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It is the interwoven threads that make up the fabric of our many stories.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Sometimes I blurt things out without thinking about what I’m saying. Then when the moment has passed and I’m alone, I think, “Oh, hell.”
Yesterday, I had a bout of Turrets in response to this guy: “So, have you published anything? And where can I find you?”
“I don’t give my information out.”
“Come’n, Amazon? Do you have anything on Amazon?”
“God! I hope not.”
“What?” **blink, blink ** with blank look of confusion on his face.
“I mean, I hope I never do.”
“Because I don’t believe in what they do, or that they benefit authors. Their sales and distribution, not to mention the copyright issues…***mumble, mumble***”
The guy walks away, unimpressed. And I feel like I’ve won, for there was no personal information forfeited. The guy also probably thinks I’m an asshole without any tact, but that’s okay considering I’d rather remain true to who I am, than paint an inaccurate picture of what they want to see.
Ever since I ordered a copy of Jack London’s Martin Eden online, and received a digital reprint riddled with grammatical errors, I have not given Amazon anymore of my business. Instead, I go downtown to my local bookstores, Longfellow and YES!, and see what they have in stock. If they don’t happen to carry what I’m looking for, I then order it through their distributor. It is quick, easy and I know the product I’m getting is what I want. Also, by doing this, I maintain relationships with the staff who work at these establishments and gain recommendations in the process.
The metaphor that can be used here, is this: I need a hammer to hang a picture. I don’t own a hammer, so I decide to seek one out. Instead of buying a brand new one at a Sears or Lowes that I’ll use for that one job, I borrow one from the neighbors. And in turn, a level of trust is established. They know I will return the tool and will be considerate of their things in the future.
Loyalty is a wonderful achievement. But it takes multiple parties to be on board with the exchange. It is not a one-sided agreement, built on convenience. It is having your expectations met time and time again, and being satisfied with the results.
Too bad that guy didn’t give me a fair chance to state my case. I bet I could’ve turned him on his head, seeing the jungle as well as the trees.
Monday, March 17, 2014
There seems to be so much advice lately in magazines and journals, in craft books and on blogs, about how to discipline oneself to write. Even the target web ads that pop up in the sidebar seem to find me: WE KNOW YOU HAVE A STORY IN YOU! APPLY TODAY
How to approach the page, the head space/mental state one needs to be in, the point when inspiration hits, whether or not an individual is a “real writer”--àTAKE THIS TEST & FIND OUT--- it's all covered.
I asked a friend who also writes, “So, how do you do it?”
|Edward Hopper, New York Movie|
Of course, my friend has to pick-and-choose what she can borrow from her life and make relevant to the story she’s working on. And that’s a discipline in itself; knowing when to zero in on a detail or array of details to make one’s writing believable for an audience. What I like about her approach is how natural she makes it sound, organic and unforced. I know it’s not a seamless process, and that she gets frustrated every now and again. But the fact that her mind is trained (or maybe this is a born gift--- still a matter of debate in certain circles, of course) to distinguish elements and experiences in her everyday as applicable or pertinent to her art, tells me that creativity is essential, if not central to her life.
Why do we keep spending time analyzing and insisting that a right way exists when it comes to art? Because while we are wasting time “trying to get it”---the formula, the routine, the label, the what-have-you--- there are people like my friend, who’s art is so integrated with her life, that she will never have a shortage of material to draw from. It boils down to choice: she can choose to write, or choose not to write. But if she chooses in favor of, often enough, eventually she’ll have a solid body of work and a well-savored life to look back on.
this guy gets it too:
Thursday, March 6, 2014
When I consider the nature of aging, looking in the mirror, or when I see a photograph of myself, there is a delay that happens: "This is me. This is me? Is this me, and all that I am?
Skin and freckles, hair and teeth. These are the parts I see changing with every day that I age. However, my soul maintains as it always has; youthful, curious, challenging, and occasionally wise. I wonder if it's aging that makes one more or less aware of their soul.
It's like coming across one's own footprint in the snow and not recognizing it right off, "Oh! That's me?" I am bigger/smaller/wider than I thought.
A few nights ago, I had a dream that was as close as I've ever come to an outer-body experience. It was a dream inside a dream, and I was watching myself sleep, fully aware that I belonged to the woman resting peacefully beside her lover. This filled me with so much fear, because I've never felt that sort of space or freedom before. And I panicked, as though the infinite was drowning me.
What if this is what dying is? Being released from the tangible, finite world. And how do we learn to embrace the changes we experience between body and soul, when the known reality is that none of us are immune to this inevitability.