Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Savannah does Pete Townsend pinwheels....

So, kids, it's been a busy week. You see, it's just before July 4th and there's much to do for the big bash on Monday. Most of the Guz clan is at the Outer Banks this week, which leaves the Bunster and me to get things ready for the holiday. This evening, I may get a crash course in the Kubota, so I can mow tomorrow. Okay, yeah, maybe 'crash course' was not the best word to use. I hope to crash into nothing. Michael is confident in letting me handle the fields, but not around the houses. Yeah, not so much. I make him nervous when I drive, so with a mower attached to the bottom, I represent an even greater danger. And I probably shouldn't admit that, yes, I can see that. 
Meet my supervisors: Jasper, on the sofa;
Fred, on the floor. This was their most
recent office visit. Apparently, my effort is
"ruff". Is this good or bad...anyone know?

Last night, we went up to visit the bees. I was wearing a tank top. This was a mistake. One especially zealous guard bee, who perhaps forgot that we're the ones who bring her hive sugar syrup, chased me all the way down the hill (all the way), while both my arms apparently did Pete Townsend-style windmills. According to Michael and Cousin Linda, who could see us from her backyard, I was quite the humorous sight. I did get stung--in the middle of my upper back, where I couldn't reach it to get the venom pumper out. So, my yelling was warranted. Michael said, when he got down to me to flick the stinger out (and after he stopped laughing), "Damn. You can really run fast in those flip-flops." There will be no more visiting the hill without my bee suit. Period. No, on second thought, make that an exclamation point.

So, I'm working on Charlotte, as mentioned in my previous post. I'm lengthening and adding scenes, correcting factual inaccuracies, and doing research. As I find scenes in the historical literature, I work on chapters. Yesterday, I found a fascinating article, written for the Block Museum of Art at Northerwestern, titled "Last Expression: Art from Auschwitz" by Guido Fackler. It details the use of music for purposes of psychological degradation in the camps. However, some of the women, in apparently rare cases, would actually use music as a form of resistance. There is documentation of the women singing La Marseillaise on returning from work details, when they were undoubtedly exhausted and sometimes (or perhaps often) forced to carry their dead comrades back to barracks with them. It's this spirit of resistance in the face of apathy and terror that I am most interested in.

Meanwhile, I'm also working on other speculative fiction. I've got a story going this morning about Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord Elgin. You know him. He's the man who has been blamed for theiving away much of the Parthenon freize and pediment sculptures when he was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1799 and 1803 and when the Turks had little appreciation (and probably a whole lot of disdain) for the work of Phidias. Elgin, who hoped to save these treaures--which eventually inspired sculptors like Canova--suffered a great deal of life misfortune and has been pretty harshly judged by history. So, he's inspired a's part of it.

That night, while composing letters at his writing table, he fell asleep. He dreamed he was back in the darkened sanctuary near the Amazon whose skin had the pale faultlessness of unglazed porcelain. Her gold gown radiated its own warmth, which made him drowsy. He was a youth again, no older than fourteen or fifteen, and lay on his hip beside the reflecting pool, the cool marble against his cheek. In his right hand was a tiny wooden boat, a toy he recognized from his childhood. Languidly, without significantly shifting his position, he set the boat on the surface of the water. When it merely floated calmly on the surface, he pushed it gently with his finger towards the dais opposite him. He vaguely registered that the giantess above him was alive. Her eyes followed him even as her towering body remained entirely still, her face motionless. The boy looked away from boat, which moved steadily towards her. He cast his gaze up to her face, and when his brown eyes met the lapis colored stones representing hers, she leaned forward from her exalted position and whispered to him, “Save me.”

Now, back to work....but before I go, have a video moment. I know, pardon me. I'm again late coming to this party, since, apparently, this has been everywhere. But I have a tendency to get stuck on weird stuff and then put them on repeat play for months on end. Anyway, I just discovered Brandi Carlisle, and HOLY CRAP, the girl has some freaking powerful voice.

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