GRAFO: Chasing Hay, and Sundry Other Pursuits

WritingI wrote my first story when I was six years old. Except, that may be a lie. It’s possible that I wrote something before, but I can’t remember and, if I did, the lack of either a physical or mental record of its existence means that, for all practical purposes, it never existed. That’s incredibly humbling, is it not? Think of the vast multitudes of people who’ve lived, learned, loved, built, discovered, wept, rejoiced, and died about whom no memory remains. People often forget that history is the story of people, and not just of the neurotic, sociopathic, and idiosyncratic figures who sit enthroned in the human memory of history with a disproportionate amount of the credit for shaping its direction. In some small way, I can understand a little why some people invest so much time into achieving things to warrant people remembering them beyond death. In some cultures, more than one concept of death exists, with the final being, for some, the saddest of all: the moment when no one remains to remember you. Continue reading

STORY ARCS: Coming Full Circle in 2012, Part II

The view from my apartment on Capitol Hill. The Supreme Court and Capitol are just beyond those buildings.

The view from my apartment on Capitol Hill. The Supreme Court and Capitol are just beyond those buildings.

This is Part II of a two-part post. To read Part I, click here.

In many ways, my escape from ORU in spring of 2011 turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Over Fall Break in 2010, I had gone on a university-led educational trip to Washington, D.C., which included a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol by noted pseudo-historian David Barton, a tour of Fox News’ D.C. bureau facilitated by Kelly Wright, and, of course, a visit to the Family Research Council. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting. I’ll never forget standing with Barton in the middle of Statuary Hall awkwardly singing “God Bless America,” or seeing Charles Krauthammer whisk by in his wheelchair at Fox en route to pontificate for Special Report, or meeting Juan Williams a few days before he got fired from NPR. It’s just that the irony of it being called an “educational” trip didn’t dawn on me until some time later.

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Communique No. 3: Rowling, Pussy Riot, and Political “Dafuhs”

J. K. ROWLING AND THE WRITING LIFE

Actress Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her performance in “Misery.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Remember the movieĀ Misery? I confess I haven’t seen the whole thing and have only a basic idea of the plot. The most prominent thing that really comes to mind is that scene where Kathy Bates has the sledgehammer raised over head ready to bring it down on James Caan‘s ankles… yikes. For whatever reason, the gore of Lord of the Rings doesn’t bother me but stuff like that just makes my skin crawl.

Anyway, there’s another scene earlier in the movie where Bates’ character Annie, a nurse, is talking to Caan’s Paul, an author trapped in her home and injured from a car crash during a blizzard; she reveals to him that she is a huge fan of his books but, meekly (at first) and only after being coaxed by Paul, admits she isn’t the biggest fan of all the “swearing” from his characters. So awkward. Continue reading