Kairos

This blog will cover ideas, questions, news items, research, speculations on writing, art, creative process, and the life and troubles of the writer—historical and contemporary. Kairos means the moment. The moment when all is revealed. The moment when we are connected to the cosmic as well as to the trash that has yet to be taken out. The moment, I think, nearly always escapes us. Which is why we are so in love with it. Yesterday’s moment. Tomorrow’s moment. Right now.

Repetition or Renewal?

The New Year seems to bring with it both a sense of dissatisfaction and sometimes an urge to do better this time around.  But we’re creatures of habit, doing almost everything the same way every day, which can lead to seeing things the same way and thinking of things the same way. As creators, such repetition can be deadly. Writers and artists are told not to get fancy about waiting for inspiration. Just show up. Go to work every day with your proverbial lunch bucket and put in the hours. … [Read more...]

Tell Me a Story

Most people associate Christmas with a religious festival sacred to Christians, a family food-stuffing contest, or a winter fest we indulge in to keep shopkeepers and booze-makers happy. But what about a festival wherein we share all the most important kinds of stories we can think of? Like the family stories of the past year we share with relatives and friends. We have the Grand Elf of materialism, Santa, coming out of his Arctic refuge to present children everywhere with toys. A story that … [Read more...]

Writers and Their Bars

It’s part of the common perception of writers that they all have their favorite bars and pubs, places where they meet other writers and where they allow themselves to let it all out. Maybe after hours of solitary, focused labor over a computer. The mystique of writers—unlike whatever mystique civil servants, physicians, or company executives have, as an illustration—demands that they drink and suffer and both annoy and astonish everyone else in equivalent amounts. You can take tours in Paris and … [Read more...]

Rituals

The other day I went to pick wild blueberries with my sweetheart Nancy and our three year old daughter on Dakota Ridge on the Sunshine Coast.  It’s a couple of thousand feet up and more and on that day free of other visitors, though the sun blazed in a clear September sky.  We started at the place with the huts reserved for crosscountry skiing and walked on one of a number of trails, accompanied by clouds of mosquitoes and deer flies. The air was dry, and no sounds other than insect … [Read more...]

Addiction

It’s almost a cliché to suggest that writers and artists tend to be drunks or drug addicts. We know the stories about Hemingway, Faulkner, Scott Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Algren, James Jones, Dylan Thomas, Kingsley Amis, William Burroughs, Capote, Cheever…the list goes on and on. Artists too—Pollock, DeKooning, Warhol, and Basquiat come to mind. In film examples, the movie Leaving Las Vegas describes the sordid dissolution of a Hollywood scriptwriter. There have been many theories about why the … [Read more...]

A New Kind of Imagination

Those shocked by the recent London riots probably still think about England as a bastion of order and good rule, myths that died with Thatcherism in the 1980s.  But at the heart of such riots and our response to them is imagination. How do we imagine the world? How do we imagine our selves and our future?  Such questions intersect with what literature does, so let’s look at the situation more closely. First of all, you can find out more about the causes of the riots here at Global … [Read more...]

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