Monday, July 15, 2013

Writing and life in its wonder

My writing is rewriting (I've passed 71k, the end in sight!) these last few months, changing my fairy tale dramatically--tossing out whole scenes and writing completely new ones. My life may change dramatically, too, since I may move again, leaving this beach I love for something I hope will be new and filled with wonder. But it's pretty hard to beat this evening shot at the end of my block that picked up the green and made magic.
 
That kind of magical shift in perspective is what I want when I read fiction. I just finished Paul Rudnick's GORGEOUS. That story lives up to its title. Here's what I said on Goodreads:
 
Biting social commentary and characters who stuck with me after the story ended, GORGEOUS, is a fun and, often, funny read, which makes the reader think about important issues, like the way society views beautiful people, fat people, rich people, poor people, glamour, fashion, celebrities, royalty, well, just about anybody.

I adore the voice of the MC, Becky, who opens the story with: "I grew up in what some people would call a mobile home and what other snobbier people might call a manufactured home, but I was always fine with calling it a trailer. That's right, I said I grew up in a trailer. Fuck you."

Becky's mother weighed 400 pounds, and while most kids would be mortified by that, Becky loved her mother without reservation. But a strange and magical thing happens after her mother dies, Becky turns into the most beautiful woman in the world. I won't give away the plot but let's just say Becky discovers that being beautiful and famous and rich doesn't come without a pricetag.

This book is for anyone who likes smart, hilarious, thought-provoking fairy tales with happy endings.

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I feel like I'm on the cusp of some huge change, which carries with it a basketful of emotion. I see the world in all its terrible beauty. Here is a moment from last night when the sea reflected the sunset like an enamel artwork that encompassed the egret and me.
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Anyone going to the SCBWI summer conference? Look for me!

18 comments:

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, those photos are amazing! It's sad that you have to leave the beach because it sounds like a great place to write. The book Gorgeous sounds fantastic. It has a great message.

Bish Denham said...

Boy Pat... I can understand how difficult it might be for you to leave those scenes. The photos are beautiful.

And I'd be delighted to read your reworked story. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Clarissa: I hope many people read Gorgeous and see the truths at its heart. And thank you.

Bish: It is heart-wrenching to think of leaving, but, who knows what adventures await. The world is full of surprises. And, thank you, too!

Jemi Fraser said...

You see so much beauty in the things so many of us pass by. I always smile at your photos - always!

I hope you find the path and the place that's right for you.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jemi: Now you've made me smile. :D

Lydia Kang said...

Wish I coud go to SCBWI. Have a great time, and thanks for that amazing photo!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Thanks, Lydia. I intend to enjoy it completely. :)

Julie Dao said...

Judging by your blog, I can tell that you are the kind of person who can see beauty in everything and everyone around you. Here's to a new beginning for you!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love those photos, and the book sounds great and filled with emotion. That best kind!

Jan Morrison said...

this post resonated as I'm at one of those cross-roads too. Only we're not sure we're going - waiting to hear - still in limbo at 61! Gah!
Love the photos - you have a fine eye my friend!
I'm reading Carson McCullers 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' - fabulous book. Gorgeous sounds wonderful - I'll look for it.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Julie, what a sweet thing to say! I guess I am drawn to what's beautiful, and sometimes it actually hurts, if that makes sense.

Stina: Hi and thank you! *waves*

Jan: Thank you so much. I'm not sure where I'm going, either! I'm considering a big move to a place I've never lived and only visited a few times.

cleemckenziebooks said...

Gorgeous does sound gorgeous. Loved how Becky felt about the "trailer."

Nothing more beautiful than a solitary creature at the water's edge when the sun shoots its pink and yellow glow over the sky.

Sarah Laurence said...

Good luck with all your big changes! I love the photo of the egret at sunset. If you leave you should frame it to take to your new home.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Lee: Becky's comment on the trailer still makes me laugh, even now. :D

Sarah: Ah, maybe I shall. thank you, my friend.

Medeia Sharif said...

I loved Gorgeous.

I wish I were going to the conference.

That's a beautiful picture. I feel thoughtful and hopeful by the water.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Medeia: Yeah, Gorgeous lives up to its name. I wish you were going to be at the conference, too! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Hobo Annie said...

I miss you. I enjoy reading your blog, your thoughts on life and writing. I hope in your roaming, you move a little bit closer to the ol' stomping grounds. :D

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

*jumps up and down waving at Annie* Hello, my dear friend. I'm afraid my roaming may take me farther away. I will let you know when the dust settles.