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Scott Lax Blog

Socrates on Wisdom

Finn, who loves music, contemplates from where the music comes.
"Wisdom begins in wonder."
- Socrates

Writing and Baseball

Ready for the first pitch....
"Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either
how it will go..."

-- Marianne Moore (American poet, 1887-1972), "Baseball and Writing"

Waiting for Springtime

Finn waiting for his first springtime
“In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.”
- William Shakespeare

Writers Need to Use Their Sense of Wonder to Ask Questions that Matter

Finn pondering what the doctor will do next at his third pediatrician appointment at eight-plus weeks in the world.
The great proto-environmental author, Rachel Carson, wrote: "If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life."

As Japan suffers through its second most horrifying episode of nuclear disaster - the first being sixty-five years ago at the end of World War Two - writers need to ask questions.

Mine is this: I get that, at its best, nuclear energy is efficient and safe. But at its worst, it destroys with a power never before seen.

Why is it still being used? Why haven't the world's superpowers devoted themselves to grand sources of clean energy? To wind, to solar? Why? There are answers.

Today's writers need to ask their sense of wonder to ask serious questions, not simply dwell on the trivialities of so many on the Web. Ask the questions, demand the answers of the powers that be. Working writers should have a sense of justice. We need to address the questions of others - including children who cannot yet ask those questions.  Read More 

Has the NFL Run it's Course?

Are NFL owners greedy? Do we need 18 games? Yes and no, but here's a very adorable football fan anyway.
As Finn has almost outgrown his football uniform...so too, maybe, has the American public, who may have a tipping point for the greed of the NFL owners. Maybe professional sports have run their course.

Then again, this is a good excuse to show a picture of the world's cutest football fan. (On his Aunt Virginia's hand-made quilt, as he sits in the wan sunlight of a late-winter's Sunday afternoon.) Here is Finn, not contemplating the NFL lock-out, LeBron James or Charlie Sheen. More likely he's thinking about something much more important.  Read More 

Thoughts and Prayers to the Japanese

Having gone to Japan three times in my late teenage and early twenties years, I have fond memories of this beautiful country. For some reason, this website gets more visits from Sendai, Japan, which was hit hardest by the earthquake, than anywhere outside of the U.S.

I send my deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers to those affected, to my visitors from Sendai, and to all of those around the world who are affected by this tragedy.  Read More 

Making Life More Beautiful

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Monk, Activist and Writer. b.1926)

My New Column for THE FATHER LIFE is Online Now

My March column for THE FATHER LIFE: The Mens Magazine for Dads has just been published. It's called "Signs You Have Postpartum Father Exhaustion." click THE FATHER LIFE logo to the left to go the column.

In The Arms of His Sister

"Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister." ~Alice Walker

Writers Paying Attention

The writing life is sometimes no different from the life of other professions. Writers have health, financial and personal challenges, like (nearly) everyone else.

But writers have a particular responsibility to pay attention to the world; at least to some aspects of it. We can't write in a vacuum. We can't hide away - with a few exceptions - and expect to write about the world. Writers need to compartmentalize their lives in order to write without problems or challenges influencing every word. You write from a part of your brain that you isolate and calm and after you write you can go back to freaking out or drinking or meditating or watching TV. Or whatever floats your boat.

I once wrote an entire magazine column in the waiting room of a not particularly nice hospital waiting area. I was tending to an emergency of someone I was very close to: my mother. It was bad; I was scared; I still had to write. Inside I was a mess, but I had to isolate the writing synapses and move forward.

At the beginning, middle and end of the day, there aren't really excuses not to write, if you are a writer. If you're a hobbyist that writes, excuse away. If you're a writer, you write through happy times, through bad times; through flush times and through broke times. You write when your heart is breaking or when you're worried or even when you are in love with a woman and a little boy who is paying attention to his world.  Read More