advice: what to read, what to watch

So I keep reading great stuff on the internet. I know.  It’s unbelievable.  But I feel like I’m getting more from these often-anonymous-writers’ writing techniques than I am from my “Prose” class, which I very conveniently do not show up to every single week.

The prof puts the very detailed, and very boring slides up on the internet, for Chrissakes! It’s like saying,

“Hey, we’re talking about parallel sentence structures for the 4th week in a row.  And I KNOW you won’t need to remember this in such detail ever in your life, but, basically, I like the sound of my voice, and if you like it too, well.. you’re welcome to show up at 10:30 on a Friday morning.  But if you don’t feel up to it (or the sultry voice of a fort of pillows sounds better to you), then just don’t worry about it, I’ve got you covered!”

I hope my prof doesn’t read that one day.  Just found out that he’s teaching like EVERY 3rd year writing course. Looking forward. NAHT.

But about all this great writing:

I’ve recently discovered The Rumpus, which I don’t fully understand yet due to it’s “anti-establishment” kind of take on things (ie. sometimes writing about completely non-sensical things), but when I DO understand, as in the case of this dark and curious article about “house moms” in strip clubs, or My Favourite Anonymous Column Writer EVER, Dear Sugar, I just feel like sticking needles under my fingernails because of sheer anxiety and self-doubt.  I mean, can I possibly ever write prose as pure and as sincere as Sugar?

I have my doubts.  But I’m sure as hell willing to try.

You don’t start writing like that from the womb, that’s for sure.

(And Crane’s blog is so easily devoured. Her “prose before refinement happens” is filled with phrases like “the fog in Humboldt hung so low it’s like walking through ghosts” and even her main focus – sex workers – is such an uncovered literary niche [for myself at least] that it’s absolutely high-inducing to sink into every detail of it.  Especially for me, a person that has a deep respect for well endowed erotica. Wink.)

Another fantastic article about Leonard Cohen, the sumptuous, gnarly voiced love of my life, in GEIST- a kickin’ Canadian magazine: How I (Finally) Met Leonard Cohen by Ann Diamond.  The more I read about Montreal, the more I want to go live there.  Maybe I’ll bump into my own Leonard Cohen one day – although at the Words Aloud Literary Festival I did get Nino Ricci to sign a copy of Testament (I believe, if not Origin of Species), who is, let me admit it – equally fascinating.

If you haven’t read Lives of the Saints, please, for the love of your literary thirst – drink it up.

One non-book I’ve allowed myself to indulge in lately is this interactive documentary called HighRise created by Katerina Cizek.  It profiles the apartments and lives of many families in different countries – from Phnom Penh to Toronto and Sao Paolo –  all living in apartment buildings in different social, cultural and economic situations.  It’s absolutely fascinating as an innovative documentary and as a social commentary.  The 360 degree music videos (especially from Havana) are stunning, and aren’t like anything I’ve ever seen before.

Clearly, I haven’t been doing nearly as much reading/studying for school as I should be doing. But this is all fascinating – and now that I’m sharing it all I feel so much better about not having an outline for my “gendered freedom in horror stories and slave narratives” essay.  Seriously.  Sometimes, all it takes is one good writing spree to completely change my mood for the week.

I hope this spree is it, because I certainly can’t waste any more time reading beautiful prose this week.  But now that all of my TV shows have gone on holiday hiatus (lame) I guess I can afford to read a little more away from school.

Soon I’ll have my first post up on TalentEgg, but I’ll let you guys know – don’t worry.  I’ve checked and re-enamoured my agenda with colourful post-its, so I won’t forget NUTHIN’, ya hear?

Here’s to you and a fantabulous upcoming week!

Arina

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