the mutt

Whack#1 “A Moveable Feast”

Posted in General, Whack, Writing by grx20 on January 12, 2009

I’m starting a new section called Whack. It’s a place to share a piece of writing that has struck me as remarkable, for all the right reasons. I may not like the book or story in toto or enjoy the author’s style, but some parts might act like a whack from a wet fish between the eyes. Here’s the first one.

I came across this excerpt from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.
Since we are talking about Hemingway, I’ll keep this brief and let the excerpt speak for itself.

This just plunged an ice sliver into my brain – this passage, it’s starkness and beauty has been haunting me the whole day.

(I got this from http://www.wherepilgrimsdisappear.wordpress.com – a lot more goodies there.)

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.

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Facta non verba

Posted in General, Writing by grx20 on January 9, 2009

Deeds not words.

That’s my resolution for the year.

Nothing very new, fancy or very different. In fact, one doesn’t need a new year to do this. Yet, there’s something about the turn of December into January that ushers hope and new conviction.

The aim is to get the first draft done by the first half of the year. And yes, I do have an idea that I am very excited about. And that helps a lot. I referred to this in passing in my earlier post. I am also quite excited about the structure of the story and it weaves concepts and themes that have fascinated me for many years now – memories, choices not made, forgiveness, hope, innocence and love.

There are four characters, as of now, and I don’t know yet who will be the key around whom the story revolves. I don’t know who will tell the story.

I have been brooding over parts of the story. Some of the incidents, dialogues, events … these are beginning to take shape in my mind and the process is scaring the s*** out of me. I’m assembling pieces, thinking I’m going to get a certain picture, but I don’t know if the picture will indeed turn out that way. It’s scary to hold these pieces in my mind, weighed down as they are by their fragility, because they are not yet connected and have nothing to sustain them.

It feels good to just let them be in my mind. But this is the year of deeds not words.

Well words, as long as they are being written. Every day.

This process of composting, letting the fragments swim around in their own confusion and nebulosity is simply brilliant.

First draft by the first half of the year. But I’ll be honest – I am being too generous. I should actually nail it in three months. Otherwise, and it’s happened before to me, the characters start becoming boring, I start doubting the plot and idea, and worse, second guess.

Here’s to facta, non verba.