It’s interesting, I am reading a book on Soil Culture and the names of the apples and descriptions of them and the insects that prey on them, it’s like poetry to me.
I have a lot of the concepts of agriculture in a vague sense … I am not sure how I picked it up totally; though I have had farmers in my family for generations, and come from farming country I never really studied it to any degree.
For a while there I was like an information sponge and read the Encyclopaedia Brittanica quite a bit, Time Magazine and National Geographic when I could.
I have been interested in variculture versus monoculture for a while, because of my understanding how rotation of crops seems to alleviate the depletion of minerals in the soil. I saw a connection with the popular farming methods that tended towards monoculture causing a degradation in soil quality, which led to a need for hardier crops, and then the idea that GM corn might be a better option … With this idea that it could be engineered to correct the deficiencies. To me this seemed like a mis-targeting, trying to fix something by altering the result rather than digging in to the root cause of the problem – that being diminished soil quality.
I don’t know how close I am to having had a good idea here, or whether I might be totally barking up the wrong tree, but it is something that I am definitely interested in becoming more educated on. I eat organic, and I eat some of the sites and papers coming out of various “resilient communities”.
National Geographic is running a series on modern food production which I have read some of, and have more yet to read, and I kind of started writing something fictional wherein I intend to push the idea to an extreme, but there is always more to learn.
Becoming more responsible in terms of my own contribution to, and impact upon the world, means becoming more knowledgeable about the things which affect it. I was always interested in learning about people and how they work, and that is a key effort in effecting change, but it doesn’t stop there. I read physics papers and articles; I read social sciences articles to gather the lay of the land in regards to how society is changing and developing; I read futurology articles to see where thinkers envision us travelling to. Whatever I can get my hands on I read it and try to judge its value as an accurate representation of where we are and where we might be going. Going grassroots is great, digging into the soil is better, drilling down to the planet’s core might not even be far enough.
I like watching movies that make you cry. Or more rightly I like watching movies that make you feel. It could be the time of year, or it could be the age at which I find myself, or maybe that’s just bullshit. I think I have always been emotionally available, you might say; as all those people who’ve seen me cry might be able to attest.
Hard not to reflect at moments like this about the sterling quality of your friends. I just spent a Thanksgiving meal with one of my best friends, and I’m looking to spend more time with my friends. Why? Because it makes you feel good and you get a chance to flow power to them. To see someone who you have been friends with become an even more amazing person and to have had any part in helping that come about is not just rewarding it swells the heart.
Nano is almost over and I didn’t hit the target on either novel, but the cool thing is I like the stories, and I can see where they are going. I am looking forward to finishing them. Nano does get you used to a higher output than even I am used to … on the days I sat down to write I was hitting an average of 4000 words. I am feeling more comfortable about myself and my life which means the work is going to benefit. Having good friends makes everything easier; being a misanthrope never did.
The glue is dialogue – that’s the truth – I build the structures with straight up prose and then I glue the floating islands together with dialogue. I love writing dialogue … for the longest time I didn’t like listening or talking to people, but when it comes to unrolling that ball of twine in a fictional dialogue, man, it’s fun.
Ah, shit, the whole thing is fun. I love the spirit of Nano, but it isn’t like I am not always writing like a fucking demon. I read like a demon. I watch TV like a demon. I know some people have an issue with using the word consume, like it’s dirty, but I am voracious. I want to grab hold of life like it is a big sloppy cheeseburger and I want to take a huge fucking bite. And after that? A big old bite of chocolate cake.
I can have my cake and eat it. I am an artist, so I can do anything that I want. I am a very moral individual so you can rest assured that anything which I want to do is going to be pretty cool and non-damaging to others, so you can get behind it, right?
When these books grind across the finishing line you will dig them, I know it. Why? Because they are diggable. I know the posts here have been a little spare of late by intend to start digging in a little deeper. I have projects that are calling me back; I have things life that are calling me back. Sometimes in order to move forward you have to make sure that all the things that you started get finished. I am all about finishing; about bringing an end to the stories I have been writing.
This novel Wordsword has, I think, escaped Nano as a prospect for finish. Subsidence has too. As has happened before, life kind of eased itself in the way. You know what though? I am pretty happy with the things that have intruded … and that isn’t even the right word.
Life isn’t neat and doesn’t fit in boxes blah blah blah cliche about embracing the chaos, etc, and things happening while you’re making plans and all that. But it isn’t the chaos – it is the stuff of which life and living are made; some of the stuff which I had pushed away from and forgot the importance of.
These books will get finished, of that I have no doubt, but there are things in this life which I want and need which are very important to me. Ah, vagueness, yes … covers a multitude of sins. Getting life bumping along right is always going to be a benefit for the writing though, right?
I’m always working on things to improve my situation and allow me more scope to exercise my creativity and being more together in my spiritual life is key to that. I’ve been through a lot; been through the dark tunnel; I’m in the light and I didn’t have to die to get there. Not bad going, eh? And nearly 40,000 words spread between 2 novels isn’t bad, even if neither of them is a Nano winner.
I watched an interesting trilogy of documentaries earlier – one on Jared Leto’s band and their struggle with their record label; one about the career of Robert Altman; and then a film about Mel Brooks. Three creatives and their path from obscurity to recognition and the battle they endured. Not just that though – the creative victories as well.
Now I’m watching a film on Candy Darling, who I first found out about, probably like a lot of people, through Walk On The Wild Side. They’re an interesting bunch – all the Factory personnel, and they are all like performance artists just in the living of their own lives.
It’s one of those weird things you consider sometimes – would your art be as valuable if you weren’t exposed to pain and adversity? Would it be bland, magnolia coloured, flavourless? Who knows? You’d like to believe that if you had lived a happier life your talent would still have been intact, because the aim is to become happy, but to still be able to produce. I would say that no one likes to be miserable, but that isn’t the truth, is it?
I have ideas that aren’t attached to pain. I know some pretty well adjusted people who are creative, and it sparks and isn’t boring. Let’s ditch the old idea of needing to suffer to create art. Let’s broker a new paradigm.
No one feels, or is positive all the time, but if you work at it – making as if you were feeling that way, you can get there; you know how it feels, so it isn’t an unachievable goal. There is a real struggle not to be negative and not to write something negative, and worst of all not to write something which is a veiled description of a bad situation.
Some of the problem comes from either not having a place to vent, or wanting to not dump all your psychic crap on the one poor bastard who will listen. Being a writer, the temptation is to try and write something that uses the negative as fuel … sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
It is better to fictionalise the whole thing though, rather than to turn out one of those “airing the dirty laundry in public” Facebook quotes. I write inspirational things as often to inspire myself as others, and I write cautionary things to likewise target and chastise myself and appeal to my own better nature. I sometime think if I just told people to fuck off it might all be a hell of a lot simpler. If you sit there and seethe and the other person remains resolutely clueless, who is to blame? Well, if you are more aware of the situation as a whole then it really rests with you, doesn’t it?
Is it funny to say that the place where I was going wrong with the whole novel writing thing this year was that I had failed to name the chapters? It is like trying to find the right address without any signposts … well, kind of. Or that could all be so much bullshit. But there did seem to be a little less dragging friction as I moved forward with a few chapter headings under my belt.
And an interruption killed my train of thought, shoot, what was I going to write?
Ah, yes, some poetry is abrew, and maybe something suitably epic after a long period of fairly short pieces. Damn, I would love to write something Wasteland length, which was equally coherent. So, no small challenge there, eh? Just write something like one of the best poems ever written? Hmm. And for my next trick I will one-up Joyce and out-paint Picasso, while humming a tune to make Mozart cry, as I out-skate Tony Hawks, and do a close magic trick that baffles David Blaine and cause David Copperfield to have a brain haemorrhage in amazement.
And somewhere along the way I might work out how to avoid interruptions.