Many of my jobs are so close to Forest Park, and for the last few days I have found myself taking the long way home by using the snake-roads through the woods and trees and golfing greens.
And since the weather is wonderful, I've taken an few minutes for a Geocache:
And my adventures may or may not have been filled with corny 90's playlists:
I had a nice Easter. I also had an epiphany regarding my short-story/submitting-to-journals-journey I shall tell you about later.
The evening before Easter, I had the opportunity to hang out with Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. Okay, I listened to him speak at an event. A secret one. No, just kidding. But in my mind we DID hang out, and it was secret, and I was a part of a secret hanging-out club full of brilliant writers with a secret handshake and campfire songs.
It is very difficult to explain the brilliance that is disguised as stream of consciousness that Mr. Handler dishes out to adults and kids alike. He speaks to them as readers, but I was there listening as a writer. Especially when he spoke about curiosity and how important it is (and lacking it can be) in storytelling.
"I am always curious when something happens," he said. "That's why literature is good, good literature, anyway, because we are curious when something happens. The world has always been a mysterious place to me, a place that’s foggy and suspicious as my hometown in San Francisco, and when I’m in my hometown and when I’m away I find myself asking all the wrong questions in the grips of some kind of series of some kind of events."
"The world which we seem to be in is one full of catastrophe and strife. It is full of other things, too, but catastrophe and strife have always seemed to me the most interesting parts."
"I loved literature," he went on, speaking of his relationship with books. "I also hated it. You never love a book the way you love a book when you were ten, and also you never hate a book the way you hate a book when you were ten. And nowadays I read a lot of books I don’t like, I just don’t throw them across the room…as much."
"These stories enraged me, because they took something interesting like catastrophe and strife, and then forced the ridiculous and boring and moralizing life lessons onto the catastrophe and strife like a pair of last year’s pants onto the legs of a young man packed off to see the Nutcracker for the umpteenth time. It wasn’t that the books didn’t mimic life. They didn’t mimic the way life went."
"Mr. Snicket is a member of a secret organization," he explained, of those who love literature and the arts, and that this organization raised him and nurtured him, "although like most people who raise us and nurture us, they also drive you crazy...and drive you away."
He went on to explain that he has a basement packed with boxes, packed with letters, from children packed with questions, and the question they ask most is, 'Is it real? Is there actually a secret organization of literature?'
"And I say 'yes,'" Mr. Handler says. "And you are in it. We believe in aristocracy, we in the secret organization, not the aristocracy of power, but an aristocracy of the sensitive and the considerate and the plucky, members are to be found in all nations and all classes, all towns...there’s a secret understanding between all of us when we meet. We meet in libraries and bookshops, we meet on park benches and classrooms. We represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory over our race and cruelty and chaos."