Thursday, November 25, 2010

Who Wrote Vinteuil' s Sonata?

Interesting blog on the oft-researched Sonata with the "petite phrase,"  the love song for Swann and Odette. 

Who Wrote Vinteuil's Sonata

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Shadow Warriors

I am pleased to announced that my novel of technology and desire, The Shadow Warriors, will soon be available on the Kindle.  In time for Christmas, I hope.  Information Warfare is just as relevant in 2010 as it was in the 90's when I began writing the book. 

Proust's Religion

Proust and Religion  

Imagery yes, dogma no.

A blogger posts about religion and Proust.  Well, Proust did like churches.  I  thought of Proust today in the supermarket when I saw the pineapple all slice or chunked and ready for salads.  Proust was fond of a pineapple salad with weird ingredients.

I would so have loved it if he ever mentioned the food served at some of the soirees, but he never breathes a word.  They could have been eating Chinese take-out.  But of course, they weren't. Damn.  Inquiring minds want to know.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reading Practically Everyone in Dedham

The weekend of the New England Crimebake in Dedham, MA, a conference for crime writers (and readers). Good this year with Charlaine Harris, Dennis Lehane, Catherine Hall Page, Julia Spencer-Fleming and other great New England Crime Writers.  And editors and agents, too.  Such fun to hang out at the bar and talk writing, shoes, robot vacuum cleaners, writing, New York, the Yankees, the Red Sox, various presses, writing, and well, yanno. . . . 

I pitched my latest almost complete oeuvre, which I had to go back and fix after the main character killed the bad guy.  Man, that changes everything.   

I realized that every manuscript I've ever written has a journey as big part of the story. The current novel is a road trip, racing up and down the Eastern seaboard and then off to Chicago and finally Reno and the Black Rock Dessert.  In Festival Madness, it as the trip to Burning Man.  In Promiscuous Mode, the character traveled to Wisconsin.  In World of Mirrors, the trip was to East Germany.  In the Shadow Warriors the characters congregated at a German university after bogeying through Singapore and Hong Kong.  

I just returned from San Francisco.  Who said every novel is either a journey or a quest?  Or both.  Think of On the Road.  Think of Canterbury Tales. 

An editor said the most boring beginning is to find the character setting out on a journey.  I dunno.  Sounds good to me. 

Marcel went to Balbec and to Venice.  And to visit Aunt Leonie.  I think Proust was a homebody, especially in his later years.  Finally he locked himself into his lonely room and wrote.   That is what I need to do to finish this book.  Why does it take so long? 

The Other Odette

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Proust Interview

Every month Vanity Fair asks a celebrity a series of questions known as the Proust Interview.  The questions are general and can be answered (perhaps differently) at various stages of life.  Here is a link:  to the web site

Imagine my surprise during Bouchercon, the mega-mystery writing and fan convention recently in San Francisco, when best-seller Lee Child was asked questions from the Proust Questionnaire during an interview.  His answers were flip and irreverent and it is galling that I can't find anything relating to the SUBSTANCE of the interview on the web.  There are a gazillion posts about Bouchercon and Lee Child, who threw a Reacher Creature Party on Friday.  But zilch, nada, nothing about the interview.  Rats!  

I was too jet-lagged and wine-soaked to go to the party.  In fact the entire convention passed in a kind of blur.  But San Francisco is a lovely town and we strafed through the City Lights Bookstore, a clean, well-lighted place that Proust would have loved.  We also attended a San Francisco noir event, at which I was even more jet-lagged.  I need to think seriously about arriving en site one day earlier than planned to catch up on sleep.  Eschew wine.  Take brisk walks.  Whatever. 

The most fruitful day was the first where Elizabeth Lyons gave a writing/editing session, and I learned so much.  I was also taking an online class on writing The First Five Pages of the novel.  And we had company and had to do a major house cleaning and other stuff and now I wonder how I stayed awake at all.  

We arrived during the week of San Francisco's "summer," of  beautiful sunny weather.  Stayed not at the convention hotel but at Land's End, on the other side of town, a long but cheap bus ride down Geary Street.  The Seal Rock Inn is situated at a scenic point and has the fame of Hunter Thompson having written one of his book's there.  We like it because of the location, the fact that you get a large suite with a fridge, and free Wi-Fi.  And the bus.  And the restaurant that serves big breakfasts reasonably.  And the funk.  The Grand Hotel at Balbec, it ain't. 

I am reading Proust again, and the Verdurin's party is almost as long as the Guermantes, but more interesting with Cottard, Charlus, the Verdurins, the couple you love to hate, and a cast of many.  Proust is a big change from Janet Evanovich and Jacqueline Winspear, two writers I read on my Kindle during the long flights.  A Kindle is wonderful to load up a bunch of books to go.  No heavy piles of paper, just the little device with it's recharging cord, of course.  

If I ever find out more about Lee Child's answers to the Proust questionnaire, I'll  post.  In the meantime, I'm still catching up on my sleep.