Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Phoebe and Tommy
Today's artwork of extreme coolness was done by Isabel. Thanks, Isabel! And speaking of cool:
Quote of the Day:
I'll tell you my secret, man: I don't tell no one my secrets.
Was there ever a human being as cool as Miles Davis? Probably not, as he was responsible for the Birth of the Cool. I've been listening to his fusion recordings lately, some of the most amazing pieces of music (and live performance) ever. A nice change of pace, because as we've discussed I'm usually listening to metal. But, maybe that is one of those secrets that I shouldn't tell.
In between reading The Terror I read The Forest for the Trees, by Betsy Lerner, a former editor and current agent. Subtitled "An Editor's Advice to Writers", I thought it was one of the best books on or about writing that I've read (I've read many, many, many. Still looking for arcane secrets), and one of the few that was lol funny in places. Speaking of cool quotes, how about Ms. Lerner's promise not to "Strunk you over the head with rules about style". Now that I've "Gone Pro" (which reminds me of another great book, The First Time I Got Paid For It: Writers' Tales From the Hollywood Trenches, edited by Peter Lefcourt), many of these books resonate with me in a completely different way than the did when I was working in the boiler room (note: I never actually wrote in a boiler room, but Stephen King did, and writing in a boiler room shows far more determination and grit than working in a comfortable home office with not one but two lava lamps, like I often did). Many of the sections of writing/publishing books--the "what to expect when you are expecting to publish" sections, as Ms. Lerner terms them ,were completely lost on me back in the days when I was pressing my own ink from octopus glands and grape juice and writing with a porcupine quill (note: I never...well, you get the idea). I just wasn't internalizing the "once you are there, these are the things you will need to contend with" advice, advice which seems more important to me today.
Oh--don't confuse "today" with "there", though--there is no "there". Journey, not destination, etc. There are still arcane secrets to be acquired and shared.
A great book, though, for aspirants and publishing rookies alike. Maybe for old, battle scarred vets as well; I can't really speak from that position, yet. There's more food for thought in the book than just "the biz" type of stuff; a couple lines from an early paragraph in her introduction that stuck me as so appropriate to how and why I've been working lately that I have put them on the "wall of quotes" that hangs above my monitor. If you write or want to write, check it out and maybe it will speak to you, as it did to me.