Friday, January 27, 2006

Thank You, Oprah!

I don't usually watch your show and I didn't watch yesterday's with the public shaming of Frey, because I can't stand the man, but thank you.

Even if you did it to save your franchise, to polish your tarnished image after your disastrous Larry King call-in, or simply to help Frey sell even more books, I still thank you.

Truth is not subjective. You cannot change it because it's not interesting. Truth has to stay rock-solid or this society will fail. Truth has to be what we all reach for, or we're striving in vain.

As a writer, communicator, and consumer, I am appalled at Frey's behavior, and I was appalled at your behavior, but you set yourself right. Now to see if Frey will.

I recommend AA.

"My name is James and I'm a liar."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Books Blogs

Wanna know book blogs that I read?

Book Nerd has compiled a great list.

I'm hoping to join the book blogging circle of greats. So . . . got a friend who loves books, send them to my blog and I promise to link them to every other excellent blog on books out there!

Sue Them All?

That was fast.

How to get your money back, and more, from Frey

I think this is dumb. If this were to win, I think I'm going to take movie and television studios to court for wasting half my lifetime with their offerings (Beauty and the Geek? Ashton Kutcher, I'm coming for YOU!).

This is when you realize that Frey, really, was just following the audience. Sara Nelson of Publisher's Weekly for January 16 made the same point. If we, as readers, watchers, and participants of media entertainment (of which Frey was a HUGE part) don't start getting pickier and demanding more of our entertainers, why expect so much?

That point can be construed as supporting this lawsuit. Absolutely not.

I took one glance inside Frey's book. It was badly written, even on the first page. It was way too emotional too. I knew, from that quick glance, I was not interested.

If those people bought and read the entire book, that's their fault. Not Frey's. Refunds yes, compensation for time spent reading, c'mon, grow up.

Oprah Backtracks To Save Face

James Frey will appear on Oprah today and I won't be watching. I am glad to see someone finally saying something. It's about time, Oprah.

Oprah backtracks on James Frey

C'mon, the guy lied, we all got duped. It's time for him to go away so we can get back to real literature, real issues (Hamas wins in Palestinian election), and real life.

With that in mind, you should know I'm writing quite determinedly on my novel. It is fiction, completely fiction.

This story started as a dream I had back almost ten years ago. I wrote a first draft that really wasn't good and my agent turned it down September 12, 2001. It has taken me this long to get back into it, to realize that my plot worked just fine, but that my writing, my thinking processes, need to be stronger.

The second draft is blowing me away. I see plot tricks in there that subconsciously appeared, tricks such as the likes of Michael Crichton would be so proud of. I have two so far, that may be all I can bring forth. But I'm so happy with the first 15k words. This is the story I want to tell.

I admit, I know people who can pour our novels at the speed of touch type. I cannot. It irks me. Maybe I'll get faster after my first novel is done. Maybe I'll figure out a better system for writing a novel. Charles Dickens churned out novel after novel after novel, but Jane Smiley insists that his best novel was one of his last, the one that took the longest and caused him the most angst.

So I'm okay for now. I like the plot, I like how it is coming down to the page, and I like the momentum. It's working.

My goal is to have a first draft by June 1. Think I can do it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New York Times Still Talking About Frey

So now the truth in Frey's memoir is up for debate.
New York Times on Frey, yet again

But let's stop right now.

No one cares. (Well, except the New York Times and yours truly, it seems.)

I have said all there is to say. The guy lied, seems Doubleday may have played a part in it, seems Oprah continues to play right along, and booksellers display Frey's books next to Elie Wiesel's Night, which by the way, is 100% accurate.

Have we learned anything? I doubt it. This is not going away, that's for sure.

As Frey's book continues to climb the charts and curiousity continues to kill cats, I am reading, for the second time, vicariously through my husband, Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. It has yet to bore us. How our world is changing in front of our eyes, literally, blows the mind. And yet things change again and again. Two or three months ago, if you missed LOST and did not TiVo it, too bad, catch a rerun. Now, download it from iTV. But that's just one obvious interpretation of how things are changing. Does anyone have any other examples?

2006 is going to be quite a year.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Book Clubs

The talk is book clubs today.

I never did understand the whole furor over Oprah's book club. So she recommends a book. I have yet to actually take her word for it. I started reading James Frey's book on my own, because I read memoirs (Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs and Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett), not because Oprah told me to. And during her first book club, every book she picked was about dysfunctional people. I don't mind that for every other book or every third book, but I do need a bit of happy to make my life worth living. I live with a glass that's partial full, not heading toward empty.

So I probably won't be too interested in Osama's book pick, Rogue State, by William Blum. I hear Mr. Blum's point though. I find myself nodding my head at his insistence that U.S. support for rogue leaders in third-world countries, heck, in any country, does not bode itself as supporting democracy. But hang on, Mr. Blum.

I voted for the GOP in the last two elections. I put these people into power. So it is not you who have the right to be furious as much as it is my right to be furious. There are certain people in power right now who lied, seduced, manipulated, and played with my vote so as to ensure their ability to cheat, embezzle, and coordinate the powers for their advancement. You know who you are Bill Frist and Tom DeLay and others in Congress who say you care about these things, but turn and do otherwise. Walk softly, gentlemen. You have a GOP party that now says "Cheat on us once, your fault, cheat on us twice, our fault."

We will no longer walk blindly behind your rogue policies. You cannot change the law because you "feel" like it.

But, Mr. Blum, walk softly yourself. Painting the United States as this threatener of the world is not the answer. We must answer the Bin Ladens with definitive military action, lest they come again with their suicide bombers and kill another 3,000 people. I do not think all of Iraq is a mistake. I do not think all of the Patriot act has been a failure. Mistakes in each of these things. Oh yes. But we don't throw the baby out because the bath water is dirty. Moderation now. Men fail because they crow too loudly.

If we are to figure this out, both extremes, Mr. Blum's extreme left and the blasphemous extreme right, must meet in the center and work together. There has to be give and take. There has to be truth. And there should be no more Osama's book club.

What do Oprah and Osama think? That we're stupid? I beg to differ.