Tag Archives: Palimpsest

I HATE THIS BOOK WITH THE BURNING STENCH OF A GARBAGE FIRE

14 Aug

DISCLAIMER: (Everything I’m going to say here is much better said here by Chuck Wendig (Hey at least I’m honest.))

I’m revising.

Have I mentioned that I’m revising? Cause I am. And by revising, I mean, I’m pulling the broken spine out of a disgruntled hemorrhoid riddled gorilla and re-assembling it with legos. While he’s sleeping.

I’ve been ACTIVELY changing things since March. My plan (ha! what’s a plan?) was to be done by June. I was going to spend my summer writing nothing but poetry for a new chapbook tentatively entitled “How to Be An American” or “How to Spot and American” or something about Americans.

It was based on the amazing things I’ve found in this book:

Can you see how much fun that would have been?

Cause I can.

Except here it is August bloody 14th and i’m still only half way though the revision. And I have a novella I want to finish and short stories and that chapbook and and and and and (this is the part where I get all hyperventilate-y)

And the hardest part with all this spine ripping is that I really can’t tell if what I’m changing is making it better or worse cause it’s just one big patchwork quilt from hell at this point. Thank god for beta readers right? If I sell this thing I’ll have to give them half my royalties.

So aside from my complaining, which let’s be honest is the whole point of a blog, what I wanted to share was  this piece by Chuck Wendig because basically the things that go through his brain when he’s editing is what goes through my brain. Also he’s much funnier than me.

Be good kids.

I’m gonna go chew my fingers to bloody nubs.

Okay bye.

*laugh/sob/laugh/sob*

Doctor, Doctor, Doctor

5 Aug

Hi.

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here because I’ve been mired in revisions on my current WIP but I wanted to come out of my dank dark cave to share a few things.

There have been some new reviews of Lizzy popping up online. I posted them here but here’s a link to the newest from Pen and Muse.

P&M is a really great resource for writers and I was so excited when they agreed to take my piece on rejection which as I said when I gave it to them, was the most honest thing I’ve ever written about the submission experience for me. As for Lizzy they said some really great things like this:

Another thing I really liked about this novel is that Lizzy is a strong female protagonist. There’s nothing worse than opening a novel and starting to read it, only to find that the main female character is dependent on a male for happiness, or afraid to take action, etc. But this isn’t the case with Lizzy!

Also I have a new poem, Pick-pocketed by the Alchemist up at Electric Windmill Press so many thanks to Brian, the editor.

And in other more interesting non-Ally related news, we have a new Doctor!

Yes, in case you weren’t sure, I am THAT much of a nerd. As so eloquently described by the folks on twitter:

While I’m very excited about Peter, I’m still sad about Matt but have vowed to NOT repeat the theatrics from the David to Matt transition.

I vow to keep the tissue usage to a rational amount. 20 sheets max.

But before we move on, we’ve got a little time left with Matt – the sure-to-be-amazing 50th anniversary show and a Christmas special – and I just wanted to share this brilliant moment from his run, the moment in which I looked at Matt and didn’t say, I miss David.

The moment when I said, “Okay. That’s my Doctor.”

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

13 Jun

The title is an Einstein quote.

Put on your smarty glasses kids. We’re gonna talk about Research.

Suzzallo library of the University of Washington, Seattle WA

The reading room of the Suzzallo library of the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, was built in 1926 and has a Gothic interieur. Photography by Cap’n Surly Flickr.com

One of my favorite parts about writing a book is doing the research. When I was writing Lizzy I spent hours looking up mythological creatures and Shakespeare in the library. I used books like Barthe’s and the Encyclopedia of Imaginary Places and books on how keys were invented and books about Elizabethan England and it was tons of fun.

So for my new book, Palimpsest (which I’ve talked about a little here and here and here ) I present my currently reading or recently read research list:

There’s probably a few that I’m missing….

And I’ve also branched out into podcasts on topics that I want to include like time travel, and memory, how the universe came into existence and the multiverse and doppelgangers and how our brains are wired and… and… and…

You know, easy stuff.

So I discovered RadioLab which is my new obsession. They define themselves as a show about curiosity and that is without a doubt the simplest way to put it. Here a few of my favorites. All the descriptions are from the Radiolab website. I embedded what I could for your listening pleasure.

Memory and Forgetting  

This hour of Radiolab, a look behind the curtain of how memories are made…and forgotten. Remembering is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process–it’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated, and false ones added. And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory

Memory and Forgetting includes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Rat, Adding Memory and Clive which are parsed out below.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Rat

What is a memory? Science writer Jonah Lehrer tells us is it’s a physical thing in the brain… not some ephemeral flash. It’s a concrete thing made of matter. And NYU neuroscientist Joe LeDoux, who studies fear memories in rats, tells us how with a one shock, one tone, and one drug injection, you can bust up this piece of matter, and prevent a rat from every making a memory. LeDoux’s research goes sci-fi, when he and his colleague Karim Nader start trying to erase memories. And Nader applies this research to humans suffering from PTSD.

(This podcast was what lead me to read Jonah Lehrer’s book, Proust was a Neuroscientist)

Clive

The story of a man who’s lost everything. Clive Wearing has what Oliver Sacks calls “the most severe case of amnesia ever documented.” Clive’s wife, Deborah Wearing, tells us the story along with Oliver Sacks. And they try to understand why, amidst so much forgetting, Clive remembers two things: Music and Love.

(This podcast is what lead me to read her book listed above, Forever Today)

Adding Memory

We start this section off with a question from writer Andrei Codrescu“where do computers get their extra memory from?” And then we take it literally. Can you add memories?Dr. Elizabeth Loftus says yes. She’s a psychologist in the department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California at Irvine, and her research shows that you can implant memories—wholly false memories—pretty easily into the brains of humans. Her work challenges the reliability of eye-witness testimony, and is so controversial that she once had to call the bomb squad. Then, producer Neda Pourangbrings us the story of finding a lost memory. Painter Joe Andoe incessantly paints huge canvasses of seemingly random images: horses, pastures, and – more recently – a girl with a particular about-to-say-something look on her face. He didn’t realize until recently that he’d been painting a day from his past, a fragment of an afternoon 30 years earlier.

The (Mutli) Universe(s)

Robert and Brian Greene discuss what’s beyond the horizon of our universe, what you might wear in infinite universes with finite pairs of designer shoes, and why the Universe and swiss cheese have more in common than you think.

Have you wondered if there is another you out there? Somewhere? Sitting in the same chair, reading the same blog post, wearing the same clothes and thinking the same thoughts? Well, Brian Greene says there must be one. Or two. Or lots and lots and lots and lots and… Why? You ask, well listen to Greene’s argument in this week’s podcast.

We are still furiously working on Season 5, so while you wait we bring you today’s podcast of a conversation between Robert Krulwich and Brian Greene, physics and mathematics professor and director of the Institute of Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics at Columbia University. The interview is part of a series called ‘Giants of Science‘ hosted by venerable New York institution, the 92nd St Y.

(Brian Greene wrote Elegant Universe from the list above)

And of course never underestimate the power of Wine + Doctor Who = Mind Blown when it comes to ideas. Big ball of wibbley wobbley timey wimey….stuff.

Research is one of my favorite parts because it’s when my books and my desk get covered in post-it notes and ideas are popping up like little delicious bubbles all over the place and I drive my poor husband crazy talking about it. The hard part is mashing it all together. That’s the point when I start to think that maybe, just maybe, I’m not clever enough to pull this off!

Eternal Recurrence

16 Apr

I’ve been reading a lot of Nietzsche lately – both his own writing as well as people writing about him. My books are filled with little post-it-notes with quotes like this:

But then it [the individual] discovers that it is itself something changing and has a changing taste. It discovers in its freedom the mystery that there is no individual, that in the smallest moment it is something other than in the next moment…the infinitely small moment is the higher reality and truth is a lighting flash out of eternal flux.

Mostly it’s been this notion of eternal recurrence that’s been staying with me. And yes, in full disclosure nearly all of this is for book research, which I’m not going to go into here other than to say I was struck today that my main character needs to be the Lighting Flash Out of Eternal Flux. And that this idea of eternal recurrence is a very central theme.

Basically Nietzsche said that this moment, right now, you reading these words, my typing them, my foot tapping as I do so has occurred in every possible time for all time. It will continue to occur. Everything in your life has already happened and it will continue to happen. (Those of you who are Battlestar Galactica or Matrix fans have already been weaned on these ideas. Only with cylons and cool stunts).

So that moment, this moment, the next moment, it’s all already happened. Your great family, your horrible job. They’re a constant. They will keep happening for all time. Unless you choose to change it. Granted if that notion doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you I don’t know what will. God created Man to create God.

Anyway, the point is this stuff is fascinating and I really could use way more free time to study it.

Also, bonus! I finally found a reason for YouTube. This guy does a bang up job of explaining Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence (British accent bonus!)

And Armand Assante is rocking it as Nietzsche (in When Nietzsch Wept). Guess who I’m gonna be for Halloween? I just need a big mustache.

%d bloggers like this: