Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

As you may have seen around here, I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. Well, not a lot I guess, but a lot for me. Since April is National Poetry Month, I wanted to push myself to read the poetry books I have. I tend to mainly read fiction, and one of my resolutions this year was to read more non-fiction, plays, and poetry. Maybe it was cheating saving all the poetry books I had for April. Truthfully I didn’t do much research into other poetry books or branch out from what was on my shelves. But it’s a start, right? Continue reading

“This is the strange lesson of living in a pandemic: life can be tranquil in the face of death,” (St. John Mandel 195).

Eighteen-year-old Edwin St. Andrew comes to Canada after disgracing his family during a family dinner. He finds himself exploring a Canadian forest when he suddenly hears a few notes of a violin and strange hydraulic noises before the vision is gone, quickly explained away as a hallucination. Two centuries later, author Olive Llewllyn is on Earth for a book tour, far from her home on the second moon colony, the moment Edwin experienced curiously appears in the text of her famous pandemic novel Marienbad. Meanwhile, a detective in the Night City, Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, is hired to investigate an anomaly with the Time Institute with strict orders to investigate a Canadian forest and a young man, a famous author, and how it is their stories connect. Continue reading

“Religion, I believe, is one of the ways we attempt to answer the two Great Questions that ache within us all: ‘how shall we live,’ and ‘what happens when we die,'” (Bernstein 11).

Since Midnight Mass came out last fall I’ve watched it four times with no plans of stopping anytime soon. I haven’t watched all of Flannagan’s films, was skeptical of The Haunting of Hill House because of how far it strayed from the source material but ended up loving it, adored The Haunting of Bly Manor even though I can never watch it again without crying like a baby, and loved his adaption of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. Continue reading

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
      That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
      But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
      I cremated Sam McGee,”
– The Cremation of Sam McGee (Service).
Before I travelled to the Yukon I had wanted to read this collection as a preparation of sorts but eventually decided against it. Instead, I found a bookstore near my hotel in Whitehorse that had many collections of Songs of a Sourdough to choose from and that’s how I chose mine.

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“I

dislike cute cat

poems

but I’ve written one

anyhow,”

– my cat, the writer (Bukowski 83).

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Charles Bukowski’s On Cats, the name Bukowski was only a vaguely familiar in my mind, but I adore Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and figured another poetry collection literally “On Cats” would be to my liking when I was gifted it one year for my birthday. Luckily my friend was right, you just can’t go wrong writing about cats.
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“they bisect the frozen river,

vacant lots,

the barren school field —

all roads lead

to the Pit.”

– Desire Paths (Borin 3).

I was lucky enough to get to visit The Westminster Hotel, or as it’s affectionately called The Pit, when I visited Dawson City last fall. When my dad had visited the previous winter he talked about a place who’s only food was a “revolving case of hotdogs,” and after doing my research and finding out that The Pit was in fact the same place it became important to me to visit, a pink staple to this small northern town, even more so when I learned of Borin’s poetry collection. Continue reading

“I’d much rather wile away the hours

Helping you clean up cadavers of all of 

you ex-lovers

Watch you give them all one last kiss of

death

I fear this will be me in a few weeks,”

– “Imagine A World In Which We Didn’t Have To Hide Who We Are” (Walker 31).

Jade Walker’s debut poetry collection Penultimate Perpetual Purgatory is one that hurts. Walker focuses on difficult topics from trauma through sexual abuse, living with mental illness and PTSD, the exhaustion of growing up to soon and having the caregiver role thrust upon her, living through the pandemic, as well as watching her own mother be admitted into a nursing home after being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. There is a lot of heartache in Walker’s poems that she chooses to share with her audience, chooses to open the wound of her struggles so that reader’s might understand them. Continue reading

“Fear makes us blind, and we touch each fear with all the avid curiousity of self-interest, trying to make a whole out of a hundred parts, like the blind men with their elephant,” (King xvi).

I haven’t read nearly as much Stephen King as I ought to have, but I’m trying to remedy that. My dad is a big Stephen King fan and through him I’m lucky to get to read his many first editions of King books (dust jackets and all!) as well as the Mass Market paperback of Night Shift (good old fashioned keyhole covers, I love them). He’s talked up this collection of short stories for years to me, telling me about “I Am The Doorway” and “Strawberry Spring,” about how chilling so many of these tales were and how good the collection is overall. My sister read the book last year and similarly pushed me to read it, and finally I have.

Night Shift is Stephen King’s first short story collection and it’s a masterpiece. Of course I knew of Stephen King’s history of horror, but I was unprepared for the number of sad and moving stories in this collection that weren’t scary at all. I learned a lot about King as a writer in this collection, adored his introduction (if you haven’t read On Writing then do it, even if you aren’t a writer because King’s voice is fantastic) where he talks about fear. Many of these stories are absolutely chilling and unforgettable and I understand why so many of them in this collection have been adapted into (at times less than stellar) movies. Some of the other stories are…well, you can’t be good at everything.

Overall Night Shift is a wonderful collection of stories that makes me even more eager to dive into King’s work. You can read my thoughts on all of the stories in Night Shift below: Continue reading

“You are alone in the woods, dear Abitha. Vulnerable…ever so vulnerable. Why, any awful thing could happen to you out here,” (Brom 75).

Strong-willed and out-spoken Abitha has difficulty adjusting to life in the small Puritan village of Sutton after being sold from England by her drunk father to the colonies, She is lucky to be wed to a kind man, but when he mysteriously dies Abitha finds herself at risk of losing her farm and her livelihood as she knows it and is desperate to fight for what is hers and make a place for herself in a community that would rather have her silenced. Meanwhile, a creature is awoken with few memories of who he used to be and terrifying animal-child hybrids urging him to spill blood. But is the creature as deadly as the wildfolk claim? Continue reading

Could it be? Two weeks with a personal post? Could I truly be committing to a regular blogging schedule?

Let’s not jinx anything.

I’ve been having trouble finding topics that I want to right about. It used to come easier, was usually fueled by something that angered or upset me, something that made me feel like I had to get the words out. And it isn’t that there isn’t anything that makes me feel like I want to write about, if anything it’s that there are too many topics to write about. This should be a blessing, to have to much to write about. And maybe it would be, if the topics weren’t so heavy, if they didn’t seem to keep getting heavier. Continue reading