how the modern-day book scene is more like Homer's
My eleven-year old self assumed as a matter of course that by the time I was a "grown-up" I'd have published several books. In dark times, I've summoned up her spirit to belabor me because that's not the case. Would she have been content with the mere handful of poems, essays, book reviews, one or two academic articles, and hundreds of blog posts published?
I appeal to her mercy: things are different now. She'd never heard of the Internet--makes me sound like a dinosaur, and I'm only in my thirties! Even aside from the book-like nature of a good blog, the world of books has changed.
do more of what you love
Moving out of gratitude... Right before Thanksgiving I completed a 100-day practice of discipline, about which I'll say more soon. Most crucially, it was a vehicle for me to really privilege my sleep and to establish a sine-qua-non morning routine.
I'm preparing to start another on the Solstice, so I'm reflecting on the experience in order to decide what to undertake for those 100 days. One hundred days to build something meaningful! Grand, right? Something meaningful. Exploration of life purpose. Something I've been neglecting and would like to do more of is writing book reviews.
Here's one for this week, and maybe a regular stream of them starting on the Solstice. Let's see how it goes.
--by Hazrat Inayat Khan, and by Robert Greene
Two books, both titled Mastery. One was written recently, by an American author in his 50s. The other (which I can't find anywhere in the format I own) was written by an Indian Sufi who died in 1926, before he even made 50 years old. One would be classed as "personal development." The other would be shelved in the religious section.
One I've never owned but have borrowed from the library both as audio and print books. The other, I've carried around with me my whole adult life, through all the many places I've lived, starting well before the newer "Mastery" was even written.
It Really IS How You Look At It
There were so many things I wanted to write about today.
I wanted to talk about words, and specific words: hormesis, discrimination, that I expect to talk about over and over.
And about colors, and about sleep, and literary citizenship, and doing things for other people.
I spilled some water on my computer this morning. Everything seemed fine until two hours later, when the screen went dark.
But guess what? It was a good thing!
peacefully, in her sleep, 11/6/2014
As a person who talks to dead people and who has tended toward disembodiment herself, I have some different words to add to the celebration and mourning pouring out for Judith Kitchen --
- Wife, mother, grandmother.
- Cofounder, with her husband, poet Stan Sanvel Rubin, of the Rainier Writing Workshop (the MFA program from which I graduated).
- Writer in every genre, with a style both limpidly readable and fiercely intelligent.
- Superbly influential critic, mentor, editor
- Supernaturally gifted "matchmaker" of mentors and students, and so inaugurator of many valuable and productive literary relationships
- Founder of Ovenbird Press; champion of fine writing in a changing literary culture
- Someone who never suffered folly gladly, but who never made a fool out of anyone
"there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." (Hamlet, Shakespeare)
I create this to be a writer-friendly and writing-friendly blog. I hold space for interest in writers and what they write, and in all aspects of the writerly life. And from the get-go, I intend this to be a writer-positive blog.
I run into the same challenges as any other writer. And rather than commiserate-commensurate, I take the above-mentioned advice from Shakespeare and reframe--how am I looking at it? Can a challenge be exciting instead of disheartening? YES!
"in tune with the Infinite, in rhythm with the Finite"
- A cool thing about this website: check out my calendar page, where can be found Sufi events in Tucson and online, literary events, and more.
It's natural, almost cliche', for a writer to be drawn to Sufism. For most of us in the West, "Sufism" means Rumi and Hafiz, two poets of ecstasy and beauty. I've loved those poets since my childhood too, but I was also lucky enough to grow up in a house with books by Idries Shah and Hazrat Inayat Khan among other Sufi thinkers. And I'm a Greek geek of all things etymological, so I was quite young when I recognized that "sufi" is a Semitic pronunciation of "sophia" and allied words--that this is a wisdom religion, forged at a time when there was crosss-pollination with the Greek-speaking world.