July is gone

Much like June, the month of July flew by unnoticed. It was near the end of the month before I had a moment to take stock of things I had done and that I wanted to include in this monthly post.

Here are some things we enjoyed on Netflix this month:

Stranger Things (Season 3) never disappoints. I have loved the 80’s vibe, and Winona Ryder, since the start. Season 3 isn’t unique in the storyline, but it’s fun seeing the kids grow into young adults.

Queer Eye (Season 4) is another show we’ve loved since the beginning. It’s a heartfelt, feel good, reality show that always makes us laugh or cry.

Of course, we started the final season of Orange Is the New Black. It has a lot of say about the current debate on border control and immigrants.

We also started watching The Boys on Amazon. It’s a fun satire on super heroes and makes fun of a lot of other things in pop culture. It’s over-the-top fun, so if you are easily offended or grossed out, don’t watch!

On Regular TV:

We got hooked on Songland this month. It’s so neat to see young, creative talent pouring their heart into a song and it gets picked up by a famous singer. And lots of the songs, even the ones that don’t get picked, are really good!

So You Think You Can Dance – We were loyal watchers from the start of Season 1, but lost interest in the last few seasons. This new season has been pretty good again.

The In Between – We’ve been watching this since the start this year. I’ve always enjoyed a good show about mediums or ghosts. This one is kind of cookie-cutter and every show is the same. Some of the characters lack development which is frustrating. It’s still a good show, but I doubt it gets renewed.

Books

Lots of starts and stops this month as I tried to get into books, including a few audiobooks. The only book I finished this month was Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg. I stopped reading my advanced copy of Stephen Chbosky’s new book  Imaginary Friend. I only made it through about 200 of the 700 pages before giving up. So boring!

I started reading Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin…AGAIN! I’m determined to finish it this time. I love his writing, and the characters, but the storylines just aren’t very interesting. I’m not sure what his book says about WWII Germany, but it holds its place in great literature somehow.

I also started A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline on audiobook, but stopped and started listening to Close To The Knives by David Wojnarowicz instead. Two totally different genres, yes! Don’t judge me.

Oh, and I got my hands on a hardcover copy of The Andy Warhol Diaries. It’s over 800 pages. I doubt I’ll read the whole thing, but I do intend to spend a lot of time with it.

Poetry

I’m still doing my daily poetry (reading or writing) devotion and finished two poems of my own this month. Both were born out of specific events I seem to obsess over.

The first being the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” which is one of my all-time favorite books. I was tempted to start reading it again and instead fell down a rabbit hole on the internet of all things Savannah as I caught up on the real-life people from the book a few weeks ago. The infamous Bonaventure Cemetery from the book is on the banks of the Wilmington River. After visiting its Wikipedia page, I remembered the river from my travels there back in 1997. I liked those words, “On The Banks of the Wilmington River,” so I wrote a poem paying homage somewhat to the book.

The second poem is about the ashes of Truman Capote which were sold in 2016 at auction, or least a portion of them was sold which belonged to the late Joanne Carson. I remembered reading about how someone had stolen the ashes at her Halloween party in 1988, but returned them a few days later. I decided to turn this whole charade into a poem.

Writing

If you read last month’s post, you know I put down my novel to work on something else. Well, that something else is a short novella called Another Side of Zoë. I finished the first draft of it on the 26th of this month. It took exactly one month to write! It will only be about 100 printed pages, but I’m excited about it and it felt good to finally finish something. It will be self-published through Amazon later this year.

Zoë was a character in my very first book. She was based on a close friend of mine from my Memphis days. Back in June, that friend’s daughter (now in her late 20’s) reached out to me via Facebook and asked about which of my books her mother was in. I was happy to share. This got me to thinking about where Zoë might be now 16 years later. So, I sat down and quickly found out.

I’d never written a novella before, despite it being a traditional literary form of many of my favorite southern writers. I don’t know why. But this one was fun. I kept it light. The chapters are extremely short. The story moves at a quick pace with lots of dialogue.

I’d like to say I’ll eventually write another character sketch like this one but only if the mood strikes me. I still have three other book projects in various stages, so it would be nice to finish one of those this year.

And that was July. I have family visiting in August, a business trip in September, vacation time coming up, family again in October, and then it will be Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas before you know it. Summer has been fun, but I’m definitely getting in the mood for Autumn. What about you?

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