Category Odds & Ends

Summer Fecundity

The not unpleasant smell of rotting fruit alerts the senses when one ventures into my backyard on these early summer days. “Our time is now,” that well-known maxim exhorted by coaches in pre-game locker rooms across the land, is nowhere more true than among the two prolific plum and pluot trees in said yard, which, like some urgent stream after a storm, can’t expel their bounty fast enough. I need a crew available at my immediate beck-and-call to scoop up the falling flesh that relitters my yard every day, no matter the removal effort that left it clear just hours before.

Plop plop plop they rain down, even as I am on hands and knees depositing their bruised brothers and sisters into my bucket, their waystation en route to the compost bin and their ultimate return to earth as dirt for next summer’s bounty.

Sorry, soup kitchen, church members, neighbors and friends with whom I otherwise may have sh...

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John Steinbeck’s Muddled View of Sunsets

Of course I was moved by The Grapes of Wrath, though I think East of Eden was a superior novel.

And Of Mice and Men? Who wasn’t reduced to blubbering at Lenny’s sorry fate? I sure was!

So this post is not to impugn the renowned and honorable John Steinbeck, champion of the dispossessed and travel companion of a dog named Charlie, among other estimable virtues.

It is only to hold up the fact, in graphic detail pertaining to one short sentence of Steinbeck’s prose, that writers don’t always get it right, that they most always benefit from conscientious editing, and that sometimes, even writers as gifted as Steinbeck, rewarded for their talents and toil by being assigned accomplished and decently paid editors, can fail and then be failed by those editors as well.

To such a degree, as a matter of fact, that the following kind of sentence can occasionally sneak past the sentries guarding against ambigui...

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Some Thoughts on Thinking (and Emotions)

Like most writers, I keep a cache of mostly random thoughts, snippets, excerpts, ideas for future projects that I store in a folder on my digital desktop. It’s a big file that I add to whenever I can catch myself in the act of thinking, and in doing so, step outside of that thinking just far and long enough to say, “Hmmm…there may be a blog (or sermon or poem) in that.”

This process, of interrupting one’s unself-conscious immersion in a thoughtstream to consciously note that one is having a thoughtstream that may be worthy of further thinking, is a rather interesting occurrence itself. It is thought reflecting upon thought, which, by virtue of its interruptive qualities, inevitably changes the original thoughtstream that prompted the whole enterprise.

So very meta.

(“I just saw this movie about these people making a movie, and the movie they were making was about the movie industry…” goes on...

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water words

wet   life   drip   moist   damp   cloud

here   yes   drink   suck   slurp   gulp

gone   none   parched   pinched   paucity

salve   swim   immerse   cleanse   anoint

where   there   mirage   drought   dry

slip   slide   ease   merge   one   spurt

grasp   groan   cracked   arid   shrivel

douse   dunk   splash   soak   wade.

now oh lord deep bless bliss wet

Water Play by Prashant Godbole

Hands to Heavens by Rob McIlvaine

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Twitter: @AndrewHidas

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhidas/

Deep appreciation to the photographers!

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banne...

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Third Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

In my earliest days as a journalist, words were the thing. If meddlesome editors and art directors wanted to attach photos to the small ink marks of the alphabet that I committed to paper, fine, that was their business, but frankly, I could not have cared less. Seas of gray were fine by me.

That was not the only matter I was young and dumb about back then. But I won’t spend any more words elaborating on that here—it’s time again for the Holiday Photo Gallery!

Lights! Cameras! So much beautiful, nuanced storytelling action, oh my!

Here’s just a brief baker’s dozen+1 sample from the World of Flickr and its legions of generous, talented photographers who have helped liven up this page over the past 52 weeks. Behold…

If red is a power color, you may as well start being powerful down at your feet…

Girl Power, Red Boots, by Rachel Sian

So much thunderous action down there in the world of the small…

Drop ...

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