Monday, June 16, 2014

My book grew a garden

I remember in the mid-1980s doing blackout poetry (as it is now called — also known as found poetry, poetry in prose, or altered prose) with my school friends after learning about it from an English teacher. I’ve been a lover of words for as long as I can remember, but somehow I forgot about that fun hobby over the years. Recently I rediscovered it thanks to this beautiful thing called the world wide web and so I grabbed my old falling-apart 50¢ paperback of The Scarlet Letter and started playing around again with these wordly treasure hunts after nearly three decades. And what a good time I’m having. Here’s a photo of what I ended up with on the first page of Chapter 1; it turned out to be a gardening theme — “Women of happiness rule the soil.”

The problem with blackout poetry is the destruction of books which of course makes me cringe, but I’m intending to leave my books intact and not literally blackout any words so that the books are slowly turned into readable art. Some people make a copy of the page instead of modifying the actual book, which seems like a good idea as well.

This pastime is such a fulfilling creative outlet. To all the authors whose works I end up modifying, I offer sincerest of advance apologies. I will try my darnedest to create new written art without disrespecting your original words (too much).

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer afternoon with a book

Sometimes we take for granted wit and wisdom that we can get on the internet free of charge. And sometimes we only remember that when we are holding that wit and wisdom in our own hands, in paper form. The words feel different not only to the touch but to the mind as well. That’s one of the many reasons I’ll be a lifelong lover of books. The most recent book in my collection is Robert Brault’s new Round Up the Usual Subjects: Thoughts on Just about Everything, a 200-page compilation of some great lines spanning many years of his writings. It’s sorted by subject so it’s great not only for general browsing but also to pick up and quickly find an inspiration on whatever topic you’re seeking at the moment (essential for quotation anthologists!). This afternoon it’s coming along with me and some tea and cherries during a break from chores and cleaning.

The book is available for preview and purchase on CreateSpace and Amazon, more information here:

“The ultimate regret is to realize that what you asked of life was never sufficient to make you happy.” ~Robert Brault

Robert Brault book

Monday, June 2, 2014

¡Viva la Oxford comma!

Professional editor Laura Poole
this “serial comma” hand signal.

¡Viva la Oxford comma!

“There are people who embrace the Oxford
comma, and people who don’t, and I’ll just say
this:  never get between these people when
drink has been taken.” —Lynn Truss