The Stretch

22 01 2011

I started reading Gravity’s Rainbow last night: 700 plus pages of dense modern English, where every paragraph is a poem, and every line a segment of code that demands every synapse available to decode it. Pynchon’s writing reminds me of Rushdie, Midnight’s Children in particular. Thus, I know it will take an overwhelming commitment to make it all the way through, like all novels of this opus, but fifty pages in and I am already infected, so I am cool being in bed with this one for a while.

Earlier, I referred to blogging as yoga for my work ethic, as a slow and meditative training to restore and realign my mind and body, writing-wise. I would like to suggest another fitness analogy, one that came to me as I was not even to the final resting pose of my last proclamation. Seeing as how the ultimate goal of all my verbal jockeying is a work of longer breadth and deeper magnitude (read: screenplay/novel hybrid), blasting out short, pithy blogs is akin to running sprints when training for a marathon. It may be the same activity, but the approach is vastly different. Here I insert a small amount of assumption; for, I have never run or prepared for a marathon, but in my scholastic days I ran sprints for days. They both require the runner to subject himself to pain; yet, one is clearly extended out over longer periods, progressively so until the full segment is completed, while the other still revolves around short bursts of activity, however many of those bursts you chose to subject yourself to in a sitting, so to speak.

As agave can do the job but will never as good as sugar (although not in the case of margaritas), there can be no substitute for the real thing. Maintaining a running narrative 500 words at a time every day does not empower someone with the skills to complete a novel, let alone a novel that’s readable, just as someone who runs a 10 k everyday may not necessarily own it when it comes to a marathon, but they are great skills to have, experience to fall back on, and while blogs may not be novel quality writing, ever, the practice of doing it every day is quintessential to your discipline.

I laid awake for awhile after putting the book down, but it was not due to the lusty, supernatural intrigue of the introduction: I found I was completely shellshocked by Pynchon’s ability to keep up the pace for over 700 pages. If reading takes an overwhelming commitment, what kind of demonic possession does it take to actually write a novel of this scope?!





Chew On It (Four Micro-Vignettes)

22 01 2011

The value of meditation does not present itself outright. It works underneath its own surface, in a slow, quiet revolution. It takes patience to cultivate patience. For those wanting to see immediate change, this can be the hardest hurdle to success; but, it is also arguably the most crucial.

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The body that lends a helping hand can have two faces. It is this simplest of paradoxes that makes it so difficult to listen to politicians, who act like they are in it for us but really their actions are unified behind the central purpose of staying alive politically.

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Somewhere there must live a man who has it all figured out. It’s fun to tell myself this, even though it seems like a passé subject from one or two decades ago. Maybe that’s because I spent nearly that long trying to figure “it” out. Now I realize that there are people who don’t need to to figure it out, and maybe, from a certain perspective, that IS having it figure out.

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The will to complete a massive undertaking, the will to see it through, this is what has escaped me until now, what has kept me from creating something that I myself would consider great. That’s what this blog is for. It’s work ethic boot camp, or maybe more like yoga, as I find myself taking lots of deep breaths and considering the moves (but not too much) as I make them.





What’s in a name?

18 01 2011

It’s a horrible title, I admit. Anything inaugural has too much pressure on it to deliver a new paradigm, so I am trying to care, but not too much. As the topography of a beach is ever changing, as sediment eventually lives up to its root, and settles in for the long night, blogs too eventually become themselves.

A couple things about this catalyze me:

1) Having earned a writing degree when paper still ruled print, although the electronic destiny clearly had begun, I always thought editors and publishers would be necessary for others to have access to my words. For me to write my thoughts here and post them moments later represents a liberation of epochal magnitudes. I realize how this revelation would have been appropriate a decade ago; perhaps that goes to show what kind of cloud I have been wandering the world in.

2) I have attempted to maintain blogs many times, but they all failed to gain traction…with me, never mind an audience! A proper theme always eluded me, something I could intrepidly investigate with authority and interest. At the end of all that, I just found that I was fed up. So I decided (just moments ago, literally) that I would just write from the hip, so to speak, and free myself from any pretension or imposition of authority, which usually just makes me sound like an idiot anyway. With this release, I feel incredibly light and expansive, as though taking my first deep breath in far too long.

So I thank you, if you choose to read and follow me. I will resist promising anything other than my most concerted effort to be genuine. If that gets boring, please let me know.