In the summer of 2018, I pulled my copy of Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems, American Places from the bookcase next to my desk. Continue reading Good Poems
A rudimentary form of Ignatian Spirituality has become an important part of my life. I practiced it daily as I wrote Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ. I share the ‘Gethsemane’ sequence with you on this solemn day when billions of people around the world commemorate the final meal of Jesus, called the Christ.
Tomorrow, I will share the ‘Passion’ sequence as a downloadable PDF
Every morning, I look forward to Garrison Keillor’s daily offering in his Writer’s Almanac. His five-minute musing leaves me intellectually satisfied and always a bit brighter about something. I find this morning’s offering particularly useful to me and others with an inclination to write. Continue reading Advice
“Read with a pen, pencil, or highlighter in hand, marking in the book or taking notes on paper. The idea that books should not be written in is an unfortunate holdover from grade school, a canard rooted in a misunderstanding of what makes a book valuable. The true worth of books is in their words and ideas, not their pristine pages.”
Karen Swallow Prior
“The Good Reader”
Plough Quarterly, Winter 2019 Continue reading Reading
I’ve not read Mary Oliver’s 1984 Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poems American Primitive. Ms. Oliver is often compared to Emily Dickinson and her work frequently focuses on the natural world. In 2016, I read her collection of essays Upstream in which she reflects on her willingness to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of nature and the world of literature. Even though I am an admittedly slow reader, I believe I ‘rushed’ through that first reading for it left no impression on me. Continue reading Observe with Passion
Last January, I announced that I had stepped away from social media. The act was monumental and enabled me to break down the resistance that has plagued me for four years since we published Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ in 2014. In January 2018, I began work on a new manuscript, inspired in a small way by my friend Jessica Sayles who passed away in December 2017. Continue reading Working Manuscript
It is noon. Time to break for lunch, which consists of a bag of mackerel and a dill pickle. I have added 1,500 words to my new novel-in-progress, which I started at the beginning of the month. With a single day left in January, I will be over 10,000 words into this manuscript when I shut down tomorrow afternoon. I have eliminated resistance. Continue reading Defeating Resistance
As we approach the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea, I reminisce on my personal experience in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Winter Olympic Games. During the two years I worked on The Hamsa, I spent much of the time ‘living’ the Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Lake Placid and Garmisch-Partenkirchen with my protagonist, Bronisław Czech, a Polish Olympic skier and jumper who died of typhoid fever in Auschwitz in 1944.
Times have changed
During those early games – the 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition of winter games – television, marketing and materialism were not synonymous with the Olympic Games. Men and women participated for the sole purpose of the joy they received from competing on an international level in activities they loved. Performance enhancement was not a part of the formula to win at all costs. Personal fame and glory was secondary at best to the honor of representing one’s country on the world’s greatest athletic stage.
2,800 athletes will compete in February’s games, approximately 240 will represent the United States. The U.S. team is nearly as large as the total number of athletes – 252 – who represented the 17 countries that participated in the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY. The Lake Placid Olympic Stadium had a total capacity of 7,475. That is not large enough to accommodate just the athletes, their support staff, and the media that will converge upon Pyeongchang for two weeks.
If you have a desire to experience sport for the pure joy of the game, I invite you to ‘live’ three Winter Olympic Games with Bronisław Czech in The Hamsa.