Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Am Thankful For

My daughters are like two pockets full of sunshine in that they are so very much themselves and I am always impressed by them and amazed that I had children and those children are these two wierd and intelligent and fearless and energetic and enthusiastic people who are not at all like me.
I suppose it's what you get when children are a little spoiled as mine are, they have a feeling of entitlement. They think they are supposed to have things when they need them in spite of the fact we live below the poverty level. We do make fantastic efforts to see every need is met, but I am not Wonder Woman. My youngest informed me she need a laptop computer pronto. My magic wand is all out of power as my wallet is out of money. She is serene. She knows that somehow I'll find a way.
If you love them they grow up with a tough skin and a confidence that cannot be shaken later on. My daughter, who used to sing with a blanket over her head she was so shy, is now in the regional choir as the seventh soprano. We just told her she could sing, over and over and I guess she believed.
My eldest loves small children. She was able to get a job as a teacher's assistant. How blessed to do work that you love! I am so happy for her. Small kids fill her with energy and sparkle and she brings home tales of what this little boy or girl did all the time. She usually finishes by saying, "And they were so CUTE!" She is going to college to be a kindergarten teacher.
Actually our house is more like Rosanne's than Everybody Loves Raymond. We fight and yell a lot. My kids do very little around the house and washing dishes is out of the question. On the other hand, we are not model parents for we lost the power somehow to tell them what to do and them pay attention.
Oh well.
If they tell me to jump into the lake I am glad at least that they are able to tell me that. When I was a kid I didn't dare disagree with my parents and my Dad had a mean backhand slap. So in a way it's all kind of bittersweet.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Need for Speed

I think some of us writers have a need for it, speed I mean. The mind wanders, real life intrudes, you lose focus, you forgot what you were aiming for originally, or worst of all, you get bored with it. Your writing for some is a polishing act, for some a book is written in a moment or one afternoon. The words just had to be written down later, you just had it all in a flash!
I dislike keeping a journal. Why? I whine a lot. I'm bored with writing down things I already know. Some things I don't want to remember, for instance I can conveniently forget things if I chose. It makes life livable. For instance, my best friend died and I was tortured every year when her birthday came around. I told myself to forget it, and I didn't remind myself of the date she died either. I didn't want to remember. Some things I do I'm not proud of, for instance I have great difficulty remembering when I was fired from a job. In fact, I can't remember when I was hired or when I quit jobs in the past when filling out new job applications, ya know? It slipped my mind. Sorrow is the impetuous for my forgetfullness. I'm wistful at leaving a job and the people I would know no more every time. I do creative filling out of applications, if anyone noticed they never said anything to me.
Creativity in a sense is a necessity. You have to tell the story of your life to yourself in a sense. I can ride out painful memories by flooding my mind with other things or keeping busy. I tell myself I am still a good person when I do something wrong. I tell myself I am a good person when I do something good or right. So basically I'm just flattering myself all the time. I need that.
What do I miss in books??? The sense that anything could happen I used to have. The sense that what I am reading is real, (I forgot it was fiction) There is magic in us for sure but people tend to churn out what they have read before. Do we want a suspense novel? Do we want a romance? Do we want an historical suspense romance science fiction paranormal? Why not? Publishing has it's niches of course. In a life, all those niches could possibly be present, couldn't they?
What is present is that people are reading books, regardless of what you hear. Reading itself for me is something I would do even if what I was reading was bad, I am that addicted. As addictions go it is a strangely wholesome one. My life is so small outside, but so big inside. (This sounds like a science fiction novel, doesn't it? Sci-fi loves the tiny and the giants colliding with us who seem to be the same (right) size.
What a book is is a mind. This mind believes certain things and thinks certain things are possible and others are impossible. It doesn't mean that's the way it is, it's just interesting to peek into the internal workings.
Scientists say our brain cells or whatever mirror the person speaking to us, as if in sympathy. This is a biological thing. They say books are all about emotions really. So we feel right along with the character and this is the way we were wired and this is the way God meant it to be. So when the book leads us we follow, no matter how unwilling we are in the beginning and that is the essence of what a novel or a movie is. So we are all mirrors, hmm.....
I think that is why we love Stephen King. He said himself he doesn't know where the story is going when he writes it, to him it is like real people moving against a changing universe and where his characters show hidden depths and where he travels along like another passenger wanting to find out the end. He likens what he does to archealogy, or digging something up that already exists. Now that does seem like real life to me where we don't know how things are going to turn out and where we are constantly suprised ( and disappointed).
My favorite King story is The Body from Different Seasons. Why? It stuck with me, that's all, with a vividness other things don't have. King remembers best being 12 I think. He writes best about being a kid.
What do I write best about? I don't know because my mind is all phantoms that vanish when I try to write them. Perhaps I'm not a writer at all. It takes a doggedness and a stubborness it may be I don't have. Maybe it's just that when things hurt too much I try to forget them and that is the last thing a real writer needs.