10-16-2017: Day Break

Wood pulp,

Dried and bleached by sleep,

Laid and stacked,

White for writing,

Then dropped from a height

To flutter,

To flap,

To clatter upon concrete,

Where a ruckus wind

Spooks them again

To flight—

Such are the thoughts

Of this broken daybreak.

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11/10/2017: When Tired

You don’t have to want to do it for it to be worthwhile, wholesome, to enjoy it, to do it well or get into it (this can come even when you don’t want to do it to begin with).

The wanting to do it and the doing are not necessarily connected, especially if the not wanting occurs before and not while you are doing it, I would think. Sometimes if you make yourself do it anyways, you end up having a completely different attitude as you do it.

The context where this seems the strangest is loving others. I have gotten to the point where I don’t feel like my love is authentic unless it’s desire that leads me to do it. But what about times when I choose to love apart from desire and end up desiring it as I love? What is that about?

Interesting.

What Dr. Svigel said about being simultaneously sinners and saints comes to mind. We can never do anything wholly holy or wholly depraved because we are both at all times.

Likewise, we are at all times authentic, though the level or layer at which we are authentic changes. For instance, if I act loving though I secretly despise the other person, I am authentic in the sense that I am authentically hiding my hate. If I write when I don’t want to write, I am authentically pursuing whatever it is that makes me want to write when I don’t want to, I just am not writing because I want to write. And since when does “authentic” mean “whatever you want to do at the time?” How did I arrive at that, again?

Surely it’s a recognition that our desires are (at least part of) who we are. But are we not also will, cognition, beliefs, values, fears, and everything else? And can you ever be separated from anything that is you? It seems that an emphasis on any one of these (at the expense of others) is a mistake. For instance, the camp that pushes will over everything else roughly equals drudgery, slavery, legalism, moralism, and all those other goodies. The whole fake it ’til you make it idea. I don’t buy it.

And maybe this is just a false dichotomy. Isn’t the point of figuring it out to determine how to make myself do things and to do them in a godly way? Or at the very least, the “right” way. I.e., motivation? I.e., trying to do things purely, not recognizing 1) that I am at all times a sinner and a saint and 2) that good motivations are a product of “by grace through faith.”

And that’s really the issue here. If you’re going to go about writing the right way, the best way, it’ll be by grace through faith. Nothing less.

I guess it’s just that idea that we are always ourselves, even if “ourselves” is trying to be someone else. What people really mean is “don’t feel the need to be someone else” or “don’t feel the need to not be you,” whatever it is that you are. What about godliness? Shouldn’t I feel the need to be godly? I suppose it’s a duality. We feel the need, but we are also content to be 1) saved and 2) whatever God makes us.

To be continued.

His Side

He rebelled. “I am not your son. Just look at me. I’m 2 feet shorter than you.”

“I have the records to prove it.”

“Hand them to me.”

Swipe. “There’s your records. Insolent boy.”

“No! My records!”

Blood sizzled at his wrist where I excised his presumption.

Wind from the chasm below, and shock, shook him, and he grabbed the railing with his remaining hand. “Maybe your passion as indicated by your violence proves how much you love me.”

“Indeed.”

And he slipped, as if on his own whiny tears, into the garbage chute below, screaming as he fell. “I totally thought it’d be Obi-Wan.”

The Process of Writing Mediocre Modifiers

“Brain. I need a word to describe darkness.”

“What quality would you like to modify?”

“It’s night, and there are no stars, so how about just ‘really dark?’ So, intensity.”

“Would you like a modifier of the same category of contextually-determined primary-quality as ‘darkness?’ Or would you rather something of a different primary quality?”

“Sure. The first one.”

“We have numerous matches whose primary qualities would modify ‘darkness’ to lie within the semantic range of ‘really dark—’”

“And make sure it’s one that’s not used often.”

“How about ‘darkness like coal?’”

“Overused.”

“How about ‘ashen darkness?’”

“That’s just an adjective. And somewhat common. How about we stick to nouns? That’ll make it less common.”

“How about ‘inky darkness?’”

“That’s still an adjective, but I like that it’s really, really dark.

“How about ‘ink darkness?’”

“That doesn’t sound right—not nearly as good as ‘inky.’ It’s something about that appended syllable. What’s a word that’s associated with ink?”

“Blot.”

“How about ink-blot darkness?”

“I do not have an entry for ink-blot darkness.”

“Great. Then it’s novel. We’ll go with ink-blot darkness.”

9/21/2016

I am super eager to wrap up the first draft, to conclude all things, and it dawned on me that perhaps things aren’t ready to conclude. And perhaps me trying to do so is premature. Is there some merit to “letting the story dictate when it ends?” I know that sometime boundaries benefit creation. But at the same time, I went over the page limit a whole bunch when I wrote for class. I cut it back during editing. But it was fairly common to write over until I got to that point where it just felt finished.

I have gotten ready to wrap it up. Not sure why. Maybe I’m just excited to move on. Maybe writing’s a bad fit for me. Maybe I just like closure. Not sure. But I shouldn’t let my eagerness rush the process. I have clearly begun the wrap up, but I should keep the same free mentality—let the story come as it wills, even within the wrap-up intent. I have a feeling it’s another both-and—I give it the boundary to end, but I give it the freedom to take as long as it needs to and to involve whatever it needs to in order to do so.

You still have to keep the creating hat on. Not the cutting/editing hat. That’s so weird. Creating toward an end. And maybe that’s why closing the circle is so important—because it makes it not really an end.