bunt sign

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

I did some filing today, but I did it for the best of reasons. I couldn't find something. It's hard to locate the exact invoice you're looking for if they're all piled on top of the filing cabinet. This is ordinarily a task I avoid like Brussels sprouts, but the time always comes when I can't move forward without taking a step back and doing an unsavory job.

Sometimes when I get on one of these frenzies, I keep going until I've wasted the whole day doing busy work. That didn't happen this time, though. I kept at it until I found what I was looking for. Then I stopped.

That pile is calling me, though, more than it has been. And it's been there for a long, long time. I can almost see myself sorting and filing into the twilight, until all my papers are in order. I can almost see that. Some day.

Really, what I need is to hire a little elf to do my filing for me. But that wouldn't work out, because I'd be standing over the elf's little shoulders, making sure everything went in the right place. Still, that would be better than doing it myself.

My gardening is about as haphazard as my filing. At least indoors I know what I'm doing, or what I would be doing if I were doing it. Outdoors, it's a different story. Out there, I'm a babe in the woods, trying to find my way.

The weeds I can identify are going fast. It's easy to pull up stuff when you know it's not supposed to be growing there. The prickly stuff in between the irises, for example, gave me much satisfaction this afternoon, by slowly disappearing under my devoted attention.

Sometimes I get carried away and clear out a whole area, even if I'm not sure what it is I'm getting rid of. And I'm tempted to get the irises out, just to deprive the snails of their main food source. I know I have to do something about the snails before they take over any more than they already have.

All of this would be much easier if I knew what I was doing, as I've mentioned before. On the other hand, maybe not. Maybe it would be more like work if I had to go at it with the scientific precision of a real, serious gardener who was in the know.

familiar scene, sans sunset

I've been trying to find more information about the hearing in Atlanta tomorrow about the scheduled June publication of a parody of Gone With the Wind, told from the perspective of Scarlett's mulatto half-sister (who doesn't exist in the original novel). The author is biracial country songwriter (and isn't that interesting already?) Alice Randall, and the title is The Wind Done Gone.

Margaret Mitchell's heirs are suing to stop the book from being published. The author has some literary heavyweights on her side, though, including Harper Lee, Shelby Foote and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. I'd love to read an excerpt of this book, to see if it's a comic parody, as has been suggested, or a serious treatment of a neglected point of view. This is one time my Internet sources have failed me.

Even without much information, I do have an opinion. It seems to me that either way, comic or serious, this is a novel I'd want to read. Gone With the Wind is a broad story told from a narrow perspective. To see it turned inside out fascinates me. A new voice might even enhance the reputation of the original.

I wouldn't want any copyright laws broken just to satisfy my curiosity, and I don't know the legalities involved. But it's my understanding that a parody can quote the original work without violating legal and ethical codes. I'll be interested to see how this turns out.

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Latest recommendation:

Yen has a fascinating story to tell, and she tells it beautifully in her journal, Shinkansen. In her April 16 entry (speaking of stealing ideas), she exposes a real copyright infringement. Someone has stolen the code for her whole site. Saundra gives this outrage further context in her entry for today.

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