Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Look at what some students wrote

I snitched this from Dewey, who got it from Elaina:

To the Woman (We Think You’re a Teacher) with the Books on the 2 Train
By some anonymous students

On the platform for the 2 train
you stand with a book in your hand
the pages open
Which is how you enter the train

Sometimes you smile, or frown
Once you even cried
on the train
when you were reading Night
and a man sitting across the aisle
said he cried too, when he read that book
and we thought,
we want to read that book
so we did

And then you were reading all those
basketball books
by Walter Dean Myers
so we read those too
speeding along on the 2 train
one time you saw us reading Slam
and you said
I love that book
and do you think Slam is going to make it in high
We do, we think he’s going to make it

Then you were reading some really hard stuff
Epistemology of the Closet, Postmodern Narrative
and we tried those, but we think you have to have read
the books those authors have read, if you want to read
their books

Our favorite is when you are reading poetry
Picnic, Lightning
and you lean back against the seat
and smile
and keep reading the same page
again and again
we do that now and it’s really nice

Last week you were reading The Life of Pi
and we rushed out to buy it
So we could be in the lifeboat
adrift in the blue, blue sea
with the boy, the Bengal Tiger, and you

If we don’t see you next year
on the train
Maybe sometime we’ll bump into each other on the
You’ll know us because
we’ll have books in our hands
I like it, I like it! Thanks, Dewey!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Meme and you

Absolute Vanilla has tagged me to do a meme.

*Tagged bloggers post answers on their blogs & replace questions as they wish.
*Tagged bloggers state who they were tagged by & cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by.
1. What do you do before bedtime?
Blog and/or read, usually both.

2. What is your favorite sound?
Water rippling gently over rocks, the way it did in the yard of the house where we raised our children. I call that sound mellifluous. Otherwise, I enjoy the sound of silence. I guess that basically means I like not having constant human sounds (chatter or what passes for music to some) when I'm trying to think or write.

3. What were your childhood fears?
Because of our blackout shades, I worried about planes flying low over our house during World War Two. As far inland as Chattanooga is, it seems unlikely that bombers would have gotten this far, but I can only wonder why the whole country would have had to install black shades as we did.

4. What place have you [visited, changed to:] lived that you can't forget and want to go back?
As per the instructions, I bracketed and changed one word to make the question one I like. I like staying put and getting to know the same place in depth, in various lights, at different seasons of the year. So the place I can't forget is the house with the mountain stream running through the back yard, with its treehouse for the children beside a tree (the twins were five and their brother two).

5. What has made you unhappy these days?
Noise pollution (see above), greedy excessiveness that has tumbled the markets, and assumption of entitlement ... no, not those on welfare, but those who feel entitled to park in front of doors to run in "for a minute," making old ladies on walkers have to navigate around their SUVs. These are the same people who park in spots reserved for the truly handicapped, when their only handicap seems to be mental, as in, unable to empathize with the plight of another.

6. What websites do you visit daily?
Bonnie's NaNoWriMo* 2008, Words from a Wordsmith, Weekend Wordsmith, Bonnie's Books, Banned Books ... wait, these are MY blogs. Well, it's true, I do visit them every day, plus blogs of online friends.

7. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Vanilla is absolutely my kind of person! She has great imagination, possibly bestowed by a hen with attitude. She a great photographer who likes to play in the virtual darkroom.

8. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, after Dewey mentioned Mary Poppins on her blog.

9. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
Comfortable sweats in the winter, but in general anything with pockets. I think it's unfair that guys get pockets, but women don't usually. And that's why most women carry bags. I wear jeans year round, mostly so I have pockets for keys and money and such.

10. What is your dream for the future?
To time travel into the past ... or at least, finish a novel where my protagonist gets to do that.

Now, who shall I tag? Any of you who are interested in this one, which was actually kind of fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A character fault

I need help with the novel I'll be writing in November. Lilli, my protagonist, wants to time travel to the past. Nearly everyone she's told wants to know one of two things:

Why would anybody want to travel into the past?
... or ...
Wouldn't it be more interesting to go into the future?
So what reasons can anyone give for wanting to go either direction, instead of being satisfied to be here and now?

I need to know right away because Lilli thinks she's figured out what George Orwell knew and can get herself into the past without using his (or anybody else's) time machine. I don't want her to go until I find a way to go with her. After all, a character should share her thoughts with her author, don't you think?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What an author says to her editor

Susan of Patchwork Reflections has tagged me to do a meme:
* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your blog along with these instructions.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
* Tag five other people to do the same.
I started counting sentences. Let's see ... fifth sentence down ... "I think pizza should be at the top, what about you?" ... Yes, I do. Wait! That's the fifth sentence down in the closest BLOG, which happened to be Susan's, but it's supposed to be the closest BOOK, dummy. So the closest book, on top of a short stack of three I got from the library, is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. On page 56 is a letter from Juliet to her editor:
I have an idea for a new book. It's a novel about a beautiful yet sensitive author whose spirit is crushed by her domineering editor? Do you like it?
I haven't read the book yet, but I'd say something interesting must have happened on the previous pages. The other letter on page 56 has only three lines:
Dear Sidney,
I was only joking.
Love, Juliet
Okay, I am officially curious about the relationship between author Juliet and editor Sidney.

Now to tag five people. Count off as you read this post. Yes, really, count off in the comments section. The first five people to comment are tagged. (I am sitting at the computer chuckling to myself at my own cleverness. Isn't this just the best way in the world to get out of having to single out five people? Unless ... oh me, oh my, this didn't occur to me in time ... unless what happens is that NOBODY will admit to having read this post and I get no comments at all. So be it. If that happens, then the meme stops here. Ready, set, go!)

Nothing yet.

Still nothing.



Does it seem extremely silent in here today?

Nothing ...

... nothing ...