Elizabeth: Louise Penny Made Me Read It

Okay, technically the title of this post is not exactly true, since Louise Penny has no idea who I am and we’ve never actually met.  Still, her Inspector Gamache series is definitely responsible for the variety in my recent reading selections.

The series, which I may have mentioned over the past few months that I’ve read a time or two (or more), features an inspector, with (among other things) a fondness for books.  He can periodically be found perusing the shelves at the local bookstore, selecting a slim volume of something, and settling down for a bit of a read.  Not all of the books mentioned actually exist, but some of them do.

Naturally, curiosity prompted me to check a few of them out.

As I mentioned a while back in my Poetry and Prose post, Penny is a big fan of poetry and has incorporated bits and pieces in her stories.  Margaret Atwood, Mike Freeman, and Ralph Hodgson are among the poets she’s mentioned in her author notes.  During a recent visit to the local bookstore, I picked up Atwood’s, Morning in the Burned House, which is a source for some of the poetry for one of Penny’s characters, the drunk demented old poet Ruth.  I spent an enjoyable afternoon reading through it, especially delighted when I found the bits and pieces that Penny had incorporated in her stories. Continue reading

Michaeline: April is the cruellest month

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

“The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot

April can be a cruel month. The days, finally long enough again, make me feel

Girl holding lilacs outdoors.

April is the cruellest month, but after that come the lilacs! Via Wikimedia Commons

invincible, like I can do anything. Until I do too much, and sit still the next day, mindlessly letting YouTube grow roots into my brain.

The first quarter is over, and I wonder what in the hell have I done. It’s an illusion, of course. I’ve worked on my book nearly every day, pages of research to show for it. Yet when I go to write something in the manuscript, I realize I haven’t actually written anything since January. I’m dismayed, but the words shoot from my subconscious like crocus spouts. Continue reading

Michaeline: Fair Use

“Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” T.S. Eliot in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism

Way back in the dark ages, when a Sony Walkman tape player was the height of technology, I was in journalism school and they talked about plagiarism, and scared the bejeezus out of us in Communication Law class. Plagiarism is one thing (and a very bad thing, both as an artist and as a consumer) but sometimes using other people’s words is the right thing to do on many levels.

Poster advertising

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” And then it was turned into a play. And then a movie. Actually a couple of movies.

This week, NPR’s Planet Money had a podcast that touched tangentially on fair use, and for some reason, my subconscious perked up and listened. I don’t think I’m planning any grand literary heist, but if I do this summer, Continue reading