I've still not been able to reach Poppy. But I'm still trying. I know where she went in Mississippi, and at this point I'm trying to ascertain how much damage that area took. Right now, it appears it wasn't hard hit. I just want to express my thanks again to all the many people who have displayed such amazing generosity towards Poppy and Chris and their stranded pets over the last two days. Aside from the money that's being raised, I've had people offer everything from housing to vehicles. It gives my hard old heart reason to hope. I promise that when we finally reach her — and that might still take many days — the offers will be passed along. If I haven't written back to you, I do apologize. I'm trying. I just haven't been able to keep up.
Meanwhile, a couple of people have been kind enough to pass along a few of bits a "good news" — at least things I would take as good news — which I sorely need right now, no matter how trivial such things may presently seem. Right now, as faustfatale was saying to me yesterday, even the writing seems trivial, in light of what's happened. Anyway, a couple of links:
After 12 years, Kate Bush releases a new album. (P.S. — If you hate Kate Bush, complain in your own journal, please).
A few choice words from NewYorkMetro.com on self-indulgence in fiction. (P.S. — If you hate Bret Easton Ellis, complain in your own journal, please). I have to quote one bit:
What a shame. Somewhere along the lines we seem to have forgotten that all books are (overtly or covertly) portraits of narcissists brought to us on a tidal wave of writerly megalomania. We are almost obscenely eager to pretend that it isn’t self-indulgence—sitting alone, lost in your mind, folding reality into your own origami diorama—that produces literature in the first place. Especially frustrating is how the works canonized and dangled frothily about as examples of a bygone era of novelistic greatness—Roth, Bellow, et al.—are often recklessly decadent explorations of the self. It’s like we’ve become embarrassed to admit what we truly enjoy and why we enjoy it.
For all the clichéd jokes about writers and their egos, we still feel the collegiate desire to equate the act of writing (as opposed to the writing itself) with something holy and pure—an impulse closer to that of the selfless humanitarian aid worker than the self-centered rock star. Which is ludicrous. Writers are rock stars—playing on a stage in their minds to a sold-out show of themselves, hoping to make enough noise that others have no choice but to listen and, ideally, start singing along in vague recognition. In so many Great American Novels, this urge is precisely what we admire: that the writer had the gumption to universalize the personal, to publicly and articulately act the way the rest of us do in front of the mirror.
My grateful thanks to the people who posted those links as comments to my last entry.
Finally, a very sobering (as if I'm not sober enough) article at windsofchange.net considering the full impact of what's happened in New Orleans (my thanks to matociquala for this link):
"Pompeii on Ole Miss: Facing Katrina's Toll, Fully"
I really have to write today. Really.
P.S. — tjcrowley is presently attempting to contact a ham radio operator near where Poppy should be. I'll keep you posted.