Friday, January 30, 2009

Poetry Friday

I am sneaking in under the wire of Poetry Friday to post a poem that I was reminded how much I like at Kindling Words yesterday.

The More Loving One by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Creative Process

When I was in Chicago last fall, I visited the Art Institute, which is one of my absolute most favorite museums ever. They always have a wonderful children's art exhibit, usually from picture books, a great photography exhibit, other fantastic special exhibits, and of course, their amazing permanent collection. (I always visit the Caillebotte painting Paris Street in Rainy Weather.)

During one of the most recent visits, one of the special exhibits was one of drawings from the Renaissance. I love exhibits of drawings. Love.

It feels like seeing behind the scenes of a painting. Drawings are often so fluid and of-the-moment; you see how the artist's mind came up with the composition, the idea of the drawing. You see mistakes, or re-visionings. It's as close as we can get, perhaps, to seeing the creative process as it proceeds.

I realized, too, that this chance to glimpse the process, the inner workings (as much as any person who's not the artist can) is the same reason I always loved watching play rehearsals in college. And why I love editing and seeing drafts of manuscripts. Watching something beautiful come together is as compelling to me as the finished project. It's mysterious and magical and inexplicable and completely fascinating.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I like a good quiz every once and a while

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Books Read in 2008

I keep a list of all the books I read--for pleasure, not for work--each year.

1. King Dork • Frank Portman
2. Good Masters, Sweet Ladies • Laura Amy Schlitz
3. Long May She Reign • Ellen Emerson White
4. The Plain Janes • Cecil Castelucci & Jim Rugg
5. The Secret Language • Ursula Nordstrom
6. The New Policeman • Kate Thompson
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife • Audrey Niffenegger
8. The White Darkness • Gerald McCaughrean
9. The Dollhouse Murders • Betty Ren Wright
10. My Louisiana Sky • Kimberly Willis Holt
11. The Red Queen’s Daughter • Jacqueline Kolosov
12. Spook • Mary Roach
13. The House of the Scorpion • Nancy Farmer
14. Wait Till Helen Comes • Mary Downing Hahn
15. Before I Die • Jenny Downham
16. River Secrets • Shannon Hale
17. Waiting for Normal • Leslie Connor
18. Little Brother • Cory Doctorow
19. The Underneath • Kathi Appelt
20. The Hunger Games • Suzanne Collins
21. Sun & Spoon • Kevin Henkes
22. Eclipse • Stephenie Meyer
23. Breaking Dawn • Stephenie Meyer
24. Just Listen • Sarah Dessen
25. The Thief • Megan Whalen Turner
26. Queen of Attolia • Megan Whalen Turner
27. King of Attolia • Megan Whalen Turner
28. The Lucky Ones • Stephanie Greene
29. The President’s Daughter • Ellen Emerson White
30. The Year We Disappeared • Cylin Busby & John Busby
31. City of Bones • Cassandra Clare
32. Harriet the Spy • Louise Fitzghugh
33. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks • E. Lockhart
34. Forest of Hands and Teeth • Carrie Ryan
35. Graceling • Kristin Cashore
36. Alanna • Tamora Pierce
37. In the Hand of the Goddess • Tamora Pierce
38. Winter Dreams, Christmas Love • Mary Francis Shura
39. The Monsters of Templeton • Lauren Groff