Tag Archives: art

Listening for Inspiration

The ability to listen is a skill we are honing. … Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite—getting something down. The directions are important here. If we are trying to think something up, we are straining to reach for something that’s just beyond our grasp, “up there, in the stratosphere, […]

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Art and Fellowship

Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing. Every great record or novel or comic book convenes the first meeting of a fan club whose membership stands forever […]

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Short Saturday: Best Seller Versus Literary Staying Power

I’ve had more than one occasion to look up best-seller lists from decades past, often when I’m researching for this blog. I’ve read my share of books (and my mother read a lot before me, so those books were around the house when I was growing up), but … I haven’t always read the year’s best […]

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Inspiration Is for Everybody, Even Real Writers

A few weeks ago I saw this on Twitter—“Inspiration is for amateurs. Real writers write.”—and (as we say in the South) it just about made me lose my religion. Meaning it made me so furious I ranted about it on Facebook. What in the world is this person talking about? And what do ridiculous pronouncements like […]

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Short Saturday: “Every Line Has to Argue For Its Existence”

Time magazine recently ran an article called “Sting’s Shipyard Serenade”* that I thought had an interesting line. Here’s the set-up: As the superstar front man of the Police, Sting wrote nearly every song on the band’s five hit albums from 1978 to 1983. For the next two decades, as a solo artist, he issued seven […]

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Short Saturday: Books on the Street

Because sometimes you just need to have a little visual stimulation, here’s a collection of photographs of street art and murals from around the world … all on the theme of books and reading. As the person who collected them notes, these murals all show traditional books … no electronic devices. Flavorwire also has a […]

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Short Saturday: Inspiration for Creatives

Many of us are still all caught up in winter’s last gasp, so perhaps a little inspiration is what we all need to keep going. A few months ago I stumbled on a post from the Zen Pencils website—a weekly cartoon strip featuring inspirational quotes. “Buy the ticket,” Hunter S. Thompson tells us. “Take the […]

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My Favorite Book v. 2013

I read thirty-three* books for pleasure in 2012—and at the end of the year I boiled it all down to One Favorite Book, difficult though that was. I read fifty-four in 2013, and most of them were titles I’d happily recommend, for one reason or another. I blogged about some—Life After Life; The Best of […]

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Short Saturday: A Virtuous Woman

I’m making a suggested reading list for a well-educated, well-read friend who has never been able to “get in” to fiction … but has declared her desire to do so. I’ve already decided on the first book: A Virtuous Woman, by Kaye Gibbons. I’ve read it several times, though not in at least a decade. It […]

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The Book Bug Redux

In my Monday post I mentioned a little maxim the Boy (and I) heard repeatedly when he declared his intent to major in music. Don’t do it unless you can’t imagine doing anything else, they said. This got a lot of comment. One of my Facebook friends said, “This lesson can be applied to many […]

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