Tag Archives: writing

Awful Things: Babar the Little Elephant

20 Sep

Things I didn’t realize until just now:

Um… Babar and Celeste are cousins. I read this book over and over as a kid. but yesterday, I read it to my son and realized some things about The Story of Babar the Little Elephant. It has a number of weird/awful things happening in it – Babar’s mother gets shot by “vicious hunters,” we see a picture of a bleeding momma elephant, Babar is often grieving and cries when he thinks of her (omg heartbreaking!), he runs away and is taken in by a wealthy old lady who gives him anything he wants, his first order of business upon arriving in town is to cover his naked elephant body in a handsome green suit – but possibly weirdest/most awful of all is that he marries Celeste, his little cousin whom he takes in, buys fancy clothes, and ice cream for after she and her brother run away.

20130913-122918.jpgThis is kind of like my revelation, at age thirty, that Jack Tripper had to pretend to be gay around the Ropers so he could live with Janet and Chrissy. Wait. Right?? That was part if what Three’s Company was about, wasn’t it??

UPDATE: Yes. The internet agrees with me about Janet, Chrissy and Jack’s living arrangement.

Here is Why I Like Necessary Fiction

16 Sep

I’m always lost when it comes to story submis20130912-214818.jpgsions, finding a home for my writing. It’s kind of like trying to find a home for a cat who pees on all my son’s toys because it is clear she dislikes him and hates living with us. (I have one of those by the way, do you want her??)

My stories are like these angry animals that have to leave my house, and if given to the right home, I know, I just know they’ll be sweet and sit on your lap and purr all day long. I read a lot of online literary journals, so choosing one where my work might be a good fit is a little overwhelming. So, I try to do some research.

I read an interview of Necessary Fiction‘s editor Steve Himmer at the blog Six Questions For (an excellent resource for this type of research), and I knew that my work might have a chance finding a home there. Himmer says:

I think of fiction as a way to make sense of how individual lives are woven in larger webs of nature and culture and science and history and everything else…

I think of fiction/living the same way. Writing is my way to make sense of the world.

He goes on to say:

I tend to prefer reflective stories, those that feel like a moment slowed down rather than stories overwhelmed by action. I like a story that asks me to linger and think about something rather than rushing me along.

I like that he says this. It’s a dangerous thing to say since the cardinal rule of fiction is that something must happen, some action, but, I have always been fond of those small, lingering moments in stories.

Additionally, this review of Necessary Fiction was helpful and very accurate!

(And also, now I like Necessary Fiction a little extra, because they accepted this story of mine!)

Possible candidates for Kite Flying Society….

12 Sep

I’m very excited and honored to have my story, Tonight, I Built a Kite up at Necessary Fiction!

Noveling

12 Jul

Scissors, tape, pink pen, paper scraps, post-its, the goddess, a cold 21st Amendment beer. Yes, I am listening to Moby, Play (’99)… What of it?

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Fear and Labor

16 Jan

Here. Omg. This is up! I feel super cool and all embarrassed, and I’m so honored to have my writing up at The Feminist Breeder!

San Francisco seemed as good as any place to pee on a stick. After two weeks of driving cross-country feeling a little off, blaming car sickness and altitude changes for my nausea and exhaustion, it was time for more wine, one last cigarette and the inevitable. (Read more)

An essay about my fear, (terror?) of having a baby and how I transformed into someone I’d never thought I’d be.

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Paul Grossmann took this of my gigantic boy belly. He's an awesome photographer you should know.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was scared shitless and was really looking for someone else who was just like me and got through it.

The fact that women do it every day, have multiple children etc. did not matter. I thought my fear was something no one else had or could even understand. What I found was women who were anxiously anticipating the arrivals of their little bundles, not someone who wondered if she could just ask to be knocked out and have them take the baby out. (Although, I was also terrified and mistrusting of hospitals, doctors and bitchy labor and delivery nurses.)

This essay is a small snippet of my entire experience, but a really important snippet. If one other terrified pregnant woman who envisions childbirth as the climax to a bad (good) torture-horror film finds this and is calmed, at least for a moment, I’ll feel pretty good.

A (totally not serious) Critique of Suess’ Marvin K. Mooney

9 Jan

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Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! is not one of Seuss’ best. It’s no The Cat in the Hat, it’s no One Fish, Two Fish, or even Hop on Pop. The basic story is, as the title suggests, a plea for this Marvin K. Mooney character to “please go, now,” yet, it’s never specifically defined where he should go or, perhaps more importantly, why the narrator is so insistant upon him going, thus begging the question, what is the occasion for the telling of this story?

Perhaps Mooney is being asked by the narrator to please go to bed, but it’s not explicit. I think the reader needs to know for sure, ground us in some sort of reality. It would change the whole tone and ultimate conclusion of the story and help define just how we are to feel for both MKM and the narrator. As it is, the narrator’s anger just increases with each suggestion on how exactly MKM could possibly get to where he should go, but this, to me is anger for anger’s sake and snappy writing (which Seuss does a good job at).

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It’s not rooted in anything I can understand. Is there some past between the narrator and Mooney that we should be aware of? He has to go. What of it? What’s a stake for Mooney, the narrator if he goes or does not? Would knowing that help round out these characters?

I do enjoy the suggestions the narrator makes for modes of transportation that Mooney may take to “go.” They range from the common, skates, skis, a hat…

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To the whimsical. (A Zumble-Zay.)

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But, still. This just isn’t doing it for me without knowing more about these characters. Overall, it was a quick read with lots of fun colors and some good potential characters to draw out from the narrative. Additionally, my 8 month old reports that the cover tastes good and is fun to bang with his hands.

Pink Foil lipstick. This reminds me of:

5 Jan

1. 1992. High school drama club cast party for Damn Yankees at Señor Rattlers where we, of course, danced to Rock Lobster and Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Then, we stood in a big circle, swaying and singing That’s What Friends Are For (lame, right?) and drank virgin margaritas. I have videotaped proof of this.

2. Also,same year, working at the Old Salt on the boardwalk in Ocean City and cleaning the scrimshaw pieces and cranberry glass and hosing down the hermit crabs.

3. Also, F.M.’s 17th(?) birthday party, probably ’93. He wore an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer shirt and had a cake and, like, half the party was stoned. There were Doritos and Pepsi.

4. A.E.L., 1992, A.E.L. kept her lipstick in her pocket and applied it often. I kept mine in a bag or a pocket and rarely used it. I have never been one to freshen up my make-up.

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Pink Foil Lipstick.

Most Heartbreaking Line of All Time

14 Dec

In “Goodnight Moon,” the narrator enumerates the items found in the great green room of a little bunny-boy, only to then say goodnight to each one. Most of the things listed are tangible–kittens, mittens, a brush, a bowl full of mush, a creepy old lady knitting. But, after each thing is bid adieu for the night, this blank page and these stark, sorrowful words interrupt the pattern in a most heartbreaking way.

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Most Beautiful Line Ever Written

13 Dec

In this scene, Toad, paralyzed by the loss of his To Do list, can’t do anything. Frog joins him in a lovely show of friendship and compassion.

My heart aches; it’s so full.

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Hey, Boo-Boo!

10 Aug

Yogi Bear Campground, Elmer, NJ, 1984

Yep, I’m the one in the pic-in-nic basket, me with my home perm and glasses. I was usually the one who would do something weird.  This is a Girl Scout camping trip to Yogi Bear Campground in Elmer, NJ.

It is 1984, so slouch socks, Keds, and Olympic Fashion abound.

Here is a whole episode of Yogi Bear!