Wednesday, February 16, 2011
…I have a new story, "You" up at PANK and also here under "Words in Print." I love PANK. Being in PANK is like being asked to Tolo by this really cute girl you've had a crush on since fifth grade but were always too shy to talk to. She's so attractive that she's intimidating, but then you meet her and discover she's both beautiful and sweet and a really good kisser.
…I finished my 600th story this morning (that's since I started charting my writing back in May of '09.) The story is about a very old woman, Ruthie, who wants to skinny dip before she dies. Ruthie broke my heart.
…Borders filed bankruptcy today. This is also a sad thing for me, akin to learning one of your favorite couples--say Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward , when they were both alive--filed for divorce (they didn't.) It feels like we are now one step closer to the end of books and bookstores. All those building will become a few, razor-thin Kindles. Terms like book signings and book burnings will become as archaic as gramaphones and eight-tracks.
Honestly, I was never really a big fan of Borders. I prefer Barnes and Noble, or Scribners back east, Powell's in Portland, of course. Borders always had half-emtpy shelves and that this-is-a-part-time-job-for-me ambiance. But they housed and sold books, and that, to me, is special. Books are special. They are. They're gifts.
…I started reading Marcy Dermansky's novel, "Twins." It's sharp and clever, edgy and quirky. You should read it, too. You'd like it. If you read it, then we could talk about it. We could go into our respective beds and hike up our respective sheets with a flashlight, the book and our cell phones, and we could read our favorite passages, sort of like when we were younger and were at summer camp.
…I have a list of 8 things you can never have enough of. Photography is one of them. I like things that make you feel emotion--euphoria or fright--whether you want to or not. Great photographers can cut you off at the knees, can zap you with a taser and make you stop and stare and ponder and see all sorts of hidden warnings and messages in an image. I love this photo above from Christine Ritter. If you don’t like it, well, then maybe you are somehow reading this post by Braille?
…Here's some Annie Dillard for you: "This is your life. You are a Seminole alligator wrestler. Half naked, with your two bare hands, you hold and fight a sentence's head while its tail tries to knock you over…
At best the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, you back, your brain, and then--and only then--it is handed to you….
One line of a poem, the poet said--only one line, but thank God for that one line--drops from the ceiling."