Sunday, October 30, 2011

Good or bad? Not quite sure

I'm a little stunned right now, having just finished the latest book by my favorite author, Anne Rivers Siddons. On one hand, I'm thoroughly disappointed, and on the other hand feel that she's finally graduated into the ranks of other slightly crazed but brilliant southern writers. I don't know which is worse. Or better.

On the good side, she's come home again to Atlanta for this book, and she wraps the city and the southern culture around the reader in a way that rings totally true for what I'd call 'true Georgians', those who are natives and who know old Georgia/Atlanta as well as new Georgia/Atlanta. There's a familiarity that soothes. She nails the syrupy persona of a certain kind of southern woman, and the pretensions that were and still are rampant, particularly in and around Atlanta. She mocks both with a edge that I found most satisfying and familiar.

Siddons has always been a magical writer, to me. Her prose is lyrical, her characters and stories deep and lush and satisfying.  I savored every book simply for the beauty of the words strung together one after another, page after page.

From the get-go, this book was different. That lyrical beauty was mostly missing from the prose. Often there were sentences that I had trouble understanding (I thought I was perhaps becoming more senile than I realized, at first). I found it a bit hard to follow at times as later incidents and characters seemed disconnected with earlier parts of the story, and the timelines seemed off, from time to time. I think if you didn't know Atlanta and the south, and if  you weren't familiar with her other books, these might not have been so noticeable. But I'm not sure about that.

Because it was Anne Rivers Siddons, I kept reading and found myself drawn into the story, inexorably grabbed by what is, for her, a very strange storyline, impelled forward to the end.  Although I noticed discrepancies, I couldn't help but read on.  The ending is bizarre (although from the first pages bizarreness is hinted at, so the fact that it would be somehow bizarre should come as no surprise). This is where I think she blends into those other crazed southern writers and I still don't know if that's good or bad. Unlike some other reviews I read on Amazon when I went in to steal the image shown here, I'd say hell yes, read this book! Just don't expect it to be like any other book this woman has ever written.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It ain't exactly what I had in mind....

Sometimes there's a great disconnect between intention and results.  This is true in meditation as well as all of life, but today it has to do with a  bit of winterizing of my garden. It's nice and sunny and warm out there right now, but yesterday morning I had ice on my windshield, so I decided it was time to put the vague plan I had into action. I just hope it doesn't get too hot in there for the plants during the day, until the weather cools off some more. I could have left it looser, but then cats could get in.

Everything started out fairly well. But then, as I tried to put my existing fabric over the hoops, I realized they were too tall, so I had to take them apart a couple more times and trim them down a foot at a time until the fabric fit, more or less. Actually, probably less than more, but I guess it's a good thing that function matters more than form in this case.
Ugly as sin, but then sometimes we just have to make do with what we have, and what I had was several smaller pieces of fabric that I'd used last year, and one unused piece.  You can clearly see that the hoops are not the same size, but I didn't notice that while I was doing it, and it's not easy to get them off the rebar, so it just gets to stay as it is. The sagging looks bad, but it won't matter to the plants. It'll just move out of the way if they get big enough.  None of them are particularly large plants, other than possibly the chard.

So, that's my day.  Tomorrow I get to take the little female cat to the vet in Villa Rica to be spayed. If she only knew! I kept her on the front porch last night, so she'd get used to it.  That's where she's going to have to live for awhile, until she heals, and she has to stay there tonight so 1) I can catch her in the morning to put her in the carrier, and 2) she's confined without food after midnight, for the surgery. She didn't seem to mind it so much, but she was in a big hurry to get outside this morning. I don't think she knows what a litter box is, because the poor cat didn't pee or poop for the entire 10-12 hours she was on the porch! She's a funny cat in other ways. Has no fear of coming into the house, makes herself right at home.  But anything that moves or makes noise (microwave, washer/dryer, ceiling fan, TV) scares her. It's like she's never seen any of them before.