So I was on my dear friend Sue Williams' blog a few days ago, catching up on her fabulous posts when another friend commented that financial constraints make them an avid library user and I thought: Damn straight. Libraries are sexy.
What do I mean by "sexy"? Well, not only are public libraries economical, they are revolutionary (two of my favorite things). The idea on which they are based posits this: that reading is crucial to our human growth and that everyone should be able to read (and have access to knowledge) FOR FREE.
I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, reading was my saving grace, keeping me sane in a world that was more about survival than about enjoyment.
Not interested in the Clueless age of the early 90s (and being without MTV and extra money for the local Waldenbooks), the library opened up a universe of possibility for me; reading Anais Nin's diaries, Stephen King's tales of grey matter and the macabre, Neil Gaiman's dreamy and dark worlds, and Sylvia Plath's and Anne Sexton's verse kept me sane when I couldn't make sense of what was around me, showed me that there was more to EVERYTHING than what I could see on the surface.
Reading made me question, contemplate, challenge, and DREAM: important skills that have made me the person I am today. I owe all these skills (at least in part) to my library (and the kick-ass librarians who showed me the way).
So yeah. My point: Reading is a revolutionary, sexy act, one that is made possible by libraries. Go support your local library and the awesome people who work to bring you the books.
Also: if you know a young person, give them books. Take them to get their library card. Show them how cool it is to be in control of what knowledge they receive and to be contemplative of how they respond.
Comment on this and let me know which books changed your life and you're reading this summer!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
It's been awhile since my last post, I know. I've been working on some really cool projects, some of which can be found below!
It's no secret that I love the creepy, the sensual, and the bad-ass. Well, this summer you can join me for some intense seminars that explore all my loves (and yours).
I'm offering three seminars at Grub Street (my favorite independent writing center and home to some wonderful and inspiring folks). Check them out!
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me: Writing the Erotic Poem
Monday, June 28th, 7:00-10:00pm.
From the positively carnal to the utterly debauched, the poetry of the erotic has permeated popular as well as literary writing. Whether you're looking to expand your writing palate or deepen your study of how to meaningfully access the sensual in shorter work, this one night seminar will explore how the poem (in its many forms) naturally lends itself to the expression of our hidden (and not so hidden) cravings. We'll discuss how and why certain writers are able to rouse our deepest desires (whatever they may be) and do plenty of in-class exercises that will whet your appetite for the sensual! All sexualities welcome and encouraged. Don't worry; by the end of the night, we'll find the place that makes you quiver!
The Next JK Rowling: Unleashing the Power of Fairy Tale and Myth
Saturday, August 7th, 9:00am-4:00pm.
Readers can’t get enough of the fantastical. J.K. Rowling, and most recently Stephanie Meyer, have millions of devoted readers worldwide. So too does Philip Pullman, Margaret Atwood, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and hundreds of others who employ such worlds and characters. Over the course of this one fantastic day, we will delve into the glittering Aladdin’s Cave of myths and fairytales and help you to find and develop your own fantastical kingdom. Revisiting a varied host of familiar tales from Little Red Riding Hood to The Odyssey, we will look at modern interpretations of these fairy tales and myths and see how you too can carve out your own magical world. We will do a few inspiring creative exercises and prompts designed to inspire you to start “opening the wardrobe door” and creating your own Narnia.
Crafting the Villain
Monday, August 23rd, 7:00-10:00pm.
Some of the best and most memorable characters in literature are villains, rough and tough monsters, sly and sexy femme fatales, and naughty and deceitful oligarchs. They unnerve and excite us, sending a chill down our spines, and striking fear into our hearts. Yet when creating our own villains we often fail to overtly acknowledge the complexity and moral ambiguity that compels them to cause mayhem, delegating their motivation to a need to cause evil for evil’s sake and resulting in two-dimensional baddies. In this one-day seminar we will discuss traditional and non-traditional villains, why they are an essential part of any juicy tale, and how we can develop truly sinister and captivating characters that will antagonize, needle, and provoke even the bravest reader.
All registration and contact info can be found at: www.grubstreet.org
or tel: 617.695.0075. email: email@example.com.
Questions for me? Shoot me an email (contact info in my bio).
Hope to see you at Grub!!!