April’s Asian Odyssey Begins…

April left for her Bali trip late Wednesday night and has now arrived. There’s a 13-hour time difference. Here are the first of her photos:

 

 

 

 

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#taipei

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Continue reading “April’s Asian Odyssey Begins…”

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Just Maura & Me At the Hobbit Hole For A Bit…

Hilltop Queen Maura decrees an afternoon working outside. The perfect weather further insists. I comply. #siberianhusky

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Much has been afoot the past few weeks to push my attention away from consistent blogging. I offer my apologies, dear readers.

The primary challenge confronting us concluded yesterday: April left to begin her travels. I’ll be joining her in 10 days’ time. For now it’s just the Maura dog and me in our quiet hobbit hole in the hills…

I’ll try and pick up the blogging pace more over the remaining days before the trip starts and then will hopefully be able to begin daily or every-other-day travel blogging from Africa, all through July…

A New Series, Essential Authors #1: Andrew Klavan

I start a new series today at Smash Cut Culture, the blog of Taliesin Nexus:

Two years ago, I joined Liberty Island Media, a start-up book publishing company focusing on genre fiction, as their West Coast Editor and began acquiring and editing novels. I also started writing my own novels and helping other writers develop their stories. Now, in this ongoing series at Smash Cut Culture I’m going to start highlighting the authors who I’ve returned to most often in working with writers. As I’ve studied and met both fiction and non-fiction writers over the years these are the ones with the most depth, originality, and humanity. Reading their books and understanding the ideas that matter to them has helped change my life for the better and I hope it can do the same for you.

Andrew Klavan has worn many writer’s hats over the years: hard-boiled thriller novelist, Hollywood screenwriter, essayist for The Wall Street Journal and contributing editor for City Journal, longtime new media innovator in blogging, hilarious YouTube videos, podcasting at the Daily Wire, and now celebrated memoirist with The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ.

I’ve known Klavan since 2009 when I started editing full time; I came to know him better from 2011-2015 as his editor for his columns and blog posts. (Not that Klavan ever needed much editing!) See this reflection I wrote about him and the potential of his ideas in 2013. In more recent years I’ve been particularly interested in coming to understand how Klavan’s novels have generated such success for him, and in turn communicating those lessons to writers—and myself.

Read the rest at Smash Cut Culture…

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June 6, 2017, 8:34 AM: Future updates with links, photos, and comments on all Klavan-related writings will go here.

Your Favorite Beatles Album Defines You

So today has been the celebration for the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I admit to not participating in the festivities, even though I remain a Beatle fanatic, having been raised on their music, in their pop culture pagan faith since probably before birth. I don’t particularly need to spell out the album’s inadequacies, numerous “think pieces” already have. Of the album’s 13 tracks, only a handful have become classics of the Beatles’ canon.

But there’s one in particular that I’ll stick my neck out for any day of the week, George Harrison’s contribution:

We were talking
About the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world
And lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see
Are you one of them

When you’ve seen beyond yourself
Then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come
When you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you

Yes, I admit my biases: I do prefer the Beatles when they’re in mystical mode and of the four George is probably the one I end sympathizing with most. (I used to identify with John Lennon for many years — during my rebellious adolescent period.) But now the artistry and spirituality of George seems a better fit:

I’m more of a White Album Beatles fan. The individualism and experimentalism of the album are still what makes it resonate for me — the way that the songs allowed each member of the band to try innovations and parodies and provocations.

If you’re a Beatles fan which album is your favorite? And how do you see your personality or your own artistic tendencies reflected in it? Which tracks are your favorites?