Sunday, April 30, 2006

slug a bed

Over the weekend I finished The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd and Transmission by Hari Kunzru. The aspect I enjoyed about Cheese Monkeys was the in class critique. They were completely and utterly scathing. As vignettes they made the book worthwhile. The rest of the story struck me as filler.

There is one scene where the instructor assigns his students the task of creating an attention getting sign. A phrase or image that catches and holds the viewer. Stops them in their tracks so to speak. They all arrive the day of, all set to dazzle him, when he bundles them into a bus and drives off the campus. It's winter by the way.

So they arrive at their destination, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, they all get out and the bus drives off. They are graded on how many cars it takes before they each are picked up. 1=A 2=b etc. All they are provided with is a white board and some sharpies. The best part? The instructor had to do it too.

Transmission was fun as a slice of life from the dot com virus era.

Interestingly both books had branding (as in marketing) as a key theme.


Friday, April 28, 2006

oh Rhett

Today I was shown the cutest stage near where I work. If only I had known about it during all those afternoon rehearsals. Oh well. Now I do :)

In answer to carrie: yes it was a child and yes this has been happening all year. We're working on it; but I think you might understand why I know there are only 30 more days left 'til summer break.

So guess what? Oh c'mon. Guess.

The finch got loose again today. Excuse me while I find a nice brick wall to hit my head against. Thus, right before lunch it was "I do not want anyone trying to catch the finch." "Catching the finch is not a work." "It does not matter what happened last time. No one is finch catcher." Where did I leave that wall?

The finch actually returned to her former cage and was sitting atop it. The other finches promptly began to feed her through the bars.

I really don't think anyone believed me that if we all simply did our afternoon work the finch would return to her cage on her own. So I sat near by until one of the community needed a lesson with a material and as I was presenting the finch *voila* entered on her own. I should mention that the lesson recipient was the one who had collapsed on the floor in utter frustration at not being allowed to do Finch catching.

La! My community would give Miss Scarlett one serious run for her money in the melodrama department. Must be why I love them so :)***CV

Thursday, April 27, 2006

hungry I

So today I was told that I was being selfish by talking about myself (this is in the context of I statements such as I feel sad when I see...) I looked at the person and said "So it would be better if I talked about other people?" He said Yeah. "Ok. So then when I see people standing up in front of an audience during rehearsal trying to make the audience laugh while everyone else is trying to rehearse that person is looking foolish instead of smart."

He looked at me then said, "I think you should talk about yourself."


When children want to be treated like adults but are children and act like children they cannot be treated as an adult.

Somebody got a koan for that? ***CV

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Birdwoman of Portland

I finished the Book Thief in time for Holocaust Rememberance day. From the beginning of the story you know what happens to the main character. It is, after all, set in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party, and narrated by Death. There really aren't too many ways it can go.

Oddly it reminded me of Stones From the River by Ursula Heigi. There is a really good book. Not happy. No. Not perky. Very well written. It is also set in Germany during WWII.

I am still reading A Murky Business but that is my carry around reading. My go to sleep reading is now The Cheese Monkeys. Irony get y'r irony here :)


Today two of the finches decided they didn't like the other one. Did we have another cage? Oh that would be too easy. So we put together a box, punctured it with some airholes, got the finch -lost the finch, got the finch again and put her in the box (with a bowl of food and a bowl of water) found a location for her .... when someone decided she needed nesting material and can you guess? We lost the finch again *sigh*

We caught her and she spent most of the day in her box in the loft while we arranged to borrow a cage. So, in the afternoon I'm alone trying to figure out: is the finch alive? dead? She has spent a whole day in a covered box, albeit one with airholes.

I untape the box and whzzz!whzzz! Ok. Alive. Now. How do I get the bird into the cage when the box opening is larger that the cage gate but not big enough to cover the cage gate securely?

So we know what happened right? Lost the finch again.

At that point a friend and I decided to chat while Ms. Finch smoothed her ruffled feathers hanging out on the bullies cage. After I finshed talking where is Ms. Finch? Inside her new cage checking it out.

It's only Wednesday right?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ruby Slippers

Thrift stores: you either love them or leave them. I love them.

Where else can you find velvet jackets and 1920's dresses for less then 20 dollars? OR fabulous fringed suede jackets (in black and in red) or enough cheap but gauzey scarves and shawls to decorate ones abode in early Aladdin?

Today I found a pair of fabulous red shoes! They tap, rap, and snap and they are higher heeled then my SoM mary janes.

I shall Flamenco to my next show - but not Ministry I think. Moshing in heels? Someone might get hurt :) ***CV

Monday, April 24, 2006

Secret Agent Fouche

knock! knock!
who's there?
banana who?
banana banana

knock! knock!
who's here?
banana who?
banana banana

knock! knock!
who's there ?
orange who?
orange you glad I didn't say banana?

as told to me by Krisitine (4.5 years old)
Yes! one more sock completed. Now I just have to do two to complete the pairs.
Almost finished with the Book Thief. And, in A Murky Business Michu has revealed himself to be on the side of the Royalists. Everytime Fouche is mentioned I see Patrick McGoohan (but I don't know why)****CV

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Betty is watching

Speaking of fanfic. There was a rather interesting link in Neil Gaiman's Journal about just that subject.

It would seem there is a woman who wrote some Star Wara fanfic and then decided to self publish and put her work up for sale on Amazon. Hmmmm. She used specific characters from Star Wars: Copyright violation? Possible plagarism? Oh my! I went to amazon to see what it was about and as people can write reviews on self published works .... well the critics were not kind.

It would seem that fan fic is a type of plagarism no matter how homage like it may be intended. It simply is a case of whether a particular author views the fanfic as free advertising, flattering or harmless. Which I would think it was until it enters the marketplace.

There was a similar brouhaha regarding a fan site for Twilight in which the creatrix took another sites information and moved it over to her site: no permission asked for or given. Honey in a store that would be considered shoplifting.

Early last week I had a conversation in which a child asked me what plagarism was. And it was not the broad definition but the moral one which made sense to him. Then a day or so ago I came across one explanation which makes sense to me about why plagarism is wrong. It is not the using of another's idea. Ideas are what human beings are having all the time: there's bound to be some repetition. It is the taking someone's enactment of an idea; their interpretation; and claiming it as one's own.

That is like taking someone's homebaked bread and saying you baked it. Or taking a patented idea and claiming you thought of it first.

Be warned: if you make a cake mix attribute it to the manufacturer or face the wrath of Betty Crocker.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

tri tres trois

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace
Wednesday's child is full of woe
Thrursday's child has far to go
Friday's child is loving and giving
Saturday's child works hard for its living
the child that is born on the sabbath day
is bonny and blithe and good and gay

Mother goose

So that is thing one I wanted to post.

Thing two: There are some really, and I mean REALLY, creepy people posting blogs out there. (Yeah I know what cave have I been hiding in all this time?) *shiver* So yeah 'tis a free country in which we can express our opinions but *shudder* don't come visit my site 'k?



The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, in which a child is taken to the Cemetary of lost books and told to choose any book he wants.

Angel Sanctuary #5 ('nuff said)

The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd, in which an art student winds up in a graphic design class during the 1950's (and it really is much better than the premise sounds)

Wordstock tomorrow :)


Friday, April 21, 2006


I've been glancing through fanfic sites lately and I am slowly coming to the conclusion that reviewing this type of site is a really good means of gaining insight into a particular book's readership.

One site specialises in Fitzgerald. Almost all the fanfic (90%) is about Gatsby. There was one about Bernice from Bernice Bobs her Hair (1!). The Oscar Wilde section obssessed with Dorian Gray and in the Gormenghast arena it is all Steerpike and Fushia. In Twilight 90% is Bella and Edward. And a skim though HP seems to tend towards Harry and Hemione.

There is a Wuthering Heights area, Poe, Gaiman, Charles Dickens and Poppy Brite as well.

So this is a limited conclusion because it is dependant on those who write fanfic and not all the readership of a particular book or series (there is even one for Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys).

I'm tempted to start a Huysmans category. Or Angela Carter :) Now that would be interesting.


Who would you write fanfic for?

tyger tiger tigre

Suphanaka is done! :)

99 skeins of sock yarn to knit
99 skeins of yarn
one pair down pass it around
98 skeins of sock yarn to knit


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dona Quixote

Six Degrees of Booking

Yarrow, by Charles DeLint in which we are inroduuced to the author Caitlin Midhir among many others including

Orson Scott Card who wrote a series involving a character called Ender. One of the volumes of this series, Speaker for the Dead, brings to the reader's consciousness that those who may neither act nor look human are no less persons for those facts.

This leads to Cyteen by C.J.Cherryh in which human clones are created and manipulated in order to be perfect replicas of their original genetic donors and how an attempt to merge identical nature with identical nurture can go horribly awry which leads back to Earth and,

Sunshine, by Robin McKinley, whose title cahracter is a neurotic but strongwilled heroine living in a world of horror mythology come to reality and realises that my kind's enemy is not necessarily my enemy which leads to

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in which members of antithetical species fall in love.

Whoa! I just realised I really do like tilting at windmill situations in my literature. ***CV

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

birth of a bibliophile

I come by my passion naturally. You could say I was born into it :)

Founding of the Order of the Garter (1348)-aah chivalry and dragons
William Lincoln patents the zoetrop (1867) - animation rules
Eritreans vote for independence (1993) - my peace corps heroine worked here

William Shakespeare (1564)
Lester B. Pearson (1897) - I've actually been to his gravesite
Shirley Temple (1928) - became an ambassador

Saint George (patron saint of England) (303)
William Shakespeare (1616) -author! author!
Miguel Cervantes (1616) - tilting at windmills
William Wordsworth (1850) - lake district

It is also UNESCO's International Day of the Book
It is Catalonia's Lover's day where men receive a book and women roses

Okay now if they can celebrate that way when do we get to ?


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

goth love

A while ago I posted about two events: one, that I had been dreaming of parti coloured peoples in an uber-urban setting and, two, that I had attended the SOM concert during which I was witness to the most civilised removal of would be brawlers I had seen to date.

Today I found those incidents related.

While browsing the goth site Melanie knows about I came across a posting of a girl who had been beaten by a "friend". This type of posting is VERY unusual. There were 46 comments and during the reading of them something amazing happened. The commenters tracked down the perpetrator through his LJ and myspace accounts, found his address, his text messenger, his mom's address (yikes). And after reading their reactions - some of which got rather political, dude is going to be so much safer in jail.

I was not there. I do not know the precise circumstances. I did read the victims account and I saw the results. People, if you ever get in a situation where you are so over wrought you think the only way to respond is physically: LEAVE. There is no excuse for anyone acting in a manner that causes another person physical harm: none.

And before anyone thinks: oh well this type of community is so strange and morbid and death obssessed...please don't. A dear teacher of mine was at a peace protest in Oakland a few years back and was shot in the face by an airgun from a police unit. People hurt people. And so I'll get all Depeche Mode and say: "Why should it be that you and I should get along so awfully?"

Oh but how wonderful to see the unity in trying to help :)


Okay five places I have knit that are not home or a shop:

1. the bus/ bus stop
2. staff meetings
3. movie theater
4. Sisters of Mercy (Yes the tiger was there too. Man it takes bands a long time to set up)
5. grocery line


Monday, April 17, 2006

Tasty Valet

How doth the little crocodile
improve his shining tail?
And pour the waters of the Nile
on every golden scale?

How cheerfully he seems to grin.
How neatly spreads his claws.
And welcomes little fishes in
with gently, smiling, jaws.
Lewis Carroll

Ah, some action in Balzac. I really like the two seedy Parisian characters that have come upon Michu's fiefdom. They're so.... very seedy. Balzac's descriptions are like viewing portraits. The piggy eyes glinting from a face obsured partially by an intricatley folded neckcloth, the saffron vest and cinnamon coat. And funnily enough, one of these "gentleman" reminds me of one of my melodrama characters.

Wordstock in Portland this weekend: Dave Eggers, Ira Glass, Matt Wagner, LA Banks, Christopher Moore and Ursula k LeGuin. Might be worth checking out.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

hailing, hailing

I do not think I will ever get used to half a city closing due to a holiday. I expect it to happen in December and somewhat in November but not in April.

Went for another nice long walk today. I ended up picking up copies of The Scarlet and the Black by Stendhal (which I have been looking for for a looong time, but I could never remember the author and refused to do something intelligent like look it up by the title until today); The Wonder, by J.D. Beresford; and, Piers the Ploughman, by William Langland. Piers looks like a lot of fun. I love it when emotions become anthropomorphised. Oh now there is an idea for a skit. I'll have to think about that this summer.

The Wonder is about a child prodigy in England during the 19th century and is speculative fiction. As I was leafing through it I came upon a scene where this small child (5, 6?) enters the library of a university professor and is awestruck by the walls of books. The child turns to the old man and asks if he has read all of the books and the man replies that in a sense he has because after awhile there is a certain amount of repetition. Then it is as if a light bulb flashes in the child's mind and the power of words is revealed to him.

'Course I put that in my pile instantly :)

And I cannot say precisely why I have been on a quest of the Scarlet and the Black. It is a search that has spanned at least 15 years. *shrug* Stranger things have happened.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Peakeing Balzac

Went for a lovely walk today: Raining when I left clearing as I walked then raining on my return. This is the only place I have ever known where that sky can be clear and sunny while one is pummeled with hail. I guess the spirit of vaudeville moved to Oregon when it left the theater.


Why yes, chris, I am having lots of fun with the Lit map on Carrie's site :p. I'm so glad she posted the site since the last time I played with it was when I found it on Neil Gaiman's journal.


Balzac is spending quite a bit of time setting up his story. I am curious if Michu will be a main character or if Balzac is using him as a device to set the tone for the story. Most modern literature doesn't take time to set up. This may either reflect upon a shorter attention span of the reading public in general or, more controversial, may be an aid in shortening the attention span of readers.


Speaking of modern readerships I've been reading fanfiction online lately. Some Gormenghast and others. The Gormenghaster's seem fascinated with Steerpike and Fushia's relationship. There was one author who wrote in a very image filled manner, much as I remember Peake using. True about the 4th entry I began to crave some momentum to the plot.

It was while reading the various entries I began to wonder if it is more challenging to write in an author's particular style or using an author's particular set of characters.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Yattering salted almonds

So I have picked up and decreased the gussets of Suphanaka 2- go me!

Booking Through Thursday
Reach out a hand, and grab the book that is closest to you. Turn to page 231, or pick a page at random if the book isn't that long. Locate the first sentence of the last paragraph on that page.
  1. Type the sentence:

  2. Does the sentence make sense out of context?

  3. Does reading the sentence make you want to read the rest of the book? Why or why not?

Okay so there were four stacked upon each other - to my left.

Book 1: "Michael put the skull in the sink to stop it from yattering itself onto the floor while he opened the window and craned out."

Book 2: She slammed the door.

Book 3: (Does it count if the last paragraph of 231 turns out to start on 230?) "Austin found out, as Polanco had hoped, fearfully, with an anxiety which included nights, love, and the cracking of the salted almonds that Celia liked so much, and Celia found out, too, the predictable ceremonies, the whispering of the new language, completely forgetting that it was necessary for them to start living, lying faceup looking at the skylight, where the feet of a pigeon sometimes appeared or the shadows of the clouds."

Book 4: "What's my name?" she asked each of the children, but each of them shrugged and shook their heads."

So do each of these make sense out of context? Well they are each complete sentences so yes. I kind of like the way they almost coould fit together too. I think I would read about the yattering skull first because I like the word yattering :)

And number 4 really reminds me of that Ray Bradbury story about the woman who was showing pictures of herself as a child to two children and they refused, in the most heartbreaking manner, to believe she had ever been young like them.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Infernal Review

I am a very organized person. Oh. Yes. I . Am.

I am so organized that I know if there is a form that is due on a specific date; A form that needs other forms in order to be filled out; that I must, without a doubt, put all said forms in one and only one location.

Do not move.
Do not touch.
Do absolutely nothing to it until all the forms are together (fermenting if you will).

Then, on that special day, as the sun shines forth, with calculator in hand, pencil sharpened and ink of blue I can prepare to fill out the forms that .... are. not. there.

It was awful this morning. But I had to leave instead of ransacking my house for those forms.

My dear, dear Uncle Samuel will be so pleased I found them in a pile of random papers this evening.

Yes that is me: Mistress of dis here organization ;)


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

chitta monkey

Now that is a fun google :) and so appropo!

Forgot to mention that I picked up Balzac's, A Murky Business, the other day along with AS 13. ( I love that title too. The word murky is so underused.)

This will be the first Balzac that I have ever read. Dare I admit to not having read Dumas? Well, if you had Charleton Heston (Cardinal Richlieu), Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway, Richard Chamberlin, Michael York (D'artangan) , Geraldine Chaplin (yes Charlie's daughter), et al, as your memories of the Musketeers would you want that imagery dampened?

That was the first film I saw people being used as a Chess set in. I think it prepared me for later Greeneway movies. I loved the Draughtmsn's Contract, for all it is a cruel film. And the ending of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover was very Old Testament.

If you have never seen the 1970's version of The Three... and then The Four Musketeers go see it now. It contains not only a star studded but a very talented cast in action :) Something I hear far too few films can say nowadays.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Caste, Choir, Feudalism

I died as inanimate matter and arose a plant,
I died as a plant and rose again an animal.
I died as an animal and arose a man.
Why then should I fear to become less by dying?
I shall die once again as a man
To rise an angel perfect from head to foot!
Again when I suffer dissolution as an angel,
I shall become what passes the conception of man!
Let me then become non-existent, for non-existence
Sings to me in organ tones, 'To him shall we return.'

I went to Powell's today to pick up the final (current volume) in Angel sanctuary. They're still out of vol. 5. So I am including this info for my personal reference. Emmanuel Swedenborg was the person I read about in Gnosis with the elaborate hierarchy and complicated schema for divine beings. Talk about labyrinthine!

First Hierarchy:
Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones/Ophanim

Second Hierarchy:
Principalities, Virtues, Powers

Third Hierarchy:
Dominions, Archangels, Angels

During the Middle Ages this was arranged diferently into:

First Hierarchy:
Seraphim , Cherubim, Archangels

Second Hierarchy:
Dominions, Virtues, Principalities, Rulers, Authorities, Powers, Thrones

Third Hierarchy:

Then the world, our earth is the core and underneath lies the hierarchies of the fallen

Lucifer once Lucifel but -el meant light and so the -el was changed to -er
Beelzebub was Prince of the Seraphim
Leviathan, Asmodeus, Abaddon, Samael Semyazza was a Grigori or"Watchers" in Greek

Balberith is Prince of the Cherubim, Azazel, Lauviah, Marou, Salikotal

Astaroth Prince of the Thrones, Verrine, Gressil, Sonneillon, Focalor, Forneas, Murmur, Nelchael, Pruflas, Raum

Second hierarchy
Carreau and Carnivean are the Princes of Powers
Oeillet is a Prince of Dominions, Rosier is the second in the order of Dominions
Verrier is Prince of Principalities

Third hierarchy
Belial is the Prince of the Order of Virtues
Olivier (demon) is the Prince of the Archangels
Iuvart is Prince of Angels

I find it fascinating that the upper echalons of angels are not named but that the fallen are.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Green Crow Tea

Poetry Monday, April's theme: humor, spring and/or Chaucer, as you like it. Oops that was Shakespeare (but he's an April baby so I guess it's okay)

When Aunty Flo became a crow,
She had her bed put in a tree.
And there she stayed and read all day
of ornithology.

Mervyn Peake
Today I purchased 2 dozen large crickets, a container for said crickets, finch food, 2 ukranian egg kits, and 2 shake n'egg kits, vinegar, eggs: golly what's cooking at my house?
Oh! and last Saturday I discovered that there is green leaf Jasmine tea in Portland. I am sooo happy :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sedentary Sunday

Spent most of the morning reading, Angel Sanctuary. Manga is so much like soap opera it's amazingly addictive. Then I went to Knit Purl's anniversary. I carried Richard and Pi with me of course. I'm sure the two of them had a lovely time browsing the blue moon (KP will not be carrying this brand anymore btw, they're getting in their own line) and the Lorna's Laces.

Both Pi and RP were kind enough to share their carrier with some amber (BM) and lucky stripe (LL).

Then we went and browsed le shoppe de booke. Now no one really expects me to pretend a whole city block disappears because I might have too many unread books do they??

While meandering through the aisles we discovered LeFanu's, Uncle Silas, and, Green Tea and Other Stories; then we found My Eyes Mint Gold, a biography of Mervyn Peake by Malcolm Yorke; and finally the purpose of my visit, vols. 10,11,12 of Angel Sanctuary. I did put back the Wyvvern mystery: so there I do have self control :)


I have just realized, today, that I have two alongs to make projects for. For Moll Flanders I was going to make over the knee stockings with contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes - but if I haven't
managed to complete one pair of short socks what was I thinking? And I am at a loss at what to make for Rossetti. I was thinking a troll doll would be cute but I hesitate to start a new collection of stuffed critters. I had so many to give away when I moved cross country last time.

Perhaps I could collect the metaphors or individual words that appeal to me in this work and create an embroidery of them, interlinked with an abstract or arts and craft motif....that could be fun.


Well I'm off to see if Setsuna is enjoying his new body or has figured a way back into his original now. It must be difficult for a 16 year old male to wake up in the body of a voluptuous female angel.



When I started to think about a project for Life of Pi I immediately thought of the tiger socks I had been working on off and on since reading The Ramayana. But then I thought, "Nah. That would be almost cheating 'cause I had already started them." Still that Opal yarn kept returning as the perfect material to use, but how?

Then it came to me. The main characters, Pi and Richard Parker, are really (to me) one and the same. Richard Parker is the survival, most basic, concrete aspect of life and Pi is the philosophical abstracting principle of life. Without one there cannot exist the other. Neither is superior or inferior to the other. They support one another.

This led me to the idea of the topsy turvy doll. So that is what I have made.

One half is Richard Parker, made out of Opal tiger striping yarn, and the other half is Pi, made out of Dale sepia coloured yarn. I used embroidery floss to give both blue eyes: blue representing their connection to each other and blue as the spiritual principle of life. I embroidered Richard Parker's nose with pink floss and used the same for Pi's mouth.

Can I just reccommend not stuffing a doll with cotton balls?! When I went to give Pi some hair he started going prematurely grey on me due to the amount of cotton clinging to the black yarn I used *sigh*. I used the same yarn for Richard Parker's whiskers.

My most difficult decision was how to clothe the doll. I finally decided not to. The dhoti was not only dotty it was too difficult. Anyway, Richard Parker has his "fur" and I will not anthropomorphise him and Pi has no nether region to be modest about. I did give Pi a sacred red thread though.

Pi comes from a culture that has such an acceptance for other faiths and ways of being that I felt he had to have a symbol of it.

I apologise for not having a picture to show. I do not have a digital camera. If there is anyone in the Portland area willing to take a pic for me or be my witness :) I'm going to KnitPurl's anniversary event tomorow and will bring "them" with me. ***CV

Saturday, April 08, 2006

After these messages

Yes! One ticket down (Sigur Ros) and one to go (Ministry).


Ever have those times when it seems that you are the only one experiencing certain situations? (Without getting philosophical and entering some grand debate about varing perceptions and states of existence) I met with someone today whose work life last year has been my work life for the past eight years. According to her it was the worst year of her career. According to me it was, "You mean that's not the way it is everywhere?" Wow.


According to the quiz What modern American Poet are you I am: John Ashberry. Huh.


So anyway, here is another Booking through Thursday question thing:

Booking Through Thursday

This week's questions were suggested by Kim.

  1. Do you have a favorite character(s)?
  2. What book/author is he/she/it from?
  3. Why do you like this person--what is it about the way he/she was written that drew you to them?
  4. Is there something more you would like the author to tell you about them?

I'm going to modify the responses because as I was thinking about possible answers (which of course vary according to who I was when I was reading these various books) I realized that my prefered characters had similar traits in common.

Most of my favorite characters tend to be a tad neurotic, a bit into over thinking situations, preferred solitude to groups, stream of consciousness speakers/thinkers, impulsive, overly curious, mistake makers, book lovers, and often too honest and moral for their own good. Y'know, when I realized all that I began to, well, wonder if this booking thing wan't some sort of psychanalysis in disguise.

I was immensely relieved when I realized most of these characters (could be male or female protagonists) were either a) very olde or b) fantasy/mythic. Whew! No self comparison uhuh! I live in a REAL world not like them! La di da di da. What a lovely brick road I'm following here :)

Now, would I like the author to continue the adventures of my favorite characters? Well that depends. If the last I read of said character s/he appeared to be doing alright for themself then no. Why disturb the character's happiness for my own need to escape into thier world? However, if said character was left hanging off a cliff yes. Iwant them to be in a safe place when I leave them.

See, Jasper Fforde touched a huge part of my childhood when he invented a realm in which all book characters truly exist and that the individual stories are their theaters to strut within. Charles de Lint has done something similar with his girl who can enter her own dreams and thus lives a secondary life, and with his creatures of the 'net.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

And now a word from...

Today's entry is brought to you by too many late nights writing my own thoughts

Booking Through Thursday

Today's questions were suggested by Christine.

  1. How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven't read before?

Oh I hate to say I judge a book by its cover. How about, I judge a book by its spine?

That wouldn't really be accurate though. I might take a book off of the shelf because of its spine, more likely it's the words in its title, the ring of familiarity in either the author's name or the title that draw me in. I'm super peripheral for stories. If someone is talking about a book, a character in a story mentions a title or author, if an article makes even the slightest reference to a book I never forget.

Worse, if I'm researching a subject online, or something is mentioned in a footnote (the more obscure the better) I triple never forget. Needless to say I spend a lot of long hours book browsing.

After that it's a matter of reading a few paragraphs here and there in the book. The writing style needs to intrigue me.

  1. What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?

I presume that this is the decision to open the book and scan the contents. Once all it took was for an author I was obsessed with to reccomend a new title. Now I'm more discriminating. I am forever grateful though to Andre Norton for reccomending Charles De Lint :)


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

curliqued sentences

I received a notice from B&N recently that I can preorder Widdershins by C. de Lint now: if I like.

The other day I picked up copies, Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones, Transmission, by Hari Kunzru, vols 2,3,and 4 of Angel Sanctuary (I seriously am craving escapist surrealism and this fits the bill alright), An introduction to Middle English Grammar and, The Last River Rat.

Today on a whim I went to the odd bookshop and found a copy of The Giver.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

scary possessed doll tattoos

Is that an awesome title or what?! Thank you google searcher. I have no idea what you were looking for but ..... oh, wait a minute ...... I do think I saw someone on another site who was showing off their recently inked scary doll tattoo. I remember thinking that's a cute idea but not for me. See, I keep picturing myself n my 70's or 80's and wondering: Do I really want to see that on my body when I am a respected elder?

Anyway, I hope you found her :)

I finished Gathering Blue and The Story of Stone over the weekend while working on my topsy turvy Pi. Gathering Blue, is the second book in a trilogy written by Lois Lowry that starts with The Giver. I went back to see if the first one was in but only the third one was available (The Messenger) so I got that instead.

The Story of Stone, is about a group of people who are trying to locate proof of where their race originally came from. In the process they unearth a stone which contains the memories of a woman. Only the head Findman's daughter - who is subject to seizures, can receive these impressions but becomes so fascinated that she steals the stone with the help of a slave to learn the entire story. The book is narrated from three viewpoints: the daughter, the stone's bearer, and a young man (not the slave). The ending was a little too safe I feel but the rest was starkly imagined.

I also picked up copies of the Manic Manga'stras other work, Angel Sanctuary. Ummm still pretty over the top but much better pacing.

Basic premise: the soul of an angel who tried to take over heaven with her twin brother is now reincarnated in the body of a human boy who is obsessessed - and not in a good way, and he knows it - with his half sister. Meanwhile, he is being followed by two cherubim (?) one of whom is in love with the angel part of the human boy and the other is a s/he named Arachne who likes to eat humans, unless they think s/he's beautiful. Then there is an angel of god who is collecting the spirit energies of certain humans so he can resurrect the reincarnated angel's twin brother. He does this through the power of the floppy disk causing the hero's half sister's friend to go blind and so become a pawn of the resurrected angel's twin brother. A word of warning: do not french kiss a resurrected angel. I'm just sayin'.

Ok so that is volume one and I haven't even mentioned the highschool gangs, the wicked mother, and the best friend/gang leader who is really a stalker. But hey, I wouldn't want to spoil it for you.

I think the charm in this series for me is that it reminds me of every issue of Gnosis I ever read many years ago. I loved that magazine.


Monday, April 03, 2006

the jubjub bird

This is a poem I memorised so I could learn how to type ;) I haven't checked it against the original. I wonder if Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss and Mervyn Peake take tea together: wherever they are now?

Twas brillig and the slithey toves,
did gyre and gimble in the wabes.
All mimsey were the borogoves, and the mome wraths out grabe.
Beware the jabberwock my son,
the jaws that bite the claws that catch.
Beware the jubjub bird and shun, the frummious bandersnatch.
He took his vorpel sword in hand,
long time the maxum foe he sought.
So rested he by the tumtum tree and stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
the bandersnatch with eyes aflame,
Came burbling through the tulgey wood and burbled as it came.
One two! one two! and through and through
his vorpel blade went snicker snak.
He left it dead and with its head, he went galumphing back
And has thou slain the jabberwock?
Come to my arms my beamish boy.
Oh frabjous day! callooh callay! He chortled in his joy
Twas brillig and the slithey toves,
did gyre and gimble in the wabes.
All mimsey were the borogoves, and the mome wraths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll


Sunday, April 02, 2006

manic manga

So, like many other people out there I am none to pleased wtith the shift in time. But we are not alone, viz:

In winter I go to bed at night
and dress by yellow candlelight.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day.
And does it not seem cruel to you,
to have to go to bed so soon;
And hear the sound of grown up feet
as they go passing in the streeet?
RL Stevenson

In other news, the need to put authors in their proper times has extended to my melodrama. I am not the sole writer and one of the characters has just admitted to a fondness for Dumas. I think that is a fine, fine thing to be fond of Yankee pretensions of being from Fance. However, the story is set in the 1790s. Mister Dumas has yet to be a twinkle in someone's eye - either that or the character is clairavoyant. I'll check.

Browsing will get you more stuff. One part of which is the most, bar none (so far), over the top excuse for melodramatic manga I have met with. It makes my writing read like Balzac. OMG. It is soooo ... words fail. The author must believe her readership to have the attention span of a gnat in mating season. I personally would prefer more build up than one parallelogram's worth of art before the denoument. Yikes!

It is set in Victorian times (I verified this continually. It says in the preface: set in Victorian times, late 19th century, England) So why, oh why, are the girls wearing goth mary janes! Why, oh why are the men calling each other "dude"?! Why is one story set on an estate in which the manor house has a floor decorated in Lewis Carroll?! Someone give me a check on the publication date for Alice in Wonderland please.

On the other hand all her stories are related to nursery rhymes in a perverse fashion so I liked the premise if not the realization.

If you are unfamiliar with the manga genre in general then the above was completely meaningless. I apologise. Feel free to move on.

So I did find, 62: A Model Kit, by argentine author Julio Cortazar. At least he admits to being a surrealistic fabulist with no pretensions to novelistic consistency. Also The Empire of Ice Cream, a short story collection by Jeffrey Ford. Looked sort of Bradburyish.

*sigh* time to write up evaluations.



The word for today is : kerfuffle