patinagle: (aurora)

George R. R. Martin has donated several signed collector's items to raise money for Match It For Pratchett, including a wonderful limited edition, leather bound copy of FEVRE DREAM. They are being auctioned now on ebay.

Happy Spring, everyone!

2 pages written today

Points in The Race:
26 for short stories
11 for novels
37 total
patinagle: (Default)

Yes, I did it again. Broke the lid of the most recent teapot. Here is its replacement, a nice pansy chintz with a spire on top.

A spire. Aspire? Well, it being the new year, aspirations are appropriate. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but since I managed pretty well to hold to last year's, I'll venture another.
In 2008, I'm going to keep a record of all the books I read.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while. Partly because now and then someone sends me a poll asking how many books I read in a year, and I have to shrug my shoulders. I have no clue. Seems like I read an awful lot, but much of my reading is online these days - news and lists and whatnot. So it's time for a reality check.

I'm also curious how much fiction I read as compared to non-fiction. I used to read tons of fiction, but I think these days research makes up a greater proportion of my reading.

So, book list coming to the website soon. As soon as I finish reading a book. (Mine don't count.)

2 pages written today.

Points in The Race:
24 for short stories
8 for novels
32 total
patinagle: (headshot)

dayMy dear husband gave me fountains for our anniversary. Specifically, the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We stayed in a room with a magnificent view of the fountains, which showed us rainbows by day and glorious splendor by night. We also dined at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, and watched the fountains from that side (excellent restaurant, by the way - one of the best meals we've ever had). One of my favorite shows begins with a circle of mist and random flashes of light reminiscent of a lightning storm. We saw that from the Eiffel Tower. Never did figure out which music went to it, as the music can't be heard in the restaurant.

I'm fascinated by this city, which has a lot of motivations and qualities that I definitely dislike. What I do like about it is that it is a center of creativity. Many artists make their living here, not to mention designers, world class chefs, and so on.

In a city centered around money, the fountains at Bellagio are free for all to enjoy. I think that's wonderful, and also brilliant. The overall beauty of Bellagio raises it above the average in Las Vegas. In my opinion, Bellagio raised the bar and is still the standard of excellence in this ever-changing town.

nightI'm very fond of Cirque du Soleil and we saw my two favorite shows on this visit - Mystere, and O. Both wonderful. Mystere especially is magical. It's interesting to observe the progression from Mystere, which still has a "circus" atmosphere, to O, which is more sophisticated and complicated, to Ká, in which the technology almost outshines the performers.

Creativity has been on my mind lately because I'm reading The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida. Lots of resonance here. Florida posits that creativity is now the driving force in our culture and economy. As a person who works in the arts, I naturally find this appealing.

Points in The Race:

22 for stories
32 for novels (Dean said I should take the points back until the books go into production)

54 total

2 pages written
patinagle: (Default)

Sue Monk Kidd is a writer of literary fiction, according to Miss Snark, the literary agent. All I can say is, I'm glad I didn't know that before I picked up the book. I've read some so-called literary fiction that bored me silly, and some that annoyed me to no end, and for the most part the term makes me run screaming.

So why did I read THE MERMAID CHAIR?

1. Intriguing title, enough to make me read a little of the cover copy. (I hate spoilers, so I often don't read cover copy.)

2. Cover copy - I read just enough to know that it's about a monastery with a chair carved in the shape of mermaids, and that a woman falls in love with a monk.

It's a wonderiful book about people's lives being shattered and remade in emotional kaleidoscopes. Beautifully written, but not in that self-conscious, literary fiction "aren't my words gorgeous" sort of way. It's a lovely read with no slow spots, about characters so engaging that you forgive them for doing the unthinkable.

I find it interesting that THE MERMAID CHAIR hooked me, when THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES didn't. I mean the titles alone. MERMAID CHAIR was intriguing enough to make me look for more, but BEES was just "that sounds interesting maybe I should look at it some time." Since I read GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES because of the title as well, I think I'm going to start paying more attention to titles and my reactions to same.

Six pages today. Happy Equinox!
patinagle: (Default)

A fellow writer recently issued a challenge to share what we're reading, so here goes. I was attracted to the cover of this book (take note, marketing professionals!) because the woman on it, whose face is obscured by a plate of pasta, reminded me of a friend of mine.

Not much help is it? But wait - I was also intrigued by the title. In fact the title was what got me to look at the cover. And the subtitle - "The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise" - was what got me to track down the book.

I love dress-up, and I love food (Reichl was restaurant critic for The New York Times) so I figured it would be a fun read. And it definitely is.

Reichl is a good storyteller and her adventures going to restaurants in disguise are a hoot. She peppers the narrative with recipes and the texts of her published reviews. I especially enjoyed reading about the depth to which she inhabited each of her alter-egos. I laughed out loud at Chloe summoning a cab.

Great read. Snarfed it down in three days.

Warning: this book will give you the munchies.


patinagle: (Default)

June 2009

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