Studying Ralph Waldo Emerson in my junior year of high school had one of the most profound impacts on my thinking.

The copy of the collection of his essays which I bought with my allowance that summer is something I hope to never lose. I consulted it often through college and often thereafter. Still, when I stumble across one of his quotations, my mind goes on alert.


Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table – The New York Times

OutlookGraphic_BinocularsAn essay worth saving:

Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table – The New York Times.

I’m not a scientist, but I appreciate his attachment to physical things. Perhaps I shouldn’t feel so compelled to weed-out my “junk.”

Self-Publishing Tips & Tricks | Flag Tech Talk | Flagstaff Technical Lectures

I think I’ll drop in on this tomorrow night:

Self-Publishing Tips & Tricks | Flag Tech Talk | Flagstaff Technical Lectures.

I’m not sure if self-publishing, or some hybrid, is the future of the industry. But it’s always good to know what’s going on in an industry you’re part of (or would like to be part of).

It’s Not If. It’s When.

You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

Nick Hanauer, self-described Zillionaire

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014.html#ixzz3ZfixxzTg

The Growing Generational Divide

The joys and sorrows of the older generations serve as examples for us to learn from, to emulate or, perhaps even more useful, to avoid. As age segregation becomes more ingrained in our culture, what cycles will be repeated, what misconceptions will flourish?

Silas House via The Growing Generational Divide – NYTimes.com.

I hope that my writing will bridge this divide, at least for those who read.

Free Public Education Is What Made America Great

Today’s Des Moines Register contains an opinion piece with some important reminders from American history. Here’s something from our second President (one of the “founders” before holding that position):

“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it,” President John Adams declared in 1785. “There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it — not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”

Of particular note for my novel in progress: By 1918 everyone was required to complete elementary school (then defined as 8th grade).

via Candidates dangle tax money at home-school parents.

Remains From Lincoln’s Last Day – NYTimes.com

A subtheme of my novel has to do with the beauty of the Republican Party as the older members of my family grew up with it. Here’s why many of them clung to Republican Party membership for decades after it began to transform.

Remains From Lincoln’s Last Day – NYTimes.com.

Storytelling in literary fiction: let’s discuss | Nail Your Novel

Some things I liked about this post and will try to keep in mind:

  • “…engaging the reader, provoking curiosity, empathy, anxiety and other strong feelings are not ‘cheap tricks’.”
  • “Writing is self-taught, and this critical scrutiny is one of our most powerful learning tools. Whenever we read [I think she meant “write”], we should ask ‘does this work’.

Here’s the full, original post by Roz Morris: Storytelling in literary fiction: let’s discuss | Nail Your Novel.

The Cowardly Lion on the Golf Course

Cowardly Lion
The Cowardly Lion as illustrated by William Wallace Denslow (1900)

Yesterday, as I dribbled my ball down the fairway for the first six of eighteen holes, it came to me that I was behaving like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. I didn’t have the courage to hit into the ground on those fairway shots. Just thinking about the Cowardly Lion corrected my problem.

Women On 20s

I’m not sure how I feel about putting women on money. Interesting to contemplate. This isn’t a stamp; currency is a more rarefied company.

Regardless, the biographies collected in the “ballot” on this website are well worth reading: Women On 20s.