Thursday, March 26, 2009
There's a car race in the U.P. over by Houghton called P.O.R. Stands for Press On Regardless. No matter the mud hole, no matter the break downs, no matter the weather, the race goes on and the racers press on, regardless. It is sort of like the Baja 1000. You gotta go and you gotta run what you brung. So it is with writing. Last January 8th I started another Dave Davecki novel. Death by Cadillac. I "finished" it a couple of weeks ago because I was bored and frustrated with the story. But this morning, I opened the file again and started "fixing" things. After a time away from the story, the tale was fun again. I'm reading the chapters out loud into my laptop and playing them back to listen to the sound of the sentences, to see if the flow is smooth and easy to digest. It's fun to discover awkward sentences and unlikely dialogue and entertaining to "fix" them up. So it is with writing, no matter the mud hole of boredome, no matter the frustration of first drafting, no matter the doubt about the suitability of the sentences, you gotta go back to writing and you gotta run what you brung. Remember, a blank page can't be edited. Keep Writing.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Hard to believe I was in Ireland a week ago. There was a play put on by the local people in a village there. It was staged in a parish hall that had fallen on very tough times. Huge slabs of paint had cracked off and fallen away from the walls. The men's room stall had no toilet seat, broken furniture was stacked in the corners. But, you know what? There were over 100 people there and the play was totally outstanding. There were women crying in the audience at the end. It was really a joy to be there. It was a great gift from the actors, the community. There is nothing so genuine as a village. I've experienced such rock bottom, rock-ribbed human joy in village Alaska too. Oh the pure goodness of human endeavor to create beauty in the midst of reality. There is something truly Godlike in art that comes from poverty and love and the basic determination to create regardless of status. The ability to produce and enjoy art that is "less than perfect" is something New York publishing and TV and Hollywood and Broadway rarely, rarely offers, because, I think, wealth's particular brand of beauty is exponentially removed from the beauty of everyday, normal, "lowly" if you will, existance. Hollywood is Hollywood and we are just us and we "down here in the trenches" are a million times more miraculous than slick books and polished television and big budget movies. Thank God the Bible says the first shall be last and the last shall be first, for, I'm believing today, that the greatest art is in the humble.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I'm finding the newspaper content here in Ireland to be much more literary in slant. It's also more informal and it is more...what can I say...vulgar? Earthy? Bare breasted women on page two could be called earthy I suppose. Using fuck on page one but ***in out cocksucker in the same paragraph could be called earthy I suppose. I've also seen that books have higher regard over here. I'm attending a book festival in Ennis and it seems there is a lot of devotion to the book...the non-electric kind. (Kindle's got its work cut out for it here.) I'm guessing there is more devotion to the book in NYC than there is in Superior, Wisconsin where the last word in the state is SIN, so I can't complain too much when I feel like my corner of the world eschews books for beer. But it is nice to be in a society where authors and books are more revered than cheese and brats. Though, one downside to the reverence is the faint aroma of snobbery now and then. All in all though, it is fun to be living and moving and having breath in a more book oriented, word oriented society. Keep writing.
Monday, March 2, 2009
George Bernard Shaw comes to mind this morning. He said, and I quote this loosly I'm sure, "It has taken me twenty years to become dumb enough to entertain the English." This brings to mind the Robert Frost quote, "Any damn fool can start a poem. It takes a poet to end one." These quotes...why are they coming to me this early morning in Ireland? All that suggests itself is...what is the role of ego in the writer's life? I'm of the opinion that 99.9 percent of my writing will never be read. It's almost entirely digitized. A massive EMP would wipe out my hard drives, my back-ups (few that there are), and all the emails I've ever written. I'm writing for the joy of it. Writing for the entertainment it provides. Writing to give my fingers something to do. I'm reminded of the printer who was asked why he went into printing. "Because I like the smell of ink," he answered. Why are you writing? To preserve a history? To create a history? To salve a wound? To entertain? To get revenge? To be adored? To become rich? To heal? To teach? To worship? To be worshipped? To learn to spel? To make a joke? To see if there's anyone out there who is as clever as you? Maybe it is all about ego. Maybe that isn't a bad thing. Write on.