4/28/17 “The Legacy of Robert Pirsig, Upcoming Literary Events, and Paper Connections in a Digital World”

This month is National Poetry Month. If you haven’t had a chance to celebrate, you still have this weekend. Write an Enso Poem, join me at the Bel Air Farmers’ Market Saturday morning, or write your significant other something sweet.

In literary history, both Shakespeare, the English bard, and Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher are celebrated on April 26th. Here’s a nice quote from each of them:

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, passed away

Speaking of greatness, we lost a good one earlier this week. Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book I consider a spiritual successor to The Crossing. He passed Monday at the ripe old age of 88.

What’s new with me?

1. I’ll be hanging out at the local farmers’ market Saturday, April 29th. 

The Bel Air Farmers’ Market features local artists and authors during the Month of April. I was lucky enough to get an invite. I’ll have a table of my own and will be selling and signing copies of The Crossing, plus selling original poetry pieces. At the end of the day I’m donating 10% of any profits to the featured non-profit, which will be Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding this week.

Michael Doane, local author, will be featured at the Bel Air Farmers' Market

The best part? I’m bringing one of my four typewriters. I’ll be inviting anyone and everyone who’s willing, to write a poem, letter, or whatever they want.

2. I’m hosting a workshop later this year at a local library

On June 27th, I’ll be teaching a workshop at the Havre De Grace branch of the Harford County Public Library on forming a daily writing habit. If you’re going to be in the area and are interested in overcoming your own writer’s block, please stop by. It’s free, so you don’t have much to lose.

Michael Doane teaches writers how to overcome their fear.

3. Post cards!!!

When my wife, Emily, suggested that I should take some of the post cards I’d been collecting over the years and write quotes from my novel on them, I didn’t realize how much fun I’d have with the project. Since I’ve started at the beginning of the year, I’ve sent out just over 50 cards to friends, family, and strangers all over the world.

Michael Doane sends post cards to readers all over the world.

The coolest part of it is the things they’ve sent me back. Letters, packs of post cards, and other fun things. It’s surreal how much more connected you feel to the world when you start receiving actual objects via snail mail. It’s something we’ve lost with instant communication and social feeds.

If you want a post card, send me a message, and I’ll send you one as soon as I possibly can.

A couple other things to note…

  • The CityLit Festival will also be taking place on Saturday, April 29th, in Baltimore, MD. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend (helping a friend move, working on my fixer upper, trying to recoup from life). But if you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out.
  • New episodes of Between Pages Podcast are up. This month, Dula and I read Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. It’s an amazing story of a boy whose friends abandoned him, and his searching for meaning in life in the years following. In traditional Murakami fashion, this story feels more like dream than reality.

What’s new with you?

Enough about me… What are you reading? What art are you creating? Have you written any poems this month or attended any cool events?