Saturday, January 13, 2007


A three-day weekend, the last one before the deadly trudge toward Memorial Day. I need to make a plan to go somewhere, get out of town, do something fun, in the coming months.

* * *

My last writing class ended with a whimper. Half the students didn't participate in the last few weeks, the instructor didn't post a last lecture so we could all address topics he'd missed (only two of us bothered to post), and the last story I workshopped received only 7 responses (vs. the initial class roster of 12.) Unlike my last two online courses, nobody suggested we stay in touch or continue sharing work with each other. Oh well.

* * *

I'm reading "One Good Turn," the new novel by Kate Atkinson. I tried, but couldn't hold off until it came out in paperback, so I'm hauling around a hardcover. I really enjoyed "Case Histories," and this one features several of the same characters. After I read "Case Histories," I started reading her backlist and loved her writing. I'm not loving this one as much, but maybe it's the high expectations. So far it's a great read, but reminiscent of so many other British women mystery writers I've enjoyed, like Ruth Rendell or P.D. James or Josephine Tey. "Case Histories" had a uniqueness about it, a quirkiness that managed to entwine an intricate mystery in literary goodness. I'm possibly being too hard on it, and am only about 100 pages in, so will reserve further comment until I finish.

* * *

I decided this was the year to bring back my annual Oscar party. Although it is 6 weeks away, I've sent out invites and started shopping online for party decorations and recipes. I bought two plastic Oscar statuettes, one to give to the winner of the pool, and the other to keep to myself. The company who makes them informed me that it's against copyright laws to inscribe "Oscar" (or any term like "Best Actress," etc.) on them, so I had to settle for "Award Night Party." Funny. I also bought a gold "VIP Entrance" sign for my front door, a star dressing room sign for my bathroom, toothpicks with gold stars, and confetti of stars, film strips, and mini cameras. Oh, and mini gift bags with gold and silver stars, which I intended to use as my own version of the VIP swag bags, only to get them in the mail and discover they are 2 inches tall. (Guess I should have noticed the "mini," or the size, which was listed right there where I ordered them.) I'm also going to take photos of people as they arrive, all paparazzi style. I can get a roll of red "carpet," too, but our building's hallways are so filthy I'd rather not.

* * *

Last weekend I completely forgot about the Open Houses I wanted to go to. I woke up Sunday and did some errands and then forced myself to carry two heavy bags of books on the subway, to the used book cafe/thrift store in Manhattan. A task I've been putting off, but once I was there I realized I wouldn't make it back home (because of course I didn't have the address or details with me) in time to go to the Open Houses. There don't seem to be as many good ones this weekend. When I say I'm taking my time doing this, I'm clearly not kidding.

* * *

I won't mind if it's a gray and dingy weekend. I want to get things done inside.


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