I wrote down everything I read and began writing my own first novel...

This blog aimed to contrast what I was reading in in 1975-79 with the same month, week and day, 30 years later in 2005-2009. I'm leaving the blog up in archive mode, blogging in real time on Live Journal--and still writing novels.

Lynne Murray's Live Journal and Bride of the Dead Blog

Friday, July 24, 2009

A good stopping place

When I was a kid and my mother wanted to pry me away from whatever I was reading, she used to ask me in her gentle way to set down the book, "when you reach a good stopping place."

I think I've reached a good stopping place for this blog. I will have a new novel coming out soon, Bride of the Living Dead, and I need to stop looking in the rear view mirror and focus on what's right in front of me.

I started writing this blog in late December of 2005, and it's been fun, self-indulgent and educational. I learned, as usual, by doing things wrong--or at least making my own choices, which may look wrong even when they are right for me!

Lesson one, obscure blog titles are probably not the way to go!

Lesson two, complicated concepts like looking back 30 years compared with now..... What can I say? I'm a novelist, I like a lot of layers!

Although I continued my orange notebook listing books I read until December of 1982, I feel okay about leaving my 30-year-old, 30-years-ago self in 1979. That was when my life began to change and deepen in many ways. My mother died in 1980 and a few months later I met and began to live with the man I would marry. I published my first novel in 1988.

Now here's the scary part. I'm not really giving up blogging. I will keep in touch in the more immediate, unpolished (eek!) form of Live Journal. Simple concept, simple title lynnemurray.livejournal.com

Usually I hide behind material that I've revised and flea-combed for months or, at the very least, days. When Laurie Edison suggested Live Journal, my first thought was: "Fine, for her, she writes about making jewelry, that's colorful, concrete, three-dimensional and intriguing."

Myself, I sit in a trance spinning webs of words. At least spiders get out and slaughter the occasional housefly, but I leave housefly capture to the cats. That's pretty much my life. Who wants to read that? The jury's out on who will read it. But I did get the idea to write a bit about writing, getting Bride ready to go to press, doing revisions on my next (Vampire) book, forging ahead on my ongoing (Ghost) manuscript, book promotion (a major obsession) and all that jazz.

I've been doing guest blogs for Body Impolitic--the next one will be on writing fat fiction. Laurie and Debbie have invited me to blog more frequently. I shall, and I will put up links here when I do.

Thank you for hanging out with me on memory lane! I will leave the archives of this blog where they are and simply post the forwarding address for new stuff. Feel free to visit me in the present day. My new motto is

word salad, word soup, words on fire!

Live large and prosper!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Turning Points & Hill's Law of Work

I had this quote above my typewriter for years although I don't where I got it, or who "Hill" is. Internet searches bring up Napoleon Hill, the "think and get rich" guy, but this doesn't really sound like him. Maybe it's a lost cousin of Murphy's Law, but it describes my life pretty well:

"Hill's Law of Work: Everything takes 8 times longer than you expect it to."

By the same token you never know when you're reaching a turning point until way afterward. In 1979 I came back to San Francisco after a few years hiding out in Los Angeles, That dark time in my life taught me how to write my way out of the hole I'd fallen into. That didn't happen overnight, when I wasn't working a day job or scribbling down my suffering, my other hobbies were drinking too much and alternately dieting and bingeing. I was isolated from most of the people around me, which gave me lots of time to read and write my first novel (as well as some very self-pitying journals). The journals show the darkness starting to lift around 1978-79.

I finally finished the novel, a sensitive story of disillusioned youth. It was essentially unreadable, but I didn't know that then, and anyone who did look at it was too kind to tell me--fortunately. The major thing those years taught me was that I liked writing novels. So the next question I asked myself was. What kind of novel do you want to write next? That's a question I still ask myself often. I also discovered Susie Orbach's Fat is a Feminist Issue somewhere in here, though I haven't found it in the list of books I read, it began to have an impact on me that took several years to fully manifest itself.

Last week I did another guest blog for Body Impolitic on the subject of
fat women in film fat women in film (or the lack thereof).

May 2, 1979

Bird, the Legend of Charlie Parker by Robert George Reiser
Dispatches by Michael Herr
Note: very well done.
The Suicide Cult by Michael Kilduff, RonJaners, SF Chron staff
Oscar Wilde by Philippe Julien
Compromising Positions by Susan Isaacs
Murder on the Yellow Brick Road by Stuart Kaminsky
Sandlot Peanuts by Charles M. Shultz
Murder R.F.D by Leslie Stephan
Designing Your Face by Way Bandy
Dr. Zismor's Brand name Guide to Beauty Aids by Zizmor & Foreman
The Magician of the golden Dawn, story of Alistair Crowley by Susan Roberts
Altered States by Paddy Chaefsky
Super Wealth, the Secret Lives of the Oil Sheiks by Linda Blandford
Women of Watergate by Edmunson & Cohen
Killed in the Ratings by William L. DeAndrea
Marriage with My Kingdom, the Courtship of Elizabeth I by Alison Plowdon
The Face of Rock and Roll, Images of a Generation by Bruce Bollack & John Wagman
I looked up Bruce Bollack and found an interview he did in 1977 with Leonard Cohen, the interview was more about Bollack than Cohen, yeah, I know, humor
the website owner at Speaking Cohen went looking for Bollack also, and mainly found the book listed above. However, I managed to find out
what Leonard Cohen is doing nowadays. Cool! Happy 75th birthday, Leonard Cohen!

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Note on June 19, 1979 "peculiarly comforting"
I remember reading this book while camping out on my friend's sofa after moving back to San Francisco.

July 3 I read
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, another comfort read

From May 3 to July 5, 2009 I read:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
A tour de force
about Connie Willis