Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Friday, December 31, 2010

By the skin of my teeth...

Kind of a disgusting image, when you think about it. Makes me want to pull out the electric brush and scrub until my gums recede.

Finished my 100th book of 2010 with twenty-five minutes to spare. Whew! Not a very thick coat of plaque between me and failure. How lame to finish the year one book short. I couldn't let myself.

Now I'll have time for long books again.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Still Counting...

Two more days, two more books.

I'm rediscovering all the great short novels in my house. Who knew the shelves held so many? I might never have remembered them without this urgent need for short books.

I reread Fahrenheit 451 last night for the first time since college, when Ray Bradbury came to speak and I soaked up every word. I still want to "graduate from the library" the way he claims to have done, but I fear I fall short.

I am astonished to think that he wrote F. 451 in 1952, never having seen ear buds and ipods and large-screen TVs; and a whole generation of increasingly obese preteens (30%) who do little besides play Nintendo and Wii; and hoards of teens who sit  in rooms full of other kids and text as if no one else exists. And nobody reads. And picture books are dying a slow death. And literary fiction is dying a speedy one. And book stores have to sell movies and music and coffee to stay alive. And anti-racist books like To Kill a Mockingbird are banned because they use the word "nigger".

Call Bradbury a prophet? Or just perceptive and imaginative?

I also learned that my guess was right, that Ray Bradbury wrote episodes of "Twilight Zone." They were so reminiscent of Martian Chronicles. I figured.

On to my next short book...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Foot Odor Lingers...

I live with foot in mouth.
When I speak, nothing comes out the way I meant. When I write, my words have a chance of approaching the outer rim of my intent.
I write to make myself feel slightly less of an idiot.

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.   --Joan Didion


Two books today.

Yeah, okay, they were only 130 pages each and written for twelve-year-olds, but I have a challenge to meet, dang it!

Four books to go...

Countdown to New Year's Eve

Six more days and six books to go.

It's 1:37 a.m. Christmas night. Just finished book number 94.

Probably should read shorter books, but I'm hooked on this series, which is priming my brain to work on the boy story again.

Playing High and Dry with Sourdough

Lately I've been playing with dough. It's become a sort of a compulsion. Maybe because I'm tired of driving all the way to som...