Elegy for Before and After August 1, 1966

Elegy for Before and After August 1, 1966

This is not a scoop.

This is not an insider tell-you-anything.

This is not the beginning or the end or the first or the last word.

The heat was unrelenting. Here came the bagpipes. The procession. The tolling of the bell. The stopping of the clock. Dear diary: I was there. Dear diary: I knew someone once. Dear diary: I was that person. Dear diary: they were taken. Dear diary: here is a stone.

(Are you still listening?)

Another year. After so many. Before decades of others.

Here comes a birthday. We have stopped counting candles on the cake.

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Love and Mercy, Not Blood and Bullets

Love and Mercy, Not Blood and Bullets

For almost four years now, as I’ve completed a second book, 1966 has weighed heavily on my mind. Maybe you were born that year, or one of your siblings was. Maybe you got married then, or your parents did. Perhaps you graduated, or got drafted. Maybe you lost someone—to distance, disease, or drinking; to random violence or Vietnam.

In May that year, The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds, an album that received some critical acclaim despite mostly popular failure. Love and Mercy, a stunning biopic about Brian Wilson released last weekend (starring John Cusack and Paul Dano), devotes an amazing amount of detail to the creation of songs for that album. It wasn’t an easy process.

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Writer Ninja Podcast Episode Five

Episode Five, “The Gift of Consent,” now available on iTunes and on this site. Jo asks for your thoughts on how important consent is to any authentic learning experience, both inside and outside traditional learning situations. She also interviews writer John Brantingham, author of East of Los Angeles (a poetry collection), and professor extraordinaire of English and Creative Writing at Mount San Antonio College.

Brantingham is also the current coordinator for the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, planned for Winter 2013.

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Creative Tools–from Barry Michels and Phil Stutz

As promised on Writer Ninja Podcast Episode Three, here’s a thought-provoking set of insightful tools for thinking about that “block” you keep having. Maybe you’re clinging to it! Let go!

The toolkit appeared online in early 2011 in the New Yorker. Therapists Michels and Stutz have been getting a lot of media play recently for their work with helping creative folks get back on the wagon of writing/producing/acting/developing.

Thank you to John Cusack for the great Twitter tip-off!

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