It’s been a little quiet here, but I wanted to drop in to wish everyone happy holidays.
If you’re looking for some seasonal reading, my friend Patrice has an essay up over at the Hairpin about her childhood dancing in The Nutcracker, and if that doesn’t satisfy the urge, may I suggest David Sedaris Christmas classics “Santaland Diaries” and “Six to Eight Black Men“.
Also, there’s the new Sherlock mini-episode, which I will most likely be watching on repeat at hourly intervals until the new series airs in January.
Happy holidays, everyone, and in case you don’t hear from me before then, happy new year!
This week I could only find five sentences. What can I say? Times are tough all over.
Six Five Sentences for Sunday, Dec. 15:
Lying in bed, she covers her face with her hands. The heels of her palms press her lips against the edges of her teeth hard enough to hurt. She wants to kick her legs. She wants to beat her heels against the mattress. She wants, more than anything, to run.
I’m delighted to see Nelly Reifler’s wonderful novel Elect H. Mouse State Judge on BuzzFeed’s list of 10 best debut novels of 2013. It also made Slate’s list of 21 best lines of 2013. If you haven’t read this odd gem of a novel, go do it right now. Seriously, I’ll loan you my copy!
If ever it seems to you that this blog is just a place for me to tout the superlative skills of one LiAnn Yim, that’s because the lady is on fire these days. Her flash piece “Security” appeared recently in First Stop Fiction:
The soldiers who came for us had their orders in the form of stamped papers out in their hands. They let us read them over. Take as long as you like, they said. The soldiers were trained to stand still for hours and walk for hours and they were doing the first part very well in our kitchen. Our home was too small for them to form any sort of phalanx or regimented line, so they had to stand in an islanded knot, between the table and the oven and the sink.
Seriously, this the sort of story I want my stories to be when they grow up.
Six sentences for Sunday, December 8:
While the May Queen is in seclusion, the crowds begin to appear. Spiritual people make camp in the wild fields near the cliffs. Some pray; others make flower garlands, which they toss over the edge of the cliffs to prepare the May Queen’s way. Tourists, too, flood the town. We have our share of school groups year-round, but the time between the equinox and May Day is always our busiest season. Stalls crop up on street corners selling candied violets and little slips of escarole filled with cheese and fruit, and teenage boys bored on holiday dare one another to try and steal a glimpse of the May Queen through a window, though they never succeed.
 Chicory coffee, made from the endive’s roots, is also a seasonal local specialty, and their blue flowers are often worn pinned to one’s lapel during the season
Ursula K. Le Guin is featured in the most recent issue of The Paris Review‘s, being interviewed for their The Art of Fiction series. It’s well worth a read, but I’ll just give you this little snippet for your consideration:
Realism is a very sophisticated form of literature, a very grown-up one. And that may be its weakness. But fantasy seems to be eternal and omnipresent and always attractive to kids.
File under films I would like to see: