Print Story Today is a perfect day.
By blixco (Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 03:31:27 AM EST) (all tags)
You keep me hanging on.

If it's alright, it's alright.

While the world does the clockwork gig and moves through space, allowing days to slip by without much thought, I work my ass off trying to capture some part of the rotation.  Capture it and call it mine.  Make off with some undisclosed sum of hours and turn the mad dogs loose on the rest.

I'm no-one of consequence.  I don't have the opinion of myself that you'd assume from my writing.  What I'm trying to say is, I'm not worth your time.  I am worth my own time, though, as gathered here in thousands of words, swept up in a drift of ridiculous.  How much pretense can we pack into a single syllable?

I like my coffee like I like my women: bitter and hot.

What gets me now is distillation of language.  Marketing has it down, they've distilled the language to the point where all depth of meaning is gone, buried under layers of lacquer and buffed to a high shine.  This affects our speaking, our writing.  I'm digging through a book on semiotics and the words assault my brain in the same shrinking location as a work by Umberto Eco; I need a dictionary to keep up.  Chat programs, rushed minutes between rushed minutes, the time to live for each word is shortened by a factor of X.  The same X that dominates our every second.  So there's no point in color or pretense.  Take everything about the words, make them white dwarves of verbal density.  This sentence means everything.  This sentence means nothing.

It goes without saying.

But what to take the picture of?

Remember when film was what fueled our cameras?  When the phone was something tied to a location?  When work and home were impossible to mix without a briefcase full of paper?  When each byte cost a measureable sum, each word stored lovingly on paper?  Our software stored on disks that cost real money?  Our music on tape or vinyl, fragile and imperfect?  Each digital step has eroded our moment.  We're not slaves to it, we're junkies for it, and our words fall out with no regard to their origin, no regard to their demise.  Where does this text end?  In your cortex, away from my chattering reality, these words are a wash of a tide of random information.

So, here, I want only a piece of the rotation.  I take it for myself, most often.  The world turning, I require meaning for some of those moments slipping by.  I require a marker.  But the weight of my story has to stand up to the distractions.  It has to have smooth edges, it has to come pre-assembled, it can't be something conjured in the space between my fingers and your brain.

No, it has to arrive with purpose.  It is easiest if the story hits hard, has fire.  Controversy.  Sex.  Blood.  Politics, religion.  But all of this, these hard edges, they wear down and lump into one anoying pile; at the end of the day, there is no recall, the words have only agitated. Poison Ivy has more purpose.  Nothing gained from everything said.


I have a problem with my writing.  I find that two things censor me, and you are one of them.  You want cynical and angry, you want stories of fire and the ash that remains, rages fueled by alcohol and anger.  Sharp words. Words chosen for impact and pounding rhythm.  Like any good sweeps week audience.  And that's what I am good at, one of the things I am good at (if I can be said to be good at any of this), is getting those loud emotions across.  Those noisy and garish liminal pre-dawn moments.

I'm not there anymore.  That was someone else.

These days I wait for nothing.

These days I find myself not lacking for words, but all the words lack fire, lack that ability to pull the moment.  They lack gravity.

It's the strangest thing.

< Second Order | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Today is a perfect day. | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden)
Emotions and words. by toxicfur (4.00 / 2) #1 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:05:36 AM EST
I find that I rarely have anything interesting (to me) to say unless I'm angry or sad or lonely. When I'm content, the words don't come, or, when they do, they're trite  and fail miserably at capturing the peace I sometimes feel. Despair and loss have been my muses, but I'm trying to write to learn to write without them. Perhaps there's something to be gained from words without fire or melancholy.   If you figure out what it is, do let me know.
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco
Will do. by blixco (4.00 / 2) #2 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:15:05 AM EST
It's that distillation thing, I think.  Engineering the words with more thought to their placement and rhythm.  Like a logic problem.  Hrm.  Maybe more like music: making everything fit the right way but without the sterile connotation that logic implies.

Putting each phrase together in such a way that the thought could not be conveyed any other way.  I like to think that Shakespeare wrote that way.  Re-writing each phrase, making it perfect.  I like to think that people who write well painstakingly assemble each phrase, working with it for as long as their muse demands.

I don't write that way at all.  But I need to start.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

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taking pains by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #14 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 12:14:16 PM EST
I dunno about that. I love, for instance, your "one take" stuff, not necessarily because it's jagged and bleeding (although it works very well for that) but because it's a more direct -- honest, maybe? -- transfer of the landscape inside your head to the screen. I don't write that way at all. Even under NaNopressure. I envy the way you do it.

To write something truly amazing, I guess, does require more than just the initial spew of genius. But a sentence isn't like a leather jacket that just gets better the more you put it through. It's more like pie crust that starts to fall apart when you knead it too much. I went through a phase when I would write longhand, and revise longhand, copying over every word each time, tweaking a comma, dropping an "and," fixing an adjective. The weird thing was, it didn't get better. The words no longer made up sentences that hung together, they were
page. 'Course, I was a lot younger then with even less to say than I have now, but I remember realizing that there's such a thing as too much polish. Something so slick that no meaning can attach to it -- or if you keep going, you can polish a hole right through it.

It's not about the perfect sentences, in the end, it's about the story. That's the real unit of meaning. But I can't resist the urge to polish. I'm still trying to recognize that moment when one more flip of the dough will ruin the whole thing.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
when my deep depression went away by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 06:30:11 AM EST
so did my poetry.
Send me to Austria!
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Did your Care Package get through? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:21:56 AM EST
I figured that They would get tired of intercepting them pretty quickly.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
I get free samples by blixco (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:24:15 AM EST
from my doctor.

It's not the Cymbalta, though.  It's the job, the removal of Dell from my day-to-day.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
You are wrong. by herbert (4.00 / 2) #5 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:25:30 AM EST
I would prefer stories about bunnies and/or unicorns.


A brief story about unicorns. by toxicfur (4.00 / 3) #6 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:46:56 AM EST
My best friend B teaches English at a small, Southern community college. The semester we met - both teaching in the same department - she told me the story of one of her students who she dubbed "Unicorn Girl." B was teaching in a computer classroom, and every day, Unicorn Girl would be surfing the web, looking at airbrushed pictures of unicorns in bright oranges and blues and pinks. Every. Fucking. Day.

Unicorn Girl thought herself to be deep and insightful, probably due to her spiritual communion with the mystical creatures lovingly drawn and posted. She was also an idiot. "So what would you think if you ended up in a 4X4 in a field, with deer, and a spotlight?" she asked one day. Another day, she explained in breathless terms, "My sister and I are so different. One time, someone told me - and I thought this was so true - that we are like [pause for emphasis] night and day.

I don't miss teaching at all.
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Wow. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:52:16 AM EST
Was her name Robin?
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
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This comment deserves a 7. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:56:42 AM EST
Honestly, I have no idea what her name is - I'm not sure B ever told me. A good way to test this theory, though, is to have CRwM buy a brightly colored, though spiritual, unicorn and place it on Robin's desk. If she has a small orgasm, we can be certain it's the same person.
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
UniBunnies! by wiredog (4.00 / 3) #7 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 04:48:54 AM EST
Coming soon from a genetics lab near you!

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
But what to take the picture of? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 05:08:08 AM EST
You know the answer to that question. We expect the diary, picture and ode pronto. Chop chop!

Oh no. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 05:21:58 AM EST
Not again.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
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C'mon Jump on the bandwagon.. by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 07:00:28 AM EST
everyone is doing it..

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No... by blixco (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 09:23:54 AM EST
...not again!
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
Today is a perfect day. | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden)