Tuesday, August 22, 2023

My Favorite Tori Amos Songs

Tori Amos, edited cover of Pretty Good Year

Tori Amos celebrated her 60th birthday yesterday. She's a talented singer-songwriter and pianist and one of my favorite musicians. Recently, I made a list of 20 of my favorite songs by her (and in one case a cover by her).

1. Here. In My Head
2. Silent All These Years
3. Concertina
4. Cornflake Girl
5. Crucify
6. A Sorta Fairytale
7. Take to the Sky
8. Sugar
9. Little Earthquakes
10. Black Dove
11. Siren
12. God
13. Baker Baker
14. Caught a Lite Sneeze
15. Rattlesnakes
16. 1000 Oceans
17. Datura
18. Raspberry Swirl
19. Honey
20. Sweet Dreams

Friday, August 11, 2023

Later by Stephen King

Later by Stephen King

Later is a novel by Stephen King that was published by Hard Case Crime in 2021. It’s a suspense, crime, and horror story with paranormal elements.

The story is narrated by Jamie Conklin, a young man who recounts strange and horrific events from his childhood in New York City. Jamie is being raised alone by his mother Tia, and the mother-son pair have a close relationship built upon trust.

Tia runs a literary agency. She took over the agency after her brother Harry was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease. Tia struggles to keep the agency afloat because she and her brother made poor financial investments, and their business suffered losses. Now, due to her brother’s illness, Tia must also provide support to maintain her brother’s care.

Since his childhood, Jamie has had the unusual ability to see and communicate with dead people. In his youth, Jamie was frightened after he saw a dead man wave at him after being killed in a car accident in Central Park. Later, he communicated with the dead wife of his neighbor Professor Martin Burkett. Jamie can only see the dead for a short period after they die, and they appear in the same state as when they died (sometimes pretty gruesome). The dead eventually fade out and disappear from Jamie’s view. When he asks dead people questions, they answer him honestly. Jamie’s ability worries his mother, so the pair keep it a secret, and Jamie keeps his sightings to himself.

Later on, we learn that Tia has shared Jamie’s secret with her girlfriend Liz Dutton, a cop who works for the NYPD. Jamie is hurt by his mother’s betrayal. It turns out that Liz is a dirty cop, and Tia eventually breaks up with her. Both Tia and Liz use Jamie’s ability to save their careers. Tia uses her son to learn the plot of a novelist who dies before completing his final novel in a long, popular series.

Afterwards, Liz puts Jamie in substantial danger when she forces him to communicate with an evil serial bomber Kenneth Therriault to figure out where Therriault planted his final bomb. Unlike the other dead people Jamie sees, Therriault doesn’t disappear after a few days, but continues to contact and threaten Jamie. Jamie seeks help from Professor Burkett to rid himself of Therriault’s spirit. Then, just when you think Jamie’s got through the worst, Liz returns to kidnap Jamie and force him to participate in her latest corrupt scheme.

Purchase and read books by Stephen King:

Later by Stephen King The Shining by Stephen King

Sun-Scorched Dreams

A photo of clouds and a poem called Sun-Scorched Dreams by Ingrid A. Lobo

Thursday, July 20, 2023

95 Poems by E.E. Cummings

95 Poems by E.E. Cummings

Published in 1958, 95 Poems was the final book of poetry published by E.E. Cummings during his life. It’s a joyous and beautiful work that left me with a sense of joie de vivre.

The poems are about nature, the seasons, love, aging, as well as observations of people, animals, and the universe. Cummings breaks the rules of punctuation, word order, capitalization, and spacing as an artistic statement. In each poem, his word placement serves a purpose. Cummings’s way of writing is spirited, and his exuberant, unique technique of playing with words is both inspiring and entertaining.

A few of my favorite lines include:

because you aren't afraid to kiss the dirt
(and consequently dare to climb the sky)

-poem 7

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

-poem 10

but more than all(as all your more than eyes
tell me)there is a time for timelessness

-poem 11

(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me

-poem 16

honour the past
but welcome the future

-poem 60

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)

-poem 92

Years ago, my husband and I lived down the street from his birthplace and childhood home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I wish I’d read this lovely volume back then.

External Link:
Cummings Archive - an archival collection of E.E. Cummings's drafts and notes curated by Aaron M. Moe, Ph.D.

Purchase and read books by E.E. Cummings:

95 Poems by E.E. Cummings 73 Poems by E.E. Cummings

Tuesday, July 18, 2023


A photo of Loving You Barbie, released in 1983

I know a girl
Who’s fair and pretty
She sprinkles hashtags
Like confetti—
Blessed and grateful
Live laugh love
Her heart’s pure gold.
She’s a shimmering dove.

And I look in the mirror
At my dark hair
And at the shadows
Blessed or unblessed?
Give try share
Heart on my sleeve,
Crafting castles in the air.

Monday, July 17, 2023


A photo of clouds and a poem called Magnetic by Ingrid A. Lobo