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sjfgreenman
Expert Boarder
Posts:733

Re: Books?

#17907 3 years, 5 months ago
You're right that poem has everything, like she put it all into one piece. The rest of her poems are not on that level and honestly not very interesting, heavy on her devotion to God. That's rough sailing with Chaucer, it's one thing to take time to look into an author's secret messages but that language barrier is brutal. How did they understand each other? lol It's hard to believe that was the norm at one time.

"a number of Pranksters (Coyote, McMurtry, Robert Stone) have made significant inroads into mainstream culture."
Don't forget Stewart "Whole Earth" Brand, a great guy who was ahead of his time repeatedly.

I was in the same boat at the same time regarding the draft and was also looking into possibly being an objector. Tense times.

I have read Drumming at the Edge of Magic and need to pick up another copy, it's a great book. It connects the dots so well, like Campbell's work with myth. Mickey's work in that area has been outstanding. I love Planet Drum.

The Keith Richards book sounds interesting, the guy is hell on wheels. Like a cat with 9 lives. I knew a carpenter who worked on his place in CT (the Stones rehearsed there and he fell in love with the area) and he had some wild Keif stories.
"if you don't like the news go out and make some of your own"
Equinox
Platinum Boarder
Posts:17127

Re: Books?

#18186 3 years, 5 months ago
Actually Stewart Brand outdid them all, didn't he? In creating the WELL he didn't just make inroads into mainstream culture, he basically redefined it. Somebody should do a book on the complete Prankster story, not just the Electric Kool-Aid part. I know there's some kind of Kesey bio out called Acid Christ but Blair Jackson gave it a scathing review on dead.net.

I had heard about Bradstreet's devotional poems and I think that's why I kind of wrote her off. Yes, Chaucer took a lot of effort but that was par for the course at Penn in those days. The focus was much more on business and science and with English essentially an afterthought, the department mostly went with the proven winners. I took plenty of courses -- I was an English major -- but the most satisfying ones were the most traditional. Shakespeare, Romantic poetry, that sort of thing. I won't go into the nightmare that passed for creative writing at the time.

I know all about Keith and CT. The other band I've toured with extensively in my life is the Stones. Thirty shows since 1975, including the concert that ended up being released as Shine A Light. Keith is what's kept me so involved. If he's on then the band's on and if that's the case, then no matter who plays what notes, it all falls together perfectly. No unlike the Dead.
"Got any nails?"
"No!"
"Got any flies?"
HeatherB
Junior Boarder
Posts:64
Inspiration move me brightly

Re: Books?

#18668 3 years, 5 months ago
Just finished reading This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin.
It's about the perception and cognition of music. Really interesting but because of the subject matter takes some time to wade through.

Here's an excerpt:

"Safety plays a role for a lot of us in choosing music. To a certain extent, we surrender to music when we listen to it - we allow ourselves to trust the composers and the musicians with a part of our hearts and our spirits; we let the music take us somewhere outside of ourselves. . . . . This sense of vulnerability and surrender is no more prevalent than with rock and popular music in the last forty years. This accounts for the fandom that surrounds popular musicians - the Grateful Dead . . . . We allow them to control our emotions and even our politics . . . . We let them into our living rooms and bedrooms when no one else is around. We let them into our ears, directly, through earbuds and headphones, when we're not communicating with anyone else in the world. It is unusual to let oneself become so vulnerable with a total stranger."
PMoondancer
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1844

Re: Books?

#18796 3 years, 5 months ago
Hi Equinox!

She encouraged my poetry, essay, and short story writing.
Its pretty much private except for some published for by the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts, and some work published by U.S.C., and of course what I've posted on the Art thread.

Thanks for asking. I've always been very shy about it. Its great to have this place to share. I feel at home here.

Love and Light,
Paige
Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by PMoondancer .
Equinox
Platinum Boarder
Posts:17127

Re: Books?

#18989 3 years, 5 months ago
Hi Paige.

Yes, I had seen some of your writing in that art thread. I think the term "peyote patterns" would make a great title for a book. I was curious about your writing because, having studied with Dickey and given some of the books you'd recommended, you obviously have a strong background in English. I'm always curious to see if anyone's able make something like that work in the Real World.

In a nutshell, that's pretty much my story. When I was 14, I started coming up with poems that impressed my teachers and they encouraged me to keep going. I found I loved writing and at an artsy school like the one I was attending, it wasn't hard to find an appreciative audience.

I took the writing thing to college as an English major and almost immediately slammed up against some hard realities. My English department had some very narrow definitions of what constituted good and bad writing. In poetry I favored the kind of sensual rush of words that was used by, say, Gregory Corso, whom I posted in that poetry thread. Ah, but that sort of thing wasn't sanctioned by the Powers That Be. The one poetry writing course I took was so disastrous that it made me question everything I was doing.

So I moved into fiction. I took several writing courses in that and while there was a bit more flexibility I can pretty much sum up the experience with this story: At one point I was reading a lot of Paul Bowles. He wrote The Sheltering Sky, which is one of my favorite books. He also translated many tales by the local storytellers in Tangiers, where he lived. Most of these had some kind of supernatural bent and so inspired, I submitted a ghost story. The response was a shock. A number of people said they were actually insulted that I would waste the class' time with a ghost story. I wonder what Yeats or Charles Dickens or William Blake might have thought of that. At the time I'd been thinking of going for a Master's Degree in writing but I soon decided against it.

So I graduated, still wanting to write. Throughout my 20s I experimented with all kinds of styles of poetry and prose. To support myself I worked in retail and construction. William Burroughs has said that writing is an addiction and I must say that completing something I'm really satisfied with is the best high I've ever found.

In my early 30s I got lucky and started having chances of publishing articles in various small magazine and newspapers in and around Philadelphia. I was able to turn this into something of a career. It's not that I was that great a writer, it's just that I'm able to meet multiple deadlines on a weekly basis. And I could write about anything: Medical issues, travel issues, even some music and cinema.

I haven't written an article in a long time. As a result of 9/11 and its ripple effect on business, most of those publications went out of business. So I moved into copy writing which is a bit more stable and pays better. Press releases, web content, occasional speeches. The last project I completed was the fundraising materials for my 35th reunion at my high school. It's not poetry. I'd be a fool if I thought that. But I do still get that little high when I know that something I've written really works.

So, in a VERY roundabout way, that's why I asked about your writing.

Ramsay
"Got any nails?"
"No!"
"Got any flies?"
The following user(s) said Thank You: PMoondancer
PMoondancer
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1844

Re: Books?

#19016 3 years, 5 months ago
Ramsay,

Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad to read that you overcame a narrow-minded English college program. I
I had a Romantic literature professor that was of a similar mindset..(I am sure that Shelley would have recoiled at her repressive interpretation of his work).

It's impressive that you have been able to earn money from your work. That perhaps was a childhood fancy of mine. But Bennie Lee, Dickey, and Ben Greer warned us to keep our day jobs until the night job paid, so to speak. I have always relied on other work to pay the bills, and always kept writing in a sacred place in my heart.

U.S.C. had a good program.

I sincerely hope that you continue your work and that it is successful and brings you great joy.

Paige


Today's book suggestion is The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by PMoondancer .
Equinox
Platinum Boarder
Posts:17127

Re: Books?

#19031 3 years, 5 months ago
Well, I believe that whole thing about writers having to make a living is one of the reasons so many writing courses have this doctrinaire slant. Realistically, most novels, no matter how good, aren't going to sell more than a couple of thousand copies. You might get a movie sale, paperback rights, foreign rights. But to make sure they have a secure income with plenty of time to write, a lot of these authors end of up teaching writing courses. There arte big conferences, whole schools devoted to this sort of thing. In one way it's a good thing, it benefits society when art can be created. But it kind of instills an institutionalized idea of what creates "good" writing. An example from my experience would be Ann Beattie. She was hugely popular in the early 80s, a mainstay at the New Yorker. Most of her stories were these tense, atmospheric pieces where not much actually happened but there was always this telling detail that seemed to resolved everything. If you didn't write like that then your work wasn't "good." But really who can write like that? She obviously had a gift.

Ken Kesey tried to come up with an alternative way to teach writing. In the 80s at the University of Oregon he oversaw a three semester graduate course where he and his students actually wrote a novel together and got it published. The title was Caverns and the author was listed as O. U. Levon (Univ. of Oregon Novel). The idea, Ken said in interviews, was that since his students had gotten into his course, they were already capable writers. The best the professor could do, he figured, was to give them a taste of the publishing business. Contracts, editors and all the rest. Sounds pretty smart, IMO but this challenged a thriving cottage industry so there was a firestorm of criticism.

All I'm saying is you can't depend too much on accepted judgements of good and bad. A really innovative work will render them obsolete, anyway.

Pat Conroy. The Great Santini. I've always meant to read that.

BTW, thanks for thinking it's impressive I make money with my writing but it's more a matter of dogged determination and the ability to occasionally subsist at a fairly low standard of living!
"Got any nails?"
"No!"
"Got any flies?"
PMoondancer
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1844

Re: Books?

#19037 3 years, 5 months ago
Well, you still get compensated, right? That's something.

I agree with what you've said about the culture of writing and the way it is/ has been taught.

I heard that about Kesey"s program too. He was always taking things furthur. It surprises me when people are affronted by genius and compassion being put into production.

I hope to read some of your work soon,

Paige
Equinox
Platinum Boarder
Posts:17127

Re: Books?

#19038 3 years, 5 months ago
Well, Paige, since you asked... Here's a bit of press work I put together recently for a singer-songwriter in Portland, OR.

It all starts with a song.

A fresh melody, a penetrating insight, an evocative turn of phrase — any of these qualities would mark an artist as someone to watch. Put them all together in one musician and he becomes someone to follow, a person who might impact a genre again and again.

C. C. Crowe has that potential.

On his new double CD, Live At Jackpot, the singer from Portland, OR offers 21 tantalizing glimpses of what might well become a long and influential career. These are songs that uphold the Americana tradition while making a thoroughly personal statement, stories with universal truths, music that seems to balance craft and inspiration with no effort at all.

Engineered and mixed by Dean Baskerville (Sheryl Crowe, Everclear) and mastered by Steve Hall (Jackson Browne, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac), Live At Jackpot is a debut literally years in the making. Like so many, C. C. Crowe has paid his dues in clubs and coffee houses, entertaining many an audience with just a guitar and his richly melodic take on life. Along the way, he spent time in such crucial music centers as Austin, Seattle and Philadelphia. He also discovered the brilliance of such artists as Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons, Rambling Jack Elliot and Jerry Jeff Walker, absorbing their influences and spinning his experience into a fertile stockpile of at least 150 songs.

For all that time onstage, it’s only recently that Crowe began working with a band. The graceful and versatile Crowetones grew out of a chance meeting at Portland’s Artichoke Music store between the singer and guitarist Steve Genova, who made his reputation with blues legend Danny Gatton. From there the band came together organically, as did the arrangements for the new songs Crowe was writing to take advantage of all these fresh possibilities.

And what songs! From the sweet playfulness of “My Love Is Plain” to the smoldering melancholy of “Arizona”; from raw barnburners like “Chain Around My Heart” to radio-friendly gems like “The Last Thing On My Mind”; from travelogues like “New England Boy,” that map the heart of this country to ones like “Homeless,” that chart the country of the heart, Crowe covers an astonishing number of emotional bases.

The band, which also features the elegant mandolin of Bob Jeffries and the airtight rhythm section of bassist Larry Huntley and drummer Jake Cantrell, rehearsed this material for six months. They also played a handful of live shows but the focus was squarely on getting the most out of the songs. It certainly shows in the final product. Recorded live in just two days at Portland’s Jackpot Studio — with no song requiring more than a single take — the collection boasts a relaxed spontaneity that perfectly suits the authenticity in Crowe’s voice and vision.

And now that the album’s out, it’s time to hit the road. In the coming months, the Crowetones will be taking their music far and wide. Of course, Live At Jackpot will constitute the core of their shows but there should be plenty of surprises as well. According to Crowe, the band is currently rehearsing 85 songs from that prime stockpile.

So don’t consider this album a culmination. It’s really just a beginning, an open door beyond which lies a creative path that just might touch the entire world.

Because really, it does all start with a song.

Thanks for asking.
Ramsay
"Got any nails?"
"No!"
"Got any flies?"
The following user(s) said Thank You: PMoondancer
PMoondancer
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1844

Re: Books?

#19051 3 years, 5 months ago
Ramsay,

That was engaging.

I will have to listen to this C.C. Crow. Thanks!

Paige
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