Monday, April 15, 2019

Daisy Jones and the Six

I don't remember how I heard about this book - everyone's buzzing about it, so maybe I saw a friend was reading it via Goodreads, or saw it on #bookstagram. Either way, I put it on hold at the library and didn't have to wait too long to start it. I was so excited to crack open the cover, which felt amazing in itself, because I haven't been reading much lately.

Then I started the story. WOW. Not only do I love classic rock and band drama from the '70s, but it's so well-written, and presented in an interesting way of the author compiling a narrative from all parties involved.

Also, it's totally the book I've been trying to write for decades.

I'm not saying the author stole my work or my idea or anything like that! I'm just feeling validated that this idea I had as a thirteen year old Aerosmith fanatic might actually have literary merit! I thought the story I was writing was glorified fan fiction, but  Daisy Jones and the Six has me rethinking that, and revisiting my story.

There are so many quotes about how you can't be a writer without being a reader, and I've always been a reader. And I've always loved music. And falling in love with Aerosmith as a young teenager gave me a way to connect music and writing. I worked on my fan fiction novel off and on for several years. I'm not exaggerating when I say I think of it often, even as an adult. I think of the title (which I still think is pretty perfect), and the main character, and what really should happen in the end. Because of course I haven't finished it!

But now, on the cusp of finishing Daisy Jones and the Six and honestly having no clue what will happen, I'm intrigued about my own story again. I want to re-read what I wrote so long ago, and see how my age and wisdom (ha!) might influence how the story will pan out. It's so refreshing to find a book that has not only made me fall in love with reading again, but has also made me fall back in love with writing, imagining, and all that comes along with that type of creating.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dahl Study: Neck

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!

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"Neck" from Collected Stories (read 1/3/19)

This story was a little strange overall. It took a bit to get into the action, then I think the ending was over my head (no pun intended). A newspaper columnist meets an important man's wife, and manages to get invited to their estate for the weekend. The husband used to own a newspaper when he was single, but he got rich, his wife nailed him down, and now he is an art collector and has huge statues all over the estate. The columnist hits it off with the husband while the wife is very rude and flirts with other guests. The newspaper columnist and husband walk the grounds and see the wife goofing around with a guest, even kissing him. She gets her head stuck in a statue and the husband has to cut her out with an ax or saw... but the ending was ambiguous to me. I think he lets her die from asphyxiation? 

"Neck" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 1/3/19)

The show cut to the chase quickly, having an art historian (instead of a columnist) come to the estate of an art collector and his wife. The wife came on to the art historian in his room one night - something that wasn't in the story. The backstory of the husband owning a newspaper and his wife chasing him into marriage came out in later dialogue. The sculpture scene and kiss happen, but the husband first tries to put Vaseline on the wife's neck to pull her head out. It makes her mad that he makes her messy trying this, because it makes her look silly. I was hoping the film would show the ending to clear it up for me, but it still had him going for her/the sculpture with an ax, and her screaming, so who knows. Maybe he chopped her head off with the ax in this one?

Friday, April 5, 2019

Dahl Study: The Landlady

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!

- - -

"The Landlady" from Collected Stories (read 1/3/19)

A young man takes the train to a new city for his job. He is supposed to find his own room, and asks for a recommendation. On his way to the recommended pub, he sees a cozy-looking room with a bed and breakfast sign in the window. He stops there instead of continuing on to the recommended place. It's cheaper than he was expecting, so he stays. The woman seemed to have been waiting for him, and she is very...into him. She has him sign the guestbook and he sees two names only. The names sound a bit familiar to him. Then he learns the woman is a skilled taxidermist, and she says her two other guests never left...

"The Landlady" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 1/3/19)

This starts off similar to the story, but is more explicit in laying it out. The landlady gives the young man tea and explains about her taxidermy and then the young man starts feeling sick. She takes him to his bed as he tries to figure out how he knows the two other names in her guestbook. It then shows her "caring for" the two taxidermy men before returning to the newest young man, donning her apron, and readying her supplies.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Reading Life: 1st Quarter 2019

My reading life for the first three months of 2019 has been pretty sad. I read 8 books in January, 3 in February, and 7 in March. You can see all my reviews on Goodreads, but I wanted to share my top three here.

Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival
by Kelly Sundberg 

Recommended by a friend, and I would in turn recommend it to pretty much anyone. Sundberg is so open and honest about her relationship history, her marriage, and being a mother. Her prose is beautiful and emotional and touching. Many sections had me nodding in agreement, others had me biting my nails, and others had me weeping. A must-read.

by Jennifer Mathieu

I cannot rave about this book enough. I keep thinking “I wish I had this when I was in high school” but honestly, it seems just as important to me as an adult. It’s inspirational, moving, and will make you feel empowered. Beautiful writing, wonderful story. Highly recommend for EVERYONE to read.

Alice Isn't Dead
by Joseph Fink

I haven’t really listened to the podcast much due to listening time constraints, so I was excited to get my hands on the book. I loved this creepy, surreal story that made such a realistic commentary about human nature. Now I’ve got to carve out time to listen to the podcast.