Unforgettable Books: Dreams Wrapped in Words

 


I am not even going to begin to pretend I understand MEMORY. That awesome, fickle power that likes to ditch me as I step into another room (or as Billy Collins says in his poem Forgetfulness, retires “to a little fishing village where there are no phones”).

I don’t know why some things stick, like the thirty plus year old memories of being a kid trying to fry an egg on the summer sidewalk or dig a hole to China, as opposed to what happened in oh I don’t know, the entire year of 2009 (there had to be something significant, but right now I can’t think of anything).

Some memories stay locked up tight, while others eventually slip out of one of those dusty, creaky memory doors.

 

 shirley plantation store house open door _opt

Nowadays when something does stay with me, I’m thinking there’s magic involved (or dessert–dessert can be quite memorable).

And I especially LOVE when I read a book with that kind of magic, that special something that manages to capture prime real estate in my brain.

Ever read an unforgettable story?

 

We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable.”

― Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

Balderdash: A Writer’s Guide to Making Stuff Up

balderdash definition_opt

 “Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.”

 ~Baron Munchausen

 

This weekend I was reading some posts over at Catherine Caffeinated and found a particularly entertaining one on the subject of book reviews.

In it, she included this excerpt from an Amazon customer review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

 

“Where was the editor for this book? In the end notes the author confesses to playing with time. For instance, Shake ‘N Bake is mentioned but didn’t hit the shelves until 1965. A Bob Dylan song is referenced but wasn’t released until 1964. Okay, but why did they have to be included? They certainly weren’t plot points but is a writer allowed to just make stuff up?”

 

Hmm.

Well, it’s kind of in the job description.

 

fiction writing:

1.  any kind of writing that is not factual.

 

So um, what’s a writer to do?

I mean, how do you tame the pesky imaginations that long to smear the pages with historical inaccuracies?  How do you stop yourself from throwing your head back and laughing maniacally as you plot to twist facts and screw with the universe’s fancy logic and statistics?

Sounds daunting.  It’s enough work keeping a steady supply of coffee and ignoring the vacuum.

Besides, what about artistic license?

Check out what Picasso had to say on that subject:

 

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

~Pablo Picasso

 

Okay, upon first skim that quote kind of reads like a riddle.  I think he meant something along the lines of this:

 

Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.

~Khaled Hosseini

 

So breathe deeply dear writers.  You are not merely a liar making stuff up, you are dealing in GREAT TRUTHS.

And this is a safe place, where nonsense knows no boundaries.  Your knowledge and creativity are revered.

In fact in the spirit of the board game Balderdash, let’s lie create.  Below are a few words.  Use one, two or all three to create a FAKE fact or statistic.

Chocolate       Elephant        Season     

 

 Let your imaginations frolic in the comments!

 

Curiosity and Peeking Behind Closed Doors

 

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.

~Emily Dickinson

 

My sister and I used to babysit a lot when we were teenagers, and one of the perks (other than looking after cute cherubs of course) was scoping out the fridge or pantry.   After our respective babysitting gigs, my sister and I would then compare the loot we snacked on.

Me:  They totally had Chef Boyardee.

My sister:  Well, I got Twinkies and Dr. Pepper.  

Me:  Well . . .

My sister:  They had cable.

Me: Fine you win.

It was like it was the day after Halloween and we were unloading our bags.  Other people’s fridges ended up being ranked like candy bar sizes.

Back then it was mostly a snack thing, but I still have a curiosity about other people’s fridges.

 

When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.

 ~Walt Disney

 

Like medicine cabinets, fridges are revealing.  And personal.  You not only see what people eat (or maybe don’t eat), but how they cook and clean.

Do you see specialty oils and sauces, or ketchup packets?

Lots of home cooked leftovers or takeout containers?

Packages labeled organic?  Lots of brand names?

Is the fridge full or bare?

Is it organized, clean?

Speaking of clean.  I don’t pay much attention to that if I sneak a peek into a fridge, because I hate cleaning the fridge.  I mean I do it, but I dislike it so much that I line the shelves with foil after I clean it so I can make the clean last twice as long (I remove the foil once it’s dirty and then have a clean shelf for at least a little while).

And in case you’re thinking this is a bizarre topic–I’m not the only one who wonders, what’s in your fridge?

One quick search on the internet and you might land on a site called Fridgewatcher. Or Fridge Raiders. Or Fridge Food.

Either way there are pics of fridge interiors all over the internet. Even celebrity fridges, like George Clooney.

But Rob Lowe doesn’t seem to have bared his (while you wait for that, you can get yourself a Rob Lowe sexy fridge magnet on Amazon).

And since I’m going to ask you the personal question of what’s in your fridge, I figure it’s only fair to show you mine:

what's in your fridge coleen patrick 2_opt

I considered editing the photo with a sepia tone, if only to remind my husband that this fridge is 17 years old (hint hint).  Except he would then just remind me of our fridge’s special features.  Like the top shelf”s left corner–it will freeze solid any food I put there, especially eggs.

Fridge diving! It’s all the rage.  And it’s good for your brain too!

Because when you are curious, you are in the moment, you are engaging and you are learning.  Bonus–it’s excellent for creativity (makes for a better writer!)

Oh and I’m sure it must lower your blood pressure, right?

All that from a fridge.

 

I’ve often entertained paranoid suspicions about my fridge and what it’s been doing to my poetry when I’m not looking, but I never even considered that my fan was thinking about me.

~George Murray

 

Just don’t get me started on what’s inside your purse or wallet. . .

So what’s in your fridge?

I’m curious!