At Kathy’s house

I had the pleasure of taking the kids to Houston last week for some vacation. We stayed, as usual, with my dad and his wife, artist Kathy Hall. Below are some of my favorite things at their wonderful house. It’s a small bungalow in a part of town in which most such bungalows are being bought up and torn down and replaced by 4,000-s.f. behemoths. It’s one of the nicest houses I’ve ever known. 

The house
The vegetable patch




St Francis contemplates


Fish a-swim






Kathy & Popeye. One of my favorite photos ever






House & live oaks


Dressed up


Kathy, in early riding days







Why, sometimes, you just gotta use the pen

If I’m really stuck, I go back to longhand. There’s something about the privacy and the immediacy of it that seems to help. When you’re writing longhand, your attention is on the sentence—you’re not looking at the full page. The remove between the keyboard and the screen can hamper me and mess me up. The trick is to will yourself into the hypnotic state where you believe your own language and your own story. You have to pare out distractions, especially the vast banality of the Internet, which I find lethal to fiction writing. Fiction is so much harder and scarier to write than nonfiction. It requires an enormous amount of concentration and faith to carve out that little bit of space into which you can insert a world that feels real. 

From a wonderful snippet of interview with Wells Tower, who goes both ways — fiction and non. I very much like this too: I have a nonfiction desk and a fiction desk, and I’ve deliberately not gotten wireless Internet. In order to go online, I have to go over to the nonfiction desk. Read more…

Gerhard Richter, detail

Taken at Neue Nationalgalerie

With this Gerhard Richter anticipated David Quigg.

Taken at Neue Nationalgalerie

Bach’s workplace

Quite a bit larger than it looks. This makes me giddily happy.

David Dobbs
via mobile

Day’s Photo: Museum of Bags and Purses, Amsterdam

Who knew?