Sunday, September 14, 2008

NY is funny and I'm in the Brain-Soup

That's it. From now on, I'm writing down striking things I hear on the streets of New York for posterity, contemplation, anger or amusement. Today: Amusement.

The scene:
Adorable one-ish year old little girl in burgundy velvet dress being held up by Dad as she tests out walking her little, bare feet on 28th street. Mother approaches, grinning and bending down to daughter.

Quote from grinning Mom to said child:
"This isn't Burma! You can't walk around without shoes in Manhattan!"

Now this phrase has its truths, and its untruths. True, 28th street is not Burma, and I also agree that you can't walk around barefoot in Manhattan.

But personally, I think the maximum amusement potential of this quote comes from the fact that it's not Burma anymore, it's Myanmar.
(Left: proposed new flag of Myanmar)

(Unless you listen to the BBC. They still call it Burma. I assume because they can't quite get over the fact that they're just not the same 'sun never sets on the Empire' anymore, so maybe Mum was a Brit. I couldn't tell with the baby-talk-tone colouring her voice - see, I put a 'u' in colouring. I'll be the first to admit to severe Anglophile tendencies so don't think I'm being a hater here. Either I had an awesome or a traumatic past life in England because the land calls to me like a Siren. And my upcoming book is set in London, as a matter of fact. However I shall call the former land of "Burma" Myanmar.

My friend Jeff Tanenhaus, travel-writer and photographer extraordinaire adores Myanmar and has taken incredible photos of the land and the beautiful people. (Note, many photos of Myanmar show strong evidence of shoe-wearing).
---
Another recent, great "Only In New York" moment, I was escorting my dear friend, talented actress/singer Kate to her bartending gig at the St. James theatre, and she leads me in through the darkened house of the Broadway theatre, where only the single Ghost Light is on the stage. It's a neat and eerie thing to see, the Ghost Light:
Mesmerised by the Ghost Light, hoping to see and actual ghost, I trip and fall in the dark and cavernous space.
We giggle like kids tresspassing.
All the while we are serenaded as Tony award winning actress and awesome diva Patti LuPone warms up for Gypsy by belting her guts out two floors up.
I get to see the show next week!
---
Still another momentous Only In New York moment?
Walking into the offices of Dorchester, my coveted, debut "New York publisher" for the first time last week! I could be all suave and say I wasn't excited and giddy, but that would be an outright lie. My eyes were sparkly.
---
Okay.
In other news. Now comes the part where Leanna admits she's being a space-cadet.
So where have I been?


...That's right, my friends.
The Brain-Soup...


I'm in the midst of edits for my upcoming 2009 Dorchester release THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER. And I have to shift major emotional arcs for my main characters because my editor is really smart and it will be a better book when done. (He is smart, I'm not just saying that because I'm still sparkly-eyed, it's true.)


To do this with any degree of decency, (I'm clothed while I edit, get your mind out of the gutter) or skill, I have to be really IN it. THICK in Victorian England. THICK into my character's heads. A Soupy kind of mental thickness. Going into the world that I love so dearly (I really, really love it) is great. It's the coming out of it and back to real-world that kinda sucks. I work as a tour guide and there are moments when tourists blink at me and ask me where the Empire State Building is and all I want to do is shake them and say "DON'T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND I NEED A CUT-SCENE BETWEEN CHAPTERS SEVEN AND EIGHT AND I DON'T CARE IF YOU MISS YOUR FERRY TO THE STATUE OF LIBERTY..."

*sigh* I never say that. But I want to.

I've described my state of Soupness kind of like the Matrix... where all those green binary numbers just keep scrolling... scrolling... And that's the pages of my book in my head... scrolling and I'm in that wierd bullet-time where Neo can alter stuff, and I swoop one scene in and swoop another one out as it all just keeps scrolling and I could look at it forever...

So that's where I am. Brain-Soup. And where are you?

3 comments:

Pat said...

Brian soup. The first time I've heard it called that, but it works--in a strange, Igoresque sort of way.

I, like you, immerse myself in the story in order to write it. Coming back to reality is often like emerging from dream; you want to hold on to it, but the real world demands attention.

Looking forward to seeing your book in print.

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Thanks Pat! Yes, it SO feels like emerging from a dream, I'm really groggy for at least an hour if not the whole day. Here's to holding on to and enjoying our dream-worlds!

marciacolette said...

You want more soup? Guess who's announcement I saw in my Publisher's Lunch today? Gee, I wonder how many people subscribe to that thing? ;-)

I'm trying to get my head out of the soup box. I've spent the last couple of weeks diving into my latest project. At least the day job has spent a good amount of time throwing me a life preserver today.