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Lindsay Edmunds
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Lindsay Edmunds lives and works in southwestern Pennsylvania, after more than twenty interesting years in the Washington, DC, area. She blogs at The Huffington Post and at Writer's Rest.

She is the author of a new "single" called Blood Psychics and two speculative fiction novels: Cel & Anna: A 22C Love Story and Warning: Something Else Is Happening.

Entries by Lindsay Edmunds

Review of Clear Skies, Deep Water by Beth Peyton

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 6:49 PM

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In early July I found Clear Skies, Deep Water in the Chautauqua Institution bookstore. This beautiful memoir is about finding the place where you belong and having the courage to do something about it. At the bottom, it is...

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Turtle Diary Is Back in Print

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 4:24 PM

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Turtle Diary is a 1975 novel by Russell Hoban about two 40-something Londoners who want to steal three sea turtles from the London Zoo and put them in the sea. These Londoners, William G and Neaera H, tell the story...

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A Christmas Carol: Adaptable, Unbreakable

(2) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 5:11 PM

FROM THE BEGINNING, it was a performance piece.

A Christmas Carol was published in December 1843. By February 1844, it had three London stage productions. Charles Dickens himself did 127 readings from it.

There are more than 20 movie versions. The Wikipedia article on adaptions left out the...

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Cloud Atlas: 'I Wish I Could Make You See This Brightness.'

(10) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 1:47 PM

David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, is apparently happy with how the movie turned out. He should be. The movie -- faithful in spirit but unfaithful in many details -- does something I would have sworn was impossible: it soars like the book.

The Key: Life Itself

To understand Cloud Atlas, look at the way things happen in life. Helpful or harmful actions birth other helpful or harmful actions, which birth other actions, and so on forever. Some of you know about this; most you will never know.

A casual encounter turns out to be life-altering; a job falls out of the sky; a song gets to you -- some would call these chance-encounters -- neither the filmmakers, Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell, nor I would call them chance, but whatever they are, life runs by them.

Past acts reverberate in the future. Music sounds familiar to a character who could not have heard it before. An act of kindness or cruelty changes the direction of someone's life forever, which changes another person's life forever, and so on. As the film's trailer says: "Everything is connected."

The individual Cloud Atlas stories interlock in ways that sometimes suggest reincarnation. More often, they suggest the simple truth that the present is connected to both the past and the future. Everything matters, which leads to the next point:

Actions Matter Forever

The central conflict between selfishness/predation and love is more obvious in the novel, because Mitchell is explicit about it, but it is fairly straightforward in the movie, too.

The common ground of all six narratives is exploitation of some people by others. All six narratives make the same turn, too: The exploited ones break their chains and reach toward something good (freedom, justice, truth, God, or their beloved). They head out into a future either happy or dangerous, but in every case allied with good. For this reason Cloud Atlas is a buoyant, hopeful movie.

"If I had remained invisible," Sonmi-451 says shortly before her death, "the truth would have remained hidden. I couldn't allow that."

I love it that Tom Tykwer and Lana and Andy Wachowski made this movie. They must have known from the beginning it was going to ask everything of them and not necessarily pay them back. In that way, their work is heroic.

This review appeared in slightly different form at Home Projectionist ("It's more than a movie"), a new Chicago-based blog about sharing movie-going experiences with friends and...

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Here Come the Robots... Can We Keep Up With Them?

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 4:36 PM

This blog springboards off an editorial in The Citizen, the newspaper of Auburn, New York. The choice is not arbitrary; I know Auburn. I've shopped in its WalMart, bought half-moon cookies at a little hole-in-the-wall bakery.

I attended the baptism of one of my cousin's babies at an old Presbyterian...

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The Funniest Show in the World

(9) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 11:50 AM

On any list I make of things that make life worth living, there is a permanent place for  Mystery Science Theater 3000. When it was firing on all cylinders,  it was the funniest show in the world.

Like other inspired work, it proceeded from a simple premise. In...

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Imaginary Places

(1) Comments | Posted May 3, 2012 | 7:19 PM

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There is a great scene in the movie The Social Network when Napster co-founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) walks into a New York restaurant and talks about the future of the Internet with Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin...

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Sweet Humility

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2011 | 4:32 PM

"The earth keeps some vibration going / There in your heart, and that is you. / And if people find you can fiddle / Why, fiddle you must, for all your life."

"Fiddler Jones," Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (1915)

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After This: Notes on the Computer Revolution

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2011 | 1:58 PM

I don't remember exactly when TV shows started to depict computers as part of everyday life. The series My So-Called Life ran from 1994 to 1995, and although it centered around a fifteen-year-old, there were no computers. I saw an episode not long ago, and their absence was...

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The Kraken Rising: Russell Hoban's 86th Birthday

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 8:40 AM

Russell Hoban turns 86-years-old today (February 4, 2011). For the 10th year running, fans of his work (aka, the Kraken) will celebrate the day.

The Slickman A4 Quotation Event, or SA4QE for short, was dreamed up in 2002 by Krakenite Diana Slickman, who wrote:

...
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Susan Vreeland Brings to Light a Talented Artist and a Vibrant Time

(2) Comments | Posted January 11, 2011 | 12:53 PM

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Historical novelist Susan Vreeland has a particular focus: art and artists. Creating art, encountering art, being changed by art -- these are her subjects.

Her new novel, Clara and Mr. Tiffany, is about Clara...

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Russell Hoban: A Great American Writer

(9) Comments | Posted January 3, 2011 | 11:46 AM

Russell Hoban was born on February 4, 1925, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Abram and Jennie Hoban, who were Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. He began to win prizes for his stories and poems while still a child.

Even if Hoban's name is not familiar to you, it is likely...

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