Archive for the ‘ Books ’ Category

Creating From the Spirit by Dan Wakefield…cover image by Sarah Curtiss

Novelist, journalist and screen writer Dan Wakefield is using one of my artworks for the cover of his book Creating from the Spirit…my first book cover commission for a book that wasn’t my own!  See below for a fabulous description of this uplifting book. You can order on-line by visiting Beech River Books or through Amazon.com.
Press release for Creating from the Spirit by Dan Wakefield

On sale now!

 

In this passionate, clearly reasoned book, award-winning journalist and novelist Dan Wakefield explodes the many myths often associated with the mysterious creative process. Drawing on examples from religion, philosophy, and literature and exercises such as journaling and right-brain drawing, CREATING FROM THE SPIRIT teaches us that the key to creation is clarity of body, mind, and spirit. Wakefield also challenges the “dangerous nirvanas” of drugs and alcohol as false agents of inspiration. CREATING FROM THE SPIRIT teaches anyone who wants to become more creative how to access our natural perceptions and hidden resources, a process brilliantly expressed in the lives and words of twenty “creators from the spirit.” Wakefield interviews artists and writers, scientists and athletes, CEOs and chefs — all of whom have learned to embrace each moment as a creative act. Now you can, too.

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Reading update: Geek Love, Sixteen Pleasures, Cutting for Stone, My Stroke of Insight, Moses : A Life

Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn.

Weird quirky book…might be too strange for some tastes…along the order of a John Irving novel, but not quite as tight. People who like A Prayer for Owen Meaney  (one of my all time favorites) would like this book. Definitely a fun read.

The Sixteen Pleasures: A Novel by Robert Hellenga.

Well written, but a bit dated. Had some problems identifying with the heroine in the beginning and then I realized the author was a man…aHA!

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

Fabulous fabulous fabulous book. A grand exotic international adventure from start to finish. It is not related at all, but it brings to mind the Kite Runner because of the scope and exotic flavor of it all. Read it.

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor.

This is the story of Taylor’s recovery from a stroke which disabled her to the degree where she had to relearn to walk, talk and everything else. She does recover and goes back to her job as a brain scientist. The interesting part about this book is the information she imparts on the left and right brains. We really are two people fused together like Siamese twins. I shall have more to say about this in Everything IS. Recommend.

Currently reading: Moses, A Life, by Jonathan Kirsch.

So far it is completely engrossing. I had no idea that Moses was such a controversial figure and that he was mostly a man of myth: Moses the Mainly Mythical Man. That’s what I would have named the book. I’ll let you know if Mr. Kirsch keeps me as interested as I am right now all the way to the end.

And OK OK, I read a few thrillers: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson, and the two sequels that follow.

It’s a trilogy, though each book feels like a finished work until you read the next book and find all things connected. It won’t ever be more than a trilogy since Stieg Larson died after the third book. I think I could have handled a fourth book, but probably not much more. The movie for the first book is out; it is in Swedish with English subtitles. I haven’t seen it  yet, but have heard good things about it. The heroine is a 90 pound Swedish photographic memory bi-sexual goth computer hacker super good dirty fighter with a dragon tattoo. Would someone please make a Haiku from that sentence?

Desert ants smell in stereo! Empire of the ants. The Roaches Have No King. Raptor Red.

After my recent trip to Death Valley, I thought this article was mighty interesting:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309102527.htm

Which reminds me of three works of fiction that are extremely fun anthropomorphic reads…a triptych so to speak:

1st, read Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker

2nd, read Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber

3rd, read The Roaches Have No King by Daniel Evan Weiss

All three are fast reads. I would read them in the above order as the last one is the real winner in the group and it’s always best to save the best for last. I loved that book…Ruth Ruth. Have to read it to know what I’m talking about.

The Breach by Patrick Lee and insights on perspective filtering

  

A very good book to read on the airplane. Fast paced sci-fi…lots of turns; waaaaay too much violence but I skimmed those parts. Just to give you an idea of how engrossed I was, after the airplane landed the pilot came on the air and apologized for the landing. I said out loud, “he’s apologizing for the landing?” Others on the plane thought I was ripping on the pilot and one gentleman told me it really wasn’t the pilot’s fault; there had been a huge wind of some sort he had to fight. I was stunned! Apparently we had a really bad landing and I hadn’t noticed…I was reading The Breach! What’s really weird about this is that I took about 30 pictures as we approached SF; five minutes before landing, I picked up my book again and must have traveled to a parallel universe where the landing was smooth.

This experience goes to the heart of my theories on filtering…that we filter out everything that doesn’t fit with our species’ world view to different extents at different times depending on the individual. In addition to these broad species-based filters, we have filters based on our geographic location, religious upbringing, age, sex, education, ethnicity, personal tastes, momentary distractions and terabytes of other factors.

We are taught this filtering process from the time we are born. Babies when first born are unable to focus properly. Perhaps we must learn to filter out the infinite other images surrounding us before we are able to identify the things our species/societies want us to see…such as our mother, father, etc.  We do live in a sea of microorganisms made up of groups of molecules made up of groups of atoms made up of groups of still smaller particles. We, ourselves, are made of groups of microorganisms and other groups of molecules. If we could see on the molecular or subatomic level, we wouldn’t be able to tell where one person or thing stopped and another began. The lines between things are fuzzy when viewed closely, like the shore of the ocean, always changing. We must filter out all sorts of connections between these different groups to operate within the parameters of our species and our political and cultural locations.

I was apparently able to turn on all filters external to the book I was reading during the airplane landing. Another filtering example that came from reading this same book: One reviewer on Amazon complained about the foul language, but didn’t mention the violence. I didn’t even notice the foul language. We definitely have two different filters in play here. Look at all of these filters from this one reading of The Breach on the airplane. Think of how many filters are in play on every other subject in the world coming from the perspective of every other subject in the world. Whew! More on this subject of filters later.

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