Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Colds, Memoirs, Characters and Link'o'lation

I woke up this morning to a stuffy head and sore throat. Had I been to a bar last night this could have been explained away by too much alcohol and secondhand cigarette smoke, but I have not been near a bar (when it’s operating in bar function) in weeks. I came home from working the closing shift last night and had a glass of milk, so no wild party there. This leaves only two other possibilities: it’s my allergies or it’s the horrible cold/flu my coworkers have been passing around.

I’m picking up some Theraflu before I had off this morning as well as some cough drops and throat coat.

And I’m crossing my fingers that this is just allergies.

I had planned to address the WSJ article, “Publisher’s Solution to Slow Sales: My Story (And His, Too),” but instead I’ll ask your opinion (if you don’t think this article has been beaten to death throughout the blogosphere already). Do you think the WSJ thought this out, or that they are just looking at the result of books picked up before James Freyed the memoir world? How do you like your memoirs (if you like them at all): the more horrible the life the better, straight up give me the truth, or where did all these people with horrible lives come from?

Then on my way to work yesterday, before muzzle-headedness set in, I was thinking about my Calculus professor. Actually that’s not true. I was thinking about books, and about how sometimes people remind us of characters in books, and that’s when I remembered my old professor. He was a tall, balding, very angular man. He had one of those faces where the skin looked like it was just tightened across the bone, all hollows no pillows. I remember sitting in class the first day, after the whirl of orientation week, and just staring at him: the height, the big nose, the big ears, the stooped shoulders. All these things that would have made him look like a lurch except they were off-set by the most gentle personality. And I remember thinking that he reminded me of someone.

He reminded me of the BFG, one of my favorite Roald Dahl character.

I must have whispered it because no one else heard my epiphany except the girl next to me who said, “You’re right. I loved that book.”

He never blew any dreams into my ear that semester, but he did cram my head full of calculus equations, which resulted in some math involved nightmares. Still love him though; you can’t hate the BFG personified.

Have you ever met anyone who reminded you of a character in a book? Good, bad, it doesn’t matter; I just want to make sure that I’m not the only one.

Also, if you’re bored here’s some great links to check out:

Meg Cabot has an interesting post on Writer Dos and Don’ts. Check it out and let us know if you agree or disagree.

I found Fuse#8 via Rosina and I think I’m in love (in a totally plutonic way of course). If you’re interesting in the life and times (and book picks) of a children’s librarian then head on over.

Diana mentioned him on a comment a while back and I forgot to tell her that I’ve been following Joseph’s blog for awhile (but haven’t gotten around to adding a link since I need to reorganize all my links). Go see the pretties (and the opinions) at Book Covers from the NYT Book Review.


Jane said...

I agree with Meg Cabot, at least on point No. 2 wherein authors proclaim that they don't write the stories, their characters do. You know who is the worst offender of this? LKH. That's right. She is not writing the story, Anita is telling LKH that Anita needs to shag 10 boys at once or her power will slip away. Blah de blah blah. That ranks right up there with the top ten things I hate about authors.

jmc said...

Checked out fuse#8's blog yesterday via Rosina -- loved the post about Winnie the Pooh, along with the reviews of kids books.

I read memoirs and autobiographies of historical figures like Caesar, John Adams, Elizabeth Sanger, Madeleine Albright, etc. Reading about a random person's fight with drug addiction and povery isn't interesting or inspiring to me. I've watched it happen in real life, in real time, and reading about it isn't nearly as inspiring or as heartbreaking. Frey's memoir debacle isn't likely to make me seek out more modern memoirs.

fusenumber8 said...

Wow. I am stunned, shocked, and over-awed. I love the shout-out. I wondered why so many people were visiting me from this blog. A big thank you and a platonic hug as well.

Allison Brennan said...

I agree with Meg.

I take my mom to most of my booksignings. She'd be the first to tell me if I'm being a *itch or getting a thick head. And I definitely remember being unpublished. It was only a few months ago . . .