FRIDAY NOTES & NEWS: What inspires you?


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INSPIRATION and IDEAS can come from anything and everything. And art, in all its forms, encourages us not only to ask questions, but to dream of better answers. Many times, I’ve looked to my favourite short stories and novels to sustain me, but lately I’ve turned to work outside the fiction realm. Here’s what’s been inspiring me lately:

1. Poet Amanda Gorman at the American Presidential Inauguration. I don’t think I can separate the words from the performance from the artist from the setting  — the whole package was just what a weary, longing-for-hope populace needed.

2. Video musical performance of Handel’s Messiah entitled Messiah/Complex, produced during the pandemic by Against the Grain Theatre in December 2020. This is a distinctly Canadian production, featuring soloists and choirs from all the provinces and territories. It is sung in multiple locations and in multiple languages (including indigenous). 

3. Oxford Dictionary of Saints and Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology — every entry a mini story. I don’t know what it is about dictionaries, encyclopedias and Wikipedia, but I love dipping in and out of them.

4. Spec-fic anthology series Love, Death + Robots on Netflix — for the breadth of its ideas and general wack-a-doodleness.

5. Canadian comedy TV series Letterkenny, which is in turn stupid and clever, crass and sweet. Watch it and admire how much it plays with language.

I could go on, but I won’t because I want to hear from you. Drop me a line: admin at commuterlit dot com.

Contributor News

Larry Brown is teaching a fiction/non-fiction six-week class via Zoom, beginning Feb. 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, for more info:

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