Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Colbert Report has started a book club. It may be a one-off thing: the show seems to be promoting a particular movie. The single book on the book club reading list is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Baz Luhrmann has made a film version of the book, and Colbert is having Baz Luhrmann on in a May episode. Also in attendance will be Pulitzer-Prize winner Jennifer Egan, who will lead the discussion. The Great Gatsby is sometimes treated as the Great American Novel (a phrase coined by not-famous-anymore writer J.W. DeForest). Colbert seems to mobilizing his Colbert Nation into a mass reading of this novel. I watch The Colbert Report religiously, so I will see it anyway, but I am curious to see if Egan comments on whether or not Gatsby has influenced her writing. Her book A Visit from the Goon Squad addresses the idea of the American Dream, a major theme in Fitzgerald's book.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Haiku story

I have an idea about using a short poem as the source of a story. I will try it by using a haiku (an English haiku) and see what kind of story opening I can develop from it using all the words in the haiku (in addition to my own). My goal is to use more than the words; I would also want to use the sense of the haiku itself in some way.

from Morning Haiku by Sonia Sanchez

your fast beat
riding the air settles
in our bones

     She held the wooden stem of the puddle jumper between her palms, arms extended. With a fast movement of her arm, she pushed the stem across her palm away from her and into the air. The puddle jumper flew from her hands across the restaurant parking lot. It was riding just above the top of the first car in front of her, but inevitably it dipped and struck the windshield of the next car hard, like the sound of bones breaking.    
     She tracked down the puddle jumper at the feet of the car it had hit. One blade of the plastic propeller had snapped. The blade dangled limply from the stem.
     That settles it, she thought. Our chances of making it in this town are gone. You have beat it down.