That’s great writing…

I’ve started on another Nabokov novel, and just from the first pages I’m already smiling. The way he writes is just somehow so humorous and beautiful at the same time. Not funny like jokes or goofy characters, but funny because you can imagine someone just like that, or you can see that little quirk or familiar behavior in yourself.

I hope to write something some day that can affect someone with a smile or a cringe or a shudder or a laugh or a tear, or make them think…

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The Great Gatsby. Still not sure if I read it.

Well, now I’ve finished it, but I still feel like I haven’t. I had a terrible time trying to pay attention to this one, but I think that was mostly the fault of the narrator. Jake Gyllenhaal (in a trend of having famous actors read classics) gives a dull, monotone reading that would put you to sleep if not for the constant, piercing s-whistles sprinkled throughout.

I already feel I’ll have to give this one yet another try, but next time I’ll be sure to do it in text form.

The parts that I could stay alert for were good, but anything can be boring when read in a tired, simple tone. It reminded me of a ninth grader being forced to read in front of their class, something they have no concept of or interest in understanding. Just words on a page, with no change in pace or rhythm, even when moving from describing a sunset to describing a deadly car crash.

The words will slide right off your brain into oblivion.

 

DELETE

I’m in the mood to destroy words! I think I’d better not, though, until at least a couple other people tell me the targeted words are bad. Otherwise I might just erase everything…

What to ask…

I’m writing a list of questions to ask people who read my novella… and it is making me think a bit more about what I was actually trying to achieve by writing the thing…

Maybe I should have thought about this before writing it, but that’s just not how I do things!

The Observer second draft is finished!

THE OBSERVER-page-001.jpg

I have finished a first pass through of my novella, and fixed all the problems I had highlighted! Now to read it again and find a whole new slew of them (I’ve already found a few, sigh.)

I know it will never be ‘done.’ It will only ever be ‘good enough.’

But it is still frustrating noticing new problems. Why couldn’t I have noticed them before? Or while I was writing the damn thing?

But I guess that’s just not how it works.

The next step is to make a nicely readable word doc and get it out to my writing group to get some feedback! Also, I made a cover for fun (that’s it above) 🙂

Looking forward to sending this out somewhere, sometime this year!

 

A decorative library

I’ve started reading The Great Gatsby for what may be the first time? I’m unsure. I read an article recently about certain books that everyone claims to have read, but not many really have, and Gatsby was one of them.

I always thought I read it in high-school, and always marked it off as ‘read’ in lists of classics people should read, but thinking about it, I can’t really remember anything about it other than some vague idea of there being a car crash in it. So! I’m reading (listening to) it again, to make doubly sure I can check it off that list.

First impressions are, sadly, not leaving much of an impression. It seems very uninteresting until, (just now) we reach the party at Gatsby’s house (at which there is indeed a car accident…)

Aside from the enigmatic Gatsby, something that happened during the party caught my mind

One drunken character is looking about Gatsby’s library, and is astounded that all the books are real. He pulls one off the shelf to show the narrator, and points out how it is an actual book. “Such attention to realism!” he says. At no point, it seems, does the idea that someone might want books for reading cross his mind. Appearing to be one who reads is all that matters. Even upon finding that the books are real, all he can think is that this is great dedication to being realistic, rather than that anyone might be actually be reading the books.

This reminds me, somehow, of the trend in furniture and decoration to look worn, while being brand new. Desks or end tables or dressers are painted so as to look scuffed and dented and used when they are brand new mass manufactured pieces. People want the appearance of history and use, without actually having to go through all the steps to get there.

And maybe people want the appearance of being well read, by having shelves stocked with all the right titles, without actually ever reading any of them…

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

A very powerful book that will change the way you think about migrants/refugees/the poor. I thought I had a socialist bent, I thought I was a person sensitive to these things. This book magnified my socialism/humanism by 100.

When we are divided out as millions of individuals, we are weak, and will be taken advantage of and abused by the powerful. If we stick together, take care of each other, stand up for each other, care for each other… we have the power.

It has been said a million times, but to hear it said is something other than really understanding it. And I think.. maybe I understand it now.