Thursday (Off the Radar) Musings

I’ve been off the radar since last week when classes ended for the semester. I went down to Murray (see pictures below) for graduation and my robing ceremony and then went into work on Monday to finish grading. As of last Tuesday I’m officially on my break until the summer semester begins June 1st. Tuesday I spend some time reading and writing (I drafted out two poems). Yesterday was a rainy day, so I cleaned and wrote thank you notes. Today, more reading and writing. I’m enjoying my time off. Next week I’m headed back to Erie.
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One of the poems I drafted out on Tuesday was prompted by an article by Elif Bautman called “The Bells” that appeared in The New Yorker at the end of April. This is the excerpt that caught my interest:

“Defying orders that the bronze guest be silenced forever, the people of Tobolsk outfitted it with a clapper and installed it in a local belfry. Because the bell had been defended by Tsarevitch Dimitri, and was surely fond of children, a legend arose that, if you washed the clapper and collected the water in a special container, it became an elixir for curing children’s diseases.”
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Ursula K. Le Guin, the science fiction writer, was perusing the Web site Scribd last month when she came across digital copies of some books that seemed quite familiar to her. No wonder. She wrote them, including a free-for-the-taking copy of one of her most enduring novels, “The Left Hand of Darkness.”

This would all sound familiar to filmmakers and musicians who fought similar battles — with varying degrees of success — over the last decade. But to authors and their publishers in the age of Kindle, it’s new and frightening territory.

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