Saylor's Goodreads Bookshelf

Saylor's books

Animal Farm
Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Little Women
A Tale of Two Cities
The Count of Monte Cristo
Les Misérables
Moby-Dick or, The Whale
The Joy Luck Club
The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Saylor's favorite books »


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Legend of Jane Fonda

Something unfortunate had happened. Something about a misunderstanding as to why she went to Vietnam like, during the Vietnam War. All that had happened before I was born and in true pre-teen understanding it’s not like it really happened ‘cause, like, it didn’t happen to me. I knew her as the dorky secretary in 9 to 5, who said, “Hit the road buster, this is where you get off!” And “because you’re a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” Whatever that meant, it was funny cause the women all had dreams like that. But the friends of my parents we went to the 9 to 5 movie with kept calling her Hanoi Jane. Afterward I asked my parents about the “Hand-eye Jane” thing. My father said Jane Fonda has a big mouth and my mother said she was against the Vietnam war and that’s why they called her names. I no longer liked those friends, they tell us not to call each other names and then they do it. That’s called being a hippocrate and only doctors are suppose to do it.

Then, I don’t know how long after that, maybe a couple of summers, my mother got ‘Physical, physical. Let me hear your body talk.’ And that dorky secretary was in our living room in the morning saying something like, “Start with your feet, shoulder width apart and inhale…”. Every morning I’d sit in the kitchen eating either, Cheerios, Co-Co Wheats, or a banana with peanut butter and listening to “Start with your feet, shoulder width apart and inhale…”. I truly did not understand this. My mom had the waspy good looks of Morgan Fairchild and the upper-body strength of a blacksmith. (Honestly the woman is pushing 70 now and she could probably still bench press across the room me if I mouthed off to her – one more time!.) Finally, I walked into the living room. “Wow! Is that the woman from 9 to 5? She’s so pretty.”
And my mom said, “Get your ass back into the kitchen with that food! And if I see one Cheerio on the floor I’m going to throttle you.” Which I also didn’t understand because anything left on the floor was eaten either by the dog or sometimes, when he thought no one was looking, my father.

But anyway, A LONG time later I can still recite the words to the video, “Start with your feet, shoulder width apart and inhale…” all the way to the end where I imagine she was lying on the floor “feel your back touching the floor and imagine a string pulling you tall, now remember this when you stand up. Let’s pull up slowly….”
I am now the same age as my mother was when she followed along with the Hand-eye Jane from 9 to 5. I am not massively overweight but getting thicker around the middle. Losing 15 pounds would not hurt me and would certainly make my knees feel a lot better. I have so very many choices: palates, Wii fit, biking (now called spinning), water aerobics, that thing with the big ball, drugs, the giant rubber bands, cardio, weights, drugs (I say this twice because considering how much of this crap is in the pharmacy aisles it bears a second mention.), netflix streaming has an entire section of fitness videos, yoga. Oh yoga, everyone does it. Our new rec center up the street has a lot of yoga classes for young and old and pregnant and athletes and pets.

But what do I do every morning? Close my eyes, listening to the memory, I start with my feet, shoulder width apart.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February is cRaZy month.

Every couple of months I come out of my writer’s hole and make with the human interactions. Learning to work in solitude takes practice. I think the first thing you learn is human’s need human interaction. For example, when I emerge out of the writer’s hole, I’m careful about my verbal exchanges. Not every check out clerk needs to know I spent a week talking to imaginary characters and didn’t shower or change out of my pajama’s for 3 days. I save that glamorous lifestyle for my partner. Now some writers are old pro’s at this, they’ve been doing it for 20 odd years they’ve got their writing schedules down to a science. They go into a room, first thing in the morning, shut the door and emerge four hours later and conduct the rest of their day. Or they have their day and at night they go into the room, shut the door, and come out a few hours later and go to bed. Either way - they’ve got it down, they are compartmentalized and they are bathed. I envy them. It’s part of the reason I dislike the month of February. I think February should be called cRaZy MoNth. And I blame the weather, in part. Now I’ve never been a fan of the month of February, it’s not May – with all the foliage blooming nor October with the crispy air nor even the “dog days of August”. No, February is just there. Cold, wet and dreary, with an angst ridden pseudo-holiday hanging in the middle of it. Blaugh. February is the red headed step child of the calendar.
“Look here’s June and July the twins of youthful summer-time, such a joy to so many children. Oh and February just walked in, such shifty eyes. So sad, don’t turn your back on it.”
But more to my point, February is the month when cabin fever starts setting in. Through the years I’ve noticed that people start getting really weird around the 10th of February. They start talking about inappropriate subjects with strangers. Feel the need to impose their opinions on anyone who will listen. Diabolical plans are made for when it warms up.
My opinion of February has not changed over the years. I used to bear down for the month and wait for it to pass. Frustrated every few years, unsure if it’s 28 or 29 days of misery. But not anymore, see I realized that I can’t cure what is wrong with February. It is systemic. Now, I am out there listening, taking notes, riding public transit, chatting to the shop owners. Not so much in judgment but in understanding watching the crazy take hold and collecting enough funny to fill 50 books – which in itself is a little bit crazy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Casting the books

Who would play the lead characters in the movie production of The O Line Mysteries?

As the author of the books and producer of the podcasts that is such a difficult question. Imagining people playing the lead roles is very difficult because when I write the books now I actually hear the people who read for the roles in the podcast. If I ever turn the books into audiobooks they would be read by Nina, who played Annie. I can't imagine anyone else doing that.

But okay the casting. Well Michael would have to be a young Jackie Chan. Not so much with the martial arts but with nearly all Jackie Chan movies he finds himself in an unbelievable situation and he translates that 'holy crap!' feeling so well. And that ability would be so important for that role.
Tim would have to be an 'average joe' think Sean Astin.
I see Annie as perhaps Pauley Perrette, from NCIS, with auburn hair.
And Lorna would have to be played by Heather Graham or someone who can do comedy as well as she. I think she is a very under-utilized actress.
Lorna's sister, Tessa, I think Ali Wentworth would work well, or someone with her sensibilities.
And Sally would be someone like Rosalind Chao or China Chow.
Aisha Tyler or Debra Wilson would play Roberta Fitzgerald.
The rest of the cast would all be character actors and actresses.

By the way, I'm still working on the short story I mentioned earlier so stay tuned.