Friday, February 29, 2008

Organizing the library

Long overdue, as I've been living in the new house for 6 months now, but I finally started organizing the books. I had just emptied boxes any old which way onto shelves, just to get the boxes out of the house. Now's the fun part. And naturally, I'm finding all sorts of books I want to read. Or re-read. But I'm still (still!!) reading "The Naked and the Dead" and I have promised myself I won't start anything new until I finally finish it, no matter how long it takes. I've decided it's just so very very dense that I can only take it in small doses before I have to process and think and mull things over. The second half has been better than the first (took us half a book, but we're finally out on patrol and there's some action... yeah, I'm shallow, but I need action in between everything else) and I'm really enjoying it now, it's just no popcorn read, that's for sure! Oddly, I think my favorite bits are the flashbacks, and that's because of his choice in observations of the people. Very fascinating.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Absence of the muse does not make my heart grow fonder

But interestingly, the story I most want to work on after a break from writing is the broken POW novel. That fascinates me, that despite the fact that I can't figure out the critical missing pieces that would let me finish it, it still compels me. It haunts me nights, the voice of the protagonist so clear. Now if only the other lead would be as forthcoming. Ciphers I don't need.

As a concession to that driving need to write the book, I tried appealing to muse#2 to come back and drop me some hint. I've all but given up on him, but that's typical for our rocky relationship. However, the other muses are no help, so it's back to #2. Maybe that will appeal to his ego. We'll see how things fare.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

what I do when I'm not writing

Of all my passions -- and I have many -- opera tops them all. Movies, books, writing, film scores, Combat!, etc. They all pale next to my love for opera. Specifically, Italian opera, and of my favorite Italian composers, Puccini takes the prize. I love Verdi almost as much -- it's nearly a tie half the time-- but Puccini still comes out on top.

So, it's probably rather surprising that I know next to nothing about him other than which operas he wrote in what order, and when he lived. This surprises me even more, because my sister and I spend hours and hours dissecting his operas, and as a writer, I'm particularly fascinated by his "narrative kinks." The things that push his buttons and he brings in over and over. Because, of course, a lot of them are my own. Well, duh. They would be. His operas have always been the biggest inspiration in my life. The men I like come, the stories I like, the plot twist/reveals -- they all originate with Puccini.

I remedied my lack of knowledge this weekend and read a biography that my sister had. Interesting, but bland, and entirely lacking in what I wanted to know. So, I'm eyeing some other biographies. Need to find the local library, see what they have. But it did cover all the basics, why La Fanciulla del West is so different from Madama Butterfly, why it took him so long to write each opera, his relationship with his librettists (which is one of the things I want more of), the role Ricordi played in support and encouragement, and the basics of his personal life.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


You're Siddhartha!

by Hermann Hesse

You simply don't know what to believe, but you're willing to try
anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you've spent
some time in every camp. But you still don't have any idea what camp you belong in.
This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It's
time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in

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