Posts tagged ‘artist’s life’

Nov 30 2016

A Writer’s “Four Noble Truths”

I was on a retreat recently, hosted by the Friends of Silence, which was founded by the writer Nan Merrill. Nan passed away a few years ago, and her legacy — the Friends of Silence newsletter — has been inherited by residents of the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center. As a tribute to Nan, Rolling Ridge has built a cabin to house her library, and in that library one can sit in Nan’s rocking chair, and…

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Nov 13 2016
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Imagination: The Writer’s Call

There is a mystery about sitting down to write, an alternate awareness, of a world where imagination and memory, and a mysterious knowing merge, indistinguishable.  A palette of our experience, and perhaps, if Carl Jung is right, the experience of everyone who’s ever lived. How did I know, for instance, when I wrote my story, “The Call of the Dove” (Cricket Magazine, volume 21, number 9, May 1994) how it felt to be a young…

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Jul 05 2013

Memoir Writing: the Deep Truth

Recently, the English writer Hilary Mantel wrote this about memoirs: “It’s hard for beginners to accept that unmediated truth often sounds unlikely and unconvincing.  If other people are to care about your life, art must intervene.  The writer has to negotiate with her memories, and with her reader, and find a way, without interrupting the flow, to caution that this cannot be a true record: this is a version, seen from a single viewpoint.  But…

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Jan 25 2013
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A Writer’s Sacred Duty

One of the reasons I founded the Center for Creative Writing was to provide aspiring writers with an awareness of artistic endeavor as a sacred call, a holy vocation, a divine mission to a people starved for wisdom.  Recently I came across this quote in a book called Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet by theologian Matthew Fox. All artists have to let go of the modern world’s silly and reductionist notions that…

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Dec 21 2012
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What Are You Birthing?

What Are You Birthing?

Today, December 21st, marks the end of the Mayan calendar. Tomorrow, December 22nd, is Birth 2012, “an unstoppable global effort to create systemic changes in all sectors of society.” Writers can make their own unique contribution to the shift in consciousness.  As part of the world-wide birthday celebrations tomorrow, you can publicly declare your commitment to write something that moves us all “another step toward a peaceful and sustainable world.” Watch evolutionist Barbara Marx Hubbard…

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Oct 19 2012
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The Pains of Publication

Recently I’ve had two pieces accepted for publication — I’ve mentioned these in other blogs.  (See September 14th and September 21st.) The word ‘publish’ means ‘to make public.’  Because we live in such a results-oriented culture, a writer can be seduced into thinking that the act of making the work public is the important thing, the critical thing, the thing without which a writer can’t go on, and the frustrations of not being able to…

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Sep 14 2012
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Words Wording into the World

Sunday, September 16th is my birthday. To celebrate, I’ll share with you here a short piece I wrote which is going to be published in the November/December print issue of Orion magazine, in the “Place Where You Live” feature. I live on Herring Creek, in Tall Timbers, Maryland, where giant pines pierce the clouds with sharp needle fingers.  Where massive oaks shoot bark-covered rockets up into the sky.  Tall Timbers.  A town perpetually growing the…

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Aug 31 2012
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Writers Are What They Read

This is no new insight, but it does bear repeating:  if you aspire to write well, you must fill your mind with the very best writing. Nutrition provides a good metaphor.  If you want to be healthy, you must eat well.  You must put into your body only the best food. If you want your mind and imagination to remain healthy, you must feed it with the best writing you can find.  This is especially…

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