Saturday, December 20, 2008

A documentary to watch out for

Released Sept. 15, imdb lists a documentary titled "Children of Congo: from War to Witches." Knowing what we know about young children abandoned by their parents for the crime of witchcraft, as well as the tortures in the name of exorcism, this will be a tough one to watch... but important to do so.

The plot summary reads:

Over five million people have died during the past decade as a result of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Few people are aware of the unimaginable scale of human suffering, death, and destruction that has occurred in this vast country deep in the heart of Africa. In the aftermath of this brutal war, children have endured the brunt of the suffering. This 67 minute film documents the plight of thousands of street children living in Kinshasa and confirms the wide-spread accusations of child witchcraft, torture and child prostitution. The film also examines the efforts to reintegrate demobilized child soldiers, displaced refugees, and orphaned children following the eruption of the massive Nyiragongo volcano, near the city of Goma in Eastern Congo. These heroic efforts are finally bringing some measure of hope and stability to the lives of the Congolese people.
The link for this film is here. I'm going to see if I can find it on Netflix.

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Writing workshops

My friend, and a wonderful writer, Jordan Rosenfeld is offering fiction workshops along with Writer's Digest Magazine editor Maria Schneider. They begin in January. For details, click over here to Jordan's blog.

I should probably mention that I too will be beginning an online Advanced Novel Writing class through Mediabistro in January. The online chats will be Wednesday evenings starting Jan. 21. For more info, click here.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've been tagged

My friend, a wonderful writer named Jordan Rosenfeld, tagged me for a meme. Here goes:

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

Well, the closest book to me is a little pile of my own novel The Witch's Trinity. I won't be so self-promotional as to include lines from that. So next, I turn my eyes to the left of my computer, where one of three bookcases in our house stands.

Balanced precariously on the top of the bookcase (where books aren't supposed to be) is Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. On the top shelf, the closest book is Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. The second shelf, Strong Measures by Dacey & Jauss. Third shelf, The Malleus Maleficarum by our wicked German friars. Fourth shelf, Hayden's Ferry Review, Spring/Summer 1996 issue. Fifth shelf, The Great Pharaoh Ramses II and His Time, a museum catalog from the Montreal exhibit my father took me and my mom to in 1985 (thanks again, Dad!)

So, in the Ramses book, p. 56 is a description of a rake-comb, none too interesting. The Malleus quote, predictably about impotence, is too fractured by picking it up on line 5. I have to laugh, because p. 56 is literally BLANK in the Marie Antoinette book! So, how about a selection from Russell's book:

I felt like a film star with my cloche hat and dark glasses, dressed perfectly for the late-afternoon warmth in a linen dress that stopped at my knees. I fancied that the Egyptian women envied me. Poor things, I thought, sweltering in their robes and veils!

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books. My five picks are (in no particular order):

Joe Quirk
Tamim Ansary
Christopher Gortner
Michelle Moran
Holly Payne

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