Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am back from sunny Portland and several things have happened:
1) I turned 30.
2) I finally went to Guapo comics.
3) I ate Guamanian food at a food cart.
4) After too many years, I got to visit Retown and meet her main man.
5) I visited an American houseboat. I saw a bat!
6) I rediscovered the redeye rash.
7) I saw Brooklyn in pre-9AM. It was horrible with industrious movement.

More soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

in and out of my brain

There has been talk in my twitter feed about inspiration, so I thought I'd share some of my recent inspirations with you. I tend to accrete viewpoints and styles in large bursts, usually because of travel or several days alone, and therefore outside of the motions of the everyday. Some influences (Studs Terkel, Marianne Faithfull, sailors' attire) are longstanding, others last a month, a year, and usually lead me to other, better thoughts.

Inspiring now:
Maximus Clarke interviews William Gibson on Maude Newton
The Dear Sugar column on The Rumpus, #25 on
Final Girl, especially her reviews
Nature Illustrated: Flowers, Plants, and Trees, 1550-1900 in the NYPL's Digital Gallery

image from NYPL

Monday, September 20, 2010

I don't understand what is taking so long. I mean, I have several pens and ideas and yet that perfect, emotionally punchful piece just hasn't leapt from my fingers onto the edit pile. It's Sunday and everything. The weekend was over hours ago and the hard work is supposed to be done.

I find it hard to go from living to writing so I just end up doing something in between. I think it's called twitter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When I was a young woman, my idol was Studs Terkel. When I read Working for the first time my mind just blew up out of my head. Not because of any of the stories really, but because I found out that someone's job was to wander around with a tape recorder and listen to people. (Or at least that's how I imagined it.) Later I read Underground by Haruki Murakami, as well as several other books of oral history, loving them all. Sure you wonder about editing and transcription with those books, but I can suspend my disbelief to extract the magic in those stories. Committing to listen to an unedited recording has even more rewards. Luckily I get to do that in one of my classes this semester.

Speaking of class, I will be in one when this free event is going on, but you should go and tell me all about it:
“What is Oral History?”
Ronald J. Grele, is the former director of the Oral History Research Office. He is author of Envelopes of Sound: The Art of Oral History as well as numerous articles on the theory and method of oral history. He is a past president of the Oral History Association, and was a founding member of the Executive Council of the International Association of Oral History. He writes and lectures widely on oral history and the nature of historical consciousness. Grele will talk about the theoretical origins of oral history as a field and practice. Mary Marshall Clark, current director of OHRO, will comment on recent developments in oral history theory and practice.

Sept. 16, 4:10 – 6:00pm
RSVP at site. Not sure if it's required, but that's a good bet.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

well, that was wet

We attempted Brooklyn Book Fest. I got to see my once-a-year bud Goodloe Byron and chat with Alexander at the South End Press table. I would have loved to have spoken with Gavin Grant, but instead just bought Small Beer Press books, which is perhaps just as good for him. Those books are Hound (I'm not sure my Mom will let me borrow the copy I gifted her), Meeks and two more copies of Mothers and Other Monsters for loaning (my frothing review here).

I stopped in on one panel, "Is Beauty Painful?," with Jenny Hollowell, Peter Hedges, and Matthew Sharpe. I was in it for Sharpe, but missed his reading, of course. Then a soda machine's fan went on rendering the Q&A inaudible. I wasn't able to find his new book in all that mist.

No Colson Whitehead, no Jilian Tamaki, no Jennifer Egan. And wet books everywhere. Blah.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010