Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bausch Blog (by request):

He reads to us, Bausch does and I really like it.

His voice is seeping with wisdom and inflection. He seems to know exactly what the characters are talking about or feeling as he goes along. My ears have to strain, I'm on the edge of my seat. It's a wonderful sensation.

Who knew that my college experience would be so enriched by the simplest thing as being read to? Last semester it was bits from Beloved and T. S. Eliot that had my heart strumming along.

Now it is Bausch reading & telling stories:
"Indian Camp" (Hemingway)
my own story somewhere here***
"In Another Country" (Hemingway again)

Did you hear the one about Eudora Welty at the party? Her wine glass not filled with red, but with bourbon instead...pushing back a haughty lady in white until she was against a wall?

or Jill McCorkle accidentally taking her dog's heartworm medication while on the phone with Alice Hoffman? Jill promptly called poison control and learned that they didn't have much of a sense of humor when she told them she wanted to scratch her ear with her foot.

***And then my own story prompted the telling of another interesting relationship in which two friends were having dinner with a man--they found out he was seeing both of them and for about four seconds the man thought the greatest thing was about to did not.

Then he talked us down from ledges and window sills. He talked us out of over-thinking and the fear of never finding the right title. He told us the importance of reading the ones that came before us and the ones writing now.

"The magic moves from the's from the aspect of your experience. Write it like you're the only one who could've written it."--Bausch


p.s. During break he and I had a little poetry pow-wow about this little gem.

#4 over at 6S:

I've funneled my love for F. Scott into a piece which debuted this morning over at SIX SENTENCES.

In case you've missed any of my fantastical flash fiction (did you see what I did there?) you can click-click (onomatopoeia) via my new listing on the sidebar.


So Teen Girl Squad! You can watch the entire evolution--there are only 15 episodes. It's hard to explain...wait! There is a wiki for it, of course!

But simply put, it a crude comic written by a "boy" centering on four teenage girls doing teenage girl things. It's got a lot of great one-liners and makes me laugh. I also relate to it--even NOW.

Last night I giggled away like a teenage girl on the phone for over an hour. I remember when that thing hung my head for too many hours a day. Now I have the BlackBerry at my fingertips probably moreso than the receiver EVER was against my ear.


The flu (swiney swiney) really effects my life from Friday to Monday. I cannot tell you how many prescriptions I have taken/filled/priced for a variety of drugs including Tamiflu, Augmentin, Cipro, Levaquin...

(side note: yes, there is a shortage of suspension Tamiflu--Roche says it won't be available again until the end of the year--we didn't make this up. The capsules are STILL available, for now.)

I fly around the pharmacy wielding a can of Lysol and spray every "public" surface that I can at least a couple times a day.

Now H1N1 has directly influenced my "school week" as well. One of my professor's has been diagnosed which gives us a "week" off. Don't throw confetti yet, the reading is intense and I adore the class (as well as the professor).

Let the random entry end.


Monday, September 28, 2009

How Many Copies...

of a single book might a person NEED? (answer: at least 6)

You only see four here--I have a purse-size edition tucked somewhere in a purse, as well as the full text in my latest F. Scott Reader (1963, Scribner's Sons).

All of these were purchased second (or third) hand (I like to recycle), ranging in price from $1 to $3 (the hardback version from the '50s).

side note: how many parenthetical comments are too many in any one sentence? three?

It has become a sick obsession, maybe. But grabbing a used copy every time I see one is better than--stealing or peeping or silently following YOU around. Right?

The other day a library volunteer was looking over my recent collection of "slightly used" gems and commented that I may be an English major or professor (wildest dreams).

My heart leapt up (I'm crediting that phrasing to Emily Dickinson, because it's in a poem or a letter of hers I've read somewhere). I'm no F. Scott scholar. I was only "taught" Fitzgerald circa [year removed] in Honors English my junior year of high school.

side note: I still have the notes from aforementioned high school class--we did Dickinson as well.
The Great Gatsby isn't even my favorite book. But I do enjoy reading all of the markings made by those who flipped through the pages before me. It's like taking a class in the novel taught by the teacher/reader/professor...leading the discussion at the time.

I want to compile these notes. I want to re-read them and add them to a master edition. I want to deconstruction it all, then add it up and see what happens. I am a nerd (who is avoiding current homework, of course).

Also Grabbed:
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
The Wasteland & Other Poems by T. S. Eliot
Collected Lyrics by Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Awakening by Kate Chopin (norton critical edition)
Books of the Three Virtues by Christine De Pisan
The Portable James Joyce :)
Heath Anthology of American Literature
(#12 in my literature anthology hording)

See! I will require my own wall-o-bookshelves one day! It's practically a goal!


Friday, September 25, 2009


My first philosophical paper is due in less than a week.

I have to take my first abnormal psychology test this weekend.

My story is being workshopped on Wednesday.

I haven't been sleeping. Or to use basic math: A + B + C = D

I wake up in strange intervals, they nearly hit two hours.

I had a 1:23am, 3:28am, and a 5:36am "wake-up" pattern one morning--

followed by a 1:13am, 3:28am, 5am (forgot to look) and 7:36am this morning.

Usually sleepers pass through five stages: 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM sleep. These stages progress cyclically from 1 through REM then begin again with stage 1. A complete sleep cycle takes an average of 90 to 110 minutes.

I think I'm waking up in REM sleep (the more I look at charts) because it's not a "gentle" wake-up. It's a crazy eyes-snapping open kind of sensation. I don't know if that's even possible, but that's what I'm sticking with for now.

REM sleep, or dream sleep, is essential to our minds for processing and consolidating emotions, memories and stress. Most of dreaming occurs during REM sleep, although it can happen during other sleep stages as well. There are different theories as to why you dream. Freud thought that dreams were the processing of unconscious desires. Today, researchers wonder if it may be the brain’s way of processing random fragments of information received during the day. Much of dreaming is still a mystery.

Strangely enough, this makes sense. I think I get to the point of "dealing" with whatever it is or trying to process it all and BAM! I'm awake. Kinda scary, I would say.

And being the lover of literature that I am, the entire time I have been writing this entry I've had Puck from A Midsummer's Night Dream whispering in my ear:

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber'd here

While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,

No more yielding but a dream,

Gentles, do not reprehend.

I will let you know when I figure it out or when I get several hours of uninterrupted sleep. A girl can dream...maybe.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Words, Words, Words!

Ah. so now I know where the manuscript went,
it's still floating through the atomsphere!


Thursday, September 17, 2009


(of the Sun kind)
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) are the core of a Vinyasa style yoga practice--a series of poses done in succession so that one pose flows into the next. The pace of the flow and how long the poses are held may vary, but the movement is done in accompaniment with the breath. The purpose of the Sun Salutation is to warm up the body for more intense stretches.

Believe me, after going through this cycle ONCE I am more than warm enough. I am a burning ball of energy.

Then ya do it all over again on the other side.

Geez. After all of that, my body temperature equals that of the sun. BUT HEY! At least I'm going to yoga, right?

Nevermind the sweaty, clumsy girl in the back row. *waves*

Finding time for yoga in my already full, full (so much so, I had to say it twice) schedule was challenging. But I did it, with help of a friend.

Sweating in front of strangers is ONE thing, now imagine doing it in front of someone you'd rather look "cool" in front of...someone you actually know.

Psh. No least not now (it took three weeks for me to come to this mindset).

And just in case you're a big, ol' book nerd like myself--I can't see the word SALUTATIONS! without thinking of Charlotte's Web.

Terrific piece of personal trivia: Guess what was the first BOOK that ever made me cry? And I was in second grade, and it was being read to us for "story time"...


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Get Your Literary Device ON!

Dramatic irony: Where the audience or reader is aware of something important, of which the characters in the story are not aware.

Situational irony: Where an event occurs which is unexpected, in the sense that it is somehow in absurd or mocking opposition to what would be expected or appropriate.

Verbal irony: Where the meaning of a specific expression is, or is intended to be, the exact opposite of what the words literally mean.

I can't remember (I could check) if I mentioned my great "volunteer" moment the other day in class. Who wants to turn in a story the next week? Anyone? Anyone?

ME! I want to! *waving arm* (Actually, I said, "I guess I will.")

So what happens? I write the next great American short story? NO! I get writer's block. The only time I seem to be cured is smack dab in the middle of something else. Like work.

And just in case you were wondering, I can't just grab a pen and WALK out...I have to wait.

I was able to come up with a semi-structured outline during my lunch break today. I have executed two-fifths of it thus far. And now I'm stuck--and have been for a good 37 minutes.

Make that 38. So I searched through my favorite webcomic for something to bring a smile to my face. (You can see it above) Then I decided to define some literary terms--ironic?

SITUATIONAL irony, actually. Gotta get it right!

The heroine of my current story is an assistant literature professor. You'd think I'd be writing the hell out of this one, NOPE! I'm over-thinking it instead.

Irony: spices up a literary work by adding unexpected twists and allowing the reader to become more involved with the characters and plot.

More involved. I need to get more involved in writing this story...(54 minutes).


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


There is a moment before class begins.

A moment I can't really explain.

By chance I found myself sitting alone in the dark because my class before let out early... Random raindrops made me hurry across campus and then I was alone in the dark.

So I sit and prepare. I look over my reading assignment (Rousseau and Wollstonecraft).

My brain feels at ease, almost as if I am getting ready for some serious Yoga. And I am. Mental Yoga.

Classmates begin filtering in, but the room remains quiet. There is respect. We are ready to begin. Deep breaths. Minds open. Thoughts expand.

Words start appearing on the chalkboard, "state of nature," "social contract theory," "vir-virtue-virility" fingers are flying across the keyboard trying to capture every word of the lecture.

I am learning and I am happy.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

On Our Feet!

Like a moth to a flame...I flitter and fly to the back of the Goodwill only to find--BOOKS!

This is getting a bit ridiculous, because I was there in desperate need of a bow tie. Why? Well, it was a special night in downtown Memphis, Rocky Horror Picture Show night (like Christmas, it only comes once a year)...

I wanted to join my friends and be an

"unconventional conventionalist"

...but again. BOW TIE? Only books.

But I think you get a pass on costume(s) IF your name is actually a character name, right?

I grabbed a few sections (C, D) of the Norton Anthology of American Literature alongside the illustrated edition of Strunk & White's Elements of Style...

THEN, because I don't have enough collections of short stories...the Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories...somehow found it's way home with me.

Freeze! X-Ray!

Back to the show. Fabulous! I've never had so much fun being a ruckus at the Orpheum. The costumes, the shouting, the flying toilet paper...everything was perfection. EVERYTHING!

At the late night, double feature, picture show!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Dammit Janet!


(it's the only good "moving picture" clip I could find)


First Week is...

(in the books, yuk yuk yuk, even though I am still lacking ONE!)

Women & (in) Music:
  • Very light-hearted professor. She knows her stuff, cracks great jokes, and has the ability to break into song at the drop of a hat.
  • There are more graduate students than undergrads...I didn't know this was a combo course.
  • The work seems fair, we have "seminar" days in which we have to lead the class (should be interesting, I like the group).
  • The final paper is fifteen pages long. 15. We get to chose the topic, BUT it has to be in Chicago style. She apologized to me (the English major) because it wasn't MLA.

Feminist Theory:

  • On Day One, I sat there internally fretting away. What was I thinking--taking upper division Philosophy considering I dropped Logic after one class (circa 1998).
  • The professor is beyond brilliant. She knows the topic, she has written articles and helped translate books and she is hosting the big Spindel Conference later this month.
  • I printed out my first packet of material even though I was fearful and found myself completely enthralled.
  • After our first lecture--I am confident. This will be a very challenging class, but I can handle it. Ask me about Aristotle and his "dualities"...I can halfway explain it!

Fiction Writing Workshop II

  • I admit to being nervous about this one. A workshop being led by a successful writer? Someone who typically teaches graduate (MFA) students and I was going to be in his class?
  • Then I got there. Then I saw familiar faces. Then he showed up. Then I was happy.
  • I was so happy that I volunteered to have a story ready in two weeks. Clearly I am crazy. And this was before he quoted my absolute favorite lines by Whitman even!
  • I have to harness this happiness (and respect) into one hell-of-a-story. Of course, like he said, they are just words on a page. (Sound familiar? Read the second paragraph.)

Abnormal Psychology:

  • The scientific study of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders is known as psychopathology.
  • Insanity is A LEGAL TERM and is not the same as abnormal behavior.
  • Trephining was the process of making a hole is the skull to relieve pressure and release evil spirits during the Stone Age.
  • And I have a "discussion" due in less than 24 hours. A discussion about THE BRAIN. Obviously I need to get to WORK!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

3 Reasons to Read the OA:

aka the Southern Magazine of Good Writing)

Seeing is believing...

Beautiful, desirable, and dead...'s NOT an easy read.

All three of these pieces appear as "Lit Crit" in the most current theme issue--The Southern Lit issue--the issue I have been waiting for since the LAST issue hit stands.

I am no means an expert on this subset of literature, but it is indeed one I am well-versed in. Last semester alone I dealt with/read/discussed all three of the aforementioned authors.

Flannery, Eudora, and William.
Love, Respect, and Loathe.
(in that order)

BUT I am doing my best to "un" loathe William, because I know that his work/writing is just too complex for me to fully understand or appreciate...yet. It has been suggested to me to work through his short stories (I have read two) before attempting a novel.

Novel idea, right? (pun intended)

I have been reading the Oxford American since...issue 32 (or May 2000). Yes. We have a history. I remember picking up that issue like I remember my first car. It was that monumental. It was that strong.

I was affected! (maybe infected)

I freely admit to understanding the magazine A LOT MORE now. I see it and smile. It makes me feel smart and or less nerdy.

Go to the website. Go to the bookstore.
Hunt down the magazine.

If you hate it, I'm sorry.

If you love it, GOOD!



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