Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wind and Water, Fume and Spume


The Lock,

Theodore Robinson (1852-1896)

oil on canvas.


In an effort to coax the creativity creature out of its tiny closet in a corner of my mind, I hauled up a couple of last year's files, added and exorcized, and sent them out to market like little pigs.

I hoped that the process -- the pattern of guidelines, query, synopsis and sample -- in itself would do something.

It didn't work.

All I could think of was that rejections would arrive in due course -- just in time to mark the anniversary of my husband's death and the quiet horror of that morning.

Then I began reading the archives of this blog -- and spun in a whirlpool of ideas, a mist of partial scenes, fragments of dialogue blown hither and yon, a stream of dim characters, all crying for release or capture.

And I hope I may have found, finally, an arc to link those pieces called The Minor Annals.


For an example of really good storytelling, read Scott's November 24 post, Crossing Smokey.

And for photos that send the imagination soaring, Gabriele's posts on her trip to Oban, particularly the one dated 21.11.09.

32 comments:

StarvingWriteNow said...

Funny, I was awake at 4 a.m. too--that pesky full moon shining in my window!

Very cool that you are getting back into writing, even a baby step at a time. And since you have been published already, the big shots may take a longer look at your work than they would otherwise. You never know!

Bernita said...

Starving, it may be premature to say I'm back writing. Don't think tarting up a previous piece truly counts!

Dave F. said...

BEAR HUNT!
Just as exciting as Scott makes it. I was once told that a bear hunt is pure hunting, the best of all the hunts, fast, dangerous, adrenaline fueled man-quest...
That was before lunch.
After lunch, they talked about the beer, beans, campfires and flatulence. The four-wheeler that sank in the lake. The spaghetti dumplings that sat in the hot water for an hour. And why it's important to be close enough to the bear to be the first one to claim the dead body but far enough away to avoid being swiped by the beer claws and/or wetting your trousers because no one hit a vital organ.

Reminds me of Hamlet -- what a piece of work is man, how noble and reason...
Or perhaps Margaret Dumont...

raine said...

Yes, tarting up a previous piece really counts.
The process of taking pen/keyboard in hand, finding something there worth adding to or expounding on counts.
And having the guts to put it out there DEFINITELY counts.
Tiny steps are steps nonetheless. And you've got a boatload of people behind you, Bernita. At your own pace...

I remember the Minor Annals. Be fascinated to see what you do with them!

Bernita said...

Yes, Dave. Scott wrote an exciting story - and managed to imply the stuff you mention as well!

Raine, you are simply the dearest girl. Thank you.

BernardL said...

Creativity does dictate its own hours of operation. :)

Natasha Fondren said...

The Minor Annals are my favorite thing you write. They're just so evocative!

As an aside, when I take a break, and when I go back, writing is pure, awful drudgery for days. So as frustrating and awful as it is, writing shit for a week will sometimes loosen things up again.

Demon Hunter said...

Everything counts, Bernita. Working on an old work is just as productive. ;-D

Bernita said...

A harsh mistress, Bernard.

Thank you, Natasha.
"writing shit for a week will sometimes loosen things up again."
I hope it will, for what I've written this week certainly qualifies as shit!

Bernita said...

Over all, I suppose that's true, Tyhitia.

Travis Erwin said...

Glad to hear your creativity is stirring. and thanks for commenting on my blog. My year has been tough as has yours, yet here we are still chasing our dreams. I wish you all the luck in the world as you carry one.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes it's fun just to wallow in ideas and images, even if they don't turn into anything salable.

Bernita said...

'Tis indeed, Charles. It's the potential and possibilities...

Bernita said...

What would we do with out friends, Travis?
I wish you the same. Surgite!

Scott from Oregon said...

I too, am dusting off an old copy of unfinished business and giving it fresh life...

Thanks for the mention, bernita!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I have just given up on reviving an oldish ms and now have decided to write something completely fresh. I have a vague idea and googled various connected words and images until something started to gel. But I still couldn't write anything. This morning I decided to change the setting to a different Italian city and now it works. Sometimes such a change triggers the creativity creature and the long journey of another ms starts.
I'm sure it will come together for you when you're really ready for it.

Bernita said...

Scott, you're a terrific raconteur!

Suzanne, your process is much like mine. I hope something will gel soon for me.

Dave F. said...

I'd love to hear your most outrageous hunting adventure. Maybe something to rival those old RCMP movies with Nelson Eddie and Jennette McDonald...

Bernita said...

Dave, you devil you!

laughingwolf said...

grats on recovering some threads, bernita... may they all have gems at their ends :)

Chris Eldin said...

*Warming my coffee and putting on fuzzy slippers* Bernita's Back!!!
:-)

"Tarting up a previous piece" LOL!!! That's quite funny. It's called revisions in drier circles. And it counts!

Your good vibes helped me. I got the job. :-) One class per week. Intensive writing. I have a workbook with grammar rules!! I may have to haul out my Church Lady persona to teach this course.
:-)

So happy you're back...

Bernita said...

Thank you, Laughing Wolf.
Will keep me off the streets anyway...

Oh Chris! I am so glad about the job!(been on a twitch about it all afternoon, hoping for you)
It is so nice to hear from you.

Sarah Hina said...

I'm so glad that you felt those characters stirring, Bernita. Some will emerge from the darkness in a brilliant fashion. It's hard to shut them up after they get their hooks in us. ;)

I hope you can focus on the act of creation, and not those possible rejections. Your voice is beautiful.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sara.
Wish my voice was as beautiful as your own.

Carla said...

Oh, I hope you do manage to connect the Minor Annals into something. I like those - they have the feel of a saga.

Bernita said...

Those bits have frustrated me for years, Carla.

jason evans said...

I'm glad you found some spark deep in those archives.

Bernita said...

Now if I can just get it to ignite, Jason...

Gabriele C. said...

I'm glad you're back to writing, Bernita, and grateful that my photos can give you some inspiration. I think of my readers when I take them - photogrpahing without sharing them would be only half as much fun.

Bernita said...

Gabriele, when I look at those photos I hear the ring and clash of swords, and am so grateful you share them.

Frank Baron said...

Glad you're easing your way back into the fray. Tweaking old work is an excellent way to sharpen, not just your writing chops, but your appetite for writing itself.

(This, from a guy who hasn't subbed anything in five years, and may not for another five. But if/when I do - it's gonna be good!) ;)

Bernita said...

"But if/when I do - it's gonna be good!)"
Frank, YOU don't have to wait five years for it to be good!