Spring is in full force, in case you haven’t noticed. All my windows are open. I can hear children screaming. Salsa blares; the rattles and chirps of birds make their way in too. My apartment smells like fresh laundry and various barbequed meats from yards down below. One of my students gave me a Japanese name. She translated the two syllables of my name, An-ka, into “Fragrance of Apricots.” M. has informed me that cellphone radiation has killed 70% of the world’s honeybees. Tomorrow I go to the Cherry Blossom Festival.
With that I bring you my ever-ambitious summer reading list! As I’ll have a bit of extra time on my hands in July, I hope to actually write about some these books at that time. Also notice I will update the book lists in the sidebar to reflect what I’ve *actually* read recently (some of those books I finished long ago) and will perhaps finish some of the books that I’ve been chipping away at a glacial pace (is that a cliche now?).
Onward. The list over which I salivate:
My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk
Nana, par Emile Zola
Germinal, par Emile Zola
The Sound and the Fury, by William Falkner
The Decameron, by Boccaccio
Pierre et Jean, par Guy de Maupassant
Summer, by Edith Wharton
Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon
Du cote de chez Swann, par Marcel Proust
The Golden Bowl, by Henry James
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, by Oscar Hijuelos
I went on a shopping spree at Housing Works last month or so, and bought much of the above for $1 or 50 cents. Ah, I love that place.
The results from Readers’ Choice #3 are in! Fun!
The concert was on a plane, for about 60 people. We were to take off from Central Park.
“Lagavulin?” The waitress nodded. I sat back in a red velvet chair. The pale man with a maroon-lipped grimace started up his accordian. He sang in a shrill falsetto, then a gravelly voice, absurdly low.
The plane took off; we flew over tree tops. Then, below us, the confetti of exploding buildings. The man sang higher, lower, louder over the noise below us. When all the buildings were gone, the man stopped singing and we had lost our voices. All we could do was whisper.
(When I was little, I used to have many bizarre nightmares. These seem to have dropped off as I became an adult–perhaps due to a drop in sensitivity. So I when I dream something like this, I have to take note. Usually I hold onto these scraps and see if the dream logic spins into a story. But since I can’t or won’t make use of exploding buildings, however gruesome some of the my stories have been, I’ve decided to post this here.)
Our third Readers’ Choice contest is happening right now over at 55 Words. The stories are fabulous, so go take a look and send in your picks! Then, get inspired and send in your stories.
When I was in third or fourth grade, I started a writers’ club and invited a bunch of my friends to join. We had our first meeting at my house and I was all in a kerfuffle about who would come and what kind of story they would bring. The first guest to arrive showed me her story about a beautiful black horse. At first I was impressed. Then it dawned on me that she had simply copied Black Beauty.
“You can’t do that!” I scolded. Plagiarism wasn’t in my vocabulary yet, but I was indignantly aware of the concept. Later, my mother scolded me. “Let her write what she wants,” she said. “What do you care?”
A few more members arrived and I was giddy with power, having appointed myself president.
“Can’t we say we’re writing but just play?” asked one of the arrivals. I was furious but held my tongue. I gave in to the small troupe and we played with My Little Ponies and Barbie Dolls while I grumbled to myself and lamented the first and last meeting of my writers’ club.