Friday, July 25, 2008

As a rule, I am very careful to be shallow and conventional where depth and originality are wasted.- L.M. Montgomery

This is a continuation of yesterday's post (I had to leave work and didn't get to continue). Here I will, once again, spout bursts of senseless love for all things Maud. I've also added some more links on the side, and yes, they are all Maud related. I could go on for days, I swear, this could last forever. (INSERT: I originally intended this to be another Maud love-fest, but it has quickly dissolved into a rant on how much I hate Kevin Sullivan).

I'm reading Anne of Windy Poplars again (I finished The English Patient last night, but I need to let it sit with me awhile before I can say anything). I basically grabbed a random Maud book off the shelf last night because it's what I'm in the mood for, and this is what magically appeared in my hand. Jen hated it, but I can't hate anything Maud, it's impossible. Most people don't realize that Anne of Windy Poplars (Anne of Windy Willows in the UK) was actually published in 1936, 21 years after it's precursor Anne of the Island was published, and 16 years after Rilla of Ingleside was published (Anne of Ingleside wasn't published until 1939 and would be the last of Maud's works). Maud was at a very different point in her life then she had been 20 years earlier. I'm definitely not going to say it's my favourite out of the books, but there is still a magic in it, and I love little Elizabeth. Now that I think about it, I think the copy of Anne of Windy Poplars that I have on me right now is actually a first edition (again, I have multiple copies of this book too). It's just missing it's dust jacket.

I have a serious problem with Kevin Sullivan. He is the president of Sullivan Entertainment. They were the one's that made the 1985 version of Anne of Green Gables, the 1987 Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, Road to Avonlea, that awful Anne cartoon, the 1990 Jane of Lantern Hill movie (which actually wasn't half-bad, although not overly true to the book), the horrifyingly-bad Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story, and now they're making a new movie: Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (based on Budge Wilson's book of the same title). He cannot be blamed, however, for the Emily of New Moon TV series (which was okay for about half a season and then collapsed into utter nonsense). I can't even begin to describe how much I loathe that man!

The first two Anne movies weren't bad, obviously he couldn't do everything in the books. I was really excited when I heard about the third Anne movie (it aired in 2000), I found out when it was going to be on, adjusted the bunny-ears on the TV to get good reception (again, we were poor), and cozied-down to watch. I was horrified! I actually cried. Sullivan basically made up his own movie. Other than the fact that Gilbert and Anne get married, nothing else was based on the books. Sullivan sent both Gilbert and Anne to the war, had Anne drinking, flirting with other men, swearing (!), and then in the end they adopt some random war baby. What the hell! I was bawling by the end because I was so upset, I wished I had never watched. I haven't watched it since, I can't.

I can see already that the next movie (supposed to be released this fall) will be even more of an atrocity. I haven't read Budge Wilson's book, and I don't intend to. Nor do I intend, as of this moment, to watch the movie. Basically what's going on is this: Budge Wilson wrote a book that is a prequel to Anne of Green Gables (for a reason that I still haven't been able to figure out), that talks about Anne's life before she moves to Green Gables. I don't understand why this needed to be done, Maud gives us snippets all throughout the books of what Anne's life was like before, and frankly I wouldn't want to watch a movie based on this time because it doesn't seem like it was pleasant. I did watch the trailer for the movie today (without sound because I'm at work). I love Shirley MacLaine, but I don't think she's enough to make me watch the movie. The little girl who is playing Anne (this is going to sound really bad, I know) is too chubby in the face to be Anne (although she is cute!), Anne was all wiry and slightly malnourished. Because I couldn't watch it with sound, it was a little hard to get the gist, but it doesn't look like it even has much to do with the snippets we get from Maud.

It really makes me sad that a publisher even accepted this "prequel" (it's even designated as an "official prequel" which I think is "officially lame"). I feel the same way about the sequel Jane Austen books that have come out. It just seems so wrong, why can't they just leave well-enough alone? Besides, I want a little something left to the imagination, I like to come up with my own outcomes. I like to envision Anne and Gilbert living out the rest of their days in happiness, surrounded by their little grandchildren. By the way (I don't know if this is considered a spoiler or not), as I was going through the website for the new movie, I didn't see any mention of Gilbert at all (or any other children for that matter, other than that war baby). If Kevin Sullivan has killed off Gilbert I am going to be so upset and ridiculously angry, I'll probably cry again. That will definitely get the Anne fans all kinds of angry.

I'm going to stop moaning about this now with these last few words: Kevin Sullivan and Budge Wilson can bite me. I *heart* Maud.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What is an imagination for if not to enable you to peep at life through other people's eyes? -L.M. Montgomery

I was adding some links over on the side, and realized that most of my favourite websites have to do with Lucy Maud Montgomery. I knows (and yes, the "s" on the end is there on purpose) I am a little LMM obsessed, but it's an entirely different kind of obsession than I have with other authors. I love Charlotte Bronte, I have a girl-crush on Jane Austen, Gregory Maguire makes me smile, and Evelyn Waugh makes my laugh (cynically). But Maud, oh Maud, now SHE has my heart. So this little entry-0-good-times will be all about Maud (right after I mention that I only have about 50 pages left to go of The English Patient, more tomorrow when I'm done).

This year marks 100 years since the publication of Anne of Green Gables, and as such there are tons of celebrations, lectures, and conferences going on. This was the first of Maud's books that I read. When I was about 11, my Grandmother let me go through a box of books she had bought. Inside I found this book, this portal to happiness unknown, I had never heard of it before. I was a little leery at first, because I had never read any books marketed towards my age group (I was reading Jeffrey Archer at 7, oh Mum!), but when I began to read something inside of me clicked and I was hooked forever.

Over the next few years, I gobbled up any of Maud's books that I could get my hands on. We were poor, and buying new books was considered a luxury. I often took them out of the library, or managed to find them at a used bookstore. This is where most of my small allowance went, and I still have those old, beaten-up copies to this day. When I was 15 I got my first "real" job at a bookstore, and with the discount I received, I managed to get all of the novels, the short story collections, and few other Maud-related items (such as The Alpine Path). Now, when I have the money, I'm amassing Maud's journals, biographies,and anything else I can. I've even got a few early editions, such as a first edition of A Tangled Web, a 1917 edition of Anne of Avonlea, and the first American edition of Anne of Ingleside. I have multiple editions of almost every book. I even have my Mum's copy of Pat of Silverbush from the 1960's, which I'm almost 10o% sure she never read, but she kept it for sentimental reasons.

There is something about all of those books that feels like home. Something in the pages that sparks imagination, and hope, and love, and something I can't even describe. A feeling of peace, a feeling that I belong. Maud knew. Maud still knows, and always has the answers.

It was dangerously exciting for me when I found out we were related (albeit distantly) through two lines of my family. It's hurts me when someone criticizes her books (although I know everyone can't feel the way I do), or calls them juvenile. I'm trying to make the-Jen read them all, I gave her a bunch of extra copies I had (sometimes I get a little over-zealous) and bought her a bunch for her birthday. I want to share them with her, to see if she is of "the race who knows Joseph", to see if she understands. I don't think she'll feel just the way I do, but I know she'll get it.

People have asked me who I think I'm most like. I don't think I'm an Anne, definitely not a Sara or a Marigold. I think I'm most like Emily with a dash of Valancy thrown in, spiced up with a bit of Pat and Jane. Maud was an Emily too. It would be too hard to pick a favourite book, impossible actually, but I don't think my favourites are the most common either. I faithfully love The Blue Castle, Kilmeny of the Orchard makes me believe, the Pat books feel homey and comfortable, the Anne books are always there as a beacon, and Emily will always be there as a reflection. They are who I am.

"He stuck his head in on purpose but the rest of him fell in zacksidentally." -Davy, Anne of Avonlea

"Almost all of the evil in the world has it's origins in the fact that some one is afraid of something." -John Foster, The Blue Castle

"I don't crochet, woman! Is one contemptible doily going to blast a man's reputation forever?" -Cyrus Taylor, Anne of Windy Poplars

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mediocrity is a hand-rail.-Charles Louis de Secondat

So, I've taken down the verse that I put up yesterday for reasons I choose not to discuss. I don't think I'm going to post anything like that again. And no, I don't want to talk about it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.-Jane Wagner

That's why I choose to ignore it most of the time. Egads!

I finished Anne of the Island again yesterday afternoon, and I have to say I loved it more this time around. Anne and I are closer in age in this one, and like me, at the end she has just graduated from college (university in my case) and is trying to decide what to do with her life. Unfortunately for me I don't see any life-altering situation coming up that is going to force any kind of decision on me (ie. Gilbert almost dying and Anne realizing she loves him). Although I think the other problem is that I don't have any real decisions to make either. I don't have a bunch of job offers to decide between (not even one to just take), no multiple men running around vying for my affections, nothing of the sort. I'm sure I would also complain however if there were too many decisions to make.

Now I've started reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Funnily enough I've owned it for about 7 years, but I've never read it. I figured I'd give it a shot. It's alright so far, and I think I will like it. Again, we'll see.

Okay, so I've decided to bite the bullet. The reason I really haven't done this before is that I've been told in the past that the stuff I write is trite and self indulgent, and those words upset me and I didn't want to hear them. Maybe I've grown a little, or maybe I've just become more steely. This is a little piece of verse I wrote this afternoon; here goes nothing.

EDIT: Writing Gone.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.-Sholem Asch

So true Sholem, so true!

Frankly I doubt I have much to say, but felt the need to return since I finished Half Moon yesterday. Ya, it didn't get better. I read the last sentence, and my reaction went a little something like this: "What the hell! Stupid book!" *book mysteriously flies out of my hand and ends up on the other side of the living room*. I think it was the writing itself that I found provocative and thus so compelling (she's not a bad writer). The plot had some good points, but in the end there didn't seem to be any soul to the book. I might have to sell it, because I might get tempted to read it again sometime to see if it gets any better, and I know in this moment of clarity that it won't.

To rid myself of the grimy feeling I have now after that book, I am once again reading Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery. I love everything and anything that Maud has ever written, and everytime I pick up one of those books I feel a little lighter. Her books have undoubtedly shaped the person I am today.

Tonight I will be celebrating the Jen Selk's birthday, woot! Tomorrow there is the possibility of lunch with Evan, and an Argos game with Jon. Sounds like good times to me!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.-Rita Rudner

Being fake-engaged is fun, it freaks people out.

Two posts in one day: Oh my!

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one.-Baltasar Gracian

Here goes: New Blog. There was something about the other which was putting me off from writing, so I've decided to cast off the old and start afresh. I believe I will continue to title each post with a quote, as I find it enjoyable.

First things first, I must wish a happy birthday to one of my bestest friends Jen Selk (we is friends). Jen is a fantastic writer and, even though I never let her read anything I write (intimidating), she is always encouraging. I have a crush on her.

As I sit at work today, I feel like I haven't been doing much. I've been writing a bit, but nothing of much consequence, maybe I'll post some randomness if I can work up the nerve. Mostly I've been trying to ignore the nagging voice in my head that is telling me I should be doing more. More in general that is. More writing, more reading, more trying to find a new job. Basically that irritating twitter is saying "you suck". Not that I feel down or depressed or anything of that nature, it's more that I don't know how to make it shut up and it sounds a lot like my mother (or my grandmother, I can't decide which).

I actually have been reading quite a bit lately (makes above statement about more reading seem re-donk, I know). In the past couple of weeks I've finished The Secret Man by Bob Woodward, and Auberon Waugh's autobiography Will This Do?. Right now I'm reading Half Moon by K.L. Vidal, there's something about it I don't like, but it's also compelling me to finish. I feel like I may get something extraordinary out of it if I can, alas it is also 832 pages long. I'll keep you posted. I have also started a few books, and have put them aside with full intention of returning to them at some future date.

In closing, did you know that there is no recorded synonym for antidisestablishmentarianism? At least not that I can find, and yes, I did spell that "without aid of a machine" as Jen would say.