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Delays, Brewing, and Insidious Algorithms

Date:

Author: Nova

Hello All! Apologies for the long delay! It's been a bit of a tumultous time. My partner is heading back home after a substantial time living with me so I've been busy with packing and shifting things around. As much as I enjoy spending time with my partner, I'm honestly looking forward to the time of inner contemplation that being alone will afford me. I've created a list of movies and books I'm really excited to look at (most likely gonna be discussing that sometime soon). I'm trying to find ways that I'm going to fill my time when my partner leaves so I don't just sit in a void.

In other news, I've started taking up grinding my own coffee beans for coffee and it's been incredible. Even though I'm still a beginner and am using very cheap coffee, I'm still immediately getting much better tasting coffee and I'm happy about that. I've also started brewing loose leaf teas and really am enjoying the results of that. As of late, I'm really trying to fiddle with the grind setting to get the right amount of flavor and least amount of bitterness for a moka pot. And it has been a difficult venture. I'm slowly narrowing in though on the exact right range for it. After some extensive brewing, I managed to narrow it down to one of three settings (I think). We'll see how it goes from there.

I've also begun to notice something really unpleasant but also really enlightening. Mastodon and Neocities tend to be really hard to start in that I have to remind myself to post on them. There's never the same like aggressive pull to do so like there is on reddit and twitter. It honestly makes me more comfortable. It's a lot more sedate here. Meanwhile everything on twitter is like geared to pull you in either through anger, trauma, or various other negative feelings. While I do use twitter to post and to see other people I like's art. It's really kind of sad how like insidious it is. I keep having to remind myself to limit time on it because I always end up feeling worse leaving twitter than I went in.

Sleep, Poetry, and Anxiety

Date:

Author: Nova

Sleep Victories

Hello All! I've been really enjoying this as an honest form of expression. I have great news to share! Somehow I managed to kick my sleep schedule back into shape. Hooray hooray! It's really important to have all of the basic needs met in like a healthy way and it greatly improves my functionality when I'm up early in the mornings. (I always feel off kilter if I wake up too late). It's also kickstarted a few things. I've been feeling a lot of inspiration about poetry (I think due to reading Neon Vernacular) so I've been creating alot on that end. I can't wait to hopefully put some of my work here on that later.

Social Anxiety

On another note, I think due to a combination of quarantine (which I never really got out of) and other factors, large social gatherings are more anxiety inducing than they used to be. Like loud noises and sounds and crowded places have always made me somewhat overwhelmed. But now it almost feels like paralyzing anxiety just to go to a crowded store or go to an event. I'm hoping this mediates as I start getting more involved in community work (while still trying to maintain proper safety precautions), but it makes it very hard to get involved when just going outside is stressful.

Poetry Progress

In my poetry, I've really been trying to work on imagery. I've been working on creating poetry that creates imagery (always bearing in mind Orwell yelling about cliches) that resonates with my eye. I've really been trying to focus on trying to create almost like work paintings with what I do. It's been a really fun and fascinating process figuring out what works and what doesn't. (mainly what doesn't lol).


Restless Sleep and Reading Impact

DATE:

Author: Nova


Insomnia

Sleeping has been difficult for me. It used to be that I suffered from intense insomnia. I would not be able to sleep for days, and when I could sleep it would be for a few hours at a time. Recently, I've been sleeping a lot more due to the help of medication and suffering intense nightmares as a result. It's rather unfortunate as it feels like I don't win either way. :/

It's becoming an issue due to it increasing my desire to avoid sleep. I'm trying to figure out how I can potentially fix this. I think one thing I'm going to attempt is meditating and doing affirmations. Perhaps if I practice creating a space of contentment and tranquility before sleep it'll help moderate my dreams. I'm also considering looking into the practice of lucid dreaming as that might help as well.

Reading Project Impact

I've started reading Yusef Komunyakaa's Neon Vernacular. It's a book I picked pretty randomly and yet it feels almost comical how much it inspires me. I feel like this is a writer who does what I wish to do but he's actually done it.His poetry feels very well constructed, incredibly sharp and violent, and beautiful. It's incredible to witness and I can't wait to write about it more.


Reading Ambitions

Date:

Author: Nova


Hello All! I'm feeling like I'm getting a much better command of html and css. (at least from where I started which was nothing.) I'm now trying my best to actually start creating content. One of the goals I posted on my Now Page was starting to tackle my reading list. And one of the ways I can do that is by posting about my reading goals here. (which also comes with the added benefit that I'll want to write things in if I create spaces for them. )

So to begin with I should start by ennumerating the books I want to read and why I want to read them. I want to cover all of my interests in creating a short reading list as well. This also helps me have something to jump to if I have a change of mood.

Reading List

Fiction

This section of the list excited me because I'm picking these fairly blindly from my library. Except for terry pratchett I have almost no idea what I'm getting.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson

I don't know too much about it. (Except I've noticed a lot of people into chaos magick mentioning it as an inspiration. Some people said it was amusing. So I'm putting it on the list to give it a try. I could use something to laugh at.

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

I've watched the movie (which I personally loved) and loved the dry sense of humor and flawless delivery. So I definitely wanted to actually see the story in the writer's words. It looked like it would be a blast to read through.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

I've heard so many incredible things about this author but I've never taken the time to sit down and really read her works. So I'm making that time now.

The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

Another author I've heard so many great things about and I want to make the time to sit down and read them.

My Mother, Madame Edwarda, The Dead Man by Georges Bataille

One time I had a friend who highly recommended this person's work but said it was a little dark. A youtuber also quoted them in a really fascinating video about horror. So since it's in my library, why not read it? Hopefully I won't regret it.

Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay

Another author I've heard a lot about and haven't read so I'm making up for that now.

Music

What to Listen For in Music by Aaron Copland

I had a music teacher, so many years ago, who wanted every student to read this book, and I'm saddened to say that I never picked it up. I'm correcting that now because I've heard to many good things about this book!

The Sound Studies Reader edited by Jonathan Sterne

When I saw this book on a syllabus for a class I thought it would be a fascinating dive into the subject. To study not only the societal impact of music on society but broadening it to sound, sounds like something very interesting to me.

Cultural Sutainabilities: Music, Media, Language, Advocacy edited by Timothy J. Cooley

Honestly, this may be me reading over my level. I know very little about this topic. When I was looking for recommendations in reading things for musicology. This was recommended to me.

Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies by Dylan Robinson

Once again this is more of a recommendation.

Three Classics in the Aesthetic of Music by Debussy, Busoni, and Charles E. Ives

I believe I got this for a project and than switched to a different project. But as someone who admires all three of these composers I'd love to hear what they have to say.

Witchcraft

Dreaming the Dark by Starhawk

Another author/activist I've heard alot about and haven't read. Considering her influence on witchcraft I just have to take a peak.

Ancient Egyptian Magic by Eleanor Harris

As one of the deities I worship is egyptian, I wanted to do some more research into practices of the time. This seemed like a pretty good place to start.

Book of Lies: The disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult edited by Richard Metzger

I've read parts of this book before and gotten lots of information but I never took notes (rip me) so I want to go back and explore it more and this time actually take notes.

The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice by Robert Kriech Ritner

See reasons for the last egyptian magick book

Hekate: Liminal Rites by Sorita d'Este & David Rankine

Hekate isn't someone I necessarily work with, but I've heard great things about this book and thought it would be interesting to learn something new.

Poetry

Night-Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

I've read a few poems from this collection and found them utterly beautiful. I definitely want to create the time to hear more

Witness, I Am by Gregory Scofield

A friend told me of this works power, beauty, and delivery. I'm making the time to witness it for myself

Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa

I believe I heard about this author in like a list of recommended poets. I can't wait to experience it

Politics

all about love: New Visions by bell hooks

Bell hooks is an incredible author that I've heard a great deal about and I've been wanting to read her series on love for a long time. This seems a good a time as any.

Homophobia: a history by Byrne Fone

Another book I read, Blossom of Bone by Randy P. Conner, opened me to the idea of homophobia not being a universal constant. That there were times that it was not as all encompasing. (or at least not as prevalent) I snatched this book hoping to hear more.

Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Women's labor is often under-appreciated and not really examined. I got this book to hear more of this often-neglected history.

The Matter of Black Lives Edited by Jelani Cobb and David Remnick

There were too many writers in here that were on my to-do list to not just put the whole anthology on the list.

Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love by Christine Downing

Perhaps I was overly influenced by the works of Mark Thompson, but I feel that the role of myth and story plays a really powerful role both in politics and spirituality. I got this book to further expand on this.

The Invention of Heterosexuality by Jonathan Ned Katz

There's often a big focus put on LGBT+ history but there's not nearly the same focus on heterosexual history. When did the label come about and how was it constructed? Things I'm fascinated to discover.

Sapphistries: A global History of Love Between Women by Leila J. Rupp

Women? Being Gay? Iconic. Instantly added.

Project Action

In order to perhaps get through these books I'm making a project to make reviews and notes on each of these books as I'm reading them. This way I'll have some motivation to read them. (And also a little serotonin boost of accomplishment when I get to add a link here and post a page of my thoughts on my site.)

Also if you have any book recommendations for me you think I might enjoy feel free to reach out to me on my Contact Page.

Fresh Starts, Inspiration, and New Beginnings

Date:

Author: Nova


Hello All! I now have my website finally up and running in all of its terrible glory. I feel like I can actually use it to start creating and showing projects now. It's honestly been really inspiring to create this website. I've learned alot about html and css by doing so and it's been a really fun hands on process and I slowly figure out how to do this. It feels like it has so much more personality and realism than the previous website I created using a web builder. (Also it loads much faster so good job to me for that!)

Inspiration

As I stated I've been feeling inspired of late. This has been a nice change of pace. Of late I've felt that I've been lost on an ocean with barely any hint of what direction to go in. I have a variety of interests and passions that I wanted to pursue, but I didn't know how to integrate them in any meaningful way. (Also there's the whole, making a living thing which is kinda important. I have been feeling rather lost as I try to figure out what I need, what I want, and where I want to head towards. I, at least, feel like I have a much better handle on my needs and wants and I'm just starting to figure out where I'd like to head. I'm really looking forward to seeing where it leads.

Writing Inspiration

One of the areas it's leading to is writing. I love taking notes, scribbling poems, and creating in general. Even when I write music, it's a very written affair. Not just in terms of staff paper, but in terms of writing out analysis, motives, ideas, and critiques on paper (or on emacs in my case lol). I love to plan and create and sort my thoughts out via writing. I love to explore and show others what I see. One area I was NOT expecting that to take me was the area of game design. For a while now I've been twitching at making an interactive text based game and writing and exploring a world through that. I was not expecting that when I started getting into writing but I'm happy for it to appear. I'm still sorting out what even to make the game's story about so there are certainly no formal announcement or plans yet. But I'm definitely starting to tinker and explore and have just been enjoying learning about building games.

Music Inspiration

As I'm currently sitting here listening to Sun Ra's incredible rendition of Take the A Train, I'm reminded of why I love experimental music. Sun Ra helped me feel a lot more grounded in my love for experimentation and venturing into unknown ideas. He helped me connect blackness and experimental/avant-garde music. While I deeply love experimental music, because of the tradition of classical music that I was connected too, it always felt like a very white space. When I discovered Sun Ra, it helped me feel a musical connection to connect my history and musical tastes.

He's actually in part the inspiration for the negro spiritual musical project I'm intending to do. His rendition of Sometimes I feel like a motherless child helped spark the idea for me to begin this project. I was deeply inspired by the long historical thread that negro spirituals have and the ways that black artists constantly transform them. However, I'd been conflicted about taking a more experimental approach to them.

  1. Because I didn't exactly know how to create the connecting thread from spirituals to the avant-garde.
  2. Because I didn't know how to connect my musical tastes with my emotional associations.

I guess I'll probs make a post specifically dedicated to those two pieces at a later date as they had such a big impact on me. However, I've been heavily inspired by honoring my history and exploring the incredible resources available to do it. I've been especially fascinated by oral history projects. I love going and listening to stories, songs, and ideas that are shared by people in these incredible projects. It makes history have so much more LIFE. It's very easy to glide over history when it's abstract and general. But when I can listen to someone talk about their favorite meal, their struggles, and their triumphs. History becomes a lot more personal, a lot more of a living project. It's incredible to discover and explore. (Note to self: I may create a directory of cool links including things like oral history projects I've been exploring, gotta add that to the list.)

Spooky Time

In other spookier news. I'm heading out with my partner and family to see the terrifying old version of frankenstein and the mummy. It's a cool little double feature. I'm honestly looking forward to seeing both. I absolutely adore old horror movies, the campier the better. So I absolutely can't wait to indulge in the camp that will be this double feature.