Flannery O’Connor

All posts tagged Flannery O’Connor

Meanwhile, back on the ranch . . . .

Published May 18, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

So in addition to the muddle, muck and mire that makes up the end of the school year, I’m trying to see if I can write/create a new genre of fiction.

I have always been peripherally attracted to Southern Gothic {not in the Romantic Vein, (world’s worst adult toy shop.) Isn’t my use of internal bracketing amazing (speaking of bad adult toys)? }

I enjoy Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor; I realize that these two are more Southern Grim than Southern Gothic.  Still, both types make me think of Humidity and Bourbon (I think that’s a new drink at a Hipster bar)

At any rate, one of they key features of Southern Gothic is an element of the supernatural whilst the protagonist, antagonist and others languish in the heat and stupidity of the South.

My second novel (in process when I’m not shepherding sixth graders, apparently for the love of the game and not any fiduciary recompense. Don’t I have a great vocabulary?I’m ever so smart; still a chump, but smart.) The novel is told in bits and pieces from different, fictional secondary prose, such as police reports, recordings etc, is about the aftermath of four adult children of abusive parents wreaking their final revenge.

I’m considering turning it into Gothic via a Deus ex Machina in the guise of a Latina psychic. It’s just a thought. It’s probably transference of my hope for divine intervention to get out of my current set of trials and tribulations. (I wish I could sing the song from  Jesus Christ Superstar, but that musical gives Batman a pyschotic episode, which leads me to another tangent: Why I’m frustrated by the TV show, This is Us,

First and foremost is that fact that I have a blind spot of rage for actor Milo Ventimiglia. It’s because of his character in Gilmore Girls. He was the selfish, slightly oily, Jess, who Rory should never have picked over Dean.

I digress. (What shock!) While This is Us is a good series, it makes me flurb a bit because the whole show is all peaks; it’s all about Grand Gestures, there are precious few valleys and it’s hard to keep a pace like that. Or maybe it’s because I don’t think I will ever get a grand gesture for myself.

I’m not sure what kind of gesture that would be, exactly, but I do know that I may be at that age where most of the people I am close to are just exhausted by life and the grand gestures they performed have kind of fizzled away.

Unless, of course, BatCat, Frances in all of her relentless affection may wander in here to my classroom and throw herself at me; all of her ginger catly glory forcing me to the ground.

Of course how could a cat get 20 miles south, without a car or drivers license, not to mention open three sets of doors. Those are just details.

But wouldn’t it be grand?

Too Right, To write?

Published July 21, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have spent the last few days reading and studying and taking practice tests.

I have now passed the test that I need to pass to take the other test I need to pass.

Think it out slowly; it will make sense.

The books I have been reading have been both thought provoking and daunting.

I started reading Finders Keepers by Stephen King.  I have a tendency to devour King’s books (and boy is he suprised!) and feel a bit lost when I have read it all up and there’s no more until he writes another.  Thus, I have been savoring the book.

The inciting incident in the book involves an esteemed author who keeps many, many journals containing works in progress.

This has inspired me to keep up with my journal and trying to poke my brain back into creativity. My brain does not like to be poked and keeps nudging me down to take a nap. But I have the journals and pens. So that’s a step.

The other book I zipped right through.

Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum.

This book was both disturbing and thought provoking.  It made me angry on the protagonist’s behalf and made me want to rescue all of the lost and forlorn. (Samantha has said a resounding Nyet to this idea.) I don’t want to give too much of the story away; you should by all means read it for yourself.  I’m sure the good people at your Public Library will help you with this.

The protagonist, Colby, binge eats to cope with bullying. Most of the bullying comes from her own family. Flannery O’Connor stated that “Anyone who survives childhood has enough information to last him the rest of his days.”  Colby knows more than she can possibly every need to know. Many of us childhood surviors have felt bullied and/or dealt with emotional strife by turning to drugs, alcohol or food. Colby is an everywoman or everyteen. It sickens me that she is bullied, degraded and downtrodden and her family not only refuse to defend her, they blame her for it.

This is exactly why this is an important book.

And it provoked me so much, I have been having a hard time writing about it.

Fate (and s%^)

Published August 30, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I had an interesting neurological encounter this morning.  (Am I the only one to whom this happens? See what I did with that correct grammar?)

I was reviewing the list of presentations for next week’s Langdon Review weekend. One of my co-contributor’s to the Landon Review of the Arts in Texas, Larry E. Fink,  is presenting this : There are strong connections between flânerie (the act of extended, observant strolling in an urban environment) and the practice of street photography. Flânerie is usually associated with writers—often, in Paris—and their efforts to fuel their creativity. This PowerPoint talk, illustrated with images by famous street photographers (and some of Larry’s), will explore similarities between the writer’s and the photographer’s efforts to reap a harvest of art from flânerie.

Now this is the kind of thing I truly appreciate. I often seek to fuel my creativity with wandery thought.  I did not realize there was a fancy sounding name for it. Now I am starting to wonder if I can get some kind of research grant to actually get paid to research the people in my neighborhood. I truly want to know Who Are the People in My Neighborhood? I’ll even sing the song.

Anyway, while I was pondering this, I felt a neuron in my brain sidle over to another neuron and they had a conversation.

“Hey that flanerie thing sounds interesting.”

“Yeah, it really does.  Hey I wonder if that’s where Flannery O’Connor got her name?”

“I think that’s her real name.”

“But you know what I mean, right? She writes about the average folk, true those folk are usually demented and weird, but they’re not nobility.”

“Yes! And if it’s her real name, wouldn’t it mean that some force of fate is at work? ”

Then the neurons nodded wisely to each other and one of them sent  a neurintern. (neuron intern) to go check the facts.

Her full name is Mary Flannery O’Connor.

Now the neurons moved a little faster than that but the weird part is that could actually feel the thought process at work.

The beginnings

Published October 15, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I had a lovely afternoon yesterday chatting with some of my friends from college. I had a good time and I also remembered that I do have qualifications, diplomas and skills that I rarely use.  (Although at my mother’s request, I did stop using my Diploma from Texas Woman’s to hold up the short end of the couch.)

To that end, I am actually taking notes and roughing at the draft of what I hoping will be a brilliant diatribe on education.

I do have the opening , and this, of course will be subject to edit and change, not in small part because I’m pretty sure I have a fever and I’m waiting for the cold medication to kick in.


“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”

I have often understood this quote by Flannery O’Connor to mean that childhood is such an ordeal that one will have writing material for a lifetime.

I also associate O’Connor’s work with the same grimness that I associate with Faulkner and Steinbeck, not to mention their lighthearted, madcap pals Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill.

Childhood does not have to be grim. It so often is, but it doesn’t have to be.  Maybe that’s because all of the writers of the grimmest childhood tales (no pun intended) are adults.

I think we are very hard on our children.  We do not have to be.   This progress we have made in the last century was supposed to make things easier. After the  Industrial Age we were supposed to do things to let children have childhoods.

Dorothea Dix and John Dewey  worked towards social and educational reform.

Yet here we are on the verge of what may be the Mayan Apocalypse (This is where I think we will all agree is where I need to stop and take a breath and perhaps my temperature.)

I’m not a professional conspiracy theorist, and personally the main reason I long for Apocalypse is because all of my credit cards expire in 2013, but I’m sure I lose credibility leaping from Dorothea Dix and John Dewey to the expiration of the Mayan Calendar.



Thanks Ms. O’Connor

Published April 4, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Flannery O’Connor said that anyone who survives childhood has enough material to write for the rest of  his or her life. (I think she actually said ‘her’, but I’m being generously PC.)

I do enjoy the somewhat dark and creepy works of Flannery O’Connor.  I know it was a hard time in the world, but really, Faulkner, Hemingway, O’Connor and the like were real downers.   You can quote me on that, you American Lit schools and writers of term papers.

“Childhood” makes me a little sad. I know what she means, but I do think we put a lot of pressure on our kids. (Give me a sec while I pull out my soapbox/stepstool.)

Even though this generation of kids is technologically savvy because of computers, cell phones and iThings, and there are a lot of advantages, but even the privileged kids are falling victim to pressure  both from parents and peers, and I think it has a lot to do with the “warehousing” of education.

It’s not just kids.  We are  blanketing groups of people with stereotypes and not seeing kids as individuals. People don’t like that.

(Down off of soapbox.)

I’m not really sure why I got cranked up by that thought, I was just talking about childhood.