Thursday, October 04, 2007

Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened

There are many things that I can't do as well or anymore with RA, and that often beats me up. But a few months ago, I read a quote by Mother Theresa that has become my motto. I repeat it to myself almost daily: Do small things with great love. Go back and read it again. For me it's profound. There are so many of the large things that I can't do, but I can show my family and friends my love for them in the small things I do. Birthday and anniversary cards, cookies or bread when I make them, more time listening and less time talking.

I have found a new want. Brian Dettmer does book autopsies. I know that sounds horrible, but the results are astounding. Someday I want to own a piece of his work. It just brings out all the bibliophile in me. HT to Kimbooktu.

Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened edited by Jason Rodriguez is just the graphic novel to make you fall in love with the genre. I know you probably hear graphic novel and think: comic book, superheroes, men in tights, gore, geeks, teenagers. While that may be true of many, this one sets the golden standard to be something better. Rodriguez bought several antique used postcards and became entranced by the short messages on them. A few lines jotted while on vacation or away that spoke volumes to the receiver and whispers at mysteries to us today. 16 short stories by different artists and writers tackle postcards with cryptic, funny, and sentimental verses on them. Each writer imagined the writer and recipient and how the postcard fit into their lives. Sometimes the story answers a question, other times it's the question itself. The simple black and white artwork is evocative in each story. Send Louis His Underwear has short sketchy lines hinting at the darkness within. Homesick's long clean lines somehow manage to convey both the time of the Depression and the feeling of depression. Some stories are stronger than others, but all in all, this is a fantastic collection. It was impossible to put down, and when I did, I was sad it was over. I wanted more: more stories, more answers. From silly to haunting to desperate, these tales run the gamut.

I have a couple of exciting things happening on the blog in the next few weeks. Later this afternoon, I'm interviewing Nicholas Sparks of The Notebook and The Choice fame on a blog conference call. I'll post the transcript tomorrow. Plus, the week of Oct 15-19 I'll be reviewing Amy Grant's new book Mosaic, and I have three, count them 3, copies to give away. Some make sure you come back that week to find out the rules and sign up!

Today's picture is of a postcard from 1909. My great-aunt Irene collected postcards throughout her childhood and glued (!) them in a scrapbook. It's now one of my most prized possessions. Every page is covered with charming pictures like this and mysterious messages on the back, not that I can read them. Any idea on how to unstick 100 year old glue without destroying the paper? And I'm completely lost as to the message on this, what do boots have to do with Valentine's Day?