The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Chapters 1 – 3.
If anyone would like to talk about either of those selections, please do comment below.
Yesterday, I revised (tried to re-see) a poem I’ve been working on and got to what I think is a good place with it. The middle section still needs attention, but I did what I could with the energy I had.
It was one of those days where I knew in my head (I don’t mean my mind…I mean I had one of those headaches where you just feel tired all day) I wasn’t going to get much new writing done, but I’m happy with what I was able to do in revision. That’s not to say that revision isn’t new writing, but it’s not from scratch or the ether or wherever else these things in their mirror images form before you make them stick.
A few weeks ago, I order ordered books from Powell’s.
When the box arrived on Monday, it weighed 14 pounds.
Saul Bellow, D.H. Lawrence, and Joseph Conrad top the list. Some things I’ve read before but had not previously owned, and other things that will be new to me.
Reading as a writer, that is, reading to uncover craft, is a much more pleasurable thing to me than what we sometimes mean when we self-consciously say we’re reading for pleasure.
A side note: My used copy of Sons and Lovers has a gift receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Costa Mesa, California from December 19, 2004 inside the cover and a remnant bit of Christmas paper still Scotch-taped to the back. It was processed into the Powell’s system last January. Where else has it been? How did the receipt and the wrapping paper stay connected to this edition for 14 years? Did someone unwrap it, like it, keep it, and then get rid of it last year? Or has it been in circulation longer? The mind already reels, and we haven’t even made it to the Table of Contents or the Timeline of the World of D.H. Lawrence.
I don’t know if that’s of any help to you this Black Friday, but I do recommend buying books.
One: It’s a motivator. If other people can do it, you can at the very least try harder than you probably are. The section on writing includes important, insightful reminders on the mechanics of creativity and flow. Langley’s funny, breezy style is endearing and accessible. It’s easy to see why he’s a successful web-writer.
I skipped the parts on how to make a buck cosplaying Firefly.
Which brings me to the second itch. Once you’re done with the parts you care about, you can give it as a gift to that relative who cosplays Firefly and voice-acts fan-produced short films. You love your brother-in-law, and this is right up his alley. Everybody wins.
I came across Brautigan’s story on Flickr. It made me think right away of Chad VanGaalen’s beautiful song. Begging your pardon as I channel my inner teaching assistant: What do you make of this juxtaposition? Different crafts and media, both discovered and shared on the internet, both hewn here in bits of data and binary code. Are these pieces complimentary or contrary? Which one speaks to you more? Is one enriched by its presentation with the other? Are both? I should point out that the video was made by a fan. The scan of Brautigan’s story was, too.
Every now and then, the highly esteemed Shawn Rosler drops something on my Facebook wall that amazes, confounds, and renders me generally useless with fanboy delight. Maybe it’s something about Noel Gallagher or Ken Burns. And maybe, just maybe, it’s a link to an old-school-NES-style game based on The Great Gatsby.
Earlier today, I Facebook-officially liked this text art Gatsby poster, mostly because of the sublime touch of the famous green light in an otherwise black-and-and-white homage. Major points there in my book. Like Tom Buchanan at a West Egg tennis tournament, Shawn countered with this.