From #Beychella to the Facebook scandal, to story endings and commentaries on social media, here is a collection of articles, pieces, poems, and excerpts that have challenged me, made me think, or inspired me in some way this week.
I do “What I’m Reading This Week” posts each Friday. 😊
Here’s where you can find additional weeks.
If anything interests, excites, frustrates, confuses you, etc. feel free to leave a comment below!
What I’m Reading:
1. This incredibly insightful article on endings in texts/stories.
“Talking, or writing, about endings is hard—whether it’s the end of a marriage, the end of a life, or the end of a book (lest one spoil the conclusion). Life rarely offers sudden and definitive endings or epiphanic conclusions. Rather, events leading up to the end seem to be a slow unfolding, occasionally bleeding into a new beginning. For writers of nonfiction, dealing with actual occurrences often means there is no definitive end, and even if there were (such as a death), there comes the aftermath—the grief, the coping, the rebuilding.
How does a writer of nonfiction decide where to place the punctuation mark when lives—grief, love, loss, and even joy—are ongoing?”
Okay, what really stuck out to me was the idea of a ‘slow unfolding.’ I think so often when we write we try to tie up loose ends, to rush to the ending before the story is ready. This made me think about how slow and natural these transitions to the end need to be, in order for the reader to accept them as truth.
2. This essay on Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic which makes me love and appreciate the Pacific that much more.
” …If you still want to look up, I hope you see
the dark sky as oceanic, boundless, limitless – like all
the shades of blue revealed in a glacier. Let’s listen
how this planet hums with so much wing, fur, and fin.”
I’ve just been soaking up the sun as much as possible this week. Moments where I can sit by the ocean and listen to the waves mean everything to me—limitless—such a beautiful way to describe it.
3. This piece on endings (I’m not sure why I’m so obsessed with endings this week?!) with a powerful quote from Lisa Cron.
“From beginning to end, a story must follow a cause-and-effect trajectory so when your protagonist finally tackles her ultimate goal, the path that led her there not only is clear, but, in hindsight, reveals exactly why this confrontation was inevitable from the very start.”
Another zinger, but challenges me to think about the whole circle of my story. From start to finish, the little pieces might not make sense, but must fit seamlessly together when the ending comes. That’s what makes a story powerful.
4. This informative, makes-me-uncomfortable-but-important-to-digest-essay “Confident and Conflicted about Whiteness”.
“When white people are faced with their own people’s crimes against humanity, they will always try their absolute best to resist accountability, despite their invested ties to whiteness.”
Dang. This line stuck out to me the most because it makes me uncomfortable, but I’m learning that uncomfortable is good. Sometimes I think I need to be pushed to examine myself, my ‘whiteness,’ and what that really means. It’s easy to take a step back and act like certain things don’t involve me; it’s easier to stand on the sidelines to not attract attention to myself. But that’s ignorance. And I’m really trying to push back against that. I can’t take a backseat to issues that involve me (or even the ones that don’t). I need to step up, stand up, and learn more so that I can be a true ally and not someone who hides in the shadows.
5. The updates about Facebook/Zuckerberg scandal.
Which, by the way, have you clicked to see if your content was shared?!
6. This incredible list of trans advocates to follow on social media.
Because we stand together.
7. This poignant commentary on social media usage—“The Lazy River” by Zadie Smith.
“The plain fact is that we will all be carried along by the Lazy River, at the same rate, under the same relentless Spanish sun, forever, until we are not.”
This essay, riddled with metaphor really makes us think about how technology has shaped our lives. Powerful lines on floating in endless circles and being stagnant force us to examine who we are and what our society is becoming.
8. This article on #Beychella
“Branding this performance #Beychella is not merely social-media savvy; it’s a recognition that excelling at her art requires overpowering the arenas that would have the power to diminish her. “Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella,” she said, atop the pyramid, in the middle of her set. She added, with a smile, “Ain’t that a bitch?””
9. This silly piece on internet/social media sharing.
Because we can all relate: “I did a thing.”