Sunday Platterings: from Kim and Krumbles to ‘Frankenstein’ and horses

My trusty spell checker has informed me that “platterings” isn’t a word. Well, it is now, due to an ancient law that if a writer uses a combination of letters intentionally, that combination becomes a word. The word means “the skill and technique of plating and serving foods (or anything else) on a platter.”

  • This week, I’ve enjoyed reading (re-reading, I think) the original 1818 version of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.” What a heart-breaker, and so much better than any of the film adaptations. I don’t mind the introduction in this 2016 reprint, but have found the annotations to be mostly unnecessary and when they ramble on, quite irritating and superfluous.
  • The blurring vision in my left eye has been much less blurry ever since undergoing the painless YAT laser procedure several weeks ago. This coming Wednesday, the ophthalmologist will fix the right eye. If things go well, I can not only say goodbye to the blurring vision, but the eyestrain that creeps in after a day with books and the PC.
  • I seldom know why people suddenly find old posts and start reading them. Lately, it’s been my memory lane post about a former Kellogg’s cereal called Krumbles. It was my favorite cereal when I was growing up; that means that Kellogg’s got rid of it as soon as the company found out I was addicted to it.
  • Weeds, brought on by evil spirits and/or a lot of rain, suddenly showed up throughout our yard. So, I went to the nearby CITGO station and filled up the gas cans for the mower. You know what happens when you do that: more rain, with minor flooding in various places around Floyd County, Georgia.
  • When the movie “Picnic” came out while I was in high school, I wondered whether Kim Novak–introduced in that movie–might go to the prom with me and then consider marriage. I thought of her again when my wife and I saw the movie on TV the other night. My wife thinks my long-ago crushes on Novak, Suzanne Pleshette, and Natalie Wood are amusing. I think of them as the ones who got away. <g>
  • If you buy a lot of books on Amazon, have you signed up for Amazon Smile? When you do, Amazon makes a small donation to the charity of your choice every time you purchase a book. So, my personal reading addiction is helping a nearby horse rescue farm called Sun Kissed Acres. We heard about it when our neighbor across the street went out to look at a horse advertised for sale and found it on death’s door due to lack of even minimal care. He bought it and immediately contacted Sun Kissed Acres where the staff brought the horse back to life and named it “Miracle.”

I hope you discover a few miracles of your own this coming week.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of a herd of books, including “Conjure Woman’s Cat” and “Eulalie and Washerwoman.”

Book Bits: Writing tip, the other ‘Fire and Fury,’ Frankenstein, Natasha Trethewey, Rae Paris

There’s so much writing advice on the Internet that I’m often cynical about it, viewing much of it as being like those bottles of patent medicine that used to be sold from the backs of wagons years ago. But sometimes I find something worthy passing along. (See item 1.)

  1. Writing Tip: How to Grow as a Writer, by Eva Deverell – “I firmly believe that as long as you’re willing to put in the work and play the long game, you can improve your writing – just like you can improve any other skill – and grow into a great writer. Here are some areas you might want to focus on…” Eva Deverell
  2. NewsAuthor Of The Other ‘Fire And Fury’ Book Says Business Is Booming, by Ari Shapiro and Kelley McEvers – “Hansen’s book is Fire And Fury: The Allied Bombing Of Germany 1942-1945. The beginning of that title “Fire and Fury” is the same as that of journalist and author Michael Wolff’s new exposé about the Trump administration, Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House.” (Suddenly, it’s selling well.) NPR
  3. EssayMan As God: ‘Frankenstein’ Turns 200, by Marcello Gleiser – “Perhaps Frankenstein’s 200th anniversary should be celebrated with a worldwide effort to build safeguards so that scientific research that attempts to create new life, or to modify existing life in fundamental ways, gets regulated and controlled. This includes CRISPR, a new technology capable of editing and modifying genomes. As with so many scientific developments, it has great promise and the potential for good and evil. At the most extreme, it offers the possibility of modifying the human species as a whole, a sort of final Frankenstein take over.” – NPR
  4. Wikipedia photo

    Interview: Natasha Trethewey: Say It, Say It Again, with Rob Weinert-Kendt – “Poet Natasha Trethewey’s Pulitzer-winning 2007 collection Native Guard, which partly memorialized an African-American Civil War soldier protecting a Union-captured fort on Ship Island, Miss., was first turned into a stage work in 2014 at the Alliance Theatre. It returns Jan. 13-Feb. 4. Trethewey was U.S. poet laureate from 2012 to 2014.” American Theater

  5. Quotation: “But to speak strictly as a writer, I wouldn’t be where I am if not for independent bookstores. My first book, Drown, stayed alive, and in turn kept my career alive, because independent booksellers continued to put the book in people’s hands long after everyone else had forgotten it. For 11 years, I had no other book and yet indie booksellers kept their faith in me. To them, I owe very much. I’ll definitely be in a lot of indie bookstores on this tour, as many as will have me.” – Junot Díaz in Shelf Awareness
  6. ReviewTHE ALICE NETWORK: The story of a spy, by Kate Quinn, reviewed by Matthew Jackson – “Historical fiction is all about blending the original with the familiar, about those delicate new stitches woven into the tapestry. The best practitioners of this often subtle art can sew those new threads without ever breaking the pattern, until the new and the old, the real and the fictional, are one and the same. With her latest novel, Kate Quinn announces herself as one of the best artists of the genre.” Book Page
  7. Essay: Has Ann Quin’s time come at last? by Jonathan Coe – “The experimental writer, who committed suicide aged 37, was disregarded in her lifetime. But her strange staccato style now seems quite in vogue.” The Spectator
  8. ReviewThe Forgetting Tree: A Rememory, by Rae Paris, Reviewed by Bruce Jacobs – avored with both vulnerable hesitation and uncompromising resolution, poet and essayist Rae Paris’s debut, The Forgetting Tree, is the memoir of a young black woman’s search to understand her personal and racial past. In a journey of backwards migration, Paris leaves her past in the Los Angeles streets south of Compton on a road trip into her family’s roots in New Orleans. From there she crisscrosses the South to uncover the raw truth of slavery, segregation and racism at former plantations, cemeteries, Klan meeting houses, civil rights battlegrounds, lynching trees and graves of both famous and unnamed black ancestors.”  Shelf Awareness

Book Bits is compiled randomly by author Malcolm R. Campbell