The woods behind my sister's house
Drip with the last of the spring rain
And smell like green tea
Monday, May 20, 2013
- Attempt to write about jobs and how they affect the writing of poetry.
- Experiment with every traditional form, so as to know it.
- Do experiments with sensory memory: record all sense images that remain from breakfast, study which senses engage you, escape you.
- The uses of journals. Keep a journal that is restricted to one set of ideas, for instance, a food or dream journal, a journal that is only written in when it is raining, a journal of ideas about writing, a weather journal. Remember that journals do not have to involve "good" writing-they are to be made use of. Simple one-line entries like "No snow today" can be inspiring later.
- Attempt to eliminate all connotation from a piece of writing and vice versa.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
We recently went to a library book sale. I brought home 40 books myself, and between my mom, my sister and my brother-in-law, we probably bought more than 100 books for about 11$.
Which is why booklovers need to keep up on booksales.
Since then, I've been spoiled for choice about which book to read and I'm sort of book-hopping. And all over the house, there are these beautil stacks of books none of us have read yet. It's like living in a bookstore. And it's wonderful.
And that's not a bad thing. I long ago just sucked it up and came to grips with the fact that I have a terrible memory for anything that isn't the immediate literary problem I'm writing right now. Even when I was a kid, eleven or twelve years old, I'd take notes of everything so that I could remember things that needed remembering that weren't in the next five scenes--which is about the max for what I can hold in my head at a time.
I think its because I have so much less control over the real-world than I do in the writing-world. But I digress.
See, I just started reading Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting, and before I even for to the actual book--while I was still in the prologue, I started wondering where I'd left my notebook, and it occurred to me that This Is How I Live My Life. Always looking for pen and paper.
Ans you know what? I bet it's not that uncommon for writers to be this way. For that I'm glad.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Here's the thing: if you're writing, you're telling stories, no matter whether you're writing nonfic or the most fictive fiction there is.
And here's the other thing: stories breed stories.
So if you want to keep your brain full of stories to tell, you need to tell stories. Circular, right? But it's one of those things you just need to do. And I don't mean just writing stories--do that, too, of course, but in addition to that, make your life a place where stories can nest. Tell long jokes. Talk about your family history and collect new stories from them to share later. When you're watching tv or movies, keep a running list of scenes you feel are missing and the way you would have done the ones that are there. Start paying attention to little nods and looks and people in the background and things that aren't explained, and come up with what those things mean and where they came from. See if you can figure out what would have happened next for books, tv, movies, whatever. Read a lot, and write down everything that is even half way interesting, and write down all the questions you have along the way--then try to answer them. People watch and make up life histories for strangers.
Do this until it's automatic, and then when you need to sit down to write, there's always something to say. You'll have all the stories in the world at your fingertips!
- Interesting characters - not to be vague, but I know them when I see them. They're usually the ones that are different, have neat ways of thinking, can do things others can't do, have interesting paths to take.
- A really cool magic system that makes sense with itself and its world, and is different from other systems in similar books.
- Magic or technology that has a real, visceral price for use.
- Really well-drawn and detailed worlds.
- Girls Who Do Stuff, and aren't particularly saddled by the fact that they're good looking or that all the guys want them, or any need to be sexy all the time. Girls who do things because they need doing, not because they're girls, or because they're busy being boys.
- Mythology--either recognizable for the real world, or as real in the made-up world; I love me a myth, and if it turns out to be literal in unexpected ways, I'm even more there.
- Scope and scale--I like a story I can stretch out in.
- Experimentation with form and function that makes sense--being weird just to be weird does nothing for me, but reshaping boundaries in a thoughtful way will make me love you.
- Scope and scale that is contextualized on a the usual small human scale.
- Joyfulness--the idea that people in the world and the writer of the world both are capable of having fun, that not everything is terror and horror and angst, even if most of it is.
Monday, May 13, 2013
This one has only one list to choose from, so I've randomly-generated five points. Make them into one, and make them not suck!
7. If a man and a woman are exposed to the same conditions and the same environment, the man will need to wear more clothing than the woman.
37. You can only threaten someone with a gun if you are within arm's reach of them.
98. You can only electrocute someone while you are looking directly at them.
103. In you input a partial password on someone else's computer, the system will give you additional prompts that will enable you to guess the rest.
122. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment.
'via Blog this'
Today in #GeekHistory 5/13/1994: The Erlenmeyer Flask' Episode of The X-Files airs, Deep Throat (Mulder's Tipster) gets shot.
I remember watching this episode and being just sure that if this can happen, anything can happen. Looking back, this is one of those points where you can see the show snapping into its groove.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Today my edges are clean-cut clear
silvery and glassy-sharp
against the softer, blended edges
of the rest of the world.
Today, I'm not a part of it
the mercury-silver flowing of everything
into everything else
that some call harmony and others call
Today, I expand outward
living as wide as the day is long
just for now
just for a moment or three
and I'm as rich with stories as the world
until the weight of it,
all the glory and the heartache
gets too heavy and my clear-sharp edges
can't cut the ties
and I fall back in
not broken, but shattered, Parr of everything
but remembering standing on my own.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I remember your voice
In the foggy recesses of my first memories
Telling me of the stars before I was big enough
To see over the kitchen table,
Let alone into deepest, mysterious space.
You died before I could contrive
To find you in your scholarly halls
Or how to het around my lack of mathematical understanding
To het into your classes--
But when I think back on those years
All the pages and stars and worlds
You gave me
I'm full of gratitude that you were there
Even for the short time you overlapped when I was here
And I could be born into a world
Where you were the one who taught me
I'm star stuff, I'm a wonder, I matter
And the universe is unfolding layers of beauty
All around me
I wouldn't have seen but for you.