8.03.2012

Sunshine to Remember and other stories

It must be written up today that for once, we are having perfect weather.


And I am loving it.


I also love the sweet peas, which have suddenly become one of my favorite flowers.


* * *

Gratuitous cat picture!


* * *

Writers' link of the week: I have debated with myself whether to link this, and I'm going to. So. People have been arguing over whether it's supposed to be satire or straightforward. If it's satire, O world, so is my life. I disagree with Ms. Manguso on a few partial points, and even then, mainly insofar as charity and humanity are affected; e.g., it would be unchristian to entirely "avoid all messy and needy people including family", but there's nothing wrong with setting aside some work time when you shut the door and turn off your phone, which I think is mostly what Manguso is suggesting anyhow.

Also, there's no reason one can't pick and choose their ascetic practices to some extent. I admit I have more than two outfits.

One other disclaimer: a lot of commenters seemed to think the piece was extreme self-absorption. I don't think so, unless you read the last paragraph as an exhortation to perform charity for art's sake alone, which I did not. I saw the article as offering generally excellent advice. But then, there are some things one might actually have to be born and raised ascetic to understand.

Here, then, is Sarah Manguso's "How to Have a Career: Advice to Young Writers". Enjoy.

* * *

Music of the week: Thornfield, the folk/Americana band featuring Internet friends of mine Eric and Carrie Pazdziora, released their CD a few days ago! I bought it yesterday and have been enjoying it. Great piano, lovely voices, and fun, light lyrics.

Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any music videos available (hint, HINT, guys), but you can sample the tracks and buy a copy on their site. The album and an EP are also available on iTunes and are coming to Amazon and other places.

* * *

Random amusement of the week: The Atlantic's "How to Eat Like Your Favorite Authors". I got a good laugh out of this, but some of these recipes look fantastic. I do have a lot of kale. And some beets.

* * *

I'm off to get some more sun. Happy weekend!

5 comments:

  1. I loved the advice to young writer's link! Though it isn't me at all..:) Smoke a bit, drink a lot, and forget health insurance..you'll be famous before you're sick anyway, right ;)

    And cafes..everyone needs cafes, especially the ones with free coffee refils and hardwood floors!

    Enjoy the nice weather though. We're topping 90 and humid here, so I envy you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wait! There were other pictures & stuff besides the cat picture? ;)

    The writer's advice reminded me of some advice Mr. Burns from The Simpsons once gave. "Family, friends, religion. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business." Might apply to writing too. :) And I think she was trying to offer some good advice under the guise of hyperbolic satire.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That was an interesting article. I think I understand and even agree with a lot of what she is saying, though I feel a bit put of by her seeming . . . utilitarianism.

    Things like "Recognize those who will never help you, and ignore them; indignation and regret waste energy"

    and

    "Don’t give favors to people or institutions that lack authority or consequence. Publishing or showing work where no one will see it or giving a reading where no one will hear it is a favor. Learn graciously to decline. The world will catch on that you are a valuable commodity"

    make me uncomfortable.

    Could this be why I'm not published yet? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Christie, I think you're hitting the points where George and others read it as satire. Both of those made me uncomfortable on the surface level. Underneath, I read them differently, so:

    Recognize those who will never help you, and ignore them; indignation and regret waste energy

    Instead of reading 'ignore' as 'be stuck up and give the silent treatment to', I read it as 'don't waste your time trying to get their attention. Be friendly of course, but not desperate.'

    And:

    Don’t give favors to people or institutions that lack authority or consequence. Publishing or showing work where no one will see it or giving a reading where no one will hear it is a favor. Learn graciously to decline. The world will catch on that you are a valuable commodity

    I disagree to some extent with the first half of that, particularly when you're a nobody yourself. But the lesson I took from it was 'Have some firm boundaries'. When there are a lot of pressures on your time, gracious declining is an absolutely necessary skill.

    Like Masha, I loved the column, but then, I didn't come away from it with the suggestion of Mr. Burns, like George did. Possibly because I tend to filter everything I read according to my own Jane Bennet-esque "Nobody could ever have any bad motives" optimism. Also, I'm not sure how many people I offend by showing up to nothing I don't feel obligated by strong friendship to attend. :P

    ReplyDelete
  5. Okay, that makes more sense now. If you can't believe that people could never have bad motives, I always take everything literally!

    Btw, I think we have the same pillowcases as Maia!

    ReplyDelete

Friendly comments are welcomed with fairy music, magic wishes, and possible unicorn sightings. Troll comments will be Transfigured into decent-looking rocks or Vanished. Spam comments will be shot down with blasters. You have been warned.

It is with much regret that I've set the monster Captcha guarding the gate. There just weren't enough blasters. I'm sorry. I hate it, too.