Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How Far Is the Ocean From Here

Moonlight Ambulette is a wonderful blog, one of my favorites. Amy always has excellent recommendations and hilariously charming commentary. I knew I'd love her first novel. It's about a very pregnant runaway surrogate mother stranded in a down-at-heel motor lodge in New Mexico, and it's full of weird, surprising, beautiful writing and good characters. On the surface I guess HFITOFH is about family-making (can you make a family out of random strangers?) but a step or two deeper down it's about what people owe each other -- indebtedness. The characters are constantly giving each other things: pebbles, breakfast, lodging, babies. (One of my favorite lines is when one of the characters demands his breakfast: "'Pop-Tarts and a orange,' he said. 'Yeah.'" He gets the Pop-Tarts, but no orange.) I loved the setting, too: the desert, the motel with its huge, buzzing neon sign and greenish swimming pool. Anyway: it turns out you can blog AND write great fiction! Or at least Amy can.

It's good to be back. I shouldn't have picked an election season to try and give up the internet, though. I would have done more writing if I hadn't spent so much time checking the latest tracking polls. Several of my old lit-blog haunts disappeared during my hiatus: Writer, Reading is gone (drop a line if you have a new blog, WR) bloglily is taking her own break, etc. But I'm totally raring to go. Anyone seen Max around? I really miss that mean old son of a gun.

16 comments:

bloglily.com said...

I'm taking a decidedly lame break -- I come over here every day, which is good for the soul (and also good for the reading list). But don't get me started on the total time suck that is my dailykos/talkingointsmemo/huffpost obsession. Someone in my family's going to have to stage an intervention pretty soon.

jrlennon said...

I cut down to TPM only for a while...but added DailyKos back on for the final stretch. I had to give up HuffPo, Digby, and Eschaton so I could edit my damned novel.

rmellis said...

Hey, JR, where's our picture? Didn't there used to be a picture on the front of W6? It looks all boring now.

McQ said...

Hooray!!!! Rhian's back!!!!!!

Can you tell how much I missed your posts by my frightening overuse of exclamation points? I'll add a few more, just to celebrate the lifting of my RE hiatus depression:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rmellis said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's some for how excited I am about NaNoWriMo this year. I hope you're still doing it...

McQ said...

DEFINITELY still doing NaNo. We can hold our own joint kick-off celebration over the phone on the 1st.

Let me know if you want another copy of the daily word count tracking sheet I made for NaNo06 and I'll send it your way.

Multiple exclamation points for the Return of Rhian AND for NaNo!!!!!!!!!!

jrlennon said...

Oh so Ange I wasn't good enough for you eh?

eh???????????????

Yes, R, our hospital ward picture is missing. I'll give blogger a day or so to restore it and if they don't I'll do it myself!

Mr. Saflo said...

It's been missing for a while now. I...I didn't want to say anything...

bloglily.com said...

This is what happens when you turn your back on your blog for even a second. Somebody steals your picture. What's next? They take your name?

You know, maybe it's not too late for me to fix the fact that I have the lamest blog name in the universe. Ward Six. Hmm. Much more literary than what I came up with. Now I just have to figure out how to unglue it from the computer.

McQ said...

You were absolutely good enough for me, JRL, yet W6 without Rhian was like, um, let's think of something really astounding...okay...still thinking...wait, try this!

W6 without Rh. is like hanging out at the UW Terrace without Babcock Hall ice cream or Rathskeller Ale. The view's still amazing, the brats on the grill smell just as tasty as ever, but there's no denying it's just not the same.

Or to put it another way, it's like this 70s cartoon of a (mostly, and modestly - a sort of Adam and Eve thing) naked couple my parents had up on the wall of our family room, the caption of which read "Viva La Difference!"

Dang, I haven't thought of that picture in decades. Now I'm going to be haunted by it until I can remember the name of the artist.
His style would be instantly recognizable, along the lines of a Ziggy thing. Actually, that cartoon was a little creepy if I think too much about it, but I believe it was a gift from French-Canadian relatives. Plus it was the 70s. That on its own probably explains a lot.

BUT, to get back to the real issue at hand, the true W6 = JRL + RE (with a little sprinkle of ES from time to time, of course). Does that make you feel more loved? I don't want to have to pull out the stale Reese's peanut butter cup comparisons (stale comparisons, not stale RPB cups, because those would be just plain gross).

Here, have a few well-deserved exclamation points of your own:

!!!JRL!!!JRL!!!JRL!!!JRL!!!

rmellis said...

Oh, man, it's good to be back.

BTW bloglily: congrats on the publication news!!

McQ: I'm doing nanowrimo but I have no idea what the book will be about. Ideas, anyone? Maybe I should write about that weird cartoon in your parents' house.

Mr. Saflo: It is always excellent to see your self-deprecating self.

rmellis said...

Mr. Saflo: Something has happened to Waffle Town!

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Squirrel said...

Eyore, here. Reincarnated as Squirrel, scratching around in the dirt as usual.Low key.Under the radar. Top Secret. Constantly in disguise. Use no previous I.D.'s. (W. R. is obsolete). Not a writer today at all.

jrlennon said...

My goodness, lots of mystery in the comments this morning...

rmellis said...

Yay, Squirrel!

Saflo: I'll be waiting...