Reading during the winter quiet

This time of year, nearly done and begun, is generally one of my favorite seasons. It’s the time of mystery and wonder, and best of all, quiet, so one can read in peace.  If you are looking for something to read this week while you enjoy the deep quiet, here are a few short stories  I found particularly satisfying this year:

The Sixth Day by Sylvia Anna Hivén

Loving Grace by Erica L. Satifka

So Much Cooking by Naomi Kritzer

In Loco Parentis by Andrea Phillips

And here’s one more story — If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Xia Jia, translated by Ken Liu–which is a somewhat strange story, yet it somehow beautifully captures the feeling of reading in winter.

Illustrated version of Elantris published for 10th anniversary

Endpaper illustration in the 10th anniversary edition of Elantris

Endpaper illustration in the 10th anniversary edition of Elantris

The award-winning and much-loved epic fantasy novel Elantris has been taken to a whole new level of wonderfulness. Author Brandon Sanderson has announced that a 10th anniversary edition, illustrated and leather bound, is now available in his store and few select stores around the USA.

As a fan of illustrated novels, I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. Sure the price tag is steep, and I certainly won’t be buying a copy soon, but it doesn’t matter. I have faith that there are sufficient numbers of people who will buy the novel because they have the money to do so and because it is a classic piece of fiction that deserves to be produced in a form that endures.

In this new edition, Sanderson has also included Michael Whelan’s painting “Passage: Verge”, which the author credits as the original inspiration to write Elantris. Isaac Stewart has provided some map work in the new edition, but I am not sure whether other illustrators are included.

2025 according to _____? An exercise in describing the near future

flag2025Writing prompt: It’s 2025, and we’ve had two terms of ___________ (choose any current presidential candidate) as President of the United States. Based on what that candidate is actually saying in the media or at any event, pole or survey, what will the near future look like? Would you or I want to live in that 2025? How do you feel about your candidates methods of dealing with challenging issues in 2025?

I’m choosing 2025 as the target year for this activity, because the trend lines for the next decade help narrow down some key issues, and I am assuming each candidate wins two consecutive terms, thus being highly influential during 8 of the 10 years. Continue reading