my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

April 28th, 2008

The Post-Book Let Down

I heart Jacket Copy. Not only because it’s an awesome blog, but also because it’s obvious that it just gets book culture. Annnywaaay. Heh. Maybe after I’ve actually published a novel instead of just finishing a first draft of one, I’ll comment further, but holy crap, did I ever fall apart once I was done after the initial elation.

April 23rd, 2008

Music To Write To

I am dire need of some new music to write to. Does anyone else out there need a writing soundtrack? I feel like I’ve played every song in my iTunes 100 times and I’m still coming up short. April as poetry month is totally inspiring me.

I finally tracked down the folder that had all the drafts of the poems I worked on during the one class I took with Ken Babstock, many of which were on the computer that was stolen from our house two years ago. In my insanity, I had printed many, many of them up many times, so at least I’ve got copies, and I’ve been going through them tonight. A part of me wants to post all of them, just to see which ones are more successful than others, but I’ll exercise restraint and keep going with the poem a day (I missed yesterday, so that’s why there are two posted tonight).

The air’s warm. The candles smell yummy. We ordered pizza for dinner. And I feel like my fingers could go all night. So instead of posting all of my cycle, 12 poems based on each (you guessed it) month in a year, I give you a highly illegal version of a William Carlos Williams poem that knocks me to my knees every single time I read it:

Nantucket

(William Carlos Williams 1883-1963)

Flowers through the window
lavender and yellow

changed by white curtain–
Smell of cleanliness–

Sunshine of late afternoon–
On the glass tray

a glass pitcher, the tumbler
turned down, by which

a key is lying — And the
immaculate white bed.

February 28th, 2008

Dolly Wisdom

“Jolene” is one of my favourite writing songs. I have a whole list of them in a playlist on iTunes entitled, “The Western,” that make me think about the story I’m working on, or the characters within, and so this quote by Dolly Parton made me chuckle. Who knew it was a true story?

February 27th, 2008

Props In Unlikely Places

Kate sent over this review in NY Magazine of Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wide Web, a book that sets out to hand pick the best of the best in terms of the odd 80-million of us out there.

Most of Boxer’s [the author’s] selections don’t read like a new species of writing [and are quite overdone in terms of media coverage; Smoking Gun anyone?], but like very close cousins of once-venerable print genres that have been forced out of public discourse by the shrinkage of major American media: passionate arts criticism, critical theory, colorful polemics, and, above all, the personal essay. Sometimes it seems like blogging is just the apotheosis of the personal essay, the logical heir to 500 years of work by proto-bloggers such as Montaigne, Charles Lamb, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Parker, and E. B. White. I see no reason for drawing an artificial line between screen and print.

But I have to admit that I love this thought, and it’s one that I’ve been echoing for years in meetings, at seminars, and pretty much where anyone could possibly be listening. Hell, who wouldn’t want to be compared to Dorothy Parker, that’s quite a compliment for the peeps that made it into the book and onto the author’s lists.

February 15th, 2008

Where Two Worlds Collide

It’s as if someone reached inside my living room and created a mash-up of two things that are constantly conflicted in my house: Jane Austen and Zombies (link via galleycat).

Maybe zombies are the missing element to my own book?

February 1st, 2008

Art Garfunckel’s Library

Trisha sent me this link this week, and I’m absolutely fascinated. Not only is it a glorious list, but it represents a lifetime of reading from one of music’s legends. I’m sure Garfunkel would score very well if he did the 1001 Books spreadsheet.

And it makes me wish that I had kept a more detailed list of the books that I had read throughout my life, which is what the blog is doing for me now, if only so I could put it all up online for people to comb through. Can you imagine? Forty years of books?

Wouldn’t it be fun to create the Art Garfunkel Favourites challenge? I’ve read 16, not so bad…no so bad indeed.

January 17th, 2008

Someone Quite Smart…

…sent me over this quote a couple of days ago to mull over. It’s from Sharon Butala’s The Perfection of the Morning:

“I wasn’t yet using writing as an instrument of self-knowledge, although I had already begun that first, surprising probing into what really makes the world go round: people’s motivations, their secret, even unconscious desires, what they must surely love or hate, revealed not by what they declared but teased out from the way they moved their bodies, or blinked or looked away, by their actions, or by small, half-heard asides.”

Ever since Monday night, when my teacher said that I’m writing a book that 100 other Canadians (or people for that matter) could be writing, and that even if I did, by some stroke of grace, manage to get it published, he would never read it, I’ve been having a few sniff-sniff feeling sorry for myself days. But I was glad that Sam sent this over because it got me thinking about the idea of describing characters, their actions, and their reactions in this way; from their smaller movements and knowing that it might be a nice way to approach writing about people outside the main characters.

So what if I never get it published. Right now my goal is simply to get it finished.

January 8th, 2008

Feeling Linkish

In consistently trying to keep SavvyReader interesting (you can tell me if it’s not; I won’t be offended), I’ve been trolling the web for links today. Not all of them related directly to work, but I still found them interesting:

The Guardian posted a list of the 10 Best Lit Blogs a while back that led me over here where I discovered yet another cool reading challenge. Oh, and I didn’t know that 2008 was considered the International Year of Planet Earth. I might just sign up to read Krakatoa too.

People are apparently proclaiming classical music, somewhat like the novel, dead. As a girl who listens to CBC radio 2 on an almost daily basis, I’m not 100% convinced this is true. And I’m glad this guy doesn’t think so either. But goodness, I remember taking a philosophy of music course in university, and wow, what a mistake. Our prof was crazy (at one point he fell OFF the podium and broke his arm) and I was absolutely not cut out for that kind of “theory.” Give me Descartes any day.

This best of list is completely unlike any other I’ve read for books in 2007.

And poor Tom Wolfe. Yawn.

Okay, I’m officially linked out for today.

January 4th, 2008

Things I Am Embarrassed To Admit

My RRHB tells me consistently that I have no sense of humour, which may or may not be true, so I’m embarrassed to admit that this made me laugh a little. I went through a Tom Green phase many years ago, and even went so far as to read his book, Hollywood Causes Cancer. I have to admit that maybe this bit went on for perhaps too long, but I do admire his tenacity, even when it starts to maybe not be so funny any more.

January 2nd, 2008

New Year’s Revolutions Are Working

So in my attempt to not read celebrity gossip, I decided to use the internet for good and thought I’d check out The New Yorker‘s web site when I needed a mental break from work. Am I ever glad I did. Here’s Jhumpa Lahiri reading and discussing William Trevor’s story “A Day.”

Lahiri says she would be “lost” without having discovered William Trevor. Is there an author out there that you’d be lost without discovering? For me in my formative years it was always Kerouac and Henry Miller — not that I would ever write like either, but I obsessed over their absolute abandon of a ‘normal’ life for their art. And they wrote about places and people I was dying to see and meet. And now Paris and Big Sur, California are two of my favourite places that I’ve visited. Funny how those things work out, isn’t it?

In terms of writers, Roddy Doyle is on my life list of writers to look up to, also the Margaret Atwood that wrote Surfacing, which is my favourite of her novels, and these days I’m kind of obsessed with Tim Winton after reading Breath, which I think will be one of the best books I’ll have read this year…

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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