put yourself in a book. By the way, the links are with the titles.

How to Write Poetry by Cynthia Sharp on Kindle Unlimited was a short read with just some quick inspiration. It is geared to learners and teachers with some excellent ideas that could be employed in a workshop setting. I gave it 5 stars and think you might find it worthwhile.

Now, Then and Everywhen by Rysa Walker on Kindle First, but available on Unlimited is a Time Travel Novel, which you may recall I am a connoisseur. This book hit all the numbers. The writing was spot on, the characterization was immersing, the settings and happenings were seamlessly researched and imagined, and the plot – I am leaving that for your exploration. I was impressed by this one, it gets a 5, and I say you should not miss it.

The Guilty Die Twice by Don Hartshorn was a request reading, which I rarely do because my TBR shelves are almost galaxy size. The book is available on Kindle Unlimited. It was a treat. I seldom read legal thrillers, but this story was so well done; it kept me enthused all the way through. Estranged brothers, both lawyers, a compelling case, non-stop action. The writing was clean and the story in league with the NYT Bestsellers. I give it 5 stars and a huge recommendation.

Devoted by Dean Koontz, who is one of my all-time favorites, the man writes. This was on Kindle Unlimited, and in fact, is only with limited availability. Time-sensitive, if they do not change it. There are bad guys, heroes, a boy, and a dog. I would say more, but you need to read this for yourself. This is a ten all the way, but we deal with 5s, so it is a high 5.

The Museum of Desire by Jonathan Kellerman, hardcover borrowed from the library. This is a detective novel with a psychological expert on board. A lot happens, it is very well written and told with finesse. I just finished it this morning, and I am still somewhat involved. I think you will like it, and maybe find it a bit creepy, 5 stars, get it, read it.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Recent Reading

The Binder of Lost Stories by Cristina Caboni is available through Kindle Unlimited. The book is 261 pages, but it reads quickly. Threads from the present and past are expertly woven in this tale of book romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it. Were ten on the rating scale, it would easily earn it, as is it is a glorious five.

The Whisper Man by Alex North was read on Kindle and is 350 pages of consummate storytelling with spellbinding horror. Children are our future, but no future should be like this. It reads quickly because the writing is exquisite, but it might chill your blood to the bone. Excellently told, another I would award a ten, but our scales like to end at five, so be it.

The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper is one of those Kindle books I was not quite prepared for and was taken out beyond the breakers. It came in at 344 pages, but it is so much more than that indicates. You may be aware I shy from politics, this book goes right to the heart of the beast, and what we do not know, well, it is revealing. It is a reasonably fast read, but the taste will stay with you a while. Another one which should be a ten, but it is a racy five.

The Killing Fog by Jeff Wheeler is a First Read on Kindle this month coming in at 404 pages. I think had I realized it fell into YA, I might have taken a pass. That said, the story is enchanting and heroic, classic good against evil. Swords, magic, dragons, villains, a female protagonist. It gets a five.

You may find I often rate fives, the reason being I almost always pick books I know I will enjoy. When purchased books disappoint me, I am usually surprised.

I seem to be on a Kindle kick. I read faster on a device. It is probably because I do my steps while reading, and the screen is illuminated, whereas the shadows affect my vision when I read hardcovers.

Whatever you do, read. It helps a person in so many ways. Also, instill the love of reading in everyone you can.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Apologies To Allen et al.

You sudden, wake up,
To find the world is not all
Things you had in mind,
But still, life beckons much like
A closeted skeleton,
Reminding you, “Time
Waits For No One,” exacting
Its toll on bodies,
Minds, the frolics of each day
Fading quickly now away.
You hear a whisper,
“I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,”
While the tears run down
Your face without any trace
Of the deeds, you are obliged
To do in your hurry
To become who you will be
In the darn, “Who’s Who”
Directory, which you have
Always wished to discover
Some method, madness,
To propel yourself to fame
Which is not tinted
By the same “True Colors,” as
Everyone who makes
Good the journey, slowly begun,
In the paltry neighborhood
Where we each were born
With not one shiny penny
To launch us into
The stratosphere, you will know
Of which I mention because
The tarry residue clings
To the racy wardrobe amassed
Along the way to the present
From the seconds of yesterday.
You shout, “Failure is not an option,”
While looking over your shoulder
To see hungry wolves clawing
Their way minute by minute
Through the balsa door erected
In haste to shelter your dreams
From the awful extremes of envy,
The monster that turns friends
Against friends and makes lovers
Into the direst of enemies.
You are reminded never
To settle for less than the best,
While begging an agent to take
Chances on a story you could
Hardly tell because of impressions
Which impelled you to recognize
You sold your creativity
Off to a lower bidder without
Believing you had “The Right Stuff”
And “The Matrix” could not come
Together in “The Field of Dreams”
For we are all just prisoners here
Captured by the devices that
Will not allow us to enter paradise.
Still, now, do not succumb
To that black-feathered bird
Whispering above the door,
“Nevermore,” for it has no idea
The greatness lying awakened
Within the love-lorn heart beating
Tell-tale inside of you
For you sail with the angels
Across an endless sea into
Whatsoever, however, whenever
Will come to be your slice
Of “Supernatural” reality.
At last, there is no peace
In which to rest, because
Debtors have no recourse
But to pay, and pay again
And so must go on writing
Even ever and evermore.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan


Sometimes I play, like the child I once was, left alone for a moment on a snowy day, when nothing could longer destroy who I believed I might be, given an opportunity.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan