Saturday, September 27, 2008

34 Days 'til My Head Bursts

I haven't written dick since I finished the first draft of the screenplay for Hotel Guignol...I have been doing a lot of thinking about my next project, which I count as writing. Sort of. "Literary Pre-Execution Brainstorming". See, that's the kind of sick shit that comes to front of mind when you work for a bank for ten years (something I've warned both of my kids against). I am of the opinion that managerial double-speak and mandatory corporate cheerleading sessions are far, far scarier than the most depraved, most secret horrors that King, Lovecraft, or Barker could come up with on their best day.

Also, I've been diverting my attention. My wife had trouble with her right arm a while back, so she switched to her left (non-dominant) for many tasks, including using her mouse. Within three or four months, she noticed she was able to sketch everyday objects freehand much, much better than she ever had, and she attributed that to using the other side of her brain more. In a different but somewhat related turn, I have noticed that, since immersing myself in creative writing earlier this year, I am more, well...creative. As a result of that, coupled with my sick love of all things creepy, I have officially gone batshit crazy on Halloween preparations. In the past two weeks, I have acquired a fog machine and built a custom fog chilller (to keep the fog low and heavy), built a blood fountain out of styrofoam skulls, and bought or made headstones, spiderwebs, skeletons, lighting, wall hangings, dried flowers, and signs. I'll put up pix after Halloween...should be...interesting. Yes, interesting. Not the word my wife uses, know.

I read a short but interesting article in the New York Times Friday...a writer (formerly for Redbook) talks about some of the basic tenets her friend and editor taught her over the years, and how it shaped her writing:

"She valued clarity and transparency. She had nothing against style, if it didn’t distract from the material. Her blue pencil struck at redundancy, at confusion, at authorial vanity, at the wrong and the false word, at the unearned conclusion. She loved good writing, therefore she loved the reader: good writing did not cause the reader to stumble over meaning. By the time Helene was finished with me seven years later, I knew how to read a sentence and how to fix one. I knew what a sentence was supposed to do. I began to write my own sentences; needless to say, the responsibility for them is my own."

Seems like good, basic advice.

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