The website of Austin R. Pick, featuring fiction, essays, travel dispatches, photographs, podcasts and other tangents.
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Last Updated 2013-02-18
NEW SHORT FICTION IN METAZEN
New from FudoMouth! · I'm happy to announce that a new short story has been published by the fine online literary journal Metazen. Entitled "The Young Prospectors," the story is actually a triptych of three interconnected vignettes, each exactly 500 words in length, that follow the adventures of Transen and Jules, a pair of busboys. Read the story online now, and check out FudoMouth: Writings for more.
Going Deeper with the Dharma
naropa.edu · The MA Religious Studies progam at Naropa University has introduced me to many insightful perspectives. Here are some of the best books from my first semester: Turning the Wheel of Truth by Theravadan teacher Ajahn Sucitto; Bearing Witness by Zen teacher and Engaged Buddhist Bernie Glassman; Minding Closely by Buddhist synthesizer Alan Wallace; and The Making of Buddhist Modernism by scholar David McMahan. Together these books offer a vision of Buddhist tradition, theory and practice that is practical and compassionate, focused but not fixated. All are recommended.
SUMMER IN THE HIGH SIERRAS
JMT 2012 · My wife and I had an incredible hike along the JMT this summer, traversing what John Muir eloquently called 'the range of light.' Our six months of planning paid off, and we completed the trail in 24 amazing and challenging days (3 ahead of schedule). My photos from the hike are now available here: Part 1 and Part 2. Enjoy!
THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING
JMT 2012 · In my ongoing quest to visit all of America’s National Parks, the John Muir Trail has long seemed like a sort of holy grail: a 220-mile wilderness trek in the High Sierras that passes through the backcountry of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The stars have aligned this year, and in mid-July my wife and I will set out to hike the JMT in its entirety...
The mountains are calling, and I must go. —John Muir
Ray Bradbury: Stuff Your Head
openculture.com · There are a lot of interesting 'advice to writers' lists online —several collected here, for example— but few are as entertaining and flat-out inspiring as this 2001 address by Ray Bradbury that I recently came across. One of the most celebrated American writers of speculative fiction, Bradbury offers insightful anecdotes, practical advice and puckish encouragement for writers and storytellers. Don't miss it.
Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist
orionmagazine.org · Paul Kingsnorth's personal, twenty-year journey through the world’s wild places and the movements to protect them has also become an education in the limits of a project that he claims has forgotten nature and lost its soul. In this excellent recent essay, he eloquently articulates a growing concern that 'environmentalism' has come to mean something other than protecting the world’s wildest and most beautiful landscapes.
Unspooling The Wire
npr.org · The "astonishingly sophisticated" HBO series The Wire is one of the only creative works I’ve recently encountered that so thoroughly exceeds the surrounding hype and acclaim. The show’s gripping, grim portrait of inner-city life is Dickensian in scope, unfolding like an onscreen novel while remaining true to the realities it depicts. Once you’ve seen the 5-season epic, check out the Fresh Air interview with creator David Simon, his finale letter to fans, and other discussions from NPR. (Note: all contain spoilers.)
"You Can Perform Neurosurgery on Yourself..."
buddhistgeeks.com · I'm grateful to have recently discovered the Buddhist Geeks podcast, a growing collection of discussions with contemporary contemplative scholars and practicioners. This is a remarkable resource for meditators and psychonauts of any tradition. Enjoy your explorations, the well runs deep. The Judith Simmer-Brown, Kenneth Folk, Ken Wilber and Dark Night Project episodes are all recommended.
Who are the One Percent?
#OCCUPY · The Occupy movement claims to represent the 99% of Americans who’ve been left behind while a tiny minority of wealthy earners pull ahead. So who are the One Percent? Though numbers vary, the consensus seems to put the figure at a minimum annual income of about $500,000. As these charts reveal, this 1% isn't just Wall Street financiers. Even among the wealthy there is increasing disparity, and this infographic from The Guardian asserts that the movement more accurately represents the 99.9%...
Taking America by Drum Circle
#OCCUPY · Despite an apparently intentional lack of coherent ideology, the Occupy Wall Street protests have attracted attention and support around the world (including, in a 21st Century twist, a Reality TV casting call). As this insightful NYT piece illustrates, the unifying theme is our country's staggering economic inequality. If nothing else, the movement is vaulting this issue to the forefront of our national conversation, as On the Media highlights, and perhaps even beta testing new ways of organizing society?
MIXTAPOLOGY VOLUME 6 OUT NOW
New from FudoMouth! · DJ Phalaris returns with a lively new release in the on-going Mixtapology podcast series. Featuring new music from Battles, Amon Tobin, Dreissk, the Beastie Boys and more, this brisk, sample-heavy mix offers a refreshing headphone oasis that’s guaranteed to spin a smile through your summer miles... Download Now from FUDOMOUTH: MUSIC
David Foster Wallace and The Thing Itself
04.15.2011 · With the posthumous publication of Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King, readers now have another opportunity to inhabit the celebrated writer's brightly flaring mind. This insightful Time review describes the process of editing the fragmented manuscript, and fellow writers discuss Wallace's achievement in this Bookworm episode. The DFW Audio Project is also worth checking out.
Play It Like Your Hair's on Fire
Ted.com · On a recent episode of Radiolab, writer Elizabeth Gilbert explains how she and Tom Waits share similar ideas about the creative muse. Gilbert expands on her notion that inspiration comes through us, rather than strictly from us, in this engaging TED Talk. The 2002 interview/profile Gilbert did with Tom Waits is itself not to be missed, and neither is this great video of Waits from 1977. Step right up...