asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
I'm doing a little bit of writing with some adult learners (there may be some high school students in this class as well)--just ten minutes or so. I don't have any pedagogical reason to believe this is beneficial, except for believing that when people have pleasant experiences doing something, then that thing becomes less daunting. In other words, maybe, if the students enjoy this time writing, they'll feel more able to tackle the sort of writing you need to do to clear the hurdles in front of them. But even if that's not the case, I think people deserve a chance and a place to try out writing, just for its own sake and their own sake. So.

My first prompt for them was this quote from Fred Rogers: "You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind," which I recalled from this autotuned song made from that and other remarks of his.

I showed them some gardens.

A garden in Holyoke, created by "self-proclaimed plant geeks":


(Source)

Randyland, the garden created by Randy Gilson, a waiter and son of a single mom, in Pittsburgh, PA:


(Source)

The magic gardens of Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia:


(Source)

The blooming Cadillacs at the Cadillac ranch in Amarillo, Texas:


(Source is this Google image, whose original location is given as this video.)

The famous Zen garden at Ryōanji, in Kyoto, Japan:


(Source)

And I said, even when you think a place is barren, nothing growing, life pushes through, like in this parking lot in Boston:


(Source)

And then I asked them--what's growing in the garden of your mind? Several people wrote that they felt like the parking lot and talked about worries, but one wrote about a painting she's planning, and another compared his mind to a potato (and gave me a diagram to show it growing). It was wonderful.

What's growing in the garden of *your* mind, these days?
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
Did you ever play the authors card game? We had this when I was a kid: 13 authors--a pretty random assortment of 19th-century English and American writers, all men with the exception of Louisa May Alcott--with four works for each author. You play it like you play Go Fish, with the goal being to get as many completed sets of authors' works as possible. Wakanomori and I enjoyed playing it the other day, but I thought it would be fun to make up a set of YA fantasy works. [personal profile] osprey_archer is visiting, and we created a set. It's a fairly random assortment, only two male authors (CS Lewis and Lloyd Alexander), and two authors I follow here one LJ/DW (that would be [personal profile] sartorias and [profile] pamaladean). The authors had to have four works or series of works; we tried not to list individual works in a series, and we decided all the works should be fiction.

The original Authors game features portraits of the authors...



But we are not good at portraiture, so we used symbols for each author. [personal profile] sartorias, you're a fan! [personal profile] pameladean, you're a sprig of rosemary!

(click through to embiggen)
DSCN6425

DSCN6426

DSCN6427

DSCN6428

DSCN6429

Just now [profile] wakanomori, [personal profile] osprey_archer, and I played it. Very satisfying!
asakiyume: (Hades)
The reason I feel anxious when I dump off my papers in the paper recycling dumpster is because people like me will see interesting items and pull them out--as I did, yesterday. I was attracted by the fancy handwriting. The book in which it had been inscribed was falling apart, but I grabbed the first few pages to situate the dedication.

Erle Stanley Garnder to Frances G. Lee

It might have been hard to decipher the name of the person who was making the inscription if it didn't happen to be ... the author of the novel!

copyright page

Although he was writing under one of his many pseudonyms:

title page

I thought the name "Erle Stanley Gardner" sounded somehow familiar--and a Google search told me that yes, indeed: he was the creator of Perry Mason and many other mysteries. Regarding his writing, the Thrilling Detective website says, "Although critics sneered and many felt that Erle Stanley Gardner was not a very good writer ... Gardner was one of the best selling writers of all times, and certainly one of the best-selling mystery authors ever."

Erle Stanley Gardner


source

Armed with this knowledge, and with some effort (and invaluable aid from Wakanomori), I take the dedication to read,

To my friend and
instructor
Capt. Frances G. Lee -- Trooper Gardner reporting.
With all my love
Erle
Stanley Gardner
June 1958

So who was Captain Frances--female spelling--G. Lee?

Well! She turns out to be Frances Glessner Lee, whom Wikipedia tells us is the "mother of forensic science"!

She had to wait until she was 52 to embark on the career for which she became famous, but at that point she inherited a fabulous fortune that enabled her to pursue her studies and endow departments of legal medicine, police science, and a library.

Further, Wikipedia tells us that "for her work, Lee was made an honorary captain in the New Hampshire State Police in 1943, making her to first woman to join International Association of Chief of Police."

a picture of her

source

And, Erle Stanley Gardner dedicated several novels to her.

... and somehow one that he'd sent to her himself, with an inscription, ends its life in a recycling dumpster in my town. I wonder who owned the book?

an extra, on prisons )

In any case: not your everyday find!


asakiyume: (feathers on the line)






The turtle in search of immortality

On the beach my anxious mother lit the kerosene lamp and walked the whole length of the sands, lighting up the sea in search of the beiro that would take us to the island of Ataúro, visible hunched in the pitch-dark night like a giant turtle which, in search of immortality, had turned itself into land.

By days rather than hours

Our family solitude was soon broken by the arrival of an African cipaio, the descendant of former deportees from Mozambique, the famous Landins, now employed as dogs of war and pacifiers of native uprisings. I could only see his white teeth and hear his gruff, loud voice, as he laughed and gave embarkation orders to a prisoner, either a political prisoner or a common criminal--at the time it came to the same thing, for they all shared the same destination and fate . . .

He put his hands into the water to wash them, but also perhaps to assure himself that the sea provided as solid a barrier as any prison walls. He shook of the drops of water, wrapped himself in a sarong and asked, "When do we arrive?"

"Tomorrow."

"Tomorrow! Does your clock tell the time by days rather than hours?"


The voice like a ship's wake

Simão listened to the sound of that silence. The sound of people falling asleep. Magnificent and terrifying, as at the very beginning or at the very end of time. He took off his sandals and held them in his hand. He wanted to see the face of the big land as he said goodbye to it. To see if it was laughing at him, weeping for him or about to kill him . . .When he could no longer make out the details of the city, he looked at the lights approaching the boat, the gleaming eyes of the fish, the young tuna and the sharks that rubbed against the wooden hull. Then the steersman saw his face fill with fear . . .

"It's all right," said the old man.

Simão started at this interruption to his thoughts. The old man's voice fanned out beneath Simão's gaze like a ship's wake.

"They're less dangerous than men. They know everything. They're the ones who guide the boat. They follow the sea currents. We learn how to navigate from them."

---Luís Cardoso, The Crossing (London: Granta Books, 2000), 11-15.

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3 45 67 89
1011 1213141516
17 181920 212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 03:21 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios