I just finished reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and was blown away. This book is amazing – amazing because of how different it is from the movies and stories we know. The movies tend to focus on the development of what a monster Dr. Frankenstein is and how obsessed he was in the creation of this story, when in truth it is a very small portion of the story. I am not sure if I was reading this story for the first time, or re-reading it (in my college days, I was a Lit. major for a long time, so I read a lot of books, that I don’t necessarily remember reading.) However, there were many pieces of this book which were very familiar to me and led me to believe that I have at least read portions of the book.
As I was reading the book, I find a couple of on-line book discussion groups and one of the most common questions I saw being asked and answered was ‘who is the true monster of the story.’ It was interesting to see the variety of responses for both men. Yet, I have to say that I am not sure who I believe to be the monster. I love the complexity that Mary Shelley gave these characters – I feel pity for them both, Dr. Frankenstein was a man who had a vision and saw that vision through – after completing he learned that it was not the direction he should have gone, and refused to ever do it again. On the other hand, the creature – what a sad and lonely life – do we create conscience? In this thinking that we can build other beings – do we also have control of their actions, their desires and is it our responsibility to meet these desires.
I was hoping to write a post on what I am listening to and enjoying at this time. However, this book is causing so many thoughts to run through my mind. Do I have any characters in my stories – either written or being developed who can be both loved and hated? That readers will feel contempt for and pity? What a challenge – I am up for it? Are you?
It has been a full couple of weeks. Not only has my schedule been a little full and out of control, my duties at home have been a little overwhelming themselves. I am still in the process of moving over from Blogger – right now all the posts have been moved (except the one saying that I am moving, lol) and I just need to move the sites I am reading. I haven’t figured out the easy way to do that, but it’s not enough of a reason to hold off anymore on posting.
In my writing, I have been excited. I have this great writing group in which I have learned a lot. They have this peer partner program which in the past, I have not participated. For one, I wasn’t writing enough and for another, no one seemed to write in my, uhm, genre(s). This last year a woman who had been a prior member returned to the group – turns out both of us write thrillers, horror, fiction shorts and children’s books – she posted that she was interested in a peer partner. I responded. It is exciting that we have a deadline to turn something over to the other. I think this will help me to get stuff done.
I write a lot, but finishing is a problem – I also don’t tend to stay on one story before moving to the next. That is one of the focuses I am going to try and get more in tune. One of my stories, I have actually taken the time to outline (which is uncommon for me) and it should be easy to sit down and write the chapters as I know what is going to happen. I am hoping this writing partner thing keeps me more on track. I have started and outlined several shorts that have recently been developing (in my mind – I have been outlining them just soo I don’t forgot the story.)
Later I plan to share some of my thoughts on this year’s (downtown) Omaha Litfest – which was very enjoyable.
Last year, I had intended to post a little tribute in my story of that day on the site and had been blown away by a person I met at Blockbuster. I remember I was talking about a movie and when it was coming out. They saw me pretty often in the story, so they never hesitate to make suggestions or ask if I had seen a movie. It was about a week before 9/11 and they said something about the date having been changed for Adam Sandler’s Reign Over Me. I commented that I had wondered about it’s release date being so close to 9/11 when it has a 9/11 theme. The one clerk said he hadn’t realized that. I said that some people may have thought there was a sensitivity issue there and have decided to move it to a different date. This worker whom I had never seen before (come to think of it, I never saw her again) chimed in saying, ‘It’s been six years, I mean come on.’ I know I shot her a look of utter confusion and her boss looked a little shocked. I simply responded, ‘to some it’s still a little traumatic’.
Here’s my experience that day:
I was at home the morning of this tragic loss. I had taken a vacation day just to rest. I was up and watching a movie – a friend called and told me to change to a news channel and I remember being annoyed with him and telling him I would. I remember I flipped to the CNN and just lingered on the channel for a few seconds, it was early and I wasn’t processing, so I switched back to my movie – about 30 seconds later I realized what was going on and changed the channel. My friend called again and I remember telling him that I would need to call him back. What we were watching was horrible. When I saw the second plane crash, I thought this can’t be real. Then the buildings collapsed and my sister called. She asked me to look at my calendar and see where it said my mother was. It said New York. When my mother started traveling for work – she started putting out a monthly calendar that lets us know where she is, when birthdays are and sporting events for nieces and nephews (since I am the oldest of nine and have many nieces and nephews – we all find this a very helpful tool.)
My mother started traveling for her job over 10 years ago. I knew nothing of where her offices were when she traveled and didn’t even know that her main office was in New York since she was based out of Chicago. I know my sister thought I sounded unaffected by this news that she was in New York and she asked, ‘You do know that her head-quarters are in the World Trade Center, don’t you?’ I didn’t. She said that she had been trying to reach her and could not.
For 3.5 hours that morning we could not reach her and heard nothing from her. About 11:45 that morning, my mother was able to return one of my sister’s messages. Her plans had changed the previous Friday and she was, in fact, in Chicago. She apologized and said she had known that she needed to reach us but the phones were a mess with trying to reach people and learning of potential losses from their office. AON was on floors 92 and 98-105 of the second tower. My mother lost a lot of co-workers and friends (AON lost 170 employees) that day and while my family was blessed to be allowed more time with my mother, the tragedy of that day still brings to me that feeling of loss and fear.
I stumbled upon this site (learned of by another blog and I really need to make sure that I note that in the future – but I can’t find the blog at this point – I will note it when I find it again. But you can take this fun little 20 question quiz to determine if you are left or right brained – I posted my results here – fitting in quite nicely with the title of this website.
Your Brain Usage Profile:
Auditory : 52%
Visual : 47%
Left : 44%
Right : 55%
bill, you are moderately right-hemisphere dominant and have even preferences between auditory and visual processing, traits that might make people perceive you as “slightly off balance.”
You are most likely to be slightly disorganized, a “dreamer” and a person who focuses more on the end result than the immediate task at hand. You are creative and spontaneous if somewhat lacking in direction and focus. You are a learner who is generally patient and a person for whom time is an ally, not an enemy.
You are more passionate than most people with regard to life and learning and recognize your own intuitive abilities. You have sufficient goal-direction to satisfy yourself and guarantee success without being or feeling driven. You are willing to be reflective about yourself and others without getting lost in rumination.
The balance of your sensory modes allows for both learning and expressive capabilities achieved by few. You are active and “seeing” while retaining an equally strong propensity for being reflective which slows you down a little but allows for a more comprehensive perception and analysis of situations and problems. You do not spend excessive time analyzing since you mostly trust your perceptions.
In all likelihood, you have a tendency to over-commit and cannot understand why others get upset since you operate on a different “time table” than they do. Your organizational abilities are frequently overwhelmed by the stimulation seeking and active nature of your mind as well as by the tendency to create new categories and gloss over details, making categorization and classification almost impossible at times.
To the extent that your career path allows for creativity and abstraction as well as a bit of disorganization, you should find yourself equipped to handle any learning that is required. Your own personal adjustment to your style should come naturally although you are likely to feel frustrated by your own limited discipline and often wonder “Why?”
Last night I was closing up my house to head to bed. I remember thinking that ‘oh, is this it? I feel like I forgot something.‘ It was one of those kind of melancholy thoughts that hits us every now and then. I am not sure what it meant, but I went upstairs and before going to bed wanted to post to the blog. I had these great pictures from camping out around Fremont this weekend and I wanted to share them.
I rode an ATV for the first time this weekend and was lucky enough to get this shot – of course I played with it a little in a picture adjuster thing.
I had every intention of doing lots of writing and ‘transcribing‘ this weekend, but didn’t really get anything done.
Then I had to come back early from the campsite to attend a friend’s wake and celebrate his life with his family. Oddly as I was on the way to the funeral, I almost grabbed a notebook – you know, in case I was inspired. Then rational thought hit me and I realized the insensitivity that would present and left the notebook at home. Isn’t it funny something like that happens and you are actually inspired. That’s what happened – in my head came the beginning of a short story. Throughout the day, I worked on it in my head and as soon as I got to my computer I started putting it down. (I am trying to get used to writing on the computer as opposed to longhand, because I am just not good at getting around to getting it then onto the computer (hence my hope to ‘transcribe‘). What’s the oddest situation you have been that has prompted a story?
This rainbow is actually what greeted me when I got to the campsite last Friday. How cool of a welcome mat is that – props to you, D.
I had every intention of posting some fun Irish fest pics, but forgot to bring my camera, so the ones I found on the Internet will have to do.
This was the weekend of the Kansas City Irish fest – it was amazing. This is only my second year attending, but it has grown again. One of the nice things about this fest is the way it is spread out – the only times that I ever felt crowded was when I was checking out the stuff at the vendors (but I don’t have much patience for people bumping into me and stalling in front of something I really want to see – I’ll try again later). I did buy a new fisherman’s hat as my last and favorite one was recently absorbed into the Niabrara river. I went with my mother and a friend of hers. We stayed at Harrah’s which was just a hop skip and a jump away from the crown center (where the Irish fest is held). I ran into a friend and his son from Omaha – his other children and wife were there as well – but I never saw them (his daughter was participating in the Irish dance competition). I met the nun and some of her family there – we ate and had a good time. The nun did try to talk me into buying this $22 apron which had it not been so feminine (it had green frills on the bottom), I would have considered it just because I liked the saying it had on it ‘When Irish Eyes Are Smiling…Watch Out.’ It would have been a fun conversation piece – but green frills are not really my thing (take note for any future presents).
Gaelic Storm was one of the bands I listened to. Man, they were fantastic – you should have seen the energy and the crowds they bring. I couldn’t believe the age groups of fans they had. The first night I saw them – there was this threesome of people I found easy to watch. One guy had really long hair, dressed in black and had a gothic look to him – the woman and man who were with him looked a little hippie-ish. The hippie-ish guy had an amazing camera and stood in the top corner of the bleachers taking pictures. Their title song from the new cd “What’s the Rumpus?” had this fun audience participation thing – where the audience after the bagpipe stud hit the symbols was supposed to yell ‘pow’ while throwing their hands in the air. The most amusing thing was this goth guy – was standing there arms folded looking completely un-interested was so into the pow. It was like he was waiting for it and then would look away, arms folded and bored.
The second day – I actually met the lead singer. He was listening to another Irish performer who I was listening to and when trying to get to my seat – he feared I was going to knock over his beer – so had to move it before I got there (truth be told, as careful as I was trying to be, I am a klutz and it was probably a good save on his part). After the performer finished, I waited a few minutes and took both my mother’s and my cd inserts and asked for his signature. He talked with me for at least 10 minutes. This Jimmy Crowley (whom had just performed) was who he had heard when he was a child and made him want sing as well – he said had it not been for Jimmy, his path might have been completely different. He referred to Jimmy as a legend in his eyes and had teared up, he said, on at least 6 of the 10-12 songs he had performed. The opening song of the concert they would be performing that evening was the one that he had heard Jimmy play when he was 10 or 11 and it was the start of his desire to play music. He was a very nice man.
On of the funniest things he said at both of the concerts I attended was when he thanked the crowd for helping their new cd debut at #1 on the world-wide billboard music chart. He said, ‘we finally beat our nemesis, Celtic Women, those bitches.’ He laughed and said they were very nice people. But on the second night there was an audience participation piece as well – and this time we were sitting in our chairs on the grassy area before the stage. Behind us sat a family and they had a ‘goth’ looking kid of about 14ish and he was singing to their songs at the top of his lungs. This audience participation piece was in the song ‘me and the moon’ (which is becoming one of my favorite songs on the cd). This was a male/female contest. On the chorus the women were to throw their arms up and yell I brought the whiskey and the men were to show their cellphone lit and say ‘he brought the light.’ It was so amusing the way this kid got into it – he and his sister were yelling their parts and he even stood at one point and yelled, ‘everybody get up’ to get more into the song.
There were many great bands, vendors and the food was amazing. I can’t mention them all – I recommend you check out the website though. Oh another band who does merit mentioning (though I regretfully didn’t pick up their cd yet), was Pogey – another great band.