Browsing "Reading"

For the Love of Books

A long time blogging friend posted this video on my Facebook Timeline tonight.
This video is over 15 minutes long but it makes a serious statement regarding the media we use on a daily basis.
I love my Kindle and my Iphone but there is something very personal about a book.
I dedicate this post to my 3 amazing daughters who have a love of books and reading that makes me proud.
I like to think Pamela and I had something to do with that love of the page.
Please, please, please take the time and watch this video.
I know. 15 minutes is a long time.
Think of how much time you spend with a book.
Think of the feel and smell of a book.
Visit my friend Ang @ Don’t Put Boogers in your neighbors Cereal
She is a grade school teacher with some amazing (and hysterical) insight into the life of her students and their growing little minds.
This video moved me in many ways as a lover of books.
I hope they never go away.
Books rule.

~m

Kindle Me

Kindle, ereader, Amazon.com

It’s very difficult to stay away from my little place of comfort but I wanted to
update the blog a bit.
I’m tired of looking at the ‘Closed for Winter’ picture in my previous post.
Since I last posted many things have happened
I got a 3G Kindle for my birthday (thanks to all that conspired on the Amazon gift cards!)
and I haven’t stopped reading.
I looooove it.
(‘love’ just didn’t have enough ‘O’s in it)
Can you read too much?
I don’t think so.
I have been writing but still not enough for me.
Gotta work on that.
And I am.
I am also now a member of a writing group in Boston.
We write, critique, laugh, talk about writing and drink funky smoothies in Davis Square, Cambridge.
It’s taken me a long, long time to join a writer’s group and this one is looking very promising.
I will hopefully get some honest opinions on my writing which is ultimately the reason I joined a group.
I posted tonight because I had close to 20 spam comments that went into moderation when they should
have been clobbered by Akismet.
Turns out my plugins needed some serious updating.
It’s all good now but I wanted to check in anyway.
God, I miss this place.
Thanks for still visiting me and I promise to at least post an update or two from time to time.
Until the next time,
Be safe, be well, be happy . . .

~m

The Memory Palace

Now and then someone comes into your life and changes it.
They improve and inspire it, smoothing out the rough edges and pushing you towards
your own personal creative and artistic dreams.
For me, the writer, I have been blessed to have met Mira Bartok, a gifted artist, musician and writer.
How we met is a long story and not fodder for this particular post.
Mira has a memoir coming out this January [1.11.11] called, The Memory Palace‘,
a story about growing up with a gifted, incredibly talented but schizophrenic mother.
I was honored that Mira sent me an ARC [advanced reader copy] of the book
which I devoured in less than a week.
Mira’s words and images took me on a journey I won’t soon forget.
For me, the memoir confirmed the idea and thought that, ‘Love conquers all.’
I refuse to give anything away except to say that this book literally took my breath away.
It’s about love and forgiveness, music and art, memory and the present tense, home and the homeless.
This book changed the way I feel about the many panhandlers I walk by every day in Boston,
a city filled with sad stories and sadder characters.
Watch the promo trailer and please, please, please leave a comment.
If you could pass the Youtube link on to several friends, I would be forever grateful.
When someone does something wonderful for my writing and creative life, I need to return the favor.
This book is incredible, as is Mira . . .
[and her husband, my dear friend and multi-talented colleague Doug Plavin]
just watch . . .

Jun 1, 2010 - Life, Personal, Reading, Time, Truth, writers, writing    Comments Off

Walking Away

Taking an unexpected break folks.
Not entirely sure why but I’m not writing much and reading even less these days.
Not a good combination.
This boy needs to rediscover his priorities.
When I have nothing to say, blogging is meaningless.
As a writer, you can only post so many videos before you admit you’re only
appeasing your internal editor.
(who thinks you suck)
Back soon.

M

Boooooooooks

Writer reading.
It is winter and a time of introspection and reflection.
I am in the midst of a badly needed reading spree.

On the list?

*Just finished: Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story
by Wally Lamb (Christmas gift from my girls. It was hysterical)

*Next: Raymond Carver: ‘A Writer’s Life’
by Carol Sklenicka (this years birthday gift from Pamela. I love Carver. Always have.)

*Next: (finishing)  The Hour I First Believed
by Wally Lamb (should have finished this long ago)

*Next: A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
(a used book from Hyannis, Cape Cod, July 2009, remember, Moe?)

*Next: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz
(always wanted to read this)

Is this a wish list?
Nope.
I have every book on the list (except for the Diaz which I plan on getting sometime tomorrow)

There’s more after that but I’m thinking that’s a pretty good start. Yes?
Might be a bit quieter than usual around here but hey, it’s winter.
Time to chill out.
And definitely time to read . . .

 

The October Game

It is that time of year.
This short story by Ray Bradbury was written in 1948.
Oddly enough, it seems like something you would see gracing the front pages of today’s morning paper.
I’ve decided to re-post this perennial favorite simply because it is horrifying.
Just to warn you, it’s a fairly gruesome tale.
Bradbury was so far ahead of his time.
If you haven’t read The October Game and would like to,
click on the picture above.
(or HERE)

2,592,000 seconds

time, blogging, trains, writing

I figured out that I spend approximately one month a year riding the train back and forth to Boston.

One month.

30 days.

720 hours.

43,200 minutes.

2,592,000 seconds.

I write, read, sleep, text message, eat, drink
and look out the slightly opaque windows and think.
I’ve been doing this for over 4 years and if it weren’t for my writing stuff and my
Ipod Nano (thank you M), I think I would have thrown in the towel years ago.

I will say that it endlessly fascinates me when I look back and read some of the things
I’ve written on the train; the original thought process with my cross outs and all.
It’s the true ‘me’ that not too many people see.
Pamela and the girls have seen much of it and one other special friend
but my journals tend to get sequestered soon after they’re filled.

The journal I’m currently writing in has
Beginnings, mishaps & didgeridoos’, ‘Akubra’, ‘Communion’ and ‘Serenissima’.
The corrections and edits are actually quite funny in a way; silly things,
inconsequential explosions of neurons misfiring and my internal editor trying to patch it up.
It’s a literary ER of sorts going on in my mind 24/7.
Though I’m very proud of much of my work, there’s so very much more to do.
Tough pill to swallow when I look at the stacks of yellow legal pads & journals filled with my thoughts, blues and dreams.
I currently have 7-8 stories waiting to see the light of day.
It makes me sad because I just don’t have the time to devote to editing them and finishing them in the fashion they deserve.
When they’re ready, the will let me know.
I honestly think that what I’m trying to do here is keep myself sane as I think about those 2,592,000 seconds.
You know what my commute needs?
A 20 minute neck massage times 2; into the city and out.
Maybe a rub or three on the soles of the  feet on the way home.
Hey, a writer can dream, can’t he?

Die

I began reading the new Natalie Goldberg book  ‘Old Friend from Far Away’ a few days ago.
It’s a book custom-tailored for writers of memoir.
So far the book is quite good (like all of her books).
Page 14 has a prompt that I’ve decided to turn into a post.
The chapter is quite short:

“Die”
Tell me what you will miss when you die.

When I die there will be many things that I will miss.
This list went on for quite a few pages but I’ve chosen an abbreviated version for your perusal.
If I included food you’d be here for a few days.
I mostly chose things from the category ‘matters of the heart’.
Feel free to steal this as a ‘meme’.
For you writers visiting, it’s a wonderful exercise. Do it.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, it’s worth your time.
You can look at some of the things that really make your life worthwhile.
Here I go.

I will miss:

-Whispers in the dark
-Pamela’s eyes, voice, face and beautiful soul
-hearing the phrase, “I love you, Daddy,” whispered in my ear
-my three beautiful girls
-the sound of little footsteps coming down the stairs on Christmas morning
-my sister, my twin, the other part of my very soul
-Caitlin’s smile
-Ryan’s loveable way (and awesome jumpshot)
-Billy’s laugh
-All the people I truly love (if I’ve talked to you in the past year, consider yourself on this list)
-a warm and gentle rain
-the silent beauty of falling snow (yeah, I wrote that)
-the sound of surf at the Cape
-the smell of freshly cut grass in late spring
-stars (especially the constellation Orion, someday possibly the Southern Cross)
-my cats purring
-Cuban cigars
-Guinness (or any fairly decent dark beer like Porter or Stout)
-Makers’ Mark
-writing with a nice fountain pen on some fine quality paper
-the feeling of creating
-entering ‘the Zone’  (artists of all kinds know about this one)
-music (playing and listening)
-my piano
-weekend phone calls to a country far, far away with two incredibly special people
-memories of the Camp
-Bermuda
-the aroma of an apple pie baked by my grandmother from summer’s long ago
-Blue Cheese
-Bill Hicks, Denis Leary, Sam Kinnison, George Carlin, Lewis Black and Dave Chapelle
-sunsets
-reading
-most importantly, my blog

And yes, I will dearly miss sex and exceptional breasts.
I’m not a freak.
Truthfully, what will you miss?

MeMe

Saw this MEME at Moe’s and decided to throw my hat in the ring.
A few things about me;

1. Were you named after anyone? My father’s father: Michael
2. When was the last time you cried? Early December
3. What is your favourite lunch meat? Capicola (spicy ham)
4. Do you have kids? 3 girls that I am crazy in love with.
5. If you were another person would you be friends with you? Absolutely. I’m a great friend.
6. Do you use sarcasm a lot? All depends on who you ask.
7. Do you still have your tonsils? Yup, a few other body parts, too
8. Would you bungee jump? Nope. My lower back is already a whacky freeway of devastated nerves.
9. What is your favourite cereal? When I eat it, oatmeal. Not the microwave crap, the real deal
10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not always
11. Do you think you are strong?  Physically? Not so much, mentally? I’m a giant.
12. What is your favourite ice cream? Frozen Pudding (just like my twin sister Moe)
13. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their voice . . . then the eyes
14. Red or pink? Red
15. What is the least favourite thing about yourself? My teeth. They look fine but they really suck.
16. Who do you miss the most? My mom and dad. Mom died in 2005 and my dad hasn’t spoken a word in years. Alzheimers robs a family of everything.
17. What colour shoes are you wearing? Tan Eddie Bauer slippers
18. What was the last thing you ate? A cheeseburger
19. What are you listening to right now? Hannah talking.
20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Royal purple
21. Favourite smells? A fine cigar, Obsession (women’s cologne), pine, lavender, fresh basil and puppies
22. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? Pamela
23. Favourite sports to watch? Football and college basketball
24. Hair colour? what colour? I’m bald.
25. Eye colour? chocolate brown
26. Do you wear contacts? Used to. Not now.
27. Favourite food? Anything hot and spicy, anything that swims, mushrooms, prosciutto and good provolone
28. Scary movies or happy endings? Scary movies with really sad endings
29. Last movie you watched? The Dark Knight
30. What colour shirt are you wearing? a grey long sleeve t-shirt
31. Summer or winter? Absolutely Summer
32. Hugs or kisses? Both in total excess
33. Favourite desserts? Chocolate Mousse
34. I’m most likely to..
.   puff a cigar before I go to bed
35. I’m least likely to...   win the lottery tomorrow
36.What book are you reading now? The hour I first believed (Wally Lamb) / Problogger
37. What is on your mouse pad? Staples
38. What did you watch on television last night? No TV
39.Favourite sounds? My Taylor guitar (that I hardly ever play), a Steinway piano, my wife and daughters laughing, my new 8GB Nano, the purr of my 3 cats
40. Rolling Stones or The Beatles? Beatles. Great songs that will live forever.
41. What is the furtherest you’ve been from home? Honduras
42. Do you have a special talent?   Juggling. I suck but I can juggle. And I can play a song in two different keys at the same time. Yeah, freaky in a ‘Victor Borge’ kind of way
43. Where were you born? Worcester, Massachusetts

Feel free to ‘steal’ this one.
An obvious cheat post but what the hell.

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