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Writing Snippet-Great Gatsby

I haven’t picked up the Great Gatsby in forever, and flipped through it the other day after hearing about the new movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, same style as the Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge movies Luhrmann made.

I’d always wondered about what made Gatsby one of those enduring classics. Gatsby and Daisy are actually pretty shallow. Daisy hits someone then Gatsby takes the blame instead of her taking responsibility for the accident. So why has this book about such people remained a classic? Fitzgerald explores enduring themes and portrays that age and its excesses, but what jumped out at me this time, was the writing. I love his descriptions. He writes with economy, but when he does describe the characters, it’s wonderful. Below is a snippet of Nick describing Gatsby:

He smiled understandingly — much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you might come across four or five times in your life. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

I love the last part...and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

This is a person that knows how to manipulate and use people and that’s exactly what Gatsby did to Nick, using him to get closer to Daisy. Awesome. (Um, not that he used Nick, but a spot on description awesome 🙂

Cookies and milk and the meaning of Christmas

What to say about Christmas that hasn’t already been said? I struggled with this until I remembered last night, Christmas Eve, watching Polar Express with my four year old son. (Which I think the animation is so weird, almost creepy, but it’s a nice story) And when Santa shows up and teaches the boy how to hear the bell ringing, to believe in Christmas again, my son turns to me and says, is Santa coming? I want to meet Santa. And really, he wasn’t worried about getting a present, he wanted to meet the symbol of Christmas, and it made me believe in Christmas again, made me shed some of the cynicism, the concern about getting the right gift, or even being jolly.

Since I spent time in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast, I had become more cynical of just how much we have in our country when many children around the world have so little. Christmas began to represent those excesses to me, and some of the joy of the holiday became lost to me. I thank my son for returning some of the mystery and joy. So we gave my son cookies and milk and he placed them next to the fireplace, and after my son fell asleep, we ate the cookies and milk, making sure to leave crumbs on the plate and a ring of milk in the glass. And that was the first thing he thought of when he woke up. He wanted to see if Santa had eaten the cookies and drunk the milk. And so did I.

Have a wonderful holiday and new year!

Feelin’ Legit

For me, with the writing and publishing process, once I hit one milestone, I gave myself a quick pat on the back and start working, gazing to the next goal. (At least, that’s my personality. I don’t know for sure if that’s how other people work.) I wrote a book. Cool. Now how about getting published? I got a publishing contract. Okay. Great. Now I have to write two more books. LOL. For me, I move so quickly towards achieving the next milestone and beating myself over the head about reaching that goal, I often have to take a step back and tell myself…HEY…you wrote a book!! And often, those moments get lost on me. It wasn’t until I saw my book cover for The Necromancer’s Seduction, the first book in my Urban Fantasy series, that it HIT me. Wow. I’m getting published. And, yea, I wrote a dam book.

Now, my publisher produced a book trailer. Another one of those head smacking moments. Wow. So today, I’m taking the time to enjoy it. It’s a great trailer and I’d love to share.