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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Saturday, July 08, 2006

hobby projects

Summer heat is back. Many dreams in the night--a night in which I slept relatively well, still feeling heavy and pleasantly tired at around 7:00 when I stirred myself to get up.

Over morningt coffee I spent time working on notes for a possible new novel project--a "hobby" project that I allow myself to work on only on the weekends, for fun. It's fun to feel some of the joy of creation again, not simply the heavy working-through of ideas hatched long ago. I take my feeling of enjoyment as a good sign: it's something I should be doing, because I like it.

On the major-project front, I am still responding to ideas I found in the Zuckerman book, Writing the Blockbuster Novel. Yet again I am embroiled in notes before launching into my next chapter. Sometimes I feel something like despair--especially in the dead of night. But often I also feel good, since I have some concrete ideas now for how I intend to improve my story in draft 2. I'm taking my time before starting chapter 25 because I want to go in with this "draft 2" mentality--already making the adjustments as much as I can, to get a better-reading draft.

Certain artists, it seems, can't do things the easy way. They have the talent and ability to create "for the market", but nonetheless persist in trying to perfect their art, to bend it in a direction only they can see. I think again about the English landscape painter John Constable: his anxiety and fussing, his pile of unfinished projects, his inability to call a painting "finished" even after it had been bought and delivered (he would make changes to a canvas even while it was hanging in a public exhibition). Include the dog? No, paint it out. No, put it back in.

And how he studied the sky--how to paint it. Years of studies. Check out the sky in one of the later Constable paintings: confident, expressive, strongly generating mood.

Art has its own motives, its own agenda. I think to be fulfilled, the artist must flow with this, go with it.

A housefinch twitters merrily outside somewhere, even in the heat of day. Lovely.


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2 Comments:

  • sometimes the sky is one colour and sometimes an ancestor from the blingblingbling sees it. What the fuck, you say? I see you and your pirate hat!!! Don't trip the balls, trip the brain. Don't forget, you learn something from everyone so listen to this words.

    sometimes when Im angry I go outside and become a motercycle

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 06, 2006 2:10 AM  

  • useful information blog,very good content.

    By Anonymous metal, at September 27, 2006 3:24 AM  

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