Snacking before lunch. I’d love dumplings, but look — that thing in the bowl, pictured below, is now in my tummy. Maybe it goes by a different name, but in my family we call it dragon fruit, and as you can see, it’s wild. And delicious. Like a kiwi, only cooler.
The weather has been gorgeous in Beijing. Blue skies, a chill in the air, which gives everything (namely, me) a burst of new energy. I’ll go take a walk later, but for now I’m hanging out on the couch and catching up on last minute business.
Here are some cool links from around the web:
Gorgeous, inspiring photos from the 2011 National Geographic photography contest. Really, these are breathtaking. For the writers out there, you might even consider some of them as a prompt.
From Selected Shorts, listen to actors perform from beautiful short fiction. Most recently, Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street’s Maria) reads Junot Diaz’s Wildwood.
The title says it all (and makes me fall in love): Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Preconceptions and the Blunting of Imagination.
An interesting interview with Craig Ferguson (and don’t be scared by the fact that it’s at Playboy…no naughty bits are visible): “That’s the most fantastic thing about Twitter. It’s like Stalin without all the death. If I don’t like you, I just get rid of you.”
This fascinating interview from Guernica with Amir Hassan Cheheltan, discussing “artists and intellectuals, the power of mysticism, and the long-lasting effects of the 1979 revolution.” Also, this question is posed: Is the absence of freedom good for literature?
“The enthusiasm for writers here is because we’re a legend-minded nation. Iranians think that words have magical powers. Writers produce words. Nowadays, when soccer players or TV actors are the new legends, the presence of a writer somewhere produces a sudden hush and an atmosphere of sanctity. There’s another reason too: in Iran over the past hundred years, where the dominant aspect has been suppression and repression, there’s been a porthole that they’ve never been able to close. The name of this porthole is literature. In the most difficult political times and at the height of censorship, Iranian poets and writers have never stopped working. In such circumstances, the simplest words—against the backdrop of the existing conditions—take on a figurative aspect and fulfill people’s needs. This turns writers into charismatic figures.”