Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Twosday Twosomes

I’ve had a good week of reading and a reasonable week of writing.
I finished the western I offered up last week and then picked up a memoir that I am thoroughly enjoying.
Unfortunately, it’s one of those books that repeatedly reminds me I’ve got something that must be done before I settle in the pages for an hour or so. I read a bit as the little voice nags, then I attend to the pressing matter and then something else and then finally get the chance to settle in. I am pleased to say it is well worth the wait.
It’s Lillian Hellman’s An Unfinished Woman
(Little, Brown, 1969) and here’s a sample from her time in Russia toward the end of WWII.

“The Russian telephone operator and I had never liked each other.
(He listened in on all conversations, even in languages he said he didn’t understand, and sometimes made a point of coughing into the phone to let you know he was there.)”
I’m still plugging away at editing The Legend of Shallal. I added some original material last week to pad out a section that desperately needed it and tarted up some tired old prose.
Here’s a sample describing a scene outside of Shallal’s home.

“The dendros were gnarled and twisted and many had top trunks so heavy they’d doubled down to the ground and were taking root. New shoots sprouted from the rooting tops and dripped sap through fresh bud pockets.”

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the Bag Lady said...

Good gracious, cousin - both sets of lines were very intriguing! I have not read "An Unfinished Woman" and now feel as though I should, and I am eagerly awaiting the chance to read your work!

Leah J. Utas said...

What thank you, dfBag Lady. I'm quite enjoying Hellman's book and I know you will, too.
As for mine, I'm getting there as fast as I can.

messymimi said...

Oooh, I'm jealous of plants that will grow that easily. Like maybe even I could not kill them.

The description reminds me of some of the trees that grow in the swamps around here, with branches bent low over the water or ground with the Spanish moss hanging off. Very lovely pictures in my mind from your writing, I would love to read whatever you publish!

Leah J. Utas said...

Messymimi, thanks so much. It's good to read that I was so evocative.
I've seen pics of the moss on swamp trees. Kind of eerie, but in a beautiful way.

Barbara Martin said...

The last great war definitely has interesting stories entwined within.

Your own lines provide ample description.

Leah J. Utas said...

It sure does, Barbara. Thanks.

Thomma Lyn said...

*grin*, I love your writing style. You painted such a vivid picture with your description of the trees!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks so much, Thomma Lynn. That's so great to know.

Nancy said...

I am doing the same thing with a book I'm reading. I jump up - get something done - sit back down for a chapter - jump up - get something done - sit back down for some blogging.

Loved the beautiful words describing that old tree.

Leah J. Utas said...

Good to read I'm not alone, Nancy. Thanks for your kindness re: my description.

Clare2e said...

Is is that the Unfinished Woman reminds you of what's unfinished? Or is that joke so obvious everyone else just got it and winked while I drooled in the corner?

You made up dendros as trees, right? They sounded nifty, and I looked up some coral called dendros, but again, I'm not sure if I'm just obtuse today!

Do please finish your book so I can immerse myself and enjoy it it all without torturing myself bit by bit!

Leah J. Utas said...

Actually Clare, I didn't connect the unfinisheds together until you said it.
I didn't know about the coral, Thanks.
I went with dendro simply because dendrology is the study of trees and woody plants.
Your kindness has given me incentive to get at it. Thanks.