Tag Archive for 'books'

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Waterfalls, Research, and Little Houses

Tonight I discovered that walking through Cascadilla Gorge just before seven o’clock at this time of year produces perfect, slanted golden light on the waterfall just beyond the College Avenue bridge. Or, as a little girl who was there at the same time as I was put it: “Ooo, look! Doesn’t it look like gold?” I must remember to put my camera in my backpack so that I have it for my hikes walks home.

Research is trying at the moment. I’d go into more detail, but chances are that it would degenerate into the sort of angst-ridden frustrations that I probably don’t want displayed for all the world to see. But I think things will improve. I have to hope.

Still haven’t achieved full unpacking. I’ve reached the point where I’ve stalled with the end in sight and just can’t quite find the energy to handle the last odds and ends. Maybe that’ll pick up once I get around to buying my desk. In the meantime, I can make do.

I’m definitely enjoying the swanky new apartment, and I don’t much mind having it all to myself for the moment either. Mark, you’ll be pleased to know that I have got the gas stove working, and I didn’t even have to explode anything in order to do so. Let the cooking commence!

When my mother and sister came up with my dresser, they brought along the Little House boxset I was given when I was seven or so. My mother and I used to read the books aloud to one another in turns when I was younger, and I was a great fan of the series, as well as the Rocky Ridge series that was published in the 90s. I’ve been re-reading the Little House books in the evenings before bed and have finished the first four. I’m pleased to find that I still enjoy them very much, and have just as much–or more–awe of the achievements of early American pioneer families as I did when I was young. Also, the books have retained their ability to make me incredibly hungry thanks to their descriptions of meals the families eat. If I don’t bake some cornbread soon, I may go crazy. No, really.

Poking around the Internet inquiring after Little House and Rocky Ridge information for those of you unfamiliar with the stories has revealed to me that someone has written an additional Little House book that takes place between On The Banks Of Plum Creek, which I just finished, and By The Shores Of Silver Lake, which I’m about to start. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. I’ve always been kind of iffy about people unrelated to Laura Ingalls Wilder writing about the lives of her relatives (although I was able to put this aside for the Rocky Ridge books because the author was very close to Rose Wilder). Maybe I’ll see if the library has a copy once I’ve finished re-reading the original books. In the meantime, I’m overdue for some relaxation today.

Following The Rules

The more I read and the more I write, the more that I notice how stories are all fundamentally the same. This is hardly a unique thought. The Greeks understood it well enough to define every aspect of their theater around it. And, in many ways, the thousands of years between us and them have only added a couple new formulas and hundreds of thousands of embellishments.

What’s the point of writing (or reading) if every story is just the same thing in new packaging? Well, personally, I tend to like shiny new packages, but, that weakness aside, people continue reading and telling the same basic stories because they work. Now, I never went in for the idea that there’s a universal Oedipal complex or anything like that, but there is a reason that a basic storyline works. Normal person stumbles into extraordinary situation; overcoming obstacles turns person into a hero; hero’s life can never be normal again. Doesn’t sound like much, but, hey, it worked for Neverwhere and Star Wars, didn’t it? Or maybe Ender’s Game? Or The Lord of the Rings?
Continue reading ‘Following The Rules’

Neil Gaiman

Well, it’s official now. Having seen Mirrormask and just finished reading Neverwhere, I am now a fan. I now applaud my decision to buy American Gods at the same time as Neverwhere, and my goal is to prevent myself from picking up the book until it’s time to fly back to Cleveland. I suspect that having a nice big novel to accompany me across the eastern half of the U.S. will make the day much more enjoyable.

In the meantime, I’m chewing over an idea for a longer writing-related post later.

Speaking of writing, should story excerpts suddenly appear here in quick succession there is no need for alarm. The blog has not been hijacked. It simply means that I’m getting closer to being finished with redesigning S-S.N.