Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Utter Loneliness and Explaining the Inexplicable

This quote captures such expansive ideas in so few words.

First is the idea of the loneliness of writing. And “utter loneliness”. Like really, really alone!

I have felt that way at times. It's not just that the actual act of writing requires - for many of us - time without other people so that we're free of distraction. Even in a busy cafe, writers often wear headphones or are so in the zone that they may as well be on Mars. For all intents and purposes, the writer is alone when writing.

But more than that, the writer inhabits a world of her own making with people she has created. Within that story world, the writer is wholly alone. 

I often feel that I spend the majority of my time with people that no one else knows in a world where no one else has been. The idea of “utter loneliness” is one I understand.

But here there is the second idea as well - trying to “explain the inexplicable.”

How does one explain the soul?

I think all artists and creatives are - attempting anyway - to do exactly that. To somehow explain whether in words or pictures, in clay or movement, the complex and nuanced ideas that well from the soul.

There is no perfection in this endeavor. The artist often looks at his canvas and sees only what did not make its way there, even when others laud the work.

The same is true of the story or poem. At my best, I feel that I've captured a fair bit of what my heart wanted to express. But there's always a feeling that I didn't quite get it all down on paper. That something is missing.

Perhaps it's that quest to “bleed on the page” - to explain the inexplicable - that keeps the writer tapping the keys and putting ink to the page.

Do you ever feel utterly alone? Do you agree with Steinbeck that the writer seeks to explain the inexplicable?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Inferno of Unrequited Love- A Poem by Tex

The more I write, the more often I get writer's block. When I first took up the pen, I had a pent up well of words that broke over the dam and flowed freely with little effort. 

I'm not saying all the words were good! It was more that when I sat at the keyboard, I had no problem thinking of something to say.

Now, working on my sixth novel, the words do not spill out in a riot onto the page. Most days I feel more like I'm coaxing them forth. Perhaps I'm more choosy about what words I lay down on the page. Or maybe I mined the surface and must dig deeper.

Whatever the reason, the question is how to break through the wall of writer's block.

One method I've used is to write poetry in a character's voice/perspective. It helps me get inside the head of the character and often reveals a truth I was not aware of about the character or perhaps the needs/desires/wants of the character.

Today I share a poem that "Tex" wrote. It captures where he is at in book three of the H.A.L.F. series: H.A.L.F.: Origins (forthcoming June 2017).


I could end you.

It would take only a thought,
     no more effort than to breathe.

You know this.

You should be run away from me
     in terror.

I am a monster.

But is it possible that you see
     the human within me?

Starvation. Cold. Mutilation. Torture.

None scared me half as much
     as the thought of losing you.

Is it my fate to wander,
    a shell of a man
        hollowed by my longing
            for your touch?

My heart beats in time to
    an unrequited rhythm.

You touch my cheek, 
     your face upturned,
          your lips moist and ready.

If I kiss you now,
     will the fire subside?

Or will it kindle an inferno
     that will consume me?

Your lips
My hand
     at the small of your back.
You arch into me as
    our lips

The inferno rages,
     engulfs me.
It burns until I am ashes,
     burnished to reveal
         the diamond heart within.

If you're a writer, do you ever get writer's block? Have you ever used poetry to break the blockage? What other methods do you use to end your writer's block?

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