Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hooray for unbanned books (and other happiness)

Excellent news!
Highland Park High School has reversed its decision and placed the previously banned books back into the English Department's reading lists again.
Whew! I was nervous for a bit there that the cruel irony of 1) banning a whole list of books on Banned Books Week, and 2) including the keynote speaker of their annual Literary Festival, was too much lunacy for the logic of this universe to handle without imploding.

But really. It had me perspiring all right.

This morning, as I walked from my metro stop to our apartment, I was suddenly assaulted by a nostalgia for Paris, as though my time were up here and I'd be returning to Texas within days. I love the blue-bowl sky and the wonk-wonk horns of the passing police cars. The itty-bitty French kids with their gigantic backpacks, walking to school alone because apparently kidnapping is not a thing here in Paris. The pissy stairs of the metro, the noisy upstairs neighbor who scrapes furniture across the floor at 3 in the morning without fail, and even the nasty ashtray odor of the brasseries down my street. I love it all. And I'm so glad that I have many more months to call Paris home.

To make tarte aux pommes with my little chef.

To write.
To play violin when I can't write.
Paris, I love you.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

on Things I've Discovered this Week

I'm writing! In my favorite city! The world is a beautiful place and the words are flowing freely.

Because I'm the kind of person who can log onto Facebook and ten seconds later an hour has passed, I'm on a self-imposed Facebook diet. It's freed up time for creative things and life in general. Good decision!

I'll post a few pictures of my new (temporary) home, but first:

I've run across a few things that are noteworthy enough to share.

First: the literary-political
Oh my god. Censorship, homophobia, and racism are alive and well back in the old hometown. (Sigh.) If you don't have time to listen to the broadcast, it's yet another group of parents who are concerned about the summer reading list for English class. The books on the list aren't even mandatory--they're optional, a list from which students can choose which to read. Kind of like a LIBRARY. But some parents in Highland Park are not happy enough to censor their own children's cultural education; they'd rather police the library books of the entire young population, including your kids and mine! Jiminy Cricket.
As soon as I heard about it, I wrote a few emails, including one to the principal of the school in support of the English teachers. 

Parents, if you want to join the curriculum committee, get a d*%mned teaching certificate and join the faculty. Be qualified to voice your opinions. If you choose not to do that, then leave education in hands of your kids'  capable, devoted teachers, who, by the way, are some of the finest in Texas.


Second: happy, happy news

I just found out that "The Lingerer," a mini-opera collaboration between London composer Max Perryment and me, will be performed live at Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas on October 2. I blogged about how a tweet from Neil Gaiman changed my life here.  The performances by the Meadows artists are incredible and inspiring, and I can't encourage Dallas/Ft. Worth people enough to go gO GO to their shows.

I'm sad (really sad. really.) that I'll still be in Paris during the performance, which means, of course, that I'll miss it. But I'm hoping that it will be recorded and I'll get to post it on the internet for everyone to see. 

Third: This. My new favorite website.

Finally: pictures...of castles and skulls and other interesting things that have been part of my life this past month

With Mother and Jules, about to enter the Catacombs

In the Catacombs under Paris

It was, overall, a beautiful vacation with Mother

I want this castle.