Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reading "New York" in Avalon

Enjoying a week in beautiful Santa Catalina Island and also enjoying New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd.
I lived in NYC for many years and find the history of this dynamic city fascinating. In this epic history, the author follows a few families from the earliest European settlers in what was then New Amsterdam.
But I was reminded of one of my pet peeves--editors that are not consistent with adverbs; one page has a line in which the character would: "...laugh when it was called for, though not too loud and not too long."
Wouldn't that be "loudly"? I say, bring back the "ly"... But then, I'm an editor, so maybe I am just being picky. The more informal usage sounds more like what someone would say, but does that might it right, or desirable? I say it depends on the book, and its genre. Seems inappropriate in a history, where the author's language should ideally be "invisible."
hasta pronto!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Super-short Spring Break Post: Editing & e-books

Still slogging north (upwind sailing is no fun) and still slogging through "Count of Monte Cristo" too...Reminds me why authors need editors. So many "great" classical writers wrote on and on--turning out great long tomes every time out--and never seemed to worry about repeating themselves. It irritates me to read something in chapter 35 that I read in chapter 29, or anywhere, for that matter. Maybe it comes from being paid by the word or page? Who knows.
Anyway, it's Spring Break and I should be reading some "beachy" trash book anyway--I searched through my library to come up with a more fun read and found it--Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, which I had bought the Captain for Christmas and never read. What a hoot--the entire story of "The Big Lebowski" written in Shakespearean verse, with an ironic, sly wit. If you are a Big Lebowski fan, I suggest that you give it a try.
Meanwhile--a free ebook, by my dear friend CM Mayo, awaits all those who join the "Dancing Chiva" newsletter. The site sez: "Membership in the Dancing Chiva Literary Arts Club is free. Simply sign up for our newsletter, a brief and informative e-mail that will arrive in your e-mail 5 - 6 times a year. You'll be the first to know about new books, workshops, and special promotions."
Here's the link to the page with the info.
hasta pronto!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

From Monte Cristo, Across the Universe...

Getting ready to set sail for a Spring Cruise and I'm reading The Count of Monte Cristo, which turns out to include quite a bit of the ol' "seafarin' yarn" in well as quite a few familiar plot twists, like the unjustly accused man who serves years in prison, the "romantic robber", and a search for "hidden treasure" on a desert island. The thing is, Dumas wrote this long before most of those other books were written, so it's not derivative--it's original!
And, yes, in answer to an email--I do read most of the classic books I discuss here as ebooks on my iPod (with the Kindle app for iPhone). Not only is that much more practical for someone who live son a 35 foot vessel, but I like having the illuminated screen for midnight reading, without turning on a light. Here is the link to the free public domain book at Amazon.
Last night, going through the DVD collection, we happened upon Across the Universe, known to most of us Boomers as "the Beatles Musical." We both remembered liking the movie, but the second viewing was even better! Unlike most musicals, this movie has a script--and because so much time is spent on songs (and a majority of the covers of the Beatles tunes are amazing and heartfelt) the script has to be succinct and clear. And it is that and more.
One scene is memorable--a great singer is courted by a semi-sleazy record producer and he offers her a deal. She demurs, saying it sounds like a good deal, she has to ask the guys in her band.
"No, you don't" he replies, simply but tellingly.
Those three words say so much about him and her and the whole backstory of her and the band. Great writing.
Back to the list of items I have "to do before sailing"...
hasta pronto!