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Showing posts from April, 2010

A Poor Excuse For a Blog Post

In the land of Synopsis Delirium

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Why are synopses so hard to write? I mean, it's just a book condensed down to a few paragraphs. A few paragraphs . . . right. Ninety-thousand words of action, drama, romance, and dialogue on one page. No wonder I'm ripping my hair out.
Here's what I'm going to do instead of writing myself into circles, I am going to ask myself the following questions. What is the overall theme of this book? Who are the main characters? What is the main event of each chapter? What is the ending? There. Synopsis.
On the lighter side of things, here is a picture of my beautiful little Julia. Her hair is a bit messy, but that's only because she was running around all night taking pictures of her ponies and dolls. That's serious work, folks!
Anyone else out there writing their synopsis or query right now? What tips do you have? Also, do you have a certain song that could be used in a filmed version of your book? Happy Friday!

Completely Forced Post From Friends Who Are Picture Pushers

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Talk about peer pressure! This is all you get peeps. Here's my sweet Henry, up on the cat tower. That's an easel in the corner.
Julia put stickers on the window so that Prince Phillip won't miss our house if he should happen to ride by on that white horse of his.

You see, just a nice little neighborhood outside. No red lights, no cops racing by . . .
Henry wants me to just go and write now. Please.


My front porch. See, now I'm getting generous. Some serious ass kissing must be administered later.

This wreath is home to a family of finches who just came back yesterday after I played piano. I was so happy! It's so much fun to watch them hatch.


And that's it . . . or is it? Mwahahahahahahahahahaha.

Look Through Any Window . . . well, except mine

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Tom asked to see people's window views. Since mine is a boring neighborhood, I thought I'd show the scene I painted for my kitchen window. It has some serious wear from being rolled up and down every day. And by the way, it was my little joke to cram Rome all together like that.


Interesting Fortune

I usually don't do these things, but I saw a free three-card tarot reading online and this is what it gave me.

Past- Withholding knowledge or sources. A manipulator or fraud. Superficial show of knowledge. One playing the role of haughty queen (me??). Ignorance. Egoism. Waste of talent. Hollow existence.

Present- Fluctuating economic fortune. Balancing act. Tricky launch of new project. Qualms. Risky venture. Timing and dexterity. Shadowy scene and cunning characters. Juggling resources. Thinking on your feet. Agility needed to sail high seas. Uncanny instinct. Crafty business partner. A vague, even peculiar situation that keeps one guessing on their toes. The dance of opposites. Ambiguity.

Future- Hope. Inspiration. Guiding star. Moment of grace and peace. Freedom. Early signs of life taking on new pattern. Freedom after trials. Chance for escape. First sign of dawn. Release. Self-reliance. Clever, inspired ideas. Listening for direction. A quickenin…

Wednesday Trip Through Time

Today is going to be a lazy, just-post-a-video day. Here are some clips that will walk you through history, and hopefully, help you to forget all those modern troubles. Put away your cell phone and other gadgets, and try, try to forget that you are sitting at a computer.
Here is an amazing clip filmed by Thomas Edison in New York, 1901. You have to watch it all the way through because something really funny happens!



Here's an old Chevy commercial from the 1940's. Careful! That's Grandma's Present.


This one is really long, so watch it at will. I liked it because it reminded me of all those films we had to watch in grade school. At least every time the reel would flip out and the teacher had to loop it back into the projector. I miss that old whirring sound of the film flipping past the flickering light. Good times.


I gotta give you some 70's. The O'Jays with Love Train. OMG, the dancing in here is priceless—couldn't stop laughing! I actually reall…

Perspective

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Rothko suggested by Talli


This is going to be a tough topic for me. Let's start with yesterday, I showed you the beautiful painting by Jenkins. It was abstract, which means each individual will perceive it in their own separate way. Whether or not Jenkins had a certain theme in mind doesn't matter. Part of an artist's life is accepting the fact that once a work is sent out into the world, it is no longer theirs to control.
You cannot control the perceptions of other people.
Now comes the personal part. People perceive me as outgoing and put together. But inside I am still suffering the effects of a childhood where I had to hide everything. I used to hide my friends so my dad would not get mad at me for being outside talking. I used to suppress having to go to the bathroom because I was so afraid he'd come up from reading his bible in the basement and pull out that old leather belt that he used to spank us every day. It probably wasn't until third grade t…

Flowy Rivers of Color

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I love the flowy prime colors of Paul Jenkins's art. He always leaves a little white (or tones of white) space and I think there's just something about that which hits a pleasure center in my brain. Why is that?
One thing I didn't know until last night was that he was born in Kansas City. Yay! There is hope for a midwest escape after all. Someone made it out!
One of my favorite films is An Unmarried Woman, with the wonderful Jill Clayburgh. Set in my favorite year to obsess over, 1979, it features a woman emerging from a decaying marriage in the crazy setting of New York. It shows her struggles to find herself after years of the usual womanly sacrifice to family. She dates, goes out with friends . . . and meets amazing Alan Bates. Yum. She has an awesome apartment in the movie, by the way. Complete fantasy if you ask me—no one is going to be able to afford that apartment working at a little art gallery, puleeeze.
What I loved about the movie is not the fact that she…

Just Like a Woman

When I gave birth to Julia, I thought I knew what it would be like, this whole mother thing. But I didn't. I was like a baby myself, struggling to understand how to hold her tiny little body and how to place her oh so delicate mouth so that it would latch onto my breast. The whole process was frustrating, with nurses coming in and out of my room to check this and that. Part of me wanted to scream, "Help! Take her away, I . . . was wrong. Someone else should be doing this!"
When my doctor came in that first night, I asked her what to do. She said in a very simple and calm voice, "Sing." Oh. I could do that.
It was midnight, the halls were dim and quiet and the only words that would form themselves across my lips were, "Nobody feels any pain," an old Dylan song, "tonight, as I stand inside the rain . . ." and I kept going until all the milk was gone and her soft feathery eyelids closed down upon flushed pink cheeks. That's when…

Saturday Faves

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Just want to share something cool I found the other day. I love art that is thorough, and if you go through this whole online piece, you will see what I mean by the very last picture. That's thorough! This is also an example of turning your joy into something lucrative. Hope you enjoy it. And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman In Love With A. Lincoln
Hey, Lincoln and I love the same music—The Magic Flute. Although . . . he probably would have shunned this adaption. Oh Smurf!





Here is a beautiful illustration, from where I do not know. Just another rare internet find. I think I was a mermaid in another life . . .





Tornado Day

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That's right, it is the time of year when Mother Nature has some fun with us humans. The months of snow and cold and wind weren't enough, and with summer on the way she needs a little action to get her through the humdrum mosquito days of heat and humidity.
A person can feel it in their bones when a storm like this is approaching.
It rained all day yesterday and thunderstorms have brought in the morning. When they cease the heat will build, with the sun shining in some futile attempt to trick the earth's inhabitants that all meteorological action has ended. Wrong. The heat being shot down by the sun is actually building under the stratosphere and will later mix with cold air causing a very unstable environment. The cold and hot will twist and suck and grab at anything it can find—mostly open farmland.
The sound of a tornado siren is embedded in every prairie person's brain, so that even with a TV blasting, or water running in the sink, you hear it. And the chil…

Gratitudeabopalula

I've run out of words as of late, but that's okay, it happens. Actually, you should know what this blog has meant to me, being a person of little spoken word. I am terribly shy. Yes. I'm one of those people that doesn't chit chat at all, so if you want fun then you have to hand me a drink. I'm terribly romantic and quiet and always thinking about life and how life works. I'm boring.
Okay, I must not be that boring. My friend Renee did one of those stupid quiz's on Facebook and her answer to, "Who would you like to be stuck on a desert island with?" was Amy Saia. Actually, that's pretty good. Or it means I'm a freak show. Hey, rent me.
But what I am trying to say is, having a blog forces me to produce words. Every day. If I had zero followers (what a term, huh? Like a cult) then I probably would have slagged off already. But you guys make me want to write. Thank you.
It isn't easy, but it is possible. And any little word,…

Repost Alert- You Sold Me

I posted this a looooong time ago, but since it is my favorite one ever, I've decided to show it again.

In the strange land of reality and make believe I find myself a permanent resident. I like things to be real, yet twisted with an essence of lunacy—the happy kind. Smiling people holding up a bottle of toothpaste; smiling so wide you think a robber is behind them with a six shooter whispering, "Bigger! BIGGER!" And I like catch phrases. Words that aren't cute, but punchy with power forced into each syllable so that when you repeat them, you feel like pop rocks are exploding in your tonsils.

Lately I find myself recalling all those stupid, cheesy songs and images from my youth which told me—on a constant basis—to get my teeth whiter, hair shinier, hands softer, and breath fresher. I could recite them all, almost, if time hadn't crumbled away their perfection like the saltwater on the Titanic's railings. So . . . I turn to youtube. Of course. And there …

A Little Flower Goes a Long Way

This is one of my favorite films, and Charlie Chaplin is one of my favorite actors/directors ever. I went through a huge silent movie phase with my friend Linda and I at the library desk looking at all the old picture books from the 1920's, going on and on about how much we loved little Charlie Chaplin.
This clip is from City Lights, and is one of the most touching endings ever filmed. You have to understand, she—Virginia—was blind through most of the movie, and he—the little vagabond—would come around and do nice things for her. She fell in love with him, never knowing he was penniless tramp. He found a way to give her enough money for the surgery which would restore her vision, all the while knowing it would mean she would be able to see him and then romance over.
Sacrifice.
She now has her vision, and does not know the funny little tramp is the man she was in love with. But when she touches his hand, it all reveals itself. I always cry. The depth of her expression; the …

Shed

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I remember when I was eighteen and at a crux in my life; exploding with something I couldn't quite speak; slipping into humanity and about to drop dreams like pebbles—I did a U-turn and died my hair black (long hair too, took a lot of dye), and let it all go. People started to see me as a sort of exposition, "Here comes that girl." I was goth before goth was really cool. The reason I tell you this is that as writers and artists, we go through different molting stages, and this was one of my first. I've had others, and am going through one now. It's messy, it hurts, but a person cannot stay in one state forever and to grow you must shed the excess and go for the raw. When you feel you are on your knees, and it's so uncomfortable you want to die, click it in your brain that it is all happening for a reason. Stay on your knees. Let the skin of society shed; all its expectations; its judgement; its phrases and phases; its food; its greed—let it all go. Hold…

You Need Some Sugar in That Coffee

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Good Morning beautiful people. Did you have a good weekend? Did you eat pancakes . . . see a movie . . . read a good book? Did anyone make sweet love? Okay, okay, that was a bit much, I know. I'll probably erase it later.
I planted some seedlings in the garden, made toffee, listened to music, it was Record Store Day after all! Yesterday I wrote some long overdue emails in a last ditch effort to not lose any more friends. I think it worked!
The lovely, lovely Jennifer Daiker at Uneditedhas given me a blog and I'd like to pass it on. It's a little bit sugary sweet, I have to say. I think this picture needs some roughing up. Like bullet holes and scorpions.


Formerly known as the blog award killer, I've decided to actually pass it on to a few of the many sweet people who visit pretty much every day. Thank you!
1.Holly Rugerriero at Scribbles & Splashes
2.Tess Hilmo
3. Erica Chapman at laugh.write.play
4. Kimberly Franklin at Confessions: The Secret Life o…

Art Class

I always loved art class. In junior high, it was Jeff Riley and I sitting together all semester exchanging jokes and talking about life while executing each project. We were the best in the class and we knew it, and so took our time, living in our own alternate universe of Garbage Pail Kids and Monty Python skits. We never dated, though he did ask me one time and I—thinking he had finally succumbed to all the other boys' taunts and was just making a joke—refused. Our art relationship was ruined after that. And then, in a nice twist of evil fate, Mom sent my sister and I to a high school in the next town my Freshman year. It was the year I like to refer to as "Hell".
I had no friends, couldn't speak—had no reason to speak—I was too tender for the shift. Huge upperclass boys rammed me into my locker, "F-ing Freshman!" I was growing. My jeans were too tight, and all of a sudden, I felt strange. I hadn't gotten a visit from Aunt Flo yet, but weird …

Saturday Faves

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The weather has turned cold again, and the skies are tinged with gray. It's one of those days where a person wants to start running, just like Forrest Gump, and keep running until all the frustration of life is gone. Then, after all the miles have passed, you turn around and say, "What was I trying to escape and why am I here?"
Speaking of Forrest Gump, here's a funny video someone made, summersing the movie. Good stuff.


If you don't like Neil Young, then don't watch this. If you do, then do. Oh God, I love Neil Young so much. I know he looks like an old hawk sometimes, but it's all good, baby. I so hope I can see him play in Louisville this summer. Please, please, universe let me go!


And this is like the coolest thing I have ever seen. I love the whole design here. It gets really trippy at the end, but you gotta love that. It's The Beatles!



I crazy love David Hockney. Here he is with a wall of dachshund paintings. If you have a dachshund, yo…

Get Out Yer Vinyl!

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I'm double posting, but it's okay. Why? Because tomorrow is Record Store Day! If you have a turntable then go visit your local vinyl slinger and pick up the latest tunes. I have so many records it's not even funny, but even so, I think I'll go have a visit in Lawrence, Ks tomorrow to pre-ruse all that oh so wonderful vinyl. I soooo want my next album to come out in record form! This is the cover (unless I change my mind).




If you don't have a an old record player, don't sweat it. YouTube is the god of people with too much time on their hands, and you, my dear friends, shall benefit from their wasted lives. I give to you, a video of a record being played. Grab that latte and pretend you love me.

The Statue of Me

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Here's a self portrait, with a slight ego boost. I love the Statue of Liberty and used to have vivid dreams of her when I was in my early teens. I could never figure it out, but now realize it must have been my subconscious laying out the plans for my life ahead, "It's gonna be tough girl, you'd better stand tall." Tall, no problem, but it's this damn standing for all these years that has gotten me weary. The men who say cruel things, tell you to come hither, then trap you with their hate. Other women who bring you down, because they still haven't figured out yet that the world is big enough for all of us and there is no you, me or they. We can all have a piece of cake. And frosting too. Miss Liberte' reminds me that I can love despite all of the cruelty abound. The world will never make me hate. If I never sell a book, or a song or anything, I don't care. What does it matter? It doesn't. Only love matters.
Peace, amy

Boys and Girls

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Beautiful boys with their beautiful dreams running all over the earth like streams
Sweet little girls with their magical tales flying across through the sky like sails

Sure there's enough life boats on here . . . and let's go really fast!

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It seemed like a great idea, right? Build a gigantic ship with enough watertight compartments to keep any pesky water out and voila! You have a virtually unsinkable vessel. Hey, that's a great selling point: You won't die on our ship. We promise.
But . . . what if it hits an iceberg? No problem. It would have to pierce through more than four compartments to cause any real damage. And that ain't gonna happen.
What if an iceberg does rip through more than five? Pffft. We have wireless operators. If anything bad happens to this glorious ship, they'll call for help. That is, if they're awake and at their stations. Have some wine or something. Geez.
How many lifeboats are there? A lot.
I'm an immigrant. Will I be allowed on the upper decks in the event of—Yeah, yeah. Look, I gotta talk to the chef. It's barley soup and wardolf salad night. See ya when we reach New York!
If I had a time machine, I'd go for a few hours, and roam the ship. I'…

The Beatles Have Been Forgiven

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The Catholic church has forgiven The Beatles for their drug use and rock star life-style. A little too late perhaps as a couple members are already in the great beyond; forgiveness long granted I'm sure. People always bring up the Lennon quote, "We're bigger than Jesus now," forgetting that it was taken completely out of context. He never said it as a truth, but as an observation to the chaos he was caught in the middle of.
Now Lennon was no saint, and he admitted for himself as well as the rest of the band many indiscrepancies, but he, as I've said before, put himself on the mend throughout his entire life—always trying to change, to be a better man.
I think the church is trying to miserably change the subject from their own, cough, issues. Their PR person needs some serious spanking.

I ♥ Cars

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Do you remember your first? Mine lived almost half an hour. The thing was huge, it had a sunroof and dark red velour for God's sake. It was a piece of junk meant to get me far enough away from the seller's property, but not quite make it home. My second first car was a Chevy Cavalier. I still remember the thrill of driving it alone for the first time. My friends wanted to go to the beach, so I put on my swimsuit, grabbed a towel, took a deep breath and drove to pick everyone up. That first ride down the highway was surreal. Freedom.
It really changed my life, having a car. I needed to have something of my own so bad.
My third car was a Ford. Won't be buying any of those again, even if the Mustang looks sweeet. It used to rattle like an old locomotive coming across a makeshift bridge. Then something weird happened to the accelerator and every time I tried to pull out of a stop it was like I was in the Flintstone's. I swear, I had nightmares forever about th…

Cherry Blossom Girl

She walked often, away from the house, down the sidewalk to the park hushed with early evening. Not many people were out then. Weaving in and out of the tree limbs that hung down, laden with fresh leaves, she found a place to sit away from the path. The concrete of the bench was cold.
Here, she could think. Not with the smell of overcooked meat, and greasy potatoes lying stale on a plate chipped with years. Here the air was fresh. Clean.
She thought again of how she could make it another day, just like she had for many days and years. If she could erase each one as it passed, the next one would not seem to suffocate her with its silent coming. She could be ready.
Looking around, she saw the trees had all begun to bloom in the mid-days of spring. The lilacs, the magnolias, the dogwoods, the redbuds, the apples, the cherry trees. They had all moved from dark skeleton, to mother nature's mistress in chiffon. She reached up to touch a delicate blossom. Instantly it bega…

Saturday Favorites

I think I'll go see a friend play at a "pub" tonight. We usually call them bars in America, but once in a while you see the word "pub" which basically means bar with flair. It's still a bar.
Since today is Saturday, I will hook you up with some videos to make your life fantastically happy and carefree, like Snow White on acid.

I used to listen to a hilarious show called "The Bad Music Hour" and they always had at least one Shatner song to rock my world.


I loved this commercial when I was a kid. My favorite by far.


And for some reason it won't let me embed this one, but you have to see it. You'll want a Whopper afterwards, trust me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGj6jRGqT20
Have a great Saturday!

Finally Some Progress

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Maybe because I released some serious stuff off my chest last night, I was able to sit down and work on the old WIP. For hours I wrote and edited. It was great. A firm believer of butt in chair, I had never abandoned my WIP in this last month of restlessness. But it was painful work and I'm very happy to see things going smooth again. The truth is, being a writer can be tough at times. It's not all just sitting in a chair thinking romantic thoughts. It's hard freaking work. But like anything else, when it's good, it's really really good and fun and romantic and exciting and, it's kind of like a drug, isn't it? I've never really had much patience for drugs, but writing, books, music . . . they all make me high. And so the crash is painful.
Listening to Keane again. Bedshaped. Love them.
Here's a sketch of RPatz for my Twilight friends. I really like him, you know. I like that he reads, and he seems very kind, shy, modest. And he'…

Thoughts For the End of the Week

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Not sure if anyone saw the truth and lies from the creative blogger award. They were down at the bottom of my last post, which was . . . pretty long. Sorry! Ugh, I hate to have you see my truth though, so embarrassing.
Have you ever been in a bad relationship that you knew was wrong but you just kept going until something made you look at yourself and want to change? Have you ever used that relationship in your writing, art, etc?
Happy weekend to everyone!
I love Keane so much. Yesterday, while running errands, I sang every song from Hopes and Fears full blast with the windows open. I can't not sing when I hear them.

Are You There God? It's Me Amy.

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Springtime reminds me of all the books I consumed when I was young. Though I'm sure I read tons during the winter, for some reason nothing comes to mind. Perhaps it was the beautiful, soft weather and crisp sunlit days that heightened the experience; book in hand, walking down to the park, or sitting on the back porch.
I remember when all the girls in the neighborhood found out about Judy Blume. Man, that was like a revolution. Whole groups would be huddled together, whispering about the "bra scene" or when Margaret "got her period." What were they talking about? No elaboration was allowed, you simply had to go get your own copy of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. There weren't any Border's Bookstores or Barnes and Nobles back then, well, not in small town Kansas. But there was a library. And luck was with me, they happened to have one available copy of the cult book I would die to read—if it so came to that.
Blume's books were the…

Two Posts in a Day? Wha?

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My wonderful friend Kimberly Franklin has given me the unique opportunity to tell lies about myself and not get into any trouble. Yay! I admit to being an award hogger, like she has kindly admitted about herself as well, so I'll get to this now while it's still steaming.

So, I am to tell six lies about myself and one truth and you wonderful (none of you are psychic, right) people have to figure out which one was the truth. Got it? Here we go.
1. I studied at the New York Fashion Institute and ended up working for Victoria's Secret, designing lingerie.
2. Years ago, I worked at a Newspaper office, writing up articles on local farming news. All my interviews had at least one pig and or cow present in the background.
3. I dated a John Lennon impersonator from a Beatles' Tribute Band.
4. I love to eat at HOOters. God, those chicken wings are sooooo tasty!
5. This summer, I'm going to be on a cool reality show about five liberals and five conservatives liv…

Wait, Wait, Wait . . .

Patience. I must not have possessed much before, but something about sitting at a desk all night or for long stretches of the day has transformed me into a very tranquil person.
Case in point: a year ago I tried playing a game on Wii Sports where you sit very still on the Fit board and stare at a lit candle until a loud Japanese dude yells, "CUT!" I could only ever get past thirty seconds until now, a year later, when I tried it again. I sat and stared at the candle, and sat and stared, and could hear the guy walk in the room then leave–several times—but he never yelled and the game never ended. I think three minutes or so passed by, and the thing finally stopped. I won. Whoa.
All of that probably sounded really strange unless you've seen the actual game.
But the first thing that went through my head after it ended was, "It's the writing." There's something about committing to a draft that has changed my whole being. My focus is the curation …

Mentor my Muse and Please Tell the Jehovah's to Find My Key

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Last week began in a very interesting way. First, I locked myself out of the house. Then the Jehovah's Witnesses showed up. Hey, but the weather was great!
And while I did not get a ton of writing work done, I did think about the whole process and came to the realization that writing every day is what breeds more writing. I think so many of us dream of what it would be like to compose on a full-time basis—but I think writers need a little bit of chaos, and we definitely need deadlines. Unless you're Jack Kerouac and can sit and type up a whole book in a matter of weeks, you probably need some external (as well as internal) motivation beyond just saying, "I want to write."
A writer needs a mentor. For some it may be a family member or best friend, for others it might be their favorite author. I found Birdie Jaworski last year, and aside from having a certain amount in common with her, I was also amazed by her writing style and felt myself using her as a mento…

Lonely Traveler

Harold Freemeyer was the old hermit that used to come in the library for some books and a little chat. He had recently emerged a self-induced thirty-year seclusion brought on by the Vietnam War. His hair was gray, and he wore a long beard, wore army garb, complete with old boots and loaded pack hanging off his back. He was lonely. "Is my book in?" I'd grab it off the shelf. "Oh good, say . . . have you ever seen that movie about the guy who thought he was Jesus?" And off he'd go, talking because finally it felt good to talk.
Life is full of lonely people, walking around searching in confusion, even though we're standing side to side. We reach out, hungry, and draw back, afraid. But life is beautiful, and we are so lucky to be here. The sun shines, and we feel real joy. A child laughs, and everything falls into balance.
Books have always been a companion to me. This whole week I found myself reaching for all my old friends, relishing the word…