Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why waste energy?

I just got angry at the internet.

And I mean really angry. So angry I swore loudly, and I try very hard not to swear ever.

So angry my heart rate shot up, and is still up now, ten to fifteen minutes later. It's racing in my chest, as if I just went cliff diving or nearly got bitten by a rabid dog.

I let a webpage do this to me. Not the content of a webpage either. Simply the inefficient workings of a search function. I became spitting mad over poor web design.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What use are stories?

Last August, I had the singular pleasure of reading, for the first time, a few essays by Brian Doyle, as part of a class about essays. At the end of that class, I had another great pleasure and privilege: that of sitting in the room during a phone interview with Brian Doyle himself. Here are my notes:

"The reason that poetry is in the end the greatest literary art is that it’s closest to music. It can be easily abused. There’s more bad poetry than anything else.

To say something big in a small space is a great virtue.

Part of our training as writers is to write poorly, you have to learn the craft by learning what not to do.

A lot of early writing is about the self, it’s kind of self absorbed—maturity as a writer involves looking at the glory and beauty in other things.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What immortal hand or eye?

I'd never thought of fireworks and William Blake as things that go together, but watching the fireworks on Saturday, I couldn't get this stanza out of my head:

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Happy Independence, America. And keep on burning, tyger bright.