Friday, December 26, 2008

new day on the horizon

Overheard at the breakfast table at my parents' house today:

U.S. authorities are winning favor from various Afghani Bedouin chiefs by giving them viagra.

The shoemaker responsible for the shoes thrown at Mr. Bush in Iraq last week faces over 400,000 web orders. (I'm pretty sure I have that number right but can't be bothered to check it right now.)

Reporters covering Obama at his vacation in Hawaii are thrilled over the difference between that and Crawford, Texas.

I'm heading off for a brief but faraway trip again and excited. Be back after the New Year. 2009, here we come.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apple Squared

(the dog says "Bush" on it)

Got back last night after four days staying with friends in Astoria, Queens. Got to Manhattan most of the days but didn't set foot in Brooklyn once. Walked from Sunnyside to Astoria one day and from the Lower East Side to Columbus Circle another. Man, I miss walking a city. maybe I should try it out here in Richmond; there doesn't seem much cause to since everything I do is in a pretty small radius and it's rainy and cold today, though last night was warm, almost humid, and I could most pleasantly sit on my front porch. Trying to write today. Hard to make myself do it since the semester just ended and I got back from vacation.

Did you hear about the Iraqi reporter throwing the shoe at Bush? Pretty silly, huh? The whole thing doesn't translate into English too well. A shoe--since it walks on the ground, where scum is--is the insult of all insults, and the way he yelled at him, amazing.

With the first shoe, he yelled: "This is a good-bye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog."

And with the second: "This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq."

Seriously, a shoe in the head is the least this loser deserves. What has he got in front of him? A life of leisure and a big pension and tons of family money, etc. Hmmm. Kind of makes me angry to think of it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


So in my teaching writing theory class and in the Writing Center where I work and in my fiction classes, we always talk about how revision should be exactly that, re-envisioning your writing, transforming it on a large scale--not tweaking words or adding commas but really putting your mind on the thing and looking at how it is working as a piece of writing. One theorist we read made the case the level of revision done marks the difference between beginning and experienced writers and I completely agree, though, honestly, talking about it and dissecting it and demanding it is boring! What's awesome is having an honestly hands-on conversation about it and doing it and seeing it. This week in the workshop that I am taking and the one I am co-teaching, I've gotten the chance to read revisions of stories we've worked on during the semester, and I must say I have been blown away. It's a nice way to feel at the end of a long semester.