Ramblings

I’ve rambled around the internet more than usual of late, and stumbled upon some marvelous artsy, literary sorts of things. I feel compelled to share them:

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor
I’m having such fun with this. It’s basically a poem a day. If you subscribe to the free podcast, you get a dose of literary history for the particular day you’re on, as well as Garrison Keillor’s reading of the daily poem. Great literary stuff, and to hear the famous Mr. Keillor read the poems aloud in that strange, mellow voice of his. Well.

Remembering Esther Hautzig
When I studied WWII history, one of the first books my mom assigned was Esther Hautzig’s The Endless Steppe. This true, but oh so winsomely told memoir of a Jewish girl from Poland who was exiled to Siberia in 1939, captivated me from page one. I think I read it several more times during my growing up years because it was a book that managed to bring the worldwide forces of war and separation down to the level of a young girl, longing for home, yet making a new one in the midst of exile. I still remember how desperately she wanted a pair of Siberian boots, only to find that she’d never wear them once back in Poland. I didn’t realize that Esther later came to the States and worked in children’s literature. She died just this week, and the above link will take you to a list of several tributes to her work and character. Remarkable woman.

The Semicolon Blog – “Books we must have though we lack bread.”
I’m lovin’ this blog! If you want a plethora of excellent book reviews on all sorts of subjects with a bit of history and art thrown in for good measure, then head on over.

James A. Michener Art Museum
I love serendipity. I was checking out the membership benefits of a certain art museum and found a list of other museums into which said considered membership would gain me entrance. One of them was the James A. Michener Art Museum. An author with a penchant for art? This sounded interesting. I headed over and found what is one of my delights- a small art museum with a collection of beloved, hand-picked paintings. This one focuses specifically on the art of Buck’s County, PA, but they have an online gallery of their works, and oh my, you wouldn’t believe the luminescent landscapes, the country scenes, the portraits to be found in that collection. I spent an accidental hour being enmeshed in their beauty. And I am now determined to someday own some form of night scene print by George W. Sotter.

John Muir Writings
I watched the PBS documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and wished I could meet the people behind the whole national parks project. They loved nature. John Muir was one of them; he was a naturalist who spent months by himself in the deepest wilds of the rockies. His love of nature, his awe of its Creator, and the writing he did to describe it formed a partial narrative to the documentary. Needless to say, I wanted all his books after hearing this quote: he who believes in neither God nor glaciers is the worst sort of unbeliever. I can see the wryness on his face as he said it. Imagine my delight to find the above online collection for free.

Is There Anyone Anymore Who Will Tell Us How to Write Well?
I sent this article to my editor. I thought she’d appreciate it. She recommended I get White’s guide to writing style. (Wonder why?!)

Charles Van Sandwyk Art
I’ve mentioned this artist before, but a recent book fair enabled me to hold a few copies of his priceless books and I just have to let the world know of his existence again. The intricate, fairy tale, folk tale sense to his art is charming beyond words, but the fact that he steadfastly maintains his own press and oversees every bit of his work from start to finish is equally wondrous. I have just a few notecards of his framed, but someday, I hope to get a book. A browse of his pictures is a hearty meal for the imagination.

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2 Comments

Filed under Art, Books

2 responses to “Ramblings

  1. Charlotte Fyshure

    I just got back from a trip to Yosemite NP where John Muir’s life really began (I’m sure he’d agree). His poetry glorifies God and interprets nature exquisitely. We were able to see where his cabin was in a quaint wood near Yosemite Falls. My husband and I are both Park Rangers and it’s exciting work that definitely accommodates that of a writer (if you are ever interested)- a lot of literary folk in this field! We are on the second PBS movie- well done! Love it!

  2. Alden

    Sarah,
    I’m glad you found The Writer’s Alamanc. It’s been my home page for years, delivering a poem to me every time I open my browser. I sometimes look ahead or back for days I’ve missed or will miss. Often I’m left untouched, but sometimes I’m grabbed by a fiery fist or lifted by a strong warm breeze. Tomorrow… 11/21/2009, is a warm strong embrace of beauty and gratitude. Enjoy and be blessed in the prayers, praises and labors of your day.

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