Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Henry James, you are a cool dude

12 336 words into my NaNoWriMo Novel.  This quote from Henry James' essay "The Art of Fiction" was very much welcome:

"This freedom [from conditions and rigid rules] is a splendid privilege, and the first lesson of the young novelist is to learn to be worthy of it. 'Enjoy it as it deserves (I should say to him): take possession of it, explore it to its utmost extent, publish it, rejoice in it. All life belongs to you, and do not listen to those who would shut you up into corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing a superfine air, and turning away her head from the truth of things...you have only to remember that talents so dissimilar as those of Alexandre Dumas and Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Gustave Flaubert have worked in this field with equal glory.  Do not think too much about optimism and pessimism; try and catch the colour of life itself."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat

We live next door to this mansion, right, but even that didn't prepare us for the masses of children and teenagers who ended up on our doorstep.  Costumes are great; candy is great; but the thing I love most about Halloween is that it's one of the last strongholds of community that's left in our individualist culture.  The one time of year where neighbors interact, share words about the day, and share their wealth.

A few of our number went Trick or Treating (to four houses, just for larks), then handed out candy (and made a Save-on run when we ran out), read "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" aloud, watched "Nightmare Before Christmas", and went out to a friend's house for a game of Cranium.  I was on a joy-high all night, and it wasn't from all the sugar I consumed.

As an aside, I'm reading a book by Shane Claiborne called "The Irresistible Revolution" and it's been challenging me a lot on the topics of poverty, community, and living as Jesus did. I'm pretty sure I'll write on it once I've finished it.  Speaking of writing, NaNoWriMo started at midnight this morning, and my did I write some strange things.  More on that later as well.

Happy Halloween/ Reformation Day!