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Lavina Henry Books Mary Marcus

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Novels by Mary Marcus


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Husband Gone To The Wolves

It’s pilot season here in Los Angeles. If you are married to an editor who isn’t working on something else, that often means, he or she will be gone for seven to nine weeks seven days a week 15 hours a day (not counting the commute) and you will feel like there’s a war going on. Or the spouse has sailed off 18th Century style in a boat with fellow sailors, lime juice to prevent scurvy, and perhaps Captain Bly at the helm. It’s not a pretty sight, once it gets going. My husband who has the stamina of five horses, two oxen and eight goats, loves these death marches. Me, I wouldn’t last half an hour. I visited him once years ago in one of his cutting rooms during pilot season because I hadn’t seen him in a few days. He was happily at the helm of the Avid, arms out like a concert pianist, with a frazzled writer/producer nearby, running the scene forward, backward, sideways. He hadn’t slept in a couple of days and the bags under his eyes looked like suitcases. But he was happy as a clam. (Have you ever wondered how a clam feels happiness? Let me be the first to say, this is the first time I have wondered….) That’s the thing editors do: they run the scene (any scene, in real life or in screen time) forward, backwards, sideways, and they try different music and they jump cut. This is, for better or worse, their approach to reality. To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower,...

Pet Camp

We were playing around with the idea of taking a trip without Henry. Doggy day care is everywhere in the big cities. Every time you turn around in LA, there’s a doggy day care or a Gentleman’s Club, two such places in my neighborhood share the same building with different entrances. Passing by, I always wonder if someone wasn’t paying attention and walked into the Silver Reign rather than the Wag’s Club, could a whole life change within the course of this error? I’m guessing yes! But Henry because he still has his you-know-what’s isn’t welcome at the Wag’s Club or most doggy day care places. So when I heard about this camp out in the country outside LA, a place described to me as “summer camp for dogs,” I decided to check the place out. It’s so exclusive you need an appointment for the evaluation. And for ten dollars more a day, Henry with his you-know-what’s would be welcome. Provided he passed the entrance exam. “It sounds like the interview for nursery school,” I told my husband. “Will you go with us?” “OK, just so we agree we’re not going to leave him there, just check the place out.” I adored camp the only summer we had enough money to send me there. I was the youngest camper—eight years old—and I got to stay there for two months. I fished, I took nature walks, nobody guilt tripped or terrorized me. I slept in a cool cabin with nine other girls so I wasn’t afraid of the dark. It was an utter contrast to regular life, back in Shreveport,...

Screaming at Robots

There’s a good chance that if you have left your house, talked on the phone or used the computer in the last twenty-four, you’ve been asked to rate your experience about the experience. Feedback. It’s a hungry world out there with big brother and big biz walking hand in hand—not for the first time–but in a way that because of the internet and the instantaneous nature of the modern experience here in the developed world, is unique and mind bending, and now, totally pervasive. We take it in with our daily bread, our morning coffee, as we read the newspaper, the newsfeed, or feed our pets. Most chillingly of all, is now the reading of books, which once at least pretended to feed our minds, is now a mercantile experience symbolized by stars on Amazon. Rate this experience! On a scale of one to five, have the previous two paragraphs given you anything to think about? On a scale of one to ten how would rate what you’ve just read? Scary? Thought provoking? Somewhat interesting? Slightly interesting? Boring in places, but not in others? Heard that before? Thought that before? Overwritten? Underwritten? Don’t care? Non-applicable? Won’t you please shut up! At the same time that we are being watched by cameras doing everything from taking cash from a machine, to standing in a crowded elevator, to entering an office building, standing on a street corner, walking past a school yard—never mind the rigmarole we go through at the airports—we are expected to endorse what’s happening to us. Like us on Facebook. Yelp about us. But whatever you do, even...