Posted in advice, change, dystopias, fear, fiction, hope, inspiration, other, reading

how reading fiction helps us hope

I really enjoyed this sentiment here, and so wanted to share:

“What novels tell us is not that it’s going to be OK, or that it is all for the best, because it’s not. People will go on drowning as they try to flee Syria, climate change will get worse, and Trump could do massive damage to the world causing an upsurge in the worst kinds of prejudice.

But novels and stories tell us that this has all happened before, in a different time, with different names but similar narratives. They tell us that it’s OK to be scared, to have complicated feelings, to feel a bit lost, and they remind us that we are human.

Continue reading “how reading fiction helps us hope”

Posted in archie reads, artist life, children's fiction, fiction, habits, reading, writing

why archie reads – fiction as self help

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on Earth.

What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.

Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean;
they show us how to live and die.

Anne Lamott

I have already answered why I began writing fiction, so let me unpack why I read it too.

archie the writer in grade six

I think I have always been a bookworm.

As a child, I enjoyed reading stories of other people in other times and other places with other problems.

Why is it that we seek out more problems, about people who we don’t even know, who aren’t even alive?

Continue reading “why archie reads – fiction as self help”

Posted in about archie, advice, blogging, failure, fear, fiction, habits, inspiration, life updates, living life, mental health, self help, self-care, writing

help fish from drowning (life update #4)

Dear whoever you are…

Yes, I’m still here, still writing on this blog, though not as often as I had planned.
Oops?
It’s been over a year since my last life update, so here goes…

Let me recap some of the events that have happened:
I’m still living in the Arctic (and if you’re a writer you should too!); I continued working as a full-time sub teacher at a primary school (and really loved it), but in the last few months have switched to a duller paper-centric office job; my best friend died and it was damn brutal for a long while, and I’m only now adjusted to all the leftover emotional scar tissue (some of my coping strategies are listed here); I essentially relapsed and had a tough go of things before again getting sober for what has been about 6 months (read this for more about my life with addiction), and I’m still a writer…

  • What I’ve been Reading: I’m happy to say that I am still (*slowly*) reading through my multiple bookshelves of books, mixing it up with the genres and authors. On audio, I’m listening to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre which is so far so good, albeit more intense than I was expecting. On paper, I’ve been reading through multiple short story collections, including Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories and also Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man – all white men from roughly the same time period yes, but different styles that are very instructive for my learning eyes.
  • What I’ve been Writing: I’m also really pleased to say how much progress I have been making of late in working on all my stories, thanks to my new desk-job, which offers me a lot of opportunities to edit, daydream and research. My priority story of late has been one called Graves (which was my very first story!). This story is one of the Big 3, along with two others (I mentioned in a previous post working on one series called Animals and another post working on another series called Warriors), which means I hope to publish each of them traditionally, as novels, with a major book publisher, someday…
  • What I’ve been … Watching: I have been enjoying a lot of Queer Eye on Netflix, which is really satisfying not only because of the emphasis on self-improvement both inside and out, but also it’s just nice to see how much a difference it can make in anyone’s life to have cheerleaders really route for you and encourage the fuck out of you because that is the basic ingredient toward any sincere personal growth.

Okay, so on to what I want to say here today.

Continue reading “help fish from drowning (life update #4)”

Posted in Afrofuturism, Alice Walker, aliens, archie reads, Black History, books, fantasy fiction, feminism, fiction, lists, Octavia Butler, radical fiction, reading list, science fiction, visionary fiction

what archie reads – Black History Month

Hey so YAY for Black History. 
BLM is important to talk about because it supports efforts of reclaiming a sense of self among us Earthlings. We all need to make room for knowing about the Past to help understand the legacies we carry with us. Intergenerational magic exists for all of us, but the West suffers from a bout of extreme white supremacy – in so many ways but most definitely inside culture and media. 

As such, one way of changing this reality is to give more attention to reading Black made and Black centred stories, and to learn what we can while we may.

I finished 2 books and can share some of my interpretations, but as always welcome anyone to comment or DM. 

Okay, let’s do this! Continue reading “what archie reads – Black History Month”

Posted in artists, blogging, children's fiction, drafts, fantasy fiction, fear, fiction, goals, hope, inspiration, practice, procrastination, radical fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, visionary fiction, writing

archie’s ambitious pre-30 writing goal that can also get you inspired too, maybe?

I am turning the big three-zero in 2019, can you believe it?
I know, I seem so wise for one so young… lol?
No, but seriously – I’m pretty flabbergasted by that age.

Of course, turning 30 is a big milestone that not everyone has the privilege or good luck to ever reach, so naturally, this needs to be something celebrated with big fanfare.

Michael Dwight partyingThe Office Twirl

But still… 30?

Continue reading “archie’s ambitious pre-30 writing goal that can also get you inspired too, maybe?”

Posted in Afrofuturism, fantasy fiction, feminism, fiction, hope, imagination, inspiration, radical fiction, reading, science fiction, speculative fiction, visionary fiction

empowerment through radical fiction

I don’t have to tell you things are bad.

Everybody knows things are shit – it’s a gd depression.
Nobody can find work and if they do they’re scared of being harassed and exploited.
Everybody’s exhausted or too tired to care much, to speak of anything of real meaning.
Governments and Corporations are running wild in the streets.

Hardly anyone anywhere seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it.
We know the air is unfit to breathe, the waters are unfit to drink.
And we sit inside, on our phones and laptops, scrolling and swiping.
Tweets and Stories telling us about what that shithole 45 has done, said, fucked up, and we can only watch in disbelief, smh as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Yeah, shit is bad – worse than bad – fucking dystopic, catastrophic, apocalyptic.
So what do we do?
We don’t go out anymore.
We hide in our rooms, where we are safer, trying to forget our responsibilities, our privileges.
“Please, just leave me be.
Let me have my iphone and my coffee-maker, and I won’t say anything…
Just leave us alone.”

Well, I will leave you alone but I know that is not what you really want right now.
That’s why you are still reading.
So what is to be done?
I don’t want you to protest, or to write to some official because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to protest about or what to write.
I don’t know what to do about this gd depression, about nuclear war, about the drones, about all the refugees, about the NSA, about the trump nazis, about our dying Earth and her Animals or about the prison industrial complex.

So what, then?

I'm Mad as Hell Network Art

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Posted in anarchy, death, fantasy fiction, feminism, fiction, radical fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, Ursula K LeGuin, writing community

rip Ursula

The one known as Ursula K Le Guin has departed.
So it goes…UKL Guin by Taros

She is survived by books – full of characters and entire worlds – stories and premises that have impacted countless people in more ways than typical for any author.

There’s a point, around the age of twenty, when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life,
or to make a virtue of your peculiarities.
— from The Dispossessed

I felt the need to write something about her passing not simply because she was a writer too, or that I have read some of her books, but because she inspired me by the ways in which she integrated her politics into her craft and persona. 

So here it goes…

Continue reading “rip Ursula”