Young Love

Yes, I know this isn’t science fiction, but the Porchlight storytelling series is a lot of fun. Join me if you are in the neighborhood.

Monday, February 20
Verdi Club
2424 Mariposa St., San Francisco
Doors at 7, show at 8

This month’s theme: Young Love

Sweet, romantic, and innocent or awkward, confusing, and misguided. Or sweet and misguided. Or hot and confusing. Awkward and romantic. Doomed? Epic? Come listen to stories of being in love during a time when we were clearly less mature than we are now.

About Porchlight:

For the past nine years, Porchlight has been San Francisco’s premier storytelling series. Each month, co-founders Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte invite six people from different backgrounds to tell ten-minute true stories without using notes or memorization. Past storytellers include some of the area’s most entertaining school bus drivers, mushroom hunters, politicians, socialites, sex workers, musicians, authors, systems analysts, and social workers.”

Dreams With Sharp Teeth

A few years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Harlan Ellison being interviewed at South by Southwest in conjunction with the release of a documentary about his life, Dreams with Sharp Teeth. Wow, what a guy! He initially came across as cranky, but as I listened to him rant, I realized he is a very intelligent man frustrated by a world that can’t keep up. I wasn’t able to catch the film at the festival, so I was excited to learn SF in SF is putting on a screening. I much prefer seeing a movie on a big screen with other fans. Join me if you are in San Francisco tonight!

SF IN SF PRESENTS FILM NIGHT!
Wednesday, February 15
SF in SF presents

IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS
HARLAN ELLISON – DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH

Doors and cash bar open at 6:00PM. Film begins at 7:00PM

The Variety Preview Room Theatre
The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor; entrance between Quiznos & Citibank
582 Market St., 2nd at Montgomery
http://www.sfinsf.org

“It was a dark and stormy night”

A recent New York Times article about A Wrinkle in Time by Madelaine L’Engle inspired me to reread the book. I had absolutely no memory that “It was a dark and stormy night” was the first line.

This was also the first line in the 1830 novel Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, and the inspiration for the San Jose State Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, “a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.”

Was L’Engle’s reference tongue in cheek? No, according to a rather dicey citation in a PDF on Scholastic’s website.

One question she is asked a lot is why she began the book with the words “It was a dark and stormy night. . . .” According to L’Engle, the phrase “a dark and stormy night” is one that is used to start lots of scary stories, the kind of stories people told around campfires when L’Engle was growing up.”

Plus, A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962, and the Bulwer-Lytton contest didn’t start until 1982.

A Wrinkle in Time won a Newbery Medal in 1963, and I can’t help but wonder if those poor seven words really deserve the awful reputation they’ve earned in the past few decades.