Thursday, September 21, 2006


I went to school early this morning (still dark out, coffee in a travel mug, fifty degrees -- early), and spent the hour before class wandering around the university library, which is beautifully deserted at that ungodly hour. Here's what I checked out:

From Feast to Fasting: The Evolution of Sin
Salinger's Glass Stories as a Composite Novel
Still Time (photos) by Sally Mann

The cover of Still Time is a photo, "Night-Blooming Cereus"

that I desperately wanted to be the cover of Undressing the Moon. SMP had other ideas, however. The photo book I really wanted was Mann's Immediate Family. (I couldn't get the self-checkout machine to scan the damn barcode). Anyway, her daughter, Virginia, looks so much like Esmee, the photos feel strangely familiar.

I don't know where this weird research is leading, but it will lead somewhere. It always does. New novels begin this way: meandering, exploring, and then obsessing.

There's a little boy in Kicky's class who spent the entire year last year learning about dinosaurs. He could steer every single conversation back to Triceratops. So, the other day I thought I was being clever and asked him what color dinosaur eggs are. His answer? "Oh, I don't care about dinosaurs anymore. I'm into Power Rangers." I want to be like that. Bring on the next obsession, please.

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