Posts Tagged Rising Fire
At first glance this post about The Denver Museum of Nature and Science didn’t seem to have much to do with writing, reading, or friendship, but as I wrote it, I naturally found a way to tie in three of the topics of this blog.
In 2012, I attended the first Colorado State University Alumni Beer Tasting at which we not only sampled innovative small plates concocted with various beers, but also sipped selections from a number of breweries. The participants were treated to a talk on the history and science of brewing by Dr. Nicole Garneau, the chair and curator for human health in the DMNS Department of Health Science. She mentioned an experiment that was being conducted with volunteer visitors to the museum. As I am someone who loves many bitter foods but doesn’t like bitter beers (sours are another matter), I was greatly interested in this research into the genetics of “supertasters.” This was nicknamed the blue tongue project. Three thousand visitors participated in the study, and the results have been published in Frontiers of Integrative Neuroscience. Participating was fun, interesting, and exciting. What more do you need to be inspired? You could come with ideas for stories set in a lab, or with a character as a study participant.
Having my curiosity piqued energizes me and gives me the inspiration to work on my own writing even if it isn’t a science fiction tale of experiments gone wrong. Currently, the Genetics of Taste Lab is conducting a study on the ability to taste fatty acids. Pretty much all you have to do to take part is show up.
One of my favorite exhibits at the DMNS is hidden away on the third floor. I’m always afraid it is either gone, or I’m lost, when I walk through rooms of stuffed animals to find it. The delight Konovalenko: Gem Carvings of Russian Folk Life sets off in me is well worth the search.
The first time I encountered this room full of carvings and dioramas, I was one of the few visitors. Lately, it has become more crowded, limiting the time I can stand in front of each tableau and marvel at the use of the different stones and the expressions on the sculptures’ faces. I expect these miniature people to stand up and sing bawdy beer songs. It isn’t hard imagining them coming to life after-hours.
There is plenty of other inspiration to be found, especially in the rotating exhibits. Currently on display is MAYA: Hidden Worlds Revealed. This exhibit would be a must for anyone writing about that culture. The recently completed exhibit, Pompeii: The Exhibition, might have inspired those writing about that event, whether fiction or nonfiction. The overwhelming emotions the replicas of the dead brought up might provide inspiration for a natural disaster story or even pure horror. Remembering the exhibit made descriptions in Rising Fire by John Calderazzo come to life.
Many more opportunities exist at the museum, especially for members. The IMAX Theater is featuring three 3d films this summer. Topics include D-Day, lemurs, and pandas. The museum offers classes, bird walks, and programs for families, including sleepovers. During the summer, the museum is open some Friday nights during which you can enjoy their cash bar. Why not join and enjoy some new inspiration for your writing? You might even build on a friendship you already possess–or possibly make a new one!
The New York Times Book Review routinely asks the question above in its author interviews. Often, the books mentioned make me feel illiterate or at least lacking in erudition. I cheated a little on my own list below since one of the books I’m about to mention was actually on my chest of drawers. I relocated it to my bedside.
Here is a picture of the books that were next to my bed on Saturday, April 5.
And here is each book with a short comment.
The last item on my nightstand is the cause of me being behind on my reading.
My goal every week is to finish the Sunday Times by Saturday so that I can start fresh the next morning. Sometimes when we’re away for the weekend, I ask my neighbor to please, keep the paper, so I can get a head start on other reading, but she usually gives it back to me anyway. I’ve read the Sunday Times since I was a teenager.
Probably I should say I read parts of the Times. We subscribed for the Book Review. If I read the whole paper all the way through, I’d be like my college friend June who saves the paper to read later but never gets around to it.
I’d probably read more books if I restricted myself to reading a few articles on line or had the Denver Post delivered instead of the Times. My latest excuse? You never know where an idea for a blog post might come from. I have a draft for a post generated from a story in last week’s edition and while glancing through today’s Styles section a feature caught my eye. I may want to address that issue here as well.
What books are next to your bed or wherever you tend to read?