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All posts for the month April, 2013

Why’s Guys:¿por qué es la verdad?

Published April 30, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I must admit the main reason I translated part of the title because I like the upside down question mark. ( I’m also a big fan of the schwa,the underused sometimes vowel. Maybe it’s because my name contains an underused sometimes vowel, or maybe it’s because schwa is such fun to say.)

I have had the kind of insane day that makes it redundant to watch Dr. Phil.  But as always, in times of crisis, my books remain a constant companion. (Please don’t make any “Time Enough at Last” assumptions. That always makes me sad. Poor Burgess Meredith.)

The current state of the world is causing a lot of people to ask “Why?”  I am finding this is also the theme in much of the literature I am reading as a result of that time I went all blind dog in a meat locker at the library.  There are other things, but first I will touch on Why.

I’m not sure that knowing the Why would make any difference at all to the What and the Who.  (I’m not casting dispersions on those who ask why. I’m usually screaming the very same question in the line at Starbucks. The drive-thru is the best place to watch people violate social contract.)

So for me, the question is “Why is the truth?”  Does knowing the motivations behind the action make the action more understandable, or possibly preventable? Why is usually an essay question in a short answer world.  (You can quote me, but you know, refer someone to the blog or to the webpage http://www.ellesview.com, or just yell out that you think I’m made of awesome, or some such affirmation, I need the boost.)

And speaking of referrals, as I am finishing up “Where She Came From” I notice an email alert for http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/home-front-girl/

A timely blog from Cheri Lucas Rowlands,it told me about a what sounds like a time investment I need to make. A book and blog duo that tells a story based on letters from the World War II era. I plan to dive right into this because it seems to be from the time period that I wandered into, and the topic, seeking the truth.

Check it out. I plan to.

Tomorrow I will be back to some additional what, where and how.

Whoa.

Truth’s just desserts

Published April 28, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My friend Cathy, the high priestess of high school technical theatre, calls chick lit, magazines and tabloids “dessert reading.”

It’s the weekend, so I splurged on  People Magazine (Only because the Weekly World News is out of circulation.) and decided to follow up on a thread from Friday’s Dr. Phil. (I know, I know, but sometimes I need a break.)  

This week’s People has “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” Gwyneth Paltrow.” Now this would normally send me off onto a rant about what is considered beauty and how are we supposed to teach our children to find inner beauty when you have a the lovely blonde on the cover, but I’ve already ranted that rant. It’s true, but I’ve already said it.  I should be surprised that it took People 150 pages to get to something that could be considered actual news, but by then my brain was so spongy from perfume ads and photos of various celebrities, (I had no idea that Jane Fonda was 75 years old!) that I really didn’t care anymore, and isn’t that the point of weekend reading? 

So the Dr. Phil Episode was on Catfishing.  This gave me pause, because I had absolutely no idea what this meant. I soon figured out what it meant, both from context clues and from Googling it.  

Courtesy the good people at Urban Dictionary: 

catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.
Did you hear how Dave got totally catfished last month?! The fox he thought he was talking to turned out to be a pervy guy from San Diego

And there’s a whole MTV series based on the documentary of the same name. Now I’m not unfamiliar with the idea that people lie on the Internet (Quelle Surprise!) but I am disappointed that I have lost touch with popular culture.  I’m not sure how much I want to let this bother me.  I watched one episode (On Hulu;  I will be documenting my descent into madness as a direct result of my lack of Satellite Television.) 

Now it may be my age, or it may be my active search for truth that makes flimsy stories stand right out like a white bra under a blacklight (An unfortunate drill team epsiode in high school, not mine, I was and uber band geek.) But really, how many male models are taking pre-med classes online in between Production Assistant tasks on Chelsea Lately? Um, none, it turns out. 

This dessert didn’t really satisfy.  It was good, like oreos and canned pudding, but I think I should hold out for something really good, like chocolate lava cake with fresh berries. 

MMM berries 

Puzzled by the Pieces

Published April 26, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Today I woke up with the tension helmet. (World’s worst heavy metal band) It has taken most of the day to get to the point where I can sit up without feeling like my head is going to snap off and roll away.  That thought is only made grimmer by the knowledge that my head would be covered by lint and cat hair and stray post-its, only to land either in the plants or catpan.  (It’s a gift to take a moderate annoyance and shove it right over into a downright disgusting thought.)

I have started Helen Epstein’s Where She Came From.  The author’s tone and the way she lets the story unfold is intriguing. Her mother was a dress maker who survived a concentration camp by saying she was an electrician. This statement alone makes me want to know this person.  Epstein goes on to describe how her mother doled out pieces of their family history, always while she was sewing, weaving the story in no particular order. This provided the impetus for her search for her family history, to fill in the cracks.

That would be enough for me and reading this makes me feel extra guilty for not wrapping up my own stories. I have a mental picture of Vanessa, Charlie, Sara, and Nichols sitting on a bench, rolling their eyes and tapping their toes impatiently waiting to get off my lazy behind and finish the story already.   The story is finished, but I haven’t put it on paper. They say that means it’s not finished.

When I write an original story, the characters appear and tell me the particulars.  I know admitting that kind of thing makes me sound crazy. But the things that occur to me when I’m not writing do a great job of proving my insanity. Yesterday, I was bothered by the “Pop goes the weasel.” First of all, I think Popping the weasel sounds either incredibly dangerous or terribly inhumane.  Secondly, why was there a monkey and a weasel in a cobbler’s shop in the first place? This is exactly why I have  a hard time putting together the pieces of my own stories , I keep getting bogged down by the details that others are clearly accepting as truth, such as the concept of a shoemaker allowing wildlife to run amok in their place of business.

 

 

 

 

Hecho o la realidad o la fidelidad

Published April 25, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The following definition comes to you courtesy of the good people at Wikipedia:

Truth is most often used to mean in accord with fact or reality,[1] or fidelity to an original or to a standard or id For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation).eal.[1]

This leads me to ask the question, what other use could I possibly have for truth? And, why is truth more than one thing?

I have been getting tension headaches that start in the back of my neck and slowly migrates up to rest comfortably across my forehead, kind of like a full pressure helmet, that protects me from nothing. (I know, I know, didn’t I just write something about how fabulous B.C. headache powder is? Yes, but there is so much caffeine in it that if I take it after 3 PM, I will more thank likely never sleep again. )

As I worked my way through the last part of Gated Grief,  I realize what make be causing all of the tension.

Dr. Phil said on a recent show, (I love Dr. Phil, especially now that he’s getting sassy.) “There is no reality, just your perception of reality.  I have to say, it did take me most of the day to process.  It is true that writers and actors and directors take their perception of the script, which provides the facts and given circumstances to create the reality.

This gets confusing when one is trying to build a reality out of the facts of history, as Leila Levinson does in Gated Grief and as Helen Epstein does in  Where She Came From, the book I’m about to begin. They both are taking what facts they have to reconstruct a reality so that they can know the truth, and in turn, know their parents.  They want to to have an immediate understanding of who there parents were.

I will read more than one book at a time (not simultaneously, wise guys.)  My mind can’t unwind without reading something.  Now that I am constantly processing thought, most of my “dessert reading” is rereading some of my past favorites.

It occurred to me that I do this because I have a hard time finding a story that compels me. The characters don’t have to be particularly likeable, I’m not a big fan of Christian Grey, but he was by far the best character in that whole disgrace to erotica.

I am constantly in search of the truth and a good story, maybe they will be the same thing. Until then, I will be here under the tension helmet. (Worst Album title ever)

Maybe it’s my face to the truth

Published April 25, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Way, way back in 1989, I was a finalist in the “Face of the  Future” modeling contest.  When I arrived at the actual finals, I noticed that I was six years older and a good six inches shorter than most of the other contestants. (To be fair, I was wearing flats; everyone else wore heels. To paraphrase Agador-Spartacus, “I do not wear heels because they make me fall down.” )  Even though I was clearly not what they were  looking for, my brother called me “the Face” for an entire year.  (This is much better than Space Alien Baby, which is what he called me for most of 1988. I have no idea why.

One aspect of the truth that is becoming emergent from all of my research, is that truth depends on perception.

That boggles me.

Why isn’t truth absolute?

Because it can’t  be proven without a doubt, because it involves people.

For example, in Sharon Dogard’s excellent book” Annexed, she retells the story of Anne Frank’s attic exile from Peter’s perspective.

Ellen Feldman also explores Peter’s perspective in her book The Boy who loved Anne Frank.  Both of these books build on a character that most people think  they know. I have written about this before, but it seems resonant in light of the train of thought I am trying to catch.  (Maybe the train is going to run over me; who knows? )

What if the only truth anyone knew of you was from someone else who only knew one part of you?

It’s done all the time, especially in this world of online dating and the like.  We perceive the truth entirely from one perspective.  What face is the truth? Is it our own?

I am reading another book as I finish up Gated Grief.  This book is also an investigative memoir. I find these interesting because when one does not leave behind one’s own  story, their personal truth is the only face that survives.

Because although I was at what I think is my most attractive in 1989, I know that I am so much better than the 20 year old me with Big Dallas Hair. I now know that  what is in my head is much more important that what is on my head.  My face is much braver than it was then.

The face of the truth:enfrentarán la verdad

Published April 24, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

For some reason the weird crap that keeps happening to me is starting to crack me up (I mean that both ways; it makes me laugh and I think it may slowly be driving me insane.)

I went to see my psychologist and as I was walking down the hall to her office, I passed what I am sure is a wonderful non-profit “Depression Connection.” I had the terribly inappropriate urge to laugh hysterically as I passed in front of their glass doors.  (I did not, I do have a shard of control left.)

I am slowly working my way through “Gated Grief.” I’m sure it was as difficult to write as it is to read.  It’s a very good book; it’s the content that is slowing my progress. The book is about the author, Leila Levinson, quest to get to know her recently deceased father, who was one of the American Liberators of one of the Concentration Camps. Her quest includes interviewing veterans who also liberated the camps. A few of the things that struck me, is the description of the “psychic closing off” as a coping mechanism for seeing an unimaginable hell.  What I read today has me pondering the question, if you truly knew what the truth looks like, would you be able to face it?

As I have been taught/told/teach, writers don’t write in a vacuum; at some level their writing is indicative of the time in which they are living.    As I attempt to find the actual face of the truth, I wonder if I am actually capable of staring into it without possibly turning into a pillar of salt.

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

 

 

The Truth is . . .

Published April 22, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

it’s still in process. I know that’s not much of a title. As a child when I had to write creatively (How much fun that is, to be child and be forced at beady-eyed nun-point, to be creative.  Remember, you can quote me and use “nun-point” but you have to refer someone to my web  page, http://www.ellesview.com, and perhaps strongly encourage them to take a look at some of my work.) I was always terrible at finding a title.

I am finding as I continue my quest for the truth is that I really like a good story (what a shock, Writer Chick likes a story,le gasp, as my friend Cal would say.) and I tend to get snarly when I am lead down a seemingly interesting path only to find myself no better off than I was when I opened the book or started the movie or whatever.

As I prepared myself for today’s adventure, I realized the truth is often shaped by the attitude in which it is presented and received. I wasn’t in the best mood because I all of a sudden started to panic and freak out a little over impending expenses and related dips in my income. Then I got very vexed and stompy because I don’t like being yanked out of my constant complacency by someone else’s jackassery.  Is anyone ever truly ready for the truth to leap out at them?

What I learned from applying the truth to a classroom exercise, as per yesterday’s entry, is that staying in character to justify the truth in your scene helps sell the overall story. This seems to be true in the “real “world (I think  Trey Parker and Matt Stone are right, Earth is just a giant reality series on the verge of being cancelled.)

So how can the casual observer or committed season ticket holder be sure that they are being presented the truth and not some sort of Pseudohistory?

And will we (or me) get to decide before some turkey decides for us?

This is a good place to begin the next book

“Gated Grief”