mackknopf: (Mack Recent)

Letters to the Earth

Messages from me to you

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Created on 2011-06-15 04:04:37 (#914710), last updated 2012-03-29 (286 weeks ago)

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Location:Birmingham, United States of America
Hi there!  I'm a lawyer by day, teacher by night, and a writer all the time.  I live in Birmingham, Alabama, where I practice Social Security Disability and family with my father at our firm. So why the journal title? _Letters From The Earth_ is a book published after Mark Twain's death, in which he gave forth a number of satirical and snarky stories about God and man. My conceit is to write a series of "Letters To The Earth," in which I address my writing to those it may concern. I send letters to the world, and sometimes the world sends letters back. Please do as well, if you would like.

Sometimes I think writers are archaeologists, and other times, reporters. It's probably a little of both. We save our scraps and pieces of life. Sometimes, what we bring you lived a long time ago. Sometimes, what we bring is something new, fashioned from the ragbag of experience. I consider journalling to be memoir, which as a genre can be cathartic and revelatory.  Everyone keeps a few secrets, though, so pardon me mine, though I'm fairly open.  For instance, Benjamin Franklin glossed over bad traits and his feud with his son in his own autobiography.  But it's still a worthwhile endeavor, as writing can be a communion of souls (to get flowery about it).  

I took home a Masters in English Literature before going to law school. However, occasionally, I think I learned more about the mechanics of the trade working as a reporter and editor at my school newspapers, and later at the Talladega Daily Home newspaper, than anywhere else! There's definitely no room for writer's block as a reporter. You can always say something, even if it's not very good, which I've taken to heart as a lesson.  Later, law school tightened up my writing even more, made it fiesty, put a little fight into the prose. 

Things I have written for pay (non-legal) include six months of reporting for the Talladega Daily Home, during which I won an Alabama Press Award for a business article. I was also an editor for the online magazine Strange Horizons (a semi-pro zine) for a while, where I wrote a couple of articles and edited many more.  I interned at White Wolf, a publishing house in Atlanta, one hot summer during the Olympics, which made me want to go to English grad school.   I've written a lot of other unpublished works: poems, games, articles, reviews (oh, I love reviews), short stories, and unfinished novels.  Some or all of these may show up as topics in this journal. Particularly, this journal will chronicle my attempts to complete a fantasy novel called _False Gods_.

Recent Favorite Quotes:

"The sleep of reason produces monsters." -- Francisco de Goya.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal enmity against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The human mind is the best computer ever invented." -- me
"Best general purpose computer." -- Kaolin Fire
"So throw away those lamentations, We both know them all too well/ If there's a book of jubilations, We'll have to write it for ourselves."  -- Josh Ritter, "Lantern"

“Where shall I begin? Begin at the beginning and stop when you get to the end.” -- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

"Midway in the journey of our life/ I came to myself in a dark wood,/ for the straight way was lost."-- Dante Alighieri, "The Inferno"


"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business." -- Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"


“To live outside the law you must be honest.” -- Bob Dylan

“Follow your bliss.” -- Joseph Campbell.

"Life is not a support system for art. It's the other way around." -- Stephen King

“No man is an island.” -- John Donne.

"But Fate against Fate is only parrying and defence: there are also the noble creative forces. The revelation of Thought takes man out of servitude into freedom. We rightly say of ourselves, we were born and afterward we were born again, and many times." Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Fate," from Essays on the Conduct of Life.
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