Saturday, April 24, 2010
This week's topic is "Why Does It Work" discussing examples of novels, fiction, film and stories and asking why it works or why it doesn't work. Chris Garcia invited offered me a guest slot. I've looked at my story “Photographic Memories” and talked about how I wrote it and why I think it works.
Head over to Oh Get A Grip and take a look
Sunday, April 04, 2010
The kneeling whore holds her tongue still
Letting my yellow-tinged cum
Dribble across it
Simultaneously pleasant and repellent
Not waiting to swallow, she engulfs me
The trained eagerness of her mouth
Neither reaching her eyes
Nor rousing my lust
Frictionless motion with no destination
She lets me pull back her painted face
By roughly-grasped hair
Forcing my softening sex
Will and habit warring with reality
Tongue now stiffer than the flaccid flesh it works
Her nose held against my thrusting pelvis
She waits stoically for me to recognize
What she already knows
That I am spent to the point of bankruptcy
Friday, April 02, 2010
I recently Robert Harris' latest thriller, "The Ghost”. The narrator in the novel is a ghost writer commissioned to write the autobiography of a British Prime Minister who bears a strong resemblance to Tony Blair. Like “Enigma” and “Fatherland” before it, "The Ghost" has been made into a movie. both of which were made into movies. "The Ghost" has also been made into a movie. The film is re-titled "Ghost Writer" and stars Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. It was the last movie Polanski made before the Swiss sold him out to the Americans and arrested him at the Zürich film festival.
The book was, on the whole, a disappointment (see my review on goodreads.com) but, Harris, who was once a prominent journalist, has some interesting things to say on the process of writing and what it means to be a “real writer”.
I’d like to share three quotes with you that resonated with me.
“Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find an excuse not to begin – the desk’s too big, the desk’s too small, there’s too much noise, there’s too much quiet, it’s too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start.”
This is something that I think all of us who try to write will identify with. There are times (usually when I have no time) when nothing will stop me writing, but give me deadline and suddenly all other forms of human activity are more easily engaged with than writing.
“A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and immediately it becomes earth bound. Set down one sentence and it’s halfway to becoming just like every other bloody book that’s ever been written. But the best must never be allowed to drive out the good. In the absence of genius there is always craftsmanship. One can at least try to write something which will arrest the reader’s attention – which will encourage them, after reading the first paragraph, to take a look at the second, and then the third.”
The goal of leading the reader from one paragraph to the next and keeping their attention, seems to me to be a worthy one and not always easy to achieve. I'm writing a longer piece of Victorian Erotica at the moment and my constant anxiety is "Is the reader still with me"
“I was still smarting at the crack about not being a proper writer. Perhaps I’m not. I’ve never composed poetry, it’s true. I don’t write sensitive explorations of my adolescent angst. I have no opinion on the human condition, except perhaps, that it’s best not examined too closely. I see myself as the literary equivalent of a skilled lathe-operator, or a basket weaver; a potter, maybe: I make mildly diverting objects that people want to buy.”
This frank and disarming statement made me think about how I would describe myself using the same metaphor.
I write little bits of erotica. I try to do it well. I try to pack some truth in there and make it memorable. I try to reach people's emotions and have my characters take up residence in their heads, at least for a little while.
I see myself as a cabinet-maker, working slowly by hand, to produce objects that people are initially attracted to because of what they do and which they come back to because they value the craftsmanship.