15 Top Creative Writing Blogs That Are Actually Helpful

Join The Writers’ Academy as we sift through the huge pile of creative writing blogs online to bring you the very best 15 of the bunch.

Source: 15 Top Creative Writing Blogs That Are Actually Helpful

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16 Overall Favorite Books of 2016 — Brain Pickings

From loneliness to love to black holes, by way of Neil Gaiman, Annie Dillard, and Mary Oliver. To look back on any period of reading with the intention of selecting one’s favorite books is a curious two-way time machine — one must scoop the memory of a past and filter it through the sieve of…

via 16 Overall Favorite Books of 2016 — Brain Pickings

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10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings – Brain Pickings

Fluid reflections on keeping a solid center.

Source: 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings – Brain Pickings

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Paterson review: Adam Driver’s poetic bus driver proves safe pair of hands | Film | The Guardian

Jim Jarmusch’s new movie is a quiet delight: the story of a gentle, artistic man and his wife which celebrates small-town life and dreams without patronising

Source: Paterson review: Adam Driver’s poetic bus driver proves safe pair of hands | Film | The Guardian

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The 27 Best Books on Writing

Writing is hard, and defining yourself as a writer can be even harder. Here’s our exhaustive list of the best books on writing when the blank page beckons.

Source: The 27 Best Books on Writing

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Patti Smith and her letter to Robert Mapplethorpe

Patti Smith Reads Her Beautiful Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe About How He Taught Her What It Means to Be an Artist

“You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist.”

Patti Smith Reads Her Beautiful Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe About How He Taught Her What It Means to Be an Artist

Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946–March 9, 1989) is best known for his iconic black-and-white photographs fusing starkness and sensitivity, but he was also a prolific artist who sketched, painted, and sculpted his way through life — a creature of irrepressible creative impulse, which he poured with vibrant vim into whatever medium moved him at a particular moment. Although his life was severed short by AIDS at the age of 42, Mapplethorpe left behind an impressive body of work — the product of his extraordinary work ethic. His most significant works are now collected in the lavish coffee table tome Robert Mapplethorpe: The Archive (public library) — a curatorial masterwork by the Getty Research Institute and a bittersweet dream come posthumously true for Mapplethorpe, who as a young artist most longed for a coffee table monograph of his own.

Robert Mapplethorpe: Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984 (Getty Research Institute)
Robert Mapplethorpe: Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984 (Getty Research Institute)

At a recent celebration of the book’s release at the Rizzoli Bookstore in New York, Patti Smith — who considered Mapplethorpe her creative soul mate, chronicled their coming of age as artists together in her magnificent memoir, and wrote the introduction to this new volume — spoke affectionately about Mapplethorpe’s singular contribution to visual culture, his uncommonly obsessive creative process, and his influence on her own ethos as an artist. She concluded with a reading of the beautiful, irrepressibly touching letter she wrote to her dear friend and muse as he lay dying — a letter he never got to read, but one that immortalizes his unrepeatable spirit and captures Smith’s eternal gratitude for everything he taught her about what it means to be an artist. Please enjoy:

Dear Robert,

Often as I lie awake I wonder if you are also lying awake. Are you in pain or feeling alone? You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist. I learned to see through you and never compose a line or draw a curve that does not come from the knowledge I derived in our precious time together. Your work, coming from a fluid source, can be traced to the naked song of your youth. You spoke then of holding hands with God. Remember, through everything, you have always held that hand, grip it hard, Robert, and don’t let go.

The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.

Patti


Patti Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe (Courtesy of Tate Museum)

The letter appears in Smith’s tremendous Just Kids (public library), which also gave us her reflections on reading as a form of prayer and the story of the childhood epiphany in which she knew she was an artist. For a bittersweet homage to their bond unbroken even by death, revisit Smith’s poetic tribute to Mapplethorpe, The Coral Sea.

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Charon and the Elysium

black-man

Black Charon in the silver sea of the red Elysium.

The Greek underworld, in mythology, is an otherworld where souls go after death, and is the original Greek idea of afterlife. At the moment of death the soul is separated from the corpse, taking on the shape of the former person, and is transported to the entrance of the Underworld.

The souls that enter the Underworld carry a coin under their tongue to pay Charon to take them across the river. Charon may make exceptions or allowances for those visitors carrying a certain Golden Bough. Charon is appallingly filthy, with eyes like jets of fire, a bush of unkempt beard upon his chin, and a dirty cloak hanging from his shoulders. Although Charon embarks now one group now another, some souls he grimly turns away. These are the unburied which can’t be taken across from bank to bank until they receive a proper burial.

Across the river, guarding the gates of the Underworld, is Cerberus. There is also an area where the Judges of the Underworld decide where to send the souls of the person — to Elysium, the Fields of Asphodel, or the Fields of Punishment.

Elysium was a place for the especially distinguished. It was ruled over by Rhadamanthus, and the souls that dwelled there had an easy afterlife and had no labors.

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Watson

Watson

It's all learning and teaching to me!!! In addition I love writing, sports, social media and the Greek island Crete, my second home!!!

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‘We‘re splinters & mosaics; not, as they used to hold, immaculate, monolithic, consistent wholes’, wrote Virginia Woolf in her diary. Are we really just a collection of “splinters and mosaics”? Welcome to my collection!!!

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