Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Retreat Day 8

Keep to my cabin for most of the day, just coming out for lunch and dinner; take in the show at 10 PM. It’s the “comedy and vocal impressionist” Jason Neistadt, and I have to say, he is very funny. Fascinating to see him do impressions of people who have been dead for decades and get huge laughs from an audience that remembers them as if it were yesterday. Bit depressing that I seem to be one of them. Poor kids in the front row have no idea who he is supposed to be. So he tries Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, and gets blank stares from everyone except one pre-teen who cracks up. I am impressed with Neisadt’s repertoire because it is obvious he is reaching into a vast line up to pull out the ones he thinks will work for the Holland America crowd. If he tried this routine in LA, he’d get nowhere, as you have to be at least 60 to get any of it. But it’s a nice end of day wind down activity for me.

I make excellent progress on my report; break to do some more fiction editing. I finish the book I want to buy for Five Rivers: very pleased with it, better than I remembered. (It’s funny how wrong our memories get…one of the scenes I remembered the most distinctly isn’t actually there at all. I must have made it up out of whole cloth. And I had completely forgotten the two bits of business that are now my two favorite scenes. Such brilliant little touches of characterization, humor, that create an almost complete picture of village life in just a few sentences.) Such a nice little book, can’t understand how it has been allowed to languish out of print for decades.

I start the next book I am reading for Five Rivers. Actually another editor’s project, so I’m just reading it to give some quick general feedback--more free reading than assignment. Can’t put my finger on why exactly, but it reads more like European novelist than Canadian. Nice alien world though.

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