Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Pull-Back

Not long ago I was talking on the phone with a friend who lives in Chicago. It was a long talk. It felt good.

When I hung up I thought of my life before I created a profile of myself, spread it around the internet, and then obsessed over its management. I thought of my life before I tried out e-books, before I tweeted and liked and commented. Heck, I thought of my life before I had a cell phone. I came to the cell phone late, when I was between my first and second year of graduate school, and I remember thinking then that it was a good thing I'd held off as long as I had; brain cancer would infect me late in life, if at all. 

That summer, the summer between my first and second year of graduate school, I sat under a tree and read Huckleberry Finn. I read it all day long. I'd skipped reading it in junior year of high school, thinking it wasn't necessary. That summer in Indiana I realized it was necessary, I needed to read Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn was awesome. This book is great, I remember thinking, and I remember now some other things: how fine the weather was then, not humid as people had been warning me, but warm and mild, like California spring at dusk; the feel of the pages between my fingers, the heft of the paperback edition; the near-complete lack of worry about what others were up to, it was only me, and I didn't need anyone to know what I was doing here. 

I no longer believe I need to make so much available to so many. I'll still tweet. I'm still on Facebook. My website is not going down. I may even post to this blog again some day. But I want to get back to that tree. I may not find it, but it's time to try.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Hungering for a tale of true empowerment"

"Calling all young writers: Write what you know. Cast aside these tired archetypes and let's tell a story that's never been told."

Read the full SF Chronicle article here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Favorite Sentence: Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary

" 'In time of peace prepare for war' has a deeper meaning than is commonly discerned; it means, not merely that all things earthly have an end--that change is the one immutable and eternal law--but that the soil of peace is thickly sown with the seeds of war and singularly suited to their germination and growth."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Favorite Sentence: Ania Ahlborn's Seed

"The screaming continued as they raced toward the girls' room, desperate to outrun one another, as if getting there first would prove who the better parent was."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Favorite Sentence: Stephen King's 11/22/63

"By committing suicide, Al had taken away the scholar's greatest weakness: calling hesitation research."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Favorite Sentence: Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire

" 'Speaking of novels,' I said, 'you remember we decided once, you, your husband and I, that Proust's rough masterpiece was a huge, ghoulish fairy tale, an asparagus dream, totally unconnected with any possible people in any historical France, a sexual travestissement and a colossal farce, the vocabulary of genius and its poetry, but no more, impossibly rude hostesses, please let me speak, and even ruder guests, mechanical Dostoevskian rows and Tolstoian nuances of snobbishness repeated and expanded to an unsufferable length, adorable seascapes, melting avenues, no, do not interrupt me, light and shade effects rivaling those of the greatest English poets, a flora of metaphors, described--by Cocteau, I think--as 'a mirage of suspended gardens,' and, I have not yet finished, an absurd, rubber-and-wire romance between a blond young blackguard (the fictitious Marcel), and an improbable jeune fille who has a pasted-on bosom, Vronski's (and Lyovin's) thick neck, and a cupid's buttocks for cheeks; but--and now let me finish sweetly--we were wrong, Sybil, we were wrong in denying our little beau tenebreux the capacity of evoking 'human interest': it is there, it is there--maybe a rather eighteenth-centuryish, or even seventeenth-centuryish, brand, but it is there.' " (pages 161 - 162)