Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Virtual Wen

That evil, wicked woman, Gabriele, has wenned me for another tag...tagged me for another know, another of those endless subcutaceous memes.
I hear her going "heh, heh," all the way over here.
So did Ivan, but in an indirect oblique sort of way that allowed for weasel room. I may bomb Newmarket yet, though.
So I planned to weasel out of it.
Ivan is, I suspect, one of those Grand Old Men of CanLit - the type whose work gets inflicted on successive generations of evil, wicked high school kids. Serves them right, generations of vipers and all that.
But then Gabriele put her wicked, white fingers to the keyboard and scryed out five names.
I'm gonna cheat and do them together.

What were you doing ten years ago?
I donno. Worrying over a kid in Bosnia? Building bookcases?Shovelling snow? It's January, so I was probably hibernating.

What were you doing one year ago?
Lying on my bed, for six weeks, with a clipboard, writing a book.

Five snacks you enjoy:
Snacks? You mean food? I do not"dine" - except on rare and formal occasions. I eat like a gypsie. When I feel like it. Let's see. Lobster sandwiches. Black forest ham sandwiches. Soft eggs and toast. Cashews. Twizzlers. Eggrolls. Pizza.

Five songs you know all the lyrics to:
Ha! Stupid question. Predicated on an urban myth that the "average" is an unmusical idiot who can only bring to mind three lines of the latest.
Many, many,many. Church anthems, carols, ballads. I have trouble with the words for the Alleluia Chorus though.
How about:
Georgia, If You Could Read My Mind, The Sound of Silence, Today, Gentle On My Mind, Be Thou My Vision, Mack the Knife, American Pie, Snowbird...
The answer to this question, I suppose, is to subtly indicate taste - as well as the imprint period. Mine is catholic. So there.

Five things you would do if you had a million:
Hysterical laughter. Have you looked at interest rates lately? A million is now barely above minimum wage. If I had several million, I would:
1. Set the kids up - houses, mortgages, whatever.
2. New car.
3. Travel.
4. Have an eye lift. Those bags, under, you know.
5. Have someone come in, daily, to vacuum the dog hair.

The rest of this detritus tomorrow.


Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Whopee! When and Alpha meets an Apha comin' through the rye.
Bernita, I must say you are one mother-grabber of an essayist, giving this old I crayon artist some candle-lighting and and prayerful tasks. I have met many a Wonder Woman who practiced a form of witchery on me. Swords and Sorcery, beating up of boyfriends and closet cabalism just takes too long. It would seem that we are on the same page though,and these drastic measures will not be necessary.
1) You are an intellectual. It's written all over your, uh, written.
You are also something of an artist,an interesting phenomenon of
Push me-Pull you that is best exemplified in the great Jorge Luis
But here, at this stage anyway, you are the intellectual and I am the artist (or artist-poseur anyway).
The intellectual's passion is ramified by its implications. The artist's is augmented. (That is why I produced some rather inaccurate chords in the key of G for you for Gordon Lighfoot's IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND).
I must say your intellectual acumen is quite haunting. Yes, I am a fan of Philip Wylie and his
Generation of Vipers, though I must say in Canada, we are more like a generation of weasels, but then I suppose we must respect the way of the weasel too, as survivor.
No, I don't think I twisted too many minds while teaching. I had a running newspaper column at the time in which I ran off a lot of short stories disguised as journalism
You want a short story for your blog disguised as journalism?)
Every time Seneca college went to fire me, the students would rise up and demand the nutty professor's return...Unfortunately, this didn't work that fatal last time.
So while I respect your obvious gifts as a writer who, at about the right age has discovered her sharpness of mind, the creative faculty is something else. I know a lot of retarded people have it, now that even the retarded have become computer literate and they all have cell phones...Who says challenged? They obviously answer the challenge.
Tell you something. I didn'tlast very long (though it took them a long time to fire me, years) at the Star. My ex-wife said it was just that I wasn't smart enough.
But shit, am I ever fancy.
Break a leg out there in your creative endeavours, but I would say you should read a lot of Joyce Carol Oates, especially THE ASSASSINS to see how a real master (mistress?) handles adult fiction.
In a word, being smart is not necessarily being creative. Almost opposite poles, actually.
Take this for what it's worth from
this faux-Pole.
Still love ya.

Bernita said...

I've read this through twice. Talk about loaded.
I came to the conclusion that you're saying as a novelist, I suck.
That smarts.

R.J. Baker said...

I read it twice too.

The way I read it, he's saying that your intellect(Which is ultra-apparent) is overpowering and stiffling your creativity.

You took a great leap to get to your conclusion.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

If you inferred that I had you rated down as a novelist I would have been wrong in making the implication, as I have hardly read any of your stuff. Would have been plain bombastic, amateur and unfair.
But I have even seen the great John Updike lay an egg in a recent rewrite of Hamlet(what a task!) and booksellers quickly and efficiently removing the tome from the shelves. So one paragraph or two of "Whoops!" does not a novel make.
Secret. I wrote 400 pages of The Black Icon, my instructor, Tom Mayer at the Instituto Allende, Mexico deciding that only a hundred first pages was good; the rest was crap and rewrite of Portrait of the Artist. I think old Papa has something there in writing and rewriting and even old Maugham saying the secret of playwriting, say, is to cut, cut cut.
No, I think you're on the right track as a novelist But lay aside the rules of official novel composition for the mass market a bit.Now finding your own voice doesn't work for everyone; it has worked for me. You've got to find your own voice...Shouldn't be all that hard. You have certainly found your voice in your blogs--and what a powerful, resonant voice it is--and the rest might just follow.
Of course, as old Carson McCullers used to say, what has been affirmed by the zebra might next day be countered by the giraffe who has just come in.
I would augur that in not too long a time, you might sell a bit of fiction. Mark my word.

Bernita said...

R.J., my "intellect" is nothing special.
Perhaps there IS hope.

Thank you, Ivan. I'm working on it.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

R.J. Baker.
Well,you'vecertainly added some extra class to these pages. Related (and obviously able too) to the other great journalist after H.L Mencken, Russell Baker. Your insight is right on.
Sorry to embarass you. Your blog does not embarrass you. I read it all the time. With the exception of this old bluffer, Bernita is keeping some pretty good company.


R.J. Baker said...

Mr. Prokopchuk;

I am both humbled and honored by your comments.

Though not related, I do relate to Russell Baker, and specifically to H.L. Mencken's Black Mask side.

Thank you.

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, Bernita, thank you for playing along. I knew you would make that a funny post.

Bernita said...

I need a kinder egg, Gabriele.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Bernita is really serious as a writer. If I had offered a bit of hysteria to the site, it's because I long-ago won a humour award through the Ontario Weekly Newspapers' Association. It was only an honourable mention, a story about a dog and I wanted to shoot the son-of-a-bitch. The tiny award made me think I was (Rick?) Foster, The Canadian Guy, the TV homorist.
Full moon. This madness will pass.