Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some links and some chat

There's this great interview over at the Biting Edge with Juliet Blackwell, author of the fun and exciting Lily Ivory Witchcraft Mystery series, about a witch who owns a vintage clothing store. Go say hi, read about how Juliet insulted some Wicca women during her writerly investigations, read her amusing witch interaction Do's and Don'ts list and enter to WIN signed copies of Cast-off Coven and Secondhand Spirits, plus "special witchy schwag."

Mom in town, Carolyn AWOL
I've been a bit AWOL as my mother was in town visiting. We had a very nice time - took a few walks, shopped, ate our weight in bread, cheese and crackers in different forms. On Saturday we saw a play called Circle Mirror Transformation that I really liked. Usually I'm not all that into plays. Too much emoting! But between this and A Klingon Christmas Carol this past winter, plays are batting 100% with me.

Your yard looks fine!! Stop the madness!

The people across the street are bigger perfectionists than I am. Last week, they had these lovely concrete steps made, then a crew came and jack-hammered them up, then new steps were made that looked the same as the old ones. I was glad when they were done, and hoping they wouldn't hate those steps, too.

Then, yesterday this whole crew with land moving equipment came and dug up their lawn, which was perfectly lovely with perfect green grass, and threw all the grass into a truck, and laid down new grass. I was like, WTF? Mystified, and also annoyed, because finally I had time to work on book 3, and I wanted peace and quiet, not more stupid machines. And there was NOTHING WRONG WITH THE OLD GRASS.

Though, perhaps the ever-lovely Penny Watson, who, in addition to having single-handedly sexed up the North Pole in the most delightful of ways, is also an expert in the field of turf science, will have something to say about that. I can only imagine how much they must hate it when we park our duct-taped Intrepid in front of their home.

Hell Fire continues to rock
I finished Ann Aguirre's Hell Fire last night, which continued to be super cool and interesting. (see earlier post here.) I loved how this book had elements of horror and mystery, and the inventiveness of this world (like this one radio - Aguirre is really one of the most inventive writers around). I'm especially enjoying the evolution of Chance (the character, not the concept) and the various aspects of his luck--I love the continually unfolding realities and consequences of his special powers. Highly recommended! (but, read Blue Diablo first!)

Dorky confession and related questions
This is going to sound dorky, but Mr. Crane and I have this weights set in our apartment that we work out with, and we sometimes work out to the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar. Okay, that doesn't just sound dorky, it is dorky. LOL. But Mr. Crane grew up with his parents playing that record constantly, so he has this special fondness for it, even though he didn't set foot in a church until my sister got married, so basically, the soundtrack constitutes the entirety of his Bible education. I don't know much more than him, but I've been getting kind of obsessed with it, because it is so sad and dramatic!

Anyway, we are always wondering how much of it came from the Bible. Any Bible experts out there?
1. Is Judas portrayed in the Bible as conflicted, well-intentioned yet sort of misguided fellow, and worried about the fate of people at the hands of the Romans? Does he hang himself?

2. Does Pilate dream about killing Jesus and it makes him feel sad?

3. Do Caiaphus and the Apostles have extensive deliberations about what to do about Jesus vis a vis their fate as an occupied people?

Edward and Bella in therapy
This is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that my father-in-law, player of above soundtrack, forwarded to me this morning. About how students in the mental health disciplines can learn as much about what it means to be human from the study of fictional characters in books and movies as they can from real people, and that, in many courses, they actually study and diagnose fictional characters, and it goes into a bit of the history of that. (Poor Piglet and his generalized anxiety disorder!) I thought that was interesting. And it makes me think of that old saying that there's often more truth in fiction than in non-fiction. That's not actually the saying, but it's something like that.

Reviews and mentions!
I haven't been linking to Mind Games stuff lately. But I'm so grateful for people continuing to read and discuss my book. I don't always click over - sometimes I like to let reviewers have their own space to do their thing and I do mine. But other times, I must go see! LOL. A few recent ones here:
  • Mind Games was #1 on 'Buckeye Girl''s totally amusing Books I didn't think I'd love post here. Or, check her official review here.
  • Heather of 'Darkly Reading's review "I loved every word of it" !!
  • Michelle at 'See Michelle Read's review: "an impressive twisty, turny psychological storyline (complete with some truly nasty villains) which stunned me with each new revelation and left me clamoring for more!
  • Upcoming Debut author Jenn Bennet's review: "When an author comes along with a can of lighter fluid and a gleam in her eye, and throws a lit match on the whole genre, I’m starstruck."
  • Magdelen of Promantica wrote a super interesting essay on Mind Games and related items, discussing her personal reactions and intersections with the book, the resulting shift in her construction of me as an author, the reader/writer relationship, and more. Okay, I'm explaining it poorly. Go read it!
  • Okay, I know I'm missing somebody...


Tia Nevitt said...

I'm not expert, but I'll take on some of Bible questions:

1. Is Judas portrayed in the Bible as conflicted, well-intentioned yet sort of misguided fellow, and worried about the fate of people at the hands of the Romans? Does he hang himself?

He betrayed Jesus by telling the Romans that Jesus is the one he would kiss (or embrace). So he kisses Jesus and they take him away, giving Judas 40 pieces of silver.

He later kills himself.

2. Does Pilate dream about killing Jesus and it makes him feel sad?

The Bible really doesn't get into anyone's dreams. It just says what happened. Pilate tried to absolved himself of Jesus's death by publically washing his hands (literally) of any blame. And then he let the Jews have him.

3. Do Caiaphus and the Apostles have extensive deliberations about what to do about Jesus vis a vis their fate as an occupied people?

Don't know the answer to this one.

Carolyn Crane said...

Oh, thanks, Tia, for all these answers!! Very interesting!!

Joanna Chambers said...

I really like this musical - it's so weird. Mr T dislikes musical theatre (stretches his willing suspension on a fundamental level) and regards this particular one as the zenith of things musical-theatrically-absurd. Have you seen the film? It's a trip.

Ellz said...

Thanks for sharing, I can't wait until September, your book will be my birthday gift to myself.

Jill Sorenson said...

Sounds like you and Mr. Crane really know how to party! LOL

My hubby and I are remodeling our backyard right now. It's been a good workout, and kind of fun when we aren't arguing about seed vs. sod or eco-friendly alternatives. But we'd never have torn out a nice lawn. That's just weird.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

The neighbors doing crazy yard work drive me nuts too! My neighbors aren't quite as crazy as your but I have one that sits outside at night and picks individual weeds out of his lawn. It makes me feel super lazy! Thanks for the review mention!

Tracy said...

I loved Hell Fire as well - how could I not? Just good stuff right there.

Your neighbors obviously have serious issues. If I were you I'd go ask them WTH was wrong with A) the first set of steps and B) the grass! lol

Carolyn Crane said...

Tumperkin: No, I haven't seen it. So funny about Mr. T. No, not realistic! Mr. Crane knows every word to the soundtrack and can mimic the voices exactly, but he won't do it in front of anyone but me.

Elie! Hey, how sweet! So flattered. Hey, both our birthdays are in September.

Jill: Oh, the lawn choices debate. Sounds like you two enjoy the implementation more than the planning. I definitely do.

Heather: Single weed weeding. That's dedication!

Tracy: Maybe you need to come over and ask. I'm scared to!

Chris said...

I grew up listening to that soundtrack, too!!

Carolyn Crane said...

Oh, you two can have a singalong!! Yippee!

Chris said...

Sadly, I really can singalong with the whole damn thing.

KT Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KT Grant said...

Forgot for a moment who I was and thought, ah whatever...

I love me some Jesus Christ Superstar! Saw it on Broadway a few years back and loved it.

1. Is Judas portrayed in the Bible as conflicted, well-intentioned yet sort of misguided fellow, and worried about the fate of people at the hands of the Romans? Does he hang himself?

Judas had incredible guilt over handing Jesus over to the Romans. He couldn't live with himself, so he hung himself in a tree.

2. Does Pilate dream about killing Jesus and it makes him feel sad?

Pilate really didn't want to kill Jesus, but the public at large were thirsty for blood, so to appease the people, he had them decide.

3. Do Caiaphus and the Apostles have extensive deliberations about what to do about Jesus vis a vis their fate as an occupied people?

Um... O.O

Carolyn Crane said...

Chris: A few more workouts, and I'll be able to, as well. But maybe we should stick to Supernatural. LOL.

KT: Wow, you saw it on Broadway! How cool! And thanks for the insights. I'm always wondering about it.

Ladytink_534 said...

Thanks for the link! It sounds like a great series, kind of Madelyn Alt-ish but still neat! Okay, make that links because there are some great ones here.

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

Okay, at the risk of outing myself as a JCSS fan- are you listening to the 70's version or the very awesome 2000 version?

I see question #1 has been anwered, but as far as question #2 - I believe Pilate's wife dreamed of Jesus and warned Pilot not to get involved. Don't know the answer to #3 (I usually pass all my biblical questions to my dad, aka "Deacon Dad".)

Am I going to have to reread Blue Diablo before moving on to Hell Fire?

Kaetrin said...

I listened to Jesus Christ Superstar in my high school music class and I remember saying to my brother later that I felt quite sorry for Judas - he was "just trying to do the right thing after all". He patiently sat me down and explained that it was a musical and not to take it too seriously. The bible didn't actually give any motivation to Judas' betrayal or his later guilt - it pretty much just says that he did it. He volunteered himself to betray JC, demanded a price, did the deed and was paid and in despair later, he killed himself. (Even the people who paid him despised him because he could be bought so cheaply).

The whole premise of Superstar seems to be that JC was an amazing guy who was super charismatic and had great things to say but it downplays his personal divinity (which is, in the bible, the whole point of what's going on).
The way it was presented in the musical was that Judas thought JC had gone too far and he wanted to save his life - there is an inference that by betraying him he was actually trying to save him. The bible says that JC said all along that he was the Son of God and he was there to die 'for the sins of mankind'. (whether one believes it or not, - gosh it's hard talking about religion on the internet! - the bible is pretty clear about this point and that's where the story for the musical came from, after all).

In the actual bible, JC is presented as the SoG sent from heaven to save the world. Judas is one of his close disciples; he believes him (JC) and follows him and loves him but then for some unspecified reason (possibly jealousy?) Judas betrays JC for money. It's certainly not presented in the bible as Judas being a good guy who was misguided or doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. He's very much a villain.

Superstar is a case where dramatic license influenced the telling of a story - just about every biographical story has factual errors in it - sometimes its because people are just wrong but more often it is to play to the modern opinion of women, family, heroism,etc or to make the story more interesting or flesh out parts that are unknown.

(Similarly, JC didn't have a romance with Mary Magdalen. They just made that up.) ...You probably knew that though.

I'll shut up now.

Hope that didn't sound too preachy :)

Carolyn Crane said...

LadyT: If you get it, you'll have to let me know what you think!

Patti: We have the 1970's one. So, there's an awesome 2000 one? Even MORE awesome? Guh! Okay, and yes, I woudl suggest reading Blue Diablo first. Well, maybe you don't have to. Hmmm. It's suggested, let's say.

Kaetrin: Oh, thanks for this detailed answer! This is so fascinating. I knew that about Mary Magdelan. But, the Judas thing is so central. In the musical, which is obviously all I mostly know, It seems like he's feeling like the Jesus thing is getting out of control and dangerous in general, that's what I understand as his motivation. But that's exactly what I was wondering - how much these things are spelled out in the Bible. Some creative license here!

orannia said...

I'm no expert on the Bible. I did go to a youth class in my teens...and I spent all my time asking curly questions. I wasn't the only one - there was a guy who did the same thing...I think they thought about separating us, but then decided it was better to keep us together...until we started asking bouncing questions off each other :)

I always loved Saul's journey to Damascus...

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about the Bible (despite my name -- but I'll get back to that), so I asked Brit Hub 1.0 who is the product of umpteen years of Anglican education and paid attention.

He says there are two versions about the death of Judas, one where he hangs himself, and one where he falls over and bursts open. For more details, "compare Matt. 27:5 and Acts 1:18. Notice also the different versions of the 'Potter's Field.'"

Alas, he couldn't find anything on Pilate's nightmare (although when I asked him, he said helpfully, "Isn't there something about that in a song in Jesus Christ Superstar?"), and he had already forgotten the third question when he went looking in the Bible.

But about the name Magdalen, that I know something of. LOL! It's a place name, like "Jesus of Nazareth" being the same as "Jesus Nazarene." So Mary Magdalene is just another person from Magdala. She probably was a "close friend" of Jesus's. She was not, however, the woman of whom Jesus said, "Let he who is without shame cast the first stone."

That woman, a prostitute, was very possibly also from Magdala, so the name "Magdalene" comes through time to mean a fallen woman. Bad luck for Mary Magdalene, of course, as the taint sticks to her too.

So Jesus did not have a relationship with the prostitute but did have a relationship with Mary Magdalene. What I think is historically unclear is if he had "relations" with her, as in, "Did you have relations with that woman?" And I'm not going to touch the whole Dan Brown "they were secretly married" theory!

Thanks for the kind words about Promantica, Carolyn. You really *are* the nicest person in Romlandia!

Carolyn Crane said...

orannia: LOL. Okay, What are curly questions?

Magdalen: Well, thanks to Brit husband 1.0. The extent of his knowledge, and the fact that Judas bursts open in a version are both quite something! Also, this bit about Mary and the prostitute not being the same person, but just painted with the same brush - interesting, and somehow not surprising!

Sophia (FV) said...

I love your posts. They're just so full of...stuff. Awesome stuff. You are on my awesome stuff list, right next to Doritos and chocolate milk. :O) PS my word verification is 'mingle' so, I'll see you later, im'ma mingle for a while. HA!

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

Carolyn - you haven't seen the 2000 version? It's very awesome! Very modern (the disciples carry automatic weapons, there are nuclear arms, and angels who wear hot pants) but I love it! The first time I watched it I thought...it's different, but the 2nd time I wasn't as surprised and now I do sing the songs a lot (occasionally my kids will join in).

Kimmie said...

Do you plan on reading any of the new Carina Press books?? I just found out about them today, I think you can buy them from booksonboard.com. They seem to have a lot of new releases coming out for this summer, it's gonna be so hard to decide what to read! Agh!

Rebecca @ DSB said...

Hi Carolyn - Those anal-retentive neighbors of yours? Um, I'd probably be like that if I had the money. I'm a perfectionist stuck on a pauper's budget. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I go for alliteration whenever possible.

BTW, I've got Blue Diablo in my TBR pile, and you've totally whetted my appetite for this series. I really enjoyed Aguirre's "Grimspace," so I'm looking forward to seeing her do another style.