Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, February 26, 2012
  The Thin Gray Line
Mario here:

Growing up, we get lots of advice, all well intended, I'm sure. That advice often becomes a voice nagging at the back of our minds and over time, that mental scold can keep us from doing something it's in our better interests to do.

One of those nags came to me from Captain Kangaroo. One day he had a bug up his early-morning butt about people defacing books. He warned us young readers not to mark our place in a book by dog-earing the page corner, and to instead use a slip of paper. Reasonable advice. To reinforce that idea, at the end of the school year, when we turned in our texts, the teacher would flip through the books to make sure we hadn't defaced the pages.

What that stamped into my mind was that books were special, and I grew up revering books practically as holy objects. I've never thrown a book away, even one that was water-damaged or chewed up by the dog. Those books I passed along to a donation box, knowing full well they would toss them out--but at least there was no blood (ink) on my hands.

Where this not-marking-a-book advice became a liability was when I began to teach writing. Like my fellow scribes, I get excited whenever I discover a well-turned phrase and have decided I needed to share these sparkling gems. There are only so many words in the English language, and I'm amazed when another writer has managed to string them together in fresh ways. At first, I tried to mark the found passages with slips of paper or Post-It notes (stop pestering me, Mr. Kangaroo!), but often found myself lacking said bookmarks. After an agonizing self-debate, I've at last given myself permission to note a choice passage with a pencil mark in the margin. This way I don't slow my reading by much and can simply flip through the book to look for the thin gray lines and rediscover my buried wordy treasures. Yes, in a way, it may be considered vandalism, but it is for the greater literary good.

Here are a few of my favorites passages:

John Krakauer, Into Thin Air

Confronted with this tally, my mind balked and retreated into a weird, almost robotic state of detachment. I felt emotionally anesthetized yet hyperaware, as if I had fled into a bunker deep inside my skull and was peering out at the wreckage around me through a narrow, armored slit.


Steven Hely, How I Became a Famous Novelist


Lucy’s boss, David Borer, an editor at Ortolan, was sitting next to her. Yards away in the semidarkness, you could still see the fear in his face. He was zipping his eyes around the room, as though somebody were about to reveal the secret of publishing and he was afraid of missing it. He was older than we were, fey and beaten. He looked like an elf who’s gone though a bad divorce.


F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsy


He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverage--a cruel body.

What passages have made you go mmmm...most delicious phrasing?

Pimpage Alert!

This Wednesday at 7PM, tap into your schizo self and find a way to be at two places at once.


ONE: Julie Kazimer's book launch party for Curses! A F***cked-Up Fairy Tale. The Mercury Cafe. 2199 California, Denver. Much shenanigans planned.


TWO: Denver Diatribe, I'll be on the panel, Killing the Cow Town: Depictions of Denver in Film, Literature, and Music. With Cory Casciato, Ron Doyle, Jared Maher, and cartoonist Kenny Be. Denver Film Center, 2510 E Colfax (next to the Tattered Cover).














If that doesn't work, and in case you missed Kazimer's party, you get a chance for sloppy seconds (yum!) at a signing with Cindi Myers, Saturday, March 3, 3PM, The Broadway Book Mall, 200 S Broadway, Denver.

Labels: , , ,

 
Comments:
Like you, I also love the turn of a good phrase.
 
Cindy: Thanks. Have any favorites to share?
 
Damn it, even I'd choose the Denver Diatribe. Did you see that lineup?

Thanks for the pimpage. You ROCK!
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
www.marioacevedo.com
jeanniestein.com

Biting Edge - Blogged


Marta Acosta
Vampiress.ca
Zombie Defense Tactics
L.A. Banks
Robin Brande
Douglas Clegg
Mary Janice Davidson
Midnight Moon Cafe
P.N. Elrod
Christine Feehan
Andrew Fox
Jasper Fforde
Neil Gaiman
Laurell K. Hamilton
Charlaine Harris
Charlie Huston
Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Midnight Hour
First Offenders
Christopher Moore
Susan Squires
Storytellers Unplugged
Carrie Vaughn
Lynn Viehl
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


Agent Query
AOL Bookmaven
Bookmouth
Bookseller Chick
Bronze Word
GalleyCat
Guide to Literary Agents
Grumpy Old Bookman
Marcela Landres
Miss Snark
The Neglected Books Page
Preditors and Editors
Pub Rants
Publishers Lunch
Slushpile
Latino Stories


Alt Vampires
Love Vampires Reviews
Bite Me Magazine
Borderlands Bookstore
Dark Carnival Bookstore
Dark Hunter
Horror Writers Assoc.
Kaleighbug Books
Locus Magazine
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Paranormal Fiction
Paranormality Universe
Realm of the Vampires
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Net
Undead Update
Vampire Genre
Vampire HQ
The Vampire Library
Vampires Vault
Vampress
Vamprowler
Vampyres Online



ARCHIVES
March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 /


Powered by Blogger