Blog Posts

A Hearty “No Thank You” to Insterstitial Cut Scenes in Novels

In my recent reading, I’ve discovered something: I dislike the use of interstitial cut scenes. In particular when used to “Announce Off-Screen Badness”.

The anatomy of an interstitial cut scene:

  1. It occurs between chapters. The prologue from Game of Thrones is not an interstitial cut scene.
  2. It is 2 or so pages, something shorter than most other chapters.
  3. The narrative jumps to third-person limited, focusing on painting a …

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“Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk

As I read “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead”, the narrator (and author) pulled me into their pastoral world shaped by the narrator’s own eccentricities. Living in near isolation during the winter months in a small mountain village, the narrator describes her routines and astrological-based conjectures on murders now plaguing the village. She also talks of William Blake, teaching children, and a conspiracy that the animals are rising up against people.

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Reading Challenges

A stack of books. See the list below for more details. In brief the titles are: Song of Solomon, Devotion, A Wrinkle in Time, A Room of One's Own/Three Guineas, Paradise, Paradise, The Faraway Nearby, Upstream, M Train, Late in the Day, Just Kids, No Time to Spare, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Odyssey, Hope in the Dark, Labyrinths.

In a good year, I’ll read about 25 books. One year, I set a goal to read 50 books. Another year, I set a goal to limit my reading to women authors. And in each of those challenges, I came up short.

The Year I Aimed to Read 50 Books

During the year I set out to read 50 books, I learned about Jorge Luis Borges and his masterful short stories. I grabbed a copy of “Collected Fictions” (link to WorldCat).

Diving in, I was looking at the table of …

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The Trees Lean In

Massive redwood tree strechting into the sky

The trees lean in, listening to us; Once hungry for our breath, now breathing in the gluttonous excesses, these vigilant giants provide hope. Oak, poplar, and pine, they don’t need us. We need them.

With sun beneath them and the warmth of the day’s meal fading, they exhale, sustaining us in their quiet contemplation. They see two worlds in motion: those that move in and out of sight each day, and those that grow up alongside them.

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