Sunday, December 20, 2009


Why do people make art?

Not too long ago, I felt like I could have answered that question, but over the last few years the feelings of being an "artist" have eluded me. I still would talk, here and there, about wanting to get back into "this" or start to get into "that", but the ugly truth is that I haven't known why. Like anyone who stays in a relationship long after it should have ended, I suspected it was because I didn't want to admit that passion had left me.

This evening, however, while methodically arranging my bookshelf, emotion hit me in the same way a cold wind will bite at your insides: I had become content. I was no longer restless, and so I lost what every artist posses: the entirely unattainable drive for perfection. Not the drive to make everything around you perfect, no good artist sees perfection in the world. They see beauty and pain in the imperfection all around them, and have the insatiable urge to express that imperfection as perfectly as they can - in a way that will make people feel engulfed in familiarity and fantasy all at once.

I no longer want to be merely satisfied by my life, there is always something lying underneath the surface, and I intend to uncover it, the way no one else can.

Monday, December 7, 2009

10,000 words ain't nothin' to be ashamed of ...

At least that's what I keep telling myself. I did not finish NaNoWriMo (a fact that I'm sure none of you are shocked by) but I'm surprisingly okay with it. I stopped because my main protagonist had the likeness of a woman, but she had no past, and therefore, no story. I realized if I wanted to write this novel (which is a character heavy novel), I have to write some background on her. I don't know why she does the things she does, and that's kind of making her feel like a character from a sitcom.

I think the reason I'm okay with this, is because it got me writing again, and that's the point of NaNoWriMo. 10,000 words is more than I have ever written on one project that wasn't intended for scholastic purposes. Far more in fact, and that's really the whole point of NaNoWriMo, to get people writing fearlessly. I am dead set on finishing this novel. It will probably be a short novel, and it's a baby step in terms of creative fiction on my behalf, but it will happen. I've put too much thought and energy into it to never see it happen. Also, I will be participating again, and hopefully around the same time next year you will see not just a "2010 NaNoWriMo Particpant" badge, but a "winner!" badge as well.

Additionally, I re-realized I my love of poetry. There's no future in poetry, except to become a teacher, and teach other students with no monetary future in the craft how to write it, and then they will teach the next generation, and so on and so forth ... but I love doing it. I also find I hate most contemporary poetry, which is kind of okay, because I think there are poets who follow in the more traditional styles and still convey a modern voice.

Back to fiction ...

I was thinking for a while that I don't want to write anymore fiction after this current project. My best prose is when I'm just writing blog like things, and while there is a market for that, I like the idea of challenging myself to find a story within all of the emototing and thoughtful phrase turning I do, which will be part of the challenge in writing Grasp (the tittle of Sonya's story).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giving Birth

A tight feeling constricted my chest as I sat quietly reading. I have this feeling often, a feeling of emptiness and anticipation. The space between my ribs becomes starved for undiscriminating abandonment of all responsibility – I never give in.

I always wonder if I did, what would happen? In these moments, I don’t have any particular desire, except I know that art is an adventure that I have yet to embark upon. Would this emotion look like paint splattered carelessly across a canvass, or the words on this page being fleshed out into the form of something more? Something with life, something that people would read and they would feel the breath of literature on their necks; sparking their insides and becoming aware of the emptiness that too lay in their chests.

As I write these words I know there is a character waiting to be nurtured, and a poem waiting to be unbound and woven back together in tighter, richer patterns. These are children born of my mind, and I deny myself as I deny them.

They say art is a labor of love, and not unlike raising a child you raise your artwork up. You give life to it, and as it grows you grow with it, putting more stake in it’s future with every caress and extension of your being. Like children, denying their growth is to deny yourself, and leave the space between your ribs tense and hallow for all time.