Barking at the Moon for Tom Robbins

“I want to travel on a train that smells like snowflakes.

I want to sip in cafes that smell like comets.

Under the pressure of my step, I want the streets to emit the precise odor of a diamond necklace.

I want the newspapers I read to smell like the violins left in pawnshops by weeping hobos on Christmas Eve.

I want to carry luggage that reeks of the neurons in Einstein’s brain.

I want a city’s gases to smell like the golden belly hairs of the gods.

And when I gaze at a televised picture of the moon, I want to detect, from a distance of 239,000 miles, the aroma of fresh mozzarella.”

“The principal difference between an adventurer and a suicide is that the adventurer leaves himself a margin of escape (the narrower the margin the greater the adventure), a margin whose width and length may be determined by unknown factors but whose navigation is determined by the measure of the adventurer’s nerve and wits. It is exhilarating to live by one’s nerves or toward the summit of one’s wits.”

— Tom Robbins
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“happy birthday to author Tom Robbins!”

— adventureclubinteractive

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The Model Minority Myth and its Implications

VibezAndStuff

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In 1848, the United States of America experienced its first Asian immigration boom. The Gold Rush propelled Asians, specifically the Chinese, to “rush” to America hoping to gain wealth to bring home. However, at the sight of labor, plans changed. Some Chinese stayed in America, while others migrated after hearing about the opportunities, thus rapidly increasing the Chinese population. The Chinese, akin to other ethnic groups at the time, worked menial laborer jobs for long hours and low pay.

Since then, Chinese Americans as well as pan-ethnic Asians have made triumphant strides in all aspects of life, most certainly American life. However, during the 1960s when African Americans were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, the generally uninvolved Chinese and their success paved way to two notorious articles that were used to silence African Americans.

In 1966, William Petersen wrote his observations…

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the epistolary novel comeback

epistles_______________________________________________________________

question– what is an epistolary novel?

answer– a novel composed of letters. narration in the form of letters or journal entries. a novel without face to face, real time dialogue. an epistolary novel is also a technique. the author can write from the perspective of many narrators (in the first person).

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the epistolary novel is true to form what adventureclubinteractive likes to call organic. this is not because the epistolary novel has old-fashioned roots nor because it is any more pure a process of creative writing than other type of novel. instead consider the forms of communication back in eighteenth century europe (when the epistolary novel was popular). imagine trying to get in touch with a long lost cousin or an estranged lover. imagine sitting down to write them a long letter. you would have to reflect back as far as a month perhaps- the time span since your last correspondence had been:

sent –>received –>replied to –>received by you

letters were once so immersive. they had to be. the monthly correspondence cycle would demand you to be succinct, to the point, and there would be no room for unimportant thoughts. your wrists would ache. more difficult still would be that you would be writing in response to the letter you received but you would not have in front of you the letter you had last written. hopefully you would not repeat yourself… or contradict yourself.

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question– what is an epistle?

answer– an archaic word for a handwritten letter.

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epistles are not too relevant these days. globalization, technology in communication, and the demand for efficiency cast a shadow from which the epistle may never shine its way out of.

–>calling, paging, typing, texting, tweeting…copying, pasting, editing, sharing, liking… messaging, blogging, friending, commenting, profiling… downloading, uploading, ripping, routing, burning- instantly, immediately, electronically, automatically <–

no surprise if you go a day without seeing a mailman, or a month without buying a book of stamps, or a year without purchasing envelopes (more than the one that comes with the card). we can say it all without the paper trail and make it official without signing in ink. but maybe we should look at the flip-side of these conveniences that have replaced the epistle… maybe we should examine the quality of communication instead of the increased quantity of it. there are many interesting paradigms / ironies / paradoxes in this increasingly globalized, ever more interconnected world…

–> the more we are able to reach out and talk to each other- the less we really do <–

(i.e. how much do you really contact distant family- when you know you should and how easy it is that you can!)

–> the more difficult it is to communicate, the more valuable the communication <–

(i.e. in the epistle era- eighteenth century- composed letters had to make up for a lot of time lapsed between correspondence. it would have been absurd to send a letter across oceans that only included one sentence [worse if it only included acronyms and abbreviated fragments of sentences {does anybody ever use proper grammar on the world wide web anymore?}])

–> as communication becomes more efficient, privacy becomes more illicit <–

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question– what is the point of this?

answer– what is the point of anything?

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anyway there are some beautiful epistolary novels out there. from Dracula to We Need To Talk About Kevin and even contemporary attempts at merging new forms of communication (arguably not an epistolary novel per say) like Intimacies that consists of emails and instant message conversations that you apparently need special software to read.

adventureclubinteractive is currently having a go at an epistolary novel. the creators- adventureclubviral and thestephALA- have been corresponding with paper, pens, ink and stamps, fictional letter by fictional letter. at the outset there was absolutely no decision about a subject or topic, not a single character or context had been presupposed. they are just seeing what they come up with as they send off one letter and await a reply for another. is the point of this to really co-author an epistolary novel? not really. it is fun to check the mailbox everyday though. what is the point of anything anyway adventure seekers? perhaps you will explore or rediscover the epistle yourselves and you can write to adventureclubinteractive all about it.

Quote of the Day – November 29, 2012

Waking Spirals

“Sometimes I think that’s where most of us are,” I said. “Fighting off the crazy as best we can. Trying to become something better than we were. It’s that second bit that’s important”
–Jim Butcher

 

Modern life in three-dimensional reality demands much of us. We have to be different things in different relationships to different people at different times while maintaining the integrity of being ourselves. Many of us over schedule ourselves to a ridiculous extent trying to do so many things at once and still hold on, still get it done. It gets so tempting to give our loved ones including ourselves short shrift believing that when we find the time, we will focus on growth. Seldom forgetting that in all this mess growth we are becoming and hopefully through it all becoming something better than we have been before…
Blessings, G

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