Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

Three Practical Rules for Reading

The three practical rules, then, which I have to offer, are,—

1. Never read any book that is not a year old.

2. Never read any but famed books.

3. Never read any but what you like; or, in Shakspeare’s phrase,—

  

“No profit goes where is no pleasure ta’en:

In brief, sir, study what you most affect.” 

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Books

 

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Can't help feeling, Steve, that Shakespeare comes out of this a bit smarter than Emerson. Authors can't be peddling his notions in... Read More
Monday, 06 October 2014 23:54
Stephen Evans
In his defense, I think what made a book famous in his time was a little different. Other than Ulysses Grant I can't think of many... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 04:25
1378 Hits
2 Comments

Keyboard

For the last few months I have been going through boxes I had in storage, some for almost two decades. One of the boxes I found had some music in it and I have started playing the piano again, a little. 

Rodgers and Hart. Jerome Kern. Sigmund Romberg. I am not that old (quite),  but it is my period, musically. At heart I am a balladeer.

I was never a very good musician and I am much worse now. The piano belonged to my grandmother Daisy. She was amazing, could play anything by ear alone, an early compensation for her blindness in later life.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Piano.jpg

I did not inherit my grandmother's talent. Nor my grandfather's talent with the violin. Nor my father's ability to harmonize. I did inherit my mother's talent for listening, and enjoying.

Playing again, whatever the quality, has brought some of the joy back. For one, it's a good break from that other imperious keyboard. And it's nice to know we can rediscover at any age.

Now I wonder what is in the next box.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
The joy of that era is wonderfully infectious. I love it. And, as vintage years approach, find I prefer those shows, musicals and ... Read More
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 12:12
Stephen Evans
Or to put it another way: the music in the head is better than the music from the hands. ... Read More
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:34
Sue Martin Glasco
Stephen, I understood this completely. That is how I feel about art. I so wanted to have artistic talent, but didn't. Finally, ... Read More
Thursday, 02 October 2014 02:33
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6 Comments

Faulkner's Birthday

In honor of William Faulkner's birthday, here is the first line of Absalom Absalom:

 

From a little after two o'clock until almost sundown of the long still hot weary dead September afternoon they sat in what Miss Coldfield still called the office because her father had called it that – a dim hot airless room with the blinds all closed and fastened for forty-three summers because when she was a girl someone had believed that sight and moving air carried heat and that dark was always cooler, and which (as the sun shone fuller and fuller on that side of the house) became latticed with yellow slashes full of dust motes which Quentin thought of as being flecks of the dead old dried paint itself blown inward from the scaling blinds as wind might have blown them.

 

and a link to his Nobel prize speech:

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1949/faulkner-speech.html

 

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
The Sound and the Fury has been on my shelf for three decades or more, but I've never got round to reading it, or any of Faulkner'... Read More
Friday, 26 September 2014 15:41
Stephen Evans
Faulkner is a taste not easily acquired; the prose is only difficult at first, though some of his shorter novels such as The Old M... Read More
Friday, 26 September 2014 19:06
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2 Comments

My Mother's Angels

My mother collected angels. She found and brought them home from all over. Now that she has passed, I have been trying to decide what to do with them.

 

Some at least I will keep: the brass candle holders she bought in Mexico, and definitely the musical one that chimes Hark the Herald Angels Sing when you wind it. 

I was not healthy as a child, asthma that kept me indoors for weeks, whole months of school missed, severe bouts of pneumonia. During these, according to my father, there were times when he did not think I would make it. I don’t remember that.

But I do remember my mother sitting with me through the night, night after night, as I struggled  to breathe, vaporizer on full blast, cooling my fever and reading to me to keep me calm and entertained. Most clearly I remember her reading Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, doing all the voices perfectly: sincere Pooh, gloomy Eeyore, frantic Piglet, confident Owl, and a Christopher Robin that sounded a bit like me. I still hear her voice when I read them. And I still read them to hear her voice.

So some of the angels I think I will let go, in the hope that they may carry into the world the gifts that she gave me. The gift of presence. The gift of care. The gift of example. The gift of knowing every day that you are loved. If anyone can carry these gifts, it will be my mother’s angels.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Heartwarming post, Steve. Angels that are touchstones and angels that are emissaries... I have always believed that, irrespective... Read More
Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:40
Stephen Evans
Set out as they are, they almost seem a choir.
Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:33
Anonymous
I really love this, Stephen. Very strangely coincidentally, I had chosen an excerpt from my short story Mater Amabilis (which all ... Read More
Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:52
2340 Hits
7 Comments

Writing For Life

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Latest Comments

Monika Schott Losing The Compass
13 January 2020
Beautifully said, Rosy. Cheers to you. X
Rosy Cole Christmas At Thomas Hardy's Sherton Abbas
04 January 2020
Thank you! It was! Glad you enjoyed! :-)
Monika Schott Farm Reflections: Gratitude
01 January 2020
Thanks, Stephen. And a fabulous 2020 to you.
Stephen Evans Christmas At Thomas Hardy's Sherton Abbas
31 December 2019
Stunning - what a wonderful p;lace to celebrate Christmas.
Stephen Evans Farm Reflections: Gratitude
30 December 2019
Congratulations on completing your research and best wishes for your next adventure!