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Friday, August 23, 2013


As a rule I don't hold well with ambiguity. I like precise things, cataloging things so that I know where I stand in relation to them. I suppose I've always understood this about myself, but reading Walter Isaacson's amazing biography of Steve Jobs lately has made me realize that for all the millions of differences between me and Apple's mercurial CEO, one of our similarities is this penchant for making everything in our lives binary; either good or bad, amazing or shit, etc.

This need to categorize everything has lead me to some confusion about what to do with this blog. I originally intended this blog to be an outlet for my writing that did not specifically fit into another publishable category, and for a way for me to celebrate the outstanding achievements of my alt-lit colleagues.Yet over the last year I've found myself less interested in creating other worlds so much as finding a way to positively influence the one that we live in right now. This has lead me to read a lot less fiction and a lot more news and non-fiction books--specifically those about urban planning, climate change, and resource scarcity. As the saying goes, writers must be readers, and a possible corollary to that is that writers can't help but start to write what they read. I have begun to do just that.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm a Pretty Butterfly, Y'all!

Yes, I'm going there.

Not too long ago my son got a cool little kit that allowed him to send away for some caterpillars and then watch them grow into butterflies right before his very eyes. Then he got the chance to release them into our backyard after about 10 days. He thought it was really nifty, and I have to admit I did too. For such a cliched metaphor the image of an ugly caterpillar stuffing its face and then burrowing down and emerging as a beautiful butterfly* is a dead useful one for describing momentous change. This is probably because there are really very few instances of any other animal doing something similar in such a striking fashion. Sure reptiles molt and birds change their feathers and frogs grow from tadpoles, but nothing captures the imagination nearly as much as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.