Archive for February 17th, 2011

February 17, 2011

Unfortunately…

by Sara Gran

Unfortunately we had to delete the previous post due to technical difficulties/copyright issues. Just sit tight and enjoy the bigger and better posts that are coming your way and as they say, but never really mean, we appreciate your patience (nah, I don’t really mean it either) …

Advertisements
February 17, 2011

So… I fell in love with a sea creature.

by karolinawaclawiak

I want to thank Sara and Megan for letting me into their world. I think you’ll find our brains think alike.

Valentine’s Day got me thinking about the greatest love story ever told. Well, in my opinion, that is. I’ve always needed some darkness to my love stories and this one’s got it. This story has all the hallmarks of a Noir: a perpetually morose wife on the verge, a philandering husband, post-war suburban streets lined with palm trees… and a dashing crocodilian sea creature on the loose.

Can’t imagine it? Rachel Ingalls has envisioned it for you in Mrs. Caliban. Dorothy simmers with the slow burn usually found in a marriage with the gaping holes of selfish husbands and dead children. Ingalls has the prim front lawn, but infuses the standard conventions with the fantastic when she introduces Larry, a sea creature that is more caring and thinking than any of the other characters running through these pages. I knew I had a problem when I started thinking, God, Larry is just amazing. He’s so honest and secure. She’s so lucky. *Swoon*

Let me set you straight. Mrs. Caliban is not a dabble your toe in sea creature/human female relations kind of book. This is sea creature sex by page 33 kind of fearless writing. Ingalls ratchets the tension in early pages, dropping hints of what’s to come and does it effortlessly, so when Larry finally arrives I’m begging him to save Dorothy from herself.

Let me just add… he loves smelling night flowers. Amazing.

But back to the sex. Right before taking off Dorothy’s bathrobe, Larry utters words to Dorothy that create havoc on my brain receptors –

“Before…There was nothing. Now there’s everything. I could do things. Couldn’t I? You wouldn’t prevent me?”

He’s talking about many things, including his escape from captivity, but the feeling belongs as much to the newly restored Dorothy as it does to Larry. I can’t help feeling it belongs to all of us. What an exciting feeling to be awoken after a long sleep with the possibility of… possibilities! Escape! No boundaries. How refreshing. How rare. How fleeting.

I won’t give away the rest of the book, because I want you to feel that sense of awe that I felt when entering Mrs. Caliban’s world.

Instead, let Larry lead you to salvation and for God’s sake cover your eyes! You know what happens in Noir.

February 17, 2011

fancy panties and wolves: meet Karolina!

by Megan Abbott

Today, we welcome a special guest, novelist and screenwriter Karolina Waclawiak. I first discovered Karolina through “Safe As Houses: An Ode to Britain’s History in 1:12 Scale,” a fascinating piece she wrote for The Believer, where she serves as assistant editor.

The essay tells the story of the elaborate special dollhouse created by famed architect the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary in the 1920s. The greatest craftsmen and artists of the day participated in the effort, contributing everything from a working lift and a 1923 Silver Ghost limousine to a fully stocked wine cellar complete with 1,200 thimblefuls of champagnes.

Best of all, the house includes a 171-volume library of rarely-seen, original short works written exclusively for the dollhouse by world- famous writers, from Arthur Conan Doyle to Thomas Hardy (Virginia Woolf declined to participate). The piece was haunting, lovely, like peering through the glowing windows of the dollhouse itself.  And we’re lucky enough to have Karolina herself here today….

When Sara and I started the blog, we conjured the idea of having guests, when they arrive, answer a questionnaire, and Karolina kindly complied:

  1. what is your greatest fear? Wasting time.
  2. what is your favorite way of spending time? Being outside and taking everything in. I like to observe locations and I use that in my writing. I’m a very visual person and writer.
  3. what is your most treasured possession? My lime tree and blood orange tree. I live in Brooklyn now after a long stint in Los Angeles so it’s necessary for me to be able to have some memory of it in my house at all times.
  4. when and where were you happiest? Yikes. I’ll let you know when it happens.
  5. what is your greatest indulgence? Fancy panties
  6. where would you like to live? Somewhere where the temperature never dips below 65 degrees and never hits above 75 degrees. Let me know if you’ve heard of such a place and I’ll be there tomorrow.
  7. what is the quality you are most drawn to a person? Curiosity.
  8. how would you like to die? I’m not sure exactly but it should warrant a Dateline episode.
  9. what is your secret superstition? I’m afraid of cats crossing my path. My Polish father taught me to make a scissor cutting motion after one does and spit three times. I’ve done it in front of many people so I’m not sure how secret it is.
  10. what was the best dream and worst nightmare you ever had? I used to have two recurring dreams as kid. One was awesome. One was terrible. The awesome one was based on the movie Fortress. I frequently have dreams based on movies I’ve seen. Anyway, it involved me swimming in caves. I know it’s supposed to be “best dream” and it’s from a movie about a kidnapping but trust me, constantly revisiting cave pools is pretty awesome. Worst, same dream era – I’d say age 12 – I’m wandering through a burning city where packs of wolves were being deployed to find all the children and kill them. I was alone in the city and trying to find my way out, everything was grey or on fire. Somehow I would always stumble out the other side of this place and onto my neighborhood street where it was fall and all the bright foliage was so beautiful and formed perfect lollipops of colors but they always started melting. It was the basis for the first short story I ever wrote and after I wrote it I never had the dream again. I would like to know what they both mean.
  11. what song do you most hear in your head? Upside Down by Diana Ross
  12. what do you read/watch/listen to when you are feeling badly? Oh man, Morrissey for sure. And the Magnetic Fields. I like to wallow.
  13. what do you consider to be the greatest elixir/restorative? Walking. Being in nature. Sun on your face. Everything my mother always says works. It works. Oh and sex, but she told me that too.
  14. what’s something you never told anyone? I live in an unhealthy haze of nostalgia.

Follow Karolina at @believekarolina on Twitter.