Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holding Back

     I recall something said by a famous architect, a Los Angeles-based one, I think.  It could have been John Lautner, but really, I don't remember.  I'm going to try to paraphrase it from memory here: 

     If you've got a great idea and are hoarding it, saving it for that big project that will someday come along, your stinginess will stunt your creative growth and you'll be forever waiting for the big project.  Be a spendthrift with your ideas, use every good one as it comes along, even for minor and "unimportant" projects, and the good ideas will flow like water; you will succeed and your reputation will grow and the big projects will come sooner and you'll have plenty of good ideas for them.

     I imagine that must be true for other artists, too.  That way of creating,  resisting the temptation to squeeze every last drop of life from successful formulas and relentlessly moving forward helped set the Beatles apart from every other musical act of their time, and I bet it might apply pretty well to writers, too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nobody Reads This Anyway

You think that's bad?  Not so.  I could post anything here and no one would care.  I could admit that I don't like sushi and love ballet and opera but think musical theater is self-indulgent pap.  If nobody is there to read it, am I still a middlebrow dilettante?  I could say "bomb" and not get violated by a TSA agent.    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb.  I could post favorite movie quotes.

"Michael "Squints" Palledorous walked a little taller that day. And we had to tip our hats to him. He was lucky she hadn't beat the CRAP out of him. We wouldn't have blamed her. What he'd done was sneaky, rotten, and low... and cool. Not another one among us would have ever in a million years even for a million dollars have the guts to put the moves on the lifeguard. He did. He had kissed a woman. And he had kissed her long and good. We got banned from the pool forever that day. But every time we walked by after that, the lifeguard looked down from her tower, right over at Squints, and smiled."

It's kind of liberating, actually.  I could get used to it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Like Watching Your Mother-In-Law Drive Off A Cliff In Your New Car

That's how I've heard "mixed feelings" defined.  It doesn't work that well for me because I happen to like my mother-in-law a lot, and I bought my six-year-old truck used, four years ago.  Plus, the mixed feelings I'm experiencing right now are nowhere near that acute.  So now I'm forced to admit I only used that line because I needed a catchy title for this post.  There, you happy?

Anyhow, this here blog is meant as a respository (fancy word for "dustbin") for stuff I write.  I mean, it needs to go somewhere where it will do as little harm as possible (I'm pretty Hippocratic for a non-doctor).  Only now, during rare free moments, I'm working on a book that I hope is destined for publication, and a local magazine article that I'm pretty sure is.  The latter is related to some volunteer work I've started doing, and there's an almost endless stream of worthy story subjects in that pipeline.  Which is all great for me, and I hope not too painful for the reading public, but it makes for a pretty quiescent (fancy word for "still") blog.  Being the proprietor of an inactive blog is lame, but writing things that might possibly make a real audience laugh or think is decidedly not so.  So I'll feel good about the one and bad about the other and hope all two of my fans (the charitable one who reads it on purpose in case I ask her how she liked the latest post and the one who stumbled onto it by mistake during a marathon 4 a.m. web surfing session) keep checking back once in awhile.