As part of researching writing (and writing about) about war as story background and young women and girls in war (who have suffered loss and have lived both in war zones and backwaters affected by war) I’m reading through Riverbend’s blog on being a young woman in occupied Iraq (which is interrupted(?) in late 2007 with a post titled “Bloggers Without Borders”), Chris Hedges War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, Jack Womack’s Random Acts of Senseless Violence, and Bruce Sterling’s The Caryatids, tempered (meaningfully) by Polly Horvaths’ Everything on a Waffle and The Trolls, and James Thurber’s The 13 Clocks. This is difficult because it means (temporarily) putting off anticipated new books by two friends: Vandana Singh’s The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet and Tony Wolk’s Lincoln’s Daughter.

Why am I blogging this? Partly as a self-reminder, partly as a whispered apology to the latter two authors. Also, because anyone who stumbles across these sidewalk chalk scribbles before the monsoon should know about the aforementioned blog and books listed–they are all great, from hunkered down great to tip toes great, and should be read, for their contents and what they can teach about writing and often brave storytelling.