Monday, January 14, 2008

I had to go back and look at the last thing I posted, to try and get a bearing on everything. Because right now it feels like I am at the laundry mat, standing with heavy shoulders, my arms long and lifeless tacked on to my torso, drone eyes starring at the over sized dryer, watching the clothes tumble. Dingy t-shirts fall on top of worn towels, the button on a pair of jeans builds a tempo--- clink, __________ , clink, __________ , clink, _________ --- under garments exposed for all to see, around and around and around and around. Clothes are no longer clean once they leave the dryer.

This semester is going to be intense. I have a history class, the third level of Spanish, a poetry writing class (at 8:30 in the morning), contemporary literature with a reading list consisting of eight substantial novels, and an advanced fiction writing class. I am still waiting tables and holding my duties as music director for WKNC. I will do it. I have to. It will be good for me; my last semester with no chemistry classes. Combining a fiction writing class in the same semester as a poetry writing class all while reading novels that have been published from 1999 through 2007 should force me to really write. I will find out better who I am, who I am not, my fears, my weaknesses, my strengths, and my voice.

Letter to a Young Writer, by Richard Bausch is one of the first assignments for my fiction writing class. I read it last night and I felt a minor sense of encouragement. Bausch's most permeating advice was the simplest and romantic of all-

"Do not think. Dream. Dream the story up. Make it up. Be fanciful. Follow what comes to you to say and try not to worry about whether or not it's smart or shows your sensitive nature in the best light or delivers the matters of living that you think you have learned. Just dream it up and let the thing play itself out as it seems to want to."

This should be applied to all things in life.

There were however two things I wanted to add to his list of Ten Commandments for young writers. Two very important things.

1. Do not drink. Do not let alcohol consume who you are or how you act. Do not let it get in the way of what you want to do. It is a potent substance that will dull the mind and harden the soul.

2. Love someone. Try, at least try, to experience love. Don't try too hard. Don't fabricate it. Let it find you, and don't be scared when it does. There is power in the connection between two human beings [Or at least that is what I want to believe].

So for right now, those are the two things I have on my mind; keeping of course the intents to find authenticity and live deliberately.

Also debating changing the blog title.


Bobby Conn brightens the day. Mr. Conn, how do your clothes stay so bright?

1 comment:

Rob said...

So, did you choose to read novels from 1999-2007, or was that choice forced upon you? If it's the former, I'd pick up Salman Rushdie's Shalimar The Clown and Philip Roth's The Human Stain and Everyman. Oh, and Cormac McCarthy's The Road, even if Oprah tried to claim it as her own.

I don't think I can help you with your first commandment (I tend to subscribe to the idea that alcohol and writing can coexist rather comfortably, provided neither is taken in excess) but let me know if you need any help with the second one. (I'd put one of those winking punctuation devices here, if I thought my sould wouldn't die a littlbe by doing so.)