Friday, October 29, 2010
So this installment of Freaky Friday is all about me, me, me. In the face of adversity, I choose narcissism, or something like that...
1. Now that I have nothing to do on Saturday night, I'm going to have a little no-Halloween movies netflix film festival. My choices? Klute (Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland = perfecto) and A Home at the End of the World (Colin Farrell. Colin Freaking Farrell.) No spooky movies for me. I watched Amityville Horror once and couldn't sleep for three nights because my apartment was 20 miles from the real Amityville. So close! Too close! (Yeah, I'm a wimp.)
2. My friend Alexa, photog extraordinaire, is going to take professional photos of me this weekend. I'll post the results. I've gotten a lot of good tips from friends regarding how-not-to- look-like-a-complete-moron in front of the camera, and Stina Lindenblatt coincidentally posted some tips this week on her blog.
3. I am convinced I can write a decent steampunk novel. OK, more than convinced, I'm obsessed. (I've actually only read one. But I'm a 19th C. history chick and the idea just appeals.)
4. HARRY POTTER is coming. I've already bought my tickets. Is it wrong to think Harry is a hottie now? He's a wee one but so cute. (I almost deleted that...it seems a tad icky, no?)
5. I've got some Borders bucks burning a hole in my pocket. I'm definitely going to buy this, and this. Any other suggestions?
Have a good weekend, everyone! Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Maybe I love everything that accompanies inclement weather. Sweaters. Wellies. Movie days. Especially movie days. Sometimes I like nothing better than to curl up on my sofa with a mug of tea, remote in hand, ready to catch some classic on an obscure cable channel--because it's one thing to have a film on DVD and quite another to catch a favorite by luck when scrolling through the guide.
If one of the following pop up on a random rainy Sunday, I stop everything, curl up with a blankie and watch:
1. Four Weddings and a Funeral
2. Pretty in Pink
3. Bridget Jones's Diary
4. Hannah and Her Sisters
How about you guys? What are your comfort movies?
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Until I got to the end. If one can even call it that. When I was almost done, I could feel the scant pages left and I wondered how in the world the author was going to tie everything up.
I shouldn't have given it a thought, because--I kid you not--the last page read to be continued.
Loose ends were not tied, the threads were simply cut. If I want an explanation, I need to buy the next book. Which, let's face it, I probably will. So, from a marketing perspective, the technique worked.
As a reader, I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I'm pretty angry. I feel manipulated. On the other hand, I'm intrigued, and still thinking about the book overall.
So what do you guys think? Does the writer have an obligation to the reader to complete the story? Should books in a series stand alone?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
"The first time I saw anyone spin fire, I was transfixed and inspired, but it was so far removed from my vision of myself that it didn't occur to me that I could do it. Subconsciously, I thought that Other Kinds of People do crazy things like that.
Six months later, I went to Burning Man for the first time. I found myself in a supportive, encouraging, inspiring community that helped me break through that myth. I realized that there are no Other Kinds of People. Anybody can do anything. I can do anything. YOU can do anything."
I love this message. In teaching this art to others Dan helped to unleash the creativity within each student. Watch him dance--isn't it easy to imagine the flames as words or music or paint? The process is so freeing.His life's work made total sense to me.
Being dead at 36 doesn't make any sense at all.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
It wasn't, however, my first copy of HOWL. I scored that one in the 80s. 50 cents at the Salvation Army. I devoured it, let the words invade my soul (c'mon, I was fifteen) just as I had with ON THE ROAD, a book that's had more influence on me than any other.
So what was it about HOWL that could damage my fifteen year old brain? Some sex, particularly references to homosexuality. Some drug references. Um...nothing I hadn't read about already.
What damage could have been done to my person had I not been allowed to read HOWL?
After finding out about the trial, I researched the political climate of the 1950s, independently and in far greater detail than the watered down Joe McCarthy lecture given by my high school poli sci teacher. I studied the House Un-American Activities Committee AND the American Civil Liberties Union (It supported Ferlinghetti.). I read. I learned. About history and art and human nature. This is what we want of our kids, is it not? Knowledge gained by the very desire to learn. To know.
I now teach a 20th Century survey course. We spend significant time on the Beats. I lecture on Ginsberg and Kerouac and Ferlinghetti and Snyder. I'm able to give my students a clear understanding of the time period because I understand it so well. And these kids, who are too young to identify the members of New Kids on the Block, well, they LOVE it.
And to think the book I owe so much to might have been kept from me...well, honestly, that makes me a little sick.
For more info on the HOWL trial, read the fantastic HOWL ON TRIAL: THE BATTLE FOR FREE EXPRESSION. Also, currently in theaters AND on cable (if you have On-Demand viewing) is a cinematic version of the Ginsberg/Ferlinghetti obscenity trial, starring (swoon) James Franco and (double-swoon) Jon Hamm. You can watch the trailer here.
Friday, October 1, 2010
1. My brain was too shell-shocked from revisions to write a blog post for Banned Books Week. I didn't want to do a half-assed job, and I still don't, so I'd just like to name some titles of books that were still being banned when I was young enough to have them taken away from me. I read these books during my school years and I don't think I'd be the person (or writer) without them: DEENIE by Judy Blume, THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton, HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain.
2. Once a week my fifth grader takes the a.m. junior high bus for district band practice. He's still young enough to want me to stand at the bus stop with him (yay!). It takes my son a minute or two to settle into his seat (He plays the euphonium), and during that time I stand on the corner while the 7th and 8th graders stare blankly at me. I tried waving once and got nothing. Once in a while we take it up a notch and engage in a highly competitive staring contest, but this week offered an upsetting new development. Two girls gave me the slow once over, coldly assessing my outfit--yoga pants, an olive oil stained sweatshirt and Keen mary-janes so old I've worn through the bottoms--and obviously found me lacking. One pointed, the other laughed, then, mercifully, the bus pulled away. I shouldn't care. I am above that...right? I'm three times (thrice!) their age! But honestly, all that's really going through my head is I need a makeover. Sad, huh?
3. Cool contests: Amy is giving away some gorgeous bookishly decorated wine bottles at Hello, Moon. Nancy, Jo, and Sara over at NC Literary are giving away some awesome books.
4. Sometimes I can't read other books while I'm editing, other times I read like a fiend. With this revision it's been the latter. I've read: CLOCKWORK ANGEL, YOU, RETURN TO PARADISE, and THIS GORGEOUS GAME. For this weekend I picked up PERSONAL DEMONS, which I've heard is great. What are you guys reading? I need more, more more! Feed the addiction!
5. Have you guys been watching the new HBO series, Boardwalk Empire? I've seen the first two shows and I'm not quite sure what I think. I love my Scorcese, but...it's a bit slooooow, isn't it?
Anyhew, have a great weekend!