Friday, November 09, 2007

A birthday V.O.

If someone's narrating my life, at this point it might sound something like this:
"Ten years on, and he still thinks he's writing a book..."


Monday, November 05, 2007

"Raining On Lions"

Once upon a brazen age,
Snakes were crawling on the stage of grit;
And the halcyon days were raining on lions,
Galvanizing Daniel's pit...

Go home, Sage,
Said Babylon's king in a reigning fit,
Your flesh would serve my giants
But for your God's writ!

—Dedicated to father on his birthday.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Would you put that in writing?

I've recently committed myself to writing a book... just about ten years ago.

Maybe my first book should be titled "Why It's Taken Me So Freaking Long To Write This Damn Book". And I could just see the chapter names... 'Lack of subject-matter-generating childhood traumas', 'Non-prevailing self-discipline', 'Thought it was a piece of cake', 'Sidetracked by an adolescent surge in testosterone'...

Ten years have finally sounded a knell for me. For the past decade I seemed to be excusing myself for not writing by justifying it as a result of limited skills and life experience to tackle a book-length project. The excuse is still convincing, but the patience is wearing thin.

Ten years might not have spawned a manuscript for this starry-eyed fellow of a third-grade writer, but it has finally yielded a voice—a lovely little lingo among literary snobs that means an authoritative point of view from which to tell your particular story.

How do I know I have a voice? (Especially without having even started writing?)

I don't. It's just a writer's hunch. You just know it. (Or you'd rather pretend you have it than spending another ten years looking.)

With or without voice, I'm writing a book. For real. (It's painful not to.)

Herein lies perhaps the chief of all my concerns: I can't bring myself to write another one of those bestsellers out there that receives rave reviews in New York Times and lands five years later onto the three-for-a-dollar pile on a flea market stand (though I can't promise I can deliver even if I wanted to).

I'm going to write a book that no one would think of reading in my lifetime but, upon its posthumous publication, brings the world to its knees sobbing... I've made up my mind that the greatest works of art and truth make you fear for your life rather than celebrate it. (Don't argue, it's left for me to prove it... if I'd start putting that in writing (yes, pun intended (and yes, I'm using as many parentheses and parentheses within parentheses as I could just to make a point to show how complex my thought process is (pry at your own mortal peril).)))