On Christmas Eve (2009): Quote of the Day

Self had a manicure.  Yes, while self was walking from Gourmet (German) Haus Staudt on Broadway (where she bought bars of Lindt milk chocolate for son’s friends, $3.95 @) to Pho Dong (where she ordered huge bowls of beef pho and four orders of imperial rolls —  all so that she does not feel so guilty about her lack of preparation for the Christmas Eve repast), she looked in on Natalie Nail Salon.  And apparently they were not very busy, because self found that she could actually be fitted in for a manicure.  And she sat down for a half hour and chatted with the manicurist, who of course was Vietnamese and looked 25 though she said she was actually 43.

Son went off with friends, hubby has to stay late at work, so self is home alone, watching “General Hospital” (but so far, no sight of James Franco —  GRRR).  She is also resuming her reading of fantastic Colum McCann interview in AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle.  And the interviewer (who is just so good!) asks him a question which elicits a very candid response.  Self will share it with dear blog readers, below:

Interviewer:  A few years ago, at one of the chain bookstores, I came upon a calendar with photos of Ireland, and you had written the text.  For some time now, you’ve been a full-time writer, but now you’ve started teaching.  What is a typical work week for you?  And how do you balance the many writing tasks you take on?  Do any of these other tasks inform your fiction?

McCann:   Ah, Jesus!  My calendars.  That’s just a job.  “Forty shades of green.”  “Diddly-di-idle.”  “Dear ol’ dirty derelict Dublin.”  That sort of thing. It pays the rent for a month. Hey, it’s a job. I have to earn a few bob.

Jim Harrison again says it best: “Children pry up our rotting bodies with cries of ‘Earn, earn, earn!’ ” I have three kids. They are the scaffolds to my heart, but every now and then I have to pay for their nappies, or their braces, or, God forbid, their college. I don’t mind doing that stuff. I like the people who I work with. I teach, I write screenplays, I do journalism. I’m the least pure fiction writer you’re ever going to meet. But I do it all in the service of fiction. That’s what I love.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

NYTBR 13 Dec. 2009: The 10 Best Books of 2009 Issue

Books self is interested in reading after perusing the 13 December 2009 issue of The New York Times Book Review:

1.    After reading the list of “10 Best Books of 2009”, the following books:

2.    After reading Virginia DeJohn Anderson’s review of Woody Holton’s Abigail Adams :

  • Woody Holton’s Abigail Adams

3.    After reading Marilyn Stasio’s Crime column, the following mysteries:

  • Joseph Wambaugh’s The New Centurions (1971), Hollywood Station, and Hollywood Crows (2008)
  • the newest in Charles Finch’s “beguiling Victorian mysteries”, The Fleet Street Murders
  • P. D. James’ Talking About Detective Fiction

4.    After reading Ruth Scurr’s review of novelist Louis Begley’s “retelling the story of the Dreyfus Affair”, Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters:

  • Louis Begley’s Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters

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