Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Squirrels, Editing Frenzy and Seasonal Viewing

Upon the requests of several readers, I asked Craig for a squirrel update. He said that he saw a Doritos bag with a bushy tail running around his yard a few days ago. He stared at the bag until it became self-conscious. The squirrel backed out of the bag and stared at Craig for a while before scampering up his favorite tree. Craig is convinced that he had a human involved in his care at some point as it is not just unafraid of humans, it also seems to expect to be fed by humans and invited into their homes. He stares at Craig and his neighbors through their windows or front doors. For some reason, I have decided that it will be a good idea for Craig to be Santa's Little Helper this coming week. He's not particularly jolly. Or he's jolly in a very wrong way. Perhaps, a nice, fluffy Santa hat will help [Jon wants to be on the record that this is a bad idea]. Anyway, those outings should make for a very interesting blog next week.

Time Keeps on Slipping

My Grad school chum and writer extraordinaire, Sarah Freligh [Buy her book, Sort of Gone. It's the perfect gift for that baseball fan in your life], has often told me how much focus and energy it takes to edit someone's work. I still had no idea how much it takes to edit a work while carefully keeping the author's voice in tact. I have two projects that must be finished fairly soon, so huge chunks of my day are spent on them. It is far different than proof reading, and it is exhausting to my brain. I'm not saying the works are bad – quite the contrary. Iwouldn't be taking such care to preserve the author's voice and intent, if I thought they were bad pieces. It is quite a challenge, and I am out of practice. I haven't routinely edited this much prose since I was in grad school. I'll likely get faster as I go along. And, by the way, many thanks to those who have edited me over the years.

When we were children, it seemed to take forever for Christmas day to arrive. Now, I'm convinced that the space/time continuum speeds up at this time of year. Despite all of my carefully laid plans, there will still be a baking frenzy between now and Wednesday morning when I ship the cookies out. Some of the delay had to do with when people would be at their addresses to receive the cookies and when I had the bucks to sent the cookies. It still boils down to a really crazy couple of days. And isn't that what the holidays are all about – running around like a crazed yak?

Seasonal Viewing

On Christmas Eve, aside from watching some playoff clinching football, Jon and I will be settling down to watch our favorite holiday films and TV shows. I record the TV shows when they air in August or whatever unseemly early time they air these things nowadays and watch them at a far more suitable time. Once again, I'd like to take the opportunity to recommend our favorite films for this special time of year. For a classic, we strongly suggest the 1951 British film Scrooge  – released in the US as A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim and Patrick MacNee (The Avengers, and the original Battlestar Galactica). Of the classic versions of this film (the Dickensian period version), this sticks closest to the wonderful dialogue as written by Dickens and has the best performance of Scrooge. I must especially compliment the awesome performance of the scullery maid, if it's in keeping with the situation (watch the film to figure that out). Second, we highly recommend Tokyo Godfathers. Movie critic George Peluranee notes that "Tokyo Godfather is a film that shows the small yet significant ties that each of us have with supposed strangers, and tells well the story of miracles, family, love, and forgiveness" It is the story of three homeless people who find an abandoned newborn on Christmas Eve, Incredible comedy and drama ensue. Craig and his lovely girlfriend are disparate in their film tastes. If it's sweet and treacly, she loves it and he hates it. If it's wrong and horrifying, he loves it. As Craig said after we bought a copy for them to watch, every time it was so sweet it was about to make me sick, something completely wrong would happen and make me laugh my ass off. They both love the film for entirely different reasons. It has something for everyone!


I'm saving those for the year end wrap up.

Stay tuned!

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