George Saunders: On Story

George Saunders: On Story

Whether a writer or not this video presents the magic of storytelling from a masterful mind, explaining clearly what goes into creating the perfect sentence. How to break it down and improve the content of the story. It shows the writer how to get there. I listened to the video “On Story” several times and the lessons learned will raise any writers level of telling the story wanting to be told. It is an enlightening video with a simplicity, making it understandable for those who write and want to learn or improve their writing. I recommend to anyone who writes who wants to take their storytelling to a higher level; making it more enjoyable for the reader or those watching their work on the screen.

Find the time to watch the seven minutes. It will teach you to see the world of storytelling and sentence writing from a whole new perspective. It also teaches how to improve character development. Essential to a good story. If characters have no dimensions and are not believable, the reader or film viewer will turn away and never look back. There us so little time for most things in life, if you want to read a good book and watch a good film, then the writer needs to have a good sense of how to create the words to write the best story they are able to tell. This video will head the writer in the direction of discovering just what will improve any writers abilities to create a very special story. I was inspired. Hope you will be, too. – jk

George Saunders: On Story [RedGlass Pictures]

Running Time…7m 14s
Genre…Educational, Storytelling, Instructive, Documentary
Speaker…George Saunders

In this rare appearance as a documentary subject, George Saunders reveals the pitfalls of bad storytelling and explains the openness and generosity required to breath life into great characters. The film offers a direct look at the process by which he is able to take a single mundane sentence and infuse it with the distinct blend of depth, compassion, and outright magic that are the trademarks of his most powerful work.

Situated in an innovative and dreamlike visual world set to a lush original soundtrack by Antfood music, the seven-minute film distills the magical essence of one of our most beloved writers into a work that will inspire old fans and Saunders newbies alike.
George Saunders: On Story is the second in the On Story short film series created by RedGlass Pictures ( .

Music by Antfood
Puppetry by Deborah Hertzberg

Originally launched on the
A Film by Tom Mason and Sarah Klein
Executive Produced by Ken Burns

Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity

anais-nin photo

Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity
– Anäis Nin

“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love.


You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.

Neil Gaiman: Where Do We Get Our Ideas?

NEIL-GAIMAN at writing desk

Neil Gaiman at writing desk

Neil Gaiman: Where Do We Get Our Ideas?

“For me, inspiration comes from a bunch of places: desperation, deadlines… A lot of times ideas will turn up when you’re doing something else. And, most of all, ideas come from confluence — they come from two things flowing together. They come, essentially, from daydreaming. . . . And I suspect that’s something every human being does. Writers tend to train themselves to notice when they’ve had an idea — it’s not that they have any more ideas or get inspired more than anything else; we just notice when it happens a little bit more.”

Neil Gaiman is a brilliant, witty, disciplined writer, and wizard of literature…the above is an
excerpt from a Q&A after Neil Gaiman’s December 2011 Wheeler Center Interview

“Life In Squares”

“Life In Squares” is one British Show I am dreaming about coming to the States. Counting the days, months, and year(s).
A friend from England has given Life In Squares, a three part series, RAVE Reviews.

Myself being an anglophile, I am addicted to Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell [Virginia’s Sister], and the many who belonged to the Bloomsbury Group. They were England’s Algonquin Roundtable [often referred to as the Vicious Circle], with Dorothy Parker as its most famous member, and during their time they were the prime of writing and critical thinking. The same is very true of the Bloomsbury Group. As Woody Allen liked to say, “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” Well, I would love to be a member of any club who had Virginia Woolf and/or Dorothy Parker as a member.

Virginia Woolf is one of the most fascinating persons and writers. She was born two years after my grandmother, the one I knew as a child. I thought that was quite wild to think they grew up in the same time period. She would have known her when she was alive. Not personally, but through her presence in the world.

“The Bloomsbury Group was an influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, the best known members of which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey. This loose collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London, during the first half of the 20th century. According to a certain statement, “although its members denied being a group in any formal sense, they were united by an abiding belief in the importance of the arts.” Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism, and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism, and sexuality.” [help from Wikipedia]

E.M. Forster wrote some of the most brilliant of books, several turned into films. Passage to India, A Room With A View, Howard’s End, and Maurice. All brilliant. If you find a chance to view any of these films or read Forster’s books, you will not be disappointed.

“Life In Squares” BBC Two – Trailer

A three part BBC Two drama about the lives and loves of the extraordinary Bloomsbury Group.

bloomsbury group virginia vanessa and duncan

Young stars filmed the new BBC Two drama about the lives and loves of the extraordinary Bloomsbury Group.

Life In Squares, an intimate and emotional drama about the revolutionary Bloomsbury Group – a collection of friends and lovers who had an extraordinary and enduring influence on 20th century culture.

Life In Squares dramatizes the close and often fraught relationship between sisters, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, and Vanessa’s sexually complicated alliance with gay artist Duncan Grant as they, and their group of like-minded friends, navigate their way through love, sex and artistic life through the first half of the 20th century…

Starting in 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria, the drama tells the story of the young friends as they attempt to escape the shackles of Victorian England and embrace lives dedicated to creative and sexual freedom. The group, which coalesces around sisters Vanessa (Fox) and Virginia (Leonard), aspire to build a world of their own design, pursuing their passions and desires without constraint: a distinctive lifestyle in which they legendarily ‘lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles’.

The drama unpicks the complex and entangled relationships between the sisters and their Bloomsbury contemporaries Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell and Maynard Keynes, and the turbulent legacy they unwittingly enacted on generations to come, in particular Vanessa and Duncan’s daughter Angelica.

The story of their early years is told alongside the later lives of Vanessa and Virginia (Best and McCormack), settled into marriage, motherhood and in Virginia’s case enjoying huge public acclaim, but struggling to reconcile themselves to the heartache of loss, betrayal and mental anguish.

Dubbed 20th century leaders of artistic and sexual freedom, the drama follows these inspirational women and their artistic peers as they face timeless dilemmas about romance, family, work and sex.

“Life In Squares gets under the skin of the Bloomsbury Group to lay bare the very human and emotional story of a group of people determined to find their own path in life. Locked in a perpetual struggle to reconcile their heads with their hearts, they loved and worked with great passion and forged lives that still resonate today.

“At heart, Life In Squares is about family – about the families we try to escape, the ones we end up creating and the different kinds of damage love can do…

“The Fibonnacci sequence in all its glory”

Perfectly Stunning

The Fibonnacci sequence in all its glory

Breathtaking animation of the Fibonacci sequence.
It moves on to the Golden and Angle Ratios
The Delaunay Triangulation and Voronoi Tessellations.

This would be math-class gold,
and it’s awfully sweet even if
math class is years behind you.

Music: “Often a bird” by Wim Mertens
Artist: Wim Mertens

“Secrets Running Scared”


Her blue car stands out in a herd of parked cars
All meant to be part of the congregation
The blue streaks inside memories gone past
Living within a hidden room closed in the mind

Secrets running scared not wanting daylight’s touch
The ink scurrying across the page away from forming truths
Fearing the emotions, recalling how close her body felt
She held me in her arms, a lasting time awakening touch

Confidence in retreat caressed by butterflies quieting the anxiety
Her voice electrifying the invisible space with lightning flashes
Frightening away the flesh eaters grabbing at skin, stealing the feelings
Dreams of truth haunting the recall, clouding the hidden shadows.

© jk 2015

#6 (c) jkm 2015

#6 (c) jkm 2015 “Blue”




Paint covered the canvases
In violent washes
Exploding colors
Demanding recognition
Multiverses are
Being created endlessly
Space is expanding
Being filled always waiting
Existence always present

Twisting out through time
Readying for creation
Preparing for exiting stars
Light continues its birth
And what was
Continuing in reappearances
Finding rebirth within
All its manifestations

© jk 2015

“Lilium” – kynd

Music:”I, Me, Am, I, Wish, To Be, Myself” / Yaporigami