Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria

On Halloween, writing, and other scary things.

As you can see by our door, we're going all out with the Halloween decoration thing.

Well, about as far out as we can, in an apartment. Corb even bought a coffin and started sleeping in it! That shows a lot of dedication, but he's trying to talk me into putting a bed of nails in the little bedroom, and I really don't think I'm up to that.

Corb spent a lot of time messing around with the balcony, and the rest of the photos are shots of some of the decorations that he set up.

"You know, you could read my copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, if you want," said Corb, as we stewed over tomatoes in the supermarket.

"I don't want," I said. "Really! At least, not yet. I'm reading enough right now."

"YOU, read enough?" he laughed, and grabbed a head of lettuce. "You're always reading, like, 15 books at the same time."

"I've actually cut down on the number of books I read," I sniffed. It was getting way too confusing. Right now, I'm only reading J.K. Rowling and Nietzsche. Will to Power meets Harry Potter. Oh, and The New Yorker. Of course."

"Of course."

And on the totally pretentious topic of Nietsche, one quote that I’ve found really interesting is the following: “Good writers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not write for knowing and over-acute readers.”

Of course, when I read this, I immediately held my own writing up to this mirror. Which would I prefer: admiration or clarity of thought? It’s a scary question, because I’m not certain that I always succeed in making myself completely clear, although sometimes, that’s a product of the fact that I’m sorting out the answers myself. Especially in my journal.

However, if I’ve learned anything these past five years, it’s to make your point, clearly and concisely (even if I do tend to be a little subversive in my delivery).

Perhaps the second question is a bit easier: in no way am I writing for over-acute readers. In literary circles, I’ve always felt isolated and inferior, probably dating back to my high school years (where I still harbor a bit of resentment for not being identified as an AP Honors English student, despite the fact that I clearly possessed a pronounced interest in writing…and won awards for it, too). I was always lauded for being tremendously creative, but honestly, a bit of discipline in the fundamentals of grammar would have served me far better in the long run…it took me a decade to overcome some of the bad habits that lazy teachers never bothered to correct, and it was only in my college years, through the help of, of all things, a professor teaching dramaturgy, that I learned how to better articulate my message.

As a result, I’ve never even attempted to write in order to impress any cultural fact, if anything, I tend to rebel against anything that even resembles elitism. On the contrary, my outlook tends to be quite egalitarian, which is to say, I believe that the creative god favors everyone. No matter how well you can dress it up, literature is essentially all about ideas. Telling a story. Involving an audience. Some people can express themselves better than others, but that’s simply a matter of taking a natural talent and smoothing it out until the diamond shines. True, there are those that, try as they may, will never get better—but there are many others out there that not only can, but do.

(Note: Nietsche wasn't. He also wrote: "That everyone is allowed to learn and read will in the long run ruin not only writing, but thinking, too." On the other hand, perhaps that does at long last explain the poetry of Suzanne Sommers.)

I do, however, tend to get too cute for words: stewing over tomatoes, that sort of thing. And, of course, I’m also way too hypercritical.

This is probably a bad sign, but when I woke up this morning, I realized that I had been having a dream about directing a musical.

It was the same group that I usually direct for, but they had selected a rather frightening show for their annual production. A musical version of Knute Rockne, All American . In fact, they had even talked Debbie Reynolds to star in it. And, even more impressively, she had entered a Time Warp and was the Debbie Reynolds of Singing in the Rain .

Because of my dream, I spent the day humming “Beautiful Girls.” Now it’s nighttime, and almost midnight, and Corb’s fast asleep...and more than a little gaseous, from the sounds of it. Lord almighty, bombs are bursting in the air, every five minutes or so! Where HAS the romance gone?

He is so going to kill me once he reads this.

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