8/4 Sherry Harris, A Time to Swill
8/11 Authors of The Fish That Got Away
8/18 Authors of Mutt Murders
8/25 Alyssa Maxwell, Murder at Wakehurst
8/21 Nancy Nau Sullivan
WWK Special Blogger
8/7 V. M. Burns-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
|Just a few of my many books on folklore and myths.|
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Please welcome Kaye George back to WWK. E. B. Davis
There’s a young drug addict who wanted to tell his side, and the people involved in the gay issues needed voices, too. I didn’t see any other way to tell this one.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The story of this photograph started off with an accident. I was watering the plants on my backyard deck, and I tripped and slopped water on the wooden boards. Suddenly there was a pretty little puddle at my feet. I spill stuff all the time when I'm gardening – dirt, mulch, compost. And since Mother Nature is not known for being overly fastidious, I don't bother cleaning it up.
So the puddle stayed. And it wasn't until I finished my chores and started back inside that I noticed it again. Only this time, it looked very different.
The angle of light was such that the sky overhead reflected in the still water like a mirror. The white clouds, green-gold new oak leaves, and slick black tree limbs were all backgrounded by a sky so clear and blue it looked freshly painted.
But this was no mirror, no flat oval of silvered glass. The water took an organic form, spiky at the edges, like a starburst. It shimmered with liquid grace, following rules of physics to arrange itself there. There was no design of mine in it. There was only this puddle, and the late afternoon sunshine, and the green spring bursting above it.
Soon the sun sank lower, changing the angle of light, and the puddle became a puddle once again. I am writing this post on another brilliant spring day, and I am tempted to try to replicate the effect. But I don't think I can. My intentions would get in the way.
Some artists are spectacularly good at getting out of the way of intention, Jackson Pollack being one of the best. His paintings incorporate fractal patterns typically found only in nature, patterns that at their deepest level cannot be ascertained by the human eye. We see only seemingly random drip and drops, splatters and splashes. And that's what most abstract work painted by humans looks like under the microscope too – a random mess. But Jackson's work, just like Nature's, has an underlying order. Spirals loop together into elegantly mathematical forms, graceful and precise.
I think of this process, the tapping of the underlying order in the chaos, whenever I sit down at the page. We writers are working with limited materials – in English, we have twenty-six letters and a smattering of punctuation marks at our disposal. You'd think we'd run out of interesting new combinations, that perhaps Shakespeare or Morrison or Dickinson would have used up all the really good patterns.
But no. New stories still abound. It's only natural. Our DNA works with only four nucleotides, and look at all the variety there. We writers haven't exhausted our twenty-six building blocks, not by a long shot.
So the next time you end up with a mess, whether wordy or watery, consider the beauty there ripe for the beholding. Perhaps like me, you'll find a rainbow in the ruin.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
I have a confession to make, and it’s embarrassing: Even though I have a master’s degree in library science, the bookshelves in my home lack even the most basic level of organization.
Adult titles and children’s picture books commingle on the same shelf. A biography of Theodore Roosevelt sits next to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Diary of Anne Frank shares space with a manga version of Hamlet. High school yearbooks, gardening guides, short story collections, classics. Several dictionaries and a thesaurus. They’re all there, scattered across the lovely custom bookcases that were my only true demand when we built our house.
When we moved in five years ago, the books went onto the shelves without a lot of thought. We’ll organize them later, we said. Well, it’s later, and we still haven’t found that spare weekend to impose order on the unruly shelves.
Usually this doesn’t bother me one bit, because I can almost always find the book I want with minimum searching. I picture it on the shelf—purple spine with white lettering, let’s say, about two-thirds of the way in on the shelf behind my favorite chair—and I walk right to it.
Except when I don’t.
This week, as I sat down to write this post, I had a different topic in mind. I wanted to refer to one of my writing reference books, so I went to the shelf where I know it should be (between a couple of young adult titles and one of two copies we own of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road—which for some reason are not shelved together). But it wasn’t there.
I scoured the shelf. No luck. So I checked the other most likely places—beside the bed and beside the bathtub. No luck. My system, such as it is, failed me.
So I’ll save my original topic for another day, once I find the book I’m searching for. In the meantime, how do you organize your bookshelves? What do you do when your organizational system fails you?
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Allan is giving away a free Kindle copy of his book. Please leave a comment for Allan--I will choose from those posting and reveal the winner's name tomorrow on the WWK marquee on the homepage. Good luck! It's a fun read. E. B. Davis