Music Literature Film Index About


Greg Birk

It’s a strange sensation, the sudden deflation following the quick end to a local sport’s team season. The celebration taking place elsewhere. No choice but to move on, quickly, forget about it. Reminder: dentist appointment on Thursday, pick up milk at Jewel. Birthdays, holidays, noted. Outlook pops up meeting invites. There is no time to wallow in the gory details of another lost season with so much left to do. And so, to the accompaniment of Neil Young, I set out on an intro. “Instructional Designer.” Blank stare. “Help Specialist.” I gotta get away from this day-to-day running around. What? Like with computers? “Yeah, sure and writing and editing of. . . .” 

Time’s up.

A Few Essentials

Tom Derungs

I’m a freelance writer living in Switzerland and work for an international publisher. I get my kicks out of any form of art born of misery. Any art born of pain. I like works fueled by love or death or passion. I like to be turned on by art that fires the tired and broken soul. That rips and burns like gasoline. Our world is a sad and lackluster place. So maybe this will help.

A Few Essentials

Michael E. Gretza

Great works of music, literature and film abound. Overwhelmed by the thought that there are not enough milliseconds in a lifetime to devour every great example of the arts, it is saddening to know we all pass with only a sampling from the buffet.

But what brings us to the feast? For me, it is those moments when the connection between the artist and audience become so intimate and fulfilling that we are forced to live outside ourselves. We burst, and the experience of connecting with a work makes us reach out and want to share every emotion evoked. The human condition is defined.

A glorious chain is created when we even find it in ourselves to create our own art or pass the gift to someone else, who may be influenced themselves to link chords in a way Beethoven never tried, string together words in mellifluous sentences that rival Updike or treat the eyes and ears the way Scorsese films have for worldwide audiences.

With my fellow authors, I am proud to share the chance to sort through recommended delights off life’s crowded menu. Chew slowly and savor every bite with the intent to make it to the kitchen to create your own dish, before the timer goes off.

Our selections and essays shall divulge more about us than reading the facts of where we passed through the womb, attained good grades at the institutions that helped shape our minds, or received our last bill from the electric company. You are probably here, though, for a traditional bio. Here goes: A graduate of The USC School of Cinematic Arts, Michael E. Gretza lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is a writer and producer.

May we all find our inspiration.

A Few Essentials

Patricia Howe

It was 1984. To some people, 1984 invokes Orwellian images of Big Brother. To me, it is the year that the Macintosh was invented. After arriving in Chicago from Dayton, Ohio (the home of John Paxson) in 1981, I was working at a design firm using WordStar on DOS to convert an endless pile of scribbles and notes into professional and readable research reports using only a monospaced font along with ALL CAPS and underline. I don’t even think that bold was possible yet. It was excruciatingly boring and I was getting restless, thinking that I’d have to find a new “career” (if you want to call what I was doing a career). But then, one day a beige-colored cube-like box called a Mac Plus arrived for the graphic designers at the company to use. It was so strange and cute! And it was amazing. What You See Is What You Get! It was like the horizon suddenly got much larger. Because I was writer (with an O.S.U. Journalism degree) and I was a fast typist, I was allowed to sit along side the graphic designers, learning PageMaker and Illustrator, helping them with projects and learning about design. I loved it. I finally found something that I was good at that I really liked to do. Now I’m a technical writer at a software company, encountering fun page graphic design tasks every day. Good design is inspirational to me … whether it is a building, a car, an MP3 player, or words and images on a page (or a computer screen). It makes you proud of what human beings can create. And the same goes for a great song, a captivating movie, or an engrossing book. They make us proud to be human.

A Few Essentials

Richard Windwalker

What matters in life? Only the things that inspires us. There is really nothing else. To inspire means literally, to breathe life into. The sparks that give substance to our lives, the sparks that actually give us life and extend it in meaningful ways.

My entire life has been a classic demonstration of lack of focus except for the fact that it has been consistently directed by following those sparks. I studied Cowboys and Indians in university. I have been a musician. I studied and restored a small piece of the long lost Illinois prairie. I learned industrial design on the job. I worked in art glass. I have worked in corporate marketing. I practiced green design years before it was called green design. I have done a lot of things and have accomplished nothing save an inspired journey through life.

Recently I have written reviews for a few environmental magazines, and now I write for Library of Inspiration. The common theme in all my past lives has always been art and inspiration. I even married for art, and I believe that the inspiration of art in all of its forms has the power to free us one soul at a time, and transform us all in positive ways.

Read every good book you can find, listen to every record with sounds that excite you, watch those movies that transport you to other worlds. Let the sparks ignite your life. That is all that really matters.

A Few Essentials