Things we enjoyed this week and maybe you will too? Madeleine L'Engle, American Gods, Ironman, and short story of the week: The School. They're beloved!
First, check out the artwork of Leonard Peng. Leonard has created artwork for both issues of Lodestone, including the cover artwork for Issue 2. We enjoy keeping track of his artwork, not least because of its fairy-tale-like qualities and how subtly and vibrantly he illustrates the stories and poetry we send his way.
Madeleine L'Engle Disturbs the Universe: we ran across an entry in the Brain Pickings archives remembering Madeleine L'Engle's Library of Congress lecture, later published under the title "Dare to Be Creative." In the speech, she looks back on times when her work was censored and defends her belief that children are capable of reading and understanding dark stories.
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings adds several more of L'Engle's musings: on religious-based censorship and fundamentalism (which reminds some of us of our own arguments with parents and school officials over the censorship of Harry Potter); on how stories often give back to us what we are looking for; on discernment and taste; on fiction-shaming amongst adults; on "the uncomfortable luxury of changing our minds"; on zeal as a mask for insecurity; on disturbing the universe through story; and, along with even more humbling and challenging wisdom, on embracing one's ignorance.
Speaking of censorship, this should go well with Lodestone's upcoming Virginia meet-up to discuss censorship and discernment in literature. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page and like us on Facebook to get updates about this and other goings on at the Journal.
Somehow, the American Gods trailer came out in July and did not end up all over the visible parts of our internet. Check it out here, and add some Neil Gaiman to your reading list.
Check out the people at Story Wonk. Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens have created a site full of the best nerding-out over story structure, with real world application through their analysis of TV shows and books and movies. Already veteran podcasters, they have started a new podcast, "We Can Do this All Day," which will analyze the Marvel-universe movies and TV shows. Their first podcast in this series looks back to 2008's Ironman: "Baby Obadiah."
Short Story of the Week: The School, by Donald Barthelme. A hilarious and dark look at death, this extremely short short story takes a fun spin into absurdity that leaves you both uncomfortable and hopeful about creating meaning in life. Don't be surprised if you see this story show up again in a few weeks, with a nice melancholic essay.