Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chaos Theory

John has opened up a hole on the living room wall to install a kerosene heater as backup to the fireplace, A very cold winter is predicted and, though we have quite a store of wood, one never knows . . . 

The dogs and cats don't like the commotion and the mess.  It doesn't bother me because for the moment I feel no compulsion to vacuum and can concentrate on freezing squash and canning tomatoes and applesauce.

And I find myself pondering a spam comment left on one of the older posts on my blog:

Lots of companies that are well establish may not provide as good of service as you may expect. Instead of courting athlete's foot, you should at least try to train your ferret to use a litter box.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Are Stopped at a Railroad Crossing . . .

You're stopped there and you're thinking about the blog post you want to do on using second person point of view in a piece of fiction.  Second person -- you rather than I or he/she -- is only rarely used in fiction.

Cookbooks do it all the time -- Now you mince the garlic -- as do self help books -- You concentrate on the candle flame, seeking to clear your mind of all cluttering thoughts. 

It makes perfect sense in these cases -- but in a novel? You wonder why would someone do that.

One of your students is writing a novel in which some of the chapters are in the second person. The others in the class are struggling with it but you find it oddly compelling and so you do some research on the use of the second person point of view in fiction. 

You find mention of Bright Lights, Big City -- Jay McInerney's very successful novel depicting wild youth in the midst of cocaine culture -- using the second person point of view, You remember reading this and remember the feeling of being hurtled along on a very wild ride indeed. 

Then you pick up a copy of The Best American Short Stories of 2013 and read a story (originally published in The New Yorker) by Pulitzer Prize winner and best seller Junot Diaz. The story, "Miss Lora,," is written in the second person point of view.  And it's fun to read. You think that it seems to put you, the reader, right into the head of Yunior, the main character.

Then you read an interview with Junot Diaz in which he says he uses the second person to create some distance -- to "challenge the reader and to signal the writerliness of the book." 

And so you say, Okay, whatever. But you've learned something to share with your class next Wednesday. And you appear to have written a blog post too.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

That Date

Where were you when the Towers fell?

What was your reaction?

What impact has this event had on your life?