Friday, March 22, 2013

The Tyranny of Choice

Paper or plastic or canvas or compostable microfiber
Yogurt in tubs or gallons or swirls or sold w/crumbles
Bread made of wheat, white, potato, oatmeal or seeds
Shoes named Vans or Sketchers or superstars, no laces
Cars called third countries or creatures, probably extinct
Nail polish in neon, like movies or hair dyes or novels

(God bless the writers)

Wash the merch down with microbrewed pilsner
or wine mixed with chocolate
or mixologist whiskey
or java-soaked ale

I want simple
True love
I want complex

or a wonder-led life
or a people unsuffering
or sleepless nights of creation
Wash the intangibles down with the salts of humility

(God bless the writers)

Words in good books or a poem that squeezes or an urge to do same
Thoughts that demand pens or bliss to be spoken or kiss to be taken
Emotions that trim wrinkles or replace burnt bridges or run off in song
Longings of the ages, pondered or buried, the answers no closer
Humor or stories or old pictures or yellow letters w/memories, forgotten
Kindreds who challenge or listen or forgive the missteps, the many

For drafts, click here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Internal Debate

My ongoing internal debate about the merits of writing fiction goes something like this:

Me: "God. This is great! I love this creative writing life. I can make up whatever I want, and no one has much of a say so, and did I mention, this is great. Whoopie!"
Mt. Washington in Central OR

My conscience, (The Big C, henceforth): "Hey, you there. Are you kidding me? No f**king around here. Get on to something more productive. You're at the height of your income-earning years. There's no way you are going to make money writing crazy stories about things you make up. Get a life (translate: job), girlie."

Me: "But not everything can be boiled down to monetary gain. This writing thing, it's life generating. I think I'm on to something here."

The Big C: "You think you're the only dreamer? Ha! Just go trolling around Amazon and you'll see how many people are generating life! A whole pack of crazies. Put that pencil down and go make some money."

Me: "You're harsh. Are you sure you know the meaning of life?"

The Big C: "You like bread? You like butter? How about that house you live in? I saw you eating shrimp last night."

Me: "Here. (I show a paper to The Big C) Here's a story I can sell. It's about a gator-hunting bootmaker. Here's another. This guy writes cowboy poetry. You know, they all use their creativity for something greater than a roof over their heads -- they create to live. Now, leave me alone. I need to dream."

The Big C goes quiet. For a while. I feed it some more paid articles. She shakes her head.