It’s hot as hell here in New York today. New York has this particularly humid quality during the summer that makes everything sticky.
I keep hearing rumors that in some regions of the country, there’s this thing called a dry heat. What does that feel like? I’ve never experienced a summer with dry heat.
Anyway. The world feels like an increasingly dumpster fire-like place. When the world feels fairly doom-laden, I find it hard to be creative. Also, with limited time at the moment to be creative, the doom-laden parts of current events weigh a bit more because writing is not only a deep hobby and a continual puzzle and pursuit of mine, it’s also my major mental, emotional, and creative outlet. So even if I want to unload issues in writing, sometimes I find that I can’t because the world sucks or I’m just really tired or really, I only want to watch YouTube and not do anything else.
And that’s when reading comes in.
I’m 5 books ahead of where I should be in my Goodreads reading goal.
For me, of course, my solace reading is usually something romance. I’ve read a lot of contemporary romance this year because a) I’m trying to write a contemporary romance and b) I’ve been wanting to read more diverse stories and many of the diverse authors and stories I want are contemporary set.
My other solace reading is fanfiction, which is truly when I want to read something but my brain is like, “I want words but I want to shut off.”
But I always like to try to explore other genres as part of my annual reading challenge, too. This year, I’ve read a couple of books I missed reading as a kid because I was never a big fantasy reader as a child: A Wrinkle In Time and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. They were wonderful.
I’ve read a couple of travel memoirs. They were different in style and in where the authors traveled, but I loved reading about different cultures, languages, ambiences, and food.
My friend Krystal released a supernatural and fantasy novel earlier in this year–fantasy is a really good escape when the world feels like it’s falling apart. I mean, think about The Lord of the Rings, which I was obsessed with in high school and college. Middle-Earth is in peril. Everyone fights to save it from certain destruction.
My favorite book this year is a steampunk novel set in China during the Opium Wars, called Gunpowder Alchemy.
I try to read enough nonfiction in the course of a year because I like learning things. You never know what’ll prove useful or inspiring for fiction, for one thing. I tend to read history and generally, when someone takes the time and research to write about something historical, it’s because that subject or time period was a true dumpster fire of a time.
So in a way, that’s consoling?
What do you do when the world is tilted on the wrong axis? Do you read? What do you read?