Literary link roundup 6/26/08

LA Times: “Salman Rushdie in L.A.”

During a few hours he spent near the Kings Road apartment he once shared with model and actress Padma Lakshmi, Rushdie did not come across as either a distinguished literary figure — Rushdie’s swirling 1981 Booker-winner, “Midnight’s Children,” is arguably the greatest British novel of the last few decades, and he was recently knighted — or a man who’d once had a price on his head. He was more like a good-humored, slightly star-struck visitor to L.A., happy to be back among old haunts.

He also enjoyed being in a place where the paparazzi are distracted by more glamorous figures. “Here, there’s Hollywood,” he said, a balding man with wire glasses and a Cheshire cat grin. “You know, they want Lindsay Lohan — they don’t want me.”

Speaking of Rushdie, he was on the Colbert Report earlier this month:

Ray Bradbury visited the closing Acres of Books in Long Beach

“Libraries are better than schools. You can’t go to a University and get a diploma. It doesn’t mean a goddamn thing. You’ve got to go to a bookstore and a library and educate yourself. You go to a bookstore and find yourself. The surprises that you find on the shelves are you, represent the things that you need, not that the teachers need…”

(via L.A. Now)

I still haven’t posted about my getting to meet him last year at an event in San Berdoo — ASAP. Speaking of Bradbury, Redlands has chosen Fahrenheit 451 as the 2009 choice for their citywide book reading program.

LA Times Jacket Copy: “John Muir, nature man of Yosemite”

The man who championed protecting natural spaces — especially in what is now Yosemite National Park — was born in Scotland, moved as a boy to Wisconsin and later hiked from Kentucky to south Florida; there, he got sick and headed to California to recuperate. Once he found the wilds of Northern California in 1868, he was smitten. He climbed rocks, cursed the sharp hooves of sheep that tore up wildflowers and even snuck President Teddy Roosevelt away from his handlers and into the backcountry for three nights of camping.

He also wrote like a fiend.

And if your fiendishness is lacking at any given moment, check out this big Think Simple Now article to take care of the problem: “Connect with Your Creative Writer”:

Although, the term writers block is popular, this feeling of blockage and mind blanking is not specific to writing, but of any creative feats. Other examples include, brainstorming for a new business, dancing, musical performances, music composition, painting or photography. I’ve personally experienced this during my photography work, blanking out as I stand in front of a client waiting for me for direction. I call these Creative Blocks, where your mind just comes up empty and you feel lost. It’s purely mental.

Through practice and observation, I’ve gotten pretty good at getting past these blank moments, and this article shares some insights for unlocking your creativity. Throughout the article, I will be using writing as the example, but keep in mind that it is equally applicable to any creative activity.