Teaser Tuesday: The House of Silk

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Should Be Reading. The idea is to pick up your current read, go to a page at random, and post two teaser sentences. I was given Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk as a birthday or holiday gift (these things might as well be one and the same when you have a birthday in December) but have only just cracked it open. With all the writing and packing and planning to move, there have been fewer chances to read.

The House of Silk is a Sherlock Holmes novel, the only one to be authorized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate. This teaser comes from page 146:

‘And this is Sherlock Holmes! Well, I rather doubt we’ll be reading of this in one of your famous chronicles, will we, unless it comes under the heading of The Adventure of the Psychotic Opium Addict. . .’

It’s not at all a long book, and the print is rather large besides, so I anticipate it’s a quick read.

Premiere: “Warm Bodies”

So, finger bandaged (and yes, it IS difficult to type), I went down to Connecticut to see the premiere of “Warm Bodies.” It went well, and I received many complements on the play. It advanced to the finals, and so was performed a second time the next night—alas, it didn’t win, but I’m glad to know many people enjoyed it.

It is a bit strange to hear people saying the words you’ve written because they don’t always say them with the same inflection as you heard in your head when writing them. And yet, theatre being a living medium, the words and works are meant to be fluid and open to interpretation. I figure “Warm Bodies” could be performed by several different theatre companies (and it is slated for just that in coming months), and it might never seem like quite the same play. Very different, then, from writing for film/telly, where the words and actions will be rendered static once they are finished.

Of course you can film a stage play, too, but it will always be a film of one performance, not necessarily a definitive showing.

At any rate, I am glad to have been able to attend the premiere. Met a lot of fun and interesting people and am encouraged in my work.

The Romantic (or, The Secret Lives of Writers)

I’m a romantic at the core, although a lot of people find that difficult to believe. That’s because outwardly I tend to be honest, practical, logical, and efficient, even to the point of being brusque or blunt. I always realize later that I should temper my blades, but it almost never occurs to me in the moment. I’m still learning on that score.

But writers—and I don’t mean to speak for all of them, but I think many would agree—have vivid internal lives that are often very different from their outward personalities. I hesitate to say one is “truer” than the other; all are parts of a whole, though that whole is weirdly segregated in its being.

It’s tough to catch me in a romantic moment because I have a “shields up” way of dealing with people and situations that make it tricky to get at my core (if you’ll forgive the geeky Star Trek lingo). It can be done, but only through the most deft sleight of hand.

I put a lot of my romanticism in my writing. That’s my outlet, really. That’s how most writers work, I think. It’s almost like slowly bleeding to death, though. Something is going out, but if nothing goes in . . . I need a transfusion.

Surgery

Had surgery this morning on my right index finger. Complicates my writing a bit, but the alternative would have been a permanently painful and deformed finger.

It’s not even that I injured myself or anything; my fingernail started growing a weird, subcutaneous spur. Huh.

Anyway, huge bandage on my right hand for the next week. And pain meds. Should be fun, make my writing a tad more colorful.

And tonight my play is premiering, so . . . Let’s hope I don’t make a fool of myself or anything.

Hoodies

I am a writer who inhabits places that can become chilly and/or wet at a moment’s notice. So while I’m not proud of it, I do wear hoodies.

I don’t like hoodies. It’s just that they’re so damn convenient for places that may be windy or misty, or for going from cold to warm and back. It’s this convenience that keeps hoodies in my wardrobe. I’m not proud of it. I prefer to wear nicer clothes, and on days when there is a likelihood that I will be seen by other living human beings outside of my immediate family, I do try to pick something more chic. A “summer sweater” or a neat little jacket or whatever. But as a writer, there are plenty of times when I could be dead for three days before anyone realized it because I have been closeted with a project. Under those circumstances, if and when they do find my body, I’ll probably be wearing a hoodie.

On the flip side of this, I do insist on wearing a little makeup every day. It’s part of my morning routine. I’m pretty convinced that if I don’t at least put on some eyeliner and lip gloss the world will implode. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

Teaser Tuesday: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Should Be Reading. The idea is to pick up your current read, go to a page at random, and post two teaser sentences. I’ve had Mindy Kaling’s book on my nightstand for ages now and am finally getting around to reading it because I need something funny to relieve the stress of this huge move. And it is a cute and funny book that makes me feel better about not being the only dorky kid who watched Monty Python and didn’t love sports (though I was GREAT at Frisbee, thanks, even won ribbons).

The tease is from Page 57 and seems apropos considering I have myself just finished a spec script:

My Will & Grace spec was a disaster. In an attempt to achieve the cheeky, gay-centric tone of the show, I had written a sample so over-the-top offensively gay that it actually reads like a propaganda sketch to incite antigay sentiment.

I like to think my Sherlock spec is not that bad. Though it may be, in fact, almost as gay. In that roundabout way of giving viewers what they want without ever really giving them what they want.

And I do have to say, as an aside, that while I totally dig the “Nguyen and Ari” song idea, I didn’t love Kaling dissing on my Johnny Cougar. I’m giving her a pass this time (because while I like “Jack and Diane” I do think JCM has done better work, and I myself don’t entirely understand the people who identify so deeply with that song), but no one ever gets more than one. Tread carefully, Mindy, tread carefully.

Mardi Gras

As someone with deep roots in the Southern Louisiana culture . . . I’ve always avoided Mardi Gras.

By which I mean, I’ve avoided the raucous street parties that Mardi Gras is known for. See, I don’t especially like having people step on my feet, jostle me, spill beer all over me, or puke on me. It’s just not my kind of fun.

I’m more of a take-me-to-the-ball kind of Cendrillion. And yes, there are Mardi Gras balls, and they are quite lovely, and sometimes only slightly less raucous depending on how the night goes on. But less crowded, too, so escape is easier.

I also enjoy the traditions. King cake. Costumes. The pageantry sparks my inner love of drama, I suppose.

And now my freezer is stocked with fish fingers so that if I choose (though I usually don’t, mostly because I forget) I can go without meat on Fridays for the next few weeks. But at least there’s nothing against eating beignets.

So We’ll Have No More of Rover

(with apologies to George Gordon, Lord Byron)

So we’ll have no more of Rover
     Barking late into the night,
Though the neighbors be still unloving,
     And the porch light be still bright.

For the dog outwears his leash,
     And jumps upon the guest,
And we must pause to breathe,
     And the neighborhood have rest.

Though the night was made for sleeping,
     And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll have no more of Rover
     Howling at the moon.

They had come to that point where, after a day spent in each other’s company, they would either be inseparable or heartily sick of one another.

It was late, the moon high and sliding slowly down the far side of the sky, and they stood under a tree in the small rectangle of grass outside her flat. In a few steps she would be inside and gone, but they had stopped walking; who had stopped first, he wondered, but couldn’t remember.

She’d turned to face him—she had parcels on her right arm from all the shopping—and his mouth had gone suddenly dry. He wanted to take her hand, the free one, but was reluctant to upset their strange balance. Like any man unsure of his welcome, he hesitated, alert for any small signal that she might be receptive to an advance.

But she wasn’t looking at him, was in fact looking down with a tiny frown as if she’d forgotten something. And so he stood there impotent, trying to decide whether to take her shopping bags and offer to carry them up. She would miss the point, though, he was sure; she was perceptive but also trusting and never sought any deeper motive in people than what they themselves suggested.

“I’d ask you up for tea,” she said, still frowning at the grass, “but I’m not sure I have any.”

Her eyes lifted then in an attitude of bravery, and she blinked and squinted at him as if he were standing in bright light, though the streetlamps were soft and widely spaced.

He reached out and gently took hold of the parcels. “At least let me help you with these.”

A shiver ran through her when his hand brushed hers, and that gave him hope. No woman who’d made up her mind against a man trembled like that.