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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Long, Busy Day

Too much fun!
Sarah's visit with Laddie was not the first item on Monday's to-do list, but after she had her usual woods walk and stick play and David and I had had morning coffee at home, after the garden was watered, after I'd brought cleaning supplies and everything needed for the day to the bookstore, updated my blog, and been to the bank and post office, then -- confident that Bruce would open for me at 10 o'clock -- Sarah and I made our way out to Cherry Home. Thinking I'd get a lot of good photographs of Sarah's first encounter with an agility course (set up on the beach) was foolish. Sarah was out of her mind with excitement! First she needed to run on the beach and in and out of the water with Laddie, and then when it was time to jump through the hoop and over the hurdles and walk the raised platform and teeter-totter, all for yummy "training treats," she was almost too enthusiastic to focus. But for her first time, she did pretty well.

Then home with Sarah to hose her clean of sand and algae and clean myself up for the rest of the day.

Flash fiction and longer short stories
Bruce and I overlapped at the bookstore for the last hour. My guest author, Katey Schultz, said she would arrive early, so I planned to stay right through the two hours between 5 and 7 p.m. David came at 6 to set up chairs for me.

In introducing my guest for the evening, I read a short passage from The Telling Room, by Michael Paternini:
A story is time itself, boxed and compressed. It is the briefest entertainment and simulacrum of real life, which is big and messy and requires a strange kind of endurance. The story is stylized for that flash of laughter and pain, thwarted desire and odd consummation, while life waterfalls with it—all of it—every day: prodigious, cloying, in decay. And when the story is finally over—even if the protagonist survives a spray of gunfire and goes on living—it’s over. Meanwhile, life carries on, river-swift.
The word "flash," along with "survives a spray of gunfire" added to the appropriateness of a description of why stories matter to us.

Katey Schultz
Katey Schultz is teaching creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy this summer for her fourth year in a row. Flashes of War is her first book. She is currently at work on a novel that grew out of one of the stories in the current collection. Many of the fictional voices in her stories are men (young and old) and boys. There are women's voices, too. When you read the stories for yourself on the pages of her book, you will not year a lovely young woman but a diverse cast of characters, some you recognize and many you will be meeting for the first time. How does she do it? Katey said that the origin of all her stories is the same: she is struck by some kind of disconnect between two events or images. Both are true, so there can't be a contradiction. She begins then, to construct a narrative to connect what seems jarringly disconnected.

Preparing to read amid David Grath's art
At one reading she did before an audience containing several military veterans, one young man asked her in the Q&A where she had served. Schultz has never been in the military, never even fired a gun at a target. That tells you something about the power of these stories.

Life is moving along, river-swift. July is half-over. On the last day of July, Dog Ears Books will host David L. Roll, author of a new book about Harry Hopkins and FDR during World War II. That will be on Wednesday, July 31, 7 p.m.

The date of the dog parade is Saturday, August 10. You can register at Dog Ears Books. There is a poster in the front window of the bookstore with details, so when you're walking by in the evening on your way to the Garage Bar & Grill, please take note.

Lacy flying saucer

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