Found this wonderful discussion on Nathan Bransford‘s this week in books post, by Gretchen Brugman about writing, running and the power of not being satisfied. The inner need to something more, and as Bransford describes it, “Writing is an act of getting down on your hands and knees and pushing on the ground and hoping the world spins on a slightly different axis. It’s the art of not taking life for granted and trying to make something, anything change.”
In the fast & funny video she posts by John Green about The Great Gatsby (his vids are. the. best), I love this, about the 2 minute-ish mark: “Books are not in the business of creating likable characters books with whom you can have some simple identification are in the business of creating great stories that make your brain gobahgodobahgaga” (or something like that). Also cool is the bit about gold symbolism at around 4 minutes.
Can’t remember how I first found this, The Proppian Fairy Tale Generator, an experiment in electronic (re)writing and an exploration of the retranslation of modernist theory within the electronic environment. I think it’s cool and fascinating (or horrifying). I love (hate) the idea that the generator can create your fairy tale using Propp’s studies of structure in Russian folk tales. (There’s got to be a postmodern fairy tale in there somewhere!) All you need to do is enter your functions from the list, ie absention, trickery, departure, guidance, solution, unregognized arrival, etc etc. Mine started like this:
In the bowels of the valleys where I live the smell of anger comes in bouts. The smell rides down from the mountain sides on great horses wearing heavy armor and large blades; the smell drives at us with the sound of hooves pounding on soft valley soil. My father could scent this smell twenty-four hours before it came, but when he was hungry for something angry, to him the smell of war was everywhere. The day he left to find the source of the scent was the day he left me all alone.
He grabbed the stone from my hand and began to inquire about its origin.
I told them that the good graces gave me whatever I had.
and so on…
Some random thoughts & words flitting through my mind that I absolutely love:
a pillowcase that remembers you – Ray Lamontagne from old roses& cigarettes
I will come willingly, like a leaf on a tree in October. –Lisa Hannigan from O Sleep
As you wish. -Wesley to Buttercup in The Princess Bride (by the way, the book is really wonderful)
Now bring me that horizon. – Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean