Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Immortality of the Soul, by Henry More, pub. 1659

Three hundred and forty nine years old and it looked great. I don't know if it had been re-bound, but the pages were perfect and supple. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing like an antique book that's well preserved. They're works of art, even the simplest of them. They make even the nicest modern tome look trashy. And think about it; this book was printed and bound only fifty three years past the death of Queen Elizabeth I. Franklin Roosevelt has been dead longer than that. Maybe I'm just geeking out, but it was incredible to pull this book out of the cardboard box it was sharing with its fellows and see just how old it was. And to handle something so old without supervision and with no constraints. Man, I live for strange moments like that. Of course, the woman who owned the book had no idea what she had, even after I told her. She thumbed through the pages like it was a cheap dictionary, then she stuck it in her purse and left. I was dumbfounded.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Feral Writer's Syndrome

I have a touch of it, I think, more than a touch of it, since I just now made up the condition. In my entire life I've taken exactly one creative writing class, I've never read book on writing from cover to cover (I doubt I've read fifteen pages of any one book in the genre). The idea of a writing workshop makes my skin crawl, and my gut response to the letters MFA is WTF? NFW! And I'm fine with it. I love, Love, LOve, LOVe, LOVE the absolute freedom of writing and producing my own work. There is nothing more satisfying to me than knowing that I have created something that's mine from start to finish. Love it? Great. I did it. Hate it? Cool. It's mine and I take the blame. No second thoughts, no regrets. I don't believe in writing as a collaborative process, at least not for myself. Writing is an expressive art, ideally a synthesis of stylistic influences, aesthetic concerns, and a hopefully a damn good story. If I could afford it (and there's the catch, yes?) I would never think twice about the publishing industry and the commercial concerns behind it. I would just write and write, design my own books and cast them out into the universe. It would be incredibly satisfying, I think.

Friday, July 25, 2008

So, I'm floating in this amniotic cyber-bubble. . .

and it's so relaxing that I'm wondering how I'll find anything worthwhile to write about. No sound. No air. No gravity. No worries. Another bubble filled with five or six polychromatic mermaids floats past and they wave, going up as I go down. I'm pretty sure we're in a giant lava lamp (why not?), and I hope my compartment crashes into theirs so we can hang out. But somehow, through some terrible quirk of lovecraftian physics- it is Cthulhu's lamp, after all- my bubble stretches and splits in half, casting me from my shelter and into the turbulence of the greater miniverse. And as I continue unprotected my descent into the fiery core of the naked bulb I see to my horror a great eye, pressed eagerly against the glass, and the tip of a delicate tentacle, just below. I am grateful to burn.
* * * *
I wasn't really sure what I was going to write, but this journal is for me as much as for anyone else, and it's important for me to write in it consistently. If I wasn't entertaining, I beg your forgiveness. On a different note, I just purchased an interesting book: A Lycanthropy Reader, Werewolves in Western Culture. It's for research for my next story, which isn't actually about werewolves at all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Into the Void, or Throwin' It Out and Seein' if It Sticks

I've just finished a short story, Clockwork Betty, that should be finding its way into the second issue of the Maple Ash Review, a local lit mag in Tempe. It should be available in August, either from or various venues around town. The story was a struggle to write, especially for how short it is, but ultimately it turned out the way I envisioned it.
But in the afterglow of completion, I'm always faced with a question. Is anyone going to care enough about this little piece of narrative to make it worth the effort? As I sit in front of the computer screen, tap tapping out strings of letters and words, I feel like a lone voyager, an internet castaway, tossing my thoughts out into the unknown, in the hope that someone will read them, yes, but also in fear. As of now, I'm pretty sure no one is reading this blog; it's too new. And maybe no one, or almost no one will ever read it. But there's just as much chance that it will be read, and either way the question still applies: Who cares? The answer, no matter if it regards this blog or a story, poem, or novel, is this same, and it's the only one that I think can carry me through what I plan to be a lifetime of writing: I care. I want you to read my work, but ultimately I want you to read what I have written for myself.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Why are you reading this?

Shouldn't you be writing instead of goofing off on the internet? Shouldn't I be working on my story instead of blogging? Pot, meet Kettle, I suppose. But my lentils are cooking, the baby's in bed, and I have to start this journal somewhere if I'm ever going to start it. So welcome stray reader and welcome straying writer. I'll be here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with whatever's on my mind. Thanks for dropping in.