Sunday, May 18, 2008

See, I get to take credit for that

"See, I get to take credit for that."

That's one of my favorite author quotes.

In order for you to understand it, I guess I should tell you about the circumstances in which Edward Albee came to say it.

He was being interviewed by someone about one of his plays. The interviewer said, "Oh I love the way you brought in this myth and this religious allusion and this societal issue."

Sorry, I don't remember the specifics but you know what I mean. There are times when you write a book or a story and reviewers find such lovely things in it...things you had never consciously put into it. When I wrote Wind Follower I was aware of a few of the myths, social history, historical and political events I was addressing. But when the reviewers and critical text analysts got to it, wow!!!!! They saw such glories in my book.

Well, I suppose when notified of all the wonderful subtexts happening in my novel I remembered Edward Albee's words and said, "Actually, I wasn't even aware that that was in there, and I had no conscious plan to put it in the book. Thanks. I get to take credit for that."

I don't know about other folks but I was a lit major. I like analyzing stories in the larger context and I like being analyzed. Makes me feel valid. Some of my stories are thin, mind you and they have no resonance. But it's so wonderful when a story has all these layers and readers can see such interesting cultural, religious, and social issues in them.

Most writers tend to be pleased to see that their stories are rich enough to carry so many subtexts. When a reader finds stuff in a story that the writer didn't consciously put into the story, it shows the writer is A) listening to the universal unconscious B) allowing true creativity to flow through him and through his own experience of life C) taking part in the great creative communal conversation of his time, D) well-read and E) downright deep.

It is that odd writer who says, "no, my work is not that rich. My work doesn't connect to these primal, or cultural, or social issues. My work only goes to this area and I refuse to see in it what I myself did not put into it."

Who wants to write stories that don't resonate? Who wants to write stories that echo only what one consciously puts into them? What is the glory of a story that is utterly man-made and lacking the true spirit of the universal subconscious?


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Thing About Living at The Beach

The thing about living at the beach is that you have to actually LIVE at the beach. You have to go through the everyday-ness of life, while you're living 2 blocks from the beach.

I still have to get up and sit down at my desk and write my pages. I still have to go to work. I still have to cook dinner and wash laundry and scrub bathrooms and pull weeds (though the weeds are winning in the back-yard rose bed...) (And since it's really humid and takes everything a long time to dry out, the bathrooms have to be scrubbed a lot because that black stuff grows everywhere constantly--ugh!)

But the thing is--today (and Monday) I got to sit down at my desk after going out to walk along the beach. Not just along the beach, but actually in the water. I get to look at the birds (I really, really need to remember to look up those kildeer-like plover things) and the rocks and the shells and the sky. The wind blows my hair every which way, and the salt makes it stick like that. And I'm at The Beach.

No, I can't spend all day hanging out there, floating in the waves or digging in the sand--I could, I suppose, if I wanted to. Some Saturday could be available. But it's probably a good thing that I don't really have all day, because every time I spent all day at the beach in the past, I got sunburned. Badly, if it was pre-sunscreen days. Even these days, I'd get sunburned, even with the sunscreen, because I'm that susceptible to the sun. So, yeah. An hour or two, when the sun's on it's way down, or up--that's probably best. And then I can go home and clean up and eat sand-free supper.

I simply need to remember not to take it for granted. Remember to spend time there, walking on the sand or in the water, biking down the Seawall, floating on the waves.It's my happy place, in this town. My place to commune with nature and God and to Where's yours?

Clockwork Heart trailer

I totally loved the trailer for Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliasotti! Published by Juno Books.