Posted in archie reads, archie reviews, books, fantasy fiction, reading, science fiction, speculative fiction, Ursula K LeGuin, visionary fiction

archie reviews a book…. The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)

My third book review! YAY. The Office Andy Critic

Same disclaimer as before: I have never thought of myself as much of an art critic – I sort of always thought it wasn’t my place to disagree with the storyteller. As in, if I didn’t enjoy a book or movie, then it probably says more about me not being the intended audience for it.
But I don’t think that need stop me from doing just that: sharing my thoughts on my experience reading such-and-such a book.

So here I go…

Continue reading “archie reviews a book…. The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)”

Posted in archie reads, archie reviews, books, fantasy fiction, reading, reading list

archie reviews a book…. The Sword of Shannara (1977)

My second book review! YAY. The Office Andy Critic

Same disclaimer as before: I have never thought of myself as much of an art critic – I sort of always thought it wasn’t my place to disagree with the storyteller.
As in, if I didn’t enjoy a book or movie, then it probably says more about me not being the intended audience for it, right?

But I don’t think that need stop me from doing just that: sharing my thoughts and experience after reading such-and-such a book.

So here I go…

Continue reading “archie reviews a book…. The Sword of Shannara (1977)”

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, artist life, artists, change, education, failure, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, living life, reading, reading list, writing

wasted potential, potentially wasted…

Hi bonjour – welcome back.

Despite sporadic blogging habits, the rest of my offline writing life is progressing well. 

  • I continue to be reading books, including ones that have sat waiting on my reading list for many years and I am also listening to audio-books too (for when I prefer to just hide away under the covers in bed). Currently listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and also listening to the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
  • I continue to work away at my various stories, though to be honest, less of this is writing and more of it is cleaning and sorting my notes – the mass of jumbled ideas, germs and inklings. Currently, working at my children’s novel series on Animals.
  • I continue to try at keeping myself grounded and present because I find this practice essential for a healthier state of mind necessary to keep making art. Currently, I’m realizing again how important it is to pay attention to the details of my life, to repeatedly will myself to shake off the clouds that would otherwise leave me living in a hazy fog of repetition and boredom and dissatisfaction.

Continue reading “wasted potential, potentially wasted…”

Posted in about archie, artist life, blogging, children's fiction, goals, habits, life updates, living life, reading, writing

it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)

Aloha!

Thank you for clicking on over here. Welcome welcome, or welcome back.

It’s been too long since I wrote on here, and so I thought y’all deserved a brief update on my doings and my pondering and all. Continue reading “it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)”

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

Continue reading “empowerment through radical fiction”
Posted in artists, awards, feminism, goals, hope, inspiration, reading, Toni Morrison, writing

finding beauty in written word [again]

Like everyone, sometimes you have moments when you lose direction.
You struggle to recall why you are doing this, what’s the point, who cares and so forth…

In other words: doubt.
Doubting ourselves and our intentions for whatever we are trying to accomplish.
Doubting our talents as forever inferior, incapable to ever fully accomplish something.
Doubting our medium, the chosen form of artistic expression, to be the proper conduit to channel our deepest truths into something seen, heard, felt, witnessed by another.

Sometimes, I doubt whether I should be writing –
if written words are able to satisfy what I desperately need to say.

But when I begin to lose clarity in my purpose, I turn to something, anything, that demonstrates the true beauty of the written word.
It helps remind myself how it has been done before and can be done again in new ways.

Continue reading “finding beauty in written word [again]”