Ice is 87 Years Old

Even if your fridge makes ice or you use ice trays, at some point, you’ve bought a bag of ice.

Back in the day, they delivered ice. Back in the day, you had to have it delivered.

The ice trucks started rolling through the streets of New York in 1827 selling blocks of ice from which people would get chunks for their cocktails using an icepick.

The Victoria

Ten years later, newlyweds Edgar and Virginia Poe arrived in New York for their first period of residence there. This first time wasn’t all bright lights and big city. Not only because gas lights in homes weren’t common at all yet even in New York City but because after what I feel was his wildly successful “Balloon Hoax” that paid for room & board for Edgar and his wife before she’d even stepped off the boat Edgar’s career sort of, well, ran out of hot air.


I have this vision in my head of Edgar walking the streets, wondering what would become of him, Virginia, and their cat … watching enviously as the ice delivery boy carried luxurious blocks of frozen decadence into homes of more well-to-do families. On a good night, Eddie brought home some molasses to his “wifey” to spread on her toast.

The great thing about Virginia … she would then praise him like he was a CEO and I think we all realize that was all that kept him going during such periods.

All that to say ice isn’t 100 years old. Not even 90. Dang, right?

Posted in Edgar Allan Poe | Tagged ,

Anonymous is Wrong

As nit-picky as I am about books, eBooks, movies, etc. I believe I stand alone in excusing Anonymous of any fault— enjoying it completely and without shame. While, this morning, watching it for the 96th time I finally noticed something about which I could not remain silent. Queen Elizabeth asks young Edward de Vere, author of William Shakespeare‘s Midsummer Night’s Dream, to:

QE: Compose a poem

EV: Now?

QE: Yes, now.

EV: On what subject?

QE: Truth.

And so he, Edward/William, composes a poem on Truth.

Or does he? If so, is it … good? Bad … right … wrong?

In the forthcoming EAP Manual: The Ratiocination of Style, I am compiling and arranging all of Poe’s thoughts and such on writing from his essays, tales, prefaces, marginalia, pinikadia and correspondence.

I am not sure if Poe would have lectured Queen Elizabeth on the unsuitability of poetry to convey or discuss truth. He may very well have composed and recited some scathing commentary on her literary faux pas, however. This, of course, would result in his execution or imprisonment rather than a lonely death by mysterious causes. But, then, the causes may very well have been inspired by this same behavior, if I’m not mistaken.

Poe believed Poetry to be the best method for, among other things, conveying Beauty. Truth was the domain of prose. So there you have it: lesson one.

Stay tuned.


Posted in Beauty, Criticism, EAP Manual, Edgar Allan Poe, Manual of Style, Poetry, Ratiocination of Style, Truth, Writing | Tagged , , , ,

Plot versus Story

In the recent Best & Worst of 2013 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Dennis Lehane wrote of Elmore Leonard,

“The reason Hollywood usually got it wrong when adapting Elmore Leonard was because they mistook plot for story. … All Leonard asked of plot was that it be a serviceable vehicle, but the journey and the [characters] who took it—i.e., the story—that was everything.”

I think Poe would have appreciated someone recognizing the difference.

Posted in Criticism, Edgar Allan Poe, Writing | Tagged , ,

For the Love of Poe trivia quiz #1

Posted in Edgar Allan Poe, Trivia | Tagged ,

MacInCloud Saves My Life

I’ve been agonizing over my lost iMac (see: Descent into the Divorce Maelström) because I was so excited to have iBooks Author. Once I initially had the iMac, I was still bummed because I didn’t have anything to test anything on. So, after separating, moving out, etc. I had to now buy both again, starting over. But then I learned that Mavericks would have iBooks so all I’d need to do is buy a new Mac but that be expensive, yo. So I got an inexpensive H-P at the local pawn shop to at least get some work done.

Then I discovered MacInCloud.

It’s like a combination of Google Docs (or Google Drive) and the Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s like the latter in that it provides Apple Software via subscription and sorta like the former in that you can access it in your browser.

This means I can get just the iPad for testing and to be online at home without cable or other internet service so I win all around. I got a great Black Friday deal on the iPad. Here are my humble specs:

  • iPad Mini
  • NO retina
  • Sprint cellular

The good:

  • 1 GB service is $14.99/month with no contract
  • $50 off for Black Friday Goodness

The great:

  • 2 GB service is $15/month with no contract so I got that
  • Another $20 off for applying for a Best Buy card (I got the same deal on my Kindle)

The icky:

  • They only had them in white
  • Service at home is slow and low (but WAY better than nothing and it doesn’t drop)
  • No student discount

At present, I’m using MacInCloud it in Chrome and it is really slow. That might be because of my location. I also plan to try it on the iPad which, if it works, will rock my world.

Now, a few moments later, I’m using the “popup” access thingy on the desktop as opposed to the browser. It is still not as fast as a real desktop but much faster than using the browser which is a big relief. Both methods use Remote DeskTop as opposed to Google‘s full/native browserness and Adobe‘s full on-your-desktopness.

All of this is for a more interactive, multimedia iBooks experience. Some of the projects will be only iBooks but some will have exact duplicate iBook versions, and still others will have an “enhanced” iBook version.

I did get a student discount on the MacInCloud subscription so for the month it is $14 instead of $20. Yay for me.

Posted in eBooks, Edgar Allan Poe, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blood in the Ink Pot

When I finally produce, write, and direct my Poe biopic, the soundtrack has already been prepared: Blood on the Dance Floor by Michael Jackson.

Posted in Edgar Allan Poe | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Inspiration: It Can Be Done

I’ve been working on tons of things like this but … I get discouraged. Only a couple have made it to the blog but let me just tell you how inspiring Shakespeare’s Words is!

Click for 1261 x 928

Click for 1261 x 928

The above is the first one I found while trying to find out, exactly, where in Romeo & Juliet there is a funeral scene. If you’re wondering as well, there isn’t. A composer and writer added the scene in 1750. Both Elizabeth Arnold and, her daughter, Eliza Arnold (Edgar Allan Poe’s grandmother and mother, respectively) had, among their first parts, roles in this scene.

Click for 1335 x 954

Click for 1335 x 954

For your enjoyment and edification are Hamlet, above, and Macbeth, below. Can’t follow the game without a program.

Click for 921 x 651

Click for 921 x 651

Thanks again to Shakespeare’s Words — a most awesome site!

Posted in Edgar Allan Poe, Historical Research, Images, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments