A few years ago, when the new-and-better-resourced movie version of Stephen King's IT was about to come out, I was talking with my mom about, well, it. She and my sister had both re-read the book and then gone to see the movie. I mentioned that I was planning to do the same and my … Continue reading Going Off Book-ish: The ‘Shadow and Bone’ TV Series, a.k.a. What to do when “the book is always better”?
It seems to be a perennial question but one focused on a future we anticipate and aren't sure yet what to do with: what is humanity's ethical obligation to the consciousnesses we make? We see this question in the replicants of Blade Runner to the clones of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go to the … Continue reading But They’re Not Really People—Clones and Artificial Friends, Oh My!
Matt Haig's The Midnight Library scratches a lot of itches—speculative fiction, reckoning with life choices, learning how to human. But amongst those threads, I propose that The Midnight Library functions as low-key cli-fi, a.k.a. "climate fiction," a narrative exploring the impacts of global warming. *barely spoilery spoilers for The Midnight Library and mild content warning … Continue reading ‘The Midnight Library’ is Low-Key Cli-Fi
It's May. The trees are in full leaf and the pines stretch forth new shoots like fingernails painted in tennis-ball green. Wildflowers spring up everywhere—daisies, wild iris, lupine. There are more sunny days than grey days and many of those days have been truly warm. So why do I feel so exhausted, so languid, so … Continue reading Notions, the Pick Your Metaphor Edition
There is a new Romeo and Juliet on the block. It was meant to be a stage production by London's National Theatre but the pandemic scuttled those plans (because of course it did). Rather than abandon it altogether, the creators decided to film it as a movie, but one that avoids the trap of merely … Continue reading I Look to Like: A New ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Why Some Stories Persist
The first poster was for a dog. Fluorescent green paper with a smaller white page laminated on top of it to protect it from the Oregon rain. Picture of a small, scruffy dog. Missing.“Jimmy”Terrier mix.Skittish, do not chase.If seen, please call 541-555-1234 I began to see these posters everywhere. And by “everywhere,” I mean frequently … Continue reading Lost Animals
I visited the Southern Utah desert a few weeks ago. After I returned I was doing my usual hike in Eugene, noticing the changes spring had wrought during my week away—new leaves, flowers, a cacophony of bird chirps like a warming up symphony. And while it was beautiful, it made me a little bit sad, … Continue reading Ode to Escalante
The last time I read Edith Wharton's House of Mirth I vowed it would be the last. I had read it before, three or four times, and by this point I found the slow decline of Lily Bart painfully tragic because it is so pointless. And I wanted to yell at both her and Selden, … Continue reading Take a Break: Three Fun Reads
Recently, a dear friend reached out to me asking for recommendations of "classics." She reads a lot but primarily contemporary works and felt like she missed the boat on a lot of those "big" books that people "should" read. Because I love both making lists and being a busy body, I offered to create a … Continue reading Literary Essentials for Cocktail Parties, a Syllabus
Last Saturday was the vernal equinox, the time when light and dark come into balance before, in the Northern hemisphere, the light begins to expand and grow leading up to the summer solstice. We arbitrarily mark this day as the first day of spring. As with other such global, astronomical events, it's an important holiday … Continue reading Emerging, Changing – Poems for the Spring