shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


saturday morning hangovers

Happy weekend to you. A few little things:

1. Matt Cheney takes on the idea of rules in fiction, with very interesting results.

But people do fall apart. People do things that they don't, themselves, understand, and that 20 years of therapy may only been able to give them superficial stories for. People are unpredictable, bizarre, wanton, extreme, contradictory, and utterly messy. (Shoot a railroad spike through their frontal lobe and their personality will change entirely.)

Sometimes we think we understand things, but that's only because we tell ourselves stories. How often have you done something that seems odd, and said, "I did that because ________." But you know the blank is really blank, despite all the stories you fill it with. The stories are helpful, and they may illuminate a portion of the truth, but a core of mystery remains. It is exactly this mystery that makes much of the best fiction interesting, because the mystery prevents readers from reducing the characters to simple, unambiguous interpretations.

2. Little Toy Robot links to the first half of Michael Chabon's review of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes in the New York Review of Books.

3. Okay, so I'm stupid and got interneted trying to get a free minimac. However, this does seem to be a legitimate offer, it's just that in addition to signing up for one low or no cost "sponsor offer" you have to not only refer ten people, but they have to complete a sponsor offer too. THEN you get a minimac. If ten of you want to do this and help me feel less stupid, go to this link and this link only and do the deed. (Haven't you always wanted a subscription to USA Today so you can see that pretty map on the back every morning and dream of going somewhere orange? Or wanted a free trial for your very own fax number?) I want a minimac! But dance lessons are pretty great too and we already have those. (And hey, I saw this at large-hearted boy, though I in no way hold it against him.)

4. I forgot to relate this, which was a pretty funny thing that happened at our writing group. The group was considering the extremely rough first two and a half chapters of the new book I'm writing. In this section, I describe a news reporter on the island where the book is set. One member of the group pauses in his crit and says, "The reporter -- Blue Doe -- she's the girl from Fox, isn't she? I read that passage to my wife and said, 'Honey, who is this?' and she immediately got it too!" So, yes, I stole our scary, scary local anchorperson from the 10 o'clock news, who looks like she's been attacked by a botox-filled pufferfish. (Blue Doe is just what one of the characters calls her; it's not a picture book.) And someone got it. It made me very happy.

5. Have a good day.


It is a MISTAKE, MISTAKE, MISTAKE to think that doing 20 minutes on the bike when you're under the weather will make you feel better. More like pedaling with bricks instead of feet. I tell you this so you won't make the same mistake.


  • At 11:22 AM , Blogger Robin said...

    Put about 20 years and two face lifts on Miranda Combs and you have the weekend reporter for our NBC station. Scary, scary.

    Sigh...I miss Marvin Bartlett though!


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