Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday, July 26, 2010


In my former life, I was pianist.

I didn't particularly like the first phase of practicing something--that's the part where you break an entire 20-page piece of music into sections of 4-8 measures and figure out how to string the notes in each one together--really, it's a drag. I also didn't especially enjoy the memorization phase, where you play each section three times with the music and then give it a whirl without (and you find out that your fingers aren't nearly as smart as you thought they were).

But I did enjoy the creation phase. Now you might say that playing music written by someone else isn't really creating, and in lots of ways you're right. But a piece of music is never, and I mean never really played exactly the same twice--not even by the same person. So the creation phase is the one where you play through the music and invest just a little of your own soul in it: a bit of rubato here, a little extra ring on the top notes there, and then just lean into it at the end of the phrase.

Now writing is a whole 'nother thing, of course, sort of like the actual composition of the music that I just pull off the shelf and play (which by the way, I could never ever do). But today when I write, I'm going to try to remember a little of what it feels like to create music. To not just tell this story in my head, but to invest a bit of my soul into the actual telling. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Writing the words

You know the real problem with writing? The words. They sound all lovely in your head, and then you put them down on paper and SMASH. It's like they've been hit by a tornado of swirling Mack trucks all honking their horns simultaneously. They're flat, is what I'm saying.

Also, plot. It looks so lovely, so stunningly beautiful in outline form. Only then you have to try to structure it into a bunch of scenes and like, make it come alive or somesuch, and guess what? It turns out it's more un-dead than vibrantly living and breathing.

So why do it? Well, for the money of course. For the million dollar book deal that is just down the street, waiting for my signal (comehere bookie deal, comeon, comeon, that's a good boy). Or . . . not. Because there is a beautiful story in my head that I just have to share with the world? Maybe that. On the good days at least. I mean, I'm not gonna lie, I sort of love my Indra. Oh, and the firecaves--wait 'til you see the firecaves. And, and . . . well, I don't want to spoil it all at once now, do I?

So for now, let's just say I'm in it for the moolah, mm-kay?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The First Day of My Life

I don't know exactly when I stumbled on this song, but it's my favorite right this minute.

I mean, here I am, abandoned in Saskatchewan, and now we're finally on the verge of SOMETHING NEW (yup, moving, woo)! There's a little bit of excitement happening, not gonna lie.

Of course it's taking longer than expected to ACTUALLY HAPPEN (chant: sell house, sell, sell, sell . . . ), but I have determined that this move is going to mean good things for us. And for me. Because starting today, I am on a mission. I am on a mission to WRITE AND SELL the book that I have outlined into next year. I've done my homework, read all the important books, like this:

and this:

And now I stop with the stalling. Every day I write 500 words. I can delete them later if they suck (lots of them will). And most days I won't make it to 3000, which would really be a better goal. But if I am a writer, and deep down I think I am, then it's time that I start putting the words on the page. In sentences and stuff.

And so this IS the first day of my new life. Starting . . . now.