busted out on the bussed journey

I am doing a lot of writing on the bus now because I am on the bus a lot. Swings and roundabouts and finding silver linings and all that. An unbroken two hour stretch is a good time to think, even if the bad road jostle isn’t ideal for typing. Puts the phone battery to the test.

Poetry, fiction, and whatever else seems to roll out easy. A short while to the New Year and I am in love, inspired, and creating in so many different ways, and in so many different areas of my life, that it feels like I uttered the magic word, and it was my girlfriend’s name.

Her art and her heart, and her steady hand on the tiller, are steering me on a steady course. Much fruit shall be ripening in the paradisical territory of my fecund mind.

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Together Alone

Ever run out of ideas? Nah, me neither.

I watch some workshop groups online and some of the behaviour surprises me. What exactly, you may be asking, surprises me? Well, I can understand presenting a work in progress for peer review, but I find it slightly odd to ask others to do research legwork for you, or to go so far as to canvas for names. It strikes me as a bloody lazy and more than a little amateurish.

I don’t think I am pushing some intellectual snob line, though this could be the case. It kind of hits me though like the excuse of writer’s block: Warren Ellis, I think it was, said, if you aren’t writing you aren’t a writer. Well, I would extend that … If you are farming out aspects of your book to others in any fashion then you aren’t a writer. Harsh? Maybe. Ah, could just be a starting out thing. I have been doing this a while, and though not famous, I feel like I have the drop on some aspects of the craft. I have trained professionally in some writing fields and made some money at it (I know, big deal, right?) but I run the whole thing by myself. I like being a one man band.

I am not against collaboration, in fact I love it and encourage it as often as possible, but you still have to bring something that is “you” to the table, don’t you?

I actually have a great project in the planning stages. I have another in the editing stages. Both of these things are collaboration pieces. But I am not looking to have someone carry my weight on a project.

Hmm, weirdly ranty , and i didn’t intend that. I would like to hear from anyone with a differing opinion, or just any viewpoint at all.

Forget Faucets

Life life life and love love love, they edit out the time for writing. But I have some exciting ideas when I get some sit down time. Some collaborative projects with your soul mate are always going to be exciting … For me, at least, this is an idea I have held close.

Living gives writing life. Seems an easy thing to spot, right? But you would be amazed by how easy it is to forget that. You need to be living new stories in order to be able to fashion them.

But living isn’t fuel for writing, it is more that creativity erupts in wellsprings around the water table that life is. Isolation and loneliness are a drought. I am swimming in a deep ocean again. I can quite easily irrigate my crops. It is a time of abundance.

books in store

Bookstores are like wildlife reserves – they contain beautiful specimens of rare species. I think someone is blessed so as to be infinitely more beautiful when they are in a bookstore. Being in a real bookstore with books and magazines that you can touch and thumb through makes you see that Amazon c’est nes pas une pipe.

I like being able to hold art object magazines as much as I like to have physical books. There are coffee shops attached so there is my favourite drink next to one of my favourite things. There are people who love books, and dig hearing about bookish type things and nerdy conversations.

I could live in a bookshop. I know others who could too.

Fat Next Year

I have written quite a lot this year, and I have more than a few finished books of poetry, and a couple of short story collections needing illustrations, and even a couple of flash fiction serials to be put out. I have published nothing – you might term it a fallow year. A wane year rather than a wax year. So, 2016.? That’s gonnna be a fat fucking year.

2016 will be a literary turducken for me. Something wrapped in bacon, and stuffed with stuffing, and drowned in gravy, and smeared in bread sauce, and garnished with cranberry sauce. And that will just be the literally stomach-busting first course.

I have been wanting to explode with something mind-blowing for a while now, but shit has just found its way into my path to trip me up. Well, I just realised it was me dropping that shit. Time to pick up.

I have some close to finished novels, and some unfinished novels that are close enough to spit at the finish line which really need some readers. Time for hard work to start paying off.

Anyway. Slow plugging away at a number of facets of the problem have been edging me closer to the solution.

simple

The older I get the less sly I get, and this is intentionally so. Wisdom equals simplicity, and if you don’t see that or get it, you are over-thinking it. I used to over-think everything, but I am learning, and damn if it hasn’t taken a long time.

The lesson isn’t something that I’ve had to learn in every walk of life, because some things you do without thinking, because you just know that they are right.

I can write. I can do many things, and they come naturally. I am learning to live that way. How? By confronting and handling the things which I need to handle … it simplifies it all.

Bee Specific

No one writes non-specific love poetry, do they? I mean the emotions described and the imagery used might be universal, but you are thinking of someone specific, right?

Can you ever come in at an angle that doesn’t involve some hint of authenticity emotion-wise.? I think it would seem pretty empty, pretty lead-footed. Who wants to dance like Frankenstein’s monster?

So what about fictions? Stories, don’t they have the same underlying structure that helps them hold their shape? Don’t you have to be driven by some passion to address something that you are concerned with in the world at large, or in the world of art?

I suppose I am spinning on that old adage that you right what you know, and saying you actually right to communicate to a someone or about a something. Even abstract paintings or avant garde pieces are forged from a desire to branch into new territory, and how do you know that it is new territory? Because you are having a conversation with the old territory.

Even if you write for yourself, as so many claim to do, you are running a kind of internal monologue, and therefore are again talking to a person, or about a thing.

How would we navigate anyone’s work if there were no commonalities? If there were nothing that said this bears relation to that, or is seeking to be distinct from this, then how would we know where we are or who we were reading about?

I’ve read a few novels that felt like a free-fall through looser than usual associations, where as part of some big intellectual game the writer sought to promote a dissociative kind of aesthetic. Sometimes it has worked for me, but sometimes it is like one of those meals which passes right through you which you are unable to digest. I’ve watched films like this – they are kind of hard to experience, and at the end of them because someone was willingly trying not to communicate the artwork didn’t; it was a formless shape.

Universality is different to non-specificity. It is all about the framing of the picture; all about the creation of a viewpoint. Write love songs to the world if you want but in some very true sense, if you have not target, you cannot hit your mark.