Month: December 2011

Dreams, Drugs, and the I Ching

Hello again, my lovelies!

The other day was absolutely beautiful in London. I found that I was physically incapable of staying inside and writing while precious daylight seeped away, so instead I put on my coat and hat and gloves and boots and made the trek into the city. It was the perfect kind of winter day; cold and crisp with a pristine blue sky stretching into infinity.

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O Time, Thy Mirrors

The passing of time always seems thinner, somehow, this time of year. More malleable, perhaps. As though the tense intervals of the infinite cycle relax, soften, and waver as if in the soft light of a flickering fire. Yes–life seems firelit, this time of year, and the shadows lengthen and recede unpredictably in the tenuous brightness of the passage of time.

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Are My Characters Too Real?

Today I read a clever essay by Chuck Palahniuk (author of Choke, Fight Club, and many other gems of modern literature) called 13 Writing Tips. As the title suggests, the essay deals with thirteen of the things Mr. Palahniuk finds most useful when writing, revising, and reading his own work. I found the essay engaging and constructive, but it wasn’t until I reached Number Eight that I really started to think about how the tips applied to my own writing.

“If you need more freedom around the story, draft to draft,” writes Mr. Palahniuk, “change the character names. Characters aren’t real, and they aren’t you. By arbitrarily changing their names, you get the distance you need to really torture a character. Or worse, delete a character, if that’s what the story really needs. “

I read that suggestion and physically reeled, a bit. Change my characters’ names, Chuck? Delete  my characters? Surely you jest!

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Where is the wonder, I wonder?

Hello, lovelies!

Do you remember the way you felt the first time you visited a new place? Somewhere beautiful, or interesting, or so new you could hardly bear it. Do me a favor, and think about that place for a moment; really think about it. Conjure it up in your mind until you can see every detail, taste the scent of the air in the back of your throat, hear the small sounds that are everywhere.

Isn’t it wonderful?

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