I’ve been thinking about killing people. In books. Killing characters, great and small. First, why kill a character? Is it something as mechanical as “because the plot needed someone to die there?” Why kill a particular character, then? What does it do for the story? For the other characters in the story? Yeah, this is where I get a little woo-woo and fuzzy, because I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, and often I don’t know why I kill someone off until I finish the work.
Note: Your Mileage May Vary. Last night my husband and I found ourselves watching The Transporter the way you do after a major holiday: flopped on the couch, too tired… Read more For God’s Sake, Put on Some Clothes (mark II*) →
There are some illustrations that are so integral to my memory of books I read as a kid that to say the name of a book calls them immediately to mind. Say “A Little Princess” and I think of Sara Crewe, pale little face framed by a cloud of dark hair, sitting disconsolate in her wretched attic, or a little more optimistically, of Sara, cracked bowl in hand, looking dreamily out over the London rooftops. Both illustrations are from an edition of A Little Princess I did not own–we had it in my classroom in 4th… Read more Words and Pictures →
I have become, in what I hope is the nicest possible way, a bit of a martinet about tone and discourse in my living room. I love good chewy discussions, but I try, regardless of my level of engagement (or frustration or incomprehension or general bogglement) not to name-call or make generalizations. And if I catch myself slipping, I try to reverse the trend. Because I really, truly do believe (in part from watching my kids, who are passionately political, but really good listeners) that we’re not going to get… Read more My Cyber-House →
As I have done a lot lately, I spent the past weekend with my aunt and uncle, helping them with some household stuff. My uncle is an emeritus professor of anatomy at UCLA; my aunt ran the Chancellor’s Communication Service. Both have decades of involvement with the university, and both of them are much accomplished and smart cookies. At one point, as we were eating lunch, I was discussing my current search for employment, and a couple of jobs in which I am interested. My uncle seemed puzzled, because most… Read more Publishing Is Not a Monolith →
I saw Interstellar last week, a hugely ambitious, very heady film about…oh, kind of everything. The future of the human race. Striving. Time. Love. Space. Loneliness. Duplicity. Ecology. Parenthood. It’s beautiful to look at (well, Christopher Nolan) and well acted, and curiously soggy in places when Nolan attempts to be genuinely affecting. And the dialogue is mixed so low in places that I swear I missed some important plot points (when you’re married to a sound engineer you learn to notice these things). Overall I enjoyed it, but I don’t think it… Read more Fight Scenes: Time Dilation →
I was going to write about my current obsessive hobby of beading, but then Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was on TV. And I was appalled all over that I let my impressionable… Read more Raising Feminists, the Movie Edition →
A billion years ago (actually 24) I worked as a ghost-writer for a psychiatrist whose specialties were 1) working with women with serious psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar depression, etc.) who were the mothers of infants, and 2) infant depression (you will be unsurprised to know that they are frequently linked). About the time my older daughter was six months old, I quit–having my nose that deep into psychiatric dysfunction in infancy meant that every time my daughter hiccuped I was afraid she might be going into a decline. But during that time I learned a… Read more Planned Obsolescence →