Tuesday, September 28, 2010

madison & milledgeville, georgia









A round-up of gorgeous signs, eats, flea finds that I left behind, and charm all around.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

quoteworthy

"I am not into haunted houses and it isn’t because of my fear of the undead. I just don’t like being surprised and frightened by items from Spencer’s Gifts."

Sara Kaye Larson

Thursday, September 23, 2010

quoteworthy

"The hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes."

-- Carson McCullers

Many thanks to Sara Batkie for sending this to me. She said it made her think of my novel in progress. Great friend.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"history of love" and some craft thoughts

For years now, people have recommended I read History of Love by Nicole Krauss. In fact, no one seems to dislike it. Now that I'm out of the strappings of grad-school-required reading, I've been reading books at a wildfire pace. This has so far been the best of the lot. It's the kind of book I hoped for and have been waiting for. It's raw yet inspiring, strange, hilarious, tender, heartbreaking, and a master planned mystery. While everyone who knows me well knows I relish the realism of Updike and Yates when I sit down to write I love visiting the lively Saunders and Franzen for brain food. It all helps writing honestly. Reading is the best teacher. In this case, what I learned the most was Krauss has this ability to really PLOW through scene, story, and chronology. She doesn't describe rooms or character's physicality the way most writer's do which normally irritates me but here the voice and "just a little" description brought it all to life. Last semester, E. L. Doctorow sweared, "All it takes is one gesture to get a character in a room." Of course, only if it's the perfect choice. While this is true in some of the best fiction I'm still a sucker for that epic novella of a description of Salinas Valley in East of Eden (a flawed but no less meaningful and important touchstone book for me as a writer). Another reminder that reading is fantastic proof that if the writing is good, screw all the rules and suggestion, the story will just work. I want readers of this blog to read the book so I wont spoil the amazing textured story with any sort of summary.

Instead, here are two excerpts from History of Love:

This is an update on a woman Leo (lonely, locksmith, self-described as unattractive) has been with--"A few months later, she called me again. She asked me to make a copy of her key. I was happy for her. That she wouldn't be alone anymore. It's not that I felt sorry for myself. But I wanted to say to her, It would be easier if you just asked him, the one who the key is for, to take it to the hardware store. And yet. I made two copies. One I gave to her, and one I kept. For along time I carried it in my pocket, just to pretend."

This is from the POV of Alma who is searching for the woman she was named after--"There must be files. Files upon files of people who'd been born and died in New York City. Sometimes, driving along the BQE as the sun is going down, you get a view of all those thousands of gravestones as the skyline goes up in lights and the sky glows orange, and you get the weird feeling that the city's electrical power is generated from everyone buried there. And so I thought. Maybe they have a record of her."

Monday, September 6, 2010

room with a view








This is a barnacle of a post for some of you but I love my new views: oaks sagging with spanish moss, St. John's Cathedral, and Colonial Cemetery. That last shot is so very New York for Georgia and yeah, I do like that a great deal.