Showing posts from March, 2011

Shining Through

Inspiration Green is a New York-based company website, with blog (link at the bottom of their page), about green...everything. Issues, resources, music, tech, art, food, and more. It's visually compelling design. Especially when you look more closely and see that all those blocks with patterns are close-ups of leaves. Or tree trunks. Plus there's this page , a compilation of glass bottles used in walls in various ways -- decorative, functional, both. Sometimes, like now (election season in Canada), I suffer from "too many words." Images like these are an oasis. Thanks, Green Inspiration!!

So Many Thousands

That's how many words this video is worth. During the first minute, you get to watch cracks in the earth open and close. After that, it gets even freakier. The videographer talks of feeling woozy and wondering if he was sick. While it's interesting to know that the human body may experience earthquakes in that way, that knowledge pales in comparison to the images. Wow. So many effective visuals from this disaster--a good reminder that sometimes, words just don't quite get there.

Too Big, Too Small

I was all set to write about Hana's Suitcase , another fine example of the power of story and symbol, but then the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation stories have diverted my attention from whatever meaningful thing I wanted to say about luggage. However, one thread ties two events: sometimes a story is too big, too abstract to tell without making it concrete and personal--but then again, sometimes the size is the story. Hana's Suitcase as a story is an effective way to help everyone understand the horror and human loss of the Holocaust. Hana is today's Anne Frank--a real person whose real life was silenced, leaving us all poorer. Without Anne and Hana, and without some sense of the fundamental humanity of the victims, events of the Holocaust could become less real, less immediate, and thus less horrific as time passes. The personal is vital to preserving the essential meaning of the story. Right now, this disaster in Japan, which has both natural and human-mad

Book Learnin'

I'm working on an analysis of The Time of Our Singing , by Richard Powers --specifically of its narrative structure. I've analyzed several works during the past year, and I've learned a lot about narrative each time. I'm also part of a group that reads and provides feedback on works in progress. Some call this a workshop, others a critique group. At the moment, our group is small but mighty, and one of my pieces is on tap for this coming week. It is always interesting to see whether this group of readers, each of whom is also a writer, confirms what I suspect to be the limitations of a story (in this case, a loooooong one). (Sadly, they often point out things I didn't even think about. Sigh.) Both kinds of learning are important to my development. That's why I was pleased, in reading an interview with Powers, to see him say that the workshop needs to be supplemented with direct learning about narrative technique. Here's why: We never tell a person who wants