Listening To: Oh Dear by Brandi Carlile
The Little Couple: is back on TV! Yippie! I heart Bill and Jen.
There are a few things I want to discuss today. Think of this like a board meeting, except if it was a real board meeting, we could all wear comfy clothes. Perhaps even pink bunny slippers because that would make me laugh. And a gigantic plate of brownies would be in the center of the table.
Thing One: More "Treat" than Treat
If you got instant coffee or Ramen Noodles in your treat bag on Halloween night, I bet I know which neighborhood you trick-or-treated in.
Thing Two: Jane Austen Excursion
I have an idea that might not be so good once you help me think it out. Over on Ruth's blog, she posted the trailer for the new version of Emma coming to PBS in January/February. The preview looks really sweet, sweet enough to make me think, "Huh. I should read Emma." The only Austen book I've ever read is P&P. I know, I know. Then I remembered how much the comments light up when somebody name drops Pride and Prejudice. And I wondered ... would you want to read Emma with me? If a few people are into it, we could have a start date. Then try to make it to a certain point every two weeks. Or just read it over the holiday and start talking about it in January. I don't know the logistics yet. I'm not even sure how long the book is? Anyway, one day a week (or two weeks), I could do a post about the section we just read like a real honest-to-goodness book club. *holds hand up in the air* I promise not to make that post boring or lecture-esc. It will be swanky and semi-funny and then fun discussions can go down in the comments. No need to pull out your monocle and cigar and get too deep with it (unless you just want to). If you're interested in the Emma excursion, let me know on here in the comments or email me (nat.lloyd[at]yahoo.com). All you need to join this wild regency par-tay in is a copy of the book.
And if you think this sounds no fun, no worries! I know finals are coming up and pre-Christmas crazy is about to start. (Maybe we could start when your Christmas break starts?) Also, I came up with this plan while my brain was thawing back out from walking through the frozen tundra aka my yard at 8 this morning. So the plan could be faulty. I'll let you know if there's any interest.
Thing Three: Do you NaNoWri?
If you're a writer, you probably know November is a special month for wordy types. This month is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. The word NaNoWriMo reminds me of a show called Mork&Mindy that used to come on Nick at Nite. Mork always said, "Nanu, nanu" then tugged his ears. It was some kind of greeting on his home planet. I've been doing the voice or the ear tug everytime I say NaNoWriMo. This is perhaps why I don't have loads of friends? ;) I'd been kicking around doing NaNoWriMo this year for two reasons:
1.) I don't exactly do first drafts right. Not that there is a right way. Every writer seems to have a different method that works. My problem, however, seems to be too much editing while I'm writing a first draft. I hear from countless sources it's better to have a first draft first (go figure). Then work to make something beautiful rise from those overwrought metaphorical ashes. Anne Lammot says writers must allow themselves *crappy* first drafts (she didn't say *crappy* but I'll sensor to keep this blog at a G rating. Er, PG.). Changing too much before the story is complete can be pretty darn disastrous. I think that's why so many novels I've tried to write are now lost in the abyss of my computer. NaNoWriMo *wiggles fingers* (or *tugs ears* whatever) is all about quantity over quality. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. I should pause here long enough to be the fuddy-duddy and say that doesn't mean too much at the end of the month. A book is written, which rocketh. But the revision part of writing a book takes awhile. Maybe it doesn't for most people, but it does for me. NaNoWriMo is all about drafting for me, but I'm still excited. Which brings me to my favorite part:
2.) NaNoWriMo is a month when I'm very aware of all the thousands of other moody writers out there slugging through a first draft. Writing isn't always an activity geared toward community. In some ways maybe it is, because it's always fab to meet other writers. You network, you blog, you conference and so on. But writing is also a job where you're alone quite often. If not alone writing, you're alone with all the voices that live inside your head. So the constant community vibe is a cool part of this.
Anybody participating in NaNoWriMo? Here's the site if you want to know more about it. If you're in middle school or high school, you might enjoy this section of the site too.
You'll note a nifty NaNoWriMo badge down in the corner of this blog sometime this week. And I'm hoping to put up a wordcount meter for Thing. Can you think of anything more exciting than seeing Thing grow?! Watching paint dry, you say? Perhaps. Doing a Monday meme? Most definitely!
This comes from a longer meme I found online, but I hacked the length substantially. Happy Monday friends :)
01. What book do you own the most copies of?
I own two copies of Pride & Prejudice and two copies of Wuthering Heights. I have this hobby, that might be considered more of a habit: I'm wild about old books. I don't like first editions or old books worth a fortune. I like books with notes scribbled inside them, books full of coffee stains, and ink stains. Books where the corners of pages are perforated from being turned down so much. I like old books that look worn out and loved. I'm always excited when I find an old copy of a book I already like, but I'm libel to buy the book if it's pretty, or has great illustrations. One of my faves is a copy of Romeo & Juliet my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago. The inscription inside, from a guy to a girl, is from the late 1800's. Makes me swoon. Another book I'm particularly fond of is a copy of Much Adu About Nothing. The illustrations are beautiful. I bought it at an antique store in my hometown the same day I bought a Kris Kristoferson record. There is one book in particular I'm always looking for in antique stores though -- a 1931 edition of Jane Eyre that looks like this:
That I would love to own. It's not especially rare, so my hope is that someday I'll just stumble across it. Or dig through that old bin in the very back of the store and finally find it Thrill of the chase or something. :) I think that cover is so beautiful. I really like cloth covers on books. I like them better than book jackets usually, even when they're plain. Penguin recently re-released several classic novels with cloth covers and they're all so pretty. Jane Eyre is my favorite of that bunch as well (then Sense and Sensibility).
02. Did it bother you that the first question ended with a preposition?
No. And for those of you who are strict about grammar, this is a good time to apologize. When I'm writing, or reading, I'm more interested in how a story/blog/journal/article flows. I like language that feels musical. I like books that suck me in and make me forget I'm reading. I want to feel like I'm there, seeing this awesome story happen. When I find a beautiful spot of writing and have to re-read it, that's even better. I think it's okay to bend grammar rules to achieve all that. My feelings toward grammar can best be summed up by Captain Barbosa. Grammar is "more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules."
03. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
It's no secret. Gilbert Blythe is my pick. I would pick him over a sparkly vampire in a beige sweater any day. ;)
04. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
I should consult my diary. I kept a diary when I was ten and I still have it in my closet. The funniest thing is that the diary has a lock. Because, my word, it would have been the end of the world if someone found my diary, broke the lock, and discovered I:
1.) was totally bummed because the Trapper Keeper I wanted was sold out or
2.) spelled "guess" like "gas"and used the word countless times on each page, so much a casual reader would suggest I stop eating spicy food or
3.) tried to fix my hair like DJ Tanner on Full House or
4.) had a crush on [insert name of boy in class. They're all there. I never went through that phase where I hated boys ... ].
I wrote about books too, but I don't remember which ones. These are some of my favorite pre-teen reads:
Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
Blubber by Judy Blume
Bunnicula by James Howe
Nothing But the Truth by Avi
The Witches by Roald Dahl
A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (that one came later in middle school...)
Choose Your Own Adventure Books
The Baby-Sitters Club (maybe? Or was it before?)
The Chronicles of Narnia (again - age is iffy)
05. If you could force everybody to read one book what would it be?
If I could invite everybody over to my house for a book club discussion, I want to discuss The Giver by Lois Lowry. Technically, The Giver is YA. However, I was assigned The Giver as part of my reading for a political science class in college. I couldn't stop thinking about it after I read it. I still think about it all these years later. The Giver is worth reading for one amazing twist, one scene you don't see coming that will really shake you up and stick with you. It's dystopian literature at its best. Ethics, morality, faith, who decides when life is worth living -- all those issues are presented in this beautiful, subtle sort of way. I read something about the director of Deathly Hallows doing the film version. Please read The Giver before you see the movie! That plot twist is the kind that is best served up in novel form.
06. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Looking for Alaska, by John Green. I think maybe it is being made into a movie? It will be so good. John Green writes great dialogue. If even a little bit of his magic comes through in a movie, it will be phenomenal. I think Neil Gaimon's The Graveyard Book would be a good movie too. Also, I finally watched the cartoon version of Howl's Moving Castle. It was so gorgeous! I never expected it to be that vibrant and pretty. If Tim Burton ever snatched that novel up and made a movie of it, I bet girls would start wearing Team Howl t-shirts.
07. What is your favorite novel?
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I didn't start the novel anticipating tears (which came) or thinking it would rattle my faith (which it did). This is a book I would reccomend owning. You'll want to go back to it. Funny story though: a few years ago, I was talking about how much I loved this novel. And I mentioned that I discovered it via Oprah. Remember when she made Eden her book club pick? That's when I read it. Anyway, this girl I was talking to thought that was unacceptable. She said it bothered her when people discovered books that way. She probably didn't mean to come off snarky, but book snobbery bugs me so much. I don't really get why it matters if I discovered it on Oprah or found it on the sidewalk. How is her way of obtaining the novel better than my way? Did she sit around sipping wine with top editors discussing great American novels while I watched Oprah with my granny? And if she did, who cares? I don't care about the means by which people hear about amazing books. I just want people reading books and finding new voices they love. This high-brow low-brow book argument is so funny to me. I like all sorts of novels. High brow, low brow, in between brow. There are so many amazing stories out there.
08. Favorite Play?
Our Town by Thorton Wilder.
09. Favorite Poem?
Cloud by Sandra Cisneros
10. Favorite Short Story?
The Wrong Grave by Kelly Link
11. Favorite work of non-fiction?
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.
If you're up for it, let me know your answers too. To NaNoWriMo! *tugs ears* *wiggles fingers* *does a roundhouse kick*