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the wip :: work in progress
Saturday, March 08, 2003
Feeling less depressed about the stalled novel. I need a few uninterrupted days of weeding through my notes and first draft to find what can be salvaged. Be they live or fictional, I've never understood people. Maybe the approach should be more illustrative ... My vocabulary seems rather limited these days. I did an exercise wherein I sat in the living room and tried to describe what I saw, then I switched to an opinion piece on Are Americans to Blame (in reference to the current pc position of blame the government but not the people). The opinion piece flowed. The pen portrait was so difficult.

The beautiful thing about writing is you do learn to recognize your weaknesses and your strengths.

Posted 10:48:15 AM:: home

___________ Thursday, March 06, 2003
As the writing on this novel stalls, the more I write elsewhere. Translations, short articles, thought pieces, whatever. And the more I read. Perhaps this story is wrong for me? Perhaps I'm strangling it, squashing it into submission; perhaps I'm not ready to write this way, or the way I want to. All I can do is keep trying.

Posted 11:07:21 AM:: home

___________ Wednesday, March 05, 2003
The characters are reverting to the initial inspiration. Women voluntarily trapped in relationships but with a certain perceived or real degree of control, an arrogant and displaced artist, and a confused researcher trying to finish her PhD but now pulled in a human drama not of her own making. Caroline keeps Antonio, first out of hurt, then anger and then a perverse sense of entitlement, or punishment? Juliana stays away from Antonio out of self- and family-preservation. On both counts, love is stifled into unrecognizable self-treachery. Why people make these choices, I'm still trying to understand. As for Antonio ... he seems to be the primary victim, although he appears to be the aggressor. That he subjects himself to the will of others is a mystery, or is it? Does he sublimate his desire into art, thus not truly living in the human sense, but living in the ideal Edenic sense, a fantasy world? In a fantasy world, anything goes. The art researcher tries to unravel the mystery of Macanza, which happens to be a metaphor for the mystery of lives chosen and llived. There is a strong theme of struggle ...

Posted 10:43:20 AM:: home

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Still no writing. Knocked out by otitis media this last week. Wept at the spring vision of crocuses blooming in Vancouver whilst the mercury dipped into Antartica in Montreal.

To change the subject, I am feeling much better, thank you. Little antibiotic machine guns are battling with a persistent otitis media; the casualties of which, I hope, will be as acute as the damn pain in my ear. At least I can concentrate long enough to read and write, having recently completed Joseph Brodsky's Watermark:

"Because the city is static while we are moving. The tear is proof of that. Because we go and beauty stays. Because we are headed for the future, while beauty is the eternal present. The tear is an attempt to remain, to stay behind, to merge with the city. But that's against the rules. The tear is a throwback, a tribute of the future to the past. Or else it is the result of subtracting the greater from the lesser: beauty from man. The same goes for love, because one's love, too, is greater than oneself."
As lovely as the language is, and fully aware that Venice becomes a metaphor for life, all the dreary grey fog, rubber boots, and tourist-attack prices he describes won't have me wanting ot visit that city anytime soon, although, really, before it becomes our modern Atlantis, I should, really.

Also reading The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Middle Ages. The old Celtic, Irish and English tales and myths remind me of my childhood, buried under adventure books of Vikings, knights and long-locked princesses. And if that's not enough, I stopped by the library and picked up Anthony Burgess' A Mouthful of Air, which, thus far, happens to be wildly witty and informative, Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon (more research for my now-stalled novel) and William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault.

Posted 10:35:59 AM:: home

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