September 29, 2008

Read a banned book!

what can you do to celebrate banned book week which runs September 29 through October 6? Read a banned book, of course. Great fun is to scan the lists of banned books on the following link (which I will learn how to do nicely once I am not loaded up on Advil for the world's longest and saddest root canal ever) here:
even more fun to do is to note how many banned books you have read - and then ponder over the mystery of some of them as in "why?". A Wrinkle in Time, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Alice in Wonderland, The Bible to name a few. If I wrote a book that was objected to or banned along with such excellent company, I would be thrilled.
The ALA site (American Library Association) is fun to explore if you haven't before - plus their online store has cool stuff like banned books bracelets.

September 28, 2008

A wet dog week

the rainstorm with Maine in its headlights has given us a week of weather so damp and thick that everything smells like a wet dog - the carpets, the furniture, the interior of the car. I would Febreeze the world if it wouldn't kill the fish, the frog, the tortoise ... yes, the tortoise who decided to hibernate when the sun was high and the yard full of greenery and has now decided to awaken and torture us all by slamming against the walls of his prison to be let out...he then lumbers through the house to slam against the glass doors facing the back yard...he so yearns to escape that I long to set him free, but my daughter insists that would be a very very bad thing as he would come to a very very bad end. Very quickly. If I were him, I would choose the one shining moment of escape but I don't get to call the tortoise shots around here.
Oh, yes. The dogs smell like wet dogs too.

September 23, 2008

writings about writing

Some one mentioned she had just read a good book on writing memoirs today - turns out it is by Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones author, one of the really good books on writing.
Here are a few others of note:
-Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Once I read her book, Operating Instructions, I was hers for life).
- Walking on Water, reflections on faith and art by Madeleine L'Engle (I just bought myself a new copy (beautiful edition by Shaw) as she signed the old one which is falling apart and has moved into things to love but not play with category.
-Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury (wonderfully Bradbury which means very sane advice coupled with his enthusiastic madness).
-How to enjoy writing: a book of aid and comfort by Janet and Isaac Asimov (a favorite I reread just for the pleasure of their remarks...I meant him once, mistook him for someone else, and he was extremely gracious).
-Natalie Goldberg has several writing books out, all are good although I view "the bones" one mentioned above as her gold standard.
-A Broom of One's Own by Nancy Peacock is a recent favorite that I liked so much I bought my own copy after reading a library copy.

I just picked up two different titles by Katherine Paterson , the children's author, that look interesting, there's an Ursula LeGuin I want to get to... there are actually a lot of books by writers on the subject since writers like to write and that often includes writing about writing.
I do wish Neil Gaiman would write one but I doubt he ever will.

Why read these? Because writers frequently find themselves surrounded by nonwriters who find the whole business of sitting alone, scratching your thoughts out, and agonizing over your dreadful prose and lack of talent which torments you until you get a line just right and then you glow all day, well, others find all of this a bit strange (and they are probably right) and being one who writes can be a lonely place. like being the only believer in a religion nobody else follows.

Books by writers on writing are nice to dip into now and again, borrow some advice, but mainly a place to hang out with people who think the way you do - which can be a welcoming place to visit when your writing spirits are low. There are, of course, writing blogs by writers but even the best ones are places on the computer you should probably not hang around since, if you recall, you sat down at the computer to write your own stuff and now you are distracted checking mail, reading blogs, typing comments, cruising Etsy, and your story is just wandering about in your head, muttering to itself. Yeah.

September 22, 2008


I drive past this corner house several times a week coming home from work. While on a busy street corner, the yard is always full of blooms which spill over onto the sidewalk.
Always nice when stuck at a red light to have such a lovely thing to view.

September 20, 2008

part of a poem by N.M. Bodecker

Slugs are

peaceful, quiet

little fellows,

who have their

little sluggish tiffs

no doubt,

but hardly ever


one another,

and never,



to slug it out.

September 19, 2008

poetry friday with a toothache

This toothy poem found on the sissyfish blog feels appropriate considering I am on a boatload of pain meds for dental work (note both ocean and teeth themes here) as well as feeling a bit freaked out by the escalating viciousness of the political front.
Obviously many people out there on both sides of the political fence have a lot of passionate opinions to air, but whether you are for one candidate or the other, the fact that some people are using politics to air their secret hatreds (as if that in any way will make this a better country or world) is so disturbing and very sad.

September 17, 2008

Splash on over

In blog etiquette this is probably the rudest thing - but come visit me at my other blog, Library Mermaid, as I get it up and running - and let me know what you think (not to mention the ongoing participation in dewey's book quotes challenge).

Eventually I hope to turn this blog back towards what it was originally meant to be, a blog about writing and words, but of course, when you like a lot of things, it's hard to maintain any kind of theme :)

September 14, 2008

Back in the saddle again

I couldn't access photos and whatnot on the new computer - or maybe it was the zicodin haze the ongoing root canal work has put me in...but I seem to be up and running (okay, walking) now at least.
Still haven't learned how to do the proper way to put in links even though Nan was patient enough to give me a tutorial (thank you again and I promise - am getting to it, been a rough summer!)
but here are two favorites - Comes a Time and Sugar Mountain... Puts me right back where I want to be.

September 11, 2008

quote of the day

The nine year old has to choose an instrument at school. He has narrowed down the choices but to make up his mind, we youtube a number of them playing. He chooses one right off the bat, we listen to a number of different people playing, and he wants what he wants. He sighs happily and says, " I now know what I will be when I grow up. A cello player and a biologist."

September 5, 2008

September song

Try to remember

the kind of September

when life was slow

and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember

the kind of September

when grass was green

and grain was yellow.

Try to remember

the kind of September

when you were a tender and callow fellow.

Try to remember,

and if you remember, then follow.