New Make-Me-a-Better-Writer book creates New Thoughts. Part I of this interesting contribution to the Education of Peg, Art and fear, Observations On The Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bales and Ted Orland begins with this:
"Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead." - Gene Fowler
Since this quote is actually on my screensaver, I felt an immediate kinship with the authors.
Most of us, who live in the United States, celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday. And we did this as most of the world tried to stay up to speed on the horror unfolding in India. The outside Real World ran head-on into our safe kitchens and dining rooms and traditions. It ran head-on into our ability to cut off everything around us and write.
Blood poured from more than my forehead. It poured from my heart.
Bales and Orland want me to believe that talent isn't necessarily randomly gifted to those the world labels as "genius"—that if I don't possess the real-deal, I may as well hang it up because fate is against me. Instead, they say: Personally, we'll side with Conrad's view of fatalism: namely, that it is a species of fear—the fear that your fate IS in your own hands, but that your hands are weak.
So, what do we do when the world inflicts itself?
Right or wrong, this past week has been devoted to my family, my life, my imperfect world. It was a time for me to be thankful for the fact that I love a man of honor and integrity, and am loved by him in return. That my quality of life isn't threatened by poor health. That we have made our nest in a little slice of the world where there are no gunmen fighting for a cause I haven't yet heard about to even begin to comprehend.
My hands may have been weak where my writing life is concerned this past week, but they've been strong maintaining the structure that holds me up.
More next week.
Just finished Field of Blood. I'll work on my review tomorrow.
It's all better with friends.