I don’t just love Wes Anderson’s imaginary world, I want to live in it. I want to live among his characters and, even better, work with them. I once had a conversation with a movie-loving Catalan couple, over a lingering late supper in a Barcelona restaurant, in which they expressed their utter bewilderment over The Royal Tenenbaums. I mimed swooning with love for that film; they shook their heads. “The characters… the way they talk… it’s not real,” they said. They were flummoxed by the deadpan expressions and laboured dialogue. I had to reassure them that the Tenenbaums did, in caricature, represent a certain, distinctive North American type: intellectually serious but emotionally immature WASPs. “They’re my people!” I enthused, only at that moment realizing it to be true.
Tag Archives: happy things
I just want to know what the deal is with the damned daisies.
The summer heat came at last and they popped up, bright masses lolling all over my yard, so stupidly cheerful it made me giddy. I defy anyone to lie down in a sunny patch of daisies and not feel ecstatic.
So of course I wanted to pick some for my table. It was only when I tried to untangle them that I realized daisies have no structural integrity whatsoever. Unable to stand on their own, they lean drunkenly on their neighbours until everyone falls down.
Their lack of spinal fortitude is only enhanced in a vase: the stem flops, the head flops, each individual petal flops. My daisies were either engaged in some kind of work-to-rule strike or they are just naturally, intrinsically on vacation. Forever.
I kept pushing them around, to no avail. And I don’t think I was asking for too much, I wasn’t expecting the moral rectitude of a flipping Gerbera for heaven’s sake. All I wanted was a haphazard jumble of joyful blossoms, but they absolutely refused to cooperate. It was like trying to sculpt with pudding.
Does their uselessness make them happy? Or does being happy make them useless?
Is life just so good that they can’t stand up? Is succumbing to gravity the last surrender of the truly content?
If there was nothing to push against in the world – hardship, strife, pain – would we all just melt into a puddle of bliss?
Enough. I must go now and shake my finger at the flowers of the field, the birds of the air, and those irritating, dilly-dallying clouds…
“Shape up, everyone, do you hear me? Shape up!”
Accommodating to a fault,
You swallowed up everything –
Couches, tables, Ikea flatpacks,
Hockey bags, camping gear,
Chairs, coolers, firewood,
Garbage and recycling,
Bikes, children, groceries.
Accepting all without question
O handsome automobile!
Your AC was an unfounded rumour,
During the heatwave you blew hot air in my face and I had to spend seven hundred dollars to make you stop.
Cross-country trip with the windows rolled down,
So loud we couldn’t hear each other
Your loose bones rattling beneath us.
And yet we loved you.
The kids at my daughter’s elementary school are keen on starting clubs. Handwritten notices show up all the time on the main bulletin board.
Last fall a Debate Club started in this way. A group of grade 4 and 5 girls began meeting in the library during lunchtime recess. They were inspired by the CBC Radio show “The Debaters”, in which comedians debate topics for laughs. Not all the girls had heard the show, but the few who had were in possession of the basic format: you have a topic, you are assigned a position ‘for’ or ‘against’, and you take turns stating your views. At the end the audience applauds and picks a winner.
Sarah (Gr 6) from Lackner Woods Public School in Kitchener, Ontario! Sarah sent me a wildly imaginative story called “The Curse of Agatha’s Knife”. Congratulations, Sarah!
Among other prize items, Sarah will have a character named after her in the sequel to Eldritch Manor! More details on that to follow…
So my progress on the Eldritch sequel has been halted for the moment as I put together an outline proposal on another project. More on that to come, but it’s a novel and after much gnashing of teeth I finally came up with my Act III! Nothing like breaking through a mental barrier and solving plot problems all at once!
The secret to my breakthrough was both taking a break and indulging in a research-related movie. The story is to have a historical setting and watching newsreel footage from the time suddenly filled in the gaps for me. There is nothing more useful than being able to picture the setting, the people, the events…
A fresh blanket of snow outside, peace and quiet, and a roaring fire did their bit to contribute as well.
(Moments of satisfaction for writers are solitary and rather fleeting, therefore they must be enjoyed. I shall celebrate with egg nog and then take the garbage out.)