Showing posts with label writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writers. Show all posts

Friday, February 11, 2022

You say goodbye, and I say hello.

 

Which one are you?
As an artist, which are you?

Lennon or McCartney?

The raw or the cooked?

I mean, there are those artists who want to dig into themselves, confess themselves, use themselves as their source material. And then there are artists who hide behind their art, who use their art to please, to put on a hundred different masks. I think it's true no matter what medium you work in: writing, acting, painting, etc.

Of course art by it's very nature is a kind of hiding; even if it is a revelation, it's always at one remove. One can always deny it if questioned by Pilate. Yet it is also an invitation to follow the clues, no matter how tortuous or obscure, to the soul. So there's a dialectic involved.

I adore Lennon, but I'm definitely a McCartney, hiding behind the mask of Dr. John Watson. (Not that an artist can't occasionally break the mold: McCartney's Yesterday or Lennon's For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.)

Friday, February 04, 2022

John Crowley

 

“Learning to decipher words had only added to the pleasures of holding spines and turning pages, measuring the journey to the end with a thumb-riffle, poring over frontispieces. Books! Opening with a crackle of old glue, releasing perfume; closing with a solid thump.”

--John Crowley

Lagniappe: From Poem to Screen

 “Who’s on line two? Bob Frost?” 


    “Bobby, how’s it hanging, baby? How’s Vermont? Sap still rising?” “Oh, mending walls, eh? Make sure you get a good contractor. This guy Sophie got on the guest house, he’s a goneph. I swear, I’m pouring money down a rat hole.
 "So what have you got for me, baby? A new poem? Pitch me! Two ears, no waiting.” “Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening? Great title. Says it all. Three teen-age couples, cabin in the woods, axe-murderer, chop, chop, chop, big box office, I can smell the money, these kids can’ get enough of the crap!

For the rest check out Lagniappe

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

For Writers: B. Kliban

 Familiarity with the work of B. Kliban is fading fast; which is a damn shame. He was one of wildest minds and most influential cartoonist of the 70s and 80s till his death at 55 of a pulmonary embolism.  He entertained us with such collections as Cats, Never Ear Anything Bigger Than Your Head, and Whack Your Porcupine. When Gary Larson's The Far Side gained notoriety, Kliban fans knew we were getting toned-down Kliban; Larson acknowledged his influence.

This is my favorite B. Kliban cartoon. So much so that years ago when I lived in Houston with my friend the Rainbow Trout, I reproduced it on one of the walls. I don't think we got our deposit back on that apartment.

It strikes you as laughably simple, right? a man is working on a 4-piece puzzle of a yin-yang symbol. He appears to be giving it far more thought than necessary. His brow is furrowed. Ha-ha, dumb guy, right?

 But think about it for just a second. Don't we constantly overthink, making mountains out of molehills, second-guessing ourselves, making the simple difficult?

Now look at it again on a yet another level. He's contemplating how the elements if the yin-yang symbol mesh. Yin-yang is a powerful, highly complex symbol.

Two opposing forces: active and receptive, male and female, before and behind, light and dark.  The duality of nature.Yet are the two forces opposing each other or chasing one another, alternating? And each force contains the embryo of the other, each giving birth to each other: the oneness of nature. One might well hesitate over such a conundrum.

So the moral of the story (yes, there's a moral) is: when you're writing, don't get caught up with the simple or obvious. But realize that few things are simple or obvious.

To hear this song, click here.




Monday, March 29, 2021

Goodreads Gods

 Well, my Goodreads giveaway is over. 2800 people vied for ten copies of my autographed novel. There must have been blood in the streets.

 And I thought I'd contact the winners to see if they wanted any particular inscription.  The personal touch, you know? And I did contact a couple of them. But then I got this message from the Goodreads gods:

goodreads warning`

Well, fair enough. I don't want to spam anybody. But if there's a chance in hell any of the winners read this post and would like a personalized note, contact me sooner than later. Congratulations! I never win these things.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

For Writers: Rubik

 



Think of your story as a Rubik's Cube (though each story has a different method of solving, so you can't just memorize one), but you've got to keep twisting and turning and observing the results from every angle. There is one correct solution for each story, one which is satisfying, so don't be afraid to scrap your progress and start all over again.