Aug 26, 2009

Waiting for the Dawn

Has anyone else ever considered the odd fact that James Michener's Center for Writers is at home in J. Frank Dobie's lovely little white cottage along Waller Creek in downtown Austin, Texas? Could two writers have been more strikingly different in both their choices of subject and their styles? Is this a display of honoring two, or of merely preserving one? Only UT knows, I suppose.

I think, as I fight the guilt of not writing my daily dozen pages, of the enormous number of contradictions I have encountered since I picked up my fingers and sent them across the keyboard.

I can write from the heart, but it's only one point of view and shallow. I can tell a totally fictitious story with no basis in fact at all, and it reads like a personal diary.

The characters of my dreams do indeed, bring me stories that are better than my own. On the other hand, I commit to my own and set aside such ethereal plot lines--perhaps, in case I cannot find the way from side to side without more help from the other world? Indeed, what do I know of voodoo in Chicago? Or teenaged killers in Fort Worth?

And yet, I cannot write FANTASY - all my stories are rooted in the earth herself. How can this be when all I read from ages 12-30 were fantasy and science fiction and the trials of journeymen searching with dragon and wizard, fighting troops and monsters, stretching the bonds of human law and the strength of human religion?

Is there any wonder I am so easily distracted?

What turns you on as a writer, or an artist, or a photographer, or a ??? Do you, like me, wander around in fog and streams of light that doesn't fall from a simple sun until a deadline traps you?
My very curiosity is both a bane and a salve.

1 comment:

Dave Johnson said...

I grew up on fantasy too, but find myself less and less inclined to write such stories. I wonder if it's because I regard Tolkein, Lewis, Cooper, and Lloyd with such high regard that I fear I can never quite atain the wonder and awe they invoked in me as a child.

Then again, I've been drinking quite alot tonight and I tend to get a bit melancholy. Tomorrow is a new day when I'll determine to one up them all.