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Lost in your time

I’m back posting on this blog. Having a site was a learning curve which I didn’t particularly enjoy. I missed the friendliness of this blog and I’m glad I’ll be able to follow others and comment a lot more easily. I hope it will be easier for you to comment too 🙂

Thanks for bearing with me these last few days. Tired of being hacked on my site, I made the decision to move back here, which meant a lot of work and adjustments. Please let me know if you can’t find something or have a question.

Thank you!

Lost in your time

Novelist meets French rock star, prepare for the sparkles.

Rock star or husband – which would you choose?

Ah, the dangers of the internet! We’ve all been warned, but do we take notice?
When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star…
A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.
But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?

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Guest Post: Memoir for the Masses (via The Literary Lollipop)

To remind us all of what matters when writing a book.

 

Written by Daniel McDermott

People often ask me if I’ve led an interesting life, random people: the security guard at work, a nosey pizza delivery guy with too much time on his hands and too much gel in his hair, a shawl-wearing librarian with plate-sized glasses and grape-scented whispers, or that scotch-drinking, jewelry-studded guy at O’Shea’s Pub last Thursday, the one with the hairy arms, Caribbean tan, and 80’s-style windbreaker. “What make … Read More

via The Literary Lollipop

 

Whether my book is read by 7 people or 700,000 remains to be seen, as does the promptness of my utility bill payment, but in the hands of the right author, an author equipped with the proper skill and psychological intention, any life can be transformed into literature.

About the Author:

Daniel McDermott is just about finished with the fifth and final draft of his forthcoming memoir, Drag Bunny. It contains no aliens, immortals, or artificial appendages. He is the editor of Bananafish Magazine.

 

The good life, in Provence

The street market in Aix-en-Provence (France).

Image via Wikipedia

Who hasn’t read Peter Mayle‘s book, ” A year in Provence“?

PROVENCE has “added a dimension of sheer contentment and enrichment” to Peter Mayle’s life – not just for the series of books that have been translated into 28 languages and brought in millions in sales but for its lifestyle, people, customs and gastronomy.

 

Peter Mayle: 20 years in Provence:

 

 

http://www.connexionfrance.com/peter-mayle-interview-a-year-in-provence-20-years-10512-news-article.html

The decision to become a writer, he says, was inevitable as “it became clear to me that I was useless at mathematics and anything technical. I was not drawn to politics or big business, or indeed any endeavour where I had to report to committees and bosses.

His original intention was to write a novel, they had enough cash for six months. But while renovating their MĂ©nerbes house Mayle, now 70, became so fascinated by the character of Provence and the larger than life characters, that instead of a novel, he wrote a few opening pages of a diary and sent them to his agent who, fortunately, knew a gem when he saw one.

 

No boys allowed

Jonathan Franzen at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Fes...

Image via Wikipedia

No Boys Allowed: A Book Club to Discuss Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom

Last month, a group of women between the ages of 25 and 35 got together in Los Angeles to talk about Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom.  I was one of these women.  I loved the idea of getting together to discuss a big book, one that people across the nation were also buying, and reading, and meeting to talk about.  It felt like we were participating in a cultural moment–it was like getting a Cabbage Patch Kid in the 1980s.   Plus, there would be snacks.

However, I did bring one quote, from Garth Risk Hallberg’s review on this very site.  To start the meeting off, I read the quote aloud to the others:

It is surely worth mentioning that Franzen writes more persuasively and attentively about the inner life of women than any male American novelist since Henry James.

“Who wrote that?”  someone asked.
“What? You don’t think a man can write from a woman’s perspective?”
“Was the reviewer a man or a woman?”
“How does he know?”
“The question isn’t whether a man can write a woman’s perspective, but if Franzen can. Was he successful?”

The responses were mixed to this question.  All of us felt Patty Berglund, midway through the novel at least, was a complicated and believable character, but a few of us–myself included–did not buy the conceit of her autobiography.  It did not feel as if she had written it; arbitrarily capitalizing words does not render a perspective true!  To me it felt half-assed, almost offensive. Why present these words as Patty’s, when they are really the author’s, barely concealing himself?  It didn’t seem like a true investigation of a character’s world or her use of language to describe that world.

In both meetings, we came back to this question of whether or not Freedom is a masterpiece.  Why was Jonathan Franzen, out of the many talented and important authors, the anointed one?  We all agreed it was pretty great to see a writer on the cover of TIME, but was he truly “the great American novelist”?   He is both commercially successful and critically acclaimed, and few can claim that mysterious combination these days.   We were saddened, or sobered, by the fact that a woman, at least in the present day, would not be given that title.  Everyone agreed with that.

Read the article in The Millions:

http://ht.ly/3e9RS

 

Critic’s Notebook : Patti Smith

Patti Smith performing at Bowery Ballroom, New...

Image via Wikipedia

This notion, of a life consecrated to art, has become the stuff of cliché as we increasingly allow our dreams to be commodified: Where are the new bohemias, the new Williamsburgs or Echo Parks?

Patti Smith shines between art’s boundaries –

latimes.com http://ow.ly/3cnW8

Just Kids,” which won the National Book Award for nonfiction Wednesday night, is a reminder that Patti Smith has always had more than making records on her mind. Such a sensibility has defined her work since her debut album “Horses” came out in 1975, with its inexplicable mix of the garage and the atelier.

Indeed, her initial foray into music came at her first reading, in February 1971. “I did it for poetry,” she writes in “Just Kids.” “I did it for Rimbaud, and I did it for Gregory [Corso]. I wanted to infuse the written word with the immediacy and frontal attack of rock and roll.”

If “Just Kids” has a message, however, it’s that bohemia exists within us, that the only imperative of the artist is to create. Halfway through the book, Smith recalls a conversation with Corso, who, during a visit to the loft she shared with Mapplethorpe, noticed a crucifix embellished with the phrase memento mori.

How to understand Israel?

Book review in the Huffington Post

Exclusive Preview of How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

 

“DC Comics, through their Vertigo imprint, has once again given us an incredible book, this time in the form of the autobiographical How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden.”

 

 

“This book is not pro-Israel or pro-Palestine. It’s not anti-Israel or anti-Palestine either, it’s pro-reality. And in reality, nothing is ever really in black and white. I enjoyed the fair, even handed nuance it took to bring us this book, and I think it should be required reading for anyone who waxes philosophical on the subject of Israel or anyone who wants to know more about the increasingly muddled situation abroad.”

 

Writing quotes

It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.  ~Sinclair Lewis

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.  ~André Gide

Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.  ~Goethe

A writing cabin? Now, there’s an idea…