Monday Discovery: “Silence,” an Essay by Laura Furman

Today’s discovery is Silence,” an essay by Laura Furman first printed in the Glimmer Train Bulletin, February 2011.

If you struggle with the noisiness of this busy life, read Furman’s essay. Every word is a treasure. Here’s a tease . . .

A great treasure of vital demands stands between the writer and her work—love, family, the necessities of food and shelter, friends; hardest of all there is her restless, noisy self.

—Laura Furman

Solitude
Son House, Hambidge Center for the Arts 2011 © Gerry Wilson

Monday Discovery: Mind the Gap

Today’s Monday Discovery: A new series of writing challenges at WordPress called Mind the Gap. WordPress will choose a topic each week that’s trending in the news and issue a challenge to us bloggers to express our opinions on the issue. The focus of these “Mind the Gap” posts is to get us thinking and writing.

Here’s this week’s Mind the Gap question: Has social media changed how you view the Olympics? You can go over and take the poll and express your opinion there.

Here’s Mine

The title of the challenge, “Mind the Gap,” seems particularly apt for today’s chosen topic. I was not as concerned about social media and the Olympics as I was about the obscene amount of money spent to “put on” the games. All through the opening and closing ceremonies, especially, I couldn’t stop thinking, “My God, how much does this cost?”

I know how important it is for the host country to shine, and Great Britain did that. The games–which are, after all, the focus of the event (or should be)–went almost flawlessly which, considering all that could have gone wrong, is nothing short of miraculous these days. The athletes were astounding in their prowess and in their successful and heartbreaking moments.

Soup Kitchen
Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/Gary Alvis

The Least of These 

Here’s the gap that bothers me, though. According to our local paper this morning, the price tag for this Olympics was $14 billion! I keep thinking about how many empty mouths and scrawny bodies all those billions could feed and clothe. Could the world have done with a little less show and a little more charity?

How about, for every gold medal, a charitable contribution of $25,000 goes to a humanitarian effort in the winner’s home country (that’s what the gold medal winners get–taxable, by the way)? I don’t begrudge the winners their prizes. I just wish for a little more awareness and compassion and in our complicated world.

Think about it . . . Maybe you know of a charitable effort as an outgrowth of the Olympics. If so, educate me. And let me know your opinions here! 

Monday Discovery: Lisa Cron on Writing and Brain Science

The excellent website/blog for writers, Writer Unboxed, is not a recent discovery, but Lisa Cron is. Lisa is the author of WIRED FOR STORY: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence.

MRI of human brain
Image at http://bit.ly/NfdUEQ (office.microsoft.com)

Lisa has just joined the Writer Unboxed team.  In today’s WU post,  Why Are We Wired for Story?, Lisa proposes that, because of the way our brains are wired, it doesn’t matter how beautifully polished the prose is; it’s the story that matters. Unless urgency in the story provokes curiosity in the reader, no amount of “fixing” will work.

An excellent, thought-provoking post. Go read it now, and let me know what you think.