Tag Archives: zoe keating

Greetings from Niflheim!*

25 Feb

That about sums up my opinion on winter these days. We used to be buddies. Not so much anymore.

I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to a spring as much as I am looking forward to this one.

So in other news, I’m still alive and well and managing and all that fun stuff post-everything. And I’m still hearing from people who have either read the cancer blog or something stupid I said on twitter and who contacted me about it. I think that’s really great because the whole point of writing what I did, and you know, LIFE is to make connections with other people. To say: this looks like that. I feel like you. You’re like me.

Connections.

I’ve been writing a lot lately. Still working on Palimpsest, the scifi novel that might kill me first, and that’s going well. I almost want to say really well but I don’t want to jinx it so mums the word on P——–t.

Mums, I tell you.

I have also been working on poems which has been good cause the part of my brain that writes fiction and the part of my brain that writes poetry are not the same part. My poetry part has been snoring like a log for the last few months. It’s good to see it still works (after large quantities of tea, begging and bribery, that is).

Some people go to support groups or talk to psychologists. I write poems and share them with strangers on the internet. Po-tae-to, Po-tah-to. Connection is a powerful coping tool.

Here’s a few that were lucky enough to find a home in this world. I am eternally grateful to all the editors who took these poems and helped share them. (See above about that whole connections thing.)

After Diagnosis, Chemo and Dog-Eared are all here at The Blue Hour.

Exam Table Paper is here at The Commonline Journal

Ten Years Later, Allyson Stop It and And Yet are here at Dead Snakes.

It feels good to get these guys out there. Like I’m folding up the fear and anxiety into little origami sailboats and setting them adrift into the world. I feel better without them. Lighter. I was writing in my journal the other day about February feeling like the first “normal-ish” month I’ve had since diagnosis. Not like normal-normal, because I still don’t get through a day without thinking about it but normal enough, I guess. Cancer isn’t my first though out of bed and it isn’t my last at the end of the day. It usually shows up somewhere in the middle. And I’ve had more good days than bad (by a lot). More good days than sad days. More good days then I Hate The Universe Why Is This My Life What Did I Ever Do To You days. And I’m working hard on not kicking myself when I do throw little tiny pity parties. It happens. *Toots Party Horn*

And finally, I have a trip coming up.

It will involve lots of these:

germanbeer-banner2

That’s all I’m saying.**

But before I go I just wanted to mention Zoe Keating. I’ve mentioned Zoe on here before telling you how you should really go buy her album for six little dollars on her website. It’s worth about ten times that in my opinion. Last May, Zoe’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. Pretty much everywhere – brain, lungs, bones, liver. After a brave fight, he passed away at home on February 19th.

Zoe is a working artist that I have the utmost respect for. I’ve never met her. I just think she puts something beautiful into the world. And right now, she’s lost the most beautiful thing she had. As a stranger on the internet I can’t really do much except for share her music and encourage you, my friends, to listen.

This is Escape Artist. I would consider it a feat of incredible emotional strength if you could listen all the way through and not be moved. Also, that means you’re probably a robot. Good luck with that.

You can download her album here. $6.00 for beautiful art.

In the meantime, make something beautiful for yourself. And be nice to each other

Peace, Love and Starbursts,

Ally

*For those of you curious, Niflheim is a cold mythological place in Nordic stories. It’s also called New York City.

**No lectures allowed on alcohol and recurrence rates. Trust me I read all the literature. Life requires a little risk. It’s called LIVING.

On Zoe, Salinger and Orson

16 Jul

This is Zoe Keating. My friend Rob told me about Zoe after listening to this RadioLab podcast.

Rob assumed I knew about her already. I didn’t. Rob is always assuming that I’m much smarter and more interesting than I am. I’ve fooled him for years.

Isn’t she amazing? I’m buying her album. It reminds me of Max Richter which I already blathered on about here.

So Zoe.

Yeah.

ZOE!

Also, I just wanted to thank the boys over at Jersey Devil Press for nominating my story, Paper Heart, for a storySouth Award. That’s super cool. JDP has been really really supportive of my writing and I just wanted to say, again, that without all the work of small presses and the people who put their time, energy and money into it –  I basically would never get to share anything with anyone. I owe them.

Finally 62 years ago today, The Catcher in the Rye was published.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

Ain’t that the truth, Holden.

They’re making a documentary about Salinger. I’ll be seeing it. Here’s the trailer.

Finally finally with all the Orson Scott Card asshat-ery, here’s my two unasked for cents, summed up by aforementioned friend Rob who gave me permission to use it:

“If you wanna protest OSC that’s fine, but you need to go apply that standard to everything in your life if you’re going to be so righteous….Who makes your car? Do you use an iPhone? Well you endorse slave labor. Who made your purse? Where did your breakfast cereal come from? Your coffee? Do you endorse the political views of kohls or dunkin donuts? Do you have songs by Michael Jackson on your iPod?”

And I have to say, I agree.

Also this poem.

Not looking for a fight here, people. I think OSC is an asshat. I for one won’t be seeing his film because I never bothered to finish the book. But there is a bit of slippery slope if you get over zealous in your righteousness. Also, if I didn’t separate the work from the creator I would never read/watch/listen to or muse about anything. And that’s not productive either.

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