June 25, 2009

Somebody stop me

I have got to stop looking at roving and handspun yarns and spinning wheels and spindles on people's etsy shops and blogs, because I suddenly (not so suddenly, really) have this desperate desire to learn to spin yarn and quit my job.

June 19, 2009

Inspiration at long last

Boy-Creature and I saw The Brothers Bloom last night, and I am nuts about it. I almost wanted to go again tonight.

We saw Brick awhile back, from the same director/writer, Rian Johnson. It's a fantastic movie as well, but I liked this one better. They're very similar in their styles and in the way the plot moves (Oh, so many delicious twists!), but where Brick is dark and brooding, Bloom is light and lovely and marvelously, smartly funny. My favorite kind of funny. It's a very well-written movie, which is a rare thing these days, and I didn't even realize how well it's done until I started reading some of the background and inspiration on it. I can't think the last time I saw a movie with main characters inspired by anything as formidable as Ulysses. I'm a sucker for a good literary reference, and it was full of them.

There's this great line at the beginning of the movie where Bloom says of his brother Stephen, "He writes cons like dead Russians wrote novels." And then it becomes not just a line that sounds good, but catches up the theme of the entire movie.

Plus, it's got a good, twisty plot, as every con movie should. My favorite kind of plot. It even got me wanting to write again, as well. After four years in college scribbling in notebooks, mostly about books, the writing this last year has gone much more slowly. With everything that's gone on, I've lost a lot of momentum and discipline. But my fingers are always itching for a pen (or even, occasionally, a keyboard), and thoughts and hopes of a good story are always steeping at the back of my mind. Still, I've found myself doing a lot of thinking lately about if I want to keep writing, and if so what I want to write.

It's strange to have these doubts and hesitations after so many years of knowing it's what I wanted to do. I remember the day I realized I wanted to be a writer, in Mrs. Hedman's fourth grade language arts class. As hard as it may be for me at the moment, there have been moments along the way that have reminded me why I keep scribbling. These days, The Brothers Bloom has become one of the biggest ones.

There's nothing like a good story, to make me long to write a good story. And this is the kind I love most. Where the storytelling and style have just as much to do with it as the actual plot or characters. I'll read all the great, formidable, highly-respected novels of acclaim that my old professors and classmates recommended, but it's the page-turners that suck me in for hours while the day passes me by that will keep my pen moving across the pages. The page-turners, and the occasional well-written, quirky, literary romp of a romantic-comedy con movie.

June 15, 2009

Playing catch up

The last week has been a largely wasted one. I blame Boy-Creature, because last Monday he brought home games for the PS2 that's been sitting ignored on the shelf below our TV. I had been fine with it sitting there, inert, for the two months since our friend gave it to us, but suddenly there was Lego Indiana Jones, and Kingdom Hearts, and just like that the week imploded.

Luckily, the novelty has already worn off, so I'm back to getting things done.

I was reading The Prestige, but I finished it on Saturday morning. It was weird, and while I appreciate some of the differences between the two, I think the movie was way, waaay better. For one thing, the movie has more than two characters. It got kind of boring after awhile. Anyway, I finished that, and then read Alice Hoffman's Local Girls, all in one day.

It felt good to finish a book that fast. I used to get one of my parents to take me to the library on a Friday night, and I'd check out six or seven chapbooks from the young adult section and read as many of them as I could in that one weekend. You'd think I wouldn't have retained a single thing, going at that speed, but it's surprising how many of those books stuck with me. Patrice Kindl's Woman in the Wall, and this strange book called Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary, and anything by Patricia Wrede or John Bellairs. And Douglas Adams. It used to be a ritual I'd perform every summer, that I'd steal my brother's copy of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe and read through the whole thing, lying on a beach towel in the backyard and drinking cherry 7Up and eating E.L. Fudge cookies and cherry Twizzlers.

I'd give just about anything to be able to read that quickly and that deeply now. I realize a big part of what's slowing me down is that I'm reading more substantial books, but I still miss the days of the pages flying past. But at least I'm still reading. So like I said, I've finished those two, and now I'm on The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear. It's a little bit insane, but pretty funny. Plus it's a pretty quick read. I'm already on life number six. Which is much farther than I've gotten in Kingdom Hearts.

Speaking of how far I've gotten, I'm finally nearing the end of the Blue Angel Sweater. I finished the right sleeve, and I'm through the cap sleeve and onto the decreases on the left. Then all I'll have left is the neck, and a little bit of weaving in ends, and it'll be done!

One of my short row wraps went a little wonky on the sleeve cap, though, so I'm contemplating ripping it back and redoing it. I most likely will, just not tonight. I don't have the strength for frogging tonight. But I'm sure I will. After all the time and effort I've already put into this thing, I want it to be as perfect as possible. Besides, the weird spot makes a little hole, and it's right in front. So I'll fix it tomorrow.