The movie that had a greater effect on the bathroom habits of its audience than any other has just turned fifty.
I’m of course talking about Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
This movie is a generational chiller. My mother saw it in the theater when my father was off doing his national guard service, and had to go home to her mother because she couldn’t stand sleeping alone. I saw it on TV, and tried to take my shower without closing the curtain for weeks. My husband can do a killer impersonation of Anthony Perkins smile in the very last scene. I have forbidden him to use this particular talent when I’m in the room.
I am one of a generation of girls who was traumatized by the Janis Ian song “At Seventeen.” It was so agonizingly, heart-wrenchingly, completely empathetic to my life as the fat, smart girl growing up in a white-flight suburb that didn’t know what to do with me, I could actually barely stand to listen to it.
I’ve since gotten to meet Ms. Ian. She’s a science fiction fan and author and a really nice person. And for the Nebula Awards this year, she re-worked “At Seventeen” into “The Welcome Home” song. This new version is also heart-wrenchingly and completely empathetic to my now former life as the fat, smart girl growing up in a white-flight suburb, but it an entirely different way.
And not in a good way. Here’s the story:
Oh, and that street in the photo? I lived on that street in college.
Saturday night, the rain and the wind came down, and just as we were settling down to sleep, the sirens went off. We did something we rarely, if ever, do, and actually grabbed our son and hit the basement. Nothing happened but some flooding and some games of Othello on the iPhone. So we all went back to bed.
Then it all happened again.
I like baseball. I like the history, tradition and legends of the game. I like the storytelling that’s evolved around it. One of my best mother’s days (a holiday you all know I despise) was taking Mom to her first Cubs game in fifty years.
If you follow baseball at all, you heard how last Wednesday Detroit’s Armando Galarraga did what only 20 other men have done in the history of baseball, and pitched a perfect game, meaning not one single batter who came to the plate made it on base. Except he didn’t. On what should have been the last out, the umpire blew the call, and said the runner was safe.
As it is pretty well known by now that CL Anderson and Sarah Zettel are one and the same, I figure I can announce this here.
I’ve been nominated for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for my story “The Persistence of Souls,” which appears in the Book View Press Anthology, THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY: Tales of the Steam Age Vol. I
Here’s the official announcement from BVC:
Book View Cafe author Sarah Zettel has been nominated for this year’s Sidewise Award for Alternate History for her story “The Persistence of Souls,” published in the exclusive Book View Press collection THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY: Tales of the Steam Age Vol. I .
THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY is a unique, original anthology, created and published exlcusively by the author-members of Book View Cafe.
A collection of stories set on alternative earth, a place powered by steam and magic, THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY takes place in a world of dreamers, experimenters and engineers, soulless humans and ensouled machines was born of most unlikely parents: four poets who gathered one cold summer on the shores of Lake Geneva in 1816. All-new and never-before-seen, these stories explore the unfolding consequences of that gathering — and how it changed everything we thought we knew about science and ourselves.
Free Romance at Book View Café
In celebration of the recent addition of romance ereads at its site, Book View Café has released THE PASSIONATE CAFE, a free ebook of romantic tales from BVC authors. Stories range from quirky and humorous to Regency by such authors as Patricia Rice, Madeleine Robins, Jennifer Stevenson, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Marissa Day, and Sarah Zettel. Also included in the sampler are stories with “Romantic Elements” that explore not only romantic love but family relationships, political intrigue, and the effects of technology and magic on the most human of bonds. Readers are invited to travel across the galaxy with Steven Harper, deep into the fae realms with P.R. Frost, through the splendid but treacherous halls of Versailles with Vonda N. McIntyre. As a bonus, The Passionate Café includes an excerpt from THE FALL OF NESKAYA by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross.
Visit Book View Café for your free copy of THE PASSIONATE CAFÉ: http://www.bookviewcafe.com/
I love animation. I especially love animation by people who know how to work with all its possibilities and absurdities.
I’d heard that a project was afoot for an animated movie based on The Book of Kells, one of the worlds most beautiful illuminated manuscripts, and I was really looking forward to it. I expected to be impressed, maybe even amazed if I was lucky.
I did not expect to be so utterly charmed.
I want to like comics.
I really do. As a medium, the form is fantastic. All the power of a Hollywood blockbuster movie with the special effects costs of radio. Plus, what other medium predicted both spandex and international terrorism?
I grew up on my uncle’s cast off Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig comics, not to mention the movie spoofs and truly weird Don Martin comics in his Mad Magazines.
When I hit college, the world was being turned upside down by the likes of Frank Miller and Grant Morrison, Alan Moore and this new gothy-sort named Neil Gaiman.
Yes, I’m old. Can we move on now?
The problem is that most comics are so poorly written, especially the dialogue I just can’t deal. I keep trying, but I end in failure and frustration.
That makes finding something like PS238 that much sweeter.
One of the great contradictions of professional writing is that it attracts control freaks, and then removes almost all control from them. You’ve got very little control over what will sell, or if, or how. Once it does sell you’ve got very little say in anything related to production, publicity or package.
The one thing we do have control over is the story itself, and that’s the important part, right? So it’s okay to obsess over it. In fact, it’s vital to obsess over it. Every word must be carefully chosen and placed, and it must be rewritten and rewritten until it is perfect, no matter how long it takes. Right?
Ummm…right. Up to a point. At some point you just have to declare it done. It’ll never be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist, especially not for the author because you know where all the seams are and the location of each and every buried body. The more you rewrite the more seams and buried bodies there are going to be. You just have to dig deep and say it’s good enough, and let it go.
The inability to stop rewriting is one of the manifestations of the great writing fear; fear of failure.
Farmer’s market had the first local strawberries today. There are few things in this world I love more than a just-picked strawberry. Bought quart, am now popping the suckers like M&Ms.
The fresh-baked blueberry scone to have with a lovely 2nd flush darjeeling tea this afternoon is a complete bonus.