May/June 2020 Reads

It’s July 1st!

Here’s what I’ve been reading May through June:

My best laid plans of reading Ready Player One fell apart when a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy with her. Book club for two? Yes, please!

The trilogy kicks off with Shadow and Bone. It’s easy to slip into — Alina Starkov is your nobody-who-becomes-somebody heroine when, while her regiment is under attack, her dormant powers unleash in the nick of time to save her and her love interest, Mal.

Side note: I think Mal is an “ok” love interest, a bit flaky in the beginning. My friend hates him with a passion. To me, he’s kind of like the Peeta to Katniss in The Hunger Games. You want to like him but you also kind of hope he gets friend-zoned and she’ll ends up with Gale. End side note.

This leads to her leaving the front lines to train as a Grisha, practitioners of the Small Science who are lead by a man known simply as the Darkling (who quickly becomes the third corner of the Shadow and Bone love triangle, because of course there has to be a guilty pleasure love triangle).

We started book two — Siege and Storm — in June and are about halfway through. Additional characters are added which keeps things fresh. There’s a couple bombshells too. My friend still hates Mal (“forever and always” is the update I received). There’s still a book and a half to go, so there’s hope. 🙂

I took a bit of a break from ReadMeSpeakMe but read Marc Tizura’sA Room with a Clock” — well crafted poem with a chilling end. (Author name link will take you to Marc’s recording. Title link will take you the typed version for reading.)

In other readings, I stumbled across The Poetry of Science blog. It’s run by Sam Illingworth who  is working to build a bridge between scientists and non-scientists through poetry. I recommend reading his poem “Trees of (Urban) Life“. At the end, he talks about the research that inspired the poem.

Read anything good over the last two months? Let me know!


SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves

Ode to the Last Page

At last we’ve arrived —
the final page.
The first, a year away,
beginning with the words
“no one ever leaves”
and ending with these.
Pages that have seen
many cups of tea
and stains from colored pens;
Rainy, sunny, snowy grey,
bemoaned Mondays
and second comings;
Scribbles and snippets,
crossed out verses;
Stories in ten words,
poems from prompt words;
Some held to the light,
others extinguished without a gasp.
As the back cover closes
on this last page,
there is no ending.
Only a bridge
to the next first page.


This was written on the final page of my black-covered travel notebook (04/15/19 – 03/06/20) and was meant to be my O post for the A to Z Challenge. However, I forgot about it and wrote the haiku “Oasis” instead.

The line “No One Ever Leaves” was the rough draft title for my N post from last years A to Z Challenge that resulted in the short story, “Never There.”

Thank you for reading.

SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves


A to Z Challenge 2020 Reflection

Sometimes words and I don’t get along and it’s difficult to write anything. Blog challenges can be the fuel needed to power inspiration or the cause of unnecessary stress.

I wanted to take part in this year’s A to Z Challenge because I needed to prove to myself that I could still write. I was having issues writing regularly December through March. I also didn’t want it to consume my evenings so I set the bar low — write a post for each letter and take it easy.

And twenty-six posts later…

I wonder if I should take this approach for everything I write. It was the exact reset that I needed. It also gave me something to think about that wasn’t (a) work and (b) the virus-that-shall-not-be-named (even though some posts were influenced by it).

Thank you to those of you who read, liked, and commented on my pieces throughout the challenge. Wishing you all the best on where your writing will take you next. Stay healthy, stay safe.

SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves




April 2020 Reads

April was a rarity of balance between reading and writing.

I wrote 26 posts (mostly poems) for the April A to Z Challenge. My goal was to have a chill month of writing and lo and behold, it was a chill month of writing. Maybe it was all the haikus…?

Read the #ReadMeSpeakMe posts for the month: ‘Control your emotion, no commotion’ by @Fizzytwizler (posted during the final week of March into April), ‘Love Letter To A Razor’ by Spiral Artist (yes, the same writer from The Art of Making Spirals), ‘Dream Hunger’ by Viola Dawn, and ‘Bury me where…’ by Chris Papps. Links will take you to the author’s own recording either on Dropbox or SoundCloud.

For this week’s ReadMeSpeakMe, my first post for the A to Z Challenge, ‘Apothecary Jars‘ was read. It was a thrill listening to the recordings. ReadMeSpeakMe is definitely a great illustration of how readers interpret a piece differently. You can hear it in where they place emphasis as they read the words out loud, what tempo they take, etc. You can listen to my recording here.

April was also the first time I heard of a read-a-thon or marathon reading. Dewey’s Read-a-thon hosts two read-a-thons every year. Their first one of this year was held April 25th. The next one is October 24th. For 24 hours, you read and share what you are reading on social media.

Through this I FINALLY read a novel — A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Afterwords, I started Ready Player One by Ernest Cline but only made it through one chapter. I don’t know about you but I’m not a read-multiple-books-in-one-day type of person. I have to decompress after reading one but now that I have, I’m looking forward to reading RPO during May.

Did you read anything good during the month of April? If you also took part in the A to Z Challenge, how did you do?


SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves

Z is for Zeitgeist

Not even ten years
and much has changed
but I still love the sound of rain
and the sight of lightning
branching across an onyx sky
Thunder growls and the earth trembles
There be storms tonight
and a slight chance of zeitgeist.


My final post for this year’s A-to-Z Challenge captures the mood and spirit (zeitgeist) of a Facebook post I made on April 19th, 2011.

“Loves the sound of rain on a rooftop
Loves the sight of light branching down from the opaque moonless sky
The thunder roars and the earth trembles as if with fear
There be a storm tonight.”

Who wrote it better? 😉


SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves