Remembrance: Marcel Proust – Part 1

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

Part 1

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust

“Always try to keep a patch of sky
above your life.”
― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

“The real voyage of discovery consists
not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust

“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily
the remembrance of things as they were.”
― Marcel Proust

“Happiness is beneficial for the body,
but it is grief that develops
the powers of the mind.”
― Marcel Proust

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Film View: “The Heist”

WARNING: LANGUAGE

A comedy in errors. A debate of the ridiculous. An enjoyable short film that will keep you smiling, laughing, and talking back with your own reaction to the three nimrods, (well, actually two). The leader tries his best to prepare his mates all toward a prosperous conclusion in “The Heist,” but doesn’t go smoothly. It is a UK group of actors who star in this fun piece of entertainment. Being an anglophile, I found they lived up to the comedies of a good Guy Richie heist but shorter. DO ENJOY! I think you will. And be sure to prepare yourself to be amused with disbelief at the idiocy of some of the conceptual ideas floating through this short film. by ‘the secret keeper’

“The Heist” by Thomas Hefferon

A comment from an interested viewer. It indeed will add important information. valuable to know. to receive a more complete understanding of the film. It lends insight to the viewing experience.

“I enjoyed “The Heist,” experiencing the humour with laughs, at the same time feeling the subtle mocking of political correctness. While they argue about whether their “homage” is racist by implying black people rob banks they completely miss the sexism involved in choosing a woman as the person who has to strip. And of course the entire film is racist as the three members of the gang are Irish and two of them are clearly not too bright. In England Irish people have frequently been parodied as being dimwitted.”

“After the end…”

'a' to 'z' writing prompt poster #3 template

‘A’ to ‘Z’ Writing Challenge #3

“After the end…”
by Jennifer Kiley

rainy night

After the end of dinner, I wondered what would happen next. Before deciding what that would be, I waited silently. Calling my therapist entered my mind. Determining what I would say wasn’t yet clear. Everything felt okay moments before I abruptly ended things. Feeling overwhelmed by the presence of the mystery guest was not a surprise to me. Going outside for a walk was like a ‘Call of the Wild,’ beckoning me, and our dog Jasper could desperately use a walk, even if it was pouring torrential rains. Hopefully being outside, the water washing over me, might bring clarity to my mind and I would be away from her.

Irrational, a cruel word, was what Jamie called my overreaction to her. Jamie, I felt was being unreasonable. Keeping an eye on me didn’t help the way I felt. Lately, I have been having a difficult time feeling in control, and seeing her, the one who disturbed me most and wanted to destroy me, pushed me over the limits. My reaction to her felt so extreme to Jamie and everyone else, but I felt she earned my contempt and hatred. Nowhere to go, nowhere to escape the feelings of rage. Opening up to my therapist seemed the only thing that would be of help. Phoning her was what I was going to do, if only to save my sanity. 

‘Quiet,’ I whispered inside my mind. Reality, unlike the Force, was not with me. Saying I see the alien lights outside at night does not make Jamie laugh anymore. Thinking I am crazy is what she is more interested in focusing on. Understanding doesn’t seem to be something anyone is willing to be open to. Various suggestions have been made on what to do with me, one being to get me under their control.

While waiting for my therapist to return my call, I watched Jamie pacing, and putting more wear into our rather expensive Persian carpet, I so love. Xavier, Jamie’s brother, the psychiatrist, wanted to give me an injection of a strange sedative, I heard him call it Ketamine. Yelling out, “Someone hold her down;” I moved quickly. Zig-Zagging in panic, racing away from the sharp needle pursuing me, I ran into the pouring rain, voices echoing in the distance, and a familiar bark; but I ran away from it, further and further into the dark, the dark of the night.

FINI

@occultguardian
‘the secret keeper’

‘A’ to ‘Z’ Writing Prompt Challenge #3 – “After the end…”

Editor’s Corner 101.37

All Good Things….

There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. …Ellen Goodman Scribe smallStories, films, lives – all things come to a close. Sometimes neatly, sometimes not. And so, after nine months, I am bringing the Editor’s Corner to what I hope is a neat and graceful end. Over the past thirty-seven weeks, we have covered topic both minute and sweeping, and yet, in the end, I find it fitting to return to the beginning. To our words. I originally wrote the following back in March of this year as a guest piece for Karen Sanderson’s blog. I now amend, update, and present it to you as my parting thoughts. My thanks to Niamh and Plum Tree for this forum, and to all who have traveled with me on this writer’s journey. Enjoy.

P1010342

You Are Your Words We humans are creatures of custom. It frames our existence and structures our lives. In the course of my daily custom, once I begin to feel the dream-webs lift from my mind, I brew a fresh pot of tea, play with the kittens, and allow my thoughts to mosey along paths both cosmological and mundane, reasoned and stochastic. The other day, I started thinking about words. Magical, mystical, wickedly creative, oh, the glorious power of words and we who wield them. “In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God.” This is not just a Judeo-Christian notion. The Popol Vuh – Mayan Book of Creation – speaks of how Sovereign Plumed Serpent (who later became Quetzlcoatl) and Heart of Sky came together at the beginning of time:

“…And then came his [Heart of Sky’s] word, he came to Sovereign Plumed Serpent, here in the blackness, in the early dawn…. they joined their words, their thoughts….And then the earth arose because of them, it was simply their word that brought it forth….”

Quetzlcoatl - Vampire Princess

Quetzlcoatl by Vampire Princess

Now this notion (naturally) draws me down a whimsically syllogistic rabbit hole: The Word is divine; the divine create with words. Writers create with words; writers are divine. Hey, makes sense to me. Ok, we writers may not be divine, but we do cloak ourselves in Creator’s motley as comfortably as jeans and broadcloth. Mind blowing for gods to shape the universe in the round of a word, yet that’s what we do every day. Out of the chaos of random thought, the void of the blank page, we create whole worlds and the beings who live in them. Earthsea, Darkover, Yoknapatawpha County, OZ and East Egg, Wonderland and Wessex – the list of literary terrae nova are legion. Even places we think we know, like Richard Wright’s Chicago or Edith Wharton’s New York, are, in authorial hands, transformed into alien landscapes ripe for exploration.

Wizard of Earthsea - Torture Device

Wizard of Earthsea by Torture Device

And so we string one word after another, counting our hours from phrase to sentence to paragraph to tome. We weave tales of myth and wonder and supernal genesis. For words are creative. With them we name things and by naming them bring them into being. They are active, breathing life into those named things, making them romp and fly and do handsprings through the treetops. They are descriptive, coloring and shaping the world that it might be recognized and marveled at in all its beauty and strangeness. And that is without even touching upon the mind and heart, the emotional power of words. The power that reaches out across our inherent aloneness and makes people feel and think and remember, even change their lives. For words are lash and cradle, warming spark and unholy conflagration. They heal and nurture, wound and kill. Complex stuff. God stuff.

Sue Blackwell book sculpture

Sue Blackwell book sculpture

Which brings me to a story. More memoir than fancy (though there are tangential Dragons); just a little something I thought I’d share. Two years ago, my book, The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook, was making its way into print. In anticipation of this event, my publisher invited me to the Book Expo of America in New York. Sign some ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies), generate book buzz, and spend two days in Gotham with all stripe of book folk – authors, publishers, agents, librarians. Commercialism be damned, for a writer, what could be more delicious? Not to mention the swag! A convention neophyte, I was quite unprepared for the booty laid out like Smaug’s hoard, just there for the taking. From simple promotional bookmarks and house totes, to signed copies of the year’s (hopefully) hottest titles, one was limited only by one’s interests, greed, and in the case of acquiring a major author’s John (or Jane) Hancock, no small amount of stamina. Even though I was hobbling about on a broken leg at the time, I returned home with several bags – now weekly filled with groceries – and a far from shabby passel of books. For all that, my favorite BEA keepsake was from the folks at the American Heritage Dictionary of English Language: a modest white 6” x 4” oval magnet, adorned in black Arial with the deceptively simple gnome: You Are Your Words.

URYourWords

Every morning since, I rub the sleep from my eyes and focus on this reminder of how I am defined by the words in my life. They are my tools, my paint and canvas, soil and seeds. I shape them, play with them, with luck make them croon like an armadillo and pirouette on the wings of a damselfly. They represent me to the world, my ideas and dreams. Whether tripping across page or tongue, they have consequences, so I must choose them with care. They are my children sent into the world, and I am responsible for them, in all their beauty or ugliness.

I am my words; my words are me. As logophile, whimsical scribe, exacting editor, wielder of words. As a writer. I give you my word. 1219782482yLCfpg

Happy Holidays, my friends. Write well.

The Last Edition of the Editor’s Corner To Go To the Archives Click On the Highlighted “Editor’s Corner”

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIE – MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest

‘A’ to ‘Z’ Writing Prompt Challenge #3

The Writing Prompt Challenge that I recreated was found on a fellow blog mates Post. I modified the Challenge. I call it: The ‘A’ to ‘Z’ Writing Prompt Challenge #1 – ‘A dark and stormy night…’ A new phrase will appear every Monday with a new #. One is to write a [Story, Poem, Essay, etc…] using the prompt as the beginning of the first sentence and each following sentence is to begin with the next letter of the alphabet.’B’ and ‘C’ and so on. I hope you will find this a fun Challenge and a Good Time Playing with the alphabet and awakening the creative in all of us. 'a' to 'z' writing prompt poster #3 template The Third of The ‘A’ to ‘Z’ Writing Prompt Challenge #3 – ‘After the end…’ will appear on Mondays. Posted in your email, for those who receive when I have posted, early Monday @2:05AM EDT East Coast USA. The Challenge will close Midnight on Sunday Evening. Then the next Challenge will be Posted a short time after at the above time.

RELAX. LET INSPIRATION FLOW. HAVE FUN.

Remember to leave the LINK to this Post at bottom of Your Post & in the Comment Section of this Post. It is in order for me to be able to find your Post. Thank you, jk

Editor’s Corner 101.36

Slouching Towards Authordom – Writer, Know Thyself!

Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer.

But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth,

without pity, and destroy most of it.

…Colette

Scribe smallI am not going to talk about editing today, not in a usual sense. Today, I want to talk about much more difficult subjects: personal standards and honest self-appraisal.

We live in a world teeming with blogs and tweets, self-published e-books and vanity presses eager to capitalize on the desire for authorial recognition – for seeing one’s name in print.

inUse

When I was a kid, we had the phone book to assuage that overwhelming urge, now it’s the wilds of Cyberia!

Cyberia

This is nothing short of remarkable. In a generation, we writers have entered a technological paradise, in which every person with a computer can not only write, but be read by legions of total strangers. Kudos are just a keystroke away, and beyond that the brass ring of potential discovery. It is when in the midst of more adulation than one gets at Christmas dinner that we must be most unsentimental with our own critical faculties. For, while new Cyberian paradigms let us flirt shamelessly with fame and fortune, they also entice us into slow-dancing with rampant self-indulgence.

(A diary, as Oscar Wilde said, is sensational train reading, but it is still a private thing, not shouted from the rooftops. Personally, I think we could use a little Victorian decorum back in our public lives.)

diary

The fact is, just as not every tablecloth scrawl Picasso did over a bottle of vin ordinaire is fit for the Louvre, not every thought that flits through our heads is fit for print. That doesn’t mean it’s not delightful and worthy in its own way. It might, like this Editor’s Corner, be well suited to a blog, but not rise to the standards of something for which you’re comfortable asking someone to lay out their hard-earned cash.

Picasso-Dachshund

And that’s ok. In the 21st century, the idea of a writer living a hermitic existence is passé at best. Unless you’re Stephen King or Thomas Pynchon, you have to be out there, a visible presence on Facebook and blogging, selling yourself as much as your books. And while we all need to have fun or rant or brag about our new kittens, what we put out there, in whatever form, shapes our public persona and – right or wrong – how people think about our work.

Thus, discrimination becomes the hallmark of our existence. Even before we look for an outside editor or an agent, we must look at our work, clear-eyed and with rigorous honesty, not only as to quality but also as to fit. Remember: while there is room for all sorts of expression in this brave new world, just because something can be sold on Kindle, doesn’t necessarily mean it should be. So know your standards and don’t be discouraged. Good work finds its niche; sometimes that niche is free. And that’s ok, too.

blogging-balancing-niche

In the midst of it all, we balance our at times paralyzing penchant for self-doubt, with an unquestionable need to be realistic about our abilities, creations, and audience. We learn to trust our inner voices, building strength to strength. Then, in our way, we will not have to lament, as Leonardo did, that we “have offended God and mankind because [our] work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIE – MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest