Showing posts from May, 2010

More Pieces

I'm always anxious to spell people's names correctly when I'm signing books, and in a foreign country where the names and pronunciations are unfamiliar, I really need to see names written in order to understand them. The two French phrases I used most often over the past few days -- even more frequently than Désolé, je ne parle pas français (Sorry, I don't speak French) -- were À quel nom? (To what name?) and Pouvez-vous l'écrire? (Can you write it?) And people did write their names for me, very graciously. And now I have a ratty souvenir:

I'll put it on my bulletin board!

One thought as I prepare to leave Épinal: how I wish that English-language publishers would take the trouble to translate and publish more contemporary foreign books in English. Yes, I know it's difficult and requires foreign-language readers in the acquisitions department. Yes, I know there are gazillions of books in English already on the market. But honestly? It's a tragedy t…

Pieces of My Journey

The more time I spend in France, the more determined I become to spend more time in France. I keep telling myself, "When I have time, I'm going to learn French," but I think I need to admit that I'll never have time. What I'm going to have to do is MAKE time.

Have you heard of, or seen pictures of, the tapestries of the woman and the unicorn? They're in Paris at the Musée National du Moyen Âge, a.k.a. the Cluny Museum. A wise friend suggested I visit them in my little bit of free time, so I did, and... how can I describe it? The museum is small, full of tapestries and sculptures, weapons, all sorts of neat stuff from the Middle Ages -- and one magical room that contains all six of the tapestries in the Lady and the Unicorn series. The room is darkish (to preserve the colors of the thread) and cavernous and peaceful, and you just sit there, looking at them. I got to spend a restful few minutes there before running off to catch a city bus to catch a train.…

A Flying Post

At midnight ET, when this post is set to publish, I will (presumably) be in the sky, flying to France. You know what was invented in France? The flying trapeze! Obviously, this calls for a trapezey post.

Warning! To those afraid of heights: this is a trapezey post!

(Hello. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while know I get a little batty before trips, right?)

(Bat: another thing that flies! See, there's a THEME here.)

Okay, *ahem herm* let's get serious. The flying trapeze was invented in 1859 in Toulouse by a Frenchman named Jules Leotard. Guess what he wore? Instead of a net, in the beginning Leotard used a swimming pool. I bet a soaking wet leotard is clammy and cold.

And that's all the history you're getting, because I'm about to leave for France and I haven't packed yet and I DON'T HAVE TIME.

So, I've got two videos for you today. The first is a little local news piece about my trapeze school. I can't seem to embed it, bu…

Some Glee Links for a Thursday (Updated!)

Here's a weekly routine in my household:

I sit down to watch Glee. Maybe five minutes in, I start to cringe. Maybe ten minutes in, I start banging my head on the table, because I cannot believe the writers and producers of Glee have really, truly, actually decided to take the episode where they've taken it. Such a talented cast! This show could be so great! Why do they keep mucking it up? I swear to myself that this is the last episode of Glee I will ever watch. I pause my TiVo so that I can get up and rant to a few friends (who I'm pretty sure wish I would stop watching Glee) about why Glee offends me. I sit back down. I start the TiVo up again. The show (finally) gives a solo to one of the characters I care about (Kurt gets me every time) and the solo is GREAT, voice, emotion, performance, the way it fits into the plot, wardrobe, set design. I watch it numerous times. Then, at the end of the show, they air an ad for next week's episode, in which Neil Patr…

The Author Is Dead. (Not Literally. Though I Do Have Sore Arms.)

Here's something that happens to me all the time: someone expresses an opinion, and I have this feeling in my gut that I don't agree, but I can't figure out why not, or how to express it.

This is only one of the reasons I'm happy to have smart and articulate friends.

If you write or read fan fiction, or maybe even if you don't, you might have noticed the recent explosion of posts on the internets about the relationship between authors and fanfic, especially authors who don't want people writing fanfic about their characters. I've said before on this blog that I don't write fanfic. And I would never read fanfic about my own characters or worlds, for legal reasons and because it could interfere with my process. Please note that if you send fan fiction of my own books to me, I will not be able to read it!

But -- all that being said -- I like the concept of fanfic, and I'm glad people in the world are writing it. I've got no problem with fanfic wr…

In Which I Am Neither on Twitter Nor on Facebook

Hi there. This is your friendly non-tweeting and non-Facebook-using author here. I was rather surprised to stumble upon a Twitter account in my name this weekend, and even more surprised to discover a Facebook page in my name. I expect there's an innocent explanation for both of these accounts, and I'm looking into it. In the meantime, I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that those accounts are not me. In fact, my only online presence is this blog, so if you see me appearing in any other guise, then it's not me.

That is all.

Photos for a Thursday

In keeping with my blog break, here's a link from "The Big Picture," which tells news stories in photographs -- but I'll warn you that it might break your heart. It's photos of what BP's oil spill has done to the Gulf of Mexico. Some of them are gorgeous and all of them are depressing. Here's a preview photo for you. It's not one of the beautiful ones, but it's the one that made me furious. If you've been reading my blog for a long time, you might know why.

Thanks to my pal Jen for the link.

Popping in Again with Stuff and Things (and Orchids)

As you can see, I am very good at taking an enforced blogging break. Like last week's post, however, today's is mostly full of worthy links to other people's websites. Plus, orchid nonsense that has no relevance to anything.

Three things.

1. I'm a little behind the curve on this, but May 1 was BADD, or Blogging Against Disablism Day. What is disablism? It's discrimination against people based on a disability. That's an inadequate definition for something complex, really, so here's a short BADD post full of a whole bunch of powerful definitions for disablism. (Also, here's the wikipedia definition.) On BADD, people with and without disabilities blog about their experiences, observations, and thoughts about disablism. Here, at Diary of a Goldfish, you'll find an archive of posts from this year's BADD. To give you an example, here's a post on Rebecca Rabinowitz's fine blog. Also, here's Sarah Miller's reaction, which spoke to m…

Stepping in with Some Recommendations

I'm still on my blog break, but some things need to be shared. Have you ever read any Alice Munro? I'm not usually a short story reader, but Munro is one of those writers whose collections I can't put down. I just finished The View from Castle Rock, which was as good as a book can get. If you start it and find it's not the thing for you (too memoiry in feel?), try any of her other collections.

Also, the weekend's This American Life contained two segments that pretty much embodied everything I love about this radio show. The episode is called "Return to the Scene of the Crime," and the two segments were Mike Birbiglia's and Dan Savage's.

Follow this link to read more and to listen, but beware: This American Life is habit-forming!

And now, I will back away from the blog.