a journal of observations, obsessions and inspirations

musings on the artist's life

Posted in: Writing

Playing with writing

Novelists have the luxury of leading us down the neural pathways of a character’s mind, allowing us to wander the by-ways, stopping at every scenic overlook on our way to Casterbridge, Casablanca, Mordor, Starkfield, the Land of Oz, the epoch of belief, the heart of darkness. We laugh, we cry; we suffer, sympathize and triumph with the characters in a novel as the author lets us in – leisurely, tangentially,[…]

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Posted in: Writing

Questioning art, words and form

How do words become art? When does a story turn into literature? Can we view a checklist of the qualifications and figure it out? This is literature, this is not, this might be… I’m not sure how I would begin to define, let alone get a whole bunch of people to agree on, the parameters. What if we started with a simpler question, something like What is art? A painter[…]

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Posted in: Writing

What you know and who you are

Write what you know, they say. We always answer back: But what about this one, or that one who didn’t exactly know, if you know what I mean—I mean, what about In Cold Blood? How about Philip K. Dick, whose classic novel was made into a film called Blade Runner? Peter Robb wrote a detailed biography of someone he’d never met, based on almost no information about his subject’s life.[…]

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Posted in: Writing

The art of delay – procrastination as a means to an end

In our hurry-up, gotta-have-it, don’t-waste-a-minute world where productivity is the holy grail and idleness is the biggest loser, missing a deadline looms larger than original sin. All the excuses in the world cannot expiate the offender. It doesn’t matter how clever, intriguing, original, bizarre or, even in the end, true the excuse may be, the offense is never fully forgiven. The offendee can righteously shrug a shoulder, wave a hand[…]

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Posted in: Travel, Writing

Whispers From the Other Side of the World

Under slightly more than half a moon, the curve of a bay and a silhouette of rooflines emerge though blue-black-blue darkness. Silence is thick. Only a few stars remain visible with moonset still an hour away. The cool of night’s transition into morning feels heavy on my skin like a veil of fog, though there is none. But the arrival of the sun will transform the island. “Whatever you do,”[…]

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Posted in: Creativity, Photography

Ignoring the rules

I can get pretty wound up with everything I’m juggling and, every now and then, I need a remedial lesson in breaking through walls and trusting my instincts. Here’s one of those from a few years back, a week-long reminder: There’s an indulgence in letting oneself go, an indulgence we don’t often given in to. Can I creep closer to that edge between reality and madness, like some of the[…]

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