How do we keep faith with stories . . . not just the stories we write, but the stories we read? Where does that faith come from? A story is such a fragile thing. Today I met with a few students, and we discussed how stories are powerful, how they have the ability to move us and arrest us, stop us dead in our tracks, at the same time. How anyone who knows how to tell a good story holds the keys to a city.
But stories are tents, too. They are tenuous, canvas and stake and knot against earth. They can, and do, collapse if we don't put our backs into them, and even if we do. There are no guarantees. There is no law on earth that says a story must be finished, or when it is finished that it must be read.
Hurricane Sandy's real gift to the Treasure Coast was the towering waves. On Friday night we ventured out to see what damage had been wrought and found about thirty surfers riding them, or at least trying to. The beach was crowded with onlookers, and we quickly learned why. One of the surfers was Kelly Slater, 11 times world champion, and both the youngest and oldest holder of that title. How often do you encounter a champion on a random walk?
I've never paid much attention to surfing. Although I grew up on Florida's Gulf Coast, our waves were tame. I've visited Hawaii's North Shore, home of the famous Pipeline, but never in the winter when surfers worldwide come to ride the waves. So this was my first real surfing demo, and what a great one. I was reminded as I watched of some of the similarities to writing.
To any teenager reading this who is feeling bullied and harassed or thinks life doesn’t get better after high school — you’re wrong. It does. Because as you grow older, you also grow wiser. I know, I know, adults are stupid, but indulge this one a moment and let me whisper a few hard-earned words.
Once you step outside that institutional zoo of hormones gone wild where popularity isn’t judged by the things that matter most: decency, kindness, loyalty, you’ll discover what the meaning of true friendship is.
This life planning journal is for people wanting to figure out what they want to do with their lives, and people who need help plotting out their many plans. It's for anyone in transition (new grads, career changers, empty nesters, midlifers) or just wanting a life checkup.
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an "Inward Trek." As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of "infects" shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate "Zombie Rules" almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back. Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten, and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.
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