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What Does Literature Do to You?

27 Jul
English: Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake ...

English: Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake River (1942) Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the National Park Service. (79-AAG-1) Français : Ansel Adams. Les Grands Tetons et la rivière Snake (1942). Parc National des Grands Tetons, Wyoming. Archives Nationales des USA, Archives du service des parcs nationaux. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spent some delicious time with a few hundred Ansel Adams photographs today. But, surprisingly, the most memorable moment came not in the form of an image but as one of Adams’s favorite quotes. It hit me head on:

“People say that what we’re seeking is the meaning of life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. What we seek is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel that rapture of being alive.”

Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

I started to wonder if this is the purpose of literature (and of all art), to send us to that place of rapture where we feel most alive? Adams’s photographs can do that.

Can a book, a poem? I would say “yes,” would you?

English: Ansel Adams: Half Dome, Apple Orchard...

English: Ansel Adams: Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite trees with snow on branches, April 1933. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

P.S. To be fair, “Moonrise, Hernandez,” a photo I saw again today, stops my heart every time I see it. I don’t think I can include it in this post without copyright infringement. Besides, looking at it over the Internet doesn’t do it justice. You can read Wikipedia’s fascinating account about the making of the photo here:,_Hernandez,_New_Mexico

If you ever see a print of this surreal photo in person, you’ll understand.

Apple vs Microsoft – What is a Writer to Do??

8 May

Just an hour ago, I clicked on the “purchase” button at the online Apple store, spending $1700+ dollars on a new MacBook Air. Hence the Apple logo, the insatiably voracious version of Pac Man.

Munch, munch, munch out of my budget…

Five minutes later, Continue reading

Dusting Bookshelves – A Poll

20 Apr

So I was primed for a long workday, but I happened to glance at my bookshelves—and realized I haven’t dusted them since the Cubs won the World Series.

stamps & bookshelves 008

Dusting the old folks…

It never pays to ID household shortcomings, because it is now noon. My bookshelves are dust-free, the carpets swept, and the HEPA air purifier filters changed. I also fired up the shop vac to suck a layer off the book tops, considering the growth at eye level was visible from five paces. 

My questions  to you? 

Guess I’ll be working late tonight after my son goes to bed…

Echoes Before Silence

16 Jan

Echo River

“Soon we had fashioned a rude boat,

and with lanterns affixed to the prow were ferrying tours across the smoky waters:

Styx, Lethe, Echo River, the host 

of wonders I had found. By slapping

the water with the flat of my paddle,

there comes a sound like the ringing of bells,

a mournful, hollow melody—waves lap-

ping and beating under the low stone arches.

The voice, too, will reproduce in myriad; Continue reading

A Writer Becomes An Orphan

18 Dec

On November 27, 2012 at 2:25pm, the man who called me “Bugsy” took his last gasp. I can’t really call it a breath. Continue reading

Can Fiction Writing Be Taught?

13 Jun

Writing is like sailing. Continue reading

A Banner Week for Women Writers – or Not?

12 Jun

I just posted this on the Dogpatch Writers Collective, but I thought I’d share this on my blog, too. The women at VIDA have their work cut out for them.

A Banner Week for Women Writers – or Not?.

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