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  • A new book. No, not by me.

    Posted by Lois Lowry
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    I got back late last ngiht from Savannah, Georgia, where I had spent all day yesterday at the outdoor Savannah Book Festival. Savannah is a gorgeous city which I have not visited often enough, so I had been happy to accept that invitation. But who knew that the internet weather forecast would lie as profoundly as it did when it said the day of the festival would be 75 degrees?  I loved heading toward that forecast when I left my Maine home in snow on Friday morning...heading south, smugly taking with me a cotton sweater and a lightweight jacket.  OMG, I was cold in Savannah!!!!  As was the audience, whom I had to try to entertain during two different one-hour events. Me on a wooden platform, shivering, they unable to sit on the grass as planned...instead, standing, hands in armpits, attentive but miserable.  Then two hours of sitting at a table, signing books...my hands went numb.  Temperature? I'm guessing 48? The warmth of the people involved...festival organizers, volunteers, and attendees ALMOST made up for it.  And Savannah, dear beautoful city, I do hope to see you again, but please, on a warmer dayi

    Several things warmed me mightily when i got home. The cat, left alone, was very happy to have me back. And the dog, when I picked him up from the kennel this morning, was friskily delighted to come home.  The NY Times crossword puzzle was fairly easy today, and fun. I still had some homemade chiucken soup in the fridge and have just made my lunch from it. And in the waiting mail was a book that is making my day and will make my month and year.  It is a new collection of poems..."Splitting an Order" by Ted Kooser, Nebraska poet, former US poet laureate.

    I love his work. I have met him only once, at a dinner in Nebraska where I was the speaker and he was in the audience, and it was one of those ignominious times when one's Power Point doesn't work. He was gentle and forgiving of that, and later sent me a book of his poems, and I sent him a thank you note, but he would remember neither that nor me and it doesn't matter.

    Kooser collects the tiny quotidian details of life and then presents them in a way that both heightens your own awareness and also creates a significance, a greater and more unversal context. A poem called "Swinging frm Parents" describes a child between mother and father, swinging from their hands—and it so brilliantly creates both the present and the future of the child..I wish I could copy the whole poem here but it would violate copyright law.  Go buy the book.

    That particluar poem followed immediately after the one called "Bad News" which sent an ice pick into my gut with its familiarity. The familiarity of the phone call that comes in the night..."In the flare of the light you've snapped on"...and brings the news that is "thrown over your shoulders like a threadbare robe."...most of us have experienced such a call.  It is oddly comforting to be reminded of that; he shapes it into a familiar form.

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    Nov 16 Tags: Untagged
  • A glimpse of evening

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    I have always loved the writing of Donald Hall and his late wife, Jane Kenyon. My daughter read a Kenyon poem ("Let Evening Come") at Martin's memorial service.  Now I have just received in the mail, from its publisher, Donald Hall's new book, with an eerily reminiscent photograph. No, this is not Carl Nelson, whom I photographed years ago and who still appears on the cover of THE GIVER (unless you have the movie tie-in edition, where Jeff Bridges appears).  This is Donald Hall. But there is something about a lined, craggy face with piercing, somewhat sad eyes and an unkempt beard that makes one think that all the wisdom in the world is housed therein. I think I have a book with a similar cover photo of Robertson Davies someplace.

    (When I had photographed Carl Nelson and was in the process of developing and printing the photos, one was floating in my darkroom sink when my teenage son walked by, glanced at it, and said, "Who's that? Moses?"  I told Carl that when I sent him some copies of the potographs, and thereafter he always signed his letters to me: "Love, Moses.")

    I've never met Donald Hall. But a good photograph makes you feel, almost, as if you do know the person. I'm sure that reading his essays will compound that feeling. And though I hope and assume he is in good health with many years of writing still ahead, I cna't help thinking that the title of his photo should be his wife's words: Let evening come.

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    Nov 05 Tags: Untagged
  • Where does time go?

    Posted by Lois Lowry
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    Once again I start out with an apology. Time just whizzes past, doesn't it?  And as usual I have been on the road.

    First of all: New York, for the Symphony Space celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of NUMBER THE STARS (too many "of"s in that sentence, I know)  Crowded theater, lots of kids. And a wonderful moderator..or maybe she would be called interviewer...Lauren Oliver, who sat with me on stage and asked great questions.  Also, a special treat: actor Sean Astin, who owns the film rights to NTS and is very passionate about the book. He read a selection and then answered questions about a posisble film.  Like all such undertakings, it requires big $$$$ and so far that has not been forthcoing, though Sean's enthusiasm and passion...and smarts...could bring it about. Let's hope.  Here I am with Sean:

     

    After New York, I went to Clarksdale, Mississippi to speak at their public library as part of a lecture series.  The only time I have ever been in the part of Mississippi they call "The Delta"...known for its blues...and unfortunately I was not there long enough to savor the music but I did have some good food and met some terrific poeple.

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    Oct 31 Tags: Untagged
  • Cantankerous? Me?

    Posted by Lois Lowry
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    Again, apologies for Neglect of the Blog.  There should be a governmental agency that handles such crimes as Blog Nelglect. Maybe they would remove the Blog from my keeping and give it to Foster Bloggers?

    But: hey. The movie stuff became entirely too much for one human.  Last time I posted anything, I had been to Las Vegas and was about to go to San Diego.  I did so. After that I went to LA...where in one day I did 72...count 'em...yes, 72 interviews of four minutes each, back to back. And then to NY, where I did the Charlie Rose show, the Colbert Report, and a bunch of other stuff, and also attended the movie premiere, actually donning my slutty shoes and walking on a red carpet with Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift and others.

     

    Here I am, on that occasion.

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    Sep 04 Tags: Untagged
  • Real Estate Lust

    Posted by Lois Lowry
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    Yes, I have been busy. No, I don't fritter away my time reading junk novels and eating bon-bons. I actually have been finishing up a project (foreword to a British book being re-published) and doing a number of interviews, and have also been going back and forth on movie-related trips (next week, San Diego)

    But this afternoon I took a break and went to Netflix Streaming on my computer and watched a sweet little movie called "Last Love."  Beautifully photographed. Well acted by Michael Caine as an aging American professor living in Paris and mourning his dead wife.  One irritating glitch..the kind of thing no one notices except nitpickers like me...he says quite clearly early in the film that he lives in St. Germain, and indeed the neighborhood around his building LOOKS like St. Germain....but in one scene which purports to be looking toward his apartment, the camera is clearly on the Right Bank. Oh well.

    But here's the thing: I fell victim, very early on, to Real Estate Lust. I want that apartment, the one where Michael Caine lives his lonely, sad life. I have several times rented flats in Paris. But the one I want is HIS.

    And then, the longer I lusted after it, the more it began to look familar.

    And here's why. I think it is the same Paris apartment that I lusted after while watching a different movie: the 2013 movie AMOUR. 

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    Jul 12 Tags: Untagged
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