Sunday, November 4, 2007
Half-finished books, a writer's strike, and a trip down memory lane
I'm stalled a bit in my reading, half way through Of Human Bondage, by Somerset Maugham, (which I'm reading for the Outmoded Authors Challenge) and half way through Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky, which I'm reading for my book group meeting (this Wednesday night--yikes!).
I'd like to blame the AMPTP (Hollywood studios). That's because my husband is a writer and is probably going on strike tomorrow. He's got his red WGA (that's Writers Guild of America) t-shirt ready to wear, and he's thinking of printing up blank signs for himself and his co-writers to carry on the picket lines. Get the joke? Writers not working=blank signs.
Needless to say, we've been on an emotional roller coaster at our house for the last couple of weeks. The strike looms, officially starting at 12:01 Monday morning. But there's word that there is some negotiating going on at this very moment, and tentative hopefulness that there is headway being made in the back rooms to avoid the picketing tomorrow. So the nail-biting continues until morning.
Maybe if the negotiations are fruitful at the last minute, I won't have to figure out how to feed my children on ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese for the next six months, after all...but I'm not holding my breath.
If anyone's interested in a more detailed (and writer-friendly) take on the whole WGA strike, visit Deadline Hollywood Daily or United Hollywood.
I also took a detour around my other reading and read two books about Scottish childhoods, in honor of my dad visiting this weekend. One, called A Childhood in Scotland, by Christian Miller, (and mentioned by Tara at Books and Cooks recently) had absolutely nothing to do with how my father grew up, but was a fascinating read anyway. It told the story of poor-little-rich-girl Miller, who grew up in a castle (that clearly cost a fortune to keep), but who was deprived of warmth and attention. Just the descriptions of the details of running the estate are worth reading, and the eccentricities of the landed gentry were by turns amusing and horrifying.
I also read The Heart is Highland: Memories of a Childhood in a Scottish Glen, by Maisie Steven. It's a charming little memoir about life in a glen near Loch Ness in the 1930s and through WWII. The prose isn't scintillating, but I found the book sweetly funny, and it took my dad, who read it through in a few hours, on a nice trip down memory lane. And fortunately for me, the memories it brought up for my dad about his childhood sparked some great conversations on our visit this weekend.
Does anyone else have a particular book that brings up (hopefully pleasant) childhood memories? I'd love to hear about it...