Thursday, April 29, 2010

I wasn't a sex symbol, I was a sex zombie. - Veronica Lake

Interesting facts about Veronica Lake:

Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockelman in Brooklyn, New York.
Lake was sent to Villa Maria, an all-girls Catholic boarding school in Montreal, Canada, which she hated and from which she was expelled.

The Archie Comics character Veronica Lodge was partially named after Veronica Lake, who was in the midst of her early celebrity when the comic book character was introduced in the spring of 1942.

"You could put all the talent I had into your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision." Veronica Lake

I couldn't find any other quotes by Ms. Lake but I do so love the zombie quote above.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I've written some poetry I don't understand myself. Carl Sandburg

I was going to write a poem in honor of National Poetry Month but since that's not going to happen here is a poem from my favorite Vulcan - Leonard Nimoy:

I am convinced
That if all mankind
Could only gather together
In one circle
Arms around each other's shoulders
And dance, laugh and cry
Then much
of the tension and burden
of life
Would fall away
In the knowledge that
We are all children
Needing and wanting
Each other's
Comfort and
We are all children
Searching for love

For some reason the formating of the peom didn't come across but fortunately, this poem is very easy to understand and agree with.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there. - Betty Grable

Interesting facts:
This photo was included in Life's 100 photos that changed the world.

Hosiery specialists of the era often noted the ideal proportions of her legs as: thigh (18.5") calf (12"), and ankle (7.5"). Grable's legs were famously insured by her studio for $1,000,000 with Lloyds of London.

Here are some more of her famous quotes:

I`m strictly an enlisted man`s girl.- Betty Grable

You're better off betting on a horse than betting on a man. A horse may not be able to hold you tight, but he doesn't wanna wander from the stable at night.-Betty Grable

With the man the world is his heart, with the woman the heart is her world.-Betty Grable

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter." Blaise Pascal

Okay - I'll get back to those diva quotes later in the week - in fact, I think I'll make it a once of week blog entry.

In the 4/12/10 The New Yorker was this cartoon:

There was also a great peom by Jessica Greenbaum named Next Door. Here is a snippet
- That silence
is also like the space between the reader and the page,
the little nation between the writer's words and our
particular way of receiving them, or the blank station
we fill in between ourselves and passing strangers,
or between ourselves and people we presume to know,
but most achingly in the ones we try to know.

Then in the latest Poets&Writers there was a great article by Benjamin Percy about revision:

'Faulkner said, "Kill your darlings."'
Percy keeps what he calls a cemetery folder where "I dump and bury anything that is excised from a story." This makes it easier for him to cut.


"When revising, the beginning writer spends hours consulting thesaurus, replacing a period with a semicolon, cutting adjectives, adding a few descriptive sentences-whereas the professional writer mercilessly lops off limbs, rips out innards like party streamers, drains away gallons of blood and then calls down lightning to bring the body back to life."

It seems that dude Pascal from the 16th century (see quote above) knew this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading.- William Zinsser

Had a lovely day at the William Paterson University Spring Writer's Conference. Alison, Marianne, Yolanda, and I caught up on the way down and breakfast on muffins and donuts in the atruim before registering.

Though the conference focus was of "Writing Childhood" the workshops I choose, did not.

My first workshop was Fiction, with keynote speaker David Means. He had us write a beginning where a character was in the kitchen and you had to get them outside with an item that should be used for something else. (he said it better than that)

If you know me you would be shocked to learn I read mine outloud! This is after the first two who read did not get their character "outside" but into another room. So when he asked if anyone had one that did I raised my hand. With my heart pounding I read what I had scribbled down. Here it is:

In Racheal Ray like fashion, I marched to the fridge and snapped up the ingredients I needed: ketchup, mustard, a package a raw meat. Hmmm, what else? Ahh, yes, red wine vinegar. I dumped it all into a basket and left the sunflower colored kitchen behind. I threw open the door of my soon-to-be exboyfriend's tricked out pickup truck (should have been my first clue). I reached for the ketchup bottle first.

David Means thought it was great how I got my character right out the door. His only suggestion was that I didn't need the soon-to-be-exboyfriend because it was already implied.

But I was proud of myself for reading it out-loud. I was the only romance writer in the room so I was a little intimidated.

Anyway, the purpose of the writing exercise was to show you how to move your character through narrative space. You want to evoke the reader by keeping the reader moving with your character.

Other comments he made were:
Learning to write will get you published. Build it and it will come.
You need to instruct the reader how to see.
You want your reader to enter the dreamscape of the experience.
Studies show the same neurons are fired in your brain whether you read about the experience or are actually doing it.
Study other writers who do it great.

Then I meant up with my group for lunch. Though they had a great spread I chose to with a plain salad and a small roll. Why? Because the was a YUMMY nice sized brownie to be had for dessert.

My last workshop was on Advance Grammar. Oh, how I wanted to take a poetry workshop but I know I am lacking in the grammar department. And you know what? After this course I still am. It leaned more toward essays and teaching sentence structure so it didn't help - except that I found out British writers do not use commas - at least not like US writers - so maybe I should move to England?

After the class we loaded back up into Alison beautiful Lincoln and headed back home while discussing our day - with a stop at Starbucks for ice coffee. Come on - you knew I had to have ice coffee at some point.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo. - Mary Pickford

from our greatest silent actress - the original America's Sweetheart - Mary Pickford

It would have been more logical if silent pictures had grown out of the talkies instead of the other way around. - Mary Pickford

on Charles Chaplin] That obstinate, suspicious, egocentric, maddening and lovable genius of a problem child. - Mary Pickford

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. - Mary Pickford

and my favorite:
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. - Mary Pickford

I'll be posting on Sunday and I'll let you know all about Saturday's writer's conference at William Paterson University.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I live by a man's code, designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman's first job is to...

...choose the right shade of lipstick. - Carole Lombard

“I think marriage is dangerous. The idea of two people trying to possess each other is wrong. I don’t think the flare of love lasts. Your mind rather than your emotions must answer for the success of matrimony. It must be a friendship- a calm companionship which can last through the years.” - Carole Lombard

You ought to see the map for my face in the Makeup Department. It looks like a landscape of the moon.” - Carole Lombard

I can’t imagine a duller fate than being the best dressed woman in reality. When I want to do something I don’t pause to contemplate whether I’m exquisitely gowned. I want to live, not pose!” Carole Lombard

And this is just priceless - I wonder if she said during or after their marriage...
[after Clark Gable was crowned "The King of Hollywood" Carole joked] “If his pee-pee was one inch shorter, they’d be calling him the Queen of Hollywood.” - Carole Lombard

(GEE - no wonder Scarlett was still after Ashley - lol)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. - Judy Garland

Wow, the above quote is a great one! Here is a few more that really grabbed me. Ms. Garland is at heart a poet.

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. - Judy Garland

I've always taken 'The Wizard of Oz' very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I've spent my entire life trying to get over it. - Judy Garland

I've never looked through a keyhole without finding someone was looking back. - Judy Garland

In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people. - Judy Garland

When you've lived the life I've lived, when you've loved and suffered and been madly happy and desperately sad-- well, that's when you realize that you'll never be able to write it all down. Maybe you'd rather die first”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She loved her characters "like a cat loves a bird". - Muriel Spark

(coverart by Gabriel Ayuso)

I've been a subsriber to The New Yorker magazine for a few weeks now after getting a deal of 52 weeks at $12.00. Can't beat that - appealed to the accounting side of my brain. And this magazine appeals to my creative side. Poetry, fiction, and articles of all types of subjects.

In the April 5 issue there was an article by Thomas Mallon about author Muriel Spark. Now I never read anything by the deceased Sparks but I just might have to.
Here are some things that caught my attention in the article.

"I haven't got a message to give to the world, it's the world that gives me messages."

The heroine in her novel The Comforters is trying to write a novel - she has begun to hear voices and the tapping of a typewriter in her head. She's not sure whether she's an author or a character -

"She (Sparks)could rarely trust or keep friends because other people needed to be as manipulable as her literary characters"

Thank you Thomas Mallon for a wonderful article!

There was also a wonderful short story by Janet Frame titled Gavin Highly
Here is short excerpt that I read over and over again...
"I told you that, and they are worth a few pounds, no more. The value is inside you, and I'm afraid you cannot take that down to the auction rooms and call bids upon it. Love does not go under the hammer, ever. But I must be going."

And if you had any doubts about what women vs. men think about (or not)...

Monday, April 5, 2010

I am at heart a gentleman. - Marlene Dietrich

Okay - I realllllyyyyyy couldn't help posting yet another picture of an actress smoking. 1) Almost 80% of photos of Marlene Dietrich are of her smoking and 2) This picture so perfectly fit the above quote.

Here are some more quotes from Ms. Dietrich....

It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. - Marlene Dietrich

Most women set out to try to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him. - Marlene Dietrich

The weak are more likely to make the strong weak than the strong are likely to make the weak strong. - Marlene Dietrich

A man would prefer to come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman. - Marlene Dietrich

And with the next quote I can't help but think that Marlene Dietrich would have approved of this blog post...

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
Marlene Dietrich

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Angelology - by Danielle Trussoni

from the Barnes and Noble Website...

A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.
Genesis 6:5

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.

What did I think?
I thought the beginning was great as well as the ending but the middle was just one big info dump for me. The book begins in the present (sort of 1999). It moved well and was excited that I found a great read - then the story shifts to 1944 and this is where the author lost me - so I did my speed reading thing until I came back to present day (again sort of 1999)and was rewarded with a great ending.

So should you read it? Yes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Be yourself. The world worships the original. - Ingrid Bergman

Casablanca. Enough said.

Never again! I can see no reason for marriage - ever at all. I've had it. Three times is enough. - Ingrid Bergman

Until 45 I can play a woman in love. After 55 I can play grandmothers. But between those ten years, it is difficult for an actress.- Ingrid Bergman

Happiness is good health and a bad memory.- Ingrid Bergman

I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn't shut up! - Ingrid Bergman

and my favorite - one that I've used on this blog before...

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. - Ingrid Bergman