This week: Word SoupEdited by: Fyn
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There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy
I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir Nabakov
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
I am in 'write mode.' I have a vision of myself hunched over my school-master's desk with fingers flying. Overhead, as if in one of those cartoon conversation balloons, are gazillions of words waiting to be used. I pick and choose. Some words rush to the forefront screaming, "Use me, use me!" Others await patiently. As I revise and edit, words get tossed over the abyss and fall screaming to the floor. My husband comes in with coffee, stepping gingerly around dangling participles and unwanted phrasings. The dog lies sleeping in her bed, covered in a blanket of tossed adjectives, deleted paragraphs and backspaced letters.
Sometimes I stare at the blank wall in front of my desk, eyes glazed over as I neither see nor hear that which is around me, but rather, the world of my poem or story unfolding and breathing around me. I've been told I grimace or giggle or simply smile as I watch my envisioned world unfold. They know to leave me be until I surface for air or sustenance or warmer coffee. Hubby knows he shall get to snuggle in and find out what all I've been seeing when I finish and he gets to listen to my latest effort.
He isn't shy about offering suggestions and I appreciate that as it means he is truly listening when I read something to him. The wordy clutter ebbs and flows, spilling over, crowding to his side of the room. He holds back the hoard with a sweeping motion of his arms and words fly: butterfly words flutter gently, landing in my fingers, waspy words sting, catching my attention, mosquito ideas hum behind my ears until I swat them angrily away or scratch an itch into being.
Time has no meaning, periods of light and dark pass unnoticed, neck muscles bunch and tighten, but I am oblivious--until I come up for air, having used all the words crowding my brain, having journeyed to the end of the path and waved farewell to characters that have become family.
Then euphoria settles gently. Muse-lets come forth with tiny brooms sweeping the discarded words into neat piles and filing them until they are once again needed. Cramped muscles are massaged out and the body is fed. My brain, freed from the overcrowding of random words, twisted ideas and character plights, feels light and airy. The ideas that had come to a boil in my head and become soup now simmer on the stove, being tasted and then played with as I taste and then add seasonings or spices to tweak the many flavors.
There is something absolutely satisfying about a good bowl of home-made soup--aged for several days, perhaps added to as leftovers or perhaps more meat is added to the mixture. Then comfortably ensconced in our chairs, the dog lying at my feet, it is story time, time to feed. Hubby will ask for crackers or suggest a glass of wine to compliment the meal I have served him. My third eye, the one not involved in reading, watches for a mesmerized smile or a stray tear at appropriate moments. It notices the cell phone that warbles off into unanswered silence. Dessert is offered, freshly brewed coffee savored and when the last crumb is devoured, I am told it was better than a Thanksgiving dinner. I collapse into sleep on the couch, pages scattered in my lap, with a full tummy and an empty mind.
Oh, but wait. One of my characters refuses to be silenced; dangling just one more carrot of nuance, while yet another peers from behind a paragraph and beckons with crooked finger for me to explore a paprika moment. My husband sighs and goes into the kitchen to brew yet another pot of coffee as once more my eyes glaze over and my fingers race across the cupboards, err, keyboard.
Soups of the Day--each a meal in itself!
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Zeke writes:I really like the concept of Hi-Def writing. I'm going to keep that in mind.
It's the wave of the future! *grin*
EarthenAura comments: How incredibly true! I remember when, even when I was little, how much I loved the movie "Dances with Wolves," and how it wasn't until I was a teenager in high school that I found out it had been a book first. Upon reading it, the characters came to life a million times that which they had in the movie. 9 times out of 10 I read the book first, and then the movie comes out, and I can say, "The book was better." That time, the movie came out, and I got to read the book afterward, and say, "The book IS better." No matter how you write it, the book is always going to be a million times more in depth in your mind's eye. Great newsletter!
Thanking you :)
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