Engorge yourselves, dear
Students craving pure knowledge:
Reach in and claim it.
Just a short bit of dialogue I was messing around with the other day. Bon appetite!
“You think zombies cry?”
“Zombies. Shed tears. Weep. Cry.”
“Here—use this bag. Crying? That’s like wondering if trees fart.”
“It’s a serious philosophical question. Do they even feel pain? Have they got any sense of loss? You know, whatever’d make you cry a little.”
“Careful, he might hear you.”
“No ears, genius.”
“One’s right over there, under the dumpster.”
“Yes, ok? They cry. Can we get back to this please?”
“Why would a zombie cry then?”
“Because all he wants to do is give us a hug and a kiss, and we keep running away.”
“Or he wants to share the Good News with you so that Jesus will live in your heart, but you won’t open the door for his prayer group. The fuck should I know? I don’t even think about this shit. Have you ever seen one cry?”
“Sort of; I saw one that looked pretty depressed. She was hanging out by the liquor store—”
“I’d cry if they ran out of vodka too—”
“—and she had this look on her face, like she was upset or hurt and–careful around the teeth. Yeah, turn the head around. Anyway, she just sat there on the sidewalk staring at nothing, and I felt kind of . . . I don’t know . . . sorry for her? Do you think she was remembering something sad?”
The past few days have been full of inspiration.
I had been suffering from Multiple Writing Style Disorder for a while, and I needed to stop and think about what I wanted out of my writing.
I also found myself reflecting on what–if anything–of myself I was putting into my work. You know the old(ish?) adage “write what you know”? Well, I realized that there was a bit of distance between the world I was creating and my own life. So, I decided to dip a bit of my soul into it–nothing too involved but just enough to connect with my work. It’s only been a couple of days since I tried it, but so far, I like it.
The main source of my recent quest for self-discovery was a blog post about J.K. Rowling’s writing process. It’s been awhile since I read the Harry Potter books; I have a reading list a mile long, so I didn’t really have time to revisit a series that I’d read multiple times already. But for some reason I decided to Google her writing process to see if I could poke a sharp stick at my Muse, and I came across the aforementioned writing process blog post. It’s contains a brief collection of Rowling quotes that you should check out if you’re a fan of her work: http://harrypotterforwriters.blogspot.com/2012/01/guest-post-jk-rowlings-writing-process.html
Honestly, it isn’t anything ground-breakingly original, but then again a lot of profound advice isn’t. Whether it’s about writing, attaining happiness, setting goals in life, or just how to deal with disappointment, sometimes the best advice reminds you of what you already know either from experience or intuitively. Hearing (or reading) someone else express it can be enough to jump start your brain and heart.
The pearl of wisdom that stood out most for me was keeping in mind who I was writing for. I noticed that I was thinking of my imaginary readers a bit too much. Sure, you want to have an idea of who your audience is, but in the end, what matters most is that the story you tell is one that you enjoy writing, that you would enjoy reading, that you would be proud to publish, not simply the one that will sell the most copies. I had to let that sink the past few days, and I’m much happier for it.
Well, that’s all I wanted to share this time. Time to get back to writing! I hope everyone out there remains (or becomes) lucid, inspired, and unshakable.
Yikes, over a week gone by and no post. I’ve gotta crack my own whip.
So, writing. Yeah. Been doing a lot of that lately. I’ve noticed that my style changes depending on the first few lines of the chapter I’m in. For example, if I start the chapter with a sarcastic line, I unconsciously write the entire chapter with a sarcastic tinge to it. It wouldn’t be too bad if that was what I was going for, but that isn’t always the case. So I’ve had to go back and re-edit chunks of my chapters to make them more uniform.
The above editing has really got me questioning if I even know my own style well enough. It seems like I’m able to pull out all kinds of writing styles at any given time, and I have fun with each one, but a consistent and cogent narrative it does not make. Maybe I’ve been reading too many books from too many different eras. Victorian, Post Modern, Classical, etc. It’s created a quagmire of techniques that I dig into for my writing.
Maybe that’s my writing style, then? A schizophrenic amalgamation of different voices that fight for center stage?
In a slightly unrelated note, I’ve decided that I want to live in a castle someday. Something like Hogwarts would be acceptable.
Yes, that’ll do.
And now back to writing in the castle of my mind.
Come on in, sit by the fire.
Feet up, arms folded. Comfy? Excellent.
Let’s talk about death. And happiness.
At the moment, death seems pretty inevitable. Maybe our children’s children will discover the secrets of immortality (I suspect it’ll have something to do with cyborgs), but our generation will undoubtedly tango with the Grim Reaper one day.
Since our time on Earth is limited, I’ve been thinking about how I spend (or waste) said time. Specifically, I’m worried about the amount of happiness I get out of my day. There are so many humdrum parts to a typical day, tasks we have to complete in order to serve a larger goal. Like being stuck in an office for eight hours. Misery for the sake of survival—unless you like office work, in which case you’re already dead.
Eight hours a day.
Forty a week.
2080 a year.
86 days spent doing something you dislike, which doesn’t include the time spent commuting to and from work. Working to further someone else’s goals. That’s the reality of most people on the planet.
Yeah, I know: there are some very practical consequences to just doing whatever you want at any time of the day. Nothing would get done. Chaos would reign supreme. Society as we know it would crumble.
But a guy can dream of doing—only doing—what he loves, can’t he?
What’s that Queen song? “I Want To Break Free”? Oh yes.