Cynthia Lee writes young and new adult works of fantasy


October 2015

Halloween Reading Recommendations – A Little Late

If you have not read Shirley Jackson, please remedy this tragedy immediately.

I think many people remember reading The Lottery in school.  Is it still taught in schools?  I honestly don’t know.  It’s been that long since I was “in school.”

Anyhow, Shirley Jackson was married, had five children and wrote some very fine books and short stories.  It is really hard to write fiction and raise children.  Ask me how I know.  It seems that she may have suffered from depression and anxiety.  She was a chain smoker and she died an obese woman but we don’t know, not really, how she felt about things most of the time.

A lot of us don’t know how we feel about things most of the time.  I know this to be true.

Anyway, my favorite novel of hers is We Have Always Lived in the Castle.  She had a wonderful style and a real genius for creepy Gothicness that grows and grows, builds and builds to an inexorable conclusion.  I love it when you read a book that makes you think “Oh, yes, that’s exactly how it should have ended” and you can’t say exactly why you feel that way.  You just know.

Here is the link to We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Harpo Marx sent the message that there is no message.

One of my favorite books (I have many) is Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist.  I haven’t read it in over twenty years but I seem to remember a conversation between two of the main characters, Macon Leary and his soon to be estranged wife Sarah.  Sarah complains that Macon doesn’t know how to communicate.  The word communicate is Macon’s least favorite word.  (I know a few people like Macon).  She tells him that he reminds her of the old Marx Brothers’ gag in which Harpo sends Groucho a telegram that reads “No Message.”

(And if you have not investigated the legendariness that is the Marx Brothers – well, you should remedy that right now.  Start with Duck Soup).

I’m not sure why I’m posting about that memory of a book.  I think it’s because when I opened my blog with the intention to write something I realized that I had no real message.  My message is that I have no message.

I did manage to mention Anne Tyler however.  She’s a wonderful writer whose books really get under your skin.  They may seem simple and homey and plain but they are wonderfully warm and human and sad, at times, but not too sad.

The Marx Brothers, however, are not warm.  I’m not even sure how human they are.  (I kid).  Duck Soup is absolutely one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen however.  It’s so . . . silly and weird and smart and fun.  I recommend reading Roger Ebert’s Great Movies review of Duck Soup.

A Post of Great Wit and Fascination Here

I am attempting to figure this wordpress stuff out.  It may take a while.  I’m afraid I am very impatient with technology in general.

I wrote 1037 words today in an hour.  Whee!

I’ve discovered that one of my favorite things to do is to work on a novel (1k words a day) and then hop over to a short story and write a couple hundred words or so.  The short stories tend to be things of icky creepiness and oogy stuff in general but also silly and fun for me.

This is great fun, I promise.

You should try it.

Yes, really.

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