1. Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet from NYC. She began performing at the Bowery Poetry Club in Lower Manhattan at the ripe old age of 14. She is the founder of Project V.O.I.C.E. (Voice Outreach Into Creative Expression). Why am I telling you this? Because her performance at last year’s TED conference will amaze you and inspire you and maybe even remind you to soar. This piece led to two standing ovations and I wouldn’t doubt it if you jumped out of your chair at home to join the attendees, especially after the poem titled, “Point B, If I Should Have a Daughter.” Whether you have children or not, press play!
(If you don’t have time to watch the entire presentation, do yourself a favor and watch at least the first 4 minutes.)
2. Most of us don’t have gardens here in NYC, so we improvise the best way we can. We decorate our stoops instead. Happy Spring!
3. You’ve heard of the slow food movement? Using the same basic premise, Maura Kelly suggests we start a slow book movement. When you have time you’d normally be switching on the t.v. or trolling Facebook (again), why not pick up a classic? Read books that “took some time to write and will take some time to read, but will also stay with us longer than anything else.” In her article in The Atlantic, she makes a great case for the need for keeping literary classics alive by, among other things, “shaping our consciences and our identities. Strong narratives—from Moby-Dick to William Styron’s suicide memoir, Darkness Visible—help us develop empathy.”
I know many of your are involved in web reading challenges or book clubs. How do you feel about reading classic literature? Do you feel there is continued value in these works? Or do you prefer contemporary stories?
4. Speaking of slow books…I’ve finished the last major edit of my novel before it goes out into the world. As one final check, I decided to print out the entire thing – all 325 pages. Is the pagination correct? Did I write the character was born in 1930 on page 10, and then 1932 on page 15? Are there any plot point dead ends? Also, I wanted to do a continuous read-through – read it as a reader rather than a writer – as my legions of fans will do someday. 😛
So this is the first time I’d ever held the complete manuscript. It was a little overwhelming, having nearly a decade of early mornings and late nights and weekends in the coffee shop where everybody knows my name culminating into this tangible, heavy representation of all of that effort. It was also a little sad as the creation process is just about over and now it moves to the business process – trying to sell a manuscript. Then it’s no longer mine alone.
5. This week, I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. That sounds like the opening line from a Stephen King novel or Little Shop of Horrors. Because then everything goes horribly wrong.
Does your dentist use a tool that looks like a sophisticated water pick but is really a high-powered pressure cleaner that could be used to remove gum from a sidewalk? And it sounds like a cross between nails on a chalkboard and Darryl Hannah from the movie Splash? At one point the hygienist said, “Honey, are you okay?” I think a tear had escaped from my eye, but she never stopped power washing my teeth.
Meanwhile, to distract the patients from this torture device they have two forms of entertainment. One is muzak piped in overhead. (Now playing: Green Day’s Holiday. No kidding.) The other is a small t.v. screen hooked to the chair where they ran a continuous loop of Speed 2: Cruise Control. You really want to distract me? Have George Clooney clean my teeth.
I stumbled out into the mid-day sun with my gums bleeding and a migraine that wouldn’t quit.
Have a great weekend everyone! I’m off to Amsterdam soon. I’ll have lots to share when I get back.