Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good Grief

Here is the number one reason why traditional marketing and/or advertising models are failing: this guy.

The whole thing is just wrong. Or is it me? Being one of the 'target' market he's talking about, I can honestly say I've never been interested in: catfights, freakish people turned into fabulous people, train wrecks (unless it's in Unbreakable), or dates gone horribly wrong unless they involve Michael Vartan, Jennifer Garner, and some kick-ass spy gear.

I read, I watch movies, and I do a lot of shopping for shoes, but that doesn't mean a fellow who admits to smoking, drinking and gambling in his first corporate post can "reach" into my "untapped" market.


Monday, October 30, 2006

TRH Movie - Little Children

It's no secret that I love going to the movies, the popcorn, the big screen, the big, comfy chairs. What I hate about going to the movies? Everyone else at the theatre. If there's one thing I truly despise, it's when the other people in the theatre ruin the movie-going experience for me. The jerks. If it wasn't the woman who arrived three minutes to screen time looking for 4 seats together, it was the knuckleheads beside me who talked through the entire movie.

"There's Kate Winslet!"

Yes, and there are her nipples. I don't need a running commentary of what they look like, I can also see them on the screen there, 40 feet tall and pointing directly at me. Oh, and if you're going to wear a giant parka, please take it off before the movie starts, not during, and then please don't lie it across me so that I'm wearing it as a blanket. And then, if you could be so kind, please don't HIT ME THROUGH THE WHOLE MOVIE as you eat your popcorn. Seriously, my left arm is black and blue.

So. Annoying.

Annnywaaay. Tara and I went to go see Little Children on Saturday evening. Todd Field's second movie, the follow-up to In the Bedroom, Little Children deals with some of the same themes, characters with fatal flaws, families in crisis to an extent, illicit relationships with violent consequences, etc. It's also loooong, like In the Bedroom, which I wouldn't have minded if the movie going experience didn't make me want to lose my mind.

Kate Winslet plays Sarah Pierce, an unsatisfied housewife with a toddler who isn't necessarily convinced she should be a mother. She and house-husband, failed lawyer, ex-football star Brad Adamson (the truly hunky Patrick Wilson) begin an affair that for better or worse, brings them to conclusions about their own lives that will change them forever. The second interweaving storyline involves a pedophile, Ronnie McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley), an ex-cop Larry Hedges (Noah Emmerich), and the furor over the convicted sex offender returning to the quiet Massachusetts town to live with his mother.

The characters interact, but on a very small basis, they slip in and out of each other's lives, more to keep them glued together and relevant than any other reason. I guess the film is more of an exploration of human nature when it's pushed into extreme situations, what happens when happiness is tied to deceit and turns into unhappiness, the state of modern marriage, society's obvious and necessary fear of sexual predators, and so on.

I'm batting two for two in terms of seeing films in the theatre that I both like and respect, first The Departed, and now this one. If I have one criticism of Field's directing, it's that he's always looking for that one cool shot, you know, the shadow in the picture frame-type stuff that is more to prove to the audience that he's cool than anything else. He could have shot the film clean, with none of the fancy-dancy camera moves that pulled me out rather than kept me in the picture, but on the whole, that's a small criticism of an extremely well acted, well scripted and well directed movie.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

#62 - One Good Turn

A few months ago, Publisher's Lunch noted that of all the fall books coming out this year, Kate Atkinson's new novel One Good Turn was among the most highly anticipated. And for once, the hype has substance behind it (ahem, The Historian I'm looking at you, I couldn't even finish that abysmally written thing). In fact, Atkinson, like Ishiguro (although not as literary), is such a deft novelist that by the end of the book you're marveling at her skill with a story as much as you are her ability to write in the stream of consciousness form in such a controlled and subtle way.

One Good Turn weaves and bobs through the life of Jackson Brodie, the hardhitting cop from Case Histories. Now in Edinburgh for his lover Julia's play during the Festival (she's also from Case Histories), he finds himself embroiled in a case and now stands on the other side of the law, more a criminal than a cop. With the same keen eye for detail and remarkable skill at creating realistic yet completely distinct characters, Atkinson's novel is much more than your typical bash-'em-on-the-head and solve the crime kind of mystery.

Don't be disappointed, there are dead bodies, lots of intrigue, plenty of coincendences and a pile of action to keep you interested. In fact, I'm not going to say any more except treat yourself and read this novel: you won't regret it.

IFOA V - Margaret Atwood

The cold is hanging on for dear life. It's highly annoying and I am quite sick of it. So as much as I wanted to see Margaret Atwood, there was still a part of me that longed to crawl up in my bed and not leave until Monday morning.

I am very glad I went to the reading though. Atwood read from her latest book, Moral Disorder, and told a lovely story about how she borrowed or used the title from Graeme Gibson - it was the name of one of his novels, but as he had stopped writing fiction, the title had languished until Margaret Atwood asked if she could have it. It's nice to note that even creative (and I am loathe to use the word) geniuses still look around for inspiration and/or input.

Annnywaaay, the story she read was about a high school English teacher, two students (the female protagonist and her boyfriend), and a Robert Browning poem called "The Dutchess". It was hilarious and she cracked up in the middle of reading it, both because it was a funny story and, I would imagine, because she was talking about a real person. The audience giggled when she giggled. We were giggling with Margaret Atwood.

The rest of the night followed suit. Margaret Atwood, sharp as a tack, laughed all the way through the interview, cracked up, made jokes, mimed smoking dope and generally proved she is one of the smartest people, well, ever. I had never seen or heard her in person before so I never realized the extent of her grand old sense of humour. Of course, she was serious too, but in the end her wit won me over—dry, brittle as a bone but not quick to break, it was kind of like watching your favourite kooky aunt do a comedy routine after having one too many glasses of wine. It was bloody brilliant. She had the audience eating out of her hands.

I can't get over how great the festival was this year.

Now, I must stop blogging with the Blackberry as my thumbs are about to fall off. Damn internet isn't working at home.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Pull Of The Girlie Movie And Other Random Links

1. As discussed by Tara, as relating to Kirsten Dunst, on Fametracker. I giggled so loudly at work yesterday that one of my coworkers said, "Are you okay?" I have one thing and one thing only to say: "Cuba!"

2. Even though it's not stated explicitly, but it was me who actually sent this package to George at Bookninja, and this post makes me feel good. I know, I'm not supposed to blog about work but how often do you get a shout out on Bookninja?

3. So Misguided also links to Heat, which I'm reading right now too. And she even adds to the awesomeness of the post by linking off to the WWF's current Living Planet report. I heart this blog very much.

Does the "A" Stand For Awesome?

The true title of this post should be "IFOA IV - Thursday" but that's so boring when last night was probably the best evening of readings I've ever had the pleasure of attending (with the exception of John Irving, which shall stand alone as the single most literary inspiring event I've seen; oh wait, and I saw Michael Ondaatje once, and he inspired me to write this, oh, nevermind).

Like the all-girls event Zesty and I went to last year, last night four inspiring, talented and lovely women read from their latest books of fiction: Madeleine Thien, Claire Messud, Jane Hamilton and Janet Fitch. All four of the readings were complimentary, three of which had more traditional themes of war (Second World War, Terrorism, War on Terror, respectively), and the forth, set in the heyday of the punk rock scene in LA, is perhaps war of a different kind (mosh-pit inspired), and all four women were great readers.

More often than not, I've read the book when I've gone to see an author at the IFOA. I'm thinking that maybe next year I'll do the opposite and go and see people where I haven't read their work. It's a fresh perspective, so inspiring to hear what books actually make the leap from the page into your imagination as told by the author herself. It's impressive, and I would absolutely read every single one of the books from last night.

And I really like how the IFOA balances the commercial-type fiction, like Fitch's, with the more literary fiction, like Thien's, showing that as diverse as the subject matter and styles actually are, the books fit together on that imaginary shelf like peas in a pod. And hell, going and supporting authors at the IFOA makes me feel good, like they deserve the giant round of applause at the end just for sitting in a room for hours, weeks, months, days, years, with their thoughts and a pen, maybe a keyboard, just toiling away to create something that matters.

Tonight, it's Margaret Atwood, one of my own personal literary icons, which should also be inspiring and all that other touchy-feely stuff I mentioned above.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You Want Me To Do What?

I have caught the cold. I'm running a fever, have a sore throat, and my chest feels weighted down by lead balloons. What can you do? It was bound to happen. I've been hyper-lucky with colds this year (read: I haven't really had any) so I suppose I was due.

But, of course, it comes on the heels of other more pressing issues. I can tell you shuffling around the house in my pajamas is one of my favourite things to do. Shuffling around the house while having a cold in my pajamas, not so much. You can't enjoy anything when you have a cold: not TV, not a book, not the internet, nothing.

You really can't enjoy peeing in a jug for 24 hours when you have a cold. Yes, you read that right, I'm peeing in a jug. It's the most hated of all the clinical tests I have to do for my damn kidneys: the 24-hour urine test. While I understand that they need to see how much protein is being leaked from my poor, beleaguered organ, I absolutely hate this test. I mean, who wants a jug of their pee in their fridge for 24 hours? Who?

Wait, don't answer that.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

IFOA - Sunday III

Aw, Sarah Waters is brilliant, in that top-notch sort of British way. She's very open and down to earth, and had a lot of really wonderful things to say about The Night Watch and her other novels. It makes all the difference when there's an interviewer who can penetrate the subject and then let the question stand for itself, then realize that it's not about them and just let the author answer. There's patience and authority in that kind of a voice, and that's what Susan G. Cole brought to the table.

After hearing Waters talk about the agenda, if I should use such a loaded word, behind Tipping the Velvet, maybe I could have been a bit more forgiving in my original impressions of the novel.

Today was inspiring, as I usually find the IFOA, urges me toward working even harder to get something finished.

IFOA Sunday II

We're sitting in a roundtable at the moment with Nicole Krauss, Colson Whitehead, Deborah Eisenberg and the "moderator" David Eddie. I'm a little disappointed with the benign nature of the questions and the conversation, billed as a investigation of the lines between fiction and non-fiction, and they are stumbling in the mire of such over-discussed issues in the publishing world like James freaking Frey.

I do applaud the authors, especially Nicole Krauss, who had some very enlightening things to say around the idea that the novel is an exchange between the reader and the writer that should be authentic, which is an interesting way to look at a book in terms of both the writer and the reader. And as Zesty put it so eloquently, would her husband really be getting the questions about what's it's like to live with her great talent, somehow, I think not. She's pretty astute, that Zesty. Enough of who Krauss is married to, how about you let her work stand for itself?

But man, after the glowing brilliance of Sarah Waters and Rosemarie Sullivan, the ineptitude of this poor moderator is painful.

IFOA - Sunday I

The first two readings Ami McKay (The Birth House) and Bernice Eisenstein (I Was The Child of Holocaust Survivors) did not dissapoint. Both women told incredible and sincere stories, Ami about women, childbirth and the Halifax Explosion; Bernice about her father, as introductions to their readings. It gives the material another dimension, hearing the stories in the voices that must at least be close to how they sound in their heads.

I've read both books (links will be added later), and hearing them now, makes me think back with a different opinion of both. It's a pretty full crowd too, which is positive as well.

Next up, Rosemary Sullivan and the star power of Sarah Waters...

Saturday, October 21, 2006


My RRHB over the past couple years has gone down to NYC for the big music festival. But to me, the week that the authors are in town, for me, kind of represents that sort of a week. Tomorrow we'll be seeing an entire day of authors events and I am going to live blog via my crackberry throughout the day. So, forgive typos, forgive the small screen grammar, but love the words.

Oh, and if anyone else is heading out there tomorrow - please say hello. I'll be the girl in the giant knitted scarf.

Friday, October 20, 2006


My application was accepted by the Humber School for Writers. I will be doing their 2007 correspondence course. Fingers crossed I work hard enough to get the value from the experience. But, yay!

Once I start expect me to resurface in about six months...

TRH Movie - Marie Antoinette Redux

The "real" review is up on Chart. See, I can't make up my mind. Jesse Wente said that it was Coppola's first bad movie this morning on the radio. I wouldn't go that far but man, it's getting some mixed reviews.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

TRH Movie - Marie Antoinette

Last week while I was in my abridging hell, I went to see a screening of Marie Antoinette for Chart (review will be up this Friday). Sometimes, I kind of wish I did more freelance, because the idea of seeing a movie first-thing in the morning with no one but other writers in the room, kind of appeals to me. It's funny, we're all the same with our little notebooks and pens sitting on our laps, scrawling in giant, illegible writing because it's hard to see in the dark, obviously.

So, Marie Antoinette. Yeah, I can't make up my mind about this film, whether I liked it or hated it, whether its genius or ridiculous, which doesn't bode well for a coherent review. It's pop culture history stripped of the more juicy bits (we don't even get a beheading) leaving behind a music video that tries to recreate the social and emotional journey of the movie's main character.

But I really like Sofia Coppola. I've seen The Virgin Suicides more times than I can count on my fingers and toes, and love, love, loved Lost in Translation. She has a way of pulling out great performances from actresses who, for the most part, get by on being gorgeous rather than insanely talented. She does the same with Kirsten Dunst in this picture: she's good.

But parts of me just can't get over the non-historical aspects of the film. I'm aching for a British accent and a good bit of Elizabeth. I'm dying to see inside Antoinette in terms of looking beyond her wardrobe and flirty fashion sequences. I'm wanting to be more engaged, I guess, with the subject matter, wanting more BBC and PBS, and, goodness help me, maybe even a dose of Keira Knightley inspired Jane Austen.

I know Coppola was trying to bring the relevance of Marie Antoinette's life to audiences of this centry, to boldly re-tell her story in her own particular way, but I'm not quite there with her. Who knows? I can't make up my mind. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel differently.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh, Shut Up Studio 60

No, wait, shut up Sting. A lute? Seriously?

It's all so good, except it's not, and that's frustrating.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

TRH Movie - The Departed

After being totally burned out with the two manuscripts I have due (the past four weeks have been intense), and getting nowhere with the second one that I need to hand in (one's already gone, yay!), my RRHB convinced me to take a break and we went to see a movie this afternoon. And before you ask, yes, I'm back to editing right now.

Annnywwaaay. We tried to go see The Departed last night and it was sold out, so this afternoon we left early for the theatre. And I am thankful we did. It's probably one of the best films I've seen this year, if not the best, and I'm so happy not to be disappointed. I love Martin Scorsese, I mean, I even dug Gangs of New York as surprising as that might be, but this film, well, this film kind of sort of blew me away. I watch so many movies that already knowing what's going to happen, or at least having some idea when it comes to cops and mobsters, of the intended endings, isn't surprising. Here, in The Departed though, I had no idea, and that was so refreshing.

William Monahan's script is stupendous; it's not good in a contrived kind of way, doesn't want to pull on your heartstrings and make a big, righteous point (ahem, Crash), but it gets there nonetheless. And like Clint Eastwood's Mystic River a lot of the reasons why the film works is because it's not set in New York, as Lisa Schwarzbaum points out, but in the streets of Boston. Not unlike Brotherhood something happens when you take the mob out of the mean streets, there's an edge that seems kind of akin to the cool kids at that table in high school, the more interesting and grittier individuals are probably holding court out back in the smoking area.

And the smoking area it is, The Departed brings Shakespeare to a new age, a drama that has classical implications, the pairing of Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio as two cops, total opposites in terms of integrity and coming from parallel but still inverse backgrounds, coupled with the slow disintegration of their worlds and their identities , tossed around with the very real threat of, well, death, really and truly works.

There's a line that Matt Damon says to the pivotal lady in the film, Vera Farmiga, who plays a state shrink, as his world starts to crumble (and I'm paraphrasing, because I'm damn tired) that sort of sums up the entire pathos of the film: "If this has to end, you've got to be the one to end it. I'm Irish, we I can live in a bad situation for the rest of my life."

It's a world where self-preservation seems more profound with the silences, where Jack Nicholson, who reigns as the big, bad Boston boss, can frolic at the opera (wha?) as easily as he can at a Southie bar, and still come out without necessarily breaking character. It's a world where good equals bad, equals good, equals totally farked up until the utterly satisfying ending, of which you'll find no spoilers here (see, see when it's a movie I like, I won't give away the ending). There's value in watching the story unfold, as each man discovers who the other one is (mole, meet rat, rat meet mole), they find themselves in ever-increasingly morally problematic situations. And we're the richer for them.

My only criticism? That there's no mob wife, no lady other than the doe 'caught in the middle' of Farmiga's Madolyn. Even if Laura Linney's Lady Macbeth-like Annabeth seemingly comes out of nowhere, she's at least at the table. She's not the dressing; she's actually at the table, part of which the non-existent female characters in this male-centric movie are missing.

But still, the more I think about it, the more I like this film. Hell, I'd even pay to see it again.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

#61 - Paula Spencer

Roddy Doyle's latest novel, Paula Spencer, continues the story he started in 1996 with his superb book, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. Told in his now-classic stream of consciousness style, Paula Spencer finds the main character sober, a widow, and on the eve of her 48th birthday. Now that she's sober, Paula faces up to all of her demons: her children and her inability to be their mother; what it means to be a recovering alcoholic; what life is like being poor but making it; and how to make it through a day with nothing to hide behind, every day is a 'real' day for her.

It's no secret how much I adore Roddy Doyle's work. A Star Called Henry might just be one of my all-time favourites, no, it is one of my all-time favourites, right up there with Jude the Obscure and On the Road. But sometimes, his dialogue is so hard to follow, which is what happened with the sequel to Henry, Oh, Play That Thing. I've tried to read that book numerous times and could never get through it. Thankfully, Paula Spencer doesn't have that problem. Not that it's a book you fly through; it's heavy in terms of 'issues', but his writing style works so much better in terms of modern Dublin than it does in terms of the America of the jazz age. Henry never really fit in there, at least not to me.

I feel Paula in this novel. The ache that comes from growing up with an alcoholic parent, and how she speaks about her daughter, Nicola, as being her child instead of the other way around, well, that's something I totally understand. But most of all, I like how this book highlights the patterns of life changing, and how hard work does truly get you somewhere in life. And when Paula takes that walk through Trinty College, makes it through another day of work, opens a bank account, you want to cheer, because even the mundane aspects of life are miraculous if you've never experienced them sober before. At least that's what I think anyway. She's a strength of character, that Paula, I'd read about her until the ends of the earth.

#60 - Sharp Objects

Let's just get the confessions out of the way off the top: I heart Entertainment Weekly. Ever since Tara left a copy in the lunchroom of the magazine where we both used to work, I've been hooked. So, when I found out that Gillian Flynn was publishing her first book, Sharp Objects, I already came to this novel already wanting to love it, because by proxy, I obviously heart the snarky goodness she brings to the magazine each week as its television columnist/reporter/reviewer.

Anyway, here's a short synopsis, it's commerical, rather than literary fiction, so keep that in mind: Camille Preaker, a cub reporter with a Chicago daily, is called back to her hometown, Wind Gap, Missouri, to cover the story when two pre-teen girls end up dead. The infamous cliches of small town life are explored as Camille tries to uncover who has killed the girls and why. Born to a teenage mother and an unknown father, Camille has never really bonded with her family, add in a stepfather and a half-sister who puts Thirteen to shame, and the word outcast hardly seems competent.

As Camille's world unravels, she drinks. As she drinks, we uncover deeper secrets in her past, and one by one, the pieces fall into place. The plot's a tad predictable, but it doesn't matter because Flynn's writing is so sharp (yes, the title, I know) that the book rips along at a feverish pitch. I read it in one sitting like a swift first drink up north and must say: it's the perfect book for a rainy sky as the sun starts to set.

Oh, and 'cause it's also super-creepy, with lots of dead bodies and freaky things happening, I'm going to count this book in my October reading challenge. I know it's not on the original list, but that makes three! Yay! It's the closest I've been to finishing a challenge yet...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

#59 - The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is creepy, fascinating and utterly terrifying. But like all classics, it's a bit too wordy, and I found the many pages of the lessons in the history of Parisian architecture a bit hard to take. However, some of the traditional conflicts in the novel, man vs. religion (oh, the powerful beauty of a gypsy girl), man vs. beast (oh, Quasimodo, how misunderstood you are), and man vs. man (oh, the upper class takes a crack at the lower classes), are still powerful.

Sorry for the mini-review, but I'm knee-deep in abridging and will probably not surface until this time next week. But, I'm damn glad I can cross one title off my October reading challenge. Let the bells sing!

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Interview With Curtis

Awhile back, I interviewed Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep (a book that I urge everyone to read, EVERYONE) and The Man of My Dreams, which I also loved. It was a work thing, and I enjoyed it immensely, but I was so freaking nervous that I think I sound like a complete moron. Anyway, the interview is now up in its quasi-podcast form here. It's in the Audio & Video channel, down towards bottom, underneath Robert J. Wiersma and just above Alice Munro.

It's a membership-only site, so you'll have to register, and if you're not down with that, I completely understand. But I can't bring myself to listen to it (I'm terrified it's bloody terrible), so if anyone else can get through it, please let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Love In The Grocery Aisle

So, I totally just finished up with my very inspiring writer's group, and stopped into the grocery store for (I am not going to lie) some rice chips. I am always fascinated by other people's groceries: what's in the cart, on the list, how it figures into their lives. The fellow in front of me had an awesome selection, yams, broccoli, spinach, lactose-free ice cream.

And he was as delicious as his items, the perfect chicklit hero, tall, almost-Matthew-Fox, with short dark hair and these sweet freckles. Just seeing him made me want to write a story about an unlucky in love heroine who sees the perfect man in the grocery store (sans list, therefore single, of course) and lives happily ever after.

See, writer's group totally rocks.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

#58 - I Feel Bad About My Neck

Even after finishing Nora Ephron's supremely cute I Feel Bad About My Neck, I'm not really sure if I'm a fan of hers or not. I'd have to say that I found Hanging Up to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and even if she's only partially responsible for that atrocity, I'm still going to hold it against her. Her meditations on aging are cute and funny, more like tiny vignettes strung together with Ephron herself as the only common thread.

Roll-your-eyes kind of mom wisdom mixed up with tidbits about the non-joys of growing older, I Feel Bad About My Neck reads more like a magazine you'd read in the doctor's office than "literature" of the highest order. Which I think is totally fine—it's all my brain could withstand this week. In some ways, I guess I'm lucky. I'm about half Ephron's age, so at least I know now to stock up on the black turtlenecks for when I do feel bad about my own neck. It's bound to happen someday.

Although, I'd be interested to see what she thinks about something other than cabbage strudel and her apartment couches. There's a sweet chapter on Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (and I agree, it's an awesome novel), but for the most part, the oh-wise-sage moments are a little too endearing.

Watch out for cute overload: People who spend too much time in front of the computer, "Mouse Potatoes." Heh.

The best piece of advice: If you're under 34 put on a bikini and wear it all the time. Don't take it off until you turn 35.

The second-best piece of advice: Never marry someone you wouldn't want to be divorced from...now that's an interesting way to look at love in the modern world.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Oh yeah, I went by myself to dance class tonight. I was terrified. But it was (and continues to be) a wonderful experience. Tonight, the teacher, Helen, involked Martha Graham, "Ms. Graham", she said, as we did contractions and high releases on the floor. My hip is still totally stiff but I am exhilerated by the end of the 90 minutes.

It makes me want more, more, more. And I don't think it's a bad thing.

Other milestones reached? I read 2 books (updates to come), finished the first draft of one of my abridged books and took the last of the prednisone for the foreseeable future.

I am exhausted but elated all in the same breath.

Monday, October 02, 2006

He's Got My Vote

Of course he does. Rock on Mayor Miller, rock on! He likes reading AND he likes beer. Isn't that all you need in a politician?

Now, Here's A Sentence...

...I never thought I would write. My RRHB is obsessed, OBSESSED, with So You Think You Can Dance. It's on his Faux-Vo list of shows he absolutely must watch. In fact, at this very moment, he's watching the top 20 contestants compete in pairs (he's still on the season currently airing on MuchMusic, I think it's Season 2). We almost missed the beginning of The Wire last night because he wanted to see Stanislav finish his ballroom dance.

October Reading Challenge

Okay, so I read somewhere that one of the challenges floating around is to read 4 scary books before Hallowe'en. Now this is a challenge I might be able to finish. I'm totally including The Ruins on my list because, well, I am. And then I'm reading The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (totally creepy), The Children of Men (I am half-way through and am totally enjoying it—it's leftover summer reading), and one more mystery, probably The Thirteenth Tale, because I've already started it three times (gave one copy away, left another on a plane, have a third at home) and think that it's about time I finished it.

Like Sassymonkey, I can not go a month without a challenge. And since I failed so miserably at my Summer Reading challenge, I thought I'd make this one easy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bleary-Eyed And Tired

I have been abridging since eleven AM. I am on a roll but also have turned bleary-eyed. My fingers are aching. My wrists are on fire, like the poor woman in the commercial. And, I must confess, I'm a little smelly because I haven't had a shower. But it's one big push today and I'm trying to get as much done as I possibly can. Tomorrow, it's back to work. And then I have all of next week off to finish everything up. It seems that time will fly by, which is exactly what I do not want.

My Boy is Ten

My friend Heather took this photo a couple of weekends ago. We went for a walk in the woods. It was a bit cold at first, neither my boy nor ...