This could ruin your day.


“The greater the fool the better the dancer.”
~Theodore Hook

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
~ Albert Einstein

Have a beautiful Fourth of July.

“Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

If you’re ready to have your heart broken and your priorities changed, read Lisa Samson’s post on the Master’s Artist about photojournalist Kevin Carter.

And then, for while, don’t read anything else. Let it sink in.

Know what I do, late at night, when I should go to bed, but I can’t quite bring myself to kiss the laptop goodnight?

I troll for photographs. I instruct my Stumbleupon button to pull up photographers I might like, and then I mindlessly tap that button till I find something that wakes me up. Anything I like, I copy into files for personal reference.

This is actually useful, I promise. I refer to these pictures for inspiration: for journaling, for characters, for plot elements. Robert Olen Butler uses old postcards. I use photographs.

On my computer desktop I have a frame widget that cycles photos from my “story” file, just to keep me company, and my imagination fresh.

One night in my search for fresh thoughts, I came across The Big Happy Fun House, and I found out how much I really, really like old photographs–not even the daguerreotypes from the turn of the century, but snapshots taken in the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s. The world my mother lived in. The world I lived in, and just almost remember. Friends mugging in the photo booth. Hapless fathers asleep on green webbed lawn chaises, their mouths hung open.

If you like The Big Happy Fun House, you’ll also like The Boat Lullabies and it’s related website, Square America.

I found, as I went along, that I also like the occasional odd scrap of paper, such as one that read, “Watch your step with Johny you are too good for him.”

So when I came across Swapatorium, a blog that bills itself as “A Journey Through Junkland – Flea Markets, Thrift Stores, Antique
Shops, Garage & Estate Sales, Found Photographs, Collecting, Odd
Finds, Swaps”… well, I was there.

And what did I find? A young girls diary from 1969. Laid out for you, day by day, page by page, right down to the last entry, where she writes, “I’ll have to stop leaving my diary out–people are reading it.”

Ah. Poor Mallory.

But who’s this David guy?