I’m not quite ready to return to full blogging in the wake of the recent mass shooting in California (calling it that doesn’t even narrow it down), which hit very close to home literally and figuratively. I and my loved ones are okay, but I’m going through that heavy time where I’m feeling a lot of things around people who are feeling even more because they’re steps closer to the tragedy. Thankfully we were celebrating Lunar New Year’s Eve together last Saturday night.
Please keep the wonderful Star Ballroom family and the broader Monterey Park community in your thoughts and consider donating to the victim’s fund. Just a few months ago, Alyce and I attended the Thanksgiving showcase where her mother performed and emceed, and we were so struck by the pageantry, the joy and pride of the mostly-older dancers, the energy of the friends and families watching. It was devastating to return on Wednesday for a candlelight vigil to mourn the victims and all that had been lost.
But really, it shouldn’t take a personal connection to one of these absurdly common tragedies for us all to stop and reflect on what the widespread availability of guns, the paucity of mental health resources and education, and the indifference to deaths of despair in this country are stealing from us. It doesn’t have to be this way.
I collected a few links this week, but my mind was mostly elsewhere. I have a lot of catching up to do, and I’m aiming to get back to a regular blogging cadence sometime in February.
Here are some articles of interest in the meantime:
Ammaar Reshi used AI tools ChatGPT and Midjourney to write and illustrate a children’s book. Cue the freakout.
Indispensable resource Writer Beware recapped the scams they covered in 2022, which is a really good source to read through.
RIP to Paul LaFarge, author of the really interesting novel The Night Ocean, who passed away from cancer at the way too young age of 52.
Lord knows I am awful at spotting typos and would appreciate a general lightening up about them, but there are even deeper reasons to be wary of the role copyeditors play, who serve as curious arbiters of status quo and power.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- The Cabinet of Dr. Leng by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Spare by Prince Harry
- The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
- The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Young adult hardcover:
- The Stolen Heir by Holly Black
- Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman
- Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson
- Five Survive by Holly Jackson
- The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Odder by Katherine Applegate
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- (No posts this week)
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally, it’s worth engaging with this visual article by Jillian Peterson and James Densley about the link between mass shootings and deaths of despair.
Have a safe weekend.
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Photo: Star Ballroom, Monterey Park, CA
Abena Ntoso says
Thank you Nathan. I will keep you and the affected communities and victims’ loved ones in my prayers. Your posts are always incredibly informative and helpful, and I appreciate that you are taking the time to acknowledge a tragedy and make space for grief. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your thoughts. Best wishes for healing and peace.
Neil Larkins says
Take as much time as you need, Nathan.
We love ya.
Thanks for sharing and bringing light to the tragedy. It’s so awful.
Reita Pendry says
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree there must be a solution. This violence is unacceptable.
Valorie Ingebretsen says
T. R. U. T. H. Thank you Nathan, for taking the time to she had such a bright light on the darkest of dark spots in this society, the need to kill. I donate to SHP.
Michael Bedford says
So sorry for your loss, and for the losses of so many. We have much to learn before we can acknowledge the “greatness” of our country. Take a breather and regroup. We will look forward to your blogs when you are ready to move forward.
Diane Bransford says
The shock of that night will always be a reminder of our vulnerabilities in a violent culture, and we shall never accept this. We hold those healing in our hearts always. Thank you for sharing your personal story. Your kind concern for others makes your family so very proud.