Friday, 2 October 2015

My September

Spring came early this year ... and then it went away again. At the end of August, the Spring wind began. It's the same every year: the breeze is just as biting as ever, but there's a different feeling to it -- a feeling of anticipation. The fruit trees feel it and begin to bud. The birds start to sing again. Just when you think it's too late to turn back, the weather turns and it's just as cold and rainy as it was in the middle of Winter. It wasn't until the last week of September that Spring began in earnest. September was the month for apricot blossoms, fruit tea and billowy scarves.

What I've been writing ...  
My main interest in the last month has been in writing posts for the blog. I have at least 6 unpublished posts in the pipeline on everything from dolls to food. I haven't written any stories or essays in a couple of months though, and sometimes I feel bad about it. Then I remember all the blogging and I tell myself that it's good practice.


What I've been  making ...  
I've developed a sudden interest in my Rainbow Loom again. Creating simpler ones using the Finger Loom is a good brainless craft for TV-watching time. I thought of making some necklaces too, but depending on the colours I want to use, I'll probably need to buy more supplies. There's just no other way!


What I've been  reading ...  
I finally finished Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. I put it down for a long time, and in the end it took me almost 2 years! Alice B. Toklas was the life-long companion of the modernist author Gertrude Stein. The "Autobiography" is written from Toklas' point of view, but is not only written by Gertrude Stein, but almost entirely about Gertrude Stein as well! Poor Alice comes across as merely wallpaper in her own biography.


As I've mentioned before, I found the first half quite slow-going, as it mostly consists of Gertrude's repetitive name-dropping of artists and writers she hung out with. Stein's stream of consciousness style of writing, while radical for its day, is quite passe now and at times, a little annoying. The stories of delivering supplies to the troops during World War I are much more engaging, as is the tale of her stormy friendship with Ernest Hemingway. I was also impressed by the time when Stein wrote a whole essay by the light of a streetlamp, sitting outside in the cold waiting for her car to be fixed. Now that's a true writer.


Alice, Gertrude and Basket the poodle.

It wasn't until I neared the end of the book that its implications occurred to me. Can an autobiography that isn't written by its own subject really show the truth? To what extent did any of these events really happen? Did Stein truly try to write from the point of view of her companion or was she experimenting with an alternative form of biography? What purpose did it serve to pretend to be someone else? Did writing with this buffer between her and her audience affect what she wrote? ... And what did Alice think of all this?

One last thing -- I read the book on my ebook reader and my epub conversion software did a very good job in converting all of the French names in the book, however at one point near the end, it converted 'Gertrude' to 'Germstrude'.


What else I've been doing ...  
My "reverse bucket list"....

became addicted to SpudBar ~ got the Epic Breeding Cave and a 3rd and 4th island in Dragon Vale ~ saw 2 plays including Antigone ~ decided not to re-subscribe to the theatre next year as there was only one play that interested me ~ finished reading 3 books ~ was assertive ~ ordered a new doll ~ was given my first pathtag, ordered several more and joined the pathtag club ~ made a Chan-Rio ~ started playing Tiny Tower again ~ picked some oranges from my tree ~ ordered more clothes for my Lammily doll ~ tidied my shoe area ~ joined Gaia Online ~ bought another new doll ~ went to Daiso ~ wrote a list of 101 Things in 1,001 Days ~ found and saved the LibraryThing Top 106 Unread Books list ~ Kondo-ed my email account ~ made Pasta Naporitan [blog post coming soon] ~ tidied my collage materials ~ went to 2 new restaurants ~ had a board games day ~ went clothes shopping ~ pre-ordered the new Lammily doll ~ put my Unseen Ninja phone-call-making skills to use ~ wrote a couple of haiku ~ got the souvenir Faire Dragon and Weather Station in Dragon Vale ~ got a massage

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