Thoughts and Tabs

Hello, readers.

Having watched Before Sunrise last night, I’m reminded of many things, including this trip taken while in Korea which I had happened to be remembering earlier in the day as I rode the bus home from school. What I was thinking as I rode the bus home from school was how, once upon a time on a mountainside in Korea, I met someone and we talked, and we explored, and we rode the bus, and we wondered if we would ever see each other again, and then we did see each other again, and again, and had many adventures, and then I left Korea and we haven’t seen each other for some months. What I was also thinking on the bus home from school was how so much of my time in Korea was built around a moment in which I met someone and we understood each other before we knew who each other were and it all seemed inevitable in retrospect, but it was pretty much totally evitable and fragile and incredibly happy and sad to remember.

What had led me to think these thoughts on the bus was seeing a girl sitting by the window with an empty seat beside her. I wondered, what would happen if I sat next to her and said hello? And then I remembered what happened the last time I did that.

Here are some things that caught my attention this past week.

William Boyle–friend, writer, fellow noir lover, devourer of music and film–has written a book called Gravesend. I’m so damn excited to see how his love landed on these pages.

By way of A.S. Moser, a nifty deal on the so-far five books of The Song of Ice and Fire.

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, discussed at Feminist Fiction. It encapsulates a lot of what I loved about the show (Tennant, the humor), some of what I have felt about the show recently (the favoring of dramatic whamwow over emotional continuity and narrative logic), and some thoughtful thoughts on the recent treatment of the women that surround the Doctor. I found myself, while watching the 50th anniversary special, to be so charmed by the proceedings, and so moved by the finale, that my misgivings over recent Who did not misgive me this time around. The dynamics of 10 and 11 and The War Doctor sparkled and sparked with so much emotional bite that I felt, at last, here was Moffat back to engaging us so deeply in the emotions and emotional arcs of characters that any possible narrative flim-flammery barely registers because we the emotional arc sustains us.

I’m so excited for the Christmas special and what might come next.

Happy Saturday, readers.

Enjoy your burrito.

Teacher’s Day

Hello, readers.

Today, November 20th, is Teacher’s Day in Vietnam. This means that I know have a great deal of roses, along with some body wash, pens, and a very nice tie. It also means that the students put on a show in a big hall for us teachers. Dances were performed to a mix of dubstep, Justin Bieber, and k-pop–not all at once, of course. There was a play about bullying, and a song or two sung as well.

As a bonus, in the teacher’s lounge, one of the teachers had her guitar, or a guitar, and with it she played some Bon Iver, Journey, and Fraggle Rock. We sang along as best we could. The room clapped for mine, and another teacher’s, rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Sitting outside at the moment with some coffee and plans of writing and reading. It will probably rain at some point, which is when I will go inside. For now, it is pleasantly wonderful.

Happy Teacher’s Day, readers.


Rejection Pull Quotes

Hello, readers.

From time to time one gets, if one writes, rejections. Sometimes in the form of forms. Sometimes in the form of a comment or two from an editor. Occasionally, one might receive a whole letter. Chuck Wendig has a post concerning 25 Things Writers Should Know About Rejection, which includes such delightful phrases as “tentacles of woe” and “the secret gnostic gospels of Doctor Huxtable.” You should read it. It’s delightful.

Of late, I’ve received several letters of rejection. These letters included several encouraging words. It’s an odd thing being both buoyed and deflated in a rejection, but it’s far better than being simply deflated. It occurred to me, upon the 5th or 6th of these letters, that it might be fun to pull certain quotes from my recent rejections, freeing them of their otherwise rejectionatory context and arranging them in such a way as to be not so much happy sad as happy happy. Here is what such a list would look like.

“…really cool…and very memorable…”

“emotional and well-written…”


“Lush, mythic…”

“…a strange, beautiful story. The prose uses words in ways I’ve never seen them used before…”

Happy weekend, readers. If you’ve any happy sad pull quotes to share, feel free.

p.s. To the editors who sent me such quotable quotes, thank you. It is wonderful to receive such considered responses. Also, if you recognize your words and would like me to remove them, drop me a note and *poof* go the words.