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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, May 26, 2008


It seems I'm finally coming up against what I feared when I first started this blog back in 2005: that I might run out of things to write about.

I used to keep a file of possible blog-post topics, but found that I never referred to it, preferring to shoot from the hip when I opened up the posting window. Why not just grab whatever's going through my mind, and start typing?

Sounds good. And maybe if I had more guts I could really follow through with that. But I feel constrained by the fact that, on the one hand, I don't want to talk too much about the content of my work in progress, the ostensible theme of this blog, and on the other that many of the other thoughts and feelings that dominate my life right now are things that are very private and inward.

So: here I sit.

Another week begins, and I must pray to the Muse to grant me a few more lines of my work--or at least the gumption to open up its files and face it, something I found that I couldn't do last Friday.

It helps to keep some perspective. Last night on CBC Newsworld I watched Brian Stewart interview the economist Paul Collier about his book The Bottom Billion, about the world's poorest people. These are the people--or whole families--who try to survive on less than $1 a day. Many of those people are in Africa. There were video clips of violence in Africa: unarmed people running for their lives while "soldiers" shot at them, and so on. What a mess.

I liked Paul Collier--a Brit who used to work for the World Bank. As he observed, political stability has only ever arrived anywhere at a great price in violence and upheaval, a fact we should bear in mind as we shake our heads over Africa. And, I think, even once it's achieved it's fragile, ready to be smashed when the strong give in to the temptation to gain their ends by force, and reap the whirlwind of violence.

As one of the "top billion", I have nothing to complain about. So I should get to work, then.

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  • nothing to write about? such lies hehe.
    I enjoy reading your blog keep up the good work.
    on a side note could you please continue your odyssey odyssey I particularly enjoyed reading about the creative progress (and behind the scenes info) behind the show I really love(d).

    By Anonymous Adriënne, at May 29, 2008 5:13 AM  

  • Hi Adrienne--thanks for stopping by. Yes, I'll get on with the The Odyssey story at some point, but I need to be in the right frame of mind. I'm very glad you liked the show, it's great to have an audience in other parts of the world.

    By Blogger paulv, at May 29, 2008 7:25 AM  

  • Thanks for your reply Paul, I really appreciate it :)
    The reason i posted yesterday was because Ive watched the Oddysey recently again and have been feeling a bit down the past few days.
    I loved the Odyssey when I was growing up (Im almost 30 now), I connected with it.
    I ll tell a bit about myself (with the risk of sounding overly sappy but here I go).
    I grew up not having my father around so the search of Jay for his father and the character of Keith who didnt have his father around, well felt close to me.
    I connected with Keith even more as I too tried hard to act tough/hard while inside I really wasnt (that episode where Keith slips the get well card in Donna's bag is one of my favorites).
    I watched the Odyssey again last week after so many years and have been feeling a bit sad as it brought back memories/emotions.
    It's always sad when a show ends as in some way it dies; the characters dont go on new adventures and all that is left is in the past, like photographs in an
    old album.
    But it hit me more with this show as I felt connected with it(even after so many years).
    My life is quite different now of course as Im older Im a teacher at a highschool I teach art to kids ages 12-18 and Im overall quite happy (so dont worry haha).

    I hope you didnt mind me bugging you for an Odyssey update, as of course I can understand you wanting to talk about other things too.

    By Anonymous Adriënne, at May 30, 2008 10:39 AM  

  • Hi Adrienne--and many thanks again for sharing your experience of the show. That kind of personal response and feedback is especially hard to come by for us creators, who often labor in obscurity and isolation, unconnected with the audience except through the abstract medium of ratings and such. It's very rewarding to hear that the show made such an impression and mattered to someone.


    By Blogger paulv, at May 31, 2008 6:40 AM  

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