So, this desperately seeking out books that I had read went all the way back to the books I remember as a kid. Caps for Sale was just such a book. Another, that I haven’t managed to pin down, was one where a bunch of men rush about building a house and when they settle back to admire the great fruits of their labor they realize that they forgot to build in windows. It might be The Simpleton’s (or Die Shildburger) by Erich Kästner but I haven’t been able to verify. If it rings a bell with you, please message me or something.
One of my very favorites, for which I can find not hide nor hair of a replacement is Snow White and Rose Red by Gustaf Tenggren. Now, Tenggren did quite a few golden books and though they are reviving all those lovely gold tape covered bindings, and adding a few titles, none of Tenggren’s books have reached the stores (at least, not any stores in Florida).
It all started with a preview on a Netflix rental. I was intrigued by the idea that a movie could be filmed through in one shot and all in the Russian gallery. I figured the uniqueness of this alone would make it worth a rental, so I added Russian Ark to the Netflix list. Then it came, and because I figured that it’s only good attributes were the fluid camera work and the Russian gallery, I left it on the shelf for nearly a month because I couldn’t work up the wherewithal to sit down and take in an artsy movie.
I was horribly wrong. The limitations of the single shot filming didn’t make any part of this movie tedious, as I feared it would. Watching it was like dreaming, where you can only see where the dream is taking you. The dialog and action were all completely engrossing and completely unexpected. So, go watch it.
Ok, so I didn’t manage to get anywhere close to my goals for NaNoWriMo and then I just vanished off the face of the internets for a little while. I’ve been a little busy, what can I say. But of all the creative things that I should have been doing, one thing I have kept up with is drawing. I’ve been drawing lots and lots and lots of pictures. Mostly comics. I’ve got six?–yeah, I think six, comics going right now. See those people in the picture–they’re from my action comic–so named because I haven’t thought of a name for it. I was inspired to draw this story when I dreamed about the lady with a bunch of eyes shooting me in the head.
I am considering putting this up on the site page by page like Levi Levi, but perhaps I need to be better about making actual updates before I do that… Oh, there’s a new Levi Levi page up today too.
Once I stall on my six comics I will most likely kick myself in the butt and write on one of my five stories. Or I could even get back to writing here more often too. Maybe I should just write my stories here…
So, confession: I haven’t written for a week, but I am totally justified, yeah? Anyway–I got some time to compute for a little today and guess what I did?–I didn’t write.
Instead, drumroll please, I finally erected a new page for my Levi Levi comic–complete with new Levi Levi picture. So, it’s kind of simple and I haven’t gotten the rss feed working right, but it is so much more of what I wanted than the blog I had him on before.
If only I could count code towards my NaNoWriMo word count.
A little background: I went a little insane one summer and started compiling a list of all the books I had ever read. By memory…
So, have you ever had your mind tickled by something and suddenly you are wracking your brain to remember the title of that book you read with the red flower on it? Yeah, I searched through a lot of those situations and managed to flesh out a pretty decent list. I think I ended up honing some pretty snazzy internet detective skills too.
A little disappointment: There were a few sticky wickets, most of which came from my youthful binging on 80s teen romances. I knew these were like junk food then and they are even more cavity inducing now, but they hold a special place in my heart…I’m getting verklempt…ANYWAY, these titles became a major source of frustration because they were so junky and cheap that they ended up disappearing. And when they disappeared, I couldn’t find any corroboration to fill out my reading list.
A lot amazing: My frustration turned into a kind of lazy obsession where I would hit the young adults fiction area of every used books store I happened to be in and snatch up what I could find. Even so, I haven’t ended up with too many and none of what I could remember reading in the past.
And then, like a fantastic happy ending, I stumble on to Sweet Hearts Romance Books. Oh yes, guys and girls, this is the much needed, much anticipated webstore devoted to Teen romances of the 80s and 90s. No, I could not wait to thoroughly peruse or even put in an order before I spread the word because the word is just THAT GOOD! I hope you understand.
Every year, so why don’t you go sign up already. And while you’re there, visit me: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/422254. We can be friends and hold hands in a meadow of sunshine and I will pick on you for not writing last night.
And I will avoid repeating my failure from last year. I will save in multiple places and keep back-ups. I will save in multiple places and keep back-ups. I will save in multiple places and keep back-ups. Repeat with me: I will save in multiple places and keep back-ups.
I’ve spent a lot of my youth browsing book shelves at various stores to find the best book I’d never heard about before. With all this practice I’ve developed something like a three step method to picking up the perfect read. Besides approaching the shelves blind folded, I am not sure there is a way to cold pick your next read with out some amount of bias. My tastes tend toward interesting and arresting titles. A good cover design will seal the deal but not break it. Then I move on to step one: the summary. I realize that most of these fantastic little blurbs are not written by the author, so it is really someone elses ability to sell that sells me, but the summary alone isn’t going to lose me my money. Step two is the first paragraph of the first chapter, or perhaps the whole first page. I have bought books based on one well written, sarcastic, cynical, pithy, witty, illustrative, bright, bleak sentence and I have not regretted it. I am not such a task master that I will most definitely rule out the book whose first page doesn’t delight me. Step three is random page reading. If I can get enough enjoyment from randomly sampled language, that book ‘s got a good chance of going home with me. And all of this is how I found Hang by Your Neck by Henry Kane.
Honestly I didn’t need to do any random sampling to adhere this book firmly to my hand while I walked to the check out. This book passed the first paragraph test with flying and flabbergasted colors.
Now, I thought about illustrating my first paragraph test with the first paragraph, but I really hate typing out dialog so yous lovely people will get a random sample:
“I put the phone down and I scrabbled a fingernail, silent, pensive, and nude. I scowled at the ignominious, erect, derisive, empty bottle of Scotch. I drew a long breath, sighing like a husband at the end of a marital fracas. I went back to the bedroom. I stood on the chair alongside of him and I kept him firm with one hand while I went through his pockets with the other. There was nothing in any of his pockets, except a jingling group of small metal instruments. I let go and he swung away from me and I got off the chair before he came back.”
Thrilling Detective has a pretty good history of character and writer with a list of titles for further exploration.
Over at the Internet Archive are single episodes of Crime and Peter Chambers (the player below will play all the episodes, but head on over to the archive if you want to view the play list).
Ok people. Here I am checking in just often enough that they don't delete my account…Oh wait, my steady payments probably do that. Well, I finally got to looking at things besides work and my own projects and I saw this handy/funny/interesting/whatever little analysis tool for telling you which writer you write like. Since we all love it when other people, or logarithms, tell us about us, I decided it wouldn't be in the public's best interest not to share.
So go to I Write Like: http://iwl.me/ and find out who you write like. Judging from one of the blog entries on this here very blog. I write like Ursula K. Le Guin. I have to admit I have never read her work, but I like her name. It's snazzy.