Hanging On Podcast By Podcast

mailboxes in a row.

End of September’s newsletter is out. This month we’re talking about fictional podcasts and books, including Dreaming in Colour by Uvile Ximba.

Over on Patreon, this October there is new original fiction, more chapters of Keeper of the Fallen, and a piece of un-poetry inspired by the classes I did for World Book Day. There is a link for photos of that day, too.

Bookshelves filled reaching up to a sky with the sun and clouds and birds circling overhead.

If you would like to join the monthly book chat and news, please do, by clicking here. (Please then check your spam folder for the confirmation email, as that seems to be where they go.)

Thank you for your support.

Velvet Was The Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Cover shows an early 20-something Mexican Woman with long hair, 70's shades, pink lipstick, with matching pink fingernails and she's smoking a cig in that sexy mouth-slightly-parted manner.

~Often life doesn’t make sense, and if Elvis had a motto it was that: life’s a mess.~

~He didn’t know what the words meant, but he knew what they sound like: it was the sound of sadness.~

~It’s not a bad way to die, having had a good fuck and sleeping in bed.~

~He wanted to tell her he’d seen her in a book about fairy tales once, when he was a kid, and he believed you could grow a beanstalk that might reach the heavens.~

~She wondered what kind of story started like this. ~


The Upper World by Femi Fadugba

~’Dear Holy Avengers,’ I pleaded into my interlaced fingers. ‘First off, please forgive me for being a prick on Monday. And for lying to Mum about what happened.’~

~No one bothers training their feet for deception because no one else is looking down there.~

~My old English teacher once said that the -cide in the word decide is the same as the one in homicide. ‘To chose one future is to murder all the rest,’ she warned.~

~In my mind, I was kissing my teeth. It wasn’t the fist time I’d been through this, not the first time someone had asked me to rip up my name into smaller, plainer pieces they could swallow.~

~Honestly, who gives a flying fuck about that 2%! All anyone ever wants to talk about is the other 2%. I literally just told you that 98% of people in this world don’t get a choice. 98%! Why the fuck are we talking about that lucky 2%?~

~That’s what Einstein’s equation said: hidden inside even the tiniest bits of matter is an ungodly amount of destructive power ready to be unleashed.~


The Wilderness Between Us by Penny Haw

~But, if you’re not okay on your own, not self-sufficient and calm, happy, in fact, in your own company, you’ll forever be afraid, dreading the inevitable moment you are alone, and nervous about how you’ll cope. Remember that. Get used to being alone. Enjoy your solitude.~

~There’s more than one way to pick your nose.~

~I just want to be able to look at myself and feel proud, happy. So others can feel the same.~

~There was something about having the same friends for so long that blurred the boundaries. It was akin to being part of a family, which sometimes meant having to tolerate people even if you didn’t really like them.~

~Things that fall can rise again.~

~When you come across remarkable people, people you imagine being friends forever, you should do whatever it takes to keep them in your life.~


She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Yellow-gold cover with a snacking red-orange Chinese dragon snaking through the text.

~Denying desire Only made yourself vulnerable to those who were smart enough to see what you couldn’t even acknowledge to yourself.~

~But what’s unusual about you is that most strong-willed people never understand that will alone isn’t enough to guarantee their survival. They don’t realize that even more so than will, survival depends upon an understanding of people and power.~

~But it was strange how shame was something you never became inured to: each time hurt just as much as the first.~

~But you know what’s worse than suffering? Not suffering, because you’re not even alive to feel it.~

~Not-wanting is a desire too: it yields suffering just as much as wanting.~

~Don’t look down as you’re flying, or you’ll realise the impossibility of it all.~


Sanity Prevail by Perfect Hlongwane

Cover of Sanity Prevail shows an empty hospital coridor in blue tones. In the distances is a wheel chair neer a door. On the surface of the floor there is the shadow of a an but with no body to cast it.

~The first lesson you learned in the city was that…people had to know in order for them to see you.~

~They stood in solidarity with us during a dark time. They never thought that we would turn against them, so quickly, after drinking a few sips of freedom. It’s enough to drive anyone mad.~

~It quite alarms me, in fact, that the African storyteller would accept this ‘show-don’t-tell’ gospel without interrogation.~

~It is a sickness. But why do they persist in treating the symptoms, instead of the disease itself? I know why. They cannot treat the disease.~

~Sometimes, the trick to staying alive is to do nothing.~

~You can’t just divorce the place you call home.~

~How does one write about those who would rather not be written about?~


Dreaming in Colour by Uvile Ximba

Starry Night sky with fat yellow sun and a Black young woman's head from nose up, in her plaits sit two sun birds.

~It was one of those thickly hot days when it felt as if the sun was sitting on the living room sofa.~

~Intently, she sat there, Listening to me unfold the soft, happy yellow dream of her coming out to her mother.~

~Spring was patiently colouring the trees back in.~


Am I still the light?~

~School can be the beginning of broken societies.~

~Even primary school kids know about crushes. But what I thought I knew was that crushes were little birds in cages reserved only for boys. I couldn’t explain then why I felt like there was a flock of wild birds in my belly, their wings flapping enthusiastically every time I saw her. Or why those birds nested in my lungs, beaks snapping away all the air, leaving me winded and gasping. Why did I being to dream about her?~

~That not all protests look like strength.~

~When will I realise that I must be a haven for myself?~

~Colours are the dreams you recover in everything you look at.~


A Quantum Life by Hakeem Oluseyi and Joshua Horwitz

~Discovering my special power at reading and counting cards woke me up to the possibility that I could figure out almost anything.~

~Everything in chess sounded like gang warfare, with military strategies like the Sicilian Defense, the Harrwitz Attack, and the Poisoned Pawn Variation. I liked chess because you could try to dominate and defeat your opponent, but nobody got bloodied for real.~

~I’d always felt smart, but I realized my head had been empty. Now, with books, I could pour it full of information fast.~

~The bass from the tuba and the drum never stop. They move the crowd. You may hear the lead, but you feel the bass.~

~Back in the 1980s, Mississippi seemed to compete with Alabama to see which state could spend the least amount of money on education, and whose students could score the lowest on standardized tests.~

~Programming was like learning to read musical notation.~

~Standing there in the back of the auditorium, I realized I was now one of a select few humans anywhere on Earth to behold the invisible face of the sun. ~

~There’s a difference between performance and mastery.~

~The closest thing to infinity I’ve ever observed is hope.~


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Cover shows an astronaut kind of "falling" into darkness off the glow of a planet.

~They say hunger is the greatest seasoning.~

~Cool thing about pendulums: the time it takes for one to swing forward and backward – the period – wont’ change, no matter how wide it swings. It it’s got a lot of energy, it’ll swing farther and faster, but the period will still be the same. This is what mechanical clocks take advantage of to keep time. That period ends up being driven by two things, and two things only, the length of the pendulum and gravity.~

~”You poked it with a stick?”
“No!” I said. “Well. Yes. But it was a scientific poke with a very scientific stick.~

~Human beings have a remarkable ability to accept the abnormal and make it normal.~

~Back when I was a kid, like most kids, I imagined what it would be like to be an astronaut. I imagined flying through space in a rocket ship, meeting aliens, and just generally being awesome. What I didn’t imagine was cleaning out sewage tanks.~