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October 16, 2008

Take a memory, tear it up, flip it over, turn it inside out, lay it down flat and search for the worn edges. Find an edge, a good one or a bad one, peel it open, pull it back, pry it apart, reach inside, feel around, and pay attention. Now do the same thing for a song, a word, an idea, a person…and describe what you’ve got.

That is how my writing begins, usually, at the end of my arms, at the ends of me, but still attached by the smallest string.

From a spark to a blaze, then settling back in to the quiet dance of the story. A writer is a pyromaniac playing with matches…setting fires, trying to manage the burn. When it works, you feel it and you’ve got a fine flame to play with – a glass blower using high heat to create a piece. When it fails, you’ve got rubble and mayhem and possibly nothing worthy to show for your effort.

That’s how my writing ends, usually, in a heap of charred remains in a darkened file.

But there was a spark. And I tried. I can always go back and make another spark and another spark and another spark and see if something’s close enough to catch. I’ve seen the big burn for myself, I’ve felt the heat of the surrounding flames. And that’s what keeps pushing me back inside that forest, that fabric store, that nuclear plant with a book of matches and a grin.

One Comment leave one →
  1. japhy99 permalink
    October 17, 2008 5:34 pm

    It’s interesting how those strings can stay attached, even though the story is unrecognizable. People say write what you know, btu I wonder, can you ever do otherwise? Isn’t it all a piece of you somehow?

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