Shaken and Stirred
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We received a very fine package full of graphic novels by Scott Morse from the other side of the Canadian border, aka Canada, with a lovely inscription written on the side. I quote:

Dear Orwellian Government Lackey--
This PKG contains only books and does not endanger U.S. "Homeland" Security

If we all weren't on a list before, Mr. McLaren surely is. Of course, I mean Santa's happy good list.

The house that James Joyce immortalized in "The Dead" (always one of my favorites by Joyce) has been saved from demolition, and saved period, by some nice people in Ireland. (Link via Maud.)

Savannah is overrun by people who are still really excited after reading MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, which I have never personally experienced the power of. Apparently, even that bad movie with Kevin Spacey being a total ham couldn't kill da buzz. Love this story:

"When you have to start removing a statue that had been in the cemetery since 1938, you realize something's going on," Newman said from behind the register at The Book Gift Shop, where autographed copies of "Midnight" continue to sell alongside Bird Girl mugs, hand creams and canned jams. A decade has passed since Berendt, a New York magazine writer, published "Midnight" with its gossipy tales of a murder, a drag queen and voodoo rituals that many Savannahians doubted outsiders would ever read. Since its debut in January 1994, Berendt's book has sold 3.3 million copies and spent 216 weeks on The New York Times list of best sellers. If Savannahians were surprised, so was the author.

"When I was asked how will it sell, I said, 'Look, this is not a mainstream book,"' Berendt said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Look at what's in it ... the drag queen, the gay murder, you name it. It was not what mainstream Americans are used to. What I guess happened was that the mainstream widened while I was writing the book."

Okay, so I'm not following the logical extension of "drag queen, gay murder, you name it." Sounds like small to midsize-town 'merica to me.

And I like this quote from Alice Flaherty in an interview with the Harvard Press (Flaherty wrote the recently published THE MIDNIGHT DISEASE, dealing with writer's block and also hypergraphia): "I feel joy when I'm writing well," she continues, smiling. "I have my bad days, and I'm terrified of writer's block. But in the end, the joy of finding even one good verb makes it all worthwhile."

Finished a story today, though I haven't even read back through it yet. Finding a good verb really does have its own satisfactions.

And thanks to the extremely wise and amusing TerryTeachout and OGIC for adding Shaken and Stirred to the About Last Night blogroll. You should all be reading ALN, it goes without saying; it's one of the very best blogs out there, about the arts or otherwise.

Tomorrow: Captain Marvel!

earworm: "Miss Ohio," Gillian Welch

rec: pepto in Mexico (thanks, Dr. Kelly!)

namecheck: Scott "Laura Loves Me" Westerfeld

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