Friday dose of writing inspiration:
Depend on rhythm, tonality, and the music of language to hold things together. It is impossible to write meaningless sequences. In a sense the next thing always belongs. In the world of imagination, all things belong. If you take that on faith, you may be foolish, but foolish like a trout.
From The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo
From the story “The Teacher,” in Winesburg, Ohio. Yes, Sherwood Anderson. Yes.
The school teacher tried to bring home to the mind of the boy some conception of the difficulties he would have to face as a writer. “You will have to know life,” she declared, and her voice trembled with earnestness. She took hold of George Willard’s shoulders and turned him about so that she could look into his eyes. A passer-by might have thought them about to embrace. “If you are to become a writer you’ll have to stop fooling with words,” she explained. “It would be better to give up the notion of writing until you are better prepared. Now it’s time to be living. I don’t want to frighten you, but I would like to make you understand the import of what you think of attempting. You must not become a mere peddler of words. The thing to learn is to know what people are thinking about, not what they say.”
UPDATE: Here’s the full text of the Soderbergh speech referenced below. If you care about anything, read it.
Shane Jones has a good post over at HTMLGiant that reflects on the publishing industry and on some cogent comments Director Steven Soderbergh recently made.
Here’s something Soderbergh says in his speech that should make every young filmmaker, writer, and artist, take notice: when questioning why his film Side Effects didn’t do well he comes up with the answer that there is no answer because everyone at the studio had already moved on to the next release. And when a film (or book) doesn’t do well, it’s not the studio (or publisher) who is truly affected, it’s the artist.
It’s a quick read and worth it.
The lovely Jill Talbot is currently accepting murdered darlings for a forthcoming project. As she writes on her site, she’s specifically looking for “those paragraphs that have been excised from published or forthcoming works (specifically essays, stories, memoirs, or novels) for a book-length project addressing fragmentation and omission via editing in writing.”
Are you going to AWP in Boston in March? Really. I’m sorry. We are, too.
To counteract all the too-long readings and too-long panels we’re joining Barrelhouse, Hobart, and PANK for a Not Reading on Thursday, March 7. There will be free drinks. I have heard that the path to these free drinks is through the above-mentioned journals’ bookfair tables. I have heard this event will be fun insofar as it will be drunken. It will be at a bar called Lir, which is no name for a bar whatsoever, but so be it. Here’s the Facebook invite for more info. Hope to see you there.
NewPages reports that Orange Coast Review’s latest issue dedicates some space to their authors’ explications of their creative processes. We approve!
While the Editors believe the writing in this issue are all “wonderful creations,” their interest lead them to ask contributors to comment on the creative process for each. So, included with each work is the author’s “thoughtful, sometimes playful, sometimes tortured response,” which are insightful, inspiring a sense of camaraderie and in some, awe.
“…the questions the editors ask are exactly the kind readers-writers would want to know…”
“Write, Read, Revise: A Journal of Process.” by Lita Kurth
This past weekend draft co-sponsored a reading at the Mission Creek Music & Lit Festival in Iowa City along with [PANK] Magazine and the up-and-comer Uncanny Valley, a new lit mag based in Iowa City. [PANK] Assistant Editor Abby Koski was the picture of poise as she hosted, introduced, and read her own poems. Check out her equally eloquent re-cap over at the [PANK] blog.
Blake Butler writes at HTML Giant about submitting and editors and publishing and not publishing. I’ve been thinking in similar directions lately and think what he has to say is valuable. Wish I’d had this to read about five years ago: 22 Things I Learned from Submitting Writing.
More summer school with Emily Mueller who muses on how to edit honesty, along with ramdom thoughts on nihilism and Disney porn.
I talk to myself all the time. When I was younger I was convinced people saw psychologists only because they were too embarrassed to talk themselves through their own problems. After years of talking to myself I like to think I know something about intelligent conversation.
“Are you a good person?” myself asks me. Continue reading