It took me a chapter or two to adapt to Doyle’s chanting blend of poetry and prose. Then I went crazy for it, wanting more and more. And I’m equally enthralled with his new novel, The Plover, which continues the saga of Declan O’Donnell, a hard ass with a heart of gold who sails off into the Pacific alone. The book is scheduled to hit the shelves tomorrow (April 8), just a few days ahead of Doyle’s keynote address at the annual Get Lit gathering in Cannon Beach. [Read More]
In the beginning there was conversation, musings, the exchange of local words. A good story might be gathered in the morning and roasted at fireside talks over many evenings. Words could be risky, we learned, but also nutritious, mind-blowing, and profitable. So people made petroglyphs, cuneiform clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, telegraph cables, CB radios, and smartphones…. [Read More]
Pick a medium, any medium.
Shuffle it with streamlined themes
and magic random thoughts.
Cut it, quick, whoever you are.
Now hide it from the pros
who’ve done every dream.
Fifty winters after my emergence on earth I climbed to the top of a dune and surveyed the beach below. Over a hundred primates were reveling near the frothy foot of Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain. Half were splashing in the cold Oregon surf, hollering amid the elements. Others kept to dry sand, recording the briny romp with little gadgets.
Tradition says this is a time of year when matter and spirit mingle. The boundary between darkness and light becomes sheer now, at the end of harvest.
“Our little house is a wonderful, quiet place to work. Also a very good house for dreams, many people who’ve slept there have told me that. Dreams and the kind of writing I do have some connection. One morning when I was waking up in our Cannon Beach bedroom, the whole idea of one of the “Earthsea” books came to me as the light grew. When I got up, it was daylight and I had a novel to write.” — Ursula K. Le Guin
One of the most important cultural centers in the ancient world was founded by a dolphin. According to a Homeric Hymn, the creature jumped aboard a ship sailing from Crete and commanded the mariners to build a sanctuary at Delphi. The animal was said to be a manifestation of the Greek god Apollo. Apollo Delphinios.
Suddenly I feel like I’m standing on sacred ground. My sense of kinship with the place expands in the company of cedars, some large enough to barely get my arms around. I press my palms against the taut skin of their trunks. I revel in the scent of sprigs picked up from earth their kind have nourished for lifetimes.
“The old word is the best,” affirmed Pendragon, in a voice that could have been used to caution visitors about certain secluded coves during the new moon.
A heightened sense of awareness came over me as the talk swirled round the three of us gathered by the Food Mart (which, despite the sign out front, our family insists on calling the “Blue Store”). I felt at one with Nehalem, “place of the people.” [Read More]
Autumn conjures up hallowed thoughts of education. Scholars conversing under sturdy campus oaks. Visits to libraries late at night, haunted by information.
Yet harvest’s end heralds an older turn from physical to mental labor, one that predates mortarboards and standardized tests. It’s a release of time to reflect on our ways, raid the smokehouse of knowledge, slice into some farm-cured ideas. [Read More]