100 Things I Know #17 – I Know I Don’t Know What It Means To Be Black In America

Let me say it again, just to be clear.   I know that I don't know what it means to be black in America. That’s an awkward way to say it.   Here's what I mean. § I am white, and I am privileged.   And for most of my adult life, that privilege was invisible …

It’s Already Been Done: A Particular Lie

At any given moment, there are millions of artists and craftspeople working around the world, making things that may or may not have any pragmatic use (depending on how you define pragmatics), and for most of human history, those artists worked in small corners, unnoticed except by the few. Not so today, thankfully.   An explosion …

Writing: Getting to It

Inauguration day, as a moment of beginning and continuation, strikes me as a fine day to begin writing again.  So here we go. After a great Christmas in New York, where I got to hang out with my NYC gang—namely, Amy Berryman and Daniel and Grace Berryman (my amazing kids), not to mention my lovely …

The Feral Work in the Next Room

Annie Dillard's The Writing Life.  I should have read it back in February, when I first began approaching my current project.   Funny thing is, the image she describes in the following paragraph is one I have kept in the back of my mind for years. A work in progress quickly becomes feral.  It reverts …

World Building

Jonathan Harris is an artist I just came across last night, but already, there's something about what he's up to that appeals to me.   Go to his website to explore.   He begins with a clear statement of vision, and then you go to a page with descriptions of his work.   He is …

George Bernard Shaw and the Fight for Pygmalion

"Don't talk to me of romances; I was sent into the world to dance on them with thick boots--to shatter, stab, and murder them." -- George Bernard Shaw.  (His Collected Letters) The basic facts are these: George Bernard Shaw wrote the play on which the musical My Fair Lady is based  99 years ago, in 1912. …

A Brief Note On “The War of Art”

How do you define a critic?  I don't remember where I first heard it, but here's the definition I use, though frankly, until recently, I'd forgotten it. "A critic mediates between an artist and his work." Yesterday, I got a note about the latest draft of the my current project.  It wasn't a note I …