Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

Little Bird

The structure … is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.    –Arthur Miller

I’ve beMinnet-av-en-smutsig-ängel2en watching Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallender series.  I like crime movies. but I don’t like to dwell on the crime, which is what American crime movies usually do, as if the crime is what’s interesting. I went to see The Life of Pi, even though I don’t like movies or books that take place on boats. The Life of Pi was visually interesting, but the film itself only becomes interesting retrospectively, as revealed in the final five minutes of the movie, and by then it is too late. I went to see Cloud Atlas and I’m sure I would have liked it more if I hadn’t gone with David who is an atheist, but I do wish they would have resisted sentimentality. I also saw Lincoln and was, first of all, surprised to discover a popular American film that relied so completely on interesting dialogue.

It’s Christmas and Christmas always makes me feel that I fall short. My goal: to have a job that allows me to be gone every winter. I told Sarah yesterday that living in Oregon in the winter is like being wrapped in a tarp. She said that was exactly right, but I said I should stop describing it like that. But no, it’s exactly right, she insisted. But still, that’s not the way to think of it, even if it is true. I should walk more, even if it is like being under a tarp. I am morose in the winter. I’ve finished the final chapter of  my novel, Watching Rhonda Honey, which I’ve renamed Little Bird. Crystal says there is a restaurant in Portland named Little Bird, but surely that won’t matter.

Categories: belief, books, films, memoir, Oregon, reading, writing

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2 replies

  1. I also got depressed in winter when I lived in Oregon. The darkness is relentless. Even though we get dangerous storms in NH, I like the white of the snow and sparkling sunny days between storms. Here, the cold is relentless. I’d rather be cold than dark.

  2. About your book title- I automatically thought of the restaurant and then of Angry Birds.

    I love winter in Oregon, curled up in my cozy cocoon of a house looking out at the storms and getting lots of writing done. In nice weather I’m too tempted by the outdoors.

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