Posts

Showing posts from June, 2013

Yes.

Image

Ernie and Bert: Fabulous

Image

Current Work Breakdown, for Them That's Interested

Image
As I've mentioned recently, I'm revising a manuscript. Here's a breakdown of what this revision tends to look like on a daily basis: For one hour or so, I reread and ponder the responses of my early readers and my own notes ( as I blogged about recently ). For maybe two or three hours, I look back over the revising I did yesterday and all the days before, getting a second look at my revisions and changing things here and there. For maybe an hour or an hour and a half, I push forward in the book, maybe revising one more chapter. I find I'm working anywhere from two to seven hours in a session (with a lot of breaks), depending on what else I'm doing that day and how quickly I get mentally drained. I never sit down intending to work seven hours – generally that's too much, too draining – but occasionally I'll look up and be startled to see how much time has passed. (This happens more often in summer than winter – the sun sets so late!) Sometimes I onl

Another Paris Picture Roundup

Image
If you're a gargoyle, Sacre Coeur is probably a nice thing to be a gargoyle on,  and Montmartre a nice part of Paris to look out over…  Outside the Musée Rodin, people stick their entrance stickers onto poles –  a spontaneous public arts project :)  On one of the footbridges over the Seine – I think it's the Pont des Arts? – people attach locks to the fence  to symbolize their romantic relationships. ... Normally I'm all for these things – note the Rodin stickers above  and the graffiti – but am I the only person who doesn't get a romantic feeling from a lock exactly?   Marie took this :). It was so sunny that I reached into my bag at one point  to get my sunglasses – not realizing I was already wearing my sunglasses.  Marie and me, self-portrait, in front of one of the big clock windows at the Orsay .  All of the shoes in this picture are made of chocolate.  All of the dogs in this picture are large.  Free samples on the wi

Paris: Graffiti

Image
At the flea markets de la porte de Clignancourt. Outside the markets. Skeleton grate. Somewhere in the 7th, I think.... On Quai de Jemmapes. I think this was in Le Marais... And this near Place de la Bastille. This too.

Paris: Clocks. (And Snoods.)

Image
The Musée d'Orsay , which contains the world's largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, is in what used to be the Gare d'Orsay -- a Beaux-Arts train station built at the turn of the 20th century. A number of the windows, like this one in the café, are clocks (to show the time to the outside world).  Here's another one in an anteroom adjacent to one of the galleries. It's kinda amazing to see a view of Paris through an enormous clock. Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre through a clock. One more clock in the Musée d'Orsay. Here's a clock on Boulevard du Palais on the Île de la Cité. Paris is divided in two by the Seine,  and the Île de la Cité is a little island in the middle of the river. It's where Notre Dame is, and also the Prefecture de Police, the Palais de Justice (which includes the Sainte Chapelle ), a hospital, and the Tribunal de Commerce. And the flower markets, and this clock. This c

Bots High, Émile Zola, and yes, more 2CELLOS

Image
I adore Bots High , which is a documentary about high school students in Miami building combat robots and competing in a national robotics competition. Incidentally, many, many of the robot engineers are girls. That's only one of the reasons to watch -- I love these kids, love their smarts, creativity, procrastination, anxiety, heart, the ways they take care of each other. Wanting to read a novel that takes in Paris while I'm in Paris, I settled on Émile Zola's Au Bonheur des Dames ("The Ladies' Delight"), translated by Robin Buss. First published in 1883, it's about a fictional department store in the era when department stores were new to Paris; the store's brilliant, attractive, and dissolute owner, Octave Mouret; his staff, and in particular a strong young women of dignified purity named Denise Baudu; and all the small merchants in the neighborhood whose lives and livings are destroyed by the capitalist behemoth in their midst. It's rep

Paris: Rue des Mauvais Garçons

Image
Translation: Street of Bad Boys.

For Writers: A Quick Tip on Starting

Image
When writing, there's a danger in depending too much on preparation. Yes, preparation is important, but you're not going to figure everything out about a writing project before you start it. Part of the point is that you figure it out while doing it. You're planning a book, and you can't figure out the solution to a certain plot puzzle, or how one of your characters feels about something, or even what someone's name is? Maybe that means it's time to start writing. You're not completely ready? As with most things in life, if you wait until you're completely ready, you'll never start. Get a new definition for "ready." Just as courage often involves being scared to death, readiness often involves accepting that you don't really know what's going to happen. :) I also advise tea and chocolate.

Three Writers in Paris

Image
Marie Rutkoski , me, Melina Marchetta

For Sendak Fans

Image
Sendak fans, get to the google search page by the end of the day and press play on Max to see the animation in honor of what would have been Sendak's 85th birthday. Beautiful. Important ETA 6/11/13:  So, it turns out that Google has an archive of their doodles (of course), so you can always look for old Google doodles here: http://www.google.com/doodles/ . In fact, it's better than that: some of the doodles, if you click on them, give you in-depth information about the process of creating the doodle. ( Here's info about the complicated Sendak doodle! ) Not to mention the locations where it was visible, which I find interesting. I'm sorry the doodle for Federico García Lorca's 115th birthday was only visible in Spain! I had a cat named after him when I was a kid. Anyway. Thanks JD, ever trusty and reliable!

Paris: Work and Play

Image
A day of work at the Bibliothèque Mazarine... followed by window shopping on Boulevard Saint-Germain. (These shoes had ice cream cone heels!) Maybe hard to see -- this was a shirt. Apparently wearing Ralph Lauren makes you climb up onto the bar. Incidentally, the umbrellas at Alexandra Sojfer were the main reason I needed to go window-shopping.