Thursday, December 30, 2010


In the interest of keeping house leading into the new year, I am just noting for posterity's sake the other books I've been reading this fall. They're all worthy of discussion in their own ways; for this post, suffice it to say that the first two have been integral to a fiction project I'm working on, and the other two are written by guys who are my inspirations, my gurus, and the worst possible influences on me as a writer -- particularly ol' Tom, as he makes me envy his prose so much that I inevitably attempt to emulate it. (At least Kurt can be a non-Hemingway model of concise, compact, direct writing.)

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, by Frederick Taylor

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins

Look at the Birdie, by Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Practical Demonkeeping, by Christopher Moore

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Christopher Moore is known for making people laugh. I've read several of his books in years past, but for this one, I decided to go back to where it all began: his very first published novel, Practical Demonkeeping.

Some people say you shouldn't judge a book by anything outside of its covers; that is, if it is to be compared to other texts, it should be done solely on the basis of its contents without any reference to its time of publication, its chronological relation to other books, and so on. Others argue that a book cannot be fully understood without looking at where it falls in an author's milieu.

Now I'm not saying people are debating such topics on Christopher Moore's books. (For all I know, though, they are.) But I will say that if one is familiar with Moore's work, and one reads this book, one will note some interesting tidbits. For one, Moore causes laughter at a regular pace right from the start. Perhaps he's developed the knack, like a good cask-aged beer develops flavor, but it's all there from the get-go. He's also good at weaving together a location, the people in it, and ensuring that everyone he's bothered to introduce plays a significant role by the end.

Perhaps Moore isn't as outrageous in Demonkeeping as he can be in other books. Perhaps the characters aren't as deep, and maybe they don't develop quite as much as they do in other books. But it's a glimpse into his origins, and heck, I enjoyed reading it.

1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry, by Andrew Bridgeford

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A word I can't pronounce? A year that wasn't in my lifetime? Thoughts of middle school history class! Shudder!

Now hold on just a gosh-darn minute. I'll admit many (though not all) of my history teachers played a part in such reactions to historical references. The number one flaw in my experience of "social studies" courses was simple: the teachers and the textbooks FAILED TO MAKE THIS HISTORY RELEVANT TO MY LIFE.

If history were no longer relevant, we wouldn't study it. So clearly, all that junk about peoples and rulers and wars had some point. Bridgeford's book puts Point Number One in three-inch digits atop the front page: 1066, one of the only years I (and probably most of you) were forced to memorize in school.

Need a refresher? 1066: the year that a group of warriors from France, often simply (and somewhat erroneously) referred to as Normans, invaded the island of Great Britain and defeated the English king's forces at the Battle of Hastings. Big whoop. But from this battle, and the shift in British power that ensued, was born the language I'm using to type, that you know how to read, and that now dominates the commerce, politics, and technology of the world.

So a pretty big deal. And we all learn about (or ought to learn about) it in school. So what's left for Bridgeford to contribute?

Well, there's this piece of cloth, you see, called the Bayeux Tapestry. Someone made it a lot of years ago to illustrate and commemorate the Battle of Hastings, and the events that conspired to cause it. Everyone thought they understood this woven storybook, and used it to help illustrate history. Then Mr. Bridgeford comes along, sees things very differently, and unveils what subversive tales he reads into the tapestry.

If you're not already hooked (I am, and I already read the book!), I should mention that this book is not just a historian blabbering on for 300 pages. Bridgeford illuminates a tale of political intrigue, romantic scandal, noble heroics, and manipulative backstabbing that you couldn't make up if you tried. He does so with the novelist's flair, the art critic's keen eye, and the historian's desire for truth.

I refuse to go into the details, because that's what reading the book is for. But this is one of the best books I've read, and easily the best history I've read. If we'd been assigned this book in high school... well, my classmates and I would have spent more time studying than singing Doobie Brothers songs in the back row. (Which we did.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, by Susanna Clarke

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You may remember how Jonathan Strange basically made me say "Eff the rules of what makes a good book."

Well, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories maintained the same Austen-like quality of writing, preserved the same tongue-firmly-in-cheek approach, and applied the same standards to Clarke's modified world as the book's lengthier (by about ten times) predecessor. Which is to say, I should have simply loved it.

But part of what made Strange so appealing was its depth, its complexity, its nuanced expectation that the reader would pay attention, because what happened on page 7 was likely to come back into play eight hundred pages later. In this way, Clarke's writing is much like J.K. Rowling's. I hoped fervently that Rowling would let Harry Potter lie after the seventh installment, because in my opinion no further contribution to the world of Hogwarts could enrich it in any way that benefited my readings (or re-readings) of the original series.

Of course I was happy that Clarke was not done with the world of Strange. But at the same time, my idea of the world was whole. There was unexplored depth there, but it served as part of the magic and charm of the original. And these short stories, while they matched the tenor of Strange, could not hold the same depth. They are part of the foundation of the world, but just as I can appreciate the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal without knowing what keeps them from falling over, I don't think we needed more glimpses into Strange's and Norrell's world of magicians.

Or if we do need them, I'd rather they match the grandeur of her debut novel without merely serving as extensions of it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

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An idea persists about art that its creation, in any form it possesses, is somehow spontaneous and entirely right-brained; that it is emotional and not rational, free-flowing and uninhibited, not planned and not restrained or dammed or controlled.

Art, simply, is pure. (Or it would be more often, if in order to be considered "successful" by anyone outside the artist's community it didn't need to be made commercially viable.) But the belief among many that "purity" necessarily contains all those above descriptions contributes to some extent, I think, to the common conception that artists don't have to "work." Of course, the time needed to accomplish much art is recognized; artists, however, fail to obtain similar recognition of their time, efforts, and value. Many never understand that while the creativity of art may be spontaneous, the craft of it almost never is.

The need for planning, for working and reworking, for drafting and amending and cutting and altering, is as prevalent in the written arts any other. Which is why Save the Cat is as relevant to fiction writing as it is to screenwriting, and why it's fast becoming a bedside and writing-table standard for me.

We (and I'm as guilty as anyone) like to believe, love to feel, that quality films and books fulfill the standard of excellence just by being inherently good. We don't want to realize that behind the quality lies a structure, and that the structure applies to all sorts of works within and outside of the genre.

But it's there. Good artists can bend the structure, play with it (and, more importantly, within it), but we can hardly get rid of it. Rather than lamenting this fact of storytelling, I've chosen to embrace it, to study it, and to apply it to my own work. And so far, the results are telling.

(Fair warning, though: it's also made me an annoyingly critical movie viewer. In the middle of a film, I'll burst out with "Ooh, there's the whiff of death!" or "But he didn't save the cat!" I don't see how you could read this book and not do the same. Consider yourself cautioned.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Le Noise, by Neil Young

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With lots of blogging to catch up on, I'm going to shake things up a bit by:
a) going out of chronological order.
b) shamelessly suggesting that you obtain the object of the post.
c) writing about something that is not a book at all.

(Seriously, get the album. Download it. Rip it off a CD. Buy the vinyl, and a new turntable with excellent speakers to go with it. I don't care. Just get it.)

Everyone, quite literally, who knows me knows (or is entirely unobservant and dense to the fact) that I am a Neil Young fan. Or I would be, if "fan" adequately covered the unabashed respect I have for Young as a musician, as an individual, as a philanthropist, as an advocate. Goodness knows that such admiration falls far short of blanket admiration for his work. (Don't talk to me about Are You Passionate?, for chrissakes.) But even when I fail to enjoy the musical products that Young releases, I can appreciate that he is going for something, even if what, exactly, that is lies beyond my personal bounds of certainty.

And I'll admit that when I first heard rumblings of Le Noise, the fan in me was skeptical. Oh, sure, I could appreciate that Young was experimenting with new sound. I was ecstatic that he was writing, touring, performing, releasing new music. (Or, at least in the case of "Hitchhiker," old music I hadn't heard before.) I was tickled at the prospect of an album and a concert with just Neil Young and his instruments of choice--no band, no backup singers; just a cigar store Indian with haunting wolf's-eye reflection.

Then, eight days before the release of the record, I saw Neil Young in Panama City, Florida, where he performed six of the eight songs on Le Noise. The show--the entire trip--highlighted the best of what makes Neil Young so influential in my life (and, really, in my art). He brought people together from around the country. He put on this mini-tour to benefit the people along the Gulf Coast. He was accompanied by his family and by LincVolt, his converted electric Lincoln Continental, to promote his view of an alternate world. And alone on stage, none of that mattered. He was a man with his music, and except for the residual (and powerful) aura of Allen Toussaint, nothing else. Maybe seeing the new songs given the electric spark of life from all of twenty feet away made the album better in my mind.

Maybe. But it's a damn fine record, regardless. (And a film.)

I can say very little that hasn't been said elsewhere. Google the album, read the reviews. They're not all glowing, but they're largely well written. And they say everything I could say about the recording process, the sonics, the collaboration with the producer, the power and simplicity of the lyrics.

But what they can't say is that Neil Young, a musician who has shaped my personal views of art, of integrity, of relevance, and of the power of language, has once again revealed to me what is possible. On this record, he doesn't lose his voice, his style, or his drive, all of which combine awesomely on even his middling works. But he takes those same components and puts out anything but "another Neil Young record."

More artists in any genre could learn something from that approach. I hope to.

The Order of Things, by Lynne Hinton

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Lately I've become fascinated with the idea of "perspective" relative to any artistic endeavor.

A new concept? Hardly. But for the first time outside of literature courses, I'm finally tackling the concept and the ways in which it affects the story told, the feelings conveyed, and the effects on the reader/viewer/listener.

The Order of Things, through the use of extensive dialogue, accomplishes the feat of having, essentially, two narrators--the first person narrator of the text, and the next-door inmate at the mental institution who talks with her through the night.

I remember from high school English classes the term "untrustworthy narrator." I don't think that the narrator of The Order of Things is untrustworthy in any malicious sense; but, like all of us, her view of the story she tells--what is important, the intent behind actions, the way other people worded their statements, even the way in which events unfold--is entirely dependent on her own memory and interpretation of events. In a sense, then, the second narrator in the text is doubly untrustworthy because his recounting of events is streamed through two filters, leaving the reader to determine which bits are "true," which are fabricated, and which have been unintentionally altered in the telling.

The question of what exactly "truth" is might here be appropriate. I'd rather say, though, that while I agree with Hinton's use of first-person narration in this book, I would love to see the story done as a play. A one-act, even, where the audience sees two people who cannot see each other sharing stories through an air vent. Leave the audience to witness both narratives on an equal plane. Omit the inner musings of a single character--rely fully on the dialogue, the setting, the voiceless expressions of the actors to relay the intricate unfoldings of the night.

If anyone wants to take that idea and run with it, feel free. I don't expect credit for it. Just comp tickets to the world premiere, please.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie

My reading accomplishments in the past months reflect the course of my existence in that time.

That is to say, very little reading has been accomplished, because while books can provide the world's best refuge and relaxation, sometimes the constraints on one's time require that more pressing concerns demand what remains of one's time.

Since my last post, I've been a woman with an explosive breast. I've fallen more in love, I've taken on a new job, I've wondered how permanent (or rather, temporary) this shift in work experience will be, and I've moved into a new residence. Dreams have crumbled. Others have taken root. My musical repertoire has expanded, as has my resume of concert attendance. Feelings have been hurt, wounded, damaged, stung, and they have been nurtured, tickled, inspired. I have encountered plenty of opportunities for growth (a term of which I became increasingly fond during the job interview process), and I like to believe I have seized on the best of them.

Sometimes, these weeks have overflown with passion and goodness. At other points, they've been hard as hell.

And at those points, thanks to this book, I can step back and say to myself, "At least I have not watched my brother brutally murdered, been myself thrown down a mountain, transformed into an aching cripple, and become consumed with a driving need for bloody, painful, reckless vengeance."

Always a brighter side, there is.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Farthing, by Jo Walton

Well, that was faster than expected. I ended up with a lot of time to read yesterday, and more importantly, the desire to do so -- rare enough these past few weeks.
Humans, it seems, have a tendency to value the lives of those elevated members of society -- elevated, that is, in perception -- as somehow more valuable than the lives of the common man.

That statement is far too broad and general to be completely accurate, but in essence I believe it to be true. Thousands of people publicly mourned Michael Jackson and Princess Diana and John Lennon, whom most of the mourners had never met, and I would be willing to bet that thousands of them had at some point not attended the funeral or memorial service of people they personally knew.

But the public adoration of the elevated-in-perception gives them immense power and, often enough, a certain immunity. Farthing works with this concept, and while Walton plays particularly on the British obsession with nobility, the phenomenon of letting those we elevate -- whether we like them or not -- get away with murder crosses borders.

Actually, it makes me wonder. If the Bush II administration had wanted to seize complete power of the United States (whether or not they actually wanted to is a whole different topic), would they have had better success if the terrorist plot of 9/11 had succeeded in destroying the White House or the Capitol Building rather than the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon? Whether the attacks harmed simply the buildings or any members of Congress or the executive branch, would we as a people have felt more symbolically attacked, and therefore more personally wounded, than we were by the very real deaths of those on the jets and in the buildings?

Would the face of one prominent politician or one critically symbolic building, something eminently recognizable to us, have been more effective in allowing the American people to hand over power unquestioningly?

Such a strategy worked in Germany in 1933. Whether or not the NSDAP orchestrated the Reichstag Fire or merely seized the opportunity it presented, Hitler's party was able to seize control of the government democratically and legally without a single German casualty. And in Farthing, something very similar happens in an alternate-world version of Britain. And how is it accomplished? With the murder of a single English politician, an MP in the House of Lords, cleverly framed to incite enough hatred and nationalistic pride to enable a swift parliamentary takeover -- again, completely legal, and quite irrefutable once done.

That's the scary side of humanity that Farthing draws out. Not fascism, or racism, or even the capability of murder, but our ability to allow fear and pride to override pretty much everything else. Our ability to hand over our ideas of decency and equality and liberty for nothing more than perceived protection from a perceived threat. Isn't that handing over what makes us human?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Camp Shakespeare Summer Program

It might appear that I've not been reading much lately. I have. Just not finishing books.

On my list of conquered texts are a manuscript, A Midsummer Night's Dream (several times more), plenty of write-ups about the health care bill and other political goings-on, a graduate thesis, a professorial keynote address, and lots about by-laws and business licenses and registration policies and such.

That last entry came about because I'm part of a new feature in Albuquerque: Camp Shakespeare. Open to kids ten years of age and older, Camp Shakespeare is a six-week summer program in which we delve into a Shakespeare text and then go through the entire process of putting it on in a real theater environment.

So if you or someone you know is interested in taking part, the information is all at our website. Or contact me directly. I've done courses like this before, just never in the six-week summer format, and I can guarantee that the course will be inspirational, educational, and straight-up fun.

Also, keep posted for the books I'm reading. (Currently, I'm in the middle of three separate volumes. Which are all coming along. I swear.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Last Night in Twisted River, by John Irving

Few writers have earned as much of my respect as John Irving. Yet I have never read two of his books consecutively, and until now never any closer than six months apart. So having received two of his novels, Last Night in Twisted River – his newest novel – and The Water-Method Man – published thirty seven years prior – for Christmas, I wanted to undertake an examination of Irving as both a younger writer and as a seasoned author.

Which I did. And there's some of the changes one might expect from the age of the man and the maturation of the wordsmith. There's also much of the same man behind both books.

But approaching this novel with the intent of studying Irving the author, I did not expect it to be a book about writing, which it is – at least in part. One of the main characters becomes a writer (or, Irving might say, is always a writer who finally starts writing), and particularly near the end of the book much is made of Daniel Baciagalupo's writing methods.

I'm not much of one for biographical readings of books. I don't care if anything in any of Irving's books actually “happened” to him. But there's no way one can read his descriptions of Danny's habits without believing that, really, Irving is to a great extent describing himself.

And the writing method fascinates me.

Is a book still fiction if it's heavily based on actual events? Does how much a writer is informed by reality even matter, if the story is well written? Who gives, as the old logger Ketchum would say, a mound of moose shit if a writer bases his characters on people in his life?

Maybe it is a load of Hemingway-dogma to say that a writer writes what she knows. But doesn't a writer have to be influenced by circumstance, by experience, by perception? Even if writers, as Danny (and presumably Irving) believes, are always on the outside looking in, don't they somehow have to be writing either about what's on the inside or how it is to be on the outside?

Why all these questions? Could writing, the need to scribble ideas in a tangible, transferable fashion, simply be a way – flawed or not, successful or not – of making sense of the questions around us? Of addressing the uncertainties that surround us always, and prodding into the certainties?

Why not?

Monday, March 8, 2010


Spring is coming -- actually, it's off and on already here -- and with it, I feel the need to clear some space. To de-clutter. To (gasp!) get rid of some books.

Here's the thing: I am completely incapable of selling, or otherwise ridding myself of, my books.

But I have a plan, and with it a resolution of sorts. Sitting on my desk, which doubles as a one-level bookshelf along the back, is a whole heap of books which I have not read, but are also not mine. I'm going to read all of those books -- not necessarily consecutively, seeing as I have plenty of books I DO own that will be interspersed -- before I allow myself to purchase or check out a single volume more.

I don't know if I can do it.

I'm a'gonna try, though. I'm reading John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River right now (an owned book, not a loaned one), but as soon as I finish it -- not long, now that I'm past his substantial exposition -- it's on to the loaners.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare

Once again -- and this is going to become a familiar refrain -- I'm involved in the theater. Only this time, I'm (probably) not on stage.

A common comment from friends and acquaintances who attended Twelfth Night was that we did a great job with the production, but they wished that the language could have been modernized. Certainly, Shakespeare's words were easier to understand in performance than in writing... but they felt it lost (or they missed) something because of the language's antiquity.

For people who struggle with Shakespearean English, these books are great dual-language editions. They're the texts we use with the children who will be performing A Midsummer Night's Dream in May. But -- and this is a big but -- the kiddos don't perform the "modern" English version. They perform it Shakespearean-style.

And there's not much more impressive than a little kid reading, understanding, and then performing a piece of Shakespearean dialogue.

I completely understand those people who say that Shakespeare, even on stage, is sometimes difficult to understand. Heck, I agree with them. But anything literary -- and I'm including film and television here -- is most rewarding for everyone involved when it takes a little extra concentration and a little extra effort to comprehend it. When it rewards the reader or viewer for paying attention earlier on, whether it was three acts or three hundred pages or thirteen episodes ago. When it doesn't assume the lowest common denominator.

And to anyone who finds Shakespeare incomprehensible -- I've done it before, and I'll do it again -- I point at these amazing students and say, "They can do it."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer

I have always been an avid omnivore. Nothing against vegetarians, or vegans, or anyone with dietary choices different than mine. But I never thought I would even consider cutting meat from my personal menu options.

Which is why this book, which I bought blindly without reading so much as a dust jacket blurb, frightened me. It was nothing like Foer's other books, both excellent novels. No, this book sat threateningly on my shelf for weeks because it had presented me with a choice: Remain largely ignorant about the meat industry in America, or risk having to change my gastronomic lifestyle.

Foer doesn't proselytize the vegetarian cause, although it's clear throughout the book what his own personal stance and choices are. But he does discuss his findings after years of research and industry infiltration. And he comes to the conclusion in his book, as in his personal life, that eating meat -- which, in this country, almost inevitably means eating factory-farmed meat -- is not the right thing to do for a whole slew of reasons.

But is what is right for Foer necessarily right for anyone else? I do know that, having finished this book, I cannot eat meat with the same zeal, nor (if I'm honest) the same indifference, that I did a week ago. And it's not just because the cute little animals have to be killed for me to enjoy eating them. If I may quote from near the end of Eating Animals, Foer writes:

"For some, the decision to eschew factory-farmed products will be easy. For others, the decision will be a hard one. To those for whom it sounds like a hard decision (I would have counted myself in this group), the ultimate question is whether it is worth the inconvenience. We know, at least, that this decision will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human rights abuses, improve public health, and help eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in world history. What we don't know, though, may be just as important. How would making such a decision change us?"

Or, what to me is the obvious question: How would not making such a decision change us? Change me?

Perhaps I am weak. I see how vegetarians force their generous hosts to prepare "specialty" meals, not usually by demanding vegetarian fare, but because those serving food feel an obligation to accommodate that person's dietary choices. Or, I watch as vegetarians have to go without eating in a social setting because there is no vegetarian option. And I don't want to be in either of those positions.

In my own kitchen? No problem. Except that those with whom I live are omnivores, and I couldn't expect them to alter their dietary habits to match mine.

Basically, it's societal eating that is keeping me from turning vegetarian right now. Which makes some sense; eating is, and for humans always has been, a social activity. But for me, the question has become whether that influence is enough to prevent me from changing my dietary habits across the board in a way that now seems fit.

If I do choose to become vegetarian, am I likely to give up meat forever? No. I think that, if I could be absolutely certain about certain qualities of the animals -- essentially, are they free of all the detrimental treatments and attitudes that define factory farms and their practices -- I would eat them. But not as regularly. And certainly never again so casually.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Water-Method Man, by John Irving

This blog post frustrated me. I struggled with it -- with sitting down to write it, with knowing what to write -- despite simply loving the book. It was maybe the funniest Irving I've ever read, eminently enjoyable, with a cast of hilariously messed-up and untrustworthy characters.

But I couldn't write about it.

Then, yesterday, I had a singular experience. The moment itself had nothing particularly outrageous or unexpected, but it belongs to that limited category of times in life when everything takes on a new perspective. When something familiar is translated into new terms. When new lenses make the pictures pop out in full 3-D perspective.

And maybe the moment was a little cliché. But just as clichés are not necessarily invalid, this moment was perhaps all the more valuable for it.

Riding on a train from Santa Fe to Bernalillo, overnight bags on the seats opposite, by-then-lukewarm tea in paper cups, darkness having descended outside, head resting on a scented shoulder, hearing the first chapter of this book read aloud to me, the story was interrupted only by her shocked and delightful laughter.

John Irving is a part of who I am as a person and, to a much greater extent, a writer. I don't know if it was realized or not, but a part of me was shared on that train ride through the empty land north of Albuquerque.

And that's what books are all about. Not the characters, not what makes a story good or enjoyable (or bad and miserable), but about sharing pieces of ourselves. About bringing people closer.

Not bad for what's so often -- and maybe should be less frequently so -- a solitary activity.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Everything Matters!, by Ron Currie, Jr.

The central theme of Everything Matters! is not a new one. It's a concept that has concerned philosophers, theologians, normal people for... well, ever. It's the reason the idea of an afterlife is so appealing, and why a day of judgment in some form is part of so many religions.

The idea: Does what we do on this earth actually matter?

But Currie takes this idea a step further: Would what we do matter at all if we knew the world were going to end, not just someday, but at a given point in our lifetimes?

I may have some grand ideas from time to time on this blog, but even I know better than to tackle that topic head-on. Of course I think what we do matters -- and even if there is some afterlife or a being that will judge us for our actions in this life, that's not why it matters. It's why I'm largely a Vonnegutian humanist -- we have no way of knowing what lies beyond this life, and without religion in the picture it's quite reasonably nothing. But we do have this time, and with that we ought to do what we can to make it the best it can be for as many people as possible.

Without asking Mr. Currie directly, clearly I can't know his personal stance on the matter. But from my reading of this book, and hell, from the title of the book, I have to think he probably agrees with me to a point. What matters in this life isn't -- and shouldn't -- be based on some larger purpose, some hope of eternal reward, even the idea that what we do will affect the rest of the universe. It may be that in the grand scheme, what we do is utterly meaningless. But despite our reaching for the stars, whether or not we are part of some grand scheme, we are without doubt part of some small scheme. And what we do within the sphere of our existence certainly matters.
Also, I am convinced that Currie must be a Kansas City Royals fan. Or, he was just very good at giving the Royals their due for the one decade they deserved it. Either way: Woo!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare

This play is just fun. To those of you who complained about having to read Shakespeare in high school (of which I was one): You probably only had issues with the plays because you only had to read them once. Like all the Bard's works, this one gets better with each subsequent reading.

I should know. I've now had to read it something like 187 times.

Because I'm acting in it.

That's right. Under my nom de théâtre, I will be making my actorial debut as Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night, directed by the fabulous Jonatha Kottler, running at the Adobe Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from January 15 through February 7.

This production has eaten my life.

And it is one of the most fun things I have ever done.

So if you're in the vicinity of Albuquerque in the next month, please, come support this incarnation of local theater with an absolutely delightful cast -- I'm not just saying that because I'm part of it -- and say hi after the show. I'll probably write something here about the experience, being so literary and all, during or after the run, when I feel I can properly process and evaluate it.
Update: We have a poster and everything! Look!