Friday, May 27, 2005

Opening Day

Opening Day for Opus 40!

And the weather promises to be,.. pretty good.

And all our new improvements to the gift shop are finished.

Come out and see us!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More on Shallow Thoughts and Banal Feelings

Writing demands the most awful, amazing combination of overwhelming egotism and overwhelming humility.

If you start thinking you have something to share, you lose the humility. You're preaching to the reader. You're saying I know this, and this is important, and you sit there while I tell you about it. And you can't lose that humility.

On the other hand, if you don't assume you have anything to share, and you write anyway, just for the sake of what you may discover, and the hell with the reader, you're working from a point of view of total egotism, and you can't lose that either.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Our gift shop and gallery will look a lot better this year. We're busy working on them now, getting ready for our Memorial Day Weekend opening. Here are Lee and Rolf on the job, supervised by Arick.
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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Shallow Thoughts, Banal Feelings

This is the first piece of advice I give my writing students. And the last. And several times in between.

We all start writing for the same reason. Our first impulses are always: we want to write because we have something to say. We have thoughts we want to express to the world, and we have feelings we want to share with the world.

So we start writing, and before long (if we’re lucky), but eventually (guaranteed), we will realize something. And this is the mantra I want you to remember all through this course, and all of your writing career:

All your thoughts are shallow, and all your feelings are banal.

And once that realization hits us, we can react in three ways, all of them OK.

We can say "OK, it's true. All my thoughts are shallow, and all my feelings are banal. So what? They're still my thoughts and feelings, and I just write to please myself." And there's nothing wrong with that. We just have to realize, then, that our writing is private rather than public. It's for our journals, and letters to our closest friends, and it's to be put away in attic so that someday our great-great-grandchildren can find them and say, "Wow, g-g-grandpa was really cool back in the 21st century."

Or we can say, "My God, it's true. All my thoughts are shallow, and all my feelings are banal. What am I doing? I'd better give up writing." And that's OK, too -- not everyone has to write. Just don't stop reading.

Or we can say, and we do say, if we're lucky or unlucky enough to be this kind of person, "My God, it's true. All my thoughts are shallow, and all my feelings are banal. That means I'm FREEEEEE!!!!!!!" And you are. You are no longer obligated to make sure the world gets your thoughts and feelings. You can explore words, and images, and all the possibilities of language.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tony Price at the UN

Tony Price, a wonderful artist from Santa Fe, NM, who died in 2000, is being honored with an exhibit at the UN of his powerful anti-war sculpture. From the show's website:

In the late 1960s Tony Price settled in New Mexico and discovered the Zia Salvage Yard at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was inspired to use the detritus of the world’s most advanced nuclear weapons program to create an art that spoke to Man’s deeper instinct for peace. With grace and wit and brilliance he fashioned the forms of nuclear destruction into icons of peace in an eloquent appeal for sanity and survival. Out of the angry arsenals of terror Price created weapons of mass salvation and he called them Atomic Art.

For more information, go to