Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Omnivorous Reader

Happy New Year,

TC&TF is back after a long unannounced hiatus, during which time drafts for bio have been written/rewritten, and hands been wrung. Sigh.

To cheer up and keep limber, I've also been reading a lot, all kinds of things. One of my resolutions is to start writing down and organizing the bits I like. For now I'll just share a few on the old blog!

From Five Surprisingly Effective Dinner Party Riddles That I Can Personally Guarantee
By Dan Kennedy (McSweeney):

Q: What's the difference between a knife fight and a dinner party?

A: About six more glasses of this wine.

From When You Reach Me, a middle grade novel by Rebecca Stead:

"The girls at school had been hurting each others' feelings for years before Sal left me and I was forced to really notice them."

From Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins:

"I want them to water ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it."

From Arthur & George, a novel by Julian Barnes:

(An excerpt from a dinner party, where the hostess senses the "male restiveness" at the far end of the table)

"They were eager for the curtained study, the poked fire, the lit cigar, the glass of brandy, and the opportunity, in as civilized a way as possible, to tear great lumps out of one another."

From the short story Distant Relations by Orhan Pamuk (published in The New Yorker)

(This is what happens after the main character, who is soon to be married, has a conversation with Fusun, a beautiful salesgirl:)

"Then, for a moment, I paused: my ghost had left my body and I was now, in some corner of Heaven, embracing Fusun and kissing her."

From the short story Everything I Know About My Family On My Mother's Side by Nathan Englander (published in Esquire)

(The main character's girlfriend has left him)
She is gone, and she will be surprised that I'm alive to write this-because she, and everyone who knows me, didn't think I'd survive it. That I can't be alone for a minute. That I can't manage a second of silence. A second of peace. That to breathe, I need a second set of lungs by my side.

In other news: I'll be teaching a six week class called "Writing the Picture Book: An Intermediate Workshop" for UCLA Extension on Saturday afternoons beginning April 2.

May your new year be filled with fabulous books- whether you read them, or write them!

1 comment:

  1. All interesting excerpts. Loved the riddle I blogged the first lined from "When Your Reach Me". very gripping read. The Arthur and George was most evocative. Lupe did our post this week. His specialy is evocative writing http://thepenandinkblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/it-happened-on-b-street.html
    Thanks Michelle