The pleasant shock of yesterday was that I won a little contest. Not long ago I entered the Literary Safari’s six word Valentine contest. The idea was to come up with my love story in a six word memoir, and by doing so I’d win Six Word Memoirs of Love and Heartbreak. But the story of my husband and myself is actually a pretty good how-we-met tale in and of itself. When I entered Earlham College as a dinky freshman, my future husband was a big man on campus. Matt Bird started the Earlham Socialist Alliance, wrote political comics for the newspaper, contributed movie reviews, ran the college film society (and maybe also TOFS a.k.a. The Other Film Society), and made movies. Now ours wasn’t a college with a film department. Truth be told, Matt had to borrow a camera from the football team for his movie (always returning it just in the nick of time before their big games). The movie was called Majestic (this all happened before that dreadful Jim Carrey film of the same name) and it was about a projectionist who, in the midst of other very noir happenings, fell in love with a librarian. Imagine library-based chase sequences, where hands burst out of stacks trying to grab at people. Imagine closed stacks being used in the way we librarians always secretly fear. But best of all, there was a sequence in the film where the young lovers start complaining about how librarians are portrayed in movies. They discuss It’s a Wonderful Life and the fact that in that movie Jimmy Stewart sees what could have happened without him, but the straw that breaks the camel’s back is when Clarence says of Jimmy’s wife, "You’re not going to like it. She’s . . . she’s a librarian!" At which point the young heroes in Matt’s film scream in unison, "Take me back, Clarence! Take me back!" Needless to say, Matt’s movie made an impression on me. Such an impression, in fact, that when I moved to Minneapolis years later post-graduation and met Matt Bird officially for the first time I was able to quote back lines to him from that film. He was impressed. So my six word memoir?
His librarian movie? He married one.
I meant it literally but judge Anita Jain has a much headier and more interesting interpretation of the line. A big thank you, to her, for selecting my sentence then.
Artist Bill Zeman has a three-year-old. Three-year-olds are difficult customers. Particularly when they commission you to create certain scenes and images. The result? A blog called Tiny Art Director that has already won my Favorite Discovery of the Week Award. Systematically Bill shows the art, the reactions, and the final picture. Here, without the pic (you’ll just have to see them yourself), is an example:
The Brief: A Scary Baby Dinosaur
The Critique: No! You color him some more! Can I put makeup on him?
Job Status: Rejected
Additional Comments: Stop Drawing! Stop Drawing!
Thanks to Don Citarella for the link.
Through the grapevine I have heard that English fantasy author Frances Hardinge, author of Fly By Night and Well Witched, has a new novel out in Britain called Gullstruck Island. I will now bat my pretty little eyelashes in the direction of Harper Collins with the hope that they will, perhaps, bring it to the States someday. *bat bat* *bat bat*
There are terrible televisions shows I’ve forgotten. There are terrible television shows I remember. I remember Small Wonder. So does Adam Rex.
Manga is getting some academic cred. The Japanese comic art form is getting its own museum over at Meiji University. Can you say, hello instant tourist destination? I know quite a few teens that are in love with Japan, and they all want to take trips there because of their love of manga. To have an actual destination as well would make them all kinds of thrilled. Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg (who should really have her own blog due to all the cool stuff she finds) for the link.
I’m moving up in the world, maw! The Real Estate section of the New York Times spoke with me the other day about, of all things, children’s books. The result is the article My First Book of Urban Planning. And I’m not kidding when I say that New York kids need Robert Moses books. Heck, some kids in Greenwich Village are even well and truly familiar with the history of Stanford White! Fun piece.
New Yorkers, I’m spending an inordinate amount of time telling you what to do today. However, Gary Schmidt’s going to be in town soon. He’ll be at Symphony Space discussing The Wednesday Wars. How often do we get to see Newbery Honorists (Honorees? Honorarians?) speaking about their works? And Mr. Schmidt is a particularly eloquent individual. Someone who, unlike myself, doesn’t satisfy his speaking engagements at the last minute with the assistance of a napkin and a pen for scribbling.
And the number one threat on the threatdown?