#amwriting flash: “Toad”

I’m a spotter. I’m good at spotting people, what their weaknesses are.

I look for what’s familiar, it’s that simple. It’s that easy.

I see you, gentle men and women. I see you.

You may smile smile smile. Always smile smile smile.

But all the time I’m waiting. Waiting for you to slip.

Anticipation 2: SFMOMA, Hometown Creamery, London’s Millenium Bridge

This week, share a photo that says ANTICIPATION. — Michelle W., The Daily Post

Art excites self, it always has. Here, people milling about in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, level 2:

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When you are in Hometown Creamery on Irving Street: Mango sorbet and fig tart excite.

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Hometown Creamery, Irving St., San Francisco: November 2016

And nothing speaks of anticipation more than crossing London’s Millenium Bridge (aka the Harry Potter Bridge) towards St. Paul’s.

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London’s Millenium Bridge: No better approach to Saint Paul’s

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

In Cold Blood, p. 10

A friend tells the father, Herbert William Clutter:

  • “You’ve got no mercy. I swear, Herb, if you caught a hired man drinking, out he’d go. And you wouldn’t care if his family was starving.”

What happens to Clutter afterward is cruel, but it is also ironic. In light of the above statement.

Self just noticed that the book’s publisher describes it as a “true account.” Somehow, those two words in combination — especially the “account” — make one think of story.

There is subjectivity in the word “account” — it is not definitive. One event can have many different accounts. It’s not exactly objective reporting, there is blurring. There is point of view.

Point of view is necessarily limited. There will be gaps. Not everything will be explained.

Self finds all of this fascinating. It makes her realize how much importance rests on a book’s label. Because that label is the “hook.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Promise to Read IN COLD BLOOD Until

Self screwed up her courage and dug into In Cold Blood.

She has sworn that the minute she gets to the murder scene, she will allow herself to stop reading.

In the meantime, this is like Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

It is fascinating how Capote gets inside each family member’s head and lays out the map of their last day.

The sixteen-year-old daughter, a pretty young thing, went way over her curfew because she was out with her boyfriend. She came home at 2 a.m. (The murders happened at 4 a.m.)

The father (48 years old) stayed up later than his usual bedtime (11 a.m.) — perhaps he was waiting for his daughter.

The mother (45 years old) was a neurasthenic who was gradually recovering a bit of her old sense of balance (And we feel so hopeful for her, too.)

The youngest in the family was only 14 and self forgets what this boy was up to, but anyhoo.

At 4 a.m. the killers will enter their home, so UGH.

In the meantime, Christmas cookies, anyone?

Self has to keep reminding herself that until Capote wrote this book, no one had written about real-life murders in this way before. Now, the book doesn’t seem new at all. There have been so many books like this. But back then (1965), when Capote wrote it, it was a game-changer.

Amazing how Capote made this ordinary middle-class family worthy of a novel (The family’s name was Clutter. An Americanized form of the family’s German immigrant roots: the American forebears were named Klotter) And that act of imagination was so amazingly impudent. Sheer bravura. The facts are made so compelling because Capote’s journalistic style of narration makes them seem anything but manipulated. He could have said something like: AND THIS POOR GIRL, AFTER KISSING HER BOYFRIEND GOODNIGHT, WILL BE MURDERED ONLY TWO HOURS LATER. But he doesn’t. He simply follows the family through a very ordinary day.

(The movie version — which her older sister forced her to watch because she knew self was a sissy and would have nightmares forever — had Robert Blake playing one of the killers. Brilliant piece of casting there.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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