Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
So, here's what we really saw driving out of town:
Next stop: St. Petersburg, FL...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I'm just sharing that some of the Skirt! Magazine book groups I edit are now available online. Click here and here to read a couple. My friend Barbara, who has not only written about her couples group for the magazine but has led me to her cousin Beth's group, her mother-in-law Peg's group and niece Anne's group, found the links.
I'm always looking for new book clubs to feature in my Under the Covers column. Skirt's a lot of fun to read and write for, so send them my way! Contributors receive a small check and your name in print.
It was only after writing this post that I discovered how timely it is. Who knew- October is National Reading Group Month. Whew. Almost missed that one. Happy Reading to all!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
One thing my sage writer friend Leslie taught me was to match the name with the "person." And not just personality-wise. Think about when the character lived, and where.
So I'm always intrigued to read what the latest trends in naming babies might be. Click here to read all about it-- Baby Naming for the current year. Short names like Ty and Dax are in because they are easy for texters and e-mailers to type? An interesting theory.
Another trend-- naming babies after presidents. And I thought I was being unique when I named two kids in a story after a president and a president's wife. Though it did seem like Mamie was the perfect name for that little girl in my story.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Hint: I wrote about one of my favorite topics- FIGS.
Later addendum to this post:
Although you may enjoy reading all the writers' posts, if you are looking for my Fig Essay on this southern writers' blog (the click here link, above), you must scroll down to October 17th to view that essay.
I love driving on these last warm fall days, seeing the colors off in the distance. Walking's not bad either, as long as the leaves are dry and crunchy. I think it was Anna Quindlen, though I'm not sure why I think that, who wrote that we love most the season we were born in. I love "my" summer a lot, but I'm beginning to love fall even more.
What I don't like is winter. So when my husband retired, we bought a little house in Florida and became what our friend Peter (who knows more about Florida, home ownership, moving around, living in two places than anybody) calls Splitters. I couldn't see myself in Florida year around so we split our time between Florida and New Jersey. We bounce back and forth on occasion, thus the Splitter thing. So far, so good.
And now the leaves are falling, which means time to pack up my writing notes, say goodbye to my fellow New Jersey writers and friends and our quick trips into the city, and head South. It hit me this morning as I was reading the paper. Even though my husband didn't stay retired long, we did attempt it. Maybe the suggestions in Key to a New Retired Life: Get Involved might have been a better way to look at that leisure time!
Mostly what I need to travel back and forth is a decent laptop and a good library in both places we live. I don't like hauling things from one house to another. Looks like I'm on the right track. Another article in my morning paper tells me not to fret over dragging clothes from one place to another. I've mostly always traveled light, hoping to find what I forget at my destination. My sister can attest to that, even though now I've grown up and no longer swipe her favorite nightgown when I touch down in her space. (Though I always appreciated her loaners. Thanks, Sis!)
So I guess it's time to pack up the writing notes and my favorite sneakers and head South. Check out what's new at the library, check in with my Florida writing buddies. If the leaves are down, winter isn't far behind.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
But on my recent trek through the Mississippi Delta, we stopped in at TurnRow Books in Greenwood. And I wanted to stay awhile. A long while. First of all, look at the building:
Yes, that's a bookstore. I promise. Isn't it gorgeous?
I asked for a book recommendation and the owner mentioned an about-to-be-published novel by Ron Rash, SERENA, which is just out and getting great reviews. There are a lot of reasons to hang out with bookstore people.
Monday, October 13, 2008
My friend Ann reported in on this year's Dodge Poetry Festival. Click that link to see what you, and I, missed. Billy Collins calls it the "mother of all poetry readings." Some call it Wordstock. In the past, our Critique Group has gone together. This year Ann went without us. Our loss.
Ann told us about Ted Kooser's reading, which reminded me that I have a book of his, given to me by a poetry-loving friend. So I'm thumbing through the book and remembered why she thought I'd like it (one of the many reasons). I once mentioned Praying Hands in something I wrote. The daughter of a preacher compares her hands to her daddy's statue of hands, and right there on p. 57 is this. I'll give you a few lines to tempt you to read more of Ted Kooser's poetry:
from DELIGHTS AND SHADOWS
There is at least one pair
in every thrift shop in America,
molded in plastic or plaster of paris
and glued to a plaque,
or printed in church-pamphlet colors...
Friday, October 10, 2008
And I'm reminded of a favorite quote from Eudora Welty's EYE OF THE STORY.
To make a friend’s fine recipe is to celebrate her once more.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
A wonderful replica of Picasso's "She Goat" sat on a round table in the middle of the library. The students loved that statue. They loved to touch her. They loved to make up stories about her. Most had never heard of Picasso but they wanted to know more. So yesterday when I saw the real one at the Museum of Modern Art, surrounded by other intriguing, fascinating sculptures from the museum's collection, it was a thrilling moment and a memory to cherish. I looked around at my fellow museum-goers. Who knows. maybe some of those kids who admired the replica might just travel to New York to see the real thing.
Monday, October 6, 2008
"Look, the baby bats are wearing swimmies!" "What book character do you think that is?" The questions were flying. I elbowed my way in and peered over a shoulder. Wow! Now this is one fantastic book.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So this quote from an article in Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf about a reunion of employees of Eeyore's, the late great children's bookstore in New York, really makes sense to me.
Not to mention, I adored Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Brian Selznick, who used to paint the windows of the West Side Eeyore’s every month, brought along a portfolio of all of his amazing window creations. Brian said he thinks about those windows every time he does a book cover. “Book covers, like the windows, have to look good from far away, from close up, and have to make you want to open the door or the book, as the case may be.”
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
My first Ebay purchase...
When my sister and I were kids, we had these shoeboxes filled with "junk." Junk was skate keys, Cracker Jack prizes, probably even our baby teeth we'd lost and maybe the Tooth Fairy didn't need. We played poker and bet with our goodies. Hey, a harmless game of 21 is appropriate for 9-year-olds, right? And I'm sure our boxes were from Buster Brown shoes. So when I saw this on Ebay (thanks to Leslie), I couldn't resist.
The game and the shoebox are a big part of a story I've been working on for a while. The matches, on the right of the above photo, came with the box. Not part of my treasures as a 9-year-old. Honest. But the ones from Antoines and the Monteleone in New Orleans will be saved!
And that box is a treasure. Now back to wasting more time on Ebay.