Authors and bars

Famous Literary Watering Holes

Writers are tortured souls, that’s why they usually need some time away from the real world and go to bars.

Well, that’s their story, anyhow.

Anyway, bars across the world are associated with some writers or another, Goethe, for example, Lord Byron, Dostoevsky, Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas – and Hemingway, of course.
Eagle And Pub

One of the writers’ bars discussed in the linked article (below) is The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, the meeting place of the Inklings, a group of writers which included J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, the gods who created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia.

When I first trod the cobbled streets of Oxford in the wake of these literary eminences I had to, of course, follow in their footsteps and dine at the pub, wondering which table they sat at, and if I walked along the same floors their feet once trod.

The Eagle and Child was fondly known as the Bird and Baby by its illustrious patrons because of the sign, a large non-stork bird laboring under the weight of a chubby child in a drop-cloth. It was a neat old English pub and served the usual pub grub. I ordered something or other that came with what was described on the menu as garlic bread.

This was in the days before cellphones made this a ubiquitous enough thing – back then what I did was close to extraordinary, and that was that I felt moved to take an actual picture of my food when it arrived. Because the “garlic bread” in question was not what I expected, a thin slice of baguette smeared with garlic butter. No, this was a thick slab of square bread perhaps half an inch high, and I swear to god, if you picked that thing up and squeezed it it would have run garlic juice.

I don’t know if they still serve that. It would be a shame if they did not. But what can I tell you? My potential high-minded memories of eating lunch in the same place where Tolkien once might have had Second Breakfast… has been almost permanently eclipsed by the vision of that garlic bread. I will never forget it.

More famous writers bars HERE

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Book TattoosWant to carry your favorite book with you all day, every day? Ink is the answer.

Abducticon TattooBut I’m still waiting for one of my fans to decorate their body with something from...

Abducticon‘, for example, or ‘The Secrets of Jin-shei‘, my Worldweavers series, ‘The Were Chronicles’ or…

That would be cool.

What? You want me to go first? Sorry, I’m allergic to needles.

Matilda

Fantastic tattoo

From Matilda
Nicole N

instagram.com

 

 

 

Buzzfeed, Rachel Sanders selects some favorites HERE

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Auto Mechanics Hilariously Recreate Renaissance Paintings

Photographer Freddy Fabris had always wanted to pay homage to the Renaissance masters with his photos in some way, but he wasn’t sure how until he stumbled upon an auto-mechanic shop in the Midwest,  Dovas writes at BoredPanda. This led to a brilliant series of portraits with auto mechanics reenacting famous Renaissance paintings.
The Anatomy Lesson By RembrandtThe Anatomy Lesson by Rembrandt – Photo by Freddy Fabris

See more HERE

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THIS ‘n THAT

Honda’s hydrogen car is so good it can power your home

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NASA only made a handful of lunar rovers. Three of them are still sitting on the surface of the moon. One of them is at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. And another was recently smashed into bits in an Alabama junkyard.
Early RoverAn early rover – Image: NASA

Rover ends in junkyard HERE

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Quote of the DayBook Inside Me~~~~~
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A Dildo in Nantucket

A story about the wives of seldom-home whalers and their dildos, aka “he’s-at-homes”
Whaling“On Nantucket, 80-year-old Connie Congdon and I sat in her living room looking at the 120-year-old plaster dildo that a mason had found in her chimney,” Ben Shattuck writes at Literary….’No mistaking what it is,’ Connie said, as I turned it in my hand..”

By 1830, the average length of a whaling voyage was more than two years and some longer. Nantucket wives were dubbed “Cape Horn widows,” because their husbands might be gone for eight years. …The dildos, sometimes called “he’s-at-homes”, were meant to be some insurance of fidelity for the absentee husband.

Read the whole story HERE

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OH MY GOURD     
The Best Pumpkin Carving On YouTube    
Pumpkin CarvingHalloween is nearly upon us again. Lets take a moment to appreciate the incredible talent that goes into truly great pumpkin carving.

Watch the video HERE

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30 great opening lines in literature

From Jane Austen’s “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice);  to Kurt Vonnegut’s “All this happened, more or less.” (Slaughterhouse Five)

or
It was the day my grandmother exploded.” ~ Iain Banks: The Crow Road
The CrowSee all the others HERE

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To write a story or build a world, you need…
The five W’s and an H

Before reporting became a dying craft, every newbie was taught that a news story had to answer five fundamental questions:

Who, What, Where, When, Why
… and sometimes, How.

In fiction, these questions are just as fundamental, and I’m going to discuss them one at a time in a series of essays at Book View Cafe, using my own series, The Were Chronicles, to illustrate my points.

The first essay is all about Who
And you can read it HERE

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30 great one-liners
Ambrose Bierce
Picture: Rex Features

War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.’ ~ Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil’s Dictionary

 

And then there’s:’If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.~ Dorothy Parker

See them all HERE

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Buzzfeed offers
24 Tweets every Book Lover will appreciate

I used to love correcting people’s grammar until I realized what I loved more was having friends.” ~ Mara Wilson @MaraWritesStuff
~
Ever realised how fucking surreal reading a book actually is? You stare at marked slices of tree for hours on end, hallucinating vividly” ~ Katie Oldham @KatieOldham

Read the other Tweets HERE

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O.K. I’ll have to admit that I had never knew that corn mazes even existed until I heard about

Literally Literary Corn Mazes

If y’all don’t know about them either, Wikipedia explains “A corn maze or maize maze is a maze cut out of a corn field…They have become popular tourist attractions and are a way for farms to generate tourist income. Many are based on artistic designs such as characters from literature …some are created to tell stories.”

For example, Book Riot tells us about
Corn MazeKruger’s Monster Mash Maze in Sauvie Island, Oregon, brings Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to life.

I think getting lost in a corn maze…a book and bag full of Halloween candy sounds like a perfect day,” Jamie Canaves writes at Book Riot.

See other literary corn mazes HERE

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Quote of the Day

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.” ~ Arthur Miller
 
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Alma Alexander       My books       Email me
 
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zhi zi zhi shou, yu zi xte lao

Words of love that don’t have an English equivalent

Emma Block has created a series of drawings to showcase a variety of words from across the world that say things about love, but which don’t have a direct equivalent in English, Sam Haysom writes at Mashable. For example:
Holding HandsSee all the words and drawings HERE

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BacteriaSeriously? SERIOUSLY? As a graduate microbiologist, this just fascinates meButterfly

 

“What do the Chicago skyline, a cat, a subway map, a Van Gogh, and a skull all have in common?” Morgan Shoaff asks at Upworthy.

“They’ve all been re-created into beautiful masterpieces using… bacteria.”

 

 

Read the whole story HERE

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I was 15 years old when I went to boarding school in a haunted castle in Wales.

The poor ghost was a bit of a joke. It was a tradition for a senior girl to drape herself in a white sheet and wander the hallways with her “head” under her arm, moaning and scaring the younger girls into screaming fits.

Except… there was that one time… when the screams were a little different, a little more shrill, a little more SERIOUSLY FRIGHTENED than was the usual fare. More than that, the round terrified eyes of the young prank victim seemed to be gazing somewhat beyond our purported ‘ghost’. When the prankster finally turned around herself to see what the problem was… it was to see the REAL ghost standing at the top of the stairs…

The memory of that time came back…to haunt me?…when I read about

The Custodians of a Ghostly Campus Legacy
University Of TorontoPhotos by Simon Willms and Bradley Richards

A pair of stonemasons with a murderous feud gave University of Toronto its hauntingly intricate architecture—and its first grisly ghost story. A century and a half later, late-night janitors report an abundance of eerie encounters.

In 1856, Ivan Reznikoff, the Russian, and Paul Diabolos, the Greek, were hired to carve the delicate reliefs of University College. The relationship between the two carvers was acerbic, beset by acrimony, bile, and relentless chiseling, of every kind.

In Narratively, Bradley Richards and Simon Willms tell how Diabolos taunted Reznikoff by carving baboon-faced Gargoyles in his likeness. Reznikoff, the inferior carver, plodded on, drunkenly etching pocked and grotesque visages of his own.

Then there was the murder…

Read the whole fascinating tale HERE

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If you were offered a chance to live a different life, would you take it? That’s the premise of my ‘Midnight at Spanish Gardens‘, a novel of pure fantasy.

At least I thought it was based on pure fantasy until I read the following article in Mother Nature Network about

Parallel worlds that interact with our world
Multi UniversesPersonally I think that the quantum world is a glorious impenetrable and incomprehensible nightmare (unless you’re Sheldon Cooper) but this theory seems to explain some things.

Whatever … So is my ‘Midnight at Spanish Gardens‘ really a science fiction multiple universes string theory quantum physics superstory rather than a fantasy?

I just write the books, you decide.

Learn all about the new theory HERE

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A real unicorn?
Unicorn

Ancient civilization: Cracking the Indus script

At Nature.com, Andrew Robinson reflects on the most tantalizing of all the undeciphered scripts — that used in the civilization of the Indus valley in the third millennium BC.”

Robert Harding/Corbis – The mysterious Indus unicorn on a roughly 4,000-year-old sealstone

Read the whole story HERE

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Great books that publishers rejected

Whose novel was rejected as “Overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian… I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years” ?

Don’t know? Well then try this one:

Mystery writer John Creasey is believed to hold the record for rejections. How many did he – and his 27 pseudonyms – receive?

There are 10 questions, I won’t tell you how many I got wrong.

Take The Guardian quiz HERE

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THIS ‘n THAT
Raggedy Ann Baby.14 Amazing Bookish Halloween Costumes at Bookriot

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Alma Alexander       My books       Email me
 
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Free stories?

Vending machines for short storiesShort Story vending machine(Photo: AFP)

It is now possible to read stories that can be consumed in however much time you’ve got to kill. The ‘three minute’ format, for example, takes the form of a piece of paper 3 inches wide and two feet long. Then there are the 5 minute stories.

The stories from the French machines are completely free. The initiative comes from a collaboration between the founders of publishing company Short Edition and the green party mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle.

As a writer, I love the idea and all that, but you can guess my next question. Who really pays for the free stories? Where are they coming from, who are their authors, and how are they being paid for them?

Read the whole story HERE

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The story behind the story

You really should read this book” is the subject line of an Amazon review of ‘Letters from the Fire‘, a book I wrote in fury as the U.S. and NATO were waging a brutal and unjustified bombing of Serbia, the country of my birth.

The review by Deborah Starrett (link below) is based on the original print version which went on sale before the attack even ended. A later ebook version includes a foreword which explained how the book came to be:

Excerpts from the ebook Foreword

Letters from the Fire ebook

Back in 1999 – in the dying days of the last century – my country was attacked. The bombing campaign…cost me pieces of my childhood as the things I had grown up with vanished before my eyes. Places I had loved twisted in flames. I was heartsick, angry, and appalled — but in this darkest hour, a man who had been courting me on the Internet made a suggestion that offered me salvation:

Use your strength, use your passion, and tell the other side of the story,” he said, and with his help I did in ‘Letters from the Fire.’

I was living in New Zealand at the time and Deck was living in Florida. We wrote the book together, literally around the clock, because his day was my night and vice versa. I would write a character-penned email as Sasha, and go to bed. At the same time he would be getting up, reading that particular day’s communication, and replying as Dave, and then he’d go to bed. I’d get up, find the reply and answer him… and so it went.

It was on the shelves in New Zealand less than six months after we had begun it. It garnered some great reviews and well over 100 reader responses….

The lives of Dave and Shasha took unexpected turns in the chaos of war. We, their creators, forged a shared existence that came out of this book, ‘Letters from the Fire’. In 2000, a year after the events events depicted in this book, we were married.

Read Deborah’s review HERE

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This bank finally contains something more valuable than money – Art…

Artist transforms run-down Chicago bank into an Arts CenterArt Center BooksImage credit: Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing, Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation

Three years ago, Chicago bank Stony Island Savings & Loan was nearly a century old and was in terrible shape. Artist Theaster Gates Jr. bought the derelict building for one dollar and began raising money to restore it.

Now called the Stony Island Arts Bank, it is home to art installations, artists, scholars, and archives on art history, architecture, and black culture.

Read the whole remarkable story HERE

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“เมื่อซุปเปอร์ฮีโร่จาก DC กลายเป็นหนังตะลุงไทย…จะเจ๋งขนาดไหนมาดูกัน!!!”

Are these supposed to be puppets for Indonesian shadow puppet shows? They’re AMAZINGJava SupermanItty bitty problems – WHY does Batman have purple clawed feet? And just how does Superman fly aerodynamically with all those tchochkes on his costume (and never mind the substitution of the skirt for the more iconic Y fronts)? And the Flash sure loses everything that would give him any kind of actual speed, what with the drag on all those bits and bobs on the costume, but my, ain’t he pretty. And as for Wonder Woman, I”d like to see her try and toss that lassoo while looking rather like an Indian Temple Dancer, and without snagging half a dozen pointy bits on her person.

They’re even more impractical than superheroes usually are. But aren’t they a feast for the eyes?

See all the superheroes HERE

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Just in time for Halloween

At Buzzfeed, Tanner Greenring selects2-sentence horrorI begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.” ~ Juan J Ruiz

See more HERE

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Scary Stories for Grown-Ups

At Electric Literatore, Benjamin Samuel selects 10 stories that will “remind you of the horrors of failed relationships, house-hunting, and dysfunctional families, proving that nothing is as scary as real life.”SuburbsPhoto by Christoph Geilen

Orange” – If you’re considering living a nice quiet life in the suburbs, this story by Tarah Scalzo will make you think again.

Read the other 9 stories HERE

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You won’t sleep with the lights off ever again.

BuzzFeed asked readers to recommend their fave underrated horror books. They obliged.

e.g.

The MonkThe Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis:

Why you should read it: The Monk was originally published in the 1700s, and people still rave about it. It focuses on the dangerous mix between temptation and responsibilities. Relatable, right?

 

22 more underrated horror books HERE

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THIS ‘n THAT

Lonely ATM

 

 

The World’s Loneliest ATM is in Antarctica

 

Read the story HERE

 

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Quote of the Day

Margaret Atwood on Ursula K.Le Quin:
“She never loses touch with her reverence for the immense what is.”

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Alma Alexander      My books      Email me

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He said WHAT?

The Phrase Finder

1,800 English phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions, with their meanings and origins explained. It includes Famous Last Words.

For example:
John Sedgwick

The last words of John Sedgwick, a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War.

He saw many engagements and was wounded three times – but was seemingly immune to fear. In his last moments on earth while under fire, he said:

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”

He was shot and killed moments later.

Take a look at the dictionary HERE

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

A wonderfully evocative compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language.
DictionaryFor example:

For a million years we’ve watched the sky
and huddled in fear.
But somehow you still find yourself
quietly rooting for the storm.

As if a part of you is tired of waiting…

Fascinating words and videos HERE

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“This book ignores the path most taken”, begins a Galleywampus review of ‘Wolf’. “At every turn, this novel does the unexpected.”

“Alma Alexander switches her narrator of this next book in her The Were Chronicles trilogy, and Mal’s voice is like a rumble of thunder compared to his sister’s.”

Read the whole review HERE

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11 Delicious Food Novels to Savor

“Food nourishes the body, books nourish the mind, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s about all you need”, Emma Volk writes at Off the Shelf and suggests that it’s only natural to merge life’s two necessities into one tasty genre: foodie fiction. “Whether you’re craving espionage, romance, or lemon cake, whet your appetite on one of these eleven novels where food takes a starring role.”

One of her selections is that delightful book, Chocola, by Joanne Harris
Chocolat

The basis of the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, this book explores what happens when a beautiful newcomer and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive in a tiny, old-fashioned town during Lent, accidentally sparking a dramatic face-off between Easter solemnity and the pagan gaiety of a chocolate festival.

A delightful, hedonistic romp from start to finish, it is a sweet treat full of charm, wonder, and, of course, truffles.

 

Read all her choices HERE

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Jamie Jones of BuzzFeed selects

24 Photos That Are Way Too Real For Book Lovers

My personal choices are numbers 5, 11, and this one

15. When you enter a bookstore and want to buy everything in sight
BookloversYour choices may differ.

See all 24 HERE

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The Most Prolific Editor on Wikipedia

Wikipedia contains 4,985,975 articles, Zachary Crockett writes at Priceonomics. If these were printed and bound into books, there would be 2,207 of them. All of this content is user-submitted and user-policed: the site requires constant maintenance from a massive pool of unpaid editors.
Wikieditor

One of them has made 1.5 million edits.

Since joining Wikipedia a decade ago, 32-year-old Justin Anthony Knapp (username “koavf”) has established himself as the the site’s most active contributor of all time. He has made an astonishing 1,485,342 edits (an average of 385 per day), ranging in topic from Taylor Swift to the history of blacksmithing.

Read the whole story HERE

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16-year-old artist uses fallen leaves to create stunning paintings
Painted LeafAt Upworthy, Evan Porter tells us about 16-year-old Joanna Wirażka, part of a new generation of artists who use the Earth as their canvas.

Joanna’s medium of choice? Fallen leaves.

The Polish artist painted her first leaf on New Year’s Eve of last year. While all of her friends were getting ready for a party, she spent the whole day painstakingly drying, painting, and coloring – inspired by the brilliant hues of the fireworks in the night sky.

Read the whole story HERE

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Quote of the Day

“If myth is translated into literal fact, then myth is a lie. But if you read it as a reflection of the world inside you, then it’s true. Myth is the penultimate truth.” ~ Joseph Campbell

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Alma Alexander       My books       Email me
 
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On Roots and Roads

Sometimes I will pick up a book in a bookstore and the first thing I see inside will do something visceral enough for me to buy it on the spot. Something like that happened with a book called ‘Origins: A Memoir‘, by Lebanese writer and journalist Amin Maalouf. These are the words that caught me, the opening of the book:

“Someone other than I might have used the word ‘roots’. It is not part of my vocabulary. I don’t like the word, and I like even less the image it conveys. Roots burrow into the ground, twist n the mud, and thrive in darkness; they hold trees in captivity from their inception and nourish them at the price of blackmail: Free yourself and you’ll die!

Trees are forced into resignation; they need their roots. Men do not. We breathe light and covet the heavens. When we sink into the ground, we decompose. The sap of our native soil does not flow upwards from our feet to our heads; we use our feet only to walk. What matters to us are roads. Roads convey us from poverty to wealth or back to poverty, from bondage to freedom or to a violent death. Roads hold our promises, bear our weight, urge us on, and then abandon us. And we die, just as we were born, at the edge of a road not of our choosing.”

I fell in love with the rhythm of it all, with the imagery, with the sheer power of languages – and the book came home with me.

But the more I thought about it, the more I found myself groping past that initial gorgeous feeling of falling in love, and trying to find a deeper meaning. And the more I did that, the more I found myself disagreeing with those two paragraphs.

At least in the way they are juxtaposed  – implying that “roots”, in whatever sense they are understood to apply, will trammel and suffocate and kill a human being – and that a tree does not breathe light and covet the heavens.

I don’t think either of those is true.

Saying that a tree does not breathe light and covet the heavens might be literally correct – but take just one small step sideways and both things become utterly and completely inevitable. Yes, the tree “breathes” light – photosynthesis is what makes the tree live and grow, and photosynthesis is a function of sunlight on the leaves. Yes, that tree is “breathing” light.

Plants taken into dark places and deprived of sunlight die tragic deaths – and that is NOT a consequence of having roots, except inasmuch as the plant, not being a Triffid, is unable to pick itself up and stumble out of the darkness of its own accord. But neither is it a creature of darkness, for all the rootness that it has. Sure, the roots writhe in mud and keep a tree anchored, but that tree, from the spot at which it is anchored deep into the ground from which it draws sustenance, is “coveting the heavens” and constantly growing higher and higher trying to touch the sky.

Trees don’t go traveling, and men do. That’s a valid position to take. Men have the roads that the trees have never taken. Men journey, and wear out shoe leather, and change their sky and the language that is spilled and spoken around them, they are capable of changing themselves to suit a new environment by the side of a new road.

But a man without a sense of his roots is a tumbleweed without aim or purpose, being tossed hither and yon by whatever winds are blowing. This is a man without convictions, or ideals, or beliefs, or a faith in anything at all – a man capable of simply squatting on a desert plain and living for nothing but the moment in which he is holding a piece of bread in one hand and a cup of water in the other.

That may be a striking image, but I find myself recoiling from the human being with no past and therefore no future. Living in the present is all very well – carpe diem and all that – but without a knowledge of where we have come from, we cannot possibly know where we are going.

Man needs his roots, just as much as a tree does.

Even if we shake the dust of this planet off our feet one day and go roaming in the stars, our roots will still be here, on this particular mudball, in the memory of this particular yellow sun. Even when the sun passes into its inevitable death throes, and grows huge and red and molten, and gobbles up the planet once known as Earth or melts it to a piece of iron slag – even then, if any human souls survive, the place of origin will be remembered, if only in story and in legend. This is where we sank our roots down – thousands or even millions of years ago. This is the mud that nourished the roots from which sprang the odd flower we know as Humanity. Everything else came later – everything else, we picked up from the Road. But the Roots were there first, and the Roots remain.

I mentioned convictions, ideals, beliefs, faith. I am very aware that these very things, when taken to extremes, are what can be so destructive to our species, especially when different convictions or beliefs or faiths clash to the point that blood is spilled in defense of ideas and hatred is planted in the human spirit, hatred of anything that is not-us. But like many things – like fire, for instance – an ability to sincerely believe, an ability to have convictions based on those beliefs, an ability to remember what one’s forebears thought or believed and to revere their ideas, these are good servants, but bad masters. The fact that there may be an altar to somebody’s ancestors in their house, like many Eastern households do, is a testament to the reverence that those peoples hold for the men and women who walked this Earth before them. They are not – or at least should not be – used as incitements to go to war against anybody whose ancestors happen to like a different scent of incense.

I have known both – roots, and roads.

Tara National Park SerbiaMy first childhood roots were strong, and they are still deep. I can still read about the Pannonian Plain, the rich black earth of the fields I knew when I was young, the bright heads of scarlet poppies in oceans of wheat, the leisurely slow meanders of whirlpool-laden Danube flowing slowly and lazily across the plain that once used to be an ocean bed – about the dandelions by the side of the road, the old gates in the villages, the sound of church bells on winter mornings, the old-fashioned street lamps in the streets whose houses bear centuries in their beams – about the sound of crickets in hot summers, and the buzz of bees, and the honking of irate geese when I rode my bike into the midst of a flock and then pedaled for my life when some ornery gander took it upon himself to chase me up the street, and the cooing of invisible birds somewhere beyond the thick dark shadow of the walnut tree under which I am lying in the grass – the taste of ripe sweet watermelon and yellow peaches with their juices running down my chin, or my grandmother’s chocolate cake, or my beekeeper grandfather’s particular rich-tasting acacia honey, or the taste of milk fresh-milked from the cow, rich and warm and foamy – the texture of viscous riverine mud, or the fine, fine, fine dust from the road before they paved it, the kind of dust that you could pick up in your hand and it would pour out through your fingers like water.

These are part of my roots. So are the books that I was handed by my grandfather, and by the library, and by the antiquarian bookstore where we’d often go and where I would lose myself for an hour or more in the stacks full of books that smelled of the past and were bound in ancient cloth and leather and had gilt-edged pages and were sometimes graced with inscriptions dated a hundred years before I was born. So are the things I was taught to live by as I grew – my roots included grace, and beauty, and tolerance, and love, and the obligation to at least try to understand a point of view that was not my own because it was somebody else’s and it was valid to them just as mine was to me. I grew up to believe that there was justice and fairness and generosity, because I had them in my life all my days.

These are my roots. The past I cannot renounce. The memories that tie me to one particular piece of this Earth where I was born and where some small part of me still remains, will always remain.

My roads… took me far from there.

Skeleton CoastMy roads showed me lions, and African sunsets, and tear gas in the streets, and guns, and fear, and exhilaration, and many flights across many skies – I saw thunderstorms below me in the clouds from the window of a plane, with lightning searing through the dark mounds as though I was looking down into the jaws of hell; I also saw the pale full moon hanging low over the bleached shore of the Skeleton Coast of Africa, also from a plane, and I might have been looking at a different world. I have swum with dolphins, and I have loved and lost family members who happened to walk on four feet and have soft fur and cold noses and huge hearts they gave to me whole and who were no less mourned for the fact that they were not “human”. I’ve seen both the Southern Cross rise in the sky, and the Big Dipper. I’ve had my heart broken, and my mind blown, and my spirit filled to overflowing. I have known triumph, and disaster.

I need them both. Roads and roots. Without either, I am only half me.

Where am I headed? I don’t know. It is given to none of us to know this ahead of time. All I know is this – I have to continue to draw sustenance from the depths of the earth, where the bones of my ancestors are buried, while also continuing to covet the heavens, and trying to take my first steps amongst the stars.

I don’t know where I am going to – but I do know where I came from. And that, for now, has to be enough.

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Quote of the Day
The Doctor~~~~~
Alma Alexander       My books       Email me
 
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books Books BOOKS!

18 Things Every Book Lover Can Relate To
Too Many BooksAll 18 Pulptastic gifs HERE

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Ten books that changed the world

From Euclid’s Elements to Freud’s Interpretation of Dream, The Guardian enlists 10 authors to choose books ‘not of an age, but for all time’

The Second Sex By Simone De BeauvoirThe Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir:

“Unsatisfied, cold, priapic, nymphomaniac, lesbian, a hundred times aborted, I was everything, even an unmarried mother,” wrote Simone de Beauvoir of the reaction to the second volume of The Second Sex.

This outpouring of angst – which included the Vatican placing the book on its banned list – was brought on by De Beauvoir’s frank discussion of female sexuality, including lesbianism and cross-dressing.

But there is so much more to The Second Sex, which asks the most fundamental question in the whole of feminism: what does it mean to be a woman?

See all 10 books HERE

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20 Mystical Bridges That Will Take You To Another World

Two pics in particular that are personal – I was at Multnomah Falls (and it IS gorgoeous) and the Stari Most bridge in Mostar – well, it isn’t the original. the original was destroyed by a senseless war. I don’t know that I can ever see this recreation again as “real”. It’s the illusion Bandaid slapped onto a human-engineered ruin that can never be taken back. Such is the fruit of war.

But check out Earth Porm’s selections of “20 bridges are incredibly mystical, for more reasons than one. Enjoy the view, and let your imagination run wild!”
Multnomah Falls, OregonMultnomah Falls, Oregon, USA

Located along the Columbia River Highway, this historic bridge spans before the incredible Multnomah Falls waterfall

See all the bridges HERE

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25 Websites to Upgrade Your Life

Lifehack offers “Great websites which you should check if you want to escape from the vicious trap of social media and live a life full of knowledge, joy, and inspiration.”

Brain PickingsA favorite of mine. Brain Pickings features thoughtful and analytical articles on topics related to literature, as well as spirituality, creativity, and personal growth.

Project Gutenberg, #19 on their list, offers more than 50,000 eBooks, all for free. You can download these books in ePUB, Kindle, or PDF formats, or you can even read them online. This site is completely legal as well, since the books available are ones with copyrights that have expired or that have been made free for non-commercial use by the publishers.

See all the sites HERE

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THIS ‘n THAT

U.K. bookstore chain Waterstones is removing Kindles from many of its stores as sales “continue to be pitiful”. A spokesman said the company was taking the display space back to use for physical books instead.

“The e-reader may turn out to be one of the shortest-lived consumer technology categories,” an analyst said.

Read the whole story HERE

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