Hunter Dansin

april2024

This is the eternal renewal. – Virginia Woolf

This phrase from the end of The Waves has been hanging in my mind lately. How everyday we are renewed when we sleep and wake, how relationships fade and then renew as we separate and come back together, how creative energy waxes and wanes, how we celebrate Easter to remember that the tomb is empty.

“Yes, this is the eternal renewal.” And yet even on the mountain of renewal, we remember that we will go down again, that joy is sometimes a plodding thing that we do not know we have until we have been carrying it for some time. Writing, like life, is no paved way. It requires endurance and eternally renewed hope.

Writing

One page at a time. What more can I say? Writing is hard, but I think I have a clarity about the process that is very helpful. I am trying to let the story unfold itself to the end, while at the same time understanding that I can go back and change it in the rewrite and edit.

Music

I have been experiencing an obsession with the guitar that I haven't felt in a long time. It feels like a renewal of the energy that got me my first calluses back in high school. Will be trying to figure out more things by ear and hopefully start to climb past the plateau that I feel I have been at for a long time.

Audiobook

Sorry friends, I can't promise when episodes will be up. But they will be eventually. As long as I am alive anyway.

Podcast

Exciting stuff coming. Our first in person episodes ever!

Reading/Listening

Re-reading The Lord of the Rings again. Feels like coming home. I was worried I might not like it, or that my imagination would be somehow too polluted to enjoy it, but it feels fresh, and there are many parts I totally forgot. There is so much we forget about a book. Tolkien was not a novelist, but like Thomas Hardy, he worked and worked to make all the “incorrect” techniques he uses come together in a form that achieves his goal. It's the only way to do real writing in my opinion. It is also encouraging to learn that Tolkien finished the whole series before they were published, and thought of them as one book. I am going to try and follow his example.

Also reading Disruptive Witness by Alan Noble. Unfortunately, Hoopla only lets you rent the audiobook, so my thoughts are not as clear on it, but it has been really timely and insightful. Noble tries to tackle the problem of how to live out a faith in Jesus in a world that is constantly distracted, and how easy it is for Christians to treat our religion as just another hashtag in our identity. It is very challenging and somewhat academic, but I highly recommend it. It may not speak to you as much if you are not a Christian, but he cites a lot of non-Christian sources, and his example about how “non-religious” art can sometimes (most of the time) be a more sincere and beautiful evidence for the goodness and beauty of God than explicit religious art was validating.

Also re-reading East of Eden for the podcast (recorded our take on the first part!) It has been a real joy to get back into. As always happens with Steinbeck his style starts creeping into my writing. I'm trying to keep it in check, but it is hard. It never comes off as well because I do not have his mastery (yet?)

#april2024 #update


Thank you for reading! To echo a sentiment from Thomas Hardy, I greatly regret that I will never be able to meet you in person and shake your hand, but perhaps we can virtually shake hands via my newsletter, social media, or a cup of coffee sent over the wire. They are poor substitutes, but they can be a real grace in this intractable world.


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