Thursday, September 20, 2007

SLJ Review

Whew, Brothers, Boyfriends ... survived SLJ, which has been a pretty tough review journal lately. Here's a quote: "...the colorful characters, including a bad boy rocker with whom April is enamored, make this a thoroughly enjoyable read ... a fun, thoughtful story." BTW, this painting of Vincent's is hanging in my daughter Korina's room. I love it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Licking Frost and Eating Moss

Yes, it's a hill, painted by Vincent, but for now we'll pretend it's a mountain. Here's why: while reading the novel, After Dark, by Haruki Murakami, I came across an interesting story told by one of the characters. Here's the abridged version:

Three brothers went out fishing; there was a big storm and they were washed up on an uninhabited island in Hawaii. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big high mountain in the middle.

The night they arrived, a god appeared in their dreams and said, "A little farther down the shore you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home. It's entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.

Now these were huge, heavy boulders and pushing them up an incline took enormous effort. Early on, the first brother quit. He said, "This place is good enough for me. It's close to the shore and I can catch fish. I don't mind if I can't see much of the world from here." The remaining two continued on. Halfway up the mountain the second brother quit. He said, "There's plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I don't mind if I can't see that much of the world from here.

The eldest brother kept going. The trail grew narrow and steep, but he did not quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as possible, so he kept rolling the boulder with all his might. He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled his boulder to the very peak of the mountain. There he surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This is where he would live - where no grass grew , where no birds flew. For water he could lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. But he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today his great round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain.

What is the meaning? If you really want to know something, you have to be willing to pay the price.
So, tell me, how far does a writer have to push his boulder?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today's Muse

Well, yes, it's a skull. Like Vincent, I have a thing for skulls, and if you've read Brothers, Boyfriends... you know that April (my narrator) has a collection of skull candles that drip blood (red wax). It's also my muse today because I need something to get me in a morbid mood. How can you write a serial killer book when you're feeling so happy? The thing is, I had a great weekend. On Saturday, Greg and Cyn gave a presentation on picture books, followed by lunch with some Austin writer friends. On Sunday, my family and I went to Schlitterbahn Water Park (no long lines!), and Monday I had coffee with the lovely Liz Scanlon. So now I must think, death, horror, and worst of all...plot.

On a lighter note, my son Daniel just turned 20! This poster of Bob Dylan reminds me of Dan because it's hanging in his room at UNT (sniff, sniff). Dan's a music major and a serious health food nut. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he gave me this list:

1) Schizandra berries
2) Chlorella
3) Krill oil

What are these things? I have no clue. But happy birthday Dan. Hmm, I just had a thought. Bob Dylan is playing at ACL this Sunday. Maybe I should buy Dan a ticket from the scalpers for his b-day, have him home for the weekend....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tribute to Vincent

One of the highlights of our trip to Paris last year was visiting the Musse d'Orsay. I love impressionist and post-impressionist art and Vincent is one of my favs, so I thought I'd begin each blog post with one of his paintings.

I chose shoes today because I have a new hobby. Jogging. I actually began about a month ago, but kept it a secret just in case I decided to quit. Today, however, I ran without excruciating pain and right now I'm feeling pretty good. The endorphins are flowing and I'm ready to write.

My work in progress is finally coming along - I've got one polished chapter and a few rough ones, and even though the plot is sketchy, I've got my characters. Well, the main ones anyway. I'm a little nervous; this book is something new for me. A thriller involving a serial killer. Can I do this? I sure hope so.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Star is Born

This is Star, our latest addition to the Lurie clan. Hopefully one day she will grow into her ears.