In 2011 I attended a writers conference where Dinty Moore was one of the presenters. I was so enamored with the fact that I was in the same room with Lee Gutkind, founder of the creative nonfiction genre, that I didn't pay much attention to Moore. I regret that.
Yet at that event, I picked up this book and have just now started reading it. Packed with little essays for meditation, each gem inspires me to examine my writing life.
Here is one I opened to today:
38. "The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new." Pema Chodron
"A crucial aspect of mindfulness is becoming aware of what we're clinging to and recognizing the cliches in our own thinking and beliefs. There are notions that stick in our brain like plaque adheres to the arteries of our heart, and neither of these is good for us.
"If something has seemed to be true for as long as you can remember, it is easy to begin imagining that this belief is unassailably true, that it is incontrovertible, because it has always seemd so, because it has stood the test of time. But in fact, time is not much of a test. Ask Galileo, for instance.
"The only true test is examination. Whay do I believe that? Is it merely convenient to believe that? Is this belief comfortable because it lets me off the hoook? Do I just believe this idea or truism because my mother, my father, my priest, my friend told me?
"The mindful thinker is relentless, always challenging."
Moore's writings open up new worlds of thought for me, and I just wanted to share one of his pearls with you. Enjoy your bright sunshiny snow day today!
I had planned to have a "giveaway" when this blog readership reached 50, but it jumped from 40 to over 60 so fast, I missed the actual date.
This book, "The Zumwalt," is a compilation of writings from writers attending The Outpost, Summer Fishtrap 2006. Among those who penned creative writing in this book are Wallowa County's own Jean Falbo and Janie Tippett.
To enter the drawing, please answer the following question (in one word, or a few), "What do you enjoy the best about the Zumwalt Prairie (or any prairie for that matter)?"
I will put commenters names in a basket and draw them on Thursday, then will get the book to the winner.
You have no idea how much I appreciate meeting you on the street and you share your pleasure in reading this blog. I am most grateful.
"In the 1930's, a girl moved to a rural community along the Imnaha River in Wallowa County. There, in country so remote electricity didn't arrive until the 1960's, she married and built a life of hard work and deep friendships with family and neighboring ranchers. Through it all, she kept a diary- four lines a day- for sixty years."
When I first read this book in 2013, the story of Mary Marks, gleaned from her diaries by author Janie Tippett, inspired me to be brave and resourceful. This book changed my life, in that it led me to Wallowa County, and I've never been happier.
I'm re-reading it now, and over the past three years I've become familiar with the places and the culture of Imnaha country. I marvel at the beautiful language Janie uses to describe that magnificent land that shaped the people then, and even today.
What lovely, lovely writing...
Where Four Lines A Day is sold: The Bookloft and Grain Growers, Enterprise; Simply Sandy's, Sports Corral, and Copper Creek, Joseph. $16.