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Monthly Archives: October 2010

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

And I’m not the only one. Rising to my double-dog-dare that others should record this…

Carol M. Kabat has done it.

And so has Ed Pahule

And so should you.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Stephen Fry explains the world for us

And we don’t even have to say thank you. Isn’t that nice of him?

In all seriousness, I’m posting it here so I don’t lose track of it. It’s one of those weird uncanny things where you watch a video and you go “all of his opinions are more or less the same as all my opinions. How nice.” It’s particularly great when 1) it’s someone you respect and 2) they’re opinions you had sorted out on your own as ways of thinking about the world.

IN a way it’s saying “you’re justified enough for your own satisfaction, because someone you admire agrees.”

And if that seems crackers, ah well.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11414505&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

STEPHEN FRY: WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN WHEN I WAS 18 from Peter Samuelson on Vimeo.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Oatmeal

A text message I sent to Kristine yesterday (I think it was yesterday?) summarizes how I feel right now. I’ll quote it.

*opens top of head*

*stirs oatmeal*

*closes top of head*

My in-laws and my sister-in-law visited for the majority of this week. It was really nice to see them, it as really enjoyable…but it DID mean that it was peoplepeoplepeople every day, which is something I’m just not used to.

I did a wise thing and didn’t try to write this week, just happily read. I read a volume of Sandman (Fables & Reflections) and I read Maus by art Spiegelman. I’m now reading Danse Macabre by Stephen King, a really, really interesting book ABOUT horror. I needed something a little lighter and different before I read Maus II. They’re pretty hard comics to read. As brutal a look at the Holocaust, in many ways, as Elie Wiesel’s Night.

My reading stack is towering. It also includes:

Walt Disney, the triumph of the American imagination by Neal Gabler (seriously thick biography, and it looks very interesting. And, by having it around, I learnt that my father-in-law Sternly Disapproves Of Walt Disney, because he was a draft dodger.)

– The Devil in the White City: murder, magic and madness at the fair that changed America by Erik Larson. (I’ve wanted to read it since it came out, and am just getting to it).

Maus II by art spiegelman (as I already mentioned. They’re stories of Art’s father, who went through concentration camps, and also the story of art and his relationship with his father. Brilliant, and brutal, and heartbreaking and hard.)

– Sahara by Michael Palin (it’s hard to find Michael Palin’s travel books, at least around here. I’m really excited for this. I think his travel work is perhaps superior to his Monty Python work. Yeah, I said it.)

AND I’m still reading Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons, and I was reading the Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway until life got too busy and I forgot. AND I’m reading one more book, which might be seriously the most amazing brain-changing book I’ve ever read, and I’m not going to tell you what it is, because I’m giving a copy or two of it for Christmas, so shall keep mum.

Writing wise:

The Man Upstairs (a novel, for which I made notes as the week progressed. They were good notes, and I fixed problems I didn’t know I had, and gave the novel legs. I can’t wait to really get rolling on it.

Mindwire (working title) (this is a novella which will be the next in the series after Kristine’s The Legend of Darkness and Light . The problem I’m having with it is…I’m not writing SF these days, and it’s hard to get into. If you’d told 12-year-old me that that would ever happen, he would have laughed at you.)

Usher III (my modernized retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher, done in lieu of a final test in my Horror Cinema class, and which I’ll sell at some point. I gotta get rolling on that. It won’t be called “Usher III,” that’s just what I’m putting on the blog. I have a title for it. And why Usher III? Well, there was Usher by Poe, and then Usher II by Ray Bradbury. So I’m obviously next in line after those two.) (of course, I’m kidding)

And I’ve got to get my edits worked out in “Keepers” and get that sent off to Glimmer Train before I manage to miss the reading period and arse it all up.

And somewhere in there, I want to spend time with my wife and kids.

So. If I’m somewhat useless and scattershot for the next two or three weeks, or completely GONE…that’s why. It’s all good stuff, but put altogether like that, it’s a huge load that’s impending on top of me, and I need to clear it out. Which may be tricky, since did I mention my brain is oatmeal?

Ah well.

Love & Tropical Rooibos

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Perhaps you would like to make note of this noteworthy notation, which I have notarized.

This is just a small wave, and a note to say: last night, I finished my newest short story. HOORAY! I’ve been trying to write the last scene or two for a week now. Got ’em done. Think it came out okay, but we’ll find out when I show it to people. (Which won’t be quite yet. I like to let them sit for a bit. aging. Like wine. Or tea. But not quite so long.)

The Professor approves my modernized “Fall of the House of Usher” stuff, which makes me happy, because I’m interested in the story I’ve come up with. He wants to see some of it by Thanksgiving. Given the length of that time frame, I hope to have the story FINISHED by Thanksgiving.

For now, my main focus is on the novel I’m working on. It’s called “The Man Upstairs,” and grew out of a busted short story I wrote. I think there are legs there, I just have to find them. I’m not a natural novel-writer like some people I know, who make it look effortless which is why they must die which is why they write books and I turn out short stories.

I rummaged on one of my bookshelves the other night and discovered a paperback by Ed Gorman. I’ve owned it for eight or nine years now without ever cracking it open. I own a lot of books I simply haven’t had an interest in yet. This time, it appealed to my mindset. I opened it and discovered it’s a book of short stories, something I just had no clue of. That always makes me happy, I adore short stories. It also explains something about my houseful of books, some of which I just wouldn’t pick up. I will someday, or I did at some point in the past.  I read nearly everything, given time.

Time to go eat, drink, write.

Love & Constant Comment

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Gone Fishin’

this is just to say that I’m unplugging for at least two weeks, and possibly the entire month of October, depending on what I decide after two weeks. So you know.

It’s October 2nd now. I promised myself I’d start a novel and really focus on it, beginning October 1st, and I did. I began “The Man Upstairs”, although not very much.

So I want to go away and really focus on it for awhile, really try to get it off the ground and rolling…but I also am struggling on everything else. I’ve been trying to write the last two scenes of a short story for two days now, struggling not because of story issues but because I can’t get the time to do it. I’ve got a story I need to write for school (a ‘modernization’ of “The Fall of the House of Usher” which I am modernizing….by not changing the time period…er…) and some other stuff to work on.

Plus, a lot of reading I want to get done.

So. Two weeks. After two weeks, I’ll pop back in long enough to figure out whether I should stay or should I go?

(da na na naaa naaa nah)

If you say that you’ll be miiiine

(da na na naaa naaa nah)

I’ll be here ’til the end of tiiiime

(da na na naaa naaa nah)

But ya got ta let me knowwwwww

should I stay or should I go?

Sorry. I need some caffeine.

Love & earl Greyer

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Harry Potter & Twilight

The difference between the Harry Potter phenomena and the Twilight phenomena is something I was telling Renee about the other day.
There are a BILLION copycat vampire books now, vampire movies, Twilight movies, all of that…and in the middle of it all is a more or less silent Stephanie Meyers who has nothing to do with it, not really. It’s all bigger and beyond her,a nd she’s actually irrelevant to it. Moreover, beneath the hustle and hype and vampire nonsense….there are no real actual literate authors who are saying “shes’ a good writer.” She’s shit. Stephen King said it and risked the ire of twilight fans (I’m sure he suffered so much, losing those whiny tweens. You can’t tell me they were reading Misery anyway).
With Harry Potter, there were tons of copycat wizard and fantasy novels popping up, tons of movies, every childrens franchise was being made into films (Lemony Snicket, Percy Jackson, etc, Spiderwick) trying desperately to rake in some money. But at the heart of it, there was actual literary respect for J.K. Rowling, and her books. They were actually good, she was a good writer, and anyone was thrilled to admit it. And now, some time later when the wizard hype has died…..the Harry Potter books are still relevant and read, she’s still respected and in existence…and I suspect that the Potter books might actually hang around for a long time. I’ll happily hand them down to Zach and Nathan, and that’s the ultimate trick to a book hanging around. Would you give it to the next generation?
I don’t perceive the Twilight books as being something that’ll hang around.
(Of course, who knows, but still. That’s what I think. And since this is my blog, well, neener neener).
 
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Posted by on October 1, 2010 in Uncategorized