Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Classic Bibliophile:

A couple years ago I got on a F. Scott kick.

(still love him to pieces)

Now it's time to make room for Virginia.

I've been "collecting" her works from the used bookstore, and now I feel I have a decent selection to read from...

Mrs. Dalloway
A Room of One's Own (reading now)
To The Lighthouse
The Voyage Out

and today I picked up the Complete Shorter Fiction, which really helps me out (since I write short fiction). I'll finish this selection (she called these sketches) of 45 works before I get back to reading her novels.

Anything in stream of consciousness requires extra care when reading...and depending on your "state of mind" at the time, the story can read differently.

I know there is a lot more out there (I always look for her at the used bookstore), but I have more than enough to keep me busy for now.

Speaking of BUSY, I found another first edition John Updike today (now I have two)--S. and Museum & Women...this just adds to all the books I have "to read." According to my profile over at Goodreads.com, I have more than 90 books just waiting to be devoured.

What's a girl to do?

Keep reading and writing and buying books (used). They are my big, grand comfort in the world. As a writer (according to the IRS, to be a writer means to have sent out at least one manuscript in hopes of publication)...and a would-be professor (which I'll be qualified to do once I finish my MFA), books are more than my hobby.

They are my profession, my scholarly obsession.


Monday, November 22, 2010


This photo isn't the best--

It's the "state line" sign one sees when crossing into TN from one of it's neighbors to the south...

Welcomes You"

Simple, to the point.

If you happen to blink, it may be easy to miss--but it's polite in it's message.

Of course, I try not to blink when crossing state lines. Aside from counting mile markers and watching the clock, it's the best way to feel like you're making any progress!

Mississippi's sign says, "Welcome to...." The one I pass features the state in red while the letters are white. The "ssiss" in the middle is dropped down and curly cursive. It looks pretty classy.

Now, Alabama isn't shy. It welcomes you to "Alabama the Beautiful." The "welcome" part is easy to miss, but the "beautiful" part is very prominent. Good for you, Alabama. I like a state with healthy self-esteem.

I admit that this trip "through" Alabama (along a major interstate and a well-travelled highway) was quite beautiful. A lot of the trees seemed to be at their "peak" as far as foliage is concerned.

Now--when I reverse my trip and go BACK to GCSU next weekend, I'll have the opportunity to see the Georgia state line sign again. It is definitely worth mentioning here:

"Welcome: We're Glad Georgia's on your Mind"

Of course, this is a direct reference to the song--which has been the official state song for more than 30 years (Thanks to the recording by Ray Charles).

And that's the way the road goes.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Say It Ain' So:

I found out some horrible news this past week. One of my favorite places in Memphis is closing at the end of January.

My personal history with Bookstar began sometime in the Fall of 1996. I went there to find a book for a class I was taking at the University of Memphis...

I fell in love with the atmosphere, the quirky feel the building possessed....

(hence the not-so great black/white photos taken with my first digital camera)

But the space has a larger history, outside of myself. It used to be the Plaza Theater from 1952 until it closed in September 1989.

The renovation for a Bookstar kept a lot of the relics from the old movie theater, including the ticket booth outside the entrance, which helped to preserve the fun feel:

"Except for the leveled floor, the main room has the shape and feel of a large theater. A movie screen hangs over the magazine racks on one end of the room, and small projection windows overlook the room from the opposite wall." (commercial appeal article)

It's might seem strange to talk about the bathrooms, especially if you've never been to Bookstar...

BUT bathrooms seem to be known by everyone. I've had more than one conversation about them while discussing the sad, sad news.

(I took this photo of the retro lighting with my first digital camera too)

The best "part" is the sitting room attached to the main attraction.

From my best memory, I'd say the carpet is a dark giraffe print and the vinyl seats are a pale pink--I will be visiting a lot during Winter break.

If I could count all the papers I've worked on in the cafe' while looking out the windows onto Poplar Ave,

Or tell you about the poetry I've read in the aisles,

Or the magazines I've purchased (specifically The Oxford American),

Coffee I've drank, books I've ordered, time spent sitting on the floor in front of the craft section (yarn/knitting)...

It would equal a large number. Geez, so sad.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Passion

Over the weekend--
While in the throngs of passion*

*I use the word “passion” in place of “working on my presentation covering ten books about composition theory” because “passion” just sounds SO MUCH better and it’s both my blog and my story so why can’t I tell it how I want to?

I KNEW I was finally going to HAVE TO go to the grocery store…

It wasn’t because I had been out of milk (light vanilla soy) for a couple days.

It wasn’t because I had used my last slices of wheat bread…or package of frozen vegetables…

I KNEW I was finally going to have to leave my apartment to go to the grocery store when I finished off my jar of Nutella (with a spoon, remember—no bread) sometime late Saturday night.

I literally had the spoon in my mouth when I said, “Oh crap, I guess this means I gotta get some food.”

Why am I telling you this?
It was funny—it was so funny I burst into wild laughter. Nutella? You’re telling me Nutella was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

(Don’t judge me, have you had the stuff?)

Needless to say, on Sunday afternoon I finally made it to the store. And I did NOT buy another jar of magical goodness--it is a "treat," a "delicacy"....something that is almost dangerous to have on hand because it can disappear--

There are just a few more things looming over my head before the semester is over. And aside from assignments (papers, revisions, portfolios) I can even see a few more "cool" things coming up:
  • Richard Bausch at Emory University
  • A baby shower for a classmate
  • Fall Brawl (a "competition" comprised of many games among classmates--we have teams, we have costumes, we have "music)
I can seem December looming in the distance...and boy does it look _____________ (I can't even think of a word to express my excitement)!!!!


Monday, November 1, 2010


National Novel Writing Month is an annual creative writing project coordinated by the non-profit organization The Office of Letters and Light.

Spanning the month of November, the project challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel in one month.

HA! No way I'm participating.

(I have at least 2 friends who are)

I don't know if I'm going to make it through all the work I have left to finish off my first semester of graduate school...

WHERE would I find time to pile more work upon myself?

Even though I didn't take this particular picture, isn't it the best? Multiply it by a thousand and you'd have an accurate depiction of my brain.
  • I have an annotated bibliography to finish (and present to class)
  • Speaking of class, I'll be TEACHING one way too soon...
  • Oh, and the 20-page research paper?
  • Wait! I have a Teaching Portfolio to finish too...
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I'll be thankful to have survived. Really. At least I had the best Halloween weekend. Now it's time to put it all together.


No extra 50,000 words need apply.



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