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Kevin Arnold's Blog

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The few days I spent with Ray Carver were unforgettable, his presence so quietly powerful that it shouldn't surprise me that so many who met him want to write about the experience.  On Amazon the search term ‘Raymond Carver' results in over five hundred books; reprints, anthologies, criticism, and...
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Playbill from Gatz with Scott Shepherd
My most unexpectedly-wonderful experience in the last year was being in the audience for a seven-hour reading of The Great Gatsby.   I feel thankful that my son insisted I rush for tickets to the always-sold-out off-Broadway play “Gatz” and that I lucked into a second-row seat. I’d forever loved...
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The King's Speech Poster
  Before this movie came out, I'd convinced myself that I'd fallen in love with the 2006 movie The Queen mainly because of Helen Mirren.  But I realize, with the release of this second well-made film centering on modern Royals, I'm quite comfortable with the Monarchy.  Indeed I'm a Bloody Closet...
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Nils Peterson, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
  Much beloved Nils Peterson, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, honored me by asking me to join him and two other poets, Sally Ashton and Kelly Cressio-Moeller, at a local reading.  Nils arranged "A Child's Christmas in Wales" for the four of us to read.  He assigned me two roles, an...
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John Updike
In the non-writing community, talk centers on labor Issues-the grocery chain was highly unionized-but in the writing community the talk is all of the eponymous short story, set in one of its stores.  In the tight form of a short story the beginning must match the end, a trait that's pronounced here...
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Liv Ullman and Ingmar Bergman
  Now Julian Assange, rightfully or wrongfully, may be headed back to Sweden on rape charges.  And Stieg Larsson's trilogy emphasizes violence against women, specifically in Sweden, as its central theme.  How could this grow out of the country that produced Ingmar Bergman?  Didn't he teach us,...
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Nora Ephron's new book I REMEMBER NOTHING AND OTHER REFLECTIONS from Knopf, although sometimes hilarious, has that wanna-look-away feel of someone who's been through the wringer of divorce.  Since I've blogged on divorce with children I'll include her commentary.  She finds some very funny reasons...
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It's a good thing Google stated "Don't do evil," as its company motto.  They're ubiquitous, so they need a high ethics target to aim for even if they occasionally fail.  One of their powerful free features is called Google Alerts.  Google sweeps the web to find whatever ‘string' (group of...
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A local reading group bought copies of my book in advance and invited me to come to their group.  It was a great evening.  The question of ‘rhymed and metered vs. free verse' came up, along with some discussion of my dependence on the last line of my poems to jolt the reading of the first lines. ...
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When I was invited to the New York Writers Pitch Conference, I flew out two days early to see Gatz.  I’m glad I did.  The production runs from three PM until close to midnight with an hour for dinner and two short intermissions, and the chairs weren’t upholstered—they were cheap and uncomfortable,...
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This weekend I volunteered at the National Kidney Foundation Book luncheon.  I assisted the Bay Area's newly-appointed genius (she won a McArthur Fellowship this month) Yiyun Le at her signing-table.  She's a dedicated writer and reader--every time there was a pause in the action she'd open a...
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My previous blog about Brian Wilson's Christian Victory sign has gone viral, so I'll put up one more blog on him, this one with his neighbor The Machine.  There's talk of him hosting Saturday Night Live now, and he just may be ready.  What a bizarre place is Pop America.  Here's the video: http://...
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This is the SF literary event of the year, a great place to see hear authors and get a jump on this year's holiday gifts.  Here are the details: 22nd San Francisco Authors Luncheon Marriott San Francisco Marquis55 Fourth Street, San Francisco 10:00 AM: Book Sales & Signing12:00 NOON: Luncheon12...
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I realize this is off-subject, but we in the Bay Area are baseball crazy right now.  This is an oft-asked question with an unexpected answer. If you've wanted to know why Brian Wilson crosses his arms after he records a saved baseball game, Andrew Baggarly found out. "One hand makes a fist (...
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As I mentioned in a recent blog, the New York Writers Group has invited me to their pitch conference next month.  My son Scotty insists I come early and see Gatz.  "A theatrical tour de force, Gatz is conceived as a single six-hour production in which an ensemble of 13 actors bring to life...
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