Saturday, September 27, 2008

Page 68

I actually did a little writing today, going over and touching up my new work-in-progress (wip). I am up to page 68, which I consider an achievement. Me of the little tiny novels. I have heard of authors who have to break their bulging manuscripts into two or three books. Two or three books! I'm always lucky if my meager word count constitutes one book.

No new writing today, though, because while I am feeling enormously better than I did the entire week following my surgery, I am still more tired than usual.

Since I spent most of this past week sitting on the couch doing exactly nothing, I was able to watch the entire documentary, The War, by Ken Burns. I had seen it before, but spread out over time. I find it an astounding achievement, though of course there are people who have grumbled about this or that. Which is fair. I myself was disappointed, having read the excellent, Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, by Joseph Bruchac, that the code talkers were not included. But Burns had his focus, carefully explained if sometimes lost in the vastness of the telling. Indeed, World War II is such an enormous subject that Burns could make ten fifteen-hour documentaries and still not tell the entire story.

I am so absorbed in this because it helps me understand my parents, who were of the WWII generation. My own generation was Vietnam, the fight for Civil Rights, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. While I was only a passive observer, I have never quite escaped the pain I experienced in the sixties, but it never seemed to occur to me that my parents could not quite escape the searing pain and fear of the Depression and WWII. Which is an enormous lack of insight on my part.

I often wish I could talk to them now, without all the walls flung up and all the anger and all the misunderstandings--on my part every bit as much as theirs. It is sad, to come to understanding so late, but that is what has happened.

On a different note, I finished, Lord of the Deep, by Graham Salisbury. It was terrific. Deep-sea fishing, a boy tottering on the edge of young manhood, and human weakness--exciting and sad and moving and satisfying. Salisbury's point is a true one, that the people we love most will disappoint us deeply, and we will disappoint them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Down Down Down

I didn't realize how widespread my influence is. When I titled my last entry, R.I.P., I didn't understand that the entire economy was not only reading my blog but taking things so seriously. Really, economy, it was all a joke! I'm not dead and neither are you. Get up and walk. Jump around! You know, like you used to.

Argh . . . .

I am a bit down myself, though not in a depressed or economic way (not yet, at least.) I had sinus surgery two days ago and still feel as though sitting on the couch and watching TV and movies is an excellent past-time. In my secret life I am a fearless outdoor explorer, but in real life, ah, not so much. Still, sitting around doing nothing is not my idea of either a good time or time well spent. And no writing. That part of my brain is still snoozing.

Well, writing a blog entry is writing, but not of the wholesale creative sort. I have sent a revised manuscript out and have another one I am working on, except, um, not today.

Mostly today I am brain dead, which is slightly pleasant. I have had anesthesia three different times in my life, for three minor operations, and it is always an astounding feat to pass into a state of utter, black nothingness then out again, waking up with no sense of the time that has passed. Of course, this wouldn't be amazing if you didn't wake up, but thankfully that hasn't happened to me (yet.) Even in sleep our dreams and stirrings mark the passage of time, but under anesthesia, nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

On a bookish note, over this past couple of weeks I have been having a Graham Salisbury feast, reading Under the Blood-Red Sun; House of the Red Fish; and Eyes of the Emperor--all of which deal with Japanese Americans living in Hawaii during WWII. Fascinating. Harrowing. I have long enjoyed historical fiction, but usually stories set further in the past. But I find I am being claimed of late by more recent tellings, and especially about WWII.

I have also just started Salisbury's Lord of the Deep, which is set, like the others, in Hawaii, but not during WWII. Still, it has my attention. Salisbury writes great boy books.

Eyes of the Emperor, I should note, starts in Hawaii but follows the Japanese-American soldiers to the US mainland, where they experience things no soldier should. One always hopes that as a species we've improved with (historic) age, but we humans keep going back to the same old muck holes of prejudice and cruelty, don't we?

Right now, I am going to my own personal muck hole of slumber, to take a nap.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Well, I have rather disappeared, haven't I? There are various reasons why, but mostly I've been MIA because I realized how unlike most Young Adult blogs this one is, and I kind of froze in place.

The Fusty Blog is not very Young Adulty at all, is it? By which I mean graphically cool, or manuscript-focused, or information-sharing, or glitter-tossing, or teen-buddyish, or charming-authorish. Those kinds of blogs can be a lot of fun to read (and I do read them with enjoyment) but I can't produce one. As a result, my blog sounds a lot more Old Adulty. So I have wondered if I am hurting myself, as a YA author, or not. I'm not sure.

So I might continue, but I also might make some changes. Not that my blog would end up any more Young Adulty than it is now, as I seem to be incapable of being sparkly. Maybe, though, I can be more unapologetically me.

Or, How To Stop Worrying and Love the Blob.

We'll see what happens.