You’re Invited: BW PARTY

Party Date: 23 October

2 days to go!

All invited whether or not ever having been active members of this forum – bring all your “friends and relations”, business associates and the lonely old lady who lives next door! The more, the merrier!

Come and introduce your blogs, get to know others and have fun!

@ishitarc1908, @niciacruz, @wordsfromarifa, @21timetraveler, @thelink19, @adriennea3, @infobloomer, @raniamanda, @amommasview, @anandartist, @andysmerdon, @angieskitchenshenanigans, @annfishervirtualworld, @agord2015, @anushababbar, @arpitastravelblog, @thecajkovic, @bennabdycollins, @bethanyaharvey, @bobbyshabangu, @brendablagdon, @cathylynnbrooks, @niyati16, @colettebates, @darshith0000, @audreydcunningham, @camelliasentry, @wynstep, @princeramsey, @clockworkindigo, @visionofdestinyuganda, @continuingwithme, @crawcraftsbeasties, @dawnmarie823, @derekjlee, @devilrockz, @divorcinganarc, @donnainthesouth, @dj120, @drmegsorick, @dhyanmukta, @createtoenchant, @laikassuvaikais, @languorouspages, @megselizabeth86, @thestayengagedexperiment, @esk11, @feelings161, @fictionalkevin, @avenscent, @funsimplicity, @getyourlenson, @lizarebeca, @foodeezjunction, @agord2015, @garthmr, @garyloggins, @thegeneviever, @mumbletymuse, @gritsandpineconescom, @gritsandpineconescom, @myusername432, @robertmgoldstein, @bethanyaharvey, @haripriyakm, @hlindschinger, @hjsportsed, @contenttocapture, @hst4haiku, @kristinavanhoos, @lulaharp, @maddy1953, @onetarhayes, @iaminaplace, @iamabloggertoo, @indira2412, @irenecorl4u2013, @ivanproust, @insomniacbee, @janimey, @mkjackie99, @jahnavichintakunta, @aventuraroxy, @jessmcombs, @jeanburkespraker, @jsackmom, @jennierawling, @ashishvision, @jadekeahi, @justdreadfull, @kayeraye, @kelliblogs @k, @koolitzable @k, @dalees107, @laikassuvaikais, @laduchessederat, @lifeobserverwrites, @loriastratton, @confusionandknitting, @mylittlespaceinthesun, @kmmyrman, @maidsdayoff, @alongthesideoftheroad, @nandininautiyal, @neildsilva, @nicolaauckland, @worthinessambassador, @noorainsobiya, @santoshnc, @notionlux, @alongthesideoftheroad, @offshoreausterity, @ohmyglai, @sarahsatticoftreasures @o, @teiyaoloilolesoipei, @teiyaoloilolesoipei, @donnamcmillen300, @princeramsey, @iaminaplace, @lyndapoysor, @pamkirst2014, @preciousvalencia1, @piyushavir, @whitneyparchman, @raniamanda, @middleagedrager, @ramida78, @ranu802, @rdmaxwell55, @robertmgoldstein, @lilacsky22, @raforbeginners, @camelliasentry, @funsimplicity, @loriastratton, @beckyaluoch, @sumitagrawal01, @sashay909, @natashart, @sasmiths1112, @btarmstrong, @anandartist, @sirtonix, @bennabdycollins @iamdonovan, @vellissima, @vikrambishla, @wordsfromarifa, @suekwoodward, @wanderlusteternal, @welshshortbread, @whitneyparchman, @xaranahara, @yentll02, @justdreadfull, @revrumblefish

Apologies to anyone who accidentally got left out, whose @ call sign didn’t work, those who got pinged twice (three times?), &c., &c.! I repeat: All are invited whether listed above or not! Hope to see you all on the 23rd!

An Old Book

I got seduced by an old book… and ended up writing about it. Not my typical post so any feedback welcome. And for some reason I feel convinced that @pamkirst2014 might actually like it. 🙂

A Book with a History

She Decided What She Wanted; Then She Got It

Laura Z. Hobson

Image of Laura Z Hobson taken from www.goodreads.com

I have been an appeaser at times in my life (although some of my closest peeps might right now frown in disbelief): declining to proceed; acceding to the louder, maybe more threatening, voice; trying to keep the ground stable and preserve the party’s peace. But even as I was trying gracefully to forgo my deepest wishes, I fiercely admired those who determined just exactly what they wanted and plunged ahead in pursuit.

That’s one of the things–and that’s in addition to her lyrical writing–that I admire about Laura Z Hobson; that’s why I was so excited to read her memoir, Laura Z.

Imagine: the well-heeled late 1930’s and early 1940’s in the USA—with people so well-behaved, on the surface, anyway. A glamorous woman with a lucrative career in advertising and a couple of failed relationships, Hobson decides she doesn’t want to give up her dream of parenting just because she isn’t married. She does her research, and she finds an adoption agency in the Midwest that looks like it might extend some hope to a single woman wishing to adopt.

She goes there, and she charms them. Her first child, Mike, is adopted.

I suspect that Laura Z’s charm was formidable. She got away with a lot, and she gathered firm supporters along the way.

Her second son, Christopher, was also adopted,–adopted AND biological. When Hobson realized that she was finally, miraculously, pregnant as a result of a brief affair that ran its course, she made fast, firm plans. She spent the last three months of her pregnancy in a tiny apartment, hidden in New York City, leaving for her doctor’s appointments early in the mornings (her doctor’s doorman, even, was in on the secret, and he would guard her car from patrolling police officers should she have to double park to run in for her checkup) before other patients would arrive. She shopped behind dark glasses. She left her son Mike with his devoted nanny, Rose, to celebrate his birthday and Christmas by themselves.

Then she delivered her baby son under an assumed name, gave him into the care of an agency for several weeks, and went to court to adopt him.

“Committing fraud on the legal system???” says my shocked attorney husband, but the judges and the lawyer seemed to know the real skinny and collude in circumventing their society’s rules about birth and wedlock.

What a story; what a plot! Holy cow.

Laura Z went on to write Gentlemen’s Agreement; the conception and creation of the novel, the buried anti-Antisemitism she encountered in its ‘birthing,’ and her ultimate triumph, shape the last part of her autobiography. Before that, she walks us through her unconventional childhood with socialist– but NOT communist, she notes firmly–Russian emigrant parents, a twin sister who was very, very different than she, a house built backwards to save on architect’s fees, and brothers so far ahead in age they almost seemed part of a different family. She lived many of the events I delighted in reading about in First Papers, taking nine Regents in the span of four days to earn a college scholarship, and bucking the family tide, which wanted to put her in a teacher’s ed program. (First Papers, a novel I discovered as a teen and have re-visited many times since, is one of the best books I’ve ever read.)

She DID go to college. She DID become wealthy. She DID achieve a glamorous lifestyle in a surprising, unorthodox way.

Some of that unorthodox behavior shocks my middle class heart. Hobson writes about leaving little Mike, and later, little Mike and little Chris, for long, long stretches. They were in the care of a loving and competent person, but it still hurts my maternal middle class sense of propriety to picture her putting the boys on a train to the East Coast and then spinning around to pursue a Hollywood script-writing career.

She made it all work, though, she reports, as she brings us, in Laura Z, to the surprise triumph of Gentleman’s Agreement–well, she assures us that she made it work, and she is a wonderful teller of tales. I have to research and see if she ever wrote the second half of her history, wrote about the years during which she fictionalized Chris’s secret birth and then wrote also about her realization, as he aged, that her son was a homosexual in a world not too terribly friendly to gay folks.That story became a novel, too.

Laura Z never denied her Jewish, agnostic, Socialist roots; she never let her roots or society’s bias against them–or anything else–deter her from what she pursued: motherhood, a compelling story, a lifestyle that defied convention. Sometimes I’m a little shocked, sometimes a little puzzled, and sometimes I want to cheer along with her, but always, in reading Laura Z, I am compelled and entertained.

(First posted on my book blog: https://wordpress.com/post/pamkirst2014.wordpress.com/101)

#authorstory

#weekly

Book Tag – The Result!

Book Tag 3: No Convensional by Perdida entre Libros

@sandeept252, @pamkirst2014 and @colettebates

The link above takes you to the result of the book tag (although it’s all in Spanish!). 🙂 In this case we both had to answer the same set of questions, not about one specific book but more about what sort of books we liked and that sort of stuff. I think it’s quite an interesting idea, it’s basically an interview and you link up with the other blogger.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all – and since we’re not meant to publish loads of pictures here in order not to slow the site down, here’s a link to my Christmas photo post:

Christmas Lights on the Cutty Sark

This forum seems a bit dead recently…

…so in addition to wishing you all a merry Christmas, this is a wake-up call – in case any of you would like to continue here, it might be a good new year’s resolution to return here to post and chat again.

So I hope you will forgive me for tagging you all (I will not keep doing this):

@21timetraveler @adriennea3 @anandartist @ananyabha @anushababbar @anwyn84 @arpitastravelblog @avenscent @aventuraroxy @beckyaluoch @beckybwinch @bethanyaharvey @bharath10291 @brendablagdon @camelliasentry @cathylynnbrooks @colettebates @continuingwithme @createtoenchant @cthisnthat @dalees107 @darshith0000 @devilrockz @dawnmarie823 @divorcinganarc @drmegsorick @feelings161 @fictionalkevin @foodeezjunction @fjjjuneau @francescabergamasco @freakreborn @garthmr @garyloggins @getyourlenson @graceanneoscar @gutsy4 @haripriyakm @himadas @iamabloggertoo @hlindschinger @iamdonovan @icerene01 @insomniacbee @indira2412 @ishitarc1908 @ivanproust @jahnavichintakunta @jaipurthrumylens @jdjung @jenmotivates12 @jennifernicholewells @jessmcombs @joseelavallee @jsackmom @justdreadfull @koolitzable @kristinavanhoos @laduchessederat @laikassuvaikais @lilacsky22 @lulaharp @lyndapoysor @maddy1953 @maidsdayoff @meloheart @missams35 @mkjackie99 @mumbletymuse @myesteriousgirlneerja @myusername432 @nandininautiyal @niciacruz @niyati16 @notionlux @ohmyglai @oliveole @onetarhayes @pamkirst2014 @piyushavir @raforbeginners @ranu802 @revrumblefish @robertmgoldstein @rugwed @sadhanacs @sandeept252 @santoshnc @sashay909 @sasmiths1112 @sheridanj2015 @shinepositivepower @sirtonix @srinathtk86 @stanito @startingtheclimb @sumitagrawal01 @surbhisachdeva89 @suzannebowditch @theanonymoustalker @thedesivagabond @thegeneviever @thepreciouslifeofprecious @vellissima @vikrambishla @vnajac @wanderlaur @wanderlusteternal @welshshortbread @whatsandrathinks @wordsfromarifa @worthinessambassador @wynstep @xaranahara

If I missed anybody out, my apologies, you all were meant to be included!

Write Where We Are

To be known by another person–to meet and talk freely on the page–to be close despite distance. To escape from anonymity and be our own sweet selves and express the music of our souls.
“How to Write a Letter,” Garrison Keillor

We work so hard on our blog posts. We think about the big themes we want to interpret. We write about books and what they mean in today’s world. We interpret prompts, and we present real-life issues. We advocate and we recommend, and we coach and we support. We reveal, and we suggest.

It’s good. It’s wonderful, in fact, and our voices merge and blend and we create something amazing, a greater whole from our sum parts.

But every once in a while, it’s nice, isn’t it, to just write from where–and who–we are?

This week I went chasing for a prompt, or a theme. I was taken, at a talk last weekend, by the thought that what we accept as history–as real, immutable fact–is often a distortion…or maybe, not even based in truth at all.

What IS history? I thought perhaps I could write about that.

I wrestled with that subject, but somehow it just seemed too weighty, too scholarly. I’d need to do research. I’d need to get the opinions of people far more learned than I.

I’d be writing, in essence, a kind of research paper, and this week,–ah, THIS week–I just wasn’t up to that.

So I went scrolling through WordPress’s daily prompts, and there I found ‘generous.’ And that same theme turned up on a ‘prompt-your-writing’ message I get in my email, and, so: THERE, I thought: that’s the ticket.

I have (you’ll be surprised to learn…) quite definite opinions on what the real meaning of ‘generous’ is, and that definition has more to do with the giving of time, and the giving of kindness, and the gift of really, really listening with all your heart, than it does with donating the money to have a hall built in one’s honor. I started writing about REAL generosity, but it was like grabbing a wriggling fish. I’d think I had a firm grasp on the topic, and then it would writhe away.

I’d look at what I’d written and I would think, Oh, no. NO. That’s not saying it AT ALL.

In the meantime, though, I couldn’t keep my eyes away from the window.  Outside the wind was whipping thrillingly, and leaves were plastering onto glass and pavement. Acorns were falling and exploding. Squirrels scrambled and deer hustled, and the first real cold day of autumn was unfolding with a roar and a drench and a howl. It made me want to run outside; and when I did, the changeable, exciting weather sent me running back inside to cook.

And that finally, is what I wound up writing–not a weighty, thoughtful treatise on the scholarship of history, or a morally uplifting essay about what it really means to give wholeheartedly. I needed, this week, to write about the comfort provided by baking a pie on a cold, season-changing day.

That’s what Garrison Keillor advises us to do in his lovely essay on letter writing. He says to reach out to the person we want to touch, and let them know where we are, who we are, how we are. Paint a picture:

I am sitting in the kitchen, tapping on my IPad, as the oven warms up so I can put the chicken in. The house is cluttered and the dog is antsy and Jim has an idea in his head for a story that won’t let him rest. And the sky is gray, and a serious black cloud is scudding toward us, and I think it’s a great night for a pot of mac and cheese.

Sometimes, we need to write the right now, not the lofty thought or the future tense, but the who-I-am, where-I-am, why-I-am, right now.

Because aren’t our blogs, really, a kind of letter to the world? And don’t we hope that kindred spirits will stumble on our posts, cry out with delight, hit ‘follow’ and stay with us on the journey?

It’s important,–it IS,–that we say the things we have shown up to say. People of passion, writers with firm principles, we share our urgent beliefs with the world. And we enlarge the discussion; we introduce our fresh voices; we move things a little further along the continuum.

But every once in a while, we need to honor the persons we are behind the voices we present. Every once in a while, we need to write from exactly where we are.

******************

Where are you this week? I’d love to hear your story.

Happy blogging, my friends!

#weekly
#creativewriting

(“How to Write a Letter,” by Garrison Keillor, academic.luzerne.edu)

Shutterbug Showcase – Smoke

Thanks @niyati16 for the prompt.. Had me thinking for a long time and hence a very late submission too!

img_0137

This photo, although a very simple interpretation of the word “smoke”, brings back a myriad of memories. Burning of the effigies of the demon king “Ravana” along with his brother and son, a quintessential part of Indian festival “Dusshera”. The burning symbolises the victory of good over evil.

One of the most awaited times in our childhood. 🙂

Hoping I have done justice to the prompt given out to me..

For the next week’s post – “an element of mystery” is the prompt for @adriennea3.

#photopost #weekly