Monday, February 28, 2011

Life Editor

I almost sent out a thank-you note to someone who didn’t attend the five-year-old Max’s birthday party. Can’t decide if that would have looked sarcastic, stupid or a really asinine combination of both. Luckily, the wife Sarah caught the mistake as she applied stamps. Kind of like a good editor. Proving, once again, the need for lots of people on any one of my projects, including, apparently, my whole life.

Which makes me wonder if being a writer is perfect job for me, because there are all kinds of literary lint traps to keep my work light and bouncy and that’s why I’ve chosen it. Or, do all these safety nets just make me more reckless, figuring subconsciously, someone will fix up my little messes?

It’s probably some asinine combination of both.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The bane of the bon mot

I have a love – hate relationship with little bromides. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Clever sounding, worth thinking about for a moment, but repeatable? I’m a fan of clever. Still the problem with quotes like these is one of applicable force. They sound so absolute. Big blanket statements that must always be true. This one, for instance, is probably true of people who push themselves, who need new stimulation to feel alive, who measure themselves by challenge. There are other people thriving quite nicely in their comfort zones. They beat cancer and got their lives back to normal, survived a foreign war or three years for possession.

Or, to put it more succinctly: Beware the bigotry of clever quotes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My book is on a poster

My book is a on a poster. The kind you see in the library, urging people to read. It’s a little bit of a thrill for me, as I’ve seen so many posters like this one over the years but, you know, without my name on it. While I didn’t exactly envision this as a specific achievement the way some kids practice an Oscar acceptance speech or waving Lord Stanley’s Cup at an adoring crowd it does feel blue-ribbonish. Like I raised a decent pig or baked a flaky pie.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writing Wet

I went to a convention in the fall that had a seminar on staying fit while writing. I didn’t catch it, but I wish I had, because I’ve had a good deal of luck mixing the two. The swimming pool is one, big sensory deprivation tank. You swim back and forth, increasing your blood flow, alone with our mind. A scary proposition for me, I admit, but if I time it right, I can work through my next line or scene or plot complication as I ply the water. I know writers who work while they run. Maybe yoga’s cool, I’ll never know I break before I bend but swimming offers next to no distractions. The only real danger is becoming deeply involved in your idea and hitting the wall. Not like runners hitting the wall. This is a concrete and tile slab that really stings. I know.

Still, it’s worth it. I know that too.