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Current Mysteries

Have I been reduced to this: today I discovered an oddly shaped puzzle piece I have been searching for over the last two months.  I should be thrilled, but once the frustration is gone, thirty seconds is all it takes for the thrill of victory to fade back into boredom.  There are a dozen or so "problem pieces" I can locate on the completed portion of the puzzle which I occasionally revisit and mutter "good to see you are still locked in place you little bugger-- what a pain in the ass you were!"

Sometimes in the morning I find pieces upside down.  A few, or as many as a dozen.  Cats I supposed at first, but now I am not sure.  A small thing really, nothing alarming about it.  But why should I not be alarmed?  The smallness of the pieces?  Perhaps it is telekinesis emanating from my wife's dreams, since she has already mentioned she is growing tired of not having the table available for other uses. 

I often doubt that the puzzle can be completed.  I have made myself a Borgesian fool's errand it seems.  Kafka must think I am an idiot.  Nietzsche stopped by and told me I was too weak even to wrestle with phantoms.

I have put off writing about my youth for a couple weeks due to the intrusion of the 48hr film project going on in Indy.  I have joined up with a team, and this coming Saturday will be in the shoot, possibly acting and crewing.  A seven minute film for the competition will be the result.  Wonderful fun.

I sometimes thought that just waiting, maturing, would help to bring about the complex alchemy that goes on in a writer's soul.  That something that takes reality apart and re-creates it into fiction, an even greater reality, perhaps.  But in writing about my youth I run into my usual problems.  Some things seem to be too intensely remembered to be fictionalized.  In other places there are great boring voids. I vacillate back and forth between autobiography and fictional modes and am sometimes stuck in between. The age of the character, or myself, is hard for me to pin down.  The amount of real experience versus invention veers wildly in one direction or another.  Diction level and genre cannot be established.  Sometimes I am writing a memoir-- sometimes a horror story, sometimes sci-fi, sometimes just re-living memories that leave me wordless.  I would like to combine all these elements, since apparently, I can leave none of them out.

I think this is the stuff you write through.  Perhaps if I wade through five hundred pages of material I will never use or need I might get to a place where something interesting begins to shape up.  Is this the way writers work?  I will walk a mental mile a day.  But without a compass?  Will the stars mean something eventually, the wind, the moss on trees, voices from some distant place?  Will I know when I am there?  I wander among ideas.  I am just an idea myself.  An idea waiting to finish and be done.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
We need to compare notes about our respective missing puzzle pieces, via the LJ messaging I never remember how to use. Your named genres for encompassing tales of your youth...well, as Hercule Poirot put it in the Agatha Christie novels my father insisting on my reading in my adolescence, it gives one to think.
Jul. 29th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
My mother was the Christie fan, so I got plenty of references to using "my little grey cells" while growing up.

Yes, I was a perverse little imp until at about 10 I gained weight and started to mellow. Horror because of my first attempt at murderous vengeance that might have been successful had I stuck with it. Sci-fi because I was so taken by "Them" when I saw it at the outdoor theater (making me all the more vulnerable since I feared the creatures might recognize their eerie call and rally to the screen and start pincering our cars), that I lived in that "movie world" for months afterwards, on a quest to find new nests, in case there was still a giant queen on the loose.
Jul. 29th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
I often feel that I am on a similar path as yourself when it comes to writing, only that you're farther down the road.
I believe that what you write is what you write. The alchemy can only set in if there is work going on. My big problem is that I don't think I've got anything to say and therefore I don't write. And if I don't write, I don't write and no alchemy takes place. It's not that I don't like to, as you see I sometimes manage to prod myself into actually jotting something down, which regardless of how good or bad it is at least carries the signs of my joy at bringing it about.
But you, you are already working on things, so just go on, you are doing the right thing. Writing is what writers do.
Jul. 29th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Work ethic and belief in the value of what one has to say-- I suppose are the two mules of the craft. Varying amounts of both make the path a muddy, steep, slippery, and backsliding one for me.

But let me say this: I feel you have a fine analytical comprehension, so that When you write something, it will be fully conceived, structured, and meaningful, but with a certain sensibility which I think all your friends already recognize as uniquely yours. I would certainly enjoy reading a story you wrote, expecting it to be a prose-like poem perhaps. And for flash fiction, your piece on "The Typewriter of George Bernard Shaw" is already a classic in my mind.

Unlike the guy pictured above in Joculum's pic (John Crowley) I am still in search of a certain eloquent sensibility (or call it subtlety) that keeps me from punching a reader too hard in the nose. Both you and Joculum have given me different mirrors through your responses that have helped me see what others see. I feel I am gathering dimension, if that makes any sense, and it feels healthy.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Cydonia photo: ESA

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