Riffing on Books and Life – Arts & Sciences Literary Blog by interactive new media author & artist Terry Bailey

18Jan/12

A New Year!

My cat Salomé Wishing All a Happy Holiday Season and New Year!

My cat Salomé Wishing All a Happy Holiday Season and New Year!

Hi - I'm rushing off to my teaching and web/interactive media department management job, but wanted to check in this morning to let you know that I am back. It would be better to announce my holidays before the holidays, I know. My apologies. This holiday I really needed to take some down time from my over-the-top busy career as a college employee as well as interactive author, digital artist and blogger. It turned out to be one of the best holidays I have ever had, not because of holiday events or downtime, but because I took the time to visit with or talk to almost every good friend I have in the world. It's important to do that now and then, isn't it? Especially if you work in this high tech world that I live (and thrive) in. One of my best friends is my new cat, Salomé, so here is a picture of her wishing all of my readers a fun-filled, happy, warm, and book and idea filled holiday and new year.

Not to worry, though. This did not mean I stopped reading or thinking. I have read a whole slew of new books over the last couple of months, and will be riffing about them here. I have also attended some fascinating lectures at Cal Tech (near my home in Pasadena), and will talk about them here, too, over the next weeks.

Although my primary interests continue to be creativity, the mind and science, I would like to refer you to a book I have not read, but will put on my "to read" bookshelf. Does anyone remember the slide guitarist, singer-songwriter Ry Cooder? Well, he was here in Pasadena last week talking about his new book of stories, Los Angeles Stories. What a fascinating person. His stories are about Los Angeles. Characters here. Ry Cooder's reading at Vroman's bookstore turned out to be more of a storytelling session itself. He told stories of his life in L.A., his characters and the old locales he loved and loves. He talked about hot rod cars, and the latino music in his white guy roots. He talked about what it is like to write a story. How it is easy to build characters and places, but how to move those characters around in those places is the tough part. How to build a story of meaning and purpose is the challenge. And he compared writing music (lyrics) to story writing. Ry just "knows" when an idea is a 4 minute song, or a longer story. Once he heard mention of President Obama pacing up and down at night in the White House worrying about something, and Ry knew that was going to be the basis of a song - a Blues song.

I'm not going to review any of his work here now, but I do recommend you look for some of it. Be it his stories or music. And I'll be back soon with some book (and life) riffs for you. Happy New Year!

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